Archive | August 2022

Christmas in August

I am not someone who counts down the days until I can put up my Christmas tree. I’m not eagerly awaiting fall and all things pumpkin spice. I love summer and would much rather be warm than cold. However, I do enjoy knitting for people I like, so I cast on the first Christmas gift of 2022 yesterday.

This will be a waffle beanie in Supernatural Yarns Fairy DK, color Amortentia. I’m pretty sure it will have a pompom, but I’m not sure yet if it will be a matching yarn pom or a coordinating faux fur pom. It partly depends on how much yarn is left! Which would you go for?

After spending so much knitting time on big projects, it’s a treat to knit something as small and quick as a hat. Here’s hoping they appreciate it!

Happy Sunday, friends!

Adventures with Malabrigo

While in Omaha last weekend, I happened upon some Malabrigo Arroyo in Lavanda, which just happens to be what I’m using to make my Riprap, the sweater with the unfortunate color change. I took a chance and bought the skein that looked the lightest, just in case I could use it to balance out the shift. In skein form, it looked lighter but once I wound it, I wasn’t so sure. Was it worth frogging over 4 inches of lace? Eh, what the heck, it’s DK weight and I knew the line would bother me forevermore if I didn’t at least try. So here’s where we’re at now:

As you can see, it’s not a huge difference but it’s enough that I’m glad I did it. At this point, I’m very glad this sweater does not have sleeves, and I’m looking forward to being done soon!

Happy Saturday, friends.

A Weekend in Nebraska

Yesterday was our 25th wedding anniversary and to celebrate we spent a long weekend in Nebraska. Our hotel was in Omaha, which is where we spent Saturday and Sunday. On Monday we drove to Lincoln for a few hours. We went to so many bookstores and record stores and yarn stores, plus several other fun little shops. We got confused with Omaha road signage and had several mostly mediocre meals, with a couple of exceptions (mostly the breakfast places). We turned off notifications and spent the days just enjoying the time together, and I felt very refreshed and relaxed afterward.

Now, I did not take photos of the yarn I bought. I kind of forgot but I’m also kind of embarrassed to show you the extent. I’ll just say, my stash is VERY well-fed this month. I went to four yarn stores. Five if you count the one that had a note on the door that said ‘We will be closed August 8th. We apologize for the inconvenience.’ Okay, fine, things happen, except this is the second time this has happened at this same shop. I won’t try them again. Thankfully there was a fantastic yarn store five minutes away that WAS open and was very happy to sell me lots of yarn!

My favorite yarn store was Wooly Mammoth in Omaha. She dyes yarn herself, lots of gorgeous rich solids and tonals, plus she carries indie dyers like A Whimsical Wood Yarn Co. and Cornbread and Honey. PLUS! She has a HEDGEHOG. Yes, a real live hedgehog, named Hank, and I got to meet him and pet him! He was prickly (shocker, I know). She offered to let me hold him but I was afraid I’d drop him.

Also in Omaha was Imagiknit, and that was a delightful store too. She had Emma’s Yarn plus other indie dyers plus some good bigger names too. It was a charming shop with great variety and fun little extras. I did go to one other store in Omaha but the vibes were off at that one. They had a lot of Koigu, Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, and Noro, and not much else. It was on the second floor of an art gallery, just tucked away on one side. It felt…strange. It felt like someone had decided to jump on the “knitting is trendy” bandwagon without really knowing the community. Anyway, I did find two skeins there but it didn’t inspire me so I didn’t take any photos.

Of course I found other things besides yarn — books mostly. I found fun things that made me laugh. The husband wants to get into leatherwork a little bit so we went to a leather store that smelled delightful and had so much gorgeous leather. I tried to convince him he could make project bags as good as Joji’s but I’m not sure we’re there yet. I’ll keep working on it!

We came home late Monday afternoon and spent our actual anniversary enjoying the peace and quiet at home. We marked the occasion by planting a Japanese maple and a purple hibiscus, and the husband cooked us a delicious dinner. I’m hoping we can do these short getaways more often now that we’re empty nesters — as long as I’ve got the boy to dog-sit for us!

A chip off the old block

Many moons ago, when my dad was a teenager, he got interested in photography. He worked for his high school paper, both writing and taking photos, and somewhere in there he got a camera. It was a Nikon F Photomic, and he had multiple lenses and two flashes and a fancy leather carrying case, as well as the hard case to pack it all in. When he died, it all came home with me. I knew I’d never actually use it, but I do like photography and I liked having that little connection.

This past summer, the boy took a road trip with his roommate. They drove out west, all the way to LA and back, and somewhere in there he found a vintage SLR camera from the 1970s at an antique store. He bought it and ever since has been talking about how fun it is, how cool it is. He bought film and took pictures during his trip and sent it off to be developed, but it takes weeks these days.

You probably know where this is going. Last night he came for dinner and after dinner I brought down the case so he could see my dad’s camera and equipment. We were all amazed at how well-maintained it all was, given that it was probably from the early 1960s. But that was my dad — he believed in taking good care of your things. We all had a great time poking through all the accessories and smelling the leather (that was mostly me) and trying to figure out how the camera worked. I even found a few rolls of film — we’re hoping those aren’t as old as the camera! He got one loaded into the camera and took a few shots.

It was a lot of fun, but the whole time, I kept thinking how much of himself my dad didn’t share. We never saw him use this camera. I don’t remember ever hearing him talk about it, or about the time of his life when he did use it. I don’t remember him ever doing anything with photography — he worked, a lot, to support our family of several kids and on the weekends he did stuff around the house and the yard.

But mostly I kept thinking about how much I wish he was still here to teach my son how to use the camera. I wish I could watch the two of them nerd out about cameras and photography. I think my dad would be absolutely delighted by him.

Of course I told my son to take the camera home with him. It never felt like it was mine anyway. I like to think I was just the caretaker, holding onto it for the right time and the right person.