Dec 29, 2012

best of 2012

2012 has been quite the year for me! I started this little blog to track the hats I'm making on my way to 10,000 hats for 10,000 people, thinking it would be a space I filled up with bad photos of me in hats for awhile before I let it languish into nothingness.

Surprise!

Instead I've met some pretty cool people, grown a blog readership to 250+ subscribers and 30,000+ monthly readers (what?!??!!), managed to keep up with giving away tons of hats, and so much more!

With that in mind, I'm rounding up some of my favorite bits of 2012 for you!
























Good luck, 2013 -- 2012 has been quite the year!

Dec 27, 2012

my word for 2013


kindness.
kindness.
kindness.

I'm terrible at kindness. Which ... I know. I knit hats and give them away, that's pretty kind. But here's the truth -

I am terrible at being kind with my words.
I am terrible at being kind with my thoughts.
I am terrible at being the most kind those those closest to me.

I am sarcastic and snotty. I get downright mean when I'm hungry or tired, and I have THE WORST road rage. Probably ever. (i've been known to lean across from the passenger seat to honk the horn at folks.)

But I am a wife. I am a mama. And I cannot continue to operate without kindness, especially with those two important roles on my CV. I want those closest to me to remember my kind words, my kind smile, my kind deeds done towards them and for them.

So in 2013, I am focusing on kindness above all else.

After all, "It is our choices, after all, that show us who we really are, far more than our abilities." (A. Dumbledore)

Dec 26, 2012

a few holiday hats



One of my favorite things is to make hats for family. When I first started to make hats, I'm pretty sure my family didn't really want me to foist my wares on them. But as the years have progressed I get a few requests here and a few requests there, and have found I've gifted a hat to just about everyone in the family.

Take these two crazy kids as an example. Both teenagers, at the height of what I remember to be a time when you wanted to wear only what was considered super cool, these two asked me to make them hats. Forget the fact that they're both taller than me (WHAT?!?!?!) or that my kid thinks they're both ten thousand times cooler than me ... they asked ME to make them hats!

Made to their specifications (hers is the Tyson Hat, his is the Sandoval Hat), they both loved their hats and I'm hoping they'll wear them often. And even if they never wear them again, I'll always remember seeing hand-knits on their heads for at least a few hours on Christmas!

Dec 25, 2012

merry and bright








here's wishing you a holiday filled with as much love (and cars and trucks!) as ours was!

Dec 20, 2012

snow day!







Pardon us while we play in the snow. In our gym shoes, because I'm the mom who forgot that her toddler might need snow boots. We're enjoying the snow we got last night, and taking some time to be with family over the next few days.

I'll be back the middle of next week with a barrage of knitting photos (if I can get all the hats done in time!), and then a few fun year-end style wrap-ups! Enjoy the rest of this holiday season, and we'll see you in a few days!

Dec 17, 2012

holiday knitting

Right now is such a quiet time on many knitter's blogs. We are all furiously crafting away for the holiday, trying to get just ONE MORE project done for family and friends! For my part I need to grab one more skein from my stash to finish up a hat, and then I somehow need to try to finish the entire back of an adult-sized sweater, do the collar, and pray that it fits.

That is to say, there are no photos today.

My projects over the last week or so have been for family and friends. I have been sharing them on Instagram, but if I post them here folks will see them ... and then know what they are getting! (spoiler alert, it's all hats!) Rather than force myself to express any of what I'm feeling about school shootings, gun violence, mental health issues, and in general the killing of other human beings, I'm opting for radio silence while I pour love into the things I'm making for others.

I'm excited to gift handmade for the holidays. I'm excited to knock a few more projects off my list between the holidays and the beginning of 2013. I'm excited for all that will be happening once the new calendar starts. And I'm so excited to share that all here! But for now? For now I knit and take photos that I can't quite share yet. I'll be back when I can!

why i give hats away


This photo, taken by a sailor on the USS Higgins. A ship I helped dozens of other knitters send hats to recently. This sailor, deciding between two purple hats ... one of which I made. There is so much darkness in the world. So much hatred, so much violence, so much despair and hunger and death and .... darkness.

And what is a hat? It's some yarn, woven together with some sticks.

A hat can't cure anything - people will still die of cancer. A hat can't end wars, or bring peace or feed folks. But these soldiers, who believe so deeply in something larger than themselves? Opening a package of hats like it's Christmas morning (you need to check out the pictures - awesome!)? This is good.

This is why I make hats and give them away. A bit more peace and happiness and love, brought to the world by some yarn and sticks. Maybe one hat can't change the world, but maybe thousands, made every day by folks just like me? Maybe that can.

why i give hats away


This photo, taken by a sailor on the USS Higgins. A ship I helped dozens of other knitters send hats to recently.

This sailor, deciding between two purple hats ... one of which I made.

There is so much darkness in the world. So much hatred, so much violence, so much despair and hunger and death and .... darkness.

And what is a hat? It's some yarn, woven together with some sticks. A hat can't cure anything - people will still die of cancer. A hat can't end wars, or bring peace or feed folks.

But these soldiers, who believe so deeply in something larger than themselves? Opening a package of hats like it's Christmas morning (you need to check out the pictures - awesome!)? This is good. This is why I make hats and give them away.

A bit more peace and happiness and love, brought to the world by some yarn and sticks. Maybe one hat can't change the world, but maybe thousands, made every day by folks just like me? Maybe that can.

Dec 14, 2012

insta-Owen

My kid is just ... ridiculous. And I've been taking tons of fun (and funny) photos of him on Instagram for many months now, sharing them here in fits and spurts. But it's time to document this stuff better, more regularly, etc.

So with that in mind, I present Insta-Owen ... a weekly series full of the schenanigans this little one gets himself into!

helping decorate the tree. or pull it down.

showing his love for both mama and daddy.

new uses for memory sticks and mama's shoes (and the only time my size 6 shoes look big!)

this is how he relaxes!
before the Big Ten championship game, rocking his Rex Burkhead jersey. we still don't talk about that game in our house.

just hanging out with Poppleton and on mama's head.

two of his favorite things to do lately - lounge and read.

human rights violations.
So, the human rights violations - that's the fact that he's wearing pants. Poor kid loves to be pants (and socks) free as often as he can be, but now that it's winter, we force him to wear pants. Very much against his will, and to great dismay and tantrums.
Because I'm a sucker (and/or I hate tantrums) I let him rock jammies as late into the morning as we can feasibly do it. But at some point, pants must be worn, and the drama begins!
Now, if only I can grab some shots of him sliding down the stairs on his belly, streaking around the house before bathtime, and vaccuuming the family room ...

Dec 13, 2012

reading // Minimalism: Lead A Meaningful Life

Rounding out my Millburn-Nicodemus reading list was their non-fiction work Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.

One look at my Kindle collection will tell you I've read quite a few books on minimalism. It has been an on-and-off passion of mine, to learn more about minimalism and to try my hand at it. I have attempted (and failed) several times to live a life with less stuff so that I can actually live a more meaningful life. The truth is, I never could get past the whole "toss all your crap and live out of a backpack" thing.

Until I read this book.

Joshua and Ryan frame the whole idea of minimalism in a different way.

Or maybe they don't, and I just heard the message completely differently this time. 

It's not so much about throwing out your stuff, or living out of a backpack. Minimalism is a lens through which to view every bit of your life. If whatever you're looking at (an old book, the unworn clothes in your closet, that blog you read every day even though it doesn't give you anything back ...) doesn't build into and lift up your main reasons for living, then it's not worth having around.

Mind. Blown.

I've been wandering around for a week now, physically and mentally hitting the delete button. The number of blogs I follow is down below 30. I'm looking at every single thing I own and asking "does this positively affect my main things?" and if the answer is no, I toss it. (Gone immediately went all the nail polish and most of the make-up.)

My main things? My family. Cherished friends and loved ones. Knitting hats and giving them away. Seeking out and being a witness to the greatness of love that exists all around us in the world. And not much else.

Do my old high school yearbooks do anything at all for these main things? Probably not - they're hitting the recycling bin on Tuesday. What about those girl-versions of lumberjack shirts that I thought I HAD TO HAVE and then never really wore (I wore one of them once, the other still has the tags on it)? Gone. The stack of jeans? Gone. The blogs that I read out of habit, despite their lack of edification to my soul or my craft? GONE GONE GONE.

I never plan to live out of a backpack, and I will probably always have more stuff than would lend me to minimalism in the most "typical" sense. But the idea that I should suss out my main things and let NOTHING stand in their way?

Life altering.