Jan 29, 2013

Hats On People: Karol Gajda

pattern: Tyson Hat, my pattern  
yarn: I Love This Yarn! in light grey and black (totaling 124 yards)  
needles: size US 9 / 5.5 mm

Karol Gajda (pronounced Carl Guy-duh) is one of the most honest folks I've met on the internet. In all the best ways, Karol shares his thoughts and ideas online, not as concerned with how folks perceive him as he is with how he is bettering himself.

Born in Poland, after living in the States for most of his life he is back in Poland (at least, he was when I sent him the hat) living and writing and causing mayhem. And apparently hanging out with people like Darren (in the second photo) who do amazing things.

I subscribed to Karol's e-mail updates, and was surprised to find he sent an actual note of thanks to me. Not a form thank you, but he actually said thanks. So I offered him a hat, and then thought he told me he was in Portland. I'm good like that! He giggled about it (I assume), and I giggled about it, and then I striped some grey and black yarn together for him and sent a hat off! I'm pretty sure he likes it.

Follow Karol's blog here, and his Twitter feed here.

Jan 27, 2013

more dancing

Owen and I have decided that this must be the case. He has decided that dancing is where it's at, and that mama dances HILARIOUSLY. All my years of dance training (years of dance lessons, bloody feet and ripped tights and sweat-stained leotards) have been tossed out the window as we spin in circles and stamp our feet and waive our arms and dance like goons to anything - television commercials, Owen's recorder or xylophone, or even just mama singing off-key.

This age is amazing and has blown my world open in ways I cannot begin to understand. And while I want to pause and grab as many photos as I can, I am remembering to just be in the moment, dancing like a goon with my cackling son. The camera can wait, we are living life man.

And dancing. Dancing. Dancing

Jan 25, 2013

insta-life 1/25/2013

It's been a week of drippy noses and thick coughs.  Poor Owen caught the "daycare sniffles" and has been off and on miserable all week. Most of the time he's doing great, but then a coughing fit will hit and he lays on the couch, or in someone's arms, and just sighs.

It was so bad last weekend we actually took Owen to urgent care. I'm pretty sure he thinks that just walking through their doors makes him healthy, because all sorts of kids were laying around with masks on and super sick, and there was Owen running around giggling, climbing up daddy and acting like nothing was wrong!

With a sick bud around the house, not much else has gotten done. A hat has been started, ripped out, and re-started. Some laundry, a few loads of dishes. But mostly we just snuggle, throw cars around the room, and snuggle some more!

Jan 18, 2013

insta-life 1.18.2013

Week two of school, and I am still loving it so much! I walk from work to class three days a week, and so far the cold hasn't been so cold I've missed driving. In fact, I find myself feeling a bit flushed and warm by the time I reach the campus bus stop!

I've loved having homework again, flexing my brain muscle -- just about the only muscle I've got! I've already learned so much!

I just love Ravelry, don't you? I traded some acrylic yarn from my stash for some washable wool from a friend's stash this week. She's going to use the acrylic to make hats for the Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative (I still need to tell you about that!) and I'm using the washable wool for the Hats For Sailors project! We both won big!

Owen's been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. Nothing huge, mostly just the 'daycare sniffles' as I like to call it. You know, when a kid goes to daycare for the first time and comes home with a runny nose? He's got that.

Thankfully, he's got a daddy who totally understands the best cure for the 'daycare sniffles' is some snuggle time and a foot rub!

I know he'll hate me for these photos someday, but I had to document his love of the tub. We spend so much time there that the water gets cold, we warm it up, and then it gets cold again before he's ready to get out!

A few of his favorite things -- his cat Bella, his bear Lotso, his blankie, and a long nap!

We like to spend our afternoons getting into things - mama's yarn closet, the printer, whatever we can find that we're not supposed to be into! Also a favorite? Power cords!

I know what you're thinking. "Oh, how cute, he's giving his mama a hug!" Yeah, he's wiping boogers in my hair.

Life with a toddler is nothing short of amazing. All the time.

Jan 11, 2013

insta-life 1.12.2013

Life has been so incredibly full lately - full of giggles and tantrums, full of knitting and movies and plants (yes, plants!) and starting new adventures. I am so grateful for my phone and Instagram, that I can capture little bits of it!

best. outfit. ever.

Grandpa Snazzy requested mittens he could wear while using the snow blower. Less than three days later, he had his mitts!

Not stingy with his snuggles (yes, that's him trying to snuggle the cat)!

My dad and youngest brother made the trek out from Chicago for a short visit recently. Grandpa C. watched Owen while I was at work one day, and the pair hit it off like peas and carrots. I have a million stories I want to remember about those three days, but this is the only photo I took! Gah!

Big guy bed. And now sleeping through the night!

You guys, this plant has been alive for over two weeks!!!!!

Gotta love the fact that day care has cameras we can view online -- I get to watch Owen rock and roll around class, through lunch and naps, like a boss! So proud of him for making the transition so well!

We rock out pants-less here.


The storyteller in me feels like she is slowly being awakened after a very long hiatus. I used to write as though my world would end if I did not. Words tumbled out of me onto paper (via pen) and screen (via computer) until all hours of the day and night. I spent many years filling notebooks and folders full of writing, and then blogs full of terrible stories and silly thoughts.

And then I stopped. I'm not sure when it happened, or why even, but I know that the last few years I have not written like I used to. I have not delighted in the stringing together of words (as simple as the words I may use are) to form sentences, then stories, that I can't help but put out into the world.

And then, I met some new friends, writers all of them. And the words started to come again, slowly at first until they began rushing out of me again at unstoppable speeds. I have stories I want to share, and while I'm not sure how or when to share them, I know they'll start to get shared.

Stories about the hats I'm knitting, stories about the people I am knitting them for, stories about my family, stories about the tiny little life I'm leading -- I feel them all shoving and pushing around inside of me, not wanting to take turns as they all want to be told now now now! (My stories are apparently toddlers)

What does that mean, exactly? Everything and nothing all at once. I plan to share those stories here, in stolen moments between school and work and chasing after my little ninja acrobat of a toddler (so many stories there). I hope to get a better phone (for the camera) so my photos are less blurry; attaching photos to the stories makes it easier for me to remember.

More to come, so much more to come ...

Jan 9, 2013

the last of the 2012 hats


As 2013 has already begun, I figure it might be time to wrap up the rest of the hats I made in 2012! These are the few remaining stragglers, -- at least one blurry photo, and at least two I don't even have photos for, but hats that were made nonetheless.

Over the holiday season I sold some hats at a local boutique, Odd Bird Collective. I didn't count them before I brought them over to sell (well, I thought I did, but I know I counted wrong), and the three pictured at the top are the only three that didn't find homes. They'll be headed off in my next box to Chicago.

I sent a hat each to my brother Dan (not pictured) and his girlfriend Amanda (happy in her red slouchy Amanda hat) for Christmas. These were in addition to the hats I made for my other two brothers (pictured here). Rumor has it both Dan and Amanda love their hats ... I'm hoping they'll send me a shot of the two of them together in them so I can share it!

And finally, a blurry photo of a Black Diamonds hat I sent out last spring, and no photo of a slouchy grey hat I sent out last summer (before I got good at taking non-blurry shots of every hat I made). Both hats were sent off to keep folks warm, and if I ever have shots of them in their hats I'll share them here as well.

I'm almost 100% positive that cleans up all the hats I sent out in 2012, although if I have anymore stragglers I'll share them for sure!
And I'm practicing taking non-blurry shots with my camera ... it is hard, apparently!

Jan 3, 2013

for a minimalist, you sure do have a lot of hats!

pattern: Sandoval Hat, made without a brim
yarn: Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool, approximately 84 yards
needles: size US 9 / 5.5 mm circs and dpns

Just under a year ago, I offered to knit hats for The Minimalists. After they figured out my e-mail wasn’t just their friend screwing with them (apparently offers for free hats sound like spam?) they jumped on board.

Two hats mailed, one hat stolen (and replaced) and now another hat is needed, this time to be a second hat for Josh. It’s flattering to be known for making good hats. I’ve got folks asking to be part of my project in some way, people commenting on how they never take my hats off, and people who never thought they looked good in hats wearing two and three of the hats I’ve made for them.

And when someone who has edited down their life to only that which they feel is essential to their best life thinks that not just one but TWO hats is what is needed? I am bowled over.

And so, with a few tweaks to the original hat he requested and a quick dive into my stash for some cream wool, and a second hat was started and finished in under a day. A good start to the new year!

Jan 2, 2013

January Challenge // Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative

This month, help me bring hats to the Omaha VA Hospital, to be donated to the Omaha VA Hospital and Outreach Center. Located in southern midtown Omaha, the VA Hospital sees over 200 homeless vets year-round, providing them with a place to do laundry, receive a hot meal, as well as receive other services as needed. They are always in need of warm WASHABLE hats for the vets.  

For this challenge, there are just a few things to keep in mind:
  • Please use acrylic yarns that are washer/dryer safe.
  • Keep in mind, most of these vets are men, so gender-neutral colors are preferred.
Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative
PO Box 6093
Omaha, NE 68106-6093

Learn more through these links: