Feb 21, 2013

Sandoval in Ivory

pattern: Sandoval Hat, my pattern  
yarn: I Love This Yarn! in ivory (approximately 130 yards)  
needles: size US 9 / 5.5mm 16" circs and dpns

The snow is supposed to start anytime between at this very moment and about 3:00pm. We're not sure when, but we do think there will be around 12". Schools closed down for today and tomorrow already in anticipation. It has been a cold and blustery winter here in Omaha, very unlike last year - it was already feeling like spring by this point in 2012.

With all this cold, I can't help but cast on Sandoval after Sandoval, knit in a variety of neutral colors to be taken down to the Omaha VA Hospital outreach center. I know how cold I can feel on my walks from the bus stop to work, and I can't imagine how cold it must be right now for Omaha's homeless population.

No matter how cold I am, I know in a few short minutes I will be inside my warm home or office - the folks I knit for don't have that luxury. There are few places they can go for an extended period to warm up and rest.

Because of the snow we're expecting, I may just bag up the hats I've got on-hand thanks to generous folks sending them to the Nebraska Hats for Hope Initiative, and take them to the outreach center today. I hadn't planned on taking them for another week, but folks will need them more than ever in this weather!

Feb 20, 2013

Hats On People: Satya Colombo

pattern: Basic Bulky Manly Man Hatby Julie Laffoon  
yarn: Yarn Bee Andes Alpaca, light grey
needles: size US 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circs and dpns

One of the worst things a knitter can do is forget to write down her thoughts as she's making a hat - and that's exactly what happened as I knit Satya his hat! I remember the yarn being super soft, but also flaking a bit. I thought the hat might be too short, but then it fit me well so I wasn't sure - and looking at Satya in his hat, I could have made it an inch or so longer.

What I do remember is how excited I was to make this hat. Satya is a world traveler, healer and explorer. He's devoted his days to helping people live in their soul-truth, which is a powerful thing! He's written some amazing essays on his website, and has built an amazing community of folks who gather together and support one another. I was lucky enough to sit in on a chat group he ran last fall, and let me tell you - the peace and power emanating off this dude is unreal! It makes me happy to know his hat will keep him warm in Peru (where he is as I write this) and wherever his journey takes him!

Connect with Satya:

Feb 15, 2013

life lately

While we may be spending FAR too much time in doctor's offices recently (sinus infection followed by TWO ear infections!), life has been so sweet with Owen lately. In the last four weeks or so ...

* He's figured out the cow says "moo", the cat says "meow", the dog days "woof woof" and the oink of a pig is the funniest thing he's ever heard mama or daddy say!

* He blows kisses and waves goodbye to everyone. Family and friends for sure, but also our checker and random people at the grocery store and cars as they drive by!

* He knows which arm goes into his jacket first, and just how to bend his second arm to get it in the sleeve easiest.

* He picks out his shoes in the morning. Sometimes it's grey with neon soles, sometimes it's blue and orange, and sometimes it's mama's or daddy's shoes!

* He got another hair cut and suddenly looks about twelve.

* He knows for sure what he wants and where he wants to go. We've been practicing not being demanding and trying to use our words.

* He for sure says NO. But he also says cat, mama, dad, grandma, grandpa, Maddie, vroom (the sound a car or train makes), huh (for yes) and a few others.

We've been trying to figure out how to work on linguistic sounds a bit more intentionally, as Owen loves the m, b, g, k, and t sounds almost exclusively. Which is a lot, I know. But at almost 18 months, we're hoping he'll hit the elusive "language explosion" that happens between 14 months and two years, and so we're thinking up new ways to help him "use his words" as often as we can.

At least five times a day I think to myself "this is my favorite moment ever" and I mean it every time. I've loved every age with Owen so far, but this toddler time is truly amazing. Terrible twos (which have definitely already started) and all!

Feb 14, 2013

potted potter

Best Valentine's Day present ever ... Potted Potter!

Condensing all seven Harry Potter books down to 70 minutes, all with a huge audience-played game of Quidditch in the middle? Best ever. Zach wearing those glasses and letting me take his picture? Priceless.

The ticket price was pretty hefty, but as the show went on we both knew it was worth every penny. Thanks my love for a Valentine's Day to make all others jealous and pale in comparison!

Feb 12, 2013

off the needles lately

Despite the lack of sharing each hat as it comes off the needles lately (due to a hefty school and writing schedule, along with a little thing I like to call parenting!), I've been knitting in every spare moment I can find. From baby hats to simple men's ribbed hats, there's been a bit of variety coming off my needles, and I thought it was past time to share again!

pattern: Cabled Pixie Hood pattern, from Melody's Makings  
yarn: Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in silver grey (approximately 44 yards)  
needles: size US 9 / 5.5 mm dpns

pattern: Fall Chin Strap Bonnet pattern, from Melody's Makings
yarn: Lion Brand Homespun (approximately 47 yards)  
needles: size US 10 / 6.0 mm straight needles

pattern: Summer Kerchief Pattern, from Melody's Makings
yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy, in country green (approximately 30 yards)  
needles: size US 10 / 6.0 mm straight needles

These three newborn sized hats were made as part of a batch for my friend Nikki's photography business Nikki Danielson Photography. She takes amazing photos, and I'm so glad to be even a small part of her photos!

pattern: Norby, by Brooklyn Tweed  
yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Wool naturals (approximately 156 yards)  
needles: size US 9 / 5.5 mm 16" circular and dpns

I altered this pattern quite a bit from the stated instructions. The pattern called for thinner yarn than I like to use, so I sized up the yarn thickness and needles, and had to size down the stitch count accordingly. You can see all my notes on my Ravelry Project page ... suffice it to say I loved making such a slouchy version of this hat, and plan to make more!


pattern: Sandoval Hat, my pattern  
yarn: I Love This Yarn! in dark blue (top hat) and black (bottom hat)  
needles: size US 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circulars and dpns

These last two hats are part of a group of hats I'm knitting for the VA Hospital Outreach Center. I've got a few more I'd like to make before the end of the month (when I'll make my next delivery). The hats are big on me, with a 3" folded brim. This makes them perfect for the men the outreach center serves!

Feb 11, 2013

Donating to the VA Hospital Outreach Center

Last week I dropped 40 hats off at the VA Omaha’s Homeless Outreach Center. Thanks to some amazing folks who have been sending hats along to the Nebraska Hats for Hope Initiative (shameless plug!) over the last six weeks or so, these hats have made their way to our little corner of the winter-white world from all over the place. California, Michigan, Illinois … so many generous folks from so many different parts of the country.

Let me tell you, if you want to see the best of humanity, go visit the folks that work with homeless and transient vets. I tromped through the mud (thanks to a brief warm-up in the blustery winter weather) carrying a garbage bag full of hats, and these people freaked out like it was three Christmases all rolled up into one. Smiles, squeals, exclamations of joy … one guy even said “I love people like you!”

The Omaha VA Hospital’s Homeless Outreach Center sees over 200 homeless and transient vets each year. And when I mentioned how much I loved that they were serving these folks, they reminded me that Omaha has over 1,000 homeless folks (that number doesn’t include transient folks or people who are staying with friends and relatives) in our area, so their number was just a “drop in the bucket.” Because nothing says biggest heart in the world like that kind of humility about what you do.

I’ve got a few hats off the needles added to the next batch I’ll be taking to the Outreach Center (at the end of February), along with just under a dozen hats I’ve received since I took that first load over. If you’re a hat knitter, I’d love for you to consider helping out! I’d love to bring over 40 or 50 more hats at the end of the month, to help keep as many vets warm and cozy as we possibly can!

And for those who don’t have the time to make a hat right now, know that NE Hats for Hope will continue to collect hats for people of all ages and genders for the foreseeable future. I’m hoping to donate bunches of baby hats to a local hospital this spring/summer, and then have a closet full of hats to donate around town next fall! Check out the NE Hats for Hope Initiative Facebook page for more info, and where to send hats!

Feb 8, 2013

insta-life 2.8.2013

What a week it's been! Between sickness and allergic reactions to medicine, the week started out just as crazy as the last one ended. Poor Owen is now allergic to TWO families of antibiotic, which makes treating sickness a fun little experiment in "will he or won't he break out in hives?"

Thankfully, this isn't our first allergic reaction rodeo, so we knew as soon as the spots started to take him to urgent care. A huge dose of Benadryl and a meds switch later, and he was feeling good as new.

Mid-week I took the first 40 hats for the Nebraska Hats For Hope Initiative to the Omaha VA Hospital Outreach Center. They see over 200 homeless and transient vets through their small office, and I'm hopeful that the hats will help keep these folks warm and cozy, and remind them that folks out there care for them.

Just after dropping these hats off, I received a HUGE bunch of yarn from an amazing woman in Illinois ... three stuffed boxes full! It effectively doubled my yarn stash, and is still sitting in the boxes while I figure out how to sort and store it all! I'll be sending yarn off to folks who want to help make hats for the VA Hospital as well, so if you're interested, shoot me an e-mail (see my sidebar for the link)!

Amidst all of this I've been trying to keep up with school work, and I'm finally back on track! I missed almost a full week of classes but I'm back in the game (albeit coughing like mad still) and excited to start doing research for a huge paper while reading away on some amazing plays!

A busy week indeed, although not too many photos it would seem. I'm hoping to grab more this coming week, thanks to an amazing post from Rebecca - great advice, lady!

Feb 1, 2013

insta-life 2.1.2013

Oh, this week. If I could take you and throw you out with the trash i would, most certainly.

I hurt my wrist knitting (it feels better now, though) and so haven't knit a stitch since Monday night. Then Tuesday night both Owen and I came down with the super plague that's been winging it's way around the world. We've been on the couch, shifting between sleeping and snuggling and crying (him, not me) and whimpering (me, not him) ever since.

I think I'm on the mend and will head back to work to pretend I'm part of the living. Owen keeps spiking a fever, then breaking it when the Advil kicks in, just to spike it again a few hours after the Advil wears off. Even baths aren't doing it for him ... he just sits there and moans dejectedly while we gently wipe the sweaty stink off and put some new jammies on.

All our blankets have been covered in either germs or puke (you're welcome) in the last three days, our kitchen is horrifying and the state of our family room rug ... well, let's just say I'm not super excited that anyone is going to be in our house today. But family understands that the plague does not a clean house make.

Thus far, Zach has avoided sickness, although he's gotten approximately seven seconds of sleep in the last 48 hours. He's been requiring me to take NyQuil for the past few nights to help get me better, while he takes the overnight shift with the sickie mister. So this weekend he gets to curl up whenever and wherever to take naps - Owen and I have already agreed upon this, regardless of how sick we may feel.

Here's to February, a few stitches (hopefully!) knit today, and the end of this plague!