A different kind of hat

The owl hats still need eyes, but I set them aside to cast on a cabled hat for the Christmas list.

The pattern is Jason’s Cashmere Hat (free on Ravelry), but I don’t have cashmere yarn so I’m using a Cascade Aran instead.

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Owl binge

I don’t have a problem, I can stop anytime. I just don’t want to yet!

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Matchy matchy

It’s fun when my knitting coordinates with my nails. Makes it look like I’ve got my stuff together.

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So unfair

Babysitting the cats during breakfast to make sure the little one gets a chance to eat. Amelia thinks it’s highly unfair that I won’t let her swipe food from the elder (underweight) one. Doesn’t matter that she already inhaled her portion, she covets all the food and definitely follows the strong-arm method of survival. She’s watching me, waiting for me to drop my guard so she can swoop in and steal the other food, little turkey.

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The struggle is real

Fall has hit the Pacific Northwest with a cold, wet slap. This is the thing that I maintain a love-hate relationship with up here – our summers have become relatively hot and definitely dry, and so that change over into autumn at first feels like a welcome relief. Rain! Oh, glorious rain! After three or four months of drought, those showers release a sigh across the region and we can hear the earth gorging on the rain, plumping up grass, leaves, and moss.

But a few weeks into it, I’m done with the endless grey skies and enveloping dampness and darkness. Because the thing is: we don’t really have autumn. A handful of crisp mornings and then everything becomes sodden. Trees drop their foliage overnight, with wet, molding mounds of brown leaves clogging our gutters and storm drains. We don’t have the glorious heaps of crisp leaves to jump in; we have six inches of slimy grossness that makes you fall down when you step on it. And it’s just so grey grey grey everywhere you look. I have heard it referred to as Seattle’s Big Grey Hat (and they aren’t talking about a sports team hat).


(apocalyptic view from my commute this morning)

To be fair, in recent years our cities have begun planting what must be non-native trees along streets and in parks, trees that actually have fall foliage in colors other than brown. These provide the rare spots of color in our monotone world. I have actively sought out ‘fall color’ plantings for our yard to try and alleviate some of the winter doldrums.

Overall, this time of year has me wanting to do nothing more than curl up in my flannel sheets and sip my tea and read for hours (man, that sounds amazing right now!). I eat too much comfort food, and exercise falls off my radar as the thought of jogging in 50-degree rain saps my will to live.

And so this year, as winter sets in I’m trying a new approach. I started taking a few vitamins, including a D3/K2 combo. Rather than trying to get excited about pounding the pavement and dodging puddles in my damp tennis shoes, I’ve started a video exercise routine that I can do from the comfort of my (warm and dry) living room.

Perhaps the most impactful change I’m implementing, however, is some self-reflection,¬† focus on meditative activities, and just plain ‘analog’ time. Our lives are so noisy – constantly bombarded by emails, texts, targeted advertisements, social media posts, click-bait headlines, fake news, and political nonsense – it’s easy to be overwhelmed and fall into a frantic mode of ‘always on’.

I am going to be making conscious decisions to be ‘off’ now and then, to avoid the Netflix binge in lieu of an hour of sketching, to leave the emails for Monday, and even to turn off the podcast so that I can listen to the sound of the rain.

I challenge you to do the same. Maybe for just an hour a week, disconnect from all things electronic and make something with your hands (without YouTube!), turn the pages of an actual book, leave the cell phone at home and take a walk around the block, learn to draw cartoon characters, donate a couple hours at a food pantry helping people in need, write a hand-written letter to someone at a nursing home, sweep the wet leaves from your neighbor’s front walk. Your Pinterest board may suffer a little from the absence, but your heart will be full and your mind more rested.

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More of the same

I swear, I do a lot more than just knit socks. It’s just that socks are so easy to bring with me, they get a lot of my free time.

I am trying out KnitPicks’ Felici sock yarn; I like the stripes, and the yarn is quite soft. This is my 9th pair this year.

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Done and done

Finally got to finishing the most recent two pairs of socks. They will go in the gift box for Xmas.

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