Monday, February 14, 2011

To My Valentine

I love you, Jeff.  You're sweet.

Here are all the reasons I love my Jeff.  He:
  1. makes me laugh.
  2. makes the morning and evening commute better.  (We carpool.)  And he drives so i can knit.
  3. does major home projects for me.  (Thanks, honey-do!)
  4. loves to travel. 
  5. lets me incorporate yarn trips into our travel itinerary.
  6. is a great dad.
  7. loves big dogs.  We adopted our sled dog, Dakoda, together.
  8. makes great music videos.
  9. takes amazing photographs. He is also the official photographer on our travels together.
  10. is my go-to tech guy.
  11. is a mean, lean, fighting machine.
  12. gives the best hugs.
  13. camps.
  14. gave me my first veggie garden ever.
  15. gave me space to plant all my flowers.  He dug some of those holes, too.
  16. took me to a tree farm to get me my first real Christmas tree.  It's an annual tradition now.
  17. bought me my first bicycle.  After I learned how to ride one.  I'm still learning.
  18. hiked Half Dome with me.  He guided me and another couple we met up to the top!  We couldn't have done it without him.
  19. thoughtful.
  20. adores my family and I adore his.
  21. is always game for random adventures.
  22. believes in the power of the coffee machine.
  23. can grill a mean flank steak.  (He also put an end to my vegetarian days.)
  24. bought me a really sweet gift today.
  25. all these things and many more!
Happy Valentine's Day, Jeff!
 You have my heart.  Because I sewed one for you.

There's more homemade Valentine love!
Jeff's mom also makes amazing cards.  Here's the Valentine's Day card we received this year:

See?  Amazing.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grandma's Birthday Hat

Last weekend, Zach received a stuffed rabbit during our Lunar New Year dinner.  I am very fortunate to be able to celebrate with both my grandmothers and my grandpa, my parents, and my sisters, aunt, uncle, and cousin.  I was attaching Mr. Rabbit's eyes while waiting for dinner to arrive, and my dad's mom was sitting next to me, watching intently.  My dad was also intrigued by my bunny knitting skills, particularly since it was appropriate for Lunar New Year. Why?  Because this year we LOVE bunnies. 

Bunnies on the postage stamps....

Bunnies on the red envelopes (with lucky money inside)...

 and... knitted bunnies. 

Knitted bunnies? You can't just buy that in Chinatown.  So my dad had a thought.

Dad:  "You should knit your grandma (his mom) a hat."
Me:   "She has a hat, Dad. It fits."
Dad:  "Fine, never mind."

My grandma loves her hat.  It was crocheted by my aunt.  It's pink and beautiful.  Why would she need another one?  Then it hit me.  She didn't need a hat.  My dad just wanted me to knit my grandma a hat.  So, I went to the store to buy some yarn.  My grandma would want a bright color, and I figured, why not pick a different color?  So I went with Caron Country Berry Frappe.

I knit a size small version of Meghan Dougherty's Honeycomb Hat, which can be found on Ravelry as a free download. 

Just in time for her birthday this weekend.  Happy Birthday, Grandma!  My dad was happy, too.  Good suggestion, Dad.  Although, I will be knitting a pink version of this as well, because my Grandma prefers pink!  (Must consult aunt about colors in advance in the future...sometimes thinking others would like hats in different colors can backfire... and, must poll prior recipients of handknits whether they were ok with color choice.)  Making another hat in pink is completely fine and dandy with me, because I like the Honeycomb pattern and will have fun the second time around.  And, I have the satisfaction of knowing that there will be one more warmer head in the family!

And, the knitting requests keep coming!  Some who witnessed my grandma try on the hat also made requests for one.  Yay!  Into the Christmas queue they go.  Must get a head start this year!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

We're celebrating Lunar New Year and it's the Year of the Rabbit.  According to the Zodiac calendar, people born in the Year of the Rabbit are peaceful, compassionate, and friendly.  This is a lucky year for rabbits.  May that luck extend to rush hour traffic.

My sister was born in the Year of the Rabbit (which comes around every twelve years), so she'll be getting one...with two arms...when it's finished... My cousin, Zach, was the first recipient of a completed bunny.  Lucky for me, there are plenty of bunny knitting patterns, thanks to Easter.  This free pattern comes from Spud & Chloe.   And it's simple... On the other hand... Next year's the Year of the Dragon.  There are several dragons in the family.  *sigh*

P.S.  My mom's a Tiger Dragon Mom.

P.P.S.  The Postal Service came out with these limited edition Lunar New Year stamps.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leandra's New Addition

Leandra got a new phone yesterday.  She has pondered this upgrade for months.  Being the first person she saw in the office, Leandra passed the phone to me so I could take a look.  I dropped it on the desk, when I really should have dropped it on the carpet.  What she really wanted to me say was, "Are you $%@@# kidding me?"  Instead, Leandra told the next person who entered the office that that's what she really wanted to say to me.  In that moment, I was banned from ever touching the device again.  She placed it in her desk drawer for extra security.

The phone was so new, Leandra had not yet bought a cover.  So to protect the phone (mainly from people like myself), I knit Leandra a phone cozy/sock/sleeping bag until she buys a cover.  It looks like a newborn.  Leandra embellished the sleeping bag with a bow.  Therefore, it's a girl. 

This yarn will have a sister who is much bigger, but who's mug is unavailable until it is adopted.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shakti Hat for Ange

Everytime I knit a hat, a new request comes in.  I knit my baby cousin, Zach, a hat, around Father's Day last year, and stuck it on his Buddha-esque head right before dinner, which sparked the following conversation:

Grandma:  "Where did where the hat came from?"
Mom: "Jo knit it."
Grandma: "Jo knit it?!" (I know, my talents run few and most projects, unfinished.) 
Me: "Yes, I knit that."
Grandma:  "Well, where's mine?!"  

After being called out in front of a dozen family witnesses, I presented Grandma with a soft brown hat with caramel-colored buttons last Christmas.  Ange looked at it "That hat looks cute.  Can you knit me one?  Like a beanie?  It gets cold in New York."  My first thoughts were... Are you @#!^@% kidding me?  Ange, who's gifts I always get wrong?  Nope.  I'm sure I mess up the gift cards I resorted to, too.  Ange did mention that a charitable donation on her behalf was the best of the lot one year, although I think she was saying that for good karma.  All these years, I could have appeased here with some handmades...when I thought she only wanted brand names!

So here's to you, Ange.  A wool Shakti  hat that I wanted to keep for myself when I was finished, but won't because winter will be over if I try and knit another one.  So this photo will do until I make my own.  May this make up for all the royal gifting failures and keep your head toasty.

Hat Details:  Free Shakti pattern by Faerwear Designs; Tumi Peruvian Highland Wool yarn, 2 skeins (each 50 grams), Color 238.  I scored the pretty pink Tum yarn on a trip to Japan and haven't found it anywhere else.  Ange should also consider this an awesome souvenir.  I should consider going back to Japan.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Lauren Hat for Andrea

It's so cold in San Francisco.  That's why I knew Andrea could use a wool hat.  As Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  The city is known for fog and wind, and when it's windy, even more of a reason for a hat! 

Andrea's hat was part of a belated Christmas gift, so belated that  I was still weaving together the side edge of the hat.  (The hat was knit on straight needles instead of double-pointed ones.  I also should add that once I'm done knitting, I pretend that the finishing portion doesn't exist, until I absolutely have to address now.)

Here's Andrea arriving, just in time to put on her hat!

Hat Details:  Patons Classic Wool yarn (worsted weight), Lauren Hat pattern by Lion Brand