A Series of Small Things

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
                                                                                 Vincent Van Gogh

While the new year officially begins January 1st, for me, it lags a bit.   Why?   Well I need a bit of time to recover from the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and visiting family, but I get excited about new beginnings once things quiet down.

To me, “new beginnings” means planning, lists, goals, deadlines, to-dos etc.  For the last few years I have been using the electronic calendars and task lists available on my computer, phone, and iPad.  Last fall I went back to paper.  Oh, I still have my electronic calendar, but my to-dos and goals and notes are now on paper and I couldn’t be happier.

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We overestimate what we can get done in a day…. and underestimate what we can get done in a year…. Tara Swiger

I list appointments on the calendar sections, work to-dos on the bottom left, and personal to-dos on the bottom right.  [Work items are typically take more time than personal which are usually quick things].  Then the top right side I use for bullet journaling of my day.  And yes, I love to color code things using my Muji pens and highlighters.  I fill in the boxes when things are complete and mark with an arrow if the to-do is moved to a new day.

My interest in going back to paper was piqued when I saw several Instagram photos of planners including those by designer Corina Ferguson of PicnicKnits.  So I researched the ARC system, available at Staples.  I love that the pages are held together by disks and can be pulled in and out.  I wasn’t thrilled with the ARC pages available to be purchased.  No problem….  I researched a bit and found the DIYFish Life Mapping System.

The choices of sizes and layouts was overwhelming.  I tried the 2 pages per day as I like to take notes of my day.  After using this 2.2 version for a few months, I decided that I really didn’t need that much room for notes and if I did I could easily add a blank page.

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Detailed Project page – Project page from Yarnosphere where I taught two classes.

In addition to the calendar, I made up a project template (legal size) where I can plan tasks for KathiS Designs.  As General Patton said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

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KathiS Designs Project Page – I am still tweaking this.

I’m not sure how good my plan is, but I am setting goals and working on the tasks.  A couple of things about my planner:

  • I am using my favorite .38mm pens from Muji in a variety of colors.  I write with the purple like I have for years.  Pink is for creativity, dark blue is for Boy Scouts, light blue is for family, and orange is for work (I work at a University and this is one of our colors).  I also have Muji highlighters which I love.
  • I printed the monthly calendars and the weekly charts for the year and will print the daily pages about a month ahead.
  • I like to print blank graph pages to use as note paper.
  • I created a template for monthly and quarterly projects.  I print these on legal paper and fold it over.  I used them to a small degree of success in the fall and January.  I think it will get easier.  I realize I need to reduce what I want to complete or schedule more time – just “fitting it in” isn’t working for me.  February is going better.

If you want to learn more, I highly recommend visiting Carrie Harling and her blog Dispatches from the Frat House.  She has some great videos showing how she uses her planner to manage her boys as well as projects.

Happy Planning and more blog posts in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Crafts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Farmers’ Market Yarn

a farmers’ market trip
vegetables, fruit, flowers
and yarn

Beets of every color

beets of every color

When visiting my sister in Wisconsin, the only thing I always want to do, other than visit with her family, is go to the Madison Farmers’ Market.  The colors of the produce are similar but different from those in Pasadena.  Below are the sights from Madison and  check out the last photo for something the Pasadena market doesn’t offer.

Onions, leeks, radishes

onions, leeks, radishes

Peppers

peppers

Garlic

garlic

Gourds

gourds

Flowers

flowers

Strange mushrooms

strange mushrooms

More flowers

more flowers

Pretzels and lots of bread

pretzels and lots of bread

and yarn

and yarn

Yes I bought some yarn.  We did buy vegetables and fruit for the coming week as well.  Hopefully you are lucky enough to be able to shop for local produce in your area.

Posted in cooking, family, garden | Tagged , , , ,

Yak Yak Yak and a Knit Hat for Christmas

The yak (Bos grunniens and Bos mutus) is a long-haired bovid found throughout the Himalaya region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. Most yaks are domesticated Bos grunniens. There is also a small, vulnerable population of wild yaks, Bos mutus.  (from Wikipedia)

Bill's Boy Scout Hat

Bill’s Skyping Beanie in Lang Yarn Yak

My daughter left for her senior year at Furman University in South Carolina on Saturday. My son left for his sophomore year at Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado on Sunday.

With the house empty of children, I began a bit of cleaning and found a WIP from last Christmas. Oh, dear… my poor cousin never received his hat, because I never finished it. I stopped the straightening, quickly completed the decreases, and wove in the ends.  Now it is ready to go into the mail, and my cousin should have it before his labor day Boy Scout camping trip. (Ok, it will most likely be hot labor day weekend, but he will have it – better late than never).

If you are looking for a great gift knit, I suggest the Skyping Beanie by Halldora J. (free on Ravelry). I have knit two of these so far and will most likely knit a few more. The photo below shows the back of the beanie as per the pattern – a bit slouchy. For the hat above, I knit a few less rows for more of a traditional beanie – my cousin is not a slouchy beanie kind of guy. The easy knit and purl pattern keeps your interest and is pretty quick.

Back of the Skyping Beanie knit in Lang Yarn Yak

Back of the Rob’s Skyping Beanie knit in Lang Yarn Yak

Both of the beanies were knit using Lang Yarn Yak which is 50% Yak and 50% merino.  Yak is really warm and very light – perfect for Boy Scout backpacking trips. I really like the yarn and the colors are great. Be forewarned, the yarn is a bit splitty so you may need to be careful if you use pointy needles like I do.

Because the hat begins with a 1 x 1 ribbing, I used a tubular cast-on which makes an attractive and stretchy edge. If you haven’t tried this cast-on, and in keeping with the start of a new school year, take a chance and learn something new. There are several methods which produce the same or similar results. Ysolda’s blog has a great tutorial for the long-tail tubular cast-on (the one I use).

Need a bit more help? Well if you are in Southern California in October, I will be teaching 3 of my favorite cast-ons, including the tubular, at Yarnosphere in Long Beach. This class is an hour packed with information so come and join me.

Join me in Long Beach, CA - I will be teaching a cast-on class and a blocking class.

Join me in Long Beach, CA – I will be teaching a cast-on class and a blocking class.

Posted in Boy Scouts, gift, knitting | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes.

(selected from The Enkindled Spring by D. H. Lawrence)

Enkindled Spring knit in Baah Shasta - Tequilla lime colorway. Available on Ravelry.

Enkindled Spring knit in Baah Shasta – Tequila lime colorway. Available on Ravelry.

I started this post in the Spring.  Now, I sit in my studio with the window air conditioner on high, the ceiling fan whirling, and it still is hot.  Outside it is 97 degrees and heating up.  Shortly after uploading the Enkindled Spring pattern to Ravelry, my family suffered a loss and I took a short break for a couple of months.  Someday I will do a blog post about the wonderful man, my brother, who left us too soon.  But now, I want life to return to a new normal and to share some things that bring me joy.

Designing the above shawl, Enkindled Spring, was fun and I love how it knits from the bottom up.  It can be any size you wish.  The lace is easy to memorize and quickly knit with worsted weight yarn and US size 8 or 9 needles.  The sample above was knit with Baah Shasta, a worsted weight super wash merino.  I think the Tequilla Lime color screams happiness and fun.

In the photo above, I wrapped one end up and fastened it with an antique rhinestone brooch (from my mom or grandmother).  I love to wear it this way.  The original pattern uses about 300 yards and is perfect for cool spring weather (or as protection against summer office air-conditioning).

Another version I knit as a store sample for Abuelita’s Knitting and Needlepoint used Classic Elite Magnolia, a worsted weight wool and silk blend.  For this one I used 2.5 skeins for 14 repeats (original has 11 repeats).  I love the drape of the finished shawl and can’t wait to create another pattern using this yarn.

If you are looking for a quick knit, a gift for someone, or a first lace shawl, then try this pattern.  And to celebrate having 4 patterns for sale on Ravelry (plus 4 free ones), enter the coupon code BLOGPOST at checkout and receive 25% off each pattern you choose in my store through midnight August 23, 2015 (Pacific Time).   If you do knit from one of the patterns,  please post on Ravelry or send me a photo – as a new designer it is exciting to see what others have created!

A bit larger using 2.5 skeins of Classic Elite Magnolia (14 pattern repeats)

A bit larger using 2.5 skeins of Classic Elite Magnolia (14 pattern repeats)

Posted in knitting, lace, pattern writing | Tagged , , , ,

Speed is relative

I could have written this. I would add “Books on Tape” to a favorite knitting tool. You will rarely find me without knitting in my bag and it is surprising how much knitting can happen in a few minutes accumulated over time. (I will admit I only buy handbags that will accommodate a small project).

Glenna Knits

Last week a few of you asked me how I managed to fit so much knitting into my life. While I can’t say that I try to speed knit a sweater every week (or every month), I do managed to turn out a couple of finished projects each month, and not just small ones. So I do keep a decent pace, and a lot of that is due to simple experience. I’ve been knitting steadily for ten years now, and overall I’m faster than I started. (I’ve also noticed that my tension is ever so slightly looser than when I started, which I think is neat. It also means I really do have to swatch to make sure of things, darn it.)

There are ways to knit faster on a technical level – in other words to increase the number of stitches you’re knitting each minute – and there are…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Celestial Fireflies

the celestial fireflies begin to dot the sky
then crowd together
joining her silvery wake
and together they shimmer and glow
(from sedona love poem by daramita)

Inspired by the layers of rocks and the starry nights of Sedona this pattern is perfect for knitters of all skill levels. Knit in worsted weight yarn, this cowl knits up quickly - optional beads add a bit of sparkle.

Sedona Stars – available on Ravelry.  Inspired by the layers of rocks and the starry nights of Sedona this pattern is perfect for knitters of all skill levels.  Knit in worsted weight yarn, this cowl knits up quickly – optional beads add a bit of sparkle.

Our eldest daughter graduated from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and now makes her home there.  I love to visit her, drive through the beautiful canyon, and hike around Sedona. The red rocks and azure sky are striking; the colors are so saturated they don’t look real.

Two skeins of Orange Amber Baah Shasta and two tubes of 4mm square beads.

Several years ago I spent a weekend in Sedona attending a workshop by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist Way.  I stayed in a hotel up one of the hills and when I looked out from the balcony the sky was clear and stars sparkled above.

The color of this yarn, Baah Shasta, reminded me of the rock formations in Sedona and I created this pattern that highlights the yarn.  I combination of eyelet lace with stockinette and garter stitches reminds me of the rock layers in Sedona.

The beads are optional but add a bit of fun sparkle.  I chose simple brass beads to complement the Orange Amber colorway.  I plan on making another version using a bright color of Baah Sonoma yarn (DK weight) and bright contrasting beads.  Don’t worry if you haven’t knit with beads.  The Sedona Stars Cowl doesn’t require you to pre-string the beads; instead you place each bead on a stitch as per the pattern.  See Laura Nelkin’s tutorial, “Placing Beads on Your Knitting: Video Tutorial” – she has some great tutorials on her blog.  Please check the beads for the size of the hole before you purchase them to make sure they will fit on the yarn you choose.

The pattern is available on my Ravelry Store.  If you knit Sedona Stars, please post a photo on Ravelry as I love to see results of others who’ve knit my patterns.

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Posted in family, knitting, lace, pattern writing, technique | Tagged , , , , , ,

Diamond Eyes

2015 Goal – Design and Publish Patterns.

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Diamond Eyes Scarf – Knit in Baah Shasta (colorway Pecan)

The first projects I designed, Cable Me Cozy and Springtime Loop, were created for my beginning cable and beginning lace classes.  Although I have no fashion experience, I found that I really liked designing – it was fun and creative.  While Lace will most likely always be my favorite design element, I knew when I saw this rich brown Pecan color way, the yarn was destined to be a textured scarf created from knit and purl stitches.

Diamond Eyes Scarf (modeled by my handsome son)

Diamond Eyes Scarf (modeled by my handsome son)

In January, I published Diamond Eyes which is a classic scarf pattern using only knits and purls. The pattern includes both a written and charted instructions. I designed this scarf using Baah Shasta, a worsted weight super wash merino; the colors of this hand dyed yarn are deep and rich. I will publish other designs soon, two of which use Baah Shasta. My local yarn store Abuelita’s Knitting and Needlework carries this but if you are not local, you may be able to find Baah on line. The pattern is available for sale in my Ravelry store.

Diamond Eyes (modeled by my beautiful daughter)

Diamond Eyes (modeled by my beautiful daughter)

Posted in knitting, pattern writing, technique | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments