Maybe It’s Cold Outside?

The weather here is becoming more winter like. Granted, it’s not the snow-covered Shangri-La that only Bing Crosby or Idina Menzel could sing about, but this is winter, Florida-style.

Of the four seasons that visit Florida each year, each varying in intensity and heat, winter is by far my favorite. The air is much cooler, in the 70s at its mildest and sometimes as low as the 20s Fahrenheit at its coldest. It’s also much drier and less humid, which can be hell on my dry skin at times, and a big reason why Florida itself is generally snowless. I love being able to wear my sweaters and other hand knit items out in the cold weather, but I am also crazy enough to wear flip flops in 40 degree weather! Most Floridians get their sweaters and hoodies out once the temperature dips into the 50s, but I think that’s because our blood is so acclimated to warm weather that when the temperature dips that low, it’s hard to handle. It is demonstrated quite effectively in this cartoon shared by the Facebook feed, “More Florida Memes” that appears to have originally appeared in the Palm Beach Daily News:

Source: Facebook / More Florida Memes

We’ve had a couple of cold blasts here since the beginning of the season, but the one we’re about to get this weekend will be the strongest one yet. The last couple of days have seen a stationary front sit right over Central Florida, while the low pressure system to the north of it has been dumping snow on my best friend’s home up in Georgia. Yesterday, my house was in the cold side of the stationary front, with us staying in the 60s while Orlando was in the 70s. The clouds yesterday hung so low that the two broadcast towers that are visible from either side of my house could not be seen, with a misty rain falling for much of the day. Today, that front lifted a bit to the north, which put us on the warm side, with fewer clouds and a high temperature of about 81.

Tomorrow will be an unusual day when that front comes through because it will mean that we reach our day’s high temperature in the morning: a projected high of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures will drop into the 50s during the day, and then will plunge into the upper 30s on Saturday night. Sunday may be just as cold, and we may not get back into the 70s all week.

I can just imagine all the blankets Floridians will wrap themselves in, the heaters that will inevitably be turning on, and all the hot beverages we will be brewing. This will not be a winter wonderland or a White Christmas, but it will be the first taste of winter as we Floridians know it.

I leave you with this Golden Girls classic moment. While not specifically a winter song, it does mention winter in the lyrics, and part of me wishes this would be a rally song for my Miami Dolphins. Anyways, this is “Miami, You’ve Got Style”.

Until next time!

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I’m on Instagram!

Now, a few of my followers here on WordPress have had the honor of being followed by me on Instagram, but I figure now is a good time to spread the word.

I recently launched my own Instagram profile, and you can check me out @snowlessknitter, which is the same as my handles on Ravelry and Tumblr. I currently do not have an active Twitter.

If you’re interested, stop on by my Instagram, give me a follow, and if I recognize you or I just like what you have in your feed, I may just follow you back!

Have a good day, everyone!

All the World is Waiting for You, and the Power You Possess

Any fans of American television from the 1970s may recognize the words in the title of this post, for those who don’t, they’re lyrics from the theme song to the Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter. And as such, this post has something to do with Wonder Woman.

Or rather, the Wrap inspired by her.

You read that right: I have finished the Wonder Woman Wrap. She was actually bound off on the 14th, but I didn’t weave in the ends until the 24th, while catching up on two episodes of Ken Burns’ documentary The Vietnam War.

Pattern: Wonder Woman Wrap (knit) by Carissa Browning / Size: Wondrous / Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in Burgundy and Soft White / Needles: Boys US #8 (5 mm) circular needles, 29″

(Just so you know, those are shadows on the left side of the wrap, not stains.)

This was actually kind of a fun knit for me. I love how the designer was able to make something so complex and challenging in a stitch pattern so simple as garter stitch. And me? Unless it involves intarsia, I quite enjoy a challenging knit. Ms. Browning did an incredible job making it look like how it looks on Wonder Woman herself (color scheme notwithstanding). The pattern itself is available as a free Ravelry download and it took me just a couple of skeins each of Super Saver to complete. You may notice that the white stripe in the middle left side is slightly wider than the one on the right. This is because this section was required to be worked in purl garter stitch, and for some reason I purl looser than I knit (and I was not in the mood to change needle sizes partway through the project). As a result, the stripe is in a slightly looser gauge compared to the rest of the project, but not really enough to detract from the overall visual appeal, in my opinion.

And now, some shots of this wrap in action!

You try positioning an iPad on the hood of a Chrysler Sebring and trying to get just the right position in front of the selfie camera and doing it all within the 10-second timer!

I have to say, though, this wrap is very accommodating to plus-size figures like mine, and I think this is the first shaped shawl I’ve ever made that actually fits around me!

Apparently, not only am I Wonder Woman, but the sun ☀️ seems to think I may be deserving of a halo 😇.

But of course, I am a woman, and I am wondrous, aren’t I?

It fits! (Those last two shots were positioned with the iPad standing on the trunk of the Sebring, btw.)

I haven’t quite figured out my next knitting project yet…but I know I’ll figure something out eventually. And I still have the Virus shawl in progress.

Are you willing to unleash your inner Wonder Woman?

Happy Thanksgiving!

This won’t be a long post. Today marks Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, which usually calls for lots of turkey 🦃, family (whether you’re traditional 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦, nontraditional 👩‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👩‍👦👨‍👦, or it’s just the two of you 👫👭👬), and gratitude 🙏.

To all of you observing Thanksgiving today, may yours be happy, safe, and hopefully drama-free. And to those of you who aren’t, well, Happy Thursday anyway! And may your Thursday be happy, safe, and hopefully drama-free.

Happy Thanksgivingto you all from The Snowless Knitter! 🎉

The Pot of Gold

I was inspired to write this after a post I made on Tumblr talking about the relationship between Rory Gilmore and Logan Huntzberger on Gilmore Girls. For those of you who don’t know the story, Gilmore Girls is about a single mother and her daughter, both named Lorelai (although the daughter goes by “Rory” to differentiate), and their lives and relationships as Rory grows into a young woman in a small Connecticut town called Stars Hollow (where Lorelai chose to raise Rory, away from her Connecticut blue blood parents in Hartford, but she slowly lets her parents back into her life after Rory is accepted into a prep school called Chilton and the girls agree to Friday night dinners with the grandparents in exchange for Rory’s tuition). In later seasons, Rory attends Yale University and dates a guy named Logan, who comes from the type of Connecticut blue blood family that Lorelai was trying to keep Rory from their influence. Here is what I wrote in response to a post where a fan admitted that they did not particularly care for Logan:

Maybe because he came from old money and despite Lorelai’s old money upbringing, she made the decision to raise Rory away from all that influence. And just about everything that Rory has achieved, she worked for it (even though yes, her grandparents got her into Chilton, her graduating as valedictorian was 100% Rory’s effort, as was her decision to go to Yale). When she and Logan got together, it was as though she was betraying her roots to be with him. He spoiled her, for sure. (Not to mention his dad was an ass to her, and his mom looked down on her.) I think Jess was actually better for her, once he found himself and got his act together. Sometimes searching for that pot of gold is better than actually having it.

Note that last sentence: “Sometimes searching for that pot of gold is better than actually having it.” It gets me thinking. When we aspire to greatness or success, is it better for us to achieve our goals or are we better off constantly searching for more? Are we better off in a state of perpetual aspiration or settling for what we have?

Think about it. We all have had dreams and aspirations that have seemed to be out of our reach: I want to be rich, I want to perform at Carnegie Hall, I want to own a successful business, I want to marry that person I’ve had my eye on since kindergarten, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But of the people that have gotten lucky enough to achieve such things, why do we hear of people who’ve gotten the pot of gold and then squandered it (especially in the case of large-jackpot lottery winners), or married that person and then cheated with someone else, or became successful and then lost the drive to continue being successful?

I normally would not be one to quote German techno music, but here this makes sense. In the beginning of their song “How Much Is the Fish?” (hold your laughter, please), Scooter’s frontman H. P. Baxxter tells us that “The chase is better than the catch.” (And then proceeds to babble and rap before asking the title question, “How much is the fish?”) Now, sure, the song itself is a bit ridiculous, but I think H. P. Baxxter may have been on to something. The chase is better than the catch. Why is that? As the cliché goes, getting there is half the fun. Trying to pursue that dream, or woo that person, or making that money (if you’re doing it the hard way and working your butt off) is part of the adventure. We can’t reach our end goals without forging the path ahead first. This is what it means when you are following the rainbow 🌈.

But of course, the pot of gold at the end is only a myth, and many times our realities don’t quite turn out the way we fantasized about them when they were only dreams. Sure, some people who become rich are able to stay that way, but there are just as many tales of people who go back to rags through bad investments, frivolous spending, and irresponsible management of their money (either by themselves or others). Businesses go under all the time. Fame can be fleeting…how many ’80s stars still get airplay on Top 40 radio? How many of today’s pop stars will still get airplay 20 years from now? How many Hollywood stars are a scandal away from losing their entire reputation? And no matter whether or not you’re famous, marriages end all the time, even those between high school or childhood sweethearts, for all sorts of reasons. I’m not a nihilist by saying this…I’m just being realistic.

I think as long as we keep that drive and that fire 🔥 to want to be successful and happy alive, though, we can all come much closer to getting what we want out of life. So I say, keep chasing the pot of gold. When you find it, look for another. Getting there is most of the work anyway.

And to end this entry is the Scooter song I referenced, “How Much Is the Fish?” Yes, I realize the song itself is a bit ridiculous. That’s why Jimmy Fallon featured it on The Tonight Show’s “Do Not Play List” earlier this year.

https://youtu.be/cbB3iGRHtqA

Hooking Because I Want To

I may have mentioned it here before, but one of my favorite phrases that I associate with my own personal favorite blogger, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee/“Yarn Harlot”, is “Hooking because I have to” (which was even the title of a 2008 entry on her blog), which she has used to refer to her general dislike of and difficulties she encountered in crochet.  I’ve mentioned here before that many people in the yarn and needle arts community (and I like to call it a “community” because there truly are many people from all walks of life who, once they find this network of fellow fiber artists, really dive in and support each other) usually (but not always) specialize in one craft or the other, but not both.  But there are others (like me) who have proficient skills in both knitting and crochet.  Some people call this being “bi-craftual”, Gregory over at Mad Man Knitting has used the term “crochitter” to refer to them and to refer to the knitting and crochet community as a whole, although the term I prefer is “ambicraftuous”.

Although I primarily see myself as a knitter these days (and hence why my blog is called The Snowless Knitter rather than The Snowless Crafter), my relationship with crochet has lasted even longer than mine with knitting.  I first learned some of the basics of granny squares from my maternal grandmother when I was about 8 years old (but strangely enough, not how to start those squares).  She used a unique stitch in her squares (best described as a modified treble crochet stitch, and that is treble in U.S. terms, by the way), and I didn’t even learn traditional crochet stitches until I took it up again about 10 years later, after my grandmother had died.  By this time, the Internet was a much more widely available resource, and I was able to use it to teach myself the basics of flat crocheting: the foundation chain, the single crochet (double crochet in UK patterns), the half double crochet (half treble crochet in the UK), the double crochet (treble crochet in the UK), and the various renditions of the treble crochet. One of my first crochet projects that wasn’t a granny square was a simple striped scarf I worked in double crochet, complete with fringe. I also learned how to crochet roses 🌹 and hats and simple handbags. I actually still have that scarf today.

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t was about a year after coming back to crochet was when I first started knitting, but that first year or so after I picked up knitting needles for the first time I still was primarily a crocheter, mostly because I couldn't figure out how to purl. I remember going to knitting group with my best friend and her mom at a local coffee shop (which has since moved from its former location to another location further down the same street). I crocheted a beret during that time. My dad's friend also paid me to crochet him a hat to keep his head warm in the winter after seeing my dad in a similar hat (that friend has since passed away). But once I finally got the hang of the purl stitch, crocheting fell by the wayside for the most part, save for a couple of doilies and a few half-assed attempts at scarves…but I felt much more of a creative release from knitting.

And then I came across that cake of Lion Brand Mandala recently. I don't know if it was because I didn't want to get smaller knitting needles for the lighter-gauge yarn, but for some reason, this yarn was just calling out, “Crochet hook!” And I decided upon an ergonomic hook to ease any cramping in my hand (which I had felt while crocheting that amigurumi ball I mentioned in While I Was Away (or, ErmahgerdFinished Objects!)). After a confusing attempt at one pattern, I frogged it and decided to have a go at Virus. So far, I’ve been quite enjoying it, and the Wonder Woman Wrap is on a short break while I’m working on this one, but it only has the Upper Border, binding off, and weaving in ends left to be done. I am in the second-to-last color in the cake thus far, but I feel like this shawl needs to bigger, so I will likely get one more cake in this color way and work it into a full-sized shawl.

It had been quite a while since I had gotten a real urge to pick up a crochet hook and make a full-size project, and so this project thus far has been a nice little break from the knitting I normally do. It hasn’t felt like a chore to me. And that’s because I’m in a project where I’m not hooking because I have to…I’m hooking because I want to.

Happy Halloween!

Today is my favorite day of the year, besides my birthday.  I’ve always loved dressing up in costumes and eating candy 🍭🍬🍭🍬…and just the entire atmosphere that comes with Halloween has always made it a fun day for me.  I think back on various Halloweens throughout the years, and I remember the times that my brother and I would go trick-or-treating (the year where I was a princess and he got to be Superman comes to mind), the times where I’ve handed out candy, and I even think back to the year that I went trick-or-treating with my best friend, me as a beatnik and her as Ash from the Evil Dead series (played by the legendary Bruce Campbell).

This year, I’ll get to see my niece in a Halloween costume for the first time (she was almost 5 months old at this time last year, and she and her parents did not stop by for us last year…but my SIL has promised us that she will be making a visit today).  I have no clue what costume she will be wearing, but I know it shall be adorable, whatever it is.  We have our candy for her (plenty of chocolate so she can get extra messy while eating it…my dad said that was his “…duty as a grandpa…”), and I am fully prepared to take pics of her in her costume for my own collection.

Knitting and crochet-wise, the Wonder Woman Wrap is going well, and I finished the second-to-last section this morning.  All I have left is the Upper Border, the bind-off, and the weaving in of ends (of which there are a lot).  I hope next time I will be able to share some pictures of a finished wrap.

I also have a crocheted shawl in progress.  I got a cake of Lion Brand Mandala (which is a light worsted, gradient self-striping acrylic yarn), and the colorway is called…Unicorn 🦄!  I got a size H ergonomic hook for it, which doesn’t dig into my hand as much as a standard one, and so far I like how it’s turning out.  The pattern I’m using is called “Virus” by Julia Marquardt, and is a free pattern.  It is the first time I’ve crocheted directly from a charted pattern, and once I was able to examine the chart piece by piece, I started to get the hang of the pattern.  After the setup rows, it’s a four row repeat, with one more section added to each side of the shawl in each repeat.  I figure I should have the rows memorized within the next couple of repeats.  Here are some pictures of this one, that I’m calling the “Unicorn Shawl” in my Ravelry projects.

A cake of Lion Brand Mandala…I’m already into the next color!
Yarn and shawl together.

It’s only just gotten into the next color in the cake, a brief run of purple before it goes into pink.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween, if you choose to observe it, and please have as safe of a Halloween possible!  I hope to have pictures of a finished Wonder Woman Wrap next time I write.

Until later, everybody!