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!

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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!

They Did.  (Or, I Have In-Laws Now!)

If you’ve been reading this blog for the last few months, then you’ll remember that in Some Knitting and an Announcement I mentioned that my brother had gotten engaged.  Well, their engagement was a relatively short one, and they had their wedding day over the weekend.  This past Saturday, to be exact.  They had set the date about a month after their engagement, and they set the place for their wedding at a favorite local restaurant, a mom-and-pop barbecue joint which is a favorite in our family for its smoked pulled pork, their smoked beef brisket, their barbecued pork ribs, and (I must say) some amazing prime rib (I don’t eat steak or the like all that often, so it’s a treat when I do).

So, here is my experience of their wedding day, as captured though my trusty iPad.  Note that out of a want to protect the privacy of my family members, their faces will not be shown in detail in the photos.  I will also not be using their full names, but I will use their initials instead.  My brother (the groom) will be referred to as “J.”, my sister-in-law (the bride) will be “A.”, and their daughter (my niece) is “R.”.

The day before the wedding, I finally was able to get some new clothes to wear (not an easy task for a plus size woman like me), and I ended up settling on a pair of houndstooth print pants and a long-sleeved purple cotton/polyester v-neck top.  I had previously gotten some neutral eyeshadow to round out my makeup kit (although it is still not complete, even now; it still needs some eyeliner, some evening eyeshadow, some darker lip color, and possibly some mascara).  I figured with the atmosphere of the venue, super-formal attire was not required.  Heck, my dad wore overalls over a plaid button-up shirt!  And I was right.  Even my own brother didn’t wear a suit!  I’m pretty sure their pastor did, though.  We were asked to be there for a 4 pm ceremony; we got there at about 3:30.  While waiting for the ceremony to begin, I took a selfie (my brother was getting pre-wedding pictures taken all over the place…I won’t be able to show it here, but in one of the pro pictures taken of my brother and his daughter, my dad can be seen photobombing in the background, but it wasn’t on purpose).

Pre-ceremony selfie with okay-ish makeup job.

The ceremony took place outside the restaurant building, which has a barn-like façade (J. & A. are country music fans and J. especially is a bit of a redneck).  My brother built the arch that they were married under, and they also put together their own sign and a fence backdrop where guests could take some polaroids with fun props, and each pic was pinned with a clothespin to some wires spanning a picture frame that serves as a keepsake for the bride and groom.  I managed to get a panorama of of the ceremony area before the wedding.

A panorama shot of the ceremony area.

And I also got a couple of shots of the reception area.

The bride and groom’s reception table.
The reception area.

Of course, events like this never start on time, and this was no different.  The ceremony itself started at around 4:30, and it was a relatively simple ceremony compared to other weddings.  There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen (mainly because they were on a tight budget, but likely also to avoid any unnecessary drama or stress that comes with such positions).  They instead opted for a ring bearer (A.’s nephew, if I remember correctly) and a flower girl (their little girl R.).  My brother wore a simple black button-up shirt, dark blue jeans, a belt, and cowboy boots, and the ring bearer wore a similar outfit.  A. wore a white, one-shoulder gown with lace detail and a champagne-colored sash and…cowboy boots.  R. wore a white gown with her own little cowboy boots.  You can tell they like their country style.  The officiant was a pastor (I never asked about the denomination, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was Southern Baptist, as this seems to be a common denomination here, and my brother and I both attended Baptist churches in the past), who wore a white beard similar to Abraham Lincoln’s, neatly trimmed with no mustache. This was an unusual wedding (only the fourth I’ve ever attended, the other three being for family friends) in that no vows were recited (rather, the pastor outlined the meaning of marriage and the bride and groom simply confirmed their agreement to the terms with an “I do”) and that no words were recited during the exchange of rings (again, the pastor outlined their symbolism).  Within a matter of ten minutes after her father had given A. away, J. & A. were pronounced husband and wife and sealed it with a kiss.  Here is the ceremony in a few pictures:


(That’s R. in the little wagon, by the way.  She can walk, but doesn’t quite have the stamina to stand still just yet.  She’s getting there, though!  And the key to getting a perfect kiss pic?  Photo burst!)

After the ceremony, everyone filed into the reception area and after some time for the bride and groom and their families to get their pictures taken, it was time for the reception dinner to begin.  It was buffet-style, with coleslaw, rolls, macaroni and cheese, French fries, baked beans, and barbecued chicken, pork, and beef brisket.  I had coleslaw, a roll, some mac and cheese, baked beans, and beef brisket (which I topped with a little of the house sweet sauce).  The bride and groom got champagne and beer, and all the adult guests of drinking age got two tickets to redeem for drinks at the bar.  I used both of my tickets on a couple of bottles of Miller Lite, and I think I may have been the only one at the entire reception drinking Miller!  Hey…I can’t help it if I’m a Miller girl (which is kind of a big deal, because most people here in the South prefer to drink Budweiser).

A nice, cold bottle of Miller Lite, with some of my mom’s plate in the background.
Beer selfie! Why not?

The reception went past sunset.  There was lots of music, laughter, and general hubbub.  Unfortunately, I cannot upload video directly here, but I did manage to catch some video of the kids at the wedding dancing to “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, a song that was about 8 times older than they were, with reckless abandon.  It was cute.  The bride and groom danced to “Love of My Life” by the country singer Sammy Kershaw, and then they cut the cake.


Unfortunately, we were a week too early for the first major cool down of the season (we have another cold front coming through this week, which will see several nights of temperatures in the 50s Fahrenheit, sweater weather for us Floridians), and we were getting warm and tired, so my parents and I left the reception at around 7:30, but not before we got Polaroids taken…and we got about three or four of them (a couple of them candids).  

J., A., and R. are now in the Carolinas for a family honeymoon.

I don’t know if marriage is in the cards for me, but I am so glad that I got to share in my brother’s special day.  Sure, I think about what I would want in a hypothetical wedding, but then I remember that I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch.  Soon, things will get back to normal, only now…I have in-laws.

I close this post with the two songs I mentioned here: “Love of My Life” by Sammy Kershaw and “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry.

Until next time…