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at home

16486549808 a2df9908fb not knitting - Trump Stole My Knitting
At homeCrafting

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Those who have known me for any length of time know that since about 2006, knitting has been a huge part of my self-identity and a regular recharging activity for me in between building my business, doing social justice work, and writing and playing video games. Knitting after the Trumpocalypse Since the Trumpocalypse of November 8, 2016, I can’t knit. I can try, but ten minutes or so in, I’m done.  I’m prone to self-reflection, so I’ve thought about this a lot. I don’t have the words for the feeling I get when I think about knitting, but “dread” comes close. And I’m not sure I understand why. Knitting has a long history of being a radical act. Women (predominantly) who knit have been at the forefront of women’s rights movements, civil rights movements, and other radical movements. So I should be more motivated, not less, right? To be (overly) fair to Trump, it’s not like he grabbed my knitting. He didn’t. And Trump isn’t the only factor. But his election definitely broke the camel’s back. I look at the socks I’ve been frogging and re-knitting since summer and shake my head. The gift blanket that was supposed to be

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e837b60d20f5043ecd0b470de7444e90fe76e6dd1ab7174493f5c6 640 nest - How’s Your Nest Doing?
At home

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We Northern Hemisphere folks spend a lot of time indoors in January, especially those of us where snow is expected at least a few times in the month. People with seasonal depression are also affected by the “indoor-ness” of their lives at this time of the year. And this is even worse if the person’s home base or “nest” is not to their liking. Also, post winter holiday financial blues can make it tough to redecorate the nest. To help, here’s some ideas for quick and cheap or free fixes for your nest. Sight: • No more clutter. Go through your favorite nesting room and throw out or put away things that are just making the room look dusty or cluttered. Optional: Buy or repurpose storage boxes, either ones fit for display, or those that need to be hidden in a closet or under a bed, to organize that clutter. • Make a proper display out of things you already have. Stuffed animals? Statues? Pine cones and acorns? Soda and wine bottles? Paper or silk flowers? If you’ve got it, flaunt it. • Dust and clean every surface in that favorite room where you nest. • Do you have any

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Bob and Lucky - Lucky Puppy Crossed the Rainbow Bridge
At homeShared joy & pain

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Lucky came into my life in February of 2003. I was getting new tires on my 1992 Ford Tempo (and a good thing – a week later, they probably saved my life, when I had the accident that resulted in changing careers and going back to college to be a social worker). It was unseasonably warm, and I was hanging out in front of the tire shop with the owner. I only half paid attention when he yelled something at the street, where someone passing had just thrown a bag of trash out of their car at 35 miles per hour. A few seconds later, a passing school bus screeched to a halt. In the road, out of nowhere, was a small terrier puppy (possibly a mini schnauzer – we were never quite sure). I ran into the street, snatched up the puppy, and brought him inside. He was infested with worms, filthy, and shivering in terror. He still had a bit of the trash bag caught on his leg. As luck would have it (hee!), we were looking for a dog. But not a terrier. My husband was hunting for a bird dog. I picked up the phone and

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Before remodeling spring 2015
At homeBudgeting

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Okay, so my house has spots and saggy bits, as I’ve said before. It’s remodeling time. Last week a guy came by to measure up the house and give us an estimate on new siding, windows, soffit and fascia, and maybe even insulation in the attic (Ouch! That sticker price was high). This week, Husband and I are heading to the bank for a talk with our friendly local bank (big banks are evil!!!!) about a consolidation/home improvement loan in order to get that done and reduce our credit card debt and bring the payments down. It’s not ideal (we would rather have been able to do it with cash), but it looks like we are finally making steps toward having a house that doesn’t have a breeze through it in the middle of winter. This is exciting stuff, on a par with the year we got a real live furnace (prior to that we were heating the downstairs with a floor furnace that was over 50 years old, and the upstairs with a standing unit that only heated one room. Mostly we hung out in front of the wood stove), and the year we got a new roof and it

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a large circular knitting needle with kntted entrelac squares in blue, green and burgundy
At homeCrafting

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After all my gift knitting this year (sorry I didn’t blog it), I had a ton of extra yarn to use up, so I thought I’d make a blanket. You know, a cozy little lap blanket. And I decided I’d use the entrelac technique, a technique I had only used before on the pockets for a scarf I made for my son’s girlfriend. Then I decided that I really need a new bedspread. Because, reasons. So I had a couple of cancellations at work, and spent a couple of hours adapting a basic entrelac pattern to get what I want, which is large squares made out of two joined colors, with color shifts of one color (through six shifts) every row of blocks, and the other color (through four colors) every four rows of blocks.

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Crafting

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  My sister in law Ann lives in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China, where she teaches English at a University. Baotau is mountainous and extremely cold in the winter, so when she comes home in the summer, I always try to knit one thing she can take back with her and use. Last year it was a pair of houndstooth fingerless gloves (pattern here, which I adapted for three colors, with green and red repeating on a gray background). This year I decided to make a houndstooth scarf to go with it. Because Baotau is really, really cold, I made the scarf double knit, out of a wool and silk blend from KnitPicks called Gloss DK.  If you are on a budget, Lion Brand Wool Ease (bonus: it’s washable!) is a perfectly acceptable substitute. The Scarlet color in the original has been discontinued by Knitpicks. This was not an easy project. It was in some ways the hardest I have ever done. This is the sort of project that benefits from stitch markers and some way to count rows, as the most common mistake I made was to knit one too many row of the pattern, skip a row, or get

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