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Archive for the ‘Warm Hats Not Hot Heads’


New Residents

Dear Ellen,

dsc03066.JPG  Dale and I spent the first night in our new house last night.  We were very, very happy to do so, even if it meant sleeping on a low quality inflatable mattress.   While the sleep comfort was only a bit better than camping out on the property, there was a distinct advantage in having flush toilets, showers and refrigerators.  No furniture yet, but we start addressing that next weekend when we’ll drive a Penske up with our bed, the wine and our books.  (One must have priorities — yes, stash and needles are already there!)   dsc03081.JPGIt turns out we weren’t the first to take up residence though — seems we have doves nesting over one window, a wasp nest in the back and approximately 2 dozen toads living in the window well.  Lots of visitors too — the peacock showed himself (I saw the peahen too, but didn’t get a picture) as did this little bug (plus many other birds and some chipmunks of whom I did not get photos).

dsc03094-1.JPGI knit for several hours out under the trees — finished this purple hat (now drying after a soak in Soak) and got about half way through the lettuce green scarf.  The hat will be for Warm Hats Not Hot Heads…it’s very nice.  I’m not sure if it’s for a guy or gal though — the purple may be more than most guys would want.

dsc03091.JPGdsc03090.JPGdsc03088.JPGdsc03092.JPGdsc03086.JPGdsc03093.JPGI also spent a lot more time watering our landscaping.  We’re trying our best to make sure the new plants can make it through the hot summer.  We’re soaking them each weekend and a young lady is coming during the week to give additional drinks.  Hopefully we can drop down to weekend soaks later this summer (as long as we don’t do the drought thing).  They’ve rewarded us with some beautiful color.

dsc03070.JPGJust before we left I collected all the window well toads in order to release them into the woods.  I’m torn — do I do this every weekend?  Or do I let them establish Toadville in the window well?  They are safe from larger predators down there, and they have bugs to eat.  If I planted a few plants, maybe they would think of it as toad paradise.  I’m not sure…I kind of think that if we went through a dry spell, they’d dry up into toad jerkey.  Maybe I just need to rig a toad guard or put mesh over the window well so they can’t fall down there anymore.  What do you think?

dsc03065.JPGA long week lies ahead of me…I’ll keep the farm in mind to help me make it through.  Here’s hoping that good toad kharma is on my side!

Love, Jan

A Prize Winning Week

Dear Ellen,

dsc03046.JPGWell, the Parade of Homes is wrapping up today.  Over the course of the week we had about 4,500+ visitors come through our home.  Reports are that there were many nice comments and our builders are very happy with the number of leads that the Parade has generated.  We’re all a bit glad that it’s coming to a close.  The builders will get some of their lives back — and next weekend we’ll actually get possession of our home!

dsc03049.JPGI finished up my Global Connections socks.  I called these Global Connections because I knit them (mostly) on two 13 hour flights to and from the Middle East and the colorway is “Global”…perfect.  The original pattern inspiration is from the   Faceted Rib Socks in the Little Box of Socks by Charlene Schurch and beth Parrott.  I modified it to be knit toe up.  The stitch pattern yields a very cushy fabric, but it wants to be a tighter gauge than the stockinette of the sole.  Wet blocking resolved the difference, but in the future I think I’d knit the sole on a smaller needle.

dsc03051.JPGThese used my basic recipe for toe-up socks which normally involves a set of wrapped turns as part of the turning of the heel.  (K across to the turn point, Kfb, K1, w/t.)  I came up with an alternative with which I’m rather pleased.  Instead I knit right up to the turn point, make a lifted left leaning increase and then turn without wrapping.  I slip the first stitch (the lifted increase) and continue knitting to the next turn.  The effect is smooth uninterrupted stockinette stitch, accomplished without having to wrap or pick up wraps later.  Because the pivot point is that lifted increase stitch, which is not stitched on the return, it provides a nice smooth transition point.  And the stitch count is increased without the unsightly bump of a Kfb…a win on all counts!

dsc03052.JPGdsc03054.JPGdsc03053.JPG  I also got moving on a simple little scarf which is a minor variation on Anne Hanson of Knitspot’s Campanula Scarf, so I’m just calling it my Campanula Scarf Variation. The yarn is 90% Suri Alpaca and 10% Merino.  It feels incredibly luxurious as it slides through my fingers.  I’m enjoying the knitting a lot.  When I got tired of following the lace pattern I grabbed some leftover yarn from my Einstein bathrobe and cast on Another Purple Hat.  I’ll figure out who needs this Warm Hats Not Hot Heads project later.  I also wound the yarn for a project that I hope will be at the standard for submission to Knitty.  I plan on bringing swatches, design notes, pattern and product to Sock Summit for my class on “Making the Next Monkey.”  I expect to get started tonight!

I’ve got to run…we have a neighborhood pot luck dinner tonight, so I’ve got to get moving.  (Remember pot lucks?  They’re a lot like hot dish suppers in case you forgot!)

Love, Jan

I’d Spring Back if I Had Any Snap Left in My Elastic

Dear Ellen,

dsc02440.JPGdsc02446.JPGdsc02424.JPGI can’t believe that spring is here.  I know you can’t either.  Of course, the fact that you still have massive piles of snow probably affects your view of things, but down here we have robins, daffodils and lots of mud.  The tree buds are swelling and some of the cherry trees are actually blooming.  The think I hate about spring being here is the loss of an hour this weekend.  I was tired enough without trying to manage the day without that hour.  And I had to drag myself out of bed before I was ready in hopes of going to be on EST vice DST.  If I don’t 4:45 AM will feel like 3:45 AM House tomorrow and that would not be a good way to start the work week.

dsc02425.JPGI’m pleased to report that we will now be able to tell the direction of the wind at Fair Winds.  Our weathervane went on the turret this week.  Only problem is you have to subtract about 65 degrees or so from the heading as they failed to correctly align the directionals.  Oh well!  This one is easily fixed…and can actually be used as a learning point for when our inlaid wood medallion goes into our floor — something that cannot be easily fixed!  With this error, I think dsc02429.JPGdsc02436.JPGdsc02428.JPGthey’ll be extra careful to have the compass out when they put the medallion in!  We now also have interior trim through much of the house and garage doors…it all adds to a more complete looking house.  I am so eager to see it when the rest of the window trim goes on and the landscaping gets started!

dsc02450.JPGdsc02451.JPGdsc02452.JPGI have finished a bit on knitting this week…not really that much volume, but hats do go quickly.  Yes, I’m working on another hat for Warm Hats Not Hot Heads, but the ones I finished this week were for an charity effort for Haiti where it is surprisingly cold at night.  These three will head off to join others to make the journey to help those still trying to recover form the earthquake last year…makes my concern for those in New Zealand and Japan even more acute when I realize how far from recovery Haiti still is.  I’ll be watching for an opportunity to help the kiwis and Japanese too.

dsc02448.JPGThe more complex project I’ve been working on is my Primula Shawl.  (Sorry, still no project page…in fact, I’m about 10 project pages behind at this point!)  I’ve added some extra rows of patterning to the project to use up the yarn and I’m pretty darned pleased with it for a first complex shawlette pattern.  I do have some real tweaking to do.  I want the ends to wrap more to the front like a faroese shawl, so just a bit of adjustment.  I love the color — the color for ovarian cancer awareness.  You may remember that Ann’s Hat was designed and knit for a friend with ovarian cancer.  (That pattern is up to 54 projects and is in 67 queues!)  This shawl is for her as she continues the fight.  All that’s left is the bind off and blocking.

dsc02454.JPGHere’s a picture of the Blue Spiral Cowl that I knit from stash yarn using the pattern Spiraluscious.  Glad I had listened to The Knit Wits podcast where Princess Carin the Knit had problems with that one extra stitch.  I have to admit that if I hadn’t been watching for the problem spot, I probably would have done the same thing.  The way the pattern is written, it’s easy to misinterpret it so that you think you are to increase a stitch each time you do row 16.  Reading it very deliberately you realize you are only supposed to do that the LAST TIME you knit row 16.  Technically, it’s written correctly, but I do think it warrants a bit more clarity for those of us who have exhausted a few too many brain cells.

dsc02449.JPGI still think of my cabled socks and the Sweater from Down Under as WIPs, but they are rapidly heading towards UFO status if I don’t get back to them soon.  I have the sweater ready to join me downstairs so I can match cabling down the sleeves while I work on them.  The socks come and go to PA with us in their nice little project bag.  At least they know I’m thinking of them.

51btz-3nbll_sl500_aa300_.jpgI want to close with a book review.  When I saw a dog that looked so much like Ruby on the cover, I couldn’t resist buying a copy of  Knit Your Own Dog:  Easy to Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne.  It is such a great little book!  I want to start taking pictures of all the dogs I know so I can recreate them in yarn.  The book doesn’t walk you through the process of “matching” your actual dog’s coloration to their patterns, but really, it’s just a matter of modifying the color patterns, the actual body patterns don’t have to change.  The author’s have their own knitwear business in London and they export completed garments as well as writing some great patterns.  They have two earlier books centered on pet accessories.  These gals obviously both love their pets and they know them very, very well.  I love that the patterns are extremely realistic and as the authors point out, the patterns include “details specific to each breed.”  They look to be clearly written, achievable for an intermediate knitter (there is fair isle, intarsia and shaping at a very fine gauge) who also knows how to manipulate fabric with a sewing needle.  I love them!  There are patterns for terriers, working dogs, sporting dogs, hounds and non-sporting.  I can’t decide which is my favorite, but I’m partial to the terriers of course,  and the corgi and the westie crack me up.  I’m dying to cast on — but it will require some planning as I’ll need to break my yarn diet to do it.  (Though there is that clause about buying yarn for gift knitting!)  The introduction ends with the encouragement to “Stitch your bitch.”  When I first skimmed it, I thought it said, “Stitch, you bitch.”  And I wondered, how did they know?

Love, Jan

Many warm hats are out the door! (What next?)

Dear Jan,

1.jpgIt was great to see your bag of hats ready to be mailed.  I had a similar pile, and I’m hearing from so many of the knitters who signed on to knit that they, too, have gotten their hats mailed or hand delivered.

3.jpgEven as I am sending out one more hat (a beautiful tam knit by Susan!), the responses are starting to come in!  Bonniebeth reports receiving a thank you letter, specifically for the hat and the message, and Kathleen even received a thank you phone call from the Representative to whom she sent a hat.  Alison has had several great experiences with staffers joyfully accepting hats for their bosses.  Dozens of knitters have felt the satisfaction of making a small but meaningful effort to increase civility in the U.S. political system.  It would be great to just keep this going and going…if I didn’t really need to focus on my day job a bit.  But this is too good to just drop, so here is what I’m thinking.

  • Knitters have committed hats to cover 100% of the Senate and nearly 50% of the overall Congress.
  • Many knitters have knit hats for congresspeople outside of their own district or even state.  This gave us the coverage we wanted so that conversations could start within the halls of the Capitol building.  At the same time, we know that our elected officials pay most attention to those who can vote for them come November.
  • The job of keeping track of commitments to knit, choosing people for whom others should knit, etc., has grown beyond what I can fit into my life.  It’s time to make this self-maintaining to some degree.

SO….here is what we will do.  We’re going to make this more manageable for me, more meaningful for each hat sent, and more lasting by making it bigger. Yep, bigger.

I now invite knitters and crocheters everywhere to stitch a hat for anyone who they’d like to thank for being a role model for civility or who may need a reminder that civility is the right path forward.  Do please check the tracker and see if your own U.S. Representative has had a hat yet - it would be awesome to eventually cover 100% of the House as well as the Senate - but don’t feel like you have to knit for someone you can’t vote for.

Who to knit for?

  • How about a second hat (or third or fourth) for your congresspeople if someone else knit their first one?
  • How about that television pundit who makes your stomach hurt when they brandish opinion as fact and rile up fear instead of reason?
  • How about your local politicians?

Please leave a comment on this blog AFTER you knit and mail your hat.  I will track these on our Warm Hats Not Hot Heads Recipients List, over on the sidebar of this blog.  You can also email me at (e DOTdon’tspellitout! silva AT comcast DOT net) or send me a private message on the WHNHH Ravelry group.  I’m going to keep this up indefinitely, so feel free to send a hat this month, next month, or even next election cycle.  Just let me know when you do.

Do feel free to discuss your plans to knit over on the Ravelry group - share ideas on how to expand the effort and who might need or deserve a hat.  This is now the knitting public’s effort.  I do ask that we stay civil ourselves - that is my only real requirement and I will moderate the group’s discussions with that in mind.

I hear from reliable sources that a hat is in the works for Stephen Colbert.  Does that give you any ideas of whom you’d like to knit for?

Thanks for all the support on this.

Getting the Most from a Surplus

Dear Ellen,

dsc02358.JPGOne thing the Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads campaign has done for me is to allow me to make a pretty good dent in my yarn surplus.  As any economist will tell you, that is important to help stave off recessionary factors.  As I will tell you, it’s important to allow me to head off to Sock Summit this summer with plenty of room in my stash for additional purchases.  All eight of my hats came out of stash.  I’m pretty pleased with that.  And I’m pleased with my latest two contributions.  dsc02355.JPGdsc02351.JPGI cast on the first one Saturday morning while up in Pennsylvania.  It’s out of Classic Elite Moss and was a very fast knit.  I bound off while watching Despicable Me with Dale that evening.  I cast on the last one Sunday morning and finished it tonight.  It’s Classic Elite Kumara in a pretty aquamarine.  I made up the lace pattern as I went.  It would’ve been a faster knit, but some of that lace was trial and error.  I’ll put all eight hats in the mail the very first thing in the morning.

dsc02348.JPGdsc02340.JPGOur trip to PA included, of course, a stop at the building site.  It may not seem to have changed much to the casual observer, but check out that soffit, those corbels, the window trim!  dsc02341.JPGdsc02338.JPGAnd inside the mud-work has transformed raw dry-wall into beautifully shaped arches and corners to define our living spaces.  (AND a laundry chute!!)  dsc02345.JPGdsc02337.JPGWe had hoped to see copper roofing on the porch, but the machine to install it didn’t get delivered.  It is now scheduled for this Wednesday.  Our wells are held up too.  The drill truck was having trouble moving around and bracing itself in the slippery red clay mud.  Ironic that too much water is preventing us from finding water.

dsc02359.JPGEnroute to PA I worked on finishing my Spiraluscious.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful thanks to a shortfall of about 10 yards of yarn.  I should have been a bit more circumspect in needle selection.  The pattern calls for size 3s, but I chose to go with 4s as my yarn choice was a bit bulkier than the fingering weight called for.  (Okay, a lot bulkier — I’d call it a light worsted.)  I also should have taken the pattern at its word regards yardage.  My choice had 3 yards shy of the yardage called for.  (Okay, so one shouldn’t convince oneself that they always add a buffer to yarn requirements.)  I ran out of yarn 3 edge repeats from the end of the project.  I thought about ripping back and eliminating some of the last repeat of the body pattern, but instead got on Ravelry and went looking for people with the same yarn in their stash.  Hurrah for Ravelry!  I found someone with a remnant left over from a project they had knit and PM’d her.  She said she would be more than happy to send her remaining 21 yards in my direction.  Knitters are wonderful!  Of course, with the success of the WHNHH campaign, you already knew that!

Love, Jan

When you least expect it…

Dear Jan,

19.jpgI got quite the delightful surprise earlier this week, which is what led to me getting to knit for a few minutes with Kathryn and has led to so many kind words from friends and colleagues.  First, the great news that a local TV station wanted to do a story on Warm Hats Not Hot Heads, our knitters’ campaign to encourage civility in public discourse.  Then, in walks the interviewer with this crazy big check - they were giving me an award for this effort!  Then - it kept getting better - up walks Kathryn, who had nominated me for the award!!

A work colleague saw the award bit as it first aired and she forwarded the link to many of my colleagues and then they posted it on the corporate home page, and boy, did my inbox fill up fast.  So many nice notes of congratulations and also of thanks - and to every  person out there who has knit a hat or passed along the word about the project, you deserve those thanks, too.

In other unexpected but delightful news this week, when one of the knitters asked about why not try to cover the Senate first, it prodded me to review the tracker.  I discovered that with a few more folks jumping in, it was feasible to do this.  And now we have!  We have committed hats to be sent to 100% of the Senate!

63.jpgMotivated by all the support, I somehow ended the week with two more hats off my needles.  The blue is Hurricane by Andrea Goutier;  I am calling it Political Fan(atic) for the Fanatic brand of yarn I used.  The second is an improvised one I am calling Three Hour Skull Cap.  It is knit from White Buffalo unspun wool, very chunky, and really does take just 3 hours if you don’t frog twice to correct the fit.

23.jpgA last bit of unexpected pleasure late yesterday  afternoon, this male cardinal like a jewel against the greys and greens of maple branches and spruce needles.  He is part of a mated pair who have just started showing up at the feeders together.  There sure is a lot of unexpected good around me these days.

I hope your weekend is unexpectedly good, too.

Seriously? Aren’t we tired of this by now?

Dear Jan,

If you thought I was referring to hat knitting,  I couldn’t blame you.  I’m not; what I am talking about is the snowiest winter here in the Twin Cities in a long time, and that another foot of snow is expected by the time the current storm passes.

44.jpg52.jpgSounds like a good excuse to knit.  Now I am talking about hats!  This one is Lacunae by Anne Hanson of Knitspot.  I modified her pattern, using chunky yarn so fewer cast on stitches.  I think it worked rather well, though next time I’ll read ahead and make sure I use a number of stitches that will divide nicely into the decreases for symmetric pattern placement.  Still, it worked out fine.  The yarn is Misti Alpaca Chunky in forest green, with size 10 needles and a 72 stitch cast on.

62.jpgI also couldn’t resist when Jocelyn mentioned that she has cast on a shawl that has been in my queue and in my pattern library since last spring - Stephen West’s Daybreak.  I’m knitting it in Marisol Nuna (merino/silk/bamboo) in a shimmering brown and a complimentary blue.  This yarn is supple like bamboo yet has some life in it from the wool - I’m liking the way it is knitting up!   (The color in the photo isn’t right - more gold in the brown and a deeper blue would be closer.)

7.jpgAnd, because we can’t live by knitting alone, some spinning.  I’m working on the rest of Nora, all of her black wool, hoping to get enough for a sweater again.  In order to minimize variation as I spin, I’ve invested in plastic weaving shuttle bobbins and a bobbin winder (learned this trick from Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls).  I’ll spin up all the singles, then will ply them all at once.

17.jpgI love my gray Nora sweater which matches Selkie perfectly; this one will match The Poison Pawn.  I’m sure they will both keep an eye on me while it progresses.

And I’ll keep an eye on the snowfall.  Sigh.

Love,

Ellen

P.S.  By the way, the WHNHH effort is now at over 32% of Congress covered.  I am pleased!

Three More Warm Hats

Dear Ellen,

I will have a few more posts this weekend, but wanted to update you on my WHNHH efforts…3 more complete to bring me to 6.   All three are original, created as I went, patterns.

dsc02320.JPGdsc02323.JPGdsc02321.JPGI’m loving the undulation of this cabled hat.  Recognize the yarn?  It’s the leftover from TGIF (BTW, I finally found buttons I think will truly work…will try to sew those on this weekend!)  I made up the pattern which is basically staggered rows of a 2-1-2 cable.  Note the Channel Island Cast On — I’m trying to use it a lot to memorize it.  When it’s on the head you can see the “1″ which is a purl stitch.  When it’s not it looks like a standard C2F.  The staggering resulted in a nice lapping wave effect.  I may have to do it again in sea greens and blues.

dsc02318.JPGdsc02317.JPGThis poppy red one is basically a scant inch of twisted stitch  ribbing followed by the eye of partridge stitch pattern until the decreases…pattern stitch maintained during the 6 paired sets of decreases.  Dale really loves this one…the simplicity and the fact that all that slipping creates a thicker fabric.  He wants me to make another for him before next winter.  Or sooner if it gets really cold again.   The yarn is soft, soft, soft!  It’s Classic Elite Kumara — 85% extra fine merino and 15% baby camel.  I got it on sale for about $4 a ball.

dsc02324.JPGdsc02326.JPGThe grey one was a SUPER fast knit.  I was getting brain dead and just wanted to do something really mindless.  The staggered ribbing and the variation in K3P3 to K1P1 happened organically.  I think the result is very satisfying.   Knitpicks Andean Silk at $4.49 a ball for a great blend of merino, alpaca and silk and a delight to knit.

Keep up the extraordinary work with the campaign.  I will be ready to mail mine out at the end of the month.

Love, Jan

(Grass)root canal…

Dear Jan,

I had a small but profound moment this morning.  No, it wasn’t when the endodontist rasped his way nearly into my sinuses in an effort to clean out my “unusually small root canals” on the tooth that is getting crowned next week.  It was about 45 minutes earlier.

I was sitting in the dental chair, waiting for the doctor to come and start the procedure, and listening to the radio station that was playing.  Rather, I was trying not to listen, as the morning talk show in which the DJ’s were inciting Vikings fans to eviscerate Packers fans (and vice versa) was not exactly a relaxing prelim to my root canal.  And that’s when I realized - it isn’t just civility in my politicians that I’m seeking with the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads campaign.  It’s civility with each other.

And I felt like I owed it to every person out there who is knitting a hat to simply ask to have the radio channel changed.  Not to make a fuss, or point fingers, just to point out that this nasty discourse dressed up as entertainment was not helping me relax, so it wasn’t helping the endodontist do his job, either.

I did, asking quite civilly and framing it up as the current channel wasn’t helpful to the procedure, and with no question and more than a little apology, the channel was changed.  And maybe, just maybe, some more awareness was raised.  It’s tiny grass roots efforts like this, repeated many times by many people of good heart, that will raise the standard of behavior for all.

It didn’t change the amount of ibuprofen I’ve needed to take over the course of today, but it did make me feel a lot better about myself and also about that entire office.

Love,

Ellen

What does success look like?

Dear Jan,

43.jpgAs the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads campaign continues into its last couple of weeks, with over 20% of Congress having hats being knit for them and more to come,  I’ve been asking myself that question pretty regularly.

When I started this, I really just wanted a way to connect with one or two politicians, a way to get my letter noticed - the one asking them to be the best public servant possible by maintaining an open dialogue with all.

After Alison affirmed the idea and jumped in and started knitting, suddenly it seemed like a good idea to invite others to come along on the journey.  More hats arriving at roughly the same time might even engender some good conversations in the halls of Congress.   Seeing her eloquent post on the subject sure felt like success to me.

Then of course, I started worrying.  Would I be letting down any of the knitters who stepped up for this if we didn’t get tons of publicity and send multiple hats to every Representative and Senator?  What if only 3 or 4 others signed up.  Would those who did feel foolish at our small numbers?

61.jpgWell, at this point I doubt we are going to send hundreds and hundreds of hats off.  We will send over one hundred (!).  And I have learned that success might not look like lots of hats sent at all.  Success might look like what we are already seeing and experiencing before a single hat is mailed.

  1. Many like-minded knitters have connected with each other via the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads Ravelry group and Facebook pages.
  2. The call for civility has been eloquently expressed on blogs like SpinDyeKnit, She Shoots Sheep Shots, Knitting Linguist, Knitnana, Knitorious, My Middle Name is Patience, Now Norma Knits, The Feral Knitter, and Modeknit.  (I think I’ve missed some - my apologies!) Great discussion is happening in the comments of these and other blogs.
  3. The knitters themselves are finding joy in doing this.
  4. The knitters are finding themselves changing, in a good way.

Here are a few of the things I’m hearing…

“I love this idea! Finally something positive that I can do about the downward spiral.”

“I vote for people on both sides of the aisle depending on their public position.  I liked that you commented on knitting for people we wouldn’t vote for because that thought has been in my “warm head”.”

“… it feels like a wonderful, positive response to the negativity in today’s political climate.”

“Just thinking about what hat to knit for him made me feel more kindly to him.” (paraphrased from personal conversation)

I’m also hearing that this isn’t for everyone - and I completely understand.  If one of those folks listens with interest to us, hears that yes, we know most of the hats won’t end up on the heads of those to whom we are sending them, that we ask they be donated to charity if not wanted by the Congressperson, and that it is just as much about changing ourselves as changing the recipients, and then I hear them say, “I get it.  Still not for me, but I get it,” then that is a fine success, too.

51.jpgThanks to everyone who is going on this journey with Alison and me.  And a special thanks to India who has been so energized by this that she has created a Facebook page, connected with her friends in the knitting world who then passed the word via their blogs, even posted about it on The Daily Show forum, and all while knitting 5 hats herself!

I hope your weekend has been a successful chance to relax.

Love,

Ellen

P.S. My latest little knitting success, which I’m wearing above, is Haven Leavitt’s Man Hat knit of Misti Alpaca chunky on size 10 needles.  I love this hat - warm, soft, long enough to brim or just pull down over ears and neck.  The other little multicolor hat in this post is Nona’s contribution to the cause, her own design.  Nona and I knit together most Wednesday’s, and at least one more hat will come from that group before we are done.