finished this week

I've been told that one of the most important things to do when writing a blog is to be consistent. Well, sure, that's a great theory, and it's probably super important for bloggers who get paid in some way to write. But for the rest of us, the amateurs who imagine ourselves to have something of value to say, at least every so often, blogging consistently is not high on the list of life priorities. 
You don't really care, right? I'm here when I'm here. And look how much I can get done when I'm not interrupting the flow to write about the things I'm doing. Knit a lot, write a little. Good enough.

This week I had a bunch of projects on the sticks, and was feeling some personal pressure to finish at least some of them. So I hunkered down and did some serious stitching. Out of all the things I had started, here's what got finished. Now I can catch my breath for a few minutes and share some yarn love.

Bike weather is coming, so I got this basket for the …

1heart1love project

I'm sharing this today for those of you who like to create for the greater good. My cousin, who wishes to stay as anonymous as possible, was deeply inspired by the students who are planning school walkouts in protest to current gun laws. Wanting to do something to show support, she came up with the idea of making simple, white crocheted hearts with safety pins attached, to give to as many of our young activists as possible.

The 1Love1Heart Project explains...

"White yarn represents innocence and new beginnings: a blank page, a blank canvas, a blank movie screen waiting to be filled with hope and peace and solidarity of purpose. The heart, of course, represents love. The safety pin represents security and protection that we all deserve. Especially our young people."

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in, by either crocheting (or knitting) white hearts and donating them to the schools and students of your choice. There's a very simple crochet pattern provided on…

yarn that speaks for itself

I've had this amazing ball of hand-dyed-and-spun yarn for months. It was made, and given to me, by my friend Valerie, which makes it even more special. I've moved it around the house, looked at it, held it, and asked it what it wanted to be, but it's been very quiet. I've loved it so much just as a ball of yarn, I was in no hurry to knit it into something else. Here it is with my great-grandmother's hand carved crochet hook. So much wonderfulness. Maybe sometimes yarn can just be yarn, at least for a while.

As the weather got colder, I started think of hats. Not just baby hats like I make for the hospital, but big hats. For me. That wind on the beach can really bite a girl's ears in the winter. So, long story short, I knitted my beautiful, most favorite yarn into a hat. I found a really easy pattern for a beret, which Rick made for his daughter (yes, he knits a bit). Here's the pattern. It's really cute! And here's my hat. Also really cute.

But, sig…

cats are not dogs, and how tangling string untangles frustration

As Airbnb hosts, we have lots of lovely interactions with guests while they're here, and with potential guests making inquiries before they book. I try to be really clear in our listing, about the house, amenities, and rules. The trouble is, some people would rather not actually read the listing, or if they do, they just ignore the parts they don't like. Oy. I mean really, who thinks cats and dogs are the same thing?

Today I got a booking for two nights in March, from a very nice-sounding couple coming down from Canada. They were very excited to stay here at Mermaid's Nest, and everything was great... until I got to the part in their message about bringing their cat...

Ruh roh...

I had stated very clearly in our listing that we allow small dogs. Cats were not mentioned. Neither were goats, snakes, skunks, or rhinos, because I figured people would see that part about dogs, and at least ask before assuming all other animals were welcome. Oh, silly me. Apparently these nice p…

crocheted rocks

I started making crocheted rocks a few years ago when I was helping my dad a lot, and needed a creative outlet that was easy to pack when I was flying so often. Rocks are not all that portable, but a ball of thread and a crochet hook are easy to fit into a bag. In the evenings, I'd take an "after dinner walk" that was really an excuse to forage for rocks around the neighborhood.

Rocks are easy to find. I tried to only take them from neglected-looking places along side yards and parkways. And when I couldn't resist a perfect river rock from someone's tidy landscaping, I'd later take it back and re-place it, after I'd covered it in crochet. What can I say? It was a stressful time, and I needed something to ground me. I needed rocks.

Now I live at the beach. And not just a sandy beach, but one that has a long stretch of rocky wonderfulness too. I still haul big rocks home almost daily, but my focus now is on small, smooth, flat, wearable rocks. I wander alon…

another wavelength scarf

Not long ago I shared my pattern for the Wavelength Scarf. I love this cozy accessory so much, I think I might need to have one on the sticks at all times. It's such a pretty and functional piece. And making it is easy and meditative, which also translates to mindless and easy to do while watching a movie.

This one is in the beautiful, and super soft Willow and Lark "Nest" yarn, made of merino, cashmere, and tencel. This color is Owl Grey.

I was going to sell this one, but do you see the tiny mistake I made? I do. And it's enough to make me decide I can just keep it if I want to. I kind of want to.

Here's a little video, showing you how I wear this pretty thing. It makes me feel like a pretty thing too.

the danny kaye throw pillow cover

As decorating luck would have it, the summery, beachy striped throw pillows I chose to go with our new couch when we first moved to Seaside last January do not in any way go with the way I actually decorated our home. We're more bohemian than coastal, more comfortable than cute, and our colors are deeper and richer than the popular whitewashed look we see so much of.

I ended up draping throws and kantha quilts over the white couch, but those dumb striped throw pillows were just sitting here mocking my snappy decision making skills. The size and firmness of the pillows is perfect, so I didn't really want to replace them. Covering them was the obvious solution, but I hate to sew, even though I love my great grandmother's black iron Singer in its curved wooden case. It works, but I avoid using it as much as possible, which is most of the time. The solution, of course, was to knit new covers.

Our house is starting to look like a herd of creative spiders got loose in here and …