Tuesday, May 23, 2017


While editing a work article in a coffee shop, I overheard a conversation between a man and another patron seated a few tables away from me.  The patron - let's call him Tom - a few tables down had found a phone in the bathroom and turned it into the cashier, and the man - let's call him Henry - had come in looking for it.  Apparently, Henry had forgotten it and drove halfway across the island before realizing it was gone. He was frantic.

When Henry came into the coffee shop and retrieved his phone from the cashier, he was so relieved.  He asked the cashier if the person who found it was still in the shop, and the cashier directed him to Tom.  Henry approached Tom and expressed how thankful and grateful he was; Henry's life was on that phone and he had retraced all of his steps in the last hour trying to locate the phone.  Henry pressed Tom for a way to repay his honesty, but Tom assured him that he was just doing the right thing.  Henry was truly beside himself.  I thought he was going to bow at Tom's feet and hug him in thanks if he couldn't repay Tom.  At Henry's insistence, Tom finally gave Henry his business card and reassured him that it was really no trouble at all.  Henry left the store visibly happier.  He even took a moment to wave to Tom before pulling out of the driveway.

I couldn't help eavesdropping and smiling through this whole exchange.  Very rarely do we witness acts of kindness and good in the world.  But whenever I do, I feel like I need to share it with the world.  Don't you?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Makana Socks

I've been knitting and blogging on and off for a really long time.  And as we get older, I think it becomes more critical to live out our dreams.  A long held dream of mine was to design and publish a knitting pattern.  The motivation hit me a time or two, but you know what they say: Don't rely on motivation for anything.  It is fleeting and unreliable.  Discipline, however, is unyielding.  Force yourself to follow through.  When I was a knit blogger, I tried and failed miserably to come up with something.  Fast forward to about a decade later and I rediscovered this dream when motivation hit me in the form of Ravelry and knitters on Instagram.  This time, I capitalized on the motivation to get me started and coupled it with discipline to finish the job!

Makana Socks
I present the Makana Socks.  In Hawaiian, Makana means "gift."  My legacy as a knitter is characterized by knitting things for other people.  Very few of the things I knitted have ever been for myself; I had a tendency to give them away.  But this brings me such great joy.  I love sharing my knitting with my loved ones and letting them know how special they are by giving them something I made especially for them.  My greatest hope is that others share this joy when they make these socks - either for themselves, or their loved ones. 

These socks combine everything I personally love about socks.  I make socks more than I make anything else, and my preferred construction methods are top down with a heel flap.  I recently discovered how to make a rounded toe which suited this textured pattern a lot better than the typical square toe.  The texture pattern itself is stretchy but structured.  Laid flat, it looks like a geometric waffle pattern but reveals mini cables when on the foot.  These socks hold their shape well; I dislike when socks start to slouch after wearing them around the house a bit.  The texture also goes well with a lot of sock yarns: variegated, speckled, solid, self-striping.  I look forward to seeing what people make with this pattern.

This is the first pattern I've ever written for publication.  The process has been so eye-opening.  From the design, to test knitting, note-taking, reknitting with adjustments, photographing, pattern writing, calculating, editing, and actually publishing...!  Whew!  To be able to do all of this truly is a labor of love and I'm more than a little excited to see it go up on Ravelry! 

I hope knitters enjoy knitting this pattern as much as I do.  I've already started another pair in a really fun rainbow colorway, and will probably be working on Christmas socks for my family in this pattern.


Monday, March 20, 2017

March Madness

I've been so very absent from blogging.  I am almost compelled to wonder who even blogs these days?  With social media at your fingertips via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. who really wants to park in front of a blog and read paragraphs of type any more when you can have the immediate satisfaction of status updates, tweets, and photos to tell your life story?

Well, I'm attempting the improbable. Blog, I will see you a lot more often.  World, you will have the unfortunate opportunity of knowing what I'm thinking as the stream of consciousness flows out the tips of my fingers.  Sorry in advance.

I'm knitting again.  It's not sporadic, either.  I'm talking marathon, binge-knitting of the most epic scale.  I don't know what happened.  It started with a baby blanket for a friend's newborn baby and the next thing I know, I'm digging out old projects and plowing through new ones.  I finished two hats, three socks, and one baby blanket in the span of three weeks.  That would seem absurd if not for the fact that a couple of those socks were already halfway finished.  I've also got another blanket, two pairs of socks, a hat, and a shawl in progress...fingers itching to cast on some new socks now that a few sets of needles have been freshly emancipated.

I'm not entirely sure where this power surge motivating my knitting has come from, but it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.  Fueled by new stash acquisitions, Ravelry (gosh, how I missed Ravelry), and the accessibility of everyone else's projects by social media like Instagram, I am plowing forward. 

I don't promise to be ready by the end of the year when Christmas rolls around given my compulsion to give away the things I finish.  Somebody somewhere needs it!  (That somebody is usually my mother because I intend to wrap her in yarn-made hugs and bury her in my hand knit love. She is also super lucky our feet are the same size.) I do think I will be better prepared for the onslaught of birthdays and improvised gifts.  I envy those with piles of shawls.  Those industrious folks whose closets are filled with colorful and cabled sweaters are the source of my low self esteem as a knitter. The jealousy is almost unbearable at the sight of hand knit socks crammed neatly into drawers and overflowing out of cupboards.  I am compelled to vow that every single moment my hands could possibly be idle, I'll be working toward that dream of having knit so many socks for myself and my family that I never need to buy another pair again. I'd be living the dream of having a pair of socks on hand to gift away should the occasion arise at any moment.  I hope I'm not the only person with that dream.

How did people do it?  Not decades ago when store-bought clothing wasn't so readily available, how did people get by with making their own attire?  I don't know.  But here I am.  I am mad with the need to knit more.  KNIT MORE!  Whether it be yarn in my stash or newly bought, I will knit it.  There are tubs of colorful yarn for blankets.  I have piles of yarn intended for socks or shawls.  I have drawers top full of yarn for sweaters.  I intend to go through it all and make a sizeable dent by the end of this year - enough of one so that my husband doesn't keep pestering me about the space in the extra room where it is all kept.  He'll be marveling at all the finished knits instead.

Perhaps I'm being delusional.  Or maybe I'm being too ambitious.  Seriously, how much can I ever hope to achieve without garnering my husband's resentment for neglecting the dog, housework, and children?  I'm sure if I make some money by selling hand knits (finished objects, not yarn, mind you), he won't have much to argue about. Right?

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I intend to knit it out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Strung Along

I've been keeping better track of what I've finished this year. I think I have the wonder of technology to thank for that. No more digging around for camera cords or memory cards. It's just a quick add of photos from my smart phone and *voila!* instant photo! Uploaded to social media!

That doesn't solve all my problems, however. I must still figure out why I am only able to access 20 of the 1500+ photos on my phone or why it takes so long to download 3 photos.

Anyway, that's not why I'm writing today.

A dear friend of mine had a lot of soul-searching left to do so she cancelled her wedding that was scheduled for later this summer. I already purchased a plane ticket, and without the impetus of a pending wedding to provide sufficient resolve to abandon work and family obligations while I hop in a plane to Alaska during prime fishing season just for funsies, I was left looking for alternatives.

Call it cosmic intervention or coincidence, but I happened upon the Yarn Harlot's recent blog post about the Strung Along knitters' retreat. A retreat? For knitting? It's in June. In Washington state. I've never been to the Pacific Northwest in the summer time, but hey! There's a first time for everything.

I wrote to Stephanie and she said there's still room. I've roped my dear mother into going. I don't know if she is excited to come with me to a knitting retreat or moreso just excited to travel, but she has consented to going. She knows how much I admire Stephanie and how much I love knitting. So I think she'll be happy to experience this with me.

I haven't made any arrangements yet, but the idea that this is going to happen is really exciting!  I am so stoked!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blowing Off Some Dust

Hah! Here it is! I found it. I knew I had a blog around here somewhere....!

I've been going back and forth about whether I want to start blogging again. It's kind of hard to be decisive when there are other platforms that could serve the purpose of sharing my thoughts with the universe whether you all care or not, and each one has its own merits. I think the appeal of this method is that I can fit more thought into a post than Facebook or Instagram or whatever other media there may be. It's a little more invested than "liking" or double tapping photos or commenting.

I liked having a knitting blog and reading knitting blogs. There was a sense of community that feels more tangible than any other online interaction.

I think I really need to invest in blogging again. It isn't the most convenient, but it was the most satisfying.

I am pretty sure this is going to morph back into a knitting blog, but I'll be sure to sprinkle some non-knitting related stuff in here.

Not today, though.

To date, I've gotten back into making. I've been good starting this year with a steady pace of finished objects and knitting from stash yarn. However, I fell completely off that wagon as of this month. With renewed interest in knitting, I started a separate IG account for the knitting and exposed myself to the latest generation of what's trending in the online knitting world. I got a bonus at work and have been under a lot of stress, which create the perfect conditions for retail therapy. I've ordered no less than ten skeins of sock yarn, two sets of Signature Needle Arts needles, and an Akerworks spindle. I've also started four different projects this month and finished three. I'm averaging four projects finished per month. At this rate, I may see a dent in my stash by the time my kids graduate from high school assuming I don't buy any more yarn. Fat chance of that happening, though.

Ahhhh...blogging about knitting....it's gonna be like riding a bike. And just as much fun as a T-Rex can have knitting a sweater.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Can't Remember

I remember years ago that I was really into knitting, crocheting, knit blog reading, blogging, and all kinds of crafty things. 

I realized today that I forgot a lot of it because I haven't done much, if any of those, in the last four years since my son was born. 

I barely remember how to make socks. I don't remember more than three of my favorite knitting blogs - though I am grateful that those bloggers are still there and posing steadily. 

I don't remember my favorite online yarn store...not that I need one as I still have a stash in my house and my parents' house. 

My daughter will be born any day now. I haven't made her anything. I didn't even make my son anything. We are moving into a new house soon and I realize how much I would love to have handmade things to fill it with and make it "HOME." 

I need to remember these things. I need to be able to do them again. I need them because memories of my grandmothers are tied to them, and to my mom, and to a lot of other things I held dear that I can only remember if I knit and crochet again. And people will remember me because I made them something. 

Those were important things. They ARE important things. I just have to remember. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Being that we are entering the prime of the holiday season, it makes sense to start talking about traditions.  I'd like to start with the presentation of Exhibit A:
To some, this may appear to be just an unassuming ti leaf plant.  Let me assure you, though, that this plant was not there as little as two weeks ago.  I saw it today during my afternoon inspection and was rather surprised to find it.  You see, the trench right in front of it was home to a large Kimani tree that had since been removed in the course of construction.  I could even verify from photographs I'd taken that there was no ti leaf to be had in this area.  You can imagine my surprise to find it sprouting in that spot out of the blue.

Upon inquiry, I was pleasantly enlightened in learning that a worker had planted this ti leaf merely a week ago.  It was a lot smaller, he said, and he makes it a point to water it every day to keep it healthy.  The worker also confided in me that he plants ti leaf on every jobsite he goes to - "for luck," he says.

It was in the immediate moments after that conversation that I felt impelled to write about it.  I've encountered so many small traditions in my line of work that I can't help but pause and reflect upon them.  On another project, I met a worker who writes his name somewhere in the walls - such as where the wall will be boarded up or the drywall painted over.  Another worker I know throws money into a concrete slab pour as a gesture of well-wishing and good luck for the structure that will eventually stand upon it.  And there are others who take a piece of the project with them - such as a piece of tile - and build it into their homes.

These traditions are endearing, and I understand to some level why it is done.  People want to leave their own mark upon the world.  They want to leave behind evidence that they were there.  They want to take with them memories and moments of places and things to which they made a contribution. 

I often talk about the way each person in their own way contributes to the successful construction of a place.  I love to see the different skill or tradition each person brings to the project.  I also try to think about what my tradition will be, what token I will leave behind or take with me from all these places I've been. 

I don't have one.