Sunday, January 31, 2010


$5.00 - pattern for hat and mitts

Finally, it's done.  :-)

Ceres is a simple top-down beanie with a narrow, rolled brim and matching mitts. Its main features are the colored ridges, which are created using exposed stranded colorwork. The specific stranding technique creates the illusion that the strands are braided together. Knit in the colors shown, this piece brings to mind a plaited grass crown, or grass peeking through a light, early-winter snowfall. Hence its being named for the Roman goddess of agriculture, whose mourning brings on the winter each year. Ceres works well in a variety of colors, however, and looks as good on a man as it does on a woman.

Sizing:  garments will comfortably stretch up to a couple of inches over the measurements given here.
Small (child) - 4" around wrist, 18" around head
Medium (woman) - 6" around wrist, 20" around head
Large (man) - 8" around wrist, 22" around head
Shown in medium
Skills:  knitting in the round, stranded colorwork, simple increases.

Big thanks to my husband, who shall remain nameless, for the photography. Thanks also to acucena, curiouskate, mugginsquilts, schokolilo, lnupermom and truki of Ravelry for testing the draft of my pattern. They were extremely helpful, and I love how their projects turned out!

You can purchase this through Ravelry, or just click the "buy now" button at the top of the page. If you have any questions, email me or check out About the Patterns.

Bluebonnets is copyright Sasha Evans, all rights reserved. By downloading this pattern, you agree not to redistribute it or to use it for commercial purposes, unless you ask me very very nicely and I say yes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fly Lady

It is with...mixed feelings...that I admit I have discovered the Fly Lady.  For those of you not familiar with this impossibly chipper force of house-cleaning-and-organizing nature, she's developed a system of practices and habits designed to keep the the dirt and clutter in your home under control.  She breaks daunting tasks into easily manageable chunks and sends out emails with reminders and encouragement each day to those who sign up for her email list.

These emails drive me freakin' crazy (but don't worry, we'll end on a positive note).  First, there are approximately eleventy billion sent out each day.  I suspect this is a clever, Fly Lady ploy to get you to organize your email inbox.  The sheer volume of email from her list alone forced me to create a system of folders and automatic filters for my Blue Carpet email that's also helped me keep reader comments and pattern correspondence straight as well.  So, um...thanks, Fly Lady.

The next step in my filter system is to filter out any of these emails that contain the word "testimonial."  Easily half of these emails are forwards from users gushing about products - either the cleaning products she sells in her shop, or some cleaning product she's agreed to push for another company.  Seems fake, gets old.  But hey, the good stuff's free, and a girl's gotta make a living, right?

The Fly Lady claims she's talking to everyone, that her system can work and her emails are intended for any type of person - stay at home mom, single working mom, single working dad, wantonly childfree student, gay, straight, Christian, Pastafarian, whoever.  And yet, though outwardly open, I get the feeling that her head is stuck quite firmly in the "middle-aged Christian woman with kids" mindset, and that's who she writes to.  Every time she mentions a "God Breeze," I roll my eyes, heathen that I am.  And dude, just look at her site.  Not so much my aesthetic.

And spite of myself...after reading a few of her emails, I'm left with this bewilderingly warm and comforted feeling.  It's the same kind of bizarrely calming feeling you get when you stumble blearily into the bathroom in the morning, and it's all shiny and clean, or when you flop into bed and the sheets are clean, and the kitty's curled up on it but not getting cat hair and kitty litter all over your sheets because it's made, and who cares if there's some cat hair on the foot of the comforter?  It's like...this shouldn't make me feel good...but it does.

Most importantly, her system really works.  And if she's subconsciously gearing it toward middle-aged women with kids, and it still works for Little Ms 20-Something-Cynicism, then wow.  It's not a lot of work.  Targeted cleaning happens in 2 or 15 minute chunks.  Things get clean calmly, over time, and they stay clean through establishing habits.  These habits are quick, simple, time-saving things that make you feel better about your space and yourself, which keeps you from throwing up your hands in despair like I, um...did...a few months ago...when we moved.  :-\

Her system will take some adapting, but it's adaptable.  No, Fly Lady, I will not put my face on every morning when I wake up or pretty much ever.  But I guess I can brush my hair every morning...instead of just pulling it back into a bun so tight no one sees the tangles.  And I really do feel like less of a schlub when I do that.  So, um...thanks, Fly Lady.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'M NOT DEAD!!! Yet.

When last we left our heroine, she was tending to an incredible blonde lightening bolt while her boyfriend, who shall remain nameless, was tending to the estate of his mother, who had just passed away.  Then she fell off the face of the planet.

It's been a crazy set of months, hence the no blogging.  Or knitting.  Seriously, I like...tried to knit a wisp while I was sick, and it didn't go well.  That's pretty much been the extent of my knitting lately.  And I'm way too broke for yarn.  It's a sad state of affairs.

There have been many changes.  I no longer have blue carpet.  I now have ugly beige carpet in the most sketchy and dilapidated part of town I could find (but it's cheap).  This has, in fact, been a huge contributing factor to the lack of blogging.  It's hard to get revved up about domestic bliss when you're stuck in an apartment with mold in the basement, cigarette smoke wafting through the inoperable bathroom vent and boxes of still-unpacked stuff blocking your way to anything.  We don't even know how long we'll be here.  We've become transients, of a sort.

I also no longer have a boyfriend who shall remain nameless.  I have a HUSBAND who shall remain nameless!!!  (Hence the move away from the blue carpet).  The incredible blond lightening bolt is now my stepson!  And my husband, who shall remain nameless, is going to be a diplomat!  (Hence the transience - we'll be moving to DC soon, we just don't know when).  So things are looking up.  They're just looking up from a long way down.

Anyway.  The links for the pattern PDFs have been fixed (seems the file hosting service I was using stopped existing).  I've emailed the pattern to those of you who left email addresses.  Those who didn't, try the links again - they were broken, but they should work now.  I'm not abandoning the blog any more than I'm abandoning knitting, but it's definitely in hibernation.  I'll pop back on when I can and try to get it going again.  I need to stop thinking of my place as "the shit-hole" and work to make it nicer.  It is somewhat crucial to my mental state.  :-\