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Cozy in August

Back again this week with Yarn Along and Keep Calm and Craft On.

To avoid leaving anyone who read my post last week on a cliffhanger, I’ve made my decision regarding my job and I feel really good about it. I took the advice of a couple of commenters, as well as talking it out ad infinitum with Anna, and finally I decided to stay at my current job.

While it can get boring and slow sometimes, and the business area we operate in (commercial real estate) is not exactly my passion, it offers the best opportunities for learning new skills and developing my abilities so that when I’m ready to move up in the future, I’ll have a more well-rounded skillset. Also, my boss here has shown himself to be a great mentor, and I don’t think you can really assign a dollar value to that. The counter offer they made me was pretty sweet as well. 🙂

As usual, when it comes to my knitting I’ve got a few projects going simultaneously. First, though, I’d like to talk about the book I’m nearly finished reading, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.

I described this book briefly in a previous post when I first started reading. It’s about a Hmong refugee family in Merced, CA in the 1980s. Their daughter has epilepsy, and the focus of the book is the misunderstanding between the parents and their daughter’s doctors about what is happening to her.

I can’t stress how excellent of a read this book is. Anne Fadiman not only beautifully tells the story of Lia Lee and her family, but also describes the history that resulted in so many Hmong refugees resettling in the United States. I have learned so much about the wars in Vietnam and Laos and the side of that region’s history that we seldom hear. The book never feels pedantic or academic, though. It’s really a great read and I would recommend it to anyone.

Regarding what I’m knitting right now, where to start?

I’m trying to finish up the Leaves or Not sweater I started last week. It’s a bit more complex of a pattern than I’m used to and is taking some time. I’ve finished the button band and collar and am working on the first sleeve.

I’m a little worried that I knit the button band with too few stitches picked up from the main body of the sweater. It’s puckering a little bit. I guess I’m just hoping that washing and blocking can sort it all out! Anyone else put probably way too much faith in washing and blocking?

leaves or not sweater progress

I’ve also started a French press cozy for Sophie, as I mentioned earlier this week. It’s a little housewarming gift for her, since she recently moved back to LA from her Peace Corps stint in Micronesia. I’m writing out the pattern as I knit it and will be posting a link to the pattern soon.

The last project I have going on right now is a test knit for Rachel of Born & Raised. I’ll be testing her pattern for the Alana Tank and I’m excited to share my progress, once I’ve made some!

Additionally, I made a fantastic discovery yesterday in downtown LA. I needed some buttons for Sophie’s French press cozy, and the ones at my LYS were just not doing it for me. I knew there were a lot of fabric and craft stores in the fashion district, so I Googled where I could get buttons, picked the place with the best reviews, and walked over there on my lunch break.

It was amazing. A huge warehouse-like store full of every kind of fabric you could imagine, tons of yarn of all kinds, notions for days, dye, patterns, batting, stuffing, seriously everything. I managed to walk out of there without buying any more yarn (this is a big accomplishment) but with not only the buttons I needed, but also a pile of cross stitch supplies for Anna.

She’s been talking about taking up cross stitching again for a while, and while I was there with a whole rainbow of flosses in front of me, I figured, why not?

Hopefully I’ll get to share some photos of her creations here soon!





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  1. Your sweater is looking lovely! I’m sure the blocking will sort it out … although, like you, I put lots of faith in blocking! But usually it’s well repaid!

    I heard Anne Fadiman give a talk on that book years ago … she was fabulous! I’d completely forgotten about it. I should check out the book!

    The fabric store sounds amazing … going to have to check it out!

    Congratulations on making a decision about the job!

    • Flo Flo

      Thanks so much! Hopefully next week I’ll have an update regarding whether the washing and blocking turns out to be the miracle I’m hoping for 🙂

      What a treat to see Anne Fadiman talk about this book. She seems like such an amazing and smart person, I’d love to hear her speak about…pretty much anything, honestly! You should definitely check out the book if you haven’t read it before.

      If you’re in LA, Michael Levine is definitely worth a look, and it’s also surrounded by SO MANY other fabric and craft stores (and not far from the Flower Market, either). It’s heaven!

  2. I so loved that book. As a nurse I found it fascinating and frustrating. Great read

    • Flo Flo

      It really is a great read. I can’t imagine how you must have felt reading it as a nurse!

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