Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Happy Yarn

Even though my knitting mojo has returned, I have been sticking with simple things like dishcloths, scarves, plain socks, and the Eastern Market Tote I referred to in my last post.  This is mostly due to all the major changes in the last couple of months – the out-of-state move, the new job and new home.  I just can’t manage a fussy lace project or anything with sleeves right now, which is why I am completely ignoring the sweater I started in 2019 that is practically finished except for seaming.  More on that in another post.

Winter, schminter...
Anyone who knows me knows that winter is a challenge for me.  I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and a lack of sunshine outside makes for a lack of sunshine in me, if ya know what I mean.  It affects my daily motivation level – exampled so well in my horrible attitude about getting up at the crack of dawn and driving to work IN THE DARK – so the simple stuff is best for now.

I’ve had two cakes of Pediboo Sport by Frog Tree forever in a lovely milk-chocolaty brown.  I think the colorway is #1105 but I’ve long since lost the label and the yarn’s been discontinued.  It isn’t a tonal yarn, so I knew I needed something that utilized a unique stitch to keep things interesting.  I kept looking for the right pattern to use, but just couldn’t settle on anything I was happy with.  

Knit with me!

Shortly before I moved, I determined I was
going to find a pattern for this yarn.  You know they say where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Besides, I had already packed most of the yarn stash and this was the most easily accessible.  

I came across Handmaiden’s Crisscross Scarf.  It fit the bill!  The stitch repeat is easy to memorize, and I really like the texture of the fabric it produces. 

I was monogamous for a while, knitting away with this fabulous yarn.

But then…

Okay, I haven’t abandoned the project completely.  Let’s just say it’s on a long pause after the move.  Because…winter.  No longer in the South and everywhere I look are gray skies and bare trees and brown, brown, brown.  As attractive as the warm, cocoa-ish shade the Pediboo yarn is, it remains, um…brown.

Enter the happiest yarn in my stash and the happiest scarf pattern ever written.

Not just for kids

Cascade Yarns Bentley.  And yes, you can tell from the teddy bear on the label that it is typically used for children’s items.  But see those flecks of red, yellow, blue amid the bright green?  Pure happiness.  And that’s what I needed.  Bright, joyful colors!

So happy!
Once I’d settled on making something from my happiest yarn, it didn’t take me long to find the happiest scarf pattern ever:  One Row Handspun Scarf by the Yarn Harlot herself.  It is literally the same row each time.  So easy yet looks so nice and was the perfect pick.  She used handspun but my talent for spinning sits right down there with my talent for biometric engineering.

I’m already thrilled with it and yes, I will wear it myself.  I may even make myself a matching hat.


Sunday, January 1, 2023

KW Reboot

Where to start…I suppose it doesn’t matter, as long as I do start.  There was a time not long ago when I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get back my love of knitting and whimsy and of general tom-foolery.

I’ll begin with a very brief summary of the last three years:
2020 – First the pandemic, then a personal, unbelievably traumatic event.
2021 – Divorce, downsize, start a new job.
2022 – Move out of state, start another new job.

Okay, you’re all caught up.  No, I don’t want to talk about it, but thank you.

So here I am, new place, new job, new life.  At least, that’s what I’m shooting for.  I had to get rid of so much to fit into my new place – furniture, household goods, kitchen appliances, books, clothing.  You know what I didn’t get rid of?

My yarn stash.  

Isn't that cute?  But no, that's not all of it...

And the knitting mojo is BACK, which is great because my new place is tiny, and my yarn stash is taking up more room in my closet than my clothes. 

The major hoard (and some buttons)

And this...
And this...

And this...

Well, okay, I did donate some of the acrylic stuff, although now I’m kinda sad because I found a great pattern for which I could have used a few of those skeins.  At least I don’t think I kept those particular skeins, but to be honest, I’m so jam-packed into my new digs, they could very well be lurking behind some shoes or something.

Can't forget this one

So yeah, even though my fiber mojo disappeared for a good while, I still somehow knew that yarn = joy/happiness/good vibes.

Now the challenge is to knit from my stash, avoid adding to it, and take control of my fiber!  (and she laughed and laughed)

More to come.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Almost Finished!

With grad school, that is.  And I couldn’t be more thrilled, at least until the student loan payments begin.  I have one more final that I’ll either do at 11 pm tonight when it is “unlocked” or sometime tomorrow.  Either way, I’ve studied and feel prepared and it’s the only thing standing between me and a horrifically expensive piece of paper.  I did learn a thing or two over these long three years as well, so that’s a bonus.


I can’t say the same for the sweater I’m making for my son, although I have made some progress.  I did manage to find a weedy end of yarn where I clipped the tail off by mistake and managed to weave that in. I left the stitch marker there though because I’m not taking any chances until I get the thing blocked.  I’ll use some waste yarn to try and shore up the join once I see if it completely unravels in the wash.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, although the marvelous thing about knitting is that unless you’re beset with a herd of m*ths (dirty word in the fiber world), you can always start over.  If only more things in life were like that.

It’s a gorgeous Sunday morning in South Mississippi and I’m on the back deck with my highly energetic and active guard dogs as you can see:

So intimidating

I truly have a great view of what the property developer in our subdivision termed a “lake” but which is really just a pond with cool cypress trees growing in and around it.  You can see I have two bird feeders which used to be located out farther in the yard but when we recently installed a sprinkler system, they kept getting watered twice a day and I ended up with terrariums.  The Husband moved them, but I’m afraid they’re now too close to the deck and the guard dogs as the birds have not returned.  The Husband thinks we just need to give it more time and as he’s the one who has to move the thing, I’m playing along.

My quarantine destination of choice
You can’t see it in the picture above, but there are a couple of turtles vying for a spot in the sun on a branch that sticks up just above the water. Those are coveted spots, apparently.

Finishing my master’s has left me with more time to think about those things that are truly important, like what to knit next for my granddaughters.  The youngest of the two will think Grandma doesn’t love her as much as the elder grand if I don’t make up for the knitting famine that the last three years created.  I’m trying to knit from my stash as much as possible – a commitment I made after I lost some of it to m*ths a few years ago, so we’ll see what Ravelry turns up.  I’m typically not a monogamous knitter, so it’s unusual for me to have just a sweater going.  I’m also feeling the call to go through my queue of sock patterns. 

It’s time to knit all of the things.


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Lessons Learned in a Viral World. And Knitting.

I’m learning lots about myself in the midst of this new reality of sheltering in place, unfounded toilet paper hoarding, and social distancing.  For instance, I’ve learned:

·      if you actually intentionally eat leftovers instead of ignoring them in the fridge until they’re practically growing penicillin, you can survive on a very conservative supply of food.
·      I enjoy being confined to the house we paid way too much money for.  Seems like I’m finally enjoying a return on our investment. (The Husband does not, which does create some drama, but really only for him – I just roll my eyes at him when he's not looking)
·      I’ve discovered the joy of using FaceTime so I can see my mom’s precious face.
·      over the years, I’ve purchased way more books on Amazon’s Kindle and BookShout than I’ll ever have time to read, even during self-isolation.
·      I’m becoming a Microsoft Teams ninja, a skill that I fully intend to add to my CV.
·      it is, in fact, entirely possible to use only 2 squares of TP at a time.
·      my efforts in building my yarn stash over the years have completely paid off in this time of financial uncertainty – I have enough to knit for ages.

Random Pinterest Graphic

And what about knitting?  Well…

I’ve actually only completed a pathetic two pairs of socks pre-COVID since the first of the year:

Charade by Sandra Park

Piece of My Heart Socks by DKissinger

Both were knit with Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer in Frost and Cosmopolitan, respectively.

When I found myself with a bit more time for knitting due to the outbreak and the fact that I am in the final stretch of completing my master’s program, I knew I wanted to start a substantial project, but suffered from what I call “knitter’s block.”  In other words, I couldn’t decide what I really wanted to knit.  This isn’t really a new thing for me.  I often suffer from “knitter’s block,” so I naturally did what I always do in such a situation:  I made a dishcloth.

Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth
Knit with Premier Home Cotton in Rustic Blue

Hey, it’s what you do when you need to knit but can’t make a decision. 

The good news is, once I finished the dishcloth, I received clarity on what to knit next.  I’m making a sweater for my son.  I’d purchased the yarn a while ago but never started because of the demands that school placed on my time.  Now, I was ready to jump in.  I modified the pattern slightly as it calls for a garter stitch hem which was not going to work for my son who is a professional and would need something a bit more conventional, so I did a tubular cast on with provisional waste yarn.  

Since it's a gift, I'll give you the pattern later
Knit with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cilantro Heather

I’ve done this type of cast on before, and all was going swimmingly until I went to cut out the provisional waste yarn.  I blame the poor lighting in my living room.  When I thought I was only cutting the provisional yarn, I also managed to cut the tail off the project yarn (the bit you’d normally weave in at the end). 

I'm tail-less!

As you can see, I placed a stitch marker on the edge because I was afraid it would unravel, even though it doesn't appear it's going to.  I’m not quite sure what to do.  I really don’t want to frog it and start over, so for now, I’m pushing onward and will hope and pray that when I stitch the ends together from the tubular cast on join, it will somehow reinforce things and keep it from unraveling. 

I’m open to feedback if you have any insight or dire warnings.  About the sweater.  Not toilet paper.  I'm all good there.

Stay safe!


Friday, April 3, 2020

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers

It’s been a rough week at work.  My team is exhausted.  Our hospital caregivers are exhausted. Do you see a theme here?  Yep.  We’re all exhausted.

In the midst of the uncertainty of life right now, we actually received some fresh produce via delivery, and I hope to get a shipment of frozen meat tomorrow. A bright spot, considering the taxing day we’ve experienced.

You see, we lost Tigger today.

Our sweet boy

 In the midst of the pandemic and stress and fretting over basic supplies and the demands of our jobs, we were given yet one more hard thing to deal with today.  Our sweet Tigger, our 15-year old long-haired dachshund that we loved dearly, died peacefully today while we were at work.  The Husband found him when he got home today.  We were not prepared.

Just this morning, he was his usual sweet self, bouncing around in anticipation of his breakfast.  He bounced.  Since he was a puppy.  Hence the name.

This evening, he’s occupying a place in the back yard next to the other sweet canine members of our family we’ve lost.  We, once again, tell each other how we truly believe that all dogs do go to heaven and he is surely there with our precious Hildy, Daisy, and Trixie and we will see him again.  That belief is the only way we can cope with the loss of our furry children.

It was just one more thing in the middle of a hard week.

And yet, I can point to God’s mercy that with Tigger, unlike with the last three, we did not have to make some horrific decision to end his life.  We did not have to see him suffer.  God simply pulled him from this life to the next.

I think he knew he was loved.  I hope he did.

I hope you know that you are loved too.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Rebirth

Greetings to anyone who may be reading.  This blog has been dormant for well over a year, but it has never been far from my mind.  Life interferes.  A new position at work that demands 50+ hours a week, the master’s program that I’m finally within weeks of completing, and a fourth recurrence of the rare cancer I’ve been battling for 4 years has commandeered my time and energy, showing no mercy.

We are currently in the middle of a global pandemic.  It would seem that no one anywhere is untouched by the COVID 19 virus.  The nightly news is filled with horrific stories of suffering, sometimes bringing me to tears along with the rest of the country.  I work in healthcare and while I am not a direct patient caregiver, I work with those who are.  We are worried about supplies.  We are worried about our staff.  We are floating in the midst of the unknown with regards to how bad things will truly get before it starts to get better.  We are all weary.

My mom is 86 years old.  She lives nearly a thousand miles away from me.  We connect every single day, usually by text (yes, she actually texts me more than my kids do), and I worry about her.  She’s in Ohio and has been under stay-at-home restrictions for a while now.  Her birthday was last week, and she had to celebrate alone.  FaceTime just isn’t the same.  I worry about her safety from this sickness.  I worry that she’ll not have what she needs.  Tonight, we both agreed that it would be nice to get some good news – something to give us hope. 

I think now is the time for a new beginning. 

But this is just a blog, ostensibly about knitting, which is one of my life’s true loves (second really only to my family), but I need this blog to be something more:  a place where I can be real about life and faith (and fiber, always fiber).  Hence the title of this post.  So, I’m going to give it a shot.  For my fellow knitters, even when I wax eloquent (or not so much) on non-knitting-related topics, I hope you’ll find some sort of hope here.  Or at least a temporary distraction.

Wherever you are, I pray you are safe and well, that you have all that you need, and that you are at least in touch with those you love.  Take nothing for granted. 

And knit something.  It’s good for you.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Time Passes

Hello friends.  It’s been so long. Over a year which is shameful.  If I were going to make excuses, I’d say it’s because I’ve been working over 45 hours a week, began a master’s program in Fall 2017, and have had two recurrences of cancer.  That’s what I’d say IF I were going to make excuses.  But that would be bad form, wouldn’t it?

Last post, I let you know I was going to have another grandchild, and I do!  Her name is Addison and she’s the bee’s knees!  Between she and Miss Nora (who is growing like a weed), I’m a happy grandma.  Just wish I saw them more often, as they live up north and I’m still here on the coast.

But, there’s knitting. Always knitting.  And that brings me joy.  

Last month, my husband took me to the Bahamas and it was grand.  We stayed at a resort in Nassau and I loved it.  It was the first real vacation we’d had in 5 years.  Wish I was back there now, as it’s taken a turn for the cold here in the Deep South and I’m not pleased.  I took knitting with me, but didn’t work on it much as I think it makes the husband a little embarrassed when I knit in public.  He’s still under the delusion that knitting is for old people. I know…I should knit anyway.  Besides, I’m almost old…


When are we going back?


Okay, enough of the beach.  I miss it too much.  I’m posting pics of some things I’ve finished since my last post.  There aren’t nearly enough completed projects to fill an entire year, but it’s all I’ve had time for.

Flower Garden Ruffle Blanket for Addie

Which Way is Up cardi for Addie (in Ohio State colors, of course)

Just finished this for my boss's first grandchild.

Lined it with fuzzy fabric to hide the floats.

The last blanket was one I came up with using the Whale and Waves pattern I found. I lined it with a very soft, fuzzy fabric to keep baby's fingers from getting caught up in the floats.  My Ravelry project page is HERE.  The baby was born today.  :-)

Don't know when I'll write again, but happy knitting.