4

Wired

So Stash Dash 2015 wrapped up on Friday. For some reason I was thinking I had until August 22nd, not that it would have made any difference in my totals.  If this would have been a real race, I would have tripped at the starting line and nursed my road rash until the first aid station, whereupon I would have probably called it quits and gone for margaritas. Not that I normally do that sort of thing, but I strangely admire people who can. Instead of knitting to the last minute I spent the entire week last week not knitting at all, but instead perfecting a new skill that I’ve become entirely (and dangerously) obsessed with: wire wrapping.

pumpkins colored 2

My poor husband. At least every 15 minutes I run over to him squealing like a an 11 year old girl at a Taylor Swift concert, “Look what I made!  Isn’t it cuuuuuuuute?”. I can’t help myself.  I am disgustingly pleased at the little stitch markers I am cranking out for my new Etsy shop (hopefully opening in a month or two after Knittymunchkin is fully immersed in all day kindergarten). I took a metalworking seminar a very long time ago and we touched briefly on wire working. At the time it wasn’t as appealing to me as the other techniques I was interested in learning, though once the acetylene torches came into play in the second half of the class, those low-tech pliers and wire were looking a lot more my speed. Frankly, the torches pretty much freaked me out.  I learned to do it, but I wasn’t comfortable. It’s kind of a buzzkill when they tell you the stuff will blow up the entire studio and vaporize you instantly if not used properly. So have fun with that kids! Interestingly, I noticed when I backtracked to the link above, that I mentioned making stuff for Etsy as far back as 2007! It feels pretty good to think that I’m finally (hopefully) heading there.

But back to Stash Dash…..

My unofficial total meterage for the event was: 1257.5 meters. I say “unofficial” because I finished a couple other projects during the competition that I never photographed or blogged about. But despite not making my goal, I am really grateful that Knitting Up North brought the event to my attention. It really forced me to focus on stash and though I went about it all the wrong way (not finishing old stuff, but starting new stuff), I still managed to use up some of my stash and worked extra hard to find projects that would utilize yarn I already had.  I also really focused on finishing what I’d started, rather than starting something new whenever I saw something shiny out of the corner of my eye. I have a feeling this could be the start of some new habits for me!

In the meantime…..

Look what I made? Isn’t it cuuuuuuuuute?

flat skulls 1

lime slices 2

 

2

In the Blink of an Eye


“It’s not a race!” I frequently tell my son.

Almost as frequently as I shout, “Hurry up pokey!”.

Be still. Enjoy this moment, the voice in my head reminds me. Yet I cannot stop the perpetual forward motion of my mind. How do I prepare for what’s coming? What is coming? What do I need to do this afternoon? What do I make for dinner? Simple worries, or complicated ones, it’s exhausting. I hear that this inability to live in the present comes from our society’s continuous bombardment of information. We have less time, more stress, and less ability to live in the moment because we are expected to be constantly connected. Each interaction requires an appropriate response and the accumulation of obligatory responses leaves no spare moment unaffected. I am as guilty as anyone of allowing this tide to overtake me. I wish I wasn’t.

These thoughts are foremost in my mind as summer begins its extended farewell. Instead of imagining my glass half full with the lazy days remaining, I am imagining it half empty as summer slips through my grasp yet again. Perhaps this melancholy comes from the realization that in a few short weeks my darling Knittymunchkin will be a kindergartner. How did this happen? In the blink of an eye, is how.

Today, I told myself, I would try just a little harder. At our morning swim lessons I purposely did not knit, knowing that I would not be able to feel the morning in the same way if I was counting rows on my sock. Instead I welcomed the drizzle on my face, watched the steam drift off the surface of the pool, and listened to the happy splashing of children.

And, if only for the time it takes to blink, I was still.

2

Clumsy Gardener

 

ABOUT THE TITLE:  These were made for my Mom, who requested a pair of gloves to protect her hands from sun and scratches while gardening. As she has reached her 70’s, her skin has thinned and she is constantly cutting herself. Plus, she is a little bit clumsy sometimes!

PATTERN:  Don’t skid, honey! by Justyna Lorkowska (Lete’s Knits)

YARN:  Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids in “Softly Taupe” (Super Size )

YARDAGE:  0.58 skeins/116 yds (106.1 meters for Stash Dash 2015)

KNITTING DURATION:  June 23, 2015 – August 5, 2015

PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED:  Of course not!

RECIPIENT:  Mom

DODGY BITS:  Not really. Other than the fact that Mom, as per usual, has requested cotton or acrylic (something she can bleach the crap out of, i.e. abuse). And, as usual, I was miserable knitting this.

BLISS FACTOR:  8


This pattern was well written and fun to knit, though I would have preferred to knit it out of something soft and wooly and squishy instead of kitchen cotton on small needles. Seriously Mom? That’s the only reason I’m giving it a Bliss Factor of 8. It would probably earn a 10 if I could have knit it in something else. But all that really matters is if Mom likes and uses them.


Stash Dash Update: 1151.4 meters + 106.1 meters = 1257.5 meters

5

Bloomin’ Granny

granny 2

 

ABOUT THE TITLE:  The name of this project is an ode to the Beastie Boys’ “Boomin’ Granny”. Although, Grandma A– is more of a “Bloomin’ Granny” ♥

PATTERN:  #24 Lacy Wrap by Mari Lynn Patrick (Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2011)

YARN:  Laines du Nord Cashsilk, Color #676 – Berry

YARDAGE:  14.68 skeins/983.6 yds (899.4 meters for Stash Dash 2015)

KNITTING DURATION:  January 9, 2015 – June 28, 2015 (with a break between February & May)

PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED:  Here

RECIPIENT:  Grandma Funk

DODGY BITS:  There are errors in the chart that would make it difficult to knit if you were inexperienced (Knit “Simple”? Really?). If you are interested in reading detailed info on navigating these errors successfully (and you are a Ravelry member) feel free to check out my project here on Ravelry and/or message me. I’m glad to help!

BLISS FACTOR:  10


It seems I am averse to discussing my knitting projects during their construction phase, as I have only mentioned this project one time in the months I have been working on it. Perhaps that is a direct by-product of my knitting “method” which consists of obsession, acquisition, established relationship maintenance, boredom, distraction, and ultimate abandonment. Good thing my “method” doesn’t extend to relationships with people.

Or perhaps the guilt of abandonment and exposure of my character flaws deters me from discussing past knitting history. Either way, I am overhauling my ways and trying harder to stay focused on one project at a time. Which means you may be hearing more from me throughout a knitting project. Or not. We shall see.

So, a bit about this project……

I knit this as a gift for my husband’s grandmother A–. She is a wonderfully kind, strong, and loving lady who has fully adopted me as part of the family. We frequently talk on the phone about reading in bed and needing something to cover our shoulders. Though she is a knitter, she is strictly an acrylic blanket knitter (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and I thought it would be nice to make her something pretty that she could put around her shoulders instead of the small blanket she claims to use. Once, when she and Grandpa were on a stopover in town I took her into my LYS (Apple Yarns) and we looked at all the pretty things for a little while. She picked up some yarn in the same shade as the yarn I used for this project, saying how pretty it was. I can’t wear this color myself, but thought it would be a fantastic way to use this gorgeous yarn and gift it to someone truly deserving and special. My husband tells me that I will make her cry when she receives this. I kind of hope so. Not because I would want to make someone cry, but because he says she’ll cry since no one has ever made anything just for her. She is always making and doing for others instead, because that’s who she is. It will make me happy to let her know that I am always thinking of her and am grateful for the way she holds together her family.

This project was so much fun to knit!  In a sick way, I have come to enjoy short rows. You feel like your knitting is going so much more quickly, especially when working a lace chart, because you are only knitting partway across certain rows. And this yarn? Scrumptious.  I am so happy that I have more of it in my stash (it’s discontinued) in a color that does suit me.  I’m imagining a cuddly, warm winter/fall sweater the color of roasted coffee somewhere in my future. And maybe you’ll actually hear about it before I finish it. Maybe.


Stash Dash Update: 252 meters + 899.4 meters = 1151.4 meters

4

Fifty Shades of Lame

  • Working on a sweater (Artichoke French) until it’s 85% finished and then neglecting it for over a year…….. Lame.
  • Picking up that sweater and working on it, thinking to yourself, “Man, I am killing it! I’m totally going to finish this in a few hours”, only to find the decreases got effed up somewhere along the way and you have no idea when that happened……… Lamer.
  • Tinking back over two full skeins’ worth of yarn (because there are about 80 million markers so there’s no way you can just rip it all out at once) and still not finding where the mistake occurred…….. Lamest.
  • Realizing there is no candy or alcohol in the house and you are feeling crazy and desperate…… Totally lame.
  • Your child is sleeping and you can neither leave your sleeping child at home in order to procure candy and alcohol, nor justify waking him up to do so…..lame lame lame.
  • Starting a new pair of socks because you can’t stand the thought of tinking back more of that damn sweater……La-a-a-aaaaaaame.
  • Trying not to think about the fact that you may have to go all the way back to where the sleeve and body are joined before being able to fix this epic mistake…….

ALL sorts of lame.

0

The Hardware Store

She loved the hardware store. The odor of fresh, clean wood mingled with the scent of possibility never failed to bolster her spirits. Here, a girl could start anew; make her own future. And it amused her to see the expressions on the faces of the men surrounding her. Grizzled old-timers and beefy construction types alike, paused in their study of the merchandise to observe this strange creature meander past. Because she chose to wear her normal attire (no dumpy work-stained clothing here) she was rewarded with both displays of slack-jawed puzzlement and generously amused grins. They thought she might be lost. She smiled secretly. She knew exactly what she wanted and how to find it. She always had.

6

Make This House A Home

For several weeks now, along with my morning coffee, I have been doggedly scouring the interwebs for DIY home improvement ideas; searches such as: “paint colors that work with honey oak”, “installing a tile backsplash”, “organizing your cupboards”, “fixing a weathered exterior door frame” and so on. If you can fix it tor improve it, I’ve probably checked it out. Pinterest and I are finally becoming good buddies. But I’m a little afraid. I can do many things but I don’t claim to be handy around the house, even though I come complete with my own cordless drill and an assortment of hand tools which I pretty much know how to use. Never mind that they were left in my care by a former boyfriend who never came back to claim them. However if I tell you the backstory, perhaps you’ll understand my urge to plunge into the home improvement arena sans any real life building skills.

R. Darling and I have been together 14 years as of this summer (11 of those years married). He purchased our house new before we met, and a few short years later I moved in for good.  Yet I have always identified this house as his house, not our house. I did not pay for it, I did not have the fun of hunting for it with him, therefore it is not mine (in my mind). Though I may refer to it as “our house” in discussion, my heart doesn’t believe it. I still ask for permission to change things around and he still tells me this is my home too and I am allowed to do whatever I want with it. Recently I have come to realize that I want more than just a house. I want a home. A place that reflects the people and things I love most. I spend an awful lot of time here. I should love my surroundings and they should reflect a part of me back to myself when I am here.

Just what I have in mind.....

Just what I have in mind…..

via yaydecor.com

Time has taken its toll on our once modest, but new, home. There are scratches on the baseboard moldings and lower two feet of most walls from the two pooches that were part of R. Darling’s family before I arrived. The paint is peeling on myriad surfaces of kitchen and bathroom, and the house has settled over the years, resulting in some rather frightening cracks in the drywall around major archways. The hall closet suffers from lack of organization; our current shelf system just does not meet our storage needs and I feel that the space is not being utilized to its full potential (enter interwebs searches for: “DIY closet built-ins”). And don’t get me started on all the gold-tone hardware and Hollywood dressing room lighting in the bathrooms. Can you say 90’s?

But this place is ours. We will most likely live here for the rest of our lives unless our dream of retiring to Anacortes when our son is grown ever bears fruit. It is time to make it a home.

So be afraid. Be very afraid. In the coming months I may be exposing you to all the dirty little secrets around my home. My epic fails and massive triumphs will be here for all to see. That scares me almost more than the thought of installing tile or possibly electrocuting myself when switching out the dreaded strip lights in the bathrooms. But I hope you’ll stick along for the ride.  There is bound to be lots of tears and laughter! And ultimately, the realization of a dream. What more could we ask for?