This Is Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I can’t believe that tomorrow is November 1st.  It’s really tripping me out.  I haven’t even managed to watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” my usual 16 or so times during the weeks leading up to Halloween.  How sad is that?  This month just went way too fast.  We did make a little time to take Knittymunchkin to a local punkin patch on Friday though.  It was so much fun tromping around in the mud with him in the backpack, and taking the little tractor ride out to the corn maze.  Everything was pretty well picked over, but the main reason I wanted to go was for the photo opportunities anyway.  I never seem to take enough photos and who can resist dressing up their little guy or gal and nestling them in amongst some nice orange punkins?  Next year will be awesome when he’s able to stand and walk around on his own and maybe even pick his own punkin.  It’s a good family tradition and I’m glad we started it this year so we’ll have something to look forward to as Knittymunchkin grows.  We broke in the new fancy baby backpack and he even took an inaugural nap in it while R. Darling and I ate apple pie :)
 

Boo!


 
It is with great sadness that I have to announce a planned blogging break here at the Knittymuggins blog space.  As much as I love my blog and all of your wonderful comments and support, I just don’t have the time I need right now to put into writing quality posts that people might be remotely interested in reading. I hardly have time to knit and I’m so exhausted, overwhelmed, and generally bummed out lately, that I can hardly stand my own self.  I have struggled for most of the 4 years I’ve been blogging to keep from letting those down times show in my posts and I don’t want to start now, so I’m taking some time off.  Blogging is supposed to be a source of joy for me but lately it feels like one more thing on my list that I can’t possibly hope to keep up with or accomplish well.  I hope that I will be back, and maybe I will surprise myself and find some inner reservoir of energy and inspiration that will allow me to come back sooner than I hope, but for now I don’t expect to be blogging again until the beginning of the year (though I may not be able to resist posting some pictures of Knittymunchkin now and then ;)  I am still going to be working on my Day Zero goals in the meantime and hopefully knitting some things that I can share with you when I’m back again.  Until then, thank you so very much for your understanding and support and I wish all of you the most joyful holiday season imaginable!  January will be here before  you know it :)
 

In the Punkin Patch

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5

A Day Late….

“A day late and a dollar short”, is what my folks have always said when someone misses a big opportunity or forgets to do something important.  Well, I may be a day late, but two of you certainly won’t be a dollar short :)  So sorry for the delay, but now that Knittymunchkin is working on crawling (not quite there yet, but he’s trying!) I am even more busy than I used to be.  Who would have thunk that would even be possible?  And yet it is.

Anyhoo, just a comment on all your comments before the big announcement.  R. Darling always reads your posts on my bloggy (so thank you to all of you who say or have said nice things about him; he is always so touched by this!) and he noticed a little trend amongst some of the ladies who wrote in.  Many of you said that the best thing you ever did for yourself was to leave a relationship.  I find that so interesting.  It makes me wonder if we women, as a whole, try just a little too hard to accommodate everyone else in our lives to the detriment of ourselves in the process.  Is it necessary to lose ourselves in order to be a good mother, wife, or friend?  Of course not, but how easily it happens sometimes.  Just a little food for thought!  And thank you so very much to all of you for sharing your triumphs and joys by answering my big deep question.  Your strength, courage, and ability to grab that brass ring of happiness for yourselves is so inspiring!  Keep up the good work :)

O.K. Enough of my nonsense.  On to the winners!  First, I’ll go with the easiest answer.  I used the random number generator (the R. Darling Automaton 4000 was unfortunately, out on loan to the county this morning) to pick a random winner from my commenters.  And the random winner was commenter #10: Debbi!  Congrats Debbi!  Debbi and I have probably known each other for most of the duration of my blogging “career”.  I think we met during The Knitting Gnome Swap?  My memory is a little fuzzy, but I know I sent her a little package with some purple sock yarn in it way back when.

And the second winner….  This was a toughie guys.  I mean, all your comments were heartfelt & touching and I was so inspired by each of you.  I wish I could give you all a prize!  So I deliberated for a really long time.  And I considered copping out and just choosing another random winner.  But I sucked it up and made a choice.  My winner for the comment I liked best is Andi of My Sister’s Knitter (BTW: you should totally check out her bloggy!  The pics of her yarns & projects are beautiful & inspiring :)  Andi gets my vote not just because of what she chose to do to find her personal happiness, but the way she explained her choice and its result.  Just a couple quotes (hope this is o.k. with you Andi!): “I learned that by giving everyone everything you have doesn’t do them or you any good” & “My time now has only one purpose-to replenish my soul so that I can be a better person to others not by what I can do for them, but what type of person I am”.  Well said!

So thanks so much everyone for reading the past four years & commenting & just being the best blog readers ever!  Congrats to my contest winners & I’ll be in touch via e-mail to find out which patterns from Ravelry you’ll choose.

Now, to get Little Mister ready for baby class today :)

16

Brought To You By The Number Four

Yarnbombing Garland Outside My Favorite LYS


 
Dang.  As of today, I have been blogging for four entire years!  That’s a long ass time.  Granted, there have been some bursts of radio silence (most especially this year) but I am more than a little shocked that I have kept it up for this long.  I really never would have guessed that there would be that much I’d have to say and so much that I’d want to share with all of you.  There have been so many times when I’ve  been tempted to quit, but it’s because of all of you that I am still here and still blogging.  And I can never thank each and every one of you enough for all the wonderful comments, and generous kindness and support you have all shown me during these last four years. You’re fantastic!!  I most definitely would not be celebrating four years of blogging if it wasn’t for all of you amazing peeps that keep me in your thoughts and stop by to see how I’m doing!  I really and truly am so grateful for all of you :)
 
I feel like there is so much more I should say, on such a momentous day, but I’m so tired today I can hardly think straight.  So let’s just keep it short and sweet.  In honor of my 4th bloggyversary I am going to have a little contest!  Leave me a comment telling me what the best thing you have ever done for yourself (and only yourself) has been (or will be), your favorite weight of yarn to use, and your favorite color (just because I’d like to know!) by Midnight October 17th, 2010.  On the 18th I’ll pick two winners: one at random, and one whose answer I like best.  The winners will receive one pattern of their choice (up to $9) through Ravelry’s gifting feature.  Please keep in mind that, unfortunately, Twist patterns and certain others cannot be included in this feature at this time.  The pattern must be available to gift through Ravelry.  I can’t wait to hear all your answers!!
 
And since I’m holding the contest, I think I should play along :)  The best thing I have ever done for myself (and only myself) is a little boring, but has got to be refusing to have a roommate throughout grad school and my early working career.  Yes, I could have saved money, but having that time to be in my own space with my own thoughts and no need to consider anyone else’s, is a gift that I am so incredibly grateful for.  If you want a can of corn for dinner, or no dinner at all, you can do that.  If you want to come home and go to bed immediately, or if you want to wake up early and blast the music and dance in your underwear, you can do that.  No one will look at you funny and the chance to be so uninhibited in just living your life is so truly priceless.  I think everyone needs the gift of that freedom at some point in their life.  And my favorite yarn weight?  Probably worsted.  Not too hard on the hands, but works up quickly and satisfyingly into a lovely item.  Though fingering yarns far outweigh the worsteds in my stash.  Probably because I’m a sucker for sock yarn!  My favorite color?  Used to be pink, but changed to green over the last year/year and a half.  Yet lately, I find myself drawn to purples for the first time in my life.  How strange!
 
Thanks for all the joy, the laughs, shouldering my burdens with me when I needed it most, and most of all, for just being there and listening to all my nonsense.  You are all the best and I am so thankful for you each and every day.  Look forward to hearing all your answers and maybe (fingers crossed) spending another couple years with all of you fabulous bloggy peeps!

7

Needles For Hire

Ah how I adore autumn.  The way the sunlight looks like warm honey spilling over my afternoon, the crisp chill in the morning air that makes me hug my coffee cup just a little tighter, and the sumptuous shades of saffron, pumpkin, and red velvet drifting like a mutable mosaic over sidewalks and fields.  There is something about this time of year that makes me feel industrious.  Like a squirrel ferreting away nuts for winter, I want to fill my nest with baked goods, soups and stews, and feather it with warm knitted things.
 

Autumn Afternoon


 
I think I mentioned last post that I’ve been knitting.  A bunch.  But you haven’t seen any of that here for a while.  Are you curious?  I’ve had my needles out for hire and now that I’ve got some things finished up, it’s time to share.
 
Oh, who have I been hired out to, you ask?  Mainly I’ve been test knitting in the Free Pattern Testers and The Testing Pool groups on Ravelry.  As you know, I’ve test knit a lot before, but this is a little more casual than what I’m used to.  Meaning there’s no contracts or anything.  It’s all on the honor system, which seems kinda dicey for the designers in my mind.  But it’s all good though.  The main thing is that I’m helping some fellow knitters get their patterns out into the world and I’m using up some of my stash in the process.  Plus, the deadline pretty much guarantees I’ll actually finish something since I take the deadlines pretty seriously.  I don’t know…. there’ something about it that gives me a warmish feeling in my tummy.  Like maybe I’m banking up some good karma, which I could really use!
 

Caterpillar Pacifier Clip


 

  • Pattern:  Corrente com Lagarta (Pacifier Clip with a Caterpillar)by Mamã Martinho  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  I used yarn repurposed from an Abercrombie & Fitch sweater I bought at Goodwill and unraveled maybe 3 -4 years ago? So I don’t know exactly how much I used.  It felt so good to use repurposed yarn though!
  • Needles:  Size 3 bamboo dpns
  • Mods:  Used sewn on velcro for fastening instead of a snap; sewed caterpillar and links to diaper pin instead of gluing; used pompoms for eyes and glued these on.

 
This is a super cute, very easy pattern and uses very little yarn.  I think it turned out sweet.  Me being the paranoid Mom that I am though, I’m not convinced my version is entirely baby-safe, so I am waiting until he’s a lot bigger to use this on him.  I had already bought a skull & crossbones Bink Link a couple weeks before I finished this anyway, so the need wasn’t as great for it as I had expected it to be.  But the designer was super nice, easy to work with, and I think the design is really cute.  She’s also got a darling version for girls with a little flower on it.
 
Next up…..
 

Two Way Mittens - Unconverted


 

Two Way Mittens - Converted To Fingerless Gloves


 

  • Pattern:  Two-Way Mittens by Keltic Banshee  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Classic Elite Alpaca Sox – Color #1810; 0.47 hanks (211.5 yds)
  • Needles:  Size 2 (2.75mm) Harmony 40 inch circ for Magic Loop
  • Mods:  Worked 26 rounds for cuff to make it a wee bit longer

 
This pattern was super fun to work because of its unique construction.  The mitts are knit from the fingers down and then the flap is created, knit together with the fingers and before you know it it’s smooth sailing to the cuff!  I was just fascinated the whole time I knit this and couldn’t wait to see what would happen in each successive step.  They were pretty quick to knit, considering how slow I am with fingering weight yarns.  If you can knit  a sock, I’d say these would be just as easy.  And the designer was a super nice gal, very understanding if I had a slow knitting week, and even extended the deadline so we could all rest a little easier and not have to knit so frantically.  I would definitely test for her again!
 
And another!
 

Monstah Baby!


 

  • Pattern:  Little Monster Hat by Odessa Reichel  (Ravelry link here; My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn:  Lamb’s Pride Bulky – Color “Blue Heirloom Seconds”; 0.75 skeins
  • Needles:  Size 10 bamboo 16 inch circ
  • Mods:  Worked 2 repeats less of garter stitch for the height of the hat before starting short rows

 
I just love how this hat turned out!  It was quite the ingenious pattern (I think) and I really enjoyed seeing how this hat came together when I seamed it all up at the end.  Knittymunchkin was not about to keep it on his head for longer than 2 seconds though (it’s more fun to chew on, Mom!) so it took me a good 30 snaps to get this one shot.  Oh well.  I hope he’ll like it better when he’s a little bigger!  I made the toddler size and it’s a wee bit big on him right now, but I think it should be good for a while.  This designer was super nice as well and I would be happy to test for her again :)  A quick, easy, Christmas gifty too if you have little ones on your knitting list!
 
Whew!  Maybe the “busy-ness” of my little guy is rubbing off on me. I swear that kid cannot sit still for longer than a second or two at a time!  It’s cute, but it’s tiring!  Anyway, if you can believe it, I have other knits to show you.  I know – I think I just heard the flapping wings of some pigs overhead.  But we’ll leave those for another post, so when my inevitable dry spell comes back around (and it will), I’ll have something to show you.  Until then, enjoy your autumn!  I know I am.  I had pumpkin pie for breakfast :)

6

The Straight Poop

With a title like that, oh boy am I ever gonna get a bunch of weird ass spam, dirty links, and raunchy searches leading to my blog post.  But hey, it’s the truth.  This post is about…. well…. poop.
 
One of the top two best jobs I ever had in my life (so far) came a few years, and one miserable job later, after grad school.  We were studying E.coli and Salmonella etiology on dairy farms and I was required, among other things, to travel to various dairy farms in eastern Washington and basically scoop poop.  Entirely unglamorous, but really not as bad as you might think.  My family however, thought it was distinctly hilarious that I went to college, and later grad school, just so I could pick up cow poop.  I’m not really one to take myself too seriously (despite outward appearances to the contrary) and it was kind of funny.  At first.  But then I got tired of everyone saying, “Oh have you met my niece/cousin/daughter?  You’ll never guess what she does for a living!  She picks up poop, ha ha!  And she went to college for it too!”  There was really so much more to it than that.
 

Little Mister is 8 months old today!


 
But then this morning, as I changed my third poopy diaper before 10 AM, I got to thinking.  Things really haven’t changed that much I guess.  I’m still dealing with poop and there’s still so much more to it than that :)
 
Things have been good here.  We had our 6th wedding anniversary on Sunday the 26th (love you Honey!) and took a little day trip for ourselves with some shopping and a nice dinner out at Red Lobster.  I know, kinda ghetto to some of you maybe, but hey, we like it and it’s been a while!  Also got to see my good knitty pal Troy for several hours of coffee & knitting last Saturday.  We haven’t done that since before Knittymunchkin was born!  I really needed that time to just be myself and not be a “mom” for a while.  Amazing how restorative a few hours can be!  And I’m knitting.  A bunch of stuff.  But that post will have to wait until later.  I hear my little 8 month old awake and calling for me!