Friday, December 09, 2011

Excited for Christmas

Actually, I'm excited about tomorrow. We have a weekend full of fun festive activities with the kids. And, one of those great things is I'm going to make wrapping paper with Little Man. This is going to be a terrific Christmas gift in and of itself. I'm becoming incredibly crafty in all kinds of ways. I like this. I'm using just some brown paper bags I've collected from Trader Joe's (although any brown paper bags will work) and some paint and markers. This should be an EASY craft to do, and great memories will be made.

Most of the gifts for Christmas are made; I have half of one left (a sock still has to be made for its partner). Here's what's done so far:

I still have to sew on the buttons and put the ribbon on it. Then there's this:

And somehow I can't find a picture of the scarf I made. Apparently, no one has taken a picture of one yet. I guess I'll have to tomorrow. Hopefully, tomorrow or Sunday I can take some pictures of the family and post a great shot of everything. We'll be decorating, baking, and having a great time this weekend. What makes your Christmas season special?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Fun Times

Christmas is fun when you have little ones. They get so excited about the tree, the presents, Santa, baking cookies, and seeing people (who bring them presents - it's a running theme). It's great to see their eyes light up at the tree and decorations. They love playing with friends in the cold outside, watching their breath float up into the air. Children love Advent Calendars, that let them count down to Christmas (again with the presents), especially when there's chocolate or candy involved.

It's fun to be a parent and experience the fun of Christmas through your children. It's also great when you're almost done with Christmas knitting, and you don't think you'll have to pull an all-nighter to get it all done. I might actually get to relax before Christmas.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Finding Relief

I have a million things to do. There is a group project I have to start, Christmas knitting to finish, Christmas knitting to start, cleaning to do, packing up toys, decorating for Christmas, and a zillion other things that I should do other than blog. Yet, here I am. Why? Maybe because today was a rough day for me.

You see, I have a job that, well, I just don't care for. I really don't like it; I would even go so far as to say I hate my job. Hate is a strong word for me, really. But this is the kind of job where everyday, I am tempted to quit. Just walk out, never to return. It never gets any better, although I can't say it ever gets any worse really, and it's a constant wearing on one's soul. I try to leave it at work, I really do. I want to have family time at home, and not be bothered with the trifles at work. However, this job does not let me do that. It follows me, like a gremlin, lurking behind doors and around corners, just waiting for me to let down my guard. That's my job - a gremlin. It consistently knocks down any attempt I have to get ahead, and once I do get a little ahead, I fall behind in something else. It's never ending. I used to think I disliked accounting - I really don't. I would gladly take a regular accounting job now. This is not the direction I want to go in my career, and I am stuck.

I find solace in blogging. This allows me an outlet, an escape. I have never wanted to quit a job so badly in my life, and yet I keep going. Just for a little while longer...until...I win the lottery. I guess in order to do that, I'd have to play. I am almost finished with one Christmas present - buttons have to be sewn on and a ribbon run through it, and then it's done. That will be two down. Since the knitting part of this one is finished, I count it as done. All the better for me. Now, I have just two, possibly three more gifts to make.

I'm starting earlier next year, and everyone's getting something handmade.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crochet vs. Knit, the Ultimate Showdown

Crochet gets a bad rap. Yesterday, I voluntarily helped out at my LYS, and close to closing time, we received a complaint. A woman came in who was a crocheter, and was very disappointed with the reception she had received. This slightly surprised me, since I frequent this same shop and have never received such comments. Perhaps it's because I have proven myself as a knitter, and a crocheter. I am what is jokingly referred to as "bi-craftual" - I knit and crochet. I am in bewilderment as to why knitters frown so much on crochet. I can understand them not crocheting, just as I can understand how people do not knit. However, for someone to be critical of someone else's creative outlet, is just wrong. Who is to say that one craft is better than another? Who deems one craft higher on the "art scale" than another? Is painting better than embroidery? Is sewing better than scrapbooking? Really? Who is one crafter to judge another by what craft they make?

To be honest, I knit right now more than I crochet simply because knitting is a functional craft. I need functional items. Crochet is actually more "artsy" than knitting. The items created with crochet are usually decorative (not always, but I am speaking in generalities). Crochet gives us the infamous doilies to decorate tables (and I've seen some lovely ones framed), jewelry, the occasional scarf, shawl, and sweater, amigurumi, bowls, and the ever-popular joke of the yarn world - the tissue box cover. These items are generally a strict expression of art, not something to cuddle under and keep warm. These are not items to wear while braving the cold rain and snow on a dark winter's night. These are items to brighten our homes, walls, tables, and add to the "art factor" of our lives. These are an expression, an artistic expression, of the crocheter. It's not to say that crochet can't be used for functional items; I myself have crocheted an afghan which turned out fantastically, and the recipient is still glad to have it. Without crochet, some knit projects would not work out quite as well. I have a blanket, still in time out, that needs crochet in order to be finished. The squares were knit, but a border of crochet needs to be around each square before sewn together. Another bonus of crochet I have found is finishing. I find finishing in crochet actually EASIER than in knitting. The ends are easier to weave in and hide. There are not as many lovely patterns in crochet as there are in knit, at least for functional garments. I have seen some beautiful uses of crochet in garments, but there are many more that are horrible.

My main concern is that crochet will get lost. It is a viable craft, and one that deserves some respect. After the first of the year, watch out knitters - crochet is making a comeback.

Monday, November 21, 2011


It's so close to Thanksgiving - I'm trying so hard to get stuff done. It's not all coming together; things are taking longer than anticipated, both at home and at work, and there aren't enough hours in the day. Isn't there something to help that? Tonight, I'm going to knit, rather than cook. I think tomorrow night might find me skipping Knit Night and cooking instead. I still have cleaning to do and time is running out. Fortunately, most of the cleaning is detail stuff - nothing major. We're changing out a few regular recipes at the table on Thursday; nothing major, just new recipes using the same flavors - cranberries, sweet potatoes and stuffing. The turkey is getting an update as well - a little more spice rather than so plain. It should turn out really well. Hopefully, I can update over the weekend and let you know how things turned out. And, perhaps I'll even have an FO for you! Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More progress

I finished the Triplicity, and am almost through with the Ice Skating Cape. I haven't taken pictures yet, but will soon. That means 2 Christmas gifts down, and two to go. It's slower than I hoped, but there's still time.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Crazy Christmas Crafts

I was going for alliteration in the title - it should be just knitting. I've been so busy knitting the past 2 weeks, it's not even funny. I haven't even been knitting for all the gifts either. I've been working on these:

And I had to write the pattern and knit one sock for the Sock Guild at The Whole Nine Yarns. Aren't they lovely? I didn't get a chance to take a picture before I had to give the sock to the guild, but I'm sure I can get a picture soon. Isn't it wonderful now that I have a decent camera again?

There are so many things to knit now. I'm finishing this shawl from Knit Purl Hunter; I just have to finish the edging. I'm also starting this project:

This will be several hand-knit gifts this year. I also have 2 pair of socks to make: one will probably be plain (the color alone might give the recipient a reason to complain, so we won't add a pattern into the mix), and the other one is this:

I thought these were quite nice men's socks - my only complaint is the yarn I have to make them in. It's Online Sock yarn, and I have to say it isn't as nice as other sock yarns. It's a little rougher on my hands than I'd really like, and it seems to be a little thinner. I'll finish the first sock hopefully soon and post a picture of that one for you to see.

As for Christmas, while I truly believe in looking forward to the wonderful celebration that it is, let's not forget the holiday this month: Thanksgiving. It is a time to give thanks for our blessings. Even if things aren't going as well as you hoped, or things look really bad, or you just feel like things can't get any worse, just remember: you are blessed with life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness (at least in this country - others, I'm not familiar with your constitution if you have one so I can't speak to that). Some don't even have that. There is more than likely a roof over your head, food in your house, shoes on your feet (if you're wearing them right not, or at least shoes to put ON your feet if you're not) and obviously electricity to read this. You have some sort of education because you are reading this. There is always something to be thankful for, and we should remember that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Setting up

I'm working on several projects, and pictures are forthcoming. I'm starting the Knit-a-long from Skacel and KnitPurlHunter. It's a shawlette, and should be a great Christmas gift (one down, several left to go). I'm waiting on yarn for the Ice Skating Cape from My Grandmother's Knitting (another Christmas gift). I have the yarn for the Fiddler's Mitts from that book too; I'm not sure if I can make 2 pair from the yarn I have - one for a gift and one for me (I love fingerless mitts the way some people love socks). I have some sock yarn for another gift, and some socks already started as yet another gift. I think the sock yarn that has yet to go on the needles might be knit up in one of the Sock Guild patterns from The Whole Nine Yarns. I have to look through the book to see if one of the patterns will work for the person I'm knitting them for. I chose an un-practical yarn (hand-dyed tonal pink) for this person (my mother) who is immanently practical. I think at this point in her life, she can use some impracticality. Besides, these are NOT everyday socks - they are the ultimate comfort socks. Since she's diabetic, she should pamper her feet. They usually get cold during the winter, unlike the rest of her that busts out in a sweat at the drop of a hat, and hand-knit, hand-dyed socks just for her would be great. And I think the yarn I chose is superwash, which makes it even better. I hope I have enough time to finish all the projects I have picked out. I also hope those I don't currently have a project planned for aren't upset that I didn't have time to make them something too. This is the problem with making hand-knit gifts for family.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Catching up

I seem to be catching up on some knitting. School this time around isn't all that difficult, which is nice (of course, I say this BEFORE the final, although when I looked at the syllabus I didn't see one listed and they usually list those kinds of things). I have good news as well - I now have a camera. A decent one. So, that means once I get things together, pictures will be up! Yay!
I started the Mysterious Shawl #2 from The Whole Nine Yarns, but I'm stuck. I'm waiting on Clue #3, so I started knitting a few other things. :) There are so many wonderful things to knit; you can't knit just one! I started a cardigan for Princess and finished my sock pattern for TWNY Sock Guild (I just have to type it up). I have yarn for projects out the wazoo - I just need the time to knit. I'm slowly also getting the house organized and decorated. It takes a long time, and I have to do bits and pieces at a time, but it's coming together.
Til next time (soon, I hope)!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Close, and keep going

I'm getting closer. The new pattern is almost done. I still have to get a new camera to post pictures. Once I get that, life will be good. Pictures can be posted regularly and they'll be good pictures too. I have a few items finished, and once again, a camera would be helpful.

Work is better, and so is my perspective. It takes time and patience. Knitting should teach me that, and yet, there are times I still have a lot to learn. :)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Time flies

Work has been less crazy, though still aggravating. School started back, and I feel oddly calm about it. I've been rushing to get some repair projects done, and have half of them complete. I'm going to attempt to get a third one fixed tonight; it shouldn't take me too much longer. I have TONS of projects to photograph, yet have no camera to do it with, yet. I am slowly but surely taking care of things, one item at a time on my list. I find that if I do a little bit every day and don't procrastinate, I get so much more done and life is better for everyone. If I procrastinate (can you say cleaning for the Princess's party), then we rush around like chickens with our heads cut off - there's a great old Southern saying for you - and feel exhausted in the end. It has taken some time, but I'm slowly climbing out of the funk I've been in and am going to get back on top. Climbing the mountain is hard work, but maintaining the altitude is easier. It was a long fall, and a little bumpy on the way, but it's getting better, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still waiting

I am trying to finish projects and get things posted. Somehow, life just doesn't work with me that way. I am slowly starting to get things back to normal after being in a out of work, post-baby, new job chaotic way of life. Fortunately, things are settling down and I'm getting into a groove again, only to have that groove thrown off by more work chaos and school about to start up again (I have 2 semesters to finish my master's - yay!). I am hoping to get a few things finished while still working through all of this, and planning out a few other things. Life is all about the journey, and you should make it a full one. However, sometimes I think I make mine a little too full - but no regrets! Fullness keeps you busy and at least you can never say that you wish you did such-and-such, because you did! There is the flip side of that as well, which is to take time to enjoy life. That happens too - don't let me fool you. I take lots of time to enjoy my kids and the things around me. However, you can't smell the roses forever - eventually you get used to the smell and it's no longer special. So, balance is key. That's what I'm striving for - balance. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011


There have been lots of things going on around here. There's been travel (semi-good knitting time), new fun things to see and do, new projects and a couple of new designs, growing and learning, and even some not-so-good things.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine passed away. We weren't all that close, but we had worked for 2 years together, and talked regularly. Once the company sold, we parted ways, but stayed connected via Facebook. His death was sudden (he was only 56) and anytime someone dies, it makes you think. I like the time of reflection - I think we should reflect more on our own lives sometimes and see if how we are living is truly how we should be living.

I have found recently that I am struggling to be myself again. It is not something horrendous, and I haven't become some monster, but things are not what they should be. Part of this, I think, comes from the recent death. Part of it comes from the new life that is my house. Part of it comes from certain circumstances beyond my control outside of my house. I continue on, dealing with it as best I can, and praying for it to be relieved soon. It is always a matter of time, and rarely on my schedule. But, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," and I am very weak. Whatever strength I have is not my own. Whatever keeps me going is not me. In time, I might get some of my own strength back, but for now, I have to rest on Arms bigger than mine.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Figuring it out

I'm one of those odd people that has to set their mind to something in order to do it. I have a hard time staying focused, so it's really a surprise that I ever finish anything at all. I am easily distracted by the new stuff. I am actually shocked in some ways that I finished high school and college. School was always easy for me though. Speaking of which, I will be finishing my masters in the spring. I have 4 classes left, and I hope I can continue to finish objects as well as homework over the next few months. All that, plus two small kiddos, and a full-time job, leaves little time for fun. However, hubby and I have several fun trips planned between now and then, and I should be able to relax while doing all this. It's a delicate balancing act, but it can be done. Now I'm off to finish a project and take care of two children who should be asleep. :)

Thursday, July 07, 2011


For some reason, Google Chrome will let me post, but IE won't. How odd is that? I guess from now on when I want to post, I need to use Google Chrome. At least that's an easy fix. :) I hope to now be posting more often, unless I start school again and life gets super crazy again, which it probably will.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Lost in the ether

Somewhere, I have fiberfill. I know I have at least one bag, probably two. However, it insists on hiding itself from me. I have finished projects, but for whatever reason, I can't take a decent picture, even with a video camera of them. Apparently my picture skills recently just suck.
I finished the pair of Skolnick I was working on, except for the duplicate stitching and weaving in the ends. I also finished the Pi Shawl, including blocking. I completed a felted sheep from A Felt Flock; it just needs to be stuffed. Hence the issue with the fiberfill. I know that as soon as I cannibalize one of the spare pillows around the house, the fiberfill will turn up. I was keeping the pillows for just this kind of occasion, but I know I have the bag(s) of fiberfill somewhere. I thought I could find them. I was obviously wrong.
I am currently working on a surprise project for Christmas in July at The Whole Nine Yarns. Then it's time to finish some of the other projects lying around the house. There are numerous pairs of socks, a shawl (plus 2 more in queue), two or three sweaters for me, at least one for Little Man, two or three for Princess, socks for Hubby, and the list goes on and on. In my defense, I have finished more this year than I have in a while, so I'm trying to keep the momentum going. I found yet another project bag stuffed full of half-finished projects that need to be completed. I keep thinking this year I'll be able to finish a lot of projects before starting new ones, but it never quite happens. We'll see what the last six months of this year holds.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Making Progress

I finished one repair project - a beautiful lace tablecloth. I'm still working on the Skolnick pattern, but at least the written pattern is done. I'm just test-knitting it again. I'm almost done with those, and there are so many other patterns to complete. I have so many WIPs, and there are not enough hours in the day to fit in enough knitting time to make significant progress. Now that my baby's older and not as needy, time to knit would be more except for the pesky day job thing to make a living. Still working on more knitting time though. :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Slowing down

I'm slowing down, only to have to speed back up again. I have a repair project due by the 15th, and I still need to finish Skolnick. At least I finished the pattern corrections. I'm also headed back to the gym! This means more energy and a healthier lifestyle again. My new job is working out GREAT, except that I'm so busy at work I have no time to even think about anything else. I love it, and hope that it will slow down a little in a week or so. I stepped in to a bunch of fires, and when you're fighting fires, there's no breaks. It's not overwhelming, just busy. I need to actually take a lunch away from my desk, instead of eating there.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I finally picked up knitting again. It was surprising - at my temp job, there was a knitting group! And, to beat all, most of them were new knitters. So, lots of help was needed. One other woman was an experienced knitter, and she had apparently taught several people to knit. The great thing is that it made me pick up a project again. I picked up Skolnick, to figure out what was wrong with the pattern. I realized I had written the chart incorrectly (minor boo-boos) but I have now fixed it and can put up the corrected version. I will also be finishing them soon (my own pair). I also still have to repair several projects, and once this semester is over, I will hopefully bang those out and return them to the EXTREMELY patient people who asked for the repairs to be done. Fortunately for me, I now have a new job to look forward to (a permanent one) and will hopefully continue to knit there during lunches once or twice a week. There are other goals as well to be reached, and I will need time to get everything into a routine once again. But it's coming. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Holy Guacamole, Batman!

I cannot believe how fast time has flown, and I still have yet to pick up my needles this year. I've been reading like crazy, but no knitting or crocheting. I have also been busy conducting a job search, which has led to a whole lot of interviews, one job offer, and still no work. I can hear you saying to yourself, who on earth would not take a job offered with 10% unemployment in the state of Georgia?! I would, if the price was too low. When the salary won't meet your needs (and I do mean needs, no wants here), it's foolish to take a job that will inevitably hang you upside down.

I have several projects that desperately need completion, and I haven't even picked up the needles yet. I have pants to match the February baby sweater, which ironically cannot be worn in February, because it's too flippin' warm to wear. Oh well - I need to get those pants done anyway and put the buttons on the sweater so it can be worn. I'm secretly hoping for a cold snap so the outfit can be shown off on the Princess.

This week will be a cleaning frenzy; taxes, Little Man's room and toys/playroom, the master bedroom, the desk, and Princess's room all need serious work. I have one interview this week on Thursday, and the rest of the week is free for cleaning. I hope that once the cleaning is done, job searching will be easier (or at least easier to focus on for me). Once that happens, maybe I can start working on other projects I need to finish.

Friday, January 21, 2011


You would think not having a job would give me more time to knit. It really gives me less. I'm surprised at how little knitting I've actually done in the past 2 weeks. I don't think I've even picked up my needles. I have several repair projects to work on, and I am hoping to tackle one of those next week. It seems like there is always something to be done, and never knitting. School and homelife continue to get in the way, but then, I wouldn't trade my children for anything in the world, even knitting time! I love listening to and watching my son play, and I love seeing my baby girl be fascinated with her hands. They are sweet and aweing. Here's to more work for me! :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's that time again, for a new year to begin. Goals are made; some kept and some broken. This year, there are a lot of goals to be made, from a new job to personal goals to knitting and crocheting. First things first: I HAVE to finish some projects that have been waiting. Second, there are some personal items to take care of, and one has already turned into a war. Who knew that a 4 year old could be so stubborn? Third, hopefully this year will bring some payoffs, like a new job and a new degree.

The Christmas presents that were hand-knit were well received by all. Everyone loved their gift, and went home happy. :) That's a bonus. Maybe next year we can do a hand-made Christmas, but only if I get a move on it and work on projects throughout the year.

I hope everyone had a terrific holiday season, and can keep the memories of it throughout the year.