Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I have a confession to make.  I really secretly like to wash dishes.  I secretly like putting away clothes.  I actually like housework.  I now understand why my mother-in-law doesn't want a dishwasher.  It's actually soothing, in some sick twisted way, to wash dishes.  I really do love having a stack of dishes to wash, making it through all of them, and looking to see a clean counter.  I can't say that I would go as far as not having a dishwasher, but I do enjoy washing some pots and pans from time to time.

My whole house is going to ring in the new year sick, with me as the only exception.  The children picked up a cold somewhere along the way, and have been under the weather.  It seems my hubby has caught the same cold, and so far, I'm the only one who has not come down with it.  It will probably strike at the worst possible moment, like on Friday, during work, when it's my busiest time.  In preparation for the worst, I am working over the holiday.  I had a surprise project given the week prior to Christmas, and that ate up my time to finish things.  So, I'm trying to make up for it.

In the meantime, I'm still working on the sweater for Little Man's birthday, and I've been reading.  I received several of the YarnHarlot's books for Christmas, and I already finished one and started another one.

This one, "Things I Learned from Knitting...whether I wanted to or not" is a fast read.  I think it took me about a week, and I only picked it up for 15 minutes here and there.

How are you ringing in the new year?

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Endeavors

This past year seems to have been rough.  My friend at Knot Knecessarily Knitting had a rough year too.  I think 2014 was rough for a lot of us.  I have started Little Man's birthday sweater.  He decided on the color Gold from Valley Yarns Berkshire.  I picked out the pattern Lancelot, and he approved.

He liked it, so did I and I bought the pattern.  I don't buy many patterns, but this one I think is well worth it.  Honestly, I wish I had purchased it earlier.  It would have helped move the Business Casual socks along a little faster I think.  She uses the same idea in the cables, but approaches them slightly differently.  It's clever to me, and it would have been useful.  Oh well - live and learn.  And now that I have the pattern, if I decide to make the Business Casual socks again (I'm thinking perhaps for my Sister-in-Love for Christmas this next year?), it will speed them up a bit.

I have the goal of knitting 3 sweaters for myself this year.  I'm also thinking on the first one as I knit this one.  I plan on finding my copy of Knitter's Workshop and knit the hybrid sweater.  It starts from the bottom up, which is what makes me think of it while knitting the birthday sweater.  It too starts from the bottom up.  It's a new technique for me, as I usually prefer from the top down.  I'm not opposed to bottom up, but top down seems easier to me.  So far though on Lancelot, so good.  I really do like it, and the yarn is nice and soft.  It doesn't have a lot of twist, so you have to be careful not to split it.  I like it, and even the color.  I'm not usually a yellow fan, but I like the gold.  What are you working on?  How are you planning to ring in the new year?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fun planning

There's an oxymoron for you: fun planning.  It sounds like a contradiction, but in reality, it's not.  I have been looking on Pinterest, which is dangerous for any crafty person, and finding ideas for the new year in being organized.  I love the idea of the Bullet Journal, and went to get a composition journal.  It's a simple investment, and an easy one.  The website suggests one that is way more expensive, but I just made a simple $2.89 investment from Office Max.  That way, if it isn't for me, I didn't spend $30 on one.

I'll see how it works for a month or two.  It will be lighter to carry around in my purse than my Day Runner, but I got a refill for that one too.  I'm going to use that one at home, and the Bullet Journal at work.  I can transfer things weekly into the Day Runner, and use the Day Runner more for business ideas.  I don't mean "business" as in work; I mean "business" as in my own.  It's been an idea my hubby and I have been kicking around for a couple of years, and this year, we're going to be intentional about it.  It's hard with three children and a house - but we have to be more intentional about a lot of things.  Have you started planning for the new year?  How do you plan?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Where am I going?

This next year, and I'm trying to start now, is going to be about being intentional.  So, let's get started.  First, remember these?

They were wrapped and gifted to my mom.  She unwrapped them, and said she really liked them on Christmas Day (yesterday).  Then, once she got home, she tried them on.  She then called, and asked for three more pair.  She said they fit wonderfully, and since there was no seam on the toe, they didn't hurt her foot.  She asked if she gave me money for the yarn, would I be willing to make her 3 more pair?  How can any knitter refuse?  She said no rush, there's no time constraint, but she wants 3 more pair to wear to work.

Do you remember these?

Or at least me telling you about was a free pattern from The Purl Bee.  I added bows to differentiate between them for the children.  The purple was for the baby, the red for Little Man, and the pink for Princess.  The bow pattern I also promised to post, so here it is:

Easy Bow

Yarn: a few yards of a light worsted or dk weight yarn
Needles: size US 4 (I used DPNs, because I used them for the hedgehogs and they were handy)

Cast on 8 stitches.
Row 1: Knit all stitches.
Row 2: K 1, P 6, K1.

Repeat these 2 rows 20 more times (42 rows total).  Bind off.
Sew ends together.  Fold circle in half, so that the seam is in the middle of the back.  Sew the top and bottom edges together.  Fold in a zigzag pattern; wrap yarn around the middle and tie in the back.

There you go.  The children loved those as well, although the kazillion other toys have a tendency to overshadow this type of toy.

This next year, I hope to be more intentional.  I have several projects already lined up, and I will post progress here about them.  Will you help hold me accountable?  A friend of mine is embarking on a similar journey.  She has set forth goals for herself and she's starting today (she was a Christmas baby).  She's calling it the 35th project, and you can read about it here.  I need some encouragement, and she and I are working together to meet a couple of goals.  Send us your thoughts and best wishes.  Any constructive criticism is welcome, but meanness is not.  You know the rules.  Let's help each other out - if you want me to hold you accountable, put your goal/email/website in the comments, and I'll make a note to check with you on it.  If I can do it, so can you.  It takes us helping each other to reach monumental goals, and there's no better time than the present to start.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas and other things

It's been a mad house around here.  Hardly anything is ready for Christmas, although I did take it easy on myself and only did a few knitted presents this year.  The ones I made were mostly by request - the rest of the gifts were bought.  I managed to find and make a few surprises, like these:

I found the pattern on The Purl Bee, and had to make one for each of my children.  Aren't they adorable?  One has a pink hair bow, one has a purple hair bow, and one has a red bow tie.  I kind of made up the bow pattern.  I'll share that later, after pictures.  I'm working on wrapping presents and I am finishing the last of the knitted ones.  I found I had extra time and yarn, and so I'm adding to what I already have.  It's actually rather nice to not be in a rush to get things done, feel a time crunch, and be in a panic.  I love Christmas, and little by little, I'm already starting to plan next year's.  I know that sounds insane, but if I can get organized now, and figure out what I need/want, then next year I can put in a game plan and start early enough so that it's not a hassle.  I'm also looking towards the new year, and thinking about how I need to work that as well.  There are a lot of changes that I really want to make, things I want to make progress on, projects I want to complete, and the like.  I'm trying to take some time to reflect on this past year and create a game plan for next year, to make it better.  Quite frankly, I had a rather crappy year.  I had a lovely new baby girl added to our family, but work had severe issues, money was a problem (try a HUGE bill from said new baby), and there was little to no progress in some other areas.  Next year, I'm going after it all.  It sounds like a lot, but there's that old Chinese proverb - "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  So, each day, you wake up and think about what you can do to take one step.  After a whole 365 days of stepping, you've made progress.  I don't anticipate completing everything this next year, but I want to make progress on it.  There are some things I definitely want to accomplish (some teaching tools, more crocheted items, a plan of attack for all holidays), and there are things that I want to make progress on (work, money issues, personal growth).  Getting a game plan is the best way to do that, and I'm getting there.  It's slow, and I really do have to actually sit down with a piece of paper and pencil (I'm seriously old-school with that - I need a pencil, not a pen, as I make a lot of mistakes and need to erase a lot).  I need to create categories and write down the goal for that category, and then steps to reach that goal.  The new year holds a lot of promise, and I want that promise to be fulfilled.  My theme for this next year is "Be Intentional."  Everything we do should be intentional - with a purpose and a goal in mind.  Even having fun should be intentional - we need to let off steam and create memories with our children.  Be in the moment, for once the moment is gone, it can never be regained.  Do you have plans for the new year already?  How's your holiday season shaping up?