Saturday, April 12, 2014

Finally, Spring

Since I last posted, we went through some sad times. About the time of my last post, my nephews flew their mom to Montana and put her straight into the hospital to detox her. My sister in law started drinking when she was 12 or 13 years old. At first things seemed like they would be ok. That there would be a good outcome. She was in BAD shape when she got to Montana. But everything started going wrong after about a week. They had a treatment program all lined up for her, but she never made it there. She died on them, they revived her and put her on life support, but when they started easing her off the meds, she didn't wake up. I wouldn't want to be in the position my niece and nephews were in having to take their mother (age 55) off life support. It was really, really hard on everyone. When you hear people talk about getting sober, there is a lot of talk about 'rock bottom'. When someone hits there, they will truly WANT to get sober. But not everyone has a rock bottom. My sister in law was a wonderful, fun, kind person. She was a fun aunt and the girls will miss her so much. Brent misses her a lot. They used to talk quite a bit. That was who he could call when their mom was getting on his nerves. At the same time, we lost one of my aunts. First her husband, my Dad's little brother passed away in January. She only outlived him by a month and a half. My kids loved those two dearly as well. The last half of the winter here was ROUGH to say the least.

Spring has come and things have to get better. That said, when Brent started the rototiller up in the garden this morning, it blew out a rod and is toast. We can't afford to replace it, either. I am confident that things will turn around. I've been working on new ideas for my etsy shops and I'm feeling really positive on that front.

I've been knitting all through the hiatus. I have most of a purple penguin sweater knit. ALL of the blue horse sweater is finished. AND. A lost knitting book was found! If that isn't an awesome turn of events, I don't know what is. To my knowledge, I only have one other lost knitting book. When it turns up, all will be perfect again!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why I Love Low Tech

I almost had a huge disaster yesterday. I dropped my tablet and I couldn't get it to come back on. Previously, I hadn't worried much about the documents I keep on the tablet. My tablet is fine now, but after a lot of worry, I got all the important stuff stored in 'the cloud' and I can now access them from anywhere. When I was holding that thing and couldn't get it to come back to life, all I could think was that my work was all lost. In the past, I didn't want to store my stuff in the cloud, it was just so much easier to just have it on my pc or tablet. Technology can be wonderful, and also the bane of your existence. I have a friend who dislikes technology and seems to think that if she doesn't allow it in her house, it will go away. Ha. But it is nice to have a friend who likes low tech stuff as much as I do. Some of my favorite low tech stuff: my hand powered can opener, my hand crank coffee grinder, our french press, and, of course, our old school cheese/potato/chocolate/anything shredder. To operate those things, all I need is hands. They don't quit working and nothing is lost if it can't quit working.

Today, the sun is shining! That means knitting pictures:

First, the socks I've been working on. I have worn the first pair I made that are orange and red and love them. These are made with a different MSF yarn.

And now the sweater. It has come a long way. I am hoping to finish it this weekend. I hope it fits Knitter#2. If it doesn't, I will be upset. I don't have extra yarn to make it bigger or longer. No one likes to work on a project for a long time and have it turn out too small. The worst of it is I can practically see Knitter#2 growing. Her feet are almost as big as mine. I am pretty sure that even if the sweater fits her now, it won't in the fall. The risks you take knitting something for your kids.

Saturday, February 08, 2014


It is snowing. It has been snowing for days. If I'd known that whining about our lack of snow on my blog would work, I could have done that the day after Christmas! In spite of the fact that it started snowing on Thursday, it didn't really start to pile up until last night. It was too cold before. Now it is even warmer and there are big fluffy bits falling from the sky. No complaints here.

Snow makes it perfect knitting weather. I've gotten the mug cozy I showed here the other day all figured out and almost finished. I can't decide if I want to make several more for the pictures or just stop at one. I think I will probably make more. They are fun, quick, useful, and I have lots of worsted remnants to use making them. What I really need to do is finish the horse sweater I was making for Christmas. I haven't touched it lately and I think it is starting to feel unloved. The last time I took a picture it was just a few inches of blue knitted up. Now it really looks like something. The next one up on the list has penguins on it. It was also supposed to be for christmas. This year I will make a mental note about not doing any swaps when I am working on Christmas projects.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Cold Anyone?

I've been knitting a lot lately. Yay! I love getting time to knit. I'm getting closer to done with the first Christmas sweater. For the past week I have been working on some patterns for the shop, so I've been neglecting the sweater a bit. My brother was also in the house and he is allergic to wool, so I packed up a lot of my projects and got them out of the way while he was here. He headed over to our other siblings house Monday afternoon, so I dug everything back out. While he was here, I mostly worked on this:

It is a design for my pattern shop made with my Moon Stone Farm Wool Bamboo yarn in Red. The yarn is soft, I just love it. I've also been working on writing up the pattern for this little thing:

I couldn't believe it, but I never wrote down any notes when I made it. No needle size, no stitch count, no nothing. It is driving me nuts. I try a new needle size every day. I will have it down soon. And this is an updated shot of some green shorty socks I've had on cute little circular needles for a while:

These are the Pom Pom Peds pattern from Purl Soho (ravelry link).

You know, I really thought last winter was a long, cold haul. This year gave it a run for its money and has beat it. We haven't had as much snow and below zero cold here in the Northwest, but it has been cold. Last January it got cold and stayed that way. This January it got cold, foggy, and hazy thanks to a couple inversions. I'm sick of being cold. But at least the sun is back. If you have some extra snow, send it here. We are a bit short so far. Whatever you have left, send to California. Someone Brent and I know went through Donner Pass a while back and he said there was almost no snow there.

We are well into the New Year now. How are my goals going you ask? Hmm. Some not so good. Some, much better.

  1. I am going to knit more with my own yarn. Great!
  2. I am going to knit at least 6 big projects that I already have the yarn for Still working on this
  3. Keep up with an exercise schedule Eh. I am having a HARD time getting into it
  4. Drink 4 jars of water every day So so. One week good, another not.

I really don't know how to get myself more enthused about getting into my exercise. The past couple of weeks have been a bit off because my uncle was in the hospital and then the nursing home with terminal cancer. It was sudden and quick. Anyway, maybe things will start to get back on track, now.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things Looking Up

This January is getting interesting. Brent's business is doing better and I've already sold more hair sticks this month than I did last January. Hopefully I will sell some yarn this month, too. My dream is to spend my days making hair accessories and dyeing yarn. Of course, I do want room for knitting.

I wanted to finish the sweaters for Christmas, but that didn't happen. I am still working on the one for Knitter #2. And a pair of green pom pom peds. I love that pattern. Simple, easy, and I love that style of socks. After I finish the green socks, I have some other socks on the needles to work on. After the sweater, I will start Knitter #3's sweater. I hope I can get both of the sweaters done while it is still sweater weather.

Last year when I got septic shock, I had no idea the changes one day would bring in my life. Maybe not everyone is changed by coming so close to death, but I was. There are things that I just don't care that much about anymore. And other things have become more important. When I came home, I read stories online of people whose experiences were so awful. Energetic people who never completely regained their strength. I realized how lucky I was to be in the right hospital at the right time. I appreciate the life I have a lot more. I hug my kids and laugh with them every chance I get. Most of all, I appreciate what a gift my husband is. He spent every night with me in the hospital except the last night when I was out of the ICU and in a regular room. He said anyone could do that. But not everyone DOES. That is love and devotion. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful man.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sewing Underwear!

The new year is going right along around here. Today I did something I should have done ages ago. I made my own underwear. I looked at tutorials on it ages ago. YEARS. Anyway, I was down to my last pair of underwear, so before I put them on the other day, I traced out a pattern for it. I think they turned out fantastic:

I am betting myself that they will last longer than any you can buy because they are made with better fabric. A few years ago I bought a bunch of knit fabric remnants at JoAnn's. Now they are coming in handy. It has been a long time since I could change my underwear every single day of the week. I am going to be doing that very soon.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending the Year Right

It is that time of year again. The end. I love Christmas break and not having to go anywhere. This year I decided it was definitely time to clean out the craft area. It had sort of downgraded into a pit of awfulness. It was horrible. I couldn't sew or do any actual crafting there. There really aren't any good descriptive words I can think of. Worst of all, it is part of our living room, so it isn't like you can just hide the mess. Nope, its right there for EVERYONE to see. But now it is a lot better. I have cleared out junk (and there was A LOT of it), moved furniture, reorganized, and thought about giving up and crying once or twice. Or more. I am not done yet, but it is not the eyesore it was a week ago. I no longer have to make hair sticks in the kitchen. Yes!!!

I have realized that I have WAY more yarn than I thought I did. WAY more. We may be pretty darn broke right now, but there is no reason I can't keep knitting for the next couple years. None at all. And that in no way takes into account the yarn I dye and sell. I finally threw away some of the yarn that was really old and had been kicking around the family for about 60 years. More than my 41 years, anyway. And I bagged up some to donate. The rest gets to stay and be made into stuff.

For years my husband has been saying I have way too much yarn. It turns out he was right. So this year I am going to just knit things I have the yarn on hand for. I have a bunch of yarn that was bought for particular projects, so I will start with them. There is a long sleeved, hooded sweater with cables, a wrap thing, and a vest just for starters.

Today I am letting the kids get started on putting away the Christmas stuff. This year I let them set up the trains and the Christmas village all by themselves. They loved it and they even seem to be enjoying putting it all away. Generally, we wait and do everything on the first, but Brent has hinted that he won't be able to start his resolution if it is all still out. Apparently, if he can't get up and use the weight bench, it just can't happen. And if my husband is actually interested in doing something to better his health, I am ALL about making it work for him.

And now we get to my resolutions. I like to make them because I am always changing things up in my life and trying to make something better. Here they are:

  1. I am going to knit more with my own yarn.
  2. I am going to knit at least 6 big projects that I already have the yarn for
  3. Keep up with an exercise schedule
  4. Drink 4 jars of water every day

Some of those resolutions may need some explanation. Knitting “my own yarn” means my Moon Stone Farm Yarn that I sell on Etsy. Projects an Ravelry are yet another way to promote it. Keeping up with an exercise schedule means doing it regularly. I have been sporadic with it most of the fall and not really getting myself into a schedule. I use my exercise bike here and there, run for a week, etc. Exercising, but not on a schedule. I like a schedule. And I like to feel like I am getting stronger. The water. Ever since my kidney stone surgery, I am supposed to drink a ton of water every day. So I have these 4 canning jars I fill with water every day. They are 24 oz jars and one of them has a special drinking lid Brent made for me that is fitted with a stainless steel straw. I have a really hard time getting to that 4th jar every day. When I do, it makes feel great.

I hope every one out there has a fantastic new year!