Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turning the Heel

I know I said this before, but my main reason for learning to knit was so that I could make socks.  I loved the idea of hand-knitted socks.  Great gifts, small projects, and really cool.  Plus, if you get into yarn, you realize that there is a crazy amount of really cool yarns specifically made for socks.  They self-stripe, are variegated, some even "self pattern" (which is way cool).  You can put patterns on socks and have a really pretty lacy thing or a cabled thing.

Plus, socks keep your feet warm and my feet always seem to be cold, so having lots of warm yummy socks is just amazing.

I still think that turning the heel is a little bit of magic.  Every time I get to the part in the pattern that says "turn heel," I get a little giddy and look forward to following the instructions and having it turn out just like it's supposed to.  On the current sock I'm knitting, the heel turn is different than the others I've done.  And it's definitely magic.  I'm in the middle of it (had to go to bed last night despite my desire to finish it up) and you know what?  I can't stop thinking about it because I want to finish it and say "wow" definitely magic.

The other cool part about turning the heel is that when you're at that point in the sock construction (either toe up or top down), you are turning a corner.  Taking on a new direction and somehow, magically, keeping them together at the same time.

I feel a little like I'm at that point in my life.  I'm turning a corner, and I honestly don't know what I'm going to see when I finish all this "heel turning."  I wish my real-life heel turning was a little more magical than it is...I could certainly use a little undefined good graces these days.

Today's picture is of the heel turn in the black and yellow socks I made for the quilt bee.  I believe Alyssa wears these socks every chance she gets.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tired and Cranky

I woke up tired and cranky this morning.  I'm not sure why, but I just did.  I wish I didn't because I don't like starting my day this way--and it's such a beautiful day too.  I feel like I have to dig myself out of a giant hole to get happy again...

And I had a good weekend.  I started weaving a gift for someone.  Lovely colors.  Wish I could share, but I don't want to spoil the that picture will have to wait a few months.

I did a good bit of knitting because it is football season after all.  Almost finished with the socks.  Very cute and tiny.  It's funny seeing the last two pairs of socks together since one of them is for a large man's foot and the other is for a small woman's foot.

SO...I really should be a whole lot less cranky at least, but I'm not.  Hopefully the day will improve.

Today's picture is of that tiny little sock.  LOVE!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


(*Note:  I wanted to write this post yesterday but I didn't get around to it.  I'm MAKING it happen today even though I have a giant pile of sticky notes with things to do on them because I like the idea so much and I want to write it but the timing is impeccable...and if I write it today at least I'll have be able to say, hey this was supposed to happen yesterday but it didn', on to writing the thing*)

88!  88 has always been a really cool number to me.  Look at it.  The symmetry is pretty impressive, two infinity symbols side by side proudly holding up and supporting their roundness... but then when you think about the fact that half of 88 is 44 and half of 44 is 22 and half of 22 is 11, then you have to think that the number is pretty darn amazing.

But what brought that number to mind yesterday was that that was how many days I had left before we go on our trip to London, and that's pretty darn exciting!

AND, looking at the number 88 reminded me that that's the year I graduated from high school...and that made me think that 25 years ago I was starting my senior year...well...that's pretty impressive too. (and very hard to wrap my mind around because despite the fact that my daughters are 20 years old and I have veritable proof that all this time has passed, I just don't believe it!).

So, one little number, 88, is cool, amazing, exciting and impressive.

And in all that time since I graduated from high school I have been a cross stitcher, quilter, needlepointer, weaver and knitter.  I got married, had two babies, graduated from college, graduated from a master's program, went and did all the course work for a doctoral program, worked at several jobs and then graduated with my Ph.D....well, I've made pretty darn good use of those 25 years and I'm proud of who I am and what I've accomplished...and today I just wanted to share that with you because in 87 days (not nearly so pretty or impressive) we're going to London to celebrate a whole bunch of that, and that IS very exciting!

Today's picture is of the socks I'm making for Aaryn's mom.  This is of the bottom where I've begun the "arch expansion."  I love this sock construction (made it once before with modifications for the bee stripe socks) and the arch expansion just looks so darn cool, impressive and exciting that I had to share it on this day of 88...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I'm Actually Sitting at My Desk

...and it's a rather unusual feeling.  I haven't done this in at least a couple of weeks...and while I have a ton of work to do, it's so nice I'm reveling in the fact that I don't have to be anywhere or deal with anyone for a while...

I'd like to back up and talk about being busy.  I like to be busy.  I hardly ever REALLY sit still and do nothing.  But there is a level of busy that's intolerable, and that's where I've been with work recently (I think it's been about a month, but it crept up on me so it's hard to say when exactly it started).  At any rate, I have been very stressed about work and getting everything done that I need to get done and it's affecting other parts of my life that I really don't want it to--my sleep, my family time, my crafting time, and my overall general feeling of "wellness."

It's the latter that's gotten me concerned.  I can lose sleep from time to time, and my family has to be the most forgiving of people to put up with me lately (and they are, and I appreciate that).  And while I love crafting, I do have perspective that it isn't EVERYTHING in life and that if I don't get to do it as much as I want, I can still knit or weave or otherwise create a little bit each day and that's definitely better than nothing. But when I'm in general not happy and in general thinking about how stressful things are, then, well, that's when things have gone too far.

Tomorrow is going to be another "one of those days" but I'm hoping after that that things calm down, that I can breathe and relax and actually do the job I've been hired to do well.  It's not going to be a bad day, just busy.  And I think I can handle it.

Today's picture is of the sock I've started for Aaryn's mom.  I finished her dad's socks this weekend and immediately started the pair for her mom.  These are "toe-up."  I think it looks like a little bitty hat.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This week was rough...

This week was rough.  I didn't know how I was going to make it through, and now that it's Friday and I'm sitting at home waiting on David to bring home some pizza for dinner, I'm thinking about how grateful I am that I did make it through.  I thought at some point I might just throw up my hands and walk out.  It's been that kind of rough.

And to be honest last week was like this.  And the week before that.  And the week before that.  As I think about how many weeks before that it's been rough, I'm easily going back to June.  There were a couple of slow weeks in May that were rough because they were boring, but mostly it's just been very difficult to get through the workweek without feeling like I'm just going to collapse.

I know this makes me a difficult person to live with.  I wish it didn't, but I have such a strong desire to do a good job and I feel like I never can catch up or keep up or whatever else I need to do, and I feel like the work I do can only be "so" good because I don't have time to pause, reflect and double check it.

And that means that I've been awfully tired and frustrated.  This affects my desire and ability to craft and that frustrates me because crafting is a major source of satisfaction and stress relief.  And I honestly don't know what to do about that cycle.

Today's picture is of my Olympic yarn all would up into a yarn cake.  This was before I found out that it was a major mess of a yarn cake, but there it is.  I think yarn cakes are almost as lovely as regular cakes!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's like I'm a new me

I was looking at a needlepoint that I bought sometime a year or so ago (probably more like 2 but I don't want to admit how fast time is flying) and thinking how I don't work on it anymore.  How I would usually watch football and needlepoint or work on needlepoint (or cross stitch) when my friends were over for crafting night.

But somehow, knitting stole its way into my psyche and now IT's what I DO.

And it's strange because knitting wasn't something that came naturally to me, but now it's what I think about, plan to do, and do at an alarming rate.  I have projects started, more printed out than I could do in a lifetime, yarn purchased for that perfect sweater, and now I don't know which pattern that was, yarn I want to buy but don't because I have too many other things "on the go" and really need to be focused on saving some money.

I also don't read much anymore.  I was looking at my kindle which is beside my bed this morning and realized that I haven't read in at least 2 nights, if not more.  At one point in time recently, I mourned that me that wasn't reading...and from time to time I do wonder what's come over me, but I have come to accept that I'm just in a different phase of my life.  And it doesn't mean that I'm digressing or not "me" but that I'm discovering new things...

...and apparently reveling in it!

Last night I was so very tired.  Went to bed at 8:30, but I still managed to squeeze some knitting in there.  It was nice feeling the needles and yarn in my hands and relaxing some.  I think it was the most relaxed I'd been all day.  I enjoyed making a little progress on my sock.  It's fun seeing the color changes and how the little bits of colors interact with each other.  While I'm making something for someone I always think about that person and how they might enjoy it.  I don't know the man who is getting the sock I'm making, so it's kind of weird thinking about someone I don't know, but yet I do.

Today's picture is of the black and white houndstooth scarf I made for my friend Catherine.  She's a big Alabama fan.  This scarf was in my head for almost a year before I finally got to make it.  I love it and hope she does too!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's Kind of Funny

It's funny how I spent the entire week last week crafting away and didn't post but one entry of all my accomplishments!  I made:  a blanket, a pair of socks, a hat and 2 scarves.  I worked and worked and really had a great time being on our hurricane vacation.  It was so wonderful to sleep late, craft when I felt like it, watch TV when I wanted to, eat, play and basically relax for a week. Our weather wasn't bad (thankfully).  We had rain, and a good bit of it, but none of it was so heavy or awful that we even flooded our porch (and our porch always floods).

Plus I got to bring Lochi home, so that was wonderful.  She's been being spoiled rotten.  I told David last night that in our attempt to make her last few months nice, we'll probably be spoiling her for 8 more years.  She seems to be doing well, btw.  Her cold is slowly going away and she is getting more feisty and energetic.

Other than that, there really wasn't much to "report" from the time off for the hurricane.  I don't want to have another break like that, but it was nice that we could actually enjoy it and not fret and worry about everything.

Today's picture is of some maroon socks I started for my friend's dad.  He wanted ankle socks, so I've already turned the heel and am working on the foot.  I LOVE Malabrigo yarn--their sock is amazing...and so soft.  They make a heavenly pair of socks.