Friday, May 31, 2013

A Weekend Beckons

I'm happy about the upcoming weekend.  Happier than I've been about a weekend in a while.  I foresee some serious relaxation ahead...some quiet time to knit and weave.  I hope to get the last of my art hung on the walls (I don't know why this has taken me so long!).  I expect to have time to chill, enjoy sleeping in, and just being quiet for a while.

Coming back from vacation is hard...coming back to a couple of really busy work days and then having nothing to do for a couple of days is even more difficult.  That vacation mentality keeps whispering in my ear and saying "see you could have taken a few more days off..."

I have to slap that vacation mentality back.  Responsible people work.  I'm responsible.  Therefore, I must work.


But since I'm at work and having to find things to occupy my time, let me talk about knitting socks.  I've become a little obsessed with knitting socks right now.  It's really all I want to do.  All those skinny sweaters I started?  I've balked because I'm worried that they're going to end up being too big.  I fret that I'm going to put all these weeks of work into them and then have to rip them back out because I didn't know what size I was going to be in the end, or what proportion (will I keep the boobs or lose them?  The jury is still out...) I'm avoiding working on them.  I probably need to just admit that I need to pull out what I've done so for (few have gotten more than a couple of inches knitted on them) and then put them in a bag with the pattern and wait for the goal weight to happen.  That's the sensible thing...and what I'm leaning towards.  And in the meantime, all I want to do is knit socks.

I indulged that need during vacation.  I finished the cabled socks that I love so much.  I'll put a pic of them up later.  But then I immediately started a pair from the Vesper Sock Yarn Club that I'm in...the colorway is called Spring Ahead!  They came in while I was living at the apartment and were the perfect color to cheer me make me hopeful that things will indeed eventually clear up and work out.  That one day, I'll be back in my house, sitting in my living room, and thoroughly enjoying my house again.

So, I decided to knit them using a simple simple pattern that I've done before (all those gorgeous stripes do not need patterns trying to compete).  They have a garter stitch short row heel and toe and can be knit from the toe up or the top down.  I worked from the toe up on the first intending to go the other way on the second (but changed my mind because I wasn't sure that the stripes going reverse would really look that good next to each other), and when I got the heel completed, I slipped the sock on to check fit...and this is what I saw:

And I knew that this sock wasn't a crew length, but was an ankle sock.  The first sock was quickly finished off and the second cast on.  I've made three pairs of the Vesper socks now and each time I've made them almost identical without trying.  I find that to be quite interesting.  You really won't be able to tell on the second sock that it isn't exactly like the first unless you look really really closely at the toe or the cast off edge.  And I doubt many people will be doing that.

And I'm trying really hard to create non-identical hand-knit socks! ha!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Hi all!  I'm back.  Sorry to have been gone for so long, but vacation was, well, vacation.  I unplugged, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed not working.  Almost 2 weeks of that.

Then, of course, I returned to work and found things rather intense.  Stuff I thought was due next week, was actually needed that day.  My aunt had gotten very ill and was touch and go for a couple of days.  It was rather stressful, indeed.

And I find it really hard to deal with stress when I'm coming from a relative position of total stress-free.  I don't get "geared up" for it very easily.  I resist being stressed out.  I hate it.  I avoid it.  And yet, sometimes it rears its ugly head and I don't quite know how to handle it.  In this particular situation I just let it roll on past me.  I did what I could, worked hard, and managed to get everything done that I needed to do.  And so it goes.

But, back to vacation, which I know you're dying to know about.  Thursday was a day off to luxuriate and pack.  Friday we left for Lexington.  The drive seemed to take longer, though we didn't deal with any traffic...our stops were longer than anticipated and we got off to a late start.  Saturday we slept in a little and then went to the "Sheep and Fiber Festival."  Now, what I was expecting were sheep...and of course vendors to buy yummy yarns.  The vendors were there, but I did not see one single live sheep at all.  I was sorely disappointed.  The festival lasted for 2 days, but I was done in about 2 hours.  While I am terrifically glad that we went, I will need to tame my desire to attend these things to the "biggies" least if I'm going to travel that far.

SO, my desire to meet up with sheep, is, well, still a desire.

After the festival we had time to run out to Shaker Village for the afternoon where we looked at exhibits, walked around and enjoyed the beauty of the countryside.  It was a great day, beautiful weather and just all around relaxing and fun.  We came back into town and in our search for Outback found Chuy's so ate dinner there.  Yum.

On Sunday we slept in again, went to the local bookstore Joseph Beth, and went to our friend, Brent's wedding.  It was a beautiful ceremony, and the picture below is David and I all dolled up for the ceremony.  I think we're looking "real good"...don't you? (as of yesterday I'm down a total of 38.8 pounds and David 56...we feel amazing...simply amazing).  We then drove around and looked at our old houses.  That's always an interesting exercise.  That night we met some other friends from grad school for dinner at Bella Notte.  It's gotten better over the years.  Wonderful food and better company.

On Monday we drove up to Holmes County, OH, where we arrived at our hotel.  Our plan that day was to totally chill, which we did.  On Tuesday, we decided that the rock hard pillows at the hotel were not going to work for another 2 nights, so we drove into Canton and bought some pillows and I went to a yarn shop there because I could.  Then we went to Kidron where we shopped for furniture at Eastwood Furniture.  We bought a living room suit which will be hand crafted and delivered to us sometime in late July or August.  Then we tooled around some more driving around the countryside, and went back to the hotel in the afternoon to relax a little before dinner.  Wednesday was more of the same (without the big purchase).  

On Thursday we got up very early and drove home.  I don't want to talk about the drive because it was awfully stressful with terrible terrible traffic.  We made it home safely and I didn't completely lose my mind, so I guess in the end it was all ok. 

Then for the weekend (and it was a long one, thank goodness) I knitted.  I completed some beautiful socks (pictures later, I promise) and started another pair (almost finished with them).  All-in-all it was fabulous to just SIT and do nothing.  It was a great all-around vacation.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Tomorrow David and I leave for our week long trek into the places we used to live and relax.

Actually I've been looking forward to this vacation quite a lot.  I've been in a huge need of some time away from work, some time to relax, refresh and really enjoy being who I am and being with the man I'm with.  It'll be wonderful in all kinds of ways.  I hope the weather holds and we get to enjoy seeing the beauty of the landscape as we drive north...rather than dealing with a lot of rain.  I do hate traveling in the rain.

Oh well, not much to do about it.

One thing that's making me laugh a bit about this trip is that I'm not being my typical self.  I haven't figured out what I'm going to bring for my knitting.  I haven't even thought about it much. I know I'll pack more projects than I can possibly manage to finish, but that's not the point of travel knitting.  The point of travel knitting is to keep me from going bonkers in the car until we get there and to relax me before bedtime.  Either way, I think it's interesting that I've not been obsessing like usual about all the projects I need to take.

I do know that at the end of this vacation I'll have a new pair of cabled socks, (hopefully) some good progress on my first skinny sweater, and be finished with the cursed scarf that I hate knitting but love touching and looking at.  The latter is probably a pipe dream seeing that I typically don't have more than 20 minutes of patience with that project, but I'm hoping that riding along in the sunny car watching the hills roll past will inspire me to knit away and not pay attention to the fact that I hate it...

Hopefully when I return I'll have a lovely report of the sheep and fiber festival.  I'm looking forward to my friend's wedding, and Amish country never disappoints.  I'm slightly concerned about what we'll eat while we're there, but I think we'll figure it out.  All my food memories of Amish Country have involved heavy carb-loaded meals...should be interesting.


Today's picture is of my most recent pair of socks.  They are made from a sock flat.  A sock flat is a knitted up panel of sock yarn that is then hand painted.  You knit from the flat and create some interesting effects in the knitting.  I do love these socks even though I made the second one noticeably smaller than the first.  I learned that I will need to count my rows next time rather than simply laying next to each other and measuring.  Silly me.  Even so, they fit ok and I love them.  No one has to know, right?

Friday, May 10, 2013


Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl.  They met in a class and flirted with each other, fell in love and got married.  They would wake up one morning and say "hey, let's go do something fun," and head out to do whatever that fun thing was.

Then they had babies, then they went to grad school and got very busy, then they got jobs and got even busier.

They'd still wake up in the morning and say "hey, let's go do something fun," but kids, work or other responsibilities always got in the way.

Then the babies grew up and went off to college and became self sufficient.  The boy and girl had learned that anything they did had to be planned, so there weren't very many spontaneous moments...they planned their fun.  While it was still fun, there wasn't that spark of excitement to it.  It was all planned and well-thought out and, well, orchestrated.

Yesterday, however, the girls spied a Sheep and Fiber Festival in Lexington, KY, where this couple used to live.  She said to the boy "I'm tempted," and he said, "let's do it," so a frenzy of hotel reservations and cancellations ensued and now that's what they're doing.

San Antonio and visiting parents has been tossed aside in lieu of spontaneity and fun.  And the girl is very excited about it.  Very.

The boy and girl are going to Lexington for 2 days and then driving up to Holmes County, OH, where they used to go when they lived up in those parts.  Relaxation, fun, and crafty-pleasures await.

The boy and girl feel somewhat like they may be getting their spark back.


Today's picture is of a finished Frankie.  Frankie is the sweetest monster I've made so far.  She has on a light and dark pink striped shirt that lets her adorable green arms and legs show through.  Her ears match the dark pink in her shirt.  Her great big green eyes yearn for a hug and to send encouragement to you.  I think Addie, the little girl she will belong to when she gets to Texas, will be thrilled to have her princess monster.  Today she's sitting on my desk making me smile every now and again.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Monster in Progress

I'm making another monster.  This one is bigger than the others because she's made from worsted weight yarn rather than sock weight yarn.  Thicker yarn=bigger monster.

And she's adorable.

I'm making her for the little girl that mom babysits.  She will be a "princess" monster, and as you can see she sports pink and purple as her main colors, but like Fiona in Shrek, her green arms and legs are, well, rather green.  (I decided to use the green for the arms and legs as an homage to the "green jeans" that my daddy used to wear.)

All she needs is some ears, a mouth and a belly button.

I have so much fun making these monsters.  They really come to life for me as I work on them.  Frankie, as this one is called, is really sweet and wants people to love her.  I hope that you do.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I even amazed myself!

This weekend was dedicated to yarn.  To unpacking, organizing, making sure it was secure in its new home and otherwise taking care of my stash.

As I went through every skein of yarn and decided which basket, cubby or yarn tree to put it on, it told me whether it was getting anxious to be something or whether it was content to ride things out for a little longer.  I'll have to tell you that a LOT of my yarn is anxious to be something.  I may have to hire people to help me knit or weave it all...I don't know how I can meet up with the demands.  It's starting to make ME feel a tad anxious.

The only thing left in my studio is to put together my loom.  But, David was working until 2pm yesterday and we had a party at 3pm (outside, in May, wearing jackets...unfathomable), then the girls came over for dinner at 5, so there was no time to get the loom opened up.  I'm very ready to start Art Box #2 and just waiting for the ability to get that loom ready...I may even go wind some warp this evening.

Despite all the unpacking I was able to knit a good bit...quite a bit in fact.  On Thursday night I finished a pair of socks.  Then this weekend, I managed to finish a hat that I'd started last year that I've been hating...I mentioned it earlier this year, mom's mother's day gift AND got caught up on my block-a-day sock-yarn blanket.  Plus, I made pretty good progress on the little monster I'm going to finish up before heading to TX in 10 days.

And you know what...despite all this progress...I don't feel like I worked even a little bit this weekend.  How absolutely wonderful!

Today's picture is of the polaris hat, finished.  I'll work on the scarf again after the monster is finished.  I like getting some of these things DONE!

Friday, May 3, 2013

What I have Left

This is 7 boxes...all that's left to unpack.  I'm so happy that that's all I have left.  It means that by the end of this weekend, I'll have my loom set up, my table organized, my yarn all in its rightful places...and I'll be happily crafting away again.

I predict by next week I'll have all the pictures hung and everything unpacked and organized...just in time for vacation!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

45 minutes

Depending on what you're doing, 45 minutes can seem like forever or a really short period of time.

45 minutes is what I had to work on my studio last night. We ended up getting home much later than planned because we went to weigh in--down .4 pounds, David another 4.4--and then shopping--down at least 2 sizes in pants--and the dinner--fajitas--so by the time we fell into the house, there wasn't much time to get into the studio and make much progress...only 45 minutes.

But I figured it was better than nothing, so I determined that we were going to get in there and see what we could accomplish in 45 minutes.  I set the timer so we'd know when to stop and start getting ready for bed...and then we started plugging away at boxes.

We made really good progress even though it seems like we started and then 5 minutes later the alarm went really was 45, though, and the rest that's left I can manage on my own tonight and this weekend.  I'm enjoying putting things in my new shelving units, and planning all my scrap projects (by weight of yarn)...and just in general being in my well-lit, roomy, beautiful studio.

I love the floors.

I love the windows.

I love the wall color.

I love my private little bathroom.

I love my yarn.

I love my loom.

I love having it all open.  I really did want to kiss everything and work myself to exhaustion...but I forced myself to stop after 45 minutes and go to bed, which I needed more than I needed my yarn fix.

Tonight I will knit!

The picture is of the studio last night right after we stopped working.  That whole back area was piled with boxes up to the tops of the windows.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Tonight I have a date to clean out my studio.  David has promised to help since he's going to be gone Thursday through Sunday.

There are boxes piled to the ceiling and a person can barely move around in there, much less try to figure out how to organize things, but organized it must be because I am taking Saturday (at minimum) to be a pajama day which means that I'll be knitting, snuggling with the kitties, and otherwise relaxing.  I'm desperately in need of a late morning sleep-in...I think I'm more desperately in need of throwing some yarn around some knitting needles and making something.

It's been a week now since I've been able to knit or do anything crafty.

I may go crazy if I have to wait any longer.


Today's picture is of my new shoe shelf.  See how nicely everything stacks in there.  It's the perfect size, which means that I'll have to weed out old shoes when I buy new ones. (or I could double stack them...)