Tuesday, December 30, 2014


We've had a really fun week at work.  Festivus they're calling it--something to do with a Seinfeld episode with a Festivus pole that was used to air gripes or complaints.  However, we're giving kudos to our co-workers.  At the end of the week we will draw a prop and that person wins a fun prize.

So far during morning meetings we have had a Scrooge Sleigh with a bah-humbug Santa handing out candy canes (it was a terrific use of a mailing bin in my opinion), yarn dodge ball, an ugly sweater competition, a paper snow-flake cutting party and a scavenger hunt.  I know that Friday will be the drawing and something is happening on Thursday...and who knows what we'll do tomorrow.

It's been fun.  I'd love to do something like this everyday even IF I didn't find anything or win a prize yet! :)


It snowed last night.  I had to go to work at 4:30 this morning well before the roads were cleared away.  I was fine, though a little bit nervous.  It's been a good long time since I've driven on anything that wasn't regular pavement or rain.

I bring you a picture of the snow on the metal bluebonnets this morning.


It's cold outside.  We're getting to 7 or so tonight.  BRRR.  While the kitties are fascinated by the snow on the patio they don't want to go out there because it's really cold and icky.


I'm past the heel on my second Cosmic Wonder Dust Sock.  I'm in love and can't wait to wear them.

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's winter y'all...

...I don't know about where you are but where I am, and apparently a whole lot of other knitters, WINTER IS HERE!

I talked to so many people on the phone, on e-mail, and in person today and everyone seems to have awakened from their post-Christmas stupor and realized that it's really cold outside, or snowing, or both, and that they don't want to go out there no matter what...and that if they are to stay inside they need to be knitting things that will keep them or someone they love warm...and that involves LOTS OF YARN...lots and lots of it.  20 skeins, 14 skeins, 13 skeins...I pulled, placed orders and packed up really big orders today.

And if you're wondering, in the desperation that is WINTER IS HERE people don't care about mixed dye lots or even if it's the color that matches their house...or really even if it's a color that they like.  They must have the yarn, and lots of it, and it we don't have that particular yarn what will substitute.

And honestly, they don't really care if the yarn matches the needles they currently have.  They aren't going to buy new needles, but they'll make the ones they have work.  "Don't you think size 9 needles will be ok with this fingering weight yarn?" (not really but hey, if you want a really loose drapey knit, then sure!)

People want to make afghans, or sweaters.  One lady in Florida has her eyes on a cowl out of silk (so lovely...I'm jealous).

There is desperation out there.  Driven by the self-denial that comes with knitting exclusively and in panic for other people for over a month.  Driven by the fact that it's REALLY cold out there and no matter the socks, blankets and heat you have it's still seeping through the windows and floors and walls.  If the grid fails we could all die...it's built into our DNA as knitters--we must protect everyone, starting with ourselves!

Me?  I'm knitting socks.  I'm focused...it's all I want to do.  Sit in front of the tv watching College Football Bowl Games (yea Aggies) and knit socks.

Yarn: Tosh Sock in Cosmic Wonder Dust (I'm more than a little in love with this yarn and this color).
Pattern: Hermione's Everday Sock

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy end of weekend...

...to those of you who have a regular weekend.  I'm mid-week, but it's all good.

Things continue good at work.  We're all caught up and seem to be doing really well.  I did inventory on needles today.  I actually liked it.

I'm knitting socks.  It's fun...I've missed knitting socks.


In the midst of the great pain I felt on Christmas Day I read through my journal entries from July forward.  Not all of the, but I picked key dates or titles...I was smart, and insightful...I see that I'm amazing, and it makes me really proud.


I hope that in all of this, in my behaviors and healing, in my taking care of myself, in my learning to love myself...I hope more than anything that I can be a good example to my daughters and help them grow into the amazing women they're destined to be.


Today's picture is of Zora sitting atop my refrigerator this morning.  She's not happy about the cold weather.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Celebrations, and set-backs

There comes a time when trying to understand things just doesn't work anymore.  I'm at that point...I just don't understand.

Christmas was yesterday.  For the most part I was ok being without the family.  Sure I missed them, but I can be comforted by the fact that we talked, that they gave and received gifts and that things seem ok with most of them.

What I can't be comforted with really can't be shared on the blog.  It isn't my story to share, but it hurt and set me back emotionally...and made things less celebratory yesterday.

But I'll pull through.  I reminded myself when I got home today that there are things I can't control and I just have to let them go, so I tossed them aside and let them go.  I felt better almost immediately.

Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself that things here are really quite wonderful and I do love my life and I've done a heck of a job getting myself back on my feet and figuring things out.

And you know what...that last little bit, about me doing things that are good...that made me feel almost whole again.

I wish everyone the best day that that can have.  I hope you are happy and are enjoying all that this holiday season has to offer.  I hope that when the new year comes around that it brings for you hope and possibility and that you grab all those hopes and possibilities by the horns and do what you can to make them a reality.

Because, seriously folks, if I can still be standing after everything I've experienced in 2014, you got this!


Today's ornament was a gift from Jenn (at work).  LOVE my coffee...and the red cup.  Special!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Gift of Friendship

Yesterday my friend from grad school, Jeff, came to visit me.  His mom lives near Tahoe, which isn't too far from here, and we spent the afternoon hanging out...

It was fun.  Nice to talk with someone, nice to get out of the apartment for a bit (he's allergic to cats, and apparently my apartment is really bad for people who are allergic to cats.  I feel sorry for them).

He showed up at work so I could show him around the warehouse and all that jazz, then we came back here for a chat and then went to Virginia city.  It's only about 30 minutes from my apartment and what a wonderful little trip.  Beautiful views, and of course all the Mark Twain stuff.  Totally cool day.

Here are my sunset pics from the Virginia City cemetery yesterday.

I wish for everyone the gift of a good friend during the holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2014


I love the idea of giving gifts.  I like getting them too :)

But seriously, gifting is such a wonderful concept.  Giving someone something that they'll appreciate--use, for fun, whatever--is such a terrific thing.  Working in a yarn store and hearing all the people talk about all the things they want to make and give that's even better.  Why?  Because they are gifting not just a thing but their time, and there's nothing that's more precious than our time.

I've received two ornaments this week from friends I met in grad school at University of Kentucky.  Two handmade ornaments for my tree.  What wonderful gestures and such a perfect thing for this time in my life.

This Christmas where I'm starting new traditions and experiencing the season, holiday and days in such different ways than in the past.

And I've been happy today.  I'll take that hands down.

The first is from Fran who I shared a desk (and so much more!) with during my first year at UK.

And this is from Jenn, who I shared an office (and so much more) with for three years at UK.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A little time, a little breathing space...and things start to look better (and 8th day of ornaments)

I had to do a lot of self-coaching the past couple of days to help myself regain perspective and peace, but I finally managed it.  A big part of it is acknowledging to myself that things are what they are and that I'm where I need to be and that I will learn the things I need to learn...but only if I quit fighting it.

So, I gained some peace and find that while I will miss so many things about the holidays this year, being able to relax and be calm and quiet is exactly what I need.  I need time to reflect, to own my space, and to be happy where I am.

If that means that I'm unable to do the things I have done int he past, that's ok, because my present is different (way different) and the me right now needs peace and calm and quiet and relaxation.


Besides, I'm having so much fun making all these new ornaments for my tree!  What a fun fun tradition I've started this year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Breaking Traditions (or the 7th day of ornaments)

As I approach my first Christmas alone, I keep getting reminded that "it's gotta be hard."  I'm still trying to get through today and Christmas is a whole week away and to be honest, it's been hard enough to get through today(s) lately.

One day at a time, one step at a time, and sometimes one minute at a time.  I'm making progress, though, and as I gaze upon my tree with its adorable new ornaments, I'm struck by the fact that I'm breaking traditions as I've known them and making new traditions.

The hardest part of this Christmas?

Not having my daddy to hug and talk football with.
Not doing the Christmas stocking tradition we've always done as a family.
Not being able to hug my beautiful daughters on a special holiday and be with them in person when they open their presents.
Not hugging my mama and seeing her as she opens my present to her.
Not seeing any of my extended family.


While I've spent many Christmases in nontraditional ways, this one will definitely be different.  And I'm sure it'll be hard, but I'll plug through it the best I can knowing that the next one won't be so bad.  I'll have started some new traditions that I'll build upon for next year and maybe I'll have the ability to go visit my family (I'd really hoped they'd have been able to come here this year but it didn't work out).


So, in the mean time I'm taking deep breaths and trying to focus on the things that are good in my life...there are lots of them.  I'll be sad, and I'll be happy, and I'll work through this...and it may just be one ornament at a time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Really not much to say...

Well...today was kind of low-key, and it was a good thing.  I didn't feel sad, or bereft or lost or anything.

In fact, I have to admit that I just simply didn't feel much other than it being an ordinary day and that's really just fine by me.

I will have a glass of wine tonight, but mostly it's just been a chill day, one that could have been so hard if I hadn't come so far.

And I'm glad I've come so far.


And for your kitty viewing pleasure, here's the girls snuggled on the alpaca blanket (which I'm proud to say was still not as wonderful to sleep on as I was last night).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How far I've come in just 5 short months

I can't really decide if the bomb dropped on the 14th or the 15th.  In some ways it's the 14th because that's the day, technically, that David came home, but it was close to or after midnight before he actually stepped into the house and we had our conversation.  I "knew" in my gut before he came home what was about to transpire, so I kind of keep that as my "date"...but then I pulled everything together and tried to figure out what direction to run in on the 15th, so maybe that's "MY date."

I'm not sure.

14th, 15th, I'm not sure it really matters either, but I do find that I'm reflective today.  I know part of it is the un-anniversary that is tomorrow...part of it is that it's the 14th...part of it is that there are holidays and as I said a few weeks ago that started with my birthday in November...

Either way, one of the things I do to gain a little perspective on where I am, how far I've come and just what the hell I'm doing (because let me tell you there are some days I have no idea) is read my blog...I'll pick a date--last December, November 2010, whatever.  Today I wanted to see what I wrote about in the "right after."

That aftermath when I was being rather astute and together and hell if I didn't just grab the bull by the horns and take off...

In my reflective moods, let me tell you some things that I know about myself and how I've grown in the past 5 months:

  • I no longer expect or want perfection in my life.  This is not just out of me but out of those around me.  I will be what I am and people are what they are.  I can't tell you how much the important relationships in my life have grown as a result of this thought process...and in being able to embrace my own imperfections I'm able to see all the beauty that is within me (and wasn't that what I said my journey was all about...to find the beauty, and that HAS to begin with me or I won't be able to create it).  I can see how expecting perfection sabotaged what may have been a wonderful relationship.  I can also see how trying to live up to someone else's expectations that I BE perfect sabotaged my own personal growth and development and made me bitter.
  • I am patient.  Losing that need for perfection in myself and others results in an amazing amount of patience.  Little things don't bother me, big things don't bother me.  I just deal with what I can deal with, do it to the best of my ability and move on.
  • I have learned to let myself feel emotions.  Good and bad.  When the bad emotions come on I find myself trying to fight them and then I remind myself that I have to feel them, to express them and to let them out.  Once I do that, I feel better.  I have more perspective and I'm able to ask "what" or "why" about that feeling and start to make sense of it in the bigger picture.  I'm still not really (as in not at all) comfortable with anger, but I'm trying to understand it's role as a motivating emotion...understanding I think I can do, expressing it is entirely a different thing (because let me tell you the WAY in which I want to express that anger isn't appropriate).
  • I don't really need the "big picture" anymore.  I was talking to someone who was asking about my plans for the holidays and I replied, "all I can think about right now is getting through today"...I have long-range plans, I'll tell you about those in a minute, but the "big picture" is fuzzy...right now it's mountains and sunrises and sunsets and glorious skies whether they're cloudy or blue.
  • "in the moment" of the 14th (or 15th) I decided to do what I wanted to.  Period.  And I'm doing it.  My "dream" was to get a job at Jimmy Beans Wool.  I've been here just over 3 months and I'm loving it.  I see myself fitting in, I love the people here.  I want to do more in the company and the opportunities are there.  It's going to be glorious.
  • I am learning this business of taking care of myself and it's really quite wonderful.  I'm not just talking about feeding myself, cleaning house, etc., but the other stuff too...realizing when I need some down time, leaning into the pain, embracing the joys.  Understanding that each moment can be powerful if you give it the chance.
  • Exploring my higher power and what he/she/it means to me.  I should say that I'm not longer afraid to explore my higher power (I was and I'm learning that there are reasons I was).
And each day with each thing that I learn, I'm growing stronger.  People comment about how amazed they are by my strength and ability to get through and do things.  I marvel when they say this because there are so many times when I feel like I'm falling to pieces and it makes me worried that I'm putting up a brave front when I'm really not doing so well...

...but I'm doing ok.  I'm not great and there are some days that I just have to get up and deal with it, but I'm dealing with it rather than hiding it or trying to control it into some little box or define it the way I want it to be regardless of what it is.

...and I'm satisfied with where I am.  I have asked myself that a lot in the past few weeks.  If the tables suddenly turned and I could "go back to July 14th (or 15th) 2014" I wouldn't.  There's some power in owning that.  There's power in realizing that I can own that and still be incredibly hurt and angry.  There's power in putting the pieces of my life back together into a mosaic that will be a beautiful me.

...and I'm really so very happy that I get to share it with you.


So, my awesome news:

I'm going on a Rick Steve's Tour to Tallin, Helsinki and St. Petersburg in May.  I am SO VERY excited about this trip.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

6th day of ornaments

Really quickly today.  My latest ornaments:

I particularly liked the little circles.  I'll be making some more of those in different sizes.

I felt really good today.  Work wasn't bad, in fact we were almost in "refresh mode."  That's the goal by tomorrow night.  That's pretty amazing considering that we were so far behind (by our standards which are high and why we're awesome!) last week.

And the fact that I feel good today is wonderful.  Today could have been difficult (his birthday), but I struggled through because (I think) I'm in a good place and (I think) am figuring out this living on my own thing.

I'll talk to you on Monday and let you know if I make it through that day.  It could be really rough...as it would have been 24 years that we'd been married...and will mark 5 months since he told me the devastating news.

But as I said, today affirmed that I'm ok so we shall see how Monday goes.

(btw, yesterday I went through a box that I hadn't unpacked yet because I wasn't sure where to put the things inside it and when I opened up one of my memento boxes which mostly has little trinkets from when I was a kid I burst into tears at seeing the very first ring he gave me...I kept reminding myself that it's one day at a time, and sometimes one minute at a time, and not all times are going to be perfect and happy...and I made it through it...therapy really is good for the soul.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

5th day of ornaments

Brought to you by Auntie J:

 For those of you who know me well, you know she "done good"...:)

The button heart is a reference to my love of buttons and hearts, and of course the knitting needles and yarn ball...need no explanation.

I've been laying low these past two days.  Getting some much needed rest (aided by a glass of wine before bedtime), couch time, Pearl snuggling and overall general laziness.  The weather has helped me be ok staying in doors.  While we haven't had the rain (thank you mountains for keeping it on the west or in snow) we have had some serious winds.

Hugs all...I'm back to my couch now...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

4th day of ornaments

I'm bringing to you the stocking that took me three nights to make.  I love it!

The original pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and a bigger hook...I used sock weight and a C hook. The stocking is about 3" top to toe.  Fun!  I'm totally excited about doing another one with a chevron pattern...will decide whether that one is next or the one with all the snowflakes all over it...decisions!


In general things are going ok here.  Getting over the cold, though yesterday was kind of frightening with all the coughing I was doing!  I go to work today and then I'll come home and relax and hopefully be all better for my "weekend" which begins tomorrow.


And a big shout out to my Auntie J who has a birthday today!  Love you!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Laying Low...

Well...I've got a stupid cold.  I can't remember when I last had a stupid cold, but I don't like it one little bit dangit!  My brain can't organize very well...this morning's post will exploit that :)

At least today I get to go into work a little later than 5am...(people are always surprised when they call and someone answers the phone at 6am local time...it kinda cracks me up).

I saw this sunrise this morning.  It was gorgeous.  I caught this shot from my balcony

And when I turned around Pearl was plastered to the glass door yowling at me.  She's just so darn cute.

Shortly after this the clouds turned back to their normal grey...then I looked to the east one more time and saw that they were turning hot pink.  It's a rainbow in slow motion.

I'm still making ornaments...the one I'm working on it taking some time.  Plus I had to weave yesterday to finish a project for someone.  AND sometimes all I can do is sit there...the one I SHOULD finish today is going to be adorable, so it's worth it.

I put a deposit on a trip for next summer.  I'm excited.  Once I get confirmation that I'm in, I'll share the good news.  It's one I've wanted to do for a very very long time.

It's time for more coffee.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

3rd day of ornaments

On the 3rd day of ornaments I discovered a book at work called Christmas Crochet, so I bought it.  Such cute cute ideas in that book...if you're dying to get one, we have one more copy...

Yesterday I finished 5 ornaments while sitting on the couch watching football, trying to stay awake and breathe...it was a tough day but still...5 pretty ornaments.

I'm particularly fond of the little red square.  It has some "fancy" front post crochet stitches that when put together look like a star...here's its close-up.

It's that adorable?

Speaking of blowing up or shrinking down...this was from a pillow pattern, that blown up would be about 4" square.  It's right around 2".  The pink circle?  That's from a dish scrubbie pattern... totally cool texture.  And the others are the centers of larger motifs that I just did until the interesting part was over.  So fun.

Now, onto some official Christmas crochet!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

2nd day of ornaments

Feeling a tad under the weather today, but I'm crocheting and watching football.  A little weaving when I have the energy.

These are the ornaments I finished yesterday.  I love the little ball.  It is a pattern for a dish scrubbie...I love taking patterns and either blowing them up or shrinking them down...in this case, the shrinking turned out super-cute!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Seeing Green

One day last week I woke up from a vivid dream that I was using green yarn.  I immediately went to my stash and pulled out the green Noro Retro that I bought many years ago (afghan quantity) and decided I'd make a sweater.

After pilfering through patterns on Ravelry I remembered that I have a green towel set to make so got after it.  All those tangled threads from a couple of days ago are the result.

Well, yesterday, I got it warped, threaded.  Started weaving it today.  It's just lovely.

The other thing I did yesterday was put up my tree...I mentioned this yesterday but didn't share a picture with you.  Here we are:

And finally, my ornaments from last night.  3 little snowflakes out of scrap sock yarn. So cute.  I'll share with you my ornament progress every day.  What a wonderful way to start a new tradition for myself, in my new life, with my new rules. (I really missed a tree...funny the things we give up for others).

Thursday, December 4, 2014


I put up a Christmas tree today.  I have 6 ornaments...so far the cats has chewed on it a little bit but it's still standing...and so festive...it makes me happy.

I like having things that make me happy.  I feel whole for the first time in a long time.  I haven't put up a tree in years.  One more piece of evidence that things were unhappy and I was unwilling to see it.

Since I didn't bring any of my ornaments with me (horrors I know) I am starting anew.  I bought 6 to get me started and will make more over the next 3 weeks and see where I am come Christmas.  My tree will look different every day.

Tonight I crocheted three snowflakes from left over sock yarn.  I may continue that trend.  I like snowflakes and these were fast and easy and just the right size.  They're blocking now.

Today is my "Saturday" so I went grocery shopping too.  While I was out, I took this picture of my finished Mecha Cowl...there are mountains behind me but you can't see them because of the clouds/fog.

I'm still fascinated by the weather here.  Everyday is something new and interesting.  I'm thinking of changing my career (not really!)

My hair was super curly today too!

(btw, last week I knitted 3 hats and 1 cowl...pretty impressive, huh?)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Today I sleyed the warp on my new set of towels.  These are green and white striped, and will be woven (some of them anyway) in houndstooth.

And as I finished and leaned back and stretched I saw this...and laughed a little...because it looks really scary even though it isn't.

It's a metaphor for my life right now and I've decided to make it my Facebook cover photo...at least for a while.

Striking isn't it?  And what's more striking is that by Thursday (morning I presume) I'll have all of these little threads lined up and behaving themselves.  But for now...what a giant mess!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

That moment when you realize you've made a mistake

You know it...we've all done it...made a mistake and then said, "oops...I goofed."

Some of us do it more than others, some bigger than others, but we all goof because not one single one of us is perfect, not matter how hard we try.

Well...this is what I realized I'd been doing...

The hexagon on the top, the one with the yellow outer ring...well...it's how I was doing all my hexagons.  Crocheting away and not paying one little bit of attention that they didn't look quite right.

Until Thanksgiving night when I was at Jenn's house and was making a few of these puppies (from memory) and looked at them and thought "it's not quite right but I don't know why"...but I didn't do anything since the pattern was at home and I wasn't, so I crocheted a few more and then went home and crashed.

And pulled out the pattern the next day to check and I realized that I did indeed goof and needed to fix, so I started to do that and thought, "don't all the hexagons I've made look like this?"

And you know what? They did...The one on the bottom with the pinkish outer ring is correct.  See how much flatter it sits?  Hoe much more precise the corners look?

I'd say that I made about 75 of the hexagons in the wrong way.  And I'm fixing them because you know what?  They look so much better correct and it's worth the time.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I don't have the words

I knew this would happen...some days harder than others.  I knew I would feel sadness, remorse, guilt, hopelessness...

I knew I would cry.

But I figured there would be an identifiable reason for that.

And there isn't. It just is and I have no words to explain why.

Maybe one day I'll know, maybe one day I won't.  But I'm learning to just go ahead and let myself feel whatever it is I'm feeling and eventually I do feel better and can get back to whatever it was I was doing, which is remembering to take care of myself.

Hugs everybody.


I started this cowl from some leftover yarn from hats that I made for my mom to give my brothers and nephew for Christmas.  I bought the red because it is my color these days.  it's almost done and I love it.

Yarn:  Mecha by Malabrigo in colors Luvia, Cereses, Paris Night.
Pattern:  Infinite Chevron adapted to work in the round from the Noro Magazine Issue 5

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Holidays are a special time for family and friends.  We get together, eat, drink and be merry.  We laugh and sing and wear silly clothes and hats.  We give each other things and marvel at how much we've accomplished in the past year and how much we plan to get done next year.

For me the holidays always start with my birthday.  In between that and the daughters' birthday I had Thanksgiving, David's birthday, our anniversary, Christmas, New Years and the daughters birthday...this was 6 weeks of revelry and wonderment.

I was honestly worried about how well I'd do on my birthday, this start of the merry making 6 weeks.  It was wonderful, honestly.  I got tons of well-wishes on Facebook, the blog, e-mails, phone calls, texts, work.  I went to dinner with a friend and she gave me yarn and root beer.

Really a great day.

I have a few more hurdles to get through over the next few weeks...tomorrow being one...Thanksgiving in my family was always a BIG AFFAIR.  My dad's side of the family would all get together--there would usually be close to or over 30 people.  We graduated to doing this party at mom's church to contain everyone.  We had a talent show.  We visited and loved each other and had such a wonderful day.

This year everyone has decided it's time to create their own Thanksgiving traditions inside their own immediate families.  So many special traditions about to be born.  Meanwhile we'll all be thinking of "those great big get-togethers we used to have."  It's bittersweet.

I'm working in the morning and then going to my friend's family's for dinner.  I plan to DVR the Aggie game so I can watch it when I get home.  It'll be a happy day because I choose for it to be so...

and after all the merriment, I hope to have time to finish these sunset towels because they're just so darn amazing!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

On this, my birthday eve

I've been very reflective today.  Thinking about where I was last year and what I was doing for my birthday (Roanoke, VA, for David's conference...I bought the coat that has been keeping me warm the past couple of weeks) and how different things are this year.

It's times like birthdays and holidays where we have traditions and fond memories that make us nostalgic for the way things were, for the people who are gone from our lives, for the things we don't have/won't have again.

This year has been particularly hard.  I lost my dad, my uncle, my marriage.  My daughters moved away and while I haven't "lost" them it's different.

I suppose you could say I've also lost my home.

I totally switched my career path and moved across the country to see if I could make it reality.

And as I sit on the eve of my birthday and reflect on my past, this year in particular but the other years too, I know that I am beyond blessed to have had such a happy life, to have been privileged, educated, warm, comfortable and loved.


I am dedicating the "new year" (which begins tomorrow) to the "new me".  I will be born on this 45th birthday of my life.  I will explore, expand, create and live.  I will be happy and strong and proud.

I will glory in the sunsets and sunrises when I get to see them.

I will love and be kind.

And I will never stop being grateful for all of you who have held me strong through this past year.  Those of you who have embraced me, encouraged me, and held me up when I felt like falling flat down.


Friday, November 21, 2014

In which the warp is sleyed

I'm so proud to share with you the sleyed "sunset in the mountains" warp.

Isn't she lovely?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Because every girl needs a winding station in her bedroom...

...yeah...it's probably not what you think.  But...I'll try to explain.

One thing I've learned to love about living on my own is that all spaces can be my creative space.  I can pile yarn all over my table if I want (I do want) and see it while I'm eating or checking email or in general just hanging about.

I can have my swift and ball winder attached to my bar if I want and keep it up there if I want (and I do want) because it's easiest to wind off yarn there and the lips on the cabinets are the right size.

And if I want and if I need because of space to put my warping wheel in my bedroom and use my dresser as a cutting station (and I do want and need) I can and I did and I honestly think it was a stroke of genius to do so.

And since my mom sent me a little money to help with setting things up here I was able to buy myself a real bedside table that will match my bed (and it'll arrive on Monday) so I can appropriate the little table that I've been using as my bedside table to put the warping wheel on so that it's at a better, more comfortable height for me and I can leave it there so I'm not always having to move it around when it's time to wind a warp--always at the ready if the inspiration strikes, so to speak :)

And the inspiration has been striking pretty hard lately!  I absolutely love how this warp turned out on the wheel...I cannot (CANNOT) wait to see how it'll be once it's on the loom...because OMG it's so much more than I imagined even at this point and that's just so awesome and wonderful!

Happy day...it was another beautiful sunrise today, and as I was winding on the greys and blues I realized I was painting the sky after the sun woke up.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Several weeks ago I promised to show you the phases of designing a woven project.

I had a lot of life intervene in the ensuing weeks, but now I'm rocking and rolling on that project.

I love it when someone gives me a snippet, or an idea, or a picture and says "use that as your inspiration."  I think and I plan, and I think some more.  Then I start coloring and seeing what the colors look like next to each other.

Normally I would then go to my yarn (my pallette) and start pulling snips and laying them next to each other, but I had to sell most of my cotton when I moved out here so I'm starting from scratch, and images on a computer screen.

But I think I did pretty good with this one...here are the yarns laid out on my table.  I've left them there all this time, all this planning and thinking and planning some more and I've gotten an idea and I've been running with it and I can't wait to show you the next step...tomorrow or so...

And actually I ended up removing the darkest blue and using the lighter blue as my "outside blue" and putting an even paler shade of blue in the middle.  I also want to point out that the two center cones are indeed different colors--ecru and pale grey.

After loads of thinking and redesigning and thinking and coloring, it hit me one day to attempt a gradient, so that's what I'm doing.  At this point I had a little math to do to figure out how to make it go from orange to blue with some mixings in the middle to make it look cool and then I had to figure out how I wanted to thread the loom because that will matter in the end.

I've decided on a point twill pattern--this will give the regular shaped V's you see in a lot of my work.  While the inspirational picture wasn't "sunset in the mountains" I've been seeing a lot of sunsets in the mountains, and heck if it doesn't have all these gorgeous colors.  So, I'm weaving lots of little mountains on these towels.

Next step is winding the warp, which I actually started yesterday.  I'll let you see a picture of my winding station that I've set up...even I'm impressed at the ingenuity that necessity brings about.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Art and Nature

Somedays the inspiration just hits me...and somedays I say "wow, clearly I was inspired by that and didn't know it"...

Case in point:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Play along with me please...

Y'all remember those fun Mad Libs from when you were kids?  I loved them, even used them when teaching grammar (yes, in college).  And now?  I got something in my yarn order this week...and I'm going "live" with my Mad Lib...let's see what fun we can have today, OK?

In the comments, give me words that fit the following categories and I'll share on my blog next week.

Plural form of a garment


I'm sharing this picture with you primarily because I want you to see the Knitters Pride Marblez needle set I bought myself after returning from Mississippi.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel about acrylic needles, but they were so pretty and I wanted to play with them so badly...and eventually they opened up a box in retail and I got to play and I wanted...badly...so I bought.

They're super light weight.  The cords that come with them have the typical Knitter's Pride join, but the cords themselves are more flexible than others I have from KP.  Also, they are grabby enough that I could work with silk but not too grabby to damage the fibers.  The points are more blunt than the Dreamz or Karbonz but more pointy than Addi turbo...really a pretty good pointy-ness.

I love the needle packaging too.  How beautiful, and perfect for me seeing how much the sun set and sun rise and the mountains all around have meant to me lately.

Monday, November 10, 2014

About 20 minutes after I wrote my post yesterday...

...this happened.  I was literally seeing red...and orange, and purple and pink and blue and it was the most amazing thing ever.

I want to point out that these pictures are taken with my phone camera, they are unfiltered...and they are pretty true to the actual colors that were going on.

It was stunning.

I was brought to tears again.

And I KNEW that it was a sign from my higher power telling me that it was good to be red, to be angry...because red, in all its shades, is gorgeous and inspiring and worth burning the pizza to gawk at for as long as it lasts.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Seeing Red

I'm journaling about anger.  I've never really let myself feel angry...not in a real, big sense.  I am kind of scared of being angry--bad things come from it in my experience, so I've learned to avoid it.

That isn't good...and it isn't healthy...and being angry can motivate me to do things that will encourage my recovery from the divorce.

Being angry can help me see what was wrong and what was right and what I need to do to be strong.

Being angry can help me stand up for myself and demand that I be taken seriously.

So, I'm letting myself be angry--and boy am I angry.  The shock is gone, the denial is gone, and I'm one righteously angry woman.

I want to wear red and knit with red and weave with red and color with red and make everything around me red...


So, I'm running with it...red...it's always been my favorite color, but now, it's like a compulsion...a drive or a need...to see, touch, feel, DO SOMETHING red.

To help you understand just how red I think...this is a cowl I started when I went to Mississippi a couple of weeks ago.  It's in Tosh Vintage color Torchere.

And what a great word for the emblem of my feelings...burn bright baby!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I have had such a lovely day.  I've knitted, woven, snuggled with Pearl (mostly while knitting), listened to music, chatted with friends...overall relaxed and it's been pretty close to heaven.  The best part?  I get to do it again tomorrow.

Nothing profound today, just a picture of the finished Clue 1 from the Stephen West MKAL.

I've been "Seeing Red" lately--figuratively and literally--so decided to name this one that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Profound Thoughts

Well...here I am...I've made it through working 5 days before traveling for 3 days to get divorced and then coming back home to work for 8 days...

I have tomorrow and Friday off.  I plan to sleep and knit and weave and crochet and play with the cats.  I have so many other things I NEED to do but they'll get done next week.  Tomorrow and Friday need to be about me.

I think I'll be good on the other side of it.


I have all these amazing profound thoughts in my head but they can't get organized well enough to make sentences, so hopefully they'll stick around for later when they can be sentences and paragraphs and I can communicate them as profound thoughts.

They're about love and community and the healing powers of positive thinking.

They're about how when you relinquish the need to control how things work out they seem to work out in ways that bless you in so many different ways.

They're about how hearing from people at "just the right time" can make the difference between an ok day and an amazing day.

They're about how sometimes you just gotta play along and start another project even though you have 50 other projects in various states of completion.

They're about how learning to do new things at work makes the time fly.

They're about so many things.


And today's picture is one of those things I started even though I have no "business" starting a new project...but I wanted to be part of the adventure of the new Stephen West Mystery Knit A Long and I decided that if I could find appropriate skeins in my stash that I would do it...and I did and here it is in its about 1/2 finished state of clue 1...I'm ALMOST ALMOST finished with clue 1 but I discovered a silly mistake I made early on (and it's going to stay because I'm not ripping out over half of the work I've done so far.)  It's a cool shawl, which shouldn't be surprising seeing that it's Stephen West...I'm having a great time working on it and can't wait for Clue 2 to come out on Friday!

Monday, November 3, 2014


I've been thinking a lot about energy lately.  Positive, negative...where the heck it comes from and where it goes.

I've always been told if you exercise you'll have more energy, but I've never found it to be so.  And yet, here I am walking miles and miles for work everyday and I have tons of energy when I get home to do things--like weave, go to dinner with friends, knit, create.

Go figure.

I also think that energy gives and takes.  Positive energy gives...the more positive energy you put out the more you have to give.  Like love, I guess.  Maybe that's why I have so much more energy each day after work.  There's just so much positive energy around me and it encourages me to expend more positive energy and then I have more positive energy to invest in doing other things.

It's pretty awesome.

Negative energy drags you down though.  It drags all people who are around it down whether they're the direct target of the negative energy or not.  It's hard not to dwell on the negative energy--where did it come from, why is it making me feel so bad, and how can I get it away from me.

Before long, negative energy feeds guilt, self-doubt and sadness.  It breeds more negative energy because it seems to suck all the positive out of the room.

It's a strong strong person who learns to deflect that negativity or to create positivity where there doesn't seem to be any.


I've realized lately that I'm a strong person...and that's pretty damn positively awesome!


I'm also a strong person who did the "typical divorcee" thing and cut my hair off.  I think it's sassy...definitely super easy AND I look really cute! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

You can't really expect a zebra to change its stripes...

...can you?  But sometimes we think we can and we try and man, are we disappointed.

I just finished weaving a scarf using a Be Sweet Magic Ball that I bought years and years ago.  It's really pretty with grays, soft blues and a dynamite purple to jazz things up.  There are mohair boucles, brushed mohairs, some plain yarn, some yarn with things tied into it.

And I thought...this will be so pretty in the warp creating vertical stripes.  I KNOW I said I'd never use mohair in the warp again, but I'll separate it with this tencel yarn I have...that'll keep it from sticking together.

...just let me tell you that zebras don't change their stripes and mohair sticks to everything: itself, tencel, other yarns, the reed...

The scarf is finished and is resting now.  I'm hoping that as it rests it fills out the messy selveges a little...that and some water should do the trick, I HOPE...

...but then again...zebras and all that jazz.


Today's picture is of my mountains with snow on them.  It's gotten cold in Reno but we didn't have snow in the city...the mountains sure are pretty though!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What are friends for anyway?

I hear that question often...when I thank someone for something nice they did or for a gesture or for a gift and they'll say "what are friends for?"

Friends have been such an important part of my healing from the separation and divorce.  From the shock of finding out that my life wasn't what I thought it was...

They've helped me understand the importance of love and support and not being judgmental.

They've helped me understand that it's ok not to be perfect.

They've helped me understand that when I need to ask for help they'll be there for me.

They've helped me to see the glories of laughter and finding the positive things in life.

They've helped me learn that I am indeed lovable and sweet and kind and that just because someone else changed his mind doesn't mean that I am not who I always thought I was.

And that last little bit...that's exactly what friends are for.  To just be there, love you, help you when you're down and show you the path when you get a little lost.


What else are friends for?  Shamelessly promoting them when they've done something really awesome...like get their pattern nominated in the Craftsy Pattern Design Awards.  If you get a chance, go here and vote for my friend Allison who designs under the name Freckles and Purls.  It's an awesome scarf and she's an even awesomer person.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I breathed...

Well...I managed to get through the terrible awful.

And I have to say I did it through the encouragement and love of good friends and loving family and an inner strength that continues to amaze me.

Everything is now final.  And I have to say that my anxiety levels which I would have put at a 7 or 8 on Saturday and they remained that through the hearing on Monday have dropped to a 2.  I'm so calm and relaxed and just feel at peace.

I do not, for one moment, like HOW things were done, but I do have to say that they were right.

It's still incredibly sad and I still have moments of huge sorrow and grief.  It's all tangled up with the loss of my dad, uncle and husband in such a short period of time.

But, I will instead discover a new me that had been hiding and is so ready to come out and play and love life and live and enjoy what's happening all around her.


I knitted on this sock yesterday on the flights and at the airport.  The yarn is Allegria by Manos del Uruguay.  Yummy yummy yummy.  I can't wait for them to be finished so I can wear them and everyone will see me coming from a mile away :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

One day, 6 minutes, and one breath

When I was a little girl, my mom's cousin used to sing at church sometimes and she had an amazing voice.  Pure beautiful and amazing.  She could have been a star if she'd wanted to.

One of her favorite songs to sing was called "one day at a time" and I can still hear the "Sweet Jesus" part of the chorus in my head.  I don't remember all the words, but the general message was to take things in perspective, stay focused on the now, and look to the higher power to help you get through it...so much of what I'm trying to do right now to get healthy and take care of myself.

I talked with Sandy who showed up for our meeting yesterday.  She wished me luck on my upcoming trip (more on that in a second) and said, "My friend said sometimes you have to take it 6 minutes at a time...just do what you have to to get through the next breath and eventually it'll be over."

So, that's what I'm doing.  On Monday the divorce will be final and I have to fly to Mississippi to be present for the hearing.  I really don't want to do this for many many reasons, but I will...and I'll get through it...and I'll be on the other side of all this and back in my apartment in just 5 days...and then THIS part of this process will be behind me.

And when I get back, watch out...I'm feeling the creative juices flowing.  They're inspiring me in so many ways...so many happy things to make and do and feel.  It's going to be wonderful when this anxiety has been dampened...one day, one minute or one breath at at time.  Whatever it takes.


I promised to take you through the design phase of some of my work.  I am making a set of towels for my aunt to give my cousin and she sent me this picture to use as inspiration.

The one I'm focusing on is in the upper right of the picture, the orange, cream and blue one.  I've picked my colors and will show them to you when I'm on next...maybe Wednesday, maybe Tuesday.


Until then, send happy loving thoughts my way and remind me to breathe.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's the Little Things

It really is the little things in life that call to attention the awesome beauty and amazing potential we have.  Little things like a kitty kiss, or making the green light, or catching the elevator.

Little things like seeing a leaf on the ground and crunching it.

Little things like feeling the wind in your hair.

Or seeing clouds in the sky.

Or eating a healthy supper.

Or buying yourself flowers because you've done well.

Or hearing someone say "you're doing such a good job of taking care of yourself" when that's really become the theme of things around here...validation is pretty amazing.


I like knitting, weaving, and crocheting with little things too...mini skeins, samples or whatever you want to call them.  We sell them at work, but I was buying the Tosh Tea Cakes well before I started working here.

I have finally collected enough to start on my scrap afghan(s).  I'm making a hexagon crochet afghan to start and am currently about 1/2 finished with the tiny centers.  So cute...and so fun...and so little.

See, it's the little things.

People at work have asked me how I "manage" the mini skeins.  I wind them into cakes. I just tie the ends together and keep going.  I try to make them random but they don't really have to be because I choose random balls and only work from the outside yarn.  When I get to the join, I cut, and grab another ball and keep going.

I also like to bring in all my extras from the sock yarns I have so I make a little ball of them and use them up during all of this too.  It's really quite fun...

Little things.  Stop and look around and appreciate them because they are awesome.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

2 Months ago today

Two months ago today I left Mississippi to move to Reno.  I drove in the car for 4 days straight with just my kitty cats and my music and my audiobooks...and I made it here and have grown so much in the past two months that I hardly recognize myself from who I was back then.

I'm so much more confident.  I know that I can manage things and do them and even if I don't like them getting them done is so much better than not.  I am fearful sometimes, but that's not lack of confidence, it's more lack of planning or strategies.

I'm so much more grateful.  I know that I have things in my life that are wonderful.  Even though I've been mostly alone for the past 2 months, I've been able to read, and weave, and knit, and crochet and see amazing sunsets and play with beautiful yarn and meet some pretty amazing people.

And you know who one of those people I've met is?


Surprising isn't it?

I'm funny and smart and kind and really a pretty neat person to be around.  I'm talented and creative and fun.  I make people laugh and I really do not care about whether things are perfect or not (this surprises me...).

I really like myself, and that's a pretty cool thing to accomplish.  44 years, 2 months, ever.  However you manage it, finding yourself, loving yourself...it's the pathway.  To wherever you want to go.


Today's pictures are a set...and a progression in the act of vulnerability.  I present to you Pearl's Belly.