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'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...'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 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 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 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's always been my favorite color, but now, it's like a compulsion...a drive or a 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 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 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.