Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Intentional Knitting

I'm just going to breeze past the space between posts. Sound good to you? Plus, nobody wants to read a bunch of excuses and drama and I honestly don't want to type it all out. Win-win!

Tosh Merino Light in Tart from Loveknitting
Look at this yarn!

I've been wanting this exact skein for YEARS. Madelinetosh Merino Light in Tart- isn't she lovely?

I finally caved when my favorite new online shop started carrying it. I ordered two skeins but one sold out from under me so all I have is this single precious bit. One is enough. Well, not really because I could fill a tub with this and still not have enough- but one is a great start. I will be making an Ishbel (the 7th!), my favorite shawlette pattern ever designed by the lovely Ysolda Teague.

I'm also going to breeze past my love affair with Ysolda. Love her.

So what's the deal with this one skein? Why is it so awesome? I have tons of other red yarn. I even have two different colorways of this yarn base that sit patiently in a drawer (Spectrum and Plaid Blanket, in case you really needed to know!)

Well, the whole purpose of this post is to talk about knitting with intention. For years I have made hat after hat, sock after sock, sweaters that kinda fit but not really, mittens with a slightly off color scheme. Basically, just knitting for the sake of knitting. To keep my hands and mind busy while life does it's thing around me.

Yeah, it is therapeutic. Eventually the hats get passed out among friends. Socks wear out. Sweaters get donated. Another set of mitts gets shoved into the drawer near the front door. Something just doesn't sit right with me though. I will scroll through my pages on Ravelry and have absolutely no memory of making certain projects. This is HOURS of my life that pass without me noticing.  And the money spent of the yarn- yeah, that's another thing to breeze past!

Sure, endless hours dinking around on your phone or playing video games is fruitless (not picking on anyone- I do these things too!) I would much rather have a finished product to show for my hobby. So yeah, I do this thing. It is useful, exercises my brain, is fun, and is cheaper than drugs (and golf!) What's my problem?

I think I am finally to the point where knitting isn't an overwhelming obsession. In fact, it makes me feel guilty and sad. I neglect other things while I sit and knit something that isn't really necessary. Nobody is going to go cold waiting for me to finish up that scarf right away. I have no desire to knit for charity. Maybe that sounds mean, but honestly think about it- they would rather have the money instead.

And sad- yeah, I get sad. It reminds me of my LYS closing. Not having those few hours a week to myself. Friends lost in the drama of it all.  My grandma dying. My mom and Mark getting really sick, overwhelming anxiety and depression- it all got tied up in yarn. Knitting used to be my comfort and now it reminds me of loss and heartache. And then the weeks that followed I binged on yarn left and right because retail therapy reared it's ugly head and the only thing I enjoy shelling out money for is yarn.

Yarn, yarn, yarn.

Oh look, I suppose I did want to mention drama.

This week I have been focusing more on what I am making and not just keeping my hands busy. I went a few days without knitting (GASP!!) I chose a yarn to play with because the color made me smile. I ignored the old skein that has been neglected since 2008- again. I have no obligations. I have no deadlines. I DON'T HAVE TO KNIT. I have no pressure, imaginary or real, making me do it- so I'm not gonna!

I actually enjoy cleaning my house. I love having things tidy (oh, Marie Kondo, I love you almost as much as Ysolda!) I used to enjoy cooking. Carcassonne, Catan, Fluxx and Munchkin have taken over our house. I wrote a blog post! And maybe I will try this exercising thing that people keep talking about?

Back to that skein of Tart- why mention it? Because I actually have a project in mind to match an outfit I already have. It won't sit idly by waiting to be made into something I won't wear.

It is the embodiment of intention for me. And it feels good.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Little Engineer That Could!

No school today so we brought out Ngaio's new toy to play with! 

Mark found a video about Goldie Blox- engineering toys for designed for girls. I know, I know! All the anti-girlie pink Lego movement should have taught us a lesson but these are different. And I'm leaving it at that because I don't really want to debate!


We've been interested in buying one for months and saw one at Target last week. On sale. How can you not try it?

It only took her about 30 minutes to build it several times and then she started using the pieces to build her own contraptions. 

We started with the dunk tank set. Any relatives out there wanting to get her a present (hint, hint!) don't worry about doubling up because the pieces can combine to make bigger and better projects.

Back to building!


Friday, September 13, 2013

a precious gift

The first egg! I hope of many, but I'm not thinking about that now. I'm enjoying this sweet bliss for what it is.
I love how the curious most-likely culprit photo-bombed the moment. It is very fitting to her personality.

I had been planning on making this 'first egg' post my next post for weeks now- and it took longer for our girls to grow up than I'd hoped. I see the folly of my ways now. Since Ngaio's 'being' I've tried not to rush to the next fun phase of life or development. I've tried to savor every second while I could.

And yes, chickens are not my children- but I feel that I missed out on so much because all I could focus on was this pinnacle. I wish I could say it was a let-down... but I danced a little bit! And gave Polka Dot a nice snuggle. And wiped away a tear.

Yes, chickens are not my children- but I love them so and I will enjoy their moments (from now on) with the same slow paced anticipation I practice with Ngaio. I think I'll plan a little celebration for us and the chickens after school!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another one!

Another post and another Ishbel!

I believe this is my 5th Ishbel shawlette I've made. The pattern is like mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie. It just feels so right down deep in my soul.
I'm not the only one who feels this way. Over 12,000 of these suckers have been made (Ravelry numbers alone!) and I know I'm not the only one who has made more than one! The entire time I was knitting I was planning what color the next shawl would be. Seriously- it's my knitting crack!
I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Byrne. I got it at The Stitching Post here in town and I know for a fact she has more! And other colors as well. I decided on the large stockinette portion and the smaller lace. It worked out really well because I only had 14 grams of yarn left so I might not have gotten any more full repeats. I'm kinda chicken that way. I started with my Knitpicks nickel plated interchangables in 5's and then did the bind off with an Addi Turbo size 8. I really don't like the Addi needles anymore. They are very blunt. But it was handy. And it was expensive. So they all get used. I just bitch about them a ton.

Right after I took this photo I went inside and wound some handspun into a ball. This one, in fact!

It is Two if by Hand Rambouillet in 'Bumbershoot' that I spun as a single ply lace. It's not my best work. I'm striping it with a natural colored single ply that I got to sample for the shop. I'm using them in a stripy shawl and they are playing together nicely! The sample skein is turning out awesome and I'm thinking it will be a good addition to the Younger Yarn family someday. I'll let you know more about that later though!

I'm staying monogamous- sorta. I still have that sweater on the needles from last week- and it even has a few more inches added to it. But let's face it- it's freaking way too hot to have a sweater on your lap. I only ever knit the bastards during summer, it seems.

So that's about it! I'll end with some awesome things. And a not awesome one.

Not: Ngaio's fish died and she is taking it really hard.

Ngaio and Mark dug holes together for the fence. It was cute. She's not quite 'Winchester brothers' great at digging holes, but she really had fun with her neon green shovel tonight!

I found a pattern to make a hat for an old friend. She asked me if I could FOREVER ago and I put it off. I showed it to her today and she was really excited. It will feel good to knit for someone who really appreciates it!

Two teenage boys played tag with their dad at the park. And screamed and giggled. It was awesome. And I'm sure it made the dad's day/month/year to play with his not-so-little boys again. They just grow up too fast!

I made chocolate chip cookies and rhubarb bars today. YAY!

OH! And I made this hat but it doesn't fit my big ass head. Does it need to come live with you?

Leave a comment if you would like it!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

No posting does not equal a bored life

nor does it mean an overly exciting life.

Yes, it has been busy. Yes, it's been boring at times too. It's not that there isn't stuff to write about or stuff that I don't want to write about... but the writing/sharing has been the last thing on my mind.

We have chickens now!
6 became 5. And now we have a bear issue to deal with. And a fence that is currently taking over my usual photo taking spot. As I went out to take photos today I caught a squirrel in the coop. Even with a camera in my hand I was ill-prepared. Ngaio fell down inside the house while running for her rain boots to come and see... and then the squirrel was too damn fast anyway. The chickens didn't seem to notice their visitor but were quite excited to see the camera.

I could flood this post with all the projects I've done in the past few months- but that ain't gonna happen. So here is what is on the needles right now (well, it is one of the projects. I'm not monogamous!) We can just take it from here and see what comes.

Speaking of monogamous knitting, I've actually become WAY more prudish. Everything seems to be slowing down for me. I prefer to focus. Hell, I NEED to focus. I like enjoying every little stitch. I've been really concentrating on making useful things that fit well or serve a purpose. Or, that's what I keep telling myself. Stripper tea cozy aside, I want to make things that are not a waste of my time. Did I lose you at stripper tea cozy? Yeah, that happened, but I don't want to post it. Go look on Ravelry if you really need to.

What's next? Well, I'd like to finish that tweedy pullover thing pictured above. I have a colorwork hat soaking and another on the needles that may get frogged due to color choice issues. I have another Ishbel shawl as my travelling knitting but I'm at the lace section now so that's gotta change! I have NO socks on the needles. What?? Yeah. None. My last pair was a sport weight exercise of improper fit and eye rolling. And I have a lot of socks anyway. Ng just got a new pair this month and will likely be the only one getting them in the near future. That could all be a lie. It would not surprise me in the least if I logged off and cast on 5 new pairs all for MEEE!!! Or- God, forbid- I cast on another pair of handspun for Mark. Actually, I can safely say that will not happen.

What's really next is me trying to clean out my knitting basket, making some tough decisions (1st world problems- ARGH! This green yarn is not the exact shade that matches the other green yarn in this hat that nobody needs or wants...)

Oh well. The garden is green. Rain is falling. Chickens will soon be egging unless a hungry bear needs them more than we do. We are all healthy and fairly happy most of the time. I really have no complaints. Other than I need an iced tea.

Life is good.

We can all do well to remember that.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Girl Cave!

We've been pretty busy for the last month getting Ng's room renovated. I'm pleased to say we are FINISHED! Well, like 99% finished. There is still a small bit of molding to go behind her door- but you can't really see unless you really look... so SHHHH....

Here is a tour... I hope you like it! Our little monster does- and we kinda wish we could have a room like this ourselves!

So here is what you walk into. The bookcase will get repainted- later. Like, I don't even want to think about it and maybe next summer I will do it. No hurry!
We painted the inside of her closet blue and used scrapbooking paper in the flooring, so it's pretty colorful! Ng picks our her clothes for the week and puts them in the hanging sweater cubbies. This has made getting ready in the morning SO much easier!
Ng decided to use the smaller, more vividly painted dresser in her room (STOLEN from ME!) so her sheets are on her closet shelf. Kinda annoying, but we will deal with it!

Speaking of the dresser, here is a closer look. I repainted it a few years ago (dumpster dive score!) and originally planned it's use for my yarn stash. That didn't last long and it's been used for many other purposes since. Plus, my yarn won't fit in there!
As you can kind of see, her window casings were painted hot pink! And there is a Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy sticker on her window. We're into squished things...

And now, the BED!
Mark built this whole thingy by himself using mostly free materials! It is so sturdy (it doesn't squeak or move even when the adults are tucking in the princess!) and it's pretty comfy up there. The banisters keep her from jumping off on purpose or rolling off while sleeping. My brother really needed that feature as a child.

Underneath is a desk with art supplies (the desk and chair are from thrift stores!) an ikea table with her dollhouse, and then...
The other side is her dumpster find chair. That's where I sit when I read to her at night. And snuggle in the morning. The wall behind is lined with painted boards to add a bit of color. We keep a few books in a mini shopping cart behind the ladder and a little basket- books everywhere! And there are paper heart lights hung behind for a little mood lighting. The mood being "Go to sleep so we can go watch Netflix!"

Her other wall is just white at the moment with her easel to break it up a bit. I will add a clothesline type contraption to hang her artwork so it will be easy to change out and keep fresh and updated without putting holes in the walls.

Oh yeah! On the upper level is room for her doll beds. It's all very snuggly and sleepy up there...
*complete with a sleep mask... Skippyjon Jones came with his own mask, as you can see. And yes, all the dolls are nekkid. I don't know what's up with that kid and the nekkid dolls. The black, white and teal thing on the wall is a clothesline for her doll clothes. Not that the dolls wear any... but should the need arise... They also have a trunk full of clothes. Once again, just sitting there. Mark also built the doll bunkbeds- it was his trial run. Or something like that. Ng decorated them with a Sharpie. I've made sure there are no more hidden Sharpies in this room. But we did find some hidden candy as we were moving stuff over. I love the look on Ng's face when we uncover that kind of thing...

So that's it! Pretty awesome- if I say so myself!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Much Ado About Something...

So a certain little girl had her birthday party this weekend. Yay, 6!!

Happy Birthday, my sweet!

My friend Kimberly took the most amazing photos of our little gathering at the park. I think everybody had a good time.

We've been working on Ng's room for a few weeks now and it finally looks like a bedroom. Just a few more boards to screw into place and we can start moving stuff in.

We ripped all the paper off the walls, taped and textured, sanded and painted the window sill (hot pink!), pulled up the carpet, added kraft paper flooring (AWESOME!) and now Mark is finishing up the built in bunk bed. Or loft. Or hellacool hangout area with a bunk on top... whatever you want to call it!

So trim is next... I think. And hot pink railings. Of course...

We found the chair by a dumpster and let it air out for about a week. It fits under there perfectly and is so comfy. Everybody needs a reading chair, right? Don't worry, it will be placed better once we get things all sorted. And don't worry- there were no rusty needles in the cushions or gross mystery stains. The chair is in remarkable shape. No pet hair or cigarette smoke. It was destiny! I'll just throw something hot pink on it and all will be well.

Mark also found a fully functioning Dyson by a dumpster a few days later. It works perfectly- but I can't say it smells great. Lots of dog hair. But a DYSON! For free! And it works? I don't think anything hot pink will fix the odor, unless baking soda comes in cool colors now.

Ah, fiber... I've been getting into colorwork kits (notice how I don't say I'm actually knitting colorwork yet...) so I made a few for the shop. I have some new colorways coming out soon and some preordered kits drying right now. Anywho, this is the first grouping. I got all crazy and spun them up in like 2 days.

The yellow ended up being a little thinner, so it might not make the cut. It's a floofy Finn sport weight even though the WPI (14) is on the fingering side of things. This combo is called PS... A Walk in the Woods and was a colorway created with my friend Shayla of Alina Shea Creations. She has a few skeins left of the matching yarn so go pick some up! I've been going back and forth with the pattern I want to use. Maybe Chevron Love Mittens?

I've also washed and whacked these two skeins. I spun them first, of course, but I only just washed them yesterday...

They are both mixed Corriedale from Southern Cross Fibre. Nply, to keep the colors from getting muddy. I think socks?? I always think socks though!

Remember that handspun I was talking about last time? Well, I'm actually knitting it up into a baby sweater/top/weird-Scandinavian-thing. It is adorbs. Yep, I just said that. And yep, I'm really knitting it. In fact, I'm almost finished with it. I just keep leaving it in the car so I haven't been able to sit with it longer than 10 minutes or so. My evening Supernatural-watching is with the wheel lately but that will change after tonight... it is the last episode available on Netflix and I don't want to start a new braid until- oh crap. I have another 2 oz of BFL- ok. Scratch all of that.

To sum up- I'll finish some stuff sometime.

Until next time, my friends!
Sparkles and rainbows and hugs!!! xoxoxo