Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Weekends are for Relaxing

Do you ever have one of those weekends that is just exactly what you wanted it to be?  Last weekend was very nearly perfect for me, and just what I needed to help with the winter doldrums I had been feeling.

It started on Friday night.  My almost-husband was having his bachelor party at the house, so I made myself scarce by planning a stay with my mama.  We had a lovely time - just ordered in Chinese food and hung out.  We made a draft of the seating chart for the wedding, and then spent the rest of the night listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and not really doing much else. It was so nice to just be with my mom for a little while :)

Saturday and Sunday were mostly spent in some form of knitting - whether on the deck

Or sitting in my chair in the front room

And by the end of Sunday I had finished 1 1/2 audio books (Harry Potter 1 & 2), and two pair of fingerless gloves:

An early start to Christmas knitting!

I also took a break to photograph a recently finished pair of socks:

And the latest project from our charity knitting group at school:

 But maybe the best part about Sunday (besides all the other great parts) was opening the front door to find a package on my doorstep.  It was from a new. lovely friend from blogland, who I fully believe is my kindred spirit in so many ways.  She and I had exchanged some remarks as I commented on her blog over at Spinfoolish, and she reached out to me via email after that.  She decided that I needed a present, for no good reason, and lo and behold, the loveliest of lovely surprises came in the mail:

The bag was stuffed with this gorgeous handspun and a wonderful handwritten card from my new lovely friend, and I nearly started crying right there as I read it.  I am so happy to have met her (virtually), and I'm determined to think of something lovely to send her in return.  The world needs more good hearted and kind people in it, and she's certainly one of the good ones :)

Monday was a holiday, and I spent it cooking up a storm!  It was my week to bring soup for our divisional fundraiser (each week someone brings soup and everyone buys it for lunch and all the proceeds go to the scholarship fund for our students) so I spent all day Monday making giant batches of beef stew and chocolate cookies and a new recipe for rolls (which was not a success sadly).  And while I was doing that, almost-husband made me a gorgeous steak dinner served with a really pretty bottle of wine:

So friends, that was my weekend.  It was perfect, and I wish I could say it left me feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week. But really, it just made me want to stay home all the time and do all the crafting and cooking and even cleaning and yard work that I want to be able to do.  But, since I haven't won the lottery or invented something that will keep giving back throughout my life, I must work. But that probably means that weekends are more lovely because they are something to look forward to, right?

Happy Wednesday!

Patterns from Top:
Semplice Fingerless Mitts by Stacey Winklepleck
Eleanor by Monkey Toes
Basic Granny Square blanket - squares were made by about 6 different crocheters, but this is the basic pattern we followed to get them all the same.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mixed Feelings

Today is February 13, which is a strange day for me.  See, 19 years ago today, my dad passed away.  It was awful, and so, so sad.  I still miss him all the time, and especially lately as I've been preparing for the wedding.

That's him and me - on one of my birthdays

But every year, when this day rolls around, I am also struck by the fact that if he had lived, I might be a different person.  Which is a strange place to be, existentially.  I am sad that he's gone, and that I had to grow up without him, but would I have turned into the same person?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It's so hard to say.  I think he would be proud of this person I am, though.  He thought learning and helping others to learn was a pretty cool thing, and since that's what I do, I think he would approve.  

Anyway, I basically mean that I miss him and I'm sad, but at this point, it's just life as I know it, so instead of letting it bring the whole day crashing to its knees like I did the first 5 years or so, I use this day to think about the awesome person he was and the person I've become because of him.  And I think that's ok. 

And to add another layer to the day, it's also another pretty significant anniversary...

One year ago today, this beautiful girl came into our lives.  She chose us out of all the people walking around at My Furry Valentine, and it was love.  Just pure and simple.  I couldn't leave the event without her, and she had my heart pretty much from the first minute.  By the time we got home, she was daddy's girl and he was completely smitten with her.  And it's been like that ever since.  It's hard to remember what life was like without her, but it also seems like she's still new.  She has so many friends in the neighborhood, and she loves everyone she meets (sometimes a little too much).  So happy gotcha day, Bella girl.  We love you to bits.  

So it's a strange day for me.  Both sad and happy and nostalgic and forward looking.  Maybe that's how life is supposed to be.  

Much love to you all today.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Does Paper Count?

So for the past couple years, I have had a blast with the Totally Useless Stitch-Along hosted by Daffycat.  Each month, you post on your blog with an update of the project you're working on, and the ORTs you've collected in that month. It's a super fun way to connect and see progress from other stitchers from all over the place, without any real pressure associated with it.

The new moon (which is when we all share our ORTs each month) was January 27, so I'm a little behind in posting, and my post this month doesn't quite fit into the category... but I'm hoping I can have some leeway...

The project I've been so diligently working on is making flowers for the wedding (40 days away... but who's counting?).  The flower shop has been in operation for several weeks now:

And I'm SO happy and relieved to say that, as of Sunday evening, I am finished assembling the last of them:

200 flowers in total.  Now I just need to turn them into bouquets and centerpieces, but that won't take nearly as long as just cutting and curling and assembling all of them did.  They are lovely, and I'm so happy with how they look!  To celebrate the final flower being finished, my bff created a new flower out of the tools used to make them:

So apologies, TUSAL crowd, that I broke the rules.  I am hoping you'll forgive me.  Just for good measure, here is a shot with my knitting ORTs in it:

Which are from making a pussyhat for a nearly 1-year old, who really needs to show her girlpower:

I probably won't get to any cross stitch until after the wedding, and I've put myself on a diet of socks only as far as knitting goes.  But that's good, right?  It'll keep me focused on all the getting married stuff that needs to happen in the next 40 days...  oof.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I Do Feel Better Now

So last Friday, I did, in fact, permit myself to finish that sock, rather than dive back into the world of paper flowers right away.  And you know what?  I feel better.

It also gave me the chance to use my brand new sock-blockers, which I officially love.  I never really blocked socks before this, and it makes SUCH a difference in how they look.  I know they will probably never be blocked again, since the recipient will just throw them in the wash and immediately put them on when they come out again (as she does with her other handmade socks), but for right now, they look great, and the cable design is lovely and I feel like a grownup with my blocked out handmade socks.

I also love this yarn, by the way.  It is from TurtleMade, and we found it at the Young's Dairy Wool Gathering last year.  Her etsy store is all about her spindles right now, but her yarn is lovely, and they were very nice to talk to at the gathering.

Anyway, I feel a lot better having finished something, so of course I immediately cast on my next pair of socks... because I can't help myself.

So after spending most of the day on Sunday making flowers (total is up to 120 now), I moved along on this sock, and it is joyful.

I hope everyone has a chance to do something joyful this weekend!

Patterns from top:
Zigzagular Socks by Susie White
Eleanor by Monkey Toes

Friday, January 27, 2017

Not Finished...

I gotta say, I’ve been feeling pretty unproductive this year so far.  Last year, according to Ravelry, I finished my first pair of socks on January 9. 

I had started them before New Year, of course, but still.  January 9. 
And then it went on from there.  I had my second finish (giant wedding shawl) by February 4. 

Again, started in November, but finished on February 4.

So imagine my consternation that, here at the end of January, I had finished nothing so far.  Not one thing. 

I have socks on the needles.  

I started them the day after Christmas.  

I got a swift for Christmas, which was one of two things I actually asked for, and a yarn bowl, which was the other, so of course before we left the house Christmas day I had already wound up a ball of sock yarn.

I mean, duh.  Doesn’t everyone do that when they get a new toy?

And the first sock went swimmingly.  

And I’ve been stuck on this second sock for weeks now.

Sure, you could argue that I’ve been working on other things…


It’s not like I’ve been idle…

But the lack of finish was getting to me. So yesterday, I made a hedgehog. 

I will point out here that eyelash yarn is the devil.  But I do love this little guy! 

It’s silly and fun, and a retirement present for a co-worker who loves hedgehogs.  I told her that she needs to take him with her when she travels and take photos of him being a tourist.

But there’s that sock still… just sitting there, mocking me.

Maybe tonight I'll give myself permission to leave the flowers lie for a moment and finish that sock… I only have 100 more to make, right? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Weekend Round Up... A Week Late

So last time I posted, I was frantically trying to figure out  how to pack for a weekend in the woods in January in Ohio.  It turns out I needn’t have worried at all.  The weekend was incredible, and full of all the things that make me happiest.  The right group of people doing the right kinds of things, and everything was just perfect.  So here’s a little round up of how my people treated me to the best bachelorette weekend I could ever have hoped for.
The cabin was amazing: 

And my room was GIANT and they had it all set up with happy prezzies before I even got there!

There was so much wine, in very special glassware:

And the first night we ate and drank and played games until we were all laughing so hard we couldn’t contain ourselves.  I seriously haven’t laughed that much in a long time. 

The second day was kind of rainy and gross, so after a huge delicious breakfast we sat around and watched movies and stared up the flower factory.  Now, I don’t know what genius decided to make all the flowers for the wedding out of old book pages, but she was crazy pants… but we got a rhythm going and made some progress

And then it was time for the hot tub… it was actually really nice with the chilly air and the steam rising up out of the water.  I may have stayed in longer than was reasonable...  

And later that night, I remembered the importance of tension in creating matching sets of anything… whoops…

Sunday was a great day for a hike in the woods.  Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills is really gorgeous, and with all the rain we’ve been getting the waterfalls were in full force.  I just had the best time, and it wasn’t super cold, so that was good.

Sunday night was our final night, and I got sent off in style. 

I loved every moment of the trip, and I would have stayed there forever.  It was nice to get back to my family though, because I did miss them. I think they may  have missed me too...

So the next big adventure is the shower, which is in a few weeks now… but my sis and bff are on top of it, and I’m sure it will be just as perfect as the weekend was! 

Now if only I could find some knitting time…   

Patterns from top:
Paper Flower Pattern from the elli blog
Baby Fan Mitts by Morgan Wolf

Thursday, January 12, 2017

But How to Pack??

You guys, I’m so excited.  This weekend, I get to get out of dodge and head to a cabin in the woods with some of my favorite people in the world.  My sis and bff have put together a bachelorette weekend for me that includes all of my favorite things:  eating, drinking, crafting, hiking, board games, more eating and drinking, more crafting, and best of all, friends!  My bestie from HS is even flying up from Texas to join the party!!  I have been looking forward to this weekend pretty much ever since they told me they were planning it, and now that it’s tomorrow I’m pretty much ignoring everything else I should be doing and instead thinking of how awesome it is going to be, coordinating with my peeps, and of course planning what to pack.

I mean, it’s January in Ohio, so that should mean snow boots and hats and scarves and warm socks, right?  But here’s the forecast for the weekend:

That’s right, rain and highs in the upper 30s – 50s.  So it looks like we will probably be inside most of the weekend, instead of hiking in the woods, which is fine, but kind of a bummer.  I was so hoping for a lovely snowy scene as we walked through the woods – basically I wanted it to be a Robert Frost poem or something I guess.

But since we are going to be indoors, there will be more time for crafting, right?  

I'm kind of hoping for a weekend that looks a lot like this... ps, isn't my new yarn bowl gorgeous???

Which brings us to the next problem – how do I make sure I have enough projects to work on??  In my head I’m fairly certain that in three days’ time I will be able to finish 2 pair of typing gloves, a pair of socks, and half a sweater.  That seems reasonable, right?  What if I run out of yarn?  What catastrophe will fall then?

Nevermind the fact that I have already told everyone that we will be on flower making duty this weekend.  I’ve at this point made exactly 3 flowers for the wedding
and we need roughly 200. 

So at least part of the weekend will consist of an assembly line of sorts.  I’m certain we will get them all made by Sunday night… the constraints of time and space have no power over me when I’m planning! 

Overall I’m over the moon excited about this weekend, and I know it will be amazing.  I have the best people and it will be the best time.  I’m super sad that not everyone could make it, but I know they will be with us in spirit – have a glass of wine in my honor at some point this weekend, folks!