About Me

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Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
SAHM obsessed with yarn, beads and avoiding housework.

Monday, October 25, 2010


If you were looking for another reason to become a knitter, crocheter or spinner, have I got a fabulous one.

Ravelry Swaps

Ravelry swaps are like secret santa all year round with so many different themes, price ranges, and interests you just can't go wrong! I just finished my first swap and it was so amazingly fun, I can hardly contain myself. Putting a package together was a blast. And then, as if that wasn't awesome enough, my package came today!!

Look at the amazingness! Those little yellow faces are so cute I might die. And there's handspun! Handspun, people! It doesn't get better than that. Not to mention that this person was so in tune that I got nail polish and Halloween socks that will be perfect for my costume this year.

Seriously, I know that there are those among you who have been saying, "If only I had a really good reason to start knitting/crocheting/spinning, I would." Here it is, my friends. Wait no longer. Go, sign up, cast on and swap!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Return of the Inspector!

To round off this delightful month, the dreaded house inspector returned. This time we actually received the letter in the mail and had enough time to arrange babysitting and work our arses off (almost literally, mine is screaming in pain) cleaning the house. I cleaned from 8 to 2 with a short lunch break. But, it is clean.

Ryan said she was very nice (I couldn't stay. Being at home while I am inspected causes a nervous breakdown. I like to avoid those) and we passed all points except the washer and dryer area which they have gotten very strict on because I guess they recently had a renter have a fire. But, it's no biggie. We just have to fix it before next inspection. I'll probably do it next week. I am exhausted and Lizzie's birthday is this weekend, also the Taos Wool Festival. Ya, it'll have to wait. Too bad. :)

The sad thing, besides the soreness, is that I am so exhausted from the work that I can't knit. I want to desperately, but I can actually barely move my arms to type this, and the needles just seem so heavy.

Tonight will be a super easy dinner, and early to bed. Waaaaaaaay early. Like, maybe even now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Murphy's Law

This month has been a textbook example of Murphy's law.

1) First, the silver car broke down, twice. The first time it cost us $800. The second time was free because the morons at Pep Boys did something wrong. But the second time Ryan was stranded on the freeway and I had to pack up the girls and go get him, during rush hour. It would be funny if it wasn't so recent.

2) Next, this month I have had a cold and two, yes TWO periods in one month. Not helping.

3) Last week, the blue car broke down. We think it is the starter, but we haven't taken it in. Can't afford to. See #1.

4) A few days ago Lizzie lost her glasses. They have dropped into some kind of warp field and are completely gone. We have torn apart the house looking for them. They are nowhere. And we cannot afford to get her another pair. Again, see #1.

4) Yesterday, my washer stopped working. I was trying to wash a normal load and it decided not to spin it out. My jeans are floating in soapy water because I just can't face what a mess it would be to take them out. I know I should, but see #2

5) These are all in addition to the normal problems like tight money, a husband who is unavailable because of work and school, young and hyper children who are methodically destroying the house and everything in it, as well as major depression and anxiety problems. I'm really not sure how much more I can take.

I just did another podcast episode and I feel really anxious about it. I have no reason to be. It's not really a special episode. I just feel so inadequate and stupid today. But then, because of this horrible month, I feel that way every day and I really wanted to just get an episode out anyway. I am just so tired of the insurmountable obstacles. Gosh darn it, just leave me alone!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Arrival

This is our new kitten, who doesn't have a name quite yet, but she will soon.

I love her to death!

possible names are:

1) Bastet - Egyptian cat goddess
2) Calliope - Greek muse of heroic poetry (I mainly just like how it sounds)
3) Kami - Japanese giant catfish who causes earthquakes (I dare you to look at her and not laugh out loud at this)
4) Ky-Lin - Chinese unicorn with yin yang balance
5) Maneki Neko - Japanese lucky cat
6) Nyx - Greek goddess of night
7) Kali - Hindi for black or dark one
8) Sable - y'know, cuz she's black
9) Sucki - Algonquin for black

Feel free to weigh in with your opinion or suggestions. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

A bit of Lace

I finally took some pictures of my Brandywine shawl by Romi, made with Manos Del Uruqual Silk Blend in the Abalone colorway. I really love how it turned out. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DSPS and Chronotherapy

Have you heard of Stumble? It is this very, very cool thing. When you sign up or download it or however it works (my husband did it for me, don't know the process), you have a little button on your browser which says "Stumble". When you click this amazing little button, you are whisked away to sites on the interwebs which match your interests. (It's not psychic, you have to tell it your interests). Mine are knitting, jewelry, psychology, writing and I think religion or something like that. So whenever I click the button I am taken to an awesome site that I probably never would have found otherwise.

So, I was stumbling earlier and a site popped up which talked about Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS). Now, you already know that sleep and I have a very strained relationship at the moment, so my interest was piqued. I could have written the list of symptoms. It is exactly what I have been experiencing. So, the treatments for this have nothing to do with medications. And it's not really like I am going to go around saying "I have DSPS!" But, I am going to try the Chronotherapy suggestion to try and get my body back on a normal sleep schedule.

The Chronotherapy schedule looks like this:

Day 1: Sleep at 4AM, Wake at 12 noon
Day 2: Sleep at 7AM, Wake at 3PM
Day 3: Sleep at 10AM, Wake at 6PM
Day 4: Sleep at 1PM. Wake at 9PM
Day 5: Sleep at 4PM, Wake at 12 midnight
Day 6: Sleep at 7PM, Wake at 3AM
Day 7: Sleep at 10PM, Wake at 6AM

It is a little intense, but I really feel it will work for me. Plus, with my husband's current schedule and my oldest in school, it pretty much works out that no children will be neglected during this. My little one has been taking a nap with me every day since the older one started school, and it works out schedule-wise that whenever my husband has to be away from home, she and I can take a nap together. It really is the perfect week for this to happen, and I just found this today. Serendipitous? I think so.

So, I sit here not feeling any guilt at all for being away at 2AM, which is amazing. I'll let you know how it goes.

FYI, there is a new podcast episode up, so check that out if you are so inclined. And I will leave just one more note to say that I started a project today which involves cashmere and silk. I am in heaven!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ever since I was little, I wanted to be amazing at something. When I was a kid that translated in my mind to being the best, the expert, the number one head cheese person at whatever it was. I had (and still do) a lot of different areas where I thought I could accomplish this, and I did (and still do) have a tendency to dream big.

When I was little, my dream was to be a star on Broadway. I love to sing and I really love the passion in musicals. I feel like you can get more across in a musical song than just a few minutes on the radio singing yet another fluffy love song. There are amazing musicians who get a ton of emotion through their songs on the radio, but something about Broadway music has always spoken to me.

In high school I was also always good at writing. I wrote a few poems, that I still really like. I don't know if they are really any good as far as poetry goes, but I like what I was able to communicate through them. I discovered in my senior year through being mistakenly placed in a non-fiction AP English class, that analyzing The Scarlet Letter was totally not my thing and non-fiction made so much more sense. I read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and wrote an essay on it which my fabulous teacher read out loud to the class. I wasn't there that day, but definitely heard about it later. I discovered that when I had less restrictions and could just say what I really think, I can write it pretty well.

A few years ago I got frustrated with not being able to find clothing that was both flattering and covered my body completely. I don't like things that are too tight or too low cut or basically too revealing and I was tired of having to buy three shirts just to cover my cleavage and torso at the same time. So I had grand plans for learning to sew and make my own patterns. I thought I could be so amazing at it that I would open my own boutique. My husband even bought me an old text book on how to make your own patterns. But it confused me and that fell by the wayside.

Then I learned jewelry and took off with that. I love playing with the beads and the colors and mixing them in ways that make me feel happy. I opened an etsy shop, went to a craft show and even held a few in home shows to sell my stuff. I haven't done too badly at this, and I have received a lot of great feedback from those who love my stuff. But, I think it might be a little too...I dunno. It's not really artsy enough to make me feel like I am an amazing jewelry artist. I just string beads together.

Not long ago I took a few Psychology classes and planned to not just become a practicing Psychologist, but get a PhD and perhaps even do research. I love Psychology, it completely fascinates me. And I often look at situations with a sort of psychological observance; wondering what it is that made so-and-so choose this and not that. I am constantly saying things like, "Wouldn't it be interesting to study..." and even go on to think of how you would go about conducting the research. This is also on hold because of my own mental health issues that make it nearly impossible to be a reliable student. One minute, I might be able to write a good essay, and the next I can't even concentrate enough to read the chapter. Plus, we already have one student in the house. I think two would kill us.

Now, I also knit. I have designed and actually knit up one sweater for my mom. It is nice. I learned quite a bit from it and I think I could do it again. But I'm not really driven to design from scratch. There are so many gorgeous patterns out there. What I like to do is take an existing pattern and make it mine by changing the color or the sleeves or a little of the shape. But this is what a lot of knitters do, so I am not special there.

My mother always says that it is easiest to be happy in life when you enjoy simple things. And I think that is completely true and I do enjoy many simple things, like a nice breeze or a gorgeous color or a delicious meal. But I still have this something in me that really wants to do and be something big. And not that I have to be famous or even all that well known. I just want to do something that makes me feel I have been heard, even a little. It is this that drives me to blog and podcast. It is this that makes me want to write a book, even though I am terrified of trying to get it published. It is this that pushes me to dream of all the ways I could be an amazing and successful person.

If I step out of myself a bit and try to look at my life objectively, I have done many amazing things and been successful at many others. I taught myself to play the piano, make jewelry and knit. I am highly self-motivated when I want something. I do not wait for life to bring me things, I go out and get it if I can. I have lived through a horrible and debilitating depression, which at times was nothing short of a miracle. I have kept two small human beings alive for several years. I am still married and as far as I know my husband still likes me quite a bit. I am definitely not a loser.

So why do I still want more?

Maybe it is because I am still rather young and I still sometimes start sentences with "When I grow up...".

Maybe it is because I have spent most of my life living for others and not myself so I have a hunger to do something that is completely mine. To create something that has nothing to do with anyone else and is all my creation. And I want that something to be successful, to be seen and heard and enjoyed by others.

Maybe it is nothing deep and philosophical at all and I just want people to say nice things about me.

I am very conflicted as to how to deal with this. On the one hand there is a voice in my head telling me to just be satisfied with being me and living this life and not to go looking for more. On the other hand, I am not sure this feeling will ever go away unless I achieve what I want.

What do I do?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My three-year-old loves to be naked. For that matter, so do I, but I have enough sense to be clothed when in public. My little one seems to think that clothes are only for if you are going outside, and even then she tries to sneak out there with nothing, not even shoes. Needless to say, this has been a frustrating habit.

Today, she wanted to go out and meet my oldest from the bus, but of course she didn't have a stitch on (I usually give up around the third dressing). My husband was trying to keep her inside and attempted to explain that she couldn't leave the house without clothing.

He said, "You can't leave the house, kid. You're ugly."

A half second later we were both rolling on the floor over his slip of the tongue. Poor kid, I hope that one doesn't stick.

If you have already listened to my latest podcast, you'll know that yesterday was my oldest's first day of Kindergarten and that I experienced some major anxiety over this. I am happy to report that I am doing much better today. I might even be able to handle sending my kid off to school everyday. I know, a major accomplishment.

I think it helped a lot that my husband put her on the bus, so I didn't have to watch it eat her and drive off.

Well, I probably need to make my kid less ugly by putting some clothes on her again, so I better go. Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


That describes how I have been approaching knit blogging and podcasting. I am a bit nervous about my adeptness at this whole thing. I love doing it, but I'm not sure whether or not I am really good enough at it to continue. I like to talk about myself and what I am doing and things that I like, but I worry that no one really likes to listen.

But, my podcast has continued to gain subscribers and I have received many positive remarks from complete strangers. And most amazing of all, my husband has complemented both my blog and my podcast. This is a man who is so honest he will actually tell me when I look fat in my jeans. This is a trait that I had to acquire a taste for, but if you think about it, I am glad I have someone who won't let me go out in public looking like a sausage stuffed into denim.

Anyway, I have decided to go at this whole hog. I am going to throw caution to the wind and just do it. I love doing it and the more I let that through and the less I worry about it, the better it will be.

So, whether you are reading or not, listening or not, care or not; I am putting my two cents out there, and my two cents has a lot to do with knitting.

There is a new podcast up, go check it out if you are so inclined. Also, there is a ravelry group for those who listen to the podcast. I also have set up a donation area on the podbean page to help with the costs of hosting. As an incentive, if you donate at least $5 you will be put into a monthly drawing for a set of stitch markers handmade by me.

In the meantime, happy knitting. And look out world, here I come.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rude Awakening

I have trouble getting to sleep at night, which is why yesterday morning after I put on PBS for the kids I went to lie down for a little doze. I was rudely awakened by the doorbell. I grabbed my bathrobe and ventured out to the front door, discovering on the way that the front room had been destroyed by the girls and my 3-year-old had stripped naked...again.

I cracked the door open trying to hide the naked child and disastrous mess behind me. It was a woman come to inspect my house. Yes, inspect. Twice a year the property management company sends someone to inspect my house to make sure that we are not running a meth lab or housing an infestation of rats. Usually, I get a letter letting me know when to expect her about a week before so that I can properly panic and prepare. This time there was no letter. I sent her away and called my husband. He called the property management people and complained about not receiving a letter. They were very nice and treated us like we must be criminals with something to hide since we wouldn't let her come in the house.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am no neat freak. If you are being nice, I live in organized chaos. If you are being truthful, I am a slob. Throw in a debilitating bout of depression for the past three years and you get a pile of mess that could hide a Snuffleupagus. Since I have been feeling better, I had set up a mental plan of attack to get us back in good shape. But the arrival of the knit-picky Nazi threw all my well-made plans right out the window.

In a panic we called in reinforcements and spent all day cleaning. Laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, tidying, dusting, vacuuming and even carpet cleaning. From top to bottom we scrubbed and scoured. We had to reschedule the inspection and we were told it could be as early as the very next day, so we fixed it all in a flurry.

It is now the next day (and we still haven't heard when to expect her back) and I am still bone tired. On the bright side, it's all done. And barring another terrible relapse, it should stay this way.

In the mean time, there is another podcast episode up and I have started a ravelry group for listeners of the podcast. It is called Baubles and Purls. Check it out!

Now, I am going to put on a good movie or a nice podcast, eat sugar-free candy and knit, knit, knit.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Last Knit

Since my Hubby is an animator and I am a knitter, this video blends our worlds perfectly. :)

By the way, a new podcast episode is up. The sound quality is not the best and there are a lot of ums because my new audio editor was giving me grief. Still, I hope you enjoy it. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To all circuses and zoos,

I have a very rare breed of monkey children that I am sure you would be interested in.

Their talents include:

-Destroying a completely clean room in less than 10 seconds
-Never being full no matter how much you feed them
-Producing a very high pitched, loud shriek that can wake the dead
-Throwing a world-class fit at the moment when it is most inconvenient
-Getting into such strange and mind-boggling predicaments they defy description
-Using up an entire box of band-aids in 5 minutes for one nearly invisible scratch
-Begging for months for a certain something for the next birthday/Christmas and then the night before said event when you have spent days searching all over town and the internet for this item, changing their mind completely and denying ever wanting such a boring toy.

These are just a few of their many, many abilities sure to stun and amaze all of your visitors. I am sure they would make a fascinating attraction for your establishment. I am asking $10,000 each. I assure you this is a bargain compared to what I will be spending on them over the next 15+ years.

This is a limited time offer as I am sure my conscience will kick in any minute when they give me one of their irresistible smiles and tell me they love me. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to enhance your appeal.

Dang, they're fast!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some People Laugh Through Their Noses

My husband still has the camera so I cannot take pictures of my WIP's or my new jewelry pieces or anything. So, this will be another pictureless post. :(

But, I just wanted to make a note that I have put up another episode of my podcast, which you can get to from the link to the right. I hope you are enjoying them. They are quite fun to make. Although I noticed that I have a tendency to laugh through my nose (Mary Poppins would be appalled) which makes some bits hard to edit. I am sorry if you are happily listening along and I suddenly blow right into your ear. :)

There's not much of interest going on over here anyway. It is hot as hades here. I just want to spend all day in a cold shower. I hate summer. Everything smells overcooked or too ripe and rotting. It is dry and dusty and the sun beats down like it is trying to fry you. I feel like I am under some mean kids magnifying glass, roasting.


So, I have declared today an official do-nothing-so-you-don't-overheat day. And that's what I am doing. (Except I may sneak in a load of laundry) It is too hot to even think and I just want to lie under the fan and maybe read a good book about somewhere cold.

Hope you are all having a fun summer without so much roasting and that you can fit in time for some fibery podcast goodness.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I am a podcaster!!!

I am incredibly proud of myself even though it probably isn't the best podcast out there. Still, I managed to record and edit the thing all by myself. I even added music!

Anyway, it is called Baubles and Purls and you can find me on itunes (eventually, not sure if I am on there yet, but I did submit it) or at www.baublesandpurls.podbean.com


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Light and Lacy

It's been a while. I apologize to anyone who was waiting with breathless anticipation for my next riveting blogpost, but it was a very bad week.

Anyway, in that time I managed to start and finish a lovely lace project. It is the Tikvah Shawl which I bought because the gracious designer is donating all proceeds to NAMI and that thrilled me to no end. I bought the pattern and cast on immediately with a lovely lace yarn I have had waiting for months. It is KnitPicks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn in Eucalyptus.

This is the blocking process which is probably only cool to other knitters, but oh well. It was my first chance to use my KnitPicks lace wires and although I have never before blocked lace, I instantly could tell that using the wires was much easier than having a gazillion pins in the lace.

I am completely enamored of it. My mother thinks it is the perfect size and shape to drape across the back of a toilet. Believe it or not, this is a complement. :)

I am still plugging away at my Tiptoe Cardigan, I am maybe halfway through the second front and then it is just one sleeve left to go. For some reason, I am having a hard time doing it. But I do really want to have it and I love the yarn and the colors so I will finish it, just not soon. And I am fine with that, it's all about the process anyway.

In the meantime, on Sunday I cast on a new project because I have discovered that I cannot get through church without a panic attack unless I knit. I battled with this for a long time because while I don't think it is sacrilegious or disrespectful, I worried a lot about what others would think of me. But, after missing nearly a month of church because I couldn't stand the thought of the inevitable panic attacks, I decided it was better to knit in church and deal with whatever judgementalism came my way than to miss it entirely and become completely inactive.

Anyway, long story short(ened), none of my current projects would work because they were either too large, fiddly or awkward to bring to church. Thus, I had the excuse I had been waiting for to cast on something new. This is the Featherweight Cardigan in KnitPicks Shadow Tonal Lace Yarn in the Queen Anne colorway. I don't think the picture does the colors justice. It is so many lovely shades of pink from barely there to hot pink with a few splashes of a lovely yellow. I love how it is knitting up and I think I will love the finished project.

Anywho, that is what I've been up to. I also have been fiddling around with podcasting. I haven't got anything up yet, but so far I am pleased with how my voice sounds. :) I will definitely let you know when I have something, because I know the only thing that could possibly be better than reading my ramblings on knitting and yarn would be to actually hear me ramble. And if that wasn't enough, I am planning on doing a little singing every so often.

I know, you are on the edge of your seats. :)

Until next time, may you never run out of yarn and your knitting be error free. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is not an obsession.

For the past couple of days I have done nothing but play with my new toy.

It is a yarn ball winder from Knit Picks (link to the right), that devilish wonderland for knitters.

Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the pure joy that is a ball winder, let me explain. A ball winder's purpose is to wind yarn into balls, (self explanatory really) such as this.

(The knitterly among you will note that I am winding a center-pull skein into a center-pull ball and realize that this is somewhat redundant. Let's not mention how obsessive this makes me seem but instead assume that I like how the ball that comes off this fancy doohicky is easier to store and prettier.)

First you must put one end of the yarn into the little notch and through the metal curlicue, thus.

Then, you begin to wind.

You crank the handle (which I somehow didn't get into the pictures) nice and fast, but not too fast or you will send your ball of yarn flying across the room. Although, that is pretty darn entertaining and you may want to try it just once for the experience.

It is so ridiculously simple, that a 2-year-old can do it. In fact, the girls and I have been having a blast. When all the yarn is wound, it looks like this.

And then you pull it off carefully and it looks like this.

If you have several balls to be wound, they look quiet lovely together.

This is my new yarn cupboard, for which Ryan is eternally grateful being that it frees up the corner on his side of the bed. :)

(Again, let's not discuss my yarn winder obsession and simply admire how nicely they stack.) My 5-year-old already pointed out that I have too much yarn. Poor girl, she has so much to learn.

In other news, I have three UFO's (un-finished objects) which are so close to completion it is utterly ridiculous how long I have been putting them off. All I need is one zipper sewn in and 11 buttons sewn on. That's nothing, not a big deal at all, especially when compared with the thousands of stitches and the hours of work it took to get to this point.

But, I hate sewing on buttons. And zippers are my mortal enemy. There is absolutely no knitting involved in any part of this finishing process, therefore I am rebelling.

But, hopefully, and especially by confessing this irrationality to you all, I can get motivated to just finish them. I mean really, I am only a few buttons and a zipper away from fully functional garments. Without those elements, they are nearly useless.

Of course, the call of the ball winder is nearly irresistible. (Why yes, I do have more yarn to wind and no, I don't think that is odd.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some Days are Diamonds and Where Bloggers Create

My friends, I am in a sorority and I think it is pretty darn cool.

If you want to check it out, you have until June 25th to join. Click on this.

Also, I just found a great contest to participate in called Where Bloggers Create. Click here, this one ends June 19.

Bloggers are so much fun!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Instant Gratification

I am working on a lot of big projects. Things that take weeks or even months (depending on my knitting fidelity) to finish. I love big things like sweaters and shawls and toys (well, toys aren't that big of a project, but it always feels that way because there is so much sewing). But, I was starting to feel kind of lost in the neverending knitting with little progress. (Well, actually I made a lot of progress, but it feels like it is dragging on)

There are two kinds of knitters, in some philosophies. There are process knitters and product knitters. Process knitters don't care if they never finish what they are working on. It is all about the act of knitting, all about watching the pattern develop or the knit stitches build on one another. Product knitters want the finished object. They usually make quick things like hats, mittens, socks and baby sweaters because they are quick and you get your finished object quickly.

I cannot figure out what I am. I never choose to knit something just for the sake of knitting, and I superbly love the finished product of my knitting. I choose my patterns according to how pleased I or someone I know will be with what I have made. However, I also like to make things that take a while because I enjoy the process of watching what I am make slowly grow in my hands, piece by piece until I have something beautiful at the end.

I also feel that there is something more virtuous in being a process knitter. They seem more patient and simply happy with just having the needles in hand. Product knitters are a little more into instant gratification.

(These are all just generalizations, there are variations all across the process/product spectrum)

Anyway, whatever I happen to be, I was getting tired of all these long projects and I put them all aside to knit these.

It took me two days and exactly two skeins of Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in Natural. I had this much left.

The patterns are Star Crossed Slouchy Beret and Bella's Mittens (with some help from jmartinelli13 to shorten them) from ravelry, both free patterns. Very fun and very pretty. I have faith that the recipient will love them.

As fickle as I have felt about my other projects I have made excellent progress.

Here's another new one, Seeds and Vines Top-Down Cardigan from Cozy Knits for Cuddly Babies by Elanor Lynn. This is for a friend who is expecting a baby boy this month. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash in 860 Smoke Heather. I fell in love with it at my LYS (Local Yarn Store). It had been a very bad day, I needed a fiber fix.

And, my Tiptoe Cardigan is coming along nicely.

That's the back, one front and half a sleeve.

I also worked a little on the Shipwreck Shawl, but it doesn't really look any different. So, no picture.

And, last but not least, Lori from Thrums has challenged her fellow bloggers to show their hands. So here are my unmanicured, freckle-fingered hands working on the Never-Ending sock.

I never feel more graceful than when I am working on knitting. (only these aren't so graceful. It is incredibly difficult to take a picture of both hands when you are all by yourself. Can't hold the camera in my mouth :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Random List of Careers I Could Never Have

In no particular order:

1) I could never be a bus driver, chauffeur or cabbie. I have only ever been in one accident where I was driving and have only been pulled over once, and didn't get a ticket. In spite of this good record, I suck at driving. I have a hard time paying complete attention to the road. I get distracted by other things and I am just kind of inobservant. Plus, I hate traffic, of all kinds.

2) Anything at all to do with politics. Blech!

3) A chef or cook. I hate cooking, and whether or not my cooking ends in success is completely hit and miss. Plus, I tend to think of recipes as guidelines and put in approximate measurements and add or delete things at will.

4) A teacher, especially of preschool or daycare, but pretty much teaching anything to children under 18 would drive me batty. Because of this, I would also make a terrible nanny.

5) Housekeeper/cleaner. Come and take a look at my home and you would never, ever hire me to take care of yours.

(Those last two or three would make you think that I am a horrible mother, and actually in the eyes of many I probably am. But my kids know I love them and that is what's most important in my mind.)

6) Any intense, high pressure, life-saving job. This includes EMT's, fire fighters, cops, life-guards, doctors, nurses, and bomb diffusers. I am not terrible under pressure, but I am more likely to have a panic attack than be able to save someone's life.

7) Anything in the military, I have a problem with following authority just because I am told to and I would cry every time the captain yelled at me. Plus, y'know, killing people.

Any of those jobs would not only be poorly done, but would make me miserable every day of my life.

But this...
This I can do.
It is Spud & Chloe's Tiptoe Cardigan knit in KnitPicks Comfy Worsted and I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove it! As soon as I set eyes on the pattern I knew I wanted it. It is a little bright, but I am loving bright colors lately. Plus I changed them a little because I am not a big fan of orange and I love yellow and I like the pink. I'm using a cotton and probably going to shorten the sleeves a bit hoping to make it more of a summer cardigan, or at least a spring one. Either way, I am loving it.
The past few days I have been having a hard time enjoying my knitting (the fact that I was only knitting charcoal gray socks may have something to do with that). But this sweater has renewed my love of knitting and I am at it full force.
And this. This is definitely something I can do and that makes me feel great!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just Add Yarn

I just got back from my local knit night. (We meet at Borders on the Westside at 6:30 on Thursdays. Check us out on Meetup.com) I went for the first time last Thursday and it is amazing! I love it. Every second is more fun than a barrell of monkeys. It is like instant friends, just add yarn.
We are a very diverse group. We are young, old and in between. We are married, single and in between. We are tall, short and inbetween. We even have a man! And engineer from Sandia Labs. (I know, it threw me too. You should see his knitting notes, very mathematical. He is knitting an Atari afghan. He's pretty much awesome.)

The only thing we have in common is our love of all things string-like and crafty. We knit, we crochet, we spin. We compare notes on the best techniques, yarn and patterns.
But it's not all about yarn. Tonight we covered everything from good restaurants to sex and dating. Movies, books and the craftiness of the people at knitpicks.com who make it only too easy to feed our yarn addictions.

Lest you think we spend all our time talking of frivolity, I made this while there.
It is a fingerless mitt. It is meant to keep your hands warm while your fingers can still type, play piano or the all important knitting. (I keep getting questions as to what they're for.) For anyone who cares, it is my own made up pattern on US size 3 needles with Aslan Trends Natural Luxury Yarn in Santa Fe (which cracks me up. I have never seen these kind of colors in Santa Fe.). I got it from an online store that I don't remember the name of, but I absolutely love the yarn. I love the colors (even if they aren't southwestern).
Yes, there is only one, but I have cast on its mate.
Although, I might reknit the first one because I don't like how it's kind of baggy at the wrist. I think if I continue the ribbing for longer and the plain part for less it will fit better at the wrist. I also kind of want to redo the thumb. Or maybe not.
When I finished the first one at knit night, everyone got excited and Charles took a picture. It sure makes you feel special. Much better than the half nod and "Mm-hm" I get from Ryan. I think I am hooked. I am a life member. Nothing, short of a hospital stay or natural disaster will keep me away from Thursday with the knitters. Thanks guys! See you next week!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's Inevitable

I have been trying to post for a few days now, but The Inevitable was in my way. So, today I decided to post anyway.

First, my latest project. (It's a gift so the pictures are vague)

I LOVE it. As soon as the kit came I cast it on and have been working on it non-stop ever since. I love every inch of it. It is colorful and fascinating. I learned a new technique and I just can't stop admiring it. I started it two days ago and I am nearly finished.
Since I haven't been working on anything but this lovely project, I don't have anything else knitterly to show you. So, to distract you while I talk about The Inevitable, here are some pictures of my adorable children.

(Aislin being super cute as always)

So, the inevitible is that in spite of my efforts to always make this blog upbeat and entertaining, I am derailed from this goal by the incessant anxiety and depression that I battle every day. For the past week I have been trying to stifle and ignore it so that I could write something chipper, but every time I try to do that it comes back with a vengeance.
I debated with Ryan as to whether or not I should write about it at all, since the original goal of this blog was merely to be entertaining and show off my knitting. But I decided that I just can't ignore it. It is a pervading influence in my life and to write this as if it isn't there is deceptive.

(Lizzie, after I told her to show her missing teeth. Apparently that means to give me a deer-in-the-headlights look)
Also, the entire reason I began knitting in the first place was to help with my emotional difficulties. Knitting calms me like nothing else can. When all else is going wrong, I can knit and feel that I have accomplished something, however small. Knitting makes me feel smart, it keeps me learning and some days it is the only reason I get up in the morning. On days when I am otherwise paralyzed by the unrealistic terror and the inexplicable sorrow, I can knit and feel that I have done something, even if it is just a few stitches.

So, this blog is not merely about knitting or my cute kids or whatever. But it is also an attempt to voice what it is like to live with these difficulties day after day. I hope it can be a form of therapy, raise awareness about the issue and maybe lessen the stigma. Not that I'm going to have a gloomy blog from now on, the chipper posts were completely genuine. I just can't always be chipper.
Seems a little silly to have such lofty goals when I have all of maybe 10 readers, but it's something. I feel it is better than being silent and pretending like it isn't there affecting nearly every aspect of my life. And, since there are millions of depression sufferers and millions of knitters, I am not alone.
So, today as I am incapacitated by this overwhelming fear of nothing I can put my finger on, I am going to pick up my fabulous project and accomplish something today. It might not be much, but it is all I have.
Well that and these sweet angels.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Among knitters there is a terrible disease known as Startitis. This is when, in spite of having several projects already in progress, the knitter is inexplicably drawn to start something (or several somethings) new.

I am having a very hard time resisting.

First of all, I finished my first ever knitted scarf and it came out great. I am super proud of it.

Next, I learned an incredible new technique for socks from this book.

Some knitterly genius came up with a way to knit both socks at the same time, thereby avoiding another knitter disease, Second Sock Syndrome (where after finishing the first sock, the knitter is unable to begin the second one out of incredible boredom). A fear of this disease kept me from knitting any socks at all. But, I bravely bought the book and in two days I made these.

Toddler sized socks. I am very impressed with myself. I kept showing Ryan how cool I thought is was that I was knitting both at the same time. Considering it was past midnight, he wasn't as impressed as I hoped.

I have cast on another pair of socks specifically for him in and endeavor to show him how really cool this two-at-a-time sock thing is.

These ones take a much finer yarn and since Ryan's feet are a bit bigger than a toddler's, it's gonna take me a while to finish. But do you see the craziness on those needles? It is one big tangled mess, and yet I know what I am doing!

Besides these socks, I have four other WIPs waiting for me to work on them, but I am very distracted by these.

They have so many lovely summery designs and I just want to forget all about Christmas socks and knit a beautiful bamboo cami or dress from these mags.

So, with the stress of a rather bad week and the pressure of so many WIPs vieing for my attention while I battle Startitis, this is what happens when Ryan goes digging in his bedside table drawers and finds some double-sided sticky tape.

For the record, it was his idea.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I am not knitting a scarf.

By some strange twist of fate and probably because I taught myself to knit and no one forced it on me, I have never knit a scarf. I crocheted one and I came close with a sort of scarflette thingy for Lizzie (I got bored, bound off and added a button so it would stay on). But I have never actually knit a scarf.

I tend to be a jump-right-in-the-middle-with-both-feet kind of person. When I decided I wanted to learn to knit, it was because I saw Erika Knight on a PBS knitting show saying that all knitting was a combination of two very simple stitches. I had been under the delusion that I would only ever be able to knit scarves and hats if I learned and that seemed boring. But she inspired me. I bought two of her books (Glamour Knits and Classic Knits) and a cheap How-to-Knit kit from the craft store.

It drove me nuts. I couldn't figure out how to cast on or how to hold the yarn. Then I found a video showing me the long-tail cast on and discovered Continental knitting, which made so much more sense since I had learned to crochet first.

After this I knit what I know now were swatches, but I was just practicing stitches. I got knit and purl down quick and my first swatch had cables on it, because I thought it was so cool.
My first finished project was a baby jumper for my best friend Robyn's sweet new baby Esther (new at the time, she is 1 or so now). Yup, I jumped right in with decreases, (someone or other on the internet assured me they were easy). My second project was an intricately cabled sweater from a Weekend Knits magazine. It came out pretty cool and I only made a couple of (mistakes) design changes.

So, having never knit a scarf and having a sort of snobbish prejudice against the simplicity (and never ending rows) of scarves, why then did I cast on this?
Well, after I bought those books, I put them on the shelf completely intimidated by the beauty of each project. Recently, I decided I had enough finished projects under my belt that I could tackle some of them. And, after seeing Julie and Julia, I thought it would be cool if I went through and knit every single pattern in them, all 30. Some are very simple (like the first pattern in each book, which this scarf is one) and some are intricate and intimidating (like the chinoiserie cardigan which has tiny yarn and a satin lining). Some are just, well, I am not sure who I know that would want a bright purple knitted bra, but I'm gonna knit it anyway. (if you want it, shout out before cast on, so I can make sure it fits you.)
Also, in a stroke of brilliance, I am going to turn several of these projects into my Christmas gifts for this year. :)
To break up the monotony of this scarf I am also working on this...
Believe it or not it is the near complete back of the Deep V Sweater in the Classic Knits book. This yarn (KnitPicks Comfy Sport in Pomegranate) is so incredibly soft I can't help but stop knitting every so often and pet it.
And I have decided to cast on this...
Because it is simple and beautiful and I am getting bored with the other two projects. Being that I fully intend to finish all three projects before Christmas, I do not have any qualms about having them all going at once.