About Me

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

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.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Works in Progress and Stash Boosters

I woke up this morning with nothing to knit. The projects I am about to show you would intimate that I DO actually have something to knit, but I assure you, I do not.

This is my very first attempt at intricate lace knitting. It looks like a dark blue blob of crinkliness, but I assure you it is going well. However, I have reached the point where I have to decide if I want to add beads and I can't decide. The original pattern uses beads and they are gorgeous, but I'm not so sure how it will look on this very dark blue. I love the color, but will beads ruin it? Therefore, I have reached a point where I can no longer knit on it until I have figured this out.

Next is the sweater shawl thing that I started so I could have something cool for the summer. It is very pretty, but it is feeling a little too frilly. (Don't laugh, I know I like frilly things, but I feel silly wearing them to do the dishes and change diapers). Thus it has lost its charm and I can feel my brain oozing out my ear in an attempt to escape the tedium of this sweater.

This is my Piece de Resistance (or however that is spelled). It is my own design, my own pattern and a times a freaking pain in the rear to work on. It may appear to finished, but I still have to give it an edging and sew in a zipper. I do not have a zipper and I can't decide if it would be better to knit the edging and then sew in the zipper or do the zipper and then the edging. We are at a standstill.

So, I found myself with absolutely nothing to knit. Nothing. I gave away all my (crappy) acrylic yarn and my stash was reduced to a pitiful status.
But then, the clouds parted, the sun shown through and my mailman came to the door.
With this...

My Christmas knitting yarn. In a completely uncharacteristic organizational move, I have planned ahead and figured out all of my Christmas knitting. You may think that this is crazy to start so soon, but I have about 34 projects to finish in about 30 weeks. Believe it or not, this hulking pile of miles of string will be socks, sweaters, scarves, gloves and toys for my dear friends and family. Can you pick out which yarn is yours?

In addition to the endless amount of entertainment I will enjoy over the coming months, the mailman also brought me this...

Peace and solitude while my kids play in the box. I am so buying a huge amount of yarn every time in order to get the huge box. It is so worth it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm NOT interested!

Okay, if you are a salesperson and at the beginning of your pitch I give you my annoyed I-don't-care-what-the-crap-you-are-selling face, this is a clue for you to STOP TALKING! Not to belittle me as if I am so dumb that I can't see the wondrous nature of your product and all I need is more indoctrination. I. Don't. Want. It. And at this point, it really could be the best thing in the world which will clean my house, cook dinner, fold the laundry, cut my hair and compact itself neatly to fit under my table lamp when not in use, and I still wouldn't want it because of your attitude.

I can't stand pushy salespeople.

Finished works of Genius!

Or, well, maybe just somewhat competent.

First, is the beautiful purple sweater I made for the Knitter Olympics this winter. Apparently every winter olympics knitters everywhere go nuts. The idea is you choose a project that is a challenge for you but that you think you can start during opening ceremonies and finish before the closing. This was mine.

It is from the Spoke pattern and I used a Peruvian wool yarn from KnitPicks (link to the right). You can't tell in the picture, but it has all these amazing flecks of color in among the purple that look awesome. The only thing that saddens me is it looks so much better lying on the bed than on me. :(

Next is the sweater I knit for Ryan last Christmas. It was my first big garment project besides the cable sweater I knit myself out of crappy acrylic yarn.

I used a pattern from a magazine that I can't find right now (sorry if you were interested) and used a cotton/acrylic mix from Lion Brand. The color is much lighter than I thought it would be, but Ryan still likes it. In fact, he is wearing it today. :) I was super proud of myself because it has a zipper. I spent the whole time I was knitting it worried about the zipper. But it looks pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself.

Last, but not least is my first Afghan. I loved working on it. It was made with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, which is a super bulky yarn and the pattern is a free one also from Lion Brand. It knit up really fast.

I love how it kind of looks like a giant's sweater. It is surprisingly soft and one of my favorite things to cozy with because I made it. :)
Anyway, that's enough showing off for today. Next time I'll show you what I am working on right now. I am spending today sewing it up. Cross your fingers for me that it will work out.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The NAMI walk and why I am posting at 3AM

First of all, the NAMI walk was yesterday morning. I had a blast! Ryan, not so much, but I am glad he was there.

Everybody and their dog was there, literally. If you didn't know what was going on, you would have thought it was a dog show. I forgot to bring Winston and was really sorry about it, he would have loved it. They even had free doggie treats at the end. Oh well, next year.

We ate breakfast burritos, watched the dogs "socialize" (aka sniff and bark) and shivered waiting to get started. The dogs really were the most entertaining part, they were so funny.

It was a 5K, which is just over 3 miles. I thought it would be no big deal, but I seem to suffer from the delusion that I am about 30 lbs thinner and in much better shape. But I made it! I really felt super good about myself for signing up, telling people about it, reaching my fund raising goal, actually getting up early and going to the thing and then walking the entire 5K. I can't wait for next year. :)

So, it is nearly 3 AM and I am still awake. I already took my anti-anxiety pill, which calmed me down enough to stop crying, but I am still leery of actually going to bed. Sleep and I have a very difficult relationship. I have been trying desperately to get on a normal sleep schedule. I didn't sleep well Friday night thanks to Aislin's assumption that our bed is actually her bed, and I had to get up at 7 (which for me is incredibly early) for the walk. I did not take a nap today. I did lie down at one point but the kids only let me do that for about 2 minutes. I didn't even get to close my eyes.

And yet, in spite of all of this that should have me falling asleep standing up, I am still awake and cannot bear the idea of lieing in bed with Ryan who can sleep with no problems whatsoever while I stare at my ceiling fan and try to think pleasant counting-sheep type thoughts instead of the anxious ones that vie for my attention. Some nights, it is a fairly easy battle and I can get to sleep in a little over an hour. Other times, like tonight, even with medication, it is better to just stop fighting and do something else.

I have tried several sleep medications (all over-the-counter). Your average Tylenol PM type stuff or the ones without any pain medication, just sleep medication, give me a groggy hangover for the entire next day and I also wake up all swollen. These are used only in extreme emergencies, like if I haven't been able to sleep for a couple days in a row. The all natural varieties work okay sometimes, but really all they do is make me calm, not sleepy. My anti-anxiety does the same as the all natural sleep aids, only much more effectively, but still not sleepiness. Yes, I probably should see a doctor and get a prescription, but we have no insurance and no money. So, I avoid any solution that points to medical professionals. Somedays I dream of a day when I have small but persistent pain somewhereorother and think nothing of going to the doctor to get it checked out. A magical time when we all have regular dentist visits and getting your eyes checked for some new glasses and contact lenses is routine.

Anyway, that is why I am writing endless nonsense in the wee hours of the morning. So, tomorrow I will be irritable and unpleasant, which considering I am a woman of raging hormones at this particular time is probably not any different than it would have been had I gotten sleep. It could also explain tonights insomnia.

Whatever the reason, there it is.

Tomorrow (or realistically speaking, in a day or two) I plan to post some pictures of my latest knitting projects. I am super excited about them.

Until then... :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A New Start

I decided to consolidate and move all my blogs to one account. Thus the new blogging address.

This blog will be a conglomeration of my thoughts and feelings along with updates on my knitting projects because Ryan is not as impressed as I feel he should be and I love showing people what I have done.

So, I hereby introduce the new and amazing Knitting Princess blog. Prepare to be amazed!