Tag Archive | knitting



Today has been adventuresome. Not in any grand change the world way, but in quiet change MY world ways. First, I introduced a friend whom I mostly keep in touch with online to the beauty that is Mighty Text. Now he can be at the computer where he needs to be, but I can be where ever I want with my phone and still be in touch.

Then I read a couple of articles online that ended up relating (again) to that concept of “house.” Am I the only one who can actually FEEL it when new synapses are formed in the brain? The good news is, the picture is coming clearer without any striving on my part, just as I suspected it would once I acknowledged the promptings.

Then I went into my room, and moved this chair 18 inches to the left, so that it was beside a flat surface to hold my coffee cup on a cup warmer. And I put these things in the chair and took this picture. I sat and read for an hour, texting with my friend. I sat and knit on these socks while watching Classic Dr. Who for an hour (can you see the two toes yet? and can you see that I am doing the feet in ribbing?).

Then I put that post-it note on my new “idea wall.” I read an article the other day about this, mostly in relation to graphic design and business models. But I am adopting the concept for myself as a way to keep those ideas that will take time to come to fruition in front of me without obsessing on them. I’m looking forward to lots more post-it notes. And sketches. And swatches.

Where is my idea wall, you say? Over my zazen space. It is appropriate for now, but one day, when I really allow myself to be wildly free and creative, I am going to have a big wall, covered in corkboard and pretty fabric, and it will hold all my wonderful ideas until I get a chance to flesh them out. Like the two small boards I have now, only bigger…for bigger ideas. Long term things. Pieces of puzzles.

Tonight is the Super Bowl, of course: the one football game per year that I actually watch, mostly for the commercials and to rag on the half-time show. We’ve laid on supplies of party food: pizza, wings, soda, chips.

Later tonight, once the kids are in bed, I will sit in that chair with a cup of tea and journal. I really need to get back into my self-care groove after the weather disruptions of the past week. But, dang, it did feel good to sleep in. And also to stay up late.

Oh, after I took the picture, I started writing this blog post in my head. And then, about three-quarters of the way through, I realized I had forgotten it was Sunday again, and that I should be giving you a selfie. Oops.

Not snow


This is our snowpocolypse. You will note that there is no snow. This is 2-4 inches of sleet which has become a vast sheet of ice. The children, however, believe this is snow and they are happy. They made themselves snowboards from scrap wood, and I saw my 18 year old laughing as she slipped and slid and “sledded” on a lid from a plastic bin. Resourceful, my children. I took the pic standing on my steps at ten after six without flash. The colors here amazed me–I didn’t see all those blues with the naked eye.

School is cancelled for all the children and for me again tomorrow. Maybe I will get some things done. Maybe I won’t. What I am now concerned about is internship hours. I really should hit the homework hard and get ahead while we are locked in so I can devote more hours at work once we are back on a semi-normal routine. But it is nice, this hanging out at home with my children. Reminds me of how things were in my pre-divorce, home-schooling life. I miss knowing what goes on with them all day, and it is difficult for me to reconnect with the little ones when the three of them all come in the door at the same time, full of their day. Someone always has to wait, and by the time I get to listen to the last one, the excitement has often gone out of whatever they were bursting to share when they came in.

I’m still reading Minn but will likely finish it tonight. And maybe start Self-Reliance. I’m expecting a new book tomorrow that I will read with a partner, but I think I will probably not lodge a complaint with Amazon if it arrives late. After all, they did give me access to the beginning of the ebook with my paper purchase.

I think I will also cast on a pair of green socks tonight. I’d like to be delivering those on February 14th. And then will be gauntlets for an April delivery. And then the scarf for May. And in between my not-a-pair socks, forever constrained to boots. Or to being worn with my feet spread far apart, as one friend so graciously advised.

Alright, dinner is ready. Who’s hungry?

Oh, please ignore the mess in the yard. Sometimes we lose things out there. Anybody need a 16×4 snake audio? I’m not sure we have one, but we might.

A day in which there was little excitement


I slept late. I went to four different stores to do the grocery shopping. I made the menu once I got home. The shopping, after several days of doing mostly nothing else except cough and sleep, wore me out. So I drank hot tea, and then we had dinner. During dinner we watched two episodes of Quantum Leap because I didn’t have sufficient brain power to choose a Saturday Night Flick. Nor apparently enough brain power to remember until this very minute that I have several lined up for us in Netflix and Crackle for just such circumstances. The other thing I didn’t remember is that the DVD player is now in the living room, and so there were NEW movies we could have watched.

I worked on my socks. As you can see, they do not match. Same dyelot my arse. The ball bands LIE. I knew something was up when I had to roll one ball up backwards from the way I was using the other to get something that even approximated “like.” I shall make two pairs. Not that I want two pairs this similar, but. You know, whatever. Gifts. Somebody has to have feet as small as mine, right?

There will not be 500 words tonight. But I took a picture. Two in fact. And I wrote some. I am calling it done.

Because I love


On December 31, 2012 I posted this statement to the blog and to facebook:

“In 2013, I want to love so wide and so deep that others float peacefully in the sea of me, and so thick that when they rise to walk away, drops of it cling to their skin reminding them that I am waiting with arms and heart wide open.”

I set an intention there, without realizing the full ramifications of what I was doing. I chose to be open and vulnerable with people, and I chose to stay in the position of loving. Did I have to self-correct when I strayed off course? Yes, a few times. But on the whole, I was able to stay in that place of warmth, generosity, and acceptance. And in 2013, the universe conspired with my intention and brought people into my life who were willing to accept a love like that. (And a couple who still can’t, but whatever, they will figure it out eventually I hope.) But here’s the deal. The universe did not just show me the people in my backyard. No, the universe has a wonderful sense of humor, and it brought into my life people in distant places.

You know, it’s one thing to let people know you are there with your whole heart and mind when you are face-to-face. Eye contact, reflection, shared time. It’s a little more difficult with people you don’t see as often.

I have to schedule and guard face time with my far-flung friends in order to have it. We have to work on that together. It doesn’t happen by accident. I can’t be lazy about it. I have to make the time count, because it’s short. I have to be fully present when I have the luxury of face time, and recognize it as the gift that it is. I know, I need to be fully present all the time. But I also know that I am not. So, I remind myself. Be here in this moment. Sixty seconds of really and truly being present with another person is an amazing thing. Sixty seconds of full presence, preferably wordless, and I know more about that person that I would have learned in decades of casual checked-out conversation.

I am also a big fan of the tele-date. Dedicated non-face time to watch a show together, or talk about a book, or maybe just sit with a cup of coffee and share your heart. This must also be scheduled and guarded or it just doesn’t happen. But, it is a very useful tool to lessen the perceived distance between people. For me, it normalizes and makes bearable what would otherwise be unbearable. I mean, I have local “friends” that I don’t sit down with once a week. And yet….long distance ones that I do. So.

And then there’s the part that this picture goes with. This is my back up plan, the fail-safe. If you are local, I feed you. And if you are not, I make things for you. If I give you a thing that I made with my own hands, it is an “I love you” that echoes through space and time.

I know I have spoken about crafting for others before, but this is how I make love that people can touch even when I am not with them. Sometimes I do this randomly, because I am missing a particular person, sometimes I do it because of a specific request. While I am making, I thinking about the recipient. I am wishing them well. I am hoping their dreams come true. I am wanting them to have peace in their soul. I am investing my physical, mental, and emotional energy in their well-being, as surely as if we were having a conversation. I am loving on them just as if I were in the room with them. It’s like face-time but without the immediate reciprocity.

Because reciprocity does not have to be immediate. I know that when my gifts are used, the recipients will think of me and remember that they are dear, precious, loved. They will wish me well, hope that my dreams come true, want me to have peace in my soul. They will love me as surely as if I were in the room with them.

Oh, dear. I just realized I am not making malas, hats, scarves, gauntlets, and socks. I am making portkeys and TARDII.



So, this weekend, in addition to visiting briefly with friends, I am working at Marscon here in Williamsburg. This is my first ever con, and although it may seem a little odd to you that I would *work* instead of *attend* my first con, I think it has been a great introduction to the concept for this raging introvert. Since I am in the dealer room, I get to see the people, engage with them briefly, and I don’t have to try to come up with something to talk about, because the con is an easy lead in. Today, I met Ursula the Sea Witch, and I learned a little about the steampunk genre. I think I am quite interested in that, and hope to attend a discussion group on it tomorrow to find out a bit more.

So, the photo is of some of the things I am hoping to sell here, and some socks I have started. These pieces were not made specifically for Marscon, so there’s no theme to them. If I continue to do the con thing from a vendor perspective, that will change a bit.

The socks could do with some talking about. This is my first time doing two socks on one needle, I think. I am sure it is the first time I have tried it toe up. I cast on 28 stitches for these, worked the short row toe, and then picked up 28 stitches from the cast on and continued to knit around from there. I said toe, singular, because I did knit those one at a time.

Now, I want you to look carefully at those sock toes. The ball bands say that these two balls of yarn are the same colorway and dye lot. I’m here to tell you that it ain’t so. One of these yarns is distinctly darker than the other. I knew something was funny when I pulled out about 50 yards of ball two trying to find the place where I had started sock one. I eventually found what I thought was an approximation, but…not quite. It’s becoming more obvious as I knit down the foot that the dye lot is not the same, and I am beginning to have my doubts about the balls being the same colorway. These are not going to be matching socks. The only thing that is going to make them a pair is that they were made on the same needles at the same time and so will be exactly the same stitch wise. I had planned to make one pair of knee socks, and possibly higher by adding in some Opal Tiger, with which the darker ball coordinates. However, I may end up making four shorter socks, just so I don’t have to hide these socks under boots every time I wear them!

You might think I am overly rigid about matching. I have prided myself on being able to turn out matching socks since the first pair I knit. I don’t want to look like a sloppy knitter! A girl has to have standards in certain areas. My towels get folded wonky sometimes, but damnitall, my hand knit socks rock uniformity.

Another Finishing Day


I do love finishing things. And I do have many things to finish. So far today, I have finished the cowl on the top left, picked up the Carrick Pullover which has been languishing for far too long, and started Seabird. It’s a quick read, and so I will be done with it today. Carrick will take longer; it needs two sleeves, two seams and a collar. However, I estimate that it will take less time than anything else I have laid out to do this year, with the exception of the scrap socks I decided to make the day I packed up the yarn. Those are worsted weight wool and shouldn’t take more than a week, even with classes and internship.

As far as Carrick goes, I am hoping it will fit properly. I’ve fluctuated a bit in size -both down and up- since I started it. Those of you who have done that will realize that the same number on the scale can look vastly different even on the same body. So, we’ll see. It’s a ribbed pattern and that will help. The instructions assure me that I am knitting the correct size. Usually I can pretty much tell, because I knit in the round. The sides of this sweater are seamed so I’m losing a couple of visual inches on each side where the pieces roll in.

After I finish Seabird, I should get myself set up to start using the new schedule I made yesterday. I was going to start it today, but I didn’t set the alarm. I am glad of that, because I woke up dreaming of my grandmother. We weren’t doing anything that I can remember, she was just there. Much like when I dreamed of Daddy a couple months ago. Comforting. I much prefer these gentle visits to the traumatic dreams I was having now and again. Of course, those were useful, too, as they pointed me in directions I really needed to go. But still. Not fun.

As I sit here writing, I am thinking about all the things that aren’t on my agenda for this year. No, I haven’t talked about all my plans yet, because I haven’t finalized them all. I think the main thing I still have to work out is what my exercise program is going to be. I’ve got several options and just need to figure out how I want to pull it together. I like the way I feel when I’m working out regularly. The best word I can think of is strong. Not just physically strong, but mentally, too. So, expect to hear me talk about that soonish, and we will leave the dusty guitar hanging on the bedroom wall for a bit longer. I reckon I can hold off ordering those accordion straps at guitar center, but I will probably be wanting yoga mat and maybe some weights. I want shapelier thighs before I get to my loooooooong socks. Well that, and the bubble butt I had when I was doing squats. Unfortunately, it is the sad truth that the only way to a squatter’s butt is…squats.

A Finishing Day


I woke up cold, hurting, and grumpy this morning. I think the three were related, right? Grumpy is just not my usual attitude upon waking these days. I needed to take the little kids to school this morning, and they were on two hour delay. It was nearly noon before I sat to meditate.

I did something different with that today. Instead of trying to quiet my thoughts, I watched them. I just wanted to see where they would go, because 1) I read the other day that’s one way to do it and 2) I was trying to figure out why I was so dang agitated. I know you are all just very curious about how my mind works, so I will share. It was flitting to all the things I feel like I need to do. And then it stilled itself of it’s own accord. So, I decided to give myself a finishing day.

I finished the gauntlets for my friend. I very rarely knit to request, so this was a treat. Well, actually, I used to rarely knit to request, but the last two projects I’ve made have been by request. Hmmm, I will have to think about that. Hopefully these last projects do not end up like the curse of “The Boyfriend Sweater.” Although it’s possible. I’ve knit now for five men total, and three of them are pretty much out of my romantic life. I thought I could escape by knitting small things, but apparently it is the act of picking up needles in general. If you believe in the curse, which I don’t. I just think it is amusing.

But if I had believed it, I still would have knit that sweater for my ex-husband. Not because I wanted to divorce him when I made it, but just because life is so much better for me now. I have freedom and I am exulting in it. Call me a self-centered bitch if you’d like, and I will sit here wearing my self-satisfied smile. I can take the hate. Wow, that went pretty far afield, didn’t it? Tangent is my language.

Let’s go back to the gauntlets. I won’t tangent this time. These were made for a fairly large man. I am not sure you will be able to tell in the pictures, but I made them completely in K1P1 rib. They will fit him, but they also fit me. Well, mostly. There is no way to rib tightly enough to make a perfect fit for 11 inch hand and an 8.5 inch hand, but these are pretty dang close. I did not use a pattern, but designed as I went. I like doing that, because I feel like it adds to the finished garment. Custom made ought to mean custom fit. I’ll get to see how well I did Saturday after next.

Also, today is Wednesday. Wednesday is new book day. I picked a short one on purpose so I could finish it, which I have. That’s pretty much what I have accomplished so far today. Directly, I will start and then finish dinner. I may or may not finish a load of laundry.

Tomorrow the kids are back on their normal schedule, so I should have a little more silent time in which to do things. The three hour spread between last out and first in was just not enough to settle myself today.

This Box Represents


So, to you this looks like a box of yarn. And that is true, it is a box of yarn. But this is also, and more importantly, the first box I have packed for the move to Maryland. The ball winder is in there, too, but the swift isn’t because it would not fit.

I want to note a few more things about this packed box of yarn.

1) All the yarn I don’t intend to use before I leave is in there. All of it. My yarn stash now fits in one bin. If you’ve been following me and my yarn hoarding habits for very long at all, you will know that this is just a remarkable turn of events. But I said I was going to stop buying and start using, and that is exactly what has happened. I no longer go into a yarn store just to browse. If I do buy yarn, I buy only what I need for the project I am ready to start, and no yarn orphans jump into my greedy hands for a ride home. No. This is the only area in which I regularly exhibit self control, and I am quite proud. It’s quite a change for a gal who used to collect fiber the way some folks collect water bottles with logos.

2) Half the bin is sock yarn. I love sock yarn. I use it for way more than socks. I once knit myself an entire tunic length sweater from sock yarn, and it is still my favorite thing that I have made for me. You get a lot of bang for your sock yarn buck. It costs about as much per ball as other weights of yarn, but you get a lot of yardage for the money. More yardage means more hours of knitting pleasure. If I had my druthers, I’d work primarily with sock and lace weight yarns. Oh, wait. I do mostly have my druthers, and that is what I primarily work with. Tiny needles do not aggravate my wrists and cause my hands to go numb. Yes, thank you, I can knit with numb hands, but it feels funny. There is an oddness that comes with watching yourself do something when you can’t feel yourself doing it. Like mental Salvador Dali or something.

3) Other than the sock yarn, almost every ball in there is mentally assigned to a project.

4) There are only three unfinished projects in that bin. I have the start of a Suzy Hoodie, and the start of a traveling shawl. I think I will be ripping the shawl out and restarting, because the last time I picked it up, it looked like I had messed up the increases. I’ve only got a couple of hours into it, so now would be the best time. Well, not now, but when I am ready to pick it up again. The last started thing is a set of rust-colored squares that will eventually find their way into a blanket for my oldest daughter.

5) I packed my yarn. I once told a man that leaving yarn at his house, was a surer sign that I would be back than leaving clothes. I guess he got tired of seeing me, because he gave the project I left with him back. HA! It was the travelling shawl I mentioned earlier. But people. My yarn stash is in a box. I am fully committed. I’m moving.