Home is Where the Heart is

Hands making heart shape

Hands making heart shape

Ok, so I know that it’s rare to find me here, blogging. Why am I in a blogging slump, and why have I been staying away? I think I’ve been extra stressed lately, and I haven’t just wanted to use the blog as a dumping ground for all that’s bugging me. This is, after all, a knitting blog, and that means it’s supposed to be light-hearted and fun, right? Well forgive me if I haven’t been feeling so light-of-heart lately and I’d really just rather go hide under a rock and mope.

I’ve had some strife in my extended family lately that has been getting me down, which has forced me to examine just what and who is “family,” and whether or not just because someone has the label of family it means that they hold some special power over me that defines my place in the world. I’m slowly coming around to the realization that what makes a family is not always just the people to whom you’re connected by blood or marriage or some other circumstance that causes your life experiences to be intertwined. A family can happen anywhere, in any way, as long as there are people somewhere who love you. I have a family of my own, and in it are people who love me. And there are others who are not family, who I know love me just as much. I have been blessed in this life with good friends to whom I am bonded as a sister to brother, or sister to sister, and for those people I am most grateful.

So my cup runneth over. And yet, when just a few have made me sad, or made me feel less a member of their clan than I had hoped I was, somehow, it still managed to rock my world. I’ve been struggling over these past few weeks to not discount all that I do have, surrounding and supporting me, and not letting those who would discount me, intentionally or unintentionally, define who I am. It’s funny how those who should be the most insignificant wind up having the biggest impact, like the proverbial sore thumb. But I will get past it. I am getting better, even if it is just a little bit every day.

Trish and Karen sneak a few stitches at lunch

Trish and Karen sneak a few stitches at lunch

In the meantime, I am knitting. It’s just a scarf for now, but it is all that I can manage. I’m nearing the end of my knitting on my friend Jennifer’s scarf. In just a day or two I am going to add really long fringe on it and call it done. For the life of me I don’t know why I am attracted to so many scarves–as projects they are positively endless and I never can keep myself from tiring of them long before they are finished. But, I am stealing every possible moment to knit this before I see my friend Jennifer next week. Here I am, knitting on my lunch hour with my friend Karen from work. Karen, who I met in the bathroom on the fifth floor of my office, of all places, because we both commented on the lovely cables in another woman’s hat. They were the sort of comments that only a knitter would make, so we became instantly bonded as we washed our hands in the automatic sinks. We try to get together every couple of weeks or so, to marvel at each other’s projects and share knitting gossip. but mostly it’s so we can throw down a couple of rows during lunch before having to face a stressful afternoon in the cube farm. It helps, it really does. And I’m so lucky to have made a new friend.


Book Review: Knitting for Baby

I recently purchased the book, Knitting for Baby: 30 Heirloom Projects with Complete How-to-Knit Instructions by Kristin Nicholas and Melanie Falick. I was a little nervous about buying a book with learn-to-knit instructions already in it, because, well, I already know how to knit. And, in general, I hate those knitting books that have overly-simplified instructions followed by a bunch of impossible projects, as if someone who’s just learning to knit is going to turn out designer sweaters at the get-go. But for once, this book makes absolute sense, and I applaud the authors’ decision to make it a learn-to-knit book. Lots of people learn to knit for the first time with the impending arrival of a baby, so isn’t it great to have a book for beginners that is also filled with adorable little things to knit?

Kristin Nicholas and Melanie Fallick are just about two of my most favorite designers, and this book did not disappoint me. I love just about every project in this book. I love how it starts out with the basics, and gives you a few projects to work on, then adds a skill, and a few more projects featuring that skill, and so on. Even the most basic designs at the beginning of the book are as cute as can be, though… so even if you’re a more seasoned knitter this book is still worth a look. You’ll find everything from practical booties and hats, to beautiful sweaters, and whimsical little toys. There’s always a new baby coming in my family, as many cousins and nieces as there are, so I am quite sure that this book will get lots of use around here!

A Box Full O’ Pretty

Yesterday, I was excited to receive a box full of new yarns from Knit Picks!

When Stroll Tonals became available last week, I had to order some! Now, I know y’all have heard me say that I am NOT a sock knitter. But, how could I not love this yarn? For me, it’s all about the colors. In fact, I loved the colors so much that I had a bit of trouble narrowing down my color selections. So, I got eight hanks. That sounds like a lot, but I have plans for them.

Stroll Tonals in blues and purples

Stroll Tonals in blues and purples

Left to right are Royalty, Blue Violet, Blue Yonder, and Deep Waters.

Stroll Tonals, in bright, springy colors

Stroll Tonals, in bright, springy colors

Left to right are Summer Blooms, Queen Anne, Golden Glow, and Springtime.

So, what’s a not-sock-knitter supposed to do with such lovely sock yarns? Well. for starters I’m thinking of a couple of really adorable baby sets, with sweaters, hats,and yes, matching socks. I still have to do some sketching and planning, but I’m seeing a couple of things in my head right now that I think would make really cute baby sets.

Then, you know what else I’m thinking? Socks. Yep… socks. Soft and squishy socks with lovely contrasting heels and toes. Maybe even socks for me. How about that?

If I didn’t have a sweater to finish first, I’d start now. I love this yarn. It’s so… pretty.

Thanks, Knit Picks. You got me. Again.

Hat Math

I’m always finding myself explaining to my daughter why she really needs all that math they teach her at school. Well, kid, here’s an example! It seems I have a problem making hats that fit me just right. I’m all about the guessing, and usually they wind up too big or too small. Well, duh. There’s math that can fix this problem. Really.

hat progress

hat progress

My friend Lola came over for lunch today and measured my head while she was here. I’m 22 inches, just like I thought. Now, just so you don’t think I’m all remembering my math from Jr. High and stuff, I had to go look it up. Luckily it was pretty quick work finding a website that talked all about circles. Turns out that to figure out how wide to make my hat circles, it’s a simple division problem:

22 in. ÷ π = 7

So if I make the top of my hat have a diameter of 7 inches, that is the size that will fit my head exactly. Not bad, eh? I thought so too. Please let me bask in the glow of my brilliance for a while, eh? Don’t let me down for a day or so at least, by telling me that any 8th grader could do this. K?

Baby Yours

When the Yarn Harlot recently made a pair of baby sweaters for the owner of her favorite local yarn store, I must say I fell in love with the “boy” version. Just look at those cables!

baby yours sweater pattern and yarn

baby yours sweater pattern and yarn

And the yarn is such a lovely shade of blue! It’s Nyame, in Socks that Rock mediumweight by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Love it! I might have to make this one up and dress a doll with it. The yarn is soooooo pretty! Sigh. I definitely am not on the market for another baby. I will queue this one up on Ravelry very soon.

Gotta run; it’s getting late and Kelley Petkun has the Mason Dixon Knitting ladies on her podcast this week. I am dying to listen to them talk about their new book!

Ciao for now, knit friends!

Ciao for now!

Mom to Be

lindsey

lindsey

I presented the baby sweater to Lindsey on Sunday at the pool. I think she liked it! I’m proud of myself. Can you believe she’s 8 months pregnant? Only one month to go, and she already has an actual completed object, from me. I didn’t really think I could do it! But I guess I do have it in me sometimes.

Did I go back to one of my many languishing UFOs? Of course not! It would be so unlike me to do something practical like that. So, I started a new hat project. A quickie, bulky, roll brim hat made from Noro Kureyon. Easy. The UFOs can wait just a few more days.