Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Day of Days...

Today was a Kindergarten check-up and 2-year well baby doctor’s appointment. Shots at both. Aye-carumba! Suprisingly, Beckett took it better than his big sister, but he didn’t also have to get blood drawn!! And I say surprisingly because it took 3! adults to manhandle him into position at the ophthalmologist’s office and a mere two days later (duh, Mom!) I took him to yet another appointment; this time some strange lady jabbed him in the leg with a needle after asking him to hang out in just his diaper for twenty minutes. Only a few shrieks and then he was back to playing…good boy! Siena on the other hand told the phlebotomist to “get that stuff away” from her!! And afterwards kept telling me how “horrible” it all was. She cracks me up!

On a good note, I did get one of my wraps done!!

It’s a faux-mobius wrap. I went with a faux-mobius rather than a true knit mobius just to get the idea down. I need to get an extender for my Harmony cable (!still so excited!) and then I have the perfect yarn to attempt a true mobius. Really can’t wait!! I practiced the Mobius Cast-On and to date it’s the easiest, fastest cast-on I’ve experienced. I’m just itching to try my new project!!

I abandoned my second wrap as just too boring and cast on a cute little roll-brimmed hat instead. I knit one for my daughter and have been meaning to make one for myself. The shape is kind of boxy with a ridge and a flat top which, with the right yarn, could actually work as a sunhat! I found some beautiful Alpaca in the bag of yarn my wonderful friend gave me for Christmas and it’s a go!! I’ll post pictures when it’s done which, with any luck, will be tomorrow!

Blogging is hard!! Writing is therapeutic, but putting it out there is extremely scary! If you enjoy reading this, would love to hear from you!!

Bathtime for the kiddos, must run. Talk soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My 2-year old needs glasses?!

I mean, I didn’t realize they started them so early! But since it’s the best way to correct his lazy eye without surgery, of course I will try everything short of duct tape to get and keep those suckers on him!! I was really hoping the doctor would just prescribe drops or even a patch, but as he is the only Kaiser Pediatric Ophthalmologist in South Orange County, I’m going to assume that he knows better than me… But glasses are sooooo expensive!! My girlfriend did tell me that Sears has the prescription free for kids and cheap frames, so guess what we’re doing tomorrow!! Wish us luck!!

I got so much done today!! The weather was gorgeous, so I threw on a tank and shorts and cleaned my apartment from top to bottom - I even got my daughter’s fish tank done!! Those poor fish had no idea what they were in for when they came to my home, poor fellas.

So I FINALLY finished the socks, only to find that I had a dropped stitch somewhere in my gusset and as I don’t know how to fix this, I guess I get to start over!! They will be fabulous this time!! That last go was an re-introduction to sock knitting and I love the yarn so although I’m pretty bummed, I’ll still have fun working with that gorgeous yarn! Some people don’t like self-striping yarn, but I personally love it!! The heel turns out a little funky, but I like that!

To be honest, I am feeling rather discouraged with my knitting. I just don’t feel the inspiration I’m used to. Even with my new needles! Or maybe the problem that I’m not a fast enough knitter to keep up with my ideas. Or that I can rarely find time to devote to knitting when something else doesn’t need to be done. Whatever, I’m a tad frustrated. Grrrr… I now have to reknit the socks, I have another sock pattern I want to try, I have two wraps on the needles and I’d love to make a driving/newsboy cap and another bag for use as a summer purse. A good shot of outdoor play and maybe some window shopping for inspiration is just what the doctor ordered, I think!!

Bathtime for the little ones.

Talk soon! Hugs!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yikes! So excited!!

I got new needles!! And not just any new needles, I got KnitPicks Harmony Wood interchangeable circulars!! A very dear girlfriend had given me a gift certificate and voila!! (Btw, Nancy from The Yarn Lady in Lake Forest is a dream and makes me feel like a cherished member of the club each time I go in - thank you for your help!  If you're a knitter and live in Orange County, definitely stop by to see her and the fabulous store!

Yeehaa! I’ve already switched my two wrap projects to the new needles and they are amazing!! I can’t get over how flexible the cable is and how sharp the points are. This will get my needle speed up!! And they’re beautiful with just the right contrast of grabby for control and slippery so I don’t get going too tightly… Can you tell how excited I am?! My husband thinks he now knows how to get me out of my doldrums - get me knitting supplies! Right on the money - they last longer than pedicures (but wouldn’t they be great too!) and possibilities of what to use them for are endless! My next goal is to find a knitting group closer than Lake Forest. I’d love to find others to get together and learn from!

Earlier this morning I had a meeting with my psychiatrist. She is wonderful!!. So down to earth and positive!! Her energy is infectious and she always makes me feel that I am MUCH too hard on myself. Phew!! Together, she and my therapist (and ME…and my husband…and friends - it takes a village!) should be able to keep any more breakdowns from happening!!

I’m actually pretty thankful for the breakdown, surprisingly enough. I’ve learned so much since then! It’s like a delineation in time - Before Breakdown (BB) and After Breakdown (AB). I refer to almost everything in that way these days. *BB* I was crazy hiding behind a normal, happy exterior. *AB* I’m still crazy but working on it and out of the closet shall we say… And for those of you wondering, no I’m not “crazy” really, just have a severe problem with depression and my breakdown (actually 2 within one week) culminated with me in the hospital… Fun times! But hey, if it helps to be better and more available in the future, then I am a big fan!

What’s funny is, the more people I tell about my lapse in sanity, the less stigma I feel attached to it. It seems that many people have had similar experiences, they’re just not as open to sharing as I am. I think maybe that’s my gift - I get people to talk about things they normally might hide. Airing it out is healing - it lets you know you’re not alone (in my opinion anyway). What do you think? And to be clear, I don’t pry info out of people, but I find that by being open and honest about myself, I “allow” friends to do the same. Isn’t that beautiful?

Speaking of friends… “Friends are family we choose for ourselves” is a quote I heard somewhere - and if you happen to know who to attribute this to, please educate me. Is that not the most beautiful quote? This has particular significance for me since I live in Southern CA and my husband’s and my family all are an 8-hour car trip away in the Bay Area. Sigh…I miss them!! But the friends I have made in my new home have in many ways filled the void I was feeling. I have friends who are open to talk to, to play with, to party with (on occasion), who have offered to watch my kids so I can have surgery, go on a date with my husband and even friends who worked out for themselves who would take Siena when my son was born. They truly are family - I am so blessed!

To continue with this tangent-laden post…I’m making carnitas for dinner. I went to put the pork shoulder in the crockpot and noticed that it says, it is a “pork shoulder arm picnic.” Arm picnic? What the hell is an arm picnic?! Lol

More later. Must get the kids down for nap. Adios!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Best Laid Plans…

Oh wouldn’t it be nice if I could make a goal and actually get it accomplished… Sock is not done and, although it’s only 8 pm and I plan to be up for a while, The Wrestler just came thru Netflix and I have a feeling my sock will have to wait for tomorrow. Sigh…

I actually applied at Michael’s the other day - meant to go in to follow up today, but the day got away from me. Wouldn’t that be the greatest job for me? While I may not have a ton of talent at crafting, I have lots of drive to learn. Imagine all the people I could get excited about learning with me! And think of lessons I could learn! And the discount! Oh please oh please oh please!

I’m feeling guilty because I haven’t talked to my mom much since my breakdown in November. We’re both super busy, but I really miss our 8 am daily chats! Even if just to say hi. Now I think I don’t call because I’m embarrassed about my breakdown and am so scared my whole family judges me less than favorably… Need to get over it and forgive myself, but easier said than done. My husband just emailed me an article in which it mentions a book coming out called “Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind,” by Kristen Nef, I need to get that!! If the title is accurate, that book was written for me! Heeyah!

The kids are fabulous. Beckett is such a little dude! He just tink-tinks around on his little feet, arms pumping him along. Adorable. And he’s been truly hugging back, not just laying in my arms. But actually holding on as if I am his safe harbor. It is beautiful!

And Siena - the girl is so smart and intuitive!! While watching an episode of the New Scooby Doo where Velma gives Shaggy a hard time for saying “like” all the time, Siena turned to us and said, “Why is Velma mad about that? It’s just his thing!” Um, she’s 4 ½ and understands that people have their things and it’s okay. Her mind and heart are just so beautiful…

Okay, sorry for that little break…

I actually have to jump - it’s movie time! Have a great night!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Am I an idiot?? Or merely ambitious?

Not only did I already have 2 unfinished projects (one of which was done (!!) until I went to block it and found a huge hole. I dismantled the whole damned thing and am starting from scratch. Sigh…), but I had to go and start yet another wrap!!

I seem to be obsessed with wraps lately… They’re easy and I love to try out new stitch patterns on them, but with their width and length so (preferably) long, it seems to take forever. Especially when trying to knit around my kids, my husband and the seemingly endless laundry! Know what I mean? But the absolute repetition is what soothes my frantic soul. Especially a simple one row repeat. I know that sounds absolutely dull to those of you out there who also enjoy knitting, but I am pretty new to this and once my fingers have memorized the pattern, the entire wrap is time for my mind to relax and drift…….. Plus, even with Southern CA being so unusually cold this winter, it’s rarely cold enough where a simple wrap won’t do the trick. And a wrap dresses up a simple tank and jeans like nobody’s business - especially when made by the wearer!! I don’t know about you, but I never feel as beautiful as I do when either pregnant (ha, done with that!) or wearing something that I have created.

My other favorite things to make are bags. The first one started as a fluke. I was a brand new knitter and practicing the seed stitch on a solitary skein of a beautiful burnt-orange. For some reason I also decided to double strand. What came out of this is a beautiful, sturdy bag that I use to carry my knitting with me. I learned to seed stitch, to do a crochet seam and to feel the absolute pride each time I pull it out. Once I figure out how to post pictures here, I’ll include a pic of my beautiful (to me, I’m sentimental) knitting bag.

So between my now three projects, I have decided that my second sock will be done by tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 28, 2011

And I begin...!

Often, we waste all our energies on wanting something but never actually doing it. This blog is the realization of a dream for a number of years now. I love to write, to empathize and connect with others and have recently utterly fallen in love with knitting. What better way to feed these passions, and all at once, than with a blog. I would love to hear your feedback. My goal is for this to become a conversation! Just promise you'll bear with me while I figure this whole thing out!!

I am a woman, a wife and a mother. Not necessarily in that order these days, but my kids are young and so am I. This blog is MY time, my reward and my way of selfishly claiming a place in my life for me as a woman. So, while I’m starting this with the intention of writing about my journey into knitting, quite a bit of life in general may slip in.

Knitting was an obsession waiting to happen. And happen it did just over five years ago while pregnant with my first child. By luck I happened upon Knitty Gritty with Vickie Howell on the DIY network and was transfixed. As a child I’d always wanted to knit - or make anything crafty - but had no one to teach me. After a while I just resigned myself to the idea that I was just a person with no imagination who just wasn’t meant to create. Thank God I was wrong!! I knit to knit, not necessarily caring WHAT I’m knitting so long as I am doing it. I call knitting my Zen moments. It is. It clears my head and allows my creative juices to flow as well as letting my subconscious work thru all the stresses of life. It is my favorite anti-anxiety drug! I love to knit!!
Why do you knit?

Personally, I knit because I need to learn to relaaaaaax. When I knit, I can get peace, even with chaos all around. It’s like a vacation for my mind. I am one of those over-anxious types - I obsess over all the little details that I don’t necessarily have control over. I once heard someone say, “Why worry? If it’s important, worrying won’t help. But it isn’t important, than there’s no reason to worry in the first place!” (Is there a quote to that effect out there I need to know about?) I love that and remind myself of that several times a day some days. Will worrying help, ie problem solving? Or will it just drive me crazy? If crazy is my answer, I knit. Sitting down with a ball of yarn and a pattern and making fabric just inspires me. I find myself relaxing into the monotony of some projects and immersing myself in the complexities of others. The key is relaxing!! Finally, blessedly relaxing! Phew! (Not that being able to wear what you make and have others compliment you on your homemade pieces isn’t exhilarating!) But the pure gift of knitting, for me, is the gift of the space to breathe. What is knitting/crafting for you? What do you do to relax?

The ridiculous thing is, I’d love to start posting and finding a following and having some conversations, but I can’t think of a freaking name for this blog!! Grrrr…

In the meantime, whatcha knitting now?! I’ve currently gotten the second of a set of socks going (Sockotta in color 5618). This is only my third pair of socks so my rhythm isn’t down yet and I can already tell sock #2 is going to be MUCH better than #1. Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll have enough yarn to knit a third… Lol - is it just me or does anyone else do silly things like knitting 3 socks…?

I also have a wrap going as my mindless project to do while the kids are awake. It's leftover yarn from a scarf I made my mother-in-law and I love it!! I hope it stays cool enough here in S. CA for me to finish it and wear it!! It's a simple "k2,*yo,k2tog,k2, repeat from *" pattern. Nice and mindless and easy enough to put down when my 4 1/2 year old or almost 2-year-old need me.

(Just an aside, anyone have any tricks to getting everyone to leave you alone long enough to get more than a couple rows completed? For all you moms of little ones, how much time are you able to carve out of actual knitting time while the kids are awake?)

I'm currently looking for a relatively user-friendly driving or newsboy cap pattern. I taught myself, so I'm a little nervous about the brim. Any pattern ideas? Or tips in general? I'm a knitter in progress but determined!

Quiet time's up, time to play!!