Ya’ll. When I started blogging, I knew that I needed a schedule for my daily life if I ever hoped to be able to get to it. Schedules make my world go ’round, and without my phone calendar, certain non-negotiables would never happen. Like my kids wouldn’t get picked up, I wouldn’t even know I had appointments, etc. I. NEED. STRUCTURE. This has been one of the hardest parts of leaving the working world: there is just enough rope (freedom) to hang myself (forget everything).
So, holidays were hard and then life happened over here. So busy, and then BOOM. My dog got attacked at the dog park and then my kid got the Covid. So, I have time… WE have time. Together. I love them, I just have to keep telling myself that over and over, ad nauseum. Because at some point, the fighting drives me to
drink knit/go for a walk/flee screaming from the house.
So, as I put my noise-cancelling headphones on, let’s go back a smidge and do some catch-up, shall we?
Mostly, some big things happened in the house! Firstly, Big Red, my American-version AGA finally found a new home. She was pretty. She was barely functional. A lovely lady came and rescued her for her house, where it will live out it’s days for it’s charm, and not so much any function. I live in a beautiful, old 1929 house in a beautiful, old section of Indianapolis. There isn’t so much room in these old houses, so we have to use what we got, and I need a functional stovetop and normal human size ovens that work. So I have double ovens now and eagerly await installation of a new cooktop and microwave.
In addition, I got even more adult-y and got a new frig. This is huge, because the previous fridge was made for people who don’t live or cook or eat as we do, as a family of four. So, look at this beauty! Praise be, because the side-by-side sitch was making me stabby and doyouevenknowhowharditis to find anything in that setup? When you have a 12 and 9 year old constantly in there?? Nope nope, this is my jam. So, we are happily enjoying our new appliance and the disappearance of our old one…
But, amidst all this adulting, my dog was attacked at the park and required surgery to stitch up the eyelid. Thankfully the eye was ok. Very scary, and Lester is already sensitive to anesthesia and medicines, since he is a delicate 105 pound flower who needs a chihuahua-sized dose of any and all meds. He got a half-dose of anesthesia and still didnt’ want to wake up so they did have to reverse him. I’m grateful the vet took such good care of him. Mabel was beside herself with worry in the car, so I took her in to be with him before surgery.
Here they are the next day, when Lester was still clearing the anesthesia and acting like an 18 year old college freshman who has never had a drink before.
So, Lester recovered and then BOOM. My kid gets Covid. She is ok, but we all came down with symptoms, so were home for a bit. All just kind of low energy and head and chest cold. This is light years better than my April 2020 version where I barely stayed out of the hospital. #thanksvaccines #getyourjab
Here is a Typhoid Mary pic because once an epidemiologist, always an epidemiologist! She looks about as thrilled with her forced quarantine as I am with my 2nd round of covid and my kids getting it after all this time trying and fighting. So, here’s what my face does on the regular when I see the news, which…for the record…I try not to.
New Crafting Endeavors
So, now let’s get to the crafting! I finally got a chance to use my beautiful Christmas present from the hubs. Just look at this Rosewood Lykke Swift. Seriously!?! I’ve been handwinding since I was pregnant with my 12 year old (that sounds weird, but you get the point, I’m not a spring chicken) and this has changed everything. I suppose I should probably read instructions since I wound it in the wrong direction BUT WHO CARES OMG LOOKIT MEEEEE.
Anyway, I got my first wonky cake and I’m so excited it’s embarassing. This is gonna make life so much easier! So, I just stare at it some days. Now it sits over on my sewing table and I can admire it while I ignore my children.
What I’m working on
So, this new wonky cake is the Purl Soho Good Wool. And let me tell you, it is GOOD wool. It’s so nice, and it’s softening as I just it. I decided to make myself the DreaReneeKnits Everyday Sweater. I am currently super into the natural colors, so I’m making mine out of Walking Stick, this beautiful muted brown. I can’t say enough about this yarn.
It’s a nice sticky/wooly wool. I love it, and the pattern seems well-suited to this. It is a really simple pattern, and like so many of DRK’s patterns, it’s a bit shorter than I go for, so I ensured I had extra yardage for this. I’m 6’0 tall and short on Amazonians turns out to magnify our awkward proportional bits. So, I tack on a few extra hundred yards to her patterns and I end up happy.
I am already past the sleeves and into the body and it’s just such a joyful knit!
Now, as I’m going, I am unsure about whether I’m rowing out here with the increases in the yoke. I decided (did you hear me? I decided…don’t let me go back on this) to keep going and let this be the experiment to see how much blocking will fix. Given how quick of a knit this is, I feel like I’ll likely make a few of these, so I’ll learn for next time and report back. I’d also like to brag alert for a minute.
I actually, really and truly, SWATCHED for this. I have never actually totally swatched and measured. But I did. Here’s the proof!
And…it worked. I knitted it up according to the pattern swatch instructions. I let it soak for 20 mins and then I gently squeezed out the water and let it dry, not pinning it. I ended up with an actual, real-life swatch that worked.
Now I met row gauge, but I was *slightly* short on stitch gauge. So let’s see how this works and I’ll compare the final if it’s off. I’m also beginning to use these swatches to start a swatch library. Have you heard of this? Do you do this? I think it will be helpful to see how my tension and gauge is in diff types of yarn and in colorwork vs regular single color knitting. So, this is the first. Maybe I should catalogue these? #formerlibraryworker #nerd
In other crafting news, here is the finished Flax Sweater that I knit up in the most basic of Big Twist Tweed White (whispers… acrylic yarn). It’s ok. I definitely made mistakes and tried to fix in picking up the sleeves. Somehow some of my short rows got unraveled and can I just say what HOLY HELL it is to try to fix a short row eff up when it’s down a few rows, so you have to repair three different turns?! Oh god. I can’t think about it. Anyway, it’s not perfect, but its cool and I’ll wear it! And, like all of this whole journey, isn’t it the point to learn and take notes (totally doing that now) and refine and figure out what looks best and feels best on your body? There is only one me, so I know that I will need to modify all designs, to make it what I like. And I’m not afraid to try (and then have to learn how to fix it when I inevitably FUCK IT UP).
Anywhoodles, finally these are the books I’m learning from right now. My strategy has been to start looking at my library and check out books, then decide if I want to spend the money to own them, if they will be useful or if I really want to support the designer or author. I am a firm believer in buying books that you’ll use and getting rid of /selling/donating to the little libraries all the ones that I won’t read again.
At the moment, I’m going down the rabbit hole of the slow living books. Now, while some of them are decidedly pretty snotty, I have found a few that just reflect where I am these days. The focus isn’t on being one with the phases of the moon or composting my own feces…it’s really just about slowing my life down enough to appreciate this time and these materials and the skills I am learning to build things for myself. I am highly unlikely to recycle my urine or bury my own kimchi or anything. But. I like thinking more about where my things come from. And because I have kids, of course, how I can preserve those for generations to come, if we can avoid killing the earth entirely by then.
I’ll be learning how to dye and spin and weave, so I’ll take you on those journeys with me, and you can watch me flail around and horribly muck it all up, but eventually figure it out. Maybe it’s entertaining, or maybe this is just my online journal of my endeavors for a future books, but …hope you enjoy it if you are reading it!
Anyway, what are you working on? Share in the comments or shoot me an email! I’m on Facebook at Midtown Fiber and on Instagram as well!