Thursday, 29 January 2015

They're actually screwdrivers

Ever since Caleb saw Joshua and I assembling one of his Christmas presents he's become obsessed with screwdrivers and screwing things in.  Apparently, I have been mistaken about the purpose of my knitting needles; they aren't actually knitting needles, they're screwdrivers, and must be used for tightening all the screws on his toys.

It's very very cute and he even attempts to say please when he asks for them.  We've spent hours over the last couple of weeks "tightening" everything.  He doesn't often stay still long enough to really give cuddles but there have been a number of times that he' just sat on my lap while we work on his toys, and that is so worth the fact that he keeps tangling my yarn. There's nothing sweeter than cuddles from my little guy.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A very pretty skein

This weekend we were across town for an appointment and dropped by the yarn store over there on our way.  I had received a gift certificate to the store to be used for Debbie Bliss magazines, but they didn't have the latest issue and I don't frequent the area that often.  That was when I saw a lovely skein of Misti Alpaca Handpainted Chunky.  It was absolutely beautiful.  It was also more than I normally spend on yarn.  However, with the gift certificate it was on the high end of a splurge and in and I bought it.

It is very unusual for me to buy yarn without a pattern because I have a tendency to put it in the stash, never actually find something to do with it, then have run out of my knitting budget for things I do want to knit.  However, this one is so so pretty.  And it should be enough for a hat or small cowl, I'm told.  I'm smitten.

Thursday, 22 January 2015


First off, I like the fact that I can usually find a printable coupon for things at Michael's.  I don't do a lot of my yarn shopping there, because I find the local yarn shops usually have a better selection of the particular kinds of things I'm after, but they're a pretty good place for things like dishcloth cotton. Last Tuesday I went and got a big ball of the stuff to make dishcloths.  You see, the baby is due right around mother's day.  In fact, the baby is due within 6 weeks of mother's day, father's day, my dad's birthday, my father-in-law's birthday, and my mom's birthday.  I have decided the only way I have any hope of having anything at all sorted for these events is to have them bought and wrapped well in advance.  I'm doing quite well so far.

My mom and mother-in-law will be getting pretty washcloths with some soap all tied up with ribbon. A bunch of dishcloths may sound boring, but I'm making these and the little squares are weirdly addictive.

Monday, 19 January 2015

The funny thing about the way it goes

I really enjoy the Yarn Harlot, particularly the fact that her books never fail to make me laugh.  I was thrilled when my copy of her latest finally came to the library, I'd been on the holds list for months and was happy to finally get the chance to read it.  There was one essay that really hit home for me, where she was talking about going to a writer's group.  Basically, she was recounting a time when she went to a group and everyone there was complaining about the fact that they weren't inspired to write, and couldn't write unless they were, and contrasted that with her discipline of setting a daily word count and sticking to it.  

I can relate to that, I get patterns done by working on them, and sometimes I do really feel inspired and excited by what I'm working on.  Sometimes, things aren't working out how I want them to and I feel like walking away.  Sometimes there are boring parts, like reviewing and editing the pattern after it's been typed.  Some of those times I don't feel inspired, but I keep going.  And sometimes I feel a little bit disingenuous, because I feel like the fact that I'm slogging away at something that I really do feel is art is somehow a betrayal, that art shouldn't ever feel like pushing through a boundary.  

In the essay she points out that of all the people at this writer's group that day, she was the only one who had been published.  She pointed out that all jobs have their boring parts, and doing them is what allows you to do the interesting parts as a job.  I like that.

Friday, 16 January 2015

A Tea Cozy Story

The other night my husband made a comment about how the tea cozy I'm making kind of resembled a hat and a story that I still can't believe is actually true came back to me.

There was a guy at church who wanted me to knit him something, I often will knit people something when they ask (but not always), and decided I'd make him a tea cozy, I figured that was adequately impersonal so as to avoid giving the impression there was anything going on between us.  It was a simple one that has holes for the spout and the handle.

The next week his roommate complimented me on the hat I had made for him.  We stood there in the hall as I said, "but I didn't make him a hat, I made him a tea cozy."  Isak looked at me and told me that made sense, he was wondering about the holes.

I did make sure the guy knew it was a tea cozy, he said he knew, but liked it better as a hat.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tea Cozy Progress

I've been ignoring the tea cozy lately, mostly because I've hit a snag and what I really wanted to do was knit and not rip back and then problem solve.  However, I do really want to finish the actual pattern and moving forward on this is the last thing in this week's to do list.

The tea cozy had two problems, it was too tall and the decreases looked terrible.  I had eight decreases each round, made up of four pairs evenly spaced.  This made it look very square (mostly because, it was a square from the top, I could have predicted that had I taken the time to think about it), and no matter how I tried I had ladders between each two decreases.

I have ripped back and have plans to re-knit it with more decreases that are further apart from one another, sort of like how many hats decrease at the top.  I'm hoping this will give me a fetching spiral sort of look.  Technically this will make it a circle, and the general shape of tea pots is more like an oval (this cozy will go over the handle and spout rather than have holes for them), but I think that it will be forgiving enough to still look nice.  Time will tell.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


Normally I'm not one for new year's resolutions.  There's nothing I find magical about January 1st that makes me more likely to fulfil new goals if I start on that date, and it mostly seems like something that's hyped up by diet companies and gyms.  I'm normally pretty good about setting goals when things matter to me, and that rarely has anything to do with the time of year.

However, I wanted to get some things together about my knitting sales, and since taxes are filed based on the calendar year it seemed like a good time to look back at the year and evaluate things for this year.

I certainly haven't made a ton of money selling patterns but I am so proud of the fact that my patterns are out there, and that I have made sales.  For the longest time having some sort of business of my own was something that I dreamt about, and now that's a reality.  Sometimes it's tempting for us to minimize our accomplishments, especially when those accomplishments are a start to a larger dream, but there's a verse in the Bible that I love, that says "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin" (Zec 4:10, NLT).  There is something so good about that.  Starting can be so hard, and to have finished patterns, published them, and had sales is something I am very very proud of.

This year I want to continue to publish patterns and blog.  I also want to increase sales as well as blog traffic.  I went through last night and wrote out some steps towards seeing those things happen.  I've designated some of them for this month, some of them for February, and the rest I will re-visit later.  January's tasks have been each allocated to a particular week, and each week is doable.  (This is the real key, no sense is making goals impossible right off the bat).

I'm really really happy with how far I came last year, and I'm excited about this one too.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


There has been freezing rain most of the day so our plans were cancelled (although the alarm went off, so we still got up and got ready before looking outside and seeing the beautiful but rather unsafe ice-world outside and checking my phone).  It really is for the best, unnecessary driving in this weather is unwise, but at the same time I'm going absolutely stir-crazy.  The worst part is it's the perfect type of day to curl up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and knit but I just can't.  As lovely as our house is, I would just like to get out of it.

I don't know where I want to go or what I want to do, which I should probably figure out as my mother has offered to come and get Caleb and I and take us somewhere tomorrow, which is fantastic. (Although it does nothing for my sense of cabin fever today).

I did finally measure my blanket, it is about 3.5 feet which means I have two more rounds until I hit the 4.5 feet square I am aiming more.  I had a thought today that it was so delightful I might make it 5 feet square but that's probably just a passing moment of insanity.  I am charmed by it though.

I've been spending the second part of Caleb's nap working on our yearly picture album.  I make one a year, online with Shutterfly.  I'm really not the scrap-booking sort but I would like our kids to have pictures they can look back on and so this is my way of doing that.  I also like the fact that the templates make me look like I'm the scrap-booking sort, and that this means I don't actually have to sort out the crafting aspect of it.  That might sound strange, as I'm normally quite crafty but using precious crafting time to make photo books is not my thing, I'd rather use it for the crafts I love.  (If scrapbooking is one of the crafts you love then using your crafting time to do that is totally great, for some reason mine always look like a 5 year old who can't cut straight made them).  

I just have the past two months to do, I'm already at about 45 pages.  

Friday, 2 January 2015

And quiet

The last four weeks have been insanely busy.  We have done a ton of work, and had many many great times.  Today, though, things have returned to normal.  My husband is at work, my son is napping, a load is in the laundry and for the next hour there will be quiet (and possibly a chocolate milkshake).

I havebeen working on the tea cozy, which I'm thrilled with, but the decreases at the top are placed in a way that makes it funny-shaped and I'll have to rip it out.  That's fine, but not exactly what I had in mind for a relaxing time, so I'll work on the blanket, which I continue to be delighted with.  I picked up the dpns I need to finish the top of the tea cozy, which is nice.

I have some mittens for a friend to make sometime this month, and a thrum mitten set I've been ignoring for quite some time which may or may not get pulled out of the stash.  I want to make a blanket for this little one, so they each have one, and this pregnancy is going much more quickly than Caleb's did.  (I do realize that they're both the same length but I can't for the life of me figure out how it's half over already).  Other than make the baby blanket I just need to set up Caleb's big boy room and organize the baby things, which is manageable.  I bought Caleb's mattress today and will order the paint next week.  I don't know what baby blanket pattern I'll use.  My husband's been on the computer for work so much I've barely used it (hence the lack of blog posts), and my phone's inadequate for pattern picking on Ravelry.