Sunday, September 28, 2014

knitting for sanity

I think this may have been the longest week in the world!  Besides just the regular days I had to work yesterday morning.  It's only a half day but after the bang up week it was too much!  So, how to unwind after a bonkers week?  Knit!  I had just planned to pop into my LYS to grab a bit of yarn to finish up this square and the ladies I like most to knit and visit with were there so I decided to stay and finish the square with them :)
I have to say I really like the way it turned out.  This yarn is gorgeous!  It's madelinetosh  tosh merino light and I held the yarn double to get it to be closer to a worsted which is what I think the other squares are closer to.  This square is destined for the UK.  It will join a bunch of others to make a blanket to cheer a guy going through a difficult medical treatment.

So I finished that and there was still time to knit so lucky I had brought this other project.  This project was giving me trouble.  First I wound the ball myself from hanks of yarn and it is horrid.  So I stuffed it into that mesh thing to keep from coming all apart.  I'm debating buying a ball winder.  But!  It works so don't really need one.  

So, I had actually started this sock at the beginning of September.  The yarn is a colorway called Albus Dumbledore and it's beautiful.  And I have a copy of the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine that has a pattern for Dumbledore warm socks in it.  I had originally thought it would be perfect to knit that pattern with that yarn since they were both Dumbledore.  But!  I felt the pattern to be sort of tedious.  And I think it's just me.  If I had maybe given it more of a go it could have worked out but I was starting to avoid it.  I cast on a different project just to do something different.  I realized yesterday I was being ridiculous.  So I ripped back to before the stitch pattern and started the Hermione Everyday stitch pattern, which incidentally I had just modified for the square above!  And I've gotten like 2 inches since last night!  hurrah!

It's becoming very much Fall here so I am wanting to have more warm woolly socks to wear.  I did wear my plum medley socks this week.  They were delightful :)  one is a tad longer but no biggie.

P.S. my coffee pot is on the fritz and I think I have to finally give in and buy a new one....ugggg.  It took an hour today to coax out one cup!!!!  Tragedy.  A nice cuppa coffee is such a joy to me in the morning so I must remedy this situation STAT!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

starting to fall for modern maples

This weekend I had every intention of working on my Rainy Day quilt.  I'm so close to finishing the squares for the top. Buuuuuut then!  Except for Saturday the weather has been so deliciously Fall!  Cool and crisp in the morning, warm and sunny in the afternoon, but still with that Fall feeling.  On my blogroll I came across this post and my curiosity was piqued.  What's up with Modern Maples?   So I googled and was like yeah!  I'm not on instagram (big surprise!) which is apparently the new *thing*.  Scrolling through the quilts and comments and stuff almost makes me want to be a part of that.  Buuuut then again I'm not set up for that cell phone to get that app to get on there and I'm not going to do that just to be a part of something even though it looks cool.  Anyhoo, that's a different tangent for a different day.  The good news for me is that there is a flickr pool and I am on that so I can still join in the fun there :)  There is even a free pattern link from Lark Crafts and I have a gazillion Fall fabrics to choose from.

baha!  So much to say just to get to the point of: I started a new quilt!  I have 8 squares so far and have been chopping up STASH fabric for more.  I had to fight the urge to run to Joann's to get some solid beige-y linen-y color fabric because really I have plenty already in my stash!  And, if I run out it will force some creativity, right?  yes.

This is what I have so far.  Initially my thought was to mix the beige and cream color backrounds and maybe do some 9 patch blocks as the fillers.
But, then I started to get sketchy about the beige.  I don't really like it.  Compared to the cream backround I don't feel like the colors 'pop' as much.  Except for that purple one on the top, which is my current favorite square.

I put all the cream backrounds together to see if I preferred that and I'm still not sure what I'll do.  I could make the beige ones the back of the quilt.  Except I love that purple one!    I think I may just keep mixing them up and then once it's all together maybe it will look how I originally envisioned?  Only because I want that purple one on the front :)  The middle square is a piece that I have been hoarding for quite some time.  I had bought a fat quarter because it was super expensive, from the quilt store in Chico before it went out of business and have just fussy cut the owl and pussycat scene out of it.  

p.s. do you like my super expensive high class design board?  You, too, can have this set up with just two plastic table cloths.  The kind with the fuzzy back :)  I even bought these on clearance so the whole set up maybe set me back $5!  

Monday, September 22, 2014

grief continues to suck

I hadn't had a meltdown for a few weeks.  I started to think maybe I was doing okay.  I would have days where I didn't even think about the things that make me sad, and would go for hours without thinking about Scott.  I would have days where I didn't think about him dying, just think of him.  In the back of my mind I was wondering how long that would last?  I was thinking this numbness I was feeling was just another grief response.  When I got back from vacation I had a similar crash like I did coming home from Camp Widow, just not as intense.  But I made it through the week just fine for the most part.

Oh weekends.  Time to really sink, time to be so, so alone.  Time for thoughts.  I didn't really see this one coming.  I had plans Friday night and it was nice.  Stayed in bed almost all Saturday.  But rallied myself into going to trivia night where I spaced out most of the time.  Funny how you can be in a crowd, surrounded by friends but be completely alone.  Yesterday I sewed and chilled with the boys.  Sounds pleasant, yeah?

It all started with a bucket.  And here's what you should know about grief - nothing is off limits to set you off.  How benign is a bucket???  I've made my own laundry soap for a long time and my bucket somehow got a crack in the bottom so had been leaking all over.  Ugggg.  But I remembered that I had made soap for Scott once with his old spice bar soap.  So, I looked for that bucket.  And I found it.  And the smell of his soap in that bucket was like a slap in the face.   And there was still soap in the bucket.  Clearly I can't use that soap.  In my head it's his soap.  I still have the contents of his wallet together with the money in it that I will never use.  It's his.

One of the things that kept coming to mind the past few weeks is how much I long to talk to people about him.  No one talks to me about him really.  A lot of people I'm around didn't even know him.  So there was a feeling for a bit that wondered if he really existed?  Was he really here?  Were we really married.  Of course I have pictures and my memories.  But the mind plays tricks.  I miss him so much.  And that word 'miss' doesn't quite cut it.  The bucket gave me that reminder that he was here and it also made me cry out all the pain that was there and hiding in numbness.

Sometimes crying is a relief.  Sometimes just suppressing my grief every day to get on normally, it feels good to let it go on the weekend.  And then other times it's so intense a pain, it's indescribable.  All I wanted after that meltdown was a hug.  And here comes the isolation of my situation.  I have friends, yes.  So I ran down that list thinking - could I call them and ask to come over and just get a hug and then leave?  No.  I had just had a really, really ugly cry.  And people have families and kids and I really just only wanted a hug.  No talking.  No chatting.  I didn't want to have to explain why, I also didn't want to freak out their kids by coming over a mess.  And I'm funny about hugs.  I have a time limit and I am not touchy feely.  So no.  No finding someone to hug.  The moment passed anyway.  Thank God for my dogs.  They can't hug but they do love me :)

*Disclaimer: this is my grief journey.  There are no answers to it.  I know there is nothing anyone can say to make it better and that's okay.  This is my space to just get my feelings out.

Friday, September 19, 2014

saving money

One of the things my Mom and I talked about on our trip was saving money.  I was saying that I want to be more responsible about saving.  So, after paying my bills when I got home I took what was left in the checking and put a little chunk in savings.  And now, oh now.  Now I feel like my wings have been clipped, like I've been deprived of everything fun and potential beautiful things!!!!!  Ugggg.  I hate it.

And here's the thing that we really talked about.  I have more fabric than I could ever use.  I have TONS of beautiful yarn and I just bought new beautiful yarn.  I have food.  The dogs have food.  George does too.  My bills are paid.  And yet.  I want to keep spending.  I want to buy yarn right now, today, at the yarn shop to finish a square that I started!  Technically I can afford it.  But why do I want to spend all my money????

I have been thinking about this for a long time because let's face it, it's nothing new to me.  I still can't figure it out.  But, I have places I want to go.  I have things I want to do.  I have large purchases that someday I need to make.  So, I am reigning myself in a bit.

And really - maybe by doing this I will focus more on doing.  More on using what I already have.  I really like this saying "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without."  I know I do that a lot already in certain areas of my life (shoes! & clothes) but in the frivolous category I go a bit overboard.  So, we'll see how I do.  I'm just putting it out there just to discuss, not to be harsh with myself.  Cus let's face it, I'm not going to change overnight.  Just going to be a little more deliberate and ask myself if I really need a new such and so before I spend. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

seaside fiber loot

Okay, so before checking out of our hotel, I took advantage of the white bedspread and abundance of natural light to take pictures of my fun purchases!  LOL my Mom was like, what are you doing??? 

First up is the yarn I got at the Sheep and Fiber Festival in Boonville.  The picture seriously doesn't do this justice!  It is gorgeous and has sparkle in it!  It is Greenwood Fiberworks  75% superwash merino wool 20% nylon 5% stellina in the Arcade colorway.  I didn't see that color listed on the etsy shop so maybe she's out of stock?  The lady at the booth was super friendly and said she travels to different fiber festivals, she will be at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival at the end of this month and then in Medford for a trunk show.  Anyhow, it was hard to choose because all of the yarn was beautiful and feels very nice.
These are the skeins I bought in Mendocino.  They are Berocco Ultra Alpaca, the top one is the Lunar Mix and the bottom is Cerulean Mix.  I have a project in mind for the gray but I couldn't leave the blue behind, I HAD to have it!  LOL you know how that goes.
Of course, there was a trip to the fabric store!  Actually that was almost the first thing we did when we got to Ft Bragg.  Surprised?  I found some really pretty and fun prints!  The bottom gnome print I had bought the last time we were there but was afraid to cut into my fabric piece.  So, I bought 1/2 yard of it and the other bigger pieces are also 1/2 yard so that I won't run into that fear again!  I did grab a few fat quarters as well.

After breakfast on Monday we had a few hours before we needed to hit the road so we both wanted more beach time :)  It was so nice and relaxing!  We had "happened" upon this beach on Friday I think after visiting Mendocino.  I saw a road and just decided to drive down it and we came up on this spot called Caspar Cove I think it's called.  It was easy access, parking and then not far to walk to the beach.  This was our view from our chairs:

 So while we were there I kept hearing this honking sound, I knew it was a bird and my mind was telling me goose but it didn't fit the scene so I thought I was wrong, but no!  There was this one goose walking around the beach and then a dog chased it into the water!  It was so funny, like maybe it had taken a detour in our beautiful little cove.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Mom and I have been vacationing at the beach for a long weekend at Ft Bragg, CA.  I drove down to pick her up and we then drove over from Chico.  I don't know the exact temp in Chico, but it felt so nice to descend into the coast region and feel the heat dissipate!   Mom said it felt "delicious".  Friday we drove into Mendocino which is a tiny little town overlooking the ocean.  The buildings in the downtown area are very old, it's super touristy.  We popped into the yarn shop so I could drool all over their selection of cashmere!  The lady who helped me was super friendly and encouraged us to go to the Sheep and Fiber festival that was going on this weekend.  

Saturday we had planned to go to a flea market in Mendocino and then be beach bums.  We drove over to the flea market and were sorely disappointed!  There were like 4 people with stuff to sell and nothing we were interested in.  I think Mom and I were feeling like it was very anticlimactic and "what now" so on a whim we decided to drive to the Fiber Festival and check it out.  It was roughly an hour away in Boonville.  

The fibers and yarn were all beautiful and wonderful!  We also got to see a sheep get sheared and watch a wool demonstration.  Buuuuut, it also felt a little anticlimactic.  And it was super hot there!  I did, however, buy some beautiful, sparkly, sock yarn :)  

So, today we were not messing around - we went to an easy access clean beach and parked it.  I knit, she read, we took turns dozing.  It was perfect.

I'm working on this cowl using the Honey Cowl pattern.  It's an easy knit and the yarn is fab!  My LYS started stocking madelinetosh so I grabbed a skein of madelinetosh tosh DK.  I can't even explain how wonderful this yarn is to knit with.  And it's making a nice, squishy fabric - I just love it!  And the color, so nice and tonal.

And this little guy was our birdy buddy.  He had a little bit of a limp so I threw him a peanut but he didn't eat it.  I think he was hoping for fish?  

p.s. I did take quite a few pictures of Mom and I.  Let's just say they didn't turn out.....erm, uh, we uh turned out fuzzy?  Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket!  It wasn't because we looked super scary or grody or anything like that - just fuzzy.  We did get a good chuckle looking at them though.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

fair entry

I just got home from the fair where I entered my neon socks.  I got an honorable mention!  I'm pretty excited about that especially since I pretty much entered on a whim and just for fun.  Next year if I enter anything I'm going to think of a way to display what I've made better.  I had run out of time before I needed to drop these off to make any kind of sock form.  The volunteers at the fair did all the set up and displaying in the building and I think they did a good job.
 You can see in this picture my socks are hanging on the bottom of the stool.  I don't think everything in the area was the same section of entry types.  But, I think my "competition" were the hats?  I'm not sure since there wasn't a specific category for socks.  There were a lot of cool knit and crochet items.  Also some cross stitch and quilts hanging.  I can tell that my style of quilting is different from anything that was there.  Also it didn't look like any of those quilts had been washed yet so I need to keep that in mind in case I wanted to try a quilt next year.

Friday, September 5, 2014

dog lady

Well friends, it's possible I've crossed into the realm of the crazy dog lady.  Not because I have a million dogs or anything.....I made a snood for Joey :)  Today was a rather rough day for me.  I felt groggy and tired all day.  Then, took the pooper in the vet to have the rest of his sutures removed from his ear and she tells me that all of his lymph nodes are enlarged.  And have I noticed if he's lost any weight?  He's 10 and may be an indication of lymphoma.  Or infection.  Or allergic reaction.  I mean - ugh!  I got to the car before I started to cry.  I reeeeeaaallly couldn't handle hearing that today.  I got him home, pulled myself together and made an appt for tomorrow morning to have blood drawn.  Start with the first step, right?

So I got home after work and I thought I'd make him a little snood to maybe control the ear flapping a bit.  I thought, I need to use some "boy" fabric, and I had bought this fun guitar fabric that also looks a little camo-ey that I had originally bought to make pajama pants for Scott.  I don't know if it's really going to work.  So far he does good with it running around but then has rolled on the bed and worked it down around his neck.  I'll see if I can somehow get the elastic a bit tighter around the head.  Hmmmmm.

In other news, last weekend I was talking with Mom and realized I hadn't really shown much about this current quilt I've been working on!  Whoops.  So I started it awhile ago on a whim and then lost interest in it.  I've been calling it the 'Rainy Day' quilt in my head.  The day I started it it actually was rainy and the colors remind me of grey rain clouds, a bit of blue peeking through, dark rain clouds and a  bit of sunshine every little bit.  The pink is just because I thought it needed a bit.  

Each square is 9.25 x 9.25 so I have been up in the air about what I want the finished size to be.  I think 72 x 81?  That's what I'm aiming for right now.  The light is not great in the picture, but you get the idea. 
Yesterday was the 4th of the month which marked 16 months since Scott died.  The 4th of any month is still pretty raw for me.  Yesterday I did really well though.  I had run out of my usual yogurt for breakfast so I grabbed some cheese curds and then realized as I was eating them that that was something he loved and had introduced me to.  Then, when I got home from work there was a package from Amazon.  I thought it might be a book on tape that I had ordered but it was a Sherlock Holmes episode I had forgot I ordered!  Another thing he loved and introduced me to.  I've come to a point where I can feel like these are little nods, reminders, hellos from him.  

People always say that he's not really gone, he lives on in my heart.  Perhaps these little things along with my memories are what they mean.  I'd rather think that he's in heaven and isn't bothered at all by Earth and it's struggles any longer.  But some days it's nice to also think that he's saying hello and love you from beyond.