well laid plans

This morning I woke up with a really terrible headache. You know the kind, the kind that makes you want to crawl back into bed for a few more hours and try again later.

So for a little motivation I ran out for some of my favorite coffee and a delicious fruit danish and took some time to get some reading in.

breakfast

It totally helped* and I was back on track. Sometimes a little indulgence is exactly what I need to get going.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I set up some crafty things that I want to accomplish for May, because lists are what get me through life the day.

For May
Finish Roadside Attraction socks
* Weave in ends and block the Rockefeller shawl
* Finish the white on santa’s beard
* Finish 1 Fiddlehead Mitten
* Finish 2 preemie hats
* Cast on one new project

Yesterday I finished up the toe of my second Roadside Attraction sock, wove in the ends, and then wore them out for a bit. Love these socks so so much!

sock1

I really love the simple design. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another pair of these. Maybe with a little longer leg next time.

sock2

Since the socks are done I’ve started back on santa’s beard. Seriously… so much white. After the white is done I’ll need to add the off-white, but for now I’m going to focus on the pure white bits.

Progress.

santa1

 I’m fairly confident that I can get these things done this month**. I’ve even calculated how many ends their are to weave in on the shawl (48) and how many days left in the month (23) so that I’ll know how many need to be done each day (2.09). I’m nothing if not a planner…
 
* This post is brought to you by the magical danish and awesome latte.
** Or at least 4 out of 6… that’s not bad, right?

happy cinco de mayo

Good morning world! Or really, almost noon, but hey it’s my blog, right? And yes, since it’s my blog I can use a thousand commas and start sentences with and… but I digress.

Today is my birthday and I thought I would say a quick hello to everyone out there and talk a little about my annual birthday angst.
I have this weird relationship with my birthday where I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but I kinda want it to be a big deal. And I don’t really care if people know my age, but yeah, I kinda do care. Can you tell what kind of morning it’s been so far? It’s been a morning of contemplation dashed with a smidge of serious reflection and what do I have to show for it. Not much except for plans to make myself a better me. Not sure what that means, but there it is.

So here is to another year of living my life in my own personal crazy making sort of way and  allowing myself to not take myself so seriously. Maybe let go of some of those internal rules that I create for myself that add to my neurosis. We’ll see.

Speaking of rules… I do want to add one though (I know, I know). A good one. I want to write here at least once a week. About anything. I enjoy putting my rambling thoughts down in a semi-cohesive sense, but what scares me is putting them out for the world to see. Nothing like a little healthy fear to get the blood pumping.

So no rules on what the content will be. It could be knitting. It could be navel gazing. It could be about my need to rearrange the cutlery when I’m at a restaurant. It could be about how I am never quite sure how to end a post…

 

 

no more guilt

Monday morning, at yoga, our instructor spoke about going about our daily activities from a place of love and not guilt. This really struck a chord with me. The reason? Every morning I sit down and write a to do list and every day I look at that list and then swiftly begin the process of procrastinating. Now mind you, most of these items aren’t difficult. Some may take time and some effort, but generally they’re not what you would think of as difficult items. Yet, I procrastinate and the more I procrastinate the guiltier I feel and then I procrastinate even more and then I feel like an ass for not getting stuff done.

So. Yeah. Not really helpful in feeling good about what one has accomplished for the day. I may be getting things done, but my brain puts up such a fight that it’s kinda exhausting. I just feel, well, over it. So here’s what I’m doing. I’m reminding myself why the item needs to be done. I know, sounds silly, but when I look at my to do list and I see wash dishes I’m changing that internal monologue from ‘I really should get this done before Joe* gets home cause the kitchen looks like crap’ to ‘I’m going to feel really good when this is done and the kitchen will look great without all the clutter’.

The other thing I realized while contemplating all of this is that I’ve been placing rules around things that I enjoy so that I’ll do them. Let me say that again, I’ve placed rules around things I enjoy so that I’ll do them. Is it just me or does that make zero sense? On that note there will be no more crafty Friday or whatever Tuesday posts. Clearly none of that was working and it just created guilt around something that I initially started because I love to write.

So instead of guilting my way through the day with all the should’s that hang out in my crazy brain I’m going to think about why I’m really doing them and work to turn my mind over to the joy of it… even for things as mundane as washing dishes.

What do you guys think? Are you living your life from a place of guilt or love? Also, while flitting around the internet I found this post about guilt that I really enjoyed.

 

* To be clear, Joe is not nagging me about things undone. This is all in the fabulous world of negative talk that goes on in my head.

cross-stitch tuesdays

Last week I magically woke up at 5:30 in the morning with this urgent need to sort through everything that was cross-stitch related. The end result is that I’ve paired everything down to fit into one box. It felt really good to get these things down to the bare essentials and I feel that what is left is the best of the best. These are the things that I love and will most likely be completed in my lifetime. Heh!

A few weeks ago we were in Charlotte and I did pick up a few things from my favorite little shop in Rock Hill. I mean, I hadn’t been there in almost three years and who knows when I’m going to get back. Even looking at their website just now had me thinking about new purchases, but I must stay strong to my purpose of maintaining a smaller stash and look away.

OK, so what did I get while I was there? I managed to walk out with only two patterns. One of which I plan to start after Santa is complete so I went ahead and purchased the fabric and beads I needed.

Mirabilia, Silver Moon Tea.

earlgray

The other one, Sleeping Princess, I’ll start sometime down the road.

sleeping

And yes, these items fit into my newly created cross-stitch box so I’m in the clear as far as that’s concerned.

While I was in Charlotte I was also gifted a fantastic pair of scissors while in town. Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!? One can never have enough scissors…

scissors

I know it’s been a while, but I have made some progress on Santa. The white for the beard has been a bit tedious, but oddly exciting at the same time. Once I get through that part I feel like I’ll be so close to finishing this piece. I really can’t wait to for this to be done, you know, in a good way.

santa

 

knits on friday

Public service announcement: please read!
Craft on friday will now be knits on friday until further notice. I plan to spend more time being bi-craftual so I think knitting and cross-stitch deserve their own personal space on the blog. All cross-stitch content will now be posted to on Tuesdays.

And now back to our semi regular program…

One of my knitting goals for this year is to use or destash more yarn than I bring in. To that end I’ve been paying more attention to what I buy and trying to limit it to things I want to knit in the near future and not just buying yarn cause it’s pretty. Because honestly, so much of it is pretty and that’s what got me here in the first place.

I did buy yarn while I was in Charlotte a few weeks ago. This gorgeous green will be a Simurgh shawl. I plan on starting it after I get a few things finished up, but I’m already imagining how beautiful it will be.

green

I also may have completely caved on the Rockin’ Sock Club that, for the past two years, I’ve sworn to forego and then made the mistake of looking at the first shipment. Damn you Blue Moon for having such amazing yarn!

In my defense I have vowed to knit all six skeins that will be arriving this year. I’ve already caked this one up and it’s ready to go… January’s shipment of Portland Plaid for the win!

STR1

But before I start that I’ll be knitting up a few preemie hats. Good friends of mine recently had twins who were born premature and it made me think about all those little ones that need toasty heads to stay healthy. It may also help me to use up all those little bits and bobs of yarn that I wasn’t sure what to do with. As far as I’m concerned it’s a win/win.

Preemie hat the first. Seriously tiny.

preemie

I did manage to complete the Beet socks and I plan on knitting the leftover yardage into another preemie hat. Look at all that yarn being used up!

beets

The plan now is to get another preemie hat on the needles and then get going on that gorgeous new Portland Plaid. See ya next week!

 

crafty friday

Oh my gosh! The past two weeks have been part hectic and part recovery from the hectic. This was partially due to my brother-in-law getting married and we spent a week in Charlotte visiting so many people plus all the wedding shenanigans. Good times!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled Friday of crafty goodness…

With everything settled I can finally show you a picture of my not so secret project aka gift for the bride to be.

shawl1It turned out beautifully! The pattern is Meira and was a lovely knit. I’m really thinking about making one for myself.

Knitting seems to be in my blood lately. Not only did I whirl through the shawl, but I’ve completed one sock. You heard me… one sock! I’ve cast on for the second one so hopefully I’ll have a pair shortly.

Sock the first.

sock2

With all the knitting I’ve been really neglecting Santa. I think I needed a bit of a hiatus from him and knitting has filled in that gap nicely. Once I finish up the second sock I’ll get back to making him a priority, but honestly, that white beard is leaving me a little unexcited. So.much.white.

 

craft on friday

Short post this week and *gasp* no pictures. This turn of events brought to you by 1 part not much to show and 2 parts I just don’t feel like taking pictures at the moment. Oh yeah, and it’s Friday, duh.

Here’s the 411 on my current crafting situation:

  • I’m super close to finishing up the not so secret project, so close! No more pictures until it’s done and the recipient has a moment to model it.
  • The zombie sock (the first) is almost done as well. Their is only a bit left for the leg and then we’re on to sock the second!
  • Oh Santa… you were the whole reason I started posting craft on Friday and you have been so sorely neglected. But next week I will have the time, but let’s  not talk about the fact that I’ll be out of town again the following week. I’ll have to seriously consider taking you with me…

craft on Friday

I know I only post here once a week (for now, I really have so many things I want to talk about with you…), but I was so close to missing it again. I have a good excuse, maybe, I’m on the east coast visiting family and we’re having a great time painting VanGogh’s and spending time together. I’ll talk more about that another time, it was so much fun, but for now I want to remind everyone to spend time with those you love. Write notes, send a text, make a call, visit. Do it, it’s important.

Anyway, crafting.
I’m still working on my not so secret project. I haven’t worked on it since I left on Tuesday cause I started on the lace section and I’ve got to pay attention. Distractions are not OK for this knitting and distractions abound here. A bit of the lace panel for your viewing pleasure.

blue

It’s really a joy to knit and I can’t wait to show you the whole piece. My plan is to have it completed within the next couple of weeks, maybe…

In other knitting news I’ve made some progress on the vanilla sock. I turned the heel on the plane and have started the leg.

sock

It’s coming along and I’m thinking I might be able to start the second sock before I leave here on Tuesday, maybe…

I don’t have any updates on Santa because
a) I’ve been working on the not so secret project
b) I’m on the other side of the country and couldn’t take a picture of it even if I wanted to

But I can show you this cross-stitch project that I finished at the end of last year and brought with me as a gift for my sister. This is the Big Zipper by Bent Creek. It’s humongous. For scale and if you have good eyes you can see the needle at the bottom middle.

bigzipper

Tomorrow we’re taking it to be framed. I’m excited to see it truly complete.

Well, it’s midnight here, but I’m fairly certain I have my settings set for the west coast and it will look like I really did post this on Friday, maybe.

craft on friday

Back to our regularly scheduled Friday update. Of course, I’m running late. Running late in my real life so I’ve got to make this quick!

Through the power of FOCUS I was able to get all the things done in my regular daily life so that I had extra time to get this little bear a face. So cute!

Santa - week 5
Santa – week 5

One thing I’ve been avoiding is using the gold metallic thread. It’s been ages since I’ve stitched with this type of thread, but I remember it being a bear (haha, see what I did there?). Anyway, my memory, it is correct. The stitches aren’t laying evenly and I was destroying the ends of the thread by merely pulling it through the fabric. Such a pain!

You can see the unevenness of the stitches. Not acceptable.

gold

Then I remembered this great product called Thread Heaven that I used to use every time a metallic thread was involved. It’s fantastic! And I tore this place apart looking for it to no avail. It seems that I must get more of this before continuing with this aspect of the piece. Their’s plenty of other things to work on for the time being, though, I was sorta in the mood to get some of the gold done to shine it up a little.

Before I run, here is an update on my secret, not so secret project. At this point I’m almost done with the stockinette portion and most likely I’ll be starting on the lace sometime tomorrow. I’m beginning to believe I may, in fact, complete this project on time. Especially since I’ll be on a 4-5 hour flight next week. So much knitting time to look forward to…

blue

squirrel!

So, I’m terribly obsessed with my current cross-stitch project. It’s all I can think about. That is until yesterday when I decided that a friend of mine needed a hand knit and she needs it like right now. Or more realistically, soon, very very soon.

What does that mean? That means I spent time (so much time) yesterday perusing Ravelry to find the perfect pattern. And I did. I found it. Only one teensy tiny problem. My LYS did not have the yarn I needed. Or more accurately they didn’t have the color I wanted in the exact weight of yarn I was looking for. What to do now? Well, buy yarn in the right color (this is what was driving this particular obsession, go with it) and then spend more time on Ravelry finding the right pattern for this particular yarn, of course.

Behold… the perfect yarn!
MadelineTosh Pashmina in Bloomsbury for those who would like to know.

perfectblue

I’m still waffling on the pattern. I mean, I found one that would be so lovely. And then there’s a second one that would be beautiful. Yeah, I’m waffling. The bottom line though is that I have to cast on by tomorrow. I have to make a decision. There is so little time…

Not sure how much of this I’m going to post about this in the coming weeks, since I’m not sure if she reads here or not. I may post progress pictures as a way to keep myself in check though. I know you guys will ask me how it’s working out, right? I guess what I’m saying is that I may need some accountability so I don’t slide back into my other project. You know, the one I’m obsessed with? The one I’m supposed to be posting about on a weekly basis? Maybe I’ll take a short hiatus on that until this is done. Maybe…