That Was Anticlimactic

The sweater that sat half done for years is complete and I don’t really feel anything about it. I mean, I like it. I’m proud of it. But I just moved on to the next unfinished project.

My daughter tried it on and her only request was to make the collar smaller. I said no problem and sewed it up this morning so she could wear it to school. It definitely warms my heart to see her joy.

So the body was crocheted years ago. I had about a couple inches of the front to finish when I stuck it in a dark corner. Several frustrating attempts later it was done and I sewed the pieces together. The sleeves gave me so much grief I banished it again.

Since my latest creation was in need of a timeout I decided this problem child could be the distraction I needed. Instead of dealing with the crochet stitch that made me crazy, I decided to knit the sleeves. I found a stitch pattern that I altered to mimic the crochet one and set to work. I began to realize I didn’t have enough yarn, but figured there’d be more at the store because I had just bought it. Nope.

I found a similar shade and continued. I just wanted it done and off my list. My middle kid is quite the crafter and really appreciates what I make her. She was happy with the two purples so I could live with it.

She’s thrilled. I’m happy to have it finished. I’ve got one other sweater I’m trying to get done and then maybe I’ll be ready to work on my sister’s cardigan once more.

It Happened Again

I ran out of the color I was using. I kind of knew it was going to happen, but it had only been a week or so since I bought the yarn, so I figured it would still be at the store. I should know better by now.

I can’t bring myself to rip this sleeve back and add the new shade of purple to make the sleeves match. Nor do I want to rip the second sleeve out to make it all the same purple. My daughter is a funky kind of person and seems to be happy with what’s happening. So onward I will knit.

I’m pretty proud of this sleeve design. I just kind of made it up as I went. I am using established stitch patterns, but the strategic decreases and shape is mine.

So here we go. Last stretch of work. The second sleeve is almost done and then we’ll see if I can figure out the collar. I’ve got ideas and, hopefully, enough yarn.

If Only I Would Shop Online

When we first moved out to a more rural area, driving into town wasn’t such a big deal. It felt good to be in familiar places and shop at my usual stores. Well, gas prices went up and making the trip felt more and more laborious. I got more comfortable going to the local stores.

Except they don’t have the only coffee creamer that tastes great and doesn’t make me sick. Nor do they have the only feminine pads that I am comfortable wearing. (They’re like sitting on a cloud.) The store in town that sells the creamer I use doesn’t sell the pads. The store that sells the pads doesn’t sell the creamer. How silly to drive to town for creamer and pads?! At two different grocery stores!

I do work in town, but almost never have time to stop for anything before and am usually racing home after. Saturdays I often do have the time. So, when I stop I buy four creamer containers and two or three packages of pads.

I’m sure I could save myself a lot of stress (shopping is not my strong suit -unless it’s books) if I would just find them online. At least the pads could be shipped to my door. But I’m a ‘brick and mortar’ sort of person and shopping online spikes my anxiety more than walking into a building does.

So here I am, stocked up on creamer, trying to figure out when I’ll have the time for getting pads.

Finding Kindred Book Lovers

There was this wonderful woman I worked with briefly when I first started where I am now. We were having a conversation about books and how we almost never get good recommendations or find other people who read what we like to read. I just so happen to have read the first two books of a series I thought she’d like and lent her the first book.

About a month or two later she was explaining to me how the book had gotten damaged. While I was sad, I also get it. Shit happens. She continued that she would not give it back to me in that condition. She also absolutely loved the book and was so grateful to have an awesome new series to read. Here is where she pulled out a bag.

This beautiful person not only replaced the damaged book, but she bought the next three books (after the second one) in the series as a gift for me. I almost cried. I definitely teared up.

So, while I was aimlessly wandering through my collection of unread books (sounds like I have a grand library, when really I’m just doing this in my imagination) I kept coming back to the fifth book in this series. I have been putting off reading it, savoring each novel over the last few years, but this morning I decided it is the only story that could possibly follow The Twisted Ones.

Knowing this was the last one on my shelf, I looked online to see if the author had written anymore, and bless this woman, there are three more! I squealed in delight and cheered. My kids looked at me like I might have actually hit crazy today. I’m three pages in and already feel at home. Seriously one of my absolute favorite series.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. Fairies, dragons, alternate worlds, adventure, whit, it really has it all. It has hints of Sherlock Holmes, some steampunk, definitely Victorian vibes. And it’s a librarian having these crazy adventures. I mean, what more do you want?

Three Days

It only took me three days. My kids are shocked. I’m in the middle of five or six books right now that I’m rarely inspired to pick up. This one, however, captured my attention and didn’t let go.

I’d call it a spunky folk horror. It’s been a couple days and I’m still a bit freaked out. I’m left wanting to read another book, but nothing seems to be the right choice for following this tale.

The author’s note at the end was a neat bit about her inspiration. I love how a simple idea or thought can lead to a good story.

If you’re looking for a fun scare to read alone, in the dark, this one will do nicely.

Yes, I Bought More Books

Every couple of months I splurge and take the girls to Barnes & Noble. They love it and it’s something my mom used to do with my siblings and me when the store was beginning its nationwide boom.

I have recently found myself craving real horror stories. I used to read a lot of scary stories as a kid, but I think life became scary enough for a while. I’m not sure what has sparked this renewed desire, but I want to be scared.

As an adult, finding novels that are actually scary, while not being grotesque, disturbing, or played out has been difficult for me. House on Haunted Hill was good and The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse was just the kind of scary I like. I have tried others and been disappointed.

This book, The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher, has got me jumping when my kids make a sound. I’m only a quarter of the way in, nothing has happened, and I’m creeped out by stones. I don’t want to put it down, but I want to go to sleep.

I’m putting on my current comfort show (Murdoch Mysteries), eating some chocolate, and getting some sleep so I can read this during the day.

I Can Chew!

Soft French toast is a good place to start anyway. My recent dental surgery (one tooth from each side of my lower jaw) left me living on soft scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and pudding. It feels good to be able to chew, even if I still have to be careful.

My oldest was supposed to help, but was too distracted. She did help set the table and fetch her siblings. And I showed her how to cook the French toast. We had this rather dry cinnamon bread (or so I was told because I couldn’t eat it), so I thought this would bring in some moisture. The kids enjoyed it. It felt good to be able to cook.

See, I forgot I don’t do well with hydrocodone. It took me a day to stop feeling sick after a day of taking it. Thankfully over-the-counter pain meds have been working. And my mom was here to take care of me and the kids so my husband could work and not worry. I actually napped most of one day.

Now, back to knitting the second sleeve of this crochet sweater. I’m ready to clear my slate so I can start some new projects.

That Work Sweater

My lost jacket still hasn’t returned, so this has become my permanent work jacket. Sometimes I’m delighted with how warm and cozy it is. Other times I wish it was a bit less warm. I think that’s just part of these hormonal changes. My body temperature never knows what’s comfortable.

I’m really happy with the pockets. They’re the perfect size. The sleeves are a bit more snug than I wanted, but they are loosening up.

So my first adult crochet sweater is complete and wonderfully comfortable. The duster style is fun, even if unintentional. The complements from co-workers and clients don’t hurt either. I tend to blush a bit.

Weird Dreams

I had this dream the other night. I was at a house warming party for a friend’s new apartment. Very low key affair, but the place was large and beautiful. The strangest part here is that I was enjoying the social gathering.

I then decided I wanted to check out my soon-to-be new apartment on the floor below. So my friend, and host, decided to come with me. I was glad for the company. I unlocked the door and we walked in to an entirely different space. It was almost like a time capsule.

There were remnants of the previous tenant throughout the place. I remember thinking what a downgrade this was from my friend’s apartment, but I was happy with it. Bare structures and haphazard items decorated the place.

Then there was this cat. It was part of the deal with getting the apartment. I had tried explaining that I’m allergic, but the landlord didn’t care. I had to keep the cat. I decided to try and make friends with it.

So I caught this orange tabby with a towel and was really easy. Then it was a white kitten and got really vicious and attacked me while I was trying to cuddle it, but couldn’t hurt me. I can still feel the little teeth biting into my fingers. I decided to let it go. It came out of the towel fire colored with a black head.

Basically taking pain meds and falling asleep to Murdoch Mysteries makes for some wild dreams. At least the offending teeth in my jaw have been removed and I’m feeling much better now.

Taking a Break to Solve a Different Problem

This black and mushroom sweater has got me really worked up. I know what I need to do to make the collar right, but I’m not ready yet. So, instead I’ve decided to work on something else that has been driving me crazy for a few years.

I started this sweater so long ago I don’t even remember how long ago anymore. Every once in a while I’ve taken it out and tried working on it, but it always went sideways.

It was my first attempt at a sweater, back when crochet was my main craft. I thought crocheting one would be faster and simpler than knitting one. I was kind of wrong.

I thought this was an easy pattern, and maybe that is the whole issue. Often easy is more difficult for me. Needless to say, this garment has sat in a bag sleeveless and collar-less for a long time. It took me several years before I sewed the front and back together. Makes perfect sense that I would try to tackle it while avoiding my current frustration.

I did try to crochet the sleeves one more time, but the stitch pattern makes me crazy, so I went with a previous idea of knitting them. I also tried it on and found it too snug for me, so definitely too snug for my husband-whom I originally intended it for. My middle daughter has claimed it, hence the purple.

I’m hoping this project will help calm me and renew my spirit. I’d rather work on my sister’s gift with more joy than anger. So far, I’m finding it very relaxing.