Progress So Far…

I’m enjoying the witchy vibe I’m getting from the mix of green and purple on this. Using two yarns has definitely given me the weight I’m looking for. And I keep checking the size, but it should be wide enough for what it will become.

It’s very soft and a joy to knit. I’m very happy with how the cables are working up together.

When I want a less involved knit, I pull this sweater out. I’m pretty pleased with this design and love the relaxed look.

They’re coming along and I’m looking forward to the journey. Now for some News Radio, decaf coffee, and more knitting.

Another Design in the Works

I have reached a place with the Folded Grapes Sweater (I’m trying out different names for it) that my mind has space for a second project. Cue the graph paper!

It’s messy and only a loose idea of what it became, but graphing it helps me visualize how everything sits together. Once I had this image to work with, I grabbed some leftover yarn and knit up my ideas.

With these two visuals, I sat down and wrote out the pattern. First, a basic stitch pattern for the set-up row. Then, the four row repeat of this wrap, using letters to represent the cable sections. Then I wrote out the three cable patterns (one is a mirror of another) and color coded with stitch markers. To keep track, I have three tally spots. One for the whole project, one for the mirror cables, and one for the center cable.

Originally, I was only going to use the deep purple acrylic yarn, but it is a lighter weight and I want this to feel heavy-ish. I found two skeins of the same cotton in complementary colors. I’m hoping that between the double stranding and cabling I’ll achieve the heft I’m going for.

So this will be my version of Elora Dannon’s hooded wrap from the new Willow. I love the look of simple knits, but by adding cables I’ll be able to stay stimulated enough to keep going. I’m also rather enjoying the double color. Each change is something to look forward to.

It Is Upon Us

The last day of school lets out really early, so I made plans to keep us busy. We headed straight for the library a few towns over because it’s the largest in the area and I wanted them all to be able to have something in their hands now.

While waiting for us grownups to get our food (and then we all got drinks somewhere else), they eagerly read one of their choices. It always warms my heart to see them enjoying books.

Then off to a nearby park for my friend and I to eat while they played (I promise, the kids had already eaten by this point). We saw each other two years ago for a one night visit. Before that, it had been ten years. Thankfully this visit was for several days and it has been good to be in each other’s company.

We took a little stroll around before getting back into the car to head home. The rest of the day was pretty restful. All in all a great way to kick off Summer break.

Romance Novels

When I think of romance novels, I imagine Fabio. (Anybody remember Fabio?) Long, blond hair, chisel chin, beefy muscles, and white shirts with lace at the cuffs. I picture damsels in distress and euphemisms galore. I cringe just thinking about it. It’s a very popular genre and I’m happy people have their joys, but yuck.

I have also recently come to the realization that I do, in fact, read romance novels. Through a series of events, I rediscovered a series of books I had started years ago. I happily borrowed the first two from the library (just like I did all those years ago) and discovered this edition’s cover design was romance. The one I remember was fantasy style.

I began looking for recommendations based on some of what I read, and lo and behold, it’s romance. Well, mostly. Sort of. See. I’m not a Plain Jane. Vanilla romance novels are dull. Add some dark fairies and secret magics and I’m a bit more apt to pick it up. Add some self discovery and respectful communication and I’m sold.

With this discovery, I’ve decided to indulge myself this Summer and read all for fun. Being me, I’m focusing on a few series’s. Fever by Karen Marie Moning. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton, which I’m rereading to catch up to where I left off a few years ago. There’s a couple of murder mystery series that I enjoy too that I’m allowing. One is a coffeehouse mystery, the other set in a small Irish village.

Bring on Summer!

The Frogs Are Back

I’m getting ready to rip this all out. I just finished redesigning it and making it my own pattern. There are three different cables, all from the same book of stitch patterns. I’ve really enjoyed making this, but am also really eager to try my version out.

The garter braids will still be the anchor sections, I’ve expanded them, got rid of the edging, and stretched out the twists. The middle cables will now mirror each other, be elongated, and have a regular cable of two stitches for the middle. The end cables will alternate between long and short lengths, and I eliminated the knots.

I’m also going to put an edge to the bottom and the eventual top. I’m thinking seed stitch. It’s a favorite of mine. Then there’s figuring out the sleeves. I’ll get there.


This is my last day of having the house to myself before Summer vacation begins. It’s also the earliest I’ve gotten everyone out of the house in a long time. I’m going to do my best to really enjoy it.

I found my original short story from high school and have finally begun work on turning it into a novel. It’s actually quite amazing. Figuring out my voice is a very gratifying process.

I’m also focusing on some knitting projects that I want to write a pattern book for. I want it to be part story, part patterns. I want to create something a little different from the normal. I’ve got the basics for most of them done, but it’ll be a while before they’re finalized for test knitters.

Over the Summer I’m going to try finding writing work I can do from home. My massage career isn’t going to be an option much longer with my arthritis, so I need to start finding other ways to make money before I try to go back to school.

So I’m making plans for the next phase of my life and am enjoying the preparations. Today will be spent soaking up my solitude before it all begins. Summer adventures, here we come!

Getting Things Done

Because life is beating me up and I’m pretty tired of taking it, I’m trying to tackle the backlog of projects that are obstructing my progress. I’m also encouraging my husband to start getting more involved around the house again to get him feeling better able to handle our stress.

While he whacked all our edges, I dug out a section of our garden. Our friendly neighbor saw and came over to cut our grass again. He’s such a lifesaver! I want to basically rip most of everything out and start fresh.

I also finished the other sweater last night and set them to soak this morning. Now they’re laid out to dry. I’ll block them more later.

Tonight’s plan is to finish taking notes from a very overdue library book so I can finally return it. I’m clearing the slate for Summer!

Facing Yourself

When you are forced to take a good look at what you’ve been doing to yourself for years, it is anything but comfortable. Knowing I was doing my best helps a little. Realizing what that best was up against is validating and heart wrenching.

I’ve always hated being treated as a damsel, unless I’ve decided I want to be the damsel, yet many seem to want to rescue me. This is something I love about my husband that other people criticize him for. He doesn’t rescue me unless I ask him to. And he usually has my back. I appreciate that he calls me out or challenges me. I’m easily bored and he’s definitely not boring.

This all means I’ve slowly stopped talking to people about what I’m going through. I can’t trust that I’ll get support instead of rescuing or ridicule. Except I need to talk to several people to sort out my thoughts and feelings. It’s part of why journaling was so crucial to my mental health for decades. Then I got too busy surviving the day to day. There wasn’t a lot of room for me.

It happens. I actually appreciate the departure and all the adventures along the way. As I begin to have more room for myself again, I’m discovering how much of that time has given me what I need to heal old traumas. How to hold space for others, while still having my own.

Sadly, I’m still working on physical care. This means I often don’t do better until I’m in the hospital because I ignored signals, saying I didn’t have the time. I’m starting to make the time, but am having health issues from the decades of ignoring the signs. The kidney stones two years ago were a good wake up call, so I am taking care of it and facing doctor trauma and other traumas from my youth.

It has taken a long time, but I have finally started being more open about these issues at my appointments. It has really been helpful. Through being vocal, I gain back more of my own power. I have also been met with the kind of care that makes me feel safe and heard- thankfully. I still have fallout from certain visits. A day or two of recuperation. But that’s all old trauma healing. The care I receive these days is what I could have used years ago.

So, I’m pretty messy these days. Normal life marches on and I’m sorting through the dark corners of my hidden self while being poked and scraped every couple of weeks, still unsure of what exactly is wrong. I’m making sure to reach out to friends who do let me talk it out and help me sort through it all. Those who know what it all means for me to actually take care of myself.

This isn’t to say I’ve totally neglected myself all these years. I did what I could to get through. I read magazines when I didn’t have the time for books. I took long showers and cried when I could (crying is very therapeutic!). Driving is always soothing and knitting without worrying about chores. Eating the expensive dark chocolate because it is better. Buying that cup of coffee after a tough morning of errands. I definitely didn’t ignore my needs. I just ignored what I felt I didn’t have time for.

As this school year comes to an end (because that is, once again, how I keep track of time), I’m letting myself rest up to get ready for an adventurous summer. I’m going to do my best to plan ahead to save energy for having fun, whatever may come.

It Just Needs a Good Soak

My sister’s sweater is finally done and it feels pretty good. I was able to smooth the collar edge in one spot. The stockinette edging on the pockets did indeed make it much easier to sew them on. And I’ve decided mixing buttons is my signature. Speaking of, I need to buy more.

I like the look of these red buttons better than the black I was planning on. They really set the whole piece.

I’ve learned a lot about how to make a shawl collar.

I added mini cables to the ribbing and kept it up through the collar.

The pockets came out better than I had hoped. The pattern of the sweater made this really easy to keep straight. Well, mostly straight.

I’m especially happy with the sleeves. They’re very cozy and the cuff design is all my own, simple as it is.

This was a lot of fun to make. Even the difficult bits that brought me the joy of a good challenge. Now, to put my hard earned patience to use with a good soak and waiting for it to dry. I’m looking forward to being able to give this to my sister.

It’s Time

I started a new project the other night and so something has to get finished to make room. Since this sweater is weighing on me, it’s pocket time!

Before being banished to a timeout, I had marked out where they would go and it only took me a couple minutes to establish the pattern from there. I’m adding extra stockinette stitches to the sides and bottom for easier sewing. At least I hope it’ll make it easier.

The collar is why it was in exile. I would have preferred making the edges come down a bit more, but the thought of trying to “fix” it almost makes me nauseous. I tried it on again and I think with a few stitches and good blocking it will work out just fine the way it is.