Aran Sweater: The Journey Begins

I’m at it again. Frankensteining a sweater from a few sources. I’ve been wanting to make one for my sister for a while now and we have had many a conversation about what she would like. Soft, cozy, and a cardigan/jacket style.

I recently finished a few projects and am really just working on a sweater for myself at the moment. I’m actually following a pattern with only a few tweaks from me and it’s really repetitive. Which is fine, but that leaves my brain open to wandering. Que obsessing over my sister’s sweater.

I found yarn and knew I wanted to do an Aran style. My next step was finding the right cables and sweater base. I kept mixing and matching different options and finally landed on the ones I wanted. Then I began trying to sort out their layout. It was getting too difficult to do the math, so I pulled out my graphing paper and set to work.

I’m still working on it, but at a certain point I just have to get the next step started. So I began writing out what I charted. So much simpler with all that work already done. I also use the same sleeve and front panel chart for both sides, I just read them backwards for the second one.

And, of course, I had to start knitting it up while still writing it up. And then pull out the eight or so rows I had done. It’s looking much better the second time around.

Holiday Granny Squares

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned how much I love Granny Squares, but they are definitely one of my favorite things to make. The repetition, color play, symmetry, and evolving shapes really satisfy my artistic and creative self. They soothe my soul.

I do, however, get a bit obsessive. Especially this time of year. I’m not sure why I keep thinking these will be quick, side projects. I’ve been at this one for a week. One more round with dark blue and it will done. Except for all the loose ends. I usually weave as I go, but I was more driven by a need to put it all together than I was by the need to not leave myself that mess.

I also started a blanket while teaching my youngest how to make them. I’ve decided to leave that for over my holiday break. My poor hands and shoulders are feeling the burn and could use a break. Knitting is much more forgiving in this regard.

Now I have to get more white yarn. I’ve definitely used a lot of it and my middle one has taken my last skein for her own crochet project. Oh darn.

Lazy Day

I didn’t really accomplish much today. I just sat and finished four of these squares and then single crochet stitched them together. All the ends are still unwoven.

I did two racks of dishes. Some with my youngest. She’s so proud of how helpful she was. We spilled water and cleaned it up. She even swept up the living room to keep it neat. We built a blanket fort in her room and she decorated it with enthusiasm.

But I also let her play on the kids’ phone for hours so I could make those squares and stare at my phone when I needed a break.

I sewed on pockets for the final touches on my middle kid’s sweater and set it to soak. It should be ready for blocking tomorrow and a day more for drying. She’s super excited, but I’m just wishing we had spent more time cuddling instead of her playing games on the tablet all day.

I reheated leftovers and served everyone. My oldest was still hungry, so made chicken nuggets for her and her sisters, and her special sauce they all love so much. While they ate them up, I sat and sewed my new slippers soles back onto the cloth bit. Good as new once more.

Now it’s already time for bed. Everyone has an early start. It seems I have accomplished a lot, but maybe not the most satisfying day. Winter holidays are approaching, so I’m making plans for some quality time together. Maybe a lazy day of little moments was exactly what we needed.

I’m Doing It

It’s that time of year again. I’m getting myself organized and trying to check things off my ‘to do’ list that have been mounting the anxiety attacks as they sat unattended. First, make a list.

It may sound silly, but actually making the list has been more than I can bear. So I decided to buy a happy little notebook just for my ‘to do’ list. So far it’s keeping me motivated. The desire to check items off is some powerful stuff.

I also got a new wall calendar for the family. It will take us through the rest of this year and into the next. This soothes the anxiety beast because I can now write down all our future appointments that are already diving deep into next year (I have dentist appointments in August of 2023 booked).

I sat down with the new calendar, the old calendar, the school district calendar, and my pocket planner and began piling on our schedules, appointments, birthdays, and special days. This allowed me to list days I needed off for the kids and when to schedule my mental health breaks. I have learned to regularly schedule a few extra days off around when the kids don’t have school, with at least two longer vacations each year. I’ve scheduled all my time off through June. Done and done.

Then I sat with my new wall calendar, my old pocket planner, and my new pocket planner and color-coded my schedule into the new one. All this compulsive organizing is like a lullaby to the anxious creature lurking inside my chest. With each task I complete I can feel myself gain power and clarity. I’m going to ride this wave as long as I can.

I’ve finished a few other tasks on my growing list. I’ve even added a few just to check them off. As I sate the beast, I feel the calm wash over me. A few personal projects await my attention tonight leading to the thrill of more check marks before bed. This may carry me through even more tasks tomorrow! On that note, I’ll check this one off the list.

Practical Magic Review

I almost didn’t buy this book. It was the first one I picked up on one of my rare trips to Barnes & Noble by myself. I then found another book and then another. I wandered a bit holding all three, debating on the cost, my desire for more books, and the plethora of unread ones at home.

I put the first two back and held onto the third one as I made my way to the register. Once there, I discovered that this choice was also part of the ‘buy one get one half off’ and went straight for Practical Magic. I happily trot home with my purchases and dove right in.

I’ve seen the movie many times and had every intention of reading the book. Now, here I sat, finally doing it. I probably could have finished it in less than a week, but I dragged it out a bit. Let myself fully savor the characters, the style, the feel of it.

I have filed it in the same category as Stardust and Chocolat. Stories I fell in love with as a film first. Quick paced, action filled, breath stealing versions. Finding out they were based on books was thrilling.

These are all stories of love told from a place of true love. Like a conscious dream observing the action without judgment. Detached, yet a part of the stream.

As much as I would prefer to tuck this one away on my shelf, it deserves to be read and I have lent it out already. I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance. It’s perfect for curling up and getting lost.

Happy reading!

Black Work Sweater

I’m steadily making progress on this sweater. I’m not sure why I thought I could get it done in a week. It’s been about two and I see another week of crochet in my future.

It’s always nice to let my husband drive. It gives me some time to really focus on whatever I’m crafting. I got a lot done on this particular trip.

The sleeves look small, but are actually quite roomy. Just snug enough to help me feel cozy, but enough room so that I don’t feel strangled. We’ll see how it feels after it’s blocked.

Easy End of the Week Dinner

As it gets colder out, I begin trying to keep frozen stuffed pastas on hand. After a stressful week and a birthday sleepover that started four hours early I was very low on energy or motivation for dinner.

Add to that the pile of dishes and dirty pots from the party (which I’ve already done multiple racks of before and during the event), I needed something simple.

Chicken strips in the oven and water for the tortellini and broccoli in a pan on the stove. Once the broccoli was soft enough I drained them and melted butter in the same pan with some herbs and spices. Then I mixed the pasta and broccoli back in with some Parmesan.

I served it up with some more Parmesan on top. The kids loved it, which is always a good feeling. I’m pretty stuffed myself.

Easy End of the Week Dinner

As it gets colder out, I begin trying to keep frozen stuffed pastas on hand. After a stressful week and a birthday sleepover that started four hours early I was very low on energy or motivation for dinner.

Add to that the pile of dishes and dirty pots from the party (which I’ve already done multiple racks of before and during the event), I needed something simple.

Chicken strips in the oven and water for the tortellini and broccoli in a pan on the stove. Once the broccoli was soft enough I drained them and melted butter in the same pan with some herbs and spices. Then I mixed the pasta and broccoli back in with some Parmesan.

I served it up with some more Parmesan on top. The kids loved it, which is always a good feeling. I’m pretty stuffed myself.

Mondays

We woke up to a knock on the door. Our neighbor was here for her ride to school and all of us had slept through my four blaring alarms. I think it was the fastest we have all gotten ready. I even managed to get a cup of coffee before we hustled out the door.

Thankfully I have the day off (well, most of the day), so I just needed to get everyone where they were going. After dropping my husband off (the last of my passengers), I went to the store to get lunch supplies for the kids to take to school. So glad I had that coffee.

As I drove home, I breathed in the view. Fog and mist hazing the edges of road. The clusters of trees holding in their secrets. The feel of mystery everywhere. Fall is here and I welcome the soothing call to make ready for the darkest part of the year.

Hopefully we’ll wake up on time tomorrow.

Sporadic

I know my posts are really inconsistent. Every time life gets really hard I tend to bow out of anything that isn’t necessary. I conserve my energy. I spend my days off hibernating to make it through my busy days.

My husband has found work. We’re pretty happy about that. It was down to a frayed wire by the time he started and we’re almost able to breathe again. It’s not what he was hoping for, but I feel it’s going to be better than he thinks.

I’m still at two studios. I’m enjoying the variety. They’re very different from each other and that’s keeping me from stagnating. I’m slowly building a client base at the new place and it feels good.

The kids are really growing up. They’re taking on new challenges and impressing me all the time. We have some awesome conversations. And somehow find ways to still be silly together.

So, maybe I’ll start posting a little more regularly again. We’ll see what happens. Getting ready for Autumn and Halloween always brings me a calming joy. Speaking of, I’m going to settle in with The Good Witch tv show, some knitting, and my coffee.