Forgetting Sweaters

I keep forgetting to work on my husband’s secret sweater. I’ve been so focused on finishing the shawl that it doesn’t even dawn on me until after he’s home that I’m not any closer to done with it. To be honest, I’m a bit of a scatter brain, but I like to chalk it up to being a creative genius.

I’m almost back to where I was when I ripped it all out and am so much happier with this pattern. It is much more my husband’s style/personality. The rope cables are fun too and I’m thinking of using them for my sweater. I bought some beautiful wool yarn last year when this whole mess began that has been waiting for the perfect pattern. I want a pullover, but that’s all that’s firm. Everything else is a morphing vision in my head, mixing and matching different patterns and styles.

Thanks to this post, I remembered to work on it today and that tiny ball is now gone. Yay!

Another Late Night

I really should go to bed. It’s late and we are not ready for the morning rush at all. I’m tired and my week is really only beginning, but the silence is just so delicious right now.

Between snow days, vacation days, and the extra day of work for Valentines weekend I have had very little time to charge my battery. So, right now, I’m watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and working on my latest variation of the Sister Shawl.

I do have tomorrow off, and the kids should be going to school, and my husband will be at work, so I should get at least one day to charge back up. I might even take a nice bath for a bit.

The Struggle is Part of the Joy

I’m honestly having a lot of fun knitting these, but at the same time, I wish they were done already. I’m getting sweater fever and would rather be working on the visions in my head. Thankfully, I only have so many needles, so unless I want to put these projects on some scrap yarn, I need to finish these to be able move on. I also know that if I put these away now, I may never regain steam.

The Doctor Who scarf is like a fun counting game. All the color changes keep me motivated to keep going. “Only four more rows and I can add in the next color…Just two more to go…Nope. Still have ten more to go…” It’s pretty easy to take in the car. I only bring the colors I think I’ll need and I’m weaving in the ends every several color changes.

The shawl is really a joy, but the double strand has made it less fluid than it could be to knit. I’m delighted by the familiarity of it, having done it twice now, and am very set on finishing it just as I intended to. I do wish I had chosen larger needles to work with, though.

This is one of my favorite things about knitting. The struggle is part of the joy. Sometimes you toil away at something and eventually realize how unhappy it really makes you, even if it once brought you joy. Pulling all that careful work out and trying again and again until it comes out right can be one of the most rewarding experiences. Falling in and out of love with a garment, working on it and reworking it the whole way through, until, finally, one day you have a beautiful piece of fiber art. That struggle, makes the accomplishment so much grander.

Happy knitting.

Frogged Secret Sweater

I’ve made it this far and I’m ripping it all out. I’m not happy with it. This cable doesn’t really feel right for my husband. So, I thought I’d try this Baroque Cable and was in the process of writing it out from the chart, figuring out the abbreviations that work best for me as I went, but it still didn’t feel right.

So I pulled out the magazine and began looking at the sweater I had originally wanted to make my husband. It is worked in pieces and seamed. I could have figured out how to get it into the round, but the other sweater is already done in the round and I really like the fishermen’s ribbing.

This led me to combining the two patterns. I’m using the cabling pattern of the original idea and the collar, but the ribbing and in the round style from the second one. I’m feeling a lot better about this choice and the ripping out process was pretty painless. It was a lot of yarn and it’s still a bit of a mess with some twisted stitches and such. I’ll sort it tomorrow. At least I know the measurements work, so I didn’t have to cast-on all over again.

Definitely feeling much better about this sweater now.

Another Monday

Back again to Monday. And what a glorious Monday it is! When I walked into the house this morning, after dropping the kids off at school, it struck me all of a sudden. The silence. The beautiful, uninterrupted quiet. I simply stood there for a moment, one hand on the doorknob, the other drifting down from where I hung my keys, and breathed it in.

I’m slowly working my way through my second cup of coffee. My husband gave me this mug many Valentines ago and I think of him every time I use it. It reminds me of our younger years. Days where we didn’t even realize how much energy we had. He was working crazy hours while I was home taking care of a baby. It’s been a wild journey that got us to a late night of filling out class Valentines for three kids the night before they need to be in to let them sit for a few days before they can be handed out during these pandemic times. We got it done.

We also had a pretty smooth morning, even with me oversleeping by 20 minutes. 15 minutes of that is a buffer. With that extra 15, we are usually ready early. Without it, we are scrambling at the last second to get out the door with lots of hollering. Our younger two helped to pack lunches. My oldest actually didn’t need much prodding to get up and get dressed. It got dicey when eating breakfast ran into brushing teeth time and then that ran into putting on shoes and rounding up all the loose ends time. But we did it! Out the door and at school with a few moments to spare.

Now time for some reading and knitting. Maybe I’ll do some cleaning. Maybe I won’t. It’s another crazy Monday for me.

Another Story Shawl

So I’m making a third version of my Sister Shawls, only this one is not a Sister Shawl, but is definitely for someone amazing. I’m using two strands of yarn for this one and am hoping to make it a bit smaller than the last two. This first section turned out beautifully and it was fun working these stitches again.

This Drawn-Leaf section gave me so much grief with the first shawl! But I stuck with it and am especially loving it with the stiffness of this two-strand version. The only hitch is the knit 3 together; six strands of yarn is a lot to pull two strands of yarn through. I am enjoying the familiarity of the pattern, the varied repetition of the stitches. The shifting border makes it really interesting too.

Quick Dinners and a New Way to Snack

A variation of Chicken and Waffles. I believe this is a bit more along Southern style lines with the breaded chicken. I think it’s usually fried chicken. I’m not an expert. What I’ve come to know as Chicken and Waffles in Pennsylvania is shredded chicken in gravy over mashed potatoes on top of a waffle. I heated the chicken in the oven while making waffles one at a time on our waffle griddle, and made instant mashed potatoes on the stove, while heating jar gravy. Next time I’ll make chicken gravy to put on top.

I have also started playing some kind of game with the girls after school while having a snack. The tv and video/tablet time turns them into rotten, nasty people, so I’m trying to keep it all out of the equation. Charades seems to be the favorite, but we pulled Clue out the other day, which was nice because we haven’t played it in a while. We all seem to be in a better mood after some quality time together. And we love our Cheez-its and grapes.

I cannot remember if I shared this one yet or not, but I absolutely love black bean burgers and Morning Star makes a really good one. I like it with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and yellow mustard. I like the slight crisp on the outside while it’s all soft on the inside. These burgers go especially well with sweet potato tots and some frozen corn on the cob we had hanging around.

Snow Days

The car has been dug out and driven a few times during this storm. The Golf R is a beast!

We are on our second snow day this week and the snow is still coming. We’ve probably gotten about 10-12 inches accumulation over the last three days. Around here that brings a lot of things to a halt. It has also been causing some heavy cabin fever.

I got to thinking about how Snow Days were such an excitement for the girls in the past. A break from the regular demands of school and socializing. Now, they mean not seeing their friends when they see so few of them as it is. No change to the monotony of this house. Even more time with their sisters. They bear it well and surprise me with their kindness and thoughtfulness, but they’re going to kill each other.

I also began thinking about perspective. It has always fascinated me. Especially how a slight shift of it can change everything. To understand or be aware of many perspectives opens you to a bigger world and, I have often found, makes it harder to be hateful, or angry. Our current time has really turned things on their head. It’s a bit like Wonderland.

So as we reach the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, I’m looking for the shift in perspective. The shift to new growth and new life. I’ll be looking for signs of Spring.

Sister Shawl: Part II

It’s a bit of a strange feeling to be finishing this up. Especially knowing that I’m going to be packing this up until my sister receives her’s. It’ll be a surprise all over again for me too! I meant to sew that little hole up, but I’ve grown attached to it. And the bit where I added a second ball of yarn doesn’t look as obvious when it’s not all stretched out. And the missed cross-over in a braid was a fix from the back and I kind of liked the look of it, so I left that too.

I can tell which shawl I did the pattern on first. I tried to use my shawl as a practice, but there were a couple sections where I worked it on my sister’s first. This white cable section was the second go at it. I just love how similar they are and yet so different. The accidents or mistakes along the way only add to their charm and seem to fit perfectly with each of our stories.

I also really like having to block it out in sections. I’m reintroducing myself to something I’ve been working on for half a year now. Really getting to see each part in its own glory before finally holding the whole piece out for one really good look. My excitement might convince me to send it a little early. I still have about three months to wait, but I also still have the story to write, so we’ll see when I get to it. I still have their Christmas presents sitting on top of the fridge waiting for me to send them.

Oh Mondays

Me in my Monday glory. PJs and slept in hairstyle.

It’s quickly approaching the afternoon, but I’ve hit the ground running today. I packed the kids’ lunches last night and set their tablets to charge for their return to school. This makes a huge difference in the morning because now I could put breakfast in the oven, start my coffee, and then help my kids find clothes and help them put them on. My kids are not morning people.

My oldest complained that she could find her own clothes, but she put on what I gave her anyway. I had to fully dress our youngest, and then breakfast was ready. I try to make eggs or oatmeal most mornings, but occasionally I pick up egg and cheese things to heat in the oven. I’d say half their mornings are cereal and half of them are cooked. I’m feeling awfully proud of myself for that.

So far, the morning was going well, then the minutes started to zoom by and we were racing to brush teeth, put on shoes, coats (at least one of them always wears her coat, it’s a losing battle with our oldest), backpacks, masks, and grabbing lunches (which has been reduced to mostly packaged goods because I’m tired). Things descended into some yelling, but we were off and in pretty good moods. Yay! Then I headed to the grocery store before I lost my drive.

I’m still having trouble getting myself to the grocery store. It’s not even about the pandemic anymore. Ok, it’s a little about the pandemic, but really I am not good at being around too many people and having to think clearly about my grocery list at the same time. About ten minutes into my trip I start getting tired. My brain begins turning to mush and I feel my inner toddler wanting to throw a fit at the indignity of it all.

I drove home feeling a huge sense of accomplishment. Got myself a wonderful cup of coffee from one of my favorite local coffee shops and began to think about the huge task of dragging everything into the house. I made pretty quick work of it, though, and feel I have earned myself a rest. Next up on today’s agenda, some yoga and then some cleaning. Not much, but enough to make sure this is really a Monday.