Archive | November 2018

Meet Me at the Station Shawl

I have a finished shawl to show you, and the best part is that the pattern is now live and you can knit one too! This is the Meet Me at the Station Shawl by Under the Olive Tree Knits, and I loved testing it.

img_8116It’s designed to be a one-skein shawl, but as you may remember, I had issues and ran out of yarn too soon. To be fair, I did not check gauge before I started knitting, so I accept full responsibility. And in any case, I’m glad it happened because the cream lace is perfect with the dark green body.

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The pattern is clear and well-written, and Jem provides plenty of photos and tutorials as well. My knitting experience was smooth and happy, and I’d love to knit this again, maybe in one color like I intended!

Pattern: Meet Me at the Station by Olive Tree Knits

Yarns: Araucania Huasco Multy Botany Lace in Hunter, Cascade Heritage in Snow

See my Ravelry project page here.

Just more knitting

After a four-day holiday weekend, we had a snow day yesterday, so I basically had five full days to devote to yarn. I’ve shown you a couple of my projects already, but here are the rest. The first one I finished one is a cute Duality hat.

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This is one of my favorite hat patterns ever, and this is the first time I’ve added a pompom. I think it’s perfect with the stripes, which just happened to use up two partial skeins of yarn (teal and purple KnitPicks Brava Worsted). This is for a girl who’s having some health issues, and I hope it brings her a tiny bit of happiness to wear. I need to make a baby sloth for her, and then I’ll send them on their way.

After I finished my projects for other people, I had the itch to cast on new things just for fun. I started with some yarn that called my name and cast on a Zomboni shawlette for a bit of bright color.

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It’s simple enough, and pretty, but soon I realized I hadn’t scratched the itch. What I wanted was a nice quick bulky yarn pattern, so I grabbed a skein of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Glow in dark gray with a bit of sparkle and cast on a Darkside Cowl. Sure enough, that was just what I needed, and last night I finished it.

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I don’t know yet if it will be for me or for a gift. Maybe it will depend on whether it’s itchy for me to wear!

With those done, I’m trying to be a good girl and finish some lingering WIPs before the end of the year. I do love to start a new year with mostly empty needles!

Holiday Projects

It’s been a busy few days around here. The girl was here for Thanksgiving, which was marvelous, but she also had to work two shifts and see a couple of friends, and then she had to leave a day early to beat today’s blizzard warning, so it was really only three days. And that’s not quite long enough for me. But I enjoyed her while she was here and I am very glad she’s back at school safe and sound. I would have gone nuts thinking about her driving through a blizzard warning! After she left yesterday, I wanted something fun to do to distract me, so I made the boys take me to a cute little nearby town for some retail therapy. I did pretty well!

I found this awesome yarn bowl at an art collective and even got a fun tote with it! Hooray for Small Business Saturday! While we were there, I did some knitting on my Hogwarts Cowl at the guitar store and at dinner. I’m halfway through now and like the size much better than my first version.


There’s actually been more crochet than knitting this weekend. One of the nephews requested a Pikachu hat and he’s three and very cute so I couldn’t say no. And since I made one nephew a scarf and another a Pikachu hat, I had to make something for the Pokemon-obsessed niece, so I used the last of my yellow yarn for a wee Pikachu for her.

They are cute, I will admit it. But that’s enough Pikachu to last me a very long time! I’m taking a break from gift projects today during the blizzard for some selfish knitting…maybe. Or maybe I’ll start a pair of gift socks. In any case, it’s windy and snowing and you will find me on the couch with yarn and dogs for the rest of the day! Everyone else in the path of the storm, stay safe and warm!

Happy things

Let’s focus on the bright side today, shall we? I’ll start with the best happy thing: the girl came home last night! She’d been saying all along that she couldn’t come home until Wednesday because of Tuesday classes. Well, apparently those were cancelled and she’s been planning this surprise for weeks! The dogs went nuts, Grace especially, and the boy was excited and thrilled to have her home, and it just feels good to have everyone under one roof again. So I’m thankful to have my girl back, at least for a few days!

Here’s another happy thing, a little story: when I started working at this company, there was one person who was always so helpful and kind and fun, and I appreciated her endless patience while I figured everything out. So that first Christmas, two years ago, I made her a gray cowl, and she seemed happy with it and it was fun. Then yesterday I saw a group photo with her in it, and she was wearing the cowl!! I asked her about it and she said she loves it so much and wears it all the time and thinks of me whenever she wears it. Yarn friends, I don’t have to tell you about the warm heart and tear in my eye her words gave me. I’m thankful for the support I’ve gotten at work, thankful for kind people in the world, thankful for people who recognize the love in my knitting gifts.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for us, and I’ll be going to the brother’s house for a big family dinner. I’m thankful I don’t have to do all the cooking and cleaning this year, and I’m thankful that we can all be together and that we enjoy each other’s company.

I got lovely supportive comments on my post yesterday and each one really was like a balm, as cheesy as that sounds. I’m thankful for this blog, for those of you who listen to me and offer support. I hope you all have a happy and peaceful weekend, whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not!

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It’s okay to not be okay

Okay, buckle up, kids, because shit’s about to get real.

I cried in front of my boss yesterday. It was horrible and awkward and super embarrassing. There’s a lot going on in my life and in my head, and most days I’m able to paddle along and stay afloat. But yesterday morning I was feeling overwhelmed and I had an argument with my husband and then I came to work and someone said something that felt critical of my efforts, and when I went in to talk to my boss about something else, it just kind of came out. That’s one of the unfortunate side effects of my depression: I cry super easily and sometimes I’m not able to prevent it.

So, yes, let’s start with the logical and factual and reasonable: my boss is wonderful and supportive. She was kind and said all the right things. In my head I know that what happened was not a disaster.

And yet, here I am, cringing because I don’t want her to think that I’m weak or that I can’t handle my job or my life. I’m embarrassed because I feel like I’m supposed to be strong and capable and competent, and most days I am. What I did left me vulnerable, and in my head that means vulnerable to her thinking less of me.

This morning I chose something purple to wear, and I put on eye makeup that I rarely wear, because I needed those things as a shield. War paint, right? I needed them to help me feel like yesterday was an aberration, not the norm. Then she stopped at my desk and asked how I was doing, and I felt embarrassed again, self-conscious because I don’t want to be on her radar for this kind of reason. I want to be on her radar because I’m awesome at my job. Period.

Why do we do this? Why do we think it’s shameful to be overwhelmed or sad or anxious? Why do we expect so much of ourselves? Why do we think we have to be strong all the time and unaffected by what’s going on around us? Why should we think we have to keep work life and personal life completely separate? They aren’t separate.

I don’t have the answers, obviously. I just have these feelings at war inside me, the one side arguing that what happened was fine, and that we need to be more aware and accepting of those unpleasant emotions. The other side says no, those outburstsย are somehow shameful, and I need to project an image of strength and perfection. Yep. I can know it’s wrong and still feel it.

But do you want to know the funny thing? I woke up feeling better today. Part of it was taking care of a nagging home repair, part of it was making up with my husband, and part of it was probably just time and sleep. But I’m wondering if part of it was the release of letting go, because I so rarely get that. I hate to lose control like that, so I hold a lot in, but I also have very few people I feel safe losing control in front of, being that vulnerable in front of.

Plus, if you’re the one always asking people if they’re okay, who’s asking you?

So yesterday was about my body/mind/heart finally saying, “You know what? I know you didn’t ask but I’m actually not okay right now, and I need to let it out.”

I want to support my friends and family, I want to be there for them when they need me. I don’t ever want them to feel like they can’t talk to me. But in doing that, I absorb some of their negative energy that stacks up on top of my own anxieties and worries, and I need to allow myself to release it sometimes, in some way. And I’d like to be able to pick the time and place, rather than emotionally vomit on my boss, you know?

What does that look like? Not sure yet. I’d like to start with regular journaling because writing out my problems helps me so much. I’m not opposed to therapy again, but the therapist I liked is in a very inconvenient location, so I’d have to break in someone new. I probably need to remind myself that it’s okay to be honest with people sometimes, to pick a sympathetic ear and unload occasionally.

These posts are the easiest to write and the hardest to publish, because I know some people in my real life read my blog and this is really painfully honest. But maybe some of them are putting up the same shield. Maybe some of them will realize now that depression can wear a mask much of the time. So for them, I will say what I keep telling myself: It’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

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A Scarf in a Weekend?

Okay, not quite but almost! One of my Christmas knitting projects is a scarf for a nephew. He requested pale blue and white, neither of which were colors in my acrylic stash, so Saturday morning I headed to the closest big-box craft store. Just my luck: they were having a buy-two, get one free sale! I got the yarn I need for my other Christmas project, and for this scarf I chose more of the Lion Brand Jeans yarn, this time in the faded blue color, plus some Vanna White white. (Except when I started knitting with it, the Vanna White worsted was thicker and not as soft, so I pulled out a partial skein of KnitPicks Brava worsted in white instead.) I cast on that afternoon and it’s been my only project this weekend. He’s only five so it doesn’t need to be a big scarf, which means that the 47″ I have tonight is very close to being long enough. If he’s 45″ tall, and I make the scarf 60″, that’s plenty long enough, right?

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But that’s not all I got at the store. I kind of went past this jumbo yarn on my way out and…well, buy 2 get 1 free, you know?? It’s a good deal. So this went into my cart too.

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Pretty sure it’ll be a couple of cowls, but not anytime soon. I have more Christmas knitting to do!

 

Unusual FOs!

I have two fun things to show you today! And they’re not even knitted! Remember how my work team went to a glass fusion studio and made mosaic tiles? I finally got mine back!ย  It’s a little more see-through than I expected, don’t know why, but I’m happy enough with it. If I were to redo it, I’d do the letters lower and closer together and maybe use an opaque base instead of clear. But it’s hanging in my craft room and makes me smile.

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And my other FO is a SUPER CUTE crocheted baby sloth!!

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I love him so much. He’s a gift for a work friend who loves sloths, but I like him so much I ordered more safety eyes so I can make many more. I want to make ones with long arms that have snaps on the end so he can hang from things too. The pattern is Zippy the Baby Sloth, and it’s free on Ravelry, and took me maybe two hours to make.

Now my focus is apparently shifting to gift knitting, as two of the young men in my life would like yarn gifts for Christmas and I am always happy to oblige! What about you, are you deep in gift knitting at this point?