Oh good grief life is crazy right now! Work is Bonkers with a capital B — not bad, just extremely busy. I’m doing my regular job, plus helping with the veterans group I volunteered for, plus helping plan a big event in December. It’s all been keeping my on my toes and wearing me out so I have very little brain power left for anything else. And I don’t really anticipate it calming down until after the holidays so I’m just buckling in and hoping for the best. I’m fully off my antidepressants now, which could have been very bad timing what with stressful work and the winter blues, but so far I seem to be doing pretty well (knock on all the wood!!).
We had a small, quiet Thanksgiving. My brother’s family had the flu so we cooked dinner and took it to my mom’s house and had a quiet evening with just four of us. I enjoyed it but I’m also looking forward to seeing my whole big family for Christmas. The husband and I made our annual pilgrimage to Weston for Black Friday, where I did the usual things: bought Santas for my Santa collection, visited Florilegium for yarn, and took a photo with Father Christmas. Makes for a fun day!
I’ve added a few other skeins to my stash lately too. I ordered the holiday wine mystery yarn box from Chestnut Hills Farm & Fiber a while back and it arrived recently, with gorgeous yarn and some super fun other goodies. And I discovered Naima Bond on Instagram and she was so awesome that I had to buy a couple of skeins from her too.
And in other news, it’s been Grace’s turn to be an expensive dog. She had a growth on her top lip that we were watching, and at first it was very small and the vet said it was a histiocytoma, a benign growth that should resolve itself in about three months. Well, it didn’t. It grew and grew and finally when it looked like a raspberry on her lip, I took her back to the vet. The darn thing had more than doubled in size in six weeks! So she got to go in for a little nip and tuck, and was going to get a dental cleaning while she was under anesthesia. Of course I got a call that she had two cracked molars that needed to be removed. Super. That night was really hard — she kept whining and pacing, despite us giving her as much pain meds as we could. Thankfully she recovered quickly and bounced back to her cheerful happy self within a couple of days. The vet sent the growth off to be biopsied and we should hear back about that next week. Fingers crossed! I won’t show you the growth, but I’ll show you her funny little sneer now.
There’s more I could share but that’s probably enough for now and I want to get some knitting done before I get too tired. Happy Wednesday, friends!
Guys, this is a little crazy: the holidays are coming super fast. The end of the year is coming super fast. Why is November going so quickly? It’s the time of year when workplaces have holiday parties with white elephant gift exchanges. And since I’m a knitter, those gifts usually involve yarn. I’m thinking about a bottle of wine with a cabled wine bottle sweater. Is that a good gift?
I hope so, because I don’t have any other ideas! Okay, I take it back: my other idea is a Yip Yip but I didn’t think of that until I’d already started the wine bottle sweater. In the past, I’ve done a hat/mitts set and a crochet cactus, but those both sounded like too much work this year. Now, the real question is: what kind of wine should I put in the sweater?
Today is Veterans Day (THANK YOU, veterans!) and that is a bank holiday, so I have the day off and I’m so grateful for that. While I waited for clue two of my MKAL, I was able to finish a pair of purple shortie socks. Of course now we’ve hit the days with highs of like 37 and shortie socks don’t quite meet my needs, but heck, it’s Missouri. We might get a random warm day next week. I’m pretty sure this leftover ball of yarn was from New Garden Farm, a local indie dyer, but I can’t swear to it.
Yesterday was the launch event for the veterans group at work and my worries were all for naught! Everything went smoothly, all the people were friendly and delightful. Yes, I did bite into what I thought was a chocolate chip cookie only to discover it was raisin, but I recovered and went back for a peanut butter cookie instead. It’s just been such a rewarding feeling being part of such a cool project from almost the beginning, and I’m excited to see what comes next.
Right, off to start clue two! Happy Friday, friends!
Today is my yarniversary. Ten years ago today, I sat down with some pink Red Heart yarn (it’s all I could afford) and the Cool Girl’s Guide to Crochet, and taught myself how to crochet. Now I can’t imagine life without the fiber world.
2012 was a bad year. We lost beloved family members and I was in a job I hated. I’d already planned to quit my job when my dad died in April but losing him cemented the decision. It was the right move but I needed more than that, though I didn’t realize it at first. By November I was deep in depression but didn’t understand it, or didn’t want to admit it — I’m not sure which. I’d never dealt with it in myself before so I didn’t know what was “normal” grief and what was clinical depression. So I was fumbling along, looking for things to distract me and give me a little bit of pleasure, and along came yarn. (And therapy and meds, but that’s another story!)
Within a few months, crochet led to knitting and here I am. Knitting is such a big part of me now; it’s part of my identity that I carry with me everywhere. it’s given me joy and peace, color and creativity, friendship and love. It’s helped give me the confidence to embrace the weirdo that I am.
Every year I write a variation of this post. But I can’t help but appreciate the impact this “little hobby for old ladies” has had on me and my life. So let’s stay together, yarn — forever.
Next to hats, single skein cowls are one of my favorite things to knit. They’re such a good palate-cleanser and a great way to use up the fun single skeins that I tend to buy. And I love wearing cowls too — the back of my neck always gets cold in the winter! So when I was waiting for the MKAL pattern to drop, I pulled out a skein that was calling my name and cast on a Crocodile Run Cowl, which is free on Rav. Here’s an unblocked and blocked view:
It’s written for DK weight with simple lace. I loved knitting it and really wish I’d been smarter when I cast on and weighed how much each pattern repeat used. I’m pretty sure I ended up with enough yarn to do another repeat. So if you knit one, weigh your yarn after the ribbing and then again after you do the first repeat. That way you’ll be able to check before you start the second round of ribbing and use up as much yarn as you can! Oh, and my yarn is Old Rusted Chair Squish DK in Oil Slick, and I love it so much. It’s hard to see but there are little bits of turquoise and purple in there.
I might have a couple of finished socks by the end of the month too — I think I might need the mindless knitting for some stress relief! I’m helping out with a couple of extra projects at work, and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday means I have fewer days to get it all done. Plus we have the launch event this week for the veterans resource group I’m helping with, so I’ll be attending a lunch with a bunch of people I don’t know (and hopefully a few I do!). Plus I get to fly on the company plane later this month (not like a huge corporate jet, just a small plane) which is super super cool but also sort of scary because I have to find the hangar at 6:30 am and there are high odds of bigwigs also being present. Plus I have my first colonoscopy next week — I’m not really worried about it, but I’m also not looking forward to it and it’s another day of missed work when I have a lot on my list. ARGH.
So it’s going to be a slightly crazy month, but I think it’ll be manageable. Because do you want to hear something really crazy and scary? My mental health is … pretty good? Like, better than it’s been in a long time? I’m tapering off my antidepressants. I’ve been on a half-dose for a month and now I’m switching to every other day for a couple of weeks. For the first few days, every time I got frustrated or sad about something, I freaked out a little bit and worried I’d made a mistake, but I kept reminding myself that a bad hour or a bad day or even a bad couple of days doesn’t meant I’m not handling it — it just means I’m human. And each time, it’s passed. I’m still cautious, because I’ve been on them for about nine years, but I’ve felt really stable and overall happy the last several months. It’s amazing how much the new job helped. Being in a supportive environment where I feel appreciated and valued and I’m given the opportunity take ownership of projects has been huge. I guess I didn’t realize exactly how much my former job was messing with my head. I’ve also built up more strong friendships over the last year, which has also been enormously helpful. I mean, seriously, my knitting peeps are the best. So … yeah. Maybe it’s overly optimistic to go off the meds at the most stressful time of year when the outside world gets literally dark and cold. But what if it’s not? That’s what I’m holding onto right now.
I guess you’ll only see me when I’ve managed to finish something. At least that’s the current trend. There’s a group at work collecting winter gear for kids, and I’ve got four hats done and ready to donate. Okay, almost. They’ve been washed but there’s still a bit of stray dog hair, so I need to use the lint roller on them before bagging them up. It was fun to have an excuse to make some hats and it used up four skeins of acrylic from my stash.
Also, I don’t think I ever told you that I finished my yarn puzzle! This is the Skeins puzzle from Hedgehog Fibres and man it was a hard puzzle for me. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to want to put it together again, so I’m leaning toward sticking it in a frame and hanging it.
I’ve also finished a cowl but it’s got lace and it’s currently having a bath, so that’ll be another post when it’s ready for its glamour shots. My first mystery knitalong started on Friday, so that’ll be my main focus this month. It’s one clue a week and I’m really not sure I’ll be able to keep up with it, especially since I’ve also got two books I’ve got to read for different book clubs, plus I also have to keep up with my weekly shows. We started the new season of White Lotus, we’re watching the new Quantum Leap (and really enjoying it!), and now the new season of the Crown is starting – so basically at this point I need to hope the MKAL is good TV knitting!