Tag Archive | hobbies

Is it safe yet?

Once again, I debated whether to post this. But like I do most of the time, I decided, why not? I’ve always been honest in this blog. Maybe too honest, I don’t know. But I know there are others of you who have felt this way. I know there are probably some who are currently feeling like this. So here goes. You know how when you start a new job, or maybe a new school, you kind of hold back a little? Maybe you don’t reveal all the crazy until you think it’s safe? I’ve been in the new job for almost three months, and I’m finally starting to feel safe. It helps that one of my bosses is a little wacky, so once I saw that, I knew she and I would get along great. I mean, she brought in a blow-up Ninja punching bag for my birthday! Perfect, right? The others aren’t wacky in the same way, but they seem to enjoy our wacky. I have to tease and joke and laugh at work; it’s nonnegotiable.

But the lab wasn’t all. I’ve mentioned before that there’s a knitting group there, and I’ve been going to the twice-weekly meetings pretty faithfully. It was nice to be around other knitters, even if most of them aren’t *quite* as crazy obsessed about knitting as I am. They’re fun ladies, and we chatted and laughed a lot. Slowly, I’ve been figuring out which of them are kindred spirits, and there are some I feel a stronger connection with than others. And then I found another knitter who IS crazy about knitting the same way I am, and we had a delightful lunch, and I hope for more. Then the other day, the knitting group had a gathering that was more…raucous than usual, more bawdy, more earthy. We laughed and laughed, and it was wonderful. And that meeting really helped me feel more at home here, made me see that there are people here who like similar things, who have a similar sense of humor, who have similar political leanings (that’s more inferred–I try to avoid talking about religion and politics with…almost everyone, really). I think I’ve found people who will accept and appreciate me the way I am, and I needed that. As much as I like my coworkers, sometimes I can’t help but feel separate from them at times–my knowledge base, skill sets, experiences, vocabulary are all so different from theirs. I’ve had to remind myself that just because I don’t always understand their language, it doesn’t mean I’m not equally smart in my own right. I mean, YEAH, of course I KNOW that, but it’s hard to remember when I’m in an environment that uses and values a different kind of intelligence. I’ve felt really dumb many times over the last couple of months. I’ve felt dumb and incompetent and like I’m failing everyone who’s counting on me.

BUT. I had my people. I had my knitting friends. I had the book group, which has been amazing too. I haven’t been in one before, so I haven’t sat and talked about a book for an hour since college, and that was many moons ago. And most of the knitting group is in the book group too (because knitters and readers are AWESOME) so I’ve seen them quite a bit. And I always left my time with them feeling energized and relieved; they’ve provided some of the happiest times there. They’ve cheered me on when I let myself vent a bit; they’ve helped me with no sign of irritation or annoyance. They’re just mostly NICE people. They’re GOOD people.

So those good times have pulled me through the bad ones, and now I’m finally starting to feel a tiny bit more comfortable in my role. There’s still a lot I don’t know, but I’m picking things up, and I’m getting to use my “real” skills of proofreading/editing more often. That’s the best part of the job.

This has been a hard transition for me, going from doing what I truly love every day (knitting, writing, blogging, editing) to an office job. And I don’t mean that to disparage the job at all. The company is amazing, the job is good, and it’s getting better. But it’s different. It’s a different life than I was leading, and I’ve had to readjust. There are things I miss about staying home. But there are things I like about working. So, it’s a tradeoff. I’m finding ways to balance work and home, home and knitting, all that stuff. Sigh. Life. It’s just hard sometimes, you know?

Thanks for listening, if you’ve made it this far. As a reward, here’s my latest FO, completed last night after the kids performed in the band at the Friday night football game.

It’s called Kilter and it was so easy and fun to knit. I used Berroco Vintage in Envy.

Until next time, happy knitting or working or whatever it is you do every day!

Yarn Pics

Remember how my LYS is closing this summer? Well, it’s happening at the end of this month, and yesterday I realized I needed to get up there before all the really good stuff was gone. I’m glad I did because I got a few awesome treasures for an awesome price.

IMG_6765

Alegria by Manos del Uruguay. This is the yarn I used for my Peek-a-Boo Bay shawl (different colorway obviously) and I loved knitting with it. I’m tempted to make another one in just this yarn, skipping the stripes. This wasn’t a huge steal, just 25% off, so it was my biggest splurge.

IMG_6766

Araucania Huasco (fingering weight Merino) in Wine. This was 50% OFF!! I grabbed the last two skeins in Wine…

IMG_6767

and the last skein in green…

IMG_6768

and the last skein in this fun summery blue-green colorway. I’ve already decided this one will be my next cast-on. It’s going to be the Reyna shawl.

Finally, remember my Color Block Chalet Wrap? Well, it’s one of my favorite pieces, and the yarn was 35% off. They didn’t have enough that I could replicate it, but I think I’m going to do a half-size version, just cast on half as many stitches, and have a yummy color block scarf. That’ll take one skein of each color. Not sure what I’ll do with the rest, but I love this yarn so much I couldn’t leave it there.

IMG_6770

With my arms full of yarn, I passed by the needle section and realized they were on sale too. I’ve needed a size 4 16″ circ and it was 50% off so, plus I’ve heard so many good things about the Addi Turbos that I wanted to try them. They were only 35% off, so I only picked one size. It’ll be enough to get me hooked, I’m sure!

IMG_6769

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish my Secret Beach scarf so I can cast on all the new projects!

A wee bit of purple

Where did my knitting time go?? I think my body is still adjusting to this new schedule, because by the time I’m home from work and done with dinner, I’m exhausted. I knit a few rows and my eyes are drooping, and I’m usually in bed with lights out by 10. I got so spoiled the last few years that my body is struggling with this new “wake up at 5:30 in the morning” thing. As a result, I have very little knitting to show off this week. I’ve been working on the Secret Beach Scarf and I made it through the second contrasting color and onto the third. And it’s my favorite: the purple!

IMG_6684

I’m on the homestretch now, just need to get the purple section to 18″ and then it’ll be DONE and I can cast on something new with no guilt.

I did get to meet the knitting group at work and they seem to be a lovely group of people, very welcoming and funny and irreverent, as the best people are. They meet twice a week over lunch break so I should start getting a little more knitting time. Yesterday I took lunch out onto the patio and had some solo knitting time. It was lovely to have that little respite in the middle of the day.

IMG_6758

The other thing I’ve been doing is reading. Lots of my favorite authors have new books out, and I’ve finished Elin Hilderbrand’s Here’s to Us and Emily Giffin’s First Comes Love and I’m almost done with Allison Winn Scotch’s In Twenty Years. Coming up I have Sarah Pekkanen’s new book, but first I want to re-read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell before the first book club meeting. (Haha, I’ve never been in a book club before, so this will be interesting!)

The puppies are not a fan of my new schedule, and are so so excited to see me when I get home. My first job is always to sit down and cuddle with them for a while, otherwise they just follow me around and jump on me.

IMG_6748

That’s it, that’s my week. Hopefully next week I’ll have more knitting to include!

Crochet Flip Flop Slippers

Guys, this one really challenged me. I didn’t think it would. A friend requested a pair of crochet slippers made from flip flops (see the pattern here) then two more friends saw that request and requested some, and before I knew it, I’d agreed to make five pairs. Crazy, I know. But I read the pattern and it seemed simple. The supplies were cheap: I found flip flops at the dollar store, and Michaels had a great sale on Lily Sugar N Cream cotton over the weekend: 5 for $5!! IMG_6307At the time, I thought I might make a pair for myself, plus I want to make a few new dishcloths and washcloths. Gotta buy the yarn when it’s cheap, right?

The husband had a nifty tool to mark the holes exactly 1/4″ apart as specified, then I used an ice pick to make the holes. It was a little tedious but not difficult. IMG_6296Then it was time to use the small hook (B, 2.25mm) to make the first round, and that was pretty hard to get used to. The holes weren’t quite big enough for the yarn, working around the rubber sole was awkward, and I did split the foam twice. But finally I got to switch to the bigger hook (G, 4.0mm) and away I went. I followed the pattern exactly. I kept going even when it looked suspiciously large, when meant that when I was done, I had this huge clog-type monstrosity. I frogged that without any photos. Second attempt included a decrease row and created this lovely…thing. IMG_6299It’s not a great photo, I know, but I think you can tell it’s still rather tall. Also, it was supposed to be a size 7, and I could get it on my size 9 1/2 foot without stretching the cotton too much. Frogged again. This time I went back and read some comments, and someone else’s slipper came out super-size, and the author mentioned that maybe her holes were farther apart and the yarn was stretching more. So that’s a big thing right there: my holes were exactly 1/4″ apart and that was too close together. Let that be a lesson to you.

Okay, moving on. For the third attempt, I decreased the heck out of the body and only did six rows instead of nine. I made the tapered back one row shorter and left off one row of the decorative top. I *think* it came out okay. IMG_6303Grace approved.

After that, the second one went quickly and smoothly, and I’ve decided these might be okay after all. This was the first time I ever seriously considered saying no to a request. Now, I’m not going to be making a ton of these for craft shows or anything, but I can definitely finish the other four pairs.IMG_6309I can actually admit they’re kind of cute.

If you’re interested, my Ravelry notes are here.

Yarn De-Stash

After my recent yarn purchases, I spent a bit of time sorting through my stash. It was getting rather over-crowded again and I needed to make some room. I pulled out a few yarns I decided I’d probably never use, and figured I’d post them here in case any of them called to my knit/crochet readers. I’ll attach a contact form at the end of this post, or you can email me at bonny(at)bonnyknits(dot)com. If you’re willing to pay the shipping, I’ll ship anywhere you want me to! Payment through PayPal.

IMG_5938Araucania Ruca Solid color 109. 100% sugar cane. 4 unused skeins. DK weight, 263 yards per skein. $25 for the lot, plus s&h. (Retails at $14/skein)

IMG_5937Classic Elite Yarns Imagine 53/47 cotton/rayon blend. DK weight, 93 yards each. There’s a lovely shimmer that was really hard to catch in the photos. $6 plus s&h.

IMG_5931KnitPicks Brava Worsted, color Caution. Was just too bright for what I wanted. 3 skeins, all unused. $5 plus s&h.

IMG_5940KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Superwash color Camel Heather. No idea why I bought this, since it’s not really my color. $2 plus s&h.

IMG_5934KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky Superwash. Wound but unused. One dark, one light purple. Love the colors, they just weren’t as soft as I like. $5 plus s&h.

IMG_5943Wool Pak Yarns NZ 100% New Zealand wool. Label not marked with ply or shade. Label states 250 grams per skein, these three weigh in at 245 grams. I bought it like this, no idea why it was split into three. $5 plus s&h.

I also have a ton of cheaper acrylic to re-home, too much to list individually. If you like Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound, Homespun, or things like that, give me a holler and I can give you an idea of what I’ve got!

Oh Yeah, Knitting

I’ve been distracted from my knitting the last few days, but I came back to it yesterday. While in a waiting room, I knit up some Yoda ears and completed another Yoda hat. IMG_5035It looks a little long, doesn’t it? Hmm. I used a different hat pattern this time. I might modify it a bit next time. I’ve got another Yoda waiting for one more ear, and then it’ll go into the For Sale pile too. I also finished the pink and gray hat last night. IMG_5032IMG_5034Now I need to make one in the reverse colors, but I don’t know if it’ll happen before Saturday. You may remember, I have a small craft show on Saturday, and I’m focusing on hats for this one. I’m trying to get a good variety of price points, and acrylic kid hats seem to be popular. Anyway, once I finished this one, it was time to get everything tagged and priced. I turned up Adele and got to work. IMG_5037I added 17 hats and 4 cowls to my inventory! With any luck, I’ll come home from the show with a lot fewer. Now, let’s see how many more hats I can knit before Saturday…

I bought more yarn

This proves it: I am weak. I couldn’t even go a month without buying new yarn. I lasted 23 days. Then I made the mistake of going to Michaels. I was just going to get some Yoda green yarn to have on hand, and darn it, all the yarn was on sale. Even with that, I resisted until the very end, when I found some lovely variegated bulky skeins. Mostly acrylic but with a nice wooly feel to them. Then I found a display with these value packs, two skeins (1060 yards total) for $5.99. That seemed like too good a deal to resist. Sure it’s all acrylic, but they’ll make great inexpensive pieces for kids and my craft shows. The bags were sealed but someone had torn one open so I made sure to get a feel for the yarn before I bought it. IMG_4898IMG_4897Aren’t these awesome colors?

That wasn’t too terrible, but then yesterday we took a day trip to northwest Missouri. The girl was in an all-day honor band at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, which is about an hour and a half away from us. At first we figured we’d stay in Maryville…but even the lone Starbucks inside the library was closed, and the biggest attraction in town was Walmart. So instead we drove to St. Joseph for the day, where we toured four antique malls and a real live yarn store! The Red Barn Yarn Farm was small but had a fantastic selection of yarns, and the staff was super friendly and helpful. Of course I needed some souvenir yarn, right?IMG_4902IMG_4903Malabrigo Worsted in Periwinkle. IMG_4904Malabrigo Worsted in Pink Frost.IMG_4905This Lustra isn’t the softest yarn against my cheek but I adore the color and the sheen. It won’t be something for me but I had to have some to play with.

I did have a bit of knitting time too. I wanted to work on this hat but forgot to bring the bigger needles for when it was time to switch to the body, oops! Fortunately, I’d brought my black scarf commission with me and I made good progress on that. IMG_4907I forgot! I found buttons at the antique mall too! Most of the time they’re loose in jars and I don’t want to pay $15 for a jar of tiny random buttons. But I love it when I find the cards of vintage buttons for a good price.IMG_4909So yeah, I broke my streak big time. But it sure was fun! And I’m back in the mode of “Knit all the things NOW!” I’ve got so many WIPs on my needles and so many ideas for new projects that I think it’s the tiniest bit overwhelming. Today I might focus on the scarf; that’s the highest priority and getting done will ease my mind. What do you think, can I knit 3/4 of a scarf in one day?