Restore thy Soul

It has occurred to me recently that in order to be a good mother and wife sometimes I need to put myself first and take care of me.  I will be the first to acknowledge that putting myself first grates against everything that I am.  For the last decade I’ve become well practised at putting my needs aside (although as I write this I’m also aware of how selfish I can be) but because I love my kids and my husband, I need to show myself some love too.  And it’s not always healthy to show that love by buying more yarn or even casting on another project 😛 .  Last weekend I endeavoured to show myself a little love and ventured across the road to my neighbours Stampin’ Up party.  I spent 3 hours without children, 3 hours of talking to other adults without the interruption of my little ones, 3 hours of being creative, and 3 hours of concentrating on a craft other than knitting.

Car card

I had a great deal of fun.  A short while after Mr HKWT and I got married I started making cards, I had a decent assortment of stamps and inks and it wasn’t long after the birth of J.J that I was hooked on scrapbooking.  There’s something really wonderful about choosing pretty coloured papers and embellishments and marrying them together.  It’s a whole different tactile crafting experience that I love and hope to do more of.  I gave up scrapbooking because there were too many little hands leaving little gifts of fingerprints all over my pages, and to be honest I don’t think I could go back to that particular craft.  I’m very particular about how I do my pages and I tend to steer away from bombarding each page with as many photos as possible, so I think if I were to take that up again I’d be 200 years old and still not anywhere close to finishing off an album for my 3rd child 😛 .  But making cards and playing with stamps, now that is something that is a lot like knitting – what insanity is that woman going on about? I hear you say – well, it’s pretty and it’s practical.  I can make a card and give it to someone who needs a little cheering up, far quicker than I can knit them up a shawl (although that is something that I will continue to do).  I can make several cards in a few hours in many different styles and colours, I can’t do that with knitting.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stray from my first love, I’m just going to have a little hanky panky on the side with card stock and stamps 😉 .

Card 1

This last week saw Aestlight finished.  WOOHOO 😀 !!!!!!  Unfortunately the weather has not been kind and it still remains unblocked.  But it is finished!  I think my stitch count was off at some stage, either on the lace section or in the border, I’m not sure which.  However, I resisted the temptation to rip it back, recount and then start the edging again.  You can’t tell, at least I don’t think you can tell.  I’m happy with it and that’s the main thing considering I’ll be the one wearing it.  I bound off the centre garter stitch triangle with the Banana (light), Elizabeth Bennet yarn I was using from Yarn Love, 2 friends of mine made that suggestion and I’m glad they did (and I’m glad that I listened to them), it looks really good.  I used a traditional Shetland bind off that Chrissy Graham of Snappy Stitches talked about in one of her podcasts.  It’s a really pretty bind off, which I know probably sounds a bit strange, but because the bind off has been done in the contrast yarn you can see it.  Seriously, if you plan on making the Aestlight – or any other shawl that needs a stretchier edge – use this bind off, it’s worth it, and it’s so easy.  I’m finding myself hoping to cast on a pair of toe up socks soon so I can see if the same bind off will work well with the cuff.

Aestlight

In a fit of anxiety and stress I wound up a skein of Loft from Brooklyn Tweed in the Blanket Fort colourway.  As with so many of my online purchases I’m still unsure of the colour.  I’m hoping that once the Sempervivum has been knit up it will look far less like the colour of dryer fluff.  I love the colour believe it or not (there is something about cleaning off the lint filter on my parents tumble dryer that I’ve always enjoyed – yeah I know, I’m weird) but I’m just not sold on it for this particular project.  I’m not so sure what it’s going to look like once it’s finished, it’s such a pretty pattern that I want the finished project to look striking, not a confused mix of purple and grey which is what I think it looks a bit like at the moment.  I love the pictures of Sempervivum on the Brooklyn Tweed website so much that I don’t want to be disappointed with my end project, I feel like that would not only be letting me down but a designer that I admire – not to mention all the hours spent working on the shawl.  I also bought the pattern and OH MY GOODNESS!  This is going to keep me on my toes!  All I can do is give it a go and cross my fingers, arms, legs, and toes that I’m able to grapple my way through it without making too many mistakes.  Wish me luck!

bag 3

The V Junkie socks have had a whole lot of love this past week and I’m happy to report that the short row heel fits my foot wonderfully.  I’m really really happy with that heel construction and plan on using it again and again and again.  Does anyone out there know what the wear on that is like compared to a traditional heel flap?  Hmmmm…….. Anyway, I am through the foot and onto the forefoot part, the pattern stated to end the foot section on row 15 once a certain measurement was reached.  I didn’t do that.  I was a centimetre off the measurement and the pattern repeat is 2cm long (yes, I sat there and measured it like the knitting dork that I am), so I decided that instead of adding an extra centimetre to my sock I was going to start on the forefoot section and add extra rows before the toe decreases if necessary.  I think that’s a good decision.  I just have to remember to make sure I take good notes so I can make the next sock exactly the same, otherwise there could be trouble.

I realised the other day that I have 2 pairs of finished socks and 3 single socks currently, plus 1 on the needles (well 2 if you consider the Pomotamus socks I started a while back but I’m planning on frogging them).  I think it’s time to start on the other socks…… why can’t I grow an extra set of arms just for sock knitting?

bag 2

Last year I got a bee in my bonnet about sewing up a drawstring bag with a boxed out bottom for my sock projects.  Well, after far too long I finally got around to sewing one up.  It’s not perfect but boy am I happy with it!  Not only is it pink, it has those cute little houses on it (reminds me of the Smurfs or some other cute cartoon character), it makes me happy and it’s the perfect size for my current sock project.  It holds my yarn, my extra long circular, the project, the pattern and a small notions tin, with a little bit of room left over (I managed to stuff the Aestlight in there as well on Thursday to take to my craft group).  I am very very happy with it and I’m looking forward to sewing up more in the not too distant future.

bag 1

The next week is a going to be a fun one.  On Tuesday we celebrate not only #1 Son’s 5th birthday but our 13th wedding anniversary.  I’m hoping this year everyone is well  as last year everyone was throwing up 😕 .  What a way to celebrate a wedding anniversary by delivering a baby!  At least that is one anniversary that I’ll never ever forget!!!!!  Or even be able to celebrate without thinking of my son.  J.J is generally so sweet on our anniversary, making sure that we don’t get forgotten in all the birthday festivities.  I really do have the sweetest kids.

Smoochy Kiss

What do you think of the new blog theme?

Have a great week 😀

Christy

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Exciting Times

Well………. I’ve been missing for a couple of weeks (if you haven’t noticed), no dramas other than switching internet providers.  Our last provider decided to dig their heels in and made the transition rather drawn out, so I have been without internet access for a little while.  It’s good to be back online and it’s wonderful to be able to blog again :D.

In the last 2 weeks lots has happened but not a lot of knitting.  It’s been so hot that the physical action of knitting has taken a back seat, but I’ve done lots of thinking and talking about knitting, lots of looking at patterns and adding things to my queue, lots of drooling over yarn and choosing colours for different projects (lots can be done from a small phone with internet access) and of course my friend has enabled my knitting addiction by gifting me the Blomster sock pattern.  I bought yarn for it ages ago but it’s just been sitting in my queue not moving (while I’ve bought more yarn and started other projects, including socks).  You can read about the yarn I bought here.  Now I have no excuse but to get started on it, although I think I might finish at least the first V Junkie sock first.

I’ve been steadily working on the Aestlight Shawl, at least as steadily as I can in extreme heat (I have no air con) but as a result of not spending much time actually knitting it’s not grown much.  But it’s still very pretty and I can’t wait to see the finished object.

I’ve finished the back of J.J’s Artichaut, once I started on the sleeve caps it seemed to go really quickly, even though I was increasing every other row, maybe it’s because I wasn’t having to keep track of 50 odd rows – things always seem to go quicker when you’re only dealing with a few rows at time.  Breaks it all up a little bit.  Since finishing off the back I haven’t done any work on it (and that was over a week ago) which I feel a little bad about….. but I will finish it, no doubt about that, I have a 9 year old that will never let me live it down if I don’t.

In between row sections on Artichaut I’ve worked on pattern repeats on my V Junkie sock.  It’s a lovely little honeycomb stitch and I do love its ease and simplicity.  Just enough to keep me interested.  However, the cuff is comprised of 3 rows.  Yes, you read right, just 3 little rows.  On the needles that cuff rolls over the top of the sock and it looks wrong.  I’ve been a little paranoid about it, as it seems loose and there’s no ribbing.  But when I try it on and pull it far enough up my calf it seems to sit up properly all by itself.  I’ll definitely be trying this sock on before I work on the heel, just to make sure that I have the length right so that tiny little cuff sits properly.  Despite my doubts on the cuff of this sock, the colour I’m using is amazing.  It’s such a lovely red (and it kind of looks like something under a microscope in that pattern :p), a beautiful deep red with hits of purple here and there, I’m definitely looking forward to being able to wear them.  Actually, looking at the sock now reminds me of the Sound of Music (stay with me), when the Von Trapp family are hiding in the cemetery in the convent?  You know when they’re hiding from the Nazis in that little fenced in corridor that has gates all the way along?  Yeah, I know, it’s a bit of a weird association but I’d rather think of catacombs when I look at my sock then blood cells.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, I use an app on my iPod as a row counter.  The week our internet went down my iPod crashed.  I’m still working on Millrace (ok, I haven’t done any work on Millrace for a while but it’s there waiting patiently for my return) and I was pretty upset when the iPod crashed.  I was seriously concerned that I had just lost all the info of where I’m up to with Millrace.  I spent over a week reassuring myself that I could figure it all out, that it couldn’t be that hard to count back rows and decipher where I was up to in the pattern repeat, but still, I was concerned.  Thankfully when we were finally up and on the internet again I was able to update the iPod, the update backed up all of the data stored on my iPod and my row counters were saved (and yes I said counters because the project alone has 4)!  Honestly I don’t know what’s worse, relying on temperamental technology to take note of my rows, or an actual row counter that will inevitably be played with by my children (nothing is safe in this house unless it’s put up and out of reach).  Note to self: finish Millrace before there are any more issues!

bunny

Sunny’s favourite little toy is this tiny bunny softie that came with romper I bought her a few months ago.  She absolutely loves chewing on it’s ears (seriously with all the pulling on it that she does with her little gums one ear is longer than the other).  This little bunny is white, Sunny is now on solids, guess what hasn’t stayed very white despite frequent washing?  At least I can say that it’s well loved.  Anyway, considering that she loves this little bunny so much I thought I would make her one and started looking on etsy for a pattern.  I came across RetroMama and my goodness! I love her designs.  I was pleasantly surprised by all of her little patterns as they are just as cute and I would happily sew them all – next will be the Greta doll and the little bear!  I love this little bunny, the instructions are nice and clear and the project itself seems to be relatively simple.  I haven’t started sewing yet but I have cut all the pieces.  I’m using corduroy from some pants that I picked up at a second hand store and quilting fabric from my stash for the rest of it.  My only complaint about this pattern (and it’s probably more my fault for not reading it through properly first) is that the pattern pieces tell you to cut pieces from fusible interfacing and WonderUnder (I’m using Vlisoflex) as well as from the material.  When I’ve sewn on previous occasions I’ve always ironed on the interfacing and Vlisoflex before I’ve started cutting – isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?  Anyway that’s my only beef so far.  I caught that before I cut the pieces that require the Vlisoflex but not the fusible interfacing, not quite sure how I’m going to tackle that bit.  But once again it’s been too hot for sewing so all I’ve done so far is cut.

I’m looking forward to cooler weather, the last few days have been nice, it’s been rainy and misty but I know the heat is on it’s way back.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those people around the country that have lost homes due to the spate of bush fires we’ve seen and my very deep thanks and appreciation to all the Rural Bush Fire Fighters fighting those fires across our nation.

I have so much more to tell you but I’m going to leave it at that because…… with any luck……. the next blog might be a little bit different……

webcam

Can you guess what I’m planning on doing?

Have a great week

Christy