Snow day knitting

 

handspun-scarfgramps

 

Hello, friends! I’ve been, ever so slowly, getting more and more knitting done as the days go by. I’ve had a brief period of not wanting to do any knitting at all, and if you know me you know that I’m never without my needles in hand. I’m always working on something. I guess that comes with the highs and lows of this depression. This last week or so I’ve been back to my usual self when it comes to knitting. I finished the baby’s Gramps cardigan for next winter (just needs buttons), I’ve even made a baby-sized vest for an expectant cousin with the leftovers of the red (also needs buttons, and photographed), and then today I’ve cast on for a scarf for the Mr. It’s a well over-due project that I meant to have to him last year. Oh well, better late than never, yes? It’s, really, the perfect snow day knitting – the pattern is 2 rows and easy to remember so it’s interesting but also mindless enough that I don’t feel like I have to think too hard on it (which is important for during-the-week knitting when I’m feeling brain dead). I might even make myself one out of some lace I have hanging around!

The weather has dumped a lot of snow on us (though I’m sure those in the northern states would laugh at that), and all I want to do is hibernate. And eat. If I never had to leave the house during the winter I’d be pretty content. I often wish the local grocery stores have a pick-up service so I could order online and just drive through and pick it up on my way home. There’s a grocery near where I work that does that and I’m tempted to start doing my shopping there simply for that convenience. I really hate going grocery shopping and meal planning. It was fun when I was 18 and living on my own and buying groceries seemed like the most adult thing ever. Now it’s just a weekly chore that ranks up there with the hatred I have for cleaning the bathroom.

I did manage to spend some time in the kitchen yesterday making lime bars, mostly to use up the limes I had going bad. They’re tart and sweet and a nice, bright treat for these cold and gray days. But sweets, no matter how hard I wish them to be, are not substitutes for real meals. I want comfort food. Stews and soups and fresh homemade bread. The husband is not at all a fan of soup and prefers his to have a lot of stuff in it so it’s less broth and more substance. I just want quick and easy and tasty. It has to be tasty. Maybe I’ll make some chicken noodle soup tonight… that never takes very long to make, and I have all the ingredients. Do you have a favorite stew you make for these cold snowy days?

 

Random projects

cabin-dishcloth apricot-bonnet br_finished

Dishcloth, baby bonnet, handspun yarn. I went in on a KnitPicks order with my knit group girls and have yarn for holiday stockings and I started one for the teenager-almost-20-year-old immediately. Never mind that I hate rushing into the winter holidays, or that I hate the over-commercializing of them. Or that I’m not even sure how we’re going to handle holidays now with this new little one. I even bought more sock yarn while at Joanns buying needles for the stockings. I don’t need more sock yarn, and I don’t know when I’ll get to it, honestly. But it was half off and the yarn (Patons Kroy) knits up well and holds up really well to washing/drying and is, therefore, perfect yarn to make gift socks out of.

Today I made another batch of chocolate syrup for milk. And beer marshmallows. And knit. And later we’re grilling chicken, making grilled potato wedges, and having strawberry shortcake for dessert and entertaining my sister and her kids.

Just trying to while away the time as much as I can until this baby decides to make his grand appearance.

Things fall apart

ressurectionstone-2ply ressurectionstone-3plyIt’s been a week full of mostly “downs” – both our car and truck have managed to break down, leaving us without transportation this weekend save for the car my sister is letting me borrow (which is in worse shape than our own two, I might add, so we can’t go too far from home). The motorcycles don’t even work as a back-up at the moment because mother nature has decided to throw a little more snow and ice our way. We had plans this weekend to meet up with a friend of mine from Cardiff who is visiting the states on holiday and I’m quite upset by not being able to do so (she and I are both pregnant and due in August and I was really looking forward to comparing our bellies and whatnot). We considered renting a car for the weekend, since at the time it was just my car needing repair, but that idea quickly went out the window when the truck broke, too. I don’t do well when everything falls apart at once, and I’ve broken down and cried more than I care to admit over this mess.

In my effort to regain even the smallest amount of control over life at the moment I’m still plugging away at current works-in-progress. This week it was some spinning I started in the fall. I had one chunk of fiber finished on my stock flyer, and I was on the last chunk using the lace flyer. A few hours of spinning here and there, and then plying, and what I’m left with is 500 yards of 3ply yarn and the itch to cast on with it right away. Except I have that pile of WIP’s to deal with. And a hat I’m being commissioned to knit that I really need to get working on (because no matter how sweet and understanding my friend is, there comes a point where she’ll be wondering “where the eff is my finished product?!)

I know, much like everything in life, that things will calm down. The sun will shine tomorrow. The vehicles will be repaired, life will resume it’s usual routine, and I’ll soldier on like nothing ever happened this week. But for now, I’m going to go put on my pajamas (yes, before it’s even 5pm) and settle in with some hot tea and a calming movie and try to reset my emotions in hopes that tomorrow I have a better outlook on things.

 

Pushing through

laceyarn winter_baking winter_baking2 youaremysunshine sleepover34 degrees and yet it feels almost spring-like after all those days of bitter below-zero cold. We were fortunate to not have pipes freeze, though so many I know in our neighborhood were not so lucky. This house is old, and a bit drafty, and it needs a lot of work… but it’s been good to us.

I haven’t felt very chatty, and have mostly been just occupying myself this winter. Pushing through. I’ve been playing with my new lace flyer for my spinning wheel and I’m completely in love with it. Banana bread was made, and some new art hung, and my niece stayed the evening with us, too. Not a lot going on around here, and we’re starting to get a serious case of cabin fever. It seems every time we have a free weekend it snows, and it snows a LOT. Which means no trips to Half Price Books or a nice dinner out for the first time in months.

On the bright side of it all, today marks the first day of February. Which means I get to reclaim my Mondays from my “regular” job and go back to being a 4-day-a-week employee. I can’t lie, the extra money has been really nice. But the extra work has really been a huge drain on me, mentally and creatively, and there’s really something to be said about choosing to earn less and therefore work less to live the life you want. And these last few months have really been a great reminder to me on that. The money may be nice, but long-term an extra day of pay is not worth ruining the balance I need in my life between work and my creative ‘play.’

 

Feeling festive

fall1 fall2 fall3 fall4a

 

I can’t remember the last time I decorated the house for fall. It was probably sometime around when the stepson was still living with us. Every year, when school started, it put me in the mood to decorate even though it was August. It took me a bit to find the box of decorations in the basement. I still have a collection of pumpkins I’m not sure what to do with. I don’t want to get rid of them, but at the same time I’m finding myself more and more fed-up with clutter so I don’t want them just sitting around looking all… cluttered. But, thus far, the house looks somewhat festive and I feel a tad happier coming home and seeing it decorated.

Yesterday was the day for restless project-hopping. I feel like I worked on a little of everything. Mostly, though, I’ve started working on holiday projects. I realize that this is October, and as far as holiday projects go I probably should have started knitting back in January. I also realize that I’m probably a bit delusional and have visions of completing not only gift knits but also knitting holiday stockings for the Mr and I. But in the meantime, let’s just pretend that everything I have planned is perfectly attainable at this moment and not worry about the fact that I’m biting off more than I can chew. Let’s also pretend that I don’t have a lot of mixed emotions about the holidays, because once I start acknowledging those I’m going to start down a downward spiral that I’m just not ready to deal with just yet.