I have been absolutely TERRIBLE about writing here. Truth be told, I miss it – I miss having stories to tell and photos to share that aren’t just brief social media snippets of my life. For several years I’ve kept two separate blogs, one here with my name on it, another with a fake name. It always felt weird to me to have people I know in real life read my blog and then later mention something I posted, and I fought that aspect for a long time. But life is busy, and I realized it really isn’t all that different from me posting useless stuff on Facebook for everyone to see/read.
So, here I am.
I’m coming off a one-month break from Facebook, and thinking about this last month without the shallowness of the feed I once used to scroll through like an addict. The details on why I deactivated aren’t really all that important, but I can say that I only slightly missed it. I did keep myself feeling in the loop a bit with Instagram. And I did log back in once for a work-related thing… but promptly saw the bazillion notifications, quickly scrolled through them, said “NOPE” and deactivated again. Otherwise, I’ve actually felt a lot happier and more productive. I’m not sure I ever thought the day would come where I’d manage to break that habit, but I’m glad for everything that led up to that deactivation moment.
I’ve been trying to be a lot more intentional and mindful with my life lately with regards to what I make, wear, eat, do, etc, so I’m considering blogging more to be yet another intentional move. I’m thinking of it as another aspect of self-care and taking care of myself mentally, which I often struggle to do anyway.
I think later this week I’ll re-vamp this space a bit and give it a fresh look to go with my somewhat fresh-ish restart.
I always love it when people post up their projects in a collage, showing how their fiber came, how it spun, and then how it plied. I love seeing the change, and how something that might not be colors you love or expect ends up into this gorgeous yarn. My favorite scarf, to this day, is made out of some fiber I picked up at a festival that was busy and overly colorful and I wasn’t at all sure I would truly love it until I finished spinning it and all those colors blended and melded together to make the most gorgeous yarn I’ve ever made.
This fiber is Tapestry Roses, from Created by Elsie B. I found her on Instagram and fell in love with her color choices. This colorway in particular I actually named, because she wasn’t sure what to call it and a bunch of us threw out suggestions. Mine stuck, and I felt obligated to order it. I’m so glad I did – her fiber is WONDERFUL. It spins beautifully, isn’t smushed or felted together anywhere, and the colors didn’t bleed when I washed the finished yarn, either. Since starting this yarn back in August I’ve ordered more fiber from her and will probably order more (even though I don’t at all have the time right now to spin through it lol).
I ended up with about 384 yards of 3ply, with a large chunk left of single on the bobbin to spin into a 2ply. Might have to come up with something that uses both yarn textures.
Pattern: Elaine’s Blouse, modified to have ribbing on the bottom and not at the waist.
I finished this back in November on my knitting weekend away, but just now got around to getting it photographed. The snow is so lovely this weekend, and it seemed like a perfect situation for some proper photographs. I had a hard time not shaking from the cold – the wind on that end of the porch was awful – but a few deep breaths to just tolerate it, knowing I’d be back in warmth in a few minutes, and it would be over. Modeling is hard, ya’ll.
Quilt blocks finished: 9/48
Ornaments made: 0
But, hey, I nailed my ginger macarons today. Little things, yes? And my holiday cards are printed, addressed, and ready for the mail. I actually went out last night for a bit of mommy time to shop at TJMaxx, and came home with a few gifts purchased since it has become apparent that I will never get the time needed to finish all these projects with a kid fighting for my attention. Knitting is actually easier with him, to be honest, because he has this habit lately of snuggling up mid afternoon to watch a movie and then he passes out and naps on me – that’s pretty much the only way I’ve finished that pair of socks. So maybe I can at least get the hats done, if I can’t get the quilt done.
Today, a post on Facebook led me down the rabbit hole and I discovered this post from No Sidebar. I nearly cried at my desk as I read it on my lunch break because it hit home so very much.
Maybe that’s why it’s hard to let go of past identities and the stuff that goes along with it. We spend years, even decades, carefully cultivating exterior facades to shape how we perceive ourselves and how we want others to perceive us.
So, when we no longer have that same facade we’ve spent so long developing (because of a career change, family shift etc), it can be incredibly painful. In these instances, we are literally losing a piece of ourselves. And that’s going to hurt.
Last week, I put my 2 weeks notice in at a job I’ve been miserable in for months. A job that I worked so very hard to get, and then worked even harder to do. A job that became so all-consuming and draining of my mental health to the point where anxiety kept me awake at night worrying about tasks I forgot because I was busy dealing with something else, worrying about spending happening without my knowledge and whether there was money in the budget to cover it, and spending the entirety of my days putting out fires and never feeling like I was getting ahead on the tasks I envisioned myself doing to improve everything overall.
The new job I’m taking is a step down, both in responsibilities and pay. It’s something I actively chose to do, because at this season of my life I felt as though the only option I have to maintain my sanity was to step back. And, ever since, my inner 16 year old has been berating me. That strong willed, determined girl who was so sure that she’d tackle anything handed to her and would refuse to give up is guilt tripping me for letting it get to me. That 16 year old would hate me for admitting that I need time for myself and my family (especially when, at 16, I would have flipped if you told me at 33 I’d be a mom as I was firmly in Camp Child-free for so long), when all she did was work and then come home and work on her freelance client work at home. I feel like I’ve already let her down by having to step away from my web design business projects because having a child has turned out to be far more consuming than I imagined, and now this.
But when life is no longer working for you… when you start feeling like you’re sacrificing your own well-being for a paycheck? It’s time to go a different direction, and this is probably the one time in my life that I actually happily embrace change (or, at least, I will once I get through sorting out all of these stupid feelings.)
Maybe if I make a point to blog my gift project progress, it’ll help keep me on track?
Hats: 1/4 (maybe more, if I have time, but 4 is the minimum)
Quilt blocks done: 2/48 (Oy.)
Socks… to be honest, I have no idea who I’m even knitting these for, yet, but socks always seem like a lovely gift idea for those I love. The trouble, though, is knowing what size the recipient wears to knit them to the correct length.
Ornaments made: A big, fat zero.
56 days until my deadline on this quilt (right before Christmas). 48 blocks to make this up quilt. Even if I did one block a day, that won’t account for holidays where sewing isn’t possible, nor will it account for the time it will take me to quilt the beast on my tiny machine and then hand-stitch the binding up… it also doesn’t take into account that it’s supposed to be a Christmas gift and, therefore, a surprise even though he knows he’s getting a quilt (he asked for it, after all) so sewing too much of it around Declan isn’t going to be ideal. Do the math and factor in all the knitting I planned to do for gifts and the time that takes…
I mean, it’s do-able with a bunch of ifs – IF all my other projects go according to plan and I don’t have to rip anything out, IF I take my knitting with me everywhere I go so I can dedicate time at home to sewing, IF I can manage 3-4 blocks on weekends and maybe 1 a day during the week? Quilt tops are easy, it’s the quilting part I tend to put off, so if I make the top a priority it should leave me a good chunk of time to get the quilting done without the project turning into an Christmas Eve finish-fest in time for it to be under the tree.
Pattern: Easy as Pie, though knit without the edging
Yarn: Handspun from some Fat Cat Knits fiber
I realized, today, that I’m in a funk, so the goal of this weekend is some solid self care. Sunshine, making sure I eat (if you know me, you know that I constantly eat… that should have been my first tip that something was off), and spending some time doing the things I (usually) love. With the holidays coming up, and money being tight at the moment, I’m throwing myself into some gift knitting/sewing with the bazillion craft supplies I own. Probably more adventurous than I actually have the time and energy for, especially when you throw work in the mix. I went back and forth on the decision to make gifts – people either love or hate handmade gifts. I like to think that I don’t make crappy gifts, but there are always people who won’t appreciate it no matter how nice it is. It’s supposed to be the thought that counts, right? So handmade it is – I’ve been canning up jams and jellies, working on knitting some hats, and sewing a few things here and there. Trying to get a collection of things made up for everyone on my list.
Declan has requested a “soft blanket” for his bed, a.k.a. a quilt. That’s going to be the biggest challenge to make out of everything. They’re just so time consuming and a challenge to get the whole thing fed through my machine and quilted. We’ll see if that actually pans out in time to wrap up for Christmas.
I don’t write here much, so I figured with a random day off of work I might as well show off the sweater I finished for the grandkid in the family. I feel like a giant slacker that this is the first handknit he’s going to get since he was born in December… but life is busy and I don’t get to knit as much as I used to.