Follow by Email

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The knitter and the spider

Okay, this doesn't really have much if anything to do with knitting, but I feel compelled to blog about it. This morning started out as pretty much all of my mornings do. A quick kiss and wishes for a good day to my husband, and then the dreaded climb out of my nice, comfy, warm bed to get ready to start the day. I padded barefoot through the dining room and greeted Julie with a hug, a kiss on the head, and a request that she get her things for school together while Mommy took a quick shower. All very normal so far, right? This is where the morning took a sharp detour and headed towards horror. I undressed and got in the shower. I saw a black wad of something in the bottom of the tub. My first thought was perhaps it was sock lint, and then I remembered that I was barefoot this morning when I got up so that ruled that out. Without my glasses on, it was hard to see through my sleepiness, but as the warm water hit my body and started waking me up I was more alert to what was in the shower with me. I did a double take and bent down to make sure that my worst fear was correct, and it was. It was a HUGE SPIDER. I could actually see the fuzz on it's belly and it's legs were long and thick. My hand immediately clutched my chest and I had to stifle the blood curdling scream that started in the pit of my stomach and extended through to the top of my head. I knew no one would ever believe the size of this spider if I had to rely on my description to tell of it's existence, so I grabbed a handful of kleenex, squished it just enough to satisfy myself that it was dead and threw it in the sink as I ran in horror from the bathroom wearing only the oversized U2 tee shirt that I had slept in and managed to pull over my head before making my escape from this monster that had made it's home in my tub. Julie stood in her bedroom door staring at me as if I had just escaped from a mental hospital (and one more minute in the bathroom with that spider would have put me there) It took a few seconds to calm down as I told Julie what I had found, and to my surprise....she LAUGHED. And as if that wasn't enough, she wanted to SEE it! So she took a look and said, "Cool! Can I take that to school? It looks like a tarantula!" I was a basket case by this time. What a weird girl! Here I was, a 28 year old woman who has seen a plethora of disturbing things over the course of my time as a first responder, and a mom, and I was worked into a tizzy so tight I thought I might snap right in half. I was literally shaking and it was tempting to grab my EMS radio, turn it on, and just scream at the top of my lungs into it until someone came to my aide. And here is my 8 year old daughter, not only unafraid, but in a fit of laughter over her ridiculous mother. Alas, the spider went into an envelope and I forced my husband to take it to work with him and get rid of it. I didn't even want it's dead carcass in my house or in my trash can. It just had to be gone. I didn't want to risk it's spirit haunting me or my loved ones.
After the urge to fashion a for sale sign and put in our front yard passed, I had a very nice morning.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back to Basics

Lately I've been doing so many projects. I finally realized I need to just settle down a little bit and remember what it is about knitting that soothes my soul. Yes, part of it is the finished product and seeing the look on the face of a person who slips on a pair of handmade socks or a scarf or sweater. But really just the act of knitting is what I really long for. Sometimes I get caught up in the idea of whipping out as many socks and hats and scarves and even sweaters as I can, that I lose sight of why I love knitting the way I do. The feel of the fiber as it goes through my hands and over my needles, the soft click of the needles as I knit, purl, yarn over, ssk, k2tog....the smell of the wool that can't be duplicated by anything else. I really needed to get back to what first attracted me to this seemingly simple but truly complex hobby. So, I got out a stitch dictionary, and started making up swatches. They aren't going to be anything. I'm just using some old yarn that had been left over from some other project but I couldn't bare to throw away. I'm practicing lace patterns, complex stitch patterns that keep my basic skills sharp and satisfy me endlessly because if I make a mistake, there's no need to rip anything out. I can figure out creative ways to fix accidental increases or dropped stitches. No one is ever going to look at these swatches except for me. After some of this instant gratification, I will go back to the socks and sweaters and shawls on the grand scale, but right now I need these little swatches to help my brain unwind and feel good about my stitches and know that if I'm nothing else, I'm a good momma, and a damn good knitter.

I hate to rub it in, but I do have the most wonderful husband in the entire world. On my birthday, the doorbell rang and there stood a man holding a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of roses. I thought that was plenty, but then I checked my email and there was a gift certificate for which is my favorite online store. I love everything about knitpicks! I have never ordered anything and had them disappoint. I felt like a child in a toy store when I went on the site and started imagining what I could buy. I went for a really beautiful stranded colorwork hat in shades of grey and purple that I've had my eye on for awhile. Then I headed over to the felici section. Felici is a beautiful yarn line that knitpicks offers. It's 75% merino wool and 25% nylon and it is self striping. I'm going to make socks with the ball that I got and I can't wait to see how the stripes work up. Right now I have my size 2 needles busy with some socks for Julie made out of Happy Feet, but I'm thinking that maybe I'll go up a size or two anyways since the yarn I got isn't actually sock yarn but it's fingering weight so it should be okay on a larger size. I am seriously giddy at the thought of those stripes. These socks are going to be amazing.

Father's day was really nice. I made a french toast breakfast dish as well as my usual ham and cheese casserole for Dad. He loved the french toast dish so I was thrilled. He also loved the bath and body works shower gel and spray we got him. It took me forever and I pretty much gave myself a headache smelling all the different kinds, but I finally went with my first choice..Twilight Woods. Dad was happy with that and I think Mom will like that one also. I ended up giving my husband his father's day card and gift on Saturday because I was excited. I love giving him presents. He's such a simple guy....really he is not hard to please but he can be hard to buy for because unlike me, he won't just come out and say what he wants. I got him a bag of his favorite candy bars (Snickers) and since he loves Stephan King, I got him the newest book. He was really satisfied with that. The kids and I helped him eat the Snickers, and he enjoyed his book while I sat and knitted and that is how we spent our Saturday.

Then it started to storm. Julie isn't nearly as bothered by thunderstorms as she used to be, but she still needed a reassuring hug and a few extra minutes with Mom before bed. Daniel was so tired from playing at Uncle Larry and Aunt Deb's all day, he was out in no time. I think all the swimming and jumping off the dock finally caught up with my little polly wog, and she was out too. Around midnight, a fire call came in for a down power line. My husband was half way out the door and he just happened to look at the corner of our house and saw a huge pool of water leaking into our basement. Fire call got put on the back burner and he went downstairs to see what kind of damage we were going to have. It really wasn't too bad. We were able to get the majority of the water up with a shop vac and towels, and things are fine. When it flood I always freak out about snakes. It's not like there are tons where we live. My phobia has induced many hours of research on my part. I feel like knowledge is power and the more I know about the things that scare me, the better I should feel....but in most cases it just scares me more. There are about 22 species of snakes in Wisconsin and only 2 of them are venomous. I also read somewhere that snakes don't like the smell of garlic, so I'll be growing garlic and sprinkling garlic powder everywhere.

Rachel Ray is cooking and I'm trying my hardest to learn a thing or two about cooking. If anyone should ever be afraid of anything, it's me in the kitchen. Here's hoping that RR can help me out!

Share the peace.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pancakes, Flowers, and Books. Oh my...

Saturday was the annual Campbell Fire Department pancake breakfast fundraiser. Each year, along with the breakfast, there is a plant exchange and a book sale. Julie stayed at my mom and dad's on Friday night, so they brought her to the breakfast and I met them there at 9:00 with a hungry Daniel. We got our pancakes and eggs and ham and juice and chowed down. My husband was slinging food when we got there, but he put the apron away and got a plate and joined us for breakfast soon after we sat down. It was a really nice time and as always the food was great. They ended up serving just over 600 people so they pulled in a nice chunk of change for the department. As we were leaving, Julie asked if we could stop at the plant exchange. First of all, I had no plant to exchange, and second of all.....our house is where plants come to die. Sad, I know. I even bought some of those Aqua Globes and that hasn't helped at all. Yes, there is water in the globes, I'm not totally vapid, but still...plants don't like me. I guess they also don't like diet pepsi because that's usually what I have at my disposal when it dawns on me to water them. I thought the caffeine would give them a little pep and perk them up, but I have finally accepted that my logic is definitely wrong. After steering Julie away from the plant exchange, I came home and promptly grabbed my knitting and began working. I have a deadline on this project. I really want to give this adorable little sweater to Julia for her birthday on Saturday. I have made quite a bit of progress in the last few days and I was able to duplicate stitch a cute little heart on the front yesterday. I have already finished the neckband, so now the daunting task of making the sleeves is the last step that is staring me in the face. I have a hard time sometimes with sleeves, partly because I have to make two of them and try to get them to look the same, and secondly, I feel like my decreases are kind of sloppy. I have tried everything I can think of to try and get them to look neater but I haven't succeeded so far. I have modified my SSK and instead of slipping the second stitch knitwise, I slip it purlwise. I read on Kelley Petkun's blog that doing that would improve the ssk by making it look neater, but it didn't work with this particular yarn. Please don't gasp, but this is 100% acrylic. Yes, I would much rather knit with an all natural fiber, but this sweater is for a toddler and toddlers toddle around and get dirty quickly, so I am predicting that it's going to need washing on a regular basis, and I didn't want to make so much work for Michelle by making a sweater that she would have to hand wash and dry flat.  And anyways, I was at Wal Mart and hadn't bought yarn in a few days (gasp) and this lavendar color was so pretty. If I am going to knit with acrylic, I usually will buy Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! or Loops and Threads from Michaels, but you make do with what you have.

 Sunday was nice and relaxing. We got up and got ready for church and then realized it was confirmation Sunday and would probably be standing room only, and with a squirrely toddler in tow, that didn't sound like what we really wanted to do. We decided to listen to the sermon later on and then discuss it. Sadly it's now Wednesday and we still haven't found the time to do that, but tonight I plan to sit down with the computer and a cup of tea and listen to what PD has to say. 

I got my Scentsy order this week and I couldn't be happier. I LOVE this stuff and I am seriously considering becoming a consultant if for no other reason than to feed my habit. Krimsin definitely started something here. I just love the idea of flameless and wickless candles. No flame is good for kids and no wick is good for the walls! I think it will really sell itself.  I'm just trying to feel it out a little bit and get an idea for who would buy it and maybe even host some online parties. I would do home parties but the ease of doing everything online is really appealing. And the more pocket money I have, the more attention I can pay to my yarn stash! I just also feel that with all the friends I have made through my knitting guild action and the child abuse prevention task force, I could offer them these great products. I'm not a big sales person but I think that I would do well.

I'm off to work some more on Julia's sleeves and maybe the feather and fan shawl that has become the bane of my existence. I somehow screwed it up a few weeks ago and today I was finally able to sit with it and attempt to fix it. It's instances like this that make me hate lace. I put the shawl on a scrap piece of yarn and then I put a lifeline in the shawl. I'm always nervous when I start ripping rows out but it definitely needed to be done.

Hoping the rain holds off so I can get the grass cut tonight, but if it does rain that will be good too because then I won't be sitting at guild feeling guilty for not getting my chores at home done. Anyways, the house smells fantastic thanks to Scentsy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Project Sweetheart

I know that it's now May, and as we found out yesterday, the heat of Wisconsin's summer is drawing closer. Most people are embracing the nicer temperatures and being able to have the windows open. I however feel a pang of sadness. Why? Not because I don't love having my windows open....not because I don't love hanging sheets on the clothesline to dry and then get into a nice, fresh smelling, my sadness comes from no one needing sweaters or hats or scarves for a few months. I really didn't know what I was going to do for the months that Wisconsin will be sweltering...but then I decided to heck with it. To heck with what people might say or think. I will make sweaters and hats and scarves, and if anyone scoffs at me in July then they shall be cold in December. Okay, not really, because if I hoarded everything I make then you would see me on that TLC show and there would probably be about 100 cats roaming around through the piles and piles of fiber and empty propel bottles. So the point of this ramble is to say that I am making sweaters and embroidering little hearts on them for the girls and some kind of boy-ish, masculine, perhaps space alien creature for the boys. My hope is that I will still be able to stock pile some comfort wraps for the foster care kids and once in awhile turn out a cute hat or other small accessory for instant gratification. I've been finding myself really drawn to merino lately. I just love the way it feels on my hands and the way it works up. Perfect for instant gratification projects indeed. 
Life in the Suiter household has been crazy busy, as usual, but we are happy. Julie and Daniel and I went out for ice cream and had a nice talk on the drive. The mom van is finally home and as much as I hate to admit it, I had missed it. The expedition was nice but 13 miles to the gallon when gas is almost 4 dollars a gallon was definitely not agreeing with my check book. We got our blizzards (midnight truffle for me, m&m for Daniel, brownie batter for Jules, and we got our favorite firefighter an oreo blizzard to cool him down when he got home from a fire call)  and talked about how excited she was for her field trip to a farm today. Then we figured out how many days were left until her birthday. She is getting so excited. She doesn't know of course, but she is getting an upgraded, brand new nintendo DS for her birthday. I can't wait to give it to her. We will get her some new games, too, but I just know she's going to love it. 
Holy buckets was it ever hot here yesterday. It was so humid and steamy. Very yucky. It gave us the perfect excuse to go out for ice cream, but it also induced a pretty nasty headache for Julie. I felt so bad for her. She cried and didn't want to take any tylenol for fear that it would "taste yucky" but eventually I did get her to take it and then I got her in the shower and that seemed to help relax her enough to fall asleep. She woke up good as new this morning and ready to go to school and go on her field trip. 
It's been about a half hour since I have had yarn in my hands, so I'm getting a little anxious. I must go make more stitches. Be well, everyone!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A change in the air

Even though I could still jinx us, I think we have seen our last snowfall in Wisconsin. I for one am thrilled. I love to see spring come. It's a sign of growth and newness, and of course it means that I can knit outside and not worry about the temperature. Can you imagine knitting while wearing mittens? It's not easy, let me tell you! And of course spring also means that these small balls of energy and momentum that I call children can finally get outside and run off some of their energy. We all sleep better after a few good hours of fresh air. And with better sleep, we are in happier moods. As for me, my mood is mostly dependent on how much I am able to knit throughout the day. I know that this blog is read by other knitters, and you will probably nod your head in agreement when I admit that I do carry "emergency knitting". Usually a sock, maybe mittens, perhaps a hat. Something small that can fit in my handbag, or the diaper bag, and I can just pull it out and work a few rows while waiting for one of the many things that we wait for in life. I know I am the only member of my family who could be shipwrecked on a deserted island and not be bored. And since I am definitely a process knitter, no matter what I was making, I could rip it out and start over and not be bothered a bit. Those of you who are not knitters might be shaking your heads wondering if there is a 12 step program or some kind of therapy to ween me off my fiber addiction, but I will just give you a warning: take my knitting away from me at your own risk. It's one of those things that only fiber lovers really understand. The way a lovestruck young woman stars longingly at the man of her dreams, knitters will stare longingly at beautiful angora or soft merino. Especially if it's on sale.
So getting back to my point, and I knew I had one....Oh yes, spring. Spring also means that rummage sale season is upon us. The mood at my parents house is always changed dramatically when this season opens. I think my dad is as excited about rummage sale season beginning as some hunters are about opening day of gun deer season. Now you might chuckle and say that's ridiculous, but you obviously have not met my father if you don't know that I am not even close to exaggerating. The man is up before anyone should be even thinking about functioning and he has a cup of coffee in one hand and a wallet full of single one dollar bills. Off he goes scouring the garages of neighbors and anyone else with the tell tale pink RUMMAGE SALE sign nailed to their mailbox. He follows balloons and signs with arrows promising lots of great items at bargain prices. My dad is a very intelligent, kind, and generous man. His generosity is never more apparent than when he enters someone's garage or driveway and scans the assortment of picnic tables, card tables, and various other displays of one persons junk to see if it's something that he or someone close to him will treasure. It seems that if you want to rid yourself of something but don't want to actually take it to Goodwill, or heaven forbid, throw it away, all you need to do is get one of those pink signs, put a price sticker for any amount less than a dollar on it and he will buy it. Not before trying to get the price just a bit lower first, but he will buy it if it's good enough. My mom is about at her wits end because he can't help himself when someone is selling a camera. If you go into my dad's office, they are hidden everywhere. In the drawers of his desk, in the filing cabinet, hidden behind photos on shelves in hopes that my mom won't find them. Yet I never see any pictures, and the few times one or two have been developed from any of the 35mm cameras he's collected, they are usually those shots of Dad looking down in to the camera, or the wall, or his foot. But he loves his bargains and it makes him happy, so shop on, Dad. He has scored some really awesome yarn and knitting supplies and notions for me over the years so I better not complain too much. However, the day the drumset came home for Julie I did have a word or two to say about that. Bottom line, if it's on a table in someone's garage and it's .50 or less, it will end up in my basement or garage. But when these things all happens it means that Spring is here. And spring is wonderful.

I was really happy to catch up on all of my DVR tv shows last night and I was absolutely thrilled to find that there was finally a new Grey's Anatomy. I was a bit nervous that it was going to be the weird Glee like kind of Grey's Anatomy again. I enjoy musicals and I enjoy medical dramas, but I never pictured them going well together, and to be quite honest, they don't go well together at all. I can't take you seriously if you are singing a song about the surgery or the situation you are in.

I'm talking with several of my knitting friends who teach and design about getting an easy pattern together for a dog sweater. I've decided that Joey must have a sweater to wear outside when it's chilly. Yes, I realize he evolved from sled dogs who lived in the Himalayas, but I knit for those whom I love, and everyone knows that I love my dog.

I hope that everyone is enjoying the longer days and warmer temperatures. I am looking forward to June 11th and the "knit in" at the library. We are doing a "yarn storming" in La Crosse by knitting a long, scarf like piece that will start at the library on Main Street and go through down town and end at Riverside Park. Yes, we are using acrylic yarn. Finally a good use for all the yarn that people have given me with kindness and good intentions. They mean well and bless their hearts for wanting to feed my fiber habit, but sometimes it is acceptable to toss yarn. If it's been sitting in grandma's basement mixing with all the basement like smells, it's perfectly alright to toss it. In this case however, it is being put to good use!

Well I guess it's that time again. Time to kiss the kids good night, say prayers for their health and safety, and then get in front of the television with my bottle of water and watch Doogie Howser shock and amaze people by being a teenage doctor.

Happy Knitting! (Or goodnight for you non knitters.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I think I have knitting ADD

These days I have about a gazillion projects scattered around my house waiting for attention. I don't know why, but the instant I get a pattern, I feel I must cast on for that project or risk never starting and eventually completing it. I have a sock that I'm doing with magic loop on a long circular needle but very sadly I have pretty much no idea where the first sock that I completed about a week ago is hiding. It's surely in one of my many baskets or bags, but the daunting task of locating it is staring me in the face and I know that sooner or later I will have to start digging through the endless pile of WIP's that I have surrounding me right now.
I'm searching for an intarsia chart for a star or a heart that I would like to work into a really basic top down raglan sweater. If you happen to have one, or know where I could find one, please share! I have tried ravelry and of course the master of all knowledge, google. I have yet to find one that will work for this little sweater, so I will search until I find one, or until I get to the body of the sweater. Which ever comes first.
I had a guild meeting tonight. I can't even describe the satisfaction and comfort that comes from being surrounded by women who love playing with sticks and string as much as I do. I love the wide variety of ages and back rounds in our group. I'm really looking forward to working with them all as the president  in the coming year. I have already recruited some new (hopefully) members. It's funny really. I can be pretty much anywhere and somehow I manage to start talking about the guild, and I end up writing down information about our meeting times and places. One time I was out for dinner with my family and an older lady commented on the sweater I was wearing. She asked if I had made it and when I told her that I had, we got to talking and she showed a lot of interest. Then another time, when we were at PetSmart talking with the group we adopted Joey from, one of the volunteers with the shelter he was at made a comment about the scarf Julie was wearing, so again we got into talking about the guild and though neither of these women have come to a meeting, I know that spreading the word is going to bring more people to our group to share our love of this art.
Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. I'm not sure if I will make it to church at 7 because I am having dinner with a great friend, but for sure I will be there on Friday evening. I will be glad when lent is over. Holy week is always a sad week when I stop and reflect on what Jesus gave for my sin to be forgiven. Easter is fun and for some kids full of magic and candy, but we are working really hard to make sure our kids know the true meaning behind the day, and appreciate the sacrifice of their savior for them.
I'm about two shakes of a lamb's tail away from getting into bed and drifting to sleep. Good night, knitters!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Just Can't Let Go

A few months ago, I had a skein of heather grey yarn in my stash. I liked the way it felt, the way it smelled, the way it looked...and I had many ideas for what I could do with it. A hat? No, I had a stash of fingering weight yarn in several colors that I was planning to make hats with. I got out my purple binder that my husband affectionately calls the knitting bible. In it are all the patterns I have accumulated over the years of knitting I have enjoyed, and I leafed through the pages waiting for a pattern to jump out at me and proclaim that it would look wonderful in this soft, heather grey yarn. Finally I found it. Knitting Pure and Simple #982. It's a neck down cardigan with an optional hood. I had made it once before with three skeins of Plymouth Jelly Beanz yarn and the little girl I made it for wears it regularly and looks adorable to boot. My vision for this sweater was a simple one, yet it made me really excited. I wanted a simple cardigan to throw on Daniel on those days where he doesn't need his big winter coat, but still needs something to keep him warm. Yeah, I know, he has more hooded sweatshirts than most kids would know what to do with, but I don't know for a fact that there is mommy love in each of those stitches. In this grey cardigan that was born on my knitting needles and worked with love and care by my hands, there is a lot of love adding warmth to the inches of fabric. I debated if I wanted to knit in the round for a faster knit and cut a steek, or go back and forth. I opted to go back and forth, and for those of you who know the knitter in me, you know that for some reason I can't explain, I don't like to purl. So this was an interesting choice, but I'm happy I made it. Once I got through the cast on and about 2 inches and the increases, I put it away for awhile and didn't give it that much thought for a few weeks. When I would be in between projects I would pick it up and the quick silver needles that I bought to make my first sweater long ago would again click as stitch by stitch the sweater continued to grow. About a week ago I realized that I was probably pretty close to being ready to start the ribbing for the bottom, and then the sleeves would come....then the button band...and the neck band...and then I would be done. For some reason that made me sad. I worked the right sleeve and decided to break up the sleeve knitting by doing the button band next, and then the collar. I decided to leave the hood off because the last sweater made with this pattern had a hood and I really thought it looked super cute without it as well. So I got through the button band on both sides. The holes and button markers matched, and then I did the neck band. I looked at the neck band for a few days and suddenly ripped the whole thing out because of one row of rib that I had messed up. It was un necessary to do that but then I realized that I was enjoying this sweater so much, my sub- conscience had taken over and I realized that I was relishing in this knitting project and only then did I realize my very real love of this craft. Normally I am so excited to come to a bind off row and wash and block whatever I am making, but for some reason this was different. I had experimented with different types of needles and learned a lot about myself as a knitter through this project. The collar is so good now and I just need to finish the sleeve and sew in loose ends. Then I will wash and block it and my beautiful son will wear it with pride, I hope, but I have a feeling it will be too hot for a sweater by the time I finally let go of this project and bind it off for real this time.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Cranky Day

Each month between the Tuesday and Saturday of the last week, I have one day where it is next to impossible to be anywhere near me. Everything irritates me and I am better left by myself. I don't always have a prelude or an inkling to when this mood is going to strike, but when it does, watch out. Hold on to your hat. Or better yet, get out of the way. I was doing okay in the morning until my husband suggested we go to Menards to get a few things that we needed for around the house. Yes, ladies, he was finally going to get started on my seemingly never ending "honey do" list, and here I was snipping about hating Menards. "There is nothing interesting to me there. We go there all the time. I hate it. It's boring. You always wander away from me and I can't find you." And so on and so forth. He suggested going by himself but how would I make him miserable from home? No, I must come along, I insisted. By the look on his face, I knew that he knew he was in for an interesting day that would be trying on his patience. And I didn't fail to deliver. We got the few things we needed and I of course complained about the prices, I complained that the selection was meager, I complained about the lighting in the store causing me a headache, and then finally, I complained that there were not nearly enough check out lanes open when it was time to go. My complaining was quiet and mostly between me and my husband, but the man behind us was quite vocal about what irked him, and his constant whining did nothing good for my already temperamental mood so I said quite loudly to my husband, "Hey, you wanna grab a tampon for this guy?" And the color first drained from his face and then turned beet red which was a result from either embarrassment or anger. I'm not sure which, but as he was dragging me from the store I wasn't as worried about his emotions as I was about the lecture I would likely get in the car. It didn't come. He just asked me what I wanted for lunch, and then said that if I needed some time on my own to knit for awhile he would keep Daniel busy. My wonderful, loving, understanding husband. He knows how to put a bad mood in reverse. Or so he thought. He suggested Taco Johns for lunch. Normally I love tacos from Taco Johns with sour cream and nacho cheese on the side. Well, the last time I was there, they charged me for the nacho cheese and forgot to put it in the bag. About a block away from the restaurant is when I remembered that and I became upset. No, Taco Johns would not do. These weasels were not getting any of my hard earned money after jipping me out of my cheese last time. No, I wanted curly fries. The only place that serves them around here is Hardees so we decided to just swing through there. Easy peasy, no problem. We got our food and went home. No sooner had I poured a little dollop of ketchup to dip my fries in, and I noticed another problem. My husband had gotten the curlier order of curly fries. I mean, mine were curly, but they weren't the awesome, perfect curly ques that he had. I pointed it out to him and he just sort of stared at me as if he was debating whether or not this was really causing me angst. It wasn't until the foot tapping started that he realized that I wanted to trade curly fries with him. He refused. I cried. This is not a joke. Today we can laugh, but yesterday my marriage was in serious trouble in my mind. His refusal to trade fries with me was proof that he didn't care about me, or love me nearly as much as I love him. He said it was all nonsense, but I was stuck with my less than curly-curly fries. We ate in silence.

The only thing that could pull me immediately out of this little mood was a cuddle from my son, and alpaca. It didn't have to be 100% alpaca, just enough of an alpaca blend to feel wonderful running through my fingers and sliding across my needles. I got a few rows worked on some knitting; not even a project, but just some good process knitting that I could enjoy without having to worry about patterns or charts or shaping. Just a relaxing hour with my feet up. After I had defused with knitting therapy, I was good as new, and everyone I came in contact with was much happier.

This morning, we were all up and at 'em early, eager to worship together at the 10am service. The sermon was amazing as always. Thought provoking and real. They are always so applicable to real life. It was about loving the unlovable, and Pastor Dave said something that really struck me. It was about being afraid to know people who are on opposite sides of us whether it's politically, or in any other avenue of life because if we know them, we will love them, and that would challenge all that we believe. With all of the political uproar here in Wisconsin lately, it really did make sense to me and reminded me that we just need to love each other and be good to each other. And if you play with the words enough, I am certain that Pastor Dave was saying that the husband should always give the wife the curlier of the curly fries.

Anyways, after church we went to the Onalaska Omni Center and walked through the family fun fair. The Coulee Region Child Abuse Prevention Task Force has been a very important part of my life for the last 3 years, but I had yet to meet the other members face to face. I was so happy to finally do that, and happier still to see that many of the knitted items that have been made by myself and the other women in the knitting guild were on display. It is so amazing to me that something that I love to do and brings me so much joy is going to help a scared child in a foster home get a portable hug whenever he or she needs it. I can't wrap my mind around it, but what I do fully understand is that there are endless prayers and well wishes in each stitch, and many more where those came from.

After the fun fair, we went to my mom and dad's to visit my Aunt Gail who was in town for the weekend. We had a nice visit and pretty soon Daniel was rubbing his gorgeous little Daniel eyes, and we headed for home so he could take a nap, and I could knit some more, and Julie had homework to get done. We just got home again from having dinner with Mom and Dad. The weekend was relaxing, productive, and just all around wonderful. Now the groceries are all put away, Doogie Howser is on TV, my beautiful kids are bathed and ready for bed and my heart is full.

Share the peace

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do you ever get tired of knitting?

In a word? NO! I had a good friend say that to me earlier this week. I almost didn't take her seriously for a moment because I know my thought processes and what I daydream about, and it's usually something to do with yard after yard of alpaca, wool, merino, you name it. I just love yarn. I love the colors. I love the smell. I love the way it feels when it's running through my fingers. I love watching the various colors of self striping yarn as it is being pulled over and around my knitting needles. Even if I'm not making anything big, or if I'm just practicing a new stitch or pattern, I am content when I have my hands working on a knitting project no matter what it is.
In some non knitting related news, there is a new member of the Suiter family! We are fostering a beautiful little pomeranian named Little Foot. We brought him home this afternoon and the kids are so joyful. It fills my heart to see them so happy! And giving this beautiful pup a nice home is so fulfilling. How this will tie in to knitting of course is that I will be making sweaters and blankies for him.
Knitting guild meets on Wednesday! I love guild weeks. The ladies at the rescue were also knitters so I think I have recruited them for joining as well. The love of dogs and cats and knitting seems to go hand in hand. I can't wait to show examples of the comfort hugs for foster kids on Wednesday. I have had a couple donations and I just finished a beautiful feather and fan shall in Aruba Sea from Red Heart Super Saver.  I hate that kids have to be in the situations that require our comfort hugs, but I am so joyful that we can reach out to them with these little blankets and let them know they are thought of and prayed for.
Well, off to Wal Mart to get our new little companion a soft doggy bed to lay on. Share the joy, share the peace.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bittersweet Inspriation

Even though I have been staying really busy with the comfort wraps for foster kids program, I heard about another project yesterday that touched my heart. A little girl in the community is battling leukemia, and my friends daughter thought it would be a great idea to knit 365 chemo caps so she has one for each day of the year while she waits for her hair to grow back. I was so inspired! I hastily agreed to help out and started casting on with a beautiful verigated skein of cascade that I had been waiting to pull out for an occasion just like this one. I used a basic recipe thanks to Stephanie Pearl McPhee (love her!) and cast on about 70 stitches since I was using a size 11 circular, joined in the round and did about 2 inches of 2x2 ribbing and the rest stockinette. When I wanted to start shaping the crown, I just divided by 10 and did a knit 8, knit 2 together decrease until I was in a good place to break the yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches. I looked at what I had done when it was all done and I was pleased with it, but I knew for sure that I did not want to make all of may hats this way. I guess this was just kind of a kick off to what I hoped would be a huge amount of hats to help this great cause. So I started on a quest to find more fun caps that she could wear and have fun with. The hope is that her spirits will be brightened and in doing that her body will be better able to fight. So I found another pattern from the wonderfully talented Staci Perry at that was intended for a baby, but I played around a little bit with the needle size and I came out with a great hat that is a lot of fun! It has tassels on each side and instead of decreasing, it's just ended with a three needle bind off. This was the first project I have used that bind of technique with and I really liked it! It made for a very cool hat, but I forgot to turn the right sides out so the small ridge made by the technique is on the outside but it looks really cool anyways.
Next I referenced "Knitting for Peace" by Betty Christiansen and found a great chemo eyelet cap and I am just beginning the decrease rounds on that one and I am loving it so far.

Well, I can't knit and type at the same time, so off I go.

Share the peace and click some sticks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shhhh! Let me finish this row!

Gosh it can be hard to multi task when you don't want to multi task at all, but you just want to get a few more rounds done on that hat. A few more inches added to that sweater. A few more rows on a scarf. I feel like somewhat of a horrible mom when I tell Julie to "hold on, let me finish this row" when she wants something to drink. She is 7 years old, mind you, and perfectly capable of pouring her own glass of juice, water, or mild, or piercing a straw into a juice box. But it's some kind of radar my children have. As soon as my addi clicks and cascade 220 are in my hands and ready to knit, that's when they need my attention immediately. Nothing can wait while my hands are busy forming stitches. Though I love knitting with a huge part of my heart, my kids come first, so alas, it has been taking me a bit longer lately to get through some of my projects. And of course as usual, I have found that I am spreading myself too thin.
Tonight I began a knitting class at church. This time when I go to knitting class though, I am the teacher and not the student. The class went extremely well and pretty much everyone was able to cast on and knit some knit stitches by the end. I was pretty proud of those first rows I saw growing on the needles. I hope that I can share the love of this ancient art with others and they find as much joy in it as I do. If you aren't a knitter but want to be, I'm going to start making notes here and there of tips that I think every beginner should know right out of the gate. I'll add to the list as time goes on but here's the beginning:

1. First and foremost, be patient with yourself. All skills take time to learn and it comes to some faster than others. Keep trying because that moment when it finally clicks and you are officially a knitter, it will be one of the most rewarding moments of your life. Seriously. I couldn't make that up.

2. Always...always...ALWAYS use yarn and needles that feel good in your hands. Use yarn that smells good. Use needles that sound good to your ears as they click together. If you love the materials you are using, you will love the result.

Since I have the attention span of a fruitfly, I'm going to end the post here and go work on a brioche scarf for awhile and enjoy some Peter Gabriel.

Click it good!