Welcome Back!

Did everyone survive Christmas and New Year's? Aaron and I survived with a few bumps along the way. I started a new job with hours that are not conducive to my sleep schedule so it has taken some time for me to adjust. Hence the delay in posts. Honestly, it took a little bit of anger to get me motivated to get out of bed and write something. Here is a tip for anyone who is the recipient of handcrafted goods: Don't make the crafter mad or you will never see the requested item.

In this case though, the recipient didn't know they were a recipient. I will give you a little background first because otherwise it doesn't make much sense. Aaron and I met in some unconventional circumstances. His parents are "Christians" (I use the term loosely because his mother can't grasp the concept of agape love (or forgiveness) which I consider to be an integral part of having a relationship with Christ) and don't approve of divorce. Therefore she refuses to accept me as his fiance. She has never been to our house nor has his brother. Aaron's father and sister have spent time with us but not the other half of his family. Because we are sinners. I can live with the fact that they want nothing to do with me. Sure it hurts. But I can accept it. What I can't deal with is the fact that every time Aaron sees his mother he gets upset because of the way she treats him. I can tolerate a lot but seeing the people I love be hurt by people who should be the ones defending him just makes me want to kill someone. Aaron and I have been together for a few years and I have every intention of spending the rest of my life convincing him that he isn't the horrible person that his mom has convinced him he is. I can rant like this for quite a while so I will proceed to the point.

I have been working on some needlepoint that I had intended to give to Aaron's mother as an act of good will. It is a rather large piece and I have already spent hours on it. Today I told Aaron that he ought to go visit his mom because he hasn't been in a few weeks. She spent the entire time arguing with him and telling him how he has always been a bad child and how bad he is for not visiting her, etc, etc. I have no desire whatsoever to give her this needlepoint now. I am not sure why I encouraged him to visit her but I won't make that mistake again. I'll be damned if I am going to give her any more opportunities to completely ruin his self-esteem. She blames their lack of a relationship on him but every time he tries to talk to her she responds with bitterness and sarcasm. There are really two lessons that can be learned here: Don't make me mad. And more importantly, treat your children with love and respect and mercy because the confidence you instill in them today will shape their future. I am daily witness to the damage parents can do. Hug your kids today.

Knitting Buddy Fail. Doh!

So the plan was for my BFF and fellow knitter was supposed to come over before work and we would knit and get things done. That was the plan anyways. First we wound a few skeins of yarn into cakes (She has a swift and ball winder and I don't). Then we went to get food. After that we talked about her new job opportunity for Premier Yarns and my first time designing a pattern. Then we went shopping. Then she had to leave. We knit absolutely nothing! Oh and during that, not only did we not knit, but she tried to convince me to knit myself Featherweight in some beautiful lace Rhodesian.

The moral of this story is make sure that your knitting buddy and you are capable of actually sitting down and chilling uninterrupted. Had we not needed to feed my man and kid or needed groceries, we might have sat down to knit and talk..... Also, it is a good idea to do so regularly instead of sporadically because then you feel the need to catch up every time you see each other. She will be moving to NC in March and suggested that we have skype nights so that we can still knit "together". This is really a good idea for all you homebodies though too. If you're like me and you are just as happy at home in your favorite comfy spot with a cup of tea and a blanket and/or giant sweater, then skype is a good tool to utilize. Besides doesn't just about everyone have a webcam nowadays? What I am saying is, having a buddy only helps if you guys have a schedule.

On the upside, I got a new job!!!! I now work at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. :-D Which means less time for knitting but until I have a more steady income doing what I really want to do (which is this whole blogging-knitting-selling thing) I really need the money. You would be surprised how well you can live on wages below the poverty line but you have to have a wage to begin with. I am not one of those people who can live off of welfare or disability. It was such a relief to no longer work where I worked before but I still needed a job. Just praying that this will be a much better work environment. Aaron and I went to Burger King while we were out to get some free fries on this free-fry-weekend in celebration of my new job. Aren't we livin' it up? So I am trying to take advantage of my last precious knitting time before I start on Monday and I am trying to resist the desire to cast-on Featherweight. I just have so much to knit! Gah! Can I run away now? Hope everyone else's holiday knitting is going better than mine. Off to knit!


I watched that movie today. I was supposed to be folding the laundry but I wanted to see that movie more than I did the one before it so it only got half done. I am a hopeless romantic at heart. Maybe that's why I couldn't ever let go of Aaron. Once I started to see who he really was I felt this gravity towards him that I couldn't fight. There are a few people who think that we shouldn't be together but once I realized I was in love with him I couldn't stay away. It was selfish but, no matter how much I didn't want to be, I was drawn to him. I've never had such passion for anyone else in my life. Watching that movie made me remember how important passion is in our lives. Not just in our love lives though. Passion for our work, for our kids and for our God. I feel that to be true now more than ever. To quote my mom, "Do what you love, and the money will follow."

That is my mamma and my kitty :-)
Recently, I quit my job. Horrible timing, you say? Probably. But it was the best thing I have done for myself in a while. I am free of that wretched place! I didn't realize it before but that place was holding me back from being happy. I won't tell you where I worked because they aren't all that bad and also I would like not to be sued in case I signed some paper at some time or another about promising never to talk bad about them.... Who knows. Anyways, it stressed me out. It made me miserable. I will miss all the friends I made but it was not worth it to lose my sanity for some place that holds no future for me. I refuse to let anyone make me feel like I am nothing and had I stayed I would have allowed that. I am blessed that I have a man who supports me and trusts me. (Honestly, he would have called and said some unpleasant things had I not stopped him.) 

So here I am trying to follow my passion. What about you? Can you say that? I don't believe in doing something that you don't want to do. If you aren't true to yourself who can you be true to? Be who you are. Do what you want and not what you don't. If we were all honest with each other we would all be better off. I also believe people can really change and that forgiveness takes strength to grant, not weakness. "....Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7 Remember that when you talk to people. Remember that when you are judging. I can't begin to explain to you what forgiveness means to me. I never would have made it as far as I have without learning how to forgive. Think about it people.

P.S. I promise to limit the number of posts in which I mount the soapbox but this is something that is close to my heart.

Stake out

Aaron has taken an embarassing video of me on his phone. Despite my warning of swift vengeance should that video ever reach the internet, I don't trust him. In light of that fact I have been forced to stake him out. He can't watch his phone forever. He has to sleep some time. And when he does that video will cease to exist. Wish me luck in my endeavors bc I promise to you that you don't want to see that video.

Memories Month

December is a month of memories for me. My grandpa died in December. Tabitha's granny (who was practically mine too) died in December. My birthday is in December. When my grandpa died we found out my grandma had Alzheimer's. In December my life was altered irreparably. I can honestly say losing my grandpa kind of traumatized me. And my mom. My grandparents practically raised me. I didn't go to daycare. I stayed with them. I didn't grow up with a dad. That was my grandpa. It was just me, my mom, my grandma, and my grandpa. So needless to say, December is kind of bittersweet for me. Which means that you ought to prepare yourselves for some random reminiscing. Here is a happy memory though. :-)

So I was cleaning Anya's room the other day and I found something that I made when I was a kid. My childhood BFF Tabitha (who I still consider a sister) and I used to make all kinds of animals out of beads but primarily geckos. I found this one:

It reminded me of the hours that we used to spend making these. We made all different kinds: Bears, rabbits, lions, cats, a zebra once, and the list goes on. We made them mostly with seed beads and pony beads. I liked the ones with seed beads better because we used wire to make them and you could make them stand up. And to a 9 year old that was awesome.  My 4 yr old thinks they are awesome as well.

I was digging through my closet and buried under all the fabric and yarn I found a few boxes of beads stowed away. I couldn't help it. I sat down and made a few for old times sake. I had to use yarn though and it isn't quite stiff enough to make anything other than geckos. So I made different colors instead!

I know it was kind of silly but if Walgreens can make thousands of dollars on silly bands..... Maybe I can sell a few key chains. Who knows, right?

Also another note for today: I <3 my local library!

Screw you Redbox and Blockbuster! My library has them for free! And I can get 3 at a time for a week! 
I have to be honest I was a little skeptical at first. Surely they don't have new releases right? WRONG! Omg they had Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2! That realization was probably the highlight of my day. You see, I grew up on Harry Potter. It was the first novel I read for enjoyment and that made me want to read more! So here I am almost 23 years old and I am excited that the library has HP71/2. Call me a nerd if you will. I've come to accept it as truth. 

On a side note, I am still procrastinating on my holiday knitting. I am going to go watch HP71/2 now. Night Night, Don't let the bed bugs bite! (They have those here in Kentucky. I thought that they were about as common as polio but I was wrong.)

Rescue Plans

So Aaron's Christmas present or part of it (see previous post for why knitwear is not a sufficient present for him.) is going to be a pair of socks. Socks are the one thing that he will indeed wear because he is weird about socks. He never goes barefoot ever. Hates it. So I figured that socks were safe as a present for him. However, because of my lack of planning or rather my procrastination, I have yet to finish the first one. In an effort to get all presents knit by Christmas I am going to prioritize based on expected knit time and try to divide my time appropriately. If I can manage to be organized maybe I can still get all the things done that I want to. Organization is going to save me (hopefully) where my procrastination would have been my downfall. So anyways, on to Aaron's socks.

I absolutely adore Cookie A’s socks and my first ever sock will be Wanida from Sock Innovation. I keep starting and ripping it out and repeat. Just couldn't decide at first. I haven't done anything that I consider as challenging as a this before and something about socks is intimidating. But I have made more progress on these socks for Aaron than on any other so far.

The real reason for starting a sock is because I had a retarded moment with the Shoulder Warmer for my mom and was so apalled by my idiocy that I just had to sit it down and back away slowly. I realized though that I hadn’t noted what changes I made. I made the sleeves shorter by a lot and more fitted. In case anyone wants to know:

I cast on for an extra small and knit like the pattern said up until the sleeves (which had 58 sts at the beginning of the sleeve). I knit the sleeves on a US 8 16″circ. I made 2 decreases every other row. I did this for 18 rows ending with 40 sts. Then I began the k2p2 rib for 9 rows and bound off. Although I will note that I definitely need to use a more stretchy bind off because it will be unwearable if my mom gains the tiniest bit of weight. Probably going to re-do the bind off once I decide what a more appropriate one would be. Suggestions are welcome.

flat pic of the shrug

Holiday Knitting or "OMG I have to finish a scarf, socks, an earflap hat and 3 pairs of mittens by when?!"

As Christmas draws nearer my stress increases exponentially. I am pretty sure that everybody is familiar with this feeling but if you are a knitter (or anybody who gives people handmade presents) then you know what I mean when I say I am FREAKING! It is really hard to give someone one sock for Christmas and say that the other one is coming. Somehow the effect of "Oh wow I just got really awesome handmade socks!" is not the same. It's hard to be grateful for one sock unless you are my grandpa who only has one foot anyways. It is also hard to give someone their scarf still attached to the needles unless you preface it with "I am going to need that back until I'm done" (which, btw, is not what you ought to be saying when giving a present). So unless you are rich - unlike me - and can afford to buy everyone the bestest gift ever, then the best way to show you care is with something you spent hours and hours making, not to mention all the frustrations that are inherent to knitting ( i.e. dropped stitches, inability to count to 4 repeatedly, and so on (you noticed that I like parenthesis?)). If you were smart - unlike me - and you planned ahead by starting to knit Christmas presents in July or better yet January then there is no reason for you to read further because you are obviously much more together than I am. Starting early is always my plan until I go to Ravelry to pick out patterns and find a million other things I want to knit. Then inevitably I think, "I can wait a bit before I start knitting Christmas presents. I have all year!" As you may have noticed though, it is December 5th. I haven't finished a single present. Now before I go on to tell you what I should have done and how I plan on salvaging the situation I want to point something out that might seem a bit callous but well here it is:

Don't spend your valuable time and no small amount of sanity knitting for someone who does not understand the little part of yourself you put into every little stitch. Now before you freak out about my insensitivity (You can ignore this warning if you already know where I am going with this) consider something: Will they see your gift for what it is and treat it with the care you expect or is it going to get thrown into the washing machine or *gasp* the dryer? I can attest to the frustration one feels upon seeing your gift   in a condition that is beyond wearable or at least doesn't look good enough to wear anymore. For example: This is a before pic of some mitts that I made for my fiance. 

Now here is what they look like:

It looks like that because he didn't bother to put his mitts on before his jacket which has velcro on the sleeves. He no longer receives knitwear as his present. It saved our relationship.  He no longer feels obligated to wear them thus feeling guilty and I no longer want him to feel guilty for never wearing something I spent FOREVER on. (This was one of my first completed knitting projects and everyone knows how special those are.) Aaron is not an artistic person. He does not create things. Therefore he does not truly know my pride in those darn mitts. I try not to hold it against him. But there is always that brief moment when I see them shoved in the top of his closet and feel a twinge of disappointment. No longer knitting for him, or at least less frequently, - he is my fiance after all -  saves me that grief and saves his conscience. He got a video game this year and we are both much happier. For me that means more time knitting for everyone else like my BFF who I saw in a picture wearing a scarf I made her and which, by the way, still looks more reasonably worn. Which by my standards that means its impeccable. So the moral of the story is don't knit for people who don't want to be knit for.

And now because I am a procrastinator I will finish this post and my plans tomorrow.