Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I Did Last Sunday

(from left to right: Megan, Mindy, Kim, & Kara)

I was just thinking the other day about how I've only known some of my closest friends for about a year now. Doesn't that seem weird? But seriously, it took me until I was in my 30s to realize who I was, put that person out there, and then make new friends. I'm talking specifically about my knitting friends. We have only been hanging out for a little over a year, and yet it feels as though we have known each other for a lifetime. That's what I call good friends.

So some of us knitting girls got together this past Sunday for a night of dining and dyeing at Mindy's. Mindy is our resident expert dyer. She even has an Etsy Shop at, where she dyes up awesome self-striping yarn with a Muppet theme.
Here's what the rest of us dyed:
Megan dyed some roving from a friend

Kara dyed some sparkly yarn

Kim dyed some bamboo roving

and I dyed some wool roving from Kim

Kim is our resident expert spinner (we need experts in all areas, right?) Apparently Kim has volunteered to spin up everyone's roving. Can't wait to see what they look like!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

My mania continues, and so my knitting ADHD does as well. First, though, a pic of me wearing Josephine. Didn't she turn out lovely? I wore her to Knit Night at Knitorious this past Wednesday, and had Mindy take a picture before we went.

I am diligently working on Elann's Voyager Lace Stole in Malabrigo Silky Merino, which I will be wearing as one of the bridesmaids in Mindy's wedding.

It takes me about 35 minutes to finish a 10 row repeat. I estimated that if I do a lace repeat every day, I should be done by October 3. As of today, I am already working on this coming Wednesday's repeat. I really worked a lot on it last night and this morning so I could finally join my fourth (and last) ball of yarn. I've been listening to my podcasts while knitting, which I really enjoy.

However, I keep getting distracted by casting on new projects. First came my second Rusted Root. You may remember the first one I knit I gave to my sister Cindy. I decided it turned out so well, I wanted to make one for myself! I had some Debbie Bliss Cathay in my stash. Even though I love the color and I think the Cathay looks beautiful once knit, I think it is a pain to knit with. I am finding that it is extremely splitty. I actually thought that about the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I used for Cindy's Misty Garden scarf as well. You'd think I'd have learned not to use Debbie Bliss. But I can't help it - it's so pretty!

The second project I casted on this week was the Rainy Day Socks. This pattern originally appeared in the now defunct MagKnits, but is now on the Knotions website instead. I'm using Earthly Hues Saplings in Peace, which I got from The Loopy Ewe. I guess I needed some instant gratification, and since these socks are knit in sportweight yarn, I'm definitely seeing results. Plus, I really needed something I could carry around in my purse, since I try to take knitting to my group every day. Although I should be working on the stole non-stop, it is getting a little too big to carry around in my purse. It's funny, everyone at group is always interested in what I am knitting, and a lot of them scold me when I'm working on something other than the stole!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dear Diary

So I've decided to change things up a bit here. I'll continue to blog about knitting and crafty stuff, I promise. But I'm also going to use this as a space to write about my Bipolar Disorder (BPD) as well. I really need a place to put some things down, and so why not share it with the Internet universe? Of course I will not take it personally if you skim right through the "Dear Diary" posts and go to the knitting pictures...

As some of you may know, I have been in a partial hospitalization program for the last 3 weeks. I had apparently been going downhill for a while, but pretty much refused to see it for what it was. I am one of those people who tries to ignore the problem, sometimes to the point of pretending it doesn't even exist. I am learning in my program that ignorance is not bliss when it comes to BPD. I had been missing work on a fairly regular basis (yes, at my new job,) and yet I kept thinking I was just being lazy or skipping simply because "I felt like it," rather than the real reason, which was "I couldn't get out of bed."

I know I have BPD, and have actually had the diagnosis for quite a few years. I've even been in and out of hospitals and treatment programs a few times. After each one, I'd feel better and rush back into life, totally ignoring what I needed to do to keep up with my disorder on a day to day basis. Let me state the obvious: it doesn't work that way.

Now I am in a program once more. It's actually a program I was in a few years ago, and I honestly learned so much about myself last time that I figured, sure, why not try it again? The difference now is that my primary focus is to accept that I have BPD. Acceptance is the key to managing my illness. Up to this point, I didn't accept it. I didn't want it. In fact, I hated it. So I chose to shove it as far down in me as possible so I wouldn't have to think about it every day. Interestingly enough, it came up with such force that it knocked me down. I literally reached a point where I could not function any more. Thank god for good friends who are understanding and supportive, who were willing to sit with me on the phone, in the ER, and at the evaluation for the program. I am so lucky to have such great people in my life.

My meds had been changed 4 times since I started the program, and my moods have been all over the place. I think it is getting better, but since I've been sick for so long, it's difficult to know what better should really feel like. I'm still having moments of depression, and struggling through simple things. I'm also still experiencing some mania, like I have this weekend. I honestly could not sleep last night without taking a pill to relax. I feel anxious and on over-drive tonight. I was wondering on Friday, when I first felt the mania setting in, if it really was mania. (Sometimes I question if I can really tell the difference between happy and manic.) I even thought to myself that if it became uncomfortable by Sunday, I would know it was true mania. And now here I am, uncomfortable. I have this urge to do a million things, especially to be creative. So here I am, typing feverishly. I just casted on a new knitting project. I'm ready to pull out all of my beads and make jewelry. I want to learn to weave. And I have so many ideas for holiday presents for my friends that I want to work on. It's 11:15 at night people! I need to be going to bed. And yet I can't seem to calm down. So I thought I'd write to you all...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

FOs - A Follow Up to The First Installment of WIPs

I have finished objects to show you! I think posting about them really worked. It made me feel accountable to my knitting friends out there. Thanks for all of your encouragement!
I've been waiting to blog until I had a better picture of Josephine (maybe of me actually wearing her) but I can't seem to get that done. That's my perfectionism showing its ugly face. Perfectionism leads to procrastination, so I've been told (and so I've always proven.) So, enough procrastinating! Oh, and I gave the Jaywalker socks to my sister already. When she found out they were done, she had to have them! Guess I'll have to think about what else to knit her for Christmas...

Pattern: Josephine Top, Interweave Knits, Summer 2007

Time to Knit: April 21-July 29, 2008

Yarn: Elann Callista, Desert Rose, 7 skeins

Needle: US Size 3

Pattern: Jaywalker, by Grumperina
Time to Knit: April 14, 2007 - August 9, 2008
Yarn: Scout's Swag Superwash Fingering in Hot Fudge Sundae
Needle: US Size 1

Now I'm working feverishly on the Voyager Lace Stole for Mindy's wedding on October 19. I am exactly halfway done; just started my third of 4 balls today. I have estimated that I need to knit one pattern repeat (10 rows) each day in order to finish by October 3 and have time to block it. Unfortunately, I am already behind; I'm knitting Thursday's repeat, and today is Saturday. Oh so typical of me...

Monday, July 28, 2008

WIPs: The First Installment

I can hardly withstand the urge to cast on - it's driving me crazy. So I thought it would be a good idea to show you what all I really need to be working on, and maybe set some goals to finish what's already been started. Here's the first installment of the projects on my needles:

First, we have sweet Josephine.

My goal is to finish her by the end of next week. I just need to force myself to sit down and do it. I started her on April 21, 2008, and I absolutely flew through the knitting of this pattern. Until I got to the part where I have to pick up stitches. As you can see, I have the clips placed strategically showing me how many stitches to pick up in each section. I've even given it a shot a few times. But I keep screwing it up. Anyone want to pick up my stitches for me?

Second, I have my sister Cindy's pair of Jaywalkers.

I started these on April 14, 2007. How embarrassing is that? Mindy mentioned to me during Knit Nite last week that maybe I should pick them up again. They've been hibernating for a super long time; in fact, I can't remember the last time I worked on them. Until now. Here's the second sock , which I've been working on since last Wednesday. I am so proud! Thanks for the encouragement Mindy!

I'd like to finish the second sock by the end of August. Then I can decide if I want to save them for a Christmas gift, or give them to Cindy sooner. I've actually be contemplating knitting her something else as well for Christmas, using my Malabrigo in Azul Profundo. Blue has always been her favorite color. And I absolutely love knitting with Malabrigo.

Maybe the Dream in Color Shrug, or a cowl, mittens and hat. What do you think? Of course, starting something new for the sake of Christmas is ok, right?

See how quickly I get distracted?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh Heavens

My friend Mindy gives me a hard time because I use the phrase "oh heavens" quite a bit. For example, she told me her new roof is going to cost a ton of money, and I said "oh heavens." See how it's used? Anyway, I think it is appropriate for my post today as well.

I stopped in to visit Sheri at The Loopy Ewe yesterday after work. (Remember how I used to work there? That's the only downside to my new job - not being surrounded by yarn!) Anyway, Sheri has got to be the nicest person I know. She was kind enough to stay late so I could do a little birthday shopping for my friend Kim. (By the time I post this Kim will already have her gift, so I'm safe.) I wanted to get Kim some roving, as she is really taking off with the spinning thing. However, I know absolutely nothing about spinning, so I went to an expert. Sheri helped me pick out what I think is some beautiful Enchanted Knoll roving. (Checking out all the roving almost makes me want to learn to spin. Like I need another hobby.)

Here's where the "oh heavens" comes in. I might have also bought a couple of skeins of yarn for myself. Ok, might isn't really the right word. I just plain did. I haven't bought sock yarn in quite while, and being in the middle of all of the gorgeousness at TLE was too much of a temptation for me. The good thing is, I now have a good income and can allow myself some fun money (read: yarn allowance) again. So, I splurged. Oh heavens.

This first one is Pagewood Farm Alyeska, in the Mississippi Mud Colorway. This stuff is 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon. It is absolutely dreamy. For some reason I have been on a golden kick; I don't know if I'm thinking about Fall, or honey, or bees, or what, but this color is exactly what I was looking for.

And the second one is Creatively Dyed Yarns Luxury in the Cabin in the Woods Colorway. And guess what? It is also 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon. See a theme here?

(I wish I could figure out why this photo keeps flipping sideways. It did that in Flickr too; it's driving me crazy.)

As much as I am dying to start knitting both of these yarns, I am presently winning the struggle against the cast on monster. This is because I have a boat load of projects on the needles. Even so, the urge to cast on something new is about to drive me nuts. Casting on is my drug of choice, I suppose. I love the rush I get from starting something new, and for the first few days I can't get enough of that project. Once the newness (high) wears off, I have such an urge to start something else that it's almost ridiculous. Does anyone else know how I feel? I keep trying to justify it all by telling myself that it's ok to have a ton of WIPs and UFOs, but I can't seem to get rid of the guilt. And so I continue to fight my addiction...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alive & Kickin'

Hey everyone! Yep, believe the title. I am alive and in fact, doing very well. I'll try to write a little more often - I have so much to catch ya'll up on!

I left the yarn business and have gone back to social work, as of yesterday. I started a new job as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Counselor at Magellan Health Services. It is a fantastic job, albeit slightly overwhelming, with a fairly large learning curve. There is so much information to learn! But everyone there is wonderful, and I'm really enjoying being back in my profession. I enjoyed my time at both Hearthstone Knits and The Loopy Ewe, but my heart was calling me back to social work. Plus, a higher salary and benefits are simply what this single girl needs!

Speaking of being single, I have been hitting eHarmony hard the last few months. I can't even tell you how many dates I've been on, people I've met, dinners I've eaten. I feel a little trampy actually, but I am told that this is how you meet people, so I'm giving it my all. I have to admit, I have a few pretty crazy stories, but for the most part, it's been a lot of fun. Wish me luck - I'm so ready to meet someone special...

My 33rd birthday was earlier this month. Seriously, I think it was my best birthday ever. I not only got to celebrate the week before by going for Thai and drinks with about 12 of my friends, but then celebrated again the day of at Mindy and Eric's with a fantastic home cooked meal. Check out what we had for dessert:

Yes, that's us roasting marshmallows on candles at the dining room table! I once shared with Mindy and Kara that I used to roast tiny marshmallows on toothpicks on candles when I was younger. (One of my favorite treats!) Mindy thought it would only be appropriate to roast some on my birthday. We had originally planned to do it outside with a regular fire, but it just happened to be raining that night, so we tried it my old fashioned way. It looks to me like Mindy enjoyed it - what do you think?

Kara was also wonderful enough to bake German Chocolate cupcakes, which you can see in the foreground. So yummy!