About Me

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Wife and mother who has occasional fits of creativity!

Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year, A New FO

It's finished! My Charlotte Sweater, from Rowan A Season's Tale. I thought it would be a little fancy because I would need to wear it over a nice high waisted skirt or dress because it it styled quite short, but I was happy to throw it on over an extra-long t-shirt and some cute jeans. I stll have to weave in some ends and I really did not block it, but now that it is together I will give it a nice press. I really should have read the directions that said, "Pressing garment pieces will make seaming up neater and more professional looking", or something to that effect. I basically disregarded that part, since I have a tendency to plow ahead without reading carefully when it looks self explanatory (I figured I have seamed up my share of sweaters; how different could it be?). Well, I discovered that I should continue with the blocking plan from now on- When I went to seam the tiny shoulder seams together, they were quite sloped instead of straight, which I would have straightened out with blocking. I also had some confusion as to which part of the necklines were the side front vs. the front, and the side backs vs. the back when picking up and knitting the neck ribbing. I probably could have defined that much better had I blocked. I was just being a little lazy because the pieces were looking exactly like the book to me! So, I figured I was in great shape.

Well, here are the stats on the lovely thing:

Charlotte Sweater from Rowan's A Season's Tale, scoop neck version.
Size 38 bust-(second largest size)-I didn't want it to be too shrunken looking.
Yarn- Kid Classic (recommended yarn)in Crushed Velvet.
Knit on size 7 and 8 needles, a real mishmash of straight Takumi Bamboo needles (8)and old fashioned metal (7), then the neck ribbing was done with a size 7 Bryspun circular.
Start date: October 2006. I did all four pieces and realized on EVERY piece that I had not changed needles after ribbing OR that I had used size 8 for the entire thing. I frogged the ENTIRE thing and it nearly became a jacket. After a little bit of that, and the realization I was going to have to design a color scheme from mail order sources, I scrapped that idea and went back to the Charlotte!
Picked up again: November 2007. Finished: December 30, 2007.
Other modifications: I sewed the entire sweater together and picked up the neck ribbing stiches and knit in the round, so I had to add a few stiches evenly around. It took me a minute to realize that the directions wanted me to leave an edge open and work back and forth, but I was already forging ahead. I only knit 10 rows before, I was quite impatient to finish. I am usually so patient! The second picture shows a little bit of how tiny the shoulder seams are and how nice it looks.
All in all, a really easy, really cute little sweater and I now have something that looks as the Rowan designer Kim Hargreaves intended it to look because it looks just like the picture!
Anything I would do different- maybe shorten the sleeves, even more although they are a nice shortish full length, I do like the versatility.
I will leave you with a look at our Christmas lights, they are coming down tomorrow! Hope you had a delightful holiday season! We are finishing ours with some serious snacks and some classic 1889 Coca-Cola bottles (and perhaps a little champagne, too!).
For tomorrow, I am ready to put only healthy food in us and also watch the portions! I am looking into the best plan possible for losing 20 pounds. It has really crept up on me this year and I don't want everyone who hasn't seen me in a while to go, "Dang! she has put the weight on!". I have never consciously gone on a diet or program before, I have -always- been on the "Eat as much as possible, at all times" plan...that is definitely NOT going to work anymore. Kind of helpful talking about it! I am going to focus on my energy level and not stuffing myself. I want to look great for my fortieth this summer! Wish me luck, I will need it!

Happy New Year, may it bring you renewed energy and inspiration! Keep it going and don't give up!

Friday, December 28, 2007

White Space

There is white space appearing in the house. Beautiful and glorious room to live in! could it be that there will be all kind of un-claustrophobic spaces for our children to play? Could it be that I am actually getting all of my stuff in order?

That is what I want, I am moving toward it!

I have acquired 2 books recently that have been helpful with my general direction- Lead or Get Off the Pot! and The Secret. Point taken with both of those. There is no need to focus on fear and what ifs, just create what you want and get out and pursue it, and use some common sense while you are doing it. I could possibly lead my children while I am at it, that is good practice!

I especially love parting with projects that will never be completed. I just feel so unburdened. Sometimes I think about stuff and I puzzle that I actually got rid of it. I just assure myself that whatever it was,it was not in it's prime and I know when it is time to get rid of stuff. Time to go finish some things now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

All It Takes Is Time

Hey Everybody,

I am actually working in the semi-uncluttered office, and stuff is leaving every day! Also, things are picked up on the main floor and the rest is definitely tackle-able. Wow, I am feeling great.

A big plus that got my blood pumping today is Rob's and my tenth wedding anniversary!! Thank you, sweetheart, for always being there and supporting me in everything that I do. We have had a wonderful 12 years together, and now we are enjoying our boys so much as well. Thanks for the Dyson, too, it really rounds out my life in the creature comfort department. I had fun fiddling with it today, I love it!

In general, I am feeling great about life. My Year End reflections include feeding my family and self more fresh healthy fruits and vegetables, getting more sleep and being less hard on myself. Remembering that others have their own worries, too, I am not the only one- so I should just get out there and forget myself more! Remember that I can be of help and be in more of a readiness mode.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Illusion of Progress

Oh my! It looks as though I will be getting super happy today, only to get super ultra crushed by my inability to keep things up. I am cleaning the office. I have come to terms with the fact that the tininess of the room is not going to support the power positioned desk and the sheer amount of crap that I own. That means the crafts have to go away from here, is will be strictly business in here, Mom's business business and personal business. Then there is Daddy, relegated to his teeny tiny corner closet. Actually, he really likes it. He has made his custom built-ins, filled it perfectly with his stuff (it fits an amazing amount), and I think it is a nice man cave for him.

It is such a cleansing experience to put away files and throw away paper I don't need anymore! I am also trying out the idea of only keeping out things I want for decoration and nothing else. I am actually quite optimistic this time, even though my past should make me more cautious. I seem to be always in the middle of a reorganization project. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I would just love to be feeling carefree about the office and our clutter in general! I just can't get stuff out of storage like I do. Plus, I am not certain that everything that I own has a specific home. I need to work diligently to ensure that everything does! Oh, I wonder how long all of this will take? I have been at it for about 3 hours now, with no end in sight. As much as I would like to be creative,I just want to go with the flow and having a clean and organized space will make everything better!

But then, there is the rest of the house to think about. Yikes.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bringin' It Indoors

We are putting up our tree today- Hooray! That means 'getting it out of the closet upstairs'. Yes, we have an artificial tree. We found a skinny Martha Stewart one that fits our room perfectly. It is pre-lit and alleviates a lot of problems, from watering the tree and spilling and leaking, to tangled malfunctioning lights (we have plenty of those outdoors), and the disposal of the tree afterwards and the proper cleaning out and storing of the tree stand. One time when we lived in Woodland, I think the yucky tree stand stood out on the porch for months. It was inexcusable and I have no idea why it happened but we always seem to have some type of a stumbling block with getting that tree stand put away. We are just not great finishers on those extra things. We also have one of those scary wall heaters that look like they could dry out a tree just like that and I don't need the worry that our tree will be a fire hazard. It has actually enhanced our Christmases the last few years by making it a little easier to get all of the trimmings out. I actually love my fake tree.

Don't get me wrong. I love fresh cut. We used to get tree cutting permits every year and go up the 503 towards Cougar and cut ours right out of the woods and bring home, it was awesome. I have a great memory of when we did this in my '69 VW bug, and it was right after the roof rack blew off the top of the car going down the I-5 (!), so the only way we could secure the tree was to close the doors and tie it down to the top of the car and pass the rope though the windows. when we were done, thinking we were so clever, it suddenly dawned on us that we couldn't open the car doors. So in the 30-degree snow, we had to climb into the bug throught the windows Dukes-of-Hazzard style and drive like that about 30 miles home! Good times.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Picking Up the Pieces

Have I ever mentioned our house is TINY? I was thrilled to downsize a little over two years ago. Going down two flights to change the laundry was an enery drainer and now it is in the kitchen, which my husband despises and I love. It seems very European and functional. I found that 2400 square feet on three floors was a lot of space for toys and junk to be spread around. Now I find that toys and junk spread across 1100 square feet is difficult at times, and I honestly do not know how many toys got out in the main living area but it is just crazymaking. I am so not made for 3 loud little boys sometimes. They are cute and fascinating and just like me and all, but, gawd, get them out of my environment sometimes! I am inundated at all times with noise, mess, and pilfering of office supplies. They are all so industrious and busy and really love the art and will use anything to make it. Time to go throw a bunch of stuff on the table for them to go to town with so that I can knit, cook, surf the Internet and watch Project Runway reruns all at once. All the while netting $4000.00 a month at my home based part time job. At least I seem to be doing a good job at that right now, I should be poised to make a good 3K for December(4K a month was my goal a year and a half ago, I figured it would take about 2 years, I am on track). The only thing I changed was to watch my bank account carefully so I don't get my expenses screwed up (but I will eventually, probably...keep being careful! Don't buy yarn!), and also doing all of my follow up. Pretty much tackling the list every day. I also needed to include cleaning up on that list. I got Nicky some new shoes today, one is a pair of pirate slip ons you can see them in the corner of the second pic. He had his holiday portrait today!
I could do a little more photo styling for you, but I think that evoking sympathy rather than envy is more what I am going for in my blog. The envy I gan get later for 'when I finally get it all together'. I so want to be a tidy and perfect gay man. I decided I was indeed a fan of Victoria Beckham when she was quoted as saying, "I am so camp. I am such a gay man trying to get out." I didn't know any woman thought that way. Does anyone else envy tidy, fit, fashionable, talented gay men? I sure do, sometimes their lives seem simple and fun. We all know it is not good to envy, but isn't it great to admire?