Knitting as Therapy

Through the Woods

January is such a blah month. I read something recently that made me giggle, it read " January is the worst month! You're fat and broke from Christmas, it's cold and dark 24/7, you're paler than ever, it's just such a struggle", I tend to agree with that statement. It is a hard month. The January blues! Couple that with the sadness of my miscarriage and I have turned into a complete #itch the past month.  I try to be good. I really do. But, I cannot help myself when the blues hit, I just want to crawl into bed and stay in there forever. 

January blahs

Thankfully, January has a day off in there so I was able to stay home and simply "be". I gave myself the gift to knit for me. To do something for myself. I don't knit for myself often as I don't really have time to grab a pattern and knit and enjoy it. Most of the time, it is a matter of sitting down and figuring out instructions and writing out the pattern for the looms. Not this time. I simply sat down with pattern in hand and I knitted. I knitted for 3 afternoons/evenings. It was most pleasant. A feeling that I had forgotten, a feeling of getting lost in the process and seeing the magic appear. 

First, I knitted the cute Quendi hat by Irina Anikeeva. I totally love the cables. I do wish it wasn't so long in the ribbing section. I believe it is meant to be a slouchy hat, but I don't do really like slouch hats, at least not with cables in them. This one was worked with Malabrigo worsted--super soft and lovely! 

Quendi Hat

My other project, which I have been waiting since 2014 to get a chance to knit was the Through the Woods hood. I am in love with this hood. I made one winter of 2014 in a red color and it is one of my absolute favorite accessories. I have been meaning to knit one in a charcoal gray but I have not had the time, until this last weekend. I casted for it on Sunday night and finished it Monday evening. It simply flies through the needles!My Nyahbelle is here modeling the cute hood. And because she is uber cute, I couldn't decide on "just" one picture. 

 

Through the Woods 3

Through the Woods 2

Through the Woods 4

Through the Woods Back

I would like to knit another hood, but I want it with Celtic cables, but I haven't found one with Celtic Cables. I could design it myself but that means work so instead, I'll wait until someone else designs it so I can simply sit down and knit. 

This weekend was one of those in which I finally realized the wonderful gift that I have learned...I can create with string. I can create basically anything that I can imagine. One day, I will have a cat and I will dress it, hahaha. 


Five Socks Sampler

Socks 010

My last sample test knit included making 5 sockies. At first, I thought to myself 5 socks, who would want only 5 socks, but it works great for me as I have about 6 socks downstairs waiting for a mate to be knitted. I loved knitting these as it provided me with a little bit of everything, including knitting socks from the toe up. I don't know why but I find knitting them toe up to be a weird way to knit socks, it was a challenge at first but by the time the second toe up sock came along I had the technique down, except I realized a little too late that it called for a swirl toe, so I had to rip it out again, and again, and again. I love doing sample knits, it allows me to learn new techniques that I wouldn't try on my own and it also allows me to simple sit down and knit :).

Collage

 


Destashing some yarn

In an effort to clean up my mess downstairs, I am having a mini-destash of my beloved yarn.Everything has been stored in a clean environment--no pets, no smoke.

Prices include shipping within the US via Priority mail.

Paypal only please. Contact me via email.

Click on any of the pictures to get more in depth detail about the yarns.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky. 6 skeins: $40

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky

Sublime Aran: 8 skeins, $50

Sublime Aran

Inca Gold by Berroco: 6 skeins: $42

Inca Gold by Berroco

Cuzco by Berroco: 8 skeins $60

Cuzco by Berroco: 8 skeins

Check the rest of it at my destash at flickr page...lots more. 

Yarnsale


Baby Hats

I have been busy these past few days, taper around here usually means extra time for knitting. I mean, what is a girl to do if she can't be outside running or biking or swimming, the only alternative left is knitting (yeah, I could clean the house too but I am not going to).

Two babies were born in the neighborhood on May 5th and I just had to knit a little something for them. One of the hats is not pictured as I gave it away before I could snap a picture (actually, I took a picture but it was with my phone and it turned out craptastic--the picture, not the hat).

My favorite little model is wearing the little hats--they are supposed to fit a newborn, baby C is now two months getting close to three so they fit a little snug around his little noggin.

First up: the Two by Twos stripes:

  Straightstripes
Baby C is such a good baby model! He just sleeps and covers his little face :). I made two of this pattern, one of them has brown and blue the other has gray and blue stripes.

Next: the Slanted Stripes: 

  SlantedStripes

Patterns: They are my own patterns. I would need to sit down and write them down exactly, I have a vague idea of what I did...so just give me a couple of days...years...centuries and I'll get them done. :). For my loomy friends, these were needle knitted but I'll try to write something similar for the looms.

  SlantedStripes2
One last picture...he was waking up....he is so blooming adorable! I love you baby C.

  SlantedStripes3


An FO & QOW!

Baby Cory with his little sweater

It took me a little while to finish this beauty but it is finally done. I started it the week before baby C was born and now two months later, I finished it. It fits him perfectly! I just hope he doesn't outgrow it too soon.

The pattern is Get Ziggy by Anny Rail. I used Sublime yarn in a dark charcoal color--it makes a very soft garment for baby :). This is my second Get Ziggy and just like the first time, I loved it!

Today's quote is something that I needed to read and keep in my head for a little bit: "A goal without a plan is just a wish".

I am working on something right now, basically getting certified in all sorts of fitness training so I can one day become a superb instructor, like my mentor Michelle (she is the fitness director at Golds). There are a lot of certifications that I need to get and I am going to have to get my ducks in a row if I want to get it all done before the end of the year.

But first, my to-dos for this year: Ogden Marathon, Boise 70.3, Top of Utah Marathon, and crossing fingers if I get in, St. George Marathon, plus all the tiny little races I entered.

The quote of today is helping me focus on my goal, it is telling me--"keep your eye on the goal and work towards it. Kick the ball and go after it and don't stop until it hits that net!"



Drilling it!

I am no Michael Phelps for sure, but I think I am getting the hang of the entire "gliding" thing, now if I can just get the idea of the catch, I think I can be a bit faster. My body is getting used to the rotation and breathing while rotating, rather than sticking my head to the side while my body is facing down. It is not easy for sure and it is going to be something that I am going to have to work on for a long time but it is something that I can fix.

I have to say that the first day that I went to the Master's Swim class, I came home deflated and ready to give up on the entire swimming thing but I think I am getting my mojo for swimming back. I just need to train my head to love drills. Drills are a good thing, it helps our body remember the proper technique and with proper technique I can become efficient.

The mail brought in something that cheered me up too, the last catalog from KnitPicks where one of my latest sample test knits appears on page 10. I knitted the gorgeous knee-high Sayonara Socks. The pattern is quite simple and once you work one repeat of the stitch pattern it is really easy to remember the rest. I had a bit of a problem with the decreases but after contacting the designer, we found out that the book has an errata, but if you have knitted at all, you will find the error easy to fix. I have to admit that these socks were very difficult to mail out as I wanted to keep them for myself. 

SayonaraSocks


Tired or Sick?

Nopatternscarflette I think I am getting sick or over training or both. I have had headaches for about a week now and they don't go away. I am tired all the time and get upset quite easily...I have been sleeping in a lot just to catch up on some rest and see if that improves my mood but to no avail. I have been chugging the water too just in case my headaches are hydration related.

My training has been shady this week, I have gone but not really been there all the time. Today for example I was scheduled for a 4 mile run, 1hr bike ride, and some weight training. All I got done was the 1hr bike ride! It was 6pm and I was starving and I knew that if I went to run I wouldn't eat til about 1hr later. It was my fault for being unprepared and for skipping lunch too. But, I guess tomorrow is a new day and I will try again, unfortunately, tomorrow brings another Masters Swim session....ugh!

Despite my terrible mood, I did sit down on Monday to knit a little something. I have had a skein of Tilli Tomas Rock Star yarn for the longest time and I didn't know what to do with it. One skein doesn't stretch very far and I just couldn't bear to do anything silly with it. At the end, I sat down and opened one of my favorite stitch pattern books and created a little something. The one skein of Tilli Tomas wasn't enough but I found a gorgeous Blue Sky Alpaca cotton to go nicely along with the no-pattern scarflette. The little scarflette is super soft and the scarf curls around just perfectly. It is not a big ticket item but it brings some color to the wardrobe without being too bulky. 

Out of my head pattern:

Materials (Just eyeballing the yarn, I don't have exact amounts)

  • Size 8 needles.
  • 1 Skein of Rock Star Tilli Tomas Yarn
  • About 80 yards of some contrasting yarn in same yarn weight. 
Directions

Cast on 360sts with Tilli Tomas yarn

Row 1: (right side) Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times; rep from * to the end.

Row 4: Knit

Repeat Row 1 with Tillit Tomas yarn. Join the new yarn and Repeat Row 2-4 with this new yarn.

Next row:*k2tog; rep from * to the end of row.

Next row: *k2tog; rep from * to the end of row. Cut the yarn and work the Bind Off with the Tilli Tomas yarn. 

Tip: I find placing stitch markers every 18 stitches helpful to work the pattern on Row 3. 

I wanted to share another pretty something that graced our home for a little bit. Hubby made this firetruck  for his school when he finished the firefighting program. Isn't it cool! I love it. It took him a lot of hours to put it together but I think it was well worth it. Definitely, a one of a kind gift.

Firetruck


Donate to Knitters Without Borders and Win a Pair of Socks

Light Bulb moment!!! I know what to do with the socks!

Let's help those in need by donating to Doctors without Borders! Doctors without Borders is an organization that goes and helps all around the globe. Right now, they are working hard in Haiti to alleviate the pain and devastation. Let's help!!!

Knitters without Borders was created by the Yarn Harlot in an effort to raise funds for Doctors without Borders. Knitters can make a huge difference in this world. So far, knitters have raised $834, 217!!! The goal is $1,000,000! Let's reach the goal and help those in need.

Donate to Knitters Without Borders, any amount (scroll to the middle of the page to get to the link to donate, or just click on this link MSF United States to donate).

Let the Yarn Harlot know by dropping her a note at her email address (kwbATyarnharlotDOTca) that you donated so she can update the tally, then come and tell me in the comments section that you donated. I don't need to know the amount, but if you want to tell me, please go ahead.

Deadline: midnight February 15, MST.

Go donate. Any amount will be greatly appreciated. 

On February 16th, I will write your name on a piece of paper and let one of my children draw a name out of a hat. The name that is chosen will win the pair of socks.

Now for the sock specifications.

They fit a size 6.5 US women foot, will probably fit a size 6.

Yarn used: Sweet Georgia (one of the most sought after yarns!). Color: It has a little cream, green, blues. 

Knitted on size 1.5 needles.

Socks


Downtime...

Socks

Training was supposed to kick off on Monday, I was good and started the week off right. I lifted weights, did my spin class and a Body Pump Class. Tuesday came and I was good again, I knew I had a doctor's appointment at 9:30am so I woke up early went to the gym to put in 2000 yards at the pool, I was a good trainee and put in 2150. After my swim, I went for a 5 mile run which was completed at a pace of 8:45min/mile.

My training was on track, then 9:30 arrived and I got to my doctor's appointment. It was just a check up on this dumb cyst I have had on my back for a year. She looks at it and says "well, we can take it out right now, it will take 15 minutes tops!" The dilemma was presented: take it out now or wait a full year and get it out during off season. I calculated and figured that season is just starting and I prefer to get things done sooner rather than later. So under the knife I went and I got my first stitches. 32 years old and my very first stitches.

My back hurts like hell and I can move very little without making it hurt. It feels like a truck dumped a ton of rocks on a single little spot. I am sure I have a bruise the size of Texas. The worst is yet to come though,  I have a big @$$ band-aid back there that needs to come off and I am sure tears will be shed when I tell hubby to rip it off, perhaps I should call my doctor for a sedative before I rip it out.

Anyways, my training is now on hold for 10 days. I am not allowed to swim for any reason whatsoever, less I risk infection. I cannot lift weights, this by itself is killing me as I love lifting weights. I can bike and run but I have to take it easy for at least 48 hours to allow the cut to heal a bit and I don't rip out the stitches. Taking it easy is difficult. How do you take days off without feeling guilty and feeling the training slip away? To pass the time, I have been hanging around in Tri forums and websites trying to learn as much as I can...at least in theory.

Another way to pass the time, knitting! I pulled these sockies out and I finally finished the second sock. (I know, it took me almost a whole year to finish the poor mate). Now, I don't know what to do with them. I don't wear any of my knitted socks....weird, but I don't want to ruin them and frankly I can't wear them to run or to train so I'll have to see what I do with them...any ideas?


Workouts, Fears and Knits

Since I signed up all I can think about is the long arduous 70.3 miles: the swim, the bike, the run. I keep finding bumps where I may break and not be able to get up. The run which I thought would be the easiest, now I am thinking that it may not. I can run 13 miles, I know I can, but can I run 13 miles without music, especially after being alone for 4+ hours on the bike. I think I may turn into one of those loony bins who will be singing at the top of her lungs just to keep moving forward. Now the bike, how about if I get lost. I have never ridden by myself, I always have a friend with me. The swim, crap, this part is where it gets scary. How about if I get hit in the face and I get a bloody nose, or worse, I get clunked out, will I drown. Then the next big thing, a wetsuit. I don't own a wetsuit. I have to start looking into getting one and practicing open water swims. In the Utah tundra that's going to mean freezing my butt not to mention looking like a whale in the process.

So many things to think about that I didn't have a chance to think about before. I am double thinking this entire issue...I can't back out now. I am just going to have to buckle down, strap myself to the horse and ride until the show ends. Gosh, I am not feeling at all secure at this moment.

To distract me, my KnitPicks catalog came and I can finally show you one of the knits that I completed a few months ago. It was a fun distraction, the picot cuff, then the gorgeous purples! The colorwork repeat was a bit tricky to remember but once I got the first sock done the second was easy. The little flowers are easy and they truly make the sock! My lovely socks are on page 19 of the Colorwave catalog.

KPSample DSC07762

Lastly my weekly workout report: 13 total workouts. Not bad for an off season week.

Week2

The breakdown is as follows:

46 miles total

Run: 10

Cycle: 36

Lifted weights 4x this week, three times on my own, 1 Body Pump class, 2 Turbo Kick classes.

Goals for this week: hit the pool at least twice, preferably three times. 

Another goal: quit pushing myself down about the 70.3. I need to start believing that I can do it.


Habitat Hat

When the white fluffy stuff comes down from the sky it sends a subliminal message to my brain saying: it is time to knit some hats! Last week, we received our very first snowstorm, the mountains had been covered for awhile but it had not come down to our elevation yet. However, when I woke up one morning, snow was all around, in one day we received close to two inches of snow, all of it melted but not before it send me searching for my yarn and needles and thus my first Winter 2009 knitted item came to life.

Out of lovely Malabrigo and size 7 and 8 needles, my second Habitat hat was born. The Habitat Hat is an original design by Brooklyn Tweed, he has some other gorgeous designs that I want to knit! The beige/cream/tan color one was the one I made last year, the blue one is the one I finished this week. I have some more Malabrigo coming my way, hoping to make another Habitat in a dark Navy.

HabitatHatsCollage
 


Yarn Destash Fundraiser

You have probably heard of having one year of food storage in your house in case of an emergency. Well, I took that one too seriously but instead of storing food, I stored yarn. I have so much of it and I know that I won't be using it anytime soon that I have decided to clear out most of it. I am clearing my craft room out to make it Nyah's playroom and to also raise money to pay for my entry fees into cycling/running events for this season.

PS: If you live around here, stop by my house and pick up a box of odds & ends of yarn that I have collected over the years. If no one takes it, I will have to throw it in the garbage.

Hop on over to the Destash Page to check out all the yarns that I am destashing...I will be adding more during the day as time permits. There will also be some looms posted as well as books, knitting books.


Relaxing

AngeeSocks Angeedetail

Saturday morning, my legs were shot, I had finished running 9 miles on Thursday and then Friday I decided to do leg work at the gym. What I thought as a great idea, resulted in my legs being completely exhausted. Saturday morning, as I got out bed the only thoughts were of me staying in bed all day long. The constant reminder at the back of my head kept hammering my upcoming half marathon on May 16th. As I struggled out of bed and finally to make a move for the training ahead, I looked out the window only to find that Mother Nature had thwarted my plans of my outdoor 6 mile run. Falling from the sky were big dollops of snow, I say dollops because they were more rain than snow. I shivered and climbed back in bed and stayed there until noon.

At noon, I got out of bed and decided to put my "big girl panties on" and climb on my treadmill aka dreadmill. 5.5 arduous miles on the forsaken thing were all I could take. I so hate the darn thing. I love it because it got me started running but I hate its monotony and that it makes even the shortest distance feel like a marathon mentally. With legs shaking, I got off the thing and although they had been sore before I began, to my surprise I found that I was a bit limber and not  as stiff as when I began. Training for this half marathon has been harder than last year. Despite the fact that I was fatter last year and less in shape, Mother Nature gave me better weather to train last year than this year. But, I believe that everything will be okay....I will survive the upcoming half and with a little effort, I hope to be able to get a new PR.

 

Since I couldn't move much from my soreness, I sat on the couch for most of Saturday afternoon. As I sat, I began knitting a pair of socks. Not for work. Not for a gift. But just for plain fun. I grabbed some of my favorite sock yarn, SweetGeorgia and I casted on for Angee, a sock pattern from Cookie's new book Sock Innovation. As I began knitting, I lost myself in the movement of my hands and became entranced in the repetitive motion. My legs were getting the needed rest and my mind for the first time in months was getting a break from all the work that it had been doing. Blessed bliss!

Bowling

Late in the evening, the kiddos were both antsy and wanted to get out and do something. They also don't do very well with cold weather and feel like caged cats inside our house. They crave movement and a way to spend their energy. We called our friends and packed the kiddos  in the car and headed to the local fun place for kids, called the Fun Park. We took little Nyah bowling for the first time in her life and I relished the minutes I spent showing her how to roll the bowling ball. As you can imagine, her little arms have very little strength and the ball took awhile to reach the pins but each time it reached them, we made sure we all cheered for her. Bryant was in the zone there, he loves sports and he always gives his 100 percent. He did fairly well with bowling but the next activity was his and his alone. Rollerblading!

Skating

Rollerblading was intense to say the least. My legs ached but I wanted to be there for my son and daughter so I got the skates on and got on the rink. Bryant needed little help, even when he fell, he just got up and kept going and going and going. Nyah didn't like the activity as much and decided to go and play at the slides instead, our friend Sarah took her and Sam and I were able to stay skating with Bryant. As I watched my son, with sweat streaming down his face, I wondered at his strength and his never ending amount of energy. Even when he fell (and he fell many times), he just dusted his little jeans, checked his hands, and kept going. If only I had his energy and his determination. He has such a great future ahead of him, we just need to be there to point him in the right direction. I so enjoyed watching him do his best. As we took our skates off, he showed me where the skates had rubbed his skin raw, all around his little calves. I told him concerned that he should have stopped and he said to me with conviction, "a little hurt is not going to make me stop Mom." He is his father's son, determined! Little Nyah wanted to stay and keep playing but once 10pm rolls around we know that both, her and Bryant start getting crabby and need their sleep. We headed home and they had a little ice cream and went to bed. As I crawled into my own bed, exhausted from the day's activities, I couldn't help but smile. It had been a wonderful Saturday, filled with many things I enjoy: running, knitting, and the best part of it all: family and friends together.

Ourfamily


Glynis Socks, Sock Innovation Book

CookieA These socks are amazing! I was one of the lucky people who got to help Cookie A knit some of the sample socks for her book: Sock Innovation

The pattern is great! Easy to read and although the stitch pattern looks complicated, it is not. It is easy enough but yet it has enough lace to keep you interested and on the ball.

Like all of Cookie's patterns, you won't be disappointed with this one. It is well written, and the chart makes the lace section super simple.

 All the socks in the book are amazing! Hubby was even impressed, and it takes a lot for him to be impressed with knitted items. For the first time ever, he said "this book is great! those socks are nice looking!"

Pick up your copy from your local yarn shop or online. You won't be disappointed. Great patterns, well written with superb techniques!

I am already planning to cast on for Angee with some lovely SweetGeorgia Yarn.


SuperMail Monday!

BobandLaptop

My new *mini 9* and my new Ravelry T-shirt arrived here on Monday! I am super psyched. The MINI works beautifully and it will be perfect for the job I have to do--basically just my pattern writing. The Ravelry T-shirt is also so awesome--I wore it today and I even had a few compliments, all of them along the lines--you must knit or you must love knitting. I am glad that I got the t-shirt to support Ravelry and to let others know of my love for the fibery arts. Plus, Bob is just so cute amidst all that yarn...even if I wasn't a knitter I would still wear it.

Pictures: courtesy of my little Photographer: Boyo.


Mymini


Three FO's!

Children_2 

This weekend was jammed packed with activities. First let me tell you the most important, we went down to SLC and we visited my Brother-in-law, his wife was pregnant and due this month, As they opened the door, I asked when the baby was coming, but it had come already and we didn't even know! It was so great to hold my new little nephew. He is a beautiful, healthy, 7lbs boy. Welcome to the world little B! Sorry, no pics, but as soon as I get one, I'll share ;). He is darling!

BryantStitch's Surfer's Shack

Boyo brought home a paper from school for the Reflections 2008, WOW theme and he wanted to participate in the Arts category. With a time crunch of two days, he had to get creative. He picked up some scrap wood from Sam's shop (they are the middles of some of the sock looms) and he created a masterpiece: Stitch's Surfer's Shack! Check it out! He loves to create with his hands (takes after his Dad) and he loves to paint so this project is 100% Boyo Creativity.

Nyah A Christmas Tree

Little Nyah had a project of her own to do, create a Christmas Tree for her Choir class. Glitter and paint made the project super fun, a few star stickers and we have another masterpiece! She will be using this creation during a performance in December...we are so excited!

Habitat

Myself, I couldn't stand not having a non-cable project going and since recently I acquired a skein of gorgeous, to die-for, Malabrigo Worsted, I had to try out the Habitat pattern. The hat is gorgeous! I love it. I am in love with the yarn...must acquire more of it. I think Malabrigo Worsted will become my new staple yarn. It is not itchy, it provides great definition for cables and since it is wool it is warm. I love it! More pics of the hat later and more details too. Gotta run to dance class.

Hat


Published on One Skein Wonders Luxury Yarn Book!

Oneskein I am so happy to toot my own horn this day to let you know that one of my needle knit patterns was published on the new One-Skein Wonders Luxury Yarn book.

It is just a tiny little hat but I am just thrilled that they picked it to be a part of this beautiful collection of One-Skein Wonders. The picture of the hat is on page 31 and the pattern is spread on pages 174-175.

The book has patterns for scarves, shawls, hats, fingerless mitts, and other accessories, all just using 1 skein of luxurious yarn--you know, the kind that you are most likely to get just one to try out :). I love the book and not because my pattern is in there but because I see myself using it to create quick holiday presents.

Spread


Nyah Leggins Pattern

Leggins2_edited1Thanks for your interest in little Nyah's leggins. The pattern is ready and eager for you to use. It is needle knit, however, the pattern is easily adaptable to a knitting loom. You just need to use a loom with the number of specified pegs. The new Provo Craft Clips could come in handy to create the peg number needed. Also the Decor Accents WonderLooms or the AJALs could be used wonderfully.

Get your copy: Nyah Leggins PDF

Ravelry: Nyah Leggins

Enjoy!

ps: Chubbette has been updated