Posted in life on September 11, 2013 |
2 Comments »
This is my absolute favorite time of the year. Fall is probably my favorite season and that transition period between summer (my least favorite season! SO HOT!) and fall just puts a permanent smile on my face (and a little spring in my step!). My first hint that fall is coming is the changing light. Have you noticed that? The shadows get longer. The color of the mornings and evenings is different. It’s hard to explain how it’s different but I notice it. And it gets me very very excited! Of course, the Mississippi heat has not relented yet but I know that’s coming soon because the light is changing!
This time of year I start thinking about weekends watching football, chilis and stews simmering on the stove, pumpkin in everything. Concerts in the park, open windows, chilly mornings. And of course knitting. It’s the start of knitting season! My hands start itching for a new, warmer project. Maybe a sweater. Maybe a blanket. It’s like unwrapping a gift! Ahh… fall… I’m glad you’re (almost) here.
This fall will be extra special because I have a new pattern coming out in early October. It’s the perfect shawl for this transition to colder days. Like a warm blanket to wrap yourself up in as you head out the door (but it’s not a blanket, it’s a shawl! So you won’t look like a homeless person!). It’s currently in the hands of my trusty test-knitters and I can’t wait for its debut. And it’s a fairly quick and simple knit. A good project for those evenings spent curled up on the couch watching TV. No concentration required.
I hope you’re as excited about the change in seasons as I am. Look for the changing light!
Read Full Post »
So I guess the title of this post could have two meanings. The first being Yay! Spring is here! The birds are back! The flowers are blooming! The second being the *chirp-chirp* of crickets as this blog has been very very quiet lately! Well, as for the latter, the past few months have been filled with ups! And downs. One big “up” (and my main timesuck the past couple of months) has been the planning and implementation of a yarn bombing in downtown Hattiesburg that we successfully pulled off this past weekend for the Spring Art Walk. The yarn bombing deserves its own blog post so stay tuned for that! It ate up a lot of yarn and I drank up a lot of coffee!
A big “down” happened in February as an F-4 tornado came through Hattiesburg and destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings (on my 36th birthday, no less!). Thankfully, no one was killed.
Taken Feb. 12, 2013 – two days after the tornado hit. This is at our local Red Cross (just 1/3 of a mile from our house). It was completely destroyed.
These were taken April 11, 2013 – two months after the tornado hit. Still a lot of clean-up and rebuilding left to do.
I think I went into a bit of a funk after the tornado. I didn’t really want to do anything! I didn’t knit. I didn’t crochet. I had gone out the morning of for a”birthday run” but didn’t lace up my shoes again until more than a week later. I wanted to limit my exposure to all of the devastation. It had wiped out most of the old beautiful trees in front of the university. It changed our city. But, life is really starting to move forward here in Hattiesburg. We are busying ourselves with outdoor concerts, art walks, festivals. Yarn bombings! Spring is definitely bringing new life to our city!
And of course, once I started running regularly again, my mood started to lift! Go figure! That, coupled with the warmer temps, made me long for my knitting needles and crochet hooks. It even made me crave a bit of sewing!
So I decided to embrace this newly awakened sewing urge and finish some quilt blocks I had been slacking on for a quilting bee (before really buckling down for all of my yarn bombing projects).
Spring also gifted me with a nice surprise this week! I received Patternfish’s April newsletter and was shocked to see that my Flower Market Shawl pattern made the Prime Minister’s list of favorite patterns for 2012! She narrowed her original three page list down to only 18 patterns! Her kind words about my pattern were the icing on the cake (and a bit of a “pinch me” moment)! It was definitely a great start to my week!
I hope that Spring has brought you a few lovelies as well! And maybe inspired you to pull out your sewing machine, knitting needles, crochet hooks, or that project that’s been languishing. It is definitely my most favorite season of the year. I just wish it lasted longer down here! It’s starting to feel like summer already!
Read Full Post »
Posted in life on December 31, 2012 |
4 Comments »
Scenery on a run at my parents’ house on Lake Murray in SC
I love this time of year. When one year comes to an end and another begins. It’s like getting a clean slate. My energy level increases. My “to-do” list gets longer (and I get excited about it!). I always wish that I could bottle this feeling of excitement, hope and motivation and partake of it whenever I’m feeling uninspired.
This is always my time to make lists. Resolutions. Goals. And I take time to reflect on the lists of last year.
My two main goals for 2012 were to become a runner and run a 5K. I’m happy to say that I did both! I really fell in love with running and I love being able to compete with myself and see improvements every day. And the new friends I’ve made through running have been invaluable!
Another goal I had was to release another pattern. I didn’t do that! I have a few things that I’m working on but never got any of them out there. I guess 2013 will be their year!
My goals for 2013:
- Run 1,000 miles. This one may be tricky since I’m averaging about 3 miles per week right now due to the lingering effects of bronchitis. But hopefully I can quickly make up for lost miles.
- Get completely organized. This is a lofty goal! Some aspects of my life are organized and some are not! It’s only made more difficult by the fact that we are still finishing renovations on our house. Hopefully we will finish those soon and everything will have a place once again.
- Have more time for crafty things. I feel like my craft time was sorely lacking in 2012 and I want that to change. I need that to change!
- Learn something new. I think I’ve already taken about a million Craftsy courses but I’m already scoping out more. Perhaps the Artisan Cheese Making Class or the Jam and Marmalade Class? I want to learn it all! (by the way, if you haven’t signed up for Craftsy, you should! The classes are really amazing and you can take them on your own schedule and your access to them never expires! And you have access to the instructor to ask questions along the way. Want to learn to knit? Maybe learn to crochet? They have everything from quilting to cake decorating to jewelry making and more! Can you tell I love them?)
- Eat healthier. More fruits and vegetables! I’m going to do my best to have a successful garden this summer. I don’t think of myself as having much of a green thumb but I’m hoping that will change. I’m currently taking the Garden Fresh Class and I’m learning a lot. (The instructor’s garden is AMAZING. Very inspiring!)
- Release another pattern. Or two… Or three… I seriously need to get my butt in gear on this one. Perhaps my goal of more craft time will result in more patterns. I sure do hope so!
- Give more handmade gifts at Christmas. I always want to make people gifts for Christmas but my problem is that I think about it in November when there is NO TIME to get it all done. So someone please remind me of this in July so that I can actually make it happen!
- Spiffy up this blog. I’ve been wanting to transfer this thing to a self-hosted WordPress blog so that I can have more “creative control” of the look and feel of things. And I’m hoping that this will be the year I take the plunge and do it. Has anyone out there done this before? Gone from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? Recommendations on hosting? I’ll take any and all advice!
I hope I’m able to meet every one of those goals this year! What are your goals for 2013? I’d love to hear them! I hope that 2013 is your best year yet!
Read Full Post »
Posted in house, life, running on September 4, 2012 |
2 Comments »
The summer ends and we wonder who we are… ~Dar Williams
So, yesterday was Labor Day and I guess that marks the end of summer (although the weather here in south Mississippi did not get the memo).
I would say that out of all of the seasons, summer may be my least favorite. I love the longer days but I hate the heat! (Like seriously, I have NO LOVE for the heat of a southern summer.) I feel like I go into hibernation during the summer (I’d never make it as a bear). I slow way down (probably because movement will just make it feel hotter). My creative juices dry up. And my motivation takes its own summer vacation. But once I start to notice tiny glimpses of Fall, I start to stretch and slowly wake from my slumber.
So what have I been up to this summer? Well, let’s see… I’m still running! You may remember I hired a running coach in January and he’s been a fixture in my life ever since (whether I like it or not!). No really, it’s been a great experience and I’m actually feeling like a “real” runner. I still haven’t actually run a race yet (I’m waiting for the cooler weather to arrive) but I’m definitely logging some miles. This week I’ve got 18 miles of running on the schedule! In the high heat and humidity! Good times! Again, if any of you are on dailymile please add me as a friend so we can cheer each other on! I swear it’s the words of encouragement from my dailymile friends that keep me going some days!
Have I been knitting? Crocheting? Yes. A little. If it weren’t for Knit Nite every week at my local cafe/record store, I definitely would have gotten a LOT less done. (Again, I blame the summer heat!) Have I actually finished anything? Yes. I did finish my Aidez sweater just in time for the hot weather so I don’t have a finished pic of it yet. And I’m this close to finishing my Ruffle Rose Pillow. I just need to do a few more rows and find a pillow form. And of course, with Fall coming, I’ve got a bad case of startitis. I want to make ALL THE THINGS. I can’t look through a knit/crochet magazine without at least five projects jumping into my queue. I also have a couple of new design ideas floating around in my big head that need to be put down on paper.
We’re also starting to make strides in finishing the addition to the back of our house (that’s been going on now for THREE YEARS, people). One of the pieces to that puzzle has been put into place. The landscaping! Our poor backyard had been forgotten during this whole construction process and it turned into a bit of a jungle. But now it is a beautiful oasis!
You can click here to see an entire album of before, during, and after photos. We are so happy to have a great outdoor space in which to relax and entertain! And the pieces are falling into place for the completion of the addition itself so that will be a welcome project for the Fall. (This blog may turn into a home renovation blog for a little while.) Will I finally be able to unpack all of our moving boxes? Stay tuned!
Well, wherever you are (in the northern hemisphere) I hope that your summer was wonderful and that you’re getting ready for Fall. I know I am!
Read Full Post »
Posted in knitting, life on March 16, 2011 |
2 Comments »
I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. Spring has definitely sprung down here and I am loving it! I get to open up the doors (and the two windows in the house that aren’t painted shut) and enjoy the warm breeze. Of course, Spring always inspires me to do some Spring Cleaning so I have been doing more of that and less of the fun stuff like knitting. Also, the house across the street from us burned last month (thankfully everyone got out safely!) and it really got me thinking about all of the “stuff” we have accumulated over the years and how important it really isn’t. So there has been this overwhelming need to purge purge purge. It’s also kicked our butts into really developing an inventory of the items we have (that is, those that survive the big purge) and make sure our insurance is up to par! While our neighbors lost pretty much everything, they were fortunate to have great insurance and the rebuilding of their home started TODAY! Lots to be thankful for!
In between spring cleaning and purging I have been doing a bit of knitting! I’ll give you a peek into a couple of projects I’ve started since we last spoke. One is a pair of mittens. I know, just in time for Spring! But seriously, at the rate I’m going, they’ll be finished just in time for Winter. They are the Potpourri Mittens from the Fall 2008 Vogue Knitting.
I’ve also started a Chevron Scarf for myself (again with the cold weather knits as Spring arrives!). It’s my current “mindless knitting” project and I’m digging the funky stripes.
And I have a little sweater for a baby that just recently made her debut into the world. I don’t have any good pics of it “in progress” but I’ll finish it soon and hopefully get some good ones then!
I’m also gearing up to teach an Entrelac class at my local yarn shop next month. I haven’t taught a knitting class in SO LONG and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve got to get my butt in gear and knit some class samples soon! Time is whizzing by! Those in the Hattiesburg area interested in taking the class can call Teresa at The Yarn Basket to reserve your spot! 601-582-7272 Saturday, April 16 11am – 1pm! Just $25 per person (plus materials – 10% off)! Come join the fun!
Happy Spring, Everybody!
Read Full Post »
Posted in knitting, life on August 18, 2010 |
2 Comments »
Well, I started Geoff’s vest last week and am making pretty good progress so far. I also finished the back of Orangina so now the front and back are complete. I want to block both pieces before putting them together to start the ribbing but before I do that I’ll need to get the stacks of clean laundry off of my blocking board (that’s what I get for keeping it in the laundry room). So I hope to get those pieces pinned down in the next couple of days and then get a move on to finish it! In the meantime, Geoff’s vest is keeping me quite busy. Love love love this pattern!
Pattern and project info here.
I’ve been seeing a lot more of Geoff these days which is fantastic. His big project at work is finished and he has been able to work a more “normal” schedule. Yay! So to reward him for all of his hard work and long hours, I cast on for his vest before starting any more projects for myself. I know, I know… I’m the best. wife. ever.
In other news, I have decided to jump ship from Blackberry and join the ranks of the iPhone lovers. I’ll admit it! I’m jealous of the apps! Not to mention the storage space. I’ve started coveting the iPhone 4 and love the white one that Apple has on their website. Of course, they’re dragging their feet when it comes to actually releasing it to the public. Anyone out there have an iPhone 4? Do you like it? I’ve heard nothing but good things from those who do have it and no complaints about the antenna issue. Though Apple is offering free bumpers/cases to those who want one in order to “fix” the antenna problem. Of course, that free offer ends Sept. 30 and what do you want to bet that the white iPhones won’t be out by then? This would not surprise me at all. Anyway, I just need to be patient and wait for my pretty white iPhone but if there is one thing you should know about me it’s that I. hate. waiting.
Read Full Post »
Posted in life on July 12, 2010 |
8 Comments »
It’s a question I get a lot.
We’ve been in Hattiesburg for a year now (wow, time flies!) and we are constantly meeting new people. The conversation usually begins with “what brought you to Hattiesburg?” which leads to talk about Geoff’s job and what he does at the university. And I know the question is coming so I’m usually already thinking about how I’m going to answer it this time.
I love being a homemaker. Honestly, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I enjoy the art of domesticity. I have never ever had I job that I loved. I didn’t live to work. I worked to live. But at the same time I am proud of my accomplishments, both educationally and professionally.
So when someone asks me what I do I am often perplexed as to what to say. Of course I say I’m a homemaker but sometimes I feel like I need to follow it up with a “but…” like “but I have my master’s degree in library science” or “but I used to be a medical librarian” or “but I used to work in academia, too.”
Usually when a woman my age (33) leaves her career it’s because she is starting a family. But that wasn’t the case for me. So sometimes I feel like I need to justify my decision or make it clear that I’m not lazy and I certainly don’t sit around all day eating bonbons (though I do admit that would be nice!). And yes, someday we would love to start a family, but for now I am happy practicing keeping house (I say practicing because by no means do I feel I’m an expert yet!).
Of course, being a homemaker does have its perks. Namely, more free time. And because of that I’m knitting a lot more than I used to. And now I have the time to learn new things like crochet (woo hoo!) and quilting. And my plan is to one day make a little money doing these things that I love. Making my own schedule. Being my own boss.
So perhaps all of this uncertainty about how I present myself to others is because I feel like maybe I’m in some sort of limbo. Caught somewhere between career woman and artisan; between corner office and studio.
Whatever the case may be, I still don’t know how to answer that goddamned question.
Read Full Post »
Posted in knitting, life on June 20, 2010 |
1 Comment »
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! And to Geoff – the best doggy dad in the world!
It’s been a really great weekend thus far. One of those weekends where there was a lot of fun stuff going on.
I kicked off my weekend early Friday morning with a walk to the pub down the street that opened up at 8 for the USA-Slovenia game. They had a breakfast buffet and Bloody Mary bar! Great times! Except for the fact that we were robbed of a win. Grrrrrrrrrr…
We’ll do it all again on Wednesday morning for the USA-Algeria game! I can’t wait!
Then yesterday Geoff and I headed to Heritage Day at the Train Depot downtown. It was AWESOME! It was done by a group from Texas who live an agrarian way of life. There were some great seminars on growing your own food and food preservation. Even cheese-making! And there was spinning and weaving and quilting! Heaven! Everyone was super nice and very helpful and informative! I learned a lot about food preservation and want to start canning (which would be a great thing for me to learn because we have 3,589,204 tomatoes in the garden right now). Of course, I couldn’t leave without snagging some of their yarn!
I’ve already chosen what to make with it! The Echo Flower Shawl (PDF) by Jenny Johnson Johnen. Here is a beautiful version of it knitted by strangeangel on Ravelry. The color of mine would be very similar. I think it’s just gorgeous and I can’t wait to cast on! But I will exercise some control and try to make more progress on my current projects before starting this.
Today has been pretty low-key with some World Cup watching and now waiting to watch the Gamecocks play in the College World Series (rain delay). I think I’ll go brew some tea, find a good spot on the couch and work on Orangina for the rest of the afternoon.
Read Full Post »
Posted in knitting, life on June 14, 2010 |
2 Comments »
I’m still here! It’s been a busy month!
First of all, I did finish the Botanica Medallion Cardigan for my mom’s birthday and she loved it! But I broke the #1 rule of blogging and FORGOT to take a picture of the finished piece! I couldn’t believe it. I did take a pic of it with my Blackberry for Twitter so for now, this is the only finished pic I have for you! My mom has since worn it out and about and reports many oooohs and aaaahs from people who see it. Next time I visit them I’ll be sure to get a shot of her wearing it!
Other big news in our house is the addition of a sister for little Frank. Meet Olive!
Geoff and I were always planning on getting a playmate for Frank from the local shelter and then fate intervened last weekend. We were running errands when we spotted Olive outside PetSmart. The local shelter brings dogs there every weekend for adoption. I had seen her from the car and convinced Geoff that we needed to go see her. Of course, we both fell in love with her and headed inside to buy the supplies we’d need for our new addition. So it wasn’t exactly planned but ended up working out great for us. She is only 2 years old. The vet thinks she is a terrier/dachshund mix. She came from an abusive home and had already had a litter of puppies. Poor girl. She is just the sweetest thing and just wants to cuddle and kiss everyone she meets! Frank is over the moon! He loves having a playmate!
I’ve taken a bit of a break from knitting since finishing the cardigan for my mom. My poor fingers needed a break! Of course, I’m itching to get back to it! I want to finish some languishing projects and possibly start new ones (always want to start new ones). I promise to check in here again soon. Hopefully with some knitting progress! I’ve been enamored by the World Cup lately and that is a perfect excuse to sit down and knit! Go USA! Viva l’Italia!
Read Full Post »
Posted in house, knitting, life on May 1, 2010 |
4 Comments »
Wow, I see it’s been three weeks since I last posted! April came and went in a frenzy! It was a busy three weeks with family visiting, little Frank celebrating his first doggy birthday (my boy is growing up!) and getting a brand new bed and a Tempur-Pedic mattress! Those were all good things (especially the mattress… oh my god the mattress…)! There were also some not-so-good things… like coming to terms with a crappy contractor and feeling like I’m starting all over with our house renovations. Gah. Of course, I’m thankful for the contractor I’m now working with. He’s a good egg. Out with the old and in with the new.
I know I mentioned briefly the home renovation hell that we’re in. We are turning our 3 bedroom/1 bath house into a 3 bedroom/2 bath house by creating a master suite and adding a screened-in porch on the back. It will be heavenly once it’s finished (and I’m feeling a bit more hopeful these days that it will indeed get finished).
I’ve been knitting as well! I did finish the Ribbed Lace Bolero but haven’t had a chance to take pics yet because, honestly, I don’t like the way it looks on me. I think this is the third bolero-type thing I’ve knitted and I’ve never been in love with any of them. I think the simple construction and small project size seem to entice me and make me forget that I’ve already been down that road and should probably make a U-turn. Oh well. Maybe I’ll warm up to it. I hope so. But for now it’s in time out.
And I’m swatching another project now that I will hopefully start in the next day or so (I need to start it in the next day or so!). My mom’s birthday is June 2 and I thought she’d like something knitted. Of course, it would be great if I had thought about this, say, in March. But no, I think about it with a month to spare. And to make it extra fun, I choose a piece that isn’t something I can just “whip up”. This will require thinking. Concentration. Crochet! And meticulous blocking. But I’m up for the challenge!
I’m making her the Botanica Medallion Cardigan from the cover of the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting.
I’m using the exact same yarn in the exact same color because I love it just the way it is! I hope she’ll love it as well. It’s totally her style and I think she’ll look awesome in it.
We’re having a dreary, rainy weekend here in Mississippi so it’s perfect weather for marathon knitting sessions. Tomorrow may be a stay-in-bed-all-day-knitting kind of day. Did I mention the mattress?
Read Full Post »