Makin’ It Look Easy

“Whatcha working on now?” The Man asked me the other day.

“A dishcloth,” I replied. “We are really hurting for new ones.”

“You’re tellin’ me,” he said. “You need to make about a dozen of those!”

“Well,” I said, thinking of the spinning that I would rather be doing, “Let’s just start with one, for now.”

He went off to work and I turned on Sesame Street to keep the Littles entertained while I worked on my dishcloth.

Later that evening, after a long day of homeschooling, housework, cooking, bread baking, and all the myriad other things that I do during the day, I sat down to continue working on my little square of garter stitch. The Man came in from work, looked at my knitting and asked me, “what number are you on?”

“Huh?” I responded.

“How many dishcloths did you get done today?” he clarified.

“This is still my first one,” I answered.

“What have you been doing all day?” he was shocked. “I thought you were going to make a bunch of those.”

Sigh.

There was a time when my mad knitting skills had him awestruck. He didn’t know how I managed to do it. He thought I was amazing.

Now he expects my awesomeness to produce a dozen dishrags in a day!

I guess I make it look too easy.


Dishrag in cotton thread. Details on Ravelry project page, here.

By the way, dishrags are easy. They are also incredibly boring. So every row or so, I take a break and spin something or play with a kid or scrub the floor with a toothbrush… You know, anything to break up the monotony. But I could never whip out 12 in a day, even if I tried. Maybe five. But my brain would be jello at the end!

 

 

Dale & Dolly – Taming the Stash Pt. 4

Tuesday Funnies!

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

I’m Such a Dork, and Other Things I Believe About Myself

Today I feel very inferior. My thoughts about myself have been very harsh.

As I got dressed, “I am so fat. And lazy. Fat and lazy. And if I wasn’t so lazy, then I wouldn’t be so fat.”

As I brushed my teeth, “Today is definitely a makeup day. I am so unattractive.”

As I prepared to write a blog post, “What could I possibly say that would be interesting or benefit any one? I am such a big dork.”

But, here is the deal. While there may be a bit of truth in each of those thoughts, they are all based on emotion.

Think about that for one minute. How I feel about myself is based on how I feel. And when has how I feel ever been worth anything?

Heck, just a few days ago my thoughts were totally different.

As I got dressed, “Hey, these pants are a tad looser. Look at me. I am so hot!”

As I brushed my teeth, “Who needs make up? I am a natural beauty.”

As I made breakfast, “I am getting pretty good at this house-wife thing. I should blog about this genius breakfast I am making.”

See what I am saying? Not much changed between last week and this, but my thoughts about myself are like night and day.

My perception about my weight, my ability, my style, my looks, my coolness… it is all up and down.

There are many factors that influence how I think about myself, but one thing is for sure –

My opinion of myself is not based on the truth. I know this because truth never changes. Feelings change, though, don’t they?

If I was thin and gorgeous last week, I am thin and gorgeous this week. The truth is that I am neither fat nor thin, but somewhere in the middle. The truth is that I am neither very industrious nor very lazy. The truth is that I prefer knitting to strenuous work. The truth is that my house could be cleaner, but it isn’t really that bad.

The truth is that how I feel about it changes nothing.

I say all that to get to this one point.

How I am feeling about myself today is of little importance because how I feel will change from day to day.

The truth is what is important.

So, where do I find the truth about me?

The Bible tells me who I am – A child of God, worthy of great sacrifice, loved eternally, blessed abundantly, and created to be beautiful, talented, and industrious. I choose to believe these things about myself because it is the Truth about Me.

A bit closer to home, it looks like this:

When this thought “I am such a fat dork” flits through my head, I grab it, look at, and hold it up to the truth. It looks a lot different in the light. 

Now I see that the truth is that I am a little overweight. The truth is that I am not really concerned about loosing any weight right now because I am still nursing, and furthermore, I am not ever going to be Barbie. I don’t want to be Barbie. I want to be healthy and active, being skinny isn’t really that important to me. The truth is that being cool isn’t really that high on my priority list and if I wanted to be cooler than maybe I ought to subscribe to Vogue or something. The truth is that The Man thinks I am pretty hot, and my friends think I am cool enough to hang out with me on a regular basis. The truth is that I am a pretty average mother of six who will lose a little weight some day and who smiles a lot.

And I am pretty much okay with that right now.

What is the truth about you?

Accomplishment

Six hundred fifty two stitches. That is how long the last row was. Six hundred and fifty two stitches.

It took and hour and a half to bind off that one, very long row.

It was totally worth it.

 

Pogona in my handspun. Fiber from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club, July 2012 A Bug’s Life. Spinning the yarn blogged here. Ravelry Project page here.

As my knitting skills increase, I find less and less projects that really challenge me, and therefore knitting has become a little less satisfying. Not that I don’t totally love knitting, because I do. But, as I have stated before, I relish the difficulty, the collection of new skills, and the notches on my belt. Now that I have conquered knitting I don’t get that really big swell of “I did it” emotion when I block out my finished objects. Don’t get me wrong, I get happy and I love the way things turn out and I am excited about creating something beautiful with two pointy sticks and a piece of wool. I just don’t feel like I scaled Mount Everest or really conquered anything. Remember this post in which I was gloriously ecstatic because I had conquered lace? And this post when I finally became a sock knitter (but didn’t know it yet)? It was about the challenge. And I overcame.

Alas, knitting has no more challenges for me. And if that sounds crazy (because we all know that I am not Elizabeth Zimmerman by a long shot and I certainly can’t do it all) than let me clarify by saying that I have learned all that I am interested in learning at this time. I don’t desire to learn entrelac and I  don’t have time to become a proficient designer, and I have done what I want to do.

Enter spinning and a whole new world of challenges. I know nothing. I can do nothing. I have this awesome spinning wheel and some beautiful fiber and every second that I spin takes concentration and effort and heaps of “hope I am doing this right”. Challenge. Thrill. And when I conquer, I feel satisfied.

That is what this shawl is. Satisfying. A great accomplishment. As I pinned it out on the blocking board I felt that feeling well up in my chest.

I did it. I did it well. I conquered.

The yarn is still so flawed and the colors didn’t work out quite the way that I had hoped. But, the knitting was enlightening, teaching me, among other things, that knitting with your handspun is part of perfecting your spinning technique.

It is also terribly satisfying.

Dale & Dolly – Taming the Stash pt 3

Tuesday funnies! (Sorry about last week, guys. I totally spaced it!)

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

My Day In Numbers, A Countdown

10

phrases that I repeat over and over and over and over and over. (That would be, in no particular order, “Please speak kindly to your sister”, “Just say ‘yes, Mama’ and obey”, “Put the baby down”, “Stop running down the stairs like that”, “Ahh! You just gave me a heart attack”, “No, we don’t flush (fill in the blank) down the toilet”, “Who didn’t flush the toilet?”, “Close the front door”, “I know you are hungry, but you just ate 10 minutes ago”, and (my personal favorite), “WHY?!?”)

9

moments that I wished that I was spinning, followed by getting out the wheel, spinning for 20 seconds, and then remembering why I wait till they go to bed to spin, putting the wheel away, dealing with whatever issue tore me away from spinning and gazing longingly at spinning wheel.

8

“Read it again, Mama!”s that I acquiesced to  before I finally said, “No, I read it enough times today”.

spills to clean up.

6

little people vying for my time, attention, and love.

5

school subjects to cover while I still have their time, attention, and love.

4

phone calls ignored.

3

meals planned, prepared, served, eaten, and cleaned up.

2

minutes to myself. Barely.

1

bedtime routine executed with all diligence and speed on my part, but not really on theirs…

0

times I regretted any of it.

Gramps

I love knitting baby things. They just fly off the needles and they showcase beautiful yarn in such an adorable way.

Gramps Cardigan in Madelinetosh Tosh DK Saffron (Ravelry page here) (recipient is going to pick out buttons for it later)

 

Three things about this knit.

1. The pattern – It left a lot to be desired, but it was also well written, if that makes any sense. I was frustrated when I found out that when I was “knitting in pattern till piece measures 6″ from CO edge” that I was supposed to pick up x number of stitches on it later, for example. And I was unhappy with the way the cables were forgotten during the shaping. I am kind of tweaky when it comes to cables and I want them to blend well with the sweater around them. Other than that, it is a lovely pattern, and when it is followed by someone who can fill in some of those gaps, it produces a lovely little sweater.

 

2. The yarn. Madelinetosh. Who could complain? It is lovely and the color is so deep and alive. It is expensive, yes, but it is worth the extra cost to use such a gorgeous yarn. I have had issues with pilling with Madelinetosh in the past, but this yarn is an 8 ply that seems much more sturdy than the single that I made this sweater out of two years ago (a sweater which, by the way, I am still in love with and willing run a stone over every time that I wear it). Also, it is superwash which is a plus for a baby.

3. It is leaving my house. Shipping this sweater off and marking it finished on Ravelry today feels very good. It was fun while it lasted but now I am ready to knit something else. You gotta love baby things for that reason alone!