Pregnant Thoughts

I am 30 weeks pregnant right now, which is 3/4 of the way through this experience. I have quite a few thoughts about this ‘condition’ and I figured I’d share them here. Before I got pregnant, I tried to understand from a variety of books what being pregnant would feel like, but somehow the message didn’t quite get through. I’ll caveat this entire post with the fact that I think every pregnancy is different, people experience some/all/none of the same symptoms to differing degrees and what’s true for me, might be totally not true for you. I’ll also add that despite what sounds like a list of complaints, I’m grateful that I was easily able to get and stay pregnant. This baby is very much wanted, it’s just the pre-baby stuff I’d rather not have. Some of this can’t help but be TMI, so consider yourself warned. Here we go.

THE GOOD:

  • I like feeling the little bugger move around in there. It feels kind of like an involuntary muscle twitch, except it isn’t you who is moving. FREAKY.
  • Seeing the baby on ultrasound and watching its little heart flutter gracefully like a deep sea anemone was truly beautiful.
  • The relaxin hormone flowing through my body has loosened up hip and pelvis muscles that I’d previously had to go to physical therapy and yoga to fix. Now they feel fine!
  • As opposed to some people who have oilier skin during pregnancy, mine’s been drier. This has been great for my face (no acne) and hair (less shampooing).
  • No period for months is appreciated.
  • The anticipation is really fun. Planning for baby, reading about baby, imagining life with baby… and it’s brought the Fiasco and me much closer together. There’s a whole new level of tenderness in our relationship for which I am really grateful.
  • Perfect excuse to not do something if you don’t want to, play that preggo card!

THE BAD:

  • I basically feel like I’ve had the flu for months. So much mucus, everywhere, all the time. Enough that I gag on it almost daily while trying to brush my teeth. So much. Thanks, hormones.
  • Fatigue… epic fatigue. I’ve never been so tired. Naps are a survival necessity, and I hate wasting time in naps.
  • Digestive issues. Some women get constipation. Some have the opposite. Many get heartburn. Your digestive tract will basically feel completely foreign to you and mostly uncomfortable all the time. Make sure you like your bathroom.
  • Nausea and food aversions. I thankfully haven’t thrown up too many times, but I was queasy for at least 2 months straight, and still have to force down chicken. The food aversions make me super anxious and frustrated since I’ve spent a long time cultivating a healthy diet and now, when it’s arguably the most important time to eat healthfully, my body flat-out rejects many of the healthy staples I relied on. I literally hate eating. Every meal is a chore. WHERE ARE MY FUN CRAVINGS AND WEIRD BINGES AND EATING ALL THE THINGZ? That just doesn’t exist for me. I get one well-rounded meal in a day and the rest is snacks. This baby is probably 90% dairy products, peanut butter, and apples.
  • Really scary shit can go wrong, so it’s a nerve-wracking time, and everything feels unfamiliar. That is all amplified if you fall into a ‘high-risk’ category. I developed a blood clot and have had to inject myself twice a day with blood thinners for 4 months. I’ve made two unnecessary trips to the ER for normal pregnancy pains because doctors are unhelpful over the phone and it’s hard to know what’s serious and what’s not and WHAT IF IT’S SERIOUS?!?! Other people have gestational diabetes or preeclampsia or other things that land them in bed for the duration of their pregnancies. You just can’t know how it will go until you’re in it.
  • There are a lot of weird pains you wouldn’t necessarily expect: ligaments in the abdomen stretching, foot and calf cramps, sore boobs, headaches, backaches, etc. It’s a fun game of “oooh, what hurts today?” sometimes.
  • I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to go ahead and add labor and delivery in here. No matter how you experience it or what approach you take to manage the pain, I can’t imagine labor being a particularly ‘good’ experience… it’s hard, dangerous, unknowable, stressful, life-changing work.

THE STRANGE:

  • Hair grows everywhere! I had no idea! My belly looks like a giant peach. I am so much fuzzier than before.
  • Shortness of breath. I get this a lot, but especially in the beginning it was a weird panick-y CAN’T BREATHE feeling that is apparently due to your body tripling its blood volume and it taking a while for the number of red blood cells carrying oxygen to catch up. Weird, right?
  • I’m hot all the time. Prior to pregnancy, I ran cold, with a resting body temp usually around 96 deg F. Now I’m consistently 98-99 deg F and haven’t worn a jacket since February. The poor Fiasco froze his butt off this winter.
  • You really will pee constantly. It’s amazing, especially since you’ll also feel like you are constantly dehydrated. Where does all the liquid come from?
  • Bouts of itchiness, everywhere, but especially on the belly. I had to stop using normal soap because my skin became so sensitive. I use some sort of special cleanser for people with cancer. I also had to start using a super thick, petro-chemical-laden body moisturizer because the natural stuff wasn’t staying on long enough.
  • There are a boatload of ‘old wive’s tails’ that surround pregnancy, particularly with regards to guessing the sex of the baby and PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVE THAT SHIT.
  • You will not do nearly as much knitting as you expect!

TAKE-HOME TIPS:

  • Don’t be like me and think “ok, I will have 9 months left to finish a bunch of things before my life changes” when you get pregnant. Think, instead, “ok, I am dedicating the next year of my life to baby-making because everything changes from day one and there will be minimal time and energy for anything else from now on” because that’s more like it.
  • Be pregnant during the winter, it’ll save on your heating bill, and I can’t imagine doing this in the dead of summer.
  • Sleep when you have to. Just do it. You’ll be happier for it. Forget your to-do list. And when you’re really super duper cranky biting people’s heads off? Put yourself to bed.
  • A maternity support belt is worth it, especially if you’re heavier to begin with. It has helped my sciatica pain to wear the belt when I’m out walking around or exercising. You also need a birth ball. I sit on mine at work and it really helps keep my hips relaxed, the change of position is good, and by the third trimester sitting semi-reclined on the couch is super uncomfortable so it’s nice to have around the house. Finally, I wholeheartedly recommend a  snoogle body pillow for sleeping. That thing is heaven-sent.
  • Surround yourself with people who get it. If you have to listen to the media or well-meaning family talk to you about the ‘joys of pregnancy’ and how ‘it’s all so worth it’ while you’re in the thick of it, you’ll go nuts. Find a support group, a chat board, a friend, anything where you can vent to like-minded people and normalize your experience.
  • Take a birth class, I recommend the Bradley method for natural birth. Even if you end up with a medicated birth or a c-section, the class is longer than the typical hospital classes and it makes you stop and think about the birth on a weekly basis. Mental preparation is half the battle, and the techniques and tips we got from the doula who taught it are helping me feel like I can handle things, no matter how terrifying. Our class also had great tips for soothing the baby and breastfeeding. it wasn’t all birth-related.
  • Find a good, caring, supportive partner for this before you do it. That might seem obvious but I’m grateful every day that I’m doing this with the Fiasco by my side. You will have days where you just freak the fuck out and you need someone there to love and care for you. (And then try not to yell at him/her too much during the hormonal tantrum times. Those happen.)

Those are my thoughts! It’ll be fun to look back on this after the Hatchling is born and see if all of it becomes a distant memory like I’ve been told…

Soft or Scratchy?

I am highly amused by the different ways with which the Fiasco and I perceive fiber.

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Brooklyn Tweed Quarry in Moonstone

I recently acquired a skein of the relatively new BT Quarry so I could re-knit my failed Fidra hat attempt. This yarn is bulky weight but light-as-air, more like pencil roving than yarn since it contains very little twist and can be pulled apart with ease. I’m completely loving its airiness and am enjoying my re-knit so far.

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Fidra hat in progress.

My husband, on the other hand, took one touch and declared it “scratchy”. He says the same thing about my Kelp-y Kelpie shawl, knit with BT Loft. Clearly, the Fiasco is not a fan of Targhee-Columbia woolen-spun wool. What my fingers feel as fluffy, air-filled fuzziness, his feel as prickly, un-smooth scratchiness. It’s fascinating. (To be fair, he said the same thing about a superfine Merino wool yarn once, and declares that only the finest baby alpaca is suitable for his skin, so… grain of salt?)

Have you worked with Brooklyn Tweed yarns before? Do you like their ‘rustic’ hand?

More Pretty Things

The stash-enhancement around these parts continues due to holiday/birthday funds, so I figured I’d share the goodies!

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More lovelies from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

I couldn’t resist adding another skein of BMFA Tigger Targhee to my stash, so I grabbed one in the most icy blue ever (Let It Go… Let It Go). I also acquired another skein of Yaksi (a heavenly DK weight blend of 60% wool/ 20% yak/ 20% silk) in Shoqua (in case I run out of yarn on my Yaksi Cancan shawl) and one skein in Tanzanite (because it’s pretty and I want a purple hat).

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My happy mailbox visitor.

My mailbox made me smile for other reasons last week, too. I received a funny card and lovely little holiday sloth from Audry to cheer me up after the rough few weeks I’d been having. The kindness and generosity of knitters and internet friends never cease to amaze me. It makes me simultaneously happy that I get to know so many wonderful people virtually, and sad that we can’t easily hang out in ‘real life’. Perhaps someday. The wee sloth now keeps me company in my office. 🙂

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New birthday spindle!

Finally, the Fiasco humored me with a new spindle for my birthday present. I’ve been eyeing up Meilindis’ beautiful spinning and admiring the lovely Mingo and Asho glasspin support spindle she’s been featuring in her blog posts. Glass-tipped spindles (or glindles) have been notoriously popular and hard to get a hold of from Bristlecone (whom I think were the original makers) so I was very happy to see other artists begin making their own versions.

I especially love the pyrography featured on the spindles. The trees, birds, and sunrise cattail landscape are so delicate and detailed, it’s truly beautiful. This spindle is 11 inches long and weighs 1.75 ounces, and the shaft is birdseye maple with bubinga and mahogany accents.

I’m super duper in love with it. I’ve also come to the amusing conclusion that I think part of the reason I love support spindles so much is that they feel an awful lot like owning a collection of magic wands. I AM A WIZARD.

Ok, we’re done here.

This Year’s Crazy Idea

While preparing for a spinner’s guild meeting over the weekend (that I never even made it to because life has been far too busy lately) I had a flash of brilliance/madness/ambition. I decided that this year, my big goal will be to finish all of the spinning projects that I have in progress — preferably before the Hatchling makes its appearance in June.

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Yes, this is utter madness.

Now, I’m clearly not going to kill myself trying to make this goal, but I think that focusing on spinning over the next few months will be a really good way for me to:

  1. take my mind off of how much I hate pregnancy,
  2. do a little something that makes me happy every day,
  3. get my zen relaxation on, and
  4. work in some gentle movement (treadling, standing while spindling) that could help my DVT-caused leg pain while I’m on a bit of an exercise hiatus.

Plus, I went on a spindle-buying-bender a couple of years ago, and every time I got a new spindle I started a new project, so things have gotten out of hand. I’d really like to turn more of my spinning visions into reality before I have a squalling newborn occupying all of my free time, and I think this will be a nice way to turn spinning into a daily habit. So without further ado, here are all of the projects I have in progress. (All links go to my Ravelry handspun project pages.)

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Turkish Spindles

1 – Jenkins Aegean, 4 oz. Nunoco Batts, Summer Love — Batty Challenge, begun April 2014.

2 – Jenkins Aegean, 6 oz. BMFA Yak/Silk, RWC Tarnished Yak/Silk, begun July 2014.

3 – Subterranean Woodworks Medium, 4 oz. Nest Merino, Magrat MegaSAL,  begun April 2015.

4 – Subterranean Woodworks Small, 4 oz. BeeMiceElf Merino, Merino Mind Bullets, begun July 2015.

5 – Jenkins Finch, 4 oz. Wooldancer Merino, Tropical Merino, begun November 2014.

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Supported Spindles

6 – Woodland Woodworking Bead, 4 oz. June Pryce Fiber Arts Merino, WW Merino begun December 2014.

7 – TexasJeans Russian, 4 oz. Inglenook Batts, begun October 2014.

8 – TexasJeans Tibetan,  2 oz. Angora + 4 oz. Shetland, Bunny Fur, begun April 2014.

9 – hipstrings acrylic tahkli, 4 oz. cotton, begun sampling only, no project page yet.

(The two newer spindles that I haven’t even had time to try yet will play supporting roles.)

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Drop Spindles

10 – Kundert drop spindle, 16 oz. Woolgathering’s Spinner’s Study of different breeds, begun May 2012.

11 – Golding Cherry, 6 oz. BMFA camel/merino/silk, begun January 2014.

12 – TexasJeans polka dot drop spindle, 4 oz. BMFA Masham, Indigo Masham, begun June 2014. (This project may have been abandoned…)

13 – Golding Tsunami, 2 oz. quiviut/alpaca + 2 oz. silk, Quiviut/Alpaca, begun October 2013.

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Wheel Projects

14 – Earth & Sky Stacks, 8 oz. Gotland, begun March 2015.

15 – I Shall Spin Midnight, 8 oz. Louet merino/silk, begun October 2015.

16 – 10 oz. Loop! Batts, begun November 2013.

17 – Earthy Bubble Crepe, art yarn using a few different braids, begun June 2013.

18 – Shadyside Fiber merino/silk, begun October 2012. Honestly, I think I gave away the rest of this fiber. Will just ply up what I have here and call it a day.

What do you think, folks, can it be done? Finishing all 18 would mean I’d have to finish 3 projects a month to be done by the end of June… Yikes. How far do you think I’ll get?

Five Things Friday

Since I have absolutely zero FO’s and no actual knitting or spinning progress to show you (actually less than what I showed Wednesday since I bit the bullet and frogged back that green sock), I figured I’d share 5 random things that are making me happy today.

1) I’m really intrigued by this Kelbourne Woolens Mystery KAL:

Image copyright Kelbourne Woolens. Click for blog post.

I’m not usually a fan of mystery KALs, and I need another shawl (ok, project) like I need a hole in the head, but I like the the patterns that resulted from the previous two MKALs (here and here) and I’m intrigued by the yarn they’re promoting: The Fibre Company Meadow, a laceweight blend of Merino wool, llama, silk, and linen. Also, hyndrangeas are my favorite flower. I think I’m grasping for excuses here…

2) This recipe for a Paleo rhubarb clafoutis is absolutely scrummy, and super simple to make. Most Paleo-fied desserts are shockingly high in fat and calories, but this one is comparatively easy on the metabolism. You mix eggs, almond milk, almond meal/flour, coconut sugar, and fruit (I’ve used both rhubarb and strawberries) and bake it into a delicious little bread-pudding-like treat. The recipe serves 8, and each serving contains 173 cals, 10g fat, 17 g carbs, 11.5 g sugar, and 6.5 g protein. I occasionally double the serving and have it for breakfast topped with blueberries. Yum!

Photo from FastPaleo.com

3) This article from Cool Green Science delves into the details of why being in nature makes us happy. The isolation of people, especially kids, from nature is something I really worry about as an ecologist/conservationist/Earth-conscious human and I’m stoked that people are doing work to provide hard evidence about why it’s important for us to have regular experiences outside of climate-controlled walls and glass windows. In particular, the article writes “Numerous studies suggest that recent increases in the levels of mental disorders globally are tied to increasing urbanization and people’s decreasing exposure to nature.” Now doesn’t that sound like something we should care about?

4) On that note, I’m going camping this weekend and am ridiculously excited about it! Even though it’ll be chilly at night, I can’t wait to be OUTSIDE, in the WOODS, for multiple days IN A ROW, with actual honest-to-goodness, in-person FRIENDS! (That sentence, right there, is a reminder of how isolated I usually am from friends, the outdoors, and leisure time.)

5) And finally, I leave you with this random photo of my fluff-tastic Darwin, posing in an awfully majestic manner.

My fuzzy little man.

Have a happy weekend, friends!

Prepare for Eye Candy

Oh boy, oh boy. My new Woodland Woodworking support spindle showed up and it is beyond gorgeous.

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Feast your eyes!

If you haven’t heard of Woodland Woodworking before, you must immediately go admire Carl’s work. His spindles are fairly unique in both shape and style. I had never encountered a teacup spindle before his, and rarely have I seen any spindles painted with such gorgeous precision.

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Pretty, pretty snowflakes!

His custom list is filled up months and months in advance and his updates seem to be few and far between, and sell out in seconds. In truth, I was hoping to land this blue snowflake beauty, but I am thankful to have been able to purchase any spindle at all. The one I received is a bead spindle made of German hornbeam and redheart. It is quite lightweight (0.87 oz, or 24 g) and shorter than some of my other support spindles (9.75 in).

My collection currently consists of a Texas Jeans Russian spindle in curly maple, a Texas Jeans Tibetan in maple and purpleheart, the new Woodland Woodworking bead spindle, and a Hipstrings tahkli for cotton spinning in carbon fiber and acrylic. The two Texas Jeans spindles are the longest at 12″ and 11″, while the tahkli is the shortest at 9″. The Tibetan is the heaviest (31 g), followed by the Russian (27 g), then the new bead spindle (24 g), and finally the tahkli (7 g).

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Spinning tip comparison.

What I found really interesting is the difference in the thickness of the spinning tip of the new Woodland Woodworking spindle from the tips of the Texas Jeans support spindles I’ve been accustomed to using. The WW tip is much thicker than the TJ spindle tips. So while the spindle is lighter, you don’t get quite as much spinning force bang-for-your-buck as you do with a thinner-shafted spindle and it took my fingers a little bit of time to adjust to the different feel.

I can tell that I could get really wrapped up in analyzing the different spin times / feels / speeds etc. of different spindle types. I may or may not have already begun a spreadsheet tracking the dimensions of my spindles. I suppose this means I’ll just have to obtain one of every kind for a thorough analysis… what do you think? 😉

(P.S. The lovely fiber I’m spinning on the new spindle is some Merino wool hand-dyed by June Pryce Fiber Arts. I love the colors!)

Stuff Is Happening — Aaaaaaahck!

So much to do, guys, so much to do! It bodes ill that the night before we leave for the beginning of our honeymoon I am only just now getting a chance to sit down to eat dinner at 9:30 p.m. I can tell it is going to be one of those nights after which waking up at 4 a.m. is going to be less than pleasant (but is that ever pleasant, really?).

Things I’ve learned today:

  • Get your travel immunizations done WEEKS before you leave the country, not days * ahem *.
  • Especially since some of those suckers HURT (my arm feels like its been hit with a baseball bat).
  • Get a paper copy of the prescription for the antibiotics that the doc convinced you it would be super great to have with you while traveling because…
  • The doctor will never, ever, ever, call in the prescription correctly, and then the office will close for the weekend, and all pharmacies everywhere will refuse to give you the meds without a new prescription.
  • The above series of events will make the FiascoHubs lose his trademark cool a little bit, and it will be both stressful and kind of adorable to watch.

Can you tell we’re new at this whole international travel thing? Here’s hoping we don’t catch typhoid fever…

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Time for a swap-happy sale!

In happier news, there’s a Summer of Love Indie Swap going on in the Indie Untangled group on Ravelry! Sign ups are open until today (the 18th), but if you’re quick I bet you could still get your questionnaire in on time! The swap has a limit in the $40 – $50 range and the only requirement is that you send at least one item from an Indie Untangled artisan (like yours truly)! I’m offering a sale for swap participants on all lip balms, lotion bars, and sample-sized gift sets at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. You can find more details about the sale in this post.

And with that, I’m off! I’ll be in Costa Rica for the next 2 weeks and completely failed to prepare posts ahead of time so this is ta-ta for now, my lovely readers. However, if you’d like to keep up with my while I’m gone, I’ll hopefully be posting photos of my adventures over on Instagram. Volcanos, monkeys, and Caribbean sunsets — here we come!

Piece of Cake

I have met my cake-related soulmate. On Saturday, the Fiasco and I embarked on an epic road trip to my cousin’s Sweet 16. Along the way we planned to stop at 3 bakeries to try wedding cakes. We only made it to 2 because the second bakery was just. that. good.

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Supported spinning in the car!

In truth, I liked the place based on the name alone: A Little Something Bakery in West Hartford, CT. The owner, Beth, does some amazing things with cake.

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Don’t lie, you kind of want an ombre purple goth cake now, too, don’t you?

 

We had just come from a bakery that didn’t even offer to let us try their cake, we had to sort of awkwardly ask for it and they only had 2 different flavors (one of which was cryptically named ‘bride’s white’), so we were extra thankful when Beth pointed us to trays brimming with about 10 different flavors of cupcakes and let us have our pick. I gotta say — I’ve been on a low-carb diet for 6 months, and those cupcakes were a revelation.

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Scrabble tile wisdom.

She had so many flavors and such amazing combinations… eventually we ‘settled’ on coconut cake with lemon cream filling and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I showed her a photo of the simple sprinkle design I wanted and she didn’t bat an eye when I requested only teal and green nonpareils instead of rainbow — while the other place basically told me I’d have to buy my own sprinkles to get the look I wanted. AND she’s going to make the red velvet cake in a blue/green color to better match the exterior decorations (I’m ridiculously excited about the blueness of the cake. It’s a silly little detail but I love it.)

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Handknit cupcakes!!!

Perhaps best of all — she’s a knitter! (Of course she would be, since she’s so awesome, amIright?) The knitting kinda clinched it, not gonna lie. It feels silly to be so excited about one detail of one day but honestly, it makes me incredibly happy to work with a wedding vendor who happily works within our budget, offers quality services, and truly seems to love what she does. She made us feel so welcome and wanted even though we didn’t have the largest budget and couldn’t afford one of her bigger and more elaborately-decorated cakes. It’s like that didn’t even matter to her — she was happy to have our business and we’re thrilled to be serving a fabulous cake to our wedding guests.

If you’re ever in West Hartford, consider swinging by for a cupcake or two. You won’t be disappointed. We were so giddy and excited by the whole thing that we got 20 minutes down the road before we realized we should’ve bought some cupcakes to bring to my parents (seeing as we were on our way to their house). We turned around, sheepishly purchased the cupcakes, and then when we reached the same stretch of highway we had gotten to before — there was a giant accident that held us up for 45 minutes. Those cupcakes cost us an hour and a half of our time but man, they were worth it! I can safely say that ordering the cake was hands-down the best part about wedding planning. (Though maybe that’s the residual sugar high talking…) If only everything could be this easy!

The Way It Goes

At the start of this whole wedding planning thing, I swore to myself that I would not become one of those obsessed people who got bogged down in the details and thought about nothing else. I believe I might have failed in my quest and it was the registry (the registry! of all things) that finally broke me.

You see, I’m a researcher. I thoughtfully consider every single outcome of every single decision I make (yup, welcome to hell). When it comes to shopping, I like to know what I’m purchasing, see what reviewers thought of it, compare brands, models, and prices, and generally do my best to ensure that what I’m spending my hard-earned money on is something that I both 1) really want and 2) believe is a good value. This compulsion for efficient, thoughtful shopping is apparently magnified by a million when I’m putting together a list of suggestions of what other people  might spend their hard-earned money on for us. I managed to squeeze the whole registry ordeal into just three days but man what a three days those were. I’m still mad that I lost a large chunk of a night’s sleep over table linens.

dishes

Yes, linens. We’re talking PLACEMATS, people. But they had to match the dishes, and not be boring, and potentially coordinate with the nonexistent walls of my future dining room, and look nice on our nonexistent dining room table of unknown wood color during the elaborate dinner parties we will undoubtedly throw once we’re married. Obviously. Except I couldn’t find any linens that both matched the dishes and wouldn’t be boring. I like color and pattern and texture and none of those things were working with the dishes I also loved. Then I had a stroke of genius: I could save the elegant, boring linens for those (certainly forthcoming) special occasion dinner parties and then MAKE MY OWN fun ones for every day use out of yarn that will MATCH PERFECTLY because I am a knitter (and fledgeling zoom loom weaver) and I have the power to MAKE IT SO. Now that I think about it, it’s probably not that weird that a fiber artist would care so much about what her table linens looked and felt like… right?

Nah… I’m probably still crazy. I was, after all, stressing out over coordinating items that I do not even own with rooms (and a life) that I do not currently have. But no more — the registry is done and reading this book has been a fabulous reminder that it is our neuroses that make life funny and interesting and  some (like the Yarn Harlot) can even profit from revealing their quirky inner workings for all the world to see:

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Her newest book isn’t even about knitting but oh, I love it so. It’s chock full of essays about a variety of those extraordinary moments that make up ordinary, everyday life. I’m halfway through already and must’ve laughed out loud at least a dozen times. She might be my favorite person-I’ve-never-met. She’s certainly right up there with Jason Mraz, Margaret Atwood, and Terry Pratchett in the list of people I wish I could have a chat with over tea someday because I like the way their brains work.

Now if only my brain could go back to working like a normal person’s like it did pre-wedding planning, that would be great. I could really use more sleep.

Annual Facing-of-the-Music

It’s that time again, when many reflect on the year behind and plan for the year ahead. I am no exception, and I like to take reflecting to a super awesome dorky level with graphs portraying knitting data (see here and here for 2011 and 2012). Let’s see what types of things I knit this year, shall we?

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Graph portraying the number of FOs in each category this year (green) as well as FOs from previous years (shades of blue).

I think it’s interesting how different project types were more abundant in different years. This year, I was all about the cowls (n=13) while last year it was hats (n=18) and prior to that, shawls (n=11) were a pretty big deal. All of those zeros in the ‘sweaters’ category make me sad, so one of my major goals this year is to knit myself a sweater.

It should be noted that one of my goals for last year (we shall not discuss the rest of them) was to complete 50 projects. And by golly, folks, I did it!

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This table shows the number of FOs of each project type finished in 2013 (green) as well as current WIPs (projects started in 2013 but not finished) and what I call ancient WIPs (projects started in 2012 or earlier).

I’m going to take a second to publicly pat my own back for finishing 50 projects this year (woohoo!). Then I’m going to publicly shame myself for the number of WIPs residing somewhere about my home (n=38 total). Guys, that is far too many WIPs. The socks are especially bad: I finished one pair this year but there are SIXTEEN MORE in existence. My second major goal this year is to get a handle on the sock situation (I know, I know, I’ve said it before. I’m for reals this time.).

There’s another situation that I’m finally going to bite-the-bullet and resolve to get a handle on:

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Internet, meet Stash.

The stash. That beautiful, wondrous, inspiring, hopeful… dirty little word. At some point in (almost) every knitter’s life, the stash becomes so overwhelming with the enormity of its beauty that one must commit to knitting it down. This year is my year. That photo doesn’t even show any of my fiber stash (which has grown quite a bit, as well) or any of my non-STR Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarns (which I had already packed away during the great re-organizing of the other night). So it’s time. There are too many downright gorgeous yarns in there and too many beautiful projects already knit in my head that I want to make in reality. My only exceptions are: 1) if I run out of something I’m using and need more to finish the project, 2) if I am knitting a gift and I really don’t have an appropriate yarn (such as a superwash), and 3) souvenir yarn. I’m taking a honeymoon somewhere in July and you bet your bottoms I’m going to purchase some commemorative yarn if I come across it.

So there you have it, my three main goals for 2014 (keeping it simple):

  1. Knit myself a sweater
  2. Finish or frog all of the socks-in-progress
  3. Knit only from stash

What are your goals for 2014? Do you like to make a list or do you keep things loosey-goosey?