October 30, 2012

Stash Busting with Lawrence

I finally finished Lawrence this week. Lawrence is part of my serious stash-busting plan. When I first learned to knit and crochet a few years ago, I didn't really know what I was getting into. I just knew that I needed to get my hands on yarn. Lots of it. So when a local craft chain offered select colors of Paton's Classic Wool on clearance for only 99 cents a skein, I bought up a whole mess of it.

At the time, I had recently ventured into sock knitting and was whipping up a mess of the wooly beasts for myself and the Sailor. The amount of yarn I had stashed would have made a LOT of socks. And I'm not sure we needed that many in the same color. 

a SMALL sample of the aforementioned stash

I wanted to make a sweater out of it, but I knew my penchant for shrinking pure wool socks, so I figured I needed to make something that wouldn't have to be washed too often. Vests are perfect. You can wear something underneath and somehow, the vest stays cleaner, longer (unless you spill something down the front, which I have been known to do.) Lawrence fit the bill.  

I may have finished this thing sooner, if I had paid more attention to my row count in the car. I got home from the beach and discovered I had seriously messed up about 26 rows back. 

I think it may have happened right about here, as I took this photo. The Sailor gave me a strange look as I snapped the pic. I'm not sure if he looked at me funny because I was taking a photo with my left hand, or because he knows I get a little car sick sometimes if I knit in the car. I had to read a chart with this pattern, so he probably figured I was taking my chances. 

I ripped out the rows of doom, fixed the problem and kept knitting. The only thing is that I wasn't always knitting. Apparently garter stitch done in the round means that you need to knit one row and purl one row (as opposed to stocking stitch in the round, which means you knit every row.) I'm not so sure I would have been so keen to do this pattern if I had known that little gem before starting (note to self: read instructions before proceeding...) I apparently knit a few rows with no purling in between. It wasn't pretty. But I fixed it.

I managed to knit the last few rows just as Sandy approached the east coast. Knitting usually calms my nerves, and it seemed to be more appealing to me at the time than watching the news and waiting for impending disaster.

I still have to block the thing and shockingly, I also still have yarn leftover. Maybe I'll make some more socks after all. 

October 21, 2012

The Beach

The Sailor had a shipping course to do in Virginia Beach this past week... and lucky me, I got to tag along. While he met other salty sea dogs, I wandered around Norfolk, visited the Chrysler Museum and found myself a fabulous coffee shop on the way back to the car. I tucked myself into a back corner, drank far too many cappuccinos, and managed to actually get some work done on holiday.

A few days of sun, sea air and sand always does wonders for my soul. Oh, and a few amazing cappuccinos never hurts.

October 18, 2012

The End of the Silence

Seven years ago I started a blog -- like Twitter today, it seemed to be the thing to do. I worked as a volunteer with an international non-profit at the time and relied upon monthly financial support to pay my fees. I posted fairly diligently on the blog so that friends, family and financial supporters could keep up with my whereabouts.

When I got married, I stopped writing on the blog and deleted the whole thing. Although I kept the domain name, I concluded my epic postings. Instead, I relied on Facebook to keep in touch with people, but even then, for a long while I felt that I needed to keep my private life sacred and well, private. The silence has lasted for several years.

It's not that I didn't have anything to say. I just wasn't sure how to say it all. My writing wasn't even the problem -- I have been crafting words my entire life. For as long as I can remember, I have also been creative, with an eye for photography, a penchant for handmade gifts, and a slight obsession with paper, scissors and glue. The thing is, I wanted to combine all of those things into something, but didn’t know how.

Then for a while, I only wanted to focus on writing. But I didn’t want to lose sight of all of the other things that make me, well, me.

Suddenly, I felt a little trapped. I had tried to separate all of my gifts into separate boxes. And while I tried to package them all into neatly tied separate categories: knitting, writing, cooking, crafting, and a whole host of others -- I seemed to lose a bit of my own identity. I compared myself with every other food blogger, knitting guru, photographer and writer out there.

The thing is -- I should never have compared myself to anyone else in the first place. 

I had been so busy trying to put everything into separate boxes, I forgot that I was the one who tied them together in the first place. I couldn't separate the things that made me, me. I needed to put the gifts all together -- in the same box -- and then leave the box open in order for those things to escape from within me.

My husband and I recently took an epic road trip to scope out some potential places to live. We have been wanting to move somewhere with a bit more of a creative vibe. I realized though, somewhere between Nashville and Austin that I didn’t necessarily need to live somewhere ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’. Creativity lies within. And it's time to share mine with the world -- no matter where I go.

So, I have decided to resurrect the blog. Starting today. Welcome to Typing Sunflowers.