Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Checking In and Catching Up

Happy Wednesday everyone,

So much has happened in the last four months that I am not going to even try go through it all. Instead I am going to summarize the highlights and then move on...

Suffice to say, Life Is Good. I really feel the last few months have been worthy of those capital letters. Not that things are easy or always going well but I feel like I have spent the last few months really living.

We moved into our new house and it was A LOT of work but it made me feel useful and productive and I am so happy with the outcome. I used to spend almost two hours a day driving Monkey to and from school, disrupting the lives of the other little ones along the way. It is now a four minute walk. Best decision ever. Hands down. And as an added bonus all the kids now have their own rooms which seems to going a long way to bring peace (and a slightly quieter noise volume) to the household, not to mention gives me somewhere convenient to send them when I am cross : )

(This is my backyard - that's the school on the right)

Bean turned one. And started walking. And started climbing and jumping and going down slides and using a spoon and talking on the phone... And has essentially stopped being a baby overnight. Much much too quickly in my opinion (but apparently my opinion doesn't matter). 

We went on an amazing family vacation to Australia. I got to spend tons of time with my BFF and her family. We saw All The Animals, we swam, we laughed and we knit. It was awesome.

(Oh, and I got bangs - a very courageous step for me)

And pretty much, that's it. 

There, now that we are caught up, we can return to our regularly scheduled program. The one in which I attempt to (*spoiler alert* and fail at) knit and spin all. the. things. 

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I really have no business...

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I am very excited that my knitting mojo seems to be coming back. Now that I have organized my stash and favourites on Ravelry I really really want to knit All The Things. 

Unfortunately, we are moving in 10 days and there is still an epic amount of packing to be done. Also, judging by my project page, I appear to be already knitting all the things.

So, I really have no business casting on something new.

And yet...

I have totally been sucked into joining Ysolda Teague's Follow Your Arrow Mystery KAL. (**warning: spoiler ahead)

I had a hard time narrowing down my colour choices.

Out of this:

I eventually selected this:

I totally blame Instagram. There were so many beautiful pictures of the yarns people were using for this KAL, it made me want to play along too. At least I'm knitting from stash right?


I'm loving it!

(It is also possible that I may have placed an order so I can also join in the Frosted Pumpkin's Once Upon a Time Sampler - take it from me, Instagram is a very dangerous place.)

Cheers, Nikki

Monday, January 13, 2014

Getting Sorted

Happy Monday everyone.

The start of a new year always inspires me to get things in order. I think it's a much better time than spring for "Spring Cleaning".  The weather is usually cold and miserable and you are spending a lot of time indoors anyways. Might as well put that time to good use! Then, when spring finally does arrive, you can just go and enjoy it. This year, I also have our pending move to motivate me to get things sorted...

So with that in mind, I have gotten immense pleasure this month from reorganizing and tagging my Favourites and Queue on Ravelry. I have also been plotting and planning for the new house on Pinterest.

I think that I have been making thing pretty and orderly in my cyber world to offset the fact that my physical world looks like this...

We move in 13 days y'all*! That is seriously nuts.

I'm not really making any resolutions for 2014. The truth is I feel so defeated when I never keep them. Instead, I'm just going to strive to grow and be the best person I can be in whatever ways that feels meaningful to me.

That said, like just about everyone else I know, I am going to try hard to stash down in 2014. I'm not on  exactly on a yarn diet (as proven my this totally random skein I bought this week)

but I have lots of pretty yarn I really want to knit with. Also, I'm hoping to go to Rhinebeck this year and it would be great to go feeling totally justified in blowing the yarn budget.

I would also like to make myself a sweater (see Rhinebeck above). I have plans and yarn for two, this one, and this one. Choosing will be one of the hardest parts.

Other than that, I am excited to see where the wind takes me. What are your goals for 2014?

Cheers, Nikki

* I love the word "y'all" and unfortunately I am not brave enough to use it in real life. You might need to get used to seeing it in this space - consider yourself warned ; )

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Fresh Start

Happy New Year everyone!

Well, it has been a long while. Today is actually my third Blogiversary. I've been thinking a while about how to explain my absence. I know I could just say I've been busy and leave it at that but I think the truth is worth talking about. 

I have always been something of a worrier. After each of my first two babies, I suffered from heightened anxiety. Not badly enough to need medication... but close. I was pleasantly surprised that after my third baby was born last January I didn't really experience the same degree of postpartum anxiety that I had experienced before. The transition to having a third baby in the house went much smoother than I has expected. We were very lucky to have lots of help from family and friends and a baby who was a good eater and sleeper.

As the months went on, I found myself becoming increasingly tired. I felt like I was angry with the kids all the time and never had enough time in the day to get everything done. I felt like my life was a constant juggling act where I kept dropping the balls. It was always little things like forgetting to fill out a permission slip for my son's field trip, or getting to the check out at the grocery store and realizing I didn't have my wallet, or getting horrifically behind on the laundry but I felt increasingly frustrated with my inability to keep it together. 

My father-in-law had planned to move in with us in September. He is wonderful with the kids and I knew if I could just hang on until then, everything would get so much easier.  And I made it. And everything did get easier. But I soon realized that I didn't feel any better. In fact, I felt more unhappy then ever.

At that point, I fell apart. I started to question every decision I had ever made, especially the choice to have kids. I started to panic that I would feel unhappy and resentful for the rest of my life. I felt selfish, pathetic and exhausted. For the first time since I started knitting three years ago, I couldn't bring myself to pick up the needles. Instead of feeling the familiar anxiety that I had learned to live with, all I felt was hopelessness. 

I knew it was time to get medical help.  With counselling, medication, time and the love and support of my family, I now feel so much stronger than I have in years. I realize now that postpartum depression comes in many forms and this is the story of mine. This has been a hard time for all of us but I know we have come out a stronger and more cohesive family for it.

I am truly blessed to have a beautiful healthy family. I am thankful for them every day. I am so happy to be able to truly feel and appreciate the joy they bring to my life. And for the first time in a long time, I feel worthy of being my kids' mum. I feel ready to help them discover who they are and forge their own paths in this world.

I don't know if blogging will be a regular thing for me again or not. Many things in my life are still a work in progress - including my knitting! What I do know is that that the future looks bright. I am no longer fearful of what tomorrow has in store, in fact,  I look forward to it.

I hope that 2014 brings you health and happiness.

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, October 25, 2013

FO Friday #86 - Picture Panic

Happy Friday everyone!

I think I have almost wrapped up my latest hat binge... although there is at least one more that I want to make. 

I panicked a couple weeks ago and decided that I absolutely needed to knit my daughter a hat for our upcoming family portraits... In 5 days. I used Cascade 220 sport and held it double to go faster. Of course, I didn't really adjust my guage for the thicker yarn and when I finished the hat I realized it felt like it was made out of iron and definitely was not flattering. 

So, I ripped it out and started again, sigh. 

I still finished with one day to spare. I based my hat on the Flower Hat by Rebecca Lennox. I used my own numbers and shaping for the hat and then attached the flower (which is sewn separately in pieces) as per the pattern. The hat is very cute but I would never have paid so much for a one size hat pattern if I wasn't in a panic. In the end, Doodlebug was as cute as a button for our photoshoot. I don't have the pictures back yet but I'll post one up when I do. 

Picture Panic

I'm in Vancouver for Knit City! I am so excited to go to two Yarn Harlot lectures tomorrow. One has a cash bar (although it will be tough to save some of my yarn money to buy a drink ; ) I'm sure to have lots of pretties to show you next week

Cheers, Nikki

Favourite Things:
We went to the first of several Halloween parties last night. All three kids had a blast. My favourite part was how gorgeous the weather was. This time last year we were knee deep in snow!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday #113 - Monogamy

Happy Wednesday everyone.

I have actually been a monogamous knitter this week. I wonder if there's something wrong with me?!

Things are very busy and I've just needed some easy thoughtless knitting. I figured starting my Abalone would be perfect. And it is... now. 

I am really enjoying knitting the body of this cardigan. I did have a couple false starts. I decided to do a provisional cast on and that took a couple attempts for some reason. Then, as simple as this pattern was, I managed to increase unevenly on the two sides. So, I gave the yarn a stern talking to and told it if it behaved badly again it was headed for time out where it might be lost for all time. Needless to say, third time was a charm : )

While monogamous knitting seems to be soothing my soul right now, it does not make for the most interesting of blog posts. I'm sure I will be greatly inspired at Knit City this weekend and will have new things to show next week.  Don't forget to pop back on Friday for More Hats!

Cheers, Nikki

Friday, October 18, 2013

FO Friday #85 - It's Fall, Y'all

Happy Friday everyone!

I cannot tell you how much I wish I lived in a place where I could get away with saying "y'all" in real life. Maybe I should start using it and see what happens? (*Spoiler Alert - what will happen is that my husband will look at me like I have gone off the deep end.)

Anyways, moving on to the knitting, I have hats! I have soooo many hats, but today I will show you two. I apologize for the photography, Bean is not as anamoured with his hats as I am. 

First up is his wee pumpkin hat. I made the two bigger kids pumpkin hats three years ago and my Monkey still insists on cramming his on his head from time to time. Bean is actually going to be a pumpkin for Halloween, so there was no way I could resist making him one. Added bonus: I used stash!

Pattern: Little Pumpkin by Susan B. Anderson 
Size: 18 months

100% Merino DK weight
Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5

Next up is another quick knit winter hat for Bean. This time I went for a Woolly Wormhead pattern that satisfied this month's "Q" requirement for my LYS AlphaKAL. Bean is even less tolerant of this one...

I guess there's just no accounting for some people's tastes. Though, on those brief moments when he leaves it alone, it sure is cute.

Pattern: Quynn by Woolly Wormhead
Size 18 inches
Needles 4.5 mm / US 7
Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma worsted in the Guppy colourway

That's it for this week. I will have more (hats) to show next Friday, when I will be on my way to Knit City - Yippee!!!!

I'm linking up with Tami's FO Friday and Wonderwhygal's Fiber Arts Friday . Click over to check out all the yarny goodness.

Cheers, Nikki