Saturday, May 14, 2016

Twisting the Cat...

"The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. 
So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day."

Yes, you've heard that story before. Well, I think you have. I know that I am a big fan of Dr. Seuss, and The Cat in the Hat is one of my favorites. But my story is likely to digress, at least a little, from the mischief of a cat in a striped hat. It starts off with rain, to be sure...and it is chilly out there, but...

I sat here with Sweetie, we sat here, we two, 
and I said, "Oh! I know just what to do!"
So I brought out some yarn, needles and hooks, 
which garnered from Sweetie a sly little look...

Then I set straight to work, there's just one sleeve left here,

I knitted and knitted, and what's that over there?

A blanket unfinished? No more yarn? That won't do!
"Sweetie, let's go shopping," I started to coo.

We drove out to Michael's, I had 20% off
Then Jo-Ann's, with my birthday gift card, 
For more yarn, oh, so soft!

Then back to the house to knit in the rain,
Well, to knit in the house, with a mouse, on a train!
Well, that last bit is fiction, you've figured it out...
But I did knit my bit, for it was too wet to be out!

And now that the day is half done, what's your bet
That I'll continue to knit through the night? Don't you fret...
You know I'll be knitting, as long as there's light
Then I'll put up my needles and whisper, "Good night!"

But tomorrow I'll pick it all up again, 
Maybe we'll get a little break from the rain...
Even if we don't there's knitting to be done,
Sun, rain or snow, I'll have knitting fun!

Well, friends, there you have it. I've twisted The Cat in the Hat to suit my purposes. I hope you enjoyed it. If not, at least it didn't take long...

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Striped Wallaby

Sometimes you just need a couple stripes. Nothing too complicated, no lace or cables, but not too simple either. Don't make me think too hard, please. Just change colors every 4 rows, and there you go...a happy little Wallaby is starting to emerge.

What's coming off your needles today? Whatever it is, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sometimes Hallmark Lies - Mother's Day Edition

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. Hallmark and the media would have you believe that all mothers  and grandmothers everywhere would love to have breakfast in bed, lunch at a nice little tearoom with dessert of chocolate-covered strawberries, a lovely card with a bouquet of flowers, and finally dinner at a fancy restaurant to top off the day before a relaxing over a cup of tea just before bedtime. Nice fantasy, I suppose, if there is a woman who can consume all those calories in one day and still fit into her jeans!

Enter the only obstacle to the aforementioned fantasy: the actual family! Any mom with littles probably does not wish for breakfast in bed. Oh,the idea is nice enough, but we've all seen the cute videos where the kid spills a glass of milk, or a bowl of fruit, or all of the syrup onto the hall carpet...several times while shouting, "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy!" Now, I am not saying that Mommy doesn't appreciate the thought...however, I know that for this to be an effective gift that she can enjoy without worry, there must be a responsible adult (Dad, this is you) following that kid around with towels, stain remover, laundry basket and steam cleaner! If that's the route you want to take, have at it! Oh, and don't forget that you have to go see Grandma, too...if you want this to be the most perfect Hallmark Mother's Day ever...

Now, for the elephant in the room: What if you don't have a mom? Or what if you have a difficult relationship with your mom? Or what if you have desperately wanted to become a mother, but that possibility may not ever be a reality for you. What does Mother's Day look like in these situations, Hallmark? Well, there's the "I Love You Like a Mother" card, I suppose, for the woman or women in your life who have been mother-figures. There is also the stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach, doing your best to ignore every single commercial for the last month, and trying not to notice moms everywhere, being honored in a way that you cannot honor your own mom.

I know a young woman who lost her mother to cancer when she was 16. It was rough. I was there. Yet I cannot imagine her grief. She learned how to drive without her mom. She got married without her mom. She bought and decorated her first house without her mom. Someday she will have her children, and her mom will not be there to be the best grandma ever (and trust me, she would have been just that). Mother's Day is painful for her, but she does her best to remember the best about her mom. A few months ago, I met with this young woman on her mother's birthday, and she brought me flowers. They were lovely, and she explained that she bought this specific flower every year on this day, just one of the ways she remembers her mom with a smile. This is a very strong young woman. Her mom would be so proud.

I know another woman who was never able to have children, although it was one of her deepest desires. Instead of focusing on what she could not have, she chose a career working with children, and in her heart she adopted each one. Those kids, some from quite desperate situations, had motherly love in some very hard times, and I know they still remember this lovely teacher's aide into their adulthood. She was their teacher, encourager and biggest cheerleader at a time when the system had already started to write them off. Their future success will be attributed, at least in part, to the love of a woman who poured her motherly love into them, even without the benefit of a blood relationship.

I know a man who has a strained relationship with his mother. Having grown children of his own, he has often looked back on his childhood years and wondered why his own mother had children. If you asked her, I am sure her answer would be something like, "That's just what we did then." So she had children who grew into adults with few happy, childhood memories that revolved around their mom. Even as adults, this man and his siblings struggle with their relationship with their mother. Still, every mother's day, he visits and makes sure that his mom knows that he loves her. It is not all hearts and flowers, and she is still difficult to love at times, but he is making up for love lost in his childhood by forgiving and honoring his mother now.

Finally, this year, I know three young men who lost their mother quite recently. I imagine this weekend will be difficult for them, and they are in my prayers. There are many milestones for them to get through this year, their own birthdays, holidays, and of course tomorrow. Zach, Parker and Sam, I know that your mother loved you, and that she was intensely proud of you. I know that she would want nothing more in this world than your happiness. As you approach the day tomorrow, as well as the coming months and years without your mother, I hope that you will think of her often and with great love and fondness. And, although I am well aware that I am not your mother, and that I could never fill her shoes, I hope that you will remember that I am here for you. I love you guys.

To all of you who are moms, grandmas and great grandmas, Happy Mother's Day tomorrow. I hope that your day comes with a little extra time and attention from your children and extended family.

To those of you who are not moms, and to those of you missing your mom, I hope that your day is good anyway. Even though she may not be here with you, I am sure that your mom would wish you the same, wherever she is.

As for me, it is likely that I will be knitting this Mother's Day, just like most other days. I'll be spending some time with my mom and mother-in-law today, and I look forward to that, too. But at the end of the day, while I count my blessings, I'll also be counting stitches. After all, the girls keep growing, and new sweaters will not knit themselves!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday WIP-day

So, I've had a bout with casting on again... It is not usually my style to have several projects on the needles at the same time. I like to pick a project, choose yarn, cast on and knit until it is finished. Complete projects are so satisfying to me, regardless of size. When I have unfinished knitting, it makes me twitch just a bit. Actually more than a bit. I hate to have unfinished business...at work, at home, in my knitting...anything unfinished makes me twitch. You might imagine, then, that this view makes me twitch a little more than "just a bit," and you would be correct. 

There are six (6) wips on that page! SIX! Five of those are newly cast on! Still, there are so many things in my head, and I was starting to worry that I would begin to forget what my intentions were for each one. The only logical conclusion I could make was that it was time to CAST ON ALL THE THINGS! Apparently, I am well on my way... 

Looks like I'll be knitting happily for many hours in the near future...but I'll be dreaming of the FOs coming off my needles. I am sure that you will hear about each one as I bind off and line them up for their glamour shots. Until then, I'll do my best to keep you updated on the current WIPs and whether or not I am drowning in the anxiety of the unfinished. lol! 

How many WIPs are in your craft room?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Prehistoric Post?

Well, not prehistoric, per se...but related to same. Last weekend, while I spent all that time in the car, I knitted three dinosaurs! I bought the pattern because I wanted to knit a T-rex for a co-worker's son, then (as often happens) I decided that the girls needed dinos, too. So, I rooted around in the stashed acrylic (Why is there so much acrylic in my stash? Oh, right...the toys, the toys! Oh, how I love to knit toys!), and I found some blue and orange, and some mystery, self-striping stuff, with bright pinks and blues and greens. I started right in with Mr. T-Stripex...

After knitting the whole body flat, as the pattern is written, I seamed it and decided to put it aside for a bit. The girls were getting closer, and I wanted to have something in hand for them when we arrived...so Ms. Stega-STRIPE-ous was up next! You know, I didn't even realize that this bright yarn was self striping until I started knitting...what a happy accident! Also, by complete coincidence, I had a bright yellow in the stash that was perfect for her spines. In no time at all (well, a few hours, to be honest) I had a squishy, stripey, dinosaur body!

I was so pleased with how this worked up that I dove right back into that yellow for her legs, which I also knit according to the pattern, stuffing and sewing on when they were finished. Her back legs splayed out a little too much, so I tacked them down, as for a jointed stuffed animal, stitching through both legs and the body a few times. You can see the little pucker, if you look closely. 

The Stega-STRIPE-ous looks fantastic, and it is now officially kid-approved!

So, what do you do when there are two girls but only one bright-and-stripey dinosaur? Well, you knit another, of course! Enter Ms. Tricera-STRIPEs! But this time, you're a little smarter, a little more experienced, and a little more adventurous! I knit the legs mostly as written, but rather than binding off the tops as written, I knit some short-rows and cinched them closed, much like the top of a hat. When all four legs were done, I stitched them to the body, the same way I had tacked down the Steg's back legs. Final result? Well, when the frill was done, we had a fully jointed (well, jointed at the shoulders and thighs), not-scary-and-cute-as-a-button Triceratops!

What did we do next? Well, we played the Triceratop Rock song, of course! (Go on. Click it. You know you want to know how to do this dance. You know you do!) Wasn't that fun? I'm a little sorry I didn't get pix of the girls dancing, but I was too busy dancing myself! The dinos? Notsomuch. But they still seemed happy enough.

They did have a question, however. "What about the T-rex? Will he ever get his arms and legs?" Valid question, so I worked on those and they were done by the time we pulled into the driveway at the end of the whirlwind weekend! (The cat, of course, was not impressed. Oh, cat.)

Wasn't that a fun trip? Prehistoric? Maybe not. But I think I'll knit these guys again...so super cute! Also, Triceratop Rock was a trip down memory lane for me...when Mork and Dollface were little, I had a cassette tape of fun dinosaur songs: Triceratop Rock, The Hungry Diplodocus, How Do You Spell Dinosaur? We played it over and over in the car...err minivan...when they were small, and our whole family could spell dinosaur by the time Dollface was 3. If your kid likes dinosaurs, you should check out these tunes...so fun, and perfect plays for the car. 

Thanks for stopping by! I think that is all I have for today. I know that I should clean something, or do the budget, or maybe cook a healthy meal, but it's been a long week. I think I will knit instead. Won't you join me?

Knit in Good Health!