Back Around Again

It has been a while. A long while. But I have come back around again. Here are a few of the things I’ve been up to while out of sight…
apolarbearhatA hat. Polar bear variety.
acleoflamingoOne of five flamingo costumes.
aethanpaintingA painting of my little brother.
anecklaceA necklace.
anothernecklaceAnd another necklace.
ablanketA baby blanket for a brand new baby.
avalentineValentines…

the Flu

cow2It’s weird to come in here and see that my last post was on February 1st. Man. We got sick. Everyone in the house. It takes a while to fully come through all of that grossness. What does getting sick do for you? I find it to be a really bizarre head space, especially when my kids get sick. When Liam died he had had a normal kid cold. I don’t think that’s what killed him, ultimately, but it was there. I remember. And that’s hard to not think about when I see my kids sick now. There’s this helplessness. So much–not always rational– questioning (why do I let them eat sugar? why did we go to the Y? blah, blah, blah, why?). So we get the flu, I hear on the radio that Wisconsin is only second to Texas in pediatric deaths due to the flu this season, and I try to take care of everyone (just like every other parent does).cow1And we’re fine! We’re all fine. It wasn’t even that bad now that I’m on the other side of it. But while it was on, man, it was on. I wasn’t well enough to go anywhere, I cancelled a lot of stuff, and my house began to look like it had the flu as well. In the middle of feeling bad I got an overpowering urge to knit a hat. That’s usually how it works for me; it’s almost as if I become fixated on the creation of an item and I can’t do anything else until it is complete. So I stayed up late a couple nights with a head cold and an orange cat and knit myself a hat. I love knitting. It’s no wonder that I decided I needed to do it when I was feeling so perfectly bad for myself.cat4We do eat sugar. I’ve been trying to limit the intake, but it’s not gone or anything. I find that when I set extreme limits the limit itself causes way to much anxiety or stress or guilt. If I’m feeling those things because I’m trying to be healthier then I’m not getting healthier. Let’s talk about that for a minute. There are a lot of different belief systems around food. Like, is sugar poison? Is gluten making you ill? Should you go Paleo? I don’t know. I think that each person has their own unique body that functions best when fed in its own unique way. I try to pay attention to how I feel after eating some grub. The more I realize I feel not-so-good after eating certain items, the more I know I don’t want to feel that way, therefore it’s easier to not eat said item. It’s not so much about rightness and wrongness, it’s about finding what works best for you. If eating only organic food helps you feel your best then eat organic food. But if it stresses you out because it’s expensive and you can’t afford other things…if it stresses you out because you are super hungry and you can’t get to the co-op…if it stresses you out and you can’t think about anything else…well then, I don’t know, what do you think? What is your balance?cat1So, speaking of sugar, my two-year-old turned two over the weekend and I made him a cake. I call it the Catty-cat Cake, because that’s what he calls it and because it’s fun. I really enjoy baking and cake construction. I made this one when the three-year-old turned two. I like the challenge. I like that it’s edible. I like that it’s a cat. And even though it’s made of sugar and white flour it brings me a the little people a great deal of joy and that is not stressful, that, I think, is healthy.cat2

What I’m Working On: Baby Boots

btsDSCF6019

Spending evenings knocking these cutie pies right out.

knitting

Have I mentioned I like knitting? And toy horses. I like them, too. Which brings to mind this: say toy boat three times as fast as you can. Did you do it? Always fun. Wait, you didn’t do it…you have to say it out loud. Right now, out loud, “Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat!”

Good job.

What I’m Working On: Dishcloths (yeah, I know (part 2))

dishcloths

I’m still knitting dishcloths late at night…because I’ve been watching House of Cards late at night. Let’s talk about House of Cards for a second. Holy crap. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about life in and around the White House–but mostly it’s about power. POWER. And it’s totally wild, to me at least, because I don’t necessarily desire power. Control, perhaps, at times…

So I knit dishcloths while I watch and wonder why I never had these aspirations. Then I second guess myself for a while (because it’s a good show) and then I slip back into feeling contented by dishcloths. Notice I found some orange and blue scraps? Yep, that happened.

dishcloths

I changed my pattern from the original that I posted over here. They are now more square and less rectangular. Otherwise still simple and functional.

What I’m Working On: My hat

hat

Just before we moved here, to Madison from mild Eugene, Oregon, I accidentally felted my stocking cap in the laundry. It looks really cute now…for a toddler. I started this hat before we left and finally just picked it up again last night. Funny, kind of, because it has been C O L D!

Now, I am happy happy happy to say that my hat is complete and atop my head where it will keep precious heat on my head. I heard recently, on a radio program I think, that humans do not actually lose more heat from their heads. We lose the same amount of heat from all of our parts. Football players just look really impressive with their steamy heads in the winter (at least that’s the image that comes to my mind).

hat

Anywho. The hat is all complete and cozy and helping me to feel all sorts of good. I really like all of those things! This is a great pattern. You can make it too, if you’d like, right here. Happy creating!

What I’m Working On: Dishcloths

dish cloth

I do a bit of knitting. And, believe it or not, when the more complicated knitting projects start to lose me–when I don’t want to count or look at a pattern or worry about mistakes–this is where I go. Dishcloths. Useful. Easy.

dish cloth

Gives me plenty to do while watching Downton. I don’t even like washing dishes, but this project will not only wash said dishes, but bring me joy when I pull it out of the drawer for use. It’s that good to me.

dish cloth

What you need:

1 skein Lily Sugar ‘n Cream in white

US #7 straight knitting needles

Finished Size:

Approximately 7×7 inches

What you need to do:

CO 32 stitches. *Knit* to end of row.

Repeat first row until piece measures 7 inches or your desired length.

Bind off. Weave in ends.

Wash dishes.

 

Want more? Check out part 2!

 

 

What I’m Working On: Knitted Hats (part 2a)


knit hatsTa da!! One hat done. I actually intended this hat for the 6 month old, but it was too big. Not too big for a two year old, however.
knit hats
I made a pretty obvious mistake on this one. Er, well, obvious to me (you can (kind of) see it in the first photo, front and center), but I didn’t pull it all out because I was lazy (?) or in a hurry (?) or something. Truth be told, I think I was hoping the obvious mistake would be less obvious.
knit hatsNow I’m in the process of accepting the hat with a mistake. Because it still works. It’s warm. It’s cute. It’s doing it’s job all right…
knit hatsIt’s like I have to forgive myself for allowing the mistake to happen. That critic in me can be mean. Real mean. So fine, yeah, whatever, let’s get on with it: Mel, I love you. Mel, I forgive you. Mel, I love you. And breath.

My, my. That’s a damn fine hat.

What I’m Working On: Knitted Hats

knit hat
The weather is changing. At least it did for a day, I swear. It’s time to knit some hats.
knit hats
knit hats
knit hats
I love knitting. I do. I love it I love it I love it! Knitting makes television watching productive. Knitting makes the floor need sweeping…less. Knitting encourages problem solving, leaving a knitter satisfied and happy. Knitting sometimes includes swear words (before the satisfied and happy part).
If you’d like be a part of a knitting community, join Ravelry, where I found this hat pattern. Then knit something. It’ll make you feel good.

As for these, a couple of heads will fill them soon…just wait. See part 2a here.