Like a Drunken Trip to Hobby Lobby

Yesterday afternoon I met up with one of my book clubs. After our meeting my sister, who is also in that book club, told me that she had a bag of craft things for me to take a look at. She said I could take what I wanted and donate the rest. She was setting low expectations. She gave me a treasure trove of kid craft goodness. I told her it was like I went to Hobby Lobby drunk and came home with all sorts of things.

Do you have any crafts you loved to do with preschoolers? I’m open to any ideas. The kids love crafts, and have come to expect a craft at least once a day. I’m running out of ideas.

Accessories

I’ve bought a couple of knitting related things lately that I thought I would share with you. They are all things that I think are cool, so I think you should know about them.

Fringe Association has a sale on their knitmoji enamel pins. I fell hard for the sheep with heart eyes and the crying frog. I added them to my small pin collection on my knitting bag. I never wear my pins, butI do look at them a lot and think about how much I like them.

After learning how to bead I had a new appreciation for Hannah at the Corner of Craft. I stalked in January progress keeper club sign ups and was able to get a spot. It was a ball of yarn, and I love it.

I’ve finally fallen for big faux fur pom poms. I blame this fully on Grocery Girls Knit. I went to Etsy to find a pom for the Winter Walk hat, then things got out of hand. I found Naptime Knitter Designs, which has free shipping when you spend $35. Of course I wanted free shipping. The shop owner included a thank you note and a free pom pom with my order. I’m a sucker for a thank you note. I love these poms. The quality appears to be the same as the ones in my LYS. They have yarn to tie them inside of the hat, so I can remove them to wash the hat and I don’t have to sew a snap on. I will be buying from her again. I will also be knitting a lot of hats before I need to buy more from her. If you like poms you should check her out, these are affordable and nice. I spent less than $40 and got all of these.

In sad news, I just found out that the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival is no more. I loved that festival.

Have a great Sunday, Blogville.

4 Awesome Things About Today

Today was crazy busy. The kind of busy that is generally reserved for summer, when everyone is excited to be outside and it isn’t dark all of the time and the world isn’t covered in snow. Four really nice things happened today, and I’ve decided to tell you about them (and not just because upon reflection yesterday’s post was a tad cryptic).

1. I took a long walk alone. I went out and walked for an hour or so and cleared my head. It felt amazing.

2. John built a sledding hill/fox den for the kids in the backyard. We have a flat yard. He built a tall hill so the kids can sled. The kids are happier when they play outside. I’m happier when they play outside too.

3. We took the kids to the circus. The Shrine Circus is in town. Ivy’s dad is a Shriner and was kind enough to send us tickets. Audrey was enthralled. Elliot was excited until he got too tired. It was fun to see them see them take it all in. There was an act that involved camels, so Elliot was happy. Audrey got to meet a unicorn, which thrilled her and confused her (why do they say it is real? Unicorns are imaginary.) John and I were uncomfortable with the tiger act, and the kids were not impressed. Both kids told us the tigers weren’t even mean to the lady. Apparently to be a good large cat act you need to attack the trainer.

4. Ivy came over to knit tonight. I cannot explain how much I needed that. Knitting. Talking. Wine. Cheese. These are exactly what I needed. I’m so lucky to have a friend like her.

Next week will be a good week. I can feel it. I think February is going to be a good month for Blogville. Can you feel it too?

Self-Care

The past two days have been hard. Several things have happened that have just worn me down. Reading other blogs this week made me realize I’m not alone in my late January blues. I appreciate you all.

Karen posted a Self-Care Quiz over on her blog, and I thought I would answer it on my blog. Feel free to chime in via comments or on your blog. It is a short quiz that is good for reflection.

  • Do you practice self-care? Is it a term you use or is it a foreign concept?
  • How do you practice self-care in a physical way? Do you put make up on or get your hair done? Maybe get a massage? Go for a run?
  • How do you practice self-care in a mental way? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you sit quietly and empty your mind?
  • Do you consider time alone to be self-care? Or time with family? Or time with friends?

I do practice self-care, but I rarely use the term. I generally call it “me time” and involves time spent doing what I want.

I practice self-care in a physical way by walking at least 10,000 steps every day. I also make time to get in the woods to hike at least a few times a month. I do not put on make up or get my hair done, as that is not relaxing to me.

I practice self-care in a mental way by knitting at least a little bit every day. I feel better when I meditate, but that is something that I easily fall out of the habit of and forget to do. I journal a bit each night, and on perfect days I spend time in bed putting my thoughts together in the morning before I roll out of bed.

I consider time alone to be self-care. I spend Sunday mornings watching podcasts and drinking coffee alone in my room and it is f*cking magical. Time with my friends is also self-care: knitting with Ivy, walking with Jess, Hiking with JoAnna, camping with Kirsten, going fabric shopping with Claire, etc. Spending time with my friends is a lot like therapy, if I am spending one on one time with them. If I’m with more of them it is still a great time, but is not as therapeutic for me.

I would love to hear your thoughts on self-care.

WIP Wednesday

My shawl is still here. I’m still working on it. I only finished an inch this week, as my knitting that I need to think about was devoted to the memory mitts. I hope to get more done on it this week. I’m not allowing myself to cast on a new fun project until I finish this.

I finished John’s first sock and cast on the second. I’m hoping to get the ribbing of the second sock done tomorrow at swim lessons.

I hope you are enjoying your knitting this week.

Memory Mitts

Last year my friend lost both of her parents in less than two months. I’ve been thinking about her and her pain a lot lately, especially as we are getting close to the anniversary of the death of her father. I decided to make her a pair of fingerless mitts to honor the memory of her parents.

I used the Grace Handwarmers pattern by EweKnit Toronto. I liked using the pattern because it was free, well written, and her dad was the pastor at Grace Methodist. I used my bullet journal to sketch out charts that reminded me of her parents. Her mom was a musician, so I used music notes for her mitt. I would have preferred to knit a violin, but I didn’t think I could make it work. Her dad often said “Bless your heart” so I knit that into her dad’s mitt.

The dark brown yarn is handspun from the farmers market in Lawrence, KS. The light brown is yarn my friend brought me from her trip to Scotland last year. Both yarns are undyed.

This was the project I had scheduled for February, so I’ve added a brioche cowl to the schedule for next month. Have you been knitting much lately?