One Hundred Miles Per Hour

Somewhere in my brain is the desire for each and every blog post to be a deep and meaningful one-sided conversation in which I opine, and you come along for the ride.

Unfortunately, that’s not always going to happen, nor do I believe that I currently have the mental fortitude to pour my soul out on a regularly scheduled basis.  That’s what late night conversations after a couple of bottles of wine are for, and unfortunately (or fortunately) you all are not lucky enough to have those drunken discussions with me.  It is your luck that you get the watered down hobby blog that’s being transformed into a strange mix of romanticism, cynicism and any other lovely undertones I can come up with.

Two things have happened as of late to have brought about a bit of mental awareness on my part.  First, the come to Jesus I had with my brain in regards to its activity.  It goes one hundred miles an hour at most times during the day, unless I am knitting or spinning.  While this can often be an enjoyable thing, it does have its drawbacks – I’ll get to that in a minute.  Second, I read a somewhat innocuous blog post about blogging and how to get yourself and your blog organized.  It occurred to me after a few minutes of thought that I am mentally so unorganized, its amazing I can even manage to tie paragraphs together.

See I figure that part of my problem with the brain that never stops is that it’s about impossible to remain organized when good things start to happen.  I can have a four-hour conversation about something, have all of these light bulbs go off in my head and feel like I’m about to be visited by an angel who shall carry my voice to your ear because I’m going to go home and blog about it.  I drive home…  I’ve got great music playing…  My brain is full of carefully constructed sentences that have been meticulously crafted into the most perfect blog post ever!

And as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, it’s gone.  It’s not just jumbled up like a puzzle that you had to move from one table to another.  It’s just gone.

That’s what happens when everything goes so fast.  I can’t hold on to anything.  Brilliance comes and it goes.  More often than not, it stays gone.  I’ve got to figure out a way to make my musings stick.  Maybe I need to carry a notebook around and just write down the fleeting thoughts so that I can recall them later.  I could start another collection of post it notes in a shoe box, but that’s a bit exhausting and takes up too much space.   Plus, I can’t write while I’m driving.

Regardless of how I go about it, I think the hardest thing is going to be presenting something to the blogosphere that is a cohesive collection.  I’m not sure how to tie all of my thoughts together, let alone create a corner of the universe that you want to come back to every time I decide to post.

Anyhow!

I have been knitting like a good little creature.  I even have a finished something or other.  Here’s today’s bit of genius.  The Burberry Inspired Cowl.

Poor mini me.  She wasn’t amused.

poor girl

I knit this using Reynold’s Andean Alpaca Regal, which is a yarn I doubt that I would use again.  It’s not bad yarn, but it’s got some production issues going on (like obvious ends to plies that stick out) and quite frankly I’m not a lover of fat yarn.  All complaining aside, this thing is bulky, its drapey and it’s all kinds of warm.  Perfect for days like today when the temperature has fallen to obscenely low numbers.

The one good thing I can say about this yarn is the stitch definition is great and it has those little hairy pieces that I adore.

 

 

I do think it’s going to get a lot of use.  While I like the coziness of a turtleneck, I can’t stand to wear them.  I have cowl neck sweaters but they don’t fit so good under jackets.  A slouchy warm cowl is the perfect alternative.

Plus, you can sorta hide in it and talk to yourself quietly and no one will notice.  Trust me, I came up with half of this post in the camera shop today.

(Mental note to self.  If you say it out loud, Megan, you tend to remember it.)

 


Read me, Seymour!

I’ve had this picture in my head now for months.

heart!

 

As I was knitting these gloves (Knotty Gloves, btw) I kept coming back to this shot in my mind.  Although it’s not how I originally intended it to be (too much excess snow) mother nature gave me light fluffy stuff so I had to go with it.  A special thank you to Nana Pepperoni for being the best hand model ever.  It was really frackin’ cold here today.

I often do feel like I hold my heart in my hands.  A few years ago, I developed two horrible habits.  The first is being a dreamer.  The second is being a hopeless romantic.  I wander about life with my head in the clouds, dreaming of what I want, determined to make it a reality.  For many years, I walked about with a wall up intent on keeping my heart to myself.  Scared to share, scared to be free, scared to let things flow.  It cursed my friendships and my relationships.  To walk through life afraid to be open and share life with others is an isolating experience that leaves you wondering what’s missing.  Waking up every day with nothing but your cup of coffee and a tv isn’t enough, even if you have convinced yourself that it is.  There’s a huge world out there that is screaming for your return.

I came to the realization two years ago and decided that my life was going to change.  I was going to do what I wanted and needed to do for myself.  I was going to be happy.  I was going to live freely and stop limiting myself by remaining emotionally prostrate.  It was a strange moment in the land of Megan, but I am better off because I allowed it to happen.  Walking the streets of your head knowing you are free to make any choice that you desire is a freeing moment that everyone should have.  Too often our past becomes our obsession, and we allow ourselves to become trapped in the insanities** that we cannot ever change.   It’s ok to allow those chains to fall to the side, and to not be ruled by past sufferings.  Pick up, move on and smile.  While it may not be easy, and it’s not something that happens overnight, it feels good once it happens.  I spent hours, no, days, convincing myself that I was good and that life was good and that people were good, and one day I looked in the mirror and realized that I needed no convincing.

We are often too concerned with what we think should happen instead of simply allowing it to.  We get caught up in what our preconceived notions are about what we think we want.  Who our mate will be.  What type of clothes we should wear.  How loud we should sing, or if we should simply not.  When we allow our ideology to take over for our heart we cannot see the beautiful creatures that are right in front of us, wanting to hold our hands.  We can’t see what people have to offer – we only see that they don’t fit our mold and therefore are not worth our time.  I created my molds out of anger, pain and betrayal, and while the memories that created them still exist, I shall not be bound to them.  I am free to live my life in spite of them, and they no longer rule me..  Nor do they put me into the isolated corner of martyrdom.

I hold my heart in my hands so that I can share it, and I am glad.  Though it may bring me heartache, cause me to refuse reality and become that petulant child that stomps her foot when she cannot get what she wants, I am glad.  Dreams don’t always become reality, and I’m ok with that.  I can live and I can learn.  I can hurt, and yet my heart will always heal if I allow it to.

I know this blog post is a bit unusual for me, but I am in the process of trying something new.  I’ve been writing a lot outside of this blog, and while I don’t feel the need to share just yet, I can share with my writing takes me and the things I learn along the way.  I don’t feel the need to wax poetic for you every post, but I do want to do it more often.  Yes, I know it’s rambling and disjointed in parts, but I’m hoping with practice those parts will go away.  I owe it to the ideas that float about my head to let them out.

xo

 

** I know insanities is not a word, but it fits.  Those crappy parts of life that life on cause the insanity and I find that often there is more than one insane gremlin living in my head.  Thus, insanities.


Nerdy Hat Talk

So here is the Double Diamond Argyle Hat.  It doesn’t fit anyone in this house, so I’ll be busy trying to find it an owner.  It’s will fit a head about 22 inches big.  Which is indeed a pretty big head.  At any rate, here’s a close up that makes my inner yarn nerd self all tingly and stuff.


You can’t tell in this picture, but I used two different techniques to do the color work on this one.  Typical floats, where you carry the yarn you aren’t using along, and another that twists the two together every other stitch.  The second way is nice because it’s easy to learn and doesn’t leave you with floats that can snag on stuff (like fingernails, rings, barettes, etc).  It did, however leave me with some not-so-lovely lumps.

Can you see the difference?  The bottom half of this picture is the method with floats – the top hat is with the twisted one.  Yuck!  I thought the lumpy stuff might block out once it had a soak, but certainly not enough.  I’m going back to regular floats.  I will still use both hands to knit (continental and English) but I won’t be staring at twisty and lumpy.  I can see myself, however figuring out a way to incorporate the twisty technique with the usual.  It really made carrying the yarn along much easier.  If I figure it out, I’ll gladly share!

Still, look at the backside.  Can you see why this would be great for mittens and things for small kids?

What’s up next?

Funny you should ask.  This chunky alpaca landed in my hands the other day and I couldn’t pass it up.  Good thing I happen to have a friend who wants a hat with earflaps.  I’m thinking Thorpe with a snowflake design mixed in for good measure.  Thorpe does come with its own two color version, but it’s for a 19 inch head, which would fit me.  Not the friend who wants a hat with earflaps.  So I’ll just find something super that works over 72 stitches and call it a day.

I think I need a t-shirt that says “Fair Isle Is Fun!”

(It’s either that or more valium.  You pick.  I like suprizes.)


I need more winter accessories.  Naow. I’ve got a ton of shawls at the ready, which turn into fabulous scarf/wrap things that look sumptuous when just piled around your neck.  One that has shocked me is the Pink Lemonade shawl I knit over the summer.  I prefer to wear triangular shawls as a scarf because the shape of them makes it easy, but Pink Lemonade has no triangle for me to futz with, so I’ve shied away from wearing it – even considered gifting it away as I was not in love with how it looked.

Good thing I kept it – I wear it all of the time!    I knit it using madelinetosh merino light, and after knitting it, I liked it (minus the yarn vomit I had to wade through to wind the stuff – rumor has it that issue has been resovled).  After wearing it, I loved it, and the price is right!  The yarn itself is some where fingering, so but I could easily see it being used in place of lace weight to beef up a shawl for added warmth.  I will admit that I am afraid to drink my coffee with this on.  I’m a klutz and spill stuff all of the time, so I’m just waiting for the day…. So now that my neck is warm, my head is lacking.  Not that I feel the need to knit hats to match shawls (because that would need to happen in order for me to wear them), but I just need hats!  And I love hats!  I really love felted wool hats (as you can see), however they aren’t always what I am looking for.  So I’m just going to start knitting various hats.  If they fit, that’s great, if they don’t, I’ll find them an owner.

For today’s selection we have the Double Diamond Argyle Hat by Cheryl Burke.

Don’t ask me about socks, or a cowl, or a sweater.  This hat is our current focus, and that’s that.  Got it?

I snagged a book from a good friend and fabulous knitter Lori a while ago called Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified.  I have been wanting to try colorwork for the longest time, and while I’ve given it a go, I’ve never quite gotten it down, I am not afraid to keep trying.  This book is pretty neat because they show you how to twist the yarn you aren’t using with the one in use so that there are absolutely NO floats.  I can’t wait to try this technique on some gloves!

There is only one problem here.  You need to knit english and continental at the same time.  Which is pretty simple – unless you knit tighter one way and looser the other.

Le sigh…

Up next is Thorpe!

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Lil’ Miss Sunshine Goes Grey

It should be relatively obvious at this point that I love color.  I love what you can do with color.  I love what color says and represents.  Lately, I have been obsessed with how the perfect shade of pink can make anyone’s cheeks blush without embarrassment.

And yet I’m knitting with grey.  (And I bought grey tights yesterday, but that’s a different story all together, and I’m not even sure if I can bring myself to wear a skirt in this weather.  Though I love my skirts, so I might just have to gut it out.)

I don’t do much knitting with bulky weight, so when I got this Andean Alpaca Regal in the mail as part of a grab bag I was a bit confused as to what to do with it.  (80% of my stash is fingering weight and below.  I sometimes forget bulky isn’t bad)   It’s also grey.  Not just sorta grey, but dull, lifeless boring grey.  additionally, the stuff is 90% alpaca.  So there I was, with fat yarn, in a boring color, made of super warm stuff.  It’s been lingering in a baggie for months, until I found the Burberry Inspired Cowl.

Yes, those are straight needles, and yes, I have to kitchener 58 stitches.  Don’t you judge me.

Obsessed with cables?

Who?  Me????


What It Used To Be Isn’t Always What It’s Going To Be

Hello, my name is Bob.

I once was pristine white snow.  Two crazy ladies came along and decided to turn me into a mutant zombie cheerleader.  My eyes keep falling out, my nose is a half of a cucumber and I have granite rocks for teeth.  Tho I really like to fancy them fangs.

Anyhow.

So I’ve been writing a bunch of blogs that I don’t post.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I always have something to say, but lately, I find myself wondering “Is this something people really want to hear?”  I try to be witty and make fun of myself but some times, I’m just not there.  Normally when you see no posts from me it’s because I’m just not in the mood to be fun.  Sure there are moments when I force it and it brings about a nifty, short-lived turn around, I can’t do it all of the time.

I had this superiorly cheerful, majorly “Go-Team” post about the Top 10 Things That Were Great About 2010, but it was rather materialistic and shallow.   As I re-read the post, I found myself realizing that if one’s Amazon Prime membership makes it into your Top 10 list of great things, then there is a problem with the price of tea in China.  (Or at the very least your shopping habit, but let’s not go there)

It’s time to get back to basics.  Do a bit of mental housekeeping, see what’s currently in progress and what I need to do next.  On the knitting side of life, I’ve got socks, a sweater, a cowl (don’t ask) and at least two other things floating around.  While the sweater is just going to be an ongoing project, the socks need to get done, and the cowl is close.  Perhaps finishing the cowl will produce some sort of endorphin rush that will make me want to finish the socks.

Then again, maybe not.

On the mental side of the house, I’ve just got to get the heck out of my funk.  Normally not so difficult, but I’m without my usual method of de-funking and so it may be time to explore other options.  I’ve been contemplating skiing, which is something I used to enjoy when I was younger.  Fun, but at this point, still a solitary function.  I’ve adopted an old camera which needs to get some use, but again…  solitary.  I’m living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, yet I’m not enjoying any of it because I’m just too damned cranky, which translates into me being a hermit.

Mental note to self:  Get up off your ass, go make some friends and enjoy yourself.

Meanwhile, back in the land of non-crankyness, there has been much snowshoeing and snowman building.  Look at these two goof balls.  I need to send this into the NH State Visitor’s Bureau – See how much fun we have here?!?!?!?!?!

What’s not to love about a  place that is a frozen tundra one day and a foggy melty place the next?


Today’s Blog Is Brought To You By The Letter “H”

Happy Holidays, everyone!

I hope the new year brings you much joy and happiness, as all new years should.  If in doubt remember…

Things always have a way of working themselves out, and there are times when we simply need a bit of perspective to recognize that we are where we are supposed to be.  And while it may not seem like it, we waste a lot of energy wishing we were elsewhere instead of enjoying what is right in front of us.

xo