For Your inspiration Friday

Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.

Jon Sinclair


Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

J.K. Rowling


She dreams more often than she sleeps.

Jonny Ox


A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


She has been through hell. So believe me when I say, fear her when she looks into a fire and smiles.

E. Corona


Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway.

Eleanor Roosevelt


I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.

Louise Hay


Let all that you do be done in love.

I Corinthians 16:18


Forever is composed of nows.

Emily Dickinson


We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.

Max Depree


Update and Check-In

This November has been … a transitory time for me. There are a lot of new things going on in our life here. We have a weekly set appointment on Mondays that has thrown my whole schedule off. Mondays before this appointment used to be my time to recalibrate and figure out what my week would be, recharge and destress after the weekend, get myself together…and now…it’s just busy for me. And a busy Monday, after a busy weekend, leads into a busy Tuesday…which means that I don’t get the downtime I am used to until Wednesday…and by Wednesday I am already worrying about Friday…and that leads me into the weekend worry…so this loop is taking me some time to find the space to settle in and find the space where I have the time to stop and breathe and let go of all the pent-up stuff before taking on the on-coming worry.

It’s something I am actively working with and working on…but, it’s a process.

However, as I work through these steps…and as I work on getting my work together…and preparing for the coming year…I tend to let things go when I can’t actually manage things. You may be thinking, how hard is it to sit down and type up some quotes for Friday—and I am telling you that it truly is. There is more to things than you realize…and I do what I can within the confines of my physical limitations at the moment. Honoring myself and my body right now is by far more important to me than forcing myself to create or be online…no matter how much I want to…but I am trying to try…so don’t lose heart.

I also want to talk about my word of the year for 2017: Reclaim. And yes, I had to look it up again to be sure what it was.

My year pretty much stopped, work-wise, creation-wise, in April, wasn’t it? I had my year planned out and then…everything stopped. Even though I had the best of intentions for jumping back on that pony and gettin’ goin’ again—it hasn’t happened…not the way it was supposed to. But, I needed the time off.

Have I re-accessed everything? Have I changed my path or my goals? No. I needed the time to figure out where I am now, where I want to be, what steps needed to be taken to move forward in the direction I want to move. I needed to take that time to reclaim the internal workings of who and what I am, to remember why I am here and why I do what I do. I needed time to cast off everyone else’s expectations and assumptions. I needed to stop doing things the way the “experts” say to do things. I needed to stop keeping up with the Joneses…because that’s never been who I am and I hate that – but when working to rebuild my business, that’s what I thought I should be doing, because that was what everyone was saying I should do.

So, the time off has been productive in some ways…and in others…the guilt piles up. Guilt piles up. Stacks of papers needing to be filed pile up. Magazines pile up. Books pile up. And fine, yes, the laundry piles up because I seriously hate to fold laundry…but at least I do get it done in a semi-timely manner because the guilt of seeing it just sitting there drives me nuts.

October this year was eye-opening for me. There came many shifts, many that I did not expect. I found some correlations and some coincidences that seemed cosmically lined up and linked for me. I found my way through. Finding my way is the easy part…making my way through…that’s the difficult part. That’s how I get stuck being five years into a two-year plan, again.

November is usually my downtime emotionally, spiritually, mentally—which is sort of funny with NaNoWriMo running every year…but how long has it been since I won at NaNo? 2010? I don’t think I finished with 2011’s novel. And I don’t think I have really tried since then either. This year, I found NaKniSweMo…knitting a sweater in a month…and I love that…that feels good…that feels far more like what I need right now…that meditative creation of something that I will actually be wearing. It’s a weaving closed these open wounds, these deep holes, in my life where the things I once loved so dearly and needed to have to stay sane vanished into…and that feels amazing.

So, yes, overall, I would say I have spent this year Reclaiming…and next year’s word has already come to me and is easing into my process even now, as Samhain marks the New Year on the Celtic Calendar…so moves the ancient flows within my DNA…

I will put up the remaining For Your Inspiration Friday quotes…I will simply move forward, not backward.

Thank you for following along on this journey with me.

Duncan’s Hat

I started this before Halloween, but put it on the backburner once NaKniSweMo began…

It is ready for the decreases…I am using the Clayoquot Toque pattern as my basis…and I LOVE this pattern.  It is the first one in a long time that has helped me manage decreasing without going nuts around here…because decreasing around the people in this house is madness…the trick is–there are stitch markers involved…for which I am so thankful.

New hat for Duncan in the works

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Now, the pattern calls for DK yarn…and I used two colors of Caron Simply Soft.  That bright bright yellow that the boy loves SO much and demanded…as well as a color-shifting orange…the original plan had been to use a solid orange and a solid blue to create a pattern on the hat…but I had the color-shifting orange in my stash, so I decided to go with that…plus, I love how the orange shifts and moves over the hat.

It is not a complicated pattern at all, as you can see.  I was actually far more interested in making sure the boy’s ears have extra padding and insulation than anything.

Now, since I am using simply soft here, my gauge is larger than the pattern…I sized down the hat because of that…although the hat is still plenty roomy, which I consider a good thing with the Little Mister because of all his hair.  His hair is very important to him.  I always knit my own hats a bit looser than called for because I have these curls to contend with…so it’s a thing around here.

I got excited working on my Boom! shawl and set the hat aside this past week…after I get my second sleeve started for my sweater, I will finish off his hat.  It shouldn’t take but a couple hours.  And then…I will have to face off with the boy who will want his matching scarf right that minute…I am still debating on knitting a scarf in the round and doing colorwork for him…or just knitting him a lovely yellow scarf…maybe with orange fringe.  I’m not sure on that yet.



My easy go to, knit in the car, knit when I need to not really think about it (although I actually DO need to think about this one much more than I thought because I am apparently easily discombobulated and get switched up) for right now is the Boom! shawl.

I am using Mandala yarn in the Wizard colorway.

Working on the shawl today

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The pattern is super simple–just two rows…and I keep one side marked so I know where I am…that doesn’t always help me…but it is a nice and simple shawl, which is what I was after.  I started this because the weather here has been so nuts…I mean 80 degrees one day, 50 the next.  I hadn’t pulled out my winter stuff yet…hey, the first day it went from I think 70s to the 30s the next, we had to take the youngest out and actually BUY him a winter coat that day because he had outgrown last year’s and I had thought I had some time to transition with lighter jackets before a full-on winter coat was required…I have hats where I can get to them…but I had taken all my scarves and whatnot (that I used to keep hanging on the back of the door) and stored them away for the summer…I’ve made sure the kids’ wardrobes are all switched out and they are ready for colder weather (if ever it comes and stays for more than a day or three), but I am still working on sorting my wardrobe out.

So, I pulled out my needles (size 8 US) and set to work…

I love how this thing is turning out.  I love the shape.  The colors are lovely.  I have another ball of Mandala in Chimera that I am thinking of turning into another shawl, maybe using the similar but different pattern of ex boyfriends, or maybe going with something completely different with close to you (because this was what I intended to make at first instead of Boom!, but my printer decided to have a snit that my husband finally fixed last night…)



So, I was all set to do NaNoWriMo this year…I have three outlines sketchily scribbled out…but then, I saw this.

I had never heard of NaKniSweMo before…however, I had just recently purchased Heart On My Sleeve…and even more recently Strange Brew...I had even begun playing around with patterns by knitting a Clayoquot Toque type hat–although the first one I made I used yarn actually called ‘fair isle‘ so I didn’t have to do any colorwork–the yarn did everything…but it isn’t the only hat I made or have to make…

Since I purchased Heart On My sleeve, I have been slowly gathering some yarn…I started my project, because I am indeed doing the NaKniSweMo challenge, using the Strange Brew pattern as my base, using Mandala yarn in the colorway Sphinx.  I am not doing any colorwork this time around because (1) the yarn changes colors on its own and (2) I just want to make a sweater to be sure I can do it all right before I stress myself out doing a colorworked yoke.

So–Strange Brew starts out by casting on sleeve stitches…using DPNs, because my 16-inch circular needles started out WAY too small to work a sleeve on…I eventually moved onto the circulars, after a fair few inches and several increases…but before that…it was all on DPNs…and I must say, I am rather proud of myself for accomplishing that task.

About 8 inches done on first sleeve #nakniswemo

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As of this morning, I have that one single sleeve complete.

I decided to take the weekend off because –weekends are stressful and we had a lot of plans for this weekend…so I worked on something much more simple…and although I meant to cast on the second sleeve last night, I was so tired by the time we got home and settled yesterday that I was afraid to cast on and screw things up…I mean, I was TIRED…

First sleeve complete #nakniswemo

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Today, in just a little bit, I will be casting on that second sleeve…after some strong coffee enters my system, hopefully…

I am enjoying this process so much more than I thought.  I wonder why I have allowed myself to be afraid of it for so long.

However, next time, different yarn.  Mandala is gorgeous…I currently own three different colorways…but I am not sure I like how the yarn is holding up already…it’s not all pilly or anything, but when I look at the sleeve I knit up I sort of feel that it looks…as if it’s been a sweater for a long time and in heavy wear rotation…even though it hasn’t…and I have been taking amazingly careful care of it since I began working it…even the shawl that I am knitting up using this yarn, in a different colorway, all in garter stitch, seems to have a similar problem…so, this is my test knit sweater…and next time…I will find a better (read that as something with wool, or something along those lines) yarn with which to work.  I know from other projects I much prefer working with woolier bits anyway.