Monday, July 22, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kitten Video

I had forgotten how fun and crazy kittens are!

He is 12 weeks old today,
and we have had him for 1 week.

And I think our female cat is adjusting pretty well,
especially for her.

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Be Your Own Apprentice

I have hypothyroidism.  More specifically, Hashimoto’s Disease.

What that translates to is:  I take a pill everyday and I struggle with low energy, among other things.

My mama had hypothyroidism, too, and I remember her always talking about “energy”.  (That is, wanting more.)

Now that I am in the same situation, I can empathize so much better.  Some days there are some things that just seem “insurmountable”.  Especially if my Rx needs to be increased.

And the problem is exacerbated somewhat by my faith.  You see, when a Christian has trouble getting something done, they are much more likely to beat themselves up for lacking self-control rather than realize that they may need a different pill. 

I feel that way today.  And I had my blood work done today.

In the meantime, until I get some more help from my doctor, I remembered a great coping mechanism. 

Hmmm…. That may not be the right term. 

How about “management tool”?  J

Be your own apprentice.

I have forgotten where I learned this.  But it is a great thing to know about, even if you don’t have health issues.  Because, for whatever reason, we all struggle sometimes with getting something done, difficult or not.  There are no guarantees, of course, but hopefully this hint will help you too someday.

The idea here is to pretend you are your own secretary or apprentice, and get out whatever tools you need to do the job. 

Just get them out.  Don’t begin the project. 

That’s all. 

You kinda trick yourself.  You tell yourself, “I’m not really going to do that job right now, I’m just going to get out the stuff I need and do it later.”

(Now sometimes by the time you have the ladder and touch-up paint out, you realize you might as well just do it right now. 
That doesn’t always happen, of course, but it can.)

Separating the preparation from the job just makes the whole thing easier somehow.  Half the work is done.  The hard part.  The first step.  Beginning.

So lay out those ingredients the night before -- even the mixing bowl, spoon and pan -- and bake something.  Get out that shirt, loose button, and a needle and thread, but know that you don’t have to sew it on right now.  Baby steps, baby steps.  

Just get things ready for yourself.  Disassociate a little. 

Then when you’re ready, everything is all laid out for you. 
And everything goes much much smoother.

Try it..  It really helps!  J

Lucky Dog  ♥

Friday, July 12, 2013

The New Kitten

Here's the newest addition
to our family!

♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Post-Lace Shawl Thoughts

So, now that I finally finished my very long UFO lace projects, I’m looking for my next knitting project:  more lace, of course!  J

(Actually in the meantime, I am also working on some socks for Mr. Man, a prayer shawl, and various swatches of lace stitches that I’ve always wanted to try out.)

At first, I thought I would be content to knit different lace patterns into more and more rectangles forever and ever amen, using one of Barbara Walker’s treasuries for inspiration.  And that’s still a good idea…

(Oh, now there is this one lace scarf pattern that I bought from a gal on Etsy that I want to knit up with a ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze soon… J )

But then I was surfing on Ravelry, and fell in love with so many of the lace patterns there.  I was surprised, though, to see that most of them are triangular shawls.

Then I realized that the triangle shape would be popular because you have those long sides of the V upon which to knit all sorts of delicious pointy lace patterns.

But when I look at the triangle shawl instructions, I can’t make sense of them at all.  The charts don’t even look triangle-shaped.  They look like gobbledegook to my poor brain.

It turns out they assume I know what I’m doing.  (!!!)

Hahaha  How silly of them!  Why would they think that???

Well, I found 2 patterns to help me get some systematic learning:

One is called the “Confidence Shawl”, and is on the Lost City Knits website.  Denise goes into great detail on teaching you all those things that others assume you know how to do, especially how to read the charts correctly.

Here’s the link to her website:  She sells beautiful yarn on her website in addition to her patterns.  It’s like one-stop shopping!  She hails from east Oklahoma, so she’s practically local.  She works with small farmers and hand-dyes every skein herself.  She’s living the dream, so I love to promote and support her whenever I can.

The Confidence Shawl isn’t a lace shawl pattern, but it’s a nice introduction to knitting a triangular shawl and understanding its construction.  Knitting it gives you “confidence” to take the next step.  J

BTW, it is a point-up type triangular shawl.  You begin with casting on 3 stitches and end up with a bazillion stitches across the top of the shawl. 

I’m not even halfway through knitting that, and the rows are definitely getting longer!  Thank heavens for stitch markers!  J

I can’t decide which pattern to knit after that.  I’m considering two.  One is called “A Beginner’s Lace Shawl”.  It is found here:

And the other one is called the “Ashton Shawlette”.   

I found them by googling and surfing the Internet and Ravelry.

Both of them are knit top down, as opposed to point-up.  And they both have extra instructions for those of us who are beginners to a garter stitch tab shawl, and don’t have a class or teacher to fill us in on how it’s done.  <whew>

And nowadays, there are even YouTube videos to help, too!  Isn’t technology wonderful??

Today I am leaning toward the Ashton Shawlette, because it seems like a logical next step after the Confidence Shawl. 

I haven’t started it yet because I am still in the throes of knitting the Confidence Shawl, but I think I have picked out some yarn in my stash that I will use for it.

That’s subject to change. 


But isn’t that half the fun??  J

Lucky Dog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Quote about Knitting Lace

"Hand-knitted Lace is a project of :


 In that order."

I can't remember where I read this.
If you know the author, please let me know so I may give proper credit. Thank you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sonic Shake Flavors

Peanut Butter and Bacon???


♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, July 1, 2013

My New Lace Shawl

100% finished!

I finally finished my lace shawl!!!

And to tell you the truth, I really didn’t think I would finish it in my lifetime!  The class was in 2007, I think, and it had been sitting in my closet until late last year.

I had always wanted to finish it, but I felt like I was in over my head.  This was my very first lace project ever, after all.

So I went back and found a beginner’s lace project, and worked it to give myself a bit more confidence.  I posted it here on my blog in April, my lace scarf.

Before blocking

And when I pulled this shawl project out of the closet and began working on it, it seemed so much easier this time.  The double decrease on row 9, the SK2P -- slip one, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over -- didn’t even seem hard anymore.  (!)

But what really got the shawl finished, sadly, was my sick cat.  ♥

All that knitting soothed my nervous energy and gave me the feeling of accomplishment while caregiving for him month after month. 

And slowly I knitted repeat after repeat of my pattern:  36 repeats of 10 rows each, 67 stitches on each row, until I was finally done.

During blocking

I didn’t really like the border shown in the book, and didn’t know how I wanted to finish it.  So I put it on the back burner, and let it sit awhile until I had figured out what I wanted to do.

In the meantime, I had gotten a book out of the library on Estonian Lace.  And in the back were some pretty edge / border treatments. 

In Estonian lace, the children knit the borders, which are sewn onto the body of the lace later  (rather than knit on as you go).

I decided to go ahead and bind off, knit up a border, and if I liked it, I’d knit 2 of ‘em and sew them both on.  And that’s what I did.

After blocking, another view

Then there was there was “just” the matter of loose ends to be dealt with and the magic that is blocking.

And, voilĂ , the gorgeous drape of blocked lace. ♥

Detail of pattern and border

Now, if I could blink my stash into laceweight yarn,
I’d be set!  LOL

Lucky Dog