Wednesday, October 30, 2013

30 Day Sweater: Update 4

Today is the 30th and my 30 Day Sweater should be done, but alas it is not.

I am not ashamed at all.  Look at how much I got done with two kids and a career!  I didn't even try to make time for knitting.  I am so very happy with my progress.  I am almost done with the cables on the body.  I think I just have 2-3 more repeats to go.  Then I have sleeves and a ribbed portion that goes around the neck, sides and bottom. This challenge was the lick I needed to get this beautiful sweater on the needles.

Do you create little challenges for yourself just to get you going?  I am finding this is great motivation in almost every aspect of my life.  But, I am sure this is because of my competitive nature.  I am a little crazy like that.

Friday, October 18, 2013

30 Day Sweater: Update 3

I am well over half way into the challenge, but not half way through the sweater. I am okay with this, I know I will get it done, maybe not in the 30 day window, but this challenge got me to start a project I had been putting off.  I think that is a victory in itself.

I did complete my goal for last week of  finishing the raglan sleeve increases.

October has been a crazier month than predicted.  I am still getting used to have two kids (when will I get the hang of it?). D's swim lessons, though only 30 minutes, seem to take up the entire evening on Tuesday and Thursdays.  Stormy is a very laid-back baby and I am so thankful, but the feeding schedule has me exhausted.  We had a great family day at an orchard and picked out our pumpkins on Monday.  I took  the dogs to the vet (they were less than excited and so was my wallet). I went to the dentist on Wednesday and scheduled my first (and hopefully only) root canal in two weeks. We have 3 month pictures for Stormy tonight. And on and on it goes.

It has been very good that this week has also been a reflective week.  At work, I took the DiSC assessment, again.  This is a behavior* assessment that categorizes people into four categories.  I had to think about what describes me most and least.  Then I learned about my category (which was different from my past results), what makes me tick and how to work with others like and unlike me.  Then at church on Wednesday night, I attended a very reflective mid-week service. I am trying to learn to be more satisfied, even though it is against my very nature.  I like the challenge.  I like pressing onward, but I have to stop and reflect.  I am enough.  I have enough.  So maybe I will just keep the insanity at the current level and not add anything for a while. You, Reader, as my witness, I will not volunteer for anything extra for the rest of the year (we'll see how that goes).  

My sweater is starting to look like a sweater.  I have the 8 row pattern memorized.  I am a master of cabling without a cable needle.  I am satisfied, well, satisfied enough.

*I first spelled this the British/Canadian way.  That BBC watching is certainly rubbing off.  Except watching isn't related to spelling.  I will chalk it up to me feeling more British in general (though I have Scottish and Welsh heritage)

Friday, October 11, 2013

30 Day Sweater: Update 2

October 11 is " I Love Yarn Day" and so, today is one of the best made-up, unnecessary "holidays" ever. Yes, I do love yarn and I am so glad that others do too.  They love yarn so much as to make it a "holiday." I like this kind of folk.

Sadly, this week I have had little time to celebrate yarn.  I haven't knit in days.  Sometimes life just goes a bit crazy and you are just happy everyone makes it to bed at a decent time at night, only to wake up and have another crazy day.

The craziness is my own fault.  I am the one who scheduled D's swim lessons.  I am the one who scheduled the library's first community program.  I am the one who scheduled the tour for the college course I am teaching.  I am the one who signed D up for Daisy Girl Scouts.  I am the one who has volunteered and over-committed myself at work.  All these things are my doing and I am so paying for it, but it is worth every second.

There is nothing quite like watching your child learn something new and finally pick up on a skill after sitting through many sessions of swim lessons wondering if she'll ever get it. (In this photo D is standing on the pool bottom while her other classmates have to stand on boxes.)

There is nothing like planning an event for the library (for over a year with the writing of the grant application) and have it well attended.  It is beyond my dreams.  I really though no one would come.

There is nothing like watching your students learn on a tour.  I love watching their hands take furious notes, not wanting to miss a fact.

There is nothing like watching your daughter do what you did when you were her age, making new friends and learning the Girl Scout way.  

There is nothing like loving your job and the community you get to work with every day.  I know I make a difference every day.

Because I have all these wonderful things happening in my life.  I've had approximately 5 minutes to myself each day after getting home late and then washing bottles, laundry, etc.  So my sweater remains small, but mighty.  I am happy with the project and I am happy with my busy life.  I am happy my husband has been so helpful this week.

My plan is to finish the shoulder/arm increases by the end of the week.  I am pretty close, just a few more pattern repeats.  I probably can get to that point by the end of Saturday.  We are visiting my in-laws and my parents this weekend, so I figure I won't be holding a baby too much.

Who can resist holding this guy?

I sure can't.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

30 Day Sweater: Update 1

Here is my beautiful yarn for my 30 day sweater.

It is Malabrigo Worsted in Jacinto.  It is so incredibly soft.  My friend said it felt like a cashmere blend.

I am so excited to be finally using this yarn.  I bought it this spring when my local yarn store was having a flood sale as the Illinois River threatened their doors.  My basement flooded too. Instead of thinking about the damage, I am focusing on the fact I got 20% of yarn and am thinking happy thoughts.  I am also using my swift (Christmas present 2012) and ball winder for the first time, with some help from D.

Whenever starting a knitting project that should fit, I actually do swatch.  Many knitters skip this step, but I just can't bring myself to skip it.  I spend a lot of money on yarn (yarn is expensive, it makes me wonder how clothes are so cheap in comparison) and a lot of time knitting; I want it to fit and look good.  I diligently knit my little square, then wash and block  it, so I am able to make sure I am getting the correct number of stitches per inch.

Done and done, right? Then, I further read the instructions and realized I made the swatch wrong. (Insert grumbling and cursing.)  Often times a swatch is stockinette stitch, but not this time.  I was supposed to make the swatch in the cable pattern of the sweater. Lesson learned, read all of the instructions before starting.

I am a bit behind, already, but now I am all ready to get started on the actual sweater.

Stormy is learning to read, so that should keep him occupied.

Lots of time for knitting now.