Friday, July 27, 2012

Cast off and Cast on Again!

Over the last week, I have finished multiple projects!! As in: I cut the yarn, wove in all the ends, blocked, added buttons where needed AND took photographs. Weeeeee! I'm excited, because this doesnt usually happen.

First up is my Shallow Waters Shawl by Anastacia Zittel in Knitpicks Shadow Lace- Summer Blooms Tonal. I really loved making this pattern, as it was a simple repeat that makes a light and lacy shawl. I repeated the border rows more than necessary, but only because after 4 of them I decided I didn't want to frog back (even though I should've). My little sister is modeling, even though it is a "me" project because I wanted a pink scarf.

Isn't she adorable?
Next is my Any Which Way Lace. I used a recycled sweater that I dyed myself for this project. The yarn is soft, even though it's harder to tell in this lace pattern. I love that the button band is worked into the pattern (a row of dc at the beginning and end of the pattern)-- I will probably use this method myself next time I create a cowl. I modelled this one, though not very well.

turn sideways :)
The final FO this week is the Soft Waves ripple scarf that I mentioned on Wednesday. I finished it, added a bright yellow button, and decided it would be more suited to someone under the age of 15, rather than one of my friends. It is more of a cowl size, and it still needs a good soak in conditioner, but I will do that closer to the time of its gifting.
Sideways and psychedelic!
Even though it's not really a FO, I did get photos of my solar-dyed yarn. I feel like it might be a bit too gray, but I'm really hoping that I'll like it more once I start knitting it!

yes, turn your head sideways, again...

And tonight I will "cast on" several new projects, as part of the Ravellenic Games- a child size hat for the Hat Dash event, and a pair of fingerless gloves for the Mitten Medley. If I have time, I will enter a project or 2 in the Shawl Sailing event, as I am participating as part of Team CSW (crochet shoulder wrappers).

I also have a question, nearly unrelated: I'm trying to decide on my next afghan project (yes, for 2013) and these are the colors I want to use:
Northern Lights color palette in Vanna's Choice
I'm still not sure if I will work it in Vanna's Choice yarn (I'm leaning toward Caron Simply Soft right now). My main question is what style should my afghan be in? The first 2 options I thought of were either blocks or some variation on the ripple. Any other ideas? Votes toward one of my thoughts or the other?

Linking up with Tami today!! Be sure to head over there and see what everyone else is doing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Progress!

I can see progress in my Stash-Bashing! (Though if I showed you pictures of my room, you would'nt believe me)

Over-dyeing yarn to make it new!
Earlier in the week, I solar-dyed a leftover skein of yarn (so it would not look the same as the first project made with it), and just yesterday, I matched another skein of yarn to a Holiday Stashdown project.

I haven't purchased any new yarn since my large-ish order from KnitPicks and my purchases of Vanna's Choice for the Autumnal afghan, and even that yarn isn't staying in my stash long. I think right now, the only yarn I don't want to "break into" is my Bare yarn from KnitPicks. I will dye and use it if I cannot find another suitable yarn for the project, but right now, I think I should be set.

From here on out, any yarn I do buy will be for the hat orders that I have coming in for the holidays. 9 hats for E's sister, another for E's godson (E offered to pay for it, since he wants an extravagant design) 2 baby dinosaurs for my friend L, and one cousin found out she's expecting a Christmas baby, and is planning on placing an official order soon. Most of these I should be able to make from stash yarn, and I will make those first, but some I already *know* will require craft store visits. (yes, such a tragedy)

I am actually enjoying working from my stash, as it is making me become more creative with my crafting. It is also forcing me to do a bit more knitting than I am used to (because crochet is my first love) as knitting helps me to use up yarn in a more efficient manner.

Check out Tricia's for more Stash-Bashing!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nothing too Big

This week's WIP Wednesday/Yarn-Along is an attempt to keep busy without starting any huge projects before the Ravellenic Games. I am participating at part of Team CSW, and even though I originally planned on simply being a cheerleader, I felt that I could join in and make projects that will be part of my Holiday Stashdown. I leave on Saturday for summer camp, so I have Friday and the few days when I get back to complete my 2 projects. Hopefully I can do it.

Since last week, I've been working feverishly to finish several of my larger projects, and I'm nearly there. In the in-between, I've been trying to stick to smaller projects, like afghan squares and dishcloths.
3 more squares for my Autumnal afghan (which brings the total to 9 out of 30) and 3 dishcloths.
Forest Chains Re-do, Sundial, Home on the Range
The first 9 squares!
I did crack a little bit, as I was "out" of afghan block patterns, waiting for this week's BAWL pattern to come out, and with a random ball of hot pink and yellow wool, I started a ripple scarf. I finished it yesterday, but more about it on Friday.

It's more psychedelic in person!
I had the brilliant idea to actually work on something that is a slow WIP, so yesterday during my millionth viewing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I pulled out my Citron and knit a row or two. I feel like if my progress is slow, at least it can be steady --so I'm hoping to pull out my two long-term knitting projects and work on a few rows every week.

I solar-dyed some yarn over the last 2 days, and I'm really pleased with my results so far. I'm going to try some more today-- hopefully it goes as well as this first time.

Yarn cooking on the back porch!
I'm still trying to finish the Merchant of Vengeance, and have read quite a bit at work. I've got a few more books waiting-- still need to find a new audio book, as I'm nearly finished with HP4.

I'm linking up with Tami and Ginny today-- so head over to both blogs and check out cooler stuff!!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge: Week 11

This week for the Holiday Stashdown, we're reassessing our lists. Over the past week, I spent a great amount of time on my Ravelry queue, looking at patterns I wanted to make. Then, I wrote out my original list of who I wanted to make handmade gifts for. From there, I flipped back and forth between my list of "projects I *have* to make" and "handmade gifts for...". I think I've matched many of them up quite nicely. (note: this list has been *at least* a week in the making.. I've edited it several times already)

The List
Mom & Dad: Autumnal Afghan, various afghan blocks, Vanna's Choice in Honey, Rust, Cranberry, Dusty Purple, Eggplant, Dusty Green and Toffee.
Mom: fingerless gloves, in KnitPicks Felici Hummingbird
Dad: still unknown
Bro #1: that vest that never gets finished
Bro #2: Jayne hat, most likely in misc. acrylic that has been floating in my stash (He recently watched Firefly, & hats for him are a good standby.) If I have time and inclination, I will make him a beard hat.
Sister: Divine hat in easy care acrylic (finished!). Age of Brass and Steam Scarf in KnitPicks Shadow Deep Sea, fingerless gloves in KnitPicks Felici Tyrian Purple (maybe)
E: He wants a beard hat- go figure. Such a guy. Not sure if he will get anything else handmade.

Aunt #1/Godmother: bulky slippers in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky that I dyed myself, T-yarn rug
Aunt #2: A Touch of Gray, in a in between width (not scarf, but not stole either)
Aunt #3:  button socks in Bernat Jr. Jacquard (it's a sock weight and has some nylon in it)
T (my favorite cousin): Starlight Tunisian scarf (in yellow)(no yarn yet), possibly Smorgasbord blanket BMDAO (T's 5 kids): slipper socks in the yarn they helped me dye last winter (Basic Sock)

Friend B: Slip Stitch Shawl in a scarf size- tried this pattern, realized I hate slip stitches. Now I'm using the Soft Waves ripple from Jan Eaton's 200 Ripple Patterns with a hand-dyed wool yarn.
Friend K: infinity scarf in Lion Brand Homespun- She loved the one for her birthday, and requested another one. (personal pattern)
Friend A: Up to You Scarf (Re-dying the yarn from my first Juliana)

E's nieces & nephews: an activity rug with 6 amis
E's mom & sisters: fingerless gloves (maybe) (3 pair) or scarves
E's dad & brothers: hats (maybe) (5)

Coworkers: Cards with crocheted snowflakes on them. (if time)

And I found this ornament and this ornament that I would also think about making if any of the above ideas don't work out. I also keep finding cute ideas that would be fabulous for scrap yarn, which means I need to stop browsing patterns on Ravelry.

I feel loads better now that I have ideas for patterns, as I had felt a bit disorganized without a completed list. I also have the list separated into sections, where the first two need to get done, and the second two depend on time and inclination.

I hate and love this stashdown. My yarn supply feels limited. I'm trying to avoid placing another KnitPicks order, as it defeats the purpose of this adventure, so I've seeking out dyeable fibers in my stash. So far, I have found a few already dyed fibers that I forgot about, and I'm re-dyeing some others that are leftover from other projects. Yesterday, I figured I would try my hand at solar-dyeing, since it is too hot to use microwave or stovetop. I still haven't checked the results... I also know that I have multiple skeins of Bare KnitPicks yarn hanging out in my stash. Guess what else is going to visit the dyepot in the next few weeks?!

I have just received several Christmas orders for hats, and one of them needs to be done by October, so I'll be putting some of the above aside to work on those orders come mid-August.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stress is not Fun

Do parents ever realize when they are pushing away their children?

I think mine are totally oblivious to the fact that I am feeling so mutinous right now that if I could, I would pack everything up and just leave. Yes, moving is very complicated, but I feel like I could figure it out after I leave.

The last 2 weeks I have been stressed out to the point of feeling sick to my stomach nearly every day. On top of that, I can't sleep. This is not healthy. It's really not. And I know it.

I was really hoping we could resolve these issues on amicable terms, but right now, its not looking like it. Do they really think that asking me to wait 2 more years is going to result in a better marriage? Because that's what it looks like right now.

I have been with E for nearly 3 years. We've talked about marriage for maybe the last year and a half or so. He's been back from his deployment for nearly 6 months. We both finish school early next summer. We want to get married late next summer. But my parents are stalling on their blessing. We don't want to go ahead without my parents, because that is a terrible way to start married life, but its looking more and more like that is the only solution.

They say that because they had issues early in their married life that they're worried about me and E. They're probably also worried about me ending up like my Aunt T, who has three children and a lying husband. Don't they understand that everyone's different? Everyone has some issues in their marriage. But what matters is how they deal with them.

E and I have talked to several different people whom we respect, and we have several possible alternatives. I'm exploring my options for moving out. Unfortunately, my great Uncle passed away last week, and all the family's dealing with funeral stuff. So I have to wait to explore my options.

Anyway...
Thank you to all of you, my followers, who shared your own stories and offered your support when I posted about this 2 weeks ago. I'm hoping to have some of this sorted out before the school year starts at the end of August. Prayers are appreciated.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Even more Progress!

This week, I've made some progress on my stash-bashing!

Using my current favorite dishcloth pattern, the Tulip Stitch Dishcloth, I used up another skein of Sugar & Cream cotton that I've had in my stash for a while as well as the majority of a skein of KnitPicks Comfy in Macaw. I absolutely loved working with Comfy. It's 75% cotton, 25% acrylic, and it is sooooo soft! If I ordered more yarn online, I would definitely get this yarn more frequently. I can also see it working really well for a summer dress for a little girl.


Hiding behind the dishcloths in the photo above are 2 WIP scarves. One is the Any Which Way Lace that I mentioned yesterday, and the other is my nearly finished Juliana Re-mixed. The AWWL is made from a recycled yarn that I dyed. I think it's a wool/nylon blend, with a bit of something else. Unfortunately, even with all my careful notes, I cannot find the tag for this yarn. It is really soft though, and will make a great gift. The Juliana should be done soon- hopefully soon enough to be shown off!

This past week, I also created a "loose ends" box near my bedroom door, where I have already started putting odd leftover balls of yarn in for donation to my church's elementary school. It is definitely helping me part with some yarn I will never use, as well as helping a good cause- the 4th grade classes make squares for Warm Up America afghans. I made a few squares out of the yarn I am getting rid of.

I'm sort of piggy-backing my participation in Marie(undergroundcrafter)'s Holiday Stashdown with Tricia's Stashbash (which is today!). Marie has been offering weekly prompts which have been super helpful for my organization. I currently have a pile of nearly finished scarves on my bed, waiting for the last bit of blocking and weaving in of ends. If you check back on Tuesday, I'll have a whole list of the patterns I plan on making in the next few months, which should be majorly helpful in decreasing my stash!

More Progress than Normal

I don't know how I suddenly turned productive. I have stuff finished to show off on Friday! Maybe being project monogamous  is a good thing. I guess I just decided that this week would be the week to work on unfinished projects, and I actually am managing to do that.

I 'm debating on a goal for my mom's afghan, maybe you can help! I am making 9" squares, and am stuck between a 5 block by 6 block afghan (45" x 54") or a 6 by 6. I think 45" is a relatively standard size for blankets (or at least one side of a blanket), but I don't want it to be too small. And I feel like I need to set a goal for it, otherwise it will not get done. So, 30 blocks or 36 blocks?

When I was at work on Monday, I started browsing my Ravelry queue for project ideas. There are lots of things that I want to make. I started by looking for things I knew I wanted to make as gifts, and then wrote out a huge list (including the projects that are incomplete on my projects page). I filled an entire page of college ruled notebook paper!


I've already moved on from the picture above, as the green-ish ball of yarn is starting to become Any Which Way Lace. So far, the pattern's fairly simple. It's a 9 row set up, but a 5 row repeat. And the repeat is fairly simple.

I've also made more progress on the border of my Juliana Re-Mix, and frogged back and started again on the border of my Shallow Waters shawl. There's also a tulip stitch dishcloth hanging out- my go-to project for work. The purple-ish ball in the front wants to be Summer Flies, but I haven't cast on yet.

I'm reading the final available book in the Shakespeare and Smythe series, The Merchant of Vengeance. So far, so good. I have a stack of other books waiting for me, and I'm really excited to read something new and different.

Linking up with Tami and Ginny today! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Holiday Stashdown Challenge: Week 10

It's a week for checking in and updating how the Challenge is going!

Accomplishments- I know what I want to make for everyone-YAY!- I've finished a few projects, but nothing really for Christmas, more for the stashdown bit.
~I've found another pattern that I really want to try- over the weekend, I saw many of my relatives (on my mom's side) because my one aunt had a party, and my godmother had 2 books for me!! She found Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting and Encyclopedia of Crochet super cheap at a garage sale, and thought I would like them! One of my other aunts wanted to take a look, and found these socks that she thought were cute, so I'm planning to making 2 pair- one for her, and one for my godmother. (My godmother has mentioned mulitple times that she has cold feet more often than cold hands, so the fingerless gloves I was planning on making would not be appreciated as much)
~ Looking back at my stash list from Week 2, I can see that while I've gotten some of my stash reduced, I've also increased it in different places. My cotton stash has been decreased by a few skeins, but gained another cone. All but one skein of my KnitPicks Telemark has been used up, but I just purchased 4 skeins of Felici, 3 skeins of Shadow, and several skeins of Bare Sock. And I bought A LOT more Vanna's Choice yarn. (I also think I was lying a bit when it came to my stash- I have tons of recycled sweater yarn...)
My emptying drawer of cotton yarn!

Obstacles- LIFE- I know that seems a bit cliche, but life really has been getting in my way. My "out of the ordinary" post from last week will give you a bit of an idea, if you are curious. (Thank you to those who responded with kind and helpful words, we're still working it all out)

Starts- Mom's afghan (though I don't know if I want to put the time into something for someone that I am currently at odds with). T's scarf- I have the pattern picked out and everything, just need to wind up the yarn and print out the pattern.

Finishes- Country Blues afghan from the BAMCAL- I blogged about it several times last week, and posted the finish on Friday! I was super thrilled to be done, and after deliberation (and a variety of comments from all you lovely people) I've decided to keep it! I love blankets, and I had originally planned for this one to be mine, so I figured I might as well keep it. (and everyone in my family thought my color choices were weird)
And over 2 weeks ago (omg, I cannot believe its been that already) one of my closest friends got married, and I gifted to the happy couple a ripple afghan in their school colors. So another checked box :)
The remainder of the yarn from my Country Blues afghan and the MSU ripple

This Stashdown challenge has been helpful for me, in that I am constantly thinking about where to go next. I am a list maker, and constantly update what I think needs to get done every day/week/month. The past few weeks I have been switching between the need to prepare for the fall craft shows and my desire to get Christmas gifts done.

But I think, since the fall craft shows are first, I can definitely dedicate a bit more time to those projects. Which means turning out a bunch of scarves and hats in as short a time as possible. I'm still trying to break out of my craft show box and create more original pieces to sell, but I've found that people won't buy a one-of-a-kind item. So every time I make something, I try to make a similar item in a totally different color. Even so, I cannot guarantee that everything I make will sell, which is super disappointing because I put a lot of work into my craft show wares, and I wish people would appreciate them more.

Oops, I got off on a tangent and didn't stop. I think the point was that even with all my planning, I sometimes have no idea where to start, though I think I'm getting there. Right now, I have 2 shawl/scarf projects that I want to finish (for me) and then I will get cracking on more Christmas gifts.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finally Finished!!!


After 6 months of squares, I have finished my Country Blues afghan!! Yesterday I spent most of the day putting the blocks together and sewing in ends (If you look closely, there are still a few that need to be sewn in, oops). I'm so thrilled to be done with it-- now I just need to figure out who to gift it to!



Finishing this project has helped me get one step closer to my goal of a tidier room. The squares were all piled in a bag, just taking up space. Now they are a lovely blanket!


Linking up with Tami's Amis for FO Friday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Foiled Again!

Thursdays are the day to link up with Tricia's Stash Bash, and I hang my head again, as I have been unsuccessful. Again.

Michael's had Vanna's Choice on sale this week for 2/$5, which is a pretty decent deal, so when my sister mentioned she was going, I gave her a list. She brought 4 skeins home for me, in the fall colors I am using for my mom's Christmas afghan.



But I suppose since the yarn was purchased with a purpose, it doesn't really count. I'm still not entirely sure of the color palette, as I am used to much brighter colors, but I think I will like the end result. (And I hope and pray that my mom does too!)

I shared a bit of what I've been working on yesterday, but that doesn't really cover the variety of what I have been working on in bits and pieces.
  • I was originally making a scrap yarn dishcloth, as I had been making dishcloths that use nearly an entire skein, but not quite. That evolved into an idea that was sparked by Pinterest. I figured I could just crochet a longer piece, and instead of sewing on a towel, I would do a chain stitch through both layers of the crocheted fabric. It's a little bulkier than I would like, but for an experiement, it's not too bad.
  • Blooms in the Water. I feel like this project is going both slow and fast. I started it in favor of finishing my Juliana Re-Mix, because the weather was so hot. But now, it's just easier to put this project in my bag because it's so compact. The goal is to finish this or Juliana by next week
  • Felted blanket (Smorgasbord). When I can sit and just stitch around my felted squares, this is a great project. But I've been so antsy and stressed that I can only work a few at a time.
  • BAMCAL squares. They have been hibernating in a bag for several weeks now, though I think the time is ripe to finish it off-- lots of putting squares together, which I dread a little bit.
But I have been cleaning in my room, and there is now a box by my bedroom door for yarn that I will never use. When it gets full, I will take it to the school for the fourth graders. So I suppose my Stash Bash is going both successfully and unsuccessfully- it just depends on the definition of successful/unsuccessful. There has been a lot of movement of yarn out of (and into) my bedroom. But, 6 months until Christmas, and less than that until the fall craft shows! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mystery Novels... and yarn!

This week I am working mostly on my Shallow Waters Shawl for the July JAL at the CSW group on Ravelry. I've called it "Blooms in the Water" because I am using KnitPicks Shadow in Summer Blooms Tonal. I love the colors of this yarn, as I mentioned a few days ago- there is a lot of depth in the pinks, which adds interest.

Sorry for the bad lighting!
Even though the shawl is my "main" project right now, I'm still going through the summer cleaning phase (mainly because my summer technically just started, with me having taken summer classes and such) so I will pick up some random small project and work on that for a bit. Lots of fidgeting. In that fidgeting I managed to edge a few woolen squares (from felted sweaters) and so far, I have this:


I've been reading the Shakespeare and Smythe Mysteries by Simon Hawke. I finished the second one on Monday night, and started the third yesterday afternoon. This one is called Much Ado about Murder. The first two, A Mystery of Errors and The Slaying of the Shrew, were short and fun. But I was not familiar with either of the plays that were referred to in the titles, and as I'm reading the third one, I am realizing that there are a huge number of parallels between the Shakespeare play and the mystery novel. I feel a bit stupid as I didn't realize before, but then I cut myself a break because I am not totally uncultured and have read a number of Shakespeare plays, just not the ones referenced by these books. Definitely an easy read, if you like mysteries and Shakespeare and a bit of historical fiction-ish stuff thrown in, you might want to try these.

I'm joining up with Tami's WIPW and Ginny's Yarn Along today!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge: Week 9

This week with Marie's Holiday Stashdown, we are to talk about a memorable handmade gift that we've received. At first I was stuck, but then I remembered this:



Several years ago my godmother made this blanket for me. It's double thick denim and flannel. The single fault I can find with it is that it is not a drapey blanket, and has a tendency to be a bit stiff. But it is amazingly warm. And I love blankets, so this was a fabulous choice of gifts for me.

I don't necessarily think that this gift teaches me anything, because the minute I start trying to make blankets for everyone in my family, you all call me a crazy over-acheiver. (And I wouldn't blame you. I would have to be nuts.)

But I think this means I need to think either more basic or more out of the box. Though I do have plans to finish 3 blankets before Christmas this year. I don't know who will get them though...

I'm sorry I'm super off again today- I just can't put it into words.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Something out of the Ordinary

I normally don't use this blog as a place to talk about my personal life. But I'm really upset and stressed out right now, and I don't know where else to put my emotion.
I'll start with a story to put everything in perspective.

I'm currently going into my 5th year of college.

The summer before my sophomore year of college, I went through some tough-ish stuff. Not super intense, but tougher than what I've dealt with most of my (sheltered) life.
There was a guy (isn't there always) who I was quite infatuated with. We had a few classes together during my freshman year, and we talked online a lot. I thought he was interested in dating- we had coffee a few times, even went out for lunch. I mean, we talked about stuff that people talk about when they are dating/engaged/whatever, like how many kids we would think about having, that sort of thing. I never really thought about the fact that we had different Christian beliefs, as I figured at the time that God was enough. Maybe he thought more about it then I did. (I am very openly and proudly Catholic. I believe he was Seventh Day Adventist).

As the school year wound down, I planned a trip to a theme park concert with my friends, and one of them insisted that I invite Brian. He said yes, so it was me, him, my friend and her BF, and 2 more of our girlfriends. So we enjoyed a cool May day at the theme park, even though my friends ditched me so I could spend time with Brian (it really didnt help. and was super obvious. to me at least.) At the concert, which was at the end of the day (approaching nightfall, etc), it was getting colder, and snuggling commenced. He put his arm around my shoulder to keep me warm, and we were holding hands under a blanket. Yes, scandalous, LOL. So I thought that meant something, and so did my 3 friends who were there.

But obviously not, as 2-3 weeks later, he's talking to me about this girl he wants to date who lives in a totally different state. Like all the way across the country different state. I was really floored. Like OMG, where did this come from?!?! He hadn't said anything before, so I was really surprised. I had a few angsty days with one of my close girlfriends, which helped.

Then some of my musical relatives were in town. We planned on having a jam session with some youth group people at my church. I made a whole facebook event and everything (you know, because that was a big deal for a while). I invited Brian, because he mentioned something about teaching himself a bit of the guitar and stuff. It was a couple days after my birthday. (Interjection: a couple days before that, I was hanging out at my friend's house cuz she had a pool. I was riding my bike home, took a really bad spill and nearly needed stitches. I talked to Brian the day after, and told him this huge fabricated story that was ridiculous hilarious, because he believed it. It doesn't have a lot to do with the stream of the story, just a random thought). I was still sore from the bike accident, but was determined to play my guitar at this jam session. My 2 closest friends, A and R, also brought their guitars, and some  friends from church had their violins. (My musical cousins play a bit of both) This thing was supposed to start at 7 or something, and Brian hadn't shown up, so we just started. He came in later, acted all awkward, etc. He didn't stay very long, but talked to me for a little bit. He then gave me a birthday card, containing a Barnes & Noble gift card (In case you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of books). We hugged, and he left. Like totally weird.

Back at my house that evening, I explained the whole weird situation to my cousins, who thought I needed to be done with this guy. My cousin Justin (who is only a year or 2 older than me) decided that he needed to talk to this guy. So getting on my sister's facebook, he chatted with this guy and told him to leave me alone because I couldn't deal with not knowing what Brian wanted out of our relationship. From what I could tell, Brian acted like he didn't know he was leading me on. Either way, he was gone. He sent me this long, eloquent email that I forwarded onto Justin without reading, and I decided that I was going to focus more on school, and deal with guys when I was graduated.

God obviously had a different plan for me. I worked for a week in August at this Christian Summer camp like I had done for the past 3 summers, but I had been asked to serve in a different role (instead of counselor, like I had been before). We had a girl in a wheelchair, Tori, who needed lots of extra help at camp, so I was assigned as one of her personal assistants. Tori is one of the most cheerful children you will ever meet, and I loved working with her. But since there were 2 assistants, and neither of us stayed in a cabin with campers, our evenings after the campers went to bed were mostly our own. I hung out with a handful of other 'less-obligated' staff members (basically ones who were not counselors). I was grateful for several of them, who seemed to be doing the Christian thing and acting like brothers. (At this camp, the staff are to maintain brotherly and sisterly relationships, as to be good examples for the campers.) Or at least, that's what I thought. Except there was this one guy who always talked me. I was so inexperienced with relationships with guys that I didn't really think anything about it. And I was firm in my thoughts that I shouldn't date until I was finished with college.

But when camp was over, I couldn't stop thinking about this guy. I complained about him to A, who was also boyfriend-less at the time. He talked to me online, he called me- all the same things Brian had done. So I was reluctant to commit to anything. Until he asked if he could come and see me. (We lived an hour and a half apart.) I wasn't sure what to make of it, so I said yes.

He came and hung out with me for a day. Dinner at my house that night was weird, as a friend of mine from high school was going away to college, and had been invited over to dinner. So most of the attention was off me and E, and on Maggie. When he left that night, I wasn't really sure if we were dating (weird, I know, but I was so inexperienced). We saw each other maybe every other week.

By then, obviously, I knew we were dating. We are both Catholic, share many of the same goals, and seemed like a really good match. My friends really liked him, I really liked him. We went to his military ball in November. He told me he loved me. And I felt the same.

Since then, we've worked at Summer Camp together (the same camp, of course), endured part of a Lenten "fast" to discern the future of our relationship, made it through an eight month deployment nearly unscathed, and have come to the summer between my 4th and 5th years of college.

But my parents are stalling. We have talked about getting married, E and I, for 6 months or more. But my dad will not give his permission until I graduate college. At first, we thought this meant we could get engaged sometime in the coming year, and marry next summer after my graduation. So we've talked, and planned a little bit.

Now my dad thinks we talk to each other too much (twice a day is our norm), and thinks that we need to stop talking about getting married. And he's changed his mind, and apparently I cannot get engaged until after I graduate. All this on top of the fact that I am not allowed to drive down to see E because I was unfortunate enough to get into car accidents twice when driving to his town.

I really want to respect my parents' wishes, but E and I have been dating for nearly 3 years, we are not planning on getting married until after I graduate, and we have been very respectful of them up to this point. I am 22 years old, and have been making most of my own decisions since I graduated high school.

Am I totally missing something, or are my parents just nuts?

Weekend Catch-up

It's been so hot the last few days, and I've been really discombobulated with the wedding weekend followed by the mid-week holiday. But I am catching up today with a combined post for Stash-Bash Thursday and Finished Object Friday.
  • It's been too hot to work with worsted weight wool, so my Juliana Re-Mixed has been temporarily on hold. I'm hoping that once the weekend cools down a bit, I can crank out the border in a few hours.
  • My Citron has been rescued, and I worked a few rows on it Wednesday evening and a bit on Thursday, but the rows are really long (and I cannot take a good picture of it).
  • Because I was at work and it was air-conditioned, I started another scarf/shawl-- Shallow Waters Shawl, by Anastacia Zittel, as part of the Show Your Support JAL over in the CSW group. I'm using KnitPicks Shadows Lace in Summer Blooms and I totally adore the colors. I've always been a pink girl, and this yarn, while being a bit fiddly because it's lace-weight, makes me super happy. This was a spulrge for me a few weeks ago when I was making a KnitPicks Christmas order (they were having a big yarn sale) and I am pleased.

  • I'm trying to eliminate my stash of cotton yarn, as I would rather buy colors as needed for gifts. So scrap dishcloths are flying off the hook!
Not much else to report!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WIP Wednesday & Yarn-Along

Happy Independence Day! Take a moment today and remember that we are indeed lucky- Thank a veteran if you know one!

Onward to the progress--

The humidity in my corner of the world means working with wool is less than desirable. However, I have been making enough progress with several projects that I will share.

My Juliana Re-Mixed 2/3 of the way done, as I finished my second section last night:

finished 2 sections, with each 'leftover' ball of yarn for comparison.


There are only a few rows left, most of which is the border. I have a full skein of yarn for the border, but don't anticipate using it all. I will probably make a matching hat or something with the remaining yarn.

I also have 3 autumnal squares finished for my mom's afghan. She made a comment the other day about not liking the amount of brown (not knowing this was a WIP gift for her) so I'm going to try to limit the brown as much as possible. I started with 7 skeins of Vanna's Choice, and will add more as needed.

The sizes still need adjusting
Yesterday, after spending the morning stitching, I sat down with Abby Johnson's Unplanned. I could not put it down. Her story is so touching, so startling, and so real. Abby is completely honest with her readers, it is amazing. I would definitely recommend reading this book.

Linking up with Tami and Ginny today!

July Goals

#1: Productivity

Hopefully July will see a more productive me. I already have plans for an autumnal block afghan for my mom's Christmas present, plus all the smaller gift items that are on my list. I'm thinking these will be one or two day projects, so they will fly off my hook and fill my "to-be-gifted" bag.
I have placed the majority of my stress behind me, as the wedding is over (and the afghan that went with it!), my summer classes are over, and I have several weeks to preapre for summer camp.

#2 Cleanliness

I hate living in a cluttered mess, even though that is my state of mind much of the time. I want to clear out books I will never read, and make my space more organized. I do not want to be stressed out in my own space. This ties in with productivity, as when I get more yarn projects done, there will be less yarn sitting in piles/bags/boxes around my room.

Both of these goals fit well into my Holiday Stashdown with Marie, and the Stash Bash with Tricia.

#3 New Books!

I need to expand my reading tastes, and have been doing that a bit this last week. I also just need to read the books that I own. I think I will alternate between the two for the rest of the summer, which will hopefully make a dent in my stacks.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge Week 8

This week, Marie's prompt asks about last minute (read: quick) handmade gifts.

I shared last week about one skein/scrap gifts, and I feel that many of the same ideas stand for last minute gifts.

Scarves are fabulous for gifts, and often only take several hours of work, depending on your speed. Infinity scarves or cowls are even better, as they tend to have less length. For something that I need the next day, I will usually work up a infinity scarf in Lion Brand Homespun, which I nearly always have on hand. This yarn, while having a bit of a learning curve, looks great when worked in a simple blo/flo pattern (back loop only/front loop only). I usually alternate the two, which looks a bit like knitted seed stitch.

I'm a planner, so last-minute gifts are not really my thing. Head over to Marie's for more ideas!