The Best Song Ever

I have decided to share with everyone my favorite song. It doesn’t have a great beat, the singer doesn’t have an awesome voice, so why you ask is it my favorite? Because it is full of advice and words of wisdom. I think it is a song that everyone should hear. I remember the first time that I heard it, was at a time when I probably needed to hear it the most. Since then I listen to it every so often to remind me of all the things I need to remember.

The song was originally written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune, and the song was used as a graduation speech for the class of 1997.

This song offers advice. Advice that everyone should heed, and possibly the only advice a person will ever need. Without further ado, I give you, THE SUNSCREEN SONG!!

Who I Used to Be (17 Again)

For some reason lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about who I used to be. Maybe it’s because I ran into two old friends of mine from when I was younger, or maybe it’s because I’ve started doing a little bit of writing again (aka this blog). I have come to the conclusion that I have changed radically.

Now I understand that it’s normal to grow and change, and even the fact that change is necessary. However, there are some things about me that have changed that I wish I could have kept the same. Maybe all of this reflection on the past can be a good thing. Maybe I can step back and look at the me that I am today and reconsider if this is who I really want to be. Maybe I should be a mixture of the good from before and the good now and blend both parts together until I am true to myself again. In other words…….I think it’s time for change again.

For some reason all of this remembering and wishfulness is taking me back to the year that I was 17. The year of second loves, second chances, graduation, and first jobs. I don’t know why I wish I was 17 again. Maybe it was because I was in much better shape physically, or without the health issues that I recently had going on…

But I think that it’s really because of the freedom. Seventeen was the first year that I showed real independence from my mother and started making my mark on the world (and somehow by now I thought that mark would be much larger). It was the year that things started happening for me, but I also had loads of free time to do what ever I wanted. I thought I was wise, but I held so much innocence then and had a lot more trust for my fellow humans.

Now my days are full of being a Mom. That means no more freedom….. It doesn’t seem fair that when I had all of that free time, I didn’t know how much I should have appreciated it. I love my kids, and I wouldn’t change being a mom for anything, but sometimes I just remember what it used to be like to sit down and finish a novel in a day. Now it takes me about a month to finish a novel. I miss my reading. I’m an avid bookworm, and I used to snatch up books like some girls snatched up designer purses. Now I have a dusty bookshelf with novels that I haven’t read. I want to try to find more time for reading.

Now back to the things about the young me that are no longer, the things I’d like to strive to have again. I used to smile more and have more patience. Now patience is rare and I have to constantly remind myself not to be so impatient. Especially with my four year old. I used to savor the moment and live in it. I used to go for walks and long drives and think about things important to me. Now I rush to get things done, and even when I’m not rushing it seems like I’m so exhausted that I don’t take the time to look around and savor what I have. I need to appreciate more and to be present in the moment instead of watching it go by.

I used to write. When I was 17 I wrote poetry almost everyday. I even won the young writer’s contest at my school. I also used to write for the school paper. I have a whole notebook full and various other poems scattered around. I don’t do that anymore and I find this sad. Poetry and writing in a journal used to be how I made sense of the world. How I got my emotions out and processed my days. Now I think I let things simmer until I explode, I hold more in now than I used to. The same is true with telling people how I feel…I used to do so freely.

At 17 I was confident that I would be an author and have several novels published. I even wrote short stories back then and started the occasional novel (never to be finished of course). I don’t write anymore and perhaps the saddest thing of all is that I seem to have given up my life-long dream of being a published author. I want to write again. I want to start another novel, fully confident that I will finish it and that others will like it too. I no longer seem to possess this confidience and that deflates me. I want to believe in myself again.

As a teen I fell hard. I leaped into love without restraint. Now I love, but a small portion of me stays on guard always. Afraid to get hurt again, afraid to set myself up to feel that much pain again. Yet another way that I used to be free…

I want to feel that free again. I want to feel that the world holds good things and that anything is possible. I want to enjoy my days instead of going through the motions. I want to dance in the rain again. I want all the things that I had then and the wisdom I have now to know how to enjoy it instead of remembering what used to be. I want to take this freedom and teach it to my children. Show them that in a world full of crime and hate that there is still beauty and things worth going after. That sometimes the simplist things are the best things of all.

I want to wake up and remind myself each day to be free again. I need to tell myself that memories are to be cherished, true friends should be held onto, family is also your friends, words whether you are reading them or writing them are magic, rain is cleansing, truth is gold, music should be danced to, hugs should be given at every opportunity, and learning new things will take you places.

I had great times when I was 17. I also got hurt a lot, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d do it again, and…..I think I’ll dye my hair purple again.

Death of a Ball Winder and the Birth of Socks

I have some rather unfortunate news my dear friends. My recent ball winder purchase from knit picks shall have to be returned. Seems that my ball winder, with only one day of actual use, has died. I’m not entirely sure what happened….maybe mine was just defective? If anyone else has had similar problems, please let me know. While using it, it was making the occasional popping noise…not often, but every once in a while. I was pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be making said noise, however there was nothing that I was doing wrong. ( I have used a ball winder before, and I even watched the knit picks video before using). Eventually the handle stopped turning. I couldn’t turn it forward or backwards…and I was afraid to try to force it because it is made of plastic after all. So off it goes in its cardboard coffin to be returned.

In other news I have started socks:

It also occurs to me that I should find some more interesting places to take photographs of knitting…the brown couch is kinda boring. I like the way these socks are now…however I was almost ready to give up on them. I cast on for this sock a total of eight times. Frogged each time…. The first five times, I tried to knit them two at a time on circular needles. My needles suck and the stitches didn’t want to move on the cord at all and there was so much stress on the sides that my knitting was way too lose. These don’t have a particular pattern because I’m following like 3 or 4 different patterns. The first I didn’t like the toe….another frogging session. I like the toe on the second pattern, but not the design. The design is from another pattern, but I’m not sure I like the heel…see a problem starting here. Luckily I’m writing down everything that I do so I will be able to make the second sock look the same.

I haven’t made any progress on the “Blizzard”. I feel guilty about this…..let’s not mention it again. I need to cast on for my second bunny blanket so that my daughter will have on like her brother’s. I have the overwhelming desire to use up a ton of scrap yarn and start a log cabin blanket…with a black background. I must have lost my mind. I still have Easter knitting to do. I still have to finish these socks and another pair and two hats. I also want to start on a lace shawl and socks for my husband. I must stay strong. I will work on the sweater and these socks and I WILL cast on for the other bunny. Besides what am I thinking with the log cabin blanket….I hate working with black! Too bad I like black….

I’m debating on ordering some better circular needles for doing socks two at a time…if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.

Cuddle Bunny Pattern

Cuddle Bunny Blankie



Needles: I used 5 U.S. size 2 DPNs for the head and ears, and U.S. size 7 DPNs and circular needle for the blanket portion. Exact needle sizes are not necessary for this project, as long as you use a needle to give you a small enough gauge for the head so that the stuffing doesn't come out.

Yarn used: Bernat pipsqueak. This color was called “funny bunny” I chose this yarn because it was soft and “furry”. I used almost 2 skeins.

Other items needed: Yarn needle, polyester stuffing, embroidery thread, stitch markers

Gauge: The gauge on this project is not essential. Make sure you get a tight enough gauge on the head to hold in the stuffing.

Terms used:

DPNs=double pointed needles

kfb= knit front and back of stitch

k= knit

rep= repeat

ssk=slip, slip, knit

k2tog=knit 2 together

p=purl

pm= place marker

sts=stitches

sm= slip marker

CO=cast on

RND=round

Ears: Make 2 leaving an extra long tail when you cast on.

CO 5 sts

Knit for 10 rows

K1, kfb, k1, kfb, k1

Knit for 12 rows

k1, kfb, k3, kfb, k1

knit for 10 rows

k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1

knit for 4 rows

k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1

knit 2 rows

ssk, k1, k2tog,

knit 2 rows

k3tog

Secure yarn and weave in bind off end.

Head:

Using the size 2 DPNs, I cast on 4 sts (1 on each needle).

RND 1: Using the 5th DPN, kfb of every stitch. (8 sts). Place marker to make the begining of your row.

RND 2: knit

RND 3: kfb of every stitch (16 sts)

RND 4: knit

RND 5: * k1, kfb, kfb, k1 * Rep from * to * on each of the four needles

RND 6: knit

RND 7: *k1, kfb, k to last 2 sts on needle, kfb, k1* Rep from * to * on each needle

Repeat rounds 6 and 7 until you have 12 sts on each needle

Knit 15 rows

Leaving the sts on the DPNs, I went ahead and sewed the ears onto the head using the long tails on the ears to do so. Next I used embroidery thread and embroidered a face on my bunny. I also wove in my cast on tail into the inside of the head.

Next, I started knitting with the DPNs again:

Decrease Row: * k1, k2tog, k to the last 3 sts on that needle, k2tog, k1* Rep from * to * on each needle.

Plain Row: Knit

Repeat the Decrease row and the plain row until you have 6 sts left on each needle. Stuff the head with as much stuffing as you would like.

*k1, k2tog, k2tog, k1* Repeat from * to * on each needle (12 sts total).

Next RND: *k2tog* Repeat all the way around. (2 sts each needle.)

At this point I cut off a piece of yarn from the second skein (not the yarn I was using) about 3 feet long. I threaded this yarn into a yarn needle and pulled the yarn through all of my stitches on the needle. Leave the stitches on the needles, but make sure that this yarn hangs in the center so that it will be on the under side of the work. We will deal with this yarn later, for now continue on:

Blanket section:

RND 1: kfb of every stitch

RND 2: Knit

RND: 3: Working off of smaller DPNs onto the Bigger DPNs and making sure to keep your begining of row marker in place, do the following:

*kfb, k1, pm, k1, kfb* Repeat from * to * all the way around.

RND 4: Knit

RND 5:* k1, kfb, k1, sm, k1, kfb, k1, * Repeat from * to * all the way around

RND 6: knit

Now it’s time to deal with the yarn that we threaded through earlier. Pull both ends of the yarn to close up the gap in the head and tie a small knot. This will close up the bottom portion of the head and hold the stuffing in. Keep these ends, you’ll need them later. Resume knitting with the DPNs, changing to the circular when there are too many stitches for the DPNs to hold.

RND 7: *k to 2 sts before marker, kfb, k1, sm, k1, kfb* Repeat from * to * until you slip the last marker then: k1, kfb, k to end of row.

RND 8: Knit

Repeat until Rounds 7 and 8 until blanket portion is almost as big as you would like it.

Work RND 7

Then purl the next round.

Repeat round 7 and a purl round 2 more times

Work RND 7

Finishing:

Bind off using a purl bind off. ( Purl 2 stitches, pass first stitch over, *purl 1 stitch, pass first stitch over* Repeat from * to * until only 1 stitch remains. Cut off working yarn leaving a 6 inch tail, pull tail through last stitch and secure. Weave in end. Weave in any other tails, except for the ones that we used to close up the head. Thread one end through the yarn needle, and use it to sew a small section (about 3/4 to 1 inch) of the blanket to the bottom of the head to one side of the bunny’s neck. Do the same thing on the other side. This stablizes the bunny’s neck and keeps it from flopping around so much and I also think it makes the bunny’s neck look nicer. Weave in the ends. Give bunny to its intended recipient.

Notes: To make this bunny’s head smaller, just stop increasing at a smaller number of stitches instead of the 12 on each needle. Then work fewer rows than the 15 stated above. Follow of rest of the directions as is. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me on this blog. I will help in any way that I can. If you find any errors, please let me know as soon as possible so that I may correct them. Thanks.

Special Delivery

My knitpicks order came today! I was so excited. I got my ball winder. Yay! More on that when I use it. I managed to put it together though after having a little trouble with the table clamp. I haven’t opened my blocking wires yet…I think I’ll leave them in the tube they came in until I need them. I love my shawl pin….

The yarn I ordered is just so yummy!!! I definately see myself ordering more yarn from knitpicks, however I don’t know how much more the bank can take anytime soon.

You are looking at Stroll handpainted yarn in fingering weight from knitpicks. The colorway is make believe. It’s gorgeous! I have two skeins and I’m thinking I’m going to use it to make a shawl. I love the name: make believe. I envision a shawl made up with a pattern that reminds me of the forrest or fairies. The sunlight in the pics really shows the color well. It was bright and sunny today and 80 degrees where I live! It felt like a summer day until evening hit and it got a little chilly. I did have to turn the air on for a while today.

The first bunny blankie is done!!!!! The pattern will follow.

Let me know what you think…this is the first thing that I’ve knitted where I actually wrote the pattern as I went. It is super soft and cuddly. I think my son will love it.

I’m sick of the socks already. I cast on yesterday and knitted half of the toes…(toe up two at a time), ripped it all out and cast on again. This time I’d finished the toes and was ready to move onto the pattern and ripped it out. Today I cast on for the third time and I’m only a couple of rows in. It’s the needles’ fault….they are cheap and they suck. Basically to get gauge I have to use a size 0-1 needle and the cable on my circs is slightly larger than the needle itself. I’m having a terrible time moving the stitches around, and where I have to pull so hard to make the cable go through it’s putting stress on the parts where the stitches are on opposite sides of the needle and the stitches are ending up way to loose in those areas….looking like the socks have holes where holes aren’t supposed to be. I really do need to order some better circular needles….if anyone has any recommendations please let me know. So sadly I don’t have any sock pictures to share with you. Hopefully tomorrow I will….

Rainy Days Make Good Knitting Days

Today has been warmer, but gray and rainy. I’m not in a bad mood though…rainy days are good for knitting after all. When I left you guys last, I was about 1/4 through the Rainbow scarf, started on the bunny blanket, and still had not started on the socks that I need to make. I’ve had some progress.

Here is the scarf:

Here is a close up:

I used two skeins of the Bernat Mosiac and I really like the way it turned out. The pattern was easy to follow and I’ll definately have to use it again with a different multi-color yarn. If you want the pattern, please see my previous post for the link.

I have made a lot of progress on the bunny blanket:

I’ve started on the second skein for this, and I’m onto the easy part: the blanket section. I’m happy to report that I’ve written everything down as I’ve went, and I will have the pattern up as soon as I find the time to sit down and write it all out. I haven’t decided if I’d like to have it a little smaller for the second one or not…this one is quite big, not huge, but big. Anyway the pattern is easily adaptable to make it a little smaller, and I’ll get into that when I write it up. Hopefully I’ll have the pattern ready so that anyone who wants to make one before Easter can do so.

I went to our local knitting group today, but it was kind of a disappointment. We had to leave early because the one lady that usually lets us stay an hour past the library’s closing time didn’t show and we had to leave early. In addition to that, not many showed up. But it was fun with the few that were there. I’m looking forward to the group having a meeting somewhere else when the weather is nice enough….so that we can knit outside! I’m thinking the park, or the little park behind the library.

I’ve happened upon a knitting meme that I hope to start on this blog soon. It lasts for thirty days, and each day I’m supposed to answer a question that has to do with knitting. I haven’t decided if I should start it whenever, or to wait until the 1st and do it for the whole month. We shall see.

“The Blizzard” as I’ve deemed the sweater for my husband’s cousin is a little bigger, but not big enough that it warrants another picture yet…rest assured it looks the same as it did in the last picture, just slightly longer. I hope to finish the bunny in the next couple of days. I have to go for now because I STILL HAVEN’T STARTED THOSE DARNED SOCKS!!!!!! (Hangs head in shame).

Spring is Approaching

Today is such a beautiful day. The air is nippy, the sun is warm, and there is a gentle breeze…it doesn’t get any better. Spring is definitely around the corner. That said, I’m having a rather good day. I’ve caught up on some housework that I was avoiding, and the hubby has cooked Chinese food for dinner…so I’ll have to make this quick and go eat.

I mentioned last night that I was going to cast on something new because I couldn’t work on my bunny until I get embroidery thread, I didn’t feel like working on the sweater, and I couldn’t start the socks last night because I didn’t have the yarn wound. Here is what I started…

I’m calling it the Rainbow. It reminds me of Spring, with all of those bright pastel colors. The pattern is found here…. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pioneer-braid-scarf, and the yarn is Bernat Mosiac: colorway Daydream. Interesting yarn I have to say. Not bad to work with, but the thickness has some inconsistancies in it. Nice colors though and machine washable. I’m thinking it would make a really cute romper for my daughter so I may pick some more of it up next time I make a trip to the craft store.

In addition to the nice day and good food, I finally got my yarn wound into balls. I borrowed my friend’s ballwinder today at the library. My son even helped to wind for a little bit. I didn’t have any problems at all using it, which I consider a good thing. I’m looking forward to get mine in the mail. It was quite a bit of yarn:

Tonight I hope to have some more of the scarf knitted, and if I’m feeling up to it I should probably start on those socks or work on “The Blizzard”.