Grief Plus an FO and a WIP

Hi All!

I’ve been in a serious funk lately. It’s so weird to me that all of the family I physically grew up with are now gone. Grief comes in waves, ebbing and flowing, during this time of year and my mind has been full of memories and wishes for just one more moment of time with all of us together. My Mom (63) passed away in August 2014, my little sister Veronica (44) in October 2015 and my little brother Chuck (44) in June of this year. This is one of the last pictures that I have with all four of us together, taken in November of 2013.

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Plus, I’ve lost three of my four fur babies in the last two years due to age related illnesses as well as several friends 😦 So, while I’ve been busy knitting and crocheting, I haven’t really had the urge to talk about it…plus, I’ve been jumping from project to project, kind of like my mind, and have only finished a few things. Here’s one of them…plus a WIP.

I present to you the Sockhead Hat III. Yes, this was my third time making it. I think I’ve said before that this project is something that may be constantly on my needles as it is the perfect take a long project and super easy to pick up and put down. It’s also easily customizable for different head sizes.

Hat number 3 was on my needles for a long time; however it’s so worth it. I used a skein of sock yarn that I received from my Yarnbox Sock Club and I highly recommend it for the softness and utter feeling of luxury while knitting with it. It’s made of 80% Wool – Merino and 20% Manufactured Fibers – Nylon / Polyamide. It got even softer after blocking it. Here are the details.

Ravelled Here: Sockhead Slouch Hat III

Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) 16 inch circulars / DPNs

Yarn: Forbidden Woolery Glutton Sock in the color Alchemy (used 70 grams)

Started / Finished: 9/26/16 – 7/18/17

Modifications: Cast on with 136 stitches.

I can’t wait to pop this on my head to keep warm this winter. Plus, how could you not love this delicious color?

In addition, I have started another one in Worsted Weight. I had purchased four skeins of Malabrigo Rios in the colorway Arco Iris and only two of the four matched. This skein was so different from the others that I knew I had to use it for something on its own.

To tell the truth, it should have been done by now because it is moving so fast. I’ve just been concentrating on other WIPs instead and this one sits in my SUV, waiting for me to go to the doctor or be a passenger 🙂 But that’s okay. It’s not like I’m on a timeline for it and my knitting is not the boss of me. Here’s an In Progress pic. I’m just a little further along than this now and need to decide when I’m going to start the decreases to ensure I have enough yarn.

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I hope things are good for you! I’ve got some exciting projects coming up and I can’t wait to tell you more about them. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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Once Upon a Sock: July Edition

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Hi All!

I swear my blog is becoming only about the socks lately. I promise, I have been super busy crocheting and knitting…you can check out my Ravelry projects page if you want a preview. My last 8 finished projects are for Baby Rainbow and I’ve only blogged about 2 of them. I haven’t wanted to share everything because I want it to be a surprise for the new Mama. The package was delivered to my cousins house on Monday, so hopefully the family will visit soon. Then you’ll be sick of the blog posts…LOL

So, my socks. I was hoping to finish by this months post and it didn’t happen. I did get 15 more rows per sock (30 rows total) and I’m getting close to starting the toe. You can see in the modeled photo that it is nearing the edge of my toe. I have fat, long (2 inch or 5.08 cm) toes so I know that when I get to the bottom of the big toe, I am read to start. This makes me super excited as I am itching to get to my next pair of socks. These are the Smooth Operators by Susan B Anderson.

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Progress…as noted by the progress keeper!

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Almost ready to start the toes!

I’ve been very happy to have such bright projects to help me heal with grief once again. My little brother, Chuck, passed away on 6/10/2017. He was in agony every day from multiple hernias, kidney failure and liver failure due to Hepatitis C. I’m glad he’s no longer in pain. It makes me really sad that everyone I grew up with…my Grandma, Mom, little sister, and now my little brother, are no longer with us.

A week later, my nephew was shot in the stomach and is currently still in ICU. Luckily things are getting better and hopefully he’ll be able to go into a regular room soon. His feeding tube and catheter were taken out today and he’s allowed to eat a liquid diet. He still has a long road of physical therapy; however I believe he will make it through.

The day after that, one of my Meetup Knitting group friends lost her battle with cancer. I’m attending a Celebration of Life for her tonight. Believe it or not, I could go on; however I don’t want this to turn into a pity party. In addition to knitting, I decided to do something bold to help me deal with rampant emotions. It makes me smile every time I catch sight of myself in a mirror.

 

 

 

Have you seen my fellow sock enthusiasts posts lately? Why not hop over to their pages and show some love! And if you want to join us, let one of us know, post on the first Thursday of every month with the title “Once Upon a Sock” and link up! We would be happy to have you!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

Dear Mom…I miss you…love you more

How can two years have already passed since you left this world? I still remember making that very difficult decision, to let you decide that you were ready to go. I wanted to try everything to save you; however you were so tired of being in pain and were ready to be with Grandma and all who have passed on before. I remember sitting with you in that hospice room, surrounded with love by family and last visits from friends. I remember telling you over and over that it was okay to let go and that I would be okay. I remember holding your hand with Ashley and counting down your breaths each minute. I remember losing it so very badly when you took your last breath and then telling you that I was not okay and wanted you back. I remember the support from family and friends as we laid you to rest. I remember having to get back to the business of living without you.

Even though it’s been two years, I still haven’t been able to watch the video of you telling me that you love me, over and over. I remember it being a game between us. Me: I love you. You: I love you too. Me: I love you more. You: No, I love you more. Me: I love you even more. You: I love you to the moon and back. It was our special way of saying hello and good-bye each time we were together.

So much has happened in that time and I still want to pick up the phone, send you a Card, visit with you and talk…laugh, cry…do the things we used to do. I see little messages from time to time and that comforts me. I love finding old cards and letters because they make me feel close to you. I still dream about you and am able to talk to you that way and send prayers to you in heaven. I know that you still watch over me, making sure I’m okay. And I want you to know that I am okay. I take things day by day and it gets easier with time. It’s special occasions that are the hardest. I dread Mother’s Day every year…I get so emotional. The day you passed, your birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas…all have emotional attachments that I am learning to live with and try to remember you with happy thoughts…always wishing you were still here.

So with that, I want you to know that I miss you, Mom! I love you more. I love you all the way to Heaven and know that you are saying it back to me. I love you to the moon and back.

FO – Ashley’s Hat and 2015 Year in Review

Hi All and Happy New Year! I’m taking a moment to look back on 2015 and the progress I’ve made. I’ve been a crocheter since I was a child; however really took a long time on projects…mostly baby blankets and lapghans. I started knitting in February of this year and am totally gobsmacked by how much I’ve accomplished! Here’s the rundown of how the projects I’ve completed this year:

Crochet: 4 blankets / afghans of varying sizes

Knitting: 1 Scarf, 1 Dishcloth, 3 Ear Warmers, 25 Hats, 5 Cowls, 1 Pair of Socks, 1 Sweater Christmas Ornament, and 5 Shawls (4 of them lace)

I’ve learned a lot and cannot wait to learn more. I’m no longer afraid of dropping stitches, missing stitches and knitting socks. I know I can do it all if I take it one stitch at a time!  My yarn stash is ever growing and I learned which needles suit me the best. I now have three sets of interchangeable needles, as well as every size in the 16 inch bamboos and DPN’s. I can put a hank on a swift and use a ball winder to wind up into a cake without getting the yarn all tangled up. Thank goodness for youtube videos and my knitting group 🙂 All in all, it was a very productive year. I love knitting and can’t wait to see what I make in 2016!

My last and final hat for my grief knitting series is the one I started with. I made this for my sister’s birthday the day before she passed away. I gifted it to my oldest niece, Ashley. I learned how to knit cables and have put my new skills to good use with another hat and a shawlette I’m currently working on.

Ravelled Here: Cabled Hat #L32325

Started and Finished 10/24/15

Needles: US 13 – 9.0 mm 16 inch circulars and DPNs

Yarn: Loops & Threads Charisma in the color Dark Purple

Made For: Originally my sister Veronica; now my oldest niece Ashley

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends! Let make 2016 another awesome year!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

FO – Xavier’s Hat & Santa

I finally got all the Christmas knits for the in-laws mailed off yesterday…more on that once they receive them 🙂 I also signed up for another secret test for a shawlette that I started yesterday. It’s made up of lace and cables and is extremely interesting. I won’t be able to show the finished product until the pattern is out. However, thank goodness for what Santa (aka Hubby) bought me for Christmas!

He asked me to help him out with ideas for Christmas so I put everything on my Wish List, not expecting to get all of it. He surprised me and made my wishes come true 🙂 I am now the proud owner of a Limited Edition 5 inch Sharp HiyaHiya Interchangeable Set. It came with sizes US 2-15 5″ sharp interchangeable tips, 4 cables, cable connectors, tip adapter, panda stoppers, single point adapters, puppy snip, darning needles, knitters safety pins and a gorgeous case for it all! It is definitely helping out with the lace on my current project.

He also got me a very generous gift certificate to Webs, so I can shop to my hearts delight. That is, once I go through some of the yarn I bought myself due to holiday sales 🙂 I also received a knitting book recommended by Josiah from The Sock Monkey. Click the link to read more about Josiah’s review of the book, Fine Things for Plain Occasions. You can pick it up on Amazon if interested. I could go on; however these were the knit related gifts and I’m super happy 🙂

I’ve got two more hats in my grief knitting series. Today, we will take a look at Xavier’s hat. This pattern is available for free on Ravelry and was super easy. I loved working with the yarn as it was extremely soft and had a nice drape once completed. It should also keep his little head warm during the chilly winter. I would highly recommend both the pattern and the yarn. I hope I get a picture of Xavier in it soon!

Ravelled Here: Bulky Waffle Hat

Started and Finished 10/30/15

Needles: US 10 – 6.0 mm 16 inch circulars and DPNs

Yarn: Berroco Comfort Chunky in the color Lagoon

Made For: Grandnephew Xavier (my niece Kayla’s middle child)

If I don’t see you until after, Happy New Year!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

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Bulky Waffle Hat for Xavier

 

FO – Kayla’s Hat & Christmas Eve Plans

Christmas knitting is almost complete! Unfortunately, I caught a bug and have been sick since Monday. I was completely unable to knit anything that day. I got a little bit done yesterday and have gotten to the halfway point on my last gift today. It looks like everything will be going out the day after Christmas, as I refuse to leave the house for any type of store on Christmas Eve. I am starting to feel better and hope it lasts! Who wants to be sick on Christmas?

My hubby ordered Stone Crab Claws from George Stone Crab in Florida and they will be arriving for a festive Christmas Eve dinner. If you’ve never had them, you must try them out! They are so big and delicious. The company ships them in a cooler with gel packs and guarantees overnight delivery anywhere in the United States. They come with a mustard sauce that is divine, along with a wooden hammer and picks to dig out any bits. We’re having a friend over and will enjoy a nice salad and bottle (or three) of wine from one of our local wineries. I can’t wait!

I’ve got three more hats to go for my grief knitting series and thought I would share my niece Kayla’s hat today. I joked around on my Ravelry page notes that if you made this hat in blue, it would be an awesome costume piece to go as Marge Simpson on Halloween 🙂 It’s meant to be worn slouchy; however stand it up and you see what I mean! This was my second time working with cables and I love the look of them.

Ravelled Here: Super Soft Merino Chunky Cable Hat

Started and Finished 10/28/15 – 10/29/15

Needles: US 11 – 8.0 mm 16 inch circulars and DPNs

Yarn: Loops & Threads Charisma Heather in the color Purple

Made For: Niece Kayla

If I don’t see you until after, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

 

FO – Danny and Athena’s Hats

I have one more Christmas gift to knit and I am finished for this year 🙂 Yahoo! I just cast on and I think it will be a fairly quick knit. Then it’s off to the post office I go. I’ve already spoken to my SIL’s and they are happy that I thought of them. So, although it will be late, it will be mailed before Christmas.

For this blog, I decided to combine my nephew Danny’s hat and his daughter Athena’s hat. I do not have pictures of either one of them wearing them yet…hint, hint Danny!

Ravelled Here: The Big Hat

Started and Finished 10/25/15 – 10/25/15

Needles: US 15 – 10.0 mm 16 inch circulars and DPNs

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Solids in the color Black

Made For: Nephew Danny

Modifications to pattern: I cast on 40 stitches instead of the recommended number to make it slightly smaller. This was the third time I made this hat and I knew it would need less stitches. I’ve now completed 6 of them and went down a needle size on the other hats to make it an even nicer fit, as it was slightly big on him.

Ravelled Here: Barley

Started and Finished 11/02/15 – 11/06/15

Needles: US 6 – 4.0mm and US 8 – 5.0 mm 16 inch circulars and DPNs

Yarn: Berroco Comfort Prints in the color Sachet Mix

Made For: Grand Niece Athena

This one should have taken me much less time; however I was sick and couldn’t knit for a couple of days. I used of the rest of the yarn from my first Barley hat for this one. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on her!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!