This Little Ziggy

After a recent trunk show at Stash, I was smitten with the Ziggy hat from PDXKnitterati. Lorajean of Knitted Wit had some small skeins of her polwarth silk blend wound up, and we got to pick and choose colors, which is always fun. I went with my standard color combo of purple and green, with a little blue thrown in.


This was a fast, fun, and addictive knit. I knit the pattern as written until the top when I opted for a short icord.  All the while I could be heard muttering “one more repeat…must get to the next color…”
This was intended for PB, but given her last reaction to something I knit, I decided to keep it at the shop for a bit. Which means that when little friends drop in for a visit, I make them try it on and pose for me. Can you say “future knitter”?

Opie

Guster

Now that I’ve got this toddler knitting out of my system, I’m moving forward with some selfish knitting for a bit.  On the needles right now? A sweater and a hat, and it feels great!

 

The Rundown

Some days the ideas flow nonstop, one thing leading to the next in a mythical progression of inspiration.  On those days, I have a multitude of knitting project and writing ideas, feel inspired to take photos or sew and bake.

Today is not one of those days.

We had a great Easter weekend.  On Saturday there was sunshine and much playing and knitting outside, baking of strawberry rhubarb crumble, and I didn’t take a single photo.  I even resurrected a long-languishing lace project and enjoyed knitting several rows before returning to the ease of stockinette on my Rayonnant, which I’m still trying to salvage.  Then on Sunday we had an early morning departure planned, and I completely forgot to put together PB’s basket.  I got her some of these play silks and painted a story box, but again there was no photo. Soon, I hope.

On Monday the rain came, and with it a sense of domestic responsibility.  There was a lot of laundry and unopened mail to catch up on, and I spent my usual morning blogging time working around the house.  It was a dreary day all around, followed by a bit of a rocky night.  I’ve had a lot of coffee this morning, and my outlook is definitely improving!

I don’t know why I’m sharing all of this, except to show that blogging isn’t always as intuitive or timely as we might like.  Where I would have prefered to show you the colorful and crafty images of select parts of the past few days, I’m challenged to describe them and share the moments that happened in between all the blog-worthy activities.

I do have this photo that Sweetie took of PB holding a hand-carved bunny her grandmother made. Isn’t it great?

I hope you have an inspired day.

Around the House:: Spring Edition

As the weather warms and activities shift into more time spent outdoors, I have been taking pictures.  Pictures of what things are really like around my house as we transition from winter to spring.  There are fresh-cut flowers everywhere, a gift from a previous owner who planted hundreds of bulbs around the yard.  On the cooler, rainier days, I have been making granola and baking all sorts of vegan muffins.  Piles of handknits, so frequently grabbed all winter now sit unused.  Windows are open, letting the fresh, slightly chilly air circulate, and certain toddlers are grabbing a jacket and asking to go outside several times a day.  It’s a glorious time of year, isn’t it?!

In the spirit of sharing, I thought it might be time to play another round of Around the House.  Nothing fancy, just capturing a moment.  Would you like to play?  Simply copy the list below, take a stroll through your house one day, and post on your blog.  Please link back here and leave a link to your page in the comments so we can come take a peek! Oh, and grab a button if you like:

Here are the categories for Around the House:

  • In the kitchen
  • On the nightstand
  • In your work/craft space
  • Out the window
  • What the pets or children are up to
  • On your feet
  • Knitting or knitwear in action

Of This & That

button bin at Stitches, all a-jumble like my brain today!

Some thoughts, updates, and bits of information, list style:

Knitting& Crafty Goodness

  1. After yesterday’s post, I took another look at Shalom and realized things weren’t as bad as I had made them out to be. My errors weren’t irreparable, and after just a few minutes I was back in the fast lane.  Today I will divide for the sleeves and get going on some soothing stockinette.  This is likely where I will be distracted by a new project, but that’s the way I roll.
  2. I happened across a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop dvd at the library last week, and have been enjoying her antics every afternoon.  PB’s naptime finds me on the couch with a cup of tea, my knitting, and EZ.  I thought there wouldn’t be too many surprises, but that lady has shaken the ground on a few things I knew for certain to be true.  For instance, did you know you could just throw in a backward loop cast on stitch as an increase, avoiding the fuss of those pesky m1’s?
  3. There’s a new issue of Rhythm of the Home up!  There’s also a new issue of Mothering out, and they have announced they will not be publishing print editions anymore.  Sad, but a sign of these digital times, I suppose.
  4. Kathy over at While Tangerine Dreams has been up to a whole lotta creative goodness.  Go check out her new Dream Consulting and Backwoods Mama Sewing Camp.  That lady is such a delightful inspiration! Kathy, I’m waiting for Backwoods Mama summer camp at your house!

Health & Home

  1. Throughout the course of this winter, I was sick a lot.  This is unusual for me: I maybe get a cold once a season.  I attribute my seemingly constant battle with one sickness or another to three things: poor sleep, increased exposure to germs at “kiddie” places, and lack of consistent exercise.  Having a little one in the house changes so many things, and one of the big things is how the parents care for themselves.  It is so common for women to put themselves last on the To Care For list, isn’t it?  I thought I was doing a good job of carving out creative time and practicing self-care.  The fact of the matter is, I have felt physically run down for months.  In an attempt to jumpstart my return to a more balanced, strong physical self, I will be participating in  a 30 Day vegan Challenge.  The idea of having a group of like-minded people working through this at the same time is comforting, and there will be recipes, support, and resources all along the way.  Let me make a couple of things clear: my intention is not to become full-on vegan, nor will I be imposing an animal-free diet on anyone else in my home.  It just so happens that Sweetie is on-board with eating vegan at home (she is at the mercy of my chef’s knife, after all), and is supportive of me and my goals.  It starts Monday; hopefully 3 days in we won’t be sneaking around or fighting over PB’s yogurt and cheese!
  2. I keep seeing other bloggers writing about all the time and thought they are putting into their gardens.  We have 3 large raised beds in our backyard and 2 small ones in front of our rental house, and I would love to grow some veggies.  Trouble is, I have no idea where to start!  Until I saw this rash of fertile blog posts, I thought I could just go down to the nursery once it got a bit warmer and just choose the things I’d like to eat and stick them in the ground.  I need your book and website recommendations, seasoned gardening advice, and general good wishes.
  3. Peaceful Baby is entering into a new phase where she is not so peaceful all the time.  Tantrums have arrived; I am amazed at the intensity of her reaction when I gently tell her no. There are tears, throwing of objects, raking of nails.  Fortunately, these little people are excellent at living in the moment and moving on quickly from intense moments.  I could learn something from PB’s ability to let things go and enjoy life as it comes.

That’s all for today!  Do you feel better after putting your thoughts down on paper (or blog) like I do?

Momsomnia & Blog Envy

Last night, after having gotten up with a sick babe twice in under three hours, I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  This happens to me somewhat regularly: I get up in the night to nurse the little one, or to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, etc., and then I can’t fall back asleep.  I lie there, perfectly awake, mind ablaze with myriad worries, to-dos, or on the good nights, ideas.  Meanwhile, the pitiful tired child in my brain is whining: why can’t I fall back to sleep?  I count the minutes I’ve been awake each time I roll over, willing myself to stop looking at the clock.  Finally I will either get up or turn on my iPod and listen to a knitting podcast.

After tossing and turning for a while I got up, had a bowl of Cheerios, did some blog reading and went back to bed where I thought about blog post ideas, and tossed and turned some more.  Looking at the clock, I see I’d already been awake an hour.  Sweetie was softly snoozing next to me, and I trembled with something like rage at her ability to sleep deeply almost the instant her head hits the pillow. I grabbed my iPod out of my dusty nightstand drawer, put in the earphones, and….nothing.  The battery was dead.  Shaking it did little to convince the thing to work, so here I am. It’s 2:58 am and I have Momsomnia.

During these sleepless nights, my brain often wanders to all things blog-related.  Sometimes I can soothe myself back to sleep thinking up blog posts, fantasizing over how to present my latest work-in-progress, or how to pull together a post out of some random photos I’ve taken.  Tonight I find myself wondering if some of the she-bloggers I enjoy reading ever get insomnia.  If they ever want to clobber their spouses for not waking up when the baby cries, or get frustrated after stepping on bits of dry cereal or cat yarf in her bare feet in the night.

Sometimes I can’t help but compare myself to some of these women and their lives as presented on their blogs.  My brain knows that what we see on each other’s blogs is a mere glimpse of our real lives.  Some of us never share the gritty realities of our lives, instead choosing to focus on the positive, naturally sunlit moments of our days.  Others can’t stop ranting about every last inane detail of their daily grind.  Somewhere in the middle is the truth of who we are.

I know none of us is perfect.

And yet sometimes I wish my life were more like someone else’s blog.  Don’t you?  You know the ones…

Sunlight streams in through spotless windows onto the freshly refinished hardwood floors original to the house while she expertly snaps photos of her children practicing their quadratic equations or learning how to read a sundial.  She never complains about poopy diapers (even the one that made her vomit last week when she was home alone with the babe and a stomach bug), spit up, the cat’s hairballs, in-laws tracking in mud onto recently vacuumed rugs, or that mysterious smell in the fridge.  She bakes her own bread every week, collects eggs from her heirloom chickens, has a cute haircut, has time to get said cute haircut, displays seasonal fresh flowers in the house (this time of year it’s a forced sprig of forsythia clipped on a nature walk with her children, an attempt to get them outside every day no matter what).  Her home is decorated in a chic mix of reupholstered flea market finds, diy sewing projects, and prints from her favorite sellers on etsy.  She’s always dressed nicely (no sweats for this one) and is never too tired to make a nutritious dinner.  She wouldn’t dare eat ice cream straight from the carton.  What else are those cute bowls from anthropologie for?

Get the picture?

My point in all of this is that I know no one is perfect, especially the  mythic she-blogger.  I am me, and in this space I share what I care to of myself.  It is by no means a complete picture.  Right now my eyes burn, the laptop is about out of juice, and I’m worried that as soon as I do fall asleep, my poor cough-riddled tot will wake again. Who wants to see a picture of that?

Don’t get me wrong: I love these blogs that so many talented writers, knitters, crafty mamas, photographers, cooks, gardeners, teachers, and artists take the time to share with us.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t spend my time reading them.  There are just moments where I wish I could jump through my computer screen into their cozy living rooms and immaculate studios and stay awhile.  But after an hour or so, I would jump right back over into my life.  Because with all its imperfections, I love it.

At the end of the day, how do you let go of your daily worries?

Do you ever find yourself wishing you lived in someone else’s beautiful snapshots?

Got a cure for insomnia? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

{These photos were taken in Newport, OR on our post-holiday stay at the coast.  They are some of the first shots taken with my new camera, the Nikon D3100}

About Comments

There was a time when I was answering each comment left on my blog via email.  That time seems to be over, due in part to a glitch in WordPress and my inability to get to the computer as often as I’d like.  Please know that I read and enjoy every comment, and visit your blogs whenever I can.  I appreciate the time you take out of your own busy day to read Peaceful Knitter, and feel especially grateful when you leave comments!  From now on, I plan on answering questions in the comments section of each post.  If you have a question or comment you would like answered more directly, please email me: Peacefulknitter AT gmail DOT com.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sonia

Peaceful Knitter Almanac

I can hardly believe it’s already been three years since I started this blog.  That’s three years of knitting, writing about knitting, photographing my knitting, attending knitting-related events, meeting fellow knitters, and buying yarn for more knitting.  Wow.

This is more than a hobby or craft to me.  In a very real sense, this blog (and knitting specifically), have been a creative lifeline for me over these past few years.  Life inevitably throws us plenty of adventures and challenges, and through it all I have had the constant companion of yarn and needles.  Chaotic, confusing times just beg to be tamed with the order of a soothing new project.  Vacations love to be commemorated with a skein of souvenir yarn.  New babies, birthdays, and holidays are all great reasons to roll around in your yarn stash and come out with something beautiful to knit for those you love.

Writing this blog has touched my life in a profound way.  I am so thankful to have had the inspiration and courage to write that first blog post, and to keep knitting through all the ups and downs of the past three years.  You have been so supportive and encouraging of my writing and knitting projects, and while I keep this space mainly for myself, I have to admit that has been deeply meaningful.  Thank you; I hope you’ll stick around and see what happens in Peaceful Knitter-land in the future.

♥♥♥

To celebrate three years in the blogging business and to thank you for your support, I have collected some goodies to share:

Knit Picks Options needle set, Mini Mochi yarn, ceramic shawl pin, project bag

Enter to win this great giveaway by sharing why you knit, write about knitting, or read knitting blogs.

Leave your comment on this post by midnight, November 14th for a chance to win.

♥♥♥

Thank you so much for taking time out of your life to share in my knitting adventures.  If you’d like to follow me down memory lane, check out my very first blog post here.

The Joy of Mail

I love getting mail.  More than receiving mail, I enjoy the small daily ritual of walking down to the mailbox, hoping that as I open that little metal door there is something interesting waiting inside.  Usually it’s just bills and catalogs.  Occasionally it’s a new magazine for me (as opposed to a woodworking magazine for Sweetie), and that is very exciting indeed.  Rarer still are the days when I open the door to reveal a package.  If it’s small enough to fit in the mailbox and it has my name on it, chances are it’s something soft and squishy.  And you know what that means, don’t you?

Knitabulous Softsock in Pink Granite

Over the summer Bellsknits began her adventures in sewing, turning out one great project after another.  At one point, she put up a contest on her blog giving away one of her handcrafted project bags.  And I won!  Since I was in geographical transition, Bells kindly put off mailing the bag until I got settled at my new address.  I suspect she felt there was so much of a delay she should put a little something extra in the package, and I am more than happy to receive it.  Hand-dyed sock yarn, I swoon for you.  Thank you, Bells!

Inspired

Lately there have been days where I haven’t knit at all.   Life happens so fast, and I can sometimes get so caught up in the To-Do list that I forget about the Want-To-Do list.  Other days, I binge knit, working those needles until my hands ache.  And then there are the days where I enjoy reading craft blogs, gaining inspiration and recharging my creative ambitions through other crafters’ stories.  I’ve run across a couple of blog posts out there recently that were just what I needed the day I found them.  I thought I’d share some tidbits about knitting (and life) you might also find inspirational.  At the end, a drawing!

Laundered clothes get dirty. Full bellies become hungry. Swept floors gather dust and hair and a thousand tiny pieces of paper from busy scissors.

But a stitch is a stitch and it stays that way.

Tangible.

Permanent.

Reassuring.

(Read original post here)

Quality not quantity

Knitting fun not knitting work

Make things that will make your life more beautiful

Stash is an amazing resource, not a burden to be shifted

(Read original post here)

I would go without food for yarn or fabric or something to stitch. If I didn’t have my sewing machine, I’d slip away. I’d slip away if there wasn’t that new dream to build, even if it is usually just a pipe dream, a total mirage.  A total mirage that does not sway or break until whatever it is that I’m building is complete.

(Read original post here)

***

What does your craft or creative life mean to you?

Please leave a comment on this post by Sunday June 13th and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Made From Scratch, Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich.

Peaceful Merge

I have been struggling to maintain my two blogs: this space and Peaceful Mom. Time is limited, and finding a chunk in which I can write more than once or twice a week is tough. But more importantly, I can’t seem to separate my life into distinct categories: knitter, mom, wife, daughter, friend. I am all these things simultaneously, even when I am only focusing on one at a time.

PB helping me check Ravelry on our trip

And so I have decided to merge all my interests and blogs into this single space. There will now be posts about knitting alongside baby stuff mixed in with some food, fashion, vacations, and whatever else I feel like. I don’t know why I thought I had to compartmentalize my blog-life; it served me well for a long  time, but now it’s time to integrate. Along with the merge I have decided to freshen up the page a bit. I hope you like the new look and stick around to see what I’m up to next. Thanks for stopping by!