what’s up in january twenty sixteen

Lucy asked this week if she was adopted. I may have laughed out loud.

This month in my life I am up to the following:

Writing – still working on the rewrite of my first draft. I’m about halfway through, and I’ve just worked through a seriously aggravating section. I have a new beta reader, bringing my team up to three. I feel pretty good about it. I’ve also started an unrelated secret writing project, and I’ll talk more about that later. Also, blogging! I’m going to try again. But don’t expect anything less than sporadic posts, as usual.

Parenting – it’s tough right now, not gonna lie. After six and a half years of this gig, I’m getting antsy to move on. But of course I’m a mom forever, so it’s not like applying for a new position. It’s just the diapers and snowsuits and tantrums and throwing  food stage that I’ve done three times and I’m getting fed up with. Probably related: I don’t have babysitter day this year. I’m going to bring that back, and hopefully it will restore my parenting joy. I love my kids to pieces and they’re absolutely the best; I’m just not the  best at day-in-day-out parenting. It’s taken me a long time to start admitting that. I’m still committed to my course, so I need to find ways to make it work so I don’t go postal and end up on the news.

Knitting – Happier things, hooray! I knit daily for Lent last year and I’ve pretty much never stopped. I don’t think I took two days off knitting in a row last year. I’ve currently got socks, a cabled cardigan, and a lightweight sweater on the needles. Stay tuned for a master post of everything I knit last year! I’m on a yarn diet for now, because my queue is massive and I have all the yarn I need for it. Of course, as soon as I said that, I bought two skeins from someone else’s destash, but it goes against all my principles to pass up $5 skeins of quality sock yarn.

Working out – I almost gave up running in the fall. I took a break when my knee started yelling, and then it was harrrrrd work to claw my way back. But I’ve started from scratch three times in five years, and I am NOT giving it up now. Running keeps the voices in my head to a dull roar. I’m trying to bring yoga back in with a 30-day challenge, after doing a bunch of research on how I felt about the yoga-as-cultural-appropriation debate. This article, and also this one, helped a lot. Unravelling issues of cultural appropriation are complex, but crucial. Also, I finally got a new yoga mat that isn’t shredding and is extra long, and that helps too. It’s ridiculous how many things are impacted when you’re a woman over six feet tall – yoga mats and running tights are but two of the issues.

Reading – I read twenty-eight books in 2015 and I think that’s pretty awesome. Also, it doesn’t include books read out loud to Lucy. Thus far (I know), my 2016 favourites have been Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I’m not exactly cutting edge, but I don’t care. Also, when I finished both of those, well past my bedtime, I had that beautiful terrible feeling of not knowing what to do with myself. That’s the marker of a good book. I hope with all my heart that I can evoke that feeling in my eventual mass market readers.

So there it is. My current interests and goings on. My goal for 2016 is to be honest with myself about who I am and what I can do, what I need and what is needed of me. I’d rather be perfectly self-sacrificing or perfectly selfish, but neither are right, or healthy. I think that if I can burrow right into honesty, 2016 will be a good year for my whole family.

recent knitting

Well. I went to drop in a few pictures of the things I’ve knit since I last posted about my completed projects. Turns out I’ve finished a ton of stuff this year! All these pictures are on both my Flickr and Ravelry pages, so if you follow me in either of those places, none of this will be new. Also, this post is a beast.

First up: Eivor. I made this for Clara but it was too small. I gave it away to a special baby friend. I’m really proud of this; it’s the loveliest thing I’ve knit.

Eivor

This is Ishbel. I made it for my seester for her wedding. I don’t like knitting shawls (even though I’ve made three this year!) but this one is pretty fun.

Sea Silk Ishbel

Sea Silk Ishbel

For my beloved goddaughter’s 7th birthday I knit her a Kerrera. The pattern is pretty intense but the finished product is awesome, and so cozy and soft. Also, it is pretty huge on her so she’ll be able to wear it for years. Fairy godmother points to me.

Guinevere's Kerrera Lucy modeled it for me and asked for one of her own right away, so I’m 3/4 of the way through a purple Kerrera for her. Lucky duck. Doing the giant hood and then the double garter edging again, which is all I have left, is making me crazy. 

Guinevere's Kerrera

I was originally going to make matching shawls for Meribeth and me for the wedding but that didn’t pan out. And Kerrera is reemphasizing that I do not love to knit the same pattern twice in a row, so I ripped it out and switched to Halligarth. But I didn’t gauge swatch and my knitting is looser than it’s supposed to be, so I had to do fewer repeats than the pattern called for, and it looks airier than the pattern. Which is fine, because I still love it. But at some point I want to knit another one to look like the sample. (It matched my bridesmaid’s dress perfectly. Booya.)

Halligarth

Halligarth

These are just basic slip stitch heel ribbed socks, but the yarn is amazing. They could have been a couple of inches taller. Still gorgeous.

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I knit this hat in the week we were at my parents’ house in August. It’s my favourite colours and the yarn is just lovely.

Favourite Colours Phew. There it all is. I just really love knitting! On tap for the fall are: a few cabled hats for various hatless members of the family, buttons on Clara’s finished sweater, the rest of Lucy’s Kerrera, a super awesome colourblocked sweater for Rowan, a secret project, and a fingering weight striped sweater for me. What a lovely queue. 

pictured: knitting extremes

This morning:
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Tiny yarn on tiny needles.

This evening:
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Giant yarn on giant needles.

The difference feels weird.

(Stats: tiny yarn is Doodles in String Sock, colourway Laocoon, needles are 2.75mm. Giant yarn is Wool and the Gang Crazy Sexy Yarn, colourway is Stonewash Blue, and needles are 12mm. Neither are projects that I need to finish before Christmas, so why am I working on them? Because they’re fluffy, that’s why.)

made: little sweaters

I finished a couple of little sweaters for my tiny boy baby friends.

For Baby M, a Gramps sweater with bulky yarn knit extra-tightly that will be super warm in the winter.

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And for Baby L, an R&R Hoodie with the yarn called for in the pattern, which was magical to work with. And completely machine wash-and-dry-able too!

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I like them. (Links go to my Ravelry project pages.)