Another Year, More Hobbies

I cannot believe it has once again been over a year and a half since my last post. I had knit a whole baby blanket and posted the simple pattern in February of 2019. At that point, I was still home on leave after surgery. I returned to work shortly after and was back in the whorl wind of catching up at work, dealing with the kinds and then before I even knew what hit me, we were moving to Virginia.

Our family of 5 picked up and moved from Southwest Florida to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It was hard but it is definitely worth it. So we had a medical crisis with our oldest, moved, started a new job, bought a house, started a new school, sold a house, had a wreck via deer, had a violent tragic loss of a family member followed immediately by a global pandemic.

How am I holding on? On a whim, I bought a sewing machine. I picked up quilting. I took a quilting class. I forgot how to quilt. I got chickens. I raised chicks from 1 day old. I started a massive garden. I got camping everything and we started camping. I picked up cross stitch. I made tons of projects. I researched backpacking. I planned a 5 day backpacking trip. I called my husband to pick me up less than 24 hours after starting said trip. I got a camper. I knit three sweaters, a blanket, a baby dress, five pumpkin hats and another blanket. I got a popup camper and redecorated and sewed some covers and decorations. The camper broke and now I’m waiting for our appointment to fix it. I got alpaca and picked up spinning again. I started researching carding wool. I may be unraveling but I certainly have the equipment to spin myself back together.

I ready this article and oh boy- if they thought 2016 was one hell of a year, I wonder what they are thinking right now!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this rampant running through hobbies that I have been doing and why it is that I always return to knitting. In the most challenging times of my life, I could be found working on a blanket. I think this is because certain projects are mindless (moss stitch or K5 P5 are my favorite blanket stitches) but meditative. It was my bodies way of calming the mind down. I can’t just sit and meditative because I get antsy and start fidgeting if I don’t full blown get up and walk away. I’m trying to pick up on meditation again and I find it easier if I’m doing something, like taking a walk or knitting. I actually found some youtube knitting meditation videos that are great. I find my daughter does the same thing. She was in the middle of her behavioral therapy online and was twisting the belt of her dress to the point where it was going to rip. I got up, found a few lengths of yarn and tied it to the desk. It did the trick.

I don’t have any magic words except this time is stressful for all of us. I am so grateful to have these crafts and to continue to learn and practice.

Etsy Heaven

It’s a week before my mother’s birthday and once again, I have no idea what to give her. First thought, Amazon gift card! But, is a gift card, even one from amazon with those billions of books to choose from, tacky to give your very own mother? Second thought, something to do with socks. Until recently, she only knit socks. Yes, this is one of those rare cases where I taught Mom (from a distance for the most part) how to knit because she saw me wandering around my apartment with my red and green homemade socks at Chirstmas time. She decided, I want socks.

Three months later, she realized that I wasn’t about to make them for her like I said I might, and she went on her own journey to learn how to make them. In my defense, I learned how to make gloves for her. Yes, I sent her hand-made gloves (two right-handed gloves but a pair nonetheless!) Then, for years, she only made socks. Now she’s onto hats but she’s not the diversifying type. I went on to knitpicks and looked up sockblockers. But, a women who likes to collect so much probably already has a set. Do I ask? That will ruin the surprise. I remember last year I went onto and found sock shaped stitch markers and she loved them. I won’t post what I found this time (although I did make her swear she wouldn’t read my blog. . . but that’s a story for another day!)

Etsy is a great site to visit if you are out of ideas and need a gift. These are handmade or vintage items that have a unique flair to them. They don’t scream ‘I ran into Walmart at the last minute and got you this lint-remover.’ It’s a great website to just browse around as long as you haven’t had three glasses of wine and a paypal account linked to your credit card. Then it is a bad, bad, bad site. Go to the Etsy Showcase and browse around. I found the flowers for my hairdo on my wedding day off there and they were absolutely perfect. The picture is of the three plumeria hairpins created by Butterfly Enchantress on Etsy. I’ve also bought beautiful unique earrings from Lowcountry Beadworks. They have everything from jewelry, to fabric, to toys, to pet collars. Take a look and don’t blame me if you charge up that visa bill.