Friday, September 28, 2007

Casting On...........

So I've decided to start a journal of sorts. There have been some really big changes in my life over the past 4 or 5 months and many times I've felt the desire to journal my thoughts, but my regular blog is a very public place connected to so many of the things I do. My intention is for this journal to be a bit more private...if there is such a thing on the internet. Maybe disconnected is a better term. That other blog is my public face, this is my personal face. Journaling isn't all that unique, neither is knitting, and even blogs about stitch samplers isn't close to unique, but I had this idea... I have at various times maintained an ongoing sampler when I was learning a group of techniques; a sweater sampler in the round ala Jackie Fee, an increase/decrease sampler, a sock sampler... and I've done samplers of individual stitches as I considered a specific project. But I haven't used a sampler to just keep my running thoughts. That's my idea.

Over the next while - "while" being defined by the very life I plan to journal - I'm going to try to keep a running sampler of various stitches and connect those stitches to the happenings in my crazy life. I'm not setting any specific goals or deadlines, I'm not going to beat myself over the head if I miss a post here or there, and I'm certainly not going to commit hari-kari over a stitch that doesn't work out or that I don't like after I knit it...AH! and therein lies the parallel! How much like life is that?!

So here is my first post and appropriately enough, my sampler cast on...

So here's the particulars;

Yarn= Pattons Classic Merino, left over from a sweater for JJ in a neutral color

This was the last great motherly thing I knitted before my baby turned 18 years old and flew the coop. One of the big changes in my life this season. I'm thrilled for him and thrilled for me! I really love the person he has grown up to be just as I have loved the men my older two sons have grown to be. So the house is quieter...and cleaner...and costs a little less to feed. All good things. Don't look for a weepy empty nest thing going on here, you won't find it. I worked for 25 years to get my sons to the point where they don't need me daily and I'll be darned if I look back now. A bit late for regrets eh? He's living 3 states away (I don't care for that part) with his older brother (I do appreciate that part).

Needles= Size 4 Balenes. I like these needles, they are lightweight so they don't cause me pain, they are my favorite default size for anything other than socks and they have these really cool tips that let you dig right into a troublesome stitch. Do I even need to elaborate on the comparisons here? These needles might as well be my life-vehicle. They describe my methods of handling tasks to a tee.

The sampler - I cast on 24 stitches using a knit on technique. I like knit-on. It builds one stitch at a time, blends in with all the other stitches perfectly and doesn't stand out and say "LOOK where I started!" it just flows right along. And it's elastic. No binding. No rigidity. Few limitations. It just holds the stitches together without fuss and muss. I used 24 stitches because it's about the most versatile number I could think of. Divisible by 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12, so it will fit a good number of combinations. But right from the start I found a glitch...

I cast on and knitted the first row without allowing for borders. Borders are a good thing. They define your achievements while preventing the piece from pulling and curling out of shape. So I need borders. Over the next 6 rows I added one stitch to each end one row at a time. It's not good to make such changes all at once. Change takes a little time. Add all 6 stitches at once and the borders will stick out at floppy angles and look contrived. That won't do at all. No sense in starting out floppy and unsound, right? I could have ripped back and cast on what I needed but somehow, building and adding on seemed more right.

So here are some of the rows of stitching in my life right now...

A new life without children - Now hubby and I have to redefine our relationship again. We always said that we know that someday, if all goes well, they will leave and we will have each other. That's as it's supposed to be. Over the past 4 months, we've bumped heads, but so far it's good. He's gone to a rabbit show with me, I've allowed him time for his RC planes, and we really value our evenings of just us to tease and play or smooch without the intrusion of someone who feels the right to disapprove. Not bad.

Getting a handle on the migraines - That's going pretty well just now. I'm finally on a combination of drugs that are keeping my emotions and physical pain within very tolerable ranges. I don't feel so extreme emotionally (despite some real challenges) and any headaches I do get seem easily resolved. Good deal.

My parents live right over there - Adult child of elderly parents...ACEP, what can I say? I love my parents beyond words. Especially my dad. Nobody has ever been a bigger fan of me than my daddy. He considers dh as his own son, he has always been a terrific fan of my sons, and he thinks I'm pretty smart too. He has actually laid his own life on the line for us in very real ways. How could I do anything but whatever they need as they get older? They cared for me when I was pretty hard to like. So they get on my nerves sometimes - especially my mom. She's so happy being miserable. But that's just life.

A new job - this is the scary one. A job I've always wanted to do but few people understand why. It's one of those jobs that everyone hopes 'someone' will do, but not them. Yet I find it wonderful. And yet, I haven't even started yet. I was trying to get a different job and kept getting shot down bad. Then this one came looking for me. Well, we'll see how it goes over the next months.

So that's my cast beginning as of today. Every day is a choice. Today I choose to live, to love and to laugh.

365 Stitches Calendar - Sept 28 - Plain Diamonds

What I really need to choose is whether I'll travel 4 hours away to a show. It involved either a. drive myself this afternoon so that I can get entered, sleep in the 'burbon at the fairgrounds overnight (dangerous) or spend a lot of money I don't have to get a hotel. The only reason I'm going at all is to sell some stock. I figure I have to sell $200 worth just to break even. Good chance I will but is it worth it? choice b. if they'll accept entries before showing tomorrow, I can drive with dh WAY early to get there by 8 am. I'll call the show sectry later and find out. My decision - if I can do plan b, then I'll proceed. If not, then I'm not risking myself or my animals. I'll take it as a sign that it just won't work out.

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