Friday, May 28, 2010

Moving On

MAK Lapghan
"The message we give our bodies -- one of irritation or acceptance -- is the message to which our bodies will answer."
-- Deb Shapiro, Your Body Speaks Your Mind

I wanted to see how long it actually took to make one of these squares for the Quilt (Square counterpane With Leaves) blanket. There are 49 rounds plus the bind off to a square; and that really isn’t a lot. I finished a square during eight hours of TV...not consecutively.

There are a lot of things I really love about this pattern. One, I get to start it on dpn’s and then move to circs. I love using dpns…I don’t know why…but I do. Two, since there are four needles or four repeats; however you wish to look at it, there are four of them. I can spot check my numbers and see how everything is going on the first needle and then just "read" the knitting through the other three. This is my favorite part of the knitting process; when it becomes zen. There is no checking back and forth in the pattern because I have internalized it. And three, I love fitting it into the already knitted parts of the blanket and three needle binding-off and “poof” it is done.

My goal here is to change the way I look at things. When I started this project I had in my head that it would be a long-term project. I think that translates to…I think I can work on this for a little bit and then put it away and not feel bad about it.

But really if I only knit on it a little each night I can finish a square a week without changing the way I do anything. BTW I can knit up a square motif during lunch during the day for my shawl. A little time each day is being devoted to my current projects and they are progressing nicely. My MAK scarf of the week is already done and passed on to the next person.

I’m feeling pretty good about my focal projects right now.

My First Knot

So I had to do this. There are all kinds of knotty ideas are going through my head right now. The greatest thing about this project is that we already had all the materials in the house. My blocking board served wonderfully as a knotting board. I was really happy how this turned out. This knot took no time at all.

See I must have wanted to do this before because I already had this book when I ordered it a second time. I must have thought about it and then beat myself up about how I couldn’t do it and then never even tried.

Well, I’m not that person anymore. I got my book this weekend and had a knot done before hubby could find the second cord from the garage. I can’t wait to tackle the harder ones.

So, if you want the extra book let me know. If I have a bunch of people who want it I will hold a raffle or something.

Victorian Rose

Oh, this came off the blocking board. It’s been there for a while and I totally forgot about it. What I need is one room where everything can live together so stuff like this doesn’t happen. But that is a dream that will have to remain on hold for a while.

Anywaaaaay, isn’t she pretty? I really enjoyed this knit and have enough yarn left over to make a second one if I so choose.

As I end this month, I feel that I'm in a better place. I am certain that all this self work that I have done has borne fruit and that I am stronger for it. I can clearly see that all the little changes I have made since the beginning of the year are forming a cohesive whole within my being. I know I still have a long way to go…but at least I feel like I’ve really committed to the journey this time.

Have a super weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Enough

Tent Setup  - First Time in the Corner
"Let the waters settle
you will see stars and moon
mirrored in your Being."
-- Rumi

First of all I wanted to say, “Thank you!” You are such kind, compassionate, sweet, good hearted and special people. I am blessed to have each and every one of you in my life. *hugs*

So as this journey of mine continues I learn more and more about why I do the things I do.

It all started when I was a little girl and my parents had put me in an ice skating class. I loved to skate. There was nothing more fascinating to me then to watch the older kids skate backwards. I wanted to do that more then my next breath. Gliding on the ice was like…magic.

But as my first real disappointment in life; it was not to last. As I graduated up to the next class I was told I would need a coach and as my Father explained it, “We just don’t have the money for that.”

As an adult I understand that now. As a child I did not. My little mind could not comprehend that “money” was in such short supply that I could not have this one little thing. I offered to pay for it with my allowance and Dad shook his head, “Your nickel a week allowance wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface.”

Again words that have no meaning to a kid. So they put me in ballet. I loved ballet. I just adored dancing and the different positions. I liked the challenge of learning to move my body with grace. My first big performance I got to be a rock that transformed into a faerie in A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

After working so hard to be better at every movement, I was rewarded. They wanted me to go on point and train with the other beautiful ballerinas. I knew that my Father would be proud of me this time because I had worked so hard to get here. He was always saying to work hard and get good at things so he must see that I had thrown my whole being into my dancing.

But the answer was still "no" and I was pulled out of ballet.

They put me in piano but my heart was never in it. I never realized that when I hung up my dance shoes I had shut a piece of me away. I never realized that my belief became…never get good at anything or it will be taken away. And even more damaging…you must have never been good to begin with.

One thought…one moment…can change our entire being forever. Sometimes we never even realize how damaging those instances can be.

When I listed the things that have been on the needles I realized that they are not gifts that I never finished or promises I didn’t keep to others…they are all things that were intended for me.

Never finish…never get good…you aren’t good enough…it will be taken away.

Even now years later those words still influence me. And I realize what happens when I start something for me…the minute I fall in love with the pattern or the yarn…then I put it away. I am in a manner of speaking; taking it away from myself before someone else can.

So these feelings coupled with the others really make sense to me. Deep down I’m scared that when I finish something it still won’t be good enough. I have a lot of trouble taking pride in my work but I have been striving to change that…just like I’m trying to work through the abandonment issues of last post and the new revelations of this one.

I’m still on track with my goals. I finished another block of my lapghan at Spring Fest…that is four done; five to go. I haven’t done much knitting this week because of house things that had to be taken care of. Friday night I hope to work on my shawl and knock out a tier.

I stuck to WW even through Fair. Hubby put a beautiful anklet on me that he had made (will try to get a picture next time) and it is my constant reminder that I cannot gain…if I ever need one.

I have not had the money to sign up for the Nutrition Class yet. I refuse to just charge it. I have saved half of it and if it takes me until July to get the money together then so be it.

We’ve been asked to do some other shows with Vixenpath and we are seriously considering it. We have all kinds of new ideas to throw around and proto-type.

There is a lot of good going on…even if it is all in little baby steps. I can easily see how I created a paradigm out of Dad’s reaction so long ago. I seem to take the worst thing and hold onto it and not trust the best things that are being said. I am working hard to change this behavior.

I intend to shake off this negative way of viewing my talents. I am no longer shackled by the words in my head since I know them for what they are. I know now about money and that my Father’s decision was never related to my talent. I also know that when my Father recently told me how proud he was of me that he meant it. For the first time I could see it for what it was and that was an amazing feeling after years of feeling “not good enough.”

My MAK Warm Feet
As you can see our booth at Fair is full of family talent. People weren’t buying really but that is okay. We made back the booth and had a great weekend crafting and throwing out ideas.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Hole In My Heart

"The whole secret of freedom from anxiety over not having enough time lies not in working more hours, but in the proper planning of the hours."
-- Frank Bettger

This picture always makes me smile. These are the happy feet from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Socks. This was a community KAL we did where we each knit eight rows of any sock yarn on each other’s socks. It was fun and took no time at all but look at the results! Such amazing colors and variations! Mine are the pink and green ones…since I had to be totally crazy with them. lol

Right now we are doing a Malabrigo lengthwise scarf KAL. The yarn is so yummy. Four rows is not enough…I just want to keep knitting. lol

If you read this blog then you know that community is really big with me. I love giving back to the town I adore so much and I am always happy to hang out with my crafty friends. So once again we are doing our Community Lapghan project. One of the gals wanted to make her own lapghan instead of doing squares like we did last year and I thought that was a great idea!

Quilt (square counterpane with leaves)Quilt (square counterpane with leaves)

So here is the start of mine. I’ll still make squares too and help join them…but this lapghan is will be completely made by me. I fell in love with this when I saw it on Ravelry. Everything for the Assisted Living has to be washable so I’m making it in Red Heart. My wonderful DH picked out the colors. My favorite part of this blanket is the three needle bind off. I found a complementary colorway that has all the colors of the blanket in it from Carron. And while organizing my stash I found enough to do a border. *yay*


Speaking of organizing…I tried Dianna in the Blue Heron cotton and hated it. I even went to the third tier…again…just to see if my opinion changed when the squares were picked up. It didn’t. Don’t get me wrong the yarn is lovely…I just wasn’t feeling the cotton for this pattern.

DH and I rummaged through my stash to find something with long colorways with enough yardage…I find it so disheartening when I have all this stash and nothing ever works with it. But this time I found…way in the back…two balls of merino that I bought when I just started knitting…and I’d been saving for a shawl.

I know a lot of people hate lace with heavy yarn and big needles…but I find it irresistible it as long as the stitch definition is excellent. I am in love with this yarn…in love with this project…and I have made it past the third tier.

For me the shifting my focus to this one project is working. I cast this on for the third time on Saturday morning and look at it now! When you only have one thing to keep your attention on then it is amazing how quickly the knitting goes!

In this vein, I’ve come to a decision that I think will help me work through some of these pent up feelings that I have. Through this blog you have seen me strive to understand how my feelings affect other facets of my being and I learned something about myself that I didn’t know before.

Having all these WIPs makes me angry at myself. I’m angry that I don’t have more discipline to finish what I started. Some of these projects are six years old. I’ve been working really hard on finishing them this year and my WIP stash has been cut in half already this year…but that is not good enough.

When I went to MD S&W…which was awesome….I saw at Brooks Farm, a shawl in their booth which I have at home. A shawl which I fell in love with and bought the yarn and even started…and then put aside in a basket three years ago.

And it made me mad at myself. And I realize that is what I feel every time I look at my WIP list which sits on my altar and greets me every day…anger….frustration…and general annoyance.

And really, I’m not pointing fingers at you my dear readers. Everyone has a system that works for them and I am not judging your choices or saying that my way is the right way. This is about me and my choices and how they affect my being.

Aries already have the boon that they are ruled by Mars…two war gods…an endless supply of untapped anger. I always have to fight to rein in my emotions…even if I am a generally happy person most of the time. I’m like an unlit match…it just takes one thing to cross that line and *poof* I’m fighting back the anger.

Whenever I find sources of potential anger that I can eliminate from my life; I jump at the chance to eradicate them.

This shawl has taught me a lot about myself. I realized that I kept casting on all these projects to fill a void in me that I didn’t know existed. But the abyss was not what I thought it was…and all the yarn and all the projects in the world would never fill the hole that existed in me.

This year for the first time in 23 years something else had filled that hole. For so long I’ve kept busy trying to jam pack every moment so I could make up for something I couldn’t forgive myself for…even if I thought I had.

And here it is in a nutshell…I got pregnant in high school and gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Wanting the best life for her possible I gifted her to another family who could love and care for her like I never could.

I know it was the right thing for me to do. But this little voice has always nagged at me for abandoning my child…for giving up and not even trying. That voice was the reason that my husband and I were going to only have cats instead of children. He has always been supportive of my feelings and I thank the Goddess every day for such a wonderful, loving partner.

One day everything in me shifted and I knew I wanted to create a child with this fantastic man…and we did. And that little bundle of joy started healing the hole in me from the day he was born.

Roses From My Son

I no longer feel like a “bad mother”. I may mess things up and all...because I am human. But I know every time my son hugs me that I must be doing something right. He gave me flowers for Mother’s Day…beautiful roses from my amazing little man.

Emotions are tricky…and just because the hole is healed it doesn’t mean that my feelings of love for my daughter have changed. It just means that I can look forward instead of back for the first time in 23 years.

I realize all these projects I have abandoned were to punish myself. All these years of starting things and not finishing them I was trying to sabotage myself. I can see that very clearly now.

My Mother did the same thing in a different way. She bought things to heal her hole from the past. Most times they never even got out of the box. And no matter how many things she bought the pain of the past never lessened.

I started things unconsciously intending not to finish them because for 23 years I’ve felt like a failure and I have created situations where I reinforced that sense of dis-accomplishment.

And now that whole cycle has been broken…I resent all these projects that I’ve abandoned…but I see the symmetry of how nature works and it makes me smile. I’m left with the emotions with no source or reason and it all feels out of balance.

So, in this bizarre journey I have taken to understand why I do the things I do, I’m going to finish all my WIPs. After this beautiful shawl is done I’m going to commit my Summer to working on all my forsaken projects. I know if I can focus on one project at a time that I can finish all the ones that are left. So that is what I’m going to do.

I will give each project my love and support and treat it with respect. I will enjoy the process and honor the yarn with each stitch. This is not a chore but something I am looking forward to doing.

Then I can start a new project in the Fall with my needles and my head, free and clear.

Have a great weekend,

Friday, May 07, 2010

Shattered Focus

“A good intention clothes itself with power.”
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“By becoming a conscious choice-maker, you begin to generate actions that are evolutionary for you.”
-- Deepak Chopra

I’ve read on the WW boards about people who say they had no choice but to go over their points. That by the time they got home there was nothing left of their daily allotment. But to me that says, they didn’t take the time to journal and figure out how many points they were consuming. The way I see it is that if they wanted…really cared about…having those points for dinner then they would have chosen to plan their day.

I know this for a fact because I was that person once. I ate what I wanted and got home and had no points left. I had to dip into my weekly allotment and it upset me to no end because I was saving that for sushi on the weekend. By the time the weekend rolled around I realized that there was no weekly allotment left and I ate salad, begrudgingly, when we went out.

WW has taught me a lot about life. With goals you either want them or you don’t. Sometimes one sets a goal just because they feel like they should; but in their heart they have no intention of ever seeing it to fruition.

I’ve found out your mind will go along with creating whatever you truly want to create and it will stop you from bringing anything to life that you are not ready for. With most things it is the intent that focuses the energy and brings thoughts into this reality.

It is amazing to me that one can have this idea in their heads for years and then the minute they write it out and make it “real” it starts to gain momentum. Once it is put on paper then the idea can be fleshed out and expanded upon as it gains power.

The problem that I’ve noticed with me is that I have too many things drawing on this creative energy at the same time. I thought if I did a little here and a little there, then I would at least be doing something. But I was wrong.

In my yarn craft more then any other aspect of my life; I lose my creative focus. There are so many pretty patterns which keep calling to me. Books…lure me with new ideas and vibrant hues. Blogs…Ravelry…magazines…it all is getting to be too much!

I’ve been so good about not buying new yarn…MD S&W doesn’t count. But the patterns…it is like an addiction and I’m trying to stop.

I think my creative focus fractures a bit with each one…as I ponder on how I can change it or what yarn would be perfect each new pattern takes a bit of my creativity and diverts it where it sits in a holding pattern. In my head that pattern has become an idea that longs to be realized.

And all these ideas are overwhelming me but I am not casting on something new until I finish something old. I refuse. I am not going to scatter my focus like this anymore.

The truth is most patterns could be finished in little over a weeks time…if that…if only I would focus on one at a time then a project would have a beginning, middle and end that would follow a nice orderly fashion. Instead of my current…oooooh I love this pattern I must cast it on now….such pretty yarn…half way yawn…time to cast on something new…pattern sits in bag…and sits…I find it while looking for something else…think about working on it and decline…it moves to a new bag…time passes (sometimes years)…project is found again…why did I ever put you away…such pretty colors…such a nice pattern…pattern is finally finished…waits to block…yay I actually finished something…pattern gets to be on blog.

To stop this cycle I’m trying something new. This is totally against my Aries nature and I expect inner resistance. But like WW, financial serenity and my yarn diet when I decide something my mind knows that I’m serious. So, to that end I am going to try and do one project from beginning to end without casting on another one in between. I am going to focus my intent and mind on that one project and not cast on another until it is done.

I have picked something very challenging. Dianna caught my eye even though I knew it would not be an easy knit. I just love the entrelac leaves made out of lace.

The first thing I did was make myself a chart. I have trouble with the phrase "knit the knits and purl the purls." For me it makes more sense if it is charted; so that is what I did.

I played around with big needles and yarn and made a few leaves. I wanted to make sure I remembered how to do entrelac since it has been a while. And I must say, I'm happy with the results.

So now I'm going to wind 1000 yards of my Blue Heron Deep Blue Sea that I've had forever. I wanted something with long legs of color...the fall colors swatch seemed way too jumbled for this pattern to me.

So this is my project. I will not cast on anything new until it is done. I'm being honest with you...that I have two other things that I will knit on from time to time. One is a KAL that I'm doing with the fine ladies from my community and the other is the lapghan project that I'm doing with the community.

So wish me luck as I once again realize that a swift would be wonderful.

Have a super weekend!