Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Word of Thanks...

Thank You!
I am simply amazed and heart-warmed that so many of you left such kind and supportive comments. Thank you all so very much.
I also have to give a special 'Thank You' to Marianne of The New Frugal Mom who not only left some encouraging words for me, but check out what she awarded me with too!!!
Photobucket
I will be passing it along to a few fabulous bloggers as well, so keep your eyes open!


Me, Spiritually

This past week I felt myself being drawn even closer to God and a feeling of His peace has engulfed me. There were a couple of days that I was out of the house most of the day and didn't make time to read my Bible and meditate on His word, and I missed it. I could feel the difference verses the days that I do make that time for Him.


Me, Health-wise

I have to admit that I didn't eat very healthy this week though. However, I did stick to my personal resolution to be more active. I started using a timer when I am online or knitting. I allow myself 45 minutes and then I must get my rear in gear and do something productive for a while. It has really been very effective and I am starting to feel better already. I feel like I am getting much more accomplished around the house as well. Now I just need to work on eating healthier. Baby steps are good though, right?


Knitting!

I had such a wonderful experience last night! Wayne and I finally got the last of our W-2's yesterday afternoon and knowing that H&R Block would be super busy, I packed up what I needed to knit while we waited. I guess I had been sitting there knitting for about 45 minutes to an hour when one of the ladies that works there came up and asked me what I was knitting. I explained to her that I was working on a design of my own for a heart-shaped dishcloth and she was in aw and said she had never seen one heart-shaped before and asked me if I sell my patterns! I told her that right now I share my patterns for free here on my blog and that I would right down the pattern for her while they did our taxes. We chatted for a bit and of course, before I left she had the pattern, my email and my blog address. She was thrilled-and I walked out of there on cloud 9. Aaahh...the simple pleasures of life!

Of course, I do indeed plan on sharing the pattern with you all as well.
I am afraid that it will have to wait though. I have a new power cord on its way, but I am on the last of my battery for my laptop and it simply doesn't have enough charge for me to type it up right now.
However, I do want to share the link to a great pattern and a pic of the one that I whipped up as a Christmas present for Damon's little girlfriend's mom.
Photobucket
It is the eLoomanator's Diagonal Knit Dishcloth by Jana Trent.
Other than the heart cloth that I designed and plan on sharing with you, this is my very favorite cloth to knit up so far!
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

And that's all for now.
I write as long-winded as I talk and I am sure you are ready for a break from me by now!
Big Hugs...
Photobucket

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Let the confessions begin...

Gracious, where do I start today's post? I have so very much to say. I am really at a crossroads in my life. So much has happened and there is so much that needs to happen. There is so much to share. When I started this blog, I thought it would be a great way to share my knitting experiences with other knitters while I kept a chronicle of my work for myself. As I have made friends in this wonderful world of knitter and mom-blogs I have felt compelled to share so much more than just my knitting. I feel that the friends I am making are very real and this is how we communicate. Well, this and Twitter! So that is the turn my blogging is taking. Of course I will still be sharing all of my knitting stuff, but I feel the need to really open up personally as well. And so, here begins the sharing of my confessions, my thoughts and my life. Grab a cup of coffee. This post is a bit lengthy, but I hope you'll stick around!

About the state of my spirit.
I began reading my Bible again today. Since Wayne left me back in March of last year I have been running from God. I knew it. I know that it was because I wanted to be selfish and deal with my wounds my way and I knew in my heart that my way was not God's way. I have been praying that God would work on my heart and draw me close to him again, because my mind and soul know that I need Him, but my heart just has not been in it. Lo-and-behold, God is answering my prayers. Today I woke up with an intense desire to read His word so, I did. The very first verse that I read hit me up side the head like a ton of bricks!

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
-Proverbs 18:1, NKJV
WOW! You see, I haven't just been "hiding" from God, I was isolating myself from everyone, especially my Christian friends, for fear disapproval and 'wise judgment'.

My prayer.
Thank you God for opening my eyes to this. Thank you for answering my prayers and drawing me close to you again. Thank you God for your grace and unconditional love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Now, while I am sharing confessions...

About my weight & health.
I am a big girl. I have a large frame to begin with and I have always struggled with my weight. When I was in school and weighed a mere 115 lbs I felt fat because my friends who weighed more than I did wore clothes 2 or more sizes smaller than me. At 16, I married the first guy who showed me any real attention; unfortunately he was very possessive and obsessive and used my insecurities about my weight to verbally abuse me and make me feel worthless so that I would stay with him thinking that I couldn't do any better. Thank the good Lord above for giving me enough sense to quickly get out of that situation. Once I was on my own again, I started coming to terms with my body. I learned that men like curves, and boy did I have 'em! When I turned 18 I met Wayne who accepted and loved me and my body just the way it was and soon we got married and were having babies. Can we say baby-fat? In '92 I joined Weight Watchers and lost 35 lbs! I weighed less than I did when Wayne and I got together and I felt good! I kept most of the weight off for a year or so, but Wayne and I began having problems and being an emotional eater, I packed it all back on with interest. Over the last 6 years our marriage has seen many ups & downs and my bathroom scale has consistently seen a series of ups. I have tried to go back to WW numerous times, but I just can't seem to stick with it. I have considered gastric bypass surgery, but I just really feel God telling me that it's not the way He wants me to go. That pretty much brings me to now.

This morning I stepped on the scale again. I weigh 308.2 lbs. Do you know how hard it is to share that with you? I am considered 'morbidly obese'. It is time. I have to get serious about getting healthy. Would you like to join me? At the very least, I need some accountability; so, I will continue to blog about my quest for a healthier me. I plan to not focus as much on weight loss per say as eating healthier and being more active. I have no doubts that the pounds will come off just as a side effect of a healthier lifestyle.

Ok, I think that I have rambled on enough for one post. I will share more later when your eyes have had a chance to rest!
I do indeed love and appreciate you all!
Big hugs,
Photobucket


Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Boys Knit!

You know, I just have to start off by saying that I SUCK at coming up with titles for my blog posts. I have read all of the tips for coming up with catchy titles, and I just can't do it! *sighs* Oh well.

I told you that I just might have a pattern for you over the weekend and I hate to disappoint. I have so many pics from my holiday knitting that I am just going through them in the order I took them and am sharing the pattern or pattern link for that item. Today I am sharing a link. I'll get to that in a minute. (aaahh...the suspense!)

I have to say that I love. love. love homeschooling my boys! I know that homeschooling is not for everyone, but I am here to tell you that it has been a huge blessing in my life. I love that I can choose what my children learn. I am quite eclectic in my teaching style. We do learn Math and Grammar from textbooks, but other subjects are learned hands-on and through life situations. We use a high school American History book as a springboard for Unit Studies. We use internet communications to sharpen up our Spelling and Grammar skills, as well as a Spelling textbook to work on our handwriting. We have taken a rock climbing class, we are learning ASL (American Sign Language) together and plan to learn Spanish as well as German, their Grandmother's native tongue. You know what else my 12 & 14 year old boys are learning? KNITTING! Yup, you read it right. My boys had zero interest in learning it and didn't want to either, yet both sat down without complaint when I made it a requirement for our homeschool. Sneaky huh?

Now nobody get your panties in a wad and carry on about how unfair that was of me because I did it for a reason. For one, I wanted to teach that you should be open minded and not label this craft as a "girlie" activity. I also wanted them to simply try something new and get out of their comfort zone just a little bit. I knew that knitting would help my youngest who is very ADD. I knew it would help because he doesn't get it from a stranger, I am very ADD myself and knitting is a God-send for me. Knitting is part of a Unit Study as well. Knitting not only counts as our art, but we learn math through knitting, history, we have even learned science through knitting.

I only required that they did all Unit Study work related to knitting and that they each pick out one project to do. The project had to involve both knitting and purling. They had to complete that one project and then they never had to pick up knitting again. My oldest, who was the more resistant before I made knitting a school subject this year, has really gotten into it. We were sitting there one evening knitting away together and out of the blue he pops off with "Hey, this would be really good to know in a 'survival' situation!" Go Jeremy! Damon likes to turn to his knitting when he starts to get frustrated and antsy with other subjects like Math and Grammar. It helps him to step away, refocus and relax so that he can get back to them with a fresher mind. Knitting is also known to help focus and retention of other subjects. How cool is that!

Damon's project was an iPod cozy for his girlfriend Erika for Christmas. We didn't go by a pattern, just cast on the number we thought would give us the width we needed and then worked a 2x2 ribbing until it was twice as long as we needed. We then folded it up and sewed the sides together with the CO & BO tails which we intentionally left long for that purpose. Darn it, I didn't even get a pic of it and I am so frustrated! *sighs* Oh well. Jeremy chose a free pattern for a dishcloth with a NASCAR theme by Woodhill Design Knits; Dale Earnhart Jr.'s #88 of course! And since he is still working on it, I do have a pic of that!
Photobucket
Believe it or not, Damon decided he wanted to start another project! Yet again, we aren't going by a pattern. My Damon is quite the little rocker dude and my younger brother Charlie gave him this hat for Christmas.
Photobucket
And my older brother Jeff, being a rocker dude from way-back-when, told Damon that the hat would look cool with a white band around it. Sooooo....Damon wanted to knit one! We have cast on the amount of stitches that he thought would come up with the width he wanted and he will continue knitting in rows until it gets long enough to fit around the hat then he will sew the two ends together and voila! My son is not only knitting, but he is designing as well!
Here is a pic of the boys' projects in the works, the way they keep them when they aren't working on them.
Photobucket

Now, what do you think about all that??
Yeah, I am one proud Mama!

Y'all have a great day and I'll catch'ya later!
Hugs...
Photobucket

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I did it!

I resolved to post at least once a week, and my last post was last Wednesday..exactly one week ago! Woo-hoo! I hope that you are having a great year so far. Mine has been ok. It started out a bit rocky. My mom was in the hospital for a while. She sounded like she had laryngitis for like three months! She was having a hard time breathing as well and just couldn't seem to do much because of it. My older brother finally talked her into letting him take her to the ER and lo-and-behold, she had pneumonia! Of course, they admitted her and put her in a regular room, but before the day was out they had her in ICU. This past Friday I was able to take her home and she is doing much better now. We lost my Daddy back in May so needless to say, I was worried.

Life at home as been a bit rocky as well. Wayne and I have been back together for about 4 months or so from our 7 month seperation (he left me) and all of the promises of things being different if I would come back home have turned out to be crap and quite frankly I am getting more and more irritated as the days go by. On a good note though, my BFF Samantha and I have been able to hang out alot more lately and that has really done my heart and spirits good! I heart Sam so much! She is the 'once in a lifetime' kind of friend and I don't know what I would do without her.

Knitting as usual is a constant in my life. Very theraputic and calming and always gives me such a feeling of accomplishment! I may even have another pattern posted for you over the weekend...how cool is that!?!?

Ok, I need to go for now. Time to shower before I go to Sam's house for the evening. Y'all be good and I'll see ya again soon!

Hugs...

Photobucket

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This is a pattern that is so simple overall that I call it an *un*pattern.
I hope that it is helpful to you.
Please let me know of any errors you may find.
Hugs...
Photobucket

Photobucket

Basic 3x1-ribbed Fingerless Mitts

Materials:
US size 6 circular or dpn's (depends on the way you like to knit; I use the 2 on 2 circular method)
US size 8 straight needle (optional, for BO)
Worsted Weight Yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft in Black)
Small amount of smooth waste yarn such as cotton.
Guage: 6 sts x 7 rows=1"

For Each Mitt (Make 2):

CO 40
Divide between needles.

Join and work in the round.
Rounds 1-3: *K1, P1 *around
Rounds 4-35: *K3, P1 *around

Round 36: Using waste yarn, K7.
Return those 7 sts back to left needle and re-knit those 7 sts using main
yarn.
Continue knitting in pattern with the K3, P1 ribbing **Following the already
established ribbing**

Rounds 37-50: *K3, P1 *around
Rounds 50-53: *K1, P1 *around

BO: Loosely, or use size 8 straight needle.

Photobucket

Thumb:
Remove waste yarn and pick up live sts (7 sts on bottom needle/N1 & 6 sts on top needle/N2).

Round 1:
N1: K3, P1, K3, PU & purl 1 st. (8 sts)
N2: PU & knit 1 st, K2, P1, K3, PU & knit 1 st. (8 sts)

Round 2:
N1: PU & purl 1 st, K3, P1, K3, P1 (9 sts)
N2: K3, P1, K2, K2tog (7 sts)

Round 3-5:
N1: *P1, K3 *twice, P1
N2: K3, P1, K3

Rounds 6-8: *K1, P1 *around.

BO: Loosely, or use size 8 straight needle.
Weave in all ends and enjoy!