29 June 2015

You'll be indecisive too!

You think the cover is awesome, just wait...
I'm paralyzed by indecision - something that rarely happens to me.  I am the one in this family who makes the final decisions.  We discuss and it always ends up with either an "I don't care" or an "I don't know" which leaves me to be the one who makes the final call... because I am never paralyzed by indecision... until today.

What has caused this challenge -   Scarves In The Round, by Heather Walpole, is to blame because it is full of too many fabulous patterns and I can figure out where I want to start! At first I thought I would make something light because living on the surface of sun, I don't get a lot of use out of heavier items. But have you seen the heavier items - oh my bob, they're delicious!  The cables, the colors, the snuggle factor.  I died!!

I tried to pull myself together and resign myself to something practical that I could wear more often than stare at it longingly but that honestly was no help at all.  The lace, the picots, the drape.  How is a knitter supposed to be able to choose where to start when they all beg to be on my needles?!?

Everything is grouped into fabulous categories - From Beautiful Basics to Creative Colorwork, it's all here.

So I did what anyone in my position would do - I closed my eyes and randomly opened the book... this is where I fell and this is what I will make. Now, while I go and find the perfect yarn from my stash, take a look at this wonderful book...

I just adore the picot cast on and cast off of this piece. It's such a beautifully light and airy cowl that everyone should own.

This scarf makes me long for the holidays and the best part is, it's in the round so all the floats are safely tucked inside!

I'd wear this on more than just Wednesday, that's for sure! Can't you imagine a rainbow variegated against the black.. lovely!

Don't know how to do something?  Don't worry!  There are gorgeous photo tutorials in the back to explain everything for you.

Can you understand now how I was paralyzed... you will be too, I swear.  Best cure is to simply make them all!

28 June 2015

Sunday Snaps

It's been a long and exhausting week.  I think this sums it up perfectly.

23 June 2015

Finding my feet again

Okay, I don't feel so wobbly any more.  I don't feel solid yet but the lack of wobble is a plus.  My head has stopped screaming and Scarlett has left the building.  It is now tomorrow.

To all of you lovely souls who looked in on me, said a prayer for me, and lifted me - I thank you. I could honestly feel the love that y'all sent my way. I do contribute it to helping me get myself centered again. Knowing there is such a beautiful support system out there is such a blessing.

Over the past few days, I have attempted to research my diagnosis but it's all so negative and grim. I would shut down again and walk away.  Scarlett would come flouncing through and we'd bounce off together, vowing to think about it tomorrow.  The other day, during my normal sit down to try again, I went a different route.  I decided to go to a website that houses all the information in neat little packages that I can digest... pardon that horrible pun.  Oh wait, that isn't funny to you because I've not shared... okay, here goes.

I have diabetes... and IBS.

There.  By acknowledging it out loud, I acknowledge that it is a fact. I acknowledge that I have to make some serious changes. I acknowledge that my life is going to be different. I also acknowledge that it isn't the end of the world. Granted, nothing can truly be done about the latter but I can do something to help the first.

I have spent several days collecting information on my own Pinterest board - Managing Diabetes - and from there I read each bit and either discard it or save it for reference. My brain can consume these little nuggets and I can start to make a plan.  Just last night, I wrote out a goal sheet on how I'm going to take control of this disease!

Time to face this thing and see what it's made of... because I bet I'm made of stronger stuff.

21 June 2015

Happy Anniversary to us!

Pokey and I took the day to go play around Disney's Animal Kingdom, just the two of us.  We had a blast riding the things we know Hobbit wouldn't like because they're too much of a thrill ride for her.  Afterwards, we went and had a late lunch/early supper at Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Downtown Disney West Side.  It was fabulous!  Here are some photos of our anniversary day out...

We started the day bright and early so that we could get the best chance of missing all the standard afternoon storms.

A nice (unfortunately, short) man took our photo in queue.  I got a TON of compliments on my Mickey comic strip dress.

Pokey had never ridden Expedition Everest so that was a must and my FastPass prowess had us whip through the queue too.

You have to admit, Disney does a great job paying attention to all the little details.  These prayer flags are fabulous.

Fabulous socks - hanging from the ceiling of the Expedition Everest queue.  I love them, don't you!

It was so hot... this monkey was just over it.

Look how cute... turtle butt!!

So many beautiful birds, this little guy was just singing his heart out... or yelling danger to all of his friends, just not sure.

Everywhere you looked, there was a beautiful water feature hidden. I could live here.

Lots of fish... and one wishful fisherman... hehehe.

There were a lot of new arrivals around the park.  This beautiful mama and her precious baby were my favorite.

Waiting for our last adventure on the safari attraction. It was so unbelievably hot yesterday but we had fun.

All the animals were on the left of the jeep, I was on the right.  I did the best I could with sports setting and a prayer.

Another fabulous waterfall was waiting after the safari ride.  Couldn't you just sit here for hours and enjoy it?

It was only one o'clock but we totally felt like this guy, so we moved our dinner reservation up to 3pm and headed out.

We finished our fun with Pokey having a burger called the Mad King - it was bigger than his face!  Yes, he did finish it too!!

The bottom opened up while we were having supper but thankfully, the new parking structure kept us dry as we headed to the car to go home.  Granted, we didn't get wet on our adventure but the drive home was horribly wet and full of lightening.  Pokey slept and I drove, which seems to be the norm on the way home from the parks.  I'm okay with it though because I'm a horrible passenger, just ask him.

We were home by six o'clock, hosed off the park, and spent the rest of the night enjoying the quiet.  I watched some episodes of Friends while I knit a row or two on my Marshmallow Shrug and he played his video game on the computer.  It was a wonderful end to our fabulous day.

Today, we're headed up to my folks' to pick up Hobbit and celebrate Father's Day with Pokey and Daddy.  It will be wonderful too.  Mama is making BBQ beef ribs for supper!  She made a special note to get beef instead of pork just for me so I will be sure to show my appreciation for her remembering my allergies.  I hope y'all have a wonderful day too and be sure to give your daddy or father figure a call to let them know they are loved.

18 June 2015

A new version of normal

Y'all know I've not felt well for about a year now.  I've been poked and prodded and basically ignored by my old doctor... to the point that I fired her and got a new one.  Well, today was my follow up for all those tests they ran last month and today I learned that my life will have to create a new version of normal.

I kind of thought that by getting the results, I would feel better.  You know, "it's better to know and figure out a plan than to live in the dark" kind of thinking.  I don't know.  I think I kind of liked living in the dark, honestly.  Now that I know, I just want to do a full on Scarlett O'Hara.

I'm a planner and a fixer so I know I will snap out of this fog and get to work but for right now, I'm just kind of a bit lost.  Too much information at one time and my brain just went "Nope, no thank you.  Can't handle all of that right now.  We'll keep it on file but for now, just back away and leave us alone".  Crying seems silly and a waste of time and energy.  I don't feel like it anyway really.  I just feel a little lost. Like my anchor has slipped and I'm wobbling along.

I'm not dying, it's not that dramatic, but it is a complete change of life. The results answer a lot of questions and makes a lot of the past year make more sense. The question now is how do I move forward with all this information?  What changes can I/will I make in order to improve things?

... I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.

16 June 2015

Lots of new

My goodness, these past few days have been full of new things - new friends, new adventures, and new projects.  Where to begin... well, I guess the beginning is the best place.

Last Sunday, I met a Ravelry friend that I have known for several years.  We honestly only live about 30 minutes from one another but we never really put two and two together.  So we decided since we were that close, we should finally meet up and say hi - and we did.  It wasn't too terribly nerve-wracking for me since I've known her online for several years but being the introvert that I am, it was still a huge step for me.  Let me just say, she's lovely.  We laughed and had a wonderful time... in fact, time got away from us and we ended up staying for almost five hours!

This past Saturday was the World Wide Knit In Public event.  Did you attend?  My friend, whom we'll call KP from now, and I attend one in a semi-local mall for the semi-local knitting guild. We thought it would be fun to meet some more yarny folks and it's never scary to do something new when you have a friend by your side.  So we met at the Starbucks by the ice rink - yes, our Florida mall does an ice rink and yes, I know it's ironic.  Just as ironic as being the home to Stanley Cup Champions but I digress.  Pokey and Hobbit came with me because all the cool items I ordered for my mama did not arrive in time for her birthday so they were going to go shopping for her.

We all got coffee and then wandered through the Disney Store to kill time.  It is always so much fun wandering around a Disney Store.  I always get a nice pixie dust refill when I can't make it out to the parks.  I walked out with a new beach bag, a Pooh tsum tsum, a Piglet tsum tsum (for Hobbit), and an R2D2 coffee mug (for Pokey).  By then it was time for the event to start so we headed to the food court.

Being the brave soul that I am, I made KP lead the way.  She's a bit more extroverted than I am so it works out well.  I am sure we're a sight to see too.  She's a statuesque blond beauty and I'm a short blond fluffball.  In my minds eye, it's hilarious. We sat down at the table and did our best to get to know everyone.  The challenge was, it was the food court... which means that it was so utterly loud we couldn't hear anything!  We talked to one another and when we could hear a snippet of conversation, we tried to chime in.

After almost two hours, Pokey and Hobbit returned with their spoils and declared it was dinner time.  We packed up our stuff and wandered around the mall.  There were several shops that we popped into - hello, dresses were buy one get one free in one of our favorite stores so we both walked out with two new frocks.  After a good stretch of the legs, we went to Red Robin for dinner.  It was nice.  KP had been before but our family hadn't and I must say, it truly was "yummmmm".  Once we were full, we wandered around a bit more and then parted ways.

Last night, KP and I were going to visit the semi-local knit night.  We were giving this our all, weren't we!  The location was an hour away from KP's work and my house but we thought we would give it a try anyway.  It was nice.  We saw a familiar face from the WWKIP event and she kindly introduced us all around.  There were only seven people, including KP and myself, at any one time so it wasn't overwhelming.  We lasted about two hours there as well before we decided to pop over to JoAnn's and get KP some new yarn to make a second shrug along with me because I loved her first that she was working on during the WWKIP event and finished that night!  That one was cream, her new one will be a beautiful plum.  Mine is bright white, heaven help me.

What a whirlwind it's been.  I must say though, I am rather tickled to have found such a fast and fabulous friend in KP.  We are going to keep our weekly Sunday afternoon get together too.  That one group, while very sweet, is just too far to go every week.  Who knows, maybe our little group will grow.  We're already going to add in another friend from Ravelry via Skype so that's three of us.  We made a Ravelry group too, in case anyone local wants to join in the fun.

Have y'all done anything new lately? I'd love to hear about your WWKIP or exciting, out of your comfort zone adventures!

13 June 2015

Sticks and strings and sparkly things!

I was asked to review Beaded Lace Knitting by Anniken Allis and at first, I was a little overwhelmed.  I actually sat there, flipping through the book for the first time just admiring all the gorgeous works of art these models were wearing, and I thought "there is no way I can do that!  It's tiny sticks with tiny string with tiny sparkly things... nope, I'm a complete fraud."  I mean, I've only just gotten back into knitting again and at that, I'm so rusty on how things are done, I'm sure I would flub it all up.  I had beaten myself before I even had a chance.  I put it down and went to put the kettle on.  I needed a spot of tea to clear my head before I dove back into that scary place.  Once my cuppa was ready, I sat back down and actually read the book.  Then, my outlook changed.
 I started reading the actual patterns and I noticed that she had them group by experience and difficulty.  The book started with the easiest patterns first and ended with the most challenging.  The charts were easy to read and follow along - and that is saying a lot when you think that I have only knit one thing in my life from a chart!  The written directions were clear and used common terminology.  I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to have a designer give something a different name simply for the sake of giving it a different name.  It's not a new stitch, just a new name.  That makes for some serious unnecessary confusion, let me tell you.
The photographs were perfect for each project.  You got to see the full item, crisp details, and beautiful glamor shots.  By the time I had finished actually reading this book, I was thinking "okay, I think I can do this.  Actually, I know I can do this!"  So if you have been wanting to knit beaded lace  but are like me - a bit too intimidated - I highly recommend this book.  Anniken holds your hands and guides your needles with such an encouraging and enthusiastic touch.  She'll have you believing you cant tackle anything... and she's right there with you to lend a hand.

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