Stasia's Place Of Grace


Sunday, December 29, 2002

Current Connundrum

Which heel?

    I like the upper heel's colors, but it is very difficult to do. My gauge becomes too tight because of the challenge, and it's easy for me to make errors on my turns. This was my second try of that method, and it must be ripped back again.

    The lower heel is much easier, but I don't like the colors as well. They look like elf socks!

    How 'bout the lower heel patterning, but done in green and gray? Yes, I think that will work best! A frogging I shall go...

Thankful For...

My friend Di gave me a handknit scarf for a Christmas present! It matches my barn jacket perfectly.

I can't believe how far Di has come along with her knitting, and as I said before, it makes me feel so happy to know I started her on it. She really enjoys it, and I and the others she gifted with scarves all enjoyed receiving them. She even spun some of the yarn herself!

It meant so much to me to receive a handmade gift! Especially after receiving the two-sizes-too-small, zebra-striped flannel, men's style pajamas from my sister... yikes! As my mother and other sister received them as well, I can only deduce there was a great sale on them someplace...

I am fairly confident that the birth of Jesus (which I know didn't occur in December, but I digress...) was not attended by rows of toy soldiers and gingerbread men, nor by plastic snowmen who, if in real life scale, would be about nine feet tall. Nor did the Whos from Whoville, painted on plywood, come across the desert bearing gifts. However, I have to say that seeing displays of incongruous, light-up, plastic Christmas figures on lawns gives me the warm fuzzies every time. I like the tackiest displays, along with the 1960s giant rainbow-colored lights on the evergreens, the best. Icicle lights, carefully hung from every peak, are nice and elegant... but too perfect. There's something just so... fun about a display where Rudolph is nibbling hay out of the Holy Family's manger!

I received a free "I Love Knitting bumper sticker from the Grafton Yarn Store in Grafton, Wisconsin yesterday (along with really helpful service!) It's funny how something so little can brighten someone's day!

Have you seen "Christmas Trolls" and "The Mitten" by Jan Brett? They are children's books which have wonderful illustrations. "Christmas Trolls" has many drawings of Scandinavian-type knitwear, and "The Mitten" is a Ukranian folktale about a mitten a little boy's grandmother makes for him - some of the drawings in that one show his "baba" spinning and knitting. I love the ethnic garments depicted, and the bright colors, too. These are wonderful, inspiring eye-candy for any knitter with a child's heart. Adorable stories as well!

I see those two books and others are combined in her "Christmas Treasury" collection...

My in-laws were incredibly generous at Christmas this year - both with their attention (calling me frequently while Jeff was in Europe so that I wouldn't be lonely) and with their gifts. I will never say anything negative about my in-laws for the rest of my life (well, I will try! I should try harder in 2003 not to say anything negative about anybody!)

My in-laws have their faults, as do my family, and, of course, I as well ... but they really made Jeff and me feel important to them this year... and I think that feeling (much more than gifts) is what the season's about.

But the gifts were awesome! Now, should I watch "Fiddler On The Roof" or "Uncorked" first?


I have some resolutions floating around in my head. They are:

  • Moderation In All Things: I need to not get so involved in a single project that I neglect physical activity. I've been doing a lot of knitting and it has been wearing on my achy old body. I need to get back into a balanced schedule - cleaning, crafts, reading, deskwork, pets, exercise, focused relaxation, and spirituality - with a little bit of time devoted to each, every day.

  • Stay Away From Negativity: I tried to participate in some Yahoo groups again. I found that (perhaps because of the stressful holiday season) there was a lot of negativity on them. I tried to help change the tone, but it was draining on me to read so much crabbiness and so many tales of woe. As I'm dealing with emotional issues because of also dealing with FMS, I need to look at whether I want to be giving support, or finding it elsewhere. I like to be a candle in the darkness... but because of where I'm at with my physical health, I am in need of a bright sun to warm me as well.

    I am thinking of starting a group for creative people, in which they can talk about their projects, discuss obstacles (without complaining! Rather, from the point of view of asking for help for a solution...), post motivational quotes, and discuss how the other aspects of their lives affect their creativity. Then again, I'm also thinking I don't want the hassle of moderating it... is there such a group already, for spinners, weavers, fiber and other artists?

  • Look At My Relationship To Food: I know that I have become obsessed with food due to lack of control in other areas of my life. Unfortunately this has not manifested in avoiding food, but rather pursuing eating at every opportunity, always thinking about what my next meal will be. This is especially evident during the holidays - as there was very little in terms of "tradition" during the holidays while I was growing up, I tend to "create traditions" by using special foods as "symbols." I would like to take a closer look at my eating patterns and really recognize my eating triggers so that I can perhaps lose some weight. My exercise options being limited, controlling my diet is going to be a big factor in achieving a healthy weight.

  • Spending (And Fearing) Less: I would like to spend less on yarn and fiber arts stuff, clothing, and impulse purchases. I have enough in my fiberarts stash to last me for the next century. I also have enough clothes, in many sizes, to last that long and see me through any weight changes!

    While I eat when I'm stressed, I tend to shop when I'm lonely or bored. When Jeff travels (usually a week out of every month) I tend to shop online instead of using up all my fiber and yarn stash (or reading, or exercising... you get the picture!) Part of this is a fear of going out when he's not here... I tend to worry about being approached while out, or the house lighting on fire, or someone breaking in... totally irrational fears, I know, and I'm working to get control over them!

    I have portable pepper spray, and one of my dogs is really big, so I shouldn't fear hiking on local, well-traveled trails. I have a gun and I know how to use it, so I am safe at home. I live in a safe area, I have a cordless phone I keep with me, and I can yell really loud, so I shouldn't worry about someone breaking in... especially with four pooches barking up a storm every time they hear a noise!

    To lessen my irrational fears, I resolve to watch less TV, especially the news, because I feel that subjecting myself to constant reports of attacks (which are in reality the exception, and not the rule) is making me paranoid and overcautious. I do not want to live my life shut up in a house just because I am a woman.

    Maybe a self-defense class is in order? Can I do it without hurting my back again? I will have to see!

  • Establishing A Knitting Support Group: My friend Di has a friend, Kate, who enjoys crocheting. Di and I have long been talking about joining a local knitting guild... yet none is really local, or meets at a convenient time for us. So the three of us have determined, once the holidays are past, to start our own "stitch and b@#$%" group. I am looking forward to the social contact and to having the time set aside for working on projects.

Fiber Arts

I am still working on my gray, evergreen, and cranberry intarsia-in-the-round socks (see above). They are coming along pretty well. I am learning a lot of new skills. I did a two-color, horizontal-striped, short-row heel on one (red and green). I will rip it out as I don't like the way it looks with the rest of the sock, but I'm really proud for having achieved a new skill (I learned it in Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' "Simple Socks: Plain & Fancy".)

I have just worked the other sock with a two-color, vertically-striped pattern, using the gray and the evergreen. This, too, is a new skill, and after experimenting with it twice, I acknowledge that I have not perfected it and am not enjoying trying.

I would like to finish up these socks soon, as yesterday, at the Grafton Yarn Store with Di and Kate, I got some lovely gray Patons Merino yarn to make a headscarf or, as we call it, a "babushka" (that is also the Russian word for "grandmother!") I had an urge to knit a really wooly, soft one, in a plain knit, from the center outward in a square, with a simply lace border. This gray yarn will do perfectly, I think. With the leftovers I may make a seaman's scarf for Jeff. I love how Merino can be worn right next to the skin!

While at the shop, I became intoxicated with - you will laugh - Bernat Berella 4 acrylic in deep and medium purple, lavender, sage, and pine green. The colors just spoke to me and begged me to make something with them. I couldn't resist...

I bought almost enough to make what I imagine will be a Pansy-colored afghan... having no pattern in mind, I just got what I assumed would be enough. When I got home, I decided it would be a good time to try the Cottage Creations "Rambling Rows Afghan" pattern, and then I found I needed one more ball of the pine, so back I'll go on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to trying the pattern, as only one little block is on the needles at the time - the whole afghan is done in a modular format, and all in garter stitch. Easy-peasy, and light on the wrists!

Around my house, afghans have got to be acrylic!

Off I go to watch "The Duchess Of Duke Street" on PBS and work on my sock heels... I wish you a happy and safe New Year's celebration, and a fruitful and happy 2003!

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Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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What's New? My latest sock - intarsia in the roun...
Really Quick... Too tired to post, but here are s...
Grateful For... Those things on my feet are my ...
Happy Hanukkah! We're having a great time celebra...
Thanksgiving Eve I have a sore throat. I have a f...
Grateful For... Homemade hot chocolate with fresh...
Grateful For... Mr. Cardinal in a tree in our orc...
Busy! Sorry for not posting in a while, but I hav...
Positivity I like to share positive things - even...
Thankful For Communication Remember when I said, ...

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