Monday Musings: On Being Childfree

I’m childfree but only recently became comfortable with advertising it a bit more in a public space.  In fact, I started this blog as a means for me to get comfortable with myself and the concept of being able to publicly admit my childfree status to many people.

I’m not militantly against kids & in fact, strive to be a great aunt, cousin, & sister. I love knitting baby things for people!  I’m the annoying person that the adults make the younger ones look up to – not on purpose or anything, but because I care a lot for the younger ones in my family.  Some of them are in dire need of a good example of a successfully married & working woman.  I strive to be the most authentic & strong person that I can for them.  I encourage them to push as far as they’re willing to go to better their lives.  I consider this my duty to them – and it’s something I could not do nearly as well if I had my own children.  Not to the degree some of them need me to do it.

My reasons for not having children are incredibly personal & painful outside of some of the common benefits others site for not wanting children:  wanting to have more disposable income, more free time, et cetera.  That stuff is nice too.  But ultimately: being childfree is not about what my reasons are – because they should not matter.

Being childfree, ultimately, is about choice.  It’s about choosing to live the life you want to live outside of societal norms or expectations.

It is about supporting my choice and the choices of those who choose to be childfree for the reasons that you don’t agree with… and the reasons you do.

Work in Progress Wednesday: Project Peace 2016 Cowl, take 2

In our first installment, I’d just started on this cowl. I’m about a day or two behind where I’m supposed to be in the knit-a-long but have made plenty of progress since that time.

The pattern was a good choice for the yarn. It’s always a toss up with the variegated types of yarn but over time, I’ve gotten much better at figuring out if a pattern is a good choice for that type of yarn.

Waiting for my train to take me home. The cowl has grown quite a bit!

I had to tink back a row. It was painful. I did not want to rip back 318 stitches of fingering weight yarn but it had to be done. In case you’re curious: I didn’t rip the row back while drinking. I’ve learned that drinking and correcting knitting mistakes are best left alone for me. I can do one or the other but not both unless I don’t care about what the results look like later.

I LOVE how this colorway is turning out with the waffle stitch pattern!

The stitch definition looks great. I’m very satisfied with it.

Looking forward to finishing it later this month. There’s a good chance I’ll be finishing this on a plane.

Monday Musings: On New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.  In the past, I’ve failed to keep them.  Furthermore, I felt that they contributed to a cycle that I’ve been very guilty of: committing to a goal of some level of importance and then castigating myself for it when I don’t reach it.

I’ve decided to make 2017 different.  I’ve decided to go back to my elementary school roots and purchase a weekly planner.  In school, I was required to keep a planner in order to keep track of assignments.  I would get a new planner every year.  There was a level of discipline that was required in order to use the planner effectively.  With daily use, the habit became easy and almost effortless.  More importantly: the discipline that was needed to keep up with the planner trickled down to other areas in life.  I’m currently at a point in my life where I need an extra boost of that discipline in order to keep track of the stuff in my life right now. So I’ve decided to make attaining that my resolution for 2017.

In 2017, the only resolution that I intend to make is to use the planner that is currently being shipped to me. We’ll see if I can keep the resolution.

What about you?  Do you believe in making resolutions?

 

Work in Progress Wednesday: Project Peace 2016 Cowl

Here’s my current work-in-progress for the Project Peace knit-a-long cowl with a waffle stitch pattern:

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The yarn I’m working with is a skein that I received from a yarn swap: Nina Hand Dyed Yarns Tweed Sock in the Fire colorway.  It’s been a part of my stash for several years.  I love variegated yarns but my experience has been mixed with them. I try to be careful with the pattern I pick for them.  However, I’m happy with this skein as it seems to work with the pattern well. I’m in love with how the reds, oranges, and browns look with the yarn.

Monday Musings: Knitting Mistakes Inject Peace Into My Life

Last week, I joined The Healthy Knitter‘s knit-a-long, called Project Peace:

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Project Peace is a knit-a-long (or in this case, a peace-a-long) with a waffle stitch-esque pattern cowl… for the purposes of thinking of peace.  From the Ravelry page:

What’s a peace-along? There will be a daily tip on how to infuse more peace into your life. These tips will be available on my blog each day from December 1-21. They’ll be simple things, some from me and others from a few guests.

With little time to knit lately & with my commitment to knitting blankets for hospice patients, I thought that a knit-a-long where I’m expect to knit 1 4-row round a day was perfect.  I’ve got a hectic line to the finish of 2016 with my academic career coming to an end after December 16, work ramping up, & a trip to the Philippines planned on December 21st.  I’ll be gone for over 2 weeks.

I found the idea of using a knitting project to remind myself to “inject more peace into my life” very intriguing because I’m a bit type-A-ish in my life.  I often want to do too many things at once & I strive for perfection. However, one of things that knitting does for me is remind me to do what I can with the time that I have and that making a mistake in my project (or in my life) isn’t the end of the world.

This cowl is a great example.  When I started the cowl, I mis-read the pattern.  I realized that the first round was going to be wrong, as I had miscalculated the number of rounds that I would need for it. 1 round was going to be wrong. “Fuck,” I thought.

In the past, a mistake like that (even after casting on 318 stitches) would have meant me patiently ticking back every single stitch cast on using fingering weight yarn and re-working the round. I’ve had friends, two of them being yarn shop owners who are expert knitters, tell me that I was nuts for doing this on something like a cowl’s beginning round.  Why? It’s a place that no one would notice except for me. Yet I’d do it. Every time.

Until now, that is.

This time, I looked at it and remembered that I’m supposed to be putting more peace into my life & and thinking about concepts of peace within the world. I thought about how much of a bummer it would be to tick back all of those stitches.  I also considered how thankful I am that I don’t live in a wartime zone. Peace has an entirely different meaning in these parts of the world: a meaning that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend as someone with the ability and privilege to be able to participate in a knit-a-long with a peace theme.

Then I gave the cowl an honest look:

“Yeah,” I thought to myself.  “It’s fine. Make a note of what you did & if you want, just make your last round mirror the first one, so that the cowl looks like same.”

I moved on to the next round & continued to watch episodes of The West Wing & I didn’t think about it again. (Unless you count this blog post.)

Because if there’s anything that knitting has taught me, it’s this:

Life isn’t about the mistakes you make but how you handle them. It’s about moving on to the next round as gracefully as you can to get the job done.

Finished Object Friday: Garter Stitch Throw

This throw is the first knitting project that I’ve completed since I went on a knitting hiatus for 2 years.  It took me about 2.25 months to finish it. Not bad for jumping into it after taking a break:

As I worked on it, I thought a lot about the role hospice plays in the United States. I am thankful for the existence of palliative care and wish more people knew about it.

Today, I dropped the blanket in the mail. It now goes to join hospice teams in my region to contribute towards the goals that all hospice staff have: to provide patients with comfort and to help them live the lives they want to live.

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Want the pattern? Grab it here: Garter Stitch Throw

Work in Progress Wednesday: Of Feathers and Fans

This is the start of a second blanket for Compassionate Care Hospice:

I’m quite pleased with it! It’s a classic feather and fan pattern and is knitting up quite nicely:

I hope it will keep a patient warm this winter!

Interested in the pattern? Grab it from Ravelry: Sweet Stitchin Betties Group Feather and Fan

Monday Musings: How I Learned to Knit by Jumping Into the Fire

There are some knitters who have learned how to knit from their grandmothers or their mothers:

I am no exception to this time-honored tradition.  Well… except for the “learning how to knit from my mother or grandmother” part. My mother and grandmother have roots in a very hot country.  They lived in an area where crocheting & sewing were more common and knitting was not as popular.  My grandmother was a seamstress for several decades and serves as the inspiration for many of my projects. But alas, they did not teach me how to knit.

In 2008, I decided to learn how to knit for the first time by joining a group on Meetup.com and then volunteering to lead the group after it lost its inactive organizer. The group hadn’t yet held an event for itself & was one day short of being deleted from the Meetup.com website.

Wait… what?!

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