Monthly Archives: December 2011
I have moved to a real, grown-up website, for my blog, podcast, and knitwear design. You can find it at
If you subscribe via email, please feel free to subscribe over there. The blog page is at http://www.withpointedsticks.com/blog
Hope to see you there!
What a long strange trip it’s been in Foreman’s basement…
This is the line I think of whenever something is winding down and ending. Usually it doesn’t apply, and no one knows what it’s from (bonus points if you do), but 2011 has in fact been a strange, strange year. No other year has been quite like this one. 2011 started on the highway back from Boston, listening to my boyfriend’s best friend and sister tell stories about the high school version of him, and I don’t know if I ever laughed that hard. I went to bars with my friends, where Emily taught me about Tequila Sunrises, and I ate pints of ice cream with Casey under the Christmas lights in her dorm room that never made their way off the walls. I got engaged in April. I moved back home with my parents. I started to wonder about Tourette’s. I wrote 60 pages of a young adult novel for my BFA thesis. I decided to rethink my hatred of hand knit socks, and fell in love with them instead. My boss, one of my best friends along with his wife, moved six hours away. I got a full-time job. I graduated. I left my old job. I cried all day. I learned about things I can’t control, and things I can, and how to handle the difference.
Learning about control has been a huge part of this year for me. There are so many things that are out of my control, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about them, like having Tourette’s and OCD (to be fair, the OCD is probably responsible for this need for control, but that’s besides the point), or when Dan gets sick, or when the train is late, or yadda yadda yadda. And that’s just not healthy.
2012 is going to be about taking control of the things in my life that I can, and letting go and accepting the things I can’t. My therapist calls this my “empowerment.” She’s a knitter too, for the record. She made a cowl out of Twinkle Chunky that I’ve been coveting since she showed me. Sometimes we talk about knitting. She’s the best therapist in all the land!
At any rate, I made a list of goals for 2012. They are all a challenge, but easily attainable if I work for them. Working for them will give me something I can control, so the things I can’t won’t seem like such a big deal. And can I just say, I am SO EXCITED about these!!!
1. Knit at least 3 sweaters
I don’t knit too many sweaters because I hate spending so much money on yarn all in one go. But I just finished a Central Park Hoodie sweater out of Malabrigo Worsted, and basically haven’t taken it off since I seamed it together. I make so many hats and gloves and scarves that they don’t always get worn, and if I add up how much money I spent on that yarn, combined with how long they took me to make, and how much use I get out of them, then sweaters might just be more economical.
2. Design and publish 3 patterns
I have the Mrs. Buchanan gloves pattern out now, I have a pattern for a bag in the soon-to-be-released Fresh Designs series from Shannon Okey’s Corporative Press, and I have two free patterns to post once I get my ass in gear. I always forget how much I like designing until I do it, though, so I have several ideas that I can’t wait to release.
3. Knit a pair of Cookie A. socks
So far I’ve only knit the Vanilla socks from the Knitmore Girls. Many pairs of them, but still. I like socks because I can throw them in my bag, and work on them without having to think about what I’m doing. They’re perfectly mindless. I would, though, like to knit a pair of fancy socks, preferably by Cookie A., preferably out of Malabrigo Sock yarn, and I don’t think that will happen unless I make a conscious effort, since I get so wrapped up in simple socks.
4. Knit something from hand spun yarn
I very recently got a Turkish drop spindle from KnitPicks, and I LOVE it! I’m having so much fun spinning on it, and I’m excited by the prospect of spinning enough yarn to knit mittens or something out of it.
5. Knit a fingering weight sweater, designed to fit me exactly
This is not to be included in goals 1 or 2. It’s on it’s own. Ever since I knit a shawl from Malabrigo Sock yarn, I’ve been a craving a sweater made of the same fabric, that fits me in the exact right places. Just a basic stockinette, crew neck, raglan pullover, maybe with a little bit of negative ease so it hugs me. Oof. Seriously drooling over that now.
6. Make a quilt
I don’t get enough use out of my sewing machine, possibly because whenever I do pull it out, it’s to make a dress, and none of the dresses I’ve made have come out very well (I have deceptively broad shoulders. My waist is a good two sizes smaller than my shoulders, which makes it very difficult to figure out sizes. Buying prom dresses was a real treat). But I’ve always wanted to make a quilt, and I think it would the perfect use of my machine. I wouldn’t have to worry about size and fit, I’d just be able to pull it out and go.
7. Yoga 2-4 times a week
Because a girl’s gotta have curves, but also a girl’s gotta get her ass in gear. For reals.
This one isn’t necessarily for exercise, even though it’s good for that too. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who could “go for a run,” and come back feeling great, and be all, “oh man, what a good run! Running makes me feel alive! I’m so glad I can run and not have my lungs cave in.” I’m not one of those people. My lungs cave in basically half a block from my house, then I have to walk the rest of the way wheezing and holding my side. One of my tics from the TS is that I breathe out a lot, quickly and shallowly and loudly. This makes it tough to breathe in any kind of normal pattern, which is fine for just sitting around, but not when I’m trying to exert myself. Dan, who is a runner, is going to help me this spring by teaching me how to breathe when I run. Being able to control my breath in a way that allows me to use my body productively is going to make SO MUCH difference in terms of how much control I have. Me controlling my breath, instead of vice versa. What a novel idea!
9. Get a tattoo
Self-explanatory. I have a whole year to not chicken out.
10. Go into everything with a positive attitude, open mind, and sense of humor
Also self-explanatory, but important to remember.
11. Finish the novel I started for my thesis
60 pages done. Many more to go. But it will be so rewarding when I finish it. Also, I would like to feel like I’m doing something creative that could make money, in addition to my office job.
Oh, that’s right! Next week, I’m starting a knitting podcast. I kept thinking I would do one sometime in the future, with no specific idea when, but then I found myself thinking, “I’d like to knit this, but I think I’ll wait until I start podcasting, because then I can talk about it.” Which seems to me to mean PODCAST NOW! My brother’s writing me a theme song as we speak, I’m going to buy podcast hosting, and I’m going to start recording next week. Which brings us to the last goal:
13. Blog 1-2 times per week
Now that I’m not in school, I’m working, but my free time is mine. This means homework won’t get in the way of blogging and knitting and doing whatever it is I’d rather be doing than reading Hawthorne. WHICH BRINGS US TO MY REALLY BIG AWESOME ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
This blog is going to be moving to it’s OWN DOMAIN!!!
Dan just told me that this is what he got me for Christmas. I could not be more excited! I’ve been thinking about moving over for a long time, but never looked into it enough to do it. But as soon as he can help me figure it out, I’m going to be at http://www.withpointedsticks.com
I’ll give more information when the time comes, and I’m pretty sure this will automatically redirect. But for now, just EEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy holidays everyone, and may your 2012 be everything you want it to be!
I’m only doing a few Christmas gifts this year (because oh man did I learn my lesson last year), and the recipients know not to expect them before Christmas. So while I’ve been putting those gifts off, I’ve been finishing this:
The fiance wanted a scarf, and damn if I can resist a chance to bust out some Malabrigo! Irish Hiking Scarf for Irish Dan.
The pattern was super easy, it was a nice change a pace from some of the other stuff I’ve had on the needles recently (more on that on a later date). And after a long, hard week, sometimes Malabrigo scarves are important. I think I’ll keep it on for tonight. It’s so very warm.
Also, can we take a second to talk about this song? I’ve listened to it AT LEAST 50 times since I downloaded it two days ago. I heard it from Jackie over at KIPing it Real, and GOOD GRACIOUS does it make me feel things!
I have a lot of knitting related things to tell you about, but first I have to get this post out of the way. I want to explain my absence here over the past several months.
I found out recently that I have Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I have a long post written with all of the details, but I realized that’s more for me than the world. Maybe someday when it’s not so new, I’ll publish that post. But for now, I just want to make it known. It’s been taking up a lot of my energies, so I know it’s going to come up in my blog posts, and I’m thinking about getting into podcasting, and I know it will have to come out there. I don’t want it to be a surprise then, or something that’s just slipped in. I don’t want to keep this a secret, because it feels wrong not to be honest about it. And ignoring it here would be dishonest. So there it is. Nothing is different because I’ve had both of these things since I was eight. Now they just have a name, and they’re being helped.
I made a cabled afghan in the absence as well. Get ready for that in the next post!