Category Archives: OCD

Stitch Pattern Week 9 & Expanding the Store


Drumroll please….Here comes Stitch Pattern Week 9! The Linen Stitch!

The Linen Stitch

The Linen Stitch

This week has seemed ridiculous, it just won’t slow down! I feel a tad bit guilty doing the Linen Stitch because I use this all the time. With a little Sugar and Cream yarn this makes the perfect face cloth! I probably have a dozen of these in my bathroom closet and use them everyday. I love the idea of being able to use something I make on a daily basis, I also love that the things that I make will always outlast anything that I can buy in a big box store. These are so simple to knit up and they never die! If they start to look a little grungy I just put them in with the cleaning rags and they get to live another life. They are also excellent for polishing silver, don’t ask me why…just one of the great things about knitted stitches!

Alright GG, it’ll be a quick on today won’t it?

co odd – Cast on any number of Odd Stitches (Aces!)

r1 cor k then  sl yth k, rep – Row 1: (RS) K1 *Sl1 wyif, K1; rep from * to end of row. (I think the yarn towards heart (yth) is really starting to grow on me.)

r2wrg k p  then slp away k rep til end k – Row 2: (WS) K1, P1 *Sl1 wyib, K1; rep from * to last stitch, K1 (The wrg caught me a little off guard but like I said, I know this stitch backward and forward. I wonder if other women she knitted with wrote patterns like this?)

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– Expanding the Store –

I have spent the majority of my day so far right here, in front of my computer feeling my shoulders slowly inch towards my ears. I have added more items to my Etsy store and although they are items I fully back on every front, they are…dull. Dish cloths friends and neighbors, I am selling  dish cloths. I want to say that I know that these little babies will last forever, they are so strong and resilient to anything. Anyone who has every knitted with Sugar and Cream knows that it won’t die. I even reenforced the edges to ensure that the corners were double knitted just so the chance of them unraveling will never…ever happen. But who will buy these? My Panic Monster keeps telling that this too boring to try sell, even if the product is incredibly well made. My great grandmother mades these more than 20 years ago and they are still around, I hold myself to the incredibly high standards she set. That nagging fear of failure is still tapping on my shoulder, insisting to be be heard.

So what do you do when you’re stressed out about knitting? Stress out about photos instead!

So what’s going on friends and neighbors? What do you think about the success/failure of selling/buying certain items of Etsy and do you think if you’re a knitter you’d look at it differently?

Wednesday’s WIPs & Setting a Good Example


Hello Wednesday, I cannot believe you are here already! This week seems to have sprouted wings and flown away from me a bit. So many things to do and so very little time. The needles are busy here in the Buckeye State on all sorts of goodies. As I am sitting here in my knitting/reading chair and looking at the profuse amount of yarn around me I am a bit terrified, how did I end up with so many things on the needles at once? Let’s see if I cannot break it down a bit:

  1. The Fault in Our Stars Scarf (my first every design!)
  2. Roman Pillar Stitch Baby Blanket (super-duper snuggly and soon will be off the needles)
  3. Magical Thinking Scarf (saw the yarn, thought of Joan Didion’s book and went with it)
  4. Stitch Pattern Week 9 ( better be off this morning – No peeking at the pattern yet though!)
  5. Another scarf (oh…when did I start this? Oh Right! Super soft scarf for a friend with radiation burns…that needs to get done yesterday…)
  6. Chevron Stitch afghan (this doesn’t need to come off till December 24th at the latest)
  7. Hot Water Bottle Cover (off the needles…NOW!)

Too many things going at once? Nope, don’t think so. When it comes to knitting I am like a swinger – married to knit but will knit anything….anytime and anywhere! 🙂

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-Good Examples-

As the weather warms and summer approaches that means more time for me and the munchkin. My brother works at Muirfield and the summer’s are so busy that I get to have her all to myself, where as in the winter I have to share her more than I would like. As she has gotten older and developed more of a personality and we have grown closer, she seems more and more adult every time I see her. In the back of my mind though, as we spend this time together I worry I am a bad example.

Due to a series of unfortunate events (putting it lightly) I am not where I thought I would be at 28. When I lost functionality in my hand I just quit writing, taking photos and expanding these things that used to be concrete dreams. I gave up a bit – okay, a lot – and it has been through knitting, my husband and the munchkin that I am slowly getting back to where I want to be. This doesn’t erase the fact that I am still not there, and since Gloria’s mother is not in the picture I want to be a strong female role model for the munchkin. Am I cut out for that?

Mental illness makes me goofy. My OCD panic monster has given me noticeable quirks that have always been accepted by the munchkin, but is seeing them bad for her? I try to get her to read as much and as often as possible (without being pushy), but do I know what is the best things for her to read? She spends time in our library at home, but have I filled the shelves with the best possible things for her to read?

We play Scrabble, we read, we talk about writing, we watch movies, we giggle….we do cool aunt stuff. I just want her to know how proud of her I am, and I want to be someone she can look up to.

So friends and neighbors…how do you set a good example for the people in your life you love? Any advice is good advice in my book.

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-Finding My Way Back-

I am trying to get back to my photography roots, trying to remember my dreams. Have a look!

Stitch Pattern Week 8 – Dreams & Fears


Well friends and neighbors, it’s that time again! Let’s see what GG could work out for us this week. I humbly present to you Stitch Pattern Week 8- The Daisy Stitch.

Hello Daisy

Hello Daisy

If you follow this blog, you’ll recognize the daisy stitch from the Hinagiku Hat that was posted a few days ago. I liked the pattern so much – and found it in GG’s patterns – that I went out and bought some ridiculously (for me) expensive pure eco cotton and made bath mitts! The green was so fresh and vibrant that is screamed spring at me, and knitting it was like going back to an old friend. Knitted in the round, the daisy stitch twisted and turned as if on its on accord. It was made to be big enough to fit comfortably over your hand so you can scrub till your heart’s content. I’m kinda in love…. 😉

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Wanna see GG’s written Pattern? No worries, it will be anxiously waiting for you at the bottom of the page.

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-Dreams-

This week I opened an Etsy store, made a Facebook Fan Page, and barely managed to keep my head on my shoulders. It has always been a dream of mine to open a little shop full of handmade goodies. I never had dreams of making loads of money, not that it wouldn’t be a good thing, but of having things I created put to use in other people’s homes. These items are near and dear to my heart, everything made with love and care but also with the memories of generations of knitters behind it. My GG’s dish cloths are still in use today and she passed on almost 20 years ago, but every time I pull one of her dish cloths out I think of her. The wonder of turning a strand of yarn into something purposeful and beautiful is still remarkable to me. I always wanted to share that with people.

-Fears-

The downside to trying to bring your dreams into the light is that there is that looming sense of dread that you will be a complete and utter failure. Take for example the expensive Etsy kit I bought. I loved it when I saw it, the designer did an amazing job and did exactly what I asked for. But I don’t like it. It doesn’t resonate as something I thought my store was about and now there is that shadow of doubt hanging over my head.

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The panic monster in my mind has been screaming at me the past two days, it has invaded every thought and every action with its annoying chatter.

Me: This is a good start.

Panic Monster: Not good enough.

Me: This is really well made, took a while but still something I would use or give as a present.

Panic Monster: Took too long, could be better. SHOULD be better.

Me: So the Blog following and Facebook pages will take a while to grow, that’s how it should be.

Panic Monster: Nobody is going to bother with your sill websites, they look like crap!

Me: So what if   I haven’t gotten a blogging award, it’s only been eight weeks! Time  and patience and keep working hard, it’s the way things are done when done correctly!

Panic Monster: Never gonna happen, duh! You suck, your writing since college has gone down the tube and nobody gives a crap for a sub-par arthritic knitter. Don’t quit your day job loser.

This is pretty much how it has been going in my overly anxious mind. My OCD and panic monster are chopping at the bit to remind me that, guess what? there are things you CANNOT DO! Oh well live and learn and then get a big bat to smash the panic monster to bits and pieces.

There are so many wonderful, award-winning blogs that have introduced me to the talent and creativity that is out there. How could I possibly compete with that? Some have views in the six digit category and some have hundreds (if not thousands) of followers. So yes, it is intimidating to put yourself out there. I am just going to have to remind myself (and my panic monster) that I love what I am doing. Worse comes to worst and I never sell a thing and no one ever reads my blog again, I will have gifts for the next ten years to give and I will always love writing.

GG, Papaw, my husband and Max would be proud.

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GG’s Stitch Pattern vs. The Real Deal

-The Daisy Stitch-

(No cast on number…hmm….good start GG. Good start!)

odd k – Rows 1 and 3 (RS): K (Good, Good.)

r2 k1,p3together,ya,p3together –Row 2: K1 *p3 tog and don’t drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from * (At first I really thought that I was going to end up with no stitches left on my needles until I visited my Hinagiku Hat pattern and figured this out. Thank goodness for the internet)

r4 kpk-p3together,ya,p3tog -Row 4: K1, p1, k1 *p3 tog and don’t drop them off the needle, yo (wrapping yarn completely around needle), p same 3 together again and drop them, k1; rep from *, end p1, k1 (Again, thank you ol’ in-tra-net (my grandfather loved to say this just to bug the living he!! out of me) you’ve saved me loads of frogging. As for you GG, I wish you were her so I could take you to town for this!)

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Well my ramblings have gone on far too long, I hope you enjoyed what you’ve seen or read, and thank you for visiting. To pose a question; Where did you get the inspiration/ know-how to make all of your blogs look so lovely? so functional? so…inviting? You’re all inspirations to bloggers at any level!

 

Stitch Week 7 – Heartfelt Thank You’s & Photo Editing Mishaps


Before I get started today, I wanted to say thank you to all of you that commented, liked or simply read Please Don’t Tell Me What I Cannot Do. It was overwhelming to see that the blogging world actually cared about my circumstances, and the outpouring of support and encouragement left me a bit dumbfounded. I’m still surprised that something that personal poured out of me, obviously it needed an outlet. Infertility, especially miscarriages is something that most people want to sweep under the rug, like seeing it in the daylight would solidify it in reality. It felt like a weight lifted off my shoulder to just write about it, to purge my mind. So thank you so much. Thank you.

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Perhaps white was not the best yarn color to try to photograph, but live and learn and play with photo editors! So with no further adieu, I humbly present Week 7’s Stitch Pattern!

Hello Week 7!

Hello Week 7!

I will tell you that knitting this was a delight – a little confounding do to my dearly departed GG’s handwriting- but once you get past that it seemed to knit itself. When I started taking pictures of the dishcloth with my iPod, they were horrible! No joke, it was like the image just disappeared in the picture, which gave me the opportunity to play with both Instagram and Vintique . I haven’t done much editing with these applications, but playing around with them last night was a blast. Whether it was successful or not, I shall let you decide.

To be honest, I am feeling the Epic Fail with theses. On the plus side, I was introduced to all the fun filters and sophisticated things that can be accomplished with an iPod; something I foolishly used (until just recently) to listen to music and check the weather. Silly me!

With the filters on my iPod not giving me what I wanted, I pulled out my trusty Canon and decided to go old school – if you can consider digital photography and Photoshop to be old school that is. I was pleased with the result;, this could be because of the abject failure of the first attempt but hey, I am still learning! Most people who work in hospitals aren’t well versed in the fine art of making their pictures not suck. Or maybe that is hopeful thinking! Anywho, here are the shots from the Canon.

Much Better!

So GG, what did you have in store for us this week eh? Well, once again there was no name to the pattern, no punctuation, and a very odd Cast On number. Well Week 7, you haven’t disappointed me!

co38 – Cast On 38 Sts. (Feeling Pretty Good)(Why yes, I am a smart a**!)

R1 correct, kall- Row 1: (RS) Knit all Sts. (Seriously, sometimes when I read these patterns I think of the movie Nell and her secret language!)

r2,pall – Row 2: Purl all Sts. (Nice, nice)

r3 p2 k1 end – Row 3: P2, K1 to end of row (This would have been simple, but there are 38 sts and that definitely is a multiple of 3! Eh, don’t fight it Rachel, just see what happens).

r4 k2 p1 end- Row 3: K2, P1 to end of row (Well at least we are being consistent with the whole incorrect number of stitches dealio. Again Rach, just breath in through your nose and out through your mouth).

rep to end, fin. – Repeat Rows 1-4 to desired length, BO loosely. (Dear God, Please let this work out ok!)

Well, it ended up working out better than ok! The pattern was almost spa like in its interwoven bumps and ridges. I would even go so far as to say it felt luxurious! With this in mind, I got on Ravelry and started my scavenger hunt for dishcloths and facecloths for something similar. The closest I found was from Anne Mancine listed under Spa Day Facecloth, which was the same pattern, just outlined with a seed stitch border. What I found a bit confusing though was that the pattern contained a Copyright – how is this possible? GG wrote the pattern (or more likely copied it down from a magazine or a book) circa 1968. Thus I remain confounded by the whole Copyright thingamajigger. Well, it is something new to add to the every compounding list of things to learn.

Thank you again bloggers for all your support and encouragement. Feel free to leave comments, questions or insights….your knowledge is priceless. OH, and Max says Hiya:)

Hiya Bloggers!

Hiya Bloggers!

Please Don’t Tell Me What I Cannot Do


To Those Who Doubt Me,

Please, do not tell me what I cannot do. There are millions of things that are worse than an arthritic hand, a hand with only a thumb and pointer finger that are fully functional. Or the wee little panic monster living in my brain, you learn to live with OCD just like you would live with any chemical imbalance; one day at a time. Look around you; you never have to look very hard or very long to find something worse. I consider myself lucky in that respect.

If I want to mow my parents lawn as well as their next door neighbors – whose grandchild is dying in Children’s Hospital- please don’t tell me I cannot do this. I can tie a twisty tie around the power mower lever and push with my palms. I can rest for ten minutes here and there and elevated the swollen, screaming appendage then continue the task at hand (no pun intended, although it is a good one). Real pain is having a mother whose lungs will not allow her to do the yard work she has always loved, or losing a grandchild whose heart has given it up as a bad job.

If I want to clean my neighbor’s house to prepare for the impending arrival of their first child, please do not tell me I cannot do this. This is may seem like a double no-no for someone struggling with infertility, multiple miscarriages, and OCD that gets set off at the drop of a hat around baby items. It may seem a no-no situation to avoid the panic monster living in my brain, that little bastard and I have learned to live together, he won’t stop me from helping a friend when they need it. If I can survive the war in my brain knitting their baby blanket, so soft and sweet and utterly heartbreaking then my hand and brain can handle Windex and Pledge just fine.

If I want to for hours on end, please do not tell me I cannot do this. There are compression gloves – both those you can find in craft stores and the more sophisticated versions that specialist create for loads of money – that can pull the swelling from my abused joints. There is Advil, Tylenol, ice and heat to sooth the pain and malicious looking bruising. I don’t mind the dusky purple color my hand takes on, I choose to look at my hand and it’s odd coloring as a sign that another day has gone by and I have not let my life be dictated by something beyond my control.

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I am not mad. I know you worry because you care.

I am not depressed. I know your concerns about the overwhelming emotions brought on by being surrounded by baby items with no baby of our own are painful, but hiding from them would be far more detrimental.

I will not be deterred. If I decided to stop living my life and doing the things I love for fear of pain, that would not be living. Life can be painful, usually is to be honest. It is how we choose to go about our pain that makes us who we are. I am choosing to be someone who will not be defined by a hand injury, I am not making it any worse doing these things, just opting to live with what I’ve got to work with. I will not be defined by the fact that I cannot have the child that I so desperately want. My heart may feel like it is breaking on a daily basis but to ignore or neglect all those whose bodies will allow them to make a new life would be selfish, inconsiderate and destroy that happier parts of myself. Family is, after all, what you make of it.

So please, take heart that I know my limitations, that I know how to live my life to the fullest and embrace the things that make me the happiest even if I get a wee bit teary here and there. And please – Don’t Tell Me What I Cannot Do.

Jewelry Display Accomplished!


Even the Owl is Impressed!

Even the Owl is Impressed!

Who knew when Stitch Pattern Week 6 came to life that something even more amazing – in my ever so humble opinion – would come of it! This is one of things that I love about knitting, you learn one new skill, pattern, or technique and it leads the way to a limitless way to use it. So Stitch Pattern Week 6 is now a doodad hanger, pictured with two of my favorite things; a honeypot (which life is not complete without) and my owl cookie jar (who seems as surprised I finished it so fast as I do!).

Unfortunately, the idea was not my own; Lion’s Brand website was who provided the way to assemble this DIY project, and for that I am so grateful. All I needed way quilt batting, craft glue and an extra 8 by 10 frame to bring this to life. I am typically a person who makes accessories (hats, gloves, dishcloths, place mats, scarves, baby blankets, booties, ect.) so making something that is so functional and pretty and NEW is making me a tad giddy!

My OCD played a role in getting this done so quickly, can’t forget to thank that little panic monster for it’s contribution. After a knockdown, drag out fight with my Dad (and this is insane, I am 28 and the man still talks to me like an errant child- and errant child that still cannot defend herself) I desperately needed to keep busy. So I busted out in my iPod, put on Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth (which has been amazing so far) put my head down and got to it. Knitting is therapy. I’ve seen all these bloggers saying “I Knit so I Don’t Kill People”, well, mine would be “I Knit so I Don’t Totally Lose My Mind to the Panic Monster Living in My Brain”.

 

My New Moto

My New Moto

With my project done it is time to look forward – which means trying to figure out how and when to open my shop and….drumroll please….starting my first pair of socks! Pans & Needles has shown me so many beautiful socks that I cannot resist jumping into a new project, as if I needed another one!

So, finishing out my diatribe, I will unabashedly beg for advice. If there are any tips, pointers or magic spells for working on my first pair of socks….Please, for the love of God, SHARE.

Thanks for reading friends and neighbors!

Lists are Calming – Favorite Books From A to Z


When my OCD decided to rear it’s big ugly head I try to do things that I find comforting, usually this is reading or knitting. Sometimes though, no matter how hard I try, the panic monster jumps all over my concentration and I have to try something else. Making lists has always been a go-to when the panic monster comes out to play and since being inspired by the A to Z Challenge on Daily (w)rite I came up with my favorite books from A to Z.

So suck it OCD! Here are some of my favorite books from A to Z. By the way, X is a really butt kicker!