Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another Snowy Sunday

The snow is coming down again...not as bad as a few weeks ago but still managing to put a monkey wrench into our plans.  So here I am, hot chocolate in hand, ready to start "Mr. Popper's Penguins" for the kids while I unwind a bit with my knitting.

I'm on Day Two of giving up soda.  It's on my Day Zero list, to do it for 30 days, and this includes regular AND diet.  I was inspired by a facebook friend who said that she has soda cans dancing in her dreams after five weeks of not touching the stuff.  When I asked, she also mentioned that with the help of a nutritionist and diet in addition to giving up the bubbly stuff, she has lost 18 lbs in the last month.  What, what!  That's amazing.  I didn't have weight loss in mind when I wrote that item down on my list, I just wanted to see if I could make it 30 days without caving.  But that would be a nice benefit!

Realtor plans are moving forward.  We've heard one analysis of what we could sell the house for and frankly we were disheartened.  But we're choosing to move forward.  The de-cluttering moves forward too, despite getting burned by someone on Freecycle who was going to give me some boxes.  (really....if you say "the earlier the better" and we make plans for noon, could you not skip the part that your driveway hasn't been cleared since the blizzard two weeks ago before I go over there with my family?  Thanks.)  Piles are amassing in the basement (Keep, donate and discard)  and I've started taking advantage of the dumpster at work, bringing in a few items at a time.  Good Lord, we have a lot of crap.  A lot, a lot a lot.  Staging is going to be a bitch.  There's no sugarcoating it.  But do you know what?  We can do it.  I will keep repeating that over and over until the house goes on the market.   And then I will find a new mantra.  Probably "keepin' it clean" or "don't lose your head."  :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Finish or Frog

In efforts to reduce the amount of stuff in the house to successfully stage/sell,  everyone has to pitch in.  It's going to hurt a little, getting rid of some things that we want to keep but haven't used or even seen in ages.  So to show that I'm serious about it, I'm attacking my yarn and works-in-progress.  (wip's if you will).

Every May, my knitting group goes out to the tent sale at Webs.  Miss the tent sale?  That's crazy talk!  But we do have a night before the big sale where we all bring in yarn we're no longer in love with or have leftovers from a project.  Well, I don't want to wait to get started.  So I posted on our meetup group that I would bring a bag next week.  There just so happened that a Freecycler was looking for yarn and needles the other day too.   I have stashbuilding issues....way more than I could knit up in my lifetime.

It feels good to send this somewhere that it will likely get used.  

Next up: the WIP pile.

The bottom one is the Sweet pea blanket.  Such a pretty pattern...such a wonky execution! Darn thing doesn't lie flat.  Had I not used an acrylic blend, this might've been salvageable with an aggressive blocking.
The top project is Ditto.  My Ditto.  My first shot at an adult-sized sweater.  The pattern is just too involved and not for my experience level.  And it's been languishing in a bag for two years.   Frogging this will actually free me of the guilt of not finishing it.   I'd rather rescue that gorgeous aquamarine yarn and repurpose it into something else.

And in the "finish" category:  spring cardigan!  This sweetheart only needs sleeves and button bands.  And almost time for spring!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Big News

Big news in our house this week.....about the house.  We've decided to put it on the market.

This is something that was hemmed and hawed over in the past year or so.  After all, we said "ten years, one place" and it's been almost eleven.  This was a great little house when it was just Brian, me and Joey.  And it's still a great house.  Just not for us, with two growing boys and not a lot of storage space.  So we're biting the bullet, knowing that it's never going to be an "easy" time to do this.   There's a lot to consider, and telling our oldest son was one of the things that needed to be done.  We considered putting it off, but honesty in this case is important, and the cat would be out of the bag pretty quickly.  So after breakfast, we sat him down and explained, and asked if he had questions.  He was anxious, but not for the reasons expected.  His biggest fear?  leaving stuff behind that was meant to move with us.  Namely, Brown Doggie.  After he was rest assured that Brown Doggie would follow us anywhere we went, he calmed down quickly but remains wary.

We contacted the realtor that sold us the place and told her we were interested in selling.  She came over today, and did a preliminary walkthrough.  By the time she left half an hour later, our heads were spinning!  There is just so much to do.  And the first thing on the list, for me?  Decluttering.

Decluttering.  Purging.  Giving stuff away, whatever pares us down.  So I spent some time making a "Saver's Donations" pile and a trash pile in our basement.  With about an hour's worth of work, plus listings on Freecycle and Bookmooch, I feel pretty satisfied in my headway.  And there's still SO MUCH to do!

So yes....come this summer, we may have somewhere new to hang our hats.  And with the market, we may not.  Only time will tell, but the adventure starts today.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rolling Outta the Rut

Yes!!!  I finally finished some knitting projects!  I can now feel good about starting something new.  And I can feel like I accomplished something.

A pretty shawlette for a friend.  Best kind of gift, a "Just because."  Not sure when I'm going to get it in the mail, but that's OK.

 Seed stitch baby blanket for Stitches from the Heart.  It's on my DZ List to ship them a box every six months, so I'll be holding onto this til June.  This was actually a lot of fun to make, and knit up quickly.

Lastly, these are squares that I am sending to Three Irish Girls in Minnesota.  She is collecting them from all over the country to turn them into blankets for the families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

I also have a finished scarf, but it has a million ends to be woven in, and that's almost not an exaggeration.  And I just don't feel like it today!  Instead, I've re-cast on the socks for myself, and I'm starting a knit-a-long with my old friend Maureen this week.

Rut OVER!  And it comes at a good time, now that I'm going to be stuck in this weekend with Snowstorm Nemo and my trip to Florida is cancelled.  At least with the flight getting cancelled, I won't have to eat the cost of the ticket.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Snow Panic!!!

Leave it to me, to buy a ticket to Tampa in February, thus inviting the biggest blizzard that New England has seen in 20 years.  There's been snow maps and radars that are estimating wildly, somewhere between 18 and 40 inches.  Holy S*!) that's a lot of snow!

Yep.  No school tomorrow already, and I'm trying to think up some activities and pack tomorrow.  Because I know that if I DON'T pack, it will magically work out and I will be frantically trying to throw crap into a suitcase and forget half my stuff.

Any other weekend and I would be absolutely psyched to get snowed in.  I'll let you in on a little Crafty Mama secret:  if all four of us are here, I LOVE getting snowed in.  The world stops for a couple of days and it usually is movies and popcorn, reading books, plenty of knitting time, playing board games and just plain hanging out.  Yes, there's some yelling involved, as well as horseplay, tattling, and possible mini injuries.  (Mommy....Bubby stepped on my foot....kiss it?  my finger hurts....kiss it?  I don't feel so much good.)  

So to all my snow-lovin' friends, you are welcome!  Fingers crossed, but I don't think it's going to do much good.  Plus, crossed fingers are difficult to knit with and I'm finally coming out of the rut.  :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recycling at its Best!

For people who knit a lot (a lot, a lot!) a ball winder and an umbrella swift become something of a necessity.  Sure, lots of nice(r) yarn stores will wind your hanks for you, but it's easier to wind your own in the comfort of your own home.  Especially, say, if you buy enough yarn to make yourself a sweater. 

When you buy some yarns, they look like this:

 You can't knit with that.  You will end up with yarn that looks like it was mangled with a weedwhacker.  You will also take your patience to the brink of insanity. (I'm guessing that's not how it's supposed to go, right?)    You have to turn it into a yarn cake.  So several years ago, I received an umbrella swift and ball winder as a gift.  And all was good!  Until the screw that bolts the swift to a table became stripped, and I couldn't get the umbrella part to stay open so that I could wind the yarn.  There's been a lot of jury-rigging of the thing, and (I'm not going to lie) some not-so-gentle cursing.

  Here is where Hubby and I differ:  I looks at a pile of junk down in the basement and I see a broken kid's chair, an old Swiffer-type mop (it WISHES it was a Swiffer) two useless fake Christmas trees with broken lights and some wire hangers.

   Brian looks at this pile and sees the makings of a new umbrella swift.

He spent part of Sunday down in the basement, piecing it together in his workshop.  Sean came to me and said that his bedroom was dark and he heard "scary noises" in there last night.  Turned out it was Brian putting the finishing touches on the thing and Sean was hearing him through a heating vent by his bedroom  Brian then asked for a hank of yarn to test out his handiwork.  I gave him one of the skeins that I bought for the sweater that I am going to (EVENTUALLY!) make for him.  So he knows that he must tread carefully.  :)

And guess what?  The thingamajig works!  It's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it is a functioning swift.  It can either sit on top of a table or work as a floor model.  AND!  it folds flat so it may be easier to put away. 

I am seriously impressed!  This man never ceases to amaze me.

Next time:  let's see what he can do with an old drop-side crib that we are no longer using.  Challenge accepted?