Hold Onto What Matters…

When Its Unclear: Wooly Mastadon

In the past few weeks it has been a roller-coaster. I don’t like putting life updates here, this place is for the purpose of sharing projects, creativity, inspiration. Yet sometimes life just has to come to the forefront, needs to be seen. No matter how much you try to hide what is happening it shines through. It shines through here and elsewhere in my silence. Now, there have been some really good moments but there have been a lot of really hard moments too. It was to the point that all I wanted to do was run and hide from everything. Thankfully I have a really amazing person in my life who helped me get out of that but sometimes things hit you hard. One thing that I have shared on and off here was my Mom’s battle and defeat of cancer. Two months ago my family learned that that cancer had returned, and with a vengeance. She’s getting treatment and doctors seem pretty positive but it hit everyone hard, when something terrible was over…at least you thought it was, only to come back.

This was just one example of the downs that have hit these past few months. I lost track of what mattered and let things get to me. I let work drama creep into my time away from work and eat away at what was left of me. I gave up on knitting and reading, and really creating for a while. The only thing I really had to show for a span of time were some nature photographs from mini day trips to go escape for a while. I think somewhere in the mess that was my brain it knew the only way to get me out of my funk was to get me out of the house.

So I got out of the house. Some of my best friends came up to visit. I went on day trips, I took photos, and I worked. For whatever reason, possibly because some of the troubles are slowly being resolved, things are getting better. I have someone in my life who is constantly reminding me not to lose sight of my goals, and that it is always worth working toward the things that you find important.

What's Out There: Wooly Mastadon

And so in the past week I have made an effort to get back into the small things I love to do, the creative things that keep me going. I started designing some knitwear and brainstormed some big ideas. These big ideas reminded me that I still someday want to be a graphic designer at a knitwear magazine, or something like that. I want to move on and do the things I love for a living. And I have to work toward that, not give up, if I want to accomplish it.

Life isn’t always happy, it isn’t the perfectly edited photo posted to Instagram or the short witty post to Facebook. It isn’t the properly edited blog post filtered to make your life look perfect. Life has ups and downs, and sometimes the downs feel impossible to handle. It is possible, it will get better. You just have to hold onto what matters.

Hold onto what matters…it keeps you going when nothing else will.

I’ll be back, with projects, hopefully very soon. Thanks for listening.

~Stay Inspired

 

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TDF Spinning Fail

TDF2016: Wooly Mastadon

It’s TDF…and I somehow missed the memo. I knew it was coming, and had planned to spin like crazy to finish up the fiber I am spinning up for a shawl for my Mom. I had plans…and then I missed the first day of TDF. I didn’t realize til late that night that it had started. With only one day lost, I continued on. Despite going out of town shortly after it started, I dutifully brought along my drop spindle and spun for a bit every day I was gone. Once I got home…I stopped. For whatever reason TDF this year is just not happening for me and since getting my wheel two years ago I’ve participated, newby or not. It’s sad that I’ve missed this much, but perhaps I’ll catch up…or not.

TDF2016: Wooly Mastadon

But this year I’ve decided that’s okay. I may not be spinning a whole lot, I may not be reaching lofty goals, and I may not even touch the wheel for a few days in a row during TDF but it needs to be that way. When it rains it pours and life seems to do that lately. TDF was a self-obligation and instead of enjoying it I was starting to worry about it. Thus I have resolved to this: I will spin when I can during TDF, not participating on any teams. Once TDF is over and things have evened out briefly in life, I’ll give myself my own challenge to spin a certain amount of fiber in a specific time. I really do enjoy the challenge TDF presents and just how much yarn I can spin when I push myself. It just clearly can’t be now.

I think that’s a plan. I really want to finish the fiber on my wheel so I can knit up an amazing shawl for my Mom. Let’s do this. Until next time, Happy Weekend.

~Stay Inspired

 

A Spring Yarn Haul

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

It happened, I broke my six month span of not purchasing any yarn. I did receive some yarn as gifts, but none of it was something I purchased. Until this past week. Once again I found myself in Wausau, Wisconsin at the Black Purl, a lovely LYS that carries some amazing yarn. Of course I had to pick something up. Here’s what I got.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

You can see a theme in my acquisitions of yarn this time, blues, turquoises, cool colors. I have no idea why since normally summer means extra brights but these colors are amazing. Of course I had to pick up a skein of Cascade 220 Heathers in color number 2448. Its a lovely shade of blue with a tiny bit of turquoise mixed in. It is screaming to become a wonderful squishy hat for this next winter.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

When Madelinetosh is in sight, I have to buy it. Thus I picked up a skein of Tosh Merino Light in the Glass Bottom Boat colorway. I might be changing what colors I knit my Madelinetosh shawl in to use this with another skein I have. We shall see.

Yarn Haul: Wooly Mastadon

Finally I got a skein of Cascade Yarn Heritage Prints in color 33. Its not my color comfort zone with the browns but it is a lovely color combination and I can’t wait to knit socks out of it.

That’s it, three skeins of yarn. I behaved but I am so happy to have this yarn in my stash soon to be used. Anyway, it’s Friday…the 13th (my favorite type of Friday…so much fun I love it). Hope your weekend is full of yarn and fun.

~Stay Inspired

Snow, Snow, Snow

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

Every year this happens, every year we get a St. Patty’s Day storm. This year was no exception. Since the only two things I knit on this week were two baby hats and my socks, I decided I’d share some of the snow photos I took of the storm. There was beauty in it, the trees were draped in a covering of white, everything looked so clean. Granted in all that beauty it made getting to work a chore and put many people out of power. Alas, at least I got some outdoor time with my dog and was able to enjoy hopefully the last major snowstorm of the year.

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

It’s Friday, the weekend is almost here! Enjoy it!

Snow Day: Wooly Mastadon

P.S. Mazie enjoyed the snow, she was too busy investigating to look at the camera…

~Stay Inspired

When the Time Change Kicks Your Butt…

WIP House Cleaning: Wooly Mastadon

It’s true, the time change, especially when it comes to “springing forward”, gets me every time. We had a lovely day Saturday, sunny, warm, just beautiful. I took my dog for a walk, cleaned a bunch of stuff, and started feeling the need to work on or clean out old WIPs. I was motivated. That evening I sat down and ripped out what I had completed on my sock loom for a baby hat. It just wasn’t working, the acrylic didn’t have any give, and I had hid it in a bag for a few months…a good indicator that it was time to go. Perhaps I’ll just knit some hats out of that yarn, but we shall see.

The second project, and yet again a project I had hiding away in a bag was a final pair of mini mitten ornaments. I had cast this on in a frenzy a few days before Christmas and realized I wouldn’t have time to finish it to give it to it’s intended recipient so I gave up, stashed the project and happily forgot about it. Saturday came and it was staring at me taunting me. I finally decided to bite the bullet and finish the stupid thing. The plan is to give the pair to mom this week, she’ll have a brand new ornament for the tree or a decoration for the house come fall, bonus points if I don’t have to see it much during the year.

I wanted to keep going, I wanted to cast on a new project, work on my scrap afghan that seems it will never be finished, and knit on my socks, but alas, when you have to be in at work for 7 am, you get to bed early. Although that did happen, so did the time change and now my knitting mojo is dwindling. Hopefully we have another sunny day to bring it back, but at least I frogged/finished a few things so I can move on with new projects guilt free.

Happy Monday! HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Stay Inspired

A Week of Projects

Sock Knitting: Wooly Mastadon

It has been a week of projects, of finishing things, getting caught up in socks, and starting a new knitting project. This week I finally got the urge to go full force back into spinning and ended up finishing the project currently on my wheel (finished skein photos will come soon). Next on the wheel, some fiber my mother picked out for me to spin up and knit into a lace shawl. I can’t wait to start it, perhaps that will be a project for the weekend…I get a weekend off!!!

Spinning: Wooly Mastadon

As for knitting, I’ve been reaching for my socks at every spare moment, especially at work on lunches and breaks. It’s my popcorn knitting right now, I say just one more row but that almost always means five or six. I love how the colors are making a striping pattern and can’t wait to wear the finished socks.

Moulin Rouge: Wooly Mastadon

Finally, I started knitting my Moulin Rouge shawl by Kirsten Kapur. I dyed up the yarn this past summer and am not set on the color. If all fails, I’ll overdye the final shawl but I want to see how the color plays with the pattern first. Right now, my shawl just looks like a fluffy catterpillar, but I am hoping to knit a few rows here and there and have a beautiful shawl this summer.

With that, I leave you for the week. It has been a week full of projects and productivity and sunshine. Hopefully the weekend follows suit. Here’s to a crafty fun weekend full of fun, fiber, and yarn.

~Stay Inspired

FO: Mara Shawl

FO Mara Shawl: Wooly Mastadon

It’s done! Rejoice! Well, to be honest, this shawl was completed at the end of January, January 24th to be exact. Why haven’t I shared it here then, you ask? I just hadn’t taken the time to take the FO photos. Well, here they are. I finally am getting over the stupid cold that has hung on for over a week, and I don’t know about you, but when I start to feel human again after a bug I need to do things. It was a nice day with plenty of light and I knew I needed to photograph my shawl so that’s what I did.

FO Mara Shawl: Wooly Mastadon

The stats, this is Mara by Madelinetosh. I knit it out of 4ish skeins of Patons Classic Wool Worsted that I had gotten from my aunt years ago and never used. I had wanted to knit this shawl for forever and when I finally realized I could pair the yarn with this pattern it was a win win. I love this shawl, it’s so warm and cozy. I didn’t have near enough yarn to knit the full ruffle as the pattern called for (bad planning on my part) but I think this worked nicely. It’s huge and warm. The finished piece isn’t blocked, I saw no need for it, although I will give it a soak soon just to freshen it up.

FO Mara Shawl: Wooly Mastadon

Finally a FO to share with all of you. Hopefully there will be more where that came from, I am about to start a new pair of socksĀ and a new shawl will be cast on very soon. Here’s to a weekend full of knitting, who’s with me?

~Stay Inspired

Best Laid Plans…Or Not So Much

Best Laid Plans: Wooly Mastadon

I went into this week ready to go, a bit tired but prepared to knit, crochet, spin, and photograph all of the things I possibly could. Each project had been designated to an evening (or late afternoon for better light) and I was eager to finish up some projects so I could start new ones. I had even picked out some yarn to knit a shawl (I’m going to knit Moulin Rouge by Kirsten Kapur out of some Knit Picks yarn I dyed with kool aid). Despite all my plans, I got hit with a cold…hard. I still had to work as the one person who could cover for me was sick as well, so all my energy was gone by the end of the day and all I could do was rest. On the plus side, I started to catch up on knitting podcasts and as the week went on I was itching to start knitting again. Clearly there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to remind myself, sometimes your plans have to change, you don’t have to get rid of them entirely, but perhaps rework them. Perhaps next week I’ll have a chance to at least start this shawl. Happy Friday!

~Stay Inspired

Something Bright

Flowers: Wooly Mastadon

Hope that your weekend was wonderful and that you enjoyed Valentine’s Day if you celebrated it. I celebrated it by working in the floral department at my place of work as an extra set of hands this Saturday and Sunday. I’ll just say that I am terrible at doing flower arrangements in vases but everything else I am game for. It was a lot of fun to do something different and enjoy all the bright colors. These roses came home with me and I just had to photograph such bright beauties in the depths of winter. I hope this brightens your Monday.

~Stay Inspired

 

A Few Weeks In Pictures

January Recap: Wooly Mastadon

I’ve been gone for a while once again. Truth be told I am learning to juggle some new things and not always succeeding but that’s okay because in January of 2016 I was reminded that I not only have an amazing network of friends in different states but I have also made some wonderful friends in my own hometown once again. I have had so much fun at a best friend’s wedding, at a work party that turned out to be amazing, and just with everyday goofiness. It was a pretty good first month of 2016 and if the rest of the year continues this way it’s going to be an amazing one. Since this would be an extremely long post if I explained everything I figured I would just include photos of what I have been up to here. I’ve been knitting and spinning, not near as much as I’d like but it’s a start. I’ve been working on other projects in the letterpress studio. It’s been fun. I’ll be back to share an awesome FO quite soon (still need to take those beautiful photos, haha) so watch for that. It’s the middle of the week, halfway there to the weekend!

January Recap: Wooly Mastadon January Recap: Wooly Mastadon January Recap: Wooly Mastadon January Recap: Wooly Mastadon January Recap: Wooly MastadonJanuary Recap: Wooly MastadonJanuary Recap: Wooly Mastadon

~Stay Inspired