2012 Ups and Downs

2012 is over and done.  It wasn’t a bad year.  Lots of good things happened with the bad and I’m thankful for all of it.

Probably the biggest thing that happened was figuring out my soy allergy/sensitivity.  Call it what you will, but I’ve been doing fantastically since cutting out every last little bit of the nasty substance.  Only once in a blue moon (I’m talking really only once every 2-3 months) will I have an episode and only after eating things that I know I shouldn’t eat!   I’m really glad that Darling Hubby was able to figure it out and that it wasn’t milk.  Despite the friendships I lost during the whole brouhaha, I feel I’m better for having the whole thing happen.  I’m feeling better overall.  I don’t wake up feeling like crap every morning and don’t go to sleep in pain every night.  And, it was all because I simply changed my diet.  Who’d have thunk it?

Another good thing that happened was that I learned how to knit socks.  I’ve made 14 pairs of socks since the start of March.  They are all pretty simple socks, but I love them simple. I’m not a real fancy lace and pattern girl.  I even challenged myself to do some unusually constructed socks like the carousel socks and the sideways socks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the Owlie socks my friend Barbara and I started as a knit along.  I just had a bunch of other projects come up that took precedence.   I wear a knitted pair of socks practically every day and most members of my family have received a pair of socks at some point.  The only one who hasn’t is Fidget…

Another good (and bad) thing was that I opened my own shop on Etsy.  It’s been open since April and I’ve only had one online sale and that was a custom order for a friend…but, the recipient of that custom order Cthulhu hat is delighted with it, so that’s what really matters.  I will admit that most of my sales have been off etsy to friends or at the craft fair I did in September with some of the girls from the library knitting group.  I made 3 blankets for a friend from back home for her to give for Christmas gifts.  I also made another blanket for someone at the knitting group at the public library after she fell in love with one of the 3 that I made.  I haven’t had much time to do my own knitting lately because I’ve been doing projects for the shop.  I’m still excited to have the shop open…I’m just a little disappointed that it hasn’t done as well as I’d hoped.

Another good thing is that I went to Rhinebeck for the first time for the Sheep and Wool Festival.  It’s where I got bitten by the spinning bug.  I came home with a drop spindle and taught myself to spin yarn on it.  Of course I couldn’t just stop with that.  I’ve fallen in love with wheel spinning.  I’ve been getting better by leaps and bounds and just learned how to Navajo ply and I might even list this most recent yarn in my etsy shop (if I can talk myself out of keeping it!)  I’m hoping to save up enough money to buy my own wheel at some point.  I’ve tried a Kromski Sonota and an Ashford Kiwi and so far I really like the Kiwi, despite the nasty creak that it has in one of the treadles.  But, I’ve heard that Ashfords have a tendency to creak…lol

The bad was, thankfully, few and far between.  Things didn’t really start to get bad until November, which seems to be a pretty crappy month for many people.  Darling Hubby was off for the week of Thanksgiving and we woke up that Monday to a very cold house.  Despite the fact that the furnace was running all the radiators were stone cold.  Turns out the circulator pump blew and a day of waiting for the technician to come to fix it and $700 later we had a warm house.  Thankfully we have the wood fireplace for back-up warmth…then, Darling Hubby had to have his car inspected and that needed $400 worth of work…so in 2 days we’d spent over $1100…and we hadn’t even started to buy Christmas presents.

Probably the worst and absolute last thing that happened in 2012 was that on New Years Eve around 9:30 pm, our little dog Spiral passed away peacefully in her box.  It’s something that we’ve been expecting could happen at any time due to her age and health, but it was pretty sudden how it happened.  Literally it was she was alive one minute and gone the next.

We came home early from a New Years party, Darling Hubby walked the dogs and I started ushering the kids upstairs.  I filled the dogs water bowl (both dogs were happy and dancing around) and headed upstairs to do the bedtime routine while Darling Hubby went out to plow out the bottom of the driveway, thanks to not 1, but 2 plows coming through right after we got home.  Anyway, Fidget left his new Buzz Lightyear downstairs and wanted to sleep with it, so I went down to get it.  I noticed Spiral was laying with her nose down in the blanket and not on her paws like normal and I got no response when I called her name.  I’d seriously only been upstairs 10 minutes.

It came as a complete shock to both me and Darling Hubby as to how sudden it was, but like I said it was expected.  We’d had her for over 9 years and she was estimated to be around 2 when we adopted her.  She had bad teeth and a severe heart murmur that had progressed into congestive heart failure where she was constantly coughing, but she was still active, ate well and seemed happy.  I’m thankful that she seemed to go peacefully and that she’s in a better place and has hopefully been reunited with her best friend, Grace, who passed away nearly 2 years ago.

So, the bulk of 2012 was good (oh, and I should add that we didn’t die in the apocalypse that didn’t happen!)  I can only hope that 2013 is even better!

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Where Has All the Time Gone?

Seriously?  What happened to this year?  I swear it was just May and Baby Fidget joined our family.  He’s now 7 months old and I feel like I’ve missed so much.

Bug is doing fantastically in school.  He’s learned to tie his shoes (though, like many of his fellow Kindergartners, they don’t stay tied for long.)  He’s reading above the Kindergarten level and his writing has improved 10 fold over last year.  He’s writing in sentences now and even has a weekly homework packet, which he enjoys doing.  I’m sure that won’t last long, right?   He loves gym class and going to play on the playground.  He loves it when his baby brother and I come into the class to help with crafts and things.  Just this past Friday, we came in to help with the creation of “gingerbread” houses.  The kids had such a great time and it’s so cute to see them in their element.

Fidget is 7 months old and is doing so much.  He’s such a happy baby and pretty much always has a smile for you, even complete strangers.  He’s eating solid foods now and definitely prefers fruits over veggies.  Banana’s are definitely a favorite.  He’s on the verge of crawling forward, but has pretty much mastered the ability to get where he wants by pushing himself backwards or turning around in circles.   So far he doesn’t have any teeth, though he’s been teething for some time now.  I think I can feel the bottom 2 getting ready to push through.  Knock on wood that if he continues teething like he has been, it will be an easy teething ride.  He’s already experienced his very first Christmas this past Sunday when we visited with both sets of grandparents.  I think his favorite gift was the Fisher Price tool bench.  He loves hitting the little “nails” and spinning the paint roller.  Chewing on the little hammer is fun, too.

I haven’t been doing much in the way of Christmas crafting.  Pretty much the only Christmas gifts I made were the hats for Bug’s teachers and one for his best friend.  I have to say that I’m so happy that his one teacher LOVED the hat I made her.  She said that she loves the scarf (the hat matches) I made her last year and that her daughter was going to want to steal it.  It makes me so happy when someone appreciates a nice handmade gift and uses it, rather than hiding it away.  I did start to make my MIL a set of place mats for her new table, but since they were getting a Wii for Christmas, we decided to get them a 2nd controller and a game for her and their grandkids (they are always over at Grandma’s anyway).  We figured it was a safe bet that they would enjoy that rather than a handmade gift.

I have been doing some crafting and this time it’s for me.  I’m always cold (we keep our heat turned down to save money) so I’m always bundled up in either a sweater or a blanket (probably both) and searched Ravelry and fell in love with the Twilight New Moon Eclipse Bella Green Hooded Cardigan (Rav link).  I’m not a Twi-Hard by any means, though I did enjoy the books and the movies (well, the last 2 thus far…the first was just ok…)  I fell in love with the look of this cardigan, rather than where it came from.   I had to buy more needles and was forced to learn how to knit with those scary dpn’s to make the sleeves, but I think in the end it will all be worth it.  So far I’ve finished one sleeve, got the other half way done and I’ve already cast on to make the actual cardigan part.  I’m a little scared about making the button holes, but I think if I was able to do the sleeves, I can do anything!  I also love how the designer wrote out the pattern, including a space to check off when you’ve completed a row.  That saves me from having to write down each row number and crossing them off.  🙂  If only all patterns were written like that!  I’m making it in the Pound of Love baby yarn in a nice Antique white color.  I’m really hoping it comes out well and that I can finish it shortly after the start of the new year.  I haven’t been getting together for Craft Night lately because it seems that everyone is sick or one person is out.  I’m hoping that with the start of 2011 I can do some more crafting…

Well, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to.  Maybe with the start of the new year I can make another crafty resolution and keep it.  I’m proud that I did manage to learn to knit properly and that I was able to complete Darling Hubby’s sweater (and that he’s worn it more than once!).  I even learned those scary dpn’s!  That alone should make me proud!

Crafty New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve never been one to make (and keep) New Year’s Resolutions.  I mean I’ve made them in the past, but they’ve always been the typical “eat healthier” and “lose weight” resolutions that millions of Americans make and break every year.  I should resolve, once again, to lose weight after having a baby this year, but I’m hoping that my good luck losing 15 lbs prior to getting pregnant will be my inspiration for that!

This year I’m vowing to do two things.  The first will be finishing Darling Hubby’s sweater.  I started making a crocheted version of a fisherman knit sweater about 2 years ago and found that I hated the pattern…that ended up frogged…then I started with the Gatsby sweater and that, too, has ended up in the frogged pile.  It just seems that me and sweater patterns have it in for each other…With the Gatsby it was that I couldn’t get the pieces to be square and that once I started in on the sleeves my gauge had changed so severely that I was using an E hook to get a “close enough” gauge rather than the G I was start out using.  It just made me very frustrated…

Right now I’m working on a 3rd sweater for Darling Hubby…using the same yarn that I used the first 2 times around.  I have a Lion Brand Homespun book that has a nice hooded sweatshirt pattern in it and it says easy, so I’m giving it a try…so far I had good luck with the front and back panels, but I’m worried about the sleeves…I’m just going to keep going until I finish it and see how it looks.  Fingers crossed that it looks good and is something that Darling Hubby will want to wear.

My second resolution is to learn to knit and do it right.  There are so many awesome knitting patterns out there that I’d love to make (maybe a real fisherman knit sweater for Darling Hubby in a few years!), but with my basic knitting skills I’m not comfortable even attempting it.  I can knit and purl with the best, but when it comes to increasing and decreasing and getting fancy with alternating stitches and cables I get totally scared and want to hide!  I know if I put my mind to it, I could learn those stitches and that’s what I resolve to do in 2010.  It helps that I’ll have a cute little bundle of joy to practice making small clothes for.  I think starting off small and working my way toward the big stuff will ease me into it…what do you think?

I think the knitting desire really came about when I started reading the first of the Knitting Mystery books (Knit One, Kill Two) by Maggie Sefton that I borrowed from the library yesterday.  She just makes it sound so easy!

So, I’m putting in a call to all my knitting friends.  Do you think you can help me learn to knit this year?  Help me stick to one resolution in my near 30 years!