Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Important Announcement

Last week I teased you guys that something amazing was happening! Well, that something amazing finally happened! It's now totally cold (below freezing every day this past week) and I've been layering a ton, and working hard on getting my new idea ready for the world.


In these pictures I'm wearing a thrifted sweater and dress. They are so so cozy! Of course, no outfit is complete without my kitty hat!


So, whats the announcement? I'm starting a youtube channel! Yes, that's right. I've decided to dive head-first into making amateur videos with no background or experience (but with an amazing camera my husband bought me for my birthday last week!) I really don't know what I'm doing. But, I'm having fun. And I'm learning.


When I first started this blog I had a terrible layout, text-only header, and a side bar swarming with different fonts and different sized pictures.  As you can see (hopefully?) I've grown a lot since my first post in 2009, and I know I'll continue to grow through youtube also.


Right now my plan is to film and upload one video a week. These will mostly be knitting tutorial videos, although I may do some vlogs or lifestyle/rant type videos as well. What would you guys like to see?

If you are interested in checking out my videos, click here!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Depression and Miscarriage

I want to be completely and totally honest with you.

I never suffered from depression. Well, for my first 25 years.

I say this only because recently I've become more aware of just how prevalent depression is. I read a few blog posts about it from my favorite bloggers, many who I would never have thought would be dealing with something like that--but who actually battle depression on a regular basis.

Please forgive me, but I used to think depression was basically a nothing disease. What I mean by that is that I equated "depression" with "sadness". Or rather, with "choosing to be sad". I've been sad before. I don't stay sad long; I'm a really cheerful person and I know how to cheer myself up when I've feeling down. I go out with a friend, read a good book, snuggle with my husband...all three of these things lift my spirits, and dissipate my sadness.


But sadness is not depression. They are not the same, through I know when you are depressed you can be sad. I'm done thinking this way, although I think it is a common misconception.

I learned the difference between sadness and depression when I suffered my first miscarriage with my husband. About two months after that happened, my hormone levels plummeted and I became severely depressed.

I didn't know what was wrong with me. I would wake up and not want to get out of bed. The littlest thing would make me cry. I would cry and cry for hours and not know how to stop. I couldn't cheer myself up. I was just sad--even through I knew in my head that I didn't have any reasons to be so down (I mean, I am financially stable, have food, clothes, am married to an amazing man, have a awesome family and friends...) There was just no reason to cry so much! My feelings didn't make any sense to me. I couldn't cook, and I didn't even want to to get dressed in the morning. I went from silent and moody to bawling and back again 6 times an hour.

During this time I bought lots of things on the internet, because it would make me feel better for a few moments. I also lost myself in books, reading one or two a day, because it would make me forget who I was and be someone else. I wasn't reading for enjoyment or to cheer myself up--I was reading in pure desperation, to get so lost in something so my own sorrow couldn't touch me. When I finished a book I would cry and feel so listless because that world was done, and I couldn't get lost in it anymore, I had to come back and be me.


This lasted two weeks until one day I just woke up and it was like--like I could see again. I explained to my husband in this way: the world suddenly had color. I suddenly noticed it was there. It was still the same world, but before I couldn't see it at all.

I know two weeks isn't very long to suffer from depression, but to me it felt like forever. I was literally a different person.

It was really shocking to wake up like that. When my depression ebbed, I was still sad---but instead of controlling and overwhelming my entire person, my melancholy was now just a tiny part of my heart. Like thinning fog. Like waking up from a bad dream. I was still sad, but I could move. I could feel the tears, but now I could hold them back--when before I couldn't no matter how hard I tried.

I don't quite know how to explain it.

When my second miscarriage happened, I was really worried about becoming depressed again. I didn't want to put myself, or my husband through it.

But miscarriage effects your hormones. I knew it was going to happen. I prepared for it.

But, this time the depression is different. I don't know if any of you have ever been depressed in such a way where you felt detached from reality? Like, your on the phone with a friend, hearing her talk, hearing yourself respond, but feeling nothing? And feeling like you are watching yourself. I catch myself wondering if people can see that I'm faking emotions, faking being there? Because I don't feel like I'm here.

I just feel like a big lump right now. I'm not depressed in the way where I'm crying all the time. But I am depressed. I feel like my friends who hang out with me are just doing me a favor because they feel sorry for me (I know, in my head this isn't true. But my emotions are telling me this). I feel, many times, when others around me are connecting and speaking to each other--extremely detached and bewildered/ unsure how to respond. I don't know how to speak human.

It's was really annoying, but like the last time, my hormones straightened themselves out and, for lack of a better term, I'm back in my own body now.

If you've had a miscarriage--realize you are not alone.  And also know that losing a pregnancy can seriously affect your hormone levels. Depression is not uncommon after a miscarriage. Be aware! And get help. Because you will need it. I did, and I'm not ashamed of that in the least.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Next

This is part of my novel. You can start at the beginning here.
------------

I almost didn't feel the water. From the corner of my eye I saw Father's scowl deepen and I knew I was going to be trouble. If knights bound to a different Lord could get in trouble.

All that mattered was I'd done it. I'd done what Gepilios had said I could do: claimed a year of freedom under the King's code. Many didn't ask for such. It was an old law, put in place more for the sake of the quests then the questers. But the old quests were mostly rumor now, and held no monetary rewards, so many people didn't invoke this vow. I didn't care about money. I'd chosen this route for me, and me alone. To give me time to become Riol-knight and forget Riol-prince. A year wasn't a lot of time, but it would have to be enough. Because I knew if I failed to present myself before my new Lord at the end of this year, I'd be hung for treason. And Serving a new master certainly was better then being hung by one, that's for sure.

I raised my head. Father was nearly to the podium now, his face frozen into the mask I knew so well. Strangely, I felt so light. I looked down at my hands and noticed they were trembling.

"Your Highness!!" A squire, his face red and sides heaving suddenly burst into the chapel. "The Princess, your daughter--Miera--is missing!"

Everyone froze. My father, always moving, the perceptual forward-thinker and plan-implementer, also froze, his jaw half open. I watched as a little bit of drool escaped his lips and dribbled down his beard. I suppose he was reordering his thoughts from wayward son to missing daughter. I might have chuckled if I hadn't been still standing next to the priest.

 Father finally closed his mouth. "Well, FIND her. Check the library. She can't have gone far."

The guard gulped. Visibly. Uh oh. He must know my father well.

"Well..your highness...theirs more to...perhaps we should talk in private?"

"Out with it, you blundering idiot!" Roared the king.

"Well, you see...she left all her clothes...not even an undergarment is missing..." The poor squire's face turned an even darker shade of purple, "It is said...Your Excellency...well...she seems to have absconded in only her nightgown" His adams apple bobbed once, like the frightened glare of a deer who has just realized he's stumbled into a lion's den. "It is feared she has run off with a lover."

Our of the corner of my eye I saw Gepilios, his face wrinkled with suppressed laughter.

"WHAT?" My father yelled, his neck bulging. "FIND HER NOW!"

The squire fled.

Gepilios hurried forward. "Your highness, I'm sure it is nothing so dire. The girl is probably with one of the other ladies or simply lost in a book. You know how she is."

His hurried explanation seemed to only further enrage my father.   

"I swear I am going to marry that girl off as soon as she's found, lover or no lover." He growled. "I'll probably have to double the damn bride price now, due to the rumors that she's been tainted."

"Ressga, she's only twelve!"

"Don't forget your place, Magus!" Thundered my father. "If the girl isn't found by night the only thing she'll be good for is the nunnery."

Gepilios bowed at once, his eyes meeting mine. Why are you still here, his face seemed to ask. Yes, that's right, I'd better be off before Father thought to remember me. The servants had already scattered, dispersed like leaves in the wake of the King's temper. A few nobles were standing far enough away to be inconspicuous, but still close enough to hear the gossip.

In a few hours the tale of Miera the trollop would be all over the castle. If I didn't have to leave immediately for my quest, I'd be rather interested in where she'd gotten off to. I couldn't imagine Miera with a lover. She'd claw him to death first with her nosy attitude. Or whine him into oblivion.

Even if she was a nuisance, I realized I'd miss my little sister Miera. We'd used to spend so much time together before they carted her off to the Women's wing last year.  I'd wish I'd gotten to say goodbye...

-------------

It was nearing dinner when I finally made it to the stables, my traveling bags a heavy weight under my arms. All my things were clearly stamped with the Knight's insignia, as were the rest of my possessions. It was illegal upon penalty of death to steal from a knight, so all our gear and clothing were marked with large red crosses.

source
It was also illegal to steal from a monk, but the sentence for that crime was six months of charity. Not that monks usually owned anything worth stealing.

I had been told my horse would be in the last stall. I dropped my gear, fiddling with the latch.

The door swung open slowly. I grabbed my tack and bridle, reaching with a free hand to guide the horse out.

My horse was named Cyernn--after the great Lord Cyernn who was my great, great grandfather--but I mostly liked the name because it also meant "cake" or "sweet pie" in the old tongue. Yes, I named my horse after a pastry. It works.

When I turned around Miera was standing behind me. Her face was all red and splotchy with tears and she was wearing some kind of maids gown and cap. I guess she really had been trying to sneak out with some lover.

"What are you looking at?" She said, the words pulling her mouth up into a neat little pout. Hah. So, still the Miera I knew.

"Uh...Hi." I said, and began to groom my horse.

"Riol..." She started, to my back.

"Look, Miera, don't involve me in whatever love affair you've got going on. I'm about to leave, if you hadn't noticed." Maybe she had known, and that's why she'd tried to run off on the day I was so conveniently being given the heave-ho.

"Rioooollll!" She squealed, high pitched and whiny. Something hit my back. "I hate you and ugh why are you such an idiot."

Typical Miera behavior. Always trying to blame all her problems on me.

I hoisted one of my packs and began to secure it to my horse. "It really isn't my fault if he was caught, Miera." I could see her, still seething over my shoulder. She had one of her shoes in her hand. Guess that was what had hit me earlier.

"Oh, I never!" She wailed, and flung herself on the ground. A few of the horses shifted in their pens.

"I don't have a lover, I haven't run off, and I only donned this stupid itchy dress so I could say goodbye to you!"

Oh.

"And now Father wants to marry me off to Getel's snotty son..." More sobbing. I set down my last pack, suddenly worried. Getel's son was nearing thirty, and he'd already had two wives.

"Uh, wow. So, does that make me your secret lover?" I joked, glad to see her glare resurface. Mad Miera was one thing, but a soggy, forlorn Miera was just depressing. It couldn't be true. Father wouldn't be that mean, would he?

"Gepilios said I should go with you." She said, at last, as I finished with the horse.

"What?"

"He said he'd meet us outside town with a cloak and some new clothes for me..."

"Miera...you can't be serious." From the totally dejected look on her face, I could tell that at least this wasn't her idea. Perhaps I could still talk her out of it.

"For one, can you even ride a horse? And two, women don't travel. Ever. Especially not alone. You'll get hurt. Or you'll starve. You don't know how to hunt, or start a fire...or..." Mentally, I started going through the list of all the things I'd been taught in training.

Her eyes welled up with tears again, but I kept going. There is no way I was taking my sister with me... no matter how much I loved her.

"Princesses stay in castles. They get married and make more princesses. You've known that since the day you were born."

"Oh, right." She said, "I'll just smile and behave and keep doing what Father wants me to do while you get to run off and have adventures like a normal person...."

"What?" I felt angry now. Didn't she know I'd give anything to be in her place? To be courted and wooed, pampered and loved for the rest of my life?

"Do you think I want to be a knight? Do you think it's fun to watch all the girls swoon over Olix and know that I'll never have what you'll have? I can never marry."

"I know that." She said, "Your so lucky."

"Lucky? Lucky? I'm lucky that I get to spend the rest of my life by a campfire in the rain, patrolling and perhaps dying for some Firstborn in silks..."

Two hallways down, the stable door slammed. We both jumped, leaving me staring at her, her green eyes puffy and red and her cheeks flushed belligerently.

I guess I had never considered that perhaps she felt as trapped as me.

"I'm coming with you." She said, and I could see the steel in her eyes despite the anger.

And if there was one thing I've learned about Miera--she never backed down once she'd made up her mind.  

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When I write the next part a magic link will appear here :) 
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Wearing Thursday

I miss my tie dying summer days! Today I decided to wear a bit of rainbow in the form of my hand-dyed dress. Winter can be bleak, and color is always needed!
 I paired it with my skinny jeans and a comfy cardigan to keep warm.
What have you been wearing lately?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mr. Adventure Says

The continuing chronicle of all the absurd things my wonderful husband says... seriously, he's my own personal comedic. Never a dull moment...but many times a very misunderstood one!

At home one afternoon
Me: Hey, have you noticed that I haven't shaved my legs in a while?
B: No.
Me: Oh, yay! That means I don't have...
B: Ahh! I mean, yes! I change my mind! I have noticed!!
Me: O_o
B: *sees my face* I mean. I like it when you shave. I want you to keep shaving!
Me: Uh...
B: Did I just doom myself to a life without a shaven wife?
In a Bed, Bath and Beyond
We were separated for a bit. When I come back I find my husband using one of the BB&B mirrors to pop a zit on his nose.

Me: I don't know you.
B: Why?
Me: How embarrassing...
When discussing redefining our budget
B: I thought when I got married my wife wouldn't spend any money.
Me: Its just two ply toilet paper. I like two-ply toilet paper.
B: But its expensive!
Me: I need two ply toilet paper. This is a non-negotiable item.
B: Fine...
Mr Adventure and his new favorite accessory: a beard :D
At an wedding rehearsal of a friend, during a "down time" Brian's phone buzzes on silence.
Me: What was that? (It only buzzed once, too short to be a call or a text, so I was curious)
B: My phone on silent. 
Me: Retrieving his phone: Its a notification that says you need to feed the goats.
Person next to us: Oh, you live on a goat farm too? We raise Alpine goats!
Me: Uh...um....its an iphone game.
Person next to us: Oh. We raise actual goats.
Me: (to husband) we need a life.
Late at night:
Me: (playfully) Do you love me?
Brian: Of course I like moose meat.
The next morning:
B: Hey wife.
Me: Umrmmttt
B: I had a dream that you made me bacon.
Me: Thhzzzpppp???
B: Yes dear. Bacon. And it was good.
Me: We don't have any bacon.
B: Right in my ear. WHAT? NO BACON?
Me: @_O
B: THAT IS the most tragic thing I've ever heard.
Me: Uh, that was my ear. I'm trying to sleep here.
B: You had one job. one job!
Later I made pancakes...
B: I'm pretending these are bacon.
Me: -_-
----
Want more of Mr. Adventure? There is a part one, two, three, four, and five all here just for you :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

DIY: Lace Peter Pan Collar

The other day I was watching youtube videos, mostly about beauty and hair and shampoo and stuff. Well, one girl in particular really caught my eye, so I watched a few more of her videos and saw she was wearing a lace necklace in one of her hauls that made her shirt look like it had a white collar on it. I thought it was really beautiful! I tried to contact her through her blog that she runs with another beauty friend, because I really wanted to find out where she bought it or if she'd made it, but of course, she receives hundreds, if not thousands, of views a day and many many comments, so I don't think she ever saw my query.

So I just decided to make my own lace necklace! Here is what I did.


Step 1: Find doilies. Not big ones, small ones work better. Make sure they are not bigger then your palm. Also, find a necklace (or make one with jump rings and hooks) that you will use for this project.

Step 2: Cut your doily in half. Now lay the two pieces side by side and lay your necklace on top, making sure to center the tips of your doily pieces so it lays correctly.

Step 3: Put a thick line of glue (NOT Elmers glue, I used tacky glue) on top of your necklace. Now fold over the cut lines of your doilies. Push them down. Now put more glue until its a sort of sticky mess. Don't worry, glue dries clear. Smooth the glue out with your finger until the edge lays downward, the necklace in the center.

Step 4: Let dry, and wear! I've been wearing mine everywhere and they have not shown any signs of falling apart. This glue holds.


Naturally I made three necklaces. It's super easy and I love how it makes my outfits pop!

So, in other news next week I'm making a huge announcement. One that I'm just dying, dying to spill the beans on now. Only one friend of mine knows about it! But mums the words until I get the whole thing hashed out. I'm SO EXITED! I hope you are too! Ahhhhhhh!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Knit and Crochet

Since I've started making my own patterns, I don't knit other people's work very often anymore. But I just had to create this hat when I saw it.
The pattern is called Brier, and to be honest, it was an extremely hard knit. I'm used to lace patterns having a purl-all side, then on the knit side, having the yarn overs and knit2tog. This had a different repeat on every row. If you dropped a stitch, you were, well, screwed. I also found a few errors in the pattern that upset me mostly because I paid for this pattern. Sure, I didn't pay much, but when you buy something you kinda expect it to be proofread and checked for errors. But that is beside the point. Brier was challenging and hard--but I am in love with the finished product. I gifted this hat to my best friend Larkin. It was supposed to be her Christmas present (so late...) but, better now then never, right? Right?

 If you want to read more this hat, as well as see what kind of yarn I used, you can check out my Raverly post on it here.

Another project I am working on are these Maggie Leg Warmers. These are crochet, and the pattern was super hard to figure out at first because I am a total beginner at crochet. After a few hours of careful study I did finally figure out the pattern and now have it memorized. Its a basic five row repeat that I can now do with my eyes closed. I'm about halfway done with the other warmer and can't wait to wear them over my knee high boots next month.

What have you been making lately? Let me know!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's my Birthday!

It's my birthday! Today I am one year older. Feels old, but when I look in the mirror, I only see 23-me, and that number was quite a few years ago. My goal for the next year? To learn more about God and become more in tune with His will. I want my heart aligned with His.


One day, when I was out shopping at Goodwill, I came across this beautiful red embroidered dress. I can't believe someone gave it away. I decided to wear it when these pictures were taken over Christmas break. My friend Beth was visiting town for New Years, so I donned my new dress and enjoyed the long-sleeves in the cool weather. The day was perfect: we went out for coffee and made banana bread and took silly pictures, and in the evening I snuggled with my husband and read a good book.


Beth is so spunky and fun to hang around. I wish she lived closer, but I'll take what I can get. In the above picture I tackled her right before the shutter went off!


So yeah, I'm older today. Is it just me, or the older you get the faster the years seem to go by? And birthdays just keep feeling stranger. But here is to another year, another year of me. So far I like getting older. Don't know if that will always be the case, but for now, I'm content. Every day I ask for God's joy and peace to grow in my heart.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Familiar Convictions

We are having that conversation again. The one where I go, I feel like I don't do anything for you. And where he starts listing off all the things I do. But then, I always say, I couldn't do any of those things, if you didn't provide income to pay for it. And he is silent. Silent because he can't think of what to say, what I need. Silent because I don't know how to tell him what I'm asking, what I need to hear.


He finishes with a you are just you. What you do for me is you love me; sentences that to me sound contrived and easy, something said when nothing else is left--not real, not true. Because I want to be needed. I have to know that something I do in this marriage is equal to what he does. I don't want to be a burden.

If he didn't work 12 hours a day, if he didn't bring home money--I wouldn't be able to cook. I wouldn't be able use the water to wash our laundry. I wouldn't be able to follow my dreams of becoming a famous knitting designer or blogger and work for myself. He pays all the bills. He gives me money to buy all the food. I'm unworthy...

We drop the conversation. But inside I'm struggling. Something in me yearns to know that I matter. That I am contributing enough to deserve him. I want to be equal to my husband. I want to know that I am worthy of his love, and that I am returning, equally, the substance he gives me. Money for money. Or at least something comparable. Because then I won't be a burden. Then I won't be another rope around his neck.

My heart is troubled. My husband can tell I'm upset about something, so the next day buys me flowers. This just makes me feel worse, because now he is exercising his free time and his money just to make me feel better. If I felt okay, he wouldn't need to do this.

That Sunday I went to church, my spirit still heavy. Then the pastor started taking, and God got my attention. He went over how much God loves us. How he sent his son to die for us, how he adores us and sends us his joy. And about how there is nothing we could ever do to deserve his love.

And I thought, how many times have I tried to pay God back with good deeds and promises? Good deeds are good. But all of me belongs to God. Giving him anything is just giving him something he already owns. I can never repay him, I will never be enough. And when God saves me, he no longer sees me as something dirty, as something unequal to his love. No, he elevates me to become his child, a child of God. And nothing I ever do will make me deserve that.


In my pew I cried. Because the same goes for my husband. No matter what I do, even if I win the lottery and give my husband handfuls of money or buy him his favorite car or never burn another meal...it will never be enough to repay him for the love he has given me. Because my husband does not view me as unequal. He supports what I do. To my husband, my love is enough for him. This goes in tandem with what God wants. He wants me to love Him. And God wants his love to be enough for me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amazing Blog Swap!

My friend Heidi from Typative Mama Cat and I decided to do a little e-mail and blogging swap in December! I loved getting to know Heidi more and hearing about her love story and learning about her two adorable daughters. She's one of my favorite writers, and I also enjoy her blog. I can tell she puts a lot of time in creating fun content. Heidi mainly blogs about writing (she has new novel coming out at the end of Jan that I will be purchasing and reviewing on my blog!) and motherhood, and currently, about dragons, because her new novel is titled Dragons Curse
Anyway, Heidi's package was amazing! My favorite things were the tea, notebook, stocking and lip balm she sent. I love tea and the fact that the Christmas Morning flavor was something I'd never tried before made me really excited. I immediately put the kettle on and brewed some and it was amazing! Thank you.
She also sent me two skeins of chunky yarn that I am going to make a cowl out of, and two books. And she crochet me a dragon. What kind of person crochets someone a dragon? An amazing person, that's who. Someone who appreciates fantasy and fiber art--just like me! The dragon is currently sitting on a shelf on my bed.

Thank you Heidi for the amazing swap! Hugs!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Knitting

This week I created a four-in-one pattern. A glove pattern that lets the user knit one of four types of gloves, as mittens, fingerless, half-finger, or full fingered.


I worked really, really hard on this pattern. Knitting up all the samples was annoying, but it really helped me flesh out my rounds. The four-way gloves knitted tutorial is available for free download here!

I also created my first kid item: a dino egg hat! This hat will fit a boy or girl from age 4-8, depending on head size. You can download the free PDF file from Ravelry and knit your own speckled dino egg hat!

I've been having a super super super fun time knitting. Everything. I have so many more ideas, from a scarf with piano keys on it to pineapples on fingerless mitts, and...I think I'm addicted. Anyone else have this problem?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Knitting Storage

I have a lot of yarn. And a million knitting needles, circulars, double-points...all in various sizes and lengths and parts. I also have been cursed blessed with an amazing affection for yarn in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Now, HOW will I store it all, so I can easily find it and also so it looks neat and tidy?

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you...my tips and tricks for storing knitting supplies. And yarn.

Step One: Buy a bigger house I mean, invest in cheep storage! The littlest things can be used to help organize your needles and you might not even know it! I found this round ice-maker thing at Goodwill for 99 cents. It holds my double pointed knitting needles perfectly! I also plan on taping and writing the sizes of my needles on the side (or maybe the top?) for even easier eyeballing.
Step Two: Use something you already have! My circular needles always get tangled. And then I have to search through every one looking for the size I want! So, I put all my hat needles through this sizer. I just leave them there. Now it is super, super easy to find the one I'm looking for. I only have one longer circular at the moment, so I'm not worried about that yet.
Step Three: Convince husband you need entire room to store yarn. I mean, pick up a hand-me-down that used to hold children's toys to store yarn. I have finished projects in the top slot, and things I'm currently working on next to that. The rest is yarn divided by weight and substance. It works!
Step Four: Makeup bag? Who needs that? YARN BAG! I don't wear makeup anymore, so all my containers are free to hold yarn projects and miscellaneous items. I use one in specific to hold all my cable needles, stitch markers, and other yarn paraphernalia. It's easy to pick up and take with me when I'm headed out but still want to bring a project along.
Step Five: If all else fails, make your own! A long time ago when I first started knitting, I made this needle case to hold my straight knitting needles. I hardly use them anymore (always knitting in the round) but it still works!
How do you organize your hobbies? Let me know, I'd love some tips!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Here today, gnome tomorrow

The wonderful, silly, loving and amazing Delirious Rhapsody let me host her gnome over Christmas! What is "host" a gnome? Well, she kidnapped a gnome, packaged him up, and mailed him to me!
He arrived looking rather cute. I let him hang out on my bookshelf for awhile and watch all the shenanigans that my husband, friends, and family participate in. I even played a prank by hiding him in my fridge with the hopes of scaring my husband. You see, my husband has a heart of steal, and no matter what I do (hiding behind doors, making spooky noises...) he is never scared. Where I am frightened by bugs. And irregular noises.
Unfortunately, all this caused was a nonchalant comment about '"why is there a gnome in the fridge, dear, and where is my dinner?" Why, exactly? Well, after a lovely dinner of steak and potatoes, the unthinkable happened. The gnome and my husband became buddies! Something about unfair treatment and such from wives. I guess the gnome has a shadowy past, as well. Anyway, they started taking walks together and drinking together...
Naturally I couldn't handle it, so I put the gnome in the oven as punishment.
To get out of solitary confinement, he agreed to take a selfie with me on the last day of his imprisonment if I would hurry and mail him off to his next host. This was taken right before he bit me on the ear.
I mailed him the next day. I hope it takes months for him to arrive.

No wonder you mailed him off, Deanna--he sure does get into mischief, doesn't he?!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Duty Calls

This is part of my novel. You can start at the beginning here.  
(If you noticed, I switch to first person here. I will (eventually) go back and edit all the other parts to be first person so it matches. I think it flows better. I was having a hard time with the other tense. So, warning, it changes suddenly!)  
----

So that was it.

Riol was a knight now.

A knight. And I'd never seen him again.

He'd go off. And have adventures. While I'd get married, and have children.

I was almost mad at him, if he didn't look so scared and small next to our Captain of the Guard.

source
As I craned my neck to see, the priest bent over him, muttering some benediction, Father looming in the background, a permanent scowl affixed to his face, with Gepilios to his right. I hadn't known Father would be here. Good thing there were all these maids in the back with me, or he'd have spotted me for sure.

As another member of the royal guard knighted Riol, I tried to tune out the chatter around me. One of the cleaning ladies to my left wouldn't stop talking, something about oh-how-nice-a-respite-was and didn't-the-young-lord-look-so-fine. I attempted to shush her with a look, but apparently pauper-clad Miera's glares were not as terrifying as Princess Miera's icy looks.

I wished she would just shut it. Couldn't she see I was trying to listen? It was bad enough I had to stay in the very back, with the other servants and a few skinny slaves that were standing in the corridor behind us. So far away from the actual ceremony. But also far away from Father, I reasoned.

Riol stood, and turned. The Knight's cape billowed about him, and I was amused to see it waft on the floor, trailing just behind his boots. By the looks of it he hadn't grown an inch since I'd seen him last. I, on the other hand, had shot up four inches in the last year, making me one of the tallest ladies in the palace, much to the chagrin of my manners tutor. Oh, well.

The priest was talking again. I leaned forward, trying to catch his words.

"And holy thou are consecrated...by these scriptures...a knight for all time. Do you swear to uphold all that are writ within?"

My brother nodded.

"Then, go, henceforth, and do thy duty!"

The priest waved to the fanfare, but suddenly Riol reached out, his hand catching the priest's arm. My father's eye's narrowed.

He said something, to the priest. Drat! I couldn't hear a thing from here! I stood quickly, working my way out of the gaggle of maids, and began walk forward, keeping my shoulder in direct contact with the left wall. Everyone was fixated on Riol, and my father was now speaking, his tone low and clipped, his back rigid. Whatever my brother said had certainly made him angry.

"It's my right." Riol again. I slipped quickly into the pew to the right, not even looking at who I was sitting next to.

"This is preposterous!" Father. He was getting worked up.

"Now, now, Ressga, calm down. It's part of all the knight ceremonies. Riol just wants his fair chance, same as all the others." Gepilios. His eyes suddenly met mine and narrowed. I shrank back against my pew, feeling my cheeks grow warm. Caught. Oh, well. He'd give me an ear-full later, but I knew he'd never tell.

Riol nodded, and muttered something, still too low for me to hear. The priest looked at my father, and straightened his robe. My father's face had turned a shade of purple I hadn't seen since my elder sister had tried to refuse a suitor. He seamed about to say something, but then promptly turned, and strode back to the ornamental trellis, Gepilios serenely following. Before Gepilios turned he looked at me and flashed a smile, his eyes twinkling. What had I just seen?

"Ahem," The Priest continued, "Sir knight, as benefits your station, have you any last words or sacred vows to utter?"

My brother nodded. All in one breath, as if he was afraid someone would stop him mid sentence, he spoke. "I ask for parley from knighthood for the total sum of one year, as outlined in the knight's royal code to pursue the ancient water ring once crafted by the gnome Ryniomlsu."

Swiftly, my brother  bowed his head, and knelt before the priest, who consecrated Riol's curly black head with the holy water, sealing his words and his fate.

And then all chaos broke loose.


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Monday, January 6, 2014

Knitting, Lately

This past month I've knitted up at storm!

First off, my pen pall Sew Technicolor sent me this amazing pink/purple yarn she hand-dyed herself. I love it. At the time, I was in a crochet mood, so I whipped up this little cowl/neck-warmer thing! I adore this cowl--so warm, and fun! This yarn is beyond beautiful and variegated and I just can't stop looking at it and touching it! :D And...I still have an entire other skein to play with!
Then, I made a gift for another dear friend of mine, who requested, when asked, mitts that would "go with everything!" Challenge: accepted! I made her comfy black fingerless gloves that will, indeed, go with everything. Expect maybe a ball gown. Or a tutu.
These gloves were made from fingering weight yarn and I also made a free pattern for download in case anyone else wants to knit some!
The next project on my list was a new hat for Mr. Adventure! This was his Christmas gift, and he loved his manly earth-colored hat knitted by his wife! It really is soft! I used this free pattern to knit his slouchy hat, leaving off the pompom, of course.
The last, and final thing I knit before the new year were these arm warmers. Let me tell you a little story about these things. I started on them 6 months ago, before I knew how to make thumb holes and was just beginning to knit in the round. And I finished them a few days ago. I kept running out of beads and being distracted by other projects. But they are done, finally.

What about you? Any projects almost done, but not quite?

Also, if you don't want to follow my blog, but still want to be notified when I release any new knitting or crochet patterns, you can sign up for my e-mail list! I mail out my new knits on the first of every month. If you'd like to preview what an e-mail looks like, click here!



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Grief

Last week I received confirmation that I'd lost another pregnancy.

In the following days I've wrestled with sadness, grief, depression, anxiety...

I mean, first of all, it is hard to grieve publicly for my baby because many of my friends and family were unaware of my pregnancy. Since I previously have had two miscarriages, we decided to wait as long as possible before telling anyone. I only told a few close friends and my immediate family.


Another struggle I've been having is how absurd I feel even mourning my lost child. I'm not quite sure how to put this into words. My baby only lived a little over three months. I never heard her first words. I never helped her put on socks, or nursed her, or even felt her move. What right do I have to grieve when all over the earth children are dying in their mothers arms? Sometimes my sadness just feels trivial, say, to the mother who lost her 6 year old to cancer or the family whose only son was killed by a drunk driver.

But I know that my pain does have a place in this world, and that it is something I have to work through. It's not trivial, it's just a different kind of pain. I wish I'd had the chance to meet my baby.

For some reason this miscarriage has been harder. Maybe because its my third one, maybe because it went a little longer then the others, or maybe because I am just getting older? That's not to say I wasn't sad with my other miscarriages, because I was. But this time around I experienced an emotion I've never associated with miscarriage before: Shame.

Yes, I felt ashamed. Why did my body expel this child I wanted so much? Was it something I did? What is wrong with me? At first I didn't want to tell anyone, because I was terrified it would somehow change the way they saw me.

Perhaps my fear was brought on by the roller coaster of hormone spikes that come with miscarriages, or perhaps it was a deeper heart issue--but all I know is that I wallowed in my humiliation for awhile, before surfacing from my ocean of shame to began my swim to solid ground and healing once again.

This miscarriage was not my fault. I eat impeccably well. I don't smoke, I barely drink (and stopped completely once the Mr. and I started "trying"). This is not my fault. Sure, something anatomically might be wrong with my body, but nothing is wrong with me. And I have nothing to be ashamed of. Many women suffer with infertility and I would never think any less of them, so why would I ascribe that status to myself?

This is no longer the 18th or 19th century, where the worth of a women was measured from her beauty and her offspring. Nor should a women, no matter what century, be measured that way. So I definitely shouldn't measure myself this way! And I won't.

I still wonder if I'll ever experience being a mother. But I know I'm not going to let my pain or grief get in the way of enjoying my marriage and my life as a wife, blogger, seamstress and knitter to the fullest. No matter what happens. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Winter Wears

Okay, it's been oddly warm here lately. Like, 60 degrees. Whats up, weather? I know my state isn't the only place to do this on occasion, but it's super weird.


Here is an outfit I wore on Christmas Eve last week! Because of the weird weather and the "hot flashes," I've been wearing layers and leaving my coat a home when we go out. I also think its so interesting how much red is still in my hair from way back (two years ago) when I dyed it with henna. They obviously were not kidding on that "permanent" label.


So, my clothes. Well, I found this "boyfriend" sweater at Goodwill, as well as the pants and the classic button down I'm wearing underneath my cardigan. All at different times, of course. But they all go so great together, and I love this whole look. It's cozy and very warm. 


The day before I took these pictures I tee-shirt curled my hair. It was way bouncy and fun! My husband took me out to Olive Garden for part of my Christmas gift and it was a wonderful evening of expensive entrees and cheesecake and wine...anyway, the next day my hair looked like this!

Hope you all had a great holiday!


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