Vanya

Well, it happened.

When last we spoke I was hugely pregnant, massively uncomfortable, and just starting to admit that the pain in my hands was in fact pregnancy-induced carpel tunnel. But then at the beginning of the month all of that changed.

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Meet Vanya. Who was so excited to get into his knitwear he arrived a week early.

 Sweater:  Newborn Vertebrae   Hat:  Barley Light   Pompom:  Fffabuknits   Socks:  Baby Mitten Socks   Yarn: Yarn vs Zombies,  Cascade Heritage Sock

Sweater: Newborn Vertebrae

Hat: Barley Light

Pompom: Fffabuknits

Socks: Baby Mitten Socks

Yarn: Yarn vs Zombies, Cascade Heritage Sock

In a twist that can only come from my life, I was actually knitting this hat when I went into labor. Well, I'd been in labor for a while, but when I kept deciding to cut my cast-on yarn, leaving me with no working yarn, I figured it was time to start paying more attention. So the full outfit was not ready until after we were already home. I had planned on finishing it up in the hospital, but things went so smoothly that they discharged us after 24 hours. For those who know Pasha's birth story you know that things were the complete opposite of smooth, with me confined to a bed for the better part of a day and Pasha stuck back in the Special Care Unit off and on for almost a week. So my baseline for knitting time was way way off, but if less knitting time means more time with my little dude then that's just fine by me.

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Fortunately I had already knit a different outfit for him to wear home.

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Remember this one? It did turn out to be a little big, but not nearly as much as I feared. Despite being born a week early, Vanya weighed the same as Pasha at birth, but was longer, so the socks especially fit quite nicely. But really, at this point who truly cares about the knitwear? We have a beautiful boy who just so happens to have some truly stylish wardrobe options.

And a big brother who's rather fond of him as well.

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It's Shnew!

We had a knitter's dream yesterday

(or at least this knitter's dream) -- an honest to God snow storm.

Not a blizzard, or an ice storm, or sleet, but real snow starting at nine in the morning and continuing for almost 12 hours. Of course it meant everything was closed, I realized we didn't have quite as much food as I thought I had stocked, and we're eating mac and cheese, but still. Six inches of glorious powder.

Pasha was so excited when it started that he went running to the door yelling "SNOW!" Only he's one so it comes out sounding more like "SHNEW!"

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It was one of the proudest moments of my life when, after a good five hours of snowfall, we all bundled up to go for a walk. Suddenly all those sweaters, socks, hats, and mittens were deemed the greatest thing ever. I'm really fortunate that my family is super knitworthy. At one, Pasha has already learned to gravitate to a hand knit cardigan over a sweatshirt. And Chris only has one hat, but he claims that's all he needs and wears it any time the weather deems it necessary.

 Pasha rocking his still too big  Ridgeline set

Pasha rocking his still too big Ridgeline set

Based on the amount of winter weather we've already seen this season, I'm starting to make plans for the boys for next winter. Stormy will be in the mix, so I forsee matching sets not only for the kidlets, but also maybe a trio of hats that match Daddy. Because oh were these two adorable in the snow.

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My only regret is that I am far too pregnant to partake in any of the fun and had to sit (stand) out Pasha's first sledding experience. Next year, though, Mommy is going to be all over it.

Looking Back

I always put off reviewing the year until the bitter bitter end.

Though I wouldn't necessarily say that the end of this year is bitter. It's been a rough year for us as a human race, but a pretty decent year in my own home. We spent our first full year in our house, watched Pasha go from baby to toddler, celebrated my sister's wedding, and prepared to welcome two new members to the family. On a professional level I published three articles with Stranded Magazine and started work as a virtual assistant for knitting-based businesses. Overall I'd say life at Casa de Geeky has been looking up.

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This year I set out to have "An Intentional 2017", which kind of makes me laugh because at least one major life event was not intentional. I wanted to be purposeful in my habits as we started life in our new home and to have an intention behind my personal choices. Honestly this came about because of my spending habits, which had not gotten out of control but seemed more driven by more consumerism than by necessity. This was the impetus behind my first resolution -- to only buy yarn in person (ie fiber festival, lys, etc) rather than online. I made it until the last quarter of the year and then I fell down hard.

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My stash is no smaller than it was at the beginning of 2017, but I do have a lot more love for it. This wasn't my intention (eh? yeah? ok, I'll stop) for the resolution, but it did have the bonus effect of driving me to look at the yarn I already had when I had a need for an "Oooh! Shiny!" cast on, rather than going for an impulse buy. Then when I was in a store I purchased with the confidence that I knew what I would be making (for the most part). I know there is a growing trend of making 2018 a year of no purchasing, and I won't be doing that, but I am going to try to keep my spending offline and in person as much as possible.

Other resolutions fell by the wayside due to aforementioned personal life changes, but the other one that did stick was my resolution to read more. I shaped this as intentional by committing to the 2017 Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge, which involved reading books that fit within specific categories. I then also added in the Page 158 Book Bingo challenge over the summer and my reading really took off. Overall I read 104 books in 2017, not counting the six I started but didn't finish and the few that I am reading currently. Reading has become something I do constantly in a way that it has not been since I was a kid. Both Chris and I are committed to helping Pasha and the baby become lifelong readers and part of that is to model it ourselves so that they see how much fun it can be.

And let's not forget the other big thing to happen in my crafting life -- I started sewing. This wasn't a resolution, but in the spring I bought Love at First Stitch and decided to sew my way through. I didn't quite make it to the end because the pregnancy through a wrench in things, but it definitely started an obsession that I cannot ignore. I've made several things for myself, a few outfits for Pasha, and now I've started cranking out baby items for Stormy and my nephew. The ability to be more intentional with what we wear and how it comes into our home has been awesome and I'm looking forward to more sewing once I'm able to sit more comfortably at my machine.

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So here's to you, 2017. You were full of crazy and horrible things, but also many moments of joy. And you taught me that even when things are unexpected I can be intentional in how I react and respond. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to savor 2018.

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Looking Forward

I cannot believe there are less than two weeks left in 2017.

It seems cliche to say, but I really do find it amazing how fast the time has gone. And while I am not ready to look back on the year that was just yet, I am already looking forward to the year ahead. I haven't made any resolutions for this year because, well, baby. I learned with Pasha that making specific plans doesn't really work when you don't even know when the baby will be born, let alone what his sleeping, feeding, active schedule will be like. On the other hand,  I have made some very general decisions about how I would like life to look moving forward, starting with my theme for 2018 --

Savor

I've been pretty open about my struggles with Postpartum Depression. There are parts of Pasha's early babyhood that I can't remember or don't want to think about. I was so scared and freaked out by this tiny little human for whom I was solely responsible, and that led to some very dark places. Fortunately the people around me saw what was happening and I got help fairly early on. I was able to build strategies and action plans that have served us well over the last 18 months and will hopefully prepare me for the coming insanity that is a second baby. As much as I can I want to slow myself down when I start to feel the pressure to do everything and be everything to just enjoy the moment.

It's funny, but the first thing I thought of when deciding on "Savor" as my theme for 2018 was my bullet journal. I've kept one off and on for a few years, but I recently picked it back up. Most people start their resolutions in January, but I decided that I would start in December so that I could make sure it is something that I want to commit to.

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I've only used random notebooks in the past, so this time I decided to order a Leuchtturm1917 and get some nice pens to see what it's like to take things to the next level. I'm not into the fancy Instagram #bujo. I like to doodle a little, but I'm not an artist. Instead I really like the daily log concept because it gives me a way to really journal what's happening on a daily basis. I don't have a baby book, but I have the exact date Pasha took his first steps because I noted it in my notebook.

On a more creative front, I want to slow down more this year to savor the process. Home Row Fiber Co has posted a 2018 Make Nine, in which she has challenged makers to post nine projects they want to work through in the next year.

 L-R:  Bluet Dress , Deer & Doe;  Veronika Cardigan , Shannon Cook;  Suki Kimono , Helen's Closet;  Little Sock Arms , Stephanie Lotven;  Bettine Dress , Tilly and the Buttons;  Peanut , tincanknits;  Brecken Sweater , Kate Oats;  Harley , Veronika Jobe;  Hudson Pant , True Bias

L-R: Bluet Dress, Deer & Doe; Veronika Cardigan, Shannon Cook; Suki Kimono, Helen's Closet; Little Sock Arms, Stephanie Lotven; Bettine Dress, Tilly and the Buttons; Peanut, tincanknits; Brecken Sweater, Kate Oats; Harley, Veronika Jobe; Hudson Pant, True Bias

For mine I focused on garments, both for myself and the boys. A few of them I already have the materials for, and I've included both knitting and sewing projects. Will I get through all of them in 2018? Well, with two boys running (rolling?) around, we shall see.

How about you? Are you making plans for 2018?

A Less Creative Holiday

I'm having a hard time feeling very creative these days.

Not because I'm not creating, but with Christmas fast approaching I am feeling the crunch on my holiday making. Last year I knit a gift for each of our immediate family members because we were buying a house, and by buying my supplies in bulk I was able to keep our Christmas expenses much lower than previous years. This year I just started buying presents earlier and vowed not to give handmade. Well, that worked for almost everyone, but turns out I just can't help myself. A few weeks ago I got a bug to make some sewn gifts for one family member, and then I decided to knit for another, and before you know it I've got several makes on the go.

Luckily I finished Pasha's holiday sweater (modeled photos to come), and there are no stockings to knit this year, so I think I'll have everything done in time.

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The other real damper on my creativity has been this pregnancy. I'm in the home stretch now and it's taking a toll on my energy. I'm tired all the time (shocker) and I can't sit at my sewing machine for long before my foot starts significantly swelling. The result is small progress on a lot of projects -- not really conducive to documenting or creating a sense of accomplishment.

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But it's not all bad. The upside of this need to rest is the increased amount of time I get to spend enjoying the holiday season with Pasha. He is obsessed with Christmas trees, demanding that ours be lit at all times and squealing with glee when he sees others at various locations around town. He was also quite excited that his favorite singer, Leslie Odom Jr, has a Christmas album. Yes, my one year old has a favorite singer, which might sound weird to other people but if that's the only way to keep him calm in the car, then by golly I will get all of Mr Odom Jr's albums.

In any case, hopefully come Christmas I'll have more interesting things to share with you. In the meantime, I hope you are having a lovely holiday season whatever you choose to celebrate.