Milo for Christmas

This week I have spent a lot of time going through Pasha's clothes and pulling out things for Stormy to wear.

This includes finding all of the knitwear I made for him that I am hoping to get more wear out of and therefore justify the pitiful amount of knitting I have done specifically for this kid. Because I kept all knitted items together, I rediscovered this year's holiday sweater which I managed to put on him for pictures, clean, and then forget about. Because that's how my brain works right now.

One of my favorite items I knit before Pasha was born was his Milo vest.


I knit it out of Leading Men Fiber Arts Dramaturg DK, and it has held up so well that when they released their Winter Wonderland colorway I knew I needed to knit him another. I knit the eighteen month size and used the braided cable option. I love the way this cable chart works up and the look of the various pops of color in the cable versus stockinette versus garter stitch. And yes I know, it's hard to see the details in these photos. I'd apologize, but it's basically impossible to get a toddler to hold still when there are puddles about.

It turns out that vests really are perfect sweaters for our North Carolina holiday season. These pictures were taken at my parent's house when we were there the weekend before Christmas. It was 50+ degrees out and rainy most of the time. Luckily when the power went out for a few hours (squirrels, man, they're a killer), the skies had cleared enough for puddle jumping. Wearing a vest meant that Pasha stayed warm while he played but I didn't have to worry about sleeves ending up in the mud. 

I imagine I will knit several more of these in the future as the boys grow up. There's a chance I'll try to use a different yarn, but the Dramaturg has held up so well to washing that I might just have to make one in every color.

Treading On

You might have heard that we had a bit of winter weather here on the East Coast.

They're calling it a "bomb cyclone", and if you weren't hit by it you are probably tired of hearing people discuss the record temperatures, snow fall, and all around gross winter weather. We were fortunate enough (or not depending on your perspective) that all we saw in our area was a light dusting. Schools closed, people's pipes froze, but we did not have hurricane-style snow like they did in other parts of the storm's path. In general, we just had a nice holiday. The best part was that the little bit of snow we did have was actual snow.

Now, if you are from anywhere that sees regular snow fall you are probably rolling your eyes, but I have to make this clarification. I've lived my entire life in NC and the majority of winter precipitation we get is freezing rain and ice. When we get snow it's almost always over a thick layer of ice, which is why we close down and stay home. Snow is awesome. Ice? It's a broken ankle and overturn vehicle waiting to happen. BUT! This time our little bit of snow at our house was entirely snow. No ice! If we'd had a real accumulation I'd probably still be playing in it. As it was we got to take Pasha outside and let him really play in the snow rather than carefully carry him out and place him in the yard.

I honestly did not think that we were going to get anything because I had just finished knitting myself a new hat the night before. 

For Christmas Chris and Paul got me one of Home Row Fiber Co's portable yarn bowls and filled it with a skein of Spun Right Round Worsted (Clairvoyant) and a faux fur pompom. As soon as I finished my final FO of 2017 (the Half Moon Oracle, which I will eventually block, I swear) I wound up the yarn and cast on my first project of 2018.

I had intended to knit the Shannon Cook's Tread in some Happy-Go-Lucky HGL Worsted to match the Onward Shawl I knit last year, but when I started looking for a worsted hat pattern I could not get it out of my head. Honestly, it was easy enough that I might just knit a second.

The pattern calls for US 8s for the ribbing, but I could not find mine so I knit it with US 7s instead. It fits perfectly (I knit a size medium). I've noticed that when I knit ribbing on my hats they tend to be a little looser than I intend. I'm not sure if this is because I knit ribbing looser in general or if it is an unintended consequence of hats always being too tight when I was a kid. I like to think I've grown in to my big head, but I always have it in the back of my mind that my head is too big for hat patterns.

Overall I give this five stars and I really want to go back and buy more pompoms to make all the hats. The combo of the fun speckles and the more subdued pink makes me really happy. Now if I could just get myself to knit on the things I'm supposed to be working on.

Taking Stock

So here we are, 2018.

Among other things, this is the year I become the mother of two. In just a few short weeks. For all practical purposes I am the mother of two already. I have to feed both kids, deal with them waking me up during the night, and they both enjoy the occasional kick to the ribs. I went to my doctor's appointment and the number one thing he told me to do was slow down, which fits nicely into my theme of "savor" for the year, but does nothing to truly calm the stress level of being nearly 9 months pregnant while chasing a toddler.

One of the things I am doing to try to get a handle on my stress level is take stock of my WIPs. I've frogged a few things that have languished for far too long, and I unearthed a few that I had forgotten about.

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This is my All Points South, which you have never seen because right after I cast it on I got distracted by the Half Moon Oracle. Fortunately that was my last FO of 2017 and I am hoping to get it blocked this week. I was thinking about casting on another shawl but now I think that will just have to wait because this has recaptured my interest.

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And then there's my Big Sister, which I desperately want but for some reason stopped knitting back in October. It's so cold and none of my clothes fit anymore, so I feel really motivated to work on it again.

I'm also slowly gathering yarn to wind for projects to have at the ready for when Stormy gets here. I got so much knitting done when Pasha was an infant because we went through a time when he'd only sleep while being held. I know every baby is different, but I am going to be prepared this time if it happens again. Starting with these lovelies I got for Christmas. 

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Though, if I'm being honest, I may have already started knitting one. Oops!

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.


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 --


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?