Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A little wish for a happy life together

My time in Rhode Island was well spent. There wasn't much time for embroidery, what with managing kitty introductions, yard work, Easter and visits from friends, although I did help my new neighbor with a cross stitch kit and spent a lovely evening with her gabbing about cats and stitching. My last day in New England we spent at my husband's son's engagement party, hosted by his sister-in-law-to-be in a pretty glass coffee house in a Boston park. A lovely time, but we learned that the kids are too shy for a wedding shower. The engagement party was a compromise so that people could celebrate without putting the bride and groom on the spot. Luckily, I had already finished their shower gift and slipped it to them on Easter without fanfare.


My gift was simple embroidered pillow cases. Since I wasn't 100% sure that the bride would be changing her last name, although I know she is thinking about it, I went with their first initials--conveniently K & K--and cross stitched these pretty initials on each pillow case. The pattern is a free one from Blackwork Journey. The initials are classic and understated, just like the couple. I fell in love with the pattern when I went to the site to download a free blackwork sampler pattern. I have all the materials for the sampler, but somehow the pillowcases took precedence. It is nice to have a little project that can be finished quickly! I actually did most of the stitching during my last visit home and finished up in Colorado before this last trip out.


Now I have a request from my husband to make some for our bed, and have just heard that my baby cousin (20 years old) will be getting married later this year. It will be a great fast gift for her as well. So, I guess I will be busy stitching pillow cases this year, but it is so nice to have a little hand made gift of love to send along with these new relationships. A little wish for a happy life together.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring in New England with elephants

You know Spring has sprung when the elephants come out. My baggy elephant skins from Colorado have fattened up nicely and are ready to play in the forsythia. Hopefully the boys and girls who they will be going to have a lot of energy!


I used buttons for the elephant eyes this time, and found some really sparkly ones for the Hello Kitty elephant. She is a real girly girl.


Speaking about eyes, I was out in the garden over the weekend trimming the forsythia and pulling down some overgrown ivy when I accidentally encountered my absolute nemesis--poison ivy. I steer clear of poison ivy because my family is all particularly sensitive to it. Who knew I had it in the yard? This time, in addition to arms and legs, I got the ivy oils on my eyelid. Thankfully, a few days of oral steroids have reduced the swelling.


Now why do I get up close and intimate with poison ivy, but will miss the pear tree and the lilac, which are both about to bloom? It hardly seems fair, but it is back to Colorado for me.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My nephew the tiger

Remember my nephew Simon who loves tigers? I made him a pillowcase for his birthday. Well, my mom took the tiger theme even further and knit him a tiger vest for Easter! This is a cell phone photo since I wasn't back home for Easter, but isn't he cute? Don't grandma's make the BEST gifts?


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Knitting soothes the soul

I read this lovely article on the health benefits of knitting last week. It confirms something that I think every knitter feels, that knitting is a good way to relax. But it was interesting in that it also speculated that knitting is a good way to overcome stress--even post-traumatic stress syndrome--and can actually slow down aging of the brain. This explains why in the most stressful periods of my life, I always turn to knitting.


I am not an avid knitter. I subscribe to my mother's mantra to find a body to fit your knitting rather than deal with gage, but sometimes knitting is the only thing that can calm an inconsolable mind. During a particularly long and stressful period of my life I had a roommate die, another roommate who was less than ideal move in, and negotiated my own move along with a divorce, a job change, and a major disease diagnosis. That's when I started knitting again. The physical rhythm of knitting soothed my anxiety and helped me think straight. It provided relief from the churning thoughts in my mind, and I was both surprised and happy to wind up with something in the end--even a simple baby sweater or hat. It was a way to channel my negative energy towards a positive outcome and I know my health benefitted from the practice.


DI find when I knit, I breath to the click of the knitting needles. I have tried yoga, which is quite difficult for me since my spine is fused, but have never been able to pursue it because I hate the breathing. It frustrates me to the point of wanting to scream. But knitting soothes me into a meditative state without my even noticing. It provides the quiet time that is so needed in times of stress. Recently, I've found myself itching for knitting needles again--I think contemplating the move is getting to me.

Someone else is sick of moving too, but at least he and his brother are now safely in Rhode Island, whereas my things are still in Denver!