Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Product Details

I just finished this book this morning. It may seem a bit odd that I would read a book that is "for" men, but the subscript on the cover says "discovering the secret of a man's soul". It doesn't say that it's for men only. I got it thinking I'd rather like to know the secret of a man's soul so that I can maybe understand a little more about my husband.

Well, I got what I wanted, and then some. This may be written as a book for men, but I really and truly think it is a book for couples.  And the woman should read it first.

I am totally impressed with this book.  I admit when I first started it, I was very skeptical. It seemed a bit on the theatrical side; but as I got further into it, and the points were expanded on, the feeling of theatrics disappeared to a large extent. Not entirely, which is totally expected, as the author was in theatre for a while; but his points were so well supported that a touch of theatrics didn't matter.

Eldredge talks about the dreams that boys have- that turn into the heart desires of men.  How our world/culture creates boredom instead of fulfillment of those dreams and desires- and how men can recover their hearts.  Going beyond recovery, he talks about how a man's heart can be wounded when he is a boy- which pretty much is a fantastic parenting section on how to help your boy grow up not wounded, with his heart and dreams intact.

I loved this book. It gave me insight into my husband that I did not previously have- a greater appreciation for our differences as man and woman; as well as teaching me how to help my boys become strong men. I will be keeping this book around to reread as my boys get older- and I've already grabbed several of John Eldredge's other books from my local library.  If they are as good as this one, I'll be buying them to reread over the years as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011


This post should have been done in August when the pattern was actually released to the Wonderland Sock Club- but I've been busy, so it's happening now.
This is the Dormouse sock. Inspired by the Dormouse from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head.

“….Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began singing in its sleep, ‘Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle-‘ and went on so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop.

“…the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse in the teapot.” Alice in Wonderland- L. Carroll

The sock is ankle height because mice are small. I love the jingle bells that "twinkle, twinkle" next to the star on the heel. It just seemed to fit so perfectly.
I also love the teapots around the ankle and toe.  This is a very fun, quick knit. Excellent for learning stranded knitting without being overwhelmed by it.
This is done with The Unique Sheep's Pashmi yarn, which is so perfect. It has cashmere for that extra softness.
Currently available only for club members, this pattern will be up for sale on Ravelry next year.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buddy's Birthday

It has been so amazing to watch this baby:

Become this amazing eight year old.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, athletic, considerate Buddy. It's been a great 8 years. I am so looking forward to the next 8- and then some.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WIP's or UFO's?

I hear a lot of knitters talking about their WIP's (work in progress) and UFO's (unfinished object).  Most of the time, they are talking in multiples.

There's this thing about knitting.  Some people call it startitis. It's the desire to start the next beautiful thing, whether you're done with the current one or not. It's a craving. There are so many gorgeous things to knit! Or, in my case, so many things trying to get out of my brain and into the yarn.

I know few knitters that don't have more than one project OTN (on the needles). I hear about some on Ravelry that can't get less than 20 OTN at one time.

I try to be good about it. I kinda have to be. As a designer, I have deadlines; and I have noticed in the past that when I get 3 or more projects going at once, it takes me 3 or more times longer to finish any one of them.  Being more of a product knitter than a process knitter (all about the finished product rather than the process to get there), that makes me crazy.  I need to see progress. And so does the yarn company or magazine I'm designing for.

I usually keep my WIP's to 2, maximum. I try to just have one, but there are times when I have a project that just can't travel. It's too big, too complicated, or just needs too much attention to go in the purse and be worked on when I'm waiting in line or sitting in a car. That is when I wind up with 2 WIP's. One for the purse (which these days means it languishes while I chase the toddler around wherever we are), and one for the serious designing at home. I do pretty good most of the time.  But I realized the other day that I actually have 3 projects going, not just the 2 I am consistently working on. Which brings up the question: When does a WIP become a UFO?

I'm pretty confident the 3rd project is in UFO status. It's been sitting in it's little (ok, not so little, it's a huge project) bag for at least a year now, and I haven't looked at it, much less knit on it. It is exactly halfway complete, no more, and no less. The reason it's sitting there is that it's not my design. If it was my design, it would probably have a deadline, and I wouldn't have been able to set it aside in the first place.  But it's another designer's pattern. One of the few which I have (at least tried to) knit more than once.

It's the World Map Afghan from Vogue Knitting. It's an old pattern, but I love it. The first time I did it, I taught myself intarsia knitting, and fell in love with colorwork. The second time, I wanted to knit it for a gift. I made a little modification- added some words in the ocean; but only made it through 2 of the 4 panels. Then I got some contracts, and with deadlines looming on my designs, the World Map got stuffed in a bag and put in a corner of the closet, where it has sat ever since.

Someday, I will pull it out and turn the UFO back into a WIP.  Someday. And then it will become the gift I wanted it to be. I just have to finish this book of designs, and those club designs, and the things my kids are begging for..... It might be another year or two. But the World Map doesn't seem to mind. It just sits quietly in the corner. Every once in a while it reminds me that I think it is beautiful and that a certain person would love it, but it's nice about it so far. Hopefully I can get back to it before it decides it's time to get tough....

When do your WIP's become UFO's? How many do you have?