Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quilting Progress

Well, I have finished 9 squares. This is a free form quilt but I think mine is a little too free form! The squares are odd sizes but I plan to make them uniform. This has been a lot of fun to do. I have always wanted to do this but have never gotten this far. I attempted one about 2 years ago but got frustrated trying to keep everything straight and gave up. But making this one, combined with everything I am learning in my sewing class has me looking forward to my next attempt. This quilt is special because I made it as a symbol of my faith that I will be a mother one day. I decided that I needed something tangible to look at when I think about being a mother to help me stay focused on the goal and not on the challenges of the journey to the goal. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the challenges of the journey and I really want to give up. Some days, in my mind, it seems like it would be easier to give up and to stop hoping. But I cannot imagine living my life without hope. Its always easier on me emotionally when I have something that I am looking forward to. But, like a lot of us, I can totally forget that when the pain and frustration overwhelm me. But if I keep my eyes focused on the end of the journey to motherhood, I can make it through all the challenges that I meet along the way.

About a month ago I heard this about James Stockdale:

In a book by James C. Collins called Good To Great, Collins relates how Stockdale described his coping strategy during his eight years in the Vietnamese POW camp.[1]

"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

This spoke to me. Dealing with infertility and loss is absolutely a very very challenging experience (to say the least), and though I cannot say that I would not trade it, I know it has changed me in ways that maybe I would not have changed otherwise. These are changes that I value. And like Mr. Stockdale, I refuse to lose faith in the end of the story.

Since I do not know what I will end up with, I am making 2 quilts: one with a boy theme and one with a girl theme. And hey, who knows, we might end up with one of each! This is obviously the one for the boy.

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We are making progress slowly with the adoption process and hope to start the homestudy process very soon!

There has been some knitting progress, but more about that in my next post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Knitting and Crochet today with My Guild.

Today was knitting guild meeting day. As you know from previous posts, we have been working on a charity project. We were all to make various squares and the squares were to be knitted together to form lap blankets. The lap blankets are going to be donated to a convalescent home here in the South Bay. THe group met in August and knit together the squares. Some were taken home by different members to knit together. Today, they were all brought back in completed/

Well, I was having a hard time making all of my 10x10 squares actually all be 10x10Q Thus, the giant granny square!

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One of the girls called it Pink Lemonade, which is exactly what I thought of as I was making it!

We collected 21 blankets in all and they turned out beautifully! For great pictures of all of the blankets check out our guild webstite. I am not sure when they will be posted but check back often!

Slipt Stitchers

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This was such a great project that I am going to attempt to complete my these and make another one:

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Our guild meeting always includes a class. Today we had a quick lesson on converting knitting patterns to crochet. It was very informative. It was taught by one of our guild members, Joyce Renee Wyatt. She is a designer and she specializes in converting knitting patterns to crocet. She teaches for Stitches. We are so blessed to have someone of this caliber in our group giving us lessons. Here is one of her designs. She actually brought this one to class:

Joyce Wyatt Design

This was a fantastic class. She is a great teacher and encouraged us to convert a knitted sweater pattern to crochet. I think I will try this with a scarf patter before I tackle a sweater!

Last but not least, I have to post a picture of what I received from my swap partner. I joined the Knit Happy Swap on Swapbot. For the month of August we had to create a knitted item for hour partners. This is what I got from my partner:

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Its the cutest little felted bag. And the pin is removable and made by another person on Swapbot. Swapping is fun. I have done about 4 of them so far and its turned out great!

Well, thats all for now.Stay tuned for a new charity project that my guild is participating in! Plus an updated photo on the baby sweater.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Summer Wrap up and Beginning a New Craft!

Labor Day weekend turned out to be fantastic. My dh and I spent Saturday in San Diego with some of our best friends and we had a great time. I was relaxed and really enjoyed spending time with my friends. I have found that in the past I have spent way to much time focusing on what I do not have and allowing those thoughts to drag me down. But I have made a concerted effort to make 2007 a better year, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. In doing that, I have realized that the most important thing in my life is love. And I get that all kinds of ways. Being in Chicago made me realized how much I am loved by family and friends alike. When I look at my dh I realize how blessed I am. I waited what seems like a long time for him to me. But he was totally worth the wait! And, days like this past saturday solidified the fact that I am rich. Rich in Love. I am truly grateful for my friends and my family. For sure they have been there for me and I feel blessed to be able to be there for them. Emotionally, I have been able to give back this year, because my heart is full. Physically, I have managed to lose about 17 pounds, though I still have a ways to go, I am a lot better off now than I was last year this time. Spiritually, I have definately been more connected to God and this is truly very important to me. I believe its because of this, that all the other things in my life are much better. I have a measure of peace that I did not have this time last year. So, I am better off mentally as well. Plus, I have knitted a lot more this year and we all know that knitting is the new yoga, so hey, I am batting a thousand. And I get to live in a place that is gorgeous most of the time! Check out San Diego:

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This is a star fish!!! A real one!

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Me and my hubby:

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My friends enjoying the sunset:

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It was a great way to close out the summer.

I spent Monday crafting amongst other things!Check out my free form quilt project. This is perfect for me because I really don't know how to sew yet. (i start my class next week!) This actually called for the stitches to be sort of off. Bingo! Perfect first project. I made three squares so far:

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I am really enjoying this project. I got the pattern from DIY Network featured on an episode of Uncommon Threads.

I am so excited to be trying something new. Check back for more updates on my projects. Knitting update this weekend.

Talk back later!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Summer Reading (and a tiny bit of Crochet Content)

Between knitting, traveling and reading this has to be one of my most productive summers ever!. You have read about my traveling and my knitting( there is more of that to come, btw), but I have said very little about my reading.

This is a list of all the books I have read since June 1, 2007:

Bel Canto

The Other Boleyn Girl

Family Tree


The Victory of Surrender

Funny In Farsi

Mt Sister's Keeper


I also listened to the Friday Night Knitting Club on cd!

Whew! How did I manage that? Well, I joined a reading group last year and 3 of these books were read within that group. Its a great motivator. But, I also turned off the TV a lot. I realized that I am just way too familiar with and even attached to tons of TV shows. So, when the seasons ended for some of the shows I was devoted to, I decided not to find a summer substitute and to spend more time reading. I really love to read anyway, so this was not hard to do.

The books I read this summer were really great. I love a good story and I must say, all of these were winners.

So, when I look back on this wonderful summer, I can really say that I thouroughly enjoyed myself and accomplished a lot of the things I wanted to do. Lots of knitting, lots of reading and great great fellowship with family and friends. I will post a summer wrap up next and include some more knitting content!

Oh, just to throw in a little bit of knitting content:

My Granny Square Throw

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I am waiting for some more white yarn so that I can finish this. But it will be finished soon!

Toodles for now!

PS: If you are like me and you like to read, like to knit and even like to read stories with characters who knit, these books are for you:

Family Tree
Friday Night Knitting Club

And bonus! I read somewhere that there are some patterns based on the projects the characters "Family Tree" knit.

Happy Reading!