Under the Pecan Tree

We walk every morning in our new town.

One of the delights about our neighborhood are the abundant pecan trees,

Which Quinn requests every time we go.

We scour the ground on Tuskeena Street, under the shade of the pecan trees.

We look for the lightest colored shells, they usually give us the sweetest nuts.

We smash them under our shoe. Quinn brings his heel down, shoes flashing green.

The nut rolls, I bring it back to him.

He tries again, it’s almost pulverized. We check to see if it’s a good nut.

My little boy, so young, has already learned about bitterness.

“This looks like a good nut, Mommy.”

It was, plump, sweet, giving.

We stand there, sharing the moment.

I see the early Autumn sun shining on him, his brother. There’s a cool breeze.

I am reminded of these moments with the women in my life.

My memory is of picking black berries with my grandmother,

Watching her tat with strings pulled from grain bags.

Walking out to the field so that she can dig up thistles. She had her own personal vendetta against them.

They were as prickly as she was.

My mom gave me an appreciation of old things, antiques, historic sites, experiences.

We gardened together.

I remember her diligently taking care of me while I was sick.

She showed me what love is.

Imperfectly.

I look at my son’s darkening hair in the sun, his blond locks long cut off.

I have a thought that I am creating a memory for my children. For Quinn.

He, too, will look back on this with fondness.

He, too, will say my mother loved me.

Imperfectly.

New Life

I’m writing this new entry in the rocking chair while Finis is asleep on me…from Wetumpka, Alabama. We said goodby to our sweet home in Knoxville on September 1st and made it here after closing on our house. It took us one day with two kids and a huge moving truck.

Why would we move to this small town just north of Montgomery? Opportunity and a chance for a better life.

Calvin and I both worked for non-profit organizations with a collective experience of twenty years. As rewarding as the work was to help preserve our local history at Mabry-Hazen House and Marble Springs State Historic site, the reality was that our path there wasn’t sustainable. Calvin worked a second position with the local tourism bureau as a contract employee. Things became tenuous with that position, so the search began for a new career path. We were heading in this direction for other reasons, namely the uncertainly over insurance. Then, Calvin was approached by a colleague in the Alabama Historical Commission who is ready to retire and he wanted Calvin to take his position at Confederate Memorial Park. This was going to be a state job with benefits and resources we never had in Knoxville. After much discussion and additional interviews, we knew this was the best fit for our family.

We’ve been here for almost two months and now that we’ve settled into Alabama life, and I’m a part-time work out of the home mom, I can finally say that it’s been a long time since I’ve been happy. I’m feeling it in my heart that this is the best place for us.

Our life was stressful, uncertain, and we were stretched thin. The kids noticed this, too. I felt that Quinn and I had a disconnect in our relationship and this transition has allowed us to bond. It’s been delightful to see the boys fall in love, and to see them grow and develop. Today my days are filled with activities, long walks, home care responsibilities that Quinn participates in, art, reading, and whatever else we decide to do with the day. We have our challenges, of course, but we work through them.

I’m returning back to my yarn, too. After I complete a WIP (work in progress for my non-knitting friends) that’s been ongoing for two years, I’ll start making inventory to sell locally and online. I’m so excited to do something I love as my creative outlet.

I’ll have more updates, but wanted to check in and say howdy. It’s been rather hectic, but I hope to be more present here in the future.

August, Remembered

There are two dates that I alone remember outside of the boys birthdays and our anniversary.

They are the dates of the one I lost.

It was barely a whisper of time.

A faint heartbeat.

silence

And then such immeasurable loss.

I woke up on that August 22nd morning, knowing.

Feeling the weight, the sadness envelop.

Unable to control my body.

Powerless.

What is happening?

Nature, but…

Please, don’t go…

March 30, 2016 was supposed to be a day of joy.

Now it is of rememberance.

I feel this one was a boy.

August, potentially.

This is the one whose name I have written on my heart.

June 2015


Urban Garden

The five month old decided it was time to get up at 5:00 am. Usually I’ll put the stars and moon projector on to entertain him while I get the coffee percolating. We lay in bed together till the coffee is ready, just about the time the lucious aroma reaches the bedroom I know it’s time to get up. 

I love these mornings, when the house is still, the birds morning song is serenading us, and Finis is happily bouncing in his saucer, or quietly daydreaming. I take this time to knit or crochet, sipping guzzling my coffee in my favorite Sally mug. This self care fills me up.  

Two of these, please

I grew up on a farm during my formative years, it was a wonderful experience. After taking Quinn to the local fruit and berry patch, I knew I wanted him to have some kind of experience that resulted in outdoor life and developing an appreciation for fresh grown food and caring for our environment. The garden started when Quinn was two years old and quite the connoisseur of blueberries. Our purchase of two bushes happened just at the time that Calvin was over mowing the yard. So began our foray into urban gardening yardening. It seems like every time Calvin mows what’s left of the yard he comes in sweaty, sneezing, and covered in grass clippings with a new idea on how to get rid of landscape the yard.

My husband has created a little oasis in our back yard. 

Planting potatoes

This morning we met our neighbor and a photographer for a photo shoot. We will be featured  in a book of neighborhood garden stories. It’s so exciting to be part of this project. (Thanks, Terry!)

Our busy day ended with a neighborhood yarn bomb project for the marathon water stop. More on that in an upcoming post. But for now…

One is not like the other

I found this pattern on Ravelry for honeycomb wrist warmers, or maybe it was a blog that linked to Ravelry. I can never keep up with it all.

I decided to use the squishy Cestari Sheep & Wool Company merino wool yarn that I sold in my Grassroots Yarn booth. This honeycomb pattern was new to me, which means there was going to be trouble ahead.

And there was.

I didn’t fully research the stitch, it’s a use it or lose it scenario. I did the slip one (Sl1) with the needle in the back instead of slipping knit wise, it still looked okay, the honeycomb wasn’t as defined, so I decided to keep going and just copy the stitch I used on the other warmer.

The first one turned out nicely:

I also decided to add a couple more rows, I like my lower arms to be covered and the cuffs to reach up to my knuckles. To accomplish the counting I used my notes app to tick off the rows and to keep track of any adjustments I made to the pattern.

I’m going to confess that I don’t swatch either, unless I ever make something fitted, like a sweater or socks, I won’t swatch. Any sentence that begins with that information is a foreshadowing of things to come.

I ended up putting down the project so I could work on an order of Pussyhats for a friend, and then got back to work.

I bound off the project, anticipating the feeling of my knit-for-me wrist warmers and discovered this:

There the were, mocking me. My anticipation was deflated. I tried them on, feeling my disappointment as one was wrapped loosely on my wrist, while the other fit perfectly. What happened?!

Either my gauge was off or I added more rows, I’m betting on the former, but it could be both. I tried blocking the smaller one in the hopes that would rectify my shame, but they have already sprung back to the original shape.

The lesson? Follow the pattern, do a test gauge, don’t put down a project because you never know how tense or relaxed you will be when you get back to the WIP. I truly believe that your knitting/crochet changes over time. Will I ever follow my own advice? Probably not. I feel like I learn other skills when I do all the above things. Though I still think testing your gauge with a swatch is important, otherwise it can become a waste of your time. Maybe I’ll learn that lesson one day.

It’s all good though, I still wear them, and I might  knit the larger one again.

I also reconciled myself when I made a lovely pair of Maize fingerless mitts for my husband that turned out well:

Recent News about the website

I have amazing friends. They are skilled, generous, and helpful. After my impatience over the website development, I contacted a friend in my working moms group who has a background in web development. She fixed everything for me and imported all the information from the Knitting Whovie to Mama-Knit-Love site. Yay! Thank you, Leigh!

Facebook Fasting

I decided to give up Facebook for Lent this year. It was a particularly difficult decision because my other choice was sweets. The way I’ve been scarfing down chocolate chips whilst hiding in the pantry from my three year old indicates a true need to do something about my lack of coping skills. 

What was the deciding factor? Toxicity. The book of faces is a nasty place right now. It got worse after the election and I’ll admit to my own lapse in judgement before hitting the post button. I realized after I stepped back and took a deep breath that I had to walk away from Facebook. I was checking in too frequently, this was pulling me away from my family, creating more division with people I love, and it was very difficult to be present when all I could do was think about what to post, who responded/liked/laughed/gave me angry face/etc. It was also a matter of feeling like I needed to be informed, but do I really need to be that informed? I think checking in with the Nightly News is one thing, but when I’m receiving updates every hour or more, I get a little nutty. I can’t sustain that level of awareness and be a pleasant person. From what I’m witnessing, it’s the same for other people, too.

At first it was a big adjustment. I never realized how much time and energy I spend coming up with something to say or how much of a compulsion it is to post about the littlest thing. Then there’s the act of asking myself what my motives are in posting or responding. Am I letting off steam? Looking for sympathy? Do people really care that I couldn’t find the applesauce in the grocery aisle I expected it to be in? Probably not.

Here I am, 12 days away from Easter and with the exception of posting from my pages app for work and the Grassroots Yarn page; and following some important groups from my groups app, I’ve noticed that my world has been a considerably more peaceful place. I’ve been able to get more accomplished at work, as a parent, and wife. I’ve revived the blog, knitted more, and read more than I have in recent years. As a result I’m more calm and centered.

Will I go back? In moderation. I do miss hearing big announcements, keeping up with loved ones, and seeing the beautiful side of Facebook. I found that I get a lot more out of living my life and sticking with my interests. Also, I found renewed joy hanging out on Instagram and Pinterest.  There are a lot of beautiful images there.

All in all, this was one of the best Lenten journeys I’ve walked. It invoked a great deal of restraint and self reflection–appropriate for this liturgical season. 

The New Mama-Knit-Love Website

It seems like every year from January to March I feel this itch to start some new creative project. I can’t help myself. I also become impatient, and wade through the details, navigating, figuring it out, making mistakes, and then I get it done.

I have a new website now for Mama-Knit-Love. Yippee!

However, since I am woefully inept at website development (doesn’t matter how easy WordPress makes it for the layperson), and because I was conducting much of my research and development from my iPhone as I was caring for a sick and sleeping baby, I goofed and started a whole domain separate from the original Knitting Whovie blog. I had no intention of purchasing a plan that would give me more bells and whistles than I needed, but after a few more steps, I bought one. I guess I felt like I would be more official. I really need to work on my impulse control…

I did the research and realizing just how lazy and not interested I am in doing all the things listed as a solution to transferring the files from KW to MKL (not to mention the aforementioned ineptitude at website development), I decided to keep the two websites. I like the idea of having this site as a reminder of where I come from in my blogging journey.

Here is a link to my first post, I invite you to head over there and continue keeping up with me.  It’s a WIP (work in progress) but, I promise the next post will be about something fun and yarny.

IMG_0250

Starting Out…Again

Mama-Knit-Love is a continuation and offshoot of The Knitting Whovie. After a three year hiatus, I came back to the blogosphere and decided it was time for a name change.

I’m going to be forthcoming and say that I have no idea what I am doing. This place is a mess. I could take the time to learn, but it seems that I went about setting up this website thing backwards and sideways. After I felt I had the right name, I decided to buy the domain, not even intending to buy a plan, then I bought the plan, and now I have two sites, and haven’t been able to get the thing transferred. Since I’m chasing after kids, and being the impatient sort, I decided to keep the first blog, and use it as reference for those who want to catch up. Maybe I’ll find another use for it, too.

Here I am…starting over.

I’m feeling a fair amount of pressure here to come up with another introduction. I keep trying to come up with clever ways to grab readers attention. I’d rather not try to be someone I’m not. No one can do me better than me, so I think my name change announcement on the Knitting Whovie encapsulates my opening message already. Since it’s already 11:45pm on a Saturday,  I’m tired and feeling lazy, I’ll copy some text and leave it at that. Mama needs sleep.

It goes something like this:

I started this creative project four years ago as a knitting blog and expression of my adoration for Doctor Who…Times changed, my focus and interests shifted, as did my identity, which happens frequently, otherwise I’m not growing. Basically, I added another title to my belt…mommy…I look over the few posts I’ve written and I see that life crept in, as it is wont to do. My musings, my stories of everyday struggles and those messy feelings that can get in the way, seeped into the context of my blog…I researched ideas, relying in my emotional response to the list of potential names I compiled…

What are my words? Where am I now and where will I be in the future?

I’m Mama.

I Knit (well, I aim to learn just about anything that has to do with yarn: Spin, weave, knit, crochet…bring it).

I Love….fiercely.

And I do all of these imperfectly (do I ever), but with the desire to improve and learn. To always aim higher, set goals, and practice them all with love and intention. 

I am Anna at my core.

Mama, Knit, Love. That’s what I do. This is where I belong.

Good night, Y’all.

What’s in a Name?

I’m changing the name of my blog. I figure this is the best time to make a change since it isn’t fully established. To the 11 people who have subscribed so far to The Knitting Whovie, ThanK You! I hope you stick around.

I started this creative project four years ago as a knitting blog and expression of my adoration for Doctor Who. I was burning as hot as the fires that destroyed Gallifrey over Doctor Who and knitting. I needed to talk about these topics at length and with gusto. But then…

Times changed, my focus and interests shifted, as did my identity, which happens frequently, otherwise I’m not growing. Basically, I added another title to my belt…mommy.

I look over the few posts I’ve written and I see that life crept in, as it is wont to do. My musings, my stories of everyday struggles and those messy feelings that can get in the way, seeped into the context of my blog.

Then there are the boys, I’m learning from them as they are learning from us. I’m a wife. All these things are me now…and I’m still a Whovie.

I researched ideas, relying in my emotional response to the list of potential names I compiled. Here’s the criteria:  

  1. It has to flow well
  2. Easy to remember (let’s face it, I’ve noticed “whovie” is not something that people often search for, much less can pronounce)
  3. Speak to the topic and theme of the blog which is anything having to do with life, parenting, fun things, hard and serious topics, and yarn
  4. Be creative and capture attention

This is harder than it appears. Every creative, whimsical, funny name I came up with has either been taken as a blog, is a Facebook page, or an Etsy store.
There are some great names out there, too. Tricksy Knitter, Yarn Harlot, Mama in Stitches, Mama Needs Yarn, Demonic Progress, and so many more that have so much meaning in a couple of well combined words. Their blogs are awesome, too. I have blog envy. Truly.

What are my words? Where am I now and where will I be in the future?

I’m Mama.

I Knit (well, I aim to learn just about anything that has to do with yarn: Spin, weave, knit, crochet…bring it).

I Love….fiercely.

And I do all of these imperfectly (do I ever), but with the desire to improve and learn. To always aim higher, set goals, and practice them all with love and intention. 

I am Anna at my core.

Mama, Knit, Love.

Mama. Knit. Love.

Mama knit love…that’s what I do. This is where I belong.

What does that mean?

You can expect to see a new name on this blog and in your mailbox (if you have been interested enough in my life and work to hit that subscribe button). 

It also means I’ll be writing about a variety of topics, and I’ll be writing more about my adventures in knitting and all things yarn.

Thank you all for following Mama-Knit-Love.