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The Shakes

14 Jan

2015-04-24 00.07.47This meme is funny, any yarn crafter KNOWS this is funny – because it’s impossible (or so I was sure). HOWEVER, for more than two years, I have not bought yarn. I can’t remember the date, can’t remember how long it took not suffering when I turned away from temptation – but it’s true. I decided I really did have enough yarn as I had to downsize apartments, it gets expensive buying more while going unused, and I wanted to do more travel. So, with resolve made, I stopped buying yarn. I kept what I had – and even had to downsize MORE this summer with another move (just ask SusannMarie, she SCORED in my purge). Don’t get me wrong, I still have a couple hundred (under a thousand, thank YOU!) dollars of yarn in my closet. I would like to keep it that way as I’m now a poor graduate student.

But today, I saw ONE little tweet from NobleKnits announcing a great sale on Spud & Chloe Outer yarn. I’ve made some lovely scarves from this yarn and one I famously lost. I love this yarn and I love this brand. Even going to the website to find links for this post, I’m looking at the sale going, “Ooooo, pretty! Mohair! Be Sweet Handspun! Free shipping?!” How is this struggle possible?! Is it because I gave up frivolous spending this year? Is it because I got into a grove with holiday shopping and holiday sale spending? Is it because I’ve picked back up my needles? Am I avoiding the stress of a new semester and huge life changes?! Who knows. All I know, is I could use a smoke (not that I ever have) to calm my shaking hands and bundle of nerves wanting scrumptious yarn. Mmmm, yarn. I can smell it.

This just goes to show, you can take the girl out of weekly visits to her LYS – but it always comes back like a heroin habit when least expected.

Looking for an AA meeting,
-Stacy C.

Monster in my closet

13 Jul

Recently, I was putting away my winter scarves — it was in the 50’s until late May, don’t judge me — in my neck accessory duster bag (doesn’t everyone have one of these?). I noticed one of my neck scarves had something wrong with it — a little bit bigger hole than the rest of it. The hole was also in a spot where there wasn’t a lace pattern… SOMETHING HAD RIPPED A HOLE IN MY BEADED SCARF!!!

The damage

The damage

I couldn’t believe it, my first fear was the dread Moth (man. You can’t name a monster and not make it cooler). I quickly looked at everything else and didn’t see any other holes. So my fears were allayed until I realized, “I beaded hundreds of individual stitches and it took me four seasons of ‘Tutors’ and several hours on a train to make this.” I spent a lot of time making this Kisseis scarf with Madelinetosh lace as my first beaded project. Sigh*

A closer look at the heart break.

A closer look at the heart break.

Maybe this is what I get from yarn karma by being all cavalier about frogging. Here I was undoing a different neck scarf because I wasn’t satisfied with an end product. Now I have a hard worked, albeit rarely worn, piece of creative brilliance that will have to painstakingly be undone.

I’m really glad I have a way of hiding it in the bottom of my closet to deny what happened. But if I’m really truthful with myself, part of the reason I hardly wore it was because, I didn’t like how I modified the pattern. I wanted a wider, narrower scarf with more of the lace edge and less of the stem; but to get as many stitches as I wanted I ended up doubling the size of the “stem”. It was beautiful but not what I envisioned.

Maybe this is what the yarn karma was really doing – if I’m going to take a stance on one piece, I needed to do it for all of the so-so finishes. I really hope there aren’t more denial pieces hiding in my closest…

Owning up to my knew mindset and it’s consequences,
-Stacy C.

Coming to a Close (one about love and hurt)

11 Aug
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Bobby Brown Berens Cervantes

I’ve put off this post for a while because I’m trying to figure out a way to cope – or not, so I don’t have to think about it. This past summer has been one of the most amazing, crazy, whirl-wind summers of my life. It has been one of moving to my dream city, starting a new job, going on an international adventure and becoming a whole new person. But I also came to the realization that one of my dogs, Bobby Brown Berens (I didn’t name him) Cervantes, my “special needs” dude, needs to be put down.

You see, he didn’t start out as my dog. Even though I was there on the day of his adoption he originally belonged to someone else who, at the time, was very important to my life. I was there when it became evident this guy was “not normal” freaking out with strangers and really never able to relax. I coached, encouraged and even became an animal behavior intern (a huge part because of him) to help this little guy understand how to live an abuse-free life. I dog-sat, fostered, nursed, played, hugged, loved and babied him to a better life. I gave encouragement when it became evident he couldn’t live life without medicinal assistance on a daily basis. He was my fur kid in every way.

When I finally found better employment, it was ‘cross country and one of the hardest things was leaving him. I had him almost full-time for a year by that point because his “real” parent was in grad school and couldn’t give Bobby the day-to-day attention he necessitated while adjusting to a rigorous schedule. I still remember pulling away from the apartment and the look he gave me in his parent’s arms when I pulled away to make my 1,700 mile trek to a new life. My eyes still fill with tears at this memory.

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Back together. Jaci doesn’t mind, honest.

Fast forward nine months after I leave him in Texas. I got updates Bobby wasn’t himself, he wasn’t really walking right, seemed lethargic, etc. After a vet visit it was advised he see a specialist because a normal course of action never got him back 100%. Bobby’s parent couldn’t handle this turn of events with other life issues and wanted to give him up to a shelter. Knowing what would happen because I worked in one there was no question – Bobby would live with me. I readily spent money to fly him out to get “Bobs” back. He didn’t seem so bad, just not completely himself. Things rapidly changed and I ended up needing to take him to see multiple specialists this past year. Second opinions, Orthopedic, Neurologists, vet interns, there were a number of people. Things worked alright for a while, but each time he never got as better.

Due to all the craziness that surrounded my last job, I was able to keep up the status quo until we moved cross states to a new place. After the whirlwind of our move, I went on vacation for several days and this was the first time in seven months I left Bobby. When I came back and heard how he did and saw him, really saw the new him, my heart hurt. Over the next week it became evident Bobby was no longer Bobby but a shell of himself. He doesn’t walk anymore but army crawls to get where he wants to be – if he has the energy. I carry him everywhere and basic bodily actions are a feat we celebrate, he routinely chokes and gags swallowing, it’s a struggle to get him to eat and the list goes on. We couldn’t keep living like this, so I made the worst call of my life and set up the appointment for end-of-life consultation.

After going over all of his records and seeing him, the toughest decision of my life came down to a date: August 14, 2013. This is the day I go back to the vet and say good-bye. This is the day all of the love, effort, history and memories comes to. Some people think, “It’s just a dog! Sweet goodness, GET OVER IT!” But if you made it this far in the story, you can see every day was an effort of love, hope and renewal. Not just for this dog who got shafted from the first day of life until he was 1 year-old, but for me. This dog has been with me, appreciated and loved me more than most humans have for the past five years. Medically, it’s not realistic I will have kids; but I’ve loved and cared for my dogs in a way that’s honoring to God in looking out for those weaker than us.

He did get to enjoy some of my knitted items

He did get to enjoy some of my knitted items.

In the midst of all this, I’m riddled with guilt. Obviously because of what I’ve decided needs to be done but also because I never got around to designing the ultimate knitted “Bobby Hoodie.” He’s feels safe and protected wearing a dog hoodie to the point he actually relaxes and “vegges out”. I never could find one that fit him just right. I bought yarn, researched patterns, have part of one created and I planned on making him the perfect one it just never materialized. I felt bad (and still do), but I chose to live in the moments with him and laugh at all the crazy situations this dog still does to this very day. Like falling off the bed this morning: He flops around trying to get comfortable and got a little too close to the edge. I warned him and he just looked over at me in his big-eyed, clueless way. He must have forgotten where he was on the bed because not a minute later he leaned back to lay down and “ninja spun” off. Totally his fault how this happened but after his swan dive the look he gave when he shook it off trying to figuring out the dynamics of gravity cracked me up.

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Those eyes say it all.

I know this is a long post but it’s my way of saying “good-bye” to Bobby and encouraging others not to worry about what you didn’t do, make or create as long as you spent time with the one you loved. The memories of giving your all and being there is something that goes beyond a hand-knit sweater. Don’t sweat the yarn but cry at the laughs and good times.

Still creating, but not missing the important parts of life,

-Stacy C.

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