Mental Illness Bites

Today, right now, every moment. I am beginning anew.

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Less Than Shawl

Wednesday nights I meet up with some women to knit. It started out as a church knitting group for knitting prayer shawls for the church community, but over the years we started bringing other projects with us. We started out drinking hot tea, and lemonade sometimes, and now it’s an unusual Wednesday if no one brings a bottle of wine. It’s turned into quite a raucous group and I derive great pleasure from attending. I have to laugh when I tell people that I’m part of a knitting group and they look at me cross-eyed because I’m a twenty-something who spends her nights with yarn.

Our goal is to always have at least one person knitting a prayer shawl so we can still call ourselves the church knitting group, even though it’s no big secret that we mostly don’t knit shawls.So, now it’s my turn to knit a shawl, self-designated. The other ladies are mostly wrapped up in personal projects or shawls that are driving them nuts (in other words, not much progress is being made), and I have spent quite enough time knitting and tinking (un-knitting) complicated projects because really I can’t do two things at once when it comes to knitting. So, instead of finishing the clogs for my husband, the little dress for my friend’s baby, the mitt’s for my little sister, the shawl I made for myself which only needs to be blocked, or thedishcloth that’s been on the needles too long to note, I decided to pick out some donated yarn and whip up an easy to knit, hard to mess up prayer shawl. Here’s what I’ve got:


The other problem with enjoying each other so much, besides making it very difficult to knit anything more complicated than knit two together, yarn over, and repeat, is it’s hard to be knit-productive when you’re chattering away like a (drunk) monkey. I can now add this shawl to the list of shawl’s on which not much progress is being made.

Fence Posts and Peasant Bread

Today’s project was No-Knead Multi-Grain Peasant Bread and the fence next to the house. I’ve been preparing this oatmeal bread recipe for two days now. Mix it up, let it sit for eight hours, and then refrigerate. I could have made it yesterday, but yesterday was the aftermath of dentistry and the idea of making something I wouldn’t subsequently be able to eat was just too disappointing to consider.

The dough came out of the fridge today, separated and set in the oven to rise. One problem: I keep the temperature in my house below 60 degrees and I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that’s too cold for the bread to rise! An hour and a half later the bread has barely budged! I preheated the stove anyway and then realized the air between the top of the stove and the microwave hood was about 20 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. So, I parked the dough on top of the stove, covered it with a towel and an hour later, voila! I have risen bread! And in half an hour I’ll have fully baked, hopefully delicious, no-knead peasant bread.


Meanwhile, I pulled the old boards off the fence and started to nail the new boards onto the frame. Two boards in, I realized they were crooked. The fence has been jerry-rigged so many times, there are corners all over the place making it very difficult to hammer in new boards. One bruised and bloodied thumb later, the fence is fixed and I think it looks brilliant!

My husband and I only just bought this house the first week in February and we’ve only just begun to start all the little DIY projects that need doing. Last weekend Erik installed a hot water recirculating pump so we could have hot water without waiting five minutes. We also set up new shelves in the garage and installed a Kwikset SmartKey door knob lock on the garage door.

These Kwikset locks are a very neat invention. As long as you already have Kwikset locks/keys on your doors you can buy these fancy door knobs and key them to your current key and reduce the number of keys you keep on your key chain!


And here it is! One perfectly lovely loaf of whole grain bread from a non-stick loaf pan and one not so lovely loaf from a glass loaf pan that I forgot to grease and flour. But I’m sure they’ll both still be delicious!


I had two of my wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. They both had cavities in them and the dentist said it would be cheaper to pull them then to fix them, and since I don’t really need them anyway…well, that’s logical right?

Losing my wisdom teeth might make me question the presence of wisdom in general. Turns out the name wisdom teeth might be a mistranslation from the Dutch word “verstandskiezen”, which literally means ‘far-standing molars’. On it’s own “verstand” means wisdom. Coincidentally, in German “verstanden” means understood. Is wisdom always understood? Anyway…

Losing teeth changes the way your mouth feels, changes the way your tongue rests, the consistency of your closed mouth, something I very much took for granted.

I lay awake at night thinking I should be writing something for someone. For myself always. But I should be putting my writing out in the world whether it is useful or not, whether someone reads it or not. But to say what I really want to say, it would not be appropriate for very many to read, but maybe that’s the point. My censor is stopping me. Curbing my desire, perhaps even my happiness? Would a blog read by no one bring me happiness?

The Yarn Harlot writes about yarn and knitting and her life as it apparently revolves around both. She is witty, self-deprecating and brilliant. She goes days without writing, but writes at least a few times every week. About crafty things, things that make me laugh and nod along. I would like to do that. Write something that makes others laugh and nod along.

What is my theme? How did she begin? Did she sit down at the computer one day and just start typing about what she had done that day? Or did she go into back story, introducing her family members, her history, her life situation? Or was it an organic development, seeping through her writing as the days passed on.

Is this in fact enough for a first entry? Can I begin here? I suppose it hurts no one to try.

Turns out, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee started with the top 10 reasons she should do a knitting blog. I have no justification, just words on paper that might make someone else laugh or smile or shake their head in pity. One might question the wisdom of my motives.

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