A Re-Introduction of Sorts

With so many new readers, folks commenting and emailing me questions I thought I should pause my regularly scheduled knitting posts and do a real re-introduction of myself and this blog.

This picture pretty much sums me up. I love to laugh.

My name is Dana. Some folks like to call me DWJ…some call me that lady who knits her dogs sweaters or that lady that knits all the colors. LOL I respond to all of those names. I’m a digital strategist (I work in social media) and I teach social media marketing at my alma mater, Howard University. I’ll be 40 at the end of August and I’ve been married to my really cute husband for 15 years. We live in the suburbs in Maryland right outside of DC and we have two dogs we adopted from Hart Animal Rescue. Cher a 14 year old chihuahua pug mix we adopted in 2013 (my first dog ever). And Jellybean, an almost 6 year old short haired chihuahua. No children of our own but lots of godchildren.

Sister sweaters
Jellybean on the left, Cher on the right.

This is actually my second blog. I started this blog back in June of 2015 after taking a few years off from blogging. I previously blogged at The Art of Accessories/IAmDWJ about makeup, accessories and tech. I started that blog when I was in graduate school and this blog started in part because I make my students blog and I thought it was only fair that I jump back into it to keep my skills fresh. I also just wanted to share my joy around knitting and felt like I had something to say again. Who knew this blog would become what it is today for me, a great source of happiness and connection with other people who love yarn, knitting and color.

December FO
My fourth the Rain Outside Shawl

I knit a lot. Typically I spend 1 to 2 hours knitting each day. I love it. It is rare that I don’t have knitting with me. I learned how to knit in 2008 and I’ve tried my best to up my skills each year. Currently I’ve been into colorwork and two color brioche – anyway to explore using ALL the colors when I knit.

Finished Comfort Fade
I started the year off with this colorful Find Your Fade Cardigan

I think I love knitting because it’s all about learning new skills and I’ve always loved school…hence why I’m an educator. I’m constantly asked how do I knit so fast. Typically I pick projects that are dk weight and up. I’m not a fan of fingering weight yarn, I’ve knit socks but they’ve all been dk weight. Coupled with the fact that I’m still a fairly quick knitter and that’s how you end up making 27 sweaters in a year.

Carbeth cardigan
My happy green Carbeth Cardigan

I love color. My absolute favorite color is green but I can love an appreciate all color. I have knit rainbows, neons and neutrals. And I totally enjoy figuring out how to take a pattern I love and turning it into a dog sweater for my little dogs. Because life is just too short to not do the things that totally bring you joy.

Durumi tees
Not one but TWO Durumi tees.

And I like to use my space on the internet to spread joy and happiness. There’s a lot of things that weigh us all down on a daily basis but for me, knitting is my escape. It’s the thing that soothes me after a mentally exhausting day. It’s what I use to express myself and to show love. Nothing brings me greater joy than getting pics of children with toys, clothes or blankets that I knit them. Nothing makes me fell more proud than when my Mom, sisters or husband tells someone I made them what they’re wearing.

Helen in the Tracker sweater, Mom in a_simmetrie and me wearing Cala Luna

This blog in short is an expression of my joy. It’s about all the people and things that I truly love. So, welcome to Yards of Happiness. I’m glad you stopped by.


To Knit for Joy

With the news this week of Kate Spade committing suicide and then just this morning Anthony Bourdain doing the same, to say I’ve felt off this week is an understatement. Suicide rates are going up in the US and I was just telling a friend the other day, kindness is going down. I’ve had so many other friends who blog or even in my old blog days would tell me about people who would say mean things or write hateful comments. Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with that but it always leaves me wondering why? Why would someone do that? Why spread hate? It’s why I try to use this blog, my little corner of the internet to spread some positivity and light. Sprinkle a little happiness with knits and color. It’s why I love knitting, it allows me to spread joy. Maybe we just need to teach the world to knit? Or crochet? Or just fall in love with yarn? Because knitting always seems to pull me out of my funk, help ease the pain of loss or soothe the tension of a particularly bad day. Yesterday my day had the shittiest of starts. I stepped in poop. I was barefoot. It was gross. Not the way you want to start your day but hey, it happens on occasion when you have dogs. Twenty minutes after the poopcident I got a text from my girlfriend Rachel. I’ve shared stories with you about her children before and the things I make them. Well, in 2016 I knit her daughter Leah a dress. It’s 2018 and we think this is the last year she’ll get to wear it but she’s still wearing it, folks.
But the best part? She told her Dad, “Daddy you should wear a blue shirt so that you can match me. My blue shirt is beautiful.” That text totally turned my morning around. That sweet girl in that little blue dress that’s now a blue top is why I knit. So that my friends think of me and smile, so that I can make a special moment or memory for a child with a doll. So that I can spread a little love into the world on knit at a time.

Spread some love today, the world really needs it.

Choosing Joy

I’ve had one of those weeks where a perfect storm of things left me feeling like I had a rain cloud over my head all week. Part of it was that my husband was out of the country for work and that always seems to throw me off a bit. And the other part was just life stuff: work craziness, being tired and feeling a little overwhelmed. I hate feeling overwhelmed. I like to be in control.
This morning I was going to drive to work and I decided I was too tired and over it. I just wanted to sit and knit. So I took the Metro to work. I got to sit and work on a new project for 30 uninterrupted minutes and I started to feel that acidity I’d been holding on to all week melt away (added bonus, my husband got back last night so I slept like a log for the first time in a week). A young man even told me I had a great butt – not in those exact terms LOL (I was wearing new jeans) but it was still a compliment. Of course on my walk to my office from the train station a bird pooped on my head but you know what? It could’ve been worse AND it is considered good luck. Perhaps my tide is turning.

I realized in that moment when I shrugged off being pooped on I was deciding to choose joy today. It isn’t always the easiest thing to do but sometimes you just have to or the acidity will swallow you whole. So happy Friday to you. I hope you have a joy filled weekend.