Stitching Status: Weekend Update

Happy Monday! Sometimes I sit down to write and realize I don’t take as many pictures as I probably should for someone who blogs. I try my best a lot of times to just be present and enjoy what’s happening and that means not pulling out my phone or a camera. For example, I met a frequent commenter and now friend, Claudia from Proper Tension on Friday! She was in DC for a conference so we met on Friday after I got off of work for burgers in Capitol Hill. It’s always great to meet up with someone you feel like you know because of their online presence and it’s even better when they’re just as great as you had hoped. And since I don’t have a picture with Claudia, here’s one of Jellybean…
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and the ball of yarn I worked with this weekend. I pulled out a lovely ball of Pumpkin colored Caron Smiply Soft to work up a little cardigan for my friend Larry and his wife who are having a baby very soon! I whipped up this hat for Larry a few years ago as a thank you and I thought his son might look good in orange too.
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And at the last minute last night I said, why not whip up a pair of socks to match? Clearly we’re not getting a serious winter here so I made the sweater short sleeved for spring and instead of a hat decided on the Little Squirrel socks by TinCan Knits. I figured he may get more wear out of the sock in the spring than a hat. And one little sock only took me an hour and a half to whip up (they’re worsted weight and newborn size). I can finish the second sock tonight, wash and dry them with the sweater and then put on buttons. It’s the sweetest gift and I know he and his wife will love it.
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Also the sweetest, my girlfriend has taken up sewing and made my dogs bandannas! Cher is serious about her modeling. LOL
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I immediately put them on after I opened the mail and the only way to make the girls stay still is to put them on a high table. And of course, Jellybean almost attempted to jump off. Sigh…she believes she’s part flying squirrel. I swear.
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And my last fun tidbit from the weekend, I wore my pair of knit print leggings I picked up from Sweet Legs! I know people rave about Lula Roe leggings and I bought one pair but I hate the process and didn’t love them that much. So when I saw someone on Instagram wearing these leggings I went to the site and decided to give them a try. They’re great quality, decent price and they shipped to me super quick! They’re a winner in my book. I may order more prints for my weekend wear. So that’s what sums up my weekend, how was yours?

Stitching Status: Surviving the First 100

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Despite living in Maryland I did not attend the Women’s March the other weekend. And surprisingly to many, I did not knit a single pink hat (although my Mom asked me to knit her one after the march and I intend to do that). In all honesty, living and working this close to the White House (when I step outside my office I have a bird’s eye view of the White House) is exhausting and this last week has been a doozy to say the least. So when I can’t handle it all I retreat and when I retreat I knit.
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I’ve honestly felt like Jellybean here, wanting to bury my head in knitting. Wanting to turn off the news for a bit and just forget about everything that’s scaring me right now. It’s overwhelming and it’s only been a week! It’s probably why I’m on my 4th sweater of the month.
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I’m knitting instead of marching. I’m checking in on friends affected by the latest executive orders. I’m donating to all the causes I believe in because if I don’t protest the least I can do is donate. I’m doing what I can without losing my  mind. I’m trying not to be overwhelmed. So I hope you are doing the same too.

I’ll still be here, sharing in this space, trying to hold on to the good parts of life even when it feels like there’s a lot of bad taking over.

I Want to Be Your Rainbow

In my early thirties I took a lesson learned from my mother to heart, that sometimes you have to CHOOSE joy. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always what I want to do but I’ve realized that in life sometimes I have to choose the path towards joy. That’s how I start every day, instead of letting the darkness and hurt swallow me whole, I look at what I am thankful for in my life and use that to propel me forward. And when I realize others can’t do that for themselves, I choose to be their joy, their rainbow. I worked in higher ed for years and realized part of what my students needed in me as an advisor was a shoulder to cry on, a person to hug, someone to go to that would listen, wouldn’t judge and would give them hope. I did my best to be that for my students because I’ve always had that support system in my life. I chose to be their rainbow.
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With this election I had to shut off the internet and the noise earlier in the week because I just couldn’t handle the darkness. I felt like it was suffocating me. So on Saturday morning I got up and made myself this t-shirt with the quote from Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. Those words were her rainbow of hope to little girls but I saw it as a rainbow to everyone.

Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

As a woman and minority sometimes I do doubt my value and when I put that shirt on Saturday I felt that strength and positivity with me all day. Sometimes you just need to put on your cape to feel like a superhero. So I shared my pic on Instagram and Facebook to be a rainbow of hope to someone else. It worked. I was asked to share it on the Pantsuit Nation group and I did and was inundated with requests to make this shirt – so I did (because I posted the link to buy a shirt on Pantsuit nation my original post was taken down but I hope that my original message still helped people). If you need that reminder, boost or a little rainbow in your day you can get your own shirt via this website.

I’ve also started to answer people when they ask what they can do, or how can they help. The first step is not being silent. It’s easy to ignore everything but we all have a voice and we need to use it. We have to stop ignoring bigotry, sexism, racism, hate. We have to help educate others and speak up when something is wrong regardless of how difficult it is. We have to talk! If you don’t understand a point of view, just ask. If you want to know what I’m afraid of I’ll tell you. Look at your family and friends who have different opinions and talk – don’t walk away.

I’ve also seen folks wearing safety pins and I love that gesture as a way for others to know you are with them, you want to help. It’s a first step. I even reply on Facebook when people have said a safety pin isn’t enough – but it is a start! For some it’s another rainbow. It’s letting someone else know they’re not alone and that they can talk to you and maybe together you two can take the next step. And there is not a right path or perfect thing to do in any of this. We all have different roles and I want to be a rainbow. I don’t want to be angry and acidic. That will eat me alive. I want to help foster discussion, help point someone in the right direction, help people feel like they’re not alone. I plan to be more active, to donate more money in 2017 than I have before and participate in the political process and I hope you do as well. And if you don’t know where to start, if you don’t know what you can do or if you just need a little hope I’ll be happy to be your rainbow too.

I’m not happy about our new president but I refuse to let someone who campaigned on bigotry and hate hold me back.