A Lesson Lived Giveaway

Has it really been a month? I can’t believe how long I’ve gone without writing in here and I must sincerely apologize to all my readers (are you still around???) for the lapse in posts. I even got some nice emails and Rav PMs from some of you asking me if everything was okay, so that made me feel even worse! The reasons for my absence are many. Firstly I flew to California to visit family/friends and though I had a wonderful time it left zero time to get online! When I got back home a week and a half ago, I had all the good intentions of writing a post right away and explaining my then long-but-not-so-long-absence. But then the world got really crazy what with cleaning the house (my husband doesn’t clean at all while I’m gone… does yours?), celebrating hubby’s birthday, coming down with a stomach bug for a few days, and then trip planning (off to Brazil and Peru in two weeks!). The planning of the trip has been the worst! Booking tickets, getting a visa for the hubby, dealing with passport people (don’t even get me started on the four days of pure hell I’ve had over passport crap), getting in touch with family members for the visit, getting things ready for the dogs who will be staying with a dog sitter (a friend with 3 Havanese of her own – I’m sure they’ll have a blast!), and just trying to do all the last minute things required has been so beyond stressful.

Not that I’m not happy about taking a trip at all (I promise I’m not whining about the fact that we are taking a trip!), just that I really hate dealing with bureaucratic nonsense. Needless to say, I’ve been exhausted. And to top it all off I had a particularly depressing thing happen to me with my newest knitting project that it totally put me off from knitting for the last week or so. So I didn’t even have knitting to make me feel better! But now that the trip is coming together and I feel the stress being replaced by excitement, I think I’ve started thinking clearly again for the first time since my trip to California!

So about this knitting fiasco that really killed my knitting mood… I cast on for the new cardigan pattern that I feel head over heels in love with, Akoya, basically as soon as I saw it. I was so happy to be knitting it up and although I wouldn’t say it was flying off the needles (being in California seriously cut down on knitting time, of course), it was chugging along pretty well. And it was coming out so beautifully using the Brooks Farm Solo Silk that I bought at Rhinebeck last year (though don’t get me started on how annoyed I was when the first skein I used had six – yes SIX – knots in it!):

Akoya WIP

Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love the cable and lace pattern (I just heart cable+lace!) and it’s easier than it looks, too!

Akoya WIP

So I’m going along happily knitting on it. I’ve finished the body to the underarm and am knitting up the first sleeve when for some reason I look ahead to the yoke and am confused about the numbers I’ve boxed. Now, when I start knitting a pattern, I go through it first and box or highlight the part that deals with the size I’m making. And wouldn’t you know it that I boxed the ENTIRE pattern for the size that is one smaller than the one I should be making? I repeat, I did this EVERY SINGLE TIME. And since I thought I was doing it right, I never stopped to think about it until I saw the yoke section where she actually writes down the size and the number you’re supposed to be working. ARGH! I was SO upset I just threw down the sleeve I was working on and fumed over the fact that I made such a STUPID mistake. I was so so upset (obviously not just at the knitting – this was during my stressful time with the trip details, you see) and the thought of ripping the entire thing out was just too much to bear. And I just knew at the time that I had to rip it out. There was no other way around it. But I just couldn’t do it, I was that upset. In fact, I was so angry that I didn’t even pick up any other projects for the last week. I didn’t do any knitting. Not a single bit! So the project bag containing the sweater in progress just sat there in the corner of my living room neglected and alone. I swear I could feel it looking reproachfully at me but I just couldn’t bring myself to even open that bag, let alone rip the whole thing out!

Today was the first day when things started working out better for me this week and as such is the first day in a long time where I actually feel like I can think without breaking down into some sort of panic attack. And of course the answer came to me right away… I will make sure to block it tight (my gauge swatch I didn’t block tightly at all, so I know there’s lots of wiggle room there) and I will add 1.5 inches to each button band, which should give me the extra amount of inches I need to make it work. And just like that I was happy and things are good again! Which totally proved to me that you should never make impulsive decisions (like ripping out a whole sweater) when you’re upset and/or stressed. It never makes it better and giving it a day – or a week – of thought can make a world of difference! A lesson lived is a lesson learned, so to speak.

Now I’m looking forward to finishing up my cardigan and to work on my knitting projects once again. And consequently to write in this blog again! So I’m back and won’t be disappearing like that again any time soon, I promise you that! And just because I’m feeling generous and happy again, I thought this was a great time for a quick giveaway. I realize that I just had one for the move like two posts back, but dude this is my blog and if I feel like giving away a skein of Wollmeise, that’s what I’ll do!

Oh you didn’t know it was Wollmeise? Well it is! One lucky commenter will get this skein of Wollmeise Twin in Vamp (this color is so appropriately named, btw!):

Wollmeise Twin

I think it will make some awesome pair of socks or a really great eye-popping accessory to drape around your shoulders! To win the skein leave me a comment by Wednesday, March 30 letting me know one of your lessons lived. That way we can all benefit from your newfound wisdom! šŸ˜€

As usual, I will ship to anyone anywhere, so feel free to comment away, even if you live in Antarctica (do they ship things to Antarctica?). I can’t wait to read all your comments and to those of you waiting, I promise that I already have taken all the pictures I need for my Q&A about photographing yarn… and that post will be up very very soon! Promise! And now to get caught up on my blog reading… can’t wait to see what you all have been up to while I was brooding away. šŸ˜‰

39 thoughts on “A Lesson Lived Giveaway

  1. My lesson lived is: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just seeing and hearing all about what is going on in Japan makes all the stuff I worry about just minor details. My heart goes out to the 50 men and their families working to stop the meltdown on the nuclear reactor. I could see my husband doing the same thing. Going to work and sacrifice his life to save many others.

    Don’t want to be a downer so I’ll also add. Can’t wait to see your California pictures and your future Brazil and Peru pictures!! I’ll have to travel via your pictures since we won’t be travelling far for a bit. šŸ™‚

  2. There you are! So glad you are back and I’m glad that your sweater is going to work out after all! My lesson lived? Don’t assume something that isn’t official yet will actually happen…the disappointment is much harder. Patience is key. (That’s easy, right?)

  3. My lesson lived is to remove all sharpie markers from your house when you have toddlers running around…hiding them isn’t always good enough.

  4. I’m still around! : )
    I recently wrote about a lesson lived on my blog: never dismiss a yarn, no matter how unattractive it may seem. I had this gifted yarn sitting in my stash for ages and I disliked it from the moment I got it. It’s multi-coloured yarn that just wasn’t me. But a few days ago I got into a bout of knitting baby booties in garter stitch, and I thought I’d give this yarn a go. Turns out it looks completely unexpected and amazing in garter stitch!! Now I love it. And I’m glad I didn’t just chuck it out because I didn’t like it initially. There’s a way to make any yarn work, it seems!

  5. I was worried about you – glad to see you back.

    Lesson learned – hmm. I’ve recently learned (AGAIN) – Gather all information available before making a a decision – ask questions. I recently took a how to class, that I thought was going to be about something I wanted to learn. However, once I got there I discovered it was about something I already knew – argh! Money and time wasted. Now that I look at the class description – I see that it was pretty vague.

  6. Welcome back!

    My lesson…hmm. It’s already been mentioned, but not counting my “chickens” before they hatch is one I’ve learned the hard way (several times over, I’m a difficult student). I’ve gotten into more trouble and bad situations I could have avoided had I waited and made sure the thing that was supposed to happen actually *did* happen.

  7. Ha, good to see you’re blogging again!

    One of the best lessons I have learned in my whole life: Don’t Panic. (also: don’t forget your towel. But that’s a whole other lesson.) All kidding aside though, it’s a lesson I have to keep reminding myself all the time because I am one to panic and stress out when things aren’t going my way. If I remind myself (or if my boyfriend reminds me, which happens far more often) that I just have to keep calm and think, things usually work out.

    And that is one gorgeous colour by the way!

  8. I have so many lessons lived it is mad!!! The main one is … trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel right then it isn’t right. If you feel like what you are about to do is not going to work then don’t do it!
    The other biggy is … that unless you or someone else may die because something isn’t done/finished/made/bought/sorted then it really is not important enough to worry about. Life is very short and every second is something to enjoy. If you are worrying remember to breathe.

  9. One of my lessons learned has been to try to make the best of each situation. I wouldn’t say I’m a naturally optimistic person (I would even go as far as to say that my mother and husband might actually scoff at that statement) but it’s taken me a while to realize that when things are crappy, I don’t want to waste time being miserable with my life. I think it would be a shame to loose years of your life to feeling sorry for yourself when you could try to make the best of what you have. It was a hard lesson to learn, one that took me over a year. But I really do feel better now that I try to take each day as it comes.

  10. That is gorgeous yarn! I’d like to second another commenter and say “Don’t Panic.” It’s become one of my mottos, though I don’t always follow it.

    I sympathize with the visa/passport bureaucracy šŸ™

  11. My lesson learned – live lfe to the fullest as you never know what tomorrow brings – this lesson learned after losing my sister to cancer at 41.

  12. “You get what you pay for”, so often that bargain I buy ends up costing me more in repurchases.

    Have a great trip!

  13. Beautiful yarn!! My lesson lived – think before you leap. I have a scarf I’m working on and realized that I had missed a cable crossing 12 rows back – arrrgh!! I was really tempted to just keep on knitting, since I was on a roll. But I set it aside, since I was also fairly certain that this one mistake would ruin the whole thing for me. I stewed on it for about two weeks, and then finally the perfect morning presented itself and back I ripped, fixed the problem, and on I stitched. Yes, it took me time, but I’m glad I didn’t go with my first knee-jerk reaction and keep on knitting – now I’m very happy with the scarf!

  14. Now that I am in my seventh decade of life
    I can live a more relaxed life –
    if there’s a situation that I don’t like, I try to remedy it –
    if I don’t have a challenge, life is not that exciting –
    One thing for certain – I love knitting sox 2-at-a-time on one circular needle. I am attempting more complex patterns and that’s one of my current challenges.
    I Lā™„Oā™„Vā™„E this color and have never had the opportunity to run my fingers over Wollmeise – – – yet.

    Safe Travels for you and Hubby
    Treats for the doggies

  15. It is proper gorgeous! Really lovely.

    Dumdum, my lessons lived. “You are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” It’s Seuss, and that makes it sort of childish, but not really. It reminds me that it’s ok to be me.

  16. Yes, my dh does not clean when I am away either. Sigh!

    My lesson learned? To not put off (procrastinate) something you think is hard to do. I often do that and when I finally do it, most of the time it turns out that it wasn’t as painful/time consuming as I thought it was going to be. To think that all the wasted time and anxiety that went into avoiding it. Lol.

  17. What a great tip you had to share with us! Sometimes we DO find a way to makes things work!

    My Lesson Learned: When I get frustrated with a project, to walk away. Put it down. Leave it there. It won’t look so bad later.

    Another one? Never knit/stitch/quilt on a deadline. It totally ruins all the fun!

  18. I recently bought two yarns for a project that I wasn’t totally in love with, but just wanted to cast on so bad! Well, I ended up deciding the combination of the two yarns (plied differently and not that great together colour-wise) wasn’t going to work and ended up putting off casting on. About a week later I found THE perfect yarn for the project and am happily knitting away – I just spent twice as much on the yarn for the project! Oh well, I know I’ll use the other yarn one day.

    And no, my husband doesn’t clean when I’m away either!

  19. My best knitting lesson learned? There is no mistake that can’t be fixed. Even if you have to frog the whole thing, worse things could happen.

    My best life lesson learned? Don’t procrastinate. I’ve had life circumstances that have showed me lately how much better off I am that I did what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it. There isn’t always the same opportunity tomorrow, no matter what you keep telling yourself!

  20. Is it wrong to enter again even if I won a blogiversary prize back in November? I’m not sure, but it’s wollmeise, and I’ve only ever had little bits of that for a sock blankie.

    One lesson from me: Breathe, slow down. I can too easily get impatient and upset with others if I’m feeling in a hurry. I’m working on slowing down. Usually that extra few miles per hour of speed on the highway won’t matter when you reach your destination, and you can enjoy those extra minutes in bed.

  21. love! the sweater! love it! so happy you found a way to keep on keeping on:) i hope it works out.
    knitting lesson: pay attention (lived lesson too!); when using interchangeable needles to swatch, make sure you put the correct size tips back on your cable once you decide on which needle size to use:) it is also a time saver.

    lesson lived: be thankful for what you have. enjoy what you have and don’t take it for granted. when things get tough, do your best to fix it if possible, and remain calm. use your heart and your head when thinking decisions through (and really think them through), and do what you think and feel is best.

    i really enjoyed reading all of the previous comments and tips:)

  22. Heya, nice to see you back on the blogging train šŸ™‚
    And great to see you were able to salvage some sweater and knitting love from your recent challenge.

    My lesson is that there is no use in “what ifs”. Things in my life haven’t always gone to plan, but I think the less we indulge in morbid retrospection, the better for our mental health.

  23. My lesson learned…ride the ride. We really don’t have much control over what’s going on around us. Make lemonade out of those lemons and enjoy the harvest!

  24. I just figured out – again – that sometimes it is necessary to rip out whole projects. There are two WIP’s – cardigans – that have been WIP’s for several years. Both are almost entirely knit, but I’m no longer sure about them, style-wise. They are weighing me down, making me feel guilty for not finishing. Just last evening, I decided that they need to be frogged and the yarn recycled into something else. At the time, the knitting soothed me, so I’m not seeing it as a loss on any count.

    However, I’m very happy that you figured out such a clever solution to your cardigan-woes!

  25. I’ve decided not to purchase any more yarn until I make a serious dent in the yarn that I already have stashed S.A.B.L.E. (stash accumulated beyond life expectancy. That said, I wouldn’t mind winning a skein of your yarn giveaway. Also, I want to wish you a wonderful trip to Brazil and Peru.

  26. I’m SO glad that you didn’t rip out the sweater before you came up with a plan B. It’s really going to be a stunner!

    Lesson? I have learned several in my old age:) Probably the most important for knitting is not to expect perfection. Sometimes the adage “done is better than perfect” is the best philosophy for someone who exhibits perfectionistic tendencies! Although I hope to create something beautiful it’s also important to just enjoy the ride.

  27. My lesson learned: take a deep breath and sit on your first response until you settle down. Pretty much the same one that you were talking about… only I’ve had it in more of a legal setting. šŸ™‚

    And I love, love, LOVE the Vamp color!

  28. My number one lesson in life is:

    Always backup. Everything. To at least one write-protected place.

    backup backup backup.

    And when you’ve backed up, check you can read your backup on another computer.

    Your cardigan was so gorgeous it must have been extra-devastating to see the numbers were wrong. I’m glad you’re back though. Keep knitting!

  29. Glad to see all is well with you.
    I think my lesson learned for knitting is…don’t leave natural animal based fibre around dogs you don’t know. They might eat it and then you’ll get mad…really, really mad. And pure alpaca is no good for heavy duty cables. It is much too stretchy. (Both of these lessons were learned with the same sweater).

    Hope you have a wonderful trip. I can’t wait to see the pictures.

  30. This may seem like a really obvious lesson, but it’s one I learned the hard way which is pretty much how I learn my most valuable lessons! I carefully selected a yarn substitute for a sweater, thrilled with my color choice and money savings. It wasn’t until I wound my first skein that I realized how little yardage it had. Ugh, annoying but I had planned to spit splice anyway, so not too big a deal. And then I face palmed when I re-read the ball band and ‘discovered’ it was superwash. So now I’m stuck with thick Russian joins and loooooots of ’em. Oh well, I won’t make that mistake twice!

  31. hi, glad to see you’re back! the sweater is lovely – will be nice to live vicariously through your knitting process!
    Lesson learned? – never stop learning!…there’s always someone out there who can impart a different perspective and give you some nugget of good advice…don’t think you won’t benefit from it someday…
    thanks for sharing (I guess that’s another lesson learned – always be appreciative…)

  32. My lesson: just because you haven’t met your own high expectations doesn’t mean you’ve failed! I think we tend to be really hard on ourselves, and if we’re not ‘perfect’, or whatever that means to us, then we’ve somehow failed – and this applies to so much: losing weight and eating healthy, cleaning clutter and organizing our lives. It helps to relax a little bit sometimes, and know that tomorrow is another day!

  33. Lesson: That when someone comes into your life they become part of your life not you life. Case in point my child. I became a mother on the the day she was born but that does not define who I am now. That is some of the best lesson I ever learned.

  34. My dad tells me not to fret the small stuff. The lesson lived though is “Can’t save them all.”. Whether it be a person or neglected yarn, it has been a good lesson to keep learning. šŸ™‚ Great giveaway! My birthday was this weekend, March 26th. šŸ™‚

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