There Are Tears Around Here

DSCF2783.JPGOh, there are tears going on today. Not the loud weeping and gnashing of teeth kind of tears, but the big ol’ crocodile tears that flow slowly down your cheeks and just keep flowing and flowing. (Where does all of that “tear liquid” come from, and why don’t you ever run out? I want to know.) College Boy went back to college this weekend, and we had to leave him and drive back home today. I just hate that. I thought it would be better this year (his sophomore year) but it’s just not.

Last year, I could truly claim that it was all about HIM … and hardly at all about me. I was hoping that God had led him to the right college (because, you know, God might’ve made a mistake, you never know.) I was hoping that he and his room-mates would click. (There were three in their room. THREE!) I was hoping that he’d adjust to sharing a room with two other guys after having his own bedroom for 18 years. I was hoping that he’d make good friends. I was hoping that he’d feel like he fit in. I was hoping that he’d have good teachers. I was hoping that he’d find a part-time job that he enjoyed. I was hoping that he’d keep in touch with us. I was hoping that he’d be happy. And I was hoping that I’d find a way to survive for 55 days until I could see him again. (Well of course I counted the days. Absolutely.) All of that was going through my head, all summer long, leading up to taking him to college. It made me kind of sentimental and weepy, all summer long. (But I kept it to myself. A little teary sniffle here and there, in the bathroom or when I went to bed. Nothing in front of anyone. Nothing to make anyone think that I was going around the bend or anything. I had the lid on it.)

The week that we were going to leave last year, I pulled out of the driveway to go to the grocery store, and saw the cute little neighbor boy riding his Little Tikes car down the sidewalk. Well, that about did me in. Surely it was just a couple of years ago that Danny was doing that very same thing? (Ok, well maybe not. He has been 6’4″ for several years and that doesn’t go inside a Little Tikes car. So maybe it has been just a bit longer than that.) By the time I got to the grocery store, I was thinking that I had better not see anyone that I knew. If I could whip through the aisles and bite the inside of my cheek, I might make it home before the tears came again. As I was checking out, I heard a “Well Sheri! Hi!” It was sweet Ruth Ann from church. She said, “How are your kids doing? They are getting so old!” I said (overly-brightly), “Well, Danny is actually leaving for college the day after tomorrow!” In her kindest and most sympathetic voice (because she has been through that), she said, “And how are YOU doing with that?” I burst into tears. Right there in the checkout aisle at the grocery store. Jeez. She said, “Oh my!” The checker said, “Oh my!” and I tried to get out of there as soon as possible. A melt-down in the grocery store, of all places. I still try to avoid Ruth Ann at church, as she now thinks that I must be emotionally unbalanced. Jeez.

Back to this year – I did great all summer long. No worries about Danny and college. I already knew that he loved it up there and that he felt like he belonged there. I knew that he had made great friends and that he had chosen to room with two great guys – Phillip and Nathan – this year. (Yes, three in a room again. By choice. Go figure.) I knew that he had a terrific job, that he had chosen good classes, that he would have great teachers, that he would be good about keeping in touch with us (hey Danny – call me!), and that he was exactly where he was supposed to be. There were no worries about him this year. (No teary outbursts in the grocery store either, although I’m still avoiding sweet Ruth Ann.) No, this time when I had to give him that last big hug and tell him good-bye, it was ALL about me. Sure, he’ll be happy. But I’m wondering what I’m going to do without him around here. I already know how empty his bedroom feels while he is gone. I know that it’s sad at the kitchen table with his seat empty. I know that when I hear a car in the driveway, it’s not going to be him. I know that when something glitches on the website, I can’t go racing into the other room to have him solve it immediately. (He’s College Boy, but he’s also Web Guy.) Yes, he will be so missed here at home. Thus, these crocodile tears at the end of a long, weary day. sigh.

But – good news! Danny’s room-mate Phillip’s mom is a knitter! (Hi Jari!) And she cries, too, and she knits socks, and she misses her boy! A new friend in the middle of “It’s all about me and how sorry I feel for myself” day. That is a bonus gift. So, I’ll survive this day, and I’ll survive this school year, and all will be well. After all, there are only 59 days until Fall Break.

Sheri Ithinkalongrelaxingeveningofknittingisinorder,don’tyou?

Life Around Here

DSCF0515 (rev 0)There are confessions thoughts circling in my head today. Since this blog is about what’s going on in my head knitting, I thought I’d share these things with you.

I am married to the world’s best husband. Surely. Here is a glimpse of what he has heard from me this year:

January: “What would you think about me starting a new business – opening a yarn store here in St. Louis?” (“Interesting. I think you’d be good at it. Why don’t you start researching it and praying about it?”)

February: “What would you think about me doing an online store instead? Specializing in sock yarns, patterns, and cool accessories?” (“Interesting. Do you think there are enough sock knitters in the world to support that?”)

March: “Can we invest $xx,xxx in my new business?” (“Interesting. If you have your Business Plan written up and that’s the investment that you have come up with, then yes, we can do that.”) Actually, he may have gulped in there somewhere, too.

April: “I’m calling it The Loopy Ewe.” (“Interesting. Loopy, huh?”)

May: “I really would like for you to go to the Needle Arts market with me in Indianapolis in June to get a feel for this new business. What do you think? Just this once, will you come traipse around a huge exhibit hall of vendors selling all things needle-y come with me?” (“Interesting. Sure, I’ll go along this first year.”)

June: “Wow – isn’t it amazing how many people are into knitting and how many wonderful yarn options are out there? Aren’t you glad that you came to this Market with me? Isn’t this fun?” (“Interesting.”)

July: “Umm – clean jeans? There really aren’t any clean may be some in the dryer. Maybe.” (“Interesting. Ok, I’ll throw a load in the washing machine.”) “Um – dinner? I, uh, was planning that we’d order pizza or something. Sound good?” (“Interesting. I’ll call it in.”)

August: “Hey, my professional photographer husband – we just got a bunch of new yarn in that we need photos of – do you have time after working your full-time job today and coming home beat to take some photos tonight?” (“Interesting. Yep, let’s set it up.”) “Hey Honey – do you mind running by the grocery store on your way home from work to pick up milk and bread? I have a few more things that I need to do for Loopy.” (“Interesting. No problem.”) “Oh my gosh – can you believe I’m getting orders from east to west, and as far away as Canada and New Zealand? It’s so exciting to finally have all of this come together after so many months and months of planning!!” (“Interesting! I’m so proud of you.”)

September/October/November/December: Sheri finds balance in life again learns how to make things look like they are running smoother. Did you know that if you put a bunch of jeans in the dryer at 5:50 (they don’t have to be clean – just throw the ones in there from the overflowing laundry basket) that it will SOUND like you have been productively doing laundry all day long instead of knitting when your spouse walks in the door at 6 pm? And if you throw some dryer sheets in there, it will also smell like you have been doing laundry. Did you know that if you buy a frozen lasagne at the grocery store, you can slide it into your own pan while it’s still frozen and it will bake itself right into shape and look like it’s homemade? Did you know that if you swipe a few tables with lemon-scented Pledge it will smell like you have been cleaning the house? (In a pinch, just pour Lysol in the sink for a few minutes – same effect.) Did you know that if you are walking around the house in a hurry with a load of sheets (just take the clean ones out of the linen closet – same effect) when your husband/kids arrive home, that it will look like you have everything efficiently under control and no one will ever know that you spent a good portion of the day knitting?

Sheri Paulreallydoesn’tsay”interesting”likethat

Knitting With Friends

DSCF1043 (rev 0)Who is your favorite person to sit down and knit with? For me, it’s my sweet daughter, Julia. For so long, we tried to find a “hobby” that she liked. Was it going to be rug-hooking? No. Cross-stitching? Not really. Knitting? YES! Knitting was a perfect fit. In fact, she took to it like a house on fire. Scarves were her specialty. I commissioned her to knit 11 scarves for some good friends of mine. We meet in Colorado every year for a long weekend of fun and scarves were just the right gift for that time of year. It was fun to pick just the perfect colors for each one of them! (Julia knit them all in “Splash” – a fun, feathery, boa type of yarn.) Here we all are with our scarves, by Julia. DSCF1094 (rev 0)

DSCF2612 (rev 0)This summer, she wanted to learn how to knit socks. (A girl after my own heart.) After her first sock was completed, she was hooked. I think her scarf making days are numbered, and her sock making days have just begun. Think of all the socks she will have knit by the time she is a grandma! It’s a good thing we have access to lots of great sock yarns. While vacationing in Colorado this summer, our friends came to visit – so we taught them how to knit socks, too. Don’t they look like they’re having fun? I have learned a lot about teaching people how to knit socks. (For example, they get a bit frustrated if you start them on teeny tiny yarn with teeny tiny needles. Go figure.) We were having such a good time knitting that week while they were visiting, that we had to make two trips to the “What’s Needling U?” yarn shop in Frisco. I love visiting new yarn shops when I’m in different towns. You’ll have to let me know about your very FAVORITE yarn shop, so that I can make a list of shops that I need to visit as I travel about.

081706pairA quick picture of my latest socks out of Claudia Hand Painted (have I mentioned how much I like this yarn? I like the way the colors knit up, I like the “springiness” of the yarn, I like that I was knitting on size 3 needles and they knit up really fast, rather than my usual size 1’s, and I like that they’re done!) The colorway is Donna’s Favorite. The cuff pattern is from Knit Socks (Peaks & Valleys). I like Claudia’s yarn so much that I just ordered more colors of it for The Loopy Ewe. Never mind that we already have lots of Claudia colors in stock and half of them have made it into my PSYB. Now we’re getting even more. (Need cute wooden sock blockers? We’re getting them in soon. Need plastic sock blockers because you use them over and over for blocking your wet socks and don’t want to warp the wooden ones? We’re getting those in, too.)

Remember the MasterCard commercial? I have a new one:

Pair of knitting needles: $12

Skein of yarn to work on: $18

Good friends to sit and knit with: Priceless

Sheri darngoodthingthatsockyarnsdonotcountasofficialstashorI’dbeintrouble

Knitting With A Cat in the House

DSCF2750 (rev 0)Oh, she looks innocent enough. Curled up on the steps, sweet as can be. But pull out a pair of needles and a skein of yarn, and she appears from nowhere, perfectly willing to frog the entire sock for you, if you’d just turn your back for a minute. She’s a sneaky one, she is. The other day I made the mistake of leaving my sock-in-progress on the coffee table for a SECOND (surely) – and when I came back, the yarn was bitten in two. For pete’s sake. Interestingly enough, she completely ignores yarn that isn’t being work on. If there is not a length of yarn pulled out of the ball, she doesn’t need to play with it. Totally ignores it. (Good thing, in our house. We do have some balls of yarn.) Even more than yarn, her favorite “toy” is a length of twine that she drags around the house. She’s either stalking it and pouncing on it, or chirping at it and waiting for it to answer her. Forget expensive cat toys. The twine is where it’s at.

So, this is Zoe – our “full of sass” 9 month old kitten. (Check out her eyes. Looks like she put on a healthy dose of eyeliner this morning, doesn’t it? She has cool cat eyes.) We had to put our sweet 17 year old cat to sleep in April of this year. It’s so hard to lose a pet that you love. Getting a new pet really helps. It’s not that you ever replace the one you lost, but you do move on to have fun and make new memories with the next one. Zoe’s a fun pet to have around. Even if she likes to play with the yarn when I knit.

I’m almost done with my “Claudia Hand Painted Donna’s Favorite” socks. I’ll post a picture of them in Friday’s post. I’m liking them a lot.

Sheri bakingthefirstdayofschoolchocolatechipcookiesafterschoolsnackforthe15thyearinarow