Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Round Robin Afghans

Have you ever participated in a round robin project?  That is one where a group of people start a project, and this project is passed around from person to person, each adding their own touch.  I have participated in several, a quilting round robin, and an art journal type of round robin.  Well, I just participated in a crochet round robin.  It turned out amazingly beautiful!

I have a group of great friends, we all homeschool or have homeschooled in the past.  We get together for an art day, once a month, and after the art day winds down we hang out just talking, having snacks and tea.  The kids may watch a movie or play video games or just talk.  But most of us moms will bring a project to work on, generally knitting or crocheting, as that is just so portable.  One art day we were all sitting around the table drinking tea and working on our own projects, talking about yarn.  Somehow the conversation evolved and we were talking about extra yarn, our yarn stash and we created this project.  Had no idea how it would turn out but it sounded interesting.  Here is the project: there were 7 of us, and we each went home and started an afghan, crochet, to measure 36 inches long, each of us started with a base of 6 inches.  So our first stripe measured 36 inches by 6 inches.  We brought all of those back the next month at art day, where we switched afghans. The next person added another 6 inches to the project.  In the end each person gets the afghan they started back, and it measured 42 inches (6 inches X 7 people) X 36 inches.

Among the 7 of us there were different skill levels.  Some chose to use the same crochet stitch for all afghans, some chose a variety of stitches, all different colors.  Some asked the owner of the afghan what colors they preferred, some based the color choice around what was already added to the afghan.  It was just amazing, and it was so interesting to see what everyone was choosing, how it wove into the different afghans, and how each afghan turned out so different even though the same 7 people worked on them all.

This round robin took us about 8 months to complete.  Then we decided to top it all off with our own yarn crawl.  Two friends couldn't make the yarn crawl but the five of us that did make it, had a wonderful and exhausting day.  We started off stopping at O Suzannah's Yarn in Morganton, NC.  Very nice yarn shop, great atmosphere, areas to sit, lots of different weight yarn, and some wonderful yarns in vibrant colors.  I love small local yarn shops, just such a great variety of hand spun, hand dyed, yarns.  Yarns you can't find at places like A C Moore, or Michael's.
O Suzannah's Yarn in Morganton

Our second stop was in Black Mountain NC, and can I say the day was a little chilly but the view going up the mountain was, as always, beautiful.  The Black Mountain Yarn shop is very cute, they also have space to sit and knit.  Again, they also have yarn in such vibrant colors, and textures.  Great variety.  This store also had books, magazines and patterns, which I enjoy. It's nice to look through magazines and get ideas.  Very nice shop.
Black Mountain Yarn Shop

Third stop was on Wall Street in Asheville, NC.  We stopped for lunch first and then headed to the yarn shop.  Purl's yarn has a nice cozy area in the middle of the shop to sit.  I thought it was a bit crowded feeling and not as many vibrant hand dyed yarns.  They did have a selection of locally spun yarns, that was nice.  It was a little more difficult to see everything in this shop as it was a little cramped, but they did have a nice selection and some of the yarns were cheaper than other stores, for the same yarn.

Purl's Yarn in Asheville

Last stop was The Knitting Diva.  The address is still Asheville but it is almost in Weaverville.  Very nice shop, Great selection of different yarns, and they also sell some art.  I fell in love with a mermaid painting, just peaceful and beautiful!  They had some different yarns, different textures, eyelash types of yarns etc.

The Knitting Diva also in Asheville

9 hours of yarn.  It was overwhelming at times (so much beautiful little time), it was so much fun just being out for the day with amazing friends, chatting, eating, looking at yarn, looking at our afghans.  Some of the shop owners were really excited for us, almost as excited as we were, they helped us match yarn, took pictures, and loved the idea of the round robin.

After returning home, before heading to bed, I took the time to look over the yarn I bought, feeling it, thinking about it, imagining how my afghan would turn out after I put a boarder around it.  I had to think about what color, what stitch I would use as my boarder.  I wanted it to be just perfect, like arms reaching around all the love of my friends and holding it close.  And I know each time I snuggle up under that special afghan, I will think of each of my friends, look at the piece each friend added, and just feel surrounded by such positive energy, holding me close.

My completed afghan!  So special!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


OK have you seen the article floating around, about marriage.  OK I know there are lots of them.  But this one I have seen posted by my friends on facebook several times lately.  Here is the link:  Marriage is not for Me.   OK you should read it first, it is not what you think.  He explains that marriage is not for him, marriage is for the other person, his wife.

I wanted to share this on my blog because I disagree with parts of what he wrote.  Yes the sentiment is nice and oh so self-sacrificing.  

This is some of what I find isn't for me.  He writes that his dad says "You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy."   But I don't think you can "make" anyone happy.  Can you?  Is an emotion something you can force on someone else.  I don't believe anyone can *make* me happy.  I didn't marry my husband to make him happy (or I would have married the first person to come along) .

Also he writes:  "No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. "  I disagree with that as well.  I don't think it is just about the other person.  I think it IS about me too.  I am not a martyr.  My hopes, dreams, needs and wants are important as well.  And I know my husband cares just as much about my hopes and dreams (shared and individual) as I do his. And he cares about his own hopes, dreams, needs and wants as well.  I think it might be really boring if he never cared about his own goals, desires, passions, needs or wants.

For us it is about a relationship not  being a martyr.  It is as much about me as it is about him and our children.  We work together, we work individually.  We all have our desires, and we have an open, welcoming environment where we feel free to express those needs and wants, knowing they will be held with the greatest care.  And that each of us will do what is in our power to help bring those to reality.

I don't disagree that it is team work.  I do care about my husband, and what he wants.  And I do want to see his wants and needs met, his dreams work, his passions flourish.

The author does go on to say: "my side of the marriage had become all about me."  So I do get part of what he is trying to say.  That you can't be completely selfish.  I do agree with that.  That is true with any kind of mutual relationship.  Every one's wants, needs, desires, and passions must be considered and held high.  

So rather than hijacking a facebook status with my own thoughts and opinions, I decided to share here.  Take what you want, leave the rest, find something you agree, or disagree with, that is fine.  But there it is.  DH and I have been married for 20 happy years, so what we are doing is working beautifully for us.