Crocheting My Way to California - Part 6 - Finally Arrived

Finally Arrived and a Peace Offering

We are getting settled in here.  The boys started school this week. They are super excited to make new friends.  It will be good for them to have a routine and make friends.

We have a regular grocery store right around the corner.  We know where the nearest Target is.  We have been making the rounds of all the local ice cream shops and deciding on the best ones. (It's a tie between Popbar and Penny Lane. I'm 100% sold on Popbar.)  We are doing our best to make things normal.

Otherwise known as heaven on earth.

Otherwise known as heaven on earth.

My parents got on a plane this morning to return to Virginia.  I cannot believe they flew across the country.  This is a big deal!  They love their grandsons soooooo much!  

This move has been more challenging for me that I could ever put into words.  Leaving my family was beyond hard.  It's been hard for them, too.  So, we are all making an effort to make this work.

Regardless of what's going in my head and how much I want to crawl into bed and hide, I still have a family.  My boys need me.  It's generally a good idea to make sure they have food to eat, reasonably clean clothes to wear, etc.  The projects I've been working on can be picked up and put down numerous times.  They sit in a bag (or several) beside the couch.  I can come and go as I need to, or as I'm able.  Crochet is something that I found at the right time and works with my life.

I have been working on a peace offering for my mom.  The idea started some time at the beginning of the year, and I actually started working on it...in March...I think...it's still a little hazy.  My mom's favorite flowers are daisies, and I had a vision of giving her a field of daisies.  I thought it would be something happy for her to think about and focus on instead of thinking about the move.  It's finally finished and I put it in the mail and sent it off.

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There are 40 granny squares.  I made these in groups of five and kept them together with some stitch locks.  This made it easier for me to keep track of the squares since I worked on them off and on for several months.  I could easily count them and see how many I had done and how far I had to go.

I used the join as you go method for the last round of each square.  I played around with several different colors to join the squares.  Any color besides the green made it look choppy and pieced together.  Continuing the dark green completed the field of daisies look that I really wanted.

The yarn is Caron, Simply Soft.  I absolutely love this yarn.  It's easy to work with and it's soooooo soft.  Michaels and Joann's both carry it.  Although, I discovered that the stores in California carry different colors than the stores in Virginia.  The most obvious differences, of course, were the greens and the yellow I had selected.  Did I mention I had already started a bunch of squares in these colors and it was too late to turn back? 

Since I was working on this while dealing with so much anxiety and stress over the move, I didn't write anything down.  I was just charging ahead with reckless abandon.  Along the journey, the paper wrappings around each skein fell off and were lost - the wrappers that record the color.  I went to Joann's website and ordered what I thought was the correct light green.  Sigh...I now have three skeins of a lovely blue/green that I can use for some future project...sigh.

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This was the kick in the butt I needed to finally start recording my work.  Now I have a notebook, and every time I start working on something I write down the yarn and colors.  The entire blanket is made of only four colors:  Dark Sage, Pistachio, Gold, and White

Yes, I have started even more projects since we got here April 1st.  I have my own ideas and the boys keep giving me "yarn challenges."   But, when I take a step back and look objectively at what I've been doing, I've changed since the beginning of the year.  I've taken the time to write out my ideas and record patterns as I go.  To me, it means that my thoughts are more organized, I am moving at a thoughtful pace instead of running ahead as fast as I can - only to come to a complete stop.  I can think about the future, and I'm not just living one agonizing minute to the next.  The clouds are parting.  The fog is lifting.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Believe it or not, this is somewhat like coming home for me.  I have stacks of sketchbooks from college.  They're full of drawings, lecture notes, and lists.  Required equipment in architecture school.  

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The border is completely made up from a bunch of pictures. The white and yellow ruffle on the edge was a last minute decision.  The daisies are three dimensional, and the rest of the blanket is completely flat.  I felt that it needed something more dynamic and with some depth to finish it off.  I was very happy with the result.

So there it is.  The last project that I started and completed on this journey.  It is truly a peace offering and I hope that my mom will like it and appreciate it as a gift of goodwill.

The projects I've worked on in the past nine months have helped me maintain some small amount of sanity.  Crochet helps me focus on a single problem.  It requires just enough attention to keep my mind from wandering too far, but doesn't require so much attention that I can't let other things creep in around the edges.  It's like a stop gate.  I can open the gate and let a little bit in and close the gate when things are too overwhelming.  There is also the added benefit of having a goal.   These projects aren't indefinite.  They have a beginning, middle, and end. This does so much to give some order to my thoughts.  Once I reach the end, I have something to show for it.  For a natural born list maker, this is a huge added benefit! 

Now my mom is teaching me how to knit...I have a ways to go.

Well, Boo, if you just keep practicing you’ll get there eventually