My Guilty Little Off-Season Secret #2

A few weeks ago, I shared with you my guilty little off-season secret #1.  And trust me, that little hobby came in very handy when we were hit with polar vortex #1 here in the Midwest and temperatures dropped to the negative twenties.  Yes, twenty-plus degrees below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  NOT.  FUN.  But while I was hibernating in that dreary cold, I did more than slay dragons and sip on beers (in-game and IRL, hello Panderen brew-masters!).  I am just not the person who can spend hours in front of a game with nothing else to do (well, nothing aside from run a business, of course).  So I turned to my second little guilty pleasure... Knitting. Yep, it's not just for old ladies anymore!  A few years ago, while visiting my parents, my mom mentioned that she still had a box of yarn and needles that I had used to teach myself to knit back in high school.  Back then, the farthest I got with my exploration of this craft was about a foot.  One foot of garter stitch that was too wide to be a scarf and was therefore discarded into the cardboard box that sat lonesome until that night, soaking in that fabulous basement smell and waiting for me to rediscover it.  I sat at my mom's kitchen table and slowly remembered the basic knit stitch.  The cardboard box went home with me. Since then, each winter I have picked up my knitting and created new things.  I went the typical route: first scarves, then hats, then cowls.  I gave knitted gifts and stocked up on WAY TOO  MUCH YARN.  (seriously, I could clothe a small family with what I already have and yet I still buy more- it's so pretty!)  I learned that knitting is a great way to end a busy day or pass a snowy/freezing weekend with my fireplace roaring and a sci-fi series marathon on Netflix (I'm very into Fringe and The 4400 right now).  It's also a productive distraction when I'm riding on car trips with my hubby.  Thanks to the advice of one of my knitter clients, I keep a project handy to work on even if we're just going across town to Home Depot.  This year I became more adventurous: I began my first shawl and learned how to use double-pointed needles to knit stuffed toys!  By now, I regularly have three or four projects on my needles and a stack of patterns in my queue.  I've even begun creating my own patterns. I saw a little banner somewhere that said, "Knitting isn't a hobby; it's a post-apocalyptic life skill!"  I laughed, but I will admit that my inner conspiracy theorist agrees.  Which is also why I don't feel too badly about having such a crazy stash of yarn- someday I'm sure I will use it! The husband has challenged me to knit him a sweater, so we'll see...  Perhaps that will be a summer project for me.  For now, I've got a long list of creations I'm dying to add to my wardrobe and my goal is to knit my first pair of socks before sandal weather returns.  And because we NEED a photograph, of course, I will share with you a project I just finished.  I created a pattern for a baby stegosaurus, and created one for my niece and nephew, along with their two best buddies who might someday be my official family, too!  It was definitely more a project for MYSELF than for them (seriously, stuffed toys don't hold a candle to an iPad or an American Girl Doll, of course)...  But it sure was FUN.

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If you're a knitter, too, and would like to connect with me, please do!  Hit me up on Ravelry, or follow my projects on Instagram.  I'm in the process of having the dinosaur pattern tested and am working on my second pattern, too.  I'd love for more people to have stuffed steggie friends to keep them company!

So there you have it, folks.  The two ways that I unwind in the off-season.  It's a good life!

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