breaking the silence

Breaking blog radio silence is always awkward.  I’ve had ideas for posting but… I’ve also just wanted to live my life.  So every time I thought, I could post that… my laziness overwhelmed me and I went back to whatever I was doing.

So, what have I been doing, you ask?  Well… there’s this:

David and I got engaged last weekend :)  We’ve actually been planning the wedding for a few months, so there’s also been a lot of this:

Tissue paper flower sweatshop up in our living room!

Like just about every engaged lady person in the last few years, I love the trend of tissue paper pom poms and mason jars.  So when I tried my hand at some tissue paper flowers and they turned out well (so well, even David liked them!) I decided to make all the flowers for our wedding.  By hand.  For a while, it was like a tissue paper confetti explosion around our coffee table.

Seriously, my dog always had tissue paper stuck to some part of his being.  Usually his nose.  Adorable!

So now that it’s finally official, I can post stuff I’m working on for the wedding.  Which is good, because it seems to take most of my waking free time.  We’re having a small family backyard wedding in October and I’m already enjoying all the DIY opportunities it affords me.

So now that I’ve broken the silence, I’ll try to be here more often.

Oh, and PS. You can check out the wedding madness more often via my Pinterest boards.  Three people have already asked if I was engaged after watching me pin wedding ideas non stop for… a long time.  Follow me here.

Anyone else out there planning a DIY wedding?  Do share your latest wedding news!

crafting your perfect day

Whoops, so much for that goal.  Day 2 got eaten by some blog updates, yesterday was longer than long, and so today (Day 4, if anyone’s keeping count) here’s an abbreviated catch-all post!

Day 2 – 3KCBWDay2

Today’s topic is a Photography Challenge.  Well, been there, done that.  I am ill prepared to do it again.  So instead, you get the Wildcard topic: Crafting your perfect day.

Starts with coffee and some lounging on the patio.  This is the dream time, time to figure out what would be the most fun to do with my day.  It would probably involve some quality time on Ravelry, stalking potential projects and the perfect yarn.

Part two is a trip to the yarn store next to Whole Foods.  Feel some lovely fiber…. mmm.  Since it’s the perfect day, I will probably buy something totally unnecessary but wonderfully luscious feeling.  Because hey, what’s a perfect day without some splurging?  Followed up with a trip to Whole Foods for some quality chocolate and other fine foods.

Part three is me, curled up on the couch with at least six or seven episodes of my latest television obsession to keep me company while I knit.  Doctor Who is always a good standby, if nothing strikes my fancy at the moment.

Part four is some community-oriented crafting.  Whether this is with my knittas or out in the world, knitting with some new friends at a coffee shop, I’d love to spend part of my perfect day enjoying casual conversation and stories as we happily knit together.  This is what I love most about knitting, I think, and miss most when my schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of free time.

Day 3 – 3KCBWDay3

Welcome to Day Three: Your Knitting Hero! I think this topic was intended to highlight a superstar knitter who I admire, but I’m taking it in another direction.  My knitting hero(es)?  The four girls who were my first knitting victims students.

I don’t know that these girls were ever dying to learn to knit, but I think they recognized my desperation for friendship and community when I first asked them if I could teach them.  They’d come over to my house toting wine and yummy snacks and patiently wait their turn as I bounced between them, trying to simultaneously learn how to teach while showing them the ropes.

Soon, they dubbed our group “The Knighthawks Knit Back the Night” and became affectionately known as my “knittas.”  They even nicknamed everyone: DJ Knitting Pretty, Knittin But Trouble, Knittamarushu, and me – Mama Knitta McPhee.

While they may still just be humoring me with the occasional knitting project, just the fact that they wanted to learn and came at it with a sense of fun and openness was awesome.  We don’t have a regular knit night anymore, but I still count them as some of my closest girl friends and I’ll always be grateful for the time they’ve spent with me and the excitement of being a Knighthawk… Knitting back the night!

day 1: color lovers

Welcome to Day 1 of the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week (3KCBWDAY1)! Today we’re talking about our love of color.

Guys, confession time: I am not feeling very articulate about color today. Probably because all I want to say is that while I love love love bright color in theory, I don’t know that it matches my personal color palette so well.

So I buy lots of beautiful varigated yarn in artfully dyed skeins and it sits… in my stash… forever. Because I am terrified of what muddled color combination is going to come off my needles if I ever try to knit it.

That being said, I think this hat turned out awesome. I think it’s because the variation is on a gradient.

I loved the color of this cowl. It’s so sunshiney and happy. I still feel that way. But I have a hard time having that much brightness right up under my face! It doesn’t mesh as well as I’d like with my personal style, so this beautiful cowl languishes in my hall closet.

And that’s totally a bummer! It might be easy to get paralyzed, worrying that you’re wasting your time knitting with a color you love, but will never wear. But here’s the other thing about knitting – there will always be someone who would be a eager, willing recipient! That comes in handy when you make something that you want to, but can’t quite, love.

So I say, buy colors that you’re drawn to. Just think of it as pre-buying for a future gift giving occasion.

Of course, there are go-to colors that I will definitely wear. Purple is one. This is my first massive project… the Knitty Honeycomb Vest. I was originally attracted to the pattern by the model photographs that featured a brown tweed. While I’d still love a brown tweed honeycomb vest, I thought I’d like something that was a little more me. Hence, the deep purple that’s become one of my signature colors over the last few years.

Then there are colors that I am continually drawn to. Green, orange, and blue definitely fall into that category. You may have noticed, since they are also the primary colors for Brownbetty Style. They just always look awesome together! Particularly on my lovely models :)

So there you have it… a rambling post on my various feelings about color. Now that I have a pretty well established stash of bright colors, I seem to be gravitating more toward neutral colors… browns, greys, silvers, ivory. As I log more knitting years and assemble a collection of rainbow accessories, I’m ready to fill in my closet with some more basic pieces that will hopefully stand the test of time.

So friends. Do you have complicated feelings about color palettes? Do you gravitate to the same colors over and over again?

road trip slideshow

Pilot Mountain, NC – my first northbound landmark

Last weekend was my road trip to Michigan. In case you’ve never trekked to Michigan from North Carolina before, it’s a long trip – 13 hours. Anyone else who lives 700 miles from their point of origin has my deepest sympathies.

When I was in grad school, I went home every two months or so. I made the trip on my own (and later, with Cash… he’s does awesome in the car, except when he’s panting in my ear). Spending 13 hours on your own in the car is daunting but the mind has a funny way of tricking you so that 3 or 4 hours passes in a flash.

Cash smells smells at the VA Welcome Center

Now with David, we drive up less often, but my parents come down to visit more often as well. Still, I really wish someone would get on with it already and invent a teleporter. I miss getting to visit them on random weekends like we do with David’s family.

Driving through Virginia and West Virginia are usually my favorite parts of the drive… unless it’s raining, snowing, foggy, busy, or time for the state troopers to meet their ticket quota.

The East River Mountain Tunnel between VA and WV

(Also, let me take a moment to say that yes, I am aware that taking photos while I drove was probably not the smartest thing… ever. But… I got nothing. No one died, hooray!)

You may notice I have no photos and nothing to say about Ohio and that is because… driving through Ohio is the worst. Seriously, it takes 6 out of the 13 hours to get through it. It’s flat, boring, and overly laden with speedtraps. Ohio can suck it. (Okay, maybe suck it is a little strong. I’ve made my peace with Ohio’s neverending roadways, but I’m telling you. When someone finally invents that teleporter, it’s going to be someone who finally had it with driving through Ohio. Or Indiana. Or Illinois.

It’s all corn, country music, and conservative billboards! What do you expect?

Ahh, finally. We’re home.  This is the photo that got me busted for snapping pictures while driving.

But it’s such a welcoming sight, what can I say?

Obviously I’m not the only one who was glad to reach our final destination :)

So what’s the longest road trip you’ve taken? Did you do it by yourself or was it so long you needed a partner or two in crime?