Friday, January 16, 2009

My First Blogiversary!!!

It has been one year since I began this journey with you, my readers. I have also been a member of Ravelry for one year as well. These two adventures, as well as all my knitting, spinning, friends, family, and travel have been the most joyous and positive things in my life, and I have tried to keep my blog upbeat and personal as far as I felt comfortable.

That being said, I am so glad 2008 is over...done....kaput...finished. All the above mentioned joys served to keep me sane in the most stressful year of my life. Well, almost sane, most of the time. I thought 2007 was bad enough with the loss of 83 year old father and my sister-in-law Maggie. I suffered dearly with those losses to be sure and miss them every day.

But 2008 began in January with stress at work (personality conflict with the boss) and I felt the guillotine hovering over my head every moment until late August when the axe fell. Unemployed at age 58 after a 12 year career with a company I love, I sunk deeply. I relied on my positives to keep me keeping on all year. Here is a recap of the good things in my life over the last year:

Family: My two daughters are grown-ups now and taking adult responsibilities seriously. We talk frequently thanks to Verizon in network calling and they give me much joy. They live far away are self supporting with their own benefits (yay) and I was able to spend time with each this year and I am extremely grateful for this. Sometimes I can hardly believe that these two beautiful young women are mine. Yes, I see little girls and am reminded of how much I miss MY little girls, but am also glad that we are done with adolescence and the hating Mom stage.

My Mom is healthy, strong, still living on her own with a vast network of friends and activities. She is even posting online to meet some new friends (read: men) for companionship! You Go Girl!!! I helped her upload this photo to the chosen site and we looked over the male candidates. Her only comment was that they were all too young for her (late 60's-70's). The funniest part of that is we fibbed slightly about her age and probably most of the men did as well! My husband is healthy and active at home with the fix-it chores and outdoor duties. I can always count on him being home and he supports my fiber craziness and indulges it (he bought me my first Golding Spindle and ignores the fluff that invades every room of the house!) My brother seems to be getting along well, as does my niece who is graduating high school this year and has been accepted into the same college where her mother went. Their loss is unimaginable and I keep them in my thoughts all the time.

Friends: I have very good friends who have been a terrific support to me, both old and new. Through Ravelry, I have made many friends, some of whom I have met in person, like Iron Needles and Peaceful Knitter. Through knitting locally, I made a good friend, Stacy (SSKStacy on Ravelry), and we have knit together in and out of classes and have taken some very fun "field trips". Those include going to Estes Park for the Sheep and Wool Festival, Boulder to check out Spindles, Shuttles and Skeins and to the Black Forest in Colorado Springs to check out Table Rock Llama's shop. I also have many non-knitting friends who have been a great support as well.

Knitting and Spinning: I have become an adventurous knitter

and I have learned to spin with a spindle.

I look through my projects on my Ravelry page to know how busy I have been this year. I included projects primarily begun this year

and I am very proud of the posted results. You can read through my blog for the progess reports on most of them. I learned to spindle spin with confidence and I have made everything from thick and thin "art yarn" at the beginning to 3 ply sock-weight yarn. My spindle collection now numbers 6 and my stash grows in many ways. I may be itching for a Spinning Wheel, but I need to wait till the finances allow it.

I visited with the Yarn Harlot, for the second time, and this time I got a photo! She is holding my sock (yet to be finished) and I am holding hers which I am sure she has finished by now! My Nantucket Jacket is from 2007, but the photo is this year.

Travel: As stressful as the year was, I had several blessed escapes. In April, I traveled for my annual reunion with college buddies to Carmel, California.
Three weeks later, my Mom and I, went on a river cruise in Europe. Then, in October, I traveled to NY and CT for my High School Reunion,

to visit family,


and Rhinebeck for the Sheep and Wool Festival.

Luckily, this trip had been mostly prepaid in advance. All the trips were wonderful, a time to relax and soak in good stuff with people I love. Again, finances will dictate when I am able to travel again.

Thank you, readers, for your comments, support and good wishes throughout my first year of blogging. Your support was felt intensely and the blog provided me with the respite I needed when I needed it. I hope to continue on as before with mostly upbeat and positive postings because everyone's lives are stressful in many different ways and catching up with friends on their blogs should not be a downer all the time. I am now employed. It is a job, not a career and I continue to search for that career I need to work for the next several years until a real retirement. Everyone is feeling the economy intensely and I know I am not alone. As we continue in the new year of 2009, with a new President, hope remains for better things for everyone.

I love you all. Happy New Year.

PS: Don't forget to check out yesterday's post for details about my Blogiversary contest and prizes. Can't wait to hear from lots of you.


Iron Needles said...

Excellent post, Liz. I have so enjoyed getting to know you this year. Life has it's ups and downs. That's just life. I think you have done a good..well..excellent job with the knitting and good things with the blog, considering your computer woes! I will refer back to the link I mentioned in the Lesser Known Skeins group. I think it has some good hints as far as I have gotten with it.

I like the Katmandu Aran.

Happy anniversary, and keep on keeping on. Looking forward to when we can next see each other.

Sonia said...

Wonderful post! 2008 was a year of intense ups and downs for many of us, and I remain hopeful that 09 will exceed expectations. I look forward to following your blog and seeing what you knit and spin this year. it will be hard to outdo yourself with that Kauni cardigan!

Sock yarn, sock yarn, sock yarn!

Timiae said...

I love your blog and am a faithful reader! I love the pictures, reading about your knitting/spinning, travels, friends, and family. I really like the layout of your blog... simple and attractive. I don't like when blogs have the huge banners at the top and I have to scroll down forever to get to the posts.

I think 2009 will be a great year for all of us.

I love the Katmandu Aran, but either would be great if I'm a winner.

katerina said...

Congrats on your bolgiversary, and ravelversity! I say keep on keeping on. I like that your blog is simple - not too much business gong on. And my favorite visual is the word cloud - It just gives you a good touch into your blog and you. Happy 2009!

Iron Needles said...

Hey you! I picked you for the baby alpaca. I lost your email in the great computer crash. So let me know where to send it...or would you like to meet up for a hand off? A face to face would be fun.

kv said...

it was fun to read about how much pleasure knitting/spinning/blogging have given you. happy blogiversary!

that chick said...

wow, that's a really comprehensive, yet concise, retrospective. it's the first post of yours i've read (i hopped over here from ravelry) and i feel like i already have a good idea of who you are. and i like all the pictures!

that chick said...

i just noticed your second post. um, i tend to improve readership of my blog by posting comments on other peoples' blogs. it's fairly effective. and i like both yarns (you have great taste in yarns!) but i think the first one.

Ceci said...

I loved this post! It's personal and beautiful, and you are a beautiful person. :) Keep up the introspection and lovely, hopeful thoughts, and also the beautiful photography.

I'm going to pass on your contest because 1) I want you to know that's sincere praise, 2) your blog is nicer than my blog so I don't know what I could say as far as constructive criticism, and 3) even though I ADORE that blue/green sock yarn, I have FAR more yarn than I have knitting time right now and it doesn't seem fair if I should win it and just toss it, however longingly, onto my stash shelves and let it rot there until my kids are old enough to let me knit once in a while.

Looking forward to 09. :)

Amybel said...

Wow, you sure do get around! And I mean that in a good way. Congrats on your 'versaries!

Ria said...

A little late - but happy blogversary anyway!!