Spring Reflections

Ah, Spring.

A time to put away bulky winter wear and make room for the clothing that takes up less space in our closets.

A time to take everything that no longer pleases us and donate it, throw it away, or stash it in a storage bin and put it in the basement for the next 8 months.

A time to realize that those 20 storage bins, some labeled: “T-shirts I cannot throw away” is 100% unnecessary.

I love to declutter (throw things away), and if it were just me I would feel a sense of accomplishment by the countless bags of clothes that are purged/donated each year.  Less junk means more space, right?  Wrong.  It isn’t just me.  It’s the hubs too – and he has his own hoarding tendencies that are more severe than my own.

I’ve reverted to closing the door to our spare room to avert my eyes from the explosion of clothes scattered and piled everywhere.  Not my mess, not my problem.  Just close the door and pretend the mess isn’t there.

Between the ages of 10 to 18, my Mom tried to instill cleanliness into my routine everyday. It never worked. I’m sorry for being so messy, Mom – and for driving you insane.

I am much better now, it only took me 31 years, and living with someone else to know that messes aren’t welcome, especially when they’re not mine.

I think the only way to remedy this situation, and to spark joy in the declutter process is to watch that Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo“ – I’ve heard it’s quite motivating for those who need a swift kick.  Until the day I can tie down the hubs to watch it with me, I have my own words of wisdom for “tidying up”:

If you answer “NO” to ANY of these 5 questions – THROW IT AWAY!

  1. Have I worn this in the 12 months?
  2. Does this still fit me?
  3. Was this expensive?
  4. Do I plan on wearing …XYZ…this season?
  5. Is this brand within my age range? (ahem..those 10-year-old hoodies from Hollister, A&F, Forever21, – toss that shit, you’re too old!)

Maybe I should make a sign?

Maybe this blog post IS my sign.

Maybe I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope he becomes motivated to purge on his own time.

…or maybe I will just throw it all away because chances are he’ll never notice they’re gone.  Nah, that’s probably rude.

And it’s not just clothes, its knits too.  Just look at this stash collection I’ve created.  I have a problem.

I’ve seen worse, obviously, but this is me not buying yarn for MONTHS (except for that one instance last week), I feel like I still haven’t even put a dent in these bins.  I have no idea what this yarn is even for?  Why did I buy it? Why is it colorful?  What was wrong with me?  I either need to donate this, make something out of it, and THEN donate, or continue to store it for a rainy day.

Ugh, how do YOU become motivated to purge? I’m asking for a friend.

Royal Obsession

I’m a quirky character, if you haven’t already figured that out.

I crochet, for one thing, which seems normal when you follow like 500 like-minded Instagram accounts, but in real life, my partner in crime Bailey is one of the few people I know who knits/crochets on the reg. I do have a friend who does cross stitch, but if we’re going to be a fiber arts snob, that is not the same thing (seriously. It’s not.).

But anyway, there’s more about me that is a little eccentric. I don’t like most fruit. I also have a strong opinion that dessert should not have fruit in it, but if you want to get super technical, I do like Swedish fish and lemon-flavored starbursts (Yes, the lemon ones. You’re now wondering if I’m a sociopath, I get it.).

I don’t care for riding bikes, not one bit, as I believe I’m better off with both feet touching the ground.

I can’t stand being late, but we’ve already examined that psychological problem in detail.

And…

I’m obsessed with the Royal Family.

It likely stems from the fantasies of being a princess that many little girls grew up with. Or that because I grew up on a farm in the heart of the U.S. versus in a CASTLE, that I’m so fascinated by a life so different than my own.

Either way, obsessed.

Remember when Will and Kate tied the knot? I convinced my friend Monica it would be a good idea to get up at 3am and watch the wedding on the treadmills at the gym. I had the nuptials streaming with my headphones in at work. And then I proceeded to watch coverage of it from the time I got home that night until I went to bed. Literally 5-6 hours of replaying things that I had already watched. Obsessed.

When Harry and Meghan got married? Same thing, but I had a kid, so I tried to convince him the horses on their carriage were fun to watch so I could maximize my news coverage instead of changing to Saturday morning cartoons.

I actually looked up flights to England to get in on the pre-wedding hype. Seriously.

Flights were cheap, lodging was the bigger issue. If you were curious.

I binge watched The Crown, and watched every documentary on the family that Netflix has to offer. Queen Elizabeth is the epitome of boss bitch and I love her for it. Her elegance? Perfection. Her steadfast rule? Legendary. The perfected side eye of disapproval?

YASSSS QUEEN.

So, as you can imagine, waiting around for Harry’s royal spawn has started to get very exciting.

Girl or boy? Will it have red hair? Meghan’s smile? Harry’s care free personality? How many names will they get? SO MANY THINGS TO WONDER ABOUT.

Not a blanket for Harry and Meghan, but a baby blanket nonetheless. They’ve likely got a million already made for them in silk and cashmere, so I’ll just continue making mine for charity and call it a day. 😊

The moral of the story is if I seem distracted this month, this is one of the reasons why.

And for real, Netflix, when do we get a release date for The Crown’s third season?

-Amy

Old Lady Status Confirmed, St. Patrick’s Weekend Edition:

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m Irish, I love day-drinking, I love parades, and I love green things. With each passing year, I find myself starting earlier and ending earlier, because hey, I must work the next day and I cannot deal with the Monday fuzzies that come after a long day of raging as if I still have the stamina.

The weekend began on Friday night, casting on a new green beanie that I tasked myself to finish before Sunday’s parade. It was that moment I was reminded just how old lady I am.

Ten reasons why I feel 90:

#1: My Friday night was a rager, I spent it frogging my knit beanie because I was practicing the dandelion stitch – the struggle.

Saturday, we went skiing with some friends at Pats Peak – It was a 40-degree day and the runs were a little slushy, but it will likely be our last trip of the season, so it had to be done. I don’t typically challenge myself on the slopes, until I’ve had at least 3 beers. Guinness’ is just what I needed. Post-lunch ski run was a short one, and my last. No one was hurt, and I was quite impressed with my form as I bolted down the mountain at 30 mph – swerving every which way screaming “yikes” on my way down.

Saturday night we went out to dinner/drinks with some friends at a restaurant in the neighborhood. It was a great time, with great peeps, and it’s when my old lady tendencies really kicked in.

#2 – I made the mistake of laying down to watch Friday. The hubs had to scrape me off the couch to go to dinner. I can’t help it, I love Ice Cube.

#3 – I cannot tolerate lines or waiting in them, especially at 7pm. Luckily, we had a reservation and walking by 40+ people standing in line was so rewarding. Suckers. Reservations, always.

After dinner we scoped out a spot by the bar that would hold 14ish people – victory! I was monitoring the waves of people coming in and out, and plotted our take-over.

#4 – I was scoping out a spot to stand by the bar where people would not bump into me for at least an hour. Give me my space or SOS to you.

#5 – Bathrooms at bars these days are like a mini soap opera. Has it always been that way? I do not remember being so open with my problems to strangers. Carissa, (if you are reading this), I agree with Ashley…Jonathan really isn’t worth it. I know it was his birthday, but you shouldn’t have texted him – he’s a total jerk and you deserve better.

#6 – Every guy in that bar looked like a member of One Direction, but shorter.

#7 – Sunday, we woke up at 9am and went to brunch at a bar down the street. They opened at 10am and you better believe we were there at 9:55 to secure a seat at the bar. I’m always prompt.

#8 – The perfect seat is the one on the end (by the waitress station), where there is only one person who has the option to sit next to you – hubs. The fewer people reaching over me to order their espresso martinis, the better.

Of course, I stuffed my face with a heavy breakfast that was way too much for 10am. I was trying to get a good base that would last. I could have sat there all day sipping bloody marys, I wish I could have.

#9 – (received the bar bill) <inner monologue>: “OMG. What have we done? Was it worth it? No. I should have stayed in, I’m too poor for this. How do people do this every weekend? I could have bought 8 large pizzas, or groceries for the week. It’s okay, it’s only money, I can always make more. It’s not okay.”

Connor McGregor was in the parade and that was the ONE thing we wanted to see. That, and the people watching, which never disappoints. We didn’t see him (apparently, he didn’t do the whole parade), but we did see lots of shenanigans on the streets afterward. Jabroniville.

#10 – Before returning to our apt, I insisted that we walk through the carnage, and to appreciate the fact of “thank God that’s not me” – “oh that poor girl” “did you see that girl’s pants..did she just? Omg!” – “I hope no one gets hit by a car” – “is that guy peeing or puking?”

It’s you’re** get it together meme makers.

Some key takeaways and highlights:

  • Fire department rescued a guy off the roof. He jumped from the roof next door and couldn’t get back.
  • Always bring an extra pair of jeans for your friend – because even adults have accidents (yes, it was gross).
  • People were literally hanging of their windows and no one died, and that is what matters.

How did you spend your St. Pat’s day weekend?

~Bailey

Meet the Maker – Bailey edition

Hello friends! The other half of our blog/insta has done her meet the maker post earlier this week, so in efforts to copy her fun facts, I thought I would share a little bit about myself:

I’m Bailey and I live in Boston with the hubs – I’ve been here ~5.5 years now – Whew.  I used to live in Illinois (grew up in a small town, moved to Chicago after college and lived there for 3 years).  I have been knitting for ~3 years and have been crocheting for 2.  I taught myself to crochet on YouTube – it’s much less intimidating than knitting, in my opinion – either way, they both complete me, and keep me sane.

Few fun facts:

  • I grew up in a town of ~30k people and couldn’t wait to get out – After living the city for almost 9 years, I can now say that I appreciate the small-town lifestyle.  I wish it didn’t take me so long.
  • I read 100 books/year for 2 years in a row.  My favorite book is The Nightingale – WW2 historical fiction novels are my weakness.
  • I think Maui is the most beautiful place in the world – I still have a lot to see, but Maui will always be my favorite trip, Italy is my #2. 

Maui ❤️

  • Hygge – I strive for it every day (see below)

Hygge on point

  • If I could only bring 5 things with me on a deserted island, one of them would be Chapstick.  I cannot live without it – I’m an addict, and therefore, their perfect customer.
  • If I ever go missing in a store, I can most likely be found in the blanket section (per above pic, I can never have enough).
  • I love furniture stores and have been scoping out the perfect la-z-boy for my future woman-cave.  I want a rocking one with arm rest compartments for my knits, and snacks.
  • I once watched Shawshank Redemption on repeat for 8-hours straight because I couldn’t find the remote – and I was okay with that – I’m that lazy.
  • I used to love embroidery, sewing and cross stitch when I was younger, I need to pick that back up again.

We would love to hear more about you in the comments!

Meet the Maker: Amy

Hey everyone! 

So it seems we’ve gotten a few more followers since we started Cozy Knitty Things! Welcome! And with that, why not tell you a little more about ourselves?

My name is Amy and I live with my family (the hubs, the kid, the dog) in the Chicagoland area. Suburbia, if you will. I’ve known how to knit since I was a kid, and learned how to crochet when my partner in crime, Bailey, basically bullied me into it. (Ok, fine, I wasn’t bullied, but she harassed me regularly about converting to crochet. I caved and she was right… it’s better.) We started CKT last fall after we had both been thinking about doing something like this on our own, and the rest is history! 

Fun fact: it seems once I became a mom or turned 30 (not sure which), all solo pictures of me ceased to exist. This is me laughing and hanging on to my mom…

Anyway, that’s why I’m here, but here are just some fun facts about me: 

1. I’ve lived in Chicago for over 10 years now. Sometimes my husband and I wonder what it would be like to live elsewhere (we play the “would we live here?” game on vacations), but I doubt that will ever happen. We love Chicago and have roots here. It’s home.

2. I was a crazy runner at one point. I’ve completed 8 half marathons, and would like to increase that number to 10, but it’s not a focus right now. Staying healthy is, obviously, but I’ve taken a much more laid back approach as of late and am kind of enjoying it. 

3. Traveling is something I wish we did more of as family. The most recent vacation my husband and I took was to Iceland and it was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. I tell people you could probably go 20 times and have a different experience each time.  

Doing crazy things in Iceland… we hiked almost every day of our trip!

4. Being a good plant mom is a big goal of mine. Alas, plants just don’t love me at all. It’s still very sad to think about the day I finally gave up on the ficus tree I bought a couple of years ago. But if I can’t keep a succulent alive, the idea of keeping a ficus tree alive was just silly. 

5. I belong to two book clubs. It’s nerdy, but I’ve read quite a few wonderful books that I would have never discovered on my own, and have met a bunch of cool people along the way. And drank a lot of wine. Because that’s what book club should be about. 

6. When it comes to yarn, one goal of mine is to start writing patterns. Blankets, specifically. I just haven’t taken that leap yet, even though I play with new stitches and combinations all the time. #oneday

When your kid can no longer be trusted around the glass coffee table, you put it in storage and make life work without one.

So that was a little glimpse in my life, hopefully explaining some of the crazy that goes into my posts…. Nice to meet you and I look forward to hearing from you!

-Amy

Accessory Overload?

What is your favorite thing about starting a new hobby?  Is it the excitement of learning something knew? Exercising your mind? The self-fulfillment of overcoming challenges? It could be one or all of these things.  For me, it’s the accessories that come with starting a new hobby.

I go overboard with all my hobbies.  For example, when I first ‘learned to ski’ I remember my favorite part of the sport was buying the outfit.  The pants, coat, undershirts, cozy leggings, gloves, goggles with blacked out lenses, and of course, the helmet (who gets excited over a helmet)?  Weirdo.

It wasn’t the mountain, or the thought of scaling down it with grace and ease…it was the accessories.  All those outfits and ski gear that once pumped me up are now sitting in storage – guilty.  The only thing that would (maybe) get me back on the mountain is the thought of them laying in the basement, alone and unused.  I need to try to sell them to someone who will love and appreciate the accessories in ways that I never will.

Because accessories have feelings.

Then there is knitting.  A hobby I was sure wouldn’t be as much of an investment as ski gear.  It’s less of a commitment, more fun, and I’m less likely to be injured.  In the beginning, all this was true.

It didn’t take long for me to be 100% over the top so in love with it that I had to have the prettiest interchangeable needle set, double pointed needles, straight needles, and stitch markers I could get my paws on.  Yarn, oh the yarn.  I could write 10 posts on my yarn obsession alone, but will save that for another day.

The main point:

There are A LOT of knitting accessories, more than I ever imagined – and Instagram doesn’t help.  Below are the most recent indulgences I’ve treated myself to – NO REGRETS:

  • Knitting apparel (this cozy sweatshirt that encompasses everything I believe in):

  • This adorable pin that goes on my project bag:

  • This “project” bag that I need to replace ASAP. I have my eye on another..I told myself if I’m still dreaming about it after a couple week’s I’m buying it – Twig & Horn – look at how beautiful
  • The perfect knit chair, if you will.  This helps with posture and sits perfectly right in front of the fire, which is my fav spot – it even folds up and can be pushed under my couch when unused
  • For consideration:  glasses with lights on them, so I can see my knits in the dark, without having to turn on the main light in the room.
    p361256b

It’s gotten out of control, people.  Does anyone else get overly obsessed with accessories of the craft vs. the craft itself?  It adds to the excitement, in my opinion.  I can’t stop, won’t stop – So if you have a favorite knit accessory, please let me know what is it so I can buy it.

~Bailey