Between Stitches 2018 Wrap-up

Last January, I challenged myself to post once a month about all things in my life that I don’t normally share here any longer. I didn’t think I would actually meet the challenge and went into it knowing that I would likely fall off after a few months. So, no one would be more surprised than me to find that I did in fact meet the challenge! Obviously, my December post is rolling out a few days late as I write this on the first day of the new year, but I showed up and that counts for something.

21594EF8-5B85-4996-B6BD-564E92C08BCF.jpg

This month was what you would expect, really. Crazy holiday madness, feeling like the month slipped by faster than ever, and enjoying some vacation time from work and school. I ordered a 9 foot artificial tree (we have had natural trees for years, but with the holiday schedule this year, it just wasn’t logical), and I had one hell of a time getting the lights strung on that baby. Hubs took pics and video for posterity as I sweat and panted going round and round, on and off the step stool. It was a bit like hell, really. I also got to see my hubby and his mom roll out dozens of Hungarian cookies which was equal parts sweet and charming. I took time off from all work which I never do, and I got to have lunch with my editor AGAIN. I also picked out some new frames for the first time in a few years, so I’ll have a new face for 2019.

The big thing, personally, is that my mom and I found my grandmother’s recorder and a few tiny tapes with names scrawled on them. The one we were looking for had my great-grandmother and her younger brother telling the story of coming to America. Against all odds, we found it! There are some really interesting bits about coming to a country and no one speaking your language, starting school, and there horrible 21 day trip by ship across the Atlantic. However, there were two stories that had us all cracking up. First was the story of my great-grandmother seeing ice cream cones for the first time. She said she was horrified because she couldn’t understand why people in America were walking around licking boiled eggs. The second was a story from before leaving their tiny farming town in Sicily. She asked her brother, “Do you remember that little chicken we had? Carmelo hit it with a rock and we thought it was going to die — it was going around and around — but it didn’t! It lived! But then all of its feather’s fell out and our mother made a dress for it.” He replied, “Oh ya, I do remember a chicken in a dress!” It was so funny listening because I’m thinking, OH (yay) a little chicken! OH (no) got hit with a rock and was gonna die!? OH (yay) it lived! OH (no) all the feathers fell out? OH (cute!) it wore a mama made dress! What an emotional roller coaster! The sobering bits included her hesitation for talking about the boat which she said was so horrible she didn’t want to remember it, and when they first arrived at their apartment which was in terrible disrepair and she wanted to know why they had to come to this horrible place (America). On the same tape, I found a six-year-old me singing jingle bells but the best part was my grandmother saying, “That was Courtney Jacobs singing Jingle Bells. She is six years old and it is December 1988.”

Since gran just passed in September, it was really nice hearing her voice when she was so young. You can actually hear how radiant she was — it beamed through that scratchy little speaker. My great-gran passed just before I had Alizah and her voice was so distinct and easy to pick out even after all this time. However, I will admit, I scoured those tapes for even just a hint of my papa’s voice. I haven’t heard it in 30 years and I couldn’t remember it at all. There was a single tape with “JACK” printed on the label. Papa went by Jack rather than Angelo and I excitedly hit play but it was a tour guide talking. It was weird and I could hear my grandmother’s laugh, but no Jack. I went forward and back, but it was just more of this tour or booming music that sounded like it was in the lobby of a hotel. Disappointed, I rewound to the very beginning and hit play. “This is a test… this is NOT a test. Jeanette Calicchio Carmela Russo….” It was him. Him being a smart-ass, messing with my gran.

I wanted to do a bit of a year re-cap for December’s Between Stitches soooo….. here are links to all of the Between Stitches posts:

JANUARY//FEBRUARY//MARCH//APRIL//MAY//JUNE//JULY//AUGUST//SEPTEMBER//OCTOBER//NOVEMBER

I would like to say I’ll be continuing this in 2019 (and I very well might!!) but it is going to be a very full year, packed with work and new things that are super exciting.

Here are just a couple things you can watch for from Pink Brutus Knits in 2019:

  1. I have another design that will be published in the January issue of Taproot Mag — it’s so big and so lovely! I’ll be posting more about that very soon.

  2. My new book is scheduled for release this August, so you can expect to see some teasers this summer as we prepare for launch!

  3. I will be hosting my first ever KAL as part of the book launch (and I’m pretty pumped about it).

  4. I’ve designed a pattern for L'écheveau solidaire which will launch in the fall so stay tuned after the book launch for more info on that.

  5. My Instagram is going full business mode. All of my family, friend, pet, life stuff will be over at my personal account for friends and family only. This is something I’ve wrestled with all year and finally decided to do it so that I can share things for those I know IRL that I don’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing publicly. That’s more of a change that will impact my life and not any of yours, but if you are wondering what happened all of my non-work related pics, there you have it!

  6. There is more still, like possible class offerings, but so much of that is still in the early phases and I don’t have much to share just yet.

I’m looking forward to all the potential the year of the Pig has and I’m ready to hold on tight for the ride. Wishing the same for all of you!!