by Kat | Mar 20, 2023 | General, In The Kitchen
It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
― Rainer Maria Rilke
It has been a March of All The Weather… we have had very warm days (72° F on the first!!), some very cold days (a low of 18° F over the weekend, sigh), winds, rain, snow, more winds… and this morning clear skies and sunshine!
But despite all this indecisive weather… I can see leaves beginning on the bushes in our yard, the forsythia have some flowers, my neighbors daffodils are blooming (and stunningly the deer have yet to eat them!), and the maple tree in our front yard is full of “red flowers” that are the harbingers to Helicopter Season! And today I welcome spring! (and I am so very ready for it!)
I also am happy to say that taxes are “done and dusted”… whew! Of course, we owe… but it is such a trifling amount, I can’t even be upset about it!
I had some follow up bloodwork on Saturday… and the results were stunning. My cholesterol dropped 70 points in just six weeks! Thank you, Lipitor™!! Honestly, I am stunned by how quickly that little pill has made a difference… and this morning I am so grateful for the scientists who make life better!
I began the picking up of stitches on the neck of my handspun sweater… it was rather grand, I picked up *the correct number of stitches* the first time! I know. What?!? I am at the three-inch-mark of ribbing and I will put the stitches on yarn and try it on this morning to see what I think about the length… soon after I will be back on Sleeve Island! I could not be happier with this sweater. The yarn gives me such delight as I knit away.
I also raced past the heel turn on Steve’s Pi Sock… and I am in the “straight-away to the toes” which is still a good bit of knitting.
So… all in all, it was a very celebratory and productive weekend! Now I have a bit of homework to get done… the Penultimate Painting for the first day of Spring… it is one giant sea of green… but the real challenge lies in my ability to create the exact shade of green…it is vivid, oy!
See you all back here on Wednesday!
by Kat | Mar 16, 2023 | General, Poetry
Happy Third Thursday….aka Gathering of Poetry Day!
In my search for a poem to share with you all, I read a lot of poetry. But one poem has stuck with me and I have thought about it every single day since I read it. It is a poem by Mary Oliver, who seems to have a poem for every occasion. I think Invitation is the perfect spring poem.
by Mary Oliver
Oh do you have time
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.
Mary Oliver, “Invitation,” A Thousand Mornings: Poems from New York: Penguin Books, 2013.
While I don’t have the Goldfinches Mary describes, I do have some very loud Song Sparrow’s, who absolutely encourage me to linger on my morning walks with Sherman in the very best way with their raucous singing! I hope this poem provides you some encouragement to linger over something ridiculously delightful in your day!
Need more poetry today? Be sure to stop and see what Bonny and Kym have gathered today!
Photo by Andrew Patrick
by Kat | Mar 15, 2023 | General, Unraveled Wednesday
By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake into itself again.
Not that year.
Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold. ― Neil Gaiman, Odd and the Frost Giants
It has been an unsettled week… the weather, the attempts at sleeping, and, yes, even the making. A week of one failure after another.
I was so excited to knit Steve some Pi Socks… and I had a rousing good start using a pattern I have knit many times before. Now, don’t get me wrong… I love the Pi Yarn, but it is a bit finer than other sock yarns. My start was less than stellar… way too loose. So I ripped back and went down a needle size and cast on again. Much better… a nice sturdy sock fabric. Except, I did not heed the voice telling me these were gonna be way to freaking small… nope, I just knit on to the heel flap and the gussets. By now the voice was loud telling me to stop and at least have Big Foot try them on.
As you can see, I ripped again… sigh. Same smaller needles but this time with more stitches on them… and I am very much paying attention to my inner knitter voice, although it has been quiet now…of course! Ha!
As you can see above, I did finish my Base12 Hitchhiker… 40 teeth and it is perfect! Soft, warm, utterly wearable! I wore it to Trader Joe’s on Sunday and the delightful check out clerk asked a million questions about it! He is a new knitter and it was so fun to talk knitting!
Kym’s darling daughter is calling this “whimsy-noir” and I think that is absolutely perfect!
The painting this week though… I was so stressed over trying… scared… silly, I know! All kinds of new techniques… and an encouragement to “mix our own colors” (which I think is the part that stymies me) instead, I used the color palette the teacher used, and once I got my “initial wash” on, I turned off the lesson and just painted. I had so much fun…I mean SO MUCH FUN! It was exactly what I needed in a week of miserable weather, miserable sleeping, and miserable knitting!
The reading this week though… oh my. It was a week that I have been profoundly grateful for the escape that books can give.
I have started another Netgalley book (Bonny read it a couple of weeks ago) and I am LOVING it! It is an interesting story format…but one I am really enjoying. I have finished the “first two stories” and am well into the third. This is the excerpt from the publisher:
One book. Nine readers. Ten changed lives. New York Times bestselling author Erica Bauermeister’s No Two Persons is “a gloriously original celebration of fiction, and the ways it deepens our lives.”
I am loving every bit of it and good thing because sleep this week has been… elusive… sigh.
In my ears during the day I have just begun Ross Gay’s Inciting Joy… the start is good and I can’t wait to see where it goes!
What about you all? How is your making this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
by Kat | Mar 10, 2023 | General, Museum of Me
If I look back on my school days… which I do with some regularity in my 60’s… and I note two key things:
- If I was good at something, I wanted to do it all the time.
- If I was not good at something, I found ways to avoid doing it at all costs.
Those two things sum up my educational life… very succinctly.
I think you can imagine how those two key things have influenced my life… or rather, how I have used those two things to influence my life!
I was late to reading… believe it or not! When I was a child they taught reading phonetically and that just did not make sense to me at all. I learned to read linguistically. But once I caught on, there was no stopping me… I always had a book with me.
Math was a similar struggle… throughout my entire school life. Not once was math ever taught in a manner that made any sense to me. I had the misfortune to being in the “guinea pig” group for a concept school for 3 years in middle school. The thought behind this concept was that if children are allowed to choose what to do, they will always choose to learn. Ha! Enter wee Kat… who finished all the reading “requirements” for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade in 6th grade. That same person did not do one lick of math in 3 years. True fact. Suffice it to say, I was not the only one and they had to implement “remedial math” classes for a large group of us when we moved on to high school.
I was, however, fascinated with science in middle school. I had an amazing science teacher… Mr. Meppelink. Mr. Meppelink made science a wonder! And science remained fascinating until I reached a big stumbling block… the one where science and math merged… that was when I “fell out” a bit with science. There was no chance I was ever going to be a scientist with my poor math skills. I wish I had some nice while-I-was-in-school-aha-moment where it all clicked but there was never one while I was in school.
But, the science story did not end when I finished school!
Some many years later…I realized that science is part of my daily life when I discovered the “how’s” of baking! The science of flour, water, yeast, and salt to make something that is edible! Bread! And if you really want to get further into the science of baking… sour dough! (Which, to date, I have never been successful at achieving! But I have tried!)
So though I was never a good science student, I managed to bake my way into being a fairly good scientist in the kitchen! Even with all the Sour Dough failures I have had! And those math skills? Well, I am happy to tell you all that I am a very happy percentage baker.
While I was not the best student… I am happy that science found a way to move it self from thing two to thing one!
Thanks to Kym for making sure these memories keep percolating to the forefront of my brain!
Happy Friday and Happy Weekend everyone!
by Kat | Mar 8, 2023 | General, Unraveled Wednesday
It’s been a week of incremental making… bits of knitting on several projects.
I almost feel like he needs another strand of buttons… bandolier style!
First up, I finished Gnedward! Gnedward has had a wandering life… and along the way if he saw a button, he picked it up! He has an impressive collection of solitary buttons. In fact, if you are missing a single button… it is very likely Gnedward has what you are looking for! He is very happy that I have invited him in to spend his days on the mantel talking with the other gnomes. He has so many stories about his travels… gnomes are very good listeners! However, I am contemplating a new home for the gnomes… stay tuned. I am looking for more twinkle lights – because gnomes can’t live without twinkle lights – and will be making some cottages for them in the coming months. However, I am going to start a new gnome soon… Gnormanda is calling to me! That frilly dress!!
Because I don’t apparently have enough projects going, I could not resist casting on Fibernymph Dyeworks Pi-Yarn. It is my first time knitting with her tweed yarn and I love it! And the striping is the perfect “just another color” incentive!
I am not showing you my Base12 Hitchhiker but, I am in the final rows! There is nothing like knitting a handspun Hitchhiker. It is simply the greatest joy!
Speaking of spinning, I am almost done with the second skein from the the batts from Hipstrings… warm is finished, and cool is coming. I am contemplating knitting a cool/warm sequence shawl with them… I need to do some swatching to see if they will play well together.
The reading this week has been a bit prophetic… I finished Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring… and what a gut punch, especially in light of the East Palestine disaster. She was an incredible trail blazer…and it is eerie how her words feel today. If you are interested in the environment and pesticides… it is a must read!
I went from that to Imani Perry’s South To America. I am not quite half way in and I am learning so much… her sharing of history in the way she does is impactful and eye-opening!
I am still making my way through Comey’s Central Park West – though I will likely have finished it last night. I confess… the second half is much better than the first. And I have an “adjusted” idea of “who did it” but I am not sure.
And there you have my Multi-faceted Making… what about you? Are you wanting to cast on new things?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave you link below and thank you!
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