Looking Back | February 2021

Looking Back | February 2021

But February made me shiver… — Don Mclean, American Pie

As I put this look back together Don Mclean’s song kept echoing in my head. A melancholy song for a melancholy month… a month of some hard emotional lifting. A month that the weather, miraculously, matched my mood.

But as I look back, I see glimmers of hope… increasing daylight, a gift of flowers that remind me how very much I am loved, a brilliant young poet who speaks to my heart, not one but two finished objects, and a wee doggy who is simply the best companion – especially on the hard days. Oh, and the snowdrops closed out the month, gently reminding me that these melancholy days are not permanent.

 


 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels
100 Days of Hope | Week 10

100 Days of Hope | Week 10

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda

This week hope began to leap forward in a most glorious manner! My little snowdrops have come up and while their little flowers are not open, these hardy little flowers are the most pleasant bits of green in a very brown garden! Mine look very similar to the image above. No open blooms yet…they are waiting for a warmer day! (Which might happen here next week… 70’s are in the forecast!!)

And how about the hope that the COVID-19 vaccines are giving? When I listened to President Biden on Tuesday, I burst into tears at his news. Tears of hope. Tears of joy. In that moment I thought of all of us who have been unable to physically see our families during this pandemic… it has been so hard and seeing that light growing so much brighter at the end of this very long tunnel was exactly what I needed.

Finally, I leave you with this… since winter solstice way back on December 21 we have gained almost 2 hours and 14 minutes of daylight. (at least here in Pittsburgh!)

Have a good weekend all… it is Get the Taxes Done Weekend here. Wish me luck, lol! See you all back here on Monday!

Photo by John Griffith from Pexels

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

“SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

This week I present my new favorite sweater! It was a long time in the making, but wow do I like it! I like it so much that I have plans to make another.

I have this vintage skein of yarn from Briar Rose Fibers (thanks to being a premier SABLE member) and once I find some mohair to go with it, I will be knitting a second sweater! (if you all have color suggestions for me, I will gladly take them!)

Anyways, back to my sweater…the fit is really lovely, but next time I will knit 2 more repeats of the “pine cones” before beginning the bottom ribbing as I’d like an option with a bit more length.  The sleeves are long and I am surprised how much I like them this length! I only did 7 sets of sleeve decreases (versus the 10 the pattern called for) and for me that was just perfect. I worried about how it would fit at the shoulders, but it sits perfectly and there is no slipping or sliding off! The pattern is incredibly well written and it is easy to follow. I highly recommend Ririko’s Evening Dew Cardigan.

On top of all of that, I managed to spin up a bit of fiber and I finished the yarn from last week. Sarah was right…a soak helped, but some bits still need a bit more twist, so I will run this through my wheel again. The other skein is Warm Woolen Mittens I (sorry, no longer available on their site) from HipStrings and I just love how it turned out!

I have yet to re-cast on those socks… and I need to get going on that pronto! But….

This lovely little diversion arrived this week from Lisa at Fibernymph Dye Works… my first installment in the Backyard Birdwatchers Club! This is chickadee (with a small bit of contrasting fiber dyed to match their speckled eggs!) and it is just gorgeous. It is BFL and I can’t wait to spin this up!

The reading was so good this week… and there was so much of it! Insomnia is good for something…oy.

Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life by Francine Jay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think this book is a simplified version of Marie Kondo – minus the joy. The author immediately suggests not reading the book cover to cover (perhaps her best suggestion, lol) but rather pick and choose the areas you want to work on. I did not find many useful suggestions, but she does make some suggestions that are helpful (perhaps not so much helpful, but insightful.)

Archive 17 (Inspector Pekkala #3)Archive 17 by Sam Eastland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It felt good to get back to Inspector Pekkala and this book takes him back to Siberia to uncover a mystery and find the Tsar’s hidden gold stash for Stalin. There are some unexpected twists and turns, but Pekkala prevails… sort of. I won’t give any of the story away, but it is a fun read!

 

The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vera and a murder…what’s not to love? This latest installment in the Vera series does not disappoint. I have so enjoyed watching the development of characters as this series has progressed. I highly recommend this series!

 


Whew… that was a lot of stuff for a post! What about you? How was your week? 

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!


Welcome, March! | 3.1.21

Welcome, March! | 3.1.21

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. — Charles Dickens

Welcome March! I have been eagerly awaiting your arrival!

It seems Dickens and I have the same vision of March… it can be glorious in the sunshine (when the sun shines here in Pittsburgh), but in the shade you’d think winter was still here!

While we had all kinds of melting in the last week of February here in Pittsburgh, I have memories of the “Mud Season” that Michigan does so very well in the spring. We have a tiny version here… our ground must thaw more quickly so it is only a Brief Interlude of Mud in Pittsburgh. This is not something I miss about Michigan, lol. Despite that melting, we will still have some very chilly days… perfect weather for a sleeveless tunic with a sweater!

Your wild winds always, always take me back to my earliest reading days with Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice. I remember walking home from the bus stop reciting it on blustery days with my arms out for balance as the wind pushed me along. I just loved reciting the “blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice” part the best.

March makes my thoughts turn to my garden and how it might grow this year. I love looking through seed catalogs and at garden images on Pinterest! This year my goal is to certify my backyard!

March also brings a time change and Pi-day (March 14th), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th), and March Madness begins March 18th. Oh..and the Knitter’s Pattern Party begins March 29!

But the best thing of all that you bring is SPRING on March 20th. I am hoping for a Lion and Lamb month… and I am so ready!

What about you? What are your hopes for March?

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This quote has been so true for me this week. Sometimes, when life is just grand… why do you need hope? It is in the moments that are, well…less than grand…that the light of hope shines through.

I want to thank everyone for their incredibly uplifting comments to my word update on Monday. You all provided little beacons of hope that lifted me this week.

Words continued to bring hope…pleasure, attention, flesh, friendship, power, struggle, and loss. I thought I’d share a couple of the “poems” I wrote this past week. It amazes me how when I read the prompt in the morning… I am worried, what will I write? Yet a day of meditating on that word brings such delight and hope when I sit down to write. Bonny was brave and shared a couple of her poems, so I thought I’d do the same.

Power:

Simple little words
lifted my soul and warmed my heart
a much needed balm

Pleasure:

Knitting stitch by stitch
slowly building row by row
time just disappears

The other thing that has brought over-flowing hope this week has been the ever-increasing daylight here in Pittsburgh…and days with sunshine! I confess to being giddy with hope on Wednesday this week when we inched our way to the 60’s! I opened windows, breathed deeply, and savored even the rainfall that happened ever so briefly during the day.

I hope you found some things that brought you hope this week! Have a fantastic weekend everyone, I will see you back here on Monday! (and it will be MARCH!!)

 

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