Stop looking forward to things, look inward instead. Kamand Kojouri
After spending almost 30 days with my word for 2019 I am more confident than ever that focus is the right word for me this year. But, wow – there is so much to unpack with this word!
I have spent much of the month looking inward and thinking about the whys of all the things I do. It has been a very good review process which is going to upset several habits, and while they are not necessarily bad, they don’t always help me stay focused on what is important. Habits are hard to break but I have become more mindful of things I am doing – and the things I am not doing.
- I am refraining from jumping on the “Make 9 in 2019” bandwagon – although I have thought about it! Rather, I started a more mindful list of things I need to finish and things in my Ravelry Library that I want to make.
- I have started a gift knitting list that I will work on all year long.
- I want to intentionally spend an hour each evening spinning while we watch the news and I have been able to “sit and spin” at least 3 times a week thus far!
- I am not going to let my desk become the black hole for papers and, honestly – this might be the hardest habit to break! This is really going to take some work, so I have added it to my “monthly focus list” in my planner to help me stay focused!
So as January draws to a close, I feel like I am off to a good start for the first time in a long!
Want to see what everyone else is doing with their word? Head on over to Juliann’s to see!
The weekend seemed a bit anti-climactic after last weekend’s weather drama, but a quiet winter weekend was truly a lovely thing. There was some snow, some cold, and glory of glories there was even some sunshine!! All this added up to another quiet, stay at home weekend and while I don’t have any finished projects to share, I did do lots of different things!
I spent quite a bit of time laying out the pattern pieces for Thea Rachelle – lots of pages and lots of tape but I am now ready to cut out my flannel muslin. I will sit and do this tomorrow morning with a nice cup of coffee and Marilla of Green Gables to keep me company!
I spent a little time knitting this weekend and happily, my “second choice” yarn for Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl will be perfect! I am almost done with “clue 2” and can I just say I really appreciate Ysolda not changing the pattern format which is still in clues! I love printing out a clue and working on it – it somehow seems more manageable. The yarn is a heavy laceweight single that I got some years ago at the Michigan Fiber Festival – sorry I do not know the dyer, but I believe the yarn is a non-super wash merino and I love the spring green color – it will be a lovely addition to my wardrobe!
I finished spinning and plying my fourth skein (only two more to go!!) for Brenshevia Boone’s Spin/Knit Along – it needs a good relaxing soak but here is the unfinished skein. I am very happy with my “barber-pole” planning on these skeins. Nightshift was originally knit with Spincycle Yarns which have the loveliest barber-poling effects with subtle color shifts – so when I picked fiber to spin, I looked for fibers that had no more than 3 colors and I looked for fiber that had some similarity in color or hue. I have been dividing each bump of fiber into thirds and just spinning and so far, my “random” method is working out nicely. And, I am managing to spin each fiber to a consistent “worsted-weight” 3-ply yarn which is not the easiest of tasks for me! I started on the fifth bump of fiber today and hope to have the spinning done in the next two weeks and then I will be ready to knit!
I also did some stitching this weekend! The wings of my little bird are done, and I am quite happy with the result. I have to whip-stitch them together yet, but I think my little “red winged blackbird” will be adorable! Suggestions for any of you who have plans to make your own little flock of birds – next time I would trace the pattern onto the fabric and complete the stitching of the wings and tail pieces before I cut them out. This will allow you to use an embroidery hoop which will make for more even stitches.
In all my recent reorganizing, I found a bag containing a cross-stitch pattern, fabric, and floss. I have not cross-stitched in probably more than 20 years, but I got started on it while watching the end of Season 4 of Dr. Who (okay, not really season 4 but that is how it is listed on Amazon Prime.) This is a project that will require lots of daylight to work on because I think the linen fabric is 26-count or something insane like that! I hope to share an “in-progress” photo later this week!
There were also gardening conversations, visit to Michigan conversations, and what next to tackle on the house conversations.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend! How was your weekend?
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. – Hal Borland
This week marked a visible increase in daylight arriving earlier and lingering well after 5PM so this quote seemed most appropriate for today. And then I saw something that made me really smile! Only
35 57 days until spring!! (Thanks, Karen for bursting my bubble! LOL)
You are welcome.
Thinking About – Insomnia and how many of us struggle with it. There is a part of me that wonders if men suffered from this same issue for the same reasons (I am looking at you, menopause – in all your various stages) you know there would be some amazing solutions that actually would work.
Grateful For – Welcoming in the last weekend of January!! It has been a long month but by this time next week the brighter and much shorter February will be upon us! Oh, and yes there only
35 57 days until spring!!
Inspired To – Do more sewing this weekend – specifically I am going to work on a Thea Rachelle Raglan. I have been looking at images that some very creative people have made, and I think I have the direction I want to go in my mind – I especially like the idea of a shirt that I can layer under and over things! Now, I just need to get the pattern cut out and marked so that the sewing can begin!
Fascinated By – My red Amaryllis – two stalks of blooms – one with 4 buds, one with 5 buds! And, that color!!
That’s all I have for this week! Have a good weekend every and Happy Friday!
Joining up with Carole today to share a few things about me!
I have for quite some time in my life experienced long bouts of insomnia. And by long, I mean weeks at a time until exhaustion overtakes the insomnia and I get a couple of nights of sleep. I am in one of those bouts and I have been really trying to examine ways to break this cycle. This week I have been trying some new things – well, old things at new times. I have been a prayerful meditator for quite some time, but I have been trying some breathing meditations at the end of the day to try to calm my mind and body. While I think it is too soon to tell if this is helping in the few days, I have been doing it, at least I am less stressed about sleeping when I lay down. Last night I also made myself a nice tea latte to sip before bed – hot herbal tea, a bit of honey, and steamed frothy milk were a nice treat. I am not sure the tea helped me sleep, but it felt good to “take care of me”.
Why is your hair entirely manageable (and even fairly attractive) one week and the next it is a freaking disaster? (also, why does one side have some nice waves but the other entirely straight… really – I.kid.you.not.) Really… is this a thing for everyone? I am in the “freaking disaster” stage and I don’t have a hair appointment until next month (which I realize is not that far away, but…freaking disaster, people… I am telling you… FREAKING DISASTER!!) All this disaster hair has me pondering “new do’s” which means I am trolling the Hair Style Pinterest pages like a crazy person. While I simply adore Mary’s bravado with her darling Audrey Hepburn do… I must be entirely honest with myself – I only like to visit the salon every 7-8 weeks and a short cut requires much more maintenance than I am willing to do. But I am thinking that maybe a good “trim” of 3-4 inches will help this issue? Yeah… thinking is always a good thing when it comes to hair – those rash hair cuts have always resulted in ‘what the hell did I do that for’?!?
I have been thinking long and hard about my wardrobe – specifically what I wear and what I don’t wear. It turns out that my “don’t wear” things are taking up a LARGE VOLUME OF PRIME CLOSET REAL ESTATE. So… I think I see a little Kon-Mari-Be-More-With-Less action coming to a closet near me!
There you have it… three things for today!
It’s Wednesday and that can mean just one thing – making and reading!!
On the making front – there was a bit of unraveling this week. My yarn selection for Ysolda’s shawl was not good. I worked “clue one” with no problems, but “clue two” is where the problems arose. There are some slipped stitches with the yarn on carried on the right side of the fabric – but my yarn choice did not show this at all in a pleasing way. So, it has been frogged and while I swatch with a few other yarns, I am working on my “in process” Ravelry queue – which is a very good thing! This means I am finally almost to the halfway point on this project!
I also cut out a bird – in a bit of a “muslin” flannel to see how this works. Stay tuned for this stitching to unfold.
As you can see, even with failure – the making still progresses!
This week’s reading had some very interesting results!
In the, “wow this took me a long time to read” category: Tenth of December by George Saunders. This is a collection of short stories that were not quick reads at all. This was not a quick read for me because I needed to think about each story after finishing it. It was at times hard to understand without a bit of thought – and at times upsetting, at times humorous, and at all times compelling. The first and last stories were by far my favorite – but maybe because I understood them best? I gave this book 4-stars – Saunders is an amazing wordsmith!
Last year, I read and LOVED The Story and I have been fascinated by it ever since so when I found Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How they Communicate – Discoveries from A Secret World I thought I would find answers to many questions I had, and while I enjoyed it – it was too much a blend of supposition and fact. And, sometimes it was hard to figure out fact from fiction. However, it was a book that held my attention, so I gave it 3-stars.
A book I do not recommend is The Ruined House. The story revolves around egocentric Andy Cohen and the slow destruction of life as he knows it. The entire book is full of almost over-kill on details until the end. And, then with no logical explanation – life is somehow miraculously and perfectly restored for Cohen. Originally, I gave this book 2 stars, but have downgraded my review to 1-star (and really, I’d love to give it a half a star, but Goodreads does not have that option!)
Finally, the winner of the week is Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. This is a beautifully told story surrounding an absolutely horrific act and what happens because of that act. The story is told from the perspective of Joe, the son of a judge in a tribal court. The book is powerful, moving, and gives a look into life on an Ojibwe Reservation in North Dakota. 5-stars and I highly recommend!
That is what I have for the week – what about you? What’s on your radar this week?
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