Unraveled Wednesday | 3.4.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.4.20

February Making was surprising… I finished 2 pairs of socks (First pair here)! What? I know, I shocked myself as well! February was the month of Sarah Jordan Sock Knitting and I have happy feet as a result! I also spy a few more socks on her page that I think need in my sock drawer!

I also have a very good start on my March socks for St. Paddy’s day!

I also finished my final flannel Esme Tunic and it has been getting lots of wear! I have plans to do some more sewing this month as well!

But, let’s talk a bit about I’ve Got Sunshine Socks! I thought the cabling on the leg would be fussy to do with small yarn and small needles, but it was just the opposite – it felt like it made the sock knitting go faster (think self striping yarn fast!!) I did two repeats of the pattern on each leg before I started the heel. And, this sock also has a different heel technique and it makes for a very nice fitting heel. I think I might just need a second pair of these socks in a bright sunny yellow! (Especially since I have the cabling pattern memorized!)

February was a very good month for reading! I read 12 books, but the incredible part was that of those books I deemed 4 of them to be 5-star, must reads!

Dream WorkDream Work by Mary Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I love Orion, his fiery body, his ten stars, his flaring points of reference, his shining dogs.”

I stood in my backyard tonight looking at Orion and these words sang in my head. I read this book through twice. It has so much depth in such simplicity. I had originally given this book 4-stars, but I just could not stop thinking about these poems and they deserve a 5-star rating. I highly recommend this book!

The Japanese LoverThe Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been on a bit of an Allende kick recently, and while I did not think this book was quite as good as A Long Petal, it is a beautiful story with incredible characters. This book had surprises, sorrows, and so much love…I highly recommend this book.

 

What about you? What was your favorite make or read last month?

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


Looking Back | February 2020

Looking Back | February 2020

In looking back at February, I am grateful it is not a longer month! However, I am appreciative of the lengthening days! In twenty-nine short days, we gained over an hour of daylight!

And, there was so much more sunshine this month than in January, but we also had a good bit of precipitation – both rain and snow.

I continued to track the temperature in my area which continues to shock me…we had 1 day in the 60’s, 7 days in the 50’s, 14 days in the 40’s, 8 days in the 30’s, and just 2 days in the 20’s. I wonder if all those knitting Tempestry Projects are feeling as I do (and if they have run out of warmer colors yet!)


The Best Part of the Month:

Flowers…inside and out! And, my wee little snow drops weathered February and are still hanging in there as March begins!

Something New:

There was a new thing this month… on the spur of the moment we decided to head to New Cumberland, WV to visit Mountaineer Casino. And, it was a productive trip in that left the casino with more than we came with! (And, we also visited the Fiesta Outlet and left some of our winnings there…as you can see on the 25th)

Best “Oh, Wow” Moments:

I had worried after losing our Knitting Leader in January that our little knitting group would fall apart. I have stepped in to the “leader” role (if you can call it leader – I actually just send out the text message reminding everyone that it’s Knit Night Day and ask who is joining me!) However, I have grown our little group by one and I am working on recruiting some more to join us. I have also become the “fixer of dropped stitches” and the “finder of free patterns.” And honestly? Any time I spend in my local library makes me so happy. It is a place I truly love.

What I did Well and What I can do Better:

In February I made a concerted effort to “love myself.” And, I did so with my “public ready” (read with makeup!) face as well as my “private” (read no makeup!) face. To start the month, it was not easy at all, but it did get easier as the month moved along. I can stand here today and tell you than I am worth the effort it took!

However, the days of moping are over and so are the days of not moving my body. Yes… I did not walk or do any Pilates for the entire month. So, while I worked on loving myself, I did not engage my physical self at all. In hindsight, moving my body might have helped me love my emotional self more easily.

And there you have my February, over in the blink of an eye! What was your best February Moment?

 

 

Loving February | 2.28.20

Loving February | 2.28.20

There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer. — Gertrude Jekyll

That day came this week in western Pennsylvania, because on Tuesday I surely smelled a hint of summer. And as I came home from Ash Wednesday services, I saw that glorious faint green glow of the start of leaves in some protected areas! Those hints will help me get through the return of winter weather and I hope that this cold spell does not settle in for long. It is hard going back to wintry days after having a taste of spring!

It’s Lent and Steve had seriously asked me make a spread sheet for the area Friday Fish Fry locations…really, a spread sheet… Thank goodness that I found about a million sites for the Fish-Fry-Extravaganza (and even maps!!) that began on Wednesday here in the ‘Burgh! It seems Friday Cocktail Hour will be overtaken by 40-days-of-fried-fish ::sigh::

I stumbled across a moving piece in The New Yorker Magazine yesterday and I was reminded of something Bonny said yesterday: “Sometimes we just have to search a bit harder and pay special attention to the delight.” Look no further, this piece is full of delight and, yes, bread pudding.

And, speaking of delight…this tweet caught my attention this week:

I have been having the “great inner debate” over Romi’s Mystery Shawl: Should I? One color versus two? What color? But in the midst of the great debate, Larissa Brown’s Lunar Fade MKAL appeared on the horizon. Stash busting, anyone? I can tell you that I simply love my Lunar Phase wrap (and I even bought some denim material to make a Uniform Dress to wear with it… ok, maybe not just that wrap…but yeah. I really love it!!)

Anyways, I am thinking I will wait to see how Romi’s Mystery unfolds and then answer my questions and in the mean time I might have given my stash a good toss and found some yarns that just might work for a Lunar Fade!

Finally, Vera is always inspiring and yesterday was no exception! (And just in time because my socks are finished…in 12 days!! What???) So I have an empty set of sock needles…St. Paddy’s Day Socks anyone? I bet Vera never imagined that she’d be the reason for a little sock knit along! But, the pattern she picked is so cute… AND SPRINGY…and FREE!! So, grab some green yarn and join me knitting some Miss Lime Socks with her! And these are moving right along, when I set my knitting aside last night I was finished with 3 pattern repeats!

Grinch-y Green is not quite an Irish color, but I like this start!

That’s all that I have today! Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.26.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.26.20

Greetings Unravelers and Happy End of February!!

March brings so many good things, but best of all is Mason Dixon’s March Mayhem! I will be seriously contemplating all the “sock” entries! I know that yesterday I talked about planned making and socks are absolutely on that list! I am here this week with just over 1.5 pairs of newly knit socks!

Things to note… on the completed pair of socks: Yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sock yarn in colorway Happy Accident. There was a bit of time between sock one and sock two. I think I did a change to the stitch count in the heel in sock one, but I did not note that in the pattern, of course… So, one heel has a couple more rows than the other. However, I love this pattern for striping yarns because the heel! I think next time I make this I will use a contrasting color for the bottom of the heel so that the stripes can remain contiguous on the foot.

On the In Process Sock: Oh boy. Where do I begin with knitter errors (as in mine not Sarah’s!) First, I thought I was knitting with a size one needle, nope – I had a zero and my fabric was not at all even close to the gauge. I had to unravel it and reknit on size ones (and there was some serious unraveling because I finished the heel flap!) Once I was using the correct needle the sock does move right along! Then came the start of sock two… when I did not listen to the inner knitter shouting, “Hey… that is not matching up at all with the cuff!” I tried to explain to myself that flowing ribbing did not matter – but once I got the first “twist patterning” done I had to agree with my inner knitter and so I ripped back and adjusted to have the ribbing and the patterning line up correctly. I am positive this was a counting error on my part and as you can see sock two is now farther along than it was on Monday and part of it was reknit!

The reading had highs and lows this week…I know many of you loved Tell Me More, but oh boy. I did not like it at all as you can see below. However, I am suffering from some significant book hang over so perhaps that might be part of my issue.

The Murmur of BeesThe Murmur of Bees by Sofía Segovia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book! What beautiful writing, what beautiful characters, what an incredible story. But Simonopio and his beloved bees stole my heart! The writing paints a vivid picture of life in Mexico with the sights and the sounds and the life described wonderfully! I did not want this book to end and the ending was emotional, including lots of tears. I highly recommend this book!

Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to SayTell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Things you should never write about: kids not flushing the toilet and the dog eating it. This was an absolutely unnecessary bit of information which gave nothing to the book, only detracted! I wanted to like it, but it all seemed so very fake to me. Or perhaps the author telling me that her reality is better than mine was the biggest put off. Read at your own risk.

What is MineWhat is Mine by Anne Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scandinavian Noir at its finest! The first book in the Vik/Stubo series and it was a wild ride. I originally rated the book 3-stars, because I found an incident in the story felt, well… not right towards the books end. While this “thing” (no spoilers here!) did not make sense and still not make sense now in recounting it, it is just a small blip in the book which was excellent! A great plot that had me wondering all along who did it, and how it all came together as the mystery is solved is brilliant.

That is all I have for this week, but what about you? What are you making this week?

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


An Intentional Life

An Intentional Life

Live with Intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. – Mary Anne Radmacher

It turns out that January’s fumbled start was just what I needed to stop and consider what intention can mean for my life. And February brought lots of thoughts and even some ideas and before I knew it, being intentional slowly began to take root in my days.

One thing I wanted to be more intentional about this year was my reading. I really needed to give myself permission to slow down and savor a story versus being a perpetual participant in the Reading Race. And wow, this has been a surprisingly delightful thing. Part of that slowing down and savoring process has included writing brief reviews/thoughts on the books I have finished. I am taking time from when I finish a book to when I write the review – time in which I am processing the story, thinking about what I liked, what stayed with me, and what about this book makes me want to tell someone they need to read it (or not as the case might be).

The other part of my intentional reading includes reading more poetry. I know very little about poetry outside a few poems that my grandpa eagerly shared with me. He loved poetry and had so many poems memorized and it was amazing to hear him talk about them. But my poetry knowledge leaves much to be desired so this year my goal is to read a book of poetry each month. I never realized what I was missing by not reading poetry, but the journey thus far has been both eye and mind-opening!

The other facet of my life is making, and it is clear to me that I need to be be intentional in my making (as well as my reading!) I spent some time going through “in process” projects and a good number of them were unraveled. It felt so good to reclaim those needles and my “yes, I really want to make this” list is now manageable. I realized that making is not a race – I love the process of knitting. But, honestly…how many more sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. do I need?

I have been slowly going through my wardrobe with some intention as well and as a result I have more things that will be leaving which makes it easier to see “holes” that need to be plugged. Once I have completed this “clean out” I will have a list of things that I will work on making as the year progresses. Intentional making is a very good thing!

One thing I have been truly been missing is some kind of daily stitching – but again, I don’t really need or want to do twelve more months of stitching projects. However, a somewhat planned 100 Day Project might be just the thing and I have begun sketching out some ideas of what/where/how I’d like to create this textile. I’d like this to fall somewhere in between “play with abandon” and “continue to learn” or perhaps both!

I am joining Honoré and friends as we explore our words together! Stop by and see how everyone did!

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels

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