I am joining Carolyn again this month to share my word update.
This may be the most exhausting blog post I have ever written. I started it on Friday, rewrote it on Saturday, deleted it on Sunday and started again…exhausting to the nth power! And even then… hitting that damned publish button! February has just been so mentally difficult. Despite a plethora of recommendations, I had been avoiding Brené Brown for a very long time. Something in the things she said just hit way to close to home for me and I was not ready at all to even begin to think about why. But then February came… and I figured, how bad can starting be? Especially in such a short month…
Oh boy…how bad?
Apparently really bad because I listened to The Gifts of Imperfection…twice. And that was not enough so I ordered a physical copy and have been reading it, marking it, underlining it, writing in it ever since. There has been lots of anger, tears, frustrations, if only’s, and thoughts about how ignoring things just doesn’t work long term. This phrase really hit home for me:
“The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
This month I began the work of not hitting the snooze button anymore and started to peek into my inner closets that are jammed full of all the things I don’t really know what to do with.
“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.” ― E.E. Cummings
Winter reminded us over that it was far from over this week. We got snow, on snow, on snow, with a bit of freezing rain thrown in for fun… Oh, and bitter cold temperatures for the exclamation point, just in case you weren’t paying attention! However, next week’s more moderate temperatures bring hope!
This week, I found so much hope in conversations…conversations I listened to.
You and Me Both is back for season two… the first episode is titled Hope and seemed so appropriate for Hillary’s Full of Hope conversation with Amanda Gorman.
The other conversation I discovered this week came from Pádraig Ó Tuama in The Corrymeela Podcast. Episode one was one that really made me stop and think. If anyone knows about differences it is the people of Ireland. This first conversation also brought hope.
I have been contemplating the options for a virtual spinning class but I don’t know what kind of class I want to take. I feel like I spin the same yarn ever.single.time. and am sort of feeling like I am stuck and I need a new perspective. Last night I discovered the perfect solution! Jillian’s Patreon!! Hope sometimes comes in a joyfully exuberant person!
Finally, hope was found in writing thanks to remember, commitment, and interdependent.
And that is all I have for this week! Stay safe everyone and I will see you all back here on Monday for my word update!
As I get ready to embark on my Lenten Poetry Journey, I thought some words of wisdom from Ferlinghetti’s Poetry As Insurgent Art would be the perfect thing to start me on my journey!
Be a songbird, not a parrot.
Be a canary in the coal mine. (A dead canary is not just an ornithological problem.)
Be also a rooster, waking up the world.
Write short poems in the voice of birds.
Birdsong is not made by machine. Give your poem wings to fly to the treetops.
Compared to last week, it’s been a slow making week. One sleeve finished, one sleeve begun, but I still have miles to go before I bind off. But, I am closer than I was last week… and so I knit on!
Looks impressive from this angle…
Until you see how far I have yet to go…sigh.
I cast on a pair of socks for Steve with some Miss Babs 2-ply Yummy, color way… Coffee Break. I am a bit concerned about how it’s pooling but I am knitting on. It’s a bit of a “make it up as you go pattern” top down, with a long-tail tubular cast on, a reinforced heel, and then I am hoping for a toe that is better fitting for Steve’s foot. Stay tuned!
It was a slower reading week as well with just two finishes (and one was super short!)
This book was pure fun. Lots of reminiscing…music, movies, games. The story picks up somewhat seamlessly from Player One’s close and there it takes you on an unexpected journey. Player One was so brilliant, it was a hard act to follow. I liked Player Two quite a bit, but I think the first book was just ever so better. The ending in Player Two though… crazy. And it leaves you with so much to think about! I highly recommend this book!
Just 90 pages long, but wow is this little book jam-packed with wisdom! I have read through it several times and am thankful that my library had this book! I first learned of Ferlinghetti several weeks ago on an episode of The Writer’s Almanac and it was even better than I anticipated!
There are three kinds of poetry:
Supine poetry accepts the status quo. Sitting poetry written by the sitting establishment has a bottom line dictated by its day job. Standing poetry is the poetry of commitment, sometimes great, sometimes dreadful.
Ferlinghetti encourages one to release their inner poet in the most amazing way! I highly recommend this book!
What about you? What has inspired you this week? Or are you like me knitting in slow motion?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
This weekend being a long weekend was advantageous…it was icy over the weekend and overnight came some more snow, not as much as was predicted (thank goodness) but still, it is good that Steve has today off. I stumbled across this poem by Louise Glück and I thought it was most appropriate for today…especially the ending. Happy Monday all! See you back here on Wednesday!
Lots of good-natured sunshine everywhere
making the snow glitter—quite
lifelike, I thought, nice
to see that again; my hands
were almost warm. Some
principle is at work, I thought:
commendable, taking an interest
in human life, but to be safe
I threw some snow over my shoulder,
since I had no salt. And sure enough
the clouds came back, and sure enough
the sky grew dark and menacing,
all as before, except
the losses were piling up—
And yet moments ago
the sun was shining. How joyful my head was,
basking in it, getting to feel it first
while the limbs waited. Like a deserted hive. Joyful—now there’s a word
we haven’t used in a while.
This week I was reminded over and over and over how poetry brings hope.
“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
― Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver must have been seeing what I see when I look out my windows this week. Yes, it is still winter here in Pittsburgh and we have had lots and lots of snow this week. It it just so beautiful… clean, bright, and hushed.
There was nothing hushed about Amanda Gorman’s poetry before “the big game” last Sunday. I have no idea who had the idea to ask her to write a poem to read before kick off, but… imo…this needs to be something that happens before EVERY sporting event! It was simply the best part of the game because it focused on the hope that is working in our communities.
Next Wednesday, Lent begins and with it a journey. I confess that I am nervous and excited for what lies ahead – writing poetry for 40 days…but that thought also fills me with hope.
Finally, I listened to Chaplain Barry Black on Wednesday as he opened the senate impeachment session with these words from James Russel Lowell’s poem The Present Crisis: “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;” I did not know this poem at all, but I have read it a number of times this week. I am stunned that something written 177 years ago has such relevance today…and hope.
Have a great weekend everyone! See you back here on Monday!
If you have time to knit, if you’ve taken up knitting, it means you’re not worried about the essential stuff.
— Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
That quote defines my life this week…Laundry? Dusting? Meh…I have been consumed with knitting this week!
This week I have finished two infinitely wearable knits and I will take at least 6 more weeks of winter to get the maximum wearing opportunities possible for both items!
Yes, I finished my Heart Warmer Cowl, which when I saw Karen knitting hers I needed to cast on immediately! And…it is everything I wanted it to be! Warm, not tight around my neck, and it was fun to knit! (okay, outside of those bobbles… oh boy, lol) And though those bobbles were a bit of a pain to knit, wow do I like the texture they bring!
Details, if you are interested:
Cast on in January, cast off February 3
Yarn: Jill Draper Makes Stuff Ansel in Forget Me Not color 2 (which is sadly out of stock.) I used almost the entire skein. This yarn is a joy to knit with, it is sheep-y and light as air. This is my second project with this yarn and I wish I had more of it!
Mods: I only did two rounds of the bobbles – instead of three. I did four repeats of the broken rib pattern, two repeats of smocking, and one and a half repeats of the grapes. I used a German Twisted cast on, and the recommended tubular bind off.
Next is my handspun Hitchhiker! Oh.my.gosh! I am absolutely in love with it! It might be my favorite thing I ever made! The fiber I used was from Amy at Spunky Eclectic and I bought it probably 5 or 6 years ago. I had 2-4 oz. braids. I can spin BFL so thin, so my goal was to get a consistent fingering weight yarn. It bloomed a bit when I finished it, so I’d say it ended up a fairly consistent heavy fingering weight yarn. (Amy sadly doesn’t have any gradient braids right now, but she does have some fiber sets that I think would work!) I love to knit, but knitting with handspun yarn just takes my love of knitting to a new level. If you don’t spin, I am sorry for you, because knitting with yarn you made is just incredible. (And when the yarn you made is practically perfect in every way… Zen Knitting FTW!)
Again, details if you are interested:
I started spinning the yarn in December and finished the spinning in January. I spun roughly 760 yards.
I cast on on January 23, and cast off on February 7.
I used almost every bit of my yarn (just 7 yards left over) and managed to get 50 “teeth” a really lovely size for me!
As you can see, I am spinning a fun set of merino from HipStrings and have plans to make another Hitchhiker…this time with beads! Yes, I’d say I have caught the Hitchhiker Bug! I am about halfway through the fiber and look forward to finishing soon so I can cast on this month!
My nighttime knitting project is sleeves on my resurrected Evening Dew Cardigan. I have about a sleeve and a half to go. It might be done sooner than I imagined! Ha! Hopefully, I have a finished sweater next week!
Finally, a friend sent me the loveliest little present this week… it was a complete surprise and I stopped everything and cast on on Monday and in short order had one heart done! This, my friends, is potato chip knitting at its finest! I might have more hearts in process! lol
I had been stumbling around looking for another good mystery series and I think I have found it! Gabriel Allon is a fascinating character. He is unexpected and incredibly likable. The writing is good, bits of information but not so much as you solve it too early!
This was the “little book I did not know I needed”!! I listened to it, twice. Yes… twice. And when I considered listening a third time – I knew I needed to buy it, asap! I originally rated this book 4-stars, but have changed that rating to 5-stars. It is the perfect guide to help you learn how to embrace your life.
But what about you, Gentle Readers, what are you excited about making or reading this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!