The making this week has had some highs and some not so highs.
First, remember this sock? Once I got the heel flap done and started down the foot and that little voice in my head kept saying, “holy cow this sock is BIG” after I got through the decreases I finally listened to that voice. End result – I frogged the sock and began again with the smallest size and hopes that this will actually fit. Oh boy.
I completed Chart One of my Pheasant Pullover and I think I need a longer length circular needle before I begin Chart Two. So, it’s in a bit of a holding pattern until I can get that longer length.
It looks spot on from this angle, but trust me when I tell you that the match up is just a bit off from front to back.
But that’s okay because I have spent my time wisely with an Esme Tunic. Matching plaids is not for the faint of heart and while this attempt was better than my first try, there is still room for improvement. The darts are hanging me up and I am not certain how to correct it. I have done something different with the pockets in this tunic with this inseam template from 100 Acts of Sewing! I hoped to have this done, but that was not happening, but at least I have a start on a new tunic! Today my challenge will be setting in the sleeves and hoping my plaids are spot on! Wish me luck! Haha
The reading also had some highs and less than high books this week as well:
I finished Fates and Furries, but it was an effort.
A mystery within a mystery. While I wondered from the beginning if they were connected – MacLeod keeps dangling hints before me. Anita’s growth in this novel is wonderful! I highly recommend this series.
I also finished Salt to the Sea and I really loved it!
Four people, four very different stories, all running concurrently. This book will stay with me for a very long time. There are horrific moments that almost crush you. There are tender moments that make you believe there is goodness. And those tender moments are so moving. I cried and the ending was so unexpected. I highly recommend this book!
A big question for me right now is garden or no garden? Last year the only thing that did well were the beans. Tomatoes and peppers were epic failures with very low production and really not worth the effort. Also, another question I am contemplating is do I want to maintain a vegetable garden by myself? When I add in all the flower beds which I currently care for solo – it all seems a bit much and Steve’s gardening interest has waned to a negative number. Perhaps a good work around would be to have a couple of tomato plants in containers that I could easily manage by myself.
I am also thinking about a Michigan trip! I think this will be another solo visit as well. I am that a mid-March visit will soon be in the works!
Listening and Watching and Reading
I recently finished Conversations with RBG and then I noted that On the Basis of Sex was streaming on television. I think the two work well together – some of the conversations RBG had with Jeffrey Rosen included a couple of the cases in the movie. I highly recommend both the book and the movie!
In my ears right now is the Pulitzer prize winning The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman, narrated by Wanda McCaddon. Wanda is a favorite narrator of mine and this book is so fascinating!
I have a lovely stack of books from the library to get through – however, I cannot read and do color work or do cables, so perhaps I need to start something with miles of stockinette! (**Perhaps the sock below is just the ticket!)
The Miles of Stockinette Pile
I also discovered that listening to NPR’s Up First is a wonderful way to start my day. I have not found success with any other podcast listening – but maybe this is enough.
On my “want to read list” is A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (which will be released tomorrow) and I heard this interview on Sunday and my desire for this book increased. This one I might need to buy as the library has one copy with a very long wait list!
Speaking of knitting, I have a plethora of projects in various stages – my current fascination though is my Pheasant Pullover which I started on Saturday! There is no greater joy than stranded color work – truly, if you have not tried, you should! I am almost finished with the first chart!
I love this colorwork – the colors are just brilliant together!
Even the inside looks beautiful!
I also finished a sock and… wait for it… I have started its mate**! What??? I know, it is a true cause for celebration! I LOVE how the heel fits in this sock! And, I love how it allows the striping to continue down the foot in a more harmonious way – especially if you are a clog wearer like I am! I need to figure out a better fitting toe though…
I *almost* managed to start Sock Two in the same place as Sock One
Sewing and Learning and Wearing
Today is the day I am going to attempt to lay out an Esme Tunic in which the plaids match! I have watched and rewatched this video a number of times and am mentally ready to tackle the tricky bits. Fingers crossed that this is successful, because an Esme Tunic is my “go to” thing to wear right now. Warm, comfortable, works with or without a sweater, with leggings or jeans! I would like a couple more in my wardrobe, so I need to figure this out!
I need to make a Pietra muslin so I can adjust the rise and fit if need be so that I can make a pair of black corduroy pants!
These things are on my list for this week and I am talking about them here to make sure they get started!
Finding a Rhythm
I have spent a good bit of time this month figuring out how to transition from focus to intentional – and as I did last January, I am looking at all aspects of my life. It has been eye-opening, to say the least. It is amazing what is percolating to the top as I review my daily and weekly routines.
That’s what my world looks like right now, but what about you? What is your favorite current thing?
Winter has returned with a vengeance here in Pittsburgh! Most of the week our temperatures have been in the 50’s and this morning we have a dusting of snow covering that is covering a rather nasty bit of ice and it appears my YakTrax will get their inaugural use today!
If you are heading outside today, I hope you have lots of warm woolens to wear!
And, speaking of woolens – I got the loveliest package from Lerwick yesterday. I was amazed by the heady sheepy aroma of these yarns and this is the first time Sherman has ever been remotely interested in yarn! While that odor might put some off, I love the minimal processing of this yarn. I can feel the lanolin, and this will be a lovely wintery treat to knit with! I am not good at all at putting together colors for colorwork, so I defaulted to the colors that Amy Christoffers used for her Pheasant Pullover. Wow, I am so glad I did! This brown has the most incredible depth! As you can see, swatching has begun and I plan to cast on this weekend!
Do you ever feel “multi-project guilt”? You are not alone and I read the most interesting work around for multi-project rotation this morning – The Gideon Method!
One of the things that I want to do more this year is spinning – but I was keeping my wheel in a place where I was unlikely to ever do any spinning. The proof of that is how little spinning I did most of last year but, all that has changed! On Monday I spent a good portion of the day rearranging things so that I have a more convenient spot to spin, AND when I want to spin it does not make normal living inconvenient! I think I have achieved success because I did some spinning on Monday, and again on Tuesday, and my plan is to do a bit more spinning today!
So far, so very good and it seems my idea is working well! My wheel has had a bit of a tune up and I am discovering that spinning is much like bike riding – you don’t forget how, even if you haven’t done it in some time!
AND! I am hovering around the 7″ mark on the body of my Evening Dew Cardigan! It feels like I have been knitting on it forever – and suddenly I have something to show for it! I still have a long way to go on this project, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
The reading this week included just one finish and a bittersweet finish at that! I finished Wild Fire, the final book in Ann Cleeve’s Shetland series. I loved this series more with each book. Jimmy Perez has grown on me and I am sad that he has solved his last murder. The writing in this series is brilliant and I highly recommend it!
Did you all hear this article on NPR? That is a very impressive top ten list – and I love how many children’s books are there!
That is all I have for today – what’s on your reading list this week?
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In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan… — Christina Rossetti
My return to walking this week truly revealed the wintry bleakness with an added dash of with crazy winds and cold temperatures! I am now a solo walker as my neighborhood walkers have departed for warmer climates – so I am missing Ally the Golden Retriever and Lady Clementine the Bull Mastiff. But that lone walking is good for noticing things! One of those things I noted this week was that some of the trees are heavy laden with the promise of spring! So, as I walked with the winds whipping around me, watching the trees sway wildly – I noticed the branches are full of buds! It was a good reminder that the bleakness will not last forever!
My week was also full of intentional thinking that brought many why questions. The major why of this week was why Instagram? It is a huge time suck. My screen time average shows that I spend almost 2 hours a day scrolling through images there. Yikes. That is a lot of time! So, this week I shut off all notifications for posts and I have stopped posting there for the time being. And, honestly – it has been so hard to not “click into” the app to see what is new there.
I started easing into a podcast this week – NPR’s Up First has been a very easy entry into podcast listening. I have some other things queued up but have yet to listen to any of them.
I also spent some time this week doing something I should have done prior to cutting out my flannel Esme Tunic. I really struggled matching plaids as I shared on Wednesday – but I have since found a YouTube video that showed me the error of my ways. Today I am tracing pattern pieces and I will try matching plaids again next week!
I found a bit of inspiration this week that reminded me that I own patterns I have yet to use…I am very good at buying patterns on sale but not very good at actually using them! However, there will be a quilted Tamarack Jacket in 2020!