Hello, April | 4.1.19

Hello, April | 4.1.19

The weekend was full of all kinds of selfish pursuits! There was sewing and reading (and not one stitch of knitting! What??? Really, not one single stitch!)

Perhaps the best thing was this lovely little dress for Genevieve!

But, today these words are filling my mind, the absolute truth of them echoing in my head!

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And, you’re two months back in the middle of March.”

– Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926

So, silently I welcome April – hoping to not encourage the clouds and wind to blow us back into March!

 

Around Here | 3.29.19

Around Here | 3.29.19

Around here – it seems that March got the memo… it came roaring in like a lion and is making a very lamb-like exit. When I look at Dark Sky to see the forecast the days ahead are full of mild temperatures! Even this mornings rain that greeted me was welcoming – I took great deep breaths of very spring-smelling air. It smells so good outside! It was so mild this morning that rather than my usual hot coffee, I switched things up and made myself an iced coffee instead! And, that first iced coffee of the season? Well, it just tasted amazing!

Around here – new projects are buzzing around my mind, specifically I have been inspired by Mary’s marsa alam. I have a cone of Coast and this would be the perfect spring/summer cardigan. I will have to rewind it but that might happen soon so swatching can begin later today!

Around here – it’s basketball… all the basketball! My brackets – which got off to great start, were entirely blown by the end of last weekend and today I have just one pick remaining – so Go Duke! But brackets aside, this tournament has provided some of the best basketball I have seen is a long time! And, there is more watching to be done this weekend!

Around here – there was some binge watching of the new season of The OA that dropped this week on Netflix. There will be more binge watching today as I try and put together the puzzle pieces of self-printed patterns!

Around here – the quilting process continues. I have reached the milestone point of “making the quilt sandwich” with the quilt top, batting, and backing fabric. Before I tackle the big quilt, I am going to do some trial runs with these smaller place mats. I am a bit nervous about the big quilt – figuring out a place where I can lay it all out is going to be the biggest part of the challenge!

Around here – seeds are springing to life! I love how the beans look very jack-in-the-bean-stalk-ish next to the other tiny seedlings!

From left to right: Basil, egg plant, peppers, tomatoes, Chinese celery, and those giant beans!

That is all that is going on around here! I hope your weekend is full of all the good things and I will see you back here next week!

Three on Thursday | 3.28.19

Three on Thursday | 3.28.19

I am happily joining with Carole and everyone for this week’s installment of things! This week, it is all about the sewing… all.about.it!

I have been spending a good bit of time with my trusty old Bernina recently, and I am happy to say that I almost have my entire quilt top completed! I just have two side strips of fabric to seam on – then the sandwiching process, pinning, and getting it off to the machine quilter! All this cutting, piecing and sewing has really been fun! And, I am thinking about some smaller projects that I can try quilting myself! Which brings me to my things this week!

Thing One:

Via the Bernina Blog, I found this lovely little Spectacle Quilt. A trip to Joann’s yesterday was highly successful and I came home with this stack of fabrics that will soon be cut into the pieces to make the blocks! My goal is to get this done in time for Genevieve’s 4th birthday in July! Advance planning for.the.freaking.win!

Thing Two:

In the “make something to try and do some machine quilting” category, these place mats caught my eye this week. Fabric obtained. Sewing to begin shortly!

Thing Three:

Finally, some clothing sewing will be happening soon as well! This stack of fabrics will soon become a couple of Willow Tanks, a Willow Dress, and a Pillowcase Dress for Vivi!

Like I said… all.the.sewing! What about you? What things are you focused on this week?

P.S. I made one of these yesterday. And, while it is hard to photograph – it is TOO CUTE!!

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.27.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.27.19

I love when I have a finished object to share on Unraveled Wednesday’s! And, I have one today – yes, Deschain is done! And, there were some significant alterations made to the pattern which resulted in a really lovely sweater!

I knit the front and the back longer, doing 6 repeats of the “lacework,” which was one more than the pattern called for. I also did some short rows on the back to balance out sweater a bit. Quite a few people who knit Deschain said they wished the back was a bit longer – and the short rows achieved that perfectly. I ended up knitting the sleeves flat and then seamed them into the sweater. This gives a much neater look and also the seaming prevents the sweater from just being a saggy mess. And, rather than pick up stitches to immediately bind them off – I just did a single crochet edge around the neckline and although that probably took me longer to do than suggested finish – it looks much better.

I think this sweater will get lots of wear (I already wore it yesterday!) and I am formulating some plans to knit a wool version to wear next fall/winter!

Now, on to the reading – first up I read a fantastic article on The Guardian this week which reinforces why I just love librarians!

My finished for the week:

I read another of Louise Erdrich’s books, this time: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Louise is a magnificent story teller – she has a wonderful way of drawing you into the story and then she unleashes her brilliant characters on you. The writing is masterful, and the story is just brilliant – and complicated – and I loved every little bit of it. This book easily gets 5-stars and I highly recommend this story.

I also finished Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. “It is white people’s responsibility to be less fragile; people of color don’t need to twist themselves into knots trying to navigate us as painlessly as possible.” I don’t think I have ever highlighted so many parts of a book, ever. It is very well written, insightful, and yes – eye opening to my own White Fragility. It gives some great things to think about regarding racism. This book is an excellent reminder to me – keep your mouth shut and listen, listen, listen! I highly recommend this book!

And, I finished a super quick read – Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini. The artwork is precious, as are the words. This book was inspired by the story of the three-year-old Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortune elsewhere. But I hear your mother’s voice, over the tide. And she whispers in my ear, “Oh, but if they saw, my darling. Even half of what you have. If they only saw. They would say kinder things, surely.” If you are looking for something to remind you of the humanity of all, Sea Prayer will do just that. 5-stars and I highly recommend!

In the “did I like this book or not” category is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. The story is fascinating and told in a very curious way. The thing I did not like — the number of narrators for the story and I do not recommend listening to the book for this reason. The book feels like a collection of short stories, but the stories are all intertwined together, and it circles back to finish stories from other perspectives, but not all the stories worked for me. Still, the writing is beautiful – very beautiful and I loved the ending! I gave the book 4-stars.

That is all I have for this week, and as always:

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Why Focus | 3.26.19

Why Focus | 3.26.19

Thank you all for your wished for Heidi and Genevieve yesterday. They are much appreciated!


I am joining Juliann again this month as I review my word and how I did in March.

In January, I spent my days focusing inward and in February, I focused on me.

March has been a month of questioning so many things. And, my thoughts have been turning around the “can you teach an old Kat new tricks” idiom. Yes, I have been focusing on the things I do (and don’t do) and the whys of them.

Things in my focus this month have been –

keeping my closet clean
better dinner planning
and moving more consistently

One of those things continued to be an epic failure all.month.long. (Hello, closet!! I am looking at you!)

Being organized in the tiniest closet ever is not easy – but part of the problem might be too.many.clothes.

But help is on the way!!

Some Closet Kondo-ing is already underway and maybe some Wardrobe Styling are in order. But hopefully, next month my closet (and wardrobe) will have a new focus and stay that way!

What about you? Do you struggle with closet organization?

Photo by Artem Bali from Pexels

 

Oh, Monday | 3.25.19

Oh, Monday | 3.25.19

Sometimes there are no words for Monday, but there are plenty of words to read.

I love these little interviews that The Guardian does!

Is Valium the new Soma?

Posthumous James Baldwin makes me want to read all his essays!

Hey, Kym! I think your Bunnies need some friends! (Psst, here are some Ready to Knit Kits)

This is a genius idea, and to start with French.Onion.Soup is brilliant!

Wait, what? Alcohol without the alcohol

P.S. We had a rough weekend around my house – a grand-dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge. The tears have flowed heavily and consoling a 3-year-old who loves her Dolly seems impossible. And, my poor daughter has put her grief aside to comfort Genevieve – but it was just Heidi and Dolly for a long, long time.

If you could send some good thoughts (and prayers if you are so inclined) to my daughter today – they would be greatly appreciated.

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