Weekending | 1.27.19

Weekending | 1.27.19

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?

TGIF | 1.25.19

TGIF | 1.25.19

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!

Three on Thursday | 1.24.19

Three on Thursday | 1.24.19

Joining up with Carole today to share a few things about me!

Thing One:

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”.

Thing Two:

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’?!?

Thing Three:

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!

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.23.19

Unraveled Wednesday | 1.23.19

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?

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

Weekending | 1.20.19

Weekending | 1.20.19

Greetings from a sunny but very cold wintry wonderland!

The weekend forecast was the stuff of a weatherperson’s dreams – all the weather in one day so, we braved the crazed “Armageddon” crowds at the grocery store to get a couple of things. Really not the most brilliant thing we’ve ever done, but we did manage to survive.

We thought that trip was a fool’s errand when all the predictions for Saturday just sort of fizzled out. No snow but yes, we got lots of rain and the temperatures stayed well above freezing all day. The rains finally turned to ice and then to snow as our temperatures plummeted to single digits overnight. The arctic blast is indeed upon us!

And, so what do you do with all the weather drama? Well, you make comfort foods (i.e. stuffed acorn squash), drink whiskey, and finish projects!

I did some sewing with really lovely results. I mentioned Fancy Tiger Crafts One-Hour Top a couple of weeks ago and I found some knit fabric on sale at JoAnn’s and in less than an hour I sewed up a muslin from the sale fabric to see how it would fit and what adjustments I might need to make. Yes, less than an hour – including cutting out the pattern in that time! There are just 4 seams and then stitch the neck, sleeves and hem with a double needle, which gives a really lovely and surprisingly easy finish! And, the fit is really wonderful so I have been looking online for more knit fabric to make a couple more shirts!

Steve’s mom loved her Christmas Cowl so much she asked if I could make one for Steve’s dad, which I was happy to do. I finished it on Saturday and delivered it early Sunday morning and just in time for the single digit weather we are going to be having this week!

I blocked Rachel’s Birthday Shawl and got the few ends woven in, and it is all ready to be shipped off to California!

I also finished a pair of handspun socks that were two years in the making! That’s right I bound them off on Sunday morning – I still have ends to weave in but at least they are off the needles!

Inspired by Mary, I cleaned up my Ravelry queue and frogged a few items that just are not going to ever be finished for a variety of reasons. It feels infinitely better looking at my queue now and I even feel energized to get these lingering projects finished! All this work deserved a reward so I cast on a new shawl with a skein of handspun yarn that I found in last weekends organization that I had earmarked for this project!

In the “late to the party” category (and thanks to pneumonia!) I have recently discovered how entirely enjoyable Doctor Who is! I am just starting Season 4 thanks to Sunday’s snow storms and wintry blast! I will just say this; The Doctor is a very good knitting companion!

Steve works tomorrow, no day off for him! But if you do have tomorrow off – I hope you spend a little time thinking about MLK!

What did your weekend hold?

TGIF | 1.18.19

TGIF | 1.18.19

Even though it feels like January is moving at a snail’s pace – it is Friday again! And, perhaps this weekend I might even be motivated (i.e. feel good enough) to get more things done. Last weekend it took me all weekend, but I cleaned and organized my Craft Room/Office! I might have even made a note to myself that I have enough single skeins of sock yarn to knit socks until I live to be 150 years old – at least! But, as Mary pointed out yesterday – I have no SQ of sock yarn – so there is that! This week’s TGIF is full of lots of good things so let’s get started!

Thinking About – In some ways, January’s slowness has been a very good thing for thinking! And, one thing I have been thinking about lots is this blog and what I want it to be versus what it has become. One thing that has perked to the top is that this blog has been doing a bit of controlling me, rather than me controlling it. So, you might have noted some changes this week – changes that revolve around posting frequency. This is a bit of a work in progress as I find a balance that feels good. Thank you Mary and Honoré for being open and honest in our blog discussion this week!

Grateful for – So many who are doing the “heavy lifting” in the ongoing conversation about the fiber community becoming more inclusive for everyone – I am daily learning much and have found some really amazing and new-to-me fiber artists that I am now following. They bring amazing things to my IG feed and I am profoundly grateful for them!

Inspired By – As always, Courtney from Be More With Less. She shared a beautiful post about being “the priority of your own life” this week and it moved me – especially this quote by Rudy Francisco: Perhaps we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us, they know exactly how it should be done. This especially hit home for me, because I believe that as moms/partners/wives/etc. our focus is on everyone else and if we have a scrap of time or energy left at the end of the day, we might use it on ourselves. This has certainly been true for me and the list in her post is full of lots of somethings you can do for you. I have added a few of these to my weekly planner through the end of February to not forget myself!

Focused On – My Word! Yes, indeed – and in such a very good way. I have been making a list of so many things that I am currently “doing” just because I have always done them and, more importantly…I am thinking about the why for each of them. This is causing lots of shake ups (see above) as I ponder, meditate, and yes… focus on life. This might be the best word ever because the impact this word is having on me is just crazy!

One final thing… I have not posted any tempting links in ages but the teasers this week for Tina Tse’s Home Sweet Home Formula pushed me right over the top! Impulse purchase FTW! Oh, and a bonus – today is her birthday

That is all I have for this week! And, my Amaryllis update is most showy this week – four huge blooms on bulb #1 with a fifth opening this morning! I have been sitting and sipping coffee in the morning and appreciating its beauty! Now, if only it will last as long as January feels like it is! Have a good weekend all!

 

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