Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 3.3.21

“SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

This week I present my new favorite sweater! It was a long time in the making, but wow do I like it! I like it so much that I have plans to make another.

I have this vintage skein of yarn from Briar Rose Fibers (thanks to being a premier SABLE member) and once I find some mohair to go with it, I will be knitting a second sweater! (if you all have color suggestions for me, I will gladly take them!)

Anyways, back to my sweater…the fit is really lovely, but next time I will knit 2 more repeats of the “pine cones” before beginning the bottom ribbing as I’d like an option with a bit more length.  The sleeves are long and I am surprised how much I like them this length! I only did 7 sets of sleeve decreases (versus the 10 the pattern called for) and for me that was just perfect. I worried about how it would fit at the shoulders, but it sits perfectly and there is no slipping or sliding off! The pattern is incredibly well written and it is easy to follow. I highly recommend Ririko’s Evening Dew Cardigan.

On top of all of that, I managed to spin up a bit of fiber and I finished the yarn from last week. Sarah was right…a soak helped, but some bits still need a bit more twist, so I will run this through my wheel again. The other skein is Warm Woolen Mittens I (sorry, no longer available on their site) from HipStrings and I just love how it turned out!

I have yet to re-cast on those socks… and I need to get going on that pronto! But….

This lovely little diversion arrived this week from Lisa at Fibernymph Dye Works… my first installment in the Backyard Birdwatchers Club! This is chickadee (with a small bit of contrasting fiber dyed to match their speckled eggs!) and it is just gorgeous. It is BFL and I can’t wait to spin this up!

The reading was so good this week… and there was so much of it! Insomnia is good for something…oy.

Lightly: How to Live a Simple, Serene, and Stress-free Life by Francine Jay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think this book is a simplified version of Marie Kondo – minus the joy. The author immediately suggests not reading the book cover to cover (perhaps her best suggestion, lol) but rather pick and choose the areas you want to work on. I did not find many useful suggestions, but she does make some suggestions that are helpful (perhaps not so much helpful, but insightful.)

Archive 17 (Inspector Pekkala #3)Archive 17 by Sam Eastland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It felt good to get back to Inspector Pekkala and this book takes him back to Siberia to uncover a mystery and find the Tsar’s hidden gold stash for Stalin. There are some unexpected twists and turns, but Pekkala prevails… sort of. I won’t give any of the story away, but it is a fun read!

 

The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vera and a murder…what’s not to love? This latest installment in the Vera series does not disappoint. I have so enjoyed watching the development of characters as this series has progressed. I highly recommend this series!

 


Whew… that was a lot of stuff for a post! What about you? How was your week? 

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


Welcome, March! | 3.1.21

Welcome, March! | 3.1.21

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. — Charles Dickens

Welcome March! I have been eagerly awaiting your arrival!

It seems Dickens and I have the same vision of March… it can be glorious in the sunshine (when the sun shines here in Pittsburgh), but in the shade you’d think winter was still here!

While we had all kinds of melting in the last week of February here in Pittsburgh, I have memories of the “Mud Season” that Michigan does so very well in the spring. We have a tiny version here… our ground must thaw more quickly so it is only a Brief Interlude of Mud in Pittsburgh. This is not something I miss about Michigan, lol. Despite that melting, we will still have some very chilly days… perfect weather for a sleeveless tunic with a sweater!

Your wild winds always, always take me back to my earliest reading days with Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice. I remember walking home from the bus stop reciting it on blustery days with my arms out for balance as the wind pushed me along. I just loved reciting the “blowing once, blowing twice, blowing chicken soup with rice” part the best.

March makes my thoughts turn to my garden and how it might grow this year. I love looking through seed catalogs and at garden images on Pinterest! This year my goal is to certify my backyard!

March also brings a time change and Pi-day (March 14th), St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th), and March Madness begins March 18th. Oh..and the Knitter’s Pattern Party begins March 29!

But the best thing of all that you bring is SPRING on March 20th. I am hoping for a Lion and Lamb month… and I am so ready!

What about you? What are your hopes for March?

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This quote has been so true for me this week. Sometimes, when life is just grand… why do you need hope? It is in the moments that are, well…less than grand…that the light of hope shines through.

I want to thank everyone for their incredibly uplifting comments to my word update on Monday. You all provided little beacons of hope that lifted me this week.

Words continued to bring hope…pleasure, attention, flesh, friendship, power, struggle, and loss. I thought I’d share a couple of the “poems” I wrote this past week. It amazes me how when I read the prompt in the morning… I am worried, what will I write? Yet a day of meditating on that word brings such delight and hope when I sit down to write. Bonny was brave and shared a couple of her poems, so I thought I’d do the same.

Power:

Simple little words
lifted my soul and warmed my heart
a much needed balm

Pleasure:

Knitting stitch by stitch
slowly building row by row
time just disappears

The other thing that has brought over-flowing hope this week has been the ever-increasing daylight here in Pittsburgh…and days with sunshine! I confess to being giddy with hope on Wednesday this week when we inched our way to the 60’s! I opened windows, breathed deeply, and savored even the rainfall that happened ever so briefly during the day.

I hope you found some things that brought you hope this week! Have a fantastic weekend everyone, I will see you back here on Monday! (and it will be MARCH!!)

 

Release | February 2021

Release | February 2021

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

Yep. Exactly.

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.

I started out by using a combination of Carolyn’s Being vs. Doing prompt for February and the worksheets that Brené has on her website for Wholehearted Living. Before I knew it, those pages were full so I moved to the margins and wrote more and then flipped over the paper and wrote still more.

And while I’d like to tell you that I have found a solution in all this reading, thinking, and writing. It just is not as easy as all that.

But what I do know is that I am not going to solve anything. I just need to find a way to release it.

If only the doing was as easy as the knowing what to do

I will be back on Wednesday to share some unraveling (fingers crossed that there is a finished sweater!!)

If you want to see my journey with release, you will find it here.

 

 

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

100 Days of Hope | Week 9

“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!

 

 

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.17.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.17.21

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!)

Ready Player Two (Ready Player One, #2)Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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!

Poetry as Insurgent ArtPoetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Life lived with poetry in mind is itself an art.

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!


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