Another week, another un-Friday! March was the longest year of my life and how is it only April 3? However, I am managing to keep my mind occupied and away from activities that allow it to stray to worried thinking!
First, Steve thanks all of you for your birthday wishes! He wants you all to know it was the perfect day – a day at home that was all about him! He is the one person who is not stressed about sheltering at home – it is his favorite thing ever! The cake was incredibly delicious! (although next time I will halve the frosting recipe) It is moist and reminds me of brownies…but so.much.better. This is absolutely a recipe I will make again!
This week I spent lots of time happily noticing that despite the insanity that the world is these days, spring is blind to the uncertainty and slowly, steadily, each day it shares a new promise. My forsythia are a riot of yellow, the bridal–wreath has a veil of white lace, any my saved-from-the-dump lilac has dozens and dozens of dark purple flower buds! I have rhubarb leaves unfurling, the raspberries are getting new leaves, and the garden is calling to me. (I am ignoring the bushes that are screaming to be trimmed, and the yard that needs to be mowed – another month at home allows for the luxury of being able to take time to get the least favorite tasks done, amirite?)
I really tried to stay focused on small things. diversions, distractions, and remembering to breathe. The following are some things that have been the most pleasant distractions this week:
I discovered Patrick Stewart reading #ASonnetADay He is brilliant and I have loved every lovely word of them, but the best is when William Shakespeare retweets them!
Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality https://t.co/MvSdarNN9S
Baking was truly a life-saver for me this week. I baked lots! I savored every step from making to the clean up – which for me was always the least fun part, but this week I welcomed the task! I also spent time tending my sourdough starter! My question for you all is this: Have you baked banana bread this week? You are not alone! (and if you didn’t, this is the bandwagon you want to get on ASAP!)
Poetry remains my favorite distraction and I have found so.many.new.poems on Shelter in Poems:
This week, there were so many moments of unexpected kindness…and I am profoundly grateful for each one.
I would say “let the weekend begin” but in these days of the never-ending weekend, it seems a moot point! I will be back on Monday and hope that you are all staying home, washing you hands, and flattening that damned curve!
The fact that today is Friday the thirteenth is not lost on me as COVID-19 spreads its way around our neighborhoods. This is the first time I can remember that there will be no March Madness…sigh. But, I get it and I am happy that the students were more important that the revenue. The list of other spectator things that have been put on hiatus as well…NBA, NHL, MLB, Broadway shows…heck, even The View is audiance-less!
So if you, like me, are home bound for the next number of days, what’s a body to do?
Ponder no more! Do I have the things for you!
Start off with some MDK March Mayhem! Why, there is even a print out! So if you, like me, will be missing those NCAA brackets… miss.no.more! 64 patterns should be good for a merry afternoon of pondering! Get going (and this year there are SOCKS!!) Why you might even find an item or two that seems like the perfect Quarantine Knit…so.just.cast.on!
Do you have a Netflix/Amazon Prime show that you have been aching for some time to just sit down and binge? Need some suggestions? I have them!
From Netflix: The Bodyguard has just one season, but it is riveting! The Chef’s Table has more than one season and it is just brilliant! Then there’s Criminal… UK, France, and Spain. Start with UK, because David Tennant…
Amazon Prime has oodles of binge-worthy things!
I would start with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel because the costuming is DIVINE, and who doesn’t needs some laughs right now! If you missed Modern Love now is the perfect time to catch up… it is brilliantly done, and the ending is genius! And, for a second helping of David Tennant Good Omens is so much fun! And, don’t forget Harry Bosch and there are numerous seasons to keep you occupied!
Perhaps you can look at this time as A Little Respite and Michelle has some excellent suggestions to settle yourself.
In looking back at February, I am grateful it is not a longer month! However, I am appreciative of the lengthening days! In twenty-nine short days, we gained over an hour of daylight!
And, there was so much more sunshine this month than in January, but we also had a good bit of precipitation – both rain and snow.
I continued to track the temperature in my area which continues to shock me…we had 1 day in the 60’s, 7 days in the 50’s, 14 days in the 40’s, 8 days in the 30’s, and just 2 days in the 20’s. I wonder if all those knitting Tempestry Projects are feeling as I do (and if they have run out of warmer colors yet!)
The Best Part of the Month:
Flowers…inside and out! And, my wee little snow drops weathered February and are still hanging in there as March begins!
There was a new thing this month… on the spur of the moment we decided to head to New Cumberland, WV to visit Mountaineer Casino. And, it was a productive trip in that left the casino with more than we came with! (And, we also visited the Fiesta Outlet and left some of our winnings there…as you can see on the 25th)
Best “Oh, Wow” Moments:
I had worried after losing our Knitting Leader in January that our little knitting group would fall apart. I have stepped in to the “leader” role (if you can call it leader – I actually just send out the text message reminding everyone that it’s Knit Night Day and ask who is joining me!) However, I have grown our little group by one and I am working on recruiting some more to join us. I have also become the “fixer of dropped stitches” and the “finder of free patterns.” And honestly? Any time I spend in my local library makes me so happy. It is a place I truly love.
What I did Well and What I can do Better:
In February I made a concerted effort to “love myself.” And, I did so with my “public ready” (read with makeup!) face as well as my “private” (read no makeup!) face. To start the month, it was not easy at all, but it did get easier as the month moved along. I can stand here today and tell you than I am worth the effort it took!
However, the days of moping are over and so are the days of not moving my body. Yes… I did not walk or do any Pilates for the entire month. So, while I worked on loving myself, I did not engage my physical self at all. In hindsight, moving my body might have helped me love my emotional self more easily.
And there you have my February, over in the blink of an eye! What was your best February Moment?
Saturday meant a trip to the Post Office so I could get my daughter’s hat on its way and, in the afternoon, we visited Spoonwood Brewing Co and tasted some of their new brews! We also took a growler home for our very quiet Super Bowl Celebration.
Grumpy Face Sherman did not see his shadow either. He wonders where are the fireworks for him!?
Sunday, as I am sure you all heard, Punxsatawny Phil did not see his shadow and neither did Sherman. Yep, we started out with not one lick of sunshine here in the ‘Burgh, BUT!! I headed off to church in the snow and gloom and when I left one short hour later, I was greeted by BLUE SKIES and, yes, SUNSHINE!! And, a day that started with a dusting of snow ended at 52˚F. Only in Pittsburgh, I am telling you, lol.
We are ready for some football!
We took the easy route with our Super Bowl eats, some Buffalo Wings and some left over Pierogi Pie (which is seriously to die for!!) and a glass or two of beer. We laughed at some of the commercials, I cried over one, and we were scratching our heads at a show all about Lego building blocks… say what? But really…how has Bubble Butt, err YoGlutes never been a thing before now??? Also, that Half Time Show was so good!
However, those clear skies stayed for the remainder of the day and when I took Sherman out for his evening constitutional, I was greeted by the moon and lots of stars (and it was still so warm out!) It looks like we will have more sunshine today with our forecast hinting at a high of 60˚F! I don’t think Phil meant an immediate return to spring, but maybe?
A weekend that welcomed February in the best way and now I might be off to find some Pretzel Pop Tarts! How was your weekend?
This week felt like a turning point in a great number of things, but one that was most welcome was the gradual lengthening of the days which really became noticeable to me this week! Since Solstice our daylight has expanded a whopping 34 minutes here in Pittsburgh! That might not seem like much of a turning point, but boy it sure feels like one to me! In addition to the increased minutes of daylight, some other issues I have been struggling with have found turning points on their own. Which is a good reminder that sometimes, whether I do something or not, problems eventually work themselves out – so worry less, Kat!
Although it took much longer than I expected, my finished Esme Tunic put a smile on my face! I have a good start on understanding the concept of what to do to get plaids to match. I have one more tunic to sew, and it will be on my list for next week. This fabric has more “lines” to match, which makes me a bit nervous, but I am going to dig out my walking foot to aide the sewing. AND I am going to do some basting before final seaming! Hello, Bust Darts…I am talking about YOU!
I have spent LOTS of time this week listening to the Senate impeachment proceedings. I have been sort of shocked at articles like this – I mean, Senators, paying attention is actually your job! You all took an oath, and the rules state you must stay in your chairs quietly listening and taking notes! Although, I did love this suggestion and would LOVE to hear the gentle clicking of 100 pairs of knitting needles as they all listen to the House Managers. Speaking of those House Managers – I might be a bit biased – but they have done an incredible job, one and all! However, last nights closing by Adam Schiff was amazing (you can see part of his dynamic speech here): “Right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” Exactly!!
I am almost done with the second chart of my Pheasant Pullover (see above for dramatically increased knitting times) and hurrah for longer circular needles! I am absolutely in love with the beautiful details and the intricate color variations. At times it seems like I am creating a beautiful Pointillism art piece, each stitch alone is not much – but added together with hundreds of other stitches a wonderfully drawn, and most intricate motif begins to emerge. With each stitch I am singing an ode to the brilliance of Amy Christoffers – I am so in love with this pattern! (I am happy she is such a prolific designer because I have my eyes on Ipswich for a spring cardigan – I love the lace yoke!)
I love how the colors seem to merge into each other!
I am not sure why, but my tensioning is almost effortless with this yarn!
That is all I have for today; I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend! See you all back here next week.
I had lost my knitting mojo for some weeks in May and really did not want to knit anything but an inspiring blog post and thoughts of a new project have reinvigorated my desire to pull out my knitting and finish things!
I have unraveled and redone the neckband and raced through a sleeve on Marsa Alam and sleeve two is well underway! I am *almost* done and have begun to think about buttons. I have pulled together some buttons from my Nana’s button box – what do you think?
Silver or Pearl buttons? I don’t know why the pearl buttons don’t looks like they are all the same color, they are – and the silver buttons could do with a little polishing! I think either will work, but I need your help – please let me know which you think I should use in the comments! (and thank you!)
Meanwhile…I have been trying to get gauge on a cardigan but have not yet had success – perhaps that is the knitting gods telling me don’t knit this sweater, but I thought it would be a great addition to my sweater wardrobe if I can make gauge work (and I won’t be knitting it in 4-days)! I have one final yarn that might work so stay tuned…
Now on to books! Oh boy, all.the.books! I am really not much fun to be around lately because I either have a book in my hand or a book in my ears! Ha! But!!! I am off to a very good start on my Bingo Card!
I am doing my card a bit differently this year – as you can see I have almost filled in all the books I intend to read (with a couple of exceptions as I have several holds for the Modern Mrs. Darcy square – whatever comes through first will be filled in there. And that Classic you should’ve read square – I will make my decision as the summer progresses. I have several classics filled in and perhaps reading one of them will stir me to read something else by the same author.)
You can see my square requirements and I feel that I have done well in pairing up a book to a category without too much ‘making a book fit’ that does not. You might say there is some of that going on, but I think I managed to make most of the squares work. I am not reading “outside of my comfort zone” much this summer, but I think these books will make for the perfect summer!
Out of the books I finished this week, there is one that just was amazing – Anna Burns Milkman. Oh.my.gosh. LOVED! If I can make any suggestion to you, Gentle Reader, it would be to ignore all the “so-so” reviews and find an audio copy of the book. It is some of the most genius writing and has moved to the top spot for the best book I have read all year! I cannot stop thinking about it – it is just that good!
As always, if you wrote a post to share today – please leave your link below! (And, thank you!!)