100 Days of Hope | Week 11

100 Days of Hope | Week 11

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson

I am ending this 100 day journey from winter to spring where I started, but with a new understanding of hope.

Hope exists in us, it is always around us, it is whispering to us. And if we sometimes pay attention we discover that like the increasing minutes of light… hope grows more hope!

Perhaps it is easier to be hopeful when your friends and loved ones are getting vaccinated. Truly, I did not realize what a weight I was holding waiting for the vaccination damn to break. Today more than 100 million American’s are either completely vaccinated or are on their way to being completely vaccinated. And while I am sure there are a plethora of idiots like Rand Paul… I will feel less stressed encountering the maskless. (and watching Dr. Fauci take down Mr. Paul just made my day!)

Perhaps it is easier to be hopeful when there is an hour and 37 minutes more daylight than there was on December 21st. But I really enjoyed the gradual changes that happened in the world around me… from a hushed, quiet winter to a spring full of exuberant birdsong! From snow covered ground to snowdrops blooming! From cold winter winds bringing  snow to open windows welcoming the warming winds and spring rains!

Cicadas are the ones that can really teach us about patience and hope! (Also a fun fact…17 years ago there was no iPhone)

Last thing… The New Yorker magazine tweeted this article written by one of my favorite authors, Paul Auster, this morning. He wrote it in 1995… and it is very much read-worthy!

So on this last Friday of winter, I am less despairing and so much more hopeful…and maybe I have put a pencil in my pocket, just in case!

Have an amazing weekend everyone! See you all back here next week!

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.24.21

Unraveled Wednesday | 2.24.21

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Greetings Unravelers! It’s the very last Unraveled Wednesday in February! And while we certainly had a wintry February here in Pittsburgh – the snowiest one since I moved here 7 years ago! My thoughts are turning to changing season knits. However, I have been giving my new knits a good work out and they are doing a good job of keeping me warm! And I am sure that the weather will be suitable for wearing my latest finish for a good bit of time before it is too warm for it.

This week the online classes for MDSW were available and I signed up for a couple of spinning classes with the hopes of improving my spinning skills. These classes qualify for Bucket List Classes as well! First I signed up for a class on Twist taught by Maggie Casey. Twist… the hardest part of spinning. I hope to learn how to better control how much twist I want in my yarns. I also signed up for a class on spinning Columbia Sheep with Judith McKenzie. April looks to be an incredible month for learning! Which is a good thing because I finished another skein, and while it absolutely needs a bit more twist in the plying, I feel like my spinning is in a rut… I spin my default spin every.single.time. Sigh.

This week, however, I have a finish!! This sweater was a long time in the making, but she is done and I can’t wait to wear her! I started this sweater way back in October of 2019 and I finished it yesterday! Notes on the knitting… I should have knit the body a wee bit longer, sigh. Ripping back and adding a couple of inches is not something I am even considering though because of that strand of mohair. And, of course, I needed to wind another skein of yarn with just 10 rows to go in the second sleeve. It will be getting a nice soak this morning and I hope to have some glamour shots next week!

I do have a generous amount of the Briar Rose Fiber Angle Face left over to knit something else with. This was the largest hank of fiber known to the Knitiverse… a sweater plus is a very good bargain. Sadly, I don’t have enough of the mohair to strand with it. But there is a matching hat (Ravelry link) that will work with the mohair I have left!

I also had some unraveling this week… the fabric for Steve’s sock from last week just seemed a bit loose to me… so I ripped it out and will cast on again later today with smaller needles. Good thing I was not very much further than the photo from last week!

The reading this week has been just lovely… the perfect companion to sleeve knitting! Nothing like a good mystery to keep you engaged, right?

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!

 

The English Assassin (Gabriel Allon, #2)The English Assassin by Daniel Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In The English Assassin we are invited to learn more about Gabriel Allon… and what we learn makes him even more interesting. This story unfolds with a journey and a death (of course, lol) and how it progresses is fascinating. I learned about Switzerland, art, and music. I highly recommend this series and I am eagerly awaiting the third installment in this series.


That is what my making week looked like, what about you? What kept you company while you were making this week?

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


Unraveled Wednesday | 6.10.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 6.10.20

It seems that in all things, I have this idea that whatever it is I am making will go quicker than it does in actuality.

However, at long last, I have a finished Ranunculus! It needs a nice wash, but I should be wearing it before the week is out! AND!! Just in time because the 90 degree temps have arrived in Pittsburgh this week! And it will be the perfect sitooterie sweater! Yes, thanks to Scott Simon, I learned a new word this week and I am wanting to use it all the time! I mean shouldn’t we all have a sitooterie of our own?

No, I have not started the TTL MKAL… yet. I did wind one skein of yarn, but have yet to cast on.

And no, I have not finished Larissa Brown’s Lunar Phases shawl either. Sigh…

However, I can’t stop thinking about this, or this, or this, or this!

Do you see a pattern here? Yeah, me too… I can’t settle myself on one project. Perhaps I need to change it up and do some sewing to  cleanse my palette! Ha!

Summer reading continues to be awesome though.

Disappearing EarthDisappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story pulled me in from the first paragraph and it took me on a journey full of unexpected things. I expected something different, but I was far from disappointed! What a beautifully written and engaging story. I know nothing about this area of Russia and I was fascinated with the people and the story. I highly recommend this book!

I also finished Mourning in Malmö late last night and I have yet to write my review. But with that finish, I have another bingo!!

Pink Bingo Titles: Shadow Pass, New Poets of Native Nations, Mourning in Malmo, The Crane Wife, American Dirt.

As you can see, I have a plan for where I am going and I have some ideas for “set in the state where you live” but I am on waitlists for several books that will fit this category at the library… and first up will fill the square!What about you? How is your reading moving you this week?

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


April Promise | 4.3.20

April Promise | 4.3.20

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!

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.

And, finally… later today, I will begin the first clue of Romi’s Mystery Shawl!

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!

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

 

Fiber Friday…the quarantine edition

Fiber Friday…the quarantine edition

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.

Beatrice Perron Dahlen’s Heron Island has just been released to the public and it is on sale until Sunday! (no code necessary, discount taken when you purchase it!)

If you are in need of something Lopi…Álafoss has yarn on deep sale with cheap shipping rates right now!

Finally, lots of Knitwear designers are stepping up to help ease our quarantine blues but I especially loved Hinterm Stein’s Knit In Company idea (really, sign up for her newsletter!) She is a prolific designer with tons of things to stay home and knit!

That is all the enabling I have for today! Stay well and wash your hands! See you back here on Monday!

Photo by Terje Sollie from Pexels

Looking Back | February 2020

Looking Back | February 2020

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!

Something New:

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?

 

 

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