This quote sort of sums of December for me…the end of a year, the end of a word (which has been a very good word for me!), the end of my being 62, the end of my Year of Gnomes (yes… I am doing a +1 in January… there is no way you can quit gnoming cold turkey! haha)
And with all those ending things, it is so hard to not look ahead to what is coming.
I don’t want to do that and so I am going to daily remind myself to savor the day… be full of the moment… and not filling myself with the anticipation of what is to come.
Do I need to do some planning and thinking about January? Yes, I do… but I am not going to allow that to overtake the Celebration of December!
Now, how about some things that have been on my mind recently!
Christine McVie. Her death came as a gut punch to me this week. I will forever remember her singing this:
Infatuated (with) —
Three hand knits have found me circling back to look at them for a while now. I have been in the ‘wait and see’ mode… waiting to see if this infatuation I have for them will grow into a lasting love… which will mean I can cast on with confidence!
Kate Gilbert’s Nouvelle Vague (From Knitty Deep Fall) or really… a Clapotis Gradation. IMO, the Original Clapotis has the preferred shape and I had I had knit one eons ago but maybe I need a new one? I don’t know, but I am enamored of the idea of doing one in the Fade Fad. But the fad idea has halted me from moving this from infatuation to project.
Drawing Sweater. Oh my. Sweater as a work of art… absolutely. And when I first saw this, if I had the yarn to knit one in my stash, I would have instantly cast on. But then I saw this….
Flutter. Wow, right? Anyways, in my brain, I would do this and steek it. Flutter is just so lovely… and maybe more useful than a sweater?
(be) Fuddled —
Imagine my total surprise when Spotify notified me that my Spotify Wrapped 2022 was ready for me. Huh?
We regularly listen to Spotify, but we *always use Steve’s Spotify* … as in I make the food, Steve does the music. I know, it is a massive contribution that he makes! LOL
Anyways, the *only* thing I have used Spotify for in the past year was to listen to podcasts that were only on Spotify.
However, the list was even more befuddling… I have never listened to any of these songs, nor has Steve ever selected any playlists with any of these on it! WTAF Spotify, WTAF!
(some word) Forethought —
As my year with Full draws to a close, I have had the curious incidence of a new word nudging me for some time now. I ignored it at first, but the nudges persisted and became more frequent. I have settled in to the idea of this word, but it is a bit scary as I contemplate “the how” of this word so I have been contemplating it lots. In lots of ways. So to make sure that I capture any and all ideas that pop into my head during the day… I have started an Apple Note(s) for it. Some ideas I am sure will be hilarious to look back on, but I am capturing them all. And, while I think this technically might be Word Cheating, I am happy to be filling the tiniest bit of my days with Word Planning 2023!
And I am even more excited to sign up for Ali Edwards OLW 2023 “class” and this year I think my word will work in such a way that I can do some journal documentation! Stay tuned!
And there you have some very varied RIFFing for this first weekend in December! See you all back here on Monday!
First up… before any fun begins… I want to give a bit of a reminder to check your voting registration… in PA you have until October 24th to register to vote in the November election AND there is still time to get your mail-in ballot! You will find your state information here! There is so much that is not on the ballot, so who you vote for has never been more important.
No matter who you vote for, the most important thing is that you vote! (and with that I will get off my soap box and return you to your regularly scheduled blog post)
Now how about some excellent RIFFs for this chilly Friday!
A clip of the video below showed up in my Twitter feed one afternoon this week and I just needed more. I thought this might be the perfect way to usher in Friday. Brilliant, joyful, so uplifting and I believe that this was exactly what Mr. Vivaldi was hoping would happen with his music! This week, the Goede Hoop Marimba Band has given me the best “ear worm” ever! I hope you enjoy it as well!
Indigenous (Mapping) —
Steve had the day off on Monday for The Holiday Formerly Known as Columbus Day. In all honesty, I never spent much time thinking about the greatness of Columbus on this day. But recently I have been thinking much more about the silliness of celebrating a day of discovery of a land that was already discovered… and had been for roughly 25,000 years. I had so much fun with this map that NPR shared this week. It shows a well-inhabited North America… and drilling down to my neighborhood, I now know that I live on lands of Osage and Shawnee as well as the ancient tribe of Monongahela Indians.
But… this could have been written for me: “Good writing, I think, ultimately exists between the twin goal posts of as-few-words-as-you-need and as-many-words-as-you-want. I, a natural natterer, lean toward the latterer.”
I am thankful for Dryer’s reminder on my over use of very and actually… at least for the moment! LOL
(and) Finally —
A bit of a vacation blogging schedule notice. Next Thursday (10/20), we head off to my most favored of places on the planet – Mississauga Lands (otherwise known as Presque Isle in Erie, PA) for a bit of a rest and rejuvenation! There will be an Unraveled post on Wednesday (10/26) but that is it. I don’t know how much making and reading I will have accomplished while on vacation, but you never know… I might even surprise myself! Ha!
I will be here as usual next week. On Monday the docent will have a new Museum of Me exhibit, and of course, there will be some Unraveling on Wednesday. I will be closing the week out on Thursday with A Gathering of Poetry installment and I’d like to invite you all to join in with us and share a poem that you might have stumbled across recently. Or share a poem that is near and dear to your heart. Really. The more the merrier… life can never have too little poetry!
And with that I will let you all get on with your day! Happy Friday All!
This week moved at warp speed… or at least it felt that way to me! I kind of had a mini-freak out this morning when I realized it was the 7th. Why this surprised me, I am not sure… as long as I can remember 7 follows 6… but yeah. Why this sudden panic? I realized that in two short weeks we will be on vacation!! Yikes!
Anyways, I have two patterns to finish cutting out this morning… so this post will be direct and to the point! Let’s get started!
As in the new podcast series from Sharon Says So. This series is touching on some history that I know little about, and though I have dipped my toes in to learn more, I have miles and miles to go.
From Sharon’s Blog: “For the next few weeks, we are going to explore a part of American history that we tend to learn very little about: the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.”
I am avidly listening and eagerly awaiting each episode. (Sharon has a vast library of podcasts so if you just want to listen to this series – it begins at episode 185.
Inspired (textstorming) —
As you all know I am taking another watercolor painting class this fall, but what you all might not know is that Kym is taking the same class with me! This has provided an entirely new line of learning for me and I wanted to share that joy with you all. The teacher provides feedback each week, but it is especially wonderful to get feedback before you turn your homework in… We have had several “textstorming” sessions and her input has helped me be better. We have both grumbled about the subject matter, and shared that we were yearning to paint some pumpkins! The Painting Gods must have read in on our texts… because this week is all about PUMPKINS! A huge thanks to Kym for all her input, advice, and inspiration!!
I am a fairly new poetry reader. I know some (of the more famous) poets, but I feel like there is this deep and wide ocean overflowing with poets I have yet to discover. Sometimes I find a poet and I just don’t “click” with their poetry but other times, I find someone whose words just sing to me… loud choruses! That happened this week… I stumbled across a new-to-me poet (Dr. Rafael Campo) and since then I have been driving Steve mad making him listen to Dr. Campo’s poems. I will be sharing more about Dr. Campo later this month, but for now I am sharing his TED talk about how poetry heals us.
Fall (gnoming) —
I began the October Gnome on Wednesday and it has been a bit of a challenge. I started with a yarn, but very soon things just felt very wrong. The October Gnome did not want to be all grey and dark green… at all. So I got out my “odds and ends bag” and I found some more Autumnal Yarns and that felt so much better.
The hat looks grey, but it is not… it is very tan in color!
The hat is done and I have begun the “body” and I think I see braids (and an acorn or two?) in this little gnomes future!
And with that, I am out of here! Happy Weekend everyone! See you all back here on Monday!
The Autumnal Equinox occurred last night at 9PM and it is as if Mother Nature flipped a switch… the arrival of autumn did in deed bring autumn-like temperatures! This morning it was a very chilly and hushed silence talking Sherman for his morning walk. No birdsong, no crickets chirping… just one sniffing pug to break the stillness of the morning.
It seems like a good day to do a bit of RIFFing… so let’s get started:
I saw this tweet this morning and my heart broke a bit. I know what my fall/winter is going to be full of… finishing reading her Wolf Hall/Thomas Cromwell series.
We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald. This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work. pic.twitter.com/d8bzkBBXuH
My new painting class began yesterday and I have spent much of the month focused on the “sequence” of watercolor. From saturation of the page, keeping a wet edge, layers, damp and dry work. And to make things remarkably clear for myself – I have done a variety of “neutral” paintings. And on Wednesday… it all began to click! And I did what I feel is my best representation of all these skills combined. Good thing because the first thing Mr. Surowicz mentions in the first lesson of the new class is how important a “shades of grey” study is before you begin a new painting. I did some work to get my watercolor paper ready to paint, but today I am going to do a rough sketch (or two) in my sketchbook and do some value studies before I begin the “big painting” and I am so very excited!
Finding (answers) —
This week, Jane asked me a very good question: “I’m trying to think how many oz. of fiber it takes to spin enough yarn for a sweater” …
Such an excellent question and I thought I’d share how I make a determination about that very thing. Way back in my very early spinning life I asked that very question. The short answer given me was to “weigh a sweater I wear” and that will give me a rough idea of what I will need. Seems simple? If you think that is a clear as mud… you are not alone. For me, figuring out “how much yarn will I need for x project” was the greatest mystery of spinning! Until I discovered Felicia Lo, that is. Felicia is the magic behind Sweet Georgia Yarns and she is an avid spinner! She also blogs… and her blog is one of the best resources I have found to answer all the “mystery” questions of spinning I might ever have! Anyways, she gives a very clear and easy to understand method of determining how much yarn a sweater might take… that would be any sweater, any gauge, size inclusive, and how much “extra” to calculate. (Actually, this method would work for ANY item you want to knit… not just sweaters!)
I hope this helps you, Jane… as well as any other spinning knitters out there!
Friday (Jabs) —
Yes, that’s correct… later this morning, I am heading down to Rite Aid to get a couple of “jabs”… the new and updated COVID booster (thank you, Pfizer!) and a flu shot as well. I have sort of cleared the deck for the weekend, just in case I am feeling a bit puny from said jabs… but I am so thankful that scientists have made our lives so much better thanks to the wonder of vaccines! (And I am still in awe of how it is possible that I have yet to catch COVID!)
Have a great weekend everyone! See you all back here on Monday!
This week was a good week for learning… at least for me…and I thought I’d share what I learned with you all!
Pita success happened. Or at least I found a very tasty and easy recipe. And while some of my pita’s puffed up, not all of them did – or at least not the entire pita puffed up. The answer to this dilemma is right here! (Hint… apparently I have a cold spot in my oven and Steve thinks that the baking steel heating the entire preheat might be triggering the oven to turn itself down.) So when I bake them again I will turn my oven up and put the baking steel in just 30 minutes before I am gonna drop those pita’s on it. Anyways. They were soft and delicious. The bit of whole wheat flour was the perfect addition… the taste was brilliant. To celebrate we had a “mini-happy hour” last night with my favorite baked feta with these tomatoes and these chickpeas.
Also in the baking category…and perhaps this will give you a huge hint as to how incredible the weather was this week. I had the urge to bake.all.the.things! Ha! Anyways, I had such a craving for chocolate chip cookies… but I really did not want several dozen cookies laying around the house. Occasionally, nothing hits the spot like a warm cookie and I like the idea of the “ready to bake” cookies that the grocers have… the taste, however, leaves a lot to be desired. I wondered if I could make a batch of dough, bake a few cookies, and freeze the remainder of the batch…
And you know what! YOU CAN! Oh.my.gosh! This is a game changer people! I used the “recipe from the back of the chocolate chip bag” so the most basic of recipes. I then lined two baking sheets with parchment and scooped cookie dough exactly like I would if I was going to bake them and then I popped those baking sheets loaded with cookie dough in the freezer. The next morning, I pulled the baking sheets out and filled a ziplock bag with frozen cookie balls. Now here is the BEST PART! Want a cookie with your afternoon coffee… simple. Turn on the oven, pull out a ball (or two) of cookie dough and bake it exactly as the recipe says. Voilà! Fresh baked cookies! (Note… if you are baking a pan of frozen cookies, you probably will need to add some baking time)