Allergies to dust and grain, maladies, remedies and still these allergies remain. — Paul Simon
Spring is … wonderful … well, except for that little allergy thing that happens every year. I have some generally mild allergies to tree pollen and usually I can count on 5-7 days of itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, and – of course – a runny nose. This morning brings Day Fifteen of the most horrible spring allergies I can remember in … well … a long-ass time! So I did a quick Google search yesterday to see if my Off-The-Charts allergies were a one-off, or not… (really, I should have included a box of Kleenex™ in the above photo because we spent so much time together! lol)
Turns out, it’s a Big OR NOT… sigh.
So this weekend was all about not thinking about my allergy symptoms (and not rubbing my eyes, gah!)
My Mind Over Matter things… knitting, that water color class, and some Word contemplation (this month Ali Edwards is having us look back and look forward a bit, which is such an interesting way to consider my word at the “mid-year” point!)
First up… Knitting. In my Year of Never Not Gnoming, I began my June Gnome (a repeat of Gnombleberry that I had previously knit for Steve’s mom.) I have Gnombleberry’s body done… as well as the start of his “backpack”… which I am going to change up a bit and make it a cross-body messenger-style bag I think. Stay tuned.
Next… that watercolor class. I have watched the “make thumbnail sketches” video twice. The first time, I just watched what Rick Surowicz did. Wow, is he fast! LOL Anyways, the second time watching I picked up my pencil and managed to get two thumbnail sketches done in the time he did four. The first is perhaps too detailed for the watercolor process and the second might be a bit closer to how Rick did his four. The best thing about a video class… I can play the video’s over and over and over if I need to. I am working on letting go of my desire for perfection… but gosh, the struggle is real. Haha. Today I am going to watch the value study video … likely several times.
And that word work… I have made some notes from each month that fell into the “out of sight, out of mind” hole. A mid-year reflection is exactly what I needed to gather up some pieces I do not want to lose!
Finally, another list… and boy, I really wish that this would be the last ever list like this that anyone has to make:
- Philadelphia, PA
- Omaha, NE
- Chattanooga, TN
- Summerton, SC
- Phoenix, AZ
- Mesa, AZ
- Socorro, TX
- Chesterfield, VA
- Macon, GA
- Saginaw, MI
That’s right… 10 cities, 10 mass shootings, 15 dead, 60 injured…during the weekend.
Enough. Really. My gosh.
It’s been a wintry week here in Pittsburgh… bitterly cold temperatures – which meant we had some sunshine! A knitter does not cry over cold… we have sweaters, hats, mittens, cowls, scarves… cold weather is every knitters dream! You know… the days you can wear.all.the.knits! And those slices of sunshine? Who all doesn’t need a bit of a Vitamin D boost as January draws to a close! The snow from our last snowstorm is still on the ground and this morning a fresh blanket of snow covered it. I love it when it is all fresh and white… it is visible reminder that each day we have a fresh start! Right?
Let’s see what’s in the mailbag this wintry Friday, shall we?
I know you thought that you were winning the battle in my head. I am usually adept at ignoring the ever-present noise during the day, but night time is a different matter. You have been winning the Battle of Darkness making me a casualty of far too many sleepless nights. But! No longer! I have some new armor that is splendidly effective at silencing you! Bose Sleep Buds have banished you to the Halls of Brown Noise! It is a wonder what uninterrupted sleep does for a body! And even more wonderful what weeks of uninterrupted sleep can do! So take that, Tinnitus. You are down for the count… at least at night!
Sorry not sorry,
A well-rested Kat
My most beloved Imagined Landscapes!
As I draw to a close on my January Gnome… I just had to take a moment to stop and thank you for so many things… perhaps too many to list in one short letter! But I wanted to thank you for your Insane Creativity… my goodness, you are a wonder! After knitting Gnutmeg I can now knit jog-less stripes, I have a better understanding of planned increases, and you have watered the joy that had withered inside me! I have one wee little leg to go… but the Gnome Boot! Oh my goodness!
Anxiously awaiting my February Gnome and I can’t wait to see what you can teach me about cabling!
Your most adoring fan!
Gnon-stop Gnitting Kat
And with that… I say Let the Weekending Begin! (if only, right?)
See you all back here on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!
Today I have a bunch of random things to share and I am making them fit TGIF. I think it works.
And so let’s get started!
Last year, I mentioned that I had some socks in need of some mending… well, the number has grown since then. How is it possible that all.the.socks. are wearing out all at once? It is boggling my mind to be sure! And, ironically, this arrived in my email the same week the latest sock become “holy” … a darning “class”? Okay. I am in! And the same day a darning mushroom was on sale on Amazon and it seemed inevitable. It is being delivered to my house today (along with some darning needles). I have 4 pairs of socks in need of heel repair and I am determined that I will learn how to do this and have the end result be four *comfortably* wearable pairs of socks! (and then I can fix the uncomfortably repaired pair!)
A Healing of the Heels is in order!
Speaking of uncomfortable…it needs to get real, Gentle Readers. Very real. Uncomfortably real… this is our year to be uncomfortable. I lowered my reading goal this year… for a reason. I wanted to spend more time reading things that made me uncomfortable. Things that will help me see beyond my white privilege. Things that will help me better understand what the BiPOC community experiences on a daily basis. Things that will make me uncomfortable…
This thread by Nikole Hannah-Jones. It opened my eyes. It shocked me. And yes, it now has me wanting to find all of MLK’s writings that I have never, ever read and get uncomfortable! (and to have some wearable reinforcement…I have asked Steve to get me this for V-day instead of flowers)
In (my worry corner):
The past 3 weeks have been rough. My son’s girlfriend started the COVID Train… she was exposed and then, sadly, came down with it. Which meant, of course, that my son got it. (She was quite sick, he had a slightly milder case) and yesterday another family member let me know they now have COVID. (It’s my sister who is not boosted… who is living in group housing… and is now in isolation… which I don’t think is good for her at anytime, but right now, I think it’s especially bad.) I realize it is but a matter of time… so to speak… until we all have it with numbers skyrocketing. But my worry level is off the charts… (add to all this there was a tragic accident on Monday at my son-in-law’s place of employment … a boat … and I am really needing for my people to be close enough that I can see them, hold them, and feed them…)
This week it was all about occupying my mind… so I wound the Base 12 yarn and cast on that Hitchhiker. I also wound so many skeins of yarn… enough to fill a HUGE knitting bag… and started Gnome One in the Year of Gnomes. It is a pattern I purchased but never knit! Welcome to the start of ADVENTure Gnome! I have started on the hat and I am loving how this looks… now to figure out the ball at the top of the hat! LOL
A Worry Hitchhiker seems so appropriate but coupled with the silliness of Gnome Knitting… there is a bit of balance.
Both knitting projects are excellent diversions because they require me to keep track of something physical… in other words, they are not mindless knits!
I also was shocked to find that Stacy Abrams book, While Justice Sleeps, was available on Overdrive so I downloaded it. And yes… it is lovely to have breathing space between reads to be able to read something totally unexpected!
And that is all I have for this week! Have a great weekend and stay warm if you are in the path of this bitter cold!
See you all back here on Monday!
In December, as I began thinking about my word for this year… one of the things that I also spent some time contemplating was this blog. I thought long and hard about its future and I determined that I still had things to share, contributions to make, and, especially, the connections I have made here over the years! But, this blog does not write itself and that means that I have to make an actual effort to… well… create content to post here!
I have sort of mapped out a plan of post topics to help me “jump start” my creativity and so this First Friday it begins!
I will be doing quarterly “Currently” posts as a check in with myself… what am I doing. (or most importantly…what am I not doing and what should I be doing!)
Unpacking: My word! January is always such a fun month to spend looking at all the possibilities a word has and in the unpacking of the word, I always always find things I did not previously consider about the word. And I just love writing down definitions, writing down the “stream of words” that come to my mind as I unpack the word. Good things for January! It is the one month that I really like being at my desk!
Planning: Some January sewing! I think this is the *second* winter that has passed since I determined that I’d like a pair of corduroy pants… (THIS is exactly what these posts are going to help me do… be more accountable on the things I “talk” about wanting to get done! HA) Anyways… I simply love Sew House Seven’s Free Range Slacks and I plan on getting the pattern cut out this weekend so I am ready to start sewing on Monday! I also really need a couple of “nicer” sweat shirt-style shirts. I have had the Cosmos Sweatshirt pattern for a while now and I have these two lovely pieces of French Terry from Blackbird Fabrics. FOMU (that’s Fear Of Messing Up) has stymied me however. But I did not buy the fabric to just look at it! So I am breaking out from the fear and at least getting them washed and dried today! Then I will plan my next steps… I have not sewn knits is so long. (but thankfully Sewing YouTube has dozens of helpful videos!)
Shaking up: Friday Happy Hours! Boy, have they felt stale as the year ended. So I have been spent a little bit of time finding some new recipes and ideas to “spruce them up” a bit! Phase One starts tonight with a something freshly baked… stay tuned! (And I will be posting an update on IG! What??? LOL)
Speaking of Baking: In November I began making a “bucket” of dough and have been using Zoë François/Jeff Hertzberg 5-minute bread recipe. It keeps is the fridge for 2 weeks and makes it so simple to just pull out a bit of dough to make a loaf of very good bread! I expect this to continue as the dough can be used for pizza as well! It is nice having home made pizza every other week! (A favorite of ours is one with a chicken breast that I have previously cooked and shredded, some artichoke hearts, a drizzle of olive oil and some parmesan cheese!)
Watching: Call the Midwife and loving every second of it! (I also watched the first episode of Around the World in 80-days with DAVID TENNANT… so far, so good…and DAVID TENNANT!) These have been my “companions” while I have been spinning… and they are such very good company!
Spinning… with a plan in mind: I started a “sweater spin” last year and it sort of lost its sparkle. I love the fiber but the sweater part of the spinning has been the issue I think. So I changed the sweater plan… drastically! I knit Romi’s Morinne sweater (Rav link) some years ago and I love the design and fit so much… but the yarn I knit it with… not so much. It pills horribly and now after some years of wear it really looks like hell. This change in sweater has spurred on my spinning… as has the excitement of opening a little bit of fiber each day from Hipstrings Base12 Advent spin… which I thought was just spinning with no plan until yesterday… I think that this will make a lovely Hitchhiker (and I am sure that I will have more than enough yarn to knit a generous one!)
Bandwagon Knitting: I know that I said I was NOT doing any bandwagon knitting this year… but I should know better than to every say never… because on Wednesday night I jumped on the Musselburgh Wagon and began that fiddly little cast on. I am not through all the increases yet so I have not quite gotten to the “mindless knitting” portion of the hat… but soon!
And there you have the things that are currently filling the minutes of my days! What about you? Tell me one thing that you are really excited about!
Have a great weekend everyone and I will see you all back here on Monday!
I know, I said I was not going to be back until tomorrow, but what can I say. Ha!
Do you ever feel in a rut? Well, I can tell you we sure do! Steve and I have been talking about how we are always doing/eating/listening to the same.things.every.week.
So this week, we changed things up a bit!
Happy hour was Thursday night, sans music, just quiet, some *different* food, and conversation.
Friday we did not have a happy hour, but rather we got take out (Pierogi Pie and beer FTW!) and we caught up on the Big Brother episodes we missed during the week. In hindsight, we probably would have been okay to eat there… it was a gorgeous day and we could have easily sat outside. It was surprisingly not busy, but of course, if we went with the idea of eating there it would have been packed, right? lol
Saturday, we tried to have an “impromptu” micro-happy hour out on the porch, as you can see above. However, we had to bail and head indoors because the mosquitos almost ate us alive! Which is very curious to me, especially since we have had virtually NO RAIN, as you can see from a tweet our local news station shared yesterday…
Sunday morning Steve ran to Dunkin’ and brought home a pumpkin donut or two… oh man, are they so good!
The rest of the day was filled with Steve watching Steeler football while I finished the second sock for Winston! And they will be off in the mail today! Hopefully they will fit for at least a minute, lol.
And before we knew it, poof! the weekend was over and now we are looking Monday in the face. I have a substantial list of things to accomplish today, but I have a bright spot for this Monday morning… Pádraig Ó Tuama is back with a new season of Poetry Unbound!
I hope your Monday full of all kinds of good things!