Friday Finds | 2.4.22

Friday Finds | 2.4.22

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. — Nelson Mandela

It is Black History Month and in these days of an outrageous number of people wanting far too many books removed from libraries, I thought a good place to start this month is with books!

So I did a bit of Googling to see if I could expand my recommendations of books to include in your February reading and I found several great lists (that even included the books I have read!) I am sharing ones that I loved, ones that have been on my radar, as well as some that were not until I discovered them this week! I hope you find something you’d like to include in your February!

  1. Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Ibram X. Kendi
  2. The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne and Tamara Payne
  3. Deacon King Kong by James McBride
  4. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  5. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  6. Between the World and Me by Ta–Nehisi Coates
  7. The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah–Jones
  8. (and if you have children…) The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah–Jones
  9. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
  10. (Double digits… double books?) Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents and The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  11. How The Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith (and if you are looking for a second Clint Smith book pick up Counting Descent... his poetry is wonderful!)
  12. You Don’t Know us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston (I read Their Eyes Were Watching God and loved it so I am excited to read her collection of essays that was published posthumously)

Now I am off to do some super-secret test knitting for my favorite knitting designer. Which means my Base 12 Hitchhiker and the February Gnome will be gathering some dust… sigh. But I have a very short time frame to finish the Test Knitting… very short. Oy! My yarn arrived late yesterday so you know what’s next… Let the Swatching Begin! Haha! I am hopeful that the Knitting Gauge Gods will be smiling on the process…. my fingers are crossed!

That is almost all I have for this week aside from this wee tiny post script for all you Wordle fans… it seems that all good things must come to an end…okay so maybe Wordle is not ending but soon it will no longer be free. This closing paragraph to the article might be the most brilliant thing I have read all week:

I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t get attached. I’m staying lower than lo-fi with my games from now on. A brilliant friend of mine — he’s nine — plays a variant called “Wordle in Your Head.” He thinks of a five-letter word, and you guess. He replies with your progress: green, gray, gray, yellow, gray. So far, he hasn’t charged a dime.

Yep… World in Your Head with a nine year old sounds like the best thing ever… unless I can convince a certain six year old I know to try!

Have a great weekend all! I will see you all back here on Monday!

To Whom It May Concern | 1.28.22

To Whom It May Concern | 1.28.22

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?


Dear Tinnitus,

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!

TGIF | 1.21.22

TGIF | 1.21.22

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!

Teaching (myself?):

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!

Getting (uncomfortable): 

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…)

Finding (diversions): 

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!

To Whom It May Concern | 12.10.21

To Whom It May Concern | 12.10.21

It’s been a week, hasn’t it? Is it just me and does it feel like we are racing on to mid-December, except that December just began?! Fortunately, the mailbag has a letter or two to share!

Dear December Weather:

Mild is nice… in January, but I really like wintry Decembers…kthxbai

Dear PowerPoint Insurrectionists,

I am not sure if you all missed the zillions of company trainings that included a PowerPoint presentation from back in the ’90’s… but they were entire snorefests. Really… I think the response is clinically known as “Insta-tune out” but your feeble attempt did provide some hilarious fodder for the Twitterverse this week. I mean… I think we all have experienced Death by PowerPoint at least once in our lives. I am just insanely grateful you have not discovered the more engaging PowerPoint Alternatives! Back in the day, the most engaging Prezi was my go to training device… just sayin’.

Sincerely,

American’s Who Don’t Insurrection

And finally…

Dear Easily Entertained Self:

This week you found such joy in the simple things like turning a heel and neatly picked up gusset stitches. But the greatest joy ever might have been found in a wee little Gnome Hat complete with a pocket! I love your thoughts on adding a bit of whimsical stitching to embellish that pocket with a tiny snow flake! You go girl!

Signed,

One Whimsically Happy Knitter


And with that… I will leave you all to enjoy your weekend! See you all back here on Monday!

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Falling into Friday | 10.22.21

Falling into Friday | 10.22.21

It was a random week, punctuated by a few maddening moments.

With the latest update from my daughter… the tooth is still wiggly. Or at least it was on Monday! My daughter is back at work, which means Winston is in daycare and has had one illness after another. While we were there she shared how stressful being a “single parent” is (which I sadly know about all too well!) She is exhausted and I really wish I lived closer to be able to help her more! This is maddening moment number one for the week.

I sat down to begin the Great Advent Calendar project and as I read through the instructions again. I realized I need some ribbon… maddening moment number two because I made a list and got “everything” I needed… or so I thought. I will be making a trip to JoAnn’s today to get a spool of ribbon.

I have been valiantly trying to do Stitching In Hand and failing miserably, which brought maddening moment number three. I tried to give myself a bit of a grace period… you know, learning something new can be a challenge to the brain as well as the hands! It seemed easier to go in one direction… or so I thought, until I found that I was not going over enough threads on one row. I have ripped out all the “new” stitches put my hoop back on and went back to my tried and true method. Sometimes you cannot teach and old dog new tricks… or perhaps I need to practice on larger spaced cloth!

Being gone for several days at the beginning of October meant I did not get my act together to do any “Halloween” decorating until this week. I hauled the boxes upstairs from the garage (This is Pittsburgh… our garage is in our basement!) and then contemplated what to put out with less than 2 weeks left in the month. I pulled out my “Fall” decorations that can stay up through November and just got out a couple of things for Halloween. Some is better than none… right? Now I just need to make a decision about some kind of outside lights for Halloween night itself… None of which is maddening, thank goodness! lol

Have a great weekend everyone! I will see you all back here on Monday with my October Word update! (fun times!)

 

 

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