In a week of disturbing incidents… so many… too many… I thought a bit of a calm might be just the thing. Just a bit to allow us to take a breath… so we can remind ourselves to breathe.
Thinking about not thinking —
Because this week thinking is a bit overwhelming. What I have done instead is gather all the woes of the week in my morning meditations and then released them to move forward with my day. They are not all magically gone or fixed, but doing this frees me to move past those big things to function…and breathe…during the day.
For September!! (Hello, LAST Friday in August!!) These late August days have been a bit much. Days on end of heat and humidity are just…wearing. Ten minutes in the garden and I am dripping wet. I am anxious for less humidity, cooler nights, and open windows! Yes, I am very thankful for central air… but gosh, I am so ready to turn it off!
Lots of things are filling my head in these late August days… one of the main things is FALL KNITTING! I mean, is there anything better in life? I think not. I have been making some notes about an altered shape Pressed Flowers. Up next is to order some yarn to begin this exciting journey!
The next thing that I have been unable to get out of my head is the #SeaGlassTee tag on IG. I have gotten to the point of getting a container to start pulling together all.the.yarn.scraps. No “start date” or even if there will be a “start date” but I need to see if this is even a possibility. Stay tuned.
The final thing is a new pattern that dropped this week from Sew House 7 patterns… Romney Gathered Dress/Top…yeah, and I have some very drape-y fabric that I think might be perfect for it!
Steve sent me this and I was not quite certain it was correct. Because I can think of lots of presidents who are infinitely quotable and Grant does not usually make that list. And, lo and behold, it is! Tucked inside that speech: “…Grant remarked that “if we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason & Dixon . . . but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side & superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other.” He went on to say, “Encourage free schools and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support . . . shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school.” How eerily true Grant’s words are!
Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you. — Langston Hughes
The hot, muggy weather returned which meant I was spending extra time watering the vegetable gardens so when some summer storms rolled in, it was so welcome…for the vegetables and me! Ha! And that rain brought some amazing nights of sleep… there is nothing that compares to listening to it rain at night. It is the perfect sleep track!
Thoughtful (contemplation) —
But thinking about humor like that refreshing summer rain has been more of a challenge. Although, those thoughts work well with things I need to release… perfection and control. Those two things are the bane of my existence and I fear I will never, ever be able to let go of them. But, this month I am going to try to use humor, levity, and purposeful lightness to try and release my stranglehold on them. Kym shared the most excellent (and very familiar) quote this week: “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” — David Foster Wallace. I wrote it in my journal and on my weekly calendar pages for the remainder of the month. I am going to force myself to remember just how hard it is to let go… but it can be done!
(so much) Good —
I saw this last night on television and it just made my heart sing! I thought you all might need a little heart song this morning as well! I will be excited to watch both Megan and Sue in the Olympics next week!
Inspirational (making) —
This week kicked off the #dawnmakealong… and I have followed the hashtag on IG and my plan is to pick a project (or two?) and *actually get it done* this summer! One would think I would pick a knitting project… but, you’d be wrong. I think I am going to start with some coasters… and hand stitch them. I like the thought of it being a slow project (but not so daunting that I won’t be able to finish it!) Once those coasters are done… I will see what inspires me from what other makers are doing! If you have been looking for some inspiration and want to work on a project from Dawn, let me know… we can cheer each other on!
(thoughtful) Finishes —
This week the idea of slow really settled in for me. I am working away on my pastel drawing… but I did not get it finished this week. And… the world did not end! I know, I was so shocked! Haha! There are only 24 hours in a day… and there is a garden that I love to spend time in, there is a test knit that I gladly committed to completing by a specific date. I finished the body knitting yesterday… up next, getting my crochet steeks in and then knitting on the button bands. Even with today’s grey day, I am confident that I will more than meet the deadline to complete the sweater. Why, I might even have found buttons by then as well! Anyway, the idea of slowing down has really taken root and it is working! I am slowing down and not feeling I need to rush to the next thing… I don’t feel like I have to hurry and finish to start the next thing… I am just loving the current thing… so very much!
That’s it for me this week! I will be back on Monday! I hope you all have a great weekend!
I don’t know about you, but the days are racing by… how is it the 11th already? Yikes! I want summer to slow it right down… take your time! What’s the rush? Right?
And with the idea of things racing on past, this weeks list of things are things that are all about slowing down!
Triumvirate (of knitting) —
Go me for figuring out the perfect way to stay excited about summer knitting….have 3 projects underway! LOL I have my “Night-time TV Knitting” (Shakerag Top) and two different shawls. One very neutral shawl (Anne Hanson’s Mystery Knit) to fill a hole in my wardrobe and one that will likely be a gift (Ysolda’s Shawl)! These three things are keeping my attention and when I pick up each of them I am so happy to be doing something different in each one! AND… with three projects in the works… it is a slow process. I am savoring the slowness.
(in-person) Gathering —
Starting next week, weather permitting, I am joining with an outdoor book club that will meet at the Carnegie Library over the next four weeks to talk about Good Talk! In the past I have steered away from graphic novels, but this one has my rapt attention. It is brilliantly done and yes, it is entertaining. But it also is making me stop and think. I can’t wait to participate in the discussions!
(on) Impulse —
Back when I was looking up fabrics that my daughter sent for Hats for Winston, I stumbled across a “pre-order” of some fabric that I just could not walk away from. It was one of those 100% impulse purchases and I promptly forgot about it. Because… pre-order…right? And I really had no “idea” for what to make with it, but that did not deter me from my impulse buy either. Well, it arrived this week and wow! First… I had no idea it had shiny copper metallic balls of yarn on it. I thought they were “peach-colored” in the image I saw, lol. So I bet you think I don’t like it right? Think again… I absolutely LOVE it! It is just the perfect Impulse Buy if ever there was one. It is now slated to become a pair of pants… elastic waist with wide legs and I am thinking ankle length would be perfect. These will be the perfect summer into fall pants!
Find (inspiration) —
The other thing that arrived this week was a box of soft pastels that Amazon suggested to me. Why they made that suggestion, I have no clue but my response was “okay, I’ll try!” I am going to step out of my comfort zone and open the “High School Art Class” drawer in my brain. I am hoping this will fill the making well inside me as well as inspire some creativity. I have no clue where this will lead, but I will share my journey with you all!
And that, my friends, is a wrap for this week! Have a lovely languid, slow weekend and I will see you back here next week!
It feels like I have not done one of these posts in ages and so I thought that it would be a wonderful way to end the week:
(bookish) Thinking —
I managed to print out not one, but two Summer Book Bingo cards. I know… what is wrong with me! But there is a method to my madness, I like the squares for the most part of both cards so I have been thinking about potential books that would work. The winning card will be the one that has the most books “pre-filled” before Memorial Day Weekend arrives! I have not felt any urgency to get this done because it barely feels like May outside… it feels more like March! But, I digress…one thing I think would be riotously fun is the idea that Mary suggested of “square swapping”! She asked me earlier in the week if I had my card printed out (I didn’t then, but I do now!) and I have been pondering what square I might like to swap with her. I am thinking that it might make sense to trade her my “Modern Mrs. Darcy” square from Card One… but I don’t know what she might like to get rid of. Mary!! I am hoping you will weigh in here and we can do a bit of swapping! If you want to swap a square with me… let me know what you are offering!
(friendly) Goodwill —
Over the past couple of weeks, the kindness of “strangers” has really been the tide that is lifting my boat. Small things that were so unexpected and yet they made such an impact on me. A little book of poetry from Kym to thank me for participating in Poetry Month with her. I have been reading a poem or two a day with my morning meditation time and it has quickly become the bright spot of my morning! A little knitting “kit” from Jane (that she made!) really was the perfect thing… I had been contemplating getting something so when this arrived it just seemed like Jane had read my mind and put together exactly what I had been thinking about. A couple of weeks ago Vera was doing a bit of a “destash” of her amazing stitching patterns so imagine my surprise with the plethora that arrived this week! Plus some bits of lovely linen and threads! Ladies, your little gifts have truly wowed me! Your kindness and generosity are incredible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
(ducks) In a row —
My first step in sewing a few new pieces (from new patterns) for my wardrobe is to make muslins. But!! Before even that can happen I need to trace off the patterns onto tracing paper, and get everything ready to cut out the pieces. Recently, someone told me that tracing patterns was their least favorite thing, but I want to tell you all that it is the most important step of the entire process. Is it fun? Yes, I think so! It is the first place that I make alterations even before I start sewing. I can alter inseam length, rise, and sleeve length – things I know I always make adjustments on. Tracing patterns off also allows you to blend sizes! All those steps takes some time, but it also means a much better outcome (even for a lowly muslin!) So I hope to carve out some time today to begin the the tracing process. Hopefully I will get everything traced off so I can sit down and begin the “great cut out” later today. On a side note, I saw a color blocked version of this and I am also tossing the fabric stash to see if I have any fabrics that might coordinate together to try one!
(al) Fresco —
It has been such an incredibly shitty spring… cold (I mean we had frost three times this week, for crying out loud), rainy, cloudy… just really miserable weather. My furnace still is running in the mornings that is how cold it is has been! But today we are supposed to get almost to 70° and the sun is shining!! We are going to head out for a little outside dining on the lovely patio at our local brewery… pizza and beer for lunch sounds like the perfect way to begin the weekend! I might have to wear a sweater, but the sun is shining and there is not a single cloud in the sky!
Our cat lies across the stove’s front burners,
right leg hanging over the oven door. He
is looking into the pantry where his bowl
sits full on the counter. His smaller dish,
the one for his splash of cream, sits empty.
Say yes to wanting to be this cat. Say
yes to wanting to lie across the leftover
warmth, letting it rise into your soft belly,
spreading into every twitch of whisker, twist
of fur and cell, through the Mobius strip
of your bloodstream. You won’t know
you will die. You won’t know the mice
do not exist for you. If a lap is empty and
warm, you will land on it, feel an unsteady
hand along your back, fingers scratching
behind your ear. You will purr.
That is all I have for this week! I hope you all have an amazing Friday and an even better weekend! I will see you all back here on Monday!
History says, Don’t hope
On the side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
— Seamus Heaney, The Cure of Troy (an excerpt from Joe Biden’s acceptance speech, 20 August, 2020)
There has been a most welcome reprieve of the miserable hot weather this week! We have had cooling nights, chilly mornings, and moderate days, which in turn meant no drone of the AC, wide open windows, and autumn dreams! This week I noted a marked change in morning light as well! I am up before the sun and the dark mornings have added to my autumnal mood! Add to that, the four stellar nights of the virtual DNC convention and I have “fall feelings on overload” and my election day count down clock reminds me that there are just 74 days to go.
Last night, I sat on the porch for “Zoom Knitting” and watched hummingbirds flock to my verbena. It was the perfect ending to the day… knitting and laughter!
Taking to Heart —
My inner poli sci major has loved the “un-conventional” convention this week. From the beautiful diversity, to the pointed speeches… I soaked up every bit of it. But I especially took to heart President Obama’s jeremiad on Wednesday night…honestly, I am still thinking about all he said but if we want this democracy to continue, we need to vote like our lives depend on it. The election results need to be overwhelming… and hearing so clearly this week about the desperate need to return to decency is so true. I am ready for a president who will represent all 3.28 million of us! Do you have a plan for voting? If not, get one! And if you need inspiration to make that plan, look no further than Joe Biden’s acceptance speech last night! First, Joe is a man who “reads everything,” including poetry! In his closing words, he shared the lines from Seamus Heaney’s poem, The Cure of Troy. We need to be part of that tidal wave of justice! Why? Well, Joe told it best: “For love is more powerful than hate. Hope is more powerful than fear. Light is more powerful than dark. This is our moment. This is our mission. May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation. And this is a battle that we, together, will win.”
And in case you need a bit of levity, Mark Hamill provides some:
“Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not of the darkness.”- Joe Biden
Vacation in Pandemic is not happening (at least not anywhere out of the state because of the current guidelines that Steve would have to follow to return to work…) but I have been contemplating places to go that are nearby… Although, Steve is absolutely not on board with this I am having some fun day dreaming about a trip to Lake Erie.
I have gotten to the point in Pandemic Times that I am seriously contemplating my wardrobe. I wear leggings and a tunic almost every day…soon it will be leggings, a tunic, and a sweater, lol. I have no desire to go shopping, but boy… my wardrobe is feeling very monotonous. So when Grainline Studio’s dropped a new pattern this week I felt the desire to change things up and make an Augusta shirt! It is just different enough to break up the monotony of the days! I will be looking at my fabric stash to see what might work for it! And, since masking up is the new norm I need to have another “Bout of Mask Making” so there will be more mask sewing next week. I am going to try a new pattern and will let you know what I think next week!
Farmer Girl —
My daughter sent this photo this week… Vivi got her first egg! Personally, I think all Farmer girls should be in mermaid dresses and boots while they collect eggs! Ha! And yes, Vivi has charmed the chickens… she likes to carry them around!