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!
I feel like I need to get a blackboard and write the day, date, month, etc. on it to help me remember what day it is! Yesterday felt like Wednesday – although, I am not sure Wednesday’s “feel” like anything, my brain was convinced it was. Today does not have a Friday vibe, but I am hoping the cocktail hour later today will fix that problem!
Third Time is the Charm?
Remember when I was all “this week’s charts are so much easier?” I am eating my words today…for the third time. I am going to try to “fix” my problem, but I am not holding out much hope of getting that to work. Which will mean I will be ripping back this section for the third time. My first mistake? I did not pay close attention to the chart rows with and without dashes – so I missed a row that was knit on the wrong side. Knitting this in one color, that row of purl bumps was crucial to seeing the detail of the pattern. So, RIPPPPPPP! And yesterday when I was almost done with the chart, I discovered that I dropped a couple of decrease stitches. Which, as you can see, sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course, this is in one of the “stitch clusters” or in my case… a stitch clusterfuck. One (good??) thing though…this has helped me with is my ability to rip out and pick up stitches like a professional! Sigh.
Two babies, means double the baby knitting!! I would really like to knit a couple of blankets (think Yarn Harlot baby blanket inspiration) and have begun looking for patterns, but have not found anything on Ravelry that is saying “knit me!” Perhaps all I need is a lace dictionary, yarn, and needles! If you have baby blanket suggestions, I welcome them!
These days I am more grateful that ever for the balm that poetry brings. It settles my mind and soothes my soul. This morning’s Writer’s Almanac was exceptional, and I hope you find beauty in Longfellow’s words, too!
Those flowers from last week truly are the gift that has kept on giving. I only pulled the gerbera daisy from the bunch, and now the lilies are opening! That makes me so happy! I hope your weekend is full of things that bring happiness to you!
Breathe the incense of sun on prairie Offer peace to the sky — Heid E. Erdrich, Peace Path
It has been a week and then some. I think what I am missing most is the “normalcy” of the week – that is, normal work schedules, normal routines, and looking forward to Friday. I don’t know about you, but the days are a jumble to me with each one feeling like the last and the next. I feel a bit like I did when I was a child on summer break in the month of August. You know when the days felt endless and school would never start!
And, yet there have been pockets of “good things” in my days and so perhaps a bit of TGIF is in order!
Yesterday was our “monthly” trip to the grocery store for much needed things (fresh produce, for one!!) We headed to Trader Joe’s and again there was a line, but for the most part a well-spaced, masked line! The limit to inside access has been even more reduced to assure that we can all be properly distanced from other shoppers. The store was immaculate and well-stocked. But it the best part was the simple kindness of the other shoppers and the Trader Joe’s staff – both were a balm to my weary spirit. The bouquet above was a gift from Trader Joe’s for helping to bag my groceries. I did not realize how much the simple interaction with strangers was something I was missing. I am basking in the glow of those simple things today, and so thankful!
I have been amazed at the simple forms of giving that have been showing up around the internet! From free things in all sorts of places to helpful tips and tricks for all sorts of things – there are some in the universe working to balance out the unfairness of these days. I thought I’d share a few of the things I found this week with you all! First, Made by Rae just posted an excellent tutorial in which she shows clearly how to measure for pants that fit – even in the rise! I spent some time this week “cranking out” face masks and learned that not all faces are made the same. I found this pattern fits a variety of sizes and includes a “nose wire” option! Milk Street Kitchen has made all their online classes available through the end of April.
Poetry has become a daily necessity for me. And this morning’s poem – Peace Path from The Slowdown moved me greatly and I immediately checked out a book of her poetry from my library. (and yes, Heid E. Erdrich is Louise Erdrich’s sister!)
That is all I have for this week… I hope your weekend is full of weekend things! See you all back here on Monday! I am pulling out my “big camera” and hope to get a photo I can share. Carole and Vicki… how about some Macro Monday!?
Time is the longest distance between two places. — Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie
This quote perfectly describes how the passage of time feels right now. Monday seems like it was eons ago and today does not feel like Friday at all. And topping off the already chaotic week…life changed dramatically last night here in PA. All businesses that are not “life-critical” are now closed…for.the.indefinite.future. Which means Steve is suddenly not working anymore… PLUS My son is calling me multiple times a day to have me talk him down from the ledge, and my heart is breaking that there are so many miles between us because all I want to do is gather him up in my arms like I did when he was little and hold him close. Hard times, so.hard.
This lovely gift arrived in my email this morning and I signed up before you could say Settling the Mind! Thank you, Michelle for this! Please join me… we can settle our minds together and be part of the best commUNITY, even though we are miles apart!
Great finds –
This week there were many!
First, NPR now has a very short new podcast: Coronavirus Daily. I love that I can get an update that is straightforward, no hype, no bs… just a simple update.
April 7th a new #100DayProject begins and I have re-assembled my “stitching basket” and will be stitching a bit each day. This time it is a more ‘planned out’ project. I know what I want it to look like…so my inspiration is to take that thought and make it a reality on my fabric!
Last night Mary hosted our first “Long Distance Knitting Group” on Zoom. I was concerned that I would have trouble staying awake…HA! The truth is, I had trouble going to sleep afterwards! Want in on this riotous group? We are planning to meet again this coming Sunday afternoon… watch Mary’s blog for details. We talked, we laughed, we knit… and the joy overflowed! I can tell you that this was the BEST thing I did for my sanity all week… thank you all!
That is all I have for this week… my “forced” forsythias have been a ray of sunshine in this week! (Their outside compatriots are just starting to bloom – so soon, sunshine inside and out!) Have a great weekend, stay well, wash your hands, and keep flattening that curve!
This week felt like a turning point in a great number of things, but one that was most welcome was the gradual lengthening of the days which really became noticeable to me this week! Since Solstice our daylight has expanded a whopping 34 minutes here in Pittsburgh! That might not seem like much of a turning point, but boy it sure feels like one to me! In addition to the increased minutes of daylight, some other issues I have been struggling with have found turning points on their own. Which is a good reminder that sometimes, whether I do something or not, problems eventually work themselves out – so worry less, Kat!
Although it took much longer than I expected, my finished Esme Tunic put a smile on my face! I have a good start on understanding the concept of what to do to get plaids to match. I have one more tunic to sew, and it will be on my list for next week. This fabric has more “lines” to match, which makes me a bit nervous, but I am going to dig out my walking foot to aide the sewing. AND I am going to do some basting before final seaming! Hello, Bust Darts…I am talking about YOU!
I have spent LOTS of time this week listening to the Senate impeachment proceedings. I have been sort of shocked at articles like this – I mean, Senators, paying attention is actually your job! You all took an oath, and the rules state you must stay in your chairs quietly listening and taking notes! Although, I did love this suggestion and would LOVE to hear the gentle clicking of 100 pairs of knitting needles as they all listen to the House Managers. Speaking of those House Managers – I might be a bit biased – but they have done an incredible job, one and all! However, last nights closing by Adam Schiff was amazing (you can see part of his dynamic speech here): “Right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” Exactly!!
I am almost done with the second chart of my Pheasant Pullover (see above for dramatically increased knitting times) and hurrah for longer circular needles! I am absolutely in love with the beautiful details and the intricate color variations. At times it seems like I am creating a beautiful Pointillism art piece, each stitch alone is not much – but added together with hundreds of other stitches a wonderfully drawn, and most intricate motif begins to emerge. With each stitch I am singing an ode to the brilliance of Amy Christoffers – I am so in love with this pattern! (I am happy she is such a prolific designer because I have my eyes on Ipswich for a spring cardigan – I love the lace yoke!)
I love how the colors seem to merge into each other!
I am not sure why, but my tensioning is almost effortless with this yarn!
That is all I have for today; I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing weekend! See you all back here next week.