A big question for me right now is garden or no garden? Last year the only thing that did well were the beans. Tomatoes and peppers were epic failures with very low production and really not worth the effort. Also, another question I am contemplating is do I want to maintain a vegetable garden by myself? When I add in all the flower beds which I currently care for solo – it all seems a bit much and Steve’s gardening interest has waned to a negative number. Perhaps a good work around would be to have a couple of tomato plants in containers that I could easily manage by myself.
I am also thinking about a Michigan trip! I think this will be another solo visit as well. I am that a mid-March visit will soon be in the works!
Listening and Watching and Reading
I recently finished Conversations with RBG and then I noted that On the Basis of Sex was streaming on television. I think the two work well together – some of the conversations RBG had with Jeffrey Rosen included a couple of the cases in the movie. I highly recommend both the book and the movie!
In my ears right now is the Pulitzer prize winning The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman, narrated by Wanda McCaddon. Wanda is a favorite narrator of mine and this book is so fascinating!
I have a lovely stack of books from the library to get through – however, I cannot read and do color work or do cables, so perhaps I need to start something with miles of stockinette! (**Perhaps the sock below is just the ticket!)
The Miles of Stockinette Pile
I also discovered that listening to NPR’s Up First is a wonderful way to start my day. I have not found success with any other podcast listening – but maybe this is enough.
On my “want to read list” is A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (which will be released tomorrow) and I heard this interview on Sunday and my desire for this book increased. This one I might need to buy as the library has one copy with a very long wait list!
Speaking of knitting, I have a plethora of projects in various stages – my current fascination though is my Pheasant Pullover which I started on Saturday! There is no greater joy than stranded color work – truly, if you have not tried, you should! I am almost finished with the first chart!
I love this colorwork – the colors are just brilliant together!
Even the inside looks beautiful!
I also finished a sock and… wait for it… I have started its mate**! What??? I know, it is a true cause for celebration! I LOVE how the heel fits in this sock! And, I love how it allows the striping to continue down the foot in a more harmonious way – especially if you are a clog wearer like I am! I need to figure out a better fitting toe though…
I *almost* managed to start Sock Two in the same place as Sock One
Sewing and Learning and Wearing
Today is the day I am going to attempt to lay out an Esme Tunic in which the plaids match! I have watched and rewatched this video a number of times and am mentally ready to tackle the tricky bits. Fingers crossed that this is successful, because an Esme Tunic is my “go to” thing to wear right now. Warm, comfortable, works with or without a sweater, with leggings or jeans! I would like a couple more in my wardrobe, so I need to figure this out!
I need to make a Pietra muslin so I can adjust the rise and fit if need be so that I can make a pair of black corduroy pants!
These things are on my list for this week and I am talking about them here to make sure they get started!
Finding a Rhythm
I have spent a good bit of time this month figuring out how to transition from focus to intentional – and as I did last January, I am looking at all aspects of my life. It has been eye-opening, to say the least. It is amazing what is percolating to the top as I review my daily and weekly routines.
That’s what my world looks like right now, but what about you? What is your favorite current thing?
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan… — Christina Rossetti
My return to walking this week truly revealed the wintry bleakness with an added dash of with crazy winds and cold temperatures! I am now a solo walker as my neighborhood walkers have departed for warmer climates – so I am missing Ally the Golden Retriever and Lady Clementine the Bull Mastiff. But that lone walking is good for noticing things! One of those things I noted this week was that some of the trees are heavy laden with the promise of spring! So, as I walked with the winds whipping around me, watching the trees sway wildly – I noticed the branches are full of buds! It was a good reminder that the bleakness will not last forever!
My week was also full of intentional thinking that brought many why questions. The major why of this week was why Instagram? It is a huge time suck. My screen time average shows that I spend almost 2 hours a day scrolling through images there. Yikes. That is a lot of time! So, this week I shut off all notifications for posts and I have stopped posting there for the time being. And, honestly – it has been so hard to not “click into” the app to see what is new there.
I started easing into a podcast this week – NPR’s Up First has been a very easy entry into podcast listening. I have some other things queued up but have yet to listen to any of them.
I also spent some time this week doing something I should have done prior to cutting out my flannel Esme Tunic. I really struggled matching plaids as I shared on Wednesday – but I have since found a YouTube video that showed me the error of my ways. Today I am tracing pattern pieces and I will try matching plaids again next week!
I found a bit of inspiration this week that reminded me that I own patterns I have yet to use…I am very good at buying patterns on sale but not very good at actually using them! However, there will be a quilted Tamarack Jacket in 2020!
Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you should have always been. — David Bowie
First… a little music for this post because yes, today is my birthday…
And while this song is a great pick-me-up I must confess that I have been struggling greatly with the idea of this birthday… and this is quite the confession from a person who never cared one iota about how old I was. 30 was not hard and 40 even less so. And I don’t even remember the big 5-0 so how come 59 is giving me fits? Good thing I have an entire year to get comfortable with the idea – that and those words of wisdom from David Bowie which I am counting on to guide me in the process!
59 year-old me… yes, wrapped in my Regan
However, birthdays be damned! It’s the Season of Selfish Knitting and of course I have some ideas with which to tempt you!!
Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration. – Anamika Mishra
That is most certainly true…at least at my house in December! I do so love December – even the greyest of days are soothed by the lights on our tree. And that theory was put to the test this week as we had several days of grey, wet skies. The December’s of my childhood were full of grey, snowy days courtesy of the Lake Effect Snow Machine that is Lake Michigan! It’s a true fact that grey, snowy days are brighter than grey, rainy days – also snowy days often brought snow days with a day off from school! I remember celebrating snow days and sledding and making angels in the snow. Simple pleasures that are no longer part of my life, but perhaps they should be! This week the best I could do would be to make “mud angels” in our very soggy back yard thanks to all the rain we have had. Somehow mud angels do not carry the same joyful celebration that snow angels do, and I am so hoping for a white Christmas (which is a rare thing in Pittsburgh!)
Yet, even with this lack of wintry weather, there are things to celebrate. My almost daily walks in the neighborhood are marked by the warmth of the neighbors I meet on those walks! There are lots of dog walkers in my neighborhood, but two are stand outs! Allie – a very friendly Golden Retriever, always runs to greet me with such great joy! Then there is Lady Clementine, a Bull Mastiff, named for Winston Churchill’s wife…I am not kidding you (and honestly, I really wish I was their next-door neighbor!) Anyways, Lady Clementine reminds me of an incredibly oversized Pug and her greetings include some wonderfully wet, sloppy kisses! These neighbors and their dogs make walking – even in the coldest weather – a thing to celebrate!
Is it just me, or does the dry skin arrive earlier and earlier every year? A couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to a little nail repair kit from OPI, which included a bottle of OPI nail and cuticle oil. I have one question… why has no one told me about this product before now?!? I am pretty sure this might be a wonder product! In addition to moisturizing cuticles it also *prolongs* the life of a simple manicure! I am on day 8 of a regular polish (regular as in I do my nails at home) with nary a chip or any peeling! This makes my nails extra celebratory! Ha!
Reading is a constant thing of joy in my life. I do not know what life would be without books (and I never, ever want to know!) But, December is the month of Book Celebration with all the book lists that are everywhere you look! Maureen Corrigan shares her 2019 Favorites that she deems are ‘unputdownable reads!’ There are quite a few new-to-me titles that made it to my read soon list!
Now, how about some celebratory knitting?
Did you all see Jennifer Steingass’s latest design: Brightfeather? Anything with mohair silk is a celebration to knit as well as to wear! The pattern currently has an automatic 30% discount….so what are you waiting for! (FYI, I have one completed mohair silk sweater and it is simply divine to wear!)
Amy Christoffers piqued my interest earlier this week with this announcement and I have spent a good bit of time checking Ravelry to see if the pattern was available yet! And it finally dropped late yesterday afternoon. The Pheasant Pullover is gorgeous! I love the deep color work! **AND** it is on sale through Monday!
I have been consuming lots of tea in the past two months, enough that I am contemplating a tea pot. A pot of tea is a quiet celebration – one that wafts its steamy aroma about you – one that reminds you to sit down and savor – one that encourages you to linger in that savoring just a bit longer! But, how to keep that pot of tea warm? Why a Tea Cozy, of course! This was trending on Ravelry yesterday. And this also caught my eye! There will absolutely be some tea cozy in my future knitting plans!
Finally, celebration eats!
Carole, this is for you! I found some “slicing brie” at TJ’s and knew I had seen a recipe on Pinterest that included slicing brie and puff pastry, which I almost always have in my freezer! The original recipe included cranberries and pancetta, but bacon and raspberries were great substitutions! I used frozen raspberries from my garden – and less sugar (I used half what the recipe called for) since raspberries are sweeter than cranberries. I also added the juice from a half a lemon. Raspberries need a little help in the pectin department and that little bit of lemon juice helped thicken the “jam” nicely. This was so yummy as were the leftovers which I reheated for about 20 seconds in the microwave.
That is all I have for this week! I hope your weekend has some celebratory moments!