We had ambivalent emotions when we discovered that a, almost all your crappe was gone from the rental property, but 2, you had moved out last August but neglected to mention that fact. Thank you for paying most of your back rent. Keep taking your meds for your bipolar disorder and depression, and hope your bankruptcy doesn't haunt you for too long.
Kathy & Smokey
* * * * *
Dear Mother Nature,
It is January in Wisconsin. I like winter. Where the heck is it?
Note: Before you ask, the title of this post is an excerpt from the Haruni pattern. It bears no relation to the pictured knitting, which is the Morrigan pullover from Amy Singer's book No Sheep for You.
What a great topic Carole has given us today -- if we think about what makes us happy, it makes us happy! How can we lose?
Ten Things I Am Happy About Right Now.
It is winter and I am wearing handknits every day. This is last winter. We don't have quite this much snow. Yet.
There is a lot of winter left and I mean to take advantage of it with the handknits. Yeah, I may be weird but I am liking winter this year. The forecast for warmer temps makes me sad :-( Next Sunday is starting to look good, though.
I finished a pair of fingerless gloves for Tamar. (I'll take them to the post office today, Tamar!)
Smokey bought me a largish container of fresh blueberries last week, and I am having blueberries in my oatmeal every morning. Blueberries in cooked or baked goods are my favorite.
There is leftover lentil stew for lunch. Yay, leftovers! Not mine. The black beans in mine colored everything dark. photo credit: anthimeria via photopincc
I only have two more pairs of promised fingerless gloves to knit. Tamar's will be #7. #s 8 & 9 and I'm done!
My laundry/craft room is organized! Before. After!
Yesterday Younger Son helped my fix my Dropbox so it syncs again. All those green check marks make me happy!
The craft end of the laundry room. I am so proud of this I could bust.
A closer look. Labels on the baskets are, from upper left, Swatches, Misc balls of yarn (the ones that haven't gotten put away yet into the Tower Of Stash, below), FOs, Yarn bras & bags, Tools - knitting, and Tools - other. That last basket is my version of a tool box -- hammer, screwdrivers, etc.
Handy and Bubbles (my glove and hat models) on top, ostrich eggs from South Africa, a plastic basket of miscellaneous tiny stuff that I didn't know what else to do with, and an empty basket. Please note how I cleverly maintained easy access to the electrical outlet.
Top: empty basket, my lightbox; next: shallow basket holding the electronic postal yarn scale, another empty basket; next: three large Zip-Locs holding bulky yarn and US#11 circs (gonna teach three little girls to knit next time I go to Sioux Falls); bottom: multiple WIPs (wool ones in ziplocs). The Leinie's case topped with a stoneware bowl is the stand for a 400W halogen work light that I use with the lightbox; that's why I kept the electrical outlet clear. Leftover tiny balls of yarn get thrown into the bowl. Swift and ball winder always at the ready.
Tower Of Stash. I sorted and reorganized this a month or two ago, so I didn't have to do anything major with it during my deck clearing. There are a couple more small Rubbermaids and a couple baskets on the floor, all full of yarn sorted into certain potential project categories.
These shelves were a mess before. The top one was so full of cleaning rags that they were always spilling over the edge. The rags are now neatly folded and sorted into three small piles by type and moved to another cabinet. That means this one is all mine again. And the bottom shelf, not visible, is empty. Way up on top are a basket of seed packets and four project bags/basket. The basket holds the Fairfield WIP, each bags has the yarn and pattern for a project.
Sadly, I neglected taking before photos. Imagine that table in the first few pictures heaped with yarn, fabric, projects, swatches, patterns, and a hundred other things that are no longer there. The shelves that are now on the table came from a closet downstairs that is no longer being used much... last February. Then Smokey was in the hospital, then there was the campaign for county board, then there were all the summer parades and the fair, then emailing and organizing phone banks, then canvassing for the fall election, all the while knitting fingerless gloves for the farmers market and the craft fair, then it was Christmas. And then I did it.
A former co-worker of Smokey's and former renter of our house had a baby over a year ago, and I promised her a sweater. While I knit it almost immediately, it sat... and sat... and sat... waiting for the arm seams to be sewn and a button added at the neck. I finally did that last little bit of finishing a couple weeks ago and mailed the sweater off to little Abby. Luckily for me, she is a tiny little peanut and will have plenty of room to grow into it.
Pattern:Baby Brights by Bev Galeska, heavily modified. Yarn:Valley Yarns Superwash DK (100% superwash merino): 25 light gray, 14 teal, 13 forest, 12 grass, 14 blue mist, 19 misty lilac, 09 wild rose, 06 burgundy. Colors are truest in the WIP photo, below left. Needles: Addi Turbo US#6. Mods:Asalways, I do the whole sweater in stockinette stripes, except for the edgings in garter stitch.
Knit something warm and wooly to wear the next time you go out.
Knit something for summer. It will come...eventually.
Toss and sort the stash. You will find inspiration.
Read an engrossing book, be it a mystery novel, a romance novel, a historical suspense romance novel, whatever. The main thing is that it be totally engrossing.
Cook up a pot of soup and bake some bread -- yeast or quick or muffins or scones -- to go with it. The house will smell amazing for hours.
Cook up something in the slow cooker. The house will smell amazing for hours.
Eat spicy food to warm up your life.
Build a fire in the fireplace to enjoy while doing any of the above.
Fill squirt bottles with water tinted with food coloring. Use them to draw pictures in the snow.
Blow soap bubbles outside when the temp is below freezing -- the further below, the better.
Invite the neighbors over to enjoy any of the above, as appropriate.
Go for a walk in a park or the woods or along a county lane after (or during) a snowfall. Dress a bit more warmly than absolutely necessary; you can shed your hat or your gloves or unzip your jacket if necessary, but if you are cold it won't be any fun. Take your camera along, keep it inside your jacket to stay warm until you need it. Outdoors is beautiful after a snowfall.
Dig out your ice skates and re-learn how to skate backwards.
Rent some skis, cross-country or downhill, and explore a golf course or park in winter.
Take your sweetie (and kids, if you want) for a weekend getaway. Go somewhere with an indoor pool.
Take a MOOC (massive online open course). Learn about something new.
Volunteer to listen to early readers read aloud at a local school. Early readers need all the encouragement they can get.
Do a[n anonymous] random act of kindness. Stand back and watch the results. Feel warm inside.
Read seed catalogs. Plan a garden. Plant some seeds now in a pot on a sunny windowsill -- basils and mints grow quickly.
Treat yourself to some lovely scented bath salts and/or lotions. Pamper yourself for an evening (or a day or a weekend -- whatever).
Like most of us, I am mostly crap at following through on the traditional New Year's resolutions. The only one I have come even close to following was the one of January, 2013, wherein I went on a yarn fast. In the following twelve-plus months, I impulsively bought one skein of laceweight, a couple skeins of DK merino for a gift, and a skein of sock yarn that was practically free because it got me over the free shipping threshhold. (Yes, I can rationalize with the best of them.) I have slipped from the "fast" to a more of a "starvation diet" on yarn purchases, and am knitting down my stash slowly but surely. Will I knit the last of it before I slip away to knitter's heaven, that place where yarn never tangles, the patterns are always clearly written, and coffee and tea and adult beverages are only an arm's-length away? And an infinite number of good things to watch on Netflix? Time will tell. for now, I am knitting as fast as I can.
A year is really too long for me to think about carrying through on a single intention, but I seem to have started the year with one without any premeditation; I shall endeavor to carry on with it as long as possible.
I shall clear the decks.
On the weekend between Christmas and New Year's, I organized my laundry/craft room. Although the impetus was to find a place to put a possible knitting machine*, the endeavor was a lovely way to start the new year. It deserves a post of its own, so no more here.
Organizing that room gave me the bump to finish a couple of long-neglected projects, each of which also deserves its own post. Considering that neither one took even an hour to finish, I felt considerable self-loathing at how long they had sat.
The next step is to organize my office, something that has haunted me, literally, for years. As Smokey put it, Your office is scary. But it will happen, a little bit at a time.
I have some other parallel goals for the year: step back from some volunteer activities in order to have more time for myself (and accomplish my other goals), clean up various little rat's-nests of clutter around the house, see our attorney to update our wills, get a living will and/or health directive written and distributed, get my paperwork in order. (In case you are wondering, no, neither of us is in imminent danger of dying, but it is so much easier to take care of these things when one is healthy.)
Well, there you have it: my intention for 2015. Clear the decks. Organize the hell out of my living space. Clear the clutter. Dispense with the unnecessary. Eliminate the unneeded. All of this meshes with our newish, retired status. Deal with this crap so our kids don't have to.
* Not gonna happen. No place for it, plus my iPad barely works (new one on order) and my computer is dying; those item are far more important to me than a possible knitting machine.
I added four -- FOUR! -- pairs of socks to my sock bin in one weekend. Lest you become terminally jealous of my lightning-fast, mad knitting skillz, let me clue you in: I finished knitting one pair and f-i-n-a-l-l-y mended three other pairs which have been sitting unmended for several years.
These are the socks I just finished knitting.
Yarn:Country Classic Yarn for Sox (Aran, 80% wool/ 20% nylon) Needles: Addi Turbos US#3 (feet and ankles), US#4 and #5 legs. Pattern:Pattern? I don' need no stinkin' pattern! I knew I wanted to knit these on 44 st; I cast on 22 st and divided them onto the two ends of my circ, alternating 1 st on left tip, 1 st on right. Work in the round, increasing 2 st at each side every other round until there are 44 st. Short row heel, 1x1 ribbing at the end. Easy-peasy.
These are good and thick and will keep my tootsies warm this winter.
The other three pairs have languished in various to-do piles for years, the victims of wear, moths, and procrastination. This new year has prompted a small bout of finish-itis, that wonderful condition that comes far too seldom.
Now they look like this.
The colors are a bit misleading. The original Colinette yarn was mainly olive green, but it faded terribly over time in the wash. The mending yarn is olive green and matches the reinforcing thread in the heels -- you can see a tiny bit of it on my left foot. Gee, do you think maybe I should have reinforced the toes instead of the heels?
The first darn looked pretty messy, the second one looked better. When I finished I told Smokey that I was glad that I didn't have to darn socks because it was not any fun.
Then I was on a roll.
Who says the darn has to match the socks? (That is Swedish ivy blooming in the photo.)
This darn was better, maybe because I could see the bright colored yarn better. Or maybe because we were watching Columbo, who knows? This was the second or third pair of socks I ever made, so I am very glad to have them back. Also, I needed another pair of bright blue socks.
This is the first pair of socks I ever made. I loved them. Whenever I had a challenging day ahead, I would wear my red jacket, black pants, and these; I thought of them as my power socks.
The dark blue darn is pretty darned tidy (see what I did there?) if I do say so myself. But check out the bright red darn on the toes. All the wool had worn away from the yarn, but the 25% nylon remained. Using some bright red Lang Jawolle sock yarn, I chain-stitched up the ladders of nylon on each side of the the toes on both feet. Back when I first started knitting socks, I used US#1 needles, which accounts for the severe wear on the toes. Now I always knit the feet on US#0s so they wear better.
...and that, children, is how you get four *new* pairs of socks in one weekend.