Ten for Tuesday: Project Peace

The Healthy Knitter posted on December 1 about Project Peace and her need to let go. The blog post touched me, and in the spirit of lighting my own candle from hers, I thought I would write about ten ways I can experience more peace.

  1. Start the day with knitting. Instead of spending most of my day thinking about how I can’t wait to knit at the end of the day, and then reaching the end of the day too tired to knit, I am going to try starting my day with a little knitting. I used to do this and I think it helps set the right tone for the day. And considering I spend a couple of hours in the morning staring at a screen while drinking my coffee, I think this is completely doable.
  2. Journal every day. This is another opportunity I have to make the most of my morning. It doesn’t have to be morning pages, it can be jotting a few lines in my journal, like this list!
  3. Go for a walk. I need to set the intention to go for a walk at least a few times per week. Walking down my country road is very peaceful. Once I start working it’s difficult for me to pull away from my desk, but I need to find a stopping point to do it when I can. It makes a big difference in my mental health.
  4. Real talk with friends. I am fortunate to have friends that I can be real with. I need to work on ways to incorporate this into my daily routine, even though we are far apart.
  5. Bake! Baking helps me slow down and savor the moment, so I’m going to try to make time for this on the weekends as a more regular thing, and not just a holiday thing.
  6. Listen to music. I made a couple of holiday playlists on YouTube and have been listening to them this month. I could certainly make other playlists and continue to add to them and edit them. I can also listen to other people’s playlists when I want to experience the surprise of new artists.
  7. Eat meals at the dinner table. I tend to eat breakfast and lunch at my desk while working. That really needs to stop.
  8. Hand write a letter or card. I’ve been enjoying writing the few holiday cards I usually send, and I could easily write letters to friends as well. Taking the moment to hand write something is really a luxury these days when a text or email will suffice.
  9. Take more photos. Photography was one of my first creative outlets, and I still enjoy taking the time to craft a good composition. It takes me out of myself. Even if the photos aren’t for posting and are just for me, I should take more time to create them.
  10. End the day with reading. I would like to have enough energy at bed time to read one chapter in a good book, maybe with a cup of tea. I am still reading Making a Life, which is perfect for this. I would like to cultivate this practice, instead of falling into bed and pulling the covers over my head and waiting for sleep because I’m too exhausted to read.

If you looked carefully at my first image, you’ll see I replaced number 7 to check the garden greenhouse with eating meals at the table. That’s because I went out to check the greens, and last night’s hard frost has ended them. I should have picked them this week, but I didn’t take the time to do that. Checking the garden is still a great way to find peace, but maybe not in the middle of winter.

What are your ways to find a little peace? I hope you will share them in the comments, or on your blog with the tag projectpeace.

Thursday Three: New for Me

Reading

I have borrowed and purchased many books this year, but reading them has been a struggle. Recently, Liz recommended “Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live” by Melanie Falick.

My heart needed this book. It answers my questions about why humans need to make things by hand, and it feeds my soul. It’s a beautiful, large, hardback, coffee table book. But it’s not sitting on my coffee table. It’s on my nightstand, waiting for me to read a chapter every night before bed. I feel like I’m opening a family bible or an old dictionary, the way I used to when I was a child — in wonder and awe and reverence.

Polymer Clay

I decided to try something new! This is my first attempt at polymer clay. I had an “idea” (pumpkin pie with a yarn ball of whipped cream) so I bought a book, some clay, and some tools. I would say that, as a first attempt, it’s okay, and I’m happy with that. It’s a lot harder than it looks, and I probably won’t be doing much of it. It makes my hands messy and I don’t like the way it feels on my skin.

Coopworth Fleece Roving – I wish you could smell it. It smells delicious!

Spinning

I purchased a spinning wheel! I had a spinning wheel way back in the day. It was one of the many things that I had to sell off during the migration of 2010 (aka The Great Upheaval). I was never a very good spinner, but I enjoyed it. I think with practice I could become a mediocre spinner, and I would feel good about that. I have a Coopworth fleece that is ready to spin into a sweater quantity of yarn, although I will probably practice on some Shetland first.

Letting Go

I’ve also decided to let go of some things. I’ve decided to let the podcast go. I realized it would take more time, money, and energy than I have to really make it work. I’m letting go of art shows. If I want to make art I will, but I don’t want anymore deadlines. Art shows also require an investment of money, time, and energy that I don’t have at the moment. I’m letting go of some subscriptions that are no longer bringing me joy.

What about you? Have you tried anything new lately? Or are you letting anything go?

DIY Fall Advent: #1

Last year I realized I got so excited about fall and Halloween yarns and knitting patterns, I decided to make my own fall advent with yarns from my stash. The goal was to keep me from going overboard buying yarn this fall. I paired the skeins with patterns (some I had, some I purchased, most were free) and stitch markers from my collection. Then I sewed fabric bags and tagged them with the date I should open them.

This is the contents of the first bag. I love it! I don’t have any socks on the needles, so I may cast these on. This colorway is Fall Sangria from Cornbread and Honey. I have two weeks until the next advent bag!

Knitting Journal FTW

This morning, Marilee posted about analog Knitting Journals. I used to have an analog knitting journal (a decade ago) but I only used it for one or two projects before I discarded it. I also don’t update my Ravelry projects regularly.

Recently, my therapist recommended a digital planner. I already had an iPad, so I purchased and downloaded the planner PDFs on Etsy. It was pretty affordable. Of course now I see they have planner templates as part of Good Notes, which is the app I use. Then I found out I needed an Apple pencil, so I ordered that as well. After all of that, I tried using my digital planner, but found I missed the tactile quality of analog planning for personal and work use. So, I went back to a paper planner.

But Marilee’s post got me thinking about how I would like to organize and document my knitting, or at least try. I was all set up for a digital method, so I downloaded a knitting project planner PDF on Etsy for a couple of bucks. I tried it out for my next cast on, shown above. I think this might work for me! We’ll see if I keep it up, but it’s nice to have the details. As you can see, I haven’t swatched for this yet.

If you aren’t already set up for digital planning, it’s a bit of an investment to get all the tools. But if you are, this is an easy transition.

What about you? Do you document your knitting projects? Do you use a paper journal? Digital planner? Spreadsheets? Ravelry? Let us know in the comments!

Happy New Year!

My word for 2021 is content, both adjective and noun.

Noun: state of mind which results from satisfaction with present circumstances

Adjective: having the desire limited to present enjoyments

It’s even a verb: to rest or be satisfied; to give satisfaction to

Content is related intent, from the root word tenere, to hold or stretch. Intent is focusing on stretching outward, while content is focusing on holding. So my intention for 2021 is to focus on what I have and be content. I feel I don’t do this enough, and it prevents me from really enjoying my life as it is. I want to slow down a little, settle in, and focus on the content of my life and find the joy there. I’m in a good place right now, and I am grateful for that.

Today we’re eating black eyed peas and greens, and I hope to Skype with kids. I will call my Mom and sister. And I will knit! I hope you have a wonderful day, and wish you a happy and healthy new year!

New Year’s Eve Slippers

📸 photophreak
📸 elven

I love the French Press Felted Slippers pattern by Melynda Bernardo (Ravelry link). I have always fantasized about dressing up for a New Year’s Eve party, but I don’t think I ever have. I feel like 2020 is the year for dressing up at home with some comfy but fancy slippers. I might make these in a sparkly yarn and put a rhinestone button on them.

This is my last December HoliDaily. I really enjoyed posting a festive pattern everyday in December. I hope you enjoyed it, too, and that it wasn’t spammy. Just a reminder that I don’t get compensated in any way for anything I share. I do it for my own enjoyment.

I enjoyed my yarn advent photo taking so much, I had a calendar made. It’s hanging in my studio. I will use it to plan my projects in 2021.

I’ve noticed other bloggers wrapping up the year with a list of completed projects. I think that sounds like the perfect New Year’s Eve post for 2020.

“Haze Over Maize: Granville 2020“

Fiber Art

Two pieces completed. I’m not going to post pics of new pieces since they are for a gallery show in September 2021.

Completed Knitting

I’m proud of all the socks I’ve knit this year!
  1. Paris (Twilight Tunis) Toujours Shawl (also dyed the yarn in a gradient for this)
  2. Deschain Tee
  3. Hermione’s Everyday Socks
  4. Pride Socks
  5. Purple emPower Bandaner
  6. Shetland Tweed Throw
  7. Arachne Sweater
  8. Four Square Cowl
  9. Mistletoe Kisses Socks. I’m determined to finish these today even though JoJo chewed my needle and I had to cut the cable to get the knitting off, it was so mangled, and switched to double points.
  10. Pumpkin Spice Latte socks
  11. Broom Riding Cowl
  12. Halloween Socks
  13. Trans Pride Socks
  14. Accidental Autumn Barley Light Hat
  15. Rikke Hat
  16. Meep the Christmas Mouse

Looking back, I wish I would have completed more sweaters. I guess two isn’t bad!

Knitting Design

  1. Another Blue Beanie
  2. Hat samples for Kenya
  3. Saffron hat and cowl with OG pompom

Completed Sewing

Seamwork Ace top
  1. Ace top, two versions (one shown above)
  2. Billie jumpsuit
  3. Enchanted Kimono Robe
  4. Poudre linen curtains. Only one to go!
  5. Coffee filters
  6. Knitting Sheep flannel PJ pants
  7. Halloween Rachel blouse
  8. Winter Solstice project bag

In 2021, I’d like to sew more garments: another Rachel blouse, some pants, and a wool coat. And more PJ pants!

I hope you have something fun planned for New Year’s Eve. We’re still trying to figure out what to eat for dinner tonight, but at least we’ll have pie, both mince and chocolate! Happy New Year!

New Year’s Word

📸 Ladybits Knits

Many people choose a word for their New Year: something they want to focus on and manifest in their lives. I thought it might be a good idea to knit this word on a coffee sleeve so you don’t forget it, although you will have to chart your word yourself. Word Nerd Drink Sleeve free pattern by Ladybits Knits (Book Riot website link)

What about you? Do you choose a word for the New Year? Do you know what your word will be in 2021? Are you willing to share it in the comments? I’m still working on my word for 2021 but I will share it on January 1.

Only two more days of 2020. I’m trying not to expect too much from 2021 so I won’t be disappointed.

Something weird happened to two of my older posts. I found them in draft mode and I had to republish them.

Advent Scarf for 2021

📸 Tricia Weatherston

Looking ahead to Advent 2021, I would love to knit this gansey stitch advent scarf by Tricia Weatherston (Ravelry link). It calls for worsted weight yarn. What’s funny is there was a day when solid color worsted was most of my stash. Now it’s mostly hand dyed sock yarn. But I do have some gray DK that would probably work out for this pattern.

I’m curious now. What’s your yarn stash look like? Lots of hand dyed sock yarn, like mine?