3 Rs Year of Projects: Ribbing, Reading, and a Rant

It was a rough week coming off of medications, full of unregulated emotions and unregulated body temperature. I didn’t get much crafting done, but I thought a lot about this blog.

I love making, and sharing my makes. But I feel like this blog has turned into, “Look what I can do!” Nothing wrong with being proud of what you’ve created. But to be honest, I’m a little bored. Don’t worry. I know now is not the time to make any big decisions, like changing my name or closing down my blog.

Ribbing

Desperate for the big hit of serotonin I used to get when casting on a new knitting project, I did just that. I reached for the simplest, softest thing I could get my hands on. This design is Lodge Sweater by Ozetta, in Cornbread and Honey “Peaceful” DK held with a mauvesque kid mohair and silk from KnitPicks I found on sale. This baby has a total of 6 inches of hem ribbing plus ribbing up the sides.

Reading

I know I’ve said this before, but reading and I are not on the same page. I do ok with nonfiction, but I’ve wanted a good chew of fiction. Fiction has to be really good for me to get into it, like Charles Frazier Good.

So what have I done? I’ve done what I always do when tackling the most difficult problems in my life: I hit it from all sides. Because if you throw enough at it, something will stick. From years of experience, I can say this is not true. But it doesn’t keep me from trying.

First up was Vampirella and Red Sonia Meet Betty and Veronica, which I checked out at the library. Vampirella was the comic queen of my youth, and one of the few comics I read because she was female and she kicked ass. And she was a vampire, and I have always loved vampires. This was not half bad. Not a gripping read, but fun. The authors spent more time on Red Sonia than Vampirella, which I didn’t like. Although Red Sonia is pretty cool, too. And of course I read Archie growing up. So this ticked a few boxes. I really loved how all perilous situations were solved by Veronica calling her rich and influential family. At first I thought it was poor writing and unrealistic, then I realized this is exactly how the world works for the rich and influential.

The next thing I did was purchase a paperback copy of House of Salt and Sorrows, because I saw it at the local bookshop on the staff recommended shelf and the cover was pretty. I read the back and thought, this sounds gloomy and marinal. Just the thing. I have been occasionally reading a chapter before bed, and it’s pretty good. Enough to want to pick it up again, not enough to want to spend an entire day on the sofa sucked into an alternate universe until I have to finish it.

Waiting in the wings is Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, which I found at the library. Somebody posted something about it somewhere online, and I thought, I’d read that. I like Nightmare Before Christmas, but I wouldn’t say I’m part of that fandom. But hopefully it will be Halloweeny enough to enjoy with low expectations. I’ll let you know.

A Rant

Covid. You bitch. You took my coffee taste buds then you took my tea taste buds. How am I supposed to caffeinate in the morning? And as someone with unmedicated ADHD, this is not optional for me! This morning I was rifling through the pantry and found two little packets of flavored instant coffee I received in a yarn advent last year. I decided to give it a try because if I can’t taste it, who cares what it tastes like? It was pretty good! I added some sweet oat creamer and I felt like I was drinking fancy gas station coffee. I know Bob is going to roll his eyes and call instant coffee an abomination, which it is. But if I point out how much cheaper it is than the whole bean coffee we usually buy, Homo Economicus may win the day.

Speaking of vampires, we recently watched a new favorite film: Vidar the Vampire. My love for this film is so great, I am recording it here for posterity. I am not recommending everyone run out and watch this film. It’s for sick people with a dark sense of humor, like me and Bob. If you do not have one, you will be offended. It’s also Norwegian, so if you don’t like subtitles, you will be offended. Whenever we watch something with tears of joy streaming down our faces, we look at each other at the end and say, “It’s a keeper!” And we add it to our library. If you still want to watch it after being warned that you will likely be offended, it’s free right now on Tubi.

I guess this has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can read my updated list here, and my original list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Can anyone tell me where I can find an instant coffee version of a pumpkin spice latte?

Jogging On: the Dressing Ritual

Working from home during a pandemic pretty much has me wanting to wear PJ pants all the time. And yes, I could do that. But the mental preparation for daily work requires and involves the dressing ritual.

Mah GERD also requires nothing snug to be worn around my mid-section. Even leggings that are loose in the legs and butt squeeze my gut until I’m in so much pain I have to change into a tent. They just don’t make pants that fit my old apple body! This is why I’ve made the transition to dresses and overalls, but come on! I don’t want to wear dresses and overalls every day of my life! They’re fussy!

My PJ pants work for me because I make them to fit my body. Then one day I realized, you know what? I can make work PJ pants! I’ll make PJ pants in nice fabric! Then I realized I wouldn’t feel dressed enough, and decided to level up to some work sweatpants. I purchased the Plateau Joggers pattern from Sew to Speak, along with some nice French terry fabric. I’ve also purchased some merino interlock yardage in black, because wool + I’m cold all the time.

On the health front: I may have a small hiatal hernia. It runs in my family. And when I can’t manage my stress, I throw up. So, I need to wear loose pants, eat small portions, and manage my stress. And drink lots and lots of water. These are my instructions for wellness.

Also, I’m hoping that work joggers will make it more plausible for me to exercise during the day. I can be at work in my home office, sitting at my desk in my nice work joggers. When I find that I am at a good pausing point, I can take a walk down my road. Yes, sometimes I need to be dressed for the thing or I don’t want to do the thing. The Dressing Ritual.

What about you? Do you need a dressing ritual to get you motivated to do your thing?

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!

I Sound My Barbaric YOP

Year of Projects Update Week 3
Arachne Yarn Chicken

I divided for the sleeves on Arachne. I’m worried I will run out of yarn. Do I wait until I run out? Or should I go ahead and order? What would you do?

Knit the Rainbow as it Presents

I started the heel flap on my second Pride sock. I decided to be lazy zen and knit the rainbow as it presents. #knittingislife

Shetland Tweed Throw and Beverage of Choice

My Shetland Tweed Throw is almost long enough to cover me as I knit it. I still have six hanks of this yarn but I’m holding it double. I only had 10 hanks to begin with, so I think I’m okay. There is an i-cord edging, but that shouldn’t take too much yarn.

There’s nothing to report on other topics except for practice on fiddle and design. No sewing. No fiber art.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my original list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Non-YOPping Content

Lili Taylor in Dogfight

Yesterday was Lili Taylor movie day. We watched Mystic Pizza and Dogfight. Neither Bob nor I had ever seen Dogfight. It was poignant. River Phoenix was also superb. Maybe next weekend will be River Phoenix weekend.

I can’t wait until our virtual knit later today!

A Matter of Practice

You may remember me saying I should sketch a knitting design every day as a matter of practice. Today is Day 1. I received a new journal in the mail, and today I wrote my first pages and made my first sketch.

I like this design. I would enjoy knitting it and wearing it. The sketch isn’t showing the increases to make the gently flared sleeves and body, so I’m assuming those are happening along the sides and insides of the sleeves.

Here’s another design I like from Interweave’s Wool Studio. I may knit this one someday.

I am looking forward to practicing my violin when my new strings arrive. I’m also practicing exercise and good eating habits.

Practice is having faith that if you focus enough on something, what you desire will manifest. But I must remember to take a day off to stare at the trees. I guess that’s a matter of practice, too.

Wednesday WIP

Thanks to bonnyknits for turning me onto the emPowerpeople2020 movement and this cowl pattern. Yarn is Wood Wool Stone DK baby alpaca, merino, and silk. I really needed something new to fan my knitting flames.

I recently watched Fruity Knitting’s interview with Cecelia Campochiaro about her book Sequence Knitting. I’m excited to dive into this because I’m really into systems. I like to think of a pattern as a system for taking an idea or item and making it replicable. Sequence Knitting takes the idea of a pattern as a system to an entirely new level.

I have made a goal to blog four times this week. Two down, two to go!

Sock It To Me Monday – PRIDE Edition

I started my PRIDE sock KAL with the Blogville Knitters. This is TurtlePurl’s What Does It Mean? Double Rainbow sock yarn and for pattern I’m following a 64 stitch recipe based on Hermione’s Every Day Sock.

Also proud to have spent most of my day helping to create and communicate a Statement in Support of Racial Justice for the organization I work for. Exhausting day, but a good day.

State of Emergency Stockinette

I wanted to post about this yesterday, but didn’t have the energy. We closed two of our stores early yesterday due to a state of emergency in downtown Columbus, and protests scheduled for downtown Indianapolis which we expected to escalate. (They did.) We stand in solidarity with peaceful protest, and judging by the posts of people I know personally, the protesters themselves remained peaceful. We have kids living near and in downtown, and all reported in safe. Our staff is safe and so far no reports of damage to our stores. We are lucky.

We are supposed to be packing. Bob is. We are still waiting on the second appraisal report. I’ve been slowly progressing through the back of Deschain. I’m grateful for the stockinette. I’ve been watching a Fruity Knitting podcast each day, and it’s getting me through. It’s a moment of respite in a sea of worry. I realize I’m privileged to have moments of respite. And not to have to fear for the lives of our children because of the color of their skin.

We watched “The Vast of Night” last night. Excellent film in a throwback style. Intelligent and suspenseful with great dialogue and music. A moment of race reality acknowledgement. A breath of fresh air.

Mending

Today I’m mending Bob’s pants. They were too long to begin with — which is why they were fraying — but not so long I could turn up the hem twice after cutting. I used bias tape instead. I’m not sure where I picked up this trick, probably from Grandma. Now Bob’s favorite pants are good as new! Better, because they are the correct length.

I love mending because it’s very zen and I don’t have to follow instructions. I also love making something damaged like new, and reusing, and saving money! And I gotta pay for this sewing machine, right?

Do you mend? Do you darn your knitting? I’ve never been very good at darning. I need more practice.

Sunday Grace

We went for a hike yesterday. I’m thankful for time in nature. And wildflowers.

Bob made soy custard berry tarts for my birthday treat. I’m thankful for Bob.

My boys came to share a birthday meal and treats with me. I’m thankful for my boys. Especially their intelligence and humor and ability to argue any point no matter how ridiculous. Is a bean bag a chair? A bean bag is an armchair but not a chair because a chair has legs. Puzzle that.

My mother always told me I would argue with a signpost. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Soon I will have a new blue beanie to wear over my mess of white hair. I am enjoying this mindless knit.

square

I ordered some pink yarn to make this shrug. I imagine myself wafting over pink tile wearing this, but in pink. The designer says this stitch pattern is meditative. I hope so.

Speaking of pink tile, the lender ordered a second appraisal. We are in home-buying limbo.

It will be okay either way. Trust in the Universe.