Week End Wrap Up

Hey y’all, antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are no joke. I napped every day this week. I craved bacon and potatoes. I’m still battling taste bud malfunction. I haven’t knit a stitch in days! Here’s what I did get up to.

I ordered a new hula hoop. This is a beginner hoop named Mystic Dragon. She’s being patient with me. I can keep her going for a few seconds. I’m following another over 50 hooper on Instagram. She’s slow and gentle with her movements. I am encouraged!

We went to the farmer’s market today and picked up the first apples of the season. Thank you Covid gods for leaving my apple taste buds intact.

Chestnut Hills Studio (that’s me) is having an end of summer sale! If these cotton and wool babies don’t go, I’ll be holding onto the three variegated and three of the tansy dyed to knit a summer Halvis next year.

I heard an interview with author Adrienne Dillard on Talking Tudors and decided I needed to order this book. Her next historical fiction about Jane Seymour and Margery Horsman is coming out in November. Having just finished watching Becoming Elizabeth, I was really in the mood for this. So far, so good! Other books have been swept aside in the wake of this one.

I sewed two new Tekura Tees. Ready for October! Who am I kidding. I will wear these year round.

Many people don’t like that corporations and probably the government are tracking all your online activity. I could care less. I’m not doing anything anyone could be interested in. Except when the Coastal Grandma alert goes off and a company I have never heard of mails a paper catalog to me of everything I want. This is how they get you. Look at this jacket! Unfortunately, everything in the catalog is over $150. Fortunately, I know how to sew.

I found a pattern on Etsy for $3! And I have fabric that will work. At first I was thinking the teal corduroy. Now I’m wondering if the wool plaid would be better. I purchased it for trousers but it has a soft hand. Either way, I’ll have to buy a lining fabric. Which one do you prefer? I’ll probably go with corduroy. I’m not sure about quilting this wool fabric from Heavens to Betsy via The Woolery. Although I could quilt along the tartan lines, so there’s that.

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?

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?

Saturday Words

Sheep at Highland Village, NS

Just as everyone was leaving Ravelry for inaccessibility, I seem to be spending more time over there. I’m contrary like that. I joined an audiobook group for more suggestions, and everyone is recommending Vampire Knitting Club. Vampires and knitting?! Two of my favorite things! I started it yesterday, and so far it is similar to other knitting cozies. But the intro made me laugh because the yarn shop is named Cardinal Woolsey’s. I figured that was a good sign.

Daughter of a Shepherd has a wonderful book shelf with all sorts of titles I would love to read. I settled on The Solace of Open Spaces since I can get it at the library.

Great, two books to read but nothing to listen to while knitting. I almost signed up for Scribd in desperation. Our library does have a download service through Libby, but I’m not finding much that I want to listen to there. Or the search function isn’t great. Any tips?

Today is Saturdate, and in need of something to look forward to since we don’t follow sports or anything like that, Bob and I are having movie theme weekends. This weekend is John Cusack. We are watching Grosse Pointe Blank and Say Anything. I have a feeling next weekend’s theme will be Lili Taylor in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon unspoken rule, as she has a great role in Say Anything. I hope so, because then my choice for next weekend will be Mystic Pizza.

I lost 5 pounds last month. I jogged at intervals yesterday while walking, which is so exciting because I love jogging. I will have to be careful not to push it or I will hurt myself.

OKC (obligatory knitting content): I have been focusing on Arachne. I look forward to posting my YOP (Year of Projects) update tomorrow.

I am missing Nova Scotia. Tonight Highland Village has their 59th Annual Highland Village Day concert. You can watch it on YouTube. I told Bob we will have to have a concert intermission between John Cusack movies. Seed Savers Exchange is also having a benefit concert tonight. It’s not free, though. We may have picked the wrong weekend to start movie themes.

What are you doing this weekend?

Merry Knitmas!

I started on my Twilight Toujours. This is my holiday knit.

Bob got me the December 2019 Harry Potter Yarn from Forbidden Fibers. I’m so geeked out! The hank is Hogsmeade and it’s gorgeous.

He also got me a gift certificate for Fairlight Fibers. I’m going to save it for something special.

He also gifted me the Fibershed book, which was something I wanted, and The Book of Gutsy Women, which he picked out for me. ❤️

We’ve had a lovely day. We played games with the boys all morning and now we’re relaxing and watching movies. I hope you’re having a wonderful day with family and fiber arts!

PS: The new episode of The Just Craft podcast is up!

Down with Bad Stuff

I do not like summer. I have never liked summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the break in routine. Summer makes me grumpy. Summertime is when I like to stay indoors in the AC and read and knit. Down with Summer.

Bob and I walked to the library yesterday and I browsed the knitting books, while also picking up more Tudor books. I can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors — fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, proper book, well written, badly written… it really does not matter. And what’s fascinating is every author has a different take on the subject!

Anyway, I enjoyed browsing the knitting books and bringing a few home, noncommittally. In the past, I would only check out the knitting books if I thought I could learn something from them or if there was a pattern inside that I wanted to knit. I was in my same old rut — looking through knitting books that I thought were pretty but would never knit anything out of — when I realized it was okay. It is totally fine to check out a knitting book, flip through it and enjoy the eye candy, and then return it. It’s even okay to do it intentionally! Down with self-limiting arbitrary rules!

“Protest Knits” has a very enjoyable Trump Pincushion crochet pattern, but I will never make it. Maybe I will make the Down with Bad Stuff water bottle holder!

I have a HUUUGE water bottle (see what I did there?) and I never take it hiking because it’s too darn big! But this would solve that problem and be fun, albeit rather vague.

I started my Blue Ribbon Beanie. It is a beautiful shade of deep cerulean Malabrigo DK. It’s 2X2 rib. I’m not sure how I will decrease at the top yet. Ribbing can be tricky to decrease.

Honestly, I started the beanie because I’ve lost the verve for my FIVE sweaters I have on the needles, and even Celtic Myths feels a little fussy right now. So I’ve fallen back on hat knitting just to try to stick with it.

I had to give up a few things this Summer. I gave up the herb business. It needed more than I could give. I gave up some of my blog subscriptions. I couldn’t keep up. But I only gave up on the ones where I felt there wasn’t a connection. I have had to give up pleasure eating and drinking wine and margaritas. I gained a lot of weight last year and even exercise couldn’t help me keep it off, so I signed up for Noom and am counting every calorie and even steps! I had to give up sewing for a while, until I no longer needed to use my studio as an office.

But I got my office back, which means I also got my studio back. I got to participate in an art show. I got my teeth cleaned today, which included a new toothbrush, floss, and props for excellent hygiene. I’ve lost 2 pounds in 5 days. My garden is producing scrumptious tomatoes. Up with good stuff, amiright?!

Tea and Books, and a Swatch

I’ve noticed knitting blogs also have a tendency to run toward tea and books, so I thought I would share my new favorite tea.

I have been drinking Level Ground coffee for a couple of years, but this is the first time I’ve tried their black tea. It was on sale at work so I stocked up. It’s delicious!

I was worried about drinking black tea on top of coffee, but I notice I sleep better when I drink black tea. Bob says it’s the Theanine. I remember my ADHD psych telling me that if I’m not sleeping well, I’m probably undercaffeinated. I thought that was hogwash, but now I’m starting to wonder.

I am looking through stitch dictionaries to help me with my designs. Believe it or not I also owned the Vogue Knitting ones in addition to these -Interweave and Walker. I donated the Vogues to a knitting group for a potluck swap. The recipient was very happy. I got an Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches, so I was also pleased.

I do sometimes read non-knitting books, but not as much as I’d like. Right now I’m listening to Leviathan Wakes on Bob’s recommendation. Pam mentioned fandoms and I decided if I was going to have a “thing” I wanted to share it with Bob. So we’re trying to make The Expanse our thing and we’ve started watching the show. I’m a little disappointed with the show because I don’t feel it represents the diversity and social justice issues as well as the book, though I should probably give it more than two episodes.

I’m starting to wonder if we should make Godzilla our thing like Skeinherder. Honestly, I’m pretty sure horror is our thing.

I spent all of my knitting time yesterday working on this swatch in the round. I did a fair amount of improvising. I’m not 100% pleased but it’s a start.

If you have a holiday today, enjoy! If not, Happy Monday. 🙃