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Monthly Archives: January 2012

I’m not an addict. I’m not!

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So you recall yesterday’s post about the blanket I’m making? I worked in the ends last night and am dithering a little about what color or colors to use for the border. It’s a delay tactic and I know it and I don’t care. As much as I’ve sometimes moaned about this project and the endless knitting and how long it was taking and those freaking long expanses of garter stitch, I have absolutely loved this project. LOVED it.

This has been one of those rare convergences of pattern, yarn, and color choice that, combined, add up to perfect. That doesn’t happen too often in my world and when it does, can you blame me for wanting to hold onto that for a while longer?

I’ve mentioned the melancholy that comes with the completion of any project I’ve loved and I’m sure feeling it now. I’m not saying I’ll frog my blanket just so I can knit it again, but–I’ve been looking at yarn and dreaming of starting another one, despite what I wrote yesterday about rebound romances. I’m craving the satisfaction of knitting a big honking warm blanket, of always having something on the needles that I can just pick up and knit on ’til the cows come home, of having my knitting basket full of yarny love, peace, and fleece . . . so okay, I may be slightly addicted to this pattern/recipe/way of knitterly life. Again, I don’t care. I love this project. What’s more, I have a stash and I have (clean) needles and I know how to use them, so you will not be astonished if another one finds its way onto my needles and into my woolly little heart.

I must knit.

Almost finished

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It’s been a long-term project, begun in October 2010. It’s a well-traveled project, too, as I’ve mentioned before, having gone with me each trip I made to see Mr. F. Not much ever got done on it while I was there, but it was there if I needed it. My security blanket.

It was meant to be a Christmas gift in 2011 and I wrapped it in tissue paper and put it in a gift bag, ball of yarn and needles still attached, along with a note saying I’d finish it soon.

Somehow I didn’t think it would be this soon, even though my goal has been to complete it by the end of January. Of this year.

I put the final stitch in it last night as I was watching Downton Abbey, then bound it off while watching Upstairs Downstairs (the new series. I’m watching it only because my local PBS station is showing it following Downton Abbey. It seriously lacks the sparkle of the original series). My blanket still needs a crocheted border–I’d considered an applied I-cord, and while it’s not difficult, it would take approximately forever and more patience than I have to do that much I-cord–so crochet it is. Ends will have to be woven in as well, and if I were a fastidious knitter, it’d be given a gentle bath before it’s given to its recipient, but I’m not that fastidious so it’s going with a little dirt on its face.

That last stitch was both an accomplishment and a bit of a sorrow. I’ve loved this knit, though sometimes it was a bit of a slog, and sometimes I thought it’d never be done. But I’d be lying if I said anything other than I’ve loved it. The colors, the yarn, the soft squishy warmth of it, the simple but lovely garter stitch–nothing but knit, knit, knit–that resulted in a thing of beauty–how could I not love it? This is easily the largest and most satisfying thing I’ve knit,  but now it’s almost time to let it go and that makes me a little melancholy. That’s the inherent risk involved in loving anything or anyone, though–there is nearly always a time of letting go.

My impulse is to start another one right away, but there’s a danger in jumping back in too quickly. Those rebound romances seldom seem to work out, so I’ll bide my time. There may come another time when I’m ready for this kind of long-term commitment again, or maybe not. It’s hard to say right now. But time will tell, as it does in all things. Until then, I have the joy of what has been.

The details:

My blanket is based on the Moderne Log Cabin pattern, though I did my own variation on it, mostly knitting to the end of a skein or two to get my blocks to the sizes I wanted them. I used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride yarn, a lovely blend of 85% wool and 15% mohair that is soft and warm and knits up beautifully. The colors are Creme, Spice, Grey Heather, Charcoal Heather, and Deep Charcoal.  I cast on using (probably) size nine needles and did the knitting with size 8s, then bound off with size 9s. I used Clover Circular needles, my favorites, in lengths ranging from 24″ up to 48″. The almost finished product is nearly full-size bed sized and should be plenty warm for the perpetually cold recipient.

That's a lot of knitting.

I’m kind of proud of this.

Too much

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If I were to choose a phrase for the past week, it’d be “too much.”

There’s been too much:

Cold.

Wind.

Gloom.

Food.

Inactivity.

TV.

Computer time.

I could keep going, but you get the idea. All this “too much-ness” has left me in kind of a funk for a few days, but there are a few simple ways for me, and you, if you’re in a funk too, to break out of it.

1. Move. I don’t mean pick up and move somewhere else, although that might work, too. I mean just get up and get in motion.

2. Act energetic. This is the old “fake it ’til you make it” strategy, and oddly enough, it works. Energy begets energy. Act like you have some and you will have some. Try it. I’m going to.

3. Change your perspective. Sit somewhere you don’t normally sit. Get out of the house or your office or wherever you’ve been spending the majority of your time lately and go somewhere different.  Take a walk or a drive someplace new.

4. Do something for someone else. Plug someone else’s parking meter–only don’t let the meter fiend catch you. Apparently it’s not exactly legal around here. Hold open a door for someone else. Buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind you. Pay someone’s fine at the library.

5. Choose to eat what’s good for you, and just until you’re almost full. I learned a while back that overeating diminishes the pleasure of eating, though I seem to keep forgetting it. I also keep forgetting that the foods that leave me feeling best are the least processed. This morning, though, I chose to have a couple of clementines with my breakfast and their sweet juiciness was a great way to start my day. As a bonus, that wonderful citrus scent still lingers.

I’m making it a good day, and one where there’s only too much of the good stuff. Happy Sunday to you!

 

 

 

Roll with it, baby.

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It was bound to happen. I knew it would some day.  I’d sit down to post to the blog and I’d have no freaking idea what to write about.

That’s not a dream or a nightmare. That’s my reality in this moment, sitting here in my jammies and my wool socks and my ugly but warm slippers waiting for my muse to come along. Maybe she had a late night out last night like I did and found herself overserved. How that can happen with one beer and a few cookies is a mystery, but that combination of alcohol and sugar seems to be a deadly one for me. It could be it is for my muse, too. I don’t blame her for going out and blowing off a little steam. Poor thing, she’s got me to deal with, and a night out once in a while does her good. It’s the morning after when we both suffer.

The notion of having a muse is a curious one. I’d never really considered that there might be one for me until I started up the blog. A couple people have asked me how I do the blog entries, what my process is and if I plan things out.  I laugh. Process? Planning? For serious? I sit down, wait for my muse to show up, and then I write. That’s it. Aside from the first few halting and painfully awkward posts, nothing has been planned. Wednesdays and Fridays have a theme, of course, but I still don’t have any clue what I’m going to post until I open up the template to do the post. It’s all very seat-of-the-pants, and if that shows, well, sorry, but that’s the way it is.

Sometimes I think I have a specific topic to write about, but that usually gets shot right out of the water. I’m okay with that. It seems a fair and accurate reflection of life–you think it’s one thing, but it turns out to be another, and you can either fight it or you can just roll with it, baby.

I’ve sometimes tried to plan it all out in my life, to control and direct and make it how I thought it should be. Disaster ensues. The best laid plans of mice and Kymm, doncha know. I do plan things out on a small scale and that seems to work okay, but for the big issues? Better for me to just roll with it. I’ll let my muse handle the details.

 

Freeplay Friday

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It has been an extraordinarily warm winter here. There has been little snow–we may have gotten our first measurable snowfall overnight, which looks like a whopping half inch or so–and until the last couple of days, there haven’t been single-digit daytime temperatures. Spoiled? A little. I’ll admit that I’ve been whining a little about the cold for a day or two, though I’ve found it’s a bit warmer if you open up the registers and let the heat come in. Silly me. I’ll also admit that this short-lived cold snap has me longing for a little of the heat of summer, for sunburns and sock tans and freckles. There may not be an app for that–although I’d bet there is–but I know there’s a song for that. Turn it up!

Thinking and hoping.

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Someone once told me there’s a difference between dreaming and pretending, and he was right. There are also differences between wanting and needing, between planning and doing, thinking and hoping–you could spend hours coming up with opposing pairs.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about some things. A lot of things, as you may or may not have noticed. I think a lot. Too much, some would say, but if you’ve been reading me for a while, you know I’d tell you that thinking too much is just about always preferable to thinking too little.

Mostly, I’m a hardcore realist. Mostly. I see things pretty much as they are and deal with them accordingly. I understand that there are a lot of things I simply can’t change and so I don’t fuss about them too much. Others, I fuss over too much and to no effect, but a girl’s got to have a hobby and that’s one of mine.

So, I’ve been thinking about this one thing every day lately–I can’t tell you what, but it’s something that matters a great deal to me–and while I think it’ll never happen, I still hope that it will.

That seems oxymoronic and maybe it is. I think it is, but I also think that hoping is just about the one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. I hope every day will be better than the one before. There are steps I can take to ensure that might happen, of course, but then life is such a random thing there’s no guarantee. But I can hope and plan and do and sometimes it all works out, and even if it doesn’t, I still have hope for tomorrow.

Some hopes are just silly and unrealistic. I hope that someone will discover this blog, exclaim “That girl can write!” and then throw some money at me to do just that. There’ll be products and a book–a bestseller, ‘natch–then a movie in which Meryl Streep will play me, because we look so darn much alike, and it’ll be an instant classic and I’ll make truckloads of money and be able to retire and set up my charitable trusts and travel and goof off and do all the things I dream of and it’ll be awesome.

I hope I’ll wake up someday and my excess weight will be gone–poof!–just like that. I also hope my sugar cravings will just magically disappear and I’ll start loving my veggies and oatmeal and other foods that are good for me and I’ll just LOVE sweating and exercise and I’ll have an active and healthful lifestyle. Also, my developing wrinkles will go away and take my lower abdomen pooch with them. Okay, so I have a Buddha belly. That could go. It could happen.

I hope I’ll start loving my work and do it because it’s the BEST! TIME! EVER! and not because it’s a sad and evil necessity.

So there are silly hopes and then there are ones that have a better chance of coming to fruition. I hope that one day I’ll live out my dream of The Big Backyard, in which I buy a small RV and just go wherever the road and my whims take me, where I live in a small space but have the whole world spreading out before me as the biggest and best backyard ever and adventure awaits around every turn, or every other or so. Too many adventures would not be so good.

I hope, when I pick up my needles to do some charity knitting, that the hat I make will warm someone, inside and out, and that my small effort and the simple act of knitting will do some good in the world. I hope my tiny monetary contributions to the organizations I support will grow and prosper and heal someone somewhere.

I hope.

I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

Lyrical Wednesday

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A little something different for Lyrical Wednesday, prompted by a brief encounter with someone who could take a few lessons in deportment. Also, because mean people suck.