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Saturday, April 23, 2011

after graduation plans



I am so looking to having a bit more free time to fill with creative pursuits. This is going to be such a fun summer! Here are some things I plan to do:

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* Make this indulgent cake. There is a high probability that my version fall apart. Since I don't need a meltdown while trying to write papers, I'm saving this cake to make next weekend.

* Knit a Rusted Root sweater of my own. I need to get my new knitting needles first. I'm thinking that Harmony needles would make knitting even more enjoyable.

* Hem my jeans. I've put off this task for an embarrassing amount of time.

* Begin my summer reading list. So far the list consists of: Bossypants, Little House on the Prairie, On Writing, Thirteen Stories by Eudora Welty, Pride and Prejudice, Heidi. I'm taking suggestions, too.

* Sew up some fun bits and baubles. I'm feeling inspired by Chez Sucre Chez's anticipatory cross stitch; Tuuni's doily and lace creations; Jane's delicate, colorful works; Aneela's patchwork; and Camille's cheery banners.  

* Shake up a jar of homemade butter. I remember doing this as a girl scout and loving it. The resulting butter seemed too precious to eat, so I tried a bit on a cracker and then saved the rest until it had to be thrown out. This time I'm going to eat it all.

* Host a knitting/tea party inspired by this one. I've had a number of friends express interest in learning to knit, and this would be a fun way to teach them all in one fell swoop.

* Pull some salt water taffy of my own. I'm don't even like taffy that much, but it looks so pretty that I want to try it out. I'd make mine pink and flavor it with vanilla. Or maybe bright yellow and lemon-flavored.

* Garden hop. I was talking yesterday with some friends about their gardening, and it made me long to grow some vegetables of my own. Since I've got no outdoor space to plant at my apartment, I thought I'd make a point of visiting the gardens of family and friends this summer. There was talk of a canning party, and I'd love to try that, too.

* Go thrifting. I'm in search of the perfect (and perfectly priced) vintage globe and a materials to make a picnic blanket of my own.

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Whew! I'm going to be busy! 

Have you got any plans or projects you're looking forward to?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

yarn along: sister stone



Today is my sister Julie's birthday. Happy Birthday! Julie always tells me that she's so glad I'm her sister. How sweet is that? Well, today I want to make sure that she knows the feeling is mutual. 

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Jules, 

 You are the sweetest sister, and I'm so glad you're mine. 

I couldn't imagine my life without you. 

Happy 22nd birthday!

 I love you, 

 A

* * * * * 

I whipped up a birthday stone for Julie over the weekend. I made some motifs of my own design a couple of months ago, so when Julie said she'd really like a crocheted stone, I pulled out a motif from my pile. I connected the tips of the motif with chain stitches and then continued chaining around and slip-stitching into the chains of the previous round to create a kind of netting. She seemed to really like it. 

When I first started giving crocheted stones as gifts, I often described them as paperweights. I thought people could understand paperweights better. However, lately I've been thinking of them as meditation stones. Meditation stones sounds much more appropriate.

This week I got to read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for class. Jean Dominique Bauby narrates his life story, ending with the massive stroke that left him completely paralyzed except for one eye. I found it so interesting to learn the perspective of someone locked inside his own body. The writing process that produced this book astounded me: Bauby spent two months with a translator documenting each letter he signaled with a blink of his eye. At first I couldn't help but read this book very slowly, trying to take in and appreciate all of the time and effort that went into composing each letter. Soon, though, I found myself caught up in Bauby's story. I would definitely recommend this book (and the film).

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Yarning along with Ginny today. 

I'm in awe of this recent post of hers. What a beautiful family of knitters!


Monday, April 18, 2011

lately...



Hello. How are you these days? It feels like ages since I've stopped here for a chat. No worries. Soon I will be back in full force because I am nearly done with school. I feel like an eek! would be appropriate but I don't want to squeal in your ear. Just know that I am so excited to be finishing my grad program in two weeks.

There are also some cringing yikes! thoughts going on right now as I try to figure out my next move. I've always been a person with a plan, and now I'm flying by the seat of my pants. People keep asking what I'm going to do and all I've got for them is: Get a job. Preferably one that I enjoy. I am open to suggestions.

This is my life lately: I've been fortifying myself with cups of tea and coffee, filling my belly with husband-made meals (he's wonderful), sneaking in some knitting time, taking breaks at night to watch silly movies, and of course, reading/writing/worrying about school. I printed out this list to keep from stressing too much. I've promised myself there will be a bubble bath and new knitting needles at the end of all this paper-writing.

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What have you been up to lately? I would love to hear. 


Friday, April 8, 2011

Cabin Socks



I got so wrapped up in my sweater-knitting that I forgot to show you the socks I made.

These socks are so warm and cozy! They are very thick because they're made with Aran weight yarn, which also made them easier for a new knitter like me to make. Everything I make these days seems to be green, but I especially love the fern green color of these socks. 

I named these the Cabin Socks because I finished them just before our spring break getaway and wore them every night of our trip. I actually wore them over some thinner wool socks, so they served as kind of slipper socks to keep my feet extra toasty while we stayed up playing board games and drinking wine.




I knitted these in a class at The Knit Nook, which is sadly closing its doors at the end of this month. The class was very fun and educational. I learned lots of new knitting skills: using double-pointed needles, making short rows, and grafting the toe with kitchener stitch.

I am so sad that my local yarn store is closing and regret not taking classes before now. However, I am glad to be able to spend even a little bit of time there. I've gotten to know some great knitting teachers and students. I think after the store closes I'm going to have to find a knitting/crochet group to join because I have enjoyed getting together to share projects and tips.

* * * * * 

Details

Name: Cabin Socks

Pattern: Knit Nook sock pattern

Yarn: J√§rbo Garn Raggi Solids

Needles: US Size 8 DPN

Made for: My own two feet

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

yarn along



That's a sleeve you see! My Tea Leaves cardigan is coming right along. Having a knitting class every week means that I am motivated to work on it a little each day. I've only got two more classes left, and I really want help with the front buttonhole edging, so I need to finish up the sleeves. 

I do not find the sleeves as much fun to knit as the body. I think it's because I'm not completely satisfied with the join of the sleeve and body, even after ripping it back three times. My mistakes keep glaring at me. I tell myself that most of those uneven stitches will be hidden underneath my arm and that the purpose of this sweater is to learn the basics of knitting a sweater. It will not be perfect. I have such a hard time being a beginner at things. 

I think I'll probably finish this cardigan in a few weeks, just in time for warm weather (it's in the 70s this week). But! There may be a trip planned for a cool weather place that will necessitate a wool sweater. Yay!

* * * * * 


As for my reading, I've mostly been busy with books for school. I'm taking a trauma narrative course this semester and the reading has been so bleak. I mean, I expected it, but I didn't realize how depressing it would be to read trauma narratives for months on end. I decided that reading books like A Clockwork Orange before bed would give me nightmares, so I've been spending those last minutes before I close my eyes reading fun, cheerful stuff. This week it's Sarah Vowell's new book about Hawaiian history Unfamiliar Fishes. She cracks me up and is a definite relief from trauma narratives (though certainly she writes of trauma, too--stealing land from native Hawaiians, spreading diseases, etc.--only she does it in a less depressing way). 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

weekend snippets: procrastination


Chocolate cupcakes with sugared violets


Whew. This is my last month of school. Like maybe ever. 

Days are busy. Tense. There's a lot of anxiety around here, folks. 

My head won't stop turning over all the papers I need to write, meetings I need to attend, and jobs I need to apply for. Ugh. 

I am longing for May. 



Strawberry jam testing


Lately I have fits of energy during which I clean or make cupcakes or crochet a few rows. Or, you know, begin making a pot of jam the moment I wake up.

Vacuuming is surprisingly satisfying. Cupcakes seem like such an accomplishment when everything else feels so hard. 

I like to think that I am a productive procrastinator. 




Bobble blanket


Not all my procrastination strategies are so productive, though. I will confess that the only time I read People of Walmart is when I have a paper due. It's not the best way to spend my time, but I can't help myself! 

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Are you a procrastinator? What do you do? 



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