Only Tuesday?

Today was one of those days that nothing went right. Like as in I was better off yesterday. Things at work were further along yesterday, today was a 2 steps back sort of day. And since I’m documenting this year, here is today’s self portrait.

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And that’s after pepping myself up a bit. Anyways, after a walk and a little run, a shower, and some food, I was feeling a little more like things were probably going to be ok.

Last week I started my simple sweater, the celebration of simplicity, the embodiment of my realization that I like simple sweaters. And it’s going swimmingly. It is, however, made up out of my head. And I’ve learned a few things about patterns that come out of my head, one of which is that sometimes, they don’t fit. And so before I proceed on, I want to try the thing on, which will be made infinitely easier when my knitpicks cable extender thingy arrives in the mail at the end of the week. Until then, and because, well, this sweater is painfully simple, and with Christmas being next month and all, I thought I’d start my one Christmas knitting project. And if I know you read this blog, sorry, they’re not for you. If you might happen upon it, because it is out on the internets after all, it might be for you, so I can’t tell you what it is. But here they both are together.

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So I’m going to sit, in my lightbulb jammies, and knit for a while and hope tomorrow is a 1 step forward type of day.

lightbulb jammies

Happy Birthday to Me!

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Last night was my Happy Birthday to Me Party at my house. We had party lights, family, lots of delicious (and apparently dueling) appetizers, quiche, beer, wine, AND mead (homemade, of course).

So today I woke up and I’m 30. Which is cool, the late 20’s were great, but you’d have to pay me a lot of money to do my early 20’s again. I had breakfast, knit for a while, went for a walk/run, and ham and cheese quiche and apple for lunch. And Cake.

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Because I document things to death, and because my 365 project last year died an uneventful death in February and I want to try again, I am going to take a photo of myself every day this year. So when I am really old, I can look back at when I thought I was really old. I think I’ll learn a lot about photography, hopefully learn to be comfortable in front of the camera (because I always feel like a doofus, and I’ll either learn to not be a doofus or I’ll just be ok with my dorkdom). And also, I hope I learn to hide my camera remote better than I did today. Oops. I’m sure I’ll learn a few more things this year, just like every year. It’s nice to finally feel like your accumulated life experience is starting to add up to something useful.

Anyways, off to the Museum of Fine Arts to look at pretty things, then out to delicious dinner!

Seriously, BUSY!

Tomorrow is my favorite holiday of the whole year. And tonight was supposed to be a nice and relaxing baking type night. Instead we had beer bottles explode both in the oven an in my hand, did all the weeks laundry, organized photos from the first half of the year, poured beer on the floor, cleaned the floor, poured beer on the floor again (it’s bottling night… somehow the same night I’m baking 3 loaves of bread and making cranberry chutney…?)… It was that kind of night. So here are some photos I’m going to go sit on the couch and knit with pointy needles and hope the excitement is over for the night.

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I learned how to braid my hair in a circle around my head. This made me exceedingly pleased.

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I’m in charge of bread and cranberry chutney for 30 people. Done.

Happy Thanksgiving to you if your Turkey day is tomorrow!

Acer Cardigan

Ah ha! It is finished! And it is so very cozy.
I had about 6 versions of this sweater in my favorites before I realized it was all the same cardigan and that I was apparently madly in love with it. While we’ve been on again off again, I think in the end, this is totally worth it.

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The “off again” came from my not being sure of the yarn. The wool came to me free as a destash from someone. It wasn’t exactly my color, I probably wouldn’t have picked it, but here it was. Finally I decided after a year or so that I should probably do something with that, so a few months ago, I spun it up, along with some other fluffs of wool that had been sitting around and it really was time to use it or lose it.

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After I realized I loved the pattern, and also realized it was time for the yarn stash to lose some weight, I matched them up and went along. Once again, while I think I don’t like lace, I do. While I think knitting and paying attention makes it go slow, it doesn’t. While I prefer tiny needles, boy, size 5’s sure do make things go faster. The reasons I didn’t love it while knitting have nothing to do with the pattern. It is a lovely pattern, well written and accurate, and makes a thing that comes out the size and shape expected. The pattern is easy to memorize and pretty fun, pretty simple, with you only having to really pay attention on row 1 and 11 of a 16 row repeat. I think the reason I wasn’t sure has to do with how I have a hard time with things that need blocking because they look all shrivel-y and sloppy until that happens.

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However, after a nice bath and a little time drying, I have to say, it is super cozy, looks pretty cute, has a great neckline, and I couldn’t have matched the buttons better if I’d spent days looking. (The buttons came from my big jar o buttons I bought with no idea what was in there.) So, WIN!

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Simplify

Simplify.

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I’ve been looking for a new project. The Acer Cardigan is currently wet and blocking on the floor, with luck I can get some photos and write it a proper post next week, as it actually turned out pretty cute. I have a few ideas of mittens (and by a few, you are to understand that I mean an unlimited amount). I’ve also been looking through my ‘favorites and queue’ on Ravelry for ideas for a sweater to start on as well. I am looking to continue the emptying of the big bag o’ yarn. I am always thinking about fair isle and colorwork. I love colorwork. This is what I distract myself with, this is what I think about and plan and buy fingering weight shetland yarn for. And while looking though my favorites and my queue, I found an number that I’d bookmarked for inspiration. But I also found something curious…

1. The things I am continuously favorite-ing and queue-ing are simple, striped sweaters and cardigans, or even one color cardigans with pockets or one small thing to make it not a generic plain sweater.
2. I even have a lot of generic plain sweaters favorite-ed.
3. The reason these stripes and plain pocketed sweaters are in my favorites or queue is because they struck me as well fitting and I was impressed that something so simple could be so flattering.
4. They are also there because while it is the simplest idea ever to put a row of a different color in every once in a while or a pocket on the sleeve, it strikes me as something I wouldn’t think of.
5. The reason this wouldn’t occur to me is because I’d be busy designing something with patterns and cables and circles and arrows and a paragraph on back of each one explaining what it was.

A while ago I wrote a post about what I have learned from knitting that applies to life in general. And as I’ve alluded to many times, I’m a little bit of a nutcase (assuming we understand “a little bit” to mean “totally and completely”). I am a multi-tasking list maker. I make lists of things to do, lists of how to do them all. I have all these mad plans. I’m trying to design life, figure out what I want it to look like at the end, what I want it to show of myself. What would make it worthwhile? And perhaps I’m missing the forest for the trees? Maybe I’m trying to design something impressive, with lots of patterns and twists, something that looks important. Something complicated and historically important. Maybe the thing I should incorporate and have been ignoring is a simple sweater with stripes and maybe a pocket. These appear to make an impression on me despite and in most cases because of their simplicity, and are therefore in their own way impressive. When I look at the people who impress me most, it’s of course people everyone knows about, Rosa Parks, great leaders of great nations, people who bolstered nations, had immense courage. But I also greatly admire people you’ve never heard of: the spirit of sacrifice of those on the home fronts during WWII, my grandmother and mother who raised 9 and 4 kids respectively, all who have lived to adulthood, come home every holiday, have successful durable marriages, and are generally normal successful human beings. People who just made it work. Maybe that’s worth more than I’ve considered?

Anyways, in honor of this revelation, my next sweater aim to celebrate simplicity.

New Yarns

My sweater is almost finished, I have one sleeve cap, some seaming and some weaving in of ends to do, and then it is done. I’m dorkily dreaming of mittens, so I cannot wait to finish this sweater. Yes, I could start the mittens before the sweater is finished, but come on, we all know that the sweater would just sit for ages, I would never pick it up again, these are my least favorite knitting tasks…

In the meantime, since I have no useful photos of that, I’ll post a few photos of yarn which will be going up in the shop this week, so enjoy a little yarn p0rn!!

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And I’m slowly learning, little by little, how to use my Photoshop. And today? I discovered batch editing. OMG WHAT A GREAT THING!!! WHERE HAS THAT BEEN ALL MY PHOTO-TAKING LIFE!!!!

Happy Tuesday!