It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Not sure where December has gone, but coming up for air to write a post. I have new sheets with hats and mittens. I love them.

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Our tree is up, and decorated. The angel is a little precariously placed this year, it didn’t occur to me to cut off the too high top until it was too late. Now I kinda like it.

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And I have finally gotten off my arse and made the cushion cover and curtains for the kitchen. Excuse the somewhat fuzzy iphone photo…

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Greg’s sweater is started, a pair of baby overalls was started, ripped out and will be restarted tonight, and I have the Wallace and Gromit sweater going, as well as the scrap blanket. I never do this, I’m a one project girl. But I figured what the heck. They all need to get done, so there they are.

Gift buying is for the most part finished, I’m just waiting for everything to come in, while I sit in panic and hope it all makes it here in one piece and on time. Which means we can move onto the fun part of the holidays, the part where you bake a million cookies, watch a bunch of movies, drink a bunch of wine, and sit by the fire. The millions of cookies happen this weekend, the movies started last night, and well, I hope there’s no fire, since we don’t have a fireplace, but I’ll light a candle or something. Onward 🙂

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Ahem…

**tap tap** “This Thing On?”

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Umm, so yeah. A little radio silence to keep us all guessing. But… I’m baaaa-aacckk!

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In my defense, I have a fairly good reason for the silence. A while ago, I alluded to the Very Expensive Thing that we were trying to do. Well, we did it. Mr. Wound Up Tight (also known as Mr. Laid Back) and I did the very expensive thing and are now the proud owners of a 1860 farm house, walking distance to the center of town. This involved packing up all our belongings and making the epic trip 3 miles from our old humble abode in a very luxurious U-haul and unpacking it. This, I should not have been so surprised as I was, turned out to be a very time consuming thing.

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We went ahead and planted a very sophisticated garden, in blue buckets, due to the aforementioned time contraints. We have peppers and cucumbers and eggplants coming out our ears. There are lots of tomatoes, which are slowly turning red (they had an incident involving not enough water on a hot day, but they seem to be recovering).

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And so it’s been an unending stream of “unpack this! Go to the beach! Unpack this! Buy this! Go on vacation and hike all over the Tetons again! Dye some wool! Knit something!” etc. But I am finally getting to a point where we are starting to get some paint on the walls, furniture of a non-free-college type, and I can take a little breath. I’ve still been biking to work (50th day for the year today) and dying up wool and spinning, and a little knitting. Knitting has been slow because I’m procrastinating and fighting with the splitty laddery alpaca, but I’m sure it’ll be lovely when it’s done.

So sorry for the silence, hopefully I’ll be back on a more regular basis soon, and you can watch me run around like a chicken without a head doing project after project before falling into bed at the end of the day. However, tonight, I’m parking myself here, on my back porch (ahem, I’ll just say it again, since it may have escaped your notice… MY BACK PORCH!! THE ONE THAT IS ALL MINE!!) and work on the splitty sleeve and drink some yummy stuff.

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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.

So Little Time

Recently I went to the local bookstore, which happens to be the Harvard Co-op Bookstore, which is 3 stories and has a fantastic selection. Walking into a bookstore always makes me feel the same way, which is “I want to read THAT… and THAT… Oh, and THAT… And THAT looks awesome… and I’ve always wondered about THAT…” and so and so forth. I try to read a book a month. For some this seems pathetic, but for me it’s all I can reasonably handle and also do knitting and spinning and do the amount of exercise I want to do, and have clean clothes and reasonably clean floors and no fuzz growing in my bathroom. I thought to myself, “Self, in like the next 10 years, how much can I learn?” And I thought before I did this tiny bit of math it must be like half the bookstore. Like in 10 years I should be able to read a LOT. Like most of the books I’d want to read in that time. And guys? 12×10? That is 120 books. 120. One Hundred and Twenty piddly books. This is NO WHERE NEAR what I’d like to be able to learn in that amount. Not even close.

This seems to come up everywhere. Travel. There are so many places to see in the US, nevermind all the places I’d like to go in the whole world. So many things I’d like to learn how to do. I’d love to learn to draw and paint, really become a good photographer, spin MOUNTAINS of yarn. I have projects going through my head all day long, not helped one bit by Kate Davies recent post of her Shetland weekend with a photo of tables of fair isle knitting swatches.

This leaves me feeling a little disjointed, overwhelmed, rushed. Even if I quit my job, after winning some billion dollar lottery that I don’t play, and somehow stretched the day to 30 hours, I would still not be able to scratch the surface. None of these are things I want to own, I can’t buy these experiences or skills. With my previously mentioned multi-tasking tendencies, I have this feeling that if I just scheduled it right, I could knit that sweater while reading this book while the laundry is doing and the dinner is cooking and planning to go somewhere cool… and this leaves me doing a lot of things but maybe not experiencing it fully, which is the point of doing the thing, right? And this is just the trivial spare time stuff, forget career choices…

And this brings me to the real question which is what is the point of all of these activities, anyways? The big question that has been rolling around in my head for months is the question of what is worth doing, both as paid employment or spare time activities? Is something worth doing if the whole point of is just that it makes me happy? Is it worth doing if it provides a certain amount of income? Is it worth doing because it helps someone else, or is something not worth doing because it only pleases myself? Even if I figured out how to do everything I want to do and learn everything I want to learn, what exactly is the point of all that? I know the answer is a balance of these and other reasons, and balance is not something I’m great at. I tend to make things harder than they are, and I’m thinking that this “finding a balance” thing is one of them. Next month I turn 30. This is fine. I wouldn’t do my early 20’s over again if you paid me (well, maybe for the aforementioned billion dollar lottery) and am happy where I am. I just always thought I’d have it “figured out” by now and I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it is I’m trying to figure out.

None of this has a point, and I apologize for the lack of photos and profusion of rambling, but I thought, maybe, if I spit this out into the black hole a new perspective might be spit back to me. I promise to return to yarn and warm things next time!

Harrison Wheelworks is Back Up and Running!

After much procrastination, Harrison Wheelworks is back up and running. It is my little shop, where I sell yarn which I’ve spun myself from wool I’ve dyed myself. A fun little side project if you will. Here are some yarns that are up or in the queue to be added in the coming weeks, and I’ve been spinning again now that it is not quite so hot and I’m not quite so on vacation so there should be updates regularly! Stop by and check it out!

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Enjoy!

Another Awesome Weekend

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Last weekend it was finally cool fall weather. I took the train down and conned my brother into picking me up and driving me down to the beach. We piled the animals – the dog, who is a real live version of Doug from “Up” and the geriatric Bill, who has to come because he needs his twice daily insulin shots despite his protests, into the car and drove down to the beach. Scout, who moonlights as Scott sometimes (Scott is the more suave version of the drooling can’t-hide-his-excitement, ice-loving Scout) has too much energy. So he prompted on a long 6 mile walk to the lighthouse. He loved it. He went swimming. I don’t do water, so I stayed nice and dry.

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I love the beach at fall. The snails leave these tracks as they walk from one rock to the other. Slowly. Probably cursing the little kids who come by, pluck them off and throw them off into the water yelling “be free!!” “G. D. kids, took me all week to get up there!” is what they’re probably thinking in their tiny snail brains.

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After the walk we went home, made a delicious dinner, tried our best to sit outside by the fire pit (with a cold wind blowing, in the dark… we went inside after a requisite amount of time), and watched some “Curb Your Enthusiasm” until I fell asleep on the couch. Perfect day.