Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ten On Tuesday- 10 Things I Like About Winter

Like my blogbuddy Bridget, I love winter. I think that's because in the past few years, I'm really not liking summer at all. We get days of brutal humidity, and the heat is intense, and I am not into it.  I end up sitting inside until after dinner, when I can go and walk.  So, what is the point.  I am fair skinned and it just doesn't agree with me.

So why is winter great?  Here ya go:

1. It's cold. No perspiration.
2. I'm a knitter- we live for this.
3. I'm now a spinner- don't need an excuse to be indoors.
4. Tea.  I drink tea in the summer, but it tastes better in the cold weather.
5. I get to wear my moccasins.  I love my moccasins.
6. My men's worksocks- which I even wear with my skirts. It's a look, you know.
7. Outdoors looks so pretty covered in snow.
Here is a pic of the backyard this morning.  No tracks in the snow. We've had alot of snow this winter.
8. Getting in bed, under the flannels, and reading a great book.
9. I love soup, especially homemade.  Nothing like coming home and having some homemade soup.
10. My fireplace. It's gas, but I love it. It's so warm.

I could have probably listed more than 10. I am looking forward to some of the Sochi Winter games, especially the ice skating.

I have a FO.  I thought it would be interesting to check out Craftsy, and chose the squirrel sweater.  I am not a fan of the yarn, but I was more interested in the techniques, how they are presented, and Amy Detjen is a Meg Swansen/EZ scholar, so they are very technique oriented.  And it's a good class- Amy is a very engaging teacher, funny, and explains and demonstrates well.

I knew I wouldn't be happy, because I didn't like the recommended yarn from the start, so it wasn't so much about the finished product.  I did make a few alterations, but well, here's what it looks like.
The neckline is baggy. I may fix it. I may not.  Once I'm done with a project, I'm done.  I think I'm done like dinner on this.  But my short-row technique has improved, I enjoyed the stranded yoke, and all-in-all, I got what I paid for.  Onward to something I am totally stoked about:
A while back, Jamieson & Smith aka The Wool Brokers came out with Shetland Heritage.  Recreating the natural dyed colours of classic Shetland yarns, this is very exciting. It is slightly finer than the jumper weight, so I decided to try one of the kits for a hat inspired by one in the collection of the Shetland History Museum.  It seems to be much softer as well, and lovely to work with.  Love it.
I have plans to make some accessories for Twisted Traditions, and it has been a problem finding some hand mannequins that didn't creep me out.  These are fabulous- made of light wood and totally poseable- and come in different sizes.  I think they look fab on their own, but also useful. You can get them from this amazing seller, where else, on Etsy.

So let's see, I have some wonderful upcoming projects for this year, spinning fiber, my fireplace, tea, and snow outside.  Life is pretty good.

And the kittens, let's not forget the kittens. Howard is doing his kittyloaf impression.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Every Picture Tells A Story

Hey.  How are you?  I've been hibernating a little, because it's been really snowy and cold.  I did, however, go for a long walk with the daughter, niece and sister last Sunday, and that was fun, but man, was it icy. I'm lucky I didn't go ass over teakettle. Went to the gallery and saw a new exhibit- Mary Pratt.
My niece brought some yellow tulips over on Saturday.  I love how they look in my Burleigh milk jug. I was never a yellow person at all, but now I love it.

How is 2014 going so far?  I feel a shift towards better times, a happier sort of year. I realize it's a bit early in the game to decide this, but 2013 was a bit of a washout, and while change is hard, it is also good.  I am going to keep that positive thought. Most people on my radar are moving toward positive things.

On the knitting front, I have been inspired.  I have a few new things in the works, and am working on finishing up a few WIP's- (cough) like the squirrel sweater from hell.  I hope it works out, but most patterns and projects are a leap of faith, aren't they? 

Lately, I have re-acquainted myself with my beloved Shetland yarns.  And even spinning some, as for some reason I haven't worked much with it.  I know alot of people think Shetland is scratchy, and yes, it can be.  But I have been knitting with it for years, and it is wonderful.  It has body, takes colour well and wears beautifully. It is my favorite yarn to work with.  I'm having a lovely time spinning some laceweight on Mr. Reeves-
And I finished a boatload of Three Waters Farm BFL- the colour is "The Gloaming", browns, deep purples and hot pink. Marvellous.
1322 yards will be a sweater, one fine day.

The kittens. Oh, the kittens. Howard is wonderful, just a little gem of a cat.  Valentino, well, is a bit of an unruly teenager at the moment.  I wrapped them in the Cat-In-The-Hat blanket and they stayed there for most of the afternoon. 

Animals make me laugh.  Fleece out, until next time.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hold the Hallmarks

We were together,
I forget the rest.

Walt Whitman

I subscribe to a money e-mail, Smart Cookies (this will take you to an Instagram link), and while I am not a person who thinks romantically about my life, and don't anyone ever dare give me a Hallmark sucky card, I have been thinking about the subject of resolutions, and why we make them.

Basically, money and fitness are the two subjects that are the biggest.  But change is hard, isn't it?  So maybe I need to think in terms of "feel good factor"- the things that make me feel good or accomplished and look at it from that angle. 

I sure hope that I am realistic enough to know that I will never be "rich" in terms of money, but money is a means to an end.  If I have a roof over my head, food and friends and family to share things with, then I am rich.  I won't deny that nice clothes and a car and enough craft supplies to sink a barge aren't nice to have, but they aren't necessary.  It is amazing how the things we thought we couldn't do without, are really, superfluous. 

It comes down to choices, and I am the first to admit that I can be compulsive when it comes to money. I hope I have reached a point where I can decide, based on how it makes me feel, to spend on something or not.

Sure, purchasing that new pair of shoes that I didn't need may give me a high for about an hour, but in the long term, no.  My big weakness is new yarn and new fiber.  Internet shopping.  It's too damned easy.  And by the time it arrives, the thrill is long over.

And it can all be justified. "It was such a good deal!"
                                          "It's only available for a limited time!"
                                          "I'll NEED that, it was on SALE!"

Sucker, thy name is Lorraine. We don't really want the things, we want what they represent.

When my spending is out of control, I know I am not in a good place.  I am going to make the changes.
Because when the bill comes at the end of the month, it doesn't make me feel good.

I am going to ask "how is this making you feel?"

As long as you aren't hurting others, do what gives you a sense of peace and accomplishment.  Because your feelings are what is important.

The only person you need to impress favourably in this life is yourself.