February went by in the blink of an eye and it feels like the Ides of March & St. Patrick’s Day 2018 will quickly be a thing of the past while I carry on privately writing, knitting, and doing other crafty things. I suppose I’m starting to come out of some kind of hibernation now that the days are getting longer again; I’ve started doing things that I’ve been putting off for a long time, like:
Submitting poems and a short story to Narrative magazine, which of course I’m anxious about, thinking “I submitted it ___ ago! Why haven’t they gotten back to me yet?” which started the day after I sent the email, of course. Also, I haven’t been writing the last few weeks, but I have a plan to start again.
I cleaned out my yarn stash for the first time ever and am handing off bits and bobs to a local knitter in another knitting group. The oldest yarn in there I bought in NYC in 2000 or 2002 – if I haven’t knit that Dale of Norway Baby Ull by now, I don’t think I’m going to, so it’s best to send it on its way to fulfill its destiny.
Updating my Ravelry stash pages. The yarn clean-out was spurred by two of my knitting friends giving me yarn, spinning fiber, and a stack of fair isle books they inherited, so there was a lot of updating I needed to do.
Adding handspun yarn to The Yarn Office: a set of handspun naturally dyed cormo that I’m incredibly proud of, some sunset-colored yarn that was fun to spin but so not my color, and some natural brown wool that I’m not quite sure what to do with. In looking at my handspun, I also realized that I really prefer making 3 ply yarns for some reason.
My knitting has been focused on using yarn that I got from my friend Lisa, who received almost the whole stash of a friend she met on Ravelry. Unfortunately for this friend, she can no longer knit (I hope that day never comes for me) and knew that Lisa would appreciate her colorwork-focused stash and library. Lisa was overwhelmed and so I happily stepped in to help take some of the yarn off her hands, starting with enough Sandness Garn Peer Gynt to make 2 sweaters. I’ve long admired Knit.Love.Wool on Instagram, and found that she (Jennifer Steinglass) not only has patterns that I got gauge for with Peer Gynt, but that for all of 2018 she’s having a buy 2 patterns get 1 free sale on Ravelry (info on her designer page). I just finished Starfall and started on Seachange.
I need to catch up with a lot of the blogs I follow (sorry friends!) – I’ve been reading The Internet and books instead of blogs lately. I’m currently reading the second book in a really fascinating trilogy by N. K. Jemison, The Broken Earth series. Before this, I read Octavia E. Butler’s Lilith’s Brood, which is also a trilogy that I really enjoyed. I find myself longing for female heroes and the female perspective and although both of these are sci-fi/fantasy, they deliver and they deliver on being diverse (another thing I’ve been craving) since both authors are African American. I’m also working my way through The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World. Yes! Those Amazons! They were real! This book is a bit more scholarly and so not the most compelling read, but it’s still really fascinating.
Oh! I almost forgot! I started another Instagram account, LittleGoldenNotebook, for inspirational quotes. I know, that sounds cheesy and probably like tons of other “inspirational quotes” quote account all over the interwebs. But these were all selected by me (and all have authors, which was important to me) to help me get through tough times right after I was diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder. I collected them and printed them on 3×5 cards to help a dear friend going through a rough patch, shared them with another friend, and then decided I should just share them with Everyone In The World. Here’s the quote for today, International Women’s Day:
Note that this is probably the most feminist quote I’ve posted to the account, though I sort of modify this in my head to apply to humans in general, you know? How can I really be free when anyone is enslaved or doesn’t have full human rights? I’m guessing Audre Lorde would agree with that, but women – especially minority women – have been long neglected and that’s more what she was driving at (though I’m not Audre Lorde or intersectional feminism scholar by any means). Anyway. I’m doing that too and would love to have more company!
I should say “Old woman knitting” but I’m feeling very age-sensitive myself so I’ll leave it as is. This image was sold on etsy from by shop in Brussels, so I suppose she’s probably an “Old Belgian woman knitting” but of course, we can’t be sure. “Old European woman knitting?” And what is she knitting? Is that a sock? Is this “Old European woman knitting a sock?” I suppose it could be a hat, but I get the impression that knit socks (or stockings!) were in more demand, they are, after all, likely to wear out much faster. This “Old European woman knitting a stocking” seems quite happy as well. Perhaps that’s the wisdom the knitter and photographer want to impart to us: knitting is the secret to happiness! A message I can live with.
I’m lucky to live really close to Finch Knitting and Sewing Studio but I don’t tend to get out and about as much as I should, so I keep tabs on their goings-on via social media (mainly Instagram and Facebook) and their blog. The shop and Nicole, the owner, made national news earlier this year for being so welcoming and inclusive. They have classes and workshops and retreats and are in one of the cutest historical buildings in my town. On top of all that, Nicole stocks thoughtful, high quality yarns and fabrics. Finch is the only place local to me (well, without traveling too far into the DC metro area) that stocks Liberty fabrics. Finch is also an authorized Bernina dealer and I desperately need to replace my basic-level 25 year old sewing machine. I’m almost afraid to go in the shop because I know I’ll walk out with an empty wallet but on the other hand, I know I would find a community of creatives there, so Finch is on my stretch list – I know once I start going regularly, I’ll fit right in.
Bonus: today is the day that Finch Boxes launch! I’m really tempted to subscribe even though I could (in theory) walk to the store (in an hour or two) – I would love to get something crafty from Finch in my mailbox!
Knit 1 or more wedge of Aranami.
Nope. I didn’t pick it up at all.
Do the math to figure out the stitch count for the fronts & back of Aspen since I’m doing a shorter version. I have the vague idea that the cabling should start around where the belt loops (which I’m not doing according to pattern) go. Done, reluctantly and finally yesterday.
Go to TKD twice.
Done! Testing for my yellow and orange belts this week like a superstar. Just need to learn how to count to 30 in Korean.
Add more pictures to Society 6and let my FB people know. Done, except for the self-promotion; I hate tooting my own horn this way.
Decide yes/no on NaPoWriMo and yes/no on 100 day project (likely writing) since April is Saturday, the start day for both.
Yes. But I didn’t start Saturday, or even Sunday, I’m starting today. And also, I’m making my own personal rules for NaPoWriMo; I get to edit and revise if I choose rather than writing a new poem each day while still keeping it interesting for readers (assuming I have some), which means not working on the same piece 983498372 days in a row.
Come up with a good (not completely awful and humiliating) April Fool’s joke to play on Ky & the boys. Or, alternately, rise above it/go into full denial and just call it April 1. I didn’t come up with a big benign prank and none were played on me if I only count people I know IRL. April Fools is my least favorite holiday.
Start a cat cave for Jeff (and later, one for Eevee) since he likes his improvised one so much: Done – the scant details are on Ravelry. They both like the cat cave and have attacked each other in it. Gotta make one for Eevee or make a proper mat/blanket for the cat tree Ky made.
Knit 1 or more wedge of Aranami.
Cast on the fronts of Aspen.
Go to TKD twice – once for practice, once for testing.
Learn to count in Korean from 11-30 (I already know 1-10).
Add more pictures to Society 6 and let my FB people know.
Replace the blog link in Instagram with a link to Socitey 6. And since I’m on the subject, replace etsy shop link in @madgeface twitter account with link to this.
Write or work on a poem a day. I’m going to be doing separate posts for this; my apologies if poetry isn’t your thing. I have no expectation that anyone will read the poems but rather am posting for personal accountability.