Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, March 1, 2021


It was kind of a quiet weekend here. I had to go into the library on Saturday to do some book processing, and I did my weekly shop on Sunday, and beyond that I pretty much just chilled out. My bum knee has been acting up again, so I broke out my resistance bands and I'm trying to remember all my stretches and exercises from physical therapy to get it working again.

I did finally manage to catch up on photographing my knitting projects. Certainly, they're not amazing photos, but it's hard to motivate myself to set up the tripod and put on a real outfit for modeled shots right now. The important thing is that they are now documented as complete, which is all that really matters.

Two more books came in interlibrary loan for me last week for one of my big school projects, and I'm hoping to get a bunch of reading done this week. I'm still in the "gathering information" stage, which is always my favorite part of research, and I'm hoping that these books help me find some more specific sources I'm looking for. 

And my cowl! This was such a pleasure to knit, and I'm a little sad it's done. This yarn is 100% alpaca that one of my friends in college brought back from her study abroad in Russia almost ten years ago, and it's been sitting in my stash ever since while I tried to figure out what to make with it. It's incredibly fuzzy, and hopefully by next winter we'll be able to go out and do things and it'll come in handy!

Friday, February 26, 2021


Happy Friday, kittens! This week has been pretty busy, and the semester is in full swing. I don't have two of my classes next week (we don't get a spring break this semester, so we just randomly don't have class some days?) which will be a nice break, but I'm also in the middle of three projects and they're just going to keep coming! 

I finished my 3-color cowl and it's really cute. I'm hoping to get a photoshoot in soon—I also have a few hats and a cowl from months ago that I never photographed—and now I'm working on a cute little crop top sample. One of the best parts of working from home is being able to wear a crop top whenever I want and not have to worry about having bottoms with a high enough waist to make it library-appropriate, and honestly, it's my jam. 

As you might be able to tell from the photo above, I got a new desk this week! I ordered it back at the beginning of the month and it took a couple tries to get it shipped and delivered, but I'm really happy with it. It's much larger than my old desk, but it feels much more open so it doesn't feel like it takes up much more of my office. I'm really glad I upgraded—I pulled my old desk out of the dumpster, and it was only ever supposed to be temporary, and between work and school I'm sitting here 50-60 hours per week, so it was time for something I actually like (and that has room for snacks!).

I also got my order of Girl Scout cookies this week, and I'm looking forward to diving into those. I'm hoping I can spread them out over a couple months, at least, but...cookies.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Dodging Burnout

Happy Monday, friends! I'm not going to lie, pandemic stress is really getting to me (it feels like I say this every month, but every month it digs JUST A LITTLE DEEPER, and my coping mechanisms are hanging on by the skin of their teeth). This is the fiftieth week I've been home, and while I feel enormously lucky to be working from home and for generally being in the safest position I could be for a pandemic, it's wearing on me. There's not really much to be done for it—I'm eating foods I like, I'm taking time to soak in the tub, and I'm trying to let myself feel and process all my feelings, but we all know this pandemic is bullshit and the US really messed up its response. 

School is continuing to go well. My first project is due this week, and I feel pretty good about it, so hopefully that means good things for the rest of the semester. The biggest difference I'm noticing between school at 18 and school at 30 is that I'm much better at getting things done early and constantly working towards larger projects so I don't have to rush them in the last two days before they're due, so ten points for maturity there.

My 3-color cowl is progressing very nicely, and I'm really going to miss it when it's finished. It's the perfect balance between "absolutely mindless" and "pay a little bit of attention," and I've really liked working on it. I do have a few other projects lying around that are similar in terms of brain power required, but most of them are pattern samples and require at least a little bit of note-taking, so we'll see what I pick up next.  

Monday, February 8, 2021

Settling Into the Semester

It's finally getting properly cold here, which of course means I don't want to sit at my desk and do work and school, I'd much rather stay in bed under a thousand blankets with Lee Lee, who is better than any hot water bottle. Alas, staying cozy doesn't pay the bills. Or get homework done.

This is the third week of my semester and I think I've managed to craft enough conscious rest into my schedule. So far I haven't had much homework, just a few hours of reading each week, but that's changing this week, and I'll have to do some article analysis and start researching for some of my bigger semester projects. It's all good, though—I'm really excited about some of my projects, and even the ones I'm less excited about I can see how valuable they'll be in the future. 

One of the things I'm finally trying to do is step away from my desk for lunch. I've been pretty bad about that ever since I started working from home, but my chair isn't great, and when Tuesdays and Wednesdays are 12-hour days between work and class, my poor body needs a break. I'm trying to force myself out into the living room to watch something mindless on tv and work on my 3-color cowl, and I definitely notice a difference on the days I do that. Turns out, soreness aside, sitting at my desk in my home office watching youtube doesn't really count as "stepping away for a break."

I have a lot of knitting projects scattered around my apartment right now, but I'm mostly working on that little cowl (during lunch) and the giant mass of garter stitch (during class). I certainly miss working on everything else, but I think only really thinking about two-ish projects at a time is enough for right now—and goodness knows the other projects will be waiting when a slot opens up! 

Friday, January 29, 2021


This was my first week of spring classes, and I'm feeling pretty good about this semester so far. I am finally starting to settle into my new routine, and while I'm still not sleeping great, I'm having less trouble falling asleep when I should than I was at the beginning of the week, and I've managed to force myself out of bed on time every morning, so I'm calling that a win.

It's really hard for me to be a morning person, and it feels really unnatural. I don't really have another option right now, with how my class and work schedule lines up, but it's still weird.

I haven't knit anything really fun this week, though I have been working on an endless mass of garter stitch during classes, which I'm not showing you because it's incredibly boring and won't be pretty for several months, at least. It is pretty perfect for class knitting, so far, and hopefully I can keep working away at it over the semester. 

This weekend I have to go into the library to do some work I can't do from home and I have a long list of readings for school. I'm hoping to be able to take Sunday off completely and not use my brain at all, so fingers crossed that today and tomorrow I'm super productive!

Monday, January 25, 2021


I promise, I really am trying to keep blogging. I'm trying to not be hard on myself for skipping days (or weeks), because we all have it rough right now, but I do miss checking in here a few times a week. 

It feels like nothing's happening. I stay home, I work, I feed my dog. I'm not knitting as much as I used to, because I'm depressed (who isn't) and I'm not really watching tv except for cartoons because I don't feel like keeping track of a story line. It is what it is.

I start my spring classes tomorrow. My schedule's a bit different this semester, but I think it'll go smoothly. At the very least, there's not an election to think about, and Lee Lee shouldn't have any more vet issues (knock on wood). I have two classes on Tuesdays, which I think might feel long, but really it shouldn't be any longer than a regular work day with an evening class. We'll see. I can do anything for a semester. I'm taking Conceptual Foundations, Intro to Special Libraries, and Evidence-Based Practice, for those of you that are interested.

This week I have a pile of mending to do for my mum. I know I have the perfect yarn for these socks and mittens lying around somewhere in my office, but I haven't gotten my hands on it yet. I really want to get them all patched up in the next couple of days, because February tends to be our coldest month here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Mitzie is a fun knit featuring large eyelets and garter stitch stripes. It is worked sideways on the bias, from one corner to the opposite side, and is finished with a picot bind off.

I wanted a shawl that could stand up to some bright colors in my stash, and that would be easy enough to knit during class or while watching tv. Mitzie fits the ticket exactly, with the eyelet sections providing just enough interest to a straightforward knit.

The sample is worked in two colors, but Mitzie is also a great opportunity to use up some leftovers or mini skeins for a truly one-of-a-kind knitting experience.

Calls for 475yds/435m in Main Color and 250yds/230m in Contrast Color

Mitzie is available on Ravelry and Payhip and is 20% off with code STRIPES through Friday, January 22nd.

Friday, January 8, 2021

A Week

Well, it has been a week. I didn't get caught up on stuff like I'd hoped to, because I had to watch a freaking coup happen on Wednesday, and honestly, we're all still processing that. US friends, please remember to take breaks from the news, drink water, check on your friends, and contact your congresspeople. That's really all I've got right now. Even though many of us saw this coming, it's still shocking to watch and difficult to process.

Anyway. I'm back in my home office, at my messy desk. I have yarn on the needles, coffee brewing, and in a few minutes I'll contact my representatives again. 

Take care of yourselves, kittens.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Soft Animal

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

-Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”

Soft Animal is a shawl for wrapping up in. Worked with worsted and laceweight yarns held together, the luxurious blend of wool, silk, and mohair is both soft and fuzzy, and the shawl evokes the feeling of being a small animal snug and cozy in its den.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine,” the poet says. “Meanwhile the world goes on.

I designed and knit this shawl in the midst of 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, amid uncertainty, despair, and loneliness, when all I could do some days was let the soft animal of my body love the food I fed it and the blankets I wrapped it in. This shawl is for comfort.

Soft Animal is knit sideways, from one corner to the opposite edge, with alternating bands of garter stitch and ribbing. The final border is both charted and written out.

Calls for 800yds/731.5m each of worsted weight yarn and laceweight mohair

Yarn support generously provided by The Dye Project

Soft Animal is now available on Ravelry and Payhip. Use code GEESE to get 20% off through Sunday, January 10th.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Giftmas Knits

Hello! It's been a while, hasn't it? Today is my first day back at work since Christmas Eve, and it was really nice to have over a week off. I'm still in rest mode after fall semester—I spent most of my break sleeping—and I still have a couple weeks to keep resting up before my spring classes start. I've finally gotten caught up on pattern knitting and I have two shawl patterns with my tech editor right now, so stay tuned for those.

I ended up knitting two gifts this year. The first was a pair of socks for my mum, and I really loved this pattern. I definitely want to knit a pair for myself, but I ought to finish (or frog) some of the socks I already have on the needles for myself first. 

I only made one modification, which was to swap in my usual eye of partridge heel flap instead of the reverse stockinette flap the pattern called for. My mum and I are rough on socks, and we really need the reinforcement of slip stitches. 

Ravelry Page: Arcadia Socks

Pattern: Arcadia Socks by Jo-Anne Klim

Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock, "Jungle"

I also knit a hat for my brother. He's been wanting a Jaques Cousteau hat, and I knew that Musselburgh would be perfect. I didn't get the yarn until just over a week before Christmas, so it was a bit tight, but I stayed up late on the 23rd to get everything finished in time for blocking.

I really loved knitting this hat as well, and I absolutely want at least one of my own. The construction is so clever, and it makes a really solid, good hat. With the winds we get here on the plains we really need multiple layers, so a double-layer hat is perfect.

Ravelry Page: Musselburgh

Pattern: Musselburgh by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette, "Serano"

I do have a few more projects that I finished recently to share, but I'm very behind on taking photos. Hopefully I'll get everything photographed this week and will get all caught up with blogging soon!