Rules for Feeding the Stash

Thursday, September 2, 2021

September

I did not intend to take the last month off from blogging, but it turns out I really needed a break! I'm wrestling with how often I want to show up here—I love you all, and I love sharing here, but I'm also very busy (what with work, and grad school, and trying to keep my dog happy and socialized) and I don't know quite what the right balance is for me yet. 

Anyway! Updates! I successfully cleared a bunch of stuff out of my apartment and got it all clean and vacuumed before school started. I also got my freezer absolutely packed with freezer meals and Trader Joe's tamales so I don't have to think about dinners all the time. 

Classes started last week and I think it's going to be a really good semester. I'm taking Information and Inquiry, Community Engagement, and Public Libraries, and I've had both my professors before and really like them. Just fourteen more weeks, then winter break, then sixteen more weeks. I can do it.

As far as work goes, I was given a reference shift this semester and I'm really loving being down at the reference desk for a couple of hours a week. It's still pretty quiet, because none of the usual big assignments have been given yet, but I didn't realize how much I missed having some time in a public-facing position. 

I almost forgot! It is September now, which means it's time for my Birthday Sale! Use code HB31 to get 31% off everything in my Ravelry and Payhip stores. The code will be good through September 16th. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Organizing and a New Sweater


This weekend I decided I wanted to konmari a bunch of my things and I maybe went a bit too hard too fast. I got through all my clothes and accessories and books in just a day and a half, and now I'm exhausted. Fortunately that's pretty much all I wanted to prune right now, but oh man it's tiring. I have a big pile of stuff to get donated or sold in the city and a slightly smaller pile of stuff to go to my dumpster once I have the energy to carry it out there. I've been meaning to do a big declutter for a while, so it feels nice to have done, and hopefully I'll be able to organize my closet and bookshelves some more before school starts up again THREE WEEKS FROM TODAY.

This week's lunch knitting is another fingering-weight sweater, because why not. It's Playdate, from TinCanKnits, and I started it just before vacation as an easy project to tote around on our various adventures. I ended up being too busy and tired to work on it much during vacation, but it's a nice lazy project for right now, and it'll be great for class knitting once classes start up again. 

Honestly, this has been such a weird summer so far, and it's strange to think that it's almost over. Between transitioning back to work in the library full-time, vacation, and resting up after my first year of grad school, the summer has really flown by. Fortunately it's not quite done yet, and I have a few more things to get done before school starts, but it really feels like yesterday was June! 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Vacation in New England

Hello friends! I totally just disappeared on you, didn't I? I was in fact on family vacation, and I had a post about planning for vacation all written up here but when I just logged on now to talk about how vacation went, I saw that the post was still a draft! Whoops!

Anyway, I went to New England with my mum and my siblings for ten days and it was great. We saw mountains, we went out on the ocean, we rode a swan boat in Boston, we hung out in the woods and saw salamanders, and we went to a minor league baseball game (I am firmly of the opinion that minor league baseball is one thousand times better than major league and that aside from hockey minor league baseball is the best sport).

(Also for anyone following Kat's Book Bingo attempt, I did manage to read the last four books I had on my bingo square while I was on vacation, so I completely filled in my bingo card! Now we wait to see if I get my name drawn for prizes.)

So! Pictures!







It was nice to get back out there and visit with our old friends, but now I'm back and I have just over three weeks to get myself re-settled and ready for the semester to start! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Two Bingos


It is TUESDAY, how's that for a change, kittens? I very much enjoyed my long weekend, even though we had a heat advisory here and it was GROSS and MISERABLE. I did a little cleaning, did a little baking (made my favorite cookies!) and got myself pretty well caught up on book bingo.

I finished SIX WHOLE BOOKS this weekend, got my first two bingos, and I'm eight books away from my blackout. Fingers crossed, but I'm feeling pretty good. Most of these squares are going to be covered by books I already have downloaded to my phone, so I was holding off on starting those in case I needed to read them during vacation. 

Did I mention vacation? I'm going on vacation next week for ten days. I'm very excited. I still haven't picked out knitting to bring. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Catching Up


Happy Friday! I'm definitely looking forward to the long weekend—I haven't been making tons of progress on my book bingo card the past week or so, but I think three days off should help me cross off a few more squares. My only other plan for the weekend is to get my new crop top pattern written and sent to my tech editor so I have a chance of releasing it before I go on vacation the middle of the month.

I also, as you can see above, changed up my lunch knitting. I'm not really knitting as much during lunch as I used to, and I decided I'd make better progress on my garter stitch sweater if it was at home by the tv, so I'm trying smaller projects at work. This is a cowl that I started back in May so I'd have something mindless to work on, and it's so close to done I can taste it. 

I hope that you all have something nice planned for your weekend, especially if you're enjoying three days off like I am. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Peachy Keen


Hello friends! I hope you're all doing well. I did manage to get my peaches canned (and don't they look beautiful!) but my apartment is still in a bit of a tip. Turns out that driving to the city to pick up peaches one day and then canning all those peaches the next day is a Bit Much and doesn't leave much energy for things like checking the state of the fridge or cleaning the tub. 

I really wanted t get my crop top sample finished this month, but as it still needs seams and a collar I think the only way that might happen is if I sit down tonight and really try to bang it out. There's a bunch of dishes from yesterday that should get washed first, but I think it's doable (if I keep saying it, it must come true). 

We also finally got some rain here on Saturday, and I wish I had been able to sit at home and properly enjoy it. We got almost no snow last winter, and we've had very little rain so far, so everything was super crispy. Hopefully we'll  get a bit more rain soon—Saturday was great, but we're still way behind where we should be! 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Peach Plans


So, I haven't been working much on my sweater sample this week. It happens. I did manage to finish the front of a crop top sample earlier this week, and now it just needs seams and a collar, so at least there's something there. 

I got the sudden urge the other day to make canned peaches, and when I checked the fruit truck schedule and saw that the current deliveries are peaches and cherries I knew that it was meant to be. I ordered 25lbs of peaches, and even though it means I have to drive up to the city tomorrow morning to pick them up, I'm looking forward to doing some canning this weekend. 

Otherwise, there's not much going on over in my neck of the woods. I hope you all have something fun and restorative planned for the weekend, and I'll see you on Monday! 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Book Bingo and Shakespeare

Has it really been a whole week? Lots to catch up on here. First up, checking in with my book bingo square, and I'm doing pretty well. I'm one book away from my first bingo, and, coincidentally, the book for that square is up next on the docket. I have books identified for all but two squares, so I just need to buckle down and keep reading. I'm in a good place, though, and I think I actually might be able to squeeze out a total blackout by July 31.

On Friday my mum and I went out to the fabric store and I got fabric for two dresses and a robe. I still have some fabric in my studio that's already washed and waiting to be ironed and cut out before I can play with the new stuff, so hopefully I can get that room tidied up and prepped for some sewing soon. 

This weekend was also the South Dakota Shakespeare Festival, and this year's play was Twelfth Night, which is one of my favorites. I went to see the play on Friday and Saturday nights, and it was a total delight each time. It was also great to see so many people from the community able to get together in the park—the festival was obviously cancelled last year, and we all missed it! 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Weekending in Pride


It was an incredibly busy weekend, but it was a lot of fun! On Saturday morning my mum and I went up into the city to go to the farmer's market and check out the pattern sale at Jo Ann's, and we finished up at our favorite Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant for lunch. Saturday afternoon was the library book sale, which is usually monthly but, for obvious reasons, hasn't been held since last March. There was also an arts and crafts fair that our town's Pride organization hosted, and I got a new tobacco-and-bay-scented soap and bought some stickers.

Saturday night was the Pride Pub Parade, and I partied much harder than I usually do, even without the excuse of being home for over a year. It was so much fun, though, and we ended the night doing karaoke with a wedding party that we met doing their own bar crawl. After all that, Sunday was more for resting. I walked Lee Lee over to the park, which she loved, and I got interviewed by local news about the Pride celebrations, and then I spend the rest of the day doing chores. I was exhausted after being out past two on Sunday morning, though, so I did stop for a nap before folding my laundry, and I never got around to taking care of it, whoops. 

Fortunately, my fingering-weight Easy A sample is just as bar-friendly as the original, and I managed to add several more rows of garter stitch to the body on Saturday night. I love having something that's so easy to pick up and put down mindlessly, but I don't really think I'm cut out for another big bar night for quite a while! 

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Past the Ribbing and Planning for Pride


If you look very closely, you can see that I've finally started working some garter stitch on this sweater. I haven't been knitting a lot during my lunches this week, but getting past the ribbing is a huge accomplishment and I'm hoping I settle into the rhythm of garter stitch easily. 

This week has been another hot one, but we finally have some thunderstorms today. It still might get up into the high 80s, but right now it's a nice relief. This weekend is my town's Pride festival, and I'm hoping that the heat relief from this storm lasts the next couple of days so we can enjoy Pride. 

Book Bingo is going well, I've marked off four squares already, which puts me in a pretty good position for the next few weeks. I'm having trouble coming up with books for some squares, but I've got ones picked out and lined up for most of them, and I mostly need to keep working through the pile for now.

Have a good weekend! 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Numbers on a Monday

1. I hope everyone had a good weekend. I stayed inside the whole time, because we're in the middle of a stretch of really hot weather—close to 100 degrees at the worst parts of the day!

2. Because of this, I don't really feel like cooking or eating real food when I finally get home, so yesterday I stocked up on smoothie supplies, since those are basically ice cream with more nutrients. My main go-to is strawberry, but I still have some mango in my freezer too.

3. The crop top that I mentioned is continuing apace, and with any luck will be finished this week. I'm hoping to get the pattern out this month, and I'm really excited about this one.

4. Today starts summer reading book bingo at my public library and I am ready to get started! I'm aiming for a full blackout, but that's pretty ambitious. It's been forever since I've done summer reading, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how far I can get!

5. I am definitely still adjusting to working in the library again, and Lee Lee is adjusting too. It's a process. I am feeling very tired a lot and she is alternating between being mad that I've left her and thrilled that I've returned. I'm hoping that we'll both get back into the swing of things soon, but the last fifteen months have been so weird for everyone, I know that it's going to take time. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Book Haul


Happy Friday! It's been a pretty decent week back, although I'm having a bit of a rough transition. I'm forgetting things left and right and my diabetes has apparently decided to be even more erratic, but we'll get through it. It's also finally gotten really hot here, which I hate, so I'm planning on holing up in my apartment underneath a ceiling fan for the next two days.

I'm also taking advantage of the fact that I'm not currently in school to dive back into reading for pleasure! I've been waiting to read most of these books, and I took advantage of being back on campus to check them out this week. My public library is also doing book bingo for adult summer reading—I don't think I love book bingo, but I really love prizes, so I'm going to try for a blackout on my bingo card. Summer reading starts on Monday, so I've identified which of these books will count towards a bingo square and I'm going to put off starting them until after the weekend.

Knitting is...slow. I've knit six more rows of ribbing on the sweater I showed you on Tuesday, and I have six more rows to go before I can dive into the endless garter stitch body. I have managed a fair bit of progress on a linen crop top that I haven't shared with you yet, but I've generally been pretty tired this week, so no major progress anywhere. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Back to It


Happy Tuesday, friends! We had a long weekend here in the US, and I ended up getting lots of house cleaning done. It feels really good  to have my space organized, and it's going to be a great place to come home to in the afternoons. Oh yeah, I'm back to work in the library in-person this week. That's a change.

There's really no way to know how messed up my routine is going to be for the next few days or weeks. It's been about fifteen months since I've worked in-person for more than a few hours each month, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a rough adjustment. I'm also worried about Lee Lee, who has a history of separation anxiety, although we did manage to train her out of it once before the pandemic started, and I do believe we can do it again. Hopefully.

Knit-wise, I've got a few different things on the needles right now. This is going to be a fingering-weight version of my Easy A pattern, eventually (turns out fingering weight knits up way more slowly than aran or bulky weight) and while it's a bit of a slog (the back is already done, so we're a third of the way there, technically) I really think the final sweater is going to be great.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Weekending


This weekend was busy! Saturday was the dance recital, and it went really well, but it was a very long day. I ended up going to bed pretty early, which I'm sure I needed. It was great to catch up with the dance studio team, and one of our old teachers came back to visit for the day as well, and it was great to see them.

Yesterday I got myself into a cleaning mood. My kitchen has been a disaster for a while—mail piled up, food not put in cupboards, pans piled on the stove. I promise I have been trying to keep it tidy the last few months, but I've only ever managed to clear a small part of the counter or put a few pans away. Yesterday I put everything away, cleaned out my fridge, wiped down counters, the works. It feels so much better in there now, and hopefully we won't see Disaster Kitchen again for a while.

I don't really have plans for this week yet. I'm still resting up after the semester, and I don't know when I'll figure out my new regular schedule. Next week I go back to work in the library full-time, which will be good, but a big adjustment, so maybe I'll hold off trying to figure out my normal for a couple more weeks. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday By the Numbers

1. I finally took a picture of my baby doll setup (most of my dolls are on a table in my bedroom, but the babies sit on this painted trunk by my dining table). On the left are my grandmother's doll and my mother's doll, and then the two on the right are ones that I found myself over the past year or so. 

2. Tech rehearsals for the dance recital went great, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's going to be a long day, but I've really been enjoying hanging out with all my pals from the dance studio again.

3. My apartment is a bit of a disaster. I haven't really had a chance to seriously tidy up in a while and you can tell. Hopefully I'll have some time on Sunday to tackle the worst areas.

4. One of my friends retired this week, so we're having a couple of little outdoor celebrations for her this weekend. I'm looking forward to them—these are the first gatherings I'll be going to in over a year, so it feels a little weird, but I'm mostly really excited to see everyone.

Monday, May 17, 2021

I'm Back!


Hello, friends!

It's been a while, hasn't it? I had to take a break from the blog at the end of spring semester—I was exhausted and burnt out, and something needed to give. I missed being here with you all though, and I'm feeling a lot better now that we're about a week out from finals. I don't have my final grades for this semester yet, but based on all my assignments I should be in a very good place.

I've started a couple projects that I had set aside for the summer—I have a pair of antique quilts to clean up and mend, and the first one has already been cleaned and is waiting for me to sit down and look at where can be sewn up and where needs darning. I also started catching up on tv—I have a list that's almost three pages long in my journal of shows that my friends are insisting I need to watch, and while most of my free time has been spent catching up on sleep, I've at least started working my way down the list.

I also roasted a chicken yesterday. I've been really craving a roast chicken for a few weeks now, and I also have been wanting to make a batch of bone broth. I don't know if it's the fact that I've been mostly living off of eggs and quesadillas for the past several months or not, but this chicken was the best one I've ever made. I have the carcass in my stock pot now and hopefully I will have several quarts of delicious broth in a few hours.

This week I'm helping out with the dance recital and calling cues—I've missed working at the dance studio this year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing my instructor friends and all my little dancers. It means I'll have tech rehearsals the next four nights, and I'll be busy over the weekend, but I'm really looking forward to it. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mooreville Chalk

Mooreville Chalk is named for the Mooreville Chalk Formation in Alabama and Mississippi. The formation dates from the late Cretaceous period, and is a rich source of dinosaur, mosasaur, turtle, and fish fossils.

Mooreville Chalk is a slightly cropped, boxy top, in-tended to be worn with 0-4in/0-10cm of positive ease. The top is knit from the bottom up and seamed, then stitches are picked up for the collar, which is worked in the round.

Mooreville Chalk is now available on Payhip and Ravelry and is 20% off with code CRETACEOUS.



Monday, April 12, 2021

Kat's Perfect Beanie

I love a good beanie, and I’ve thought a lot about what my perfect beanie might look like. There’s nothing as beautiful to me as a simple project with thoughtful details, where the yarn can really shine, and Kat’s Perfect Beanie hits the mark.

Starting off with a folded knit hem and ending with charming pi crown decreases, Kat’s Perfect Beanie is both a simple and a quick knit, and it looks beautiful in everything from wooly natural yarns to your wildest hand dyed skeins.


Kat's Perfect Beanie is available on Ravelry and Payhip, and is 20% off through April 13th with code PERFECT.



Monday, March 29, 2021

Of Hats and Birds


I hope you all had a refreshing weekend! Honestly, parts of Saturday were rough, especially as I struggled through one of my assignments, but I finally made it and had time for some hauswitchery and relaxation on Sunday. I finished my perfect beanie and got the pattern draft to my tech editor, so my most pressing design-related dilemma right now is what to call the thing, other than "Kat's Perfect Beanie."

Hopefully this week won't be too busy school-wise. I have a pile of mending that really needs some attention, and it's supposed to warm up quite a bit the end of the week and I'd love to get out to a park. We have a four-day weekend (the state gave us Friday and Monday off), so I should be able to find some time to get out in nature and find some cool rocks to look at.

Speaking of warming up, my neighborhood birds have been going crazy the past couple weeks! My feeder has been host to the usual house sparrows as well as a collection of warblers, robins have completely taken over the streets again, and I've been able to hear chickadees almost every morning. I'm not quite at the point where I need to refill my bird feeder every week yet, but once the grackles come back in another couple of weeks it'll really be a free-for-all! 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday, Friday, Gotta Write a Blog on Friday


Happy Friday, kittens! I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with things right now, but looking at my lists it doesn't really seem too unmanageable. I have some readings to do for school, and an essay and a grant outline due next week. I also have an article analysis that's technically not due for a while, but I have the article picked out already, and the analysis never takes me long, but I'm going to put that off until the more pressing deadlines are met, but I do want to get it done soon, before I'm completely buried in my big semester projects. I also have to go into the library tomorrow morning to pull some books, which hopefully won't take too long.

On top of all that, Passover starts this weekend, so I'm trying to build in time for that on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening I'm planning on celebrating by myself—I've planned a quiet, contemplative Seder, and then on Sunday I'll join in a zoom Seder with a bunch of other folks. 

One of my dear friends started a fortnightly zoom stitch-and-bitch back in the fall, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to join in pretty regularly. Last night I cast on a new hat with this really fun skein my friend Heather dyed. I've been thinking for a while about what my perfect stockinette beanie might look like, and I'm really excited about the details I'm putting into this. Fingers crossed for an early April pattern release, subject to school kicking my butt!

Monday, March 22, 2021

Quick Monday Numbers

 1. Taking the weekend off was a great idea. I got my kitchen cleaned up a little, finally put away my clothes from the last time I did laundry, and took several naps.

2. My sister finally returned my cake dish from her birthday, so hopefully coffee cake is in my near future.

3. I don't remember if I mentioned it here, but at my last dentist appointment I was approved for sealants and fluoride treatment. I've had painful tooth sensitivity for most of my life, and had to finally give up ice cream a few years ago, but the treatments helped a lot. I've only had ice cream a couple times since then, but yesterday I had A Craving and got a Heath Bar blizzard for the first time in ages. It was delicious. 

4. The birds are pretty much all back and ready for spring. I can hear them even from inside my apartment, and this weekend it was nice enough to sit out on the stoop for an hour or so each day to listen to them while Lee Lee got her sniffs in the garden.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Fridaying


Gosh, it's been a hot minute, hasn't it? I've had a busy week here, between school and work and a couple of routine doctor's appointments, but looking at my to-do list I think I'm in pretty good shape to take most of the weekend off. I've got six more readings for class and a physical book analysis to finish, and that's it for homework. Last weekend I had to go into the library to work, which meant I had to do homework on Sunday, and the report I had to do was like pulling teeth, so I think I've earned a couple days off from school. 

Lee Lee and I had a little adventure last Thursday—we were in the yard getting some sniffs in before I hopped onto my zoom knitting group and a big dog wandered right up to us! She had a collar but no tags, so I grabbed my extra leash and brought her inside. My apartment isn't set up for big dogs, but fortunately we found her owner through the power of Facebook after about an hour and a half, so I didn't have to make any kind of overnight plans. Lee Lee was a champ through most of the ordeal, but once the interloper was gone you could tell she wasn't thrilled about having a stranger in her home! 

We got hit with some heavy, wet snow at the beginning of this week, but it's mostly melted now. This weekend is looking pretty mild so far, so as long as the ground isn't too wet I might try and go to one of the parks for a little ramble. I might also put on a murder show and knit a little—my grey crop top is progressing nicely (almost at the three-quarters mark!) and it's a great "in class" project, but I have a few other things that could use some love as long as I'm taking a break from school. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Numbers on a Monday

 1. This weekend my mum and I spontaneously went to the city to get takeout salads and go to the river. Turns out that was exactly what we both needed, and I'm so glad we went out. I've been very bad about getting outside and wandering around—my usual inclination is to be an Indoor Kat, but wandering outside and finding cool sticks and rocks is very good for me, so I need to get better about doing it more regularly. 

2. Saturday was my sister's birthday, and it was so good to spend a few hours with the whole family. I was very on top of things for once and ordered her birthday present with time to spare, but I forgot that Etsy is an international marketplace, and her present is coming from the UK, so it did not get here in time. It is currently either somewhere above the Atlantic ocean or stuck in a customs office.

3. School is going well, but I'm really missing having a spring break. I thought I'd be fine, but last week I hit burnout HARD, and I think part of it was because I couldn't just stop thinking about school for a week. Also, we're coming up on a year of being home here—March 13th last year we got an email at work that we were shutting down for spring break, and maybe longer, and I remember that the last hour and a half of that day we all just stood around wondering what was going to happen. It's been a long, strange year.

4. I have eaten 20% of my stash of Girl Scout cookies so far. I am currently holding fast in an effort to make the remaining packages last. My efforts may be futile. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Weekending

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

Fridaying

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

Fridaying

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

Trying

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


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!