Sunday, December 4, 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Bit Like Winter

This was the scene I had to turn my back on yesterday afternoon. Though I don't think you can tell from the photo, snow was falling steadily. The perfect Sunday afternoon to stay home and curl up with a book or some knitting.
But no. I had committed to a craft fair, so I headed on inside to a windowless room to try to sell this:
And this:
I did sell two things -- but one was to my Mom, so I'm not sure that counts. (I do give her plenty of homemade gifts, but she bought a gift for someone else. Just saying.)
I did finish up a sock -- the first in a pair. And lots of people I know stopped by, so it wasn't a terrible afternoon. Still, I'm a bit sad about missing staying home on a snowy afternoon.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Seeking Peace

I rarely join in Knit-A-Longs. Too much pressure! As a special ed teacher, I already have more deadlines in my life than I can comfortably meet. So, you know that a KAL has to be extra special to draw me in.

A couple days ago, I was reading through my email and something in a message from Knit Circus (a yarn company based here in Madison) caught my eye: The Project Peace KAL. The brainchild of Christina Campell, this project combines knitting a cowl with daily reflections aimed at bringing peace to ourselves and the world around us by extension.
I had not heard of Christina, who blogs at The Healthy Knitter, but I already love her design and this project. You can check out the pattern here on Ravelry. I shopped my stash and found the skein of Pumpkin Pie sock yarn that you see here. It was gift from my dear friend in California, Joni, so it's extra special.

It's not too late to join. Really. You can start with the Dec. 1 post right here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On the Needles and the Nightstand

Well, we have come to that time of year when I have to rely on some flash photos, so excuse the less-than-attractive photo ...

I have a feeling that I could use this photo every week for a while:
I have started on my second Robson. It is quite different from the first, but I like it. These scarves take two full skeins of sock yarns, so they are not exactly quick knits -- but the final product is worth it!

I'm working my way through the classic Victorian novel Middlemarch by George Eliot. It took me a bit of effort to get into it, but I am thoroughly enjoying it now.

I'll be joining up with Ginny to Yarn Along.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thankgiving in a Few Photos

I'm sure my Thanksgiving was much like yours.

Amazing food. I dare anyone to top my brother Mike's cherry pie.

Family from afar. Here are Robbie, Rebecca, Jennifer, and Rachel.
And we can't forget Theo. (My son, however, does not allow photos, so he's missing!)
We stayed with Mike and his wife, Mary, in Washington, D.C., and I am just so impressed by her jewelry.
Isn't it adorable? If you find it irresistible, you can buy it from her Etsy store, The Crafty Lawyer.
All too quickly it's over, isn't it?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Crafty Weekend

It was a good weekend to putter around the house because winter temperatures arrived abruptly. On Thursday, the highs were in the 70's; but on Friday, the high was about 35 degrees. Not enough time to acclimate!

I'm almost done with my Robson scarf, from the Sequence Knitting book. This picture doesn't do it justice. The colors are much more subtle than they look here. I had some issues with dropped stitches, as you can see from the little stitch holder at the left. Once I get everything woven in, it is going to be an awesome scarf.
I found some time to work on embroidery:
I did get out a few times. Friday night we had fish fry for my husband's birthday with my parents. Saturday night, some friends who just visited Italy had an Italian-themed party, complete with a slide show and an Italian trivia game. And I met up with my drawing group at a local art museum:
In between, I tried to get organized for our Thanksgiving travels. We're celebrating in Washington, D.C, with my parents and brothers. Both my kids will be there, so I'm pretty excited. Plus, only two work days this week!

Hope your weekend was what you wanted!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Life Does Go On

Last night my art group met, and we talked about how focusing on our art has helped us get through this dark time. Some of us are avoiding the news, but I can't take my eyes off the continuing wreck. Even for me, creating keeps my blood pressure down.

I was struggling with what to do for the next fiber-art exhibit. Ideas are usually not a problem for me, but this was different. I went back to my sketchbook and found this:
Then I enlarged it and now it looks like this:
Eventually it will be the focal point of a quilt.

I've also been struggling to find a novel that I wanted finish. In desperation I decided to reread the greatest novel written in English:
 I'm not sure I'll finish it, considering that it's more than 700 pages. But I'm about 100 pages into it right now, and it is holding up really well. Written in 1874, Middlemarch is the story of an idealistic young woman who wants to make the world a better place -- an aspiration that was very difficult for a woman in the 1820s, when the story is set. It is a classic Victorian novel -- somewhat Dickensian -- with lots of local color and fascinating characters.

Joining up with Ginny for Yarn Along

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Still In Shock

I didn't think this could happen. I didn't think there were so many Americans who would vote for a man who denigrates people of color, LGBT people, disabled people, women, and Jews. I am lucky to teach in a very diverse high school, and the passion of the students about this situation was heartening.

All students wanted to do yesterday was process the election results. They were insightful and respectful.  They cried. They reached out to one another. They demonstrated unity across racial and gender and economic divides. They gave me hope.

I know people want change. I want change, too. But change can be good or bad.

Another ray of positivity: Secretary Clinton won the popular vote. He is only president because of a dated and labyrinthine system. A majority of Americans voted against bigotry. Let us continue to move in that direction.