Thursday, May 20, 2021

And Now for Something Complete Different

 I have been knitting -- especially because I've been binging on WandaVision on Disney -- but that isn't all. I've been embroidering this:

This embroidery is based on the book pictured below.  It was published in 1918, so it is no longer under copyright. As a child, I read constantly. When I saw this book at a flea market, I just had to buy it, knowing someday it would be an embroidery. Besides, I suffer from a nostalgia for all things 20th century -- before 1980, that is.

There were 27 Grace Harlowe books, which follow her from high school, through service in France in WWI, and onto other adventures. I'm trying to read this book, but it is pretty dull from today's point of view.

I've encountered quite a learning curve as I've converted this into an embroidery. Going from black/white to full color has been harder than I expected.  And there are no words to describe the tedium of embroidering the book's title with tiny stitches. And I am terrified I'll ruin the entire thing when I stitch the face.

I chose the passage of text as being representative of the tone of the book. Those small words aren't too difficult to stitch.

This will take me a while to finish -- good thing I'm retiring! -- but I already have the next book cover picked out!

P.S. The police arrested the person who threatened gun violence against my school. The press is describing the person as a "child," and that's all we know.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Good News, Weird News & Knitting

 My husband and I woke up to a great text this morning: All the conditions have been removed from the offer on our house and we are closing on June 1! It will be nice to own only one house.

Weird news: Threats of a shooting at my high school have been posted on Snapchat. Really? As if this school hasn't been hard enough! The worst thing is that Snapchat doesn't seem to know who posted the threatening posts. We definitely need to regulate social media.

And finally .... knitting!

I finished the first Petty Harbour sock. I was worried about running out of yarn, so I only did a 5-inch leg. Big mistake! I didn't get to the final color. Oh well. I'm not redoing the sock!

I am a huge fan of Casapinka. She writes amazing patterns, and I love ponchos. So how could I resist casting on Noncho? The red and gray yarns are from my stash, but I honestly didn't have a third color. Local dyer and store Knit Circus had just reopened, so that gorgeous hand-paint is from there. We much support every LYS, right?

I have 19 more school days before retirement. It still feels like a long time. But I will get there!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Endings and Beginnings

 It has been a sad week, with the loss of Theresa Kasner. Her warmth and grace reached across the miles. The unexpected nature of the loss makes it harder to grasp. Although death seems sudden no matter what. 

On Saturday, my friend Michael passed away from ALS. He has been declining for a year, so it should not have been a surprise. On Tuesday, hospice said he had less than a week. Still, when I got the call, it hit me hard. Michael was a world famous breast-cancer researcher at UW-Madison, and he was so kind and helpful when my mom had breast cancer. I've been friends with his wife (and thus him) for more than 30 years. 

So, there are two endings.

Of course I am thinking a lot about Michael. The enduring image I come up with is Michael walking into a party, always a few minutes late and always exuding positive energy. I am quite sure I never heard a complaint from him. He loved his family and his job. He used to say, "I don't know why they pay me. I'd do my job for free!"

Me, on the other hand, I'm kvetcher. I can complain with the best of them. But as I approach my new beginning (retirement), I have decided that I need to take a page out of Michael's book. I need to stop complaining. Full stop. I have a roof over my head, two great children, and an amazing husband. I have nothing to complain about!

And don't let me forget about my two darling cats!

I have begun thinking about how I want to spend the rest of my life. I'll have more time for my mom, more time for art, and some time to volunteer. I am very lucky to retire before my 62nd birthday.