Making Spirits Bright

I hope you are all having fun putting your last minute Christmas treats and gifts and thingys together.  Ted was treated to his own (tiny) hot cocoa and a donut hole this morning as we made our last trip to town.  If we don’t have it now, we aren’t going to!

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Happy Holidays Everyone!

Sunday Morning Pancakes

A big plate of Sunday morning yumness.  Two big pancakes topped with seared banana, homemade granola, chia seeds and crunchy peanut butter.  Fuel to power me through our very long list of chores to be done today.  Winter is coming and my house/yard are no where near ready for it.

I was only able to eat about 2/3s of this.  Sadie happily ate the rest.

 

One year blog-iversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of the writing of this blog.  In the last week or so I have been thinking about this blog more than I usually do.  I have been thinking about what it means to me, what it might mean to others.  I have been wavering on doing more writing within it, not just posting projects, and then again I have been considering not writing it any more at all.  Yesterday I was convinced that I was not going to continue, and this morning I woke up thinking I will keep going, but perhaps differently.  (Yes, it is very hard for a Libra to get out of her own way sometimes.)

I have been thinking about this whole blog world that has been created on the internet.  I have said before that I do not Facebook, Twitter, text, whatever other social media you might be into.  This blog is the furthest I have ventured into that strange land.  And sometimes it seems like too far to me.  It is a very odd thing to me that I get up in the morning, make a cup of tea (or cocoa, or coffee), sit down at my computer, and wake up looking at a handful of other blogs.  Reading about what other people, people I do not know, have been up to since yesterday.  What is it about other peoples lives or families or even their knitting projects that interests us?     After reading a blog consistently for a couple of weeks, we feel we are getting to know someone.  We see photos of their kids, their homes, their farms and animals, their sewing or knitting or cooking projects.  We see the changes that evolve in their environments, see the seasons pass–sometimes in other parts of the world–seasons that are different from our own back yards.  Peeking in on their day-to-day lives becomes a habit.  I sometimes feel if I have missed a day or two of a blog I follow that I have missed something in a friends life and need to catch up.

How did this happen?  How did we as a culture get to be people who know all about someone whom we have never met, but do not even know our neighbors?  Is this like having friends without all of the messy and sometimes complicated interaction and maintenance that a friendship requires?  We don’t actually know these blog people, but when they write about a sick family member or pet that might have passed away, we grieve with them, we feel their sadness.  We congratulate them when they have had a successful gardening year or when a sweater is finally completed.

As I have been thinking about this blog that I write, I wonder if it really matters if a picture of a finished hat is posted for all, or none, to see.  I know I finished it (or didn’t), I know if something pleased me or not.  But then the reverse is true also, when I make a new post and see the numbers of views of that post climb, and the comments are thoughtfully sent in, it pleases me a great deal to think that what I posted might have meant something to however many people looked at it.

This blog has been an interesting exercise in photography for me as well.  Through my camera I have been looking at where I live from a different perspective.  While I do not take living here in the Western Maine Mountains (yes, in my mind that is Always Capitalized) for granted, to see it through someone else’s eyes is interesting too.  Very often, I either say to myself, or Ug and I will say between us, how lucky we are to live here.  I have enjoyed having a place to gather up the photos I take on our daily adventures.

I have also liked using this spot as a portfolio of finished knitting, spinning and sewing projects. So much of what we do as crafters and artists is given away as gifts.  When the year is done, you know that you have been busy making things, but there is not much to show for your efforts as all of those warm, snuggly objects have gone off to live with someone else–on their hands or heads or round their necks.  To be able to look back at a project completed is satisfying.  Even if that object is lone gone from the work basket.

In writing this one year marker post, I have worked through my own thoughts about whether to continue or not.  I think I will.  It may continue in a different way.  Some days I find myself wanting to make a post, and have a photo or two to share, but find myself with no words at all to go with.  Have you ever had a big idea, or been thinking something over for days and days, open your mouth to share it with someone else, and nothing at all comes out?  Other days I feel like I want to write about something that has been on my mind, but am not sure if this is the spot to do that in or not, so I end up keeping it to myself.

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read what I have posted here.  Only a few of you are personally known to me, and the rest of you read this anyway.  This makes me giggle sometimes to think that anything I am doing up here in nowhere-Maine is finding some sort of home with you as well.

Winter is settling down on us here.  The days are colder, and darker too.  By 4pm it is dark out now.  The nights are very cold already.  Knitting continues, at a faster pace now that Christmas is coming, spinning will begin after presents are done (you can’t spin until the gifts are all done, unless the newly spun yarn is the present).  Sewing will start soon too, as there is at least one person on my list who would like some new clothes.

Thank you for taking the time to follow along with me as I blunder through my own days and projects and sort through the, often, messy business of this small life.

And so it begins…

We had a few flakes swirling around in the air last week, but that was just a practice session.  Winter flexing its tired muscles.  Today it is trying harder to get up and around.

 

Perhaps one day I will not have to go out to work every day.  When that time comes I will thoroughly enjoy winter.  I dream of days where there is a stew bubbling away on top of a wood stove, snow shoes in a heap outside the door, mittens drying on a rack by the fire, piles of books that want reading, knitting that is patiently waiting for its turn in the daily “chores”.  But for now winter is something that needs to be managed, worked around (never worked with, but something to overcome), and gotten through.  If you are like me and have to venture forth each day, you know what I mean.  If you are one of the lucky ones and have no or minimal venturing to do, I envy you.

For now, I have to go find my boots….

Short Rows and a Short Post

This week I have been working on a striped shawl.  Many of you may recognize it as a very popular pattern in ravelry.  I have not purchased the pattern, as funds are a bit tight right at the moment.  But I have been studying the photos, and am working on it as an exercise in learning about short rows.  I would not post my instructions here, out of respect for the original design, but I feel like I can show my progress.

 

As you can see, this one is making an unfortunate point in the middle of the pink section.  I’m hoping that some of that will straighten out in the blocking, but if not it is still a good exercise in short rows.

 Oooh, I can hear you now–“Hey, that looks like garter stitch.  What gives?  I thought you didn’t like garter stitch?”  No, no I do not like garter stitch.  This proves it to me once again. I would like to make another one of these shawls, but work out some kind of border and use stockinette.  I really like the progressive color striping, just not the chunky lumpy garter.

I’m linking up today with the usual suspects:

http://www.naturalsuburbia.com/http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/, and http://tamisamis.blogspot.com/.  Check out some really creative work and be inspired yourself!  Happy Friday everyone.