Daydreaming

Pearl crescent, day visitor.

About traveling

Every so often I take out books on traveling to different areas of the US, or Europe… daydreaming about a trip around the world, or traveling for work again. I think a short hop is more likely than the trip around the world, and most of my travel seems to focus on getting to see family and friends. Which means there are at least 15 states to choose from and daydream about.

About projects

I have 3 knitting projects on the needles, and I’ve finished one sewing piece (a blouse). The new Knitty came out this week, and I’m eying this pattern: Saturday Night cowl by Juliette Williams. I have some yarn that might work. The other option is Always be Brave by Helen Kennedy, but the sportweight that I have right now is earmarked for this pattern: Pyukkleen cowl by Ysolda Teague.

About museums

This autumn, so many museums have delightful exhibits that I want to visit. For instance, down in Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks has an exhibit called “Ornament: Fragments of Byzantine Fashion”. Baltimore Museum of Art has an exhibition of work done by artist Joyce J. Scott and her mother, fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. Virginia Museum of Fine Art has a fascinating looking exhibit of Native American Art, as well as a collection of Faberge eggs. Delaware Art Museum has Mitch Lyons prints (he used clay to make his prints – it’s complicated).

…. the moment when summer starts to shift into fall is filled with so much promise. Our leaves haven’t started to turn, but students are back at the Universities and the libraries have switched their schedules to match study needs. If you’re daydreaming about activities, or knitting, or traveling, drop me a line.

Reading: No Time to Spare

By Ursula K. Le Guin. The subtitle is “Thinking about what matters”, and it’s a lovely conversation with the author. It’s been lovely to sit down for tea with this book, and hear discussions of her young cat, Pard.

“One moment he’s airborne, the next fast asleep. He is unpredictable, yet keeps strict routines…. He still won’t sit on a lap, though. I don’t know if he ever will. He just doesn’t accept the lap hypothesis.”

Le Guin, “Chosen by a Cat”, published in No Time to Spare, 2017.

I’ve enjoyed reading through her thoughts on Notre-Dame de la Faim, modern classical music, and a Christmas tree. It’s all very unlike the stories I know her from [A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, Always Coming Home], and yet it is still the same voice. Which makes me wonder: are there any writers you have read whose voice carries across media (say, poetry to novels, or expository prose to mystery stories)?

Hoping

We keep hoping things will get better, while we try to make things better. Double exertion/double exhaustion. I just have to remember that I can only influence what I touch, and cannot stop everything in the world to fix it.

Rose blooming in a yard.
Oh Texas rose, you are so thorny… you tower, queen of the yard.

Work has been busy (a good but exhausting thing), so I haven’t been online as much. And, we’ve made a few urgent visits due to older friends and family not doing as well as hoped. Although, other younger family members are improving their lives, or growing into adults step by step. So there’s this weird balance.

The garden is a source of delight — black headed vultures in the driveway eating their takeaway, hummingbird nest in one of the cedars, butterflies everywhere. A church nearby has created a monarch butterfly garden, and they’ve also been visiting the yard, along with the swallowtails.

Our two cats are sorting things out after 3 years (3 years, really?) of anger. The younger cat still has the crazies at specific times of day, and we just have to be prepared with a feather toy or a willow stick with leaves on it to distract her from scaling curtains and destroying the woodbound trunk in the living room.

The beauty of incremental change

Scrappy Thursday Afternoon

I’m in the process of clearing away things (still chaotic, but it’s a process), and hoping to clear off deskspace. I’ve managed to clear several work-related things off my “to do” list. And then there’s the knitting, which has gone out of scope.

Sort of in response to tackling a complicated shawl (and trying to work on it when I had a migraine, which did not do well), I have cast on several simple projects. From a purple and white cotton washcloth (using a ballband pattern that came with the yarn) to the socks I’d started earlier to a multi-striped Thursday Afternoon Shawl by Kate Atherly [Link is to the pattern on Ravelry] that is using up my trove of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair wool (lovely stuff).

The beauty of my Scrappy Thursday Afternoon, is that while it gets longer, it also incrementally grows wider on one side, and starts doing a bend. And it’s that incremental change (and switching out yarn colors) that has me continuing with what is essentially a long ribbed scarf. It won’t get as long as a Dr. Who scarf, but mostly because I only have so many skeins of the colors I want to use.

Gearing up for spring

There’s snow on the ground, more forecast for later tonight. But… we have cut pussy willow branches in water, sitting on the kitchen counter (lovely fuzzy pussy “paws”)… and the Gardener says the forced bulbs should come up soonish. I’m looking at recipes for fastnachts and Jeck cookies. And there has been a little bit of prep for Valentine’s Day.

Once the sleet melts, maybe I’ll have a look outside again. But I’m uninterested in searching for anconites under the snow while sleet is still pelting down.

snow drops for hint of spring
The snowdrops aren’t here yet, but the yellow aconite is underneath sleet right now.

How about you? Are you in the mood for spring, or are you enjoying every second of winter sports and freezing ice in interesting shapes?

Current Knitting – 2019

Now that I’m finally back from my cold…. I finished off a hat (begun in 2018) near the beginning of January. And now I’m on to a pair of socks….

The hat is the Hervor Cap from Viking Patterns for Knitting. Ravelry pattern link here. Oddly enough, the pattern makes a hat that’s a little bit too large for me, and maybe a little bit smaller than expected for my recipient.

My new cast-on project are socks, using a pattern I turn to again and again – the Madder Ribbed Sock from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

I think I’ll probably make the Hervor Cap again and again, maybe working on how the top of the pattern looks…. Although, all the reverse stockinette (purling) was a bit boring. The cabling was wonderful fun. Yarn was great too (Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted) So I wonder, what knitting pattern do you return to again and again?

Advent Calendar Day 21

Day 21 is a visit to the Strathmore Sculpture gardens. It’s a lovely place to visit, especially before a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert at the Strathmore Arts Centre right outside of Washington, DC. I hope to go back and enjoy the inside of the museum associated with the garden, since they have juried art shows, and other art exhibits indoors. If you’re visiting DC without a car, both gardens, mansion and the music venue are easily reached by a Metro stop.

Bird bath by unknown artist. Strathmore Sculpture Gardens, Bethesda, Maryland.

We’re getting close to the final days of Advent. Yes, I didn’t provide art every day like planned, mostly because work got in the way. We’ll see how much I get scheduled before I have to focus on further house staightening to hide evidence of Christmas prep. Here is bonus footage from a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performance. (It shows tour footage from when they got to perform in the UK.)


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