8 of 52

In which I freely admit to skipping a week because I was reorganizing my room pursuant to the removal of a huge corner cabinet and that was more important than letting you know there was minimal progress on my other goals.  I’ve been finishing that reorganization and cleaning this week, so there still hasn’t been much progress.

But I am getting back on track:  I knit yesterday and brought that third scarf to 1/5 done.  I still aim for a March finish.  I also unearthed the February books and will get back to them after I publish this post and make the chicken salad for this week’s lunches.  I read extra in January, so I am still good for the year, but I am sure Sarah is waiting on my March selection, which I cannot in good conscience give her until I finish her February book.  But heads up, it will be A Wrinkle in Time, so I can see the movie with the book fresh in my head.

Speaking of movies, I saw Black Panther last weekend. It was entertaining, but I was unimpressed with the sociological message behind it. Or maybe the lack of same. There were vibrant Black characters, which I was glad to see, but viewed through my social work lens the conflict between the “good and peaceful” king and his “violent and bad” challenger just didn’t work. It tasted like a rehashing of the argument about whether marginalized peoples should protest quietly/peacefully or angrily/forcefully. The crisp, grammatical English spoken by the king juxtaposed against the more sloppy enunciation of the challenger was also frustrating.  It may be my own white ignorance, but I think the movie played to stereotypes of some white folk’s ideas of acceptable Blackness versus unacceptable Blackness. UGH! You can do better, Hollywood.  You need to do better.  Show us more strong Black characters without the Uncle Tom’s Cabin overlay.  The little scene after the credits started did a bit to alleviate my concerns, but how many people saw that? Our family was almost alone in the theater when that happened, but we never leave until the lights come up–most people scurry as soon as the credits start.

Yeah, I know that’s a controversial thing I said up there. Hate if you gotta hate, but keep it civil.

The other thing I spent time mulling this week was Aristotle’s quote: It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. I was am troubled by how many people I know who cannot do this. Won’t do this. Whichever, effect is the same.

In other entertainment news, we have new soundbars, one in my room and one in the living room.  They improve the television and music experience 167%. As the CNET review for the Vizio SB3621n-E8 said, “Just buy this.”

7 of 52

In which we have no pictures, because we haven’t finished any projects or books. Work has not been any “busier” but it has required more of my non-working time brain power, and I’ve been doing more things with the family. All good stuff, but it does cut into crafting time.

But. Let me tell you. I started learning a new skill this weekend. And finding out I’m good at something I’ve never tried before makes me happy. That’s all you get. Muhahaha!

6 of 52

In which we say TaDa!

Now, I realize this one is not quite as impressive, being a mere 8.5 feet, but here is my Fourth Doctor Scarf. Go me.

I’m a bit ahead of my knitting schedule, so I need to figure out what is going to happen next. Now, I’m a list maker by nature, and a social worker by profession. I know that I know that I know that what gets measured gets attained. With that in mind, I made this hobby tracking page for my BuJo in December:

You will see I had to cross out “weekend” because we had an area-wide snow day this week and I used it to knit. Also, I’m in a different relational space now and some of my weekends will be filled with fun stuff that doesn’t include crafting of any kind. (The boxes, empty and with dots, just indicate the 10th such action, so I don’t have to count by ones over and over.)

So here’s the deal, I can’t decide if I want to think of the year in quarters or sixths. Finishing my scarf so early in February brings this to the fore because it affects how I allocate my remaining craft days in February and possibly into March. So naturally, I’m talking it out on the blog.

Sixths makes it easier to track the one ofs, but quarters is best for everything else. I’m leaning toward quarters, and will probably take a couple days to consider this while I catch up on my reading. I know the chart says I’m ahead on that, but the book on my right which hasn’t been touched for four days assures me otherwise.

I’m guessing I’ll knit during the week and do other projects on the weekend for a couple of weeks. Well three weeks if we include next weekend which is one of the “fun stuff that doesn’t include crafting” I previously mentioned. Yeah, okay. By quarters. Take a couple of evenings to read, pick up the last Fourth Doctor Scarf midweek, and do a different hobby the weekend of the 24th. Thanks guys, you’ve been very helpful. I knew I could count on you!

5 of 52

In which we confess the things we aren’t giving a fuck about, but later

Does this look vaguely familiar? It should. This is a mini Fourth Doctor scarf, suitably sized for my five foot frame. It is going a bit quicker than the last one, being approximately half the size. I’m a hair over half way done with it.

Guys. I am bored with garter stitch. And these are not even colors I particularly like. But I am fangirling hard, and I NEED this scarf in my life, because reasons. Therefore, I am knitting on. There’s one more left after mine, and I am just gonna grit my teeth and plow through.

Here are the books I am reading. I broke my unannounced reading rule of one book at a time, because February got here before I finished Anansi Boys, and so I needed to start Sarah’s Cousins Book Club selection in a timely manner. I’m two chapters into both, and you can see from the post’s tag line that I am taking the material to heart already.

Now then, a discussion of things I now find worthy and unworthy of my personal fucks. I know you can’t wait to read this part. HA!

So, near the end of December, I decided that I wanted to do the following things on a daily basis in 2018:

  • Create things
  • Express appreciation to others
  • Haiku
  • Make music
  • Read
  • Write stories from my days

I even made myself a handy-dandy year long tracker for each item in my bullet journal.

Here’s what I notice I give a fuck about, because I do them at least five of seven days: Create, Express appreciation, Haiku, Read. I do not make music or write prose. I want to be a writer and musician, but I am not willing to consistently put my energy into these things. Perhaps because they aren’t concrete goals like knit 12 items and read 12 books. Perhaps because I have limited resources of time and find other things more enjoyable. Perhaps because I could do these things, but it would require running through my evenings with a timer in my hand and not interacting with my family and this is unacceptable to me. Maybe after my tangible creativity goals for the year are met. Maybe not. Maybe what I am getting around to on a regular basis is an accurate representation of what is actually important to me. And that’s okay. I can practice giving and not giving fucks any way that increases my personal life satisfaction.

4 of 52

In Which We Vow To Knit Smarter As you can see, I finished the first Fourth Doctor Scarf. I promise the recipient isn’t always as grumpy as he appears here. There have been a few shake-ups this week, and we’re all kinda trying to roll with the punches. You’ll note that I’m keeping my face out of this blog post. Here’s a picture of the giant scarf roll. This is a picture of the other side, and the proof that I need to knit smarter. That, my friends, is 104 ends that need weaving in. And you can’t even see the ones in the work itself where the yarn ball ran out in the middle of a stripe. Oi! Here’s 18 feet of jumbled up finished scarf. There’s really no way to get a picture of the whole thing laid out. I started a new book, third for the year; and picked my in-between project. I’ll be working on this until February 1st: I’ll start it tomorrow and may or may not get it finished by Wednesday night. Knitting will recommence Thursday. There was also working, a bit of cooking, and plenty of wine drinking. And that, dear reader, is your weekly update. One day ahead of schedule. Go me!

3 of 52

We’ll call this one “The Nope Edition.” Nope, I didn’t finish the Fourth Doctor Scarf, though I only have 72 rows to go. Nope, I didn’t finish Illusions, though another 20 minutes should do it. I did go to Frederick today, where I picked up another copy of Illusions for a friend, and this delightful yarn.

It’s wound into cakes and ready to become Edison by Lynn Di Cristina, and I can cast on as soon as I quit typing.

2 of 52

There has been knitting almost every day this week, and a big push yesterday. Here’s 15 feet of Fourth Doctor Scarf, with about 300 rows to go. If I’m super productive, it will be finished when you next see it.

There has also been reading. I finished Ella Minnow Pea, and started Illusions. It’s fairly short, so I expect to finish it this week as well. I’ve got longer books in my queue, but the shorter ones give me an early feeling of accomplishment which will help keep me motivated. Also, I promised my neighbor I’d get to this one quickly and pass it on to him.

There is no visual highlight for this week, which is not to say good things didn’t happen, just that they weren’t photographable. We’re talking about the gardens, weekend getaways, and how to find good work/home/relationship balance. And we’re trying to teach three teenagers and a preteen the arts of negotiation and consensus building. Wish us luck on that!

There has also been a bit of sadness. My second cat died a couple of days ago, two months after the first one. I’m not planning to re-catify. I need to focus on training the rude out of my dog.

1 of 52

So. Here I am, with a goal of 52 posts in 2018. There is no way I am going to try to bring you all up to speed on the last however many months it’s been. We’ll just start with current stories, the first of which has old antecedents. Last Christmas (that would be 2016) I gave out six knitting coupons “for a hand knitted item of your choice.” And one of the recipients said “Anything?” And I said “Sure,” because I love him and am also naïve. And then he said “a Fourth Doctor Scarf.” And then a second recipient changed her mind, and said she wanted that, too, but not full size. And then I said, “Well, I’ve been meaning to knit one for myself anyway, so three Fourth Doctor scarves it is!” Then I had a thyroid flare which aggravated my carpal tunnel to the point that I could not knit for about 10 months. But here, at long last, is the first of three Fourth Doctor scarves approaching the finish line. This one is full size. I’m 1492 rows in, a bit less than 600 rows to go.  Goal for the year: 12 finished pieces, six for others and six for me.  General craftiness goal:  At least 30 minutes on five of seven days.

Look at me go:  SMART goals in my personal life.  You’d almost think I write a lot of treatment plans or something.  Like a Social Worker.

This is what I am reading.  I bought two copies of this book, one for me and one for Sarah.  We’re trying again to start a long distance book club, since she’s moved back to North Carolina, and this book looked fun.   And it is!  I’m sure she’s finished by now because she reads much faster than I do.  I’ve finally accepted that I just don’t have the liberty to sit for hours and read on a regular basis, so I have cut my reading goal to an achievable 12 books this year.  A long way for my 50+ days, but more realistic.  Again, I aim for 30 minutes a day on five of seven days.

And this was the highlight of the week!  We attended the Midwinter Night’s Dream Masquerade Ball last night.  Here I am dancing, dressed as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  I somehow managed to lose about 5 pounds between the time my dress was fitted on Wednesday morning and putting it on for the party Saturday night.  No lie.   Not complaining, mind you, but it is a bit of a seamstress’s nightmare.

Oh, I said we:  Here I am with The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts, and The Cheshire Cat.