Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Flashback

Remember this red sweater? Last summer when we were in Virginia, I started a red swingy garter stitch sweater. I wasn't happy with it despite the fact that I had only had a few inches of the sleeve to go before I finished the entire sweater! After a brief timeout, I frogged the whole sweater. This delighted the kiddos, since I had the largest yarn ball when I was done. With renewed intentions, I brought the yarn with me again this time. I had decided to just knit an Annabel sweater.

As soon as I finished the last bit of knitting on my Leaves of Grass blanket and had even woven in the ends, I cast on for my reclaimed sweater. It is such lovely yarn, and it deserved a lovely sweater that I would actually wear. I still am unsure about the style for my figure. I could have done an offset front like my original sweater, but I decided to just follow the pattern as written. I have some buttons from Jenny the Potter, which I bought last year at Maryland Sheep and Wool, that I think they will be perfect. I am working on the body of the sweater now. It does knit up quickly.

I finished Sweet Tooth this week and have started back in on The Sandcastle Girls. I enjoyed Sweet Tooth, although I had the ending figured out quite early in the reading. I am only about a third of the way through The Sandcastle Girls and am already captivated. The story is about multiple generations within a family in Massachusetts and their stories over the years. They have Armenian roots and the tale flashes between a young woman from Boston working in Syria with her father and the man she meets there, to her grand-daughter in modern day America. It is quite good thus far. I also finished my audiobook, which was another Chris Bohjalian book, Before You Know Kindness. This one was the tale of a family and the trauma that occurs when lies, varied lifestyles and love intermingle. It was an interesting read full of complex characters and issues. Next up for my ears is Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Too early to tell with this book. More about it next week.

So, for those of you knitting along with Ginny, how was your week? Any new knitting or reading? Have you ever frogged a completed project? Were you happy with the one? Do tell.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Very Good Day

Yesterday was a really good day. The kind that fills you up and puts a spring in your step. It is what happens when you spend time with a good friend. I am lucky to have some amazing people in my life, and yesterday I spent time with one of them, wandering the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. It was so nice to have time to leisurely look at the artwork and just talk (the kiddos stayed home with Dave).

I miss my friend, Nancy. She has such an amazing spirit full of gentle kindness and understanding as well as quite a bit of humor. Although we are friends from Arizona, she and her family have moved to Maryland. Prior to this I haven't had to say good-bye. Trips to the D.C. area have meant we would still see each other. Now that our trip for the year is over, I have to say good-bye. I am sad, but oh so happy we had a day to spend together talking and laughing. It truly was the best kind of day.

** I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words about my inclusion in Kindred. I am still overwhelmed by your kindness.

** I love my red shoes although they look a bit like Ronald McDonald's footwear. I wore them yesterday and after many hours walking and standing I must admit that they don't love my feet as much as I love them. Ouch - sore toes.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

I am a writer

I am a writer. It has taken me a long time to call myself that. I am not a writer who is paid, or any good for that matter, but I am a writer. I have kept this blog to chronicle our days for seven years. In that time I have written many blog posts. I always dismiss them. The tidbits of our days are mere reflections on our time. The posts aren't real writing. At least I never thought so, until recently.

Over the last year, I have thought more and more about the written word. I find myself jotting things down as I see them or dream them. I wake up early and hide in the bathroom scribbling furiously in my notebook. With a bit of prodding from a friend, I decided to submit a piece to the print magazine, Kindred. It was accepted. I am excited and emboldened.

The newest issue of Kindred has doubled in size and is so full of goodness that I encourage you to check it out. This second issue is available for preorder now with shipment at the end of the month. You can also see my name in lights on the contributor page.

Friday, March 08, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Snow Day

We were supposed to have accumulation. One last hurrah before the onset of spring and our return to Arizona. My kiddos were ecstatic. Eamon bounded out of bed early to check outside. No snow yet. Their afternoon gem class was cancelled; the library and all city offices were closed. Daddy even worked from home. Everyone was prepared for S N O W!

And snow is what we had throughout the day. Big, fluffy flakes of snow fell from the sky. We gathered on the balcony to snatch a few as they fell. We cuddled under blankets reading, drawing and watching movies. The kiddos dreamed of snowballs, snowmen and sledding. We watched to see how many inches we would have. Their spirits fell a bit as the snow quickly melted as soon as it hit the ground. They were hopeful. But no accumulation this time, just the beauty of watching it fall, which is sometimes enough for this desert crew.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Side Projects

It isn't finished. It should be, but the size of the blanket makes it tough to take along on our adventures. I have less than a quarter of the edging to finish. Today calls for SNOW, which means we will be snuggled up indoors. In between reading books, playing games, making art, and checking on snow accumulation, there will be some finishing of this blanket. It seems like a perfect day to find ourselves wrapped up in its loveliness to stay warm.

The idea of adventuring without a knitting project just wouldn't do this week. With the size of the blanket daunting, I instead cast on for a take along hat. I have become a fan of Stephen West's patterns, and this is his newest Kex hat pattern. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes tweed as a more economical option (the original calls for Brooklyn Tweed). The hat utilizes slipped stitches to make lines amid the colorful striping. It is reversible, which I also like. The only problem was that it is a very quick knit! I finished in two days. My notes are here.

I picked up and finished Nightwoods this week. It helps my reading that I have been running on the treadmill each morning. I desperately hate the treadmill for its monotony, so I read to pass the time. In the time it takes to run a 5K, I can read a good bit of my book. I had started The Sandcastle Girls, but it is an actual book which is harder to manage. I prefer something on my ereader, which is why I picked Nightwoods. The book was fairly good. Someone in the Yarn Along mentioned it. My current treadmill read is Sweet Tooth. I am enjoying it thus far. It was another Yarn Along mention. I am quite pleased to be actually finishing books with my new reading method. Plus I get my run in.

What are you working on this week? Any interesting new patterns or yarns you are using? What about your book? I am always on the lookout for something new? Do tell.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Hardcore Parkour

This week we headed to the Hirshhorn Museum for a little taste of modern art. We have looked at the outdoor sculptures several times, but never gone inside. This visit was on a cold and blustery day, so we were very happy when we entered the warm museum. The museum was between installations, so we only had the basement and third floor to explore. As we wandered the third floor, we talked all about art and individual creations. The kiddos were impressed by objects which appeared more attainable to their skill-set. They loved a huge blue painting. The depth and color of it were inspiring, but we all thought we might be able to recreate it. Of course, Aine, in her wisdom, said it wouldn't be displayed at the museum because they already had a blue painting. She suggested we use a different color.

Eamon kept us abreast of which pieces were donated by Hirshhorn from his private collection. He also made sure we connected various pieces to the same artist. This was perfect, because we could see the use of different medium by one individual. He noticed the work of Ai Weiwei. This artist crafted the large zodiac statues outside in the museum atrium, which enthralled us all with their detail. Inside Eamon found a much different piece by Weiwei which utilized light, beading and a metal structure.
The best part for the kiddos was the basement. In addition to marveling at a stick of butter and a column of Peep-yellow Madonnas, they really enjoyed Black Box Democracia. This moving-image installation focused topically on a team of traceurs (parkour athletes). This group of young men flipped, ran, jumped and showed off their parkour skills in the confines of a cemetery in Madrid, Spain. The kiddos were not concerned with the socio-political portions of the piece. They loved the skills of these parkour enthusiasts. On three full screens, they watched the whole piece. I pointed out a bit of imagery that had significance to the artists, but their lasting memory was the movement.

Their interest in the moving-image display carried over to home and a subsequent day at the park. At home we researched the piece a bit more, reading about the artists, the cemetery and parkour. We also listened to an interview. At the park each of them took to the uninhabited skate park to practice their parkour skills. They have been parkouring for a long time, but their skills are no where near those of the film. They scootered, climbed, jumped and slid. I can tell this exhibit will have a lasting effect - at least in the realm of hardcore parkour.

Friday, March 01, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.