Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quiet Rainy Day

I like rain. I like rain a lot, and certainly more than I like snow, so when we start getting rain in Iowa, that means that spring is here. You could probably tell from the flowers blooming all over our garden, or the plethora of bees and birds that seem to be floating around dizzily here and there. But I like to tell by the rain.

There is nothing better, in my opinion, than sitting in a freshly cleaned room on a rainy day, whilst reading a good book or knitting, or, if you can manage it, reading and knitting at the same time. While it's not a great day for photographs (which is why you get another painting. This one is from my Badlands Trip in 2007.) It's excellent weather for appreciating the smell of the air outside, sitting indoors with a window cracked, and getting things done.

I feel like I've gotten a lot 'done' lately. School is coming to a close for another year (thank goodness) and all of our projects have to be turned in and done, all of our finals will soon be wrapped up and finished, and then we can pack everything in our lives up and move somewhere, whether it's home, or to a new apartment, or for a few people, to the first place in their new, graduated existences. Spring is a beacon of new movement and new things and new beginnings. Hopefully it'll be the beginning of more blog writing, project-making and inward focusing for me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Warm Breeze, at Last

The day outside is gorgeous. Gorgeous! Sunny and fantastic. I'm sick but I'm enjoying the weather from inside by having a nice breeze flutter through my room while I sit around in my favorite chair and knit and surf Ravelry. Recently, I won a contest on the Feeling Stitchy blog, a blog that features embroidery and cross stitching from really really talented people. For awhile now, I've been admiring embroidery but I haven't picked it up. I don't know anyone personally who embroiders and I haven't really had the time for another hobby. The contest was for a book - The Kitchen Linens book. It's all about embroidered kitchen linens, printed kitchen towels and such, and is written by a 'collector of vintage fabrics'. (Wish I had that job.) Anyway, Feeling Stitchy was giving away a copy of the book, and having one of those comment drawings, so I made a comment about my grandmother's embroideries (we have a few around the house on various things) and mine ended up being the random winning comment! Exciting! I won the book and about five colors of embroidery thread, as well as a linen kitchen towel. Fantastic. It arrived in the mail yesterday and while I haven't had a chance to really read through the book yet, I'm hoping this weekend will be a good time to do so.

Meanwhile, I've been knitting up a storm on the Coraline. I think I'm going to lengthen in just a little bit (it asks for 94 rows of stockinette but I'm going to take it up to 114), which will be a better length on my body, but unfortunately will take a little longer. Then will come the fun part of the sleeves and yoke and all that. After some nice, long, mindless knitting I'm certainly ready for something a little more interesting. I've taken a picture of my progress so far, sitting on one of the vintage card table chairs that I'm hoping my mom will let me turn into my new apartment's dining set when I move in. I love these chairs and table! They're lightweight wood with seafoam green plastic seats and would look so adorable with little cushions and placemats. I love the way the sunlight coming in through the window makes this cardigan look like liquid gold. Silky Malabrigo is a very luxurious yarn - you should all try it, for sure. Especially on a sunny day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

But at least there's no ice. The snowy winter seems at long last to be approaching an end. All day today it rained, and my mood was pretty close to the weather, for much of the morning. At work, there was nothing to do. All my classes today were lectures and remarkably boring ones. I have enough homework that I could very reasonably be up until ten o' clock.

But the hope of spring, and freedom from another year of school, is just around the corner. Finals are less than three weeks away and then it's a long summer of work and counting down the days until I visit Los Angeles again (hopefully in July.) Every spring I make a list of things that I hope to accomplish over the summertime. They're usually trivial, silly things - but they're always attainable. I want to be golden tan, the natural way (meaning, via the sun). I want to do Pilates, go on a bike ride, and go on a long walk at least once a week. I want to eat a full serving of fruit and drink the required amount of water every day. I would like to teach myself how to do a perfect French manicure. I want to sew my first quilt and do some embroidery.

They're silly enough goals, but they're summer goals. And that's what I love about them most. What do you all hope to do for summer, this year?

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Personal Day

I'm not really feeling very well this morning. After I resigned from my sorority, I started this back-and-forth commute from Marshalltown to Ames - it's about 45 minutes, all in all, with parking and bus riding. This means that two days out of the week I get up at 5:30 am, and the other two I get up at 6:30 am. (I'm sure some of you are out there smirking, since this is a normal time for you to wake up, but I have discovered that I am not even close to being a morning person.)

After a relatively busy and sleepless weekend (foolish, foolish!), I feel quite utterly like complete crap this morning, and just wanted to crawl back into bed the whole time I was getting ready. My stomach, no doubt reacting to the up and down sleep schedule, is protesting with some general queasiness, and I decided that it might just be better to call into work and school and stay at home today. This means that in between doing laundry and sleeping there's a good chance I can actually get some knitting done! Hurrah! The only issue is that I don't really know what to knit at all.

"But you have four on the needles," you may say, glancing towards my sidebar with obvious disapproval. In fact, this is not the case. I have four, and they are on pairs of needles, but in fact, they are not of knitting satisfaction right now. The Shalom cardigan, which is lovely, requires some thinking. And I'm not really in the mood for thinking. The MalTravelers scarf is a continuing project you'll hear about when it's finished - and right now it's literally not in my hands, but travelling across the country to various people. My Vaila, which I was so terribly excited about, doesn't fit correctly and has to be modified for a top-down rather than bottom-up raglan. So it too, requires much too much thinking at the moment. The Noble Cowl? Lovely, made with some test yarn from Malabrigo - Silky Merino in test color Archangel, as is pictured above - but it's lace. Lace! What am I thinking?

I want to knit something useful but not difficult, something that won't give me a headache and isn't too simple... any ideas? What are your favorite patterns for early spring (with a winter chill, it's still cold out) that you'd like to recommend? 

As for today? I think I'll start my Coraline sweater - it's a lot of stockinette at the beginning, which makes it a good idea, for now.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Some Small Sanity

I'm writing this quick, actually on my lunch break at work. It seems like everything I love has had to be pushed into little squares of time this week - on drives to and from school, I listen to the music I love. When I go home, I look at the yarn I love (I have no time to knit it). And when I'm on my lunch break from work, I read the blogs that I love.

I don't feel bad not writing on here. Especially knowing that there is a big long list of links for those of you who wish you had something to read, other than to just look at my same posts, over and over.

But this weekend should be a little less hectic. Perhaps I'll be able to sit down and tell you all I have to say.