The machines at the pilates studio were old, well used, and on the verge of falling apart. New reformers have been on order for a few months, as the whole studio was remodeled and revamped at the end of last year. (More choices to get you moving!) The shipment was stalled a couple of times, but the new reformers finally arrived last week. If only I'd had my camera with me Saturday morning when I arrived for class, as the new machines had been installed! They look something like this, but with more bells and whistles. The first workout was TOUGH! I'm (somewhat) looking forward to upping my workout but, also, need to find balance. My "new" muscles keep me motivated. Feeling strong is awesome!
Perhaps I'm not a lady, as I'm going to talk about my stash.
For the past couple of years I've tried to glean my stash down to only the yarns I love and, at this point, it's down to its lowest point in years. Stash has a way of becoming undesirable in color and content, as well as, stale in style. While I would not call myself a minimalist, I would say I have tendencies--too much hording of anything unsettles me. Also, I like a clean slate, new choices, and moving on. I buy new, therefore, the old needs to be removed.
I'm down to one bin of sock yarn (gray bin), one for lace, and one for sweater quantities. All three bins are about 3/4s full and my goal is to keep them from filling up. However, acquisition is still happening, even with the desire to keep the stash from growing too out of hand.
The basket on the shelf is full of yarn purchased within the last year, as is the sweater quantity in the bag next to it. (I must ogle and fondle new skeins before adding them to the bins.) The funny thing is, most were acquired with the intent to knit right away (shawls or socks), but at this point, all have been shunted, for whatever reason, into the "knit at later date" category.
Not all of the yarn gleaned from the stash has not been knit by my hand. It may have been given away or sold, but the goal was removal and in that I've succeeded. There is no regret attached to ridding my stash of yarn, but once in awhile I've need to repair a knit and the leftover yarn is not on hand, the odds and ends going to friends who knit blankets of many colors. I'd rather see the yarn used than sit in my stash gathering dust.
This stash is still SABLE*, but it feels alright, plus I know there will be future acquisitions. It's what we do, as knitters. Yarn is what we love, what feeds the creative muse, and what delights us.
What's the state of your stash? Do you dare tell? I'll keep your secret, no worries!
*Stash beyond life expectancy.
~Friday night Moxie had another bad night. The fear we felt between us was palpable
~Our old guy was disoriented and poorly on Saturday, but by Sunday he had once again bounced back.
~Saturday was our 34th anniversary and we celebrated with dinner out, which ended with the most excellent chocolate cake (GF of course) on the planet.
~Sorry. We ate without thought for the picture of the glorious creation. I'll have it again on my birthday and will do my best not to suffer camnesia.
~Sunday the sun was shining (albeit through the haze) and the three of us went for a short walk. Moxie did well. The dreaded inversion is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups (which would be any living thing, imo).
~As you can see, Smith is the more photogenic of our duo. I'm wearing the Turn A Square I knit him a 5 years ago and have a snag in my Striped Study.
~We decided to conintue celebrating our 34th year and Smith brasied short ribs for dinner. We, admittedly, had an overly indulgent weekend.
After bad end to last week, and an up and down weekend, our Moxie has bounced back. We love our vet. Moxie is very skinny, even though he eats plenty. He often walks too slowly and acts confused, but at other times I moves quickly and walks farther than we expect, his head and tail up. He's 6 weeks from 16 years and we feel lucky he's still with us.
The weekend seems so long ago, but I spent it with friends either knitting or enjoying a meal. Sunday Cheryl's hubby helped Smith with some electrical work around the house and they were having so much fun, we decided to have dinner together after SnB. The serendipitous night out saved us from cooking dinner, which was an added bonus.
There are only a couple of evenings I have time to sit and knit, but I catch time when I can. SnB meetings, or other knitting gatherings, are my best chances to get a few stitches in, but I have the occasional evening in front of the TV to do a little more. I'm sticking to two projects. Even though, I thought I'd cast on one more project, I have not. The poor thing would not get any attention, so it may as well wait.
Above is the newest project on my needles and the easiest. It's Hayward from BT 12. I'm using Sunday Knits Nirvana3, which has been marinating in my stash for some time. The fabric is soft, elegant, and drapes beautifully. Everyone I know who has knit the pattern has raved about its wearability and casual style. I'm hopeful I'll like mine as well.
Hayward is the perfect pattern to knit as a foil for Acorn, with its soft yarn and easy knitting. I change when my hands get tired of the rustic and and move back when I feel a pang of guilt about Acorn taking so long. As soon as I finish knitting the front, and block it to check my gauge, I'll feel more comfortable about the fit. The back blocked out perfectly, so I'm fairly certain the front will, too. (There should be a picture of Acorn Trail in this post, but the day ran out too soon.)
Instead of taking the MLK holiday off, my office volunteers their time and labor to a local non-profit. Every year we give a few hours to an organization and every year we are awed by all they do for our community. This year the choice for our day of giving back was The National Ability Center in Park City.They work with people of all walks of life and all abilities, including Paralympians.
Some of the guys shoveled snow, while a few more of us cleaned the buses they use to transport people to other facilities in the area and to one of the nearby lakes. In the summer they have swimming, wake boarding, and other water activities available.
Other people changed the salt licks in the horse stalls and cleaned saddles and tackle. The horses enjoyed a snack while we enjoyed the sun on our faces. The valley is full of inversion and being in the clean air was a bonus of the day.
Just to be outdoors I volunteered to wash windows with a few of the others in our group. We must have washed 50 windows clean of winters grime, and while my hands started to freeze, it was wonderful to be outdoors in the fresh air.
Our group did everything we could to help for the day, including folding of brochures and sweep floors. It was a very rewarding day!
The Center has year round programs for people of all abilities and needs to discover their possibilities. If you, or anyone you know need their services, or would like to volunteer, I encourage you to contact them. They're known internationally and nationally, but not as much in Utah.
Last Saturday the sky started to clear of the storm that brought several a few feet to the higher elevations but left the valleys without much of a showing.
It didn't take long for the inversion to start building and now we're looking at the sun through haze. We're hoping for a storm, but there doesn't seem to be one on the horizon. Winter, winter! Where art thou?
It wasn't a chance encounter, nor was it a serendipitous happening (other than the sudden realization that I could take pictures, which sent me running for the camera). I've been scattering peanuts to attract scrub jays for a couple of years, which seems to have brought a pair to the trees outside my office window (as well as another pair at home).
The jay's have me peg, or I have them trained (as I like to tell myself) and once I hear their squawking I run out with a handful of peanuts, then sit back to enjoy the show.
You'd think I'd have tried before now to capture one in a photo, but yesterday the sun was shining, the sky was clear, and the jays plumage shone in the light. I suddenly realized they'd allow me to stand nearby.
Watching scrubs jays play, as they glide and sweep through the air, brings me particular pleasure. They're very good at hiding all the peanuts, chasing away the magpies, and keeping me entertained. Added to that, their plumage is made up of two of my favorite colors, blue and gray. We're a match made in heaven!
The other day, as I was opening the refrigerator door, I realized how important the words on the door were and why we saved them. A while back, when I was leaving the house before Smith arrived home, I quickly jotted the love note on a sticky and left it by the back door. He saved it by sticking it on the fridge door instead of tossing it out. It felt like a reciprocal love note.
The "Be Happy" card was a gift from my pilates instructor. The words of wisdom it imparts are not to be forgotten and, every once in awhile, I stop and read though the captions under the pictures, as it brightens my outlook and keeps me motivated. She is a positive person and, therefore, a positive influence.
One of the things I noticed during the New Years list making is that many a knitter stated they were going to knit what they wanted when they wanted. I heartily agree. (I believe I said it myself when I commenting on a blog or two.)
My usual MO is to keep the WIPs to a minimum, as I know I'm easily overwhelmed. However, lack diversity may be the reason for the recent bout of knitting ennui. I realized knitting only one project means I have nothing to bounce to if my hands become tired of Acorn's hard tweedy yarn. (I also have concerns about Acorn and the worry causes knitting paralysis. I am addressing the issue to see if it's real or imagined.)
So...in order to live by my non-resolution of 2014, I decided to let the startitis bug bite. I pulled an elegant cashmere yarn from the stash and knit it into a swatch. The gauge is right on the money for the sweater I've been dreaming of knitting, which means a cast on will be in my near future.
Since my arms are, for the most part, feeling better, I thought I'd return to the abandon sock and turn the heel. As of today, the heel has been turned and gusset stitches picked up. Progress will be slow, but there will be progress. I may even attempt a sock with sock yarn once this pair is finished. I put the TTL Mystery Sock button on my sidebar, but I don't think I'll cast on. One sock on the needles is my limit.
I had trouble deciding if I wanted to commit to a mystery shawl KAL, but once I saw the first clue (yesterday) I knew one of the yarns in my stash would work. This project is not pictured in the above picture, but another project will be cast on in the near future. (I will not try to keep up with the KAL.)
My happiness factor has improved, the ennui dissipated and I now have several lovely projects on my needles. I can knit what strikes my fancy at any given moment, as long as, my knitting bag isn't too heavy and everything stays inside.