Silent Reading


Kym reminded me today was Silent Poetry Reading Day, which got me to thinking about the various poets I enjoy reading and what I would like you to silently read to yourself. It could have been Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Wendell Barry or Edna St. Vincent Millay. It could also have been William Carlos Williams, or Shakespeare, for that matter. But, I decided on one of my very favorites and one I can count on is one of your favorites, too, Emily Dickinson. 


How happy is the little stone
That rambles in the road alone, 
And doesn't care about careers, 
And exigencies never fears;
Whose coat of elemental brown
A passing universe put on;
And independent as the sun, 
Associates or glows alone, 
Fulfilling absolute decree
In casual simplicity. 

~Emily Dickinson



3TT - January


If you've been reading my musings of the last 14 years you'll know I do not like January, but this January does not deserve a bad rap for the usually bad reputation of past January's. There may have been a week or so of inversion, but overall she was warmer, softer, a little more generous, and seemed to blossom into a new, happier self. But, GOOD-BYE, JANUARY!

1.The amaryllis that came into my life were real show offs and I'm glad there were chronicled throughout the month. The show continues into February as Crimson's second stem is in full bloom and the third is just starting to show signs of opening. I told Kym I plan to buy a dozen bulbs next year, as  I would like to have a real amaryllis forest for years end.

2. Happily, I finished a sweater in January and received yarn for a second! My arms used to ache after hours at work. Typing at an uncomfortable desk was not good for them (or for me), BUT, those day are over and I can now knit when I like. My hands and arms can even do a little needlepoint (sometimes), and stitch (which I do daily with Vicki), as well as knit, knit, knit. 

3. Thank you, Mary, for introducing me to the Collect App and encouraging me to take one picture a day (at least). On a couple of occasions I've had to take last minute pics before heading to bed, but, overall, I enjoy finding moments that bring delight and joy. This year I'm also trying to collect and organize my pictures on Flickr and Instagram. 

All that is left to say is HELLO, FEBRUARY!!  I love your light and your bluer skies. You might even bring in a little more snow. Your a good month, February. 

Carole's got a few more participants of 3TT over on her blog. Take a look!

My Unraveled Mess


The photo may show a little bit of over-committing. Ever since I finished my last sweater I have had delusions of grandeur, as I once again feel as if I can be called a real knitter again! Fugue in Mosiac Miner is buried by the swatch for Sunday Morning, by the Electric sock, and by my stitching (almost too dark to see). AND there are three books; Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ties, by Domenico Starnone (husband of Elena Ferrrante), plus under all that, is A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucy Berlin. I've already read it once, loved it, but my book group picked Lucy's book to read in February and I am happy to reread. 

I guess it's no wonder I'm feeling like I have a lot on my plate even without my watercolour class or a Month of Letters, which starts Thursday. How lucky I am that it's all stuff I WANT to do, love to do, and can do two at a time. I love to read (audio format) and knit. I love to socialize and knit (easy knits like socks). And I love to just sit and read, book (or Kindle) in hand, quietly turning the pages, totally absorb by a story I can only imagine. And, I like to sit and knit, quietly watching as the stitches form, and relax into the rhythms of the movement. 

I wonder if I should go tackle the dusting or vacuum the floor? NOT REALLY! 

Do you over commit to projects (not WIPs) and books? I have a feeling I know the answer to that question! 

As always, I am Unraveling with Kat and friends. 

What's Up - Or Weekending


Thursday afternoon we got a call from Smith's cousin to say he was in town for three days to ski and would like to meet for dinner. We quickly regrouped, as we had planned a night out for our 38th wedding anniversary, and happily met Jeff for dinner. You can see the family resemblance, no? It was fun to catch up, eat up some really good seafood, and commiserate on our miserable snow year. We're less than half what we should be this time of year, but that's another story. Jeff and his friends still had a great time given the snow we had that day.

Much of my weekend was spent with camnesia, a malady I often suffer from, but that only means I'm living more in the moment (methinks). Friday we went to a play (Don't Drink the Water) at a regional theater in a town just north of Salt Lake. (Thanks, Cheryl!) The play was corny, the characters funny, and we enjoyed the silliness and laughed a lot. 


Earlier in the week the Sunday Knits newsletter arrived and the minute I opened it up I knew I'd found my next sweater. I had started a something gray sweater and decided it didn't suit my mood. Then I found a pattern and yarn in my stash, this time dark gray, and thought I'd enjoy knitting Merle, but when Sunday Knits new pattern Sunday Morning came along it hit all my buttons and I broke down Friday morning and ordered the kit, which arrived Monday! In Delft. I'm in the mood for yarn the color of spring! 


Saturday I spent the afternoon immersing myself in the Liz Steel watercolour class. My head is swimming with water and pigment, brushes and paper, lines and puddles and my lack of control over all the above. I feel as if I am not absorbing much. My attempts at control seem to fall far short of "good", but I am determined I'll keep practicing, I know someday I'll find my own style. Regardless of ability, I find the pursuit of control to be fun and challenging. The amaryllis picture there as distraction. 


Sunday evening I had the pleasure of meeting one of my long time blog friends, Lauren W. Our conversation picked up as if we'd been face to face the day before. Meeting friends for the first time, but feeling as if you've known each other all your life, and talking the night away, well, that's what having a blog does. Lauren and I started blogging around the same time, 2004. You may remember Project Spectrum, one of the many projects bloggers thought up as a way to learn and challenge ourselves. PS was Lauren's baby and we had a great time coming up with blog posts for the colors in a color wheel. Those were the days, my friends. Despite walking away from her blog we have stayed friends on Instagram (which is my favorite SM) and Goodreads (my runner up). How thrilled I was that she came to town and we were able to spend an evening together. 

Happy Monday Tuesday, everyone.

You Gotta See This

There is grace, laced with anticipation, as this stunning amaryllis shows off more beautifully than I imagined. She is a show stopper and to think there are two more stems with flowers coming, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I will have more of this beauty to watch well into February. 


The sweet, charming elegance of a petite double stemmed overachieving soft pink amaryllis is daily eye candy. Six small flowers balance perfectly on her stem, and to think there is still another set of blossoms to come. I am full of awe. 


The deep red, shot with white, each petal perfectly outlined, the stamens reaching, swooping elegantly out of the center-this amaryllis is the most beautiful of any I've ever had (which, in reality) is few, but I think I have one that will be hard to top. With her three stems the show will continue for a few weeks to come and I will be watching every step of the way. 


Amaryllis watch this year has been a joy and has fulfilled my wildest dreams!  Happy Weekend, everyone. 

One, Two, Three

This could be a Throwback Thursday, as well as a Three Things Thursday. Last week I looked at my stash closet and thought it might need a bit o'organizing. As it turned out, I did not do anything with my 3 bins of stash, but I did find a box of memorabilia I hadn't looked through in awhile. 


Inside I found my mother's eyeglasses and, according to the label, she wore them when she was 14 years old. Mom's name and place of residence are also typed on the label. The feeling I get in my chest when going through memorabilia is priceless. It's mix of joy, sadness, love, and a flood of memories. Mom drove us, her children, by the old house she'd lived in at that time. I remember the car trip very well. The house was big white Victorian, once a grand house, that had been broken down into various apartments, now in a bad part of town. Shortly after our quick trip past the house it was torn down. 


Also inside the box was the sweater my dad had worn for a portrait about the time he and mom were engaged. He was 20 years old. The sweater was locally made of an unknown fiber, one that will last long after everyone of us has gone. 


The sweater, and the little bootie below, took me on a search for the photograph album my sister had created for each member of our family.  I think my dad was very handsome. My parents were married in the spring of 1949 and in the spring of 1950 I came along. This is my 6 month portrait and I feel fortunate to be old enough that I have a hand-painted photograph. Not that I like being old, but you know what I mean, right? Surely color film did away with that profession.

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Don't you think I'm cute? I do! All the color on this photograph, including every single polkadot, is painted. I am wearing the red and white felt shoes, of which only one remains. These three items spark that joy everyone talks about and they will be in my possession until I am gone. The box is large and full of treasures. I wonder what else I can dig up. 

Imagining Unraveled


A couple of years ago I bought an Alabama Chanin Lata T-shirt, which has languished off and on. The last few months I have stitched the outlines of each leaf on all four pieces; front, back and both sleeves. That adds up to A LOT of leaves. When Vicki and Kym took their epic journey to Florence  Alabama for a an AC workshop I found myself inspired by their posts. Vicki showed several pictures of the sample books she found exciting and Kym's post here had a picture of a stitched leaf that sent off all sorts of ideas in my head. The possibilities of what I could do to embellish all those leaves was suddenly endless. I have all the AC books and they are also full of inspiration. It may take me the whole year, but I would like to have a finished T-shirt on December 31st. My T may well have to be a project on which I stitch on every day of the year. 

After finishing my last book, Nutshell, it took me a few days to decide on the next book to read. In the end, it was  an audio I'd purchased a long time ago, but that had not read made it to the top of the pile. Half of a Yellow Sun has been on my TBR list for too long, so it was time to dive in. 

I am all but Unraveled with Kat and friends

In The Red


As Smith and I contemplated the best place for a photo shoot, Smith came up with the brilliant idea to head to Lone Star and use their amazing green wall. The temperature was 55, a far cry from the below freeing temps we're currently experiencing. My only instruction was to make sure he remember to take pictures of the sweater, the sole reason were were there (well, not the SOLE reason, but the MAIN reason, as we also had lunch). 


The first thing he did was lop off my head, but continued on to a rather good photo shoot. Brickyard is one of the best and most comfortable sweaters I've ever knit and worn. Elizabeth Doherty is an excellent pattern writer and a consummate designer. This pattern was easy to follow and interesting to knit. I loved the way the yoke was constructed with short row shaping and exacting row by row instruction. The detail on the pattern, the bricked stitch pattern of the yoke,  the lateral braid which separates the yoke from the body, and the faux seams on the body and sleeves add so much to the overall beauty and interest of the design.


Knitting this sweater was a pleasure, as I never had to wonder  what to do next or how to do any of the techniques Elizabeth used. It was fun, actually fun and interesting to knit this beautiful sweater. Of course, there is Kim's excellent yarn.  I used Emma in the colorway Clara Bow. One thing about pictures is they do not show the subtly of the dyed yarn. 

To ensure the yarn did not pool I alternated skeins every couple of rows while knitting the body in the round. The dyelots were very close and I found there wasn't much difference from one skein to the next. I wish you could see the rich, yet subtly quality of the yarn, but my phone camera is doing the best it can against this vibrant green wall (maybe not the best choice). 


In any case, I'm thrilled with Brickyard, her style, her fit, and the joy she brought while I knit. Brickyard is another reason I love being retired, as I was actually able to spend more time knitting and finished her in two months time. Fast for me, wonderful for me. Happy am I! 


The big news of our weekend is that Saturday was the snowiest day of our winter! We woke to several inches of snow, thrilled that the nature had decided it was our turn to revel in the "white stuff". Our mountains have been brown and bare, the ski resorts barely able to open, and we have all been worried, but also enjoying our balmy temperatures to the fullest. 


This is the first pure white mountain picture I've been able to snap all winter! Smith and I sat back, canceled a few plans and enjoyed a day of puttering around the house. As it turned out the roads were no problem and 8" of snow isn't quite "all that", but we enjoyed the day nonetheless. 



I spent much of the day in my "office" and since the most excellent amaryllis resides there, too, I took a copious number of pictures.  She doesn't have a bad side and my thrill is that she has two more healthy shoots growing quickly. Along with the elegant pink blossoms in the dining room, I'll have blossoms well into February. Already I have plans for an even bigger amaryllis forest next year.  Her beauty was quite a distraction while I worked on my watercolor class, did a bit of bookwork, and looking through my mail, but I still got a lot of work accomplished because of this snow day. 


I'll set pride aside to show you my first attempt at watercolor and sketching from my Sketch Now Watercolor class. Controlling the amount of water on my brush is proving a little challenging, but since I'm only beginning I'm giving myself a break and going through all the exercises several times. Even if I'm not a great watercolorist, I'm having a super good time. 


One of my favorite parts of the day is when mail arrives. Saturday was a very good day as I got a note from a no-longer-blogging friend, a package from my sister, six postcards from the far reaches of the planet earth, and couple of Christmas/New Year cards (it's never too late). Last year, two of my sisters took a trip to Europe and visited The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. From each location they sent postcards (so much fun to get postcards from my sisters!) a couple of which arrived after they'd come home, but it was nice to know they thought of me while traveling to such beautiful places. In the mail Saturday was a desk calendar, just the style I like, with pictures of them while visiting many colorful and iconic spots. 

The best thing about this unexpected day at home is it included knitting, reading and all of the above, and morphed into an evening of watching The Crown and having a delicious dinner with Smith (he had the day off!). I can't help but feel very grateful for my life. 

Much Ado


Can you stand another picture of an amaryllis? I hope so as I can't stop taking pictures of my various beauties. This lovely amaryllis monster happens to be red with velvety edges that just don't quite show in the photo. It is the most luscious color. I'm dying to see it fully open. She has 4 blossom on this stem and two more stems growing.

Along with a few other people, I have been playing around with the Google Arts and Culture app. My favorite part is upon opening the app you'll find several extensive articles on various arts or crafts. The first day I opened the app I found this informative article on Yodoe Umberlla's.  I have long been fascinated by the beautiful paper and bamboo creations and learn so much about the craftsmanship involved with each step. 

Yesterday I came across this article on Frida Kahlo's Wardrobe. I don't know about you, but Frida is one of my favorite artists and I enjoyed reading about her clothing and her life, her pain and sorrows. She had a style all her own. Which I apparently don't as you can see I was compared to "Micky" by the app. Quite a resemblance! Of the four or five choices, this was the one that made me laugh out loud. 


And, last but not least, I give you my Year of Colour by Makelight, via Instagram. Usually, I don't post often on Instagram (this year will be different as I am posting daily) so I only had a few "dots". Mostly I post pictures of my mountain which has either blue sky above or is shrouded in gray. My year of color is just as I would expect!