Thursday, January 28, 2010

Um, Squee.

If you're here because of the irresistible force that is Lime & Violet, (because really, who can resist their power?  Not I, that's for damn sure) the post that they talked about on today's podcast is here.  (If you're here and you haven't discovered the Lime and Violet podcast yet, go. Go now. Discover them, drink their Kool-Aid.)

I briefly considered trying to be all cool about the fact that my wee blog was on their podcast today, but really, when one is already public about the fact that one plays the accordion...

I was listening to today's podcast on my iPod as I was making dinner.  As soon as I heard my name, I ran into the living room and plugged it into the stereo so Kev and I could listen together, and spent the whole time alternately squeeing and laughing and giggling and pointing at the iPod and pointing at him saying "That's you, honey! See how awesome you are? See?" (Um, I also totally overcooked the potatoes.)

Anyway, welcome to my little corner of blogland, hope you enjoy, and hope you come back. And thanks to L&V for the shout out.  You totally made my week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Forever Young

When I was a kid, I really liked my January birthday.  My birthday parties were usually tobaggoning, or skating on the duck pond at the park near our house, or, if the weather was prohibitive, bowling.  More importantly, if Santa didn't quite get the message that, no, really, I DID want an Easy Bake Oven above everything else on the list, I always had the birthday ask to fall back on.  Sort of a gift insurance policy.

In my teens and early twenties, I became less keen on it.  People - myself included - are still recovering from the over-indulgences and over-expenditures of the holidays, and are usually not into celebrating one more time.  It's cold out, the resolutions are still in full force, and we're in hibernation mode until spring.  Humbug, birthday-style.

My birthday is less of a big deal nowadays, and I find that it sneaks up on me more than it used to.  I don't think about it too much in terms of a celebration, but the one thing I do like about my birthdate is the new-ness of it: new year, new age for me.  I don't make New Year's resolutions.  But I do tend to spend the 16 days between New Year's Day and today reflecting on what's next for me, and this year is no exception.

Our recent trip to Arizona and the amount of time we spent with people well into their "golden years" there has coloured this reflection for me this year.  While I'm still many years away from my own retirement, spending so much time with people in theirs really got me thinking about it.  People say all the time that they never want to get old, but I don't think it's the getting old chronologically that is the problem.  Though I'm not keen on the idea of getting old physically, I'm not as concerned about that, either. I think for me it's that I never want to stop learning and, perhaps more importantly, I never want to stop wanting to learn.  I think that maybe the secret to the Fountain of Youth is actually not the fountain, but the search for it: not the water, but the thirst.

And so, this year:

I will learn to knit toe-up socks.  I've knit zillions of socks, but they've all been top down.

I will actually take the time to check gauge, measure, count, not fudge sleeve measurements, and do everything else necessary to knit a successful sweater for myself, a project that, in almost 10 years of knitting, I have yet to accomplish.

I will learn to golf. Kevin loves to golf, and has dreams of us golfing together when it's our turn to take advantage of the seniors' discounts.  For the many years until then, I also think the game will be very good for me:  the facts are that I do not like being Not-Good at things, and I will most likely be Not-Good at golf for a good long time.  I think it will help me learn patience, and self-acceptance, and be a good counterbalance to my perfectionist tendencies.  (Please remind me of this the first time I post with much profanity about how much I hate the stupid game and what I did to my stupid clubs on the stupid course because the stupid ball won't do as it's told.)

And more often, I will keep my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut.

I want to grow old without growing up.  I want to stay young in my mind and in my heart, and keep a sense of wonder about the world. I want to stay humble about my knowledge, and always thirsty for more. And I will start as I mean to go on.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What I Did on my Christmas Vacation

Christmas passed in even more than the usual whirlwind this year, and not just because of the Wollmeise.

Kevin's 88-year-old dad is what they call a "snowbird": one of those wise sorts that enjoys the very pleasant summers here on the Canadian prairie, then hightails it for southern climes come winter. (Like I said, wise sorts.)

Kevin's dad winters in Apache Junction, Arizona, and likes to have his vehicle while he's there, so, two days after Christmas, Kevin and I packed everything away and packed everything up and drove him down.

Winnipeg to Apache Junction is a three-day trip, which means, of course, plenty of absolutely guilt-free knitting time for yours truly.  It was actually the perfect circumstance for the newly acquired Wollmeise: normally, I think it would have been at extremely high risk of becoming Sacred Stash: yarn far too beautiful, too precious to ever knit up.  However, being that Kevin gave it to me, there was simply no way I could leave it behind without hurting his feelings. (I'll tell myself what I will.  I did it for him.  Really I did.)

I, somewhat anxiously, somewhat reluctantly wound up two skeins, packed up two patterns, my ipod, and all of my tools and settled into the backseat of the van. I cast on in Winnipeg, knit down through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, wee bits of Oklahoma and Texas, then across New Mexico and Arizona. I knit by a hot tub (OUTSIDE mind you), at a lovely clubhouse while Kev golfed 18 holes, and while I watched the Bowl games.

Behold, my first Wollmeise project.  I blocked it before I even unpacked.

Frost Diamonds by Stefanie Japel, Wollmeise Superwash in Oh Tannenbaum
(extra repeats of final chart to use up as much as possible)

Wanna see more?  Okay!


Hiya, 2010, so pleased to meet you.  I think we're going to get along just fine.