Challenge.

I’m sort of superstitious about goals. Resolutions. Challenges.

Setting them, declaring them, participating in them almost always ends in disappointment.

I guess it’s all a choice: deciding to try something and deciding to feel like a failure when I don’t embody an arbitrary idea of success.

But still, I tweeted this.

Did I build in enough loopholes? I think I did.

During our recent snow-in, I bought this book on an emergency trip to the grocery store—obviously to buy pears—and promptly made the blingy little magnetic bookmark to go with it.

I’ve set a 52-book goal in Goodreads for 2018, one book a week. I don’t think I’ve ever read that much in my life, but so far I’m doing okay, thanks to abridged audiobooks of Sue Grafton’s alphabet detective series.

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
  • B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton
  • Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
  • The Wonderling by Mira Bartók

(I highly recommend Jonny’s touching graphic book and his Twitter feed.)

I started listening to C is for Corpse, but when I finished weaving Sissy’s birthday scarf, I left off and never went back.

I’m not sure I can stick it out all the way through Y, but Kinsey Milhone is a narrator I’m willing to revisit.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech is my current read. This will be at least the second—if not third—time I’ve read this one. I can never remember anything about it except that it’s good.

The yarn for Sissy’s scarf (Lion Brand’s Shawl-in-a-Ball in Namaste) is the yarn I’ve already bought this year, but I’m looking forward to getting intimate with my yarn stash.

For now, I’m working on a cowl.

The yarn was clearance at Sheepskein’s in Newburgh, Indiana—and purchased in December, for the record! It is Araucanía Aysén. The stitch is called Little Tents, something I found in Barbara Walker’s first stitch treasury.

For now, I’m quite happy with reading from my shelves and yarning from my stash.

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New, again.

IMG_3370The gap between Christmas and the new year is always an interesting time. It is the lull after all the frantic holiday preparations—despite attempts at serenity—and before things return to “normal” with a whole new calendar.IMG_3299I like it…IMG_3442…mainly because school is still out, but the stress of the holidays is subsiding. But also, as I imagine most people do, I find it a time of both reflection and looking forward.IMG_3320Looking back on 2017, it is hard for me to put a finger on any one thing, any one feeling or event that defined it. I started out bitter and angry, and from that, this blog was born. Then in the spring, I found renewal and energy. I reacquainted myself with dyeing fiber and opened the Etsy shop. I introduced myself to embroidery. I worked almost maniacally churning out fiber goods, and then, the school year started.IMG_3360Being a teacher this year has been a whirlwind. During the first half of this calendar year—the second half of last school year—I became detached from the workday, which had become an existential drain on my psyche. That was a positive move. But when the new school year came around, I allowed it to require so much more of me. Yes, it was by choice. I began the year not detached, but invested. I went all in. And once you go all in with anything, backing off isn’t easy. And once you go all in with teaching, there is very little time for anything else.fullsizeoutput_183bSo the creativity and making—that which defined my springtime recovery—all but ceased.IMG_3361I did read a few books. These three very different ones come to mind: Stephen King’s IT, John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down, and Lindy West’s Shrill.IMG_3279Also, I did a little making in the form of these hats and mittens to donate.

(I know the hats are mostly not identifiable as such. I barely took progress pictures, much less ones of the final product.)IMG_3252IMG_3276IMG_2554fullsizeoutput_1839IMG_3388And then, when Christmas break snuck up on me, I threw myself into handmade Christmas presents.IMG_3414Felted coasters for my sister.fullsizeoutput_181bfullsizeoutput_181cHandwarmers for several.fullsizeoutput_1823fullsizeoutput_1818Woven scarf for my littlest niece.fullsizeoutput_1825fullsizeoutput_1824fullsizeoutput_181aCrocheted hats for my dad and brother-in-law.fullsizeoutput_180eCoffee cozies for my mom.fullsizeoutput_1802fullsizeoutput_1808fullsizeoutput_180cJumbo knitted blanket for my husband.fullsizeoutput_1863.jpegThen I found a new fun thing to do: LEGOS!fullsizeoutput_1812IMG_3519fullsizeoutput_180bAnd lastly, I’m going to try keeping a bullet journal in the new year. I’ve enjoyed setting it up over the past few days.fullsizeoutput_1811fullsizeoutput_180fIMG_3525See you in the new year!