Ok…these aren’t pictures of my home. I really wish they were. Inspired by SO many pictures like these I started cleaning my place. Cleaning isn’t really the word, purging is more like the word. It’s day five, about two dozen bags of “stuff” has left my home (for the record my home is a one bedroom apartment). I can’t even understand where that much stuff came from. And I still have more to go through. Half of the stuff under the bed, a large box of who-knows-what-sentimental-JUNK in the back corner of the closet, the hall closet, the suitcases (I almost never pack anything empty, that’s like storing air…not logical).
I was able to toss, recycle, or donate a huge…I mean IMPOSSIBLY huge amount of things that I had kept because they had ‘sentimental value’. Going back through them I noticed some of those things had negative sentimental value, failed Physics GRE anyone? Others were associated with events and memories I remember on a regular basis and so have no need for an object to prompt them, others were pleasantly surprising; I had forgotten that I did very well in quantum mechanics class in my second year of undergrad and that I used to write decent prose. I now commit those facts to memory…well to the collective memory of the internet. I was able to let go of most of the physical junk that thus far served as my only memory of those events (every shred of coursework from college, a journal I kept in the last year of high school re: college prep).
I also tossed zip disks…anyone remember those? CD-RW’s…photos of basically nothing, all dark, distorted and not even depicting anything discernible. Why oh why had I saved these things in the first place??? I know that I did so, because there were the old photos and CDs and papers and arcade coins and dozens of movie ticket stubs and and and.
I can’t name ONE specific thing that brought about a violent desire to purge myself of STUFF, but I am grateful, if a bit discouraged by a lack of obvious progress. Many things have inspired in the last year…year and a half…three years. Books. Doing a 365 art project. More books. Blogs. In my recent past I’ve been able to confront and make peace with not only my past memories, good and bad, but also with my process of dealing with them. The boxes full of movie ticket stubs and blurry dark pictures were a manifestation of my world view: my past was important, but difficult to unpack, process, and keep tidy. Now by reliving a lot of my past I can experience memories in a controlled, productive way. Letting go of the bad, cherishing the good, and not feeling any need to keep junk (but distinguishing junk from treasures and things I want to pass on), and yes, keeping some of those movie ticket stubs to put in my collages.
What mementos do you hoard? How do you store them? When do you toss them, if ever?
First off, how cute is my snail friend? Is this the most artistic shot? No, but it does remind me of the herd of snails that live on the side wall of my apartment complex’s garage. Depending on the weather and time of day I go to the car there are varying sizes, locations, and amounts of snails. Some are rather large, some teeny tiny. Sometimes they’re very high up, sometimes in the middle, sometimes low on the wall. But they persist no matter what, unaffected by external judgements. Ok, those are all very positive and inspiring things, but the reason my snail friend is up there is just because snails make me happy and seem epically care free and I want to share with you now MY carefree, recently formed habits that help keep the house tidy. Ready?
small easy habits that make a happier house:
- If you’re in the kitchen waiting on the microwave or oven or something else, do some dishes, empty the dishwasher, or wipe that one spot of jam on the counter…otherwise you’d be just standing there doing nothing. I find I can usually empty or reload the entire dishwasher while waiting on the electric kettle for instance.
- If you subscribe to magazines take out the little fliers in there while walking back from the mailbox, then they won’t fall out or annoy you later when you’re actually reading your magazine.
- If you’re going from one room to another, take something with you that belongs where you’re going and not where you are (ex: if I’m going from the living room to the bedroom I take with me the sweater I left on the couch to put in the closet)
- Hack yourself in every possible way; Set reminders on your phone, put items where they are used instead of where they are traditionally put (ex: I keep nail clippers and floss in the living room because I know I’ll get hang nails and I know if I have floss at hand EVERYwhere I am more likely to use it), use smaller dishes to eat less, etc. etc. etc.
What little strategies do you use to keep your home and mind tidy?
I seriously cannot believe it’s already June, that’s halfway through the year! That’s the month before my birthday! Ugh, so crazy. Well, I have few complaints for this year so far.
Last month I finished an old UFO, and 6 baby hats of varying sizes, very satisfying. This month…I guess more baby hats. Also I’m attempting to design a yoga tank, let’s see if I can get it made this month, fingers crossed.
I am so happy with this scarf I made my friend for her b-day! Well, it DID turn out a bit longer than I thought (gauge, foiled again!) What’s even better is it got the most enthusiastic reception of any knitted gift I’ve ever given. I’m so happy we’re all happy, yay!
Finished Twinkle Toes
Looking good right? This is where we are as of today. I haven’t actually knit on them for nearly a week, I’m afraid I’m stuck in a scifi book and it’s just too good. Oh, and also life gets in the way, natch. Since the last posting, you can see, I did end up casting on the second sock. Really it’s the best way for so many reasons. I knit both socks from cast on to completion of the heel individually, then put them both on the long circ and have been knitting the legs simultaneously. A very smart move considering I plan to make them knee-length (knock on wood), so I’ll have to add increases to the leg at a certain point (I’ve decided it’ll be 7″, in case anyone’s curious). I better shake a leg (ha!) if I’m to finish these by the end of the month.
In other news, it was a yarny weekend, love it! Found Yarnitudes on a Saturday afternoon drive around Sonoma. It really was a nice store, with a nice warm heater in the middle of the large room. Lovely! Couldn’t help but get a few things. The yarn is Cascade Venezia Sport in color 178 (a dark dusty teal).
Then today I picked up Vogue Knitting’s current issue at a sweet little place in Half Moon Bay, Harbor Books and Gallery. It has been a WHILE since I bought any mags! I also got some fascinating earrings at the book store, random but awesome. (pictures to come later).
Oh, and lest I forget, there was also a knitting shop in the Harbor Village mall, wherein I did enter but decided not to binge any more, so no purchases.
I’ve been searching for this month’s pattern for a few weeks now, and I’ve downloaded tons of sock patterns. I intended all along to use the green Heritage my lovely sister gifted me for Christmas. At last I realized, because I want long stocking-like socks, that a toe up pattern would be best in order to maximize usage of yarn and so on.
Then the real bad news, I finally cast on a swatch… and my gauge was 25 sts/4in! What?? On sock yarn? In fairness I was using #4′s, and that’s because those are the smallest Dreamz tips and I didn’t want to use DPN’s. Oh did I forget to mention I felt like magic loopin’ these despite never having tried the technique? Of course I wanted that.
And finally, the cherry on top would have been magic looping toe ups 2 at a time! Well let me kill the suspense now and say that ain’t gonna happen. Oh, I cast them on 2-at-a-time…and that was it. I could NOT figure it out whatsoever. After crying over a tangled mess for a few minutes I realized the futility of it all and decided it really would be faster if I just got down to making at least one sock at a time, at least that was doable.
So here we are, day after cast on, with one toe finished and a foot started. I knit the toe exactly as stated in the pattern, same stitch count, but with 2 strands of yarn because I KNOW I wear out toes like mad on all my socks. Time will tell if that was enough.
Finished Carie (with my mods) yesterday and tonight I wore it to a Boy Scout event, yay! In retrospect I might have washed it first, it sheds like a long-haired cat! And I wore it over a black shirt, pretty unwise. Also, and I saw this coming, the cabled waist is fairly tight, it wasn’t particularly comfortable to wear it closed and luckily it looks ok open. Next time I’ll pick up extra stitches for applied cables for sure.
Maybe washing and blocking will ease the waist, as well as the heinous shedding. Fingers crossed.
Ok, I started swatching with some really bulky yarn my family brought me from their holiday trip to Argentina. It was going great, the yarn is a great marled red and the strands are basically an i-cord. PERFECT for a February project, so I thought. Well it turns out I have only 300 yds of the stuff, which it seems would be barely not enough for a vest. Also I got lazy about designing such a vest, at least in time to meet my end of the month deadline.
So instead I decided to make this
From a yarn I got in Argentina over a year ago. This one is an off-white color and a mix of an eyelash strand and a single ply bulky strand. I had swatched for exactly this project with the needles called for and with that yarn months ago, but my gauge was way too small. Happily I recently decided to get #17 tips for my knit picks interchangeable needle set and the gauge came out really close (close enough for me anyway). I think the project will turn out very different from the original because of the ridiculously different texture of the yarn, but we shall see. I even had the opportunity to get a nice rhinestone button that I think will add something to the sweater.
Yes! Last night I cast off my January resolution project, which I started on the 29th, yikes! It was a real quick chunky hate that I totally improvised the entire making of (did swatch for gauge for the band). It did turn out a little too long for it’s wide width, lesson learned.
It does fit my hair inside it comfortably when it’s up in a ponytail, and today I put it on over a shower cap to develop some hair color. Awesome. Though it’s a bit long for a normal hat it’s just what I wanted for putting my hair in. And the materials cost less than $5! The year is off to a great start. Good thing because tomorrow I better get started on deciding what February’s project is going to be.
Books I finished
Why We Make Mistakes
Man and His Symbols
Brave New World
Dimensional Shift: First Step
Your Brain on Food
Pride and Prejudice