Tuesday, December 16, 2014

lucky

Feeling pretty lucky, although lucky isn't the right word. I guess the word is grateful?

The semester is over and I'm still job hunting (but...two job interviews tomorrow, so we'll see!) and with all my free times, I have plans to do whatever I want. Free time is beautiful, and who knows how long I'll have it.

For example, this will hopefully be a scarf soon (knitted candle from favorite store in the world, Ikea):


 'tis the season, and I'm excited to be making new traditions and carrying out old ones...


Also guys, dying over this mirror find! Have been looking for a mirror for over our kitchen table for weeks but couldn't really afford the $70+ ones that I've seen that size. And then at Ikea (like I said, my favorite store) I found this one in the "as is" section. It used to be a medicine cabinet door, and it's nice and substantial and just the perfect size. And, it was $3.99!



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

the crazy thing about

this blog - I think of things to write down all the time. You wouldn't know it since I have been inactive here for months and months (years?) but it's true. And then I look at the blog, and wow I am not a fan of the way it looks. It is totally within my power to fix it up - or to switch to a blog base that has more possibility for personalization, but I haven't done it yet. And I need to.

being unemployed - I am unemployed by choice, which I recognize is a luxury not everyone has. I left my job(s) in Kentucky, to come to Denver with Eric, and am actively looking for a new job. Hopefully one that will move me up just a little bit more in the library field. I don't regret coming here for one second, although I hate being unemployed. I'm in a great city for my field, so I just need to keep working on finding jobs and applying. I have all kinds of free time now. But I feel like I get nothing done.... like I get less done now than I did while I was working consistently. I obviously love free time, but I desperately crave something big (like a job) to structure my time.

a new apartment - Once things are "in their place" I find that I am relatively lax on the rest of it. Pictures still need to be hung. Our walls are bare. I feel "at home" when I am here but we are still lacking much needed personality in just about every room. I do have plans, but I am stalled because of.....

money - I need it (who doesn't?) but I so wish it weren't a life factor.

my birthday - There are some people who try to hide their birthday from everyone else and some people who are super excited to mark another year with a special day just for them. I am in the latter camp. I look forward to my birthday every year, especially because I love this time of year. Tomorrow I turn 24 and this year what I really need are solid life goals. My education is in place. My career is (almost) in place (except for the not-yet-having-a-job thing). I want and need to focus on the rest of what being 24 means, and what getting older in this life will mean.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

the 24 Loaves Project

My 24th birthday is in a few days, so I've been considering a few simple projects to complete in my 24th year. Following in the footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers, Elise, I've come up with the 24 Loaves project.

The mission: To create 24 unique loaves of bread before I turn 25 on December 11, 2015, and document it all here.

It is a simple, easy project that I am really looking forward to. One of my birthday presents from my mom this year was a new bread machine. I've been using her old machine from the early 90s for years, and am really excited to have my own. I've already made a couple of loaves to test it out (the first one was a dudd; I have no idea why! the second one tasted perfect but was sunken) and I still need to perfect baking bread at a high altitude.

Friday, November 14, 2014

where I'm at

I have spent the last 30 minutes of this morning sipping hot tea, turning the heel on a pair of socks, and reading through the posts on this blog. I miss blogging and I've actually thought about starting a new blog to write, but I'm going to come back to this blog. I thought I shouldn't because I don't have just knitting to talk about anymore....but does that matter? My blog, my rules, right? ;)

So here's my situation now: 10 days ago, I packed up my car with all my belongings (except my yarn - which I shipped ahead of time!) and my kitty Mollie and drove 1,208 miles from Northern Kentucky to Denver, Colorado.






I left my job and life to move halfway across the country to be with Eric, and there's not been one second where I've felt like it was the wrong decision.


I am currently looking for a job. We are lucky that the company Eric works for was able to transfer him to the Denver area. I am nearing the end of my 3rd semester for my online Master's Degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS).

And I hardly ever have time for crafts anymore. But I want a blog and a place to write down my thoughts, even when they aren't centered around knitting. Let's see how this goes.

Monday, December 23, 2013

my top nine reads of 2013

I am back with my end of the year book report. In 2013, I really enjoyed reading, at a pace and intensity I haven't experienced since high school. Some days I think there is hardly anything better than working at a library and being able to spend a few free moments here and there browsing the stacks and bringing home more books than I know what to do with.

In no particular order (except, actually, the order I read them in) my nine favorite books from the year:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I came to the Hunger Games series pretty late - which was mostly due to my resistance of its popularity (which I know is a silly thing when it comes to engaging stories, but I was stubborn). All the same, I knew I'd love it, and that I'd read it some day - and it was certainly a treat! I've still got to read the last two in the series, which is totally on my 2014 reading list.

Wool by Hugh Howey. This book was a game changer for me. I'd been in a reading slump (and have been for what feels like years) when I picked this monster of a book up and couldn't put it down. I loved it. It is an apocalyptic tale, of sorts, but I 100% recommend it even if you, like me, aren't really into sci-fi. You'll be in to this. There are two more books in this series - and they are top of my list for 2014!

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I needed to read this book, and I was so glad once I had. (Or, once I had listened to it, actually, it was an audiobook.) The author spent a year with her family of four eating only things they could grow them selves or get locally, and I am totally in the head space with the author - I agree this is the direction most of us need to be heading, and because of that I completely lapped it up. There are so many things this book taught me to strive for. Not to mention I now (still) have an overwhelming desire to raise chickens and make my own cheese and can hundreds of pounds of tomatoes in the summer.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. I read a lot of graphic novels, and a lot of them will roll out of my mind quickly, but this one is stuck. It's up there for me with Watchmen and Persepolis. Three separate story lines merge into one, and at the end of this short story (took me far less than 2 hours to read), I was struck with awe and a new outlook. That's not ordinary in a book, so you know it's special when it does happen.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I grew up on the Disney cartoon of Peter Pan, as well as the live action film with Mary Martin, but I'd never actually read the book! I loved it (especially the audiobook version read by Jim Dale - his voice is magical!), even though it moved slow at times and there was quite a lot of talk about dying and killing, which is something I don't like to pop up too much in children's books. But it is magical, and part of it, I am sure, is that the story is so nostalgic to me. It is truly worth a read, and absolutely worth a re-read once I have kids who are old enough to hear it. (Oh, my heart swoons at the thought of sharing my favorite stories with far-away children.)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. This book. This was my favorite book of the year. My favorite book in a very long time. I read it in less than 24 hours (it's well under 200 pages) and I felt the heartbroken at the end, simply because it was over and I didn't want to leave the world. I'd never been a Neil Gaiman fan, but this converted me and I can't wait to get my hands on everything he has ever written. This book is mythical, and magical, and yet so normal and plausible. I can imagine it happening for real, I can almost strain in certain parts of the story to feel like it happened, once, to me.

The World's Strongest Librarian by Joshua Hanagarne. Working in libraries and striving to one day (soon!) go to library school, I literally jump at any and all memoirs about other people's experiences in libraries. This was a good one. It had a few long stretches of things I wasn't expecting, but it was honest and clear and it made me love what I do. And anything that is all those things is certainly a good thing.

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I listened to all 5 of these books on tape throughout the year, and I loved the series. It's geared towards children (the library shelves it in the juvenile section), but I think of it as more of a young adult series. There are harsh topics touched on, in gentler and more slight ways than the Harry Potter series does, but it's certainly similar, and still an incredible growing up story. I'd love to go through the adventures with Percy again some day.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved the Lord of the Rings movies when they came out in the early 2000s, but I was immediately thrown off when I tried to read the books. They were dense and rambly and my pre-teen brain couldn't wrap it's head around the poetry. So I had always written The Hobbit off for the same reasons - but I picked it up again. And read it, with a brain that could finally appreciate the beauty of the storytelling just as much as it could appreciate the story. It was a wonderful book, and I look forward to reading the rest of Tolkien's work in the future!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

stepping out of 2013

I really need to start afresh here on the blog. I feel so bogged down every time I log in to write that I never end up posting anything. I'm trying to wipe out my expectations for what this blog is and does and who it reaches, and really turn it back into what it was in the beginning - something I can just record my thoughts and daily life and crafty moments on.

My head is buzzing with ideas for 2014. This year felt a lot like a stepping stone - in some ways, nothing got accomplished. But in most ways, I've set up pathways for things to happen in 2014. I'm ready. So ready. 2013 was necessary to bridge the gap between 2012 (where a lot of things changed) and 2014 (where things are still changing, but evolving into a more permanent place).

Instead of extensively looking back on this year as it draws to a close in the next week (as I am wont to do), I'd really like to look ahead.

I am still thinking pretty solidly about my goals and dreams for the coming year. Grad school. Reading challenges. Running challenges. Yoga challenges. Knitting challenges. Cooking challenges. Spinning challenges. I want to spend time on the things that I want to spend time on. It sound so simple - but so much of my time in the past has been spent doing the things I think I should be doing. I need to switch focus and cut out the excess and leave time for everything important.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FO: Baby Sophisticate

My cousin is having a baby! The last time my cousin had a baby (different cousin!), I made a sweater, too. And baby Mallory just turned two this month!

And now it is baby Ali's turn. A sophisticated little sweater for a sophisticated little boy.

Baby sweaters are always fun to make. This one knit up super quickly (though I spread out the actual knitting over many months!), and it's obviously very cute and very worth the small amount of time I spent knitting it. Baby sweaters also don't have to be too perfect... I wasn't happy with the proportions on this sweater, the front buckled a bit weirdly, but for the most part this blocked out. It's such a little object, it's not going to make a big difference either way! It'll keep a baby warm, I know that for sure.


Pattern is the free and lovely Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down. Yarn is left over Cascade 220 superwash, in brown and green, knit on size 8 needles with love. Ravelry page here.