Word of the year 2014

Hey, I’ve been remembering to write 2014! Now watch, next time I need it, I will write 2013.

I’ve done the word of the year idea for the last two.

2012: rest

2013: (self-)discipline

It’s been interesting. This year, I think it will be…

2014: learn

Moving slow

It started, I think, with the Slow Food movement. It then moved on to lots of others things in the craft world. I’m not sure where else it is found specifically, but I generally find that the concept is around just in the general culture in the US right now.

Occasionally, I find it annoying, because I think some people misunderstand the point. On some of the quilt podcasts I enjoy, for example, Pam of Hip to be a Square keeps joking that she doesn’t really get into it, because she produces quilts and other projects regularly, at a fairly fast pace. Now, to me – and I have no idea if the general understanding of the slow movement is in agreement with this or its my own idea – but the actual speed of production has nothing to do with whether or not you are participating in the Slow movement. Because actual production speed is not the point, whether fast or slow. The difference is in the attitude.

No matter what speed you are producing at, I want to know:

  1. are you enjoying yourself?
  2. do you feel pressured to produce without much creativity?
  3. are you doing this because you want to or because you are “required” to?
  4. do you have sufficient time – I don’t care how MUCH time – to make the things you want to make and still immerse yourself in the process? To be creative?
  5. do you like the end product?

There are other questions you could ask and other ways you could phrase these. They are just a sampling of the questions that go along with it. But the fundamental point is the same: your attitude towards what you produce is what makes it a reflection of the slow movement or not. You and I could both be quilting for the same amount of time, you could make five quilts while I just made one, but if we both enjoyed the process thoroughly, then we did it plenty slow.

Project list, aka, ideas

I’ve got a lot of fiber projects going, and I suddenly realized that I am feeling slightly overwhelmed, so I need to re-establish my list so that I can see the priorities. So…

Items in progress

  1. Summerweight sweater, very close to being finished – take this to work
  2. Socks #29, just started, can be done leisurely, as they are not a high priority
  3. Pine & Ivy shawl, just need to plug along on it a little at a time
  4. Shelter sweater, need to focus a bit on numbers so that I can finish sleeves and put it together – take this to work
  5. Baby quilt, needed for end of October as baby gift
  6. Baby sweater, another kimono, to use up some yarn and have a gift ready
  7. Bedsize quilt, called Forgotten dreams, I think, which is ready to be quilted and then gifted. However, not a TOP priority
  8. Do next row on French braid quilt, which is meant eventually for my own twin bed.
  9. Purple leftovers quilt, which needs to be measure out a bit more precisely
  10. Blocking and/or washing of several knitted and handspun projects
  11. Need some knitted flowers to put on a baby hat for selling at Christmas craft fair
  12. Couture dress
  13. Dragged down old princess-seams dress
  14. Shorts in knit fabric
  15. Spinning Romney fleece, almost done
  16. Handspinning sampler project: finish Cheviot and move on to October sample
  17. Wool felt applique wall hanging

Bolded items are taking top priority.

Things I want to do that I haven’t really started yet

  1. Handweaving some more dishcloths, then some dishtowels: a warp wound but not on the loom
  2. Weaving a lacy stole on rigid heddle with some of my handspun, multiple skeins (gray wool, purple/gray bamboo/silk, beige camel/silk) – do a sample and/or get input from guild members
  3. Inkle loom weaving of shoe laces? playing with patterns, really
  4. Gray sweater with handspun
  5. Brown sweater with the Romney handspun mentioned above
  6. Purple Cascade yarn for cowl; hat from leftovers, I hope
  7. Leftover Shelter for hat? scarf?
  8. Creatively Dyed yarn for sweater
  9. Leicester longwool yarn for knitted stole
  10. Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn for orange raglan cardigan (use the Knitter’s handy book of top-down sweaters)
  11. Enough heavy laceweight or light fingering weight yarn for four or more shawls
  12. Another large quilt. I enjoyed the last one I made, and small quilts, though nice in the visual sense, are less useful.
  13. Sewing some knit shirts, skirts, and shorts. Maybe pants? New Craftsy class that I just bought!
  14. I want to sew some skirts and dresses, especially re-creating some of my favored clothes that are showing signs of wear.

    Other things demanding my attention

  1. Money needed for Thanksgiving travel
  2. Visit friend travel
  3. Roof replacement
  4. Antenna for tv
  5. Scrapbook work
  6. Organizing for 16th birthday celebration
  7. Electrician work
  8. Underclothing purchase
  9. Contact teenager re: mowing and tree-cutting
  10. Air conditioner maintenance

Ten on Tuesday: you always have in your car…

The Ten on Tuesday topic for 1/22 is 10 Things You Always Have In Your Car. Since my car is functionally my extended purse, this one struck me as entertaining to share. Of course, I am hideously late, but who cares? And yes, I know there are more than ten things.

  1. Box for books
  2. Bags
  3. Knife
  4. Change
  5. Lip balm
  6. maps, though I don’t use them as much nowadays
  7. jump cables
  8. tire pressure gauge
  9. coupons
  10. towel and washcloth
  11. Kleenex

Ten on Tuesday: how to beat winter

Ten on Tuesday topic for 1/29 is 10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs.

  1. Spend time outside in the sun.
  2. Make something.
  3. Spend time with people.
  4. Wear lots of vivid color. (Or spring color, depending on what suits you.)
  5. Bury yourself in a good book. Or two.
  6. Listen to some upbeat music.
  7. Exercise. Something sweaty and challenging. If you can do it outside in the sunshine, even better.
  8. Eat something with lots of flavorful spices.
  9. Take a class. Learn something new or go deeper into an old topic.
  10. Go to a concert or a dance or something like that.

Ten favorite holiday songs

Inspired by Carole Knits Ten on a Tuesday


  1. O come, O come, Emmanuelle – I don’t care what time of year it is, the music makes me shiver in a delightful way. It’s the minor key thing.
  2. I wonder as I wander – another minor key song – maybe there’s a theme here?
  3. Carol of the bells – I always adored the silvery sound of the bells
  4. Do you hear what I hear?
  5. Good King Wenceslaus – I always liked the fact that I was able to memorize the lyrics because it told a story
  6. White Christmas – it is just a classic
  7. Blue Christmas – we can’t leave Elvis out of this list
  8. The Christmas Song
  9. Frosty the Snowman – I always liked Frosty better than Rudolph
  10. Coventry Carol – I love the harmonies on this one; plus I just really like medieval music of this type.

Belt idea

What about a belt made of different yarns, all different shades of the same color, braided into a long belt?

I can imagine one that would match what I’m wearing.

Ten things I love to do on a weekend

Inspired by Carole Knits Ten on a Tuesday, I decided to join in for this one.

Ten things I love to do on a weekend

  1. Lay around and read a book
  2. Drink my coffee and breakfast leisurely on Saturday morning while laying around and reading a book
  3. Focus on a craft or two that day — sewing, quilting, weaving, spinning, knitting
  4. Go to the farmer’s market
  5. Watch my Netflix, or The Quilt Show, or something similar. I really don’t watch tv at all, otherwise.
  6. Spend a lengthy bit of time at the bookstore, leisurely sipping the latte and browsing for new authors.
  7. Listen to/Watch some podcasts
  8. Go out for a walk or biking without the pressure of exercise
  9. Hit a craft fair or fiber festival. I don’t even really have to buy anything, just be around the fiber stuff or people who like to make things
  10. Did I mention I love to lay around and read?

Math and craft

You never know when that math and geometry you learned as a child will come in handy.

Unfortunately, you don’t remember it very well.

I was listening to a podcast talk about hexagon quilts. I was inspired… except that I really don’t want to make a hexagon quilt of many, many little hexagons. I prefer larger ones. And I don’t particularly want to make a whole quilt of one, maybe just a wall-hanging. So I don’t want to go BUY a ruler for what may turn out to be less than an enduring project.

So, obviously, I should draft my own pattern.

Drawing hexagons is not exactly easy.

Eventually, after muddling through several failed attempts, I looked online. I was able to find this helpful, explanatory site, which triggered the point I had been missing. I needed to measure my angles from the sides, not the center. I was on the right track with what I had been trying, but not yet there. So now I have a pattern template for a hexagon for a 12” block.

Now what am I going to do with it?

I’ll add a picture later.

Just do it

I have a dear, younger relative who seems to be suffering from a fear of failure. He is old enough that he needs to be making some decisions on his own, but seems to be hesitant. He doesn’t even want to move out of the house of his parents — and they are actually pretty ready for him to go. When I talk to his mom, or my mom, I keep hearing, he just needs to do it, or something similar, but no one seems to be working with him to figure out how. Well, I do think his parents are working with him to the extent that he is in counseling. But does that counseling actually get practical about how to face a fear of failure?

I actually do have an idea to offer. One of the things that paralyzes so many is that they are overwhelmed by the hugeness of their goals. If you can’t see past this big thing in your way, how can you know what to do next? So my solution comes directly from the whole idea of project planning and GTD. Don’t think about the ultimate goal as one big thing. Instead, sit down and break it down into many small steps. And then do just that One Next Action. Small successes can build into big successes, but you have to know what the next step is.

Once you know what your next action is, then just do it is an answer. But until then, it is useless advice.

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