Category Archives: thoughts

Simpler

It all started with this post, but the idea of simplified holidays has been floating around in my mind for a while. Like that post, my family is in a kind of enforced “spending strike” this year (a single income in downtown Toronto only going so far these days) and, while we’re not homesteaders, we’re doing a pretty decent job at urban frugality. But the holiday season just has so many expectations upon it — whether self-placed or external — and are wrapped into ideas of “more”.

So I’m just letting go.

I’ve let go of the idea of Christmas knitting. Sure, some people might get something handmade for Christmas. But not everyone.

I’ve let go if trying to get “the perfect gift”. My family will appreciate what we find for them, but the quest for that one, super-special something is just too elusive this year.

I’ve let go of entertaining. I miss our large parties, but with two kids under three some quieter evenings with smaller groups just make more sense. No hors d’oeuvres necessary.

I’ve let go of having a tree (this one was a big one for me). Once again this year, we won’t be in our own home for the big days, so instead of spending too much on a tree we won’t even be sitting around, we’re just putting up some decorations around the house and are hoping that the tree at grandma’s has room for a few extra ornaments on the bottom branches to let the littles place something on the tree they’ll be seeing Christmas morning.

I’m letting go of expectations in favour of finding what really counts.. Soule Mama just posted about this same process, of finding the special within the simple. I like this. Sensible, but special. Simpler.

Here’s hoping it makes the holidays pass a bit more sanely…

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Four

Today’s my blogiversay. Four — 4! — years ago I entered  the blogosphere as a fully-participating member.

That’s why I joined: to participate in the community I was starting to know through the blogs I read. I felt like if I was going to comment on someone’s post, that they should be able to check out who was reading them.

I still do: that’s why I keep a Facebook account dispite the terrible interface and questionable copyright stuff, why I’m on Twitter regardless of any need to “market” myself, why Ravelry is revolutionary beyind its massive databases. It’s about communication.

I’m really grateful for this blog these past four years. Through blogging, I’ve made friends I’ve never met, and I’ve met friends I never would have otherwise. I’ve gone outside my comfort zone, whether by knitting in public or designing my own projects or learning to spin. Through this blog, I’ve gotten job interviews and teaching gigs and published original designs. I’ve also gained skills, started a professional career, become a mother, experienced love and change and betrayal and recovery and a whole host of other stuff I don’t share in public media, and I’m sure there’s even more.

The blogosphere shifts; the world changes; time and goals and all are in flux. I’m still not entirely happy with this blog, or at least with my writing/organizing of it, and I’m sure it will continue to shift right along with everything else. But I’m really glad that it exists, and that I’m still “here”, four years later.

Here’s to another year!

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Filed under meta-blogging, rambling, thoughts

Begin as you mean to go on

I’ve blog-complained that I want a make-over, that things aren’t quite fitting here, that it may even seem like this here blog’s gone and kicked the bucket.

There have been major changes in my life over this past year or so, things that I want to explore in writing, things that I’d like to share with the world at large. Some huge life stuff that has come, that is happening, that we’ve just taken steps to follow. Some esoteric thoughts that float around my brain and write imaginary blog-posts about themselves. Some genuine finished knitted objects!

So, no more waiting until things are right, or until I have more time (ha!), or whatever. September 1st is as good a day as any to begin. Changes start now — they may be slow, they may not happen as I desired or inteded,, but they are happening.

*****
Note: the blog header. “Not Another Knitblog” was becoming literal, and thus no longer ironic or amusing. This will be a collection of the bits and pieces, possibly worthless to most but of interest to a few. Ephemeral.

I’ll be fixing up pages, links, etc when I get to it. Expect more changes, but not on any schedule :)

Anyone out there good with graphics? I just don’t possess the skill set (or software) to make a decent blog header. Want to make one for me? I’d be happy to repay in trade, be it yarn or a spindle or whatever. Let’s talk!

*****
Really huge important life change: Baby #2!

new-born Lorelei

Lorelei Linda was born on lucky Friday the 13th of August, at home, at 7:54pm. She weighed 7lbs exactly, and was 51cm long (and has far surpassed those measurements in the 19 days she’s been in the world since!). She is — surprise surprise — an entirely different baby than her sister was. Parenting a newborn and a toddler certainly has it’s challenges, but the whole family is doing really well! I hope to write up both my girl’s birth stories soon.

*****
So there we go. A new begining, or a continuation of this journey along a slightly different path. I wonder where it will go next…

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Top 3 Reasons I’m Not Blogging Lately

Reason #1: Baby

M @ 3mos

Yesterday she turned 3 months old. Can you believe it?!? Three whole months (13 weeks +2 days) have already passed since she joined our world and took over my life. I’m so amazed at how intensely she’s become a part of my world, at how much energy one tiny person can both contain and require of others, and at how completely in love with her I am!!

Reason #2: iPod Touch

iPod Touch

Dru went and got me the ultimate geek-girl-gadget for Christmas this year, and it has both become a near-indispensable tool and favorite toy for me! Many of the great things about the iPod Touch — touch-screen, portability, large file-storage capacity — mean that I can read email, surf the web, read e-books, listen to music & podcasts, etc… all while playing with / napping with / nursing the baby. However, it’s small touch-keyboard significantly reduces the amount of online typing I can do (or feel like doing). Which leads to…

Reason #3: Facebook / Twitter

These lovely little social applications/time sucks allow one to reach out to the world in tiny blog-bites. With these, I can post little tiny updates (type-able on the iPod!) and pretend that I’m still part of the blogosphere. Even though I’m totally not.
(You can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/aemmeleia)

Bonus Reason: Seriously Boring Knitting.

Dudes, it’s true. I’m ashamed. The knitter that once had many an interesting sock, colourwork mittens, the occasional sweater, and a minimum of one longterm-lacework project on the go has of late been making stunning forays into “great cats, if it’s going to be -20 I need a warmer baby hat NOW” and “if I have to walk with you in the sling from 8-10pm nightly, I’m going to make a stockinette sock so I don’t go mad“. Neither of which are very interesting in either the knitting nor the viewing. I know that in the interest of a complete Ravelry page, however, I really ought to photograph these tiny projects and share them here. If only my iPod had a built-in camera… ;)

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Things Finished

Finished: Work for 1 year.

Maternity leave has begun as of Monday. Most people consider this “early” (by which I mean I’m not due this week or anything), but I’m thinking about it as “on time” (by which I mean I think this is exactly the right time for me). Recognizing that I am an incredibly privileged woman with a strong job/union, an understanding work environment (which recognizes it’s stress levels), and a supportive partner, I am very grateful and glad that I can take this time in these last weeks before birth. While I have only got uncomfortable symptoms and no complications in this pregnancy, I still want to be both as strong as I can (mentally and physically) for the birth, and to have the healthiest baby I can grow. I plan on doing a lot of resting, a little bit of frivolity (High Tea, anyone?), and a huge amount of organizing/cleaning/prep work.

Finished: Tilted Duster

That’s right folks. I have been KNITTING. And now it is done!!!

Tiled Duster - collar

Pattern:Tilted Duster, by Norah Gaughn, from Interweave Knits Fall 2007 (cover project!)
Yarn: Fibranatura Mermaid (42% cotton, 35% superwash merino wool, 12% silk & 11% seacell)
Needles: 5.5mm Addi Turbos
Notions: 4 Yew Wood buttons; 1 hook-and-eye closure
Started: Early August, 2008
Finished: October 1, 2008
Both yarn and buttons were purchased at the Purple Purl

This sweater is a huge accomplishment for me! First off, you should know that this really is the first sweater I’ve ever knit for myself that has turned out at all. One has been utter crap, the other, gorgeous as it was, once washed was destined to never go on my body (oh Gatsby Girl, how I miss you!). I knit a sweater for my sister that was an atrocity. I knit an aran sweater for my father that turned out quite well (about a year late, though). Really, Dru’s Cobblestone is about the only sweater that’s been knit in a timely fashion and has turned out well — until now!

I think that, pregnant or not, 2 months is a respectable time-frame for a larger project. I definitely think that the Addis helped speed things along, too :) Mostly because this was the first time I tried knitting both sleeves at once along the circs, which ensured that the sleeves were both symmetrical and both finished at the same time. I also knit the sleeves before I started the ‘skirt’ portion, so once that was done all I had to do was the collar and the sewing. It might be a mental trick, but it worked: the project seemed to go at a good pace.

There are a few issues with this sweater, don’t get me wrong: the armscye is way strange (something I could ‘fix’ if it were sewing, but will just have to keep in mind for further knitted garments), the fronts are a bit small and the back a bit large, and the sleeves came out a bit long. But it fits pretty well overall, and I like having sleeves that can cover my wrists well! The only modification I’ve made has been to add a small hook-and-eye closure where the two angles of the front come together, to keep things neat.

Best of all, it really is the perfect maternity sweater to show of the baby-belly!

Tilted Duster - front

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Filed under FOs, knitting, sweaters, thoughts

Neither Left not Right

I know I haven’t been writing here too often at all recently, and usually I’ve kept this blog a space fairly clear of politics in general. But election time looms, both for Canada and the USA (though I know there are many Canadians who’d rather have a US vote this time around!), and there are things that need to be said. Things that, thankfully, have been put into words far more eloquently and succinctly than I could!

So please, read Arduous‘ post about de-politicizing environmental issues. (Then go read her back-posts, because she’s a very interesting blogger!)

I very much support what she has written here; that there are some issues that we shouldn’t allow to be turned into a Left vs. Right standpoint. Issues that affect everyone (both within and without of our own borders). Issues that we should not allow the politicians to use to sway our votes in their favour, but rather use to turn their thoughts to how they can best serve their electorates.

The state of the environment is one of these issues. Gender equality is another (and likewise ‘racial’ equality). These are things that belong to, that have effects on, each and every citizen regardless of ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’ leanings. So no matter who you will be voting for this October or November, take a moment to think on what Arduous has said, on ways you can encourage the de-politicization of crucial matters, and on the issues that you will take no compromise for — no matter who gets elected.

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