About


It’s a happy day today. Ruth of the blog Kangath Knits has nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award. I’m really honored and happy that such a fantastic blogger and designer (seriously, check out her designs, they are stunning) considers my blog deserving of recognition. The Liebster Award is not an award proper. There is no voting or applications. Liebster is German for “well-loved” and the purpose of it is to bring to light small blogs that aren’t well-known. I will pay it forward and recognize other bloggers I consider great and amazing. I’ll post my nominations some time next week.

The other part of the award involves responding to 11 questions that Ruth has posed to me and posting 11 random facts about myself. I’ll do the Q&A today, and the 11 facts will come in a later post. It’s actually really hard for me to think of 11 facts about myself that are actually somewhat interesting.

1. What kind of music do you like?

I like all kinds of music. Seriously. I can’t think of a single music genre which does not have some artists or subgenres that I enjoy. Yes that includes both the giant umbrellas of country and hip hop. Some of my favorite artists are Neko Case, Tegan and Sara, Lady Sovereign Elvis Costello, Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris, Nick Drake, The Beatles (yeah, that ones a cop out but I love them), The Sex Pistols, and Le Tigre. No, that is not a comprehensive list. I also listen to a lot of classical and musicals (I love Sondheim).

2. Do you prefer the weather to be so cold your nose hairs freeze or so hot you sweat just thinking about moving?

I definitely prefer cold weather. I can always put on a sweater (or seven). There isn’t much I can do when it’s too hot. Being a knitter, I am prepared for cold weather.

3. If you were forced to choose only one knitting technique to use for the rest of your life, would it be cabling, colorwork, or lace?

This is a really hard question, because I love all of these techniques. They all have so many applications and such diversity. But if I had to choose, I would choose lace. I just don’t think I could give up my crazy complicated lace shawls.

4. What was the last book you read?

I re-read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, because seeing the movie made me kind of nostalgic for the book.

5. How do you tie shoelaces?

I use the two loop method and double knot them. They still always come untied.

6. Name one thing you have done that will you never do again.

Start a land war in Asia? No, seriously, I am reluctant to say I’ll never do something, because you never know where you’ll end up in the future and how you may change. But if I can avoid it, I don’t think I’ll be teaching children ever again.

7. Describe your relationship with your camera.

I always forget to use it when something interesting is happening, which I regret later.

8. Apples or bananas?

Bananas. Unless I’m looking for something to pair with cheese.

9. What scares you?

The future. I’m always worried about time running out before I have time to achieve my dreams. Losing someone I love.

10. Name three knit designers whose work you admire.

It’s hard to pick just three. But I love Cookie A, Hannah Fettig, and Alana Dakos. As a bonus, I really love Syvia Harding and Romi Hill.

11. What do you like to do after a hard day?

Knit. Watch really good or really bad television and movies or go see a band a low-key bar with my sweetie and knit.

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I started this blog in the beginning of 2012 because I wanted to spend more time doing the things I love. I wanted to spend more time focusing on the things that made me happy.

I think I was largely successful in the endeavor. It’s not that 2012 didn’t have it’s challenges, because it really did. The last half of the year was particularly sad and challenging. I lost some people, and that was really hard. I have some ongoing health problems and I had some ups and downs with those.

But 2012 also brought a lot of joy. My beautiful nephew was born. My closest and dearest friendships continue to grow in wonderful ways. I grew so much as an artist and a knitter and an actress. I kept reminding myself that 2012 was going to be about doing what I love, thinking about what I love, and spending time on what I love. It helped, a lot, when life got hard. And I think it worked so well becuase I didn’t really make “resolutions” about changing my behavior. I decided to change my outlook and my attitude, and that worked for me.

I started looking at things I wanted to do or wanted to have and instead of saying “I wish I could,” I did it. Which is how I ended up taking acting classes, doing the shows I did, going to Craftcation, discovering knitting podcasts, learning all kinds of new knitting techniques, and…ummm….acquiring a lot of stash. I’m not super proud of that last one, but I’m not super ashamed of it either. I had never really let myself buy amazing yarn before, and it really does make me feel more inspired to have beautiful yarn to knit with. And I didn’t do anything like go into debt over yarn.

But I’m a little overwhelmed lately. I have a lot of commitments. I spent a lot of time dashing off from one thing to another, with very little space to breathe. I found myself getting impatient when I had to wait, because I felt like “I have things to do, let’s go!” Even if it was waiting for Ron to take pictures of the fall leaves. I think that’s all okay, but the manic pace wore me out.

In 2013, I want to focus on less being more. In 2012, I gave myself permission to do things that I loved. It was great, but it was unfocused. I did a lot of everything. I got a lot of everything. In 2013, I want to give myself permission to be a little more focused. I’m only going to do something or buy something if it’s absolutely impossible to live without. I’m going to focus on using what I do have. I’m going to knit out of my stash, spend more time at home with Ron, work on practicing the things I’ve learned over the year. I spent 2012 sort of filling up the well if you were–getting a lot of the tools and inspiration and skills I need for the future. 2013 is less about that and more about using what I have to the fullest.

That’s not to say I won’t take a class or buy a skein of yarn that makes my heart sing. But I’m being more focused on my long-term goals right now. By doing less, I can do more with what I have. And I can focus on what’s around me, all the people and the beauty that I am so lucky to have in my life. I can let that inspire me in a different way than the manic pace of 2012 did. 2013 is slowing down, and I’m pretty happy about that.

So I’ve noticed in the past year just how much space I give up to people and things I don’t like. Or don’t love. I have limited time and limited money, and yet I spend piles of that time and money on things I don’t like all that much. And I let people I don’t like occupy far too much mental real estate.

2012 is going to be the year this changes. No, I’m not doing anything like quitting my job to pursue a life of playing my ukulele and knitting and growing flowers. I mean, no, I don’t LOVE my job. But I need the security, the stability, the health insurance. And I figure that since my job, which is all right but I don’t love it, gets 40 to 50 hours of my time a week, the rest of my time should be spent doing things that are amazing. Things that I love.

So what DO I love?

1. My friends and family. The few people who truly love and support me for what I am. And I need to differentiate those people from everyone else, and stop caring about everyone else’s opinions of me.

2. Knitting. I love creating beautiful things out of yarn. I don’t like stressing about time commitments and quality, so I am going to focus on giving myself enough time to finish projects and on being patient with myself when I need to fix mistakes.

3. Music. I love singing. And playing my ukulele. And my guitar. And the piano. And playing with my bandmate. I am going to devote time to learning all of these instruments better and to working out more and more songs.

4. Theatre. I love being onstage with people and creating stories. I do not love the competitive, nasty, back-biting nonsense that happens so much in theatre. I do not love working with people who don’t love theatre as much as they love the idea that they are going to be stars. I’m going to only do shows I love, with people who love creating something as a team.

5. Writing. I do love writing and I need to do it more without worrying so much about quality. Being an avid reader means that I have very high standards about what is good. But I love the act of writing, so I need to do it more. Quality will come later.

6. The Earth. I love this world I live in and I need to do more to make sure it is good and cared for. That means working more toward a healthy planet. I have some terrible habits that are bad for the environment that I need to change.

7. Myself. I don’t mean that I love myself in a narcissistic way. But I spent years hating who I am, and to be honest, sometimes I still do. This manifests itself in some behaviors that are self-destructive, or at the very least indifferent to my health. That needs to stop. I will take care of myself and love myself and protect myself and give myself a good place to live and be.

8. Humanity. I don’t believe in any kind of god. I firmly believe that all we have in this short life we are given is each other. I need to do more to make the world better for the people in it. Really, this is an oblique way of talking about activism and political involvement.

So, that’s it. My project is to devote myself to what I love. And how have I done so far?

I rang in 2012 with wonderful friends–musicians who are just good people. I spent yesterday at a party with many of the same good people. Today I cleaned my room up, read some, learned a new song for my ukulele, and went to another party, with more good people. So far, so good.