morning : noon : night :: 2.1






Revisiting this project, inspired by Heather over at Beauty That Moves. A daily meditation for the month of February. Image-only glimpses of morning, noon, and night. There will be word-friendly posts, as well, but February is beginning with such quiet; this seems a fitting way to honor it.


More of Everything Else, please


It didn’t feel like an Adventuring Sort of Day, even though Juno stalled just shy of letting us in on the snow dump. It was blustery and I felt chilled unless I was standing inches from the fire. Snow was swirling ’round outside our windows, but didn’t seem to land anywhere. It was a Chocolate Banana Muffins for Breakfast sort of Day, instead.


It was a taste of sunshine from the south kind of day, a daydreaming of green things while we pored over our notes from myriad seed catalogs and planned our garden sort of day.


The increase in daylight hours does all of us good, even in the thick of a winter storm. It sets me to thinking hopeful thoughts, whereas weeks ago, in the deepest darkness of the year, I struggled to get through even the most basic, every day tasks. Not least of all, it makes sledding more sparkly, and the boy likes to stay outside digging in the ice until dinnertime.


Less moping means more of Everything Else.


I revel in this mid-Winter time, when my brain is messy with ideas and there are so many unfinished projects around the house. Big projects, like our kitchen-in-progress, and the wee projects that remind us it’s okay to stop moving every once in a while and not feel guilty about it. If only for a few minutes in a day, while my eyes search and my fingers fit puzzle pieces together, I can move freely about in the brain clutter and start tidying up.

There’s a lot going on in there. I hope this is the year I figure out how to pick the choicest bits out and share them with the world.

flash poem: winter (1)

A little journaling exercise: write a poem. Now.



every breath like a needle-shard of crystal

some days


on other days

i turn upwards to the falling snow and let the chill wash over my face like a baptism

i am renewed

in a lonely sort of way


there is strength in numbers, the grey hairs tell me

as i watch them gather together in a growing mass

soon they will be a great force

maybe then, i will feel like one, too

perhaps not even in a lonely sort of way


in the meantime

they live under my hat

philosophizing and generally doing nothing of use


unlike the cleansing kiss of the snow, which gives me a useful red glow

swirling dream-like vision

and a cold I feel deep in my bones

the kind that aches

and lets me know that i am alive


but alive

Yarn Along: 2 (and shop news! and a class! and another class!)


I’m still working on a Christmas present, and I can see in the photo where I need to tighten up a join, but both of those things are okay. 12 stripes down, 7 to go, and the boy can probably wear it without dragging it on the ground in about…6 years. Even so, I’m determined to finish it this weekend just to have one more project down so I can start something else. Now that the sock yarn club is up and rolling and I’m saving at least one skein for myself every month, I think we can all safely guess I’ll be obsessed with knitting socks for the remainder of the year.

The January colorway, btw, is now available as dyed-to-order, and there are a few ready-to-ship on a delightful bamboo blend sock yarn (and handspun and fiber, as well) available in the shop.


Clicking the pic will transport you to the listing.


February’s colorway found its way into a sweet tutorial I wrote up for this week’s installment of Sparkle Craft on the Sparkle Stories blog, and will soon also be available as a regular dyed-to-order colorway. In the meantime, club members are enjoying it first, and a few extras found their way to Madison Wool.


Speaking of Madison Wool, I’ll be the instructor/MC at this year’s Snowball…a spinning technique/80s dance party/costume shindig where we’ll spin up some neon shoelaces, cut up fabric scraps and spin them while watching Pretty in Pink, and corespin our way to a pair of mismatched fingerless gloves. You in? Call Dayna at MadWool for details and to sign up!

And since this post seems to be all business, I’m scouting out spots to teach on a whirlwind trip late Spring/early Summer…Austin, Denver, Bay Area, Portland…please be in touch if we can make it happen for my new one-day workshop, Spinning Your Story (details soon…keeping it mysterious for now). If you have an idea for a venue or just want to say, YES, I’d love to take your class, drop me a note!

I pretty much derailed my own Yarn Along post with news and such, but I think the book stack speaks for itself. A little Spring planning, a little for-pleasure, a little oooh-the-new-Granta-just-came-in-the-mail, and a little psychology about raising boys. Oh, and Jane Austen knitting patterns. A pretty accurate slice of mid-Winter life, right there, I guess…if you add a cup of chai and the fact that I have really no time to read any of this right now, but try to manage a couple pages here and there in odd moments of breathing space.

Happy Thursday!


Four: 52




the 52 project.
Portraits of my main squeeze(s) every week.

Suddenly, you are aware of making an impression. Perhaps, it is because you understand that I don’t just keep images for you and for myself. I share them. Or, I could be reading too much into it, and you are simply maturing more quickly than I can keep up. You would rather share your truth than a silly tongue-out face to cover it up. It’s hard to get a candid shot of you, anymore. I have hardly any time to line up my trigger finger, and you will turn, beaming in my direction.

How you’ve put up with me this week (and last), I do not know. I did everything I could to fend it off this year, but the winter melancholy was overpowering. Your smile and your laughter have gone a long way to prevent me from going completely under.

It’s almost embarrassing to be so predictable. Mid-to-late January gets me every year. It tells me I’m aiming to jump too high, that I’m investing too many of my hopes and dreams into a shiny new year, and that I’m just setting myself up for a crushing disappointment. I don’t know why I fall for it. I don’t have to listen.

Tomorrow, though,…tomorrow January’s voice will stop. The gentle encouragement of February will release me. We’ll really plan the garden, the sap will start to flow, the days will continue to grow longer, and I will still have my hopes and dreams. I may forget them when I feel smothered under January’s dark cloak, but I’ll still be clutching the whole lot of them when I come around and find myself in the light.

Today, on repeat: It’s okay. It’s all okay.

Try, Try Again

Ah, the best laid plans.

A meltdown or two, plus a murderous cat, can go a long way towards derailing the relaxation train. A good many of the nice things on our list actually happened: bread was baked, projects saw progress, sketches were sketched, “the best lentil soup I ever had” was consumed, and biscuits were baked in the shapes of hearts and teddy bears. So, there was a decent enough balance. I just think we’ll have to try again for a true day of Retreat.

The hike, well that was the kicker, really. It ended up being a funeral procession for our little friend Gillian Gilfeather, known by his loved ones as “Gil,” who we found deceased in his tank late yesterday morning. I had spent the last month and a half researching and rehabilitating him from a sick critter into a once again vibrant, interactive and funny little (well, if little is being at least as long as my forearm) aquatic friend. We’ve had him around for quite some time and when he got sick, I was sure there was nothing I could do for him. I mean, it’s hard to even just describe what the heck he is, let alone doctor him. The details probably aren’t interesting if you don’t have an axolotl amongst your family members, but he made a most remarkable recovery and we were very fond of him.


I don’t know why it took so long, now that I think about it, but a few days ago, one of the cats discovered that there is a gap in the aquarium lid, right next to the filter, and that this gap is just big enough for him to fit his paw through. He had his arm in up to the shoulder when I caught him in the act. At the time, I didn’t know he’d done damage, and we placed a rock over the opening in the tank lid. I’m sure I don’t need to tell the rest of the tale, but Gil (the guy on the left…Li’l, on the right, had passed some time ago) is now buried under a mound of snow by a stream and the cat is in my lap, licking my chin. I’m not sure how long I’ll continue with calling him the cat but he’s in the mushpot right now, as far as I’m concerned, even though he likely thought Gil existed solely for his sport and potential sustenance. And yes, I know it’s not as heartbreakingly tragic as losing a…different kind of pet, but it was a bummer, especially after making him well again, and it just sort of set a somber tone for the rest of the weekend.


The Murderer. The handsome, purring murderer, rubbing all up on my fiber. I forgive him.

O was sad, surely, but is already wondering when we’ll get a new axolotl. So it goes.

After the burial, we did make quite a bit of progress with planning for this year’s garden. We can probably get by with a minimal seed order this year, as we have quite a bit of seed leftover from last year and we’re going to try starts for some of the longer season veggies like onions, tomatoes, peppers, and melons. We just don’t get enough light up in these dark woods to start everything from seed and with the greenhouse demolished, we have a lot less space for growing our own starts this year, anyway. Point: Spring dreaming is in full effect.


So, this morning, it’s hearts for breakfast and warm tea as we get ready for another wicked cold snap to set in. A slow start today, hopefully starting our week on a positive note.

I’ll save up the chia recipe for tomorrow. We weren’t really feeling like photographing comfort food yesterday…we just wanted to be comforted.


…with Heather over at Beauty that Moves.

Inspired by the Hibernate workshop, my little family is going to enjoy a sweet Midwinter Retreat tomorrow. Our weekends are always filled with demanding projects after a hectic work week. We are like ships passing. Quickly. And before we know it, we’re starting the madness all over again. There’s always time to rest next weekend, right? No, not usually. Not unless we enforce a law of rest upon it. So, here I am. Enforcing it.


There is really nothing extraordinary happening, and that is the beauty of it. We talked about how we would like to spend our time had we no commitments or time-sensitive projects to attend to. It was almost laughable how simple the answers were. There will be bread baking, journaling, knitting, hiking, and Lego building. There will be board games and hot cocoa, yoga and lentil soup. The flow of our day is structured, yet free.


And yes, poring over seed catalogs and garden planning is written in somewhere.

Pancake batter is already made, lentils soaked, and berry chia pudding (recipe Monday!) is heading into the fridge for midday enjoyment. Tonight we’ll clean, bring wood in, and generally try to create an environment that is extra super especially easy to live in for a quiet day of indulging in joyful rest. We’ll revel in the warmth of a predicted 31 degree high before temps plummet in a couple of days.

Do you need to force yourself to rest, or does it come naturally to you?