Organization, Some Finished Objects, and Independence Day
I took the week off from posting last week. I hadn’t finished any projects by Friday, and I wanted to have some new content. Pair that with the fact that the kid is done with school for the summer, and really in need of some mommy time. We spent Friday afternoon playing games and watching Deep Space Nine. No regrets. He, like so many of us, is really struggling with isolation during the pandemic. The upside is that I have two FOs to share this week.
Age of Steel socks.
This is the first pair of socks I have knit for the husband in ages. I am very happy to say that they fit perfectly, and that he loves them. I have been gradually making him socks that will go with different trousers in his wardrobe. This is, of course, assuming that he someday goes back to the office and wears actual trousers, rather than jeans. These socks were knit on US size 1 (2.25 mm) Signature dpns. I cast on 68 stitches, and knit four inches of a 2 x 2 rib. I did afterthought heels and toes. In hindsight, I could even have made the cuffs a little bit longer. My goal is to get closer to using up entire skeins when knitting socks. The yarn is The Alpaca Company Paca Peds in the Age of Steel colorway.
When I added my afterthought heels, I followed the method suggested by Magpies Cottage. She suggests pickin out all but the last two stitches to avoid the holes that often form at the corner of afterthought heels. I took this a step further and left the first and last two stitches in place on each side. It seems to have done the trick. No holes!
Rift Tee by Jacqueline Cieslak:
I finished my Rift tee. This is my favorite picture of me wearing it. I still love the drape of the silk, and I think the back neckline is super flattering. I would still like to make another one with a slightly tighter gauge. The gauge on this was so loose that it grew quite a bit, either as it grew heavier when knitting or during blocking or both. The Berroco Mantra was really lovely to work with, and I would like to knit with it again in a more appropriate gauge for the weight of the yarn. The color here is Twilight. I think I am going to love it with jeans. I knit the size 56 on size 8 needles. The circumference is right at 56”, which gives me about 12” of positive ease at my bust. The pattern includes instructions for bust darts and a custom bicep. The custom bicep was my favorite thing about the pattern.
My wips are the same ones I posted on Instagram on Wednesday. I am designing a fingering-weight poncho, and I have been working on the sample. Pictured here is the start of the collar. The yarn is Yarn Ink Classic Sock in the colorway “Fairweather”. The collar is very slow going, but I hope to be able to pick up some speed as I transition to the yoke and body.
My other wip is this pair of two-at-a-time-toe-up socks in Knit Picks Felici Punch Bug. I am really excited to finally learn to do this. I am going to do a forethought heel in a contrasting color. Whether I do the cuffs in the Felici or another color depends on how long I can get the cuff with the yarn I have. I have learned that I either love shorty socks or knee socks. I am not really a fan of ankle socks. I have rather giant calfs, so I may have to do some increasing as near the top, and that will affect stripe width, so it really all depends. I will keep you posted.
The bane of my existence. Well, maybe it isn’t that bad. I mean, there are pockets of my life and home that are so organized it’s scary. My yarn stash is one. My yarns are all catalogued in Ravelry. Additionally, they are all bagged and sorted by brand and weight. My closet is another area that is incredibly orderly. It is sorted first by color, then by garment type. Tops are first. They are grouped by color, black, white, grey, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Within each color they are sorted by sleeve length. First sleeveless, then cap, short, ¾ and long sleeves. After tops, jackets, skirts, pants, dresses and gowns. Sweaters, shorts and jeans are folded onto shelves. Sounds like an orderly mind, right? Nope. The rest of my house is in varying states of disorganization.
I have always struggled with clutter. I thought that organization was just a gene that I was not given. I had sort of accepted that about myself (except I really hadn’t). My disorganization has been a source of stress and anxiety for years. Ask anyone who knows me how often I have lost my keys or my cell phone. Remember the U2 song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For?” My mom and grandmother tortured me in high school by finishing the chorus with the line: “Because it’s in Debbie’s room”. Things have gotten a whole lot worse during the pandemic. We are all at home now. All day. Every day. Making messes. Because I seem to lack basic organizational skills, I am also easily overwhelmed. I look at the big task of HOUSECLEANING, and anxiety kicks in. I honestly don’t know where to start. Then I get into this endless cycle of being upset with myself and trying to do it all in one day.
A couple of weeks ago, I may have found a solution. I have been using the Motivated Moms app. You can read about Motivated Moms at https://motivatedmoms.com/ So, What is Motivated Moms? It’s a system. Here is how the website described it:
“Motivated Moms is a chore planning system to help you have a clean and organized home and still have time for yourself!
Motivated Moms is a great idea for anyone who would like an easy system to help them to know what to do each day. Just consult the list, do the work, check it off for the day and enjoy your free time!”
Here’s how it works. You download the app, and then, each day, there is a checklist. The list is already populated for you with the main chores. You can sort the list by room, persons assigned to the chore, frequency or alphabetically. I have mine sorted by frequency. Each day, when I open the app, I can see daily, weekly and monthly chores that need to be done that day. All of the decision making has been done for me. And the tasks are manageable. I don’t want to give away the secret sauce, but I will give you one example. Rather than telling me to clean all of the bathrooms, one day I might clean all the toilets and Windex the bathroom mirrors. Another day, I will do tubs and showers. On a third day, the floors. No, the bathroom is not completely spotless all at once, but over the course of a few days, it becomes clean. I have been doing this for two full weeks now, and there is a dramatic difference all over the house. Sometimes, I even look around with a sense of pride. I am feeling hugely grateful to Susan at Motivated Moms. I am not sponsored by Motivated Moms at all. I am just really excited to finally be getting a handle on my house. Is it sustainable in the long run? I have no idea. For now, it is working.
My 2 finished objects this week have brought my stashdash total to 2466.1 meters. I have 6 more wips to finish in 7 ½ weeks. If I finish all of them, I should be able to achieve my 10k meters goal. Unfortunately, I also have design samples and patterns to write in that time, so I am not sure how many of those wips I will actually be able to finish before the deadline. I need to figure out my strategy. Probably the surest way to get as much meterage as possible would be to finish the largest projects first. On the other hand, finishing a project is a huge enthusiasm and momentum builder. I have really been enjoying sock knitting lately, so perhaps I will finish another pair of socks and then move onto one of the larger, more intense projects.
I finished So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. I think every white person should read this book, even if they do not think they are racist. Then again, I also think folks who do identify as racist should also read this book. The whole think is a frank and heartfelt “conversation” with the author. I am so grateful that she was willing to share her experience and her pain so that we can learn without causing further harm and discomfort to our friends, family and acquaintances and color. I would especially recommend the chapters “What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?” and “What Are Microagressions?”.
I started reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is a YA book about a young Black girl who lives in two different worlds. She lives in a poor urban area, but she attends a private school in a wealthier mostly white suburb. The book grabs you from the beginning. I am only about an hour or so in, but I am hooked. More on this book next time.
Today is July 3rd. Tomorrow, on July 4th, we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. It will be a different kind of celebration this year. My family is still practicing social distancing, so we will be celebrating on our own at home. One thing my family will do this year, as we always do on July 4th, is to read the Declaration of Independence out loud. Yes. I am a nerd. And I will share something else with you. I always cry when I read it. I believe in the ideals espoused in the Preamble. That “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. I know that we are not there yet, but this document was so revolutionary, so forward thinking, and so hopeful that it brings tears to my eyes. I want us to get there. We can get there, but we have a lot of work to do. Our forefathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in pursuit of this dream. We should do no less.