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Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

katie fur hat

For the past few years, I’ve made a list of things I want to do, try, accomplish and/or enjoy before my next birthday. Here’s an update on the (short) list I made this year:

1. Try a new-to-me author every month. I’ve hit this one several times over. My reviewing gig for Shelf Awareness definitely helps.
2. Knit myself a pair of cozy slippers (probably from this book).* I’ve knitted two pairs for friends. Now to make myself some!
3. Visit Nantucket. (We’ll wait until it’s warmer.)
4. Buy a go-to neutral handbag (black or brown). Scored a great black bag in December.
5. Fly to San Diego to visit our friends who live there. (Photos and stories to come soon…)
6. Go to the dentist (carried over from last year). Finally scheduled an appointment and had to go back THREE TIMES. That’ll teach me to put it off.
7. Visit Prince Edward Island.
8. Attend a carol service at Harvard. Inclement weather meant I gave this one a miss. Maybe next year.
9. Spend at least one lovely long weekend in NYC.
10. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Three of the above items qualify for this one.)
11. Get a massage with that gift certificate I got for my birthday. It was lovely. Ahhh.
12. Develop a regular exercise routine. I’m going to yoga twice a week, but I’d like to add in some walking when the weather warms.
13. Write something I can be proud of.* Always working on it.

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Winter Manifesto update

Back in early January, I posted my Winter Manifesto – a list of (mostly) fun things to help me through my fourth New England winter. Here, an update (with photos):

figure skating championships gracie gold

  • Go to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. We watched the ladies’ free skate, above. It was gorgeous, heartbreaking and so much fun.
  • Get a massage, and go to the dentist. I had to get several fillings, but I’m glad I finally went. And the massage was very relaxing.
  • Continue with the yoga routine I’ve established. Holding steady on this one.

celtics td garden k&j basketball

  • Go see the Celtics play at TD Garden, courtesy of a friend. We sat in the 12th row behind one of the baskets (see above). I am not a huge basketball fan, but watching the action up close was so fun.
  • Watch the Olympics. We’ve cheered at the figure skating, gasped at the skeleton and the ski jumping, and gotten a crash course in slopestyle. Most of all I love the stories.
  • Knit something cozy. I’ve knitted several cozy things (for myself and others), mostly in red.

red cowl

  • Tackle another hefty classic. (I’ve been working on a big library stack. Still taking recommendations!)
  • Indulge in a bit of color therapy. I’ve knitted myself a bright pink hat and a jade green cowl, and ordered a couple of fun items from Boden.
  • Plan some springtime travel. The hubs and I are headed to San Diego next month to see our friends Allison and Duncan, former New Yorkers who’ve moved back to their home state. And I’m heading to Texas in April, first for a work conference and then to see my family.

I find it a bit ironic that the reading goal above is the only one I haven’t tackled – but I’m proud of myself for accomplishing the other ones. Now, if only spring would hurry up a bit…

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I didn’t do a lot of knitting this fall, aside from a few hats for Nest Maine and my annual batch of wee hats for Innocent Drinks’ Big Knit. I only reached for my needles while watching TV, using up scraps from my multicolored stash.

I know the pitfalls of a huge Christmas knitting list, so I limited myself to two pairs of slippers. My mom’s birthday is at the end of January, so I started knitting her a big, cozy cowl this fall, knowing I could save it for her birthday if I didn’t finish it in time for Christmas.

The slippers, the cowl and the three projects I’ve started since Christmas all have one thing in common: my favorite color.

red cowl

This is the cowl I made for Mom – the pattern is Julie’s Stockholm Scarf pattern, simple and squishy and so cozy. (Now I want to make one for myself.)

pink slippers

These wee slippers went to my girl Bethany, who has size 5 feet and gets cold easily. The pattern came from this book of slipper patterns. I made a similar pair for Abi, in red, to replace the now-worn-out felted pair I made her several years ago.

My sister requested a pair of boot toppers like the ones I made for Mom last Christmas. She wanted red, and I was happy to oblige:

boot cuffs button red

I’ve also been doing a bit of selfish knitting: a cozy ribbed cowl in a deep red and a bright pink cabled hat. Because I need some color to combat the relentless white and gray of winter.

Are you making anything colorful during this gray month?

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Winter Manifesto

snow harvard cambridge ma winter

I have a complicated relationship with winter. I love hot drinks, cozy scarves and curling up on the couch with a good book (preferably in the presence of twinkle lights, or a Christmas tree). But I struggle with the cold, short, dark days in this climate so far north from where I was raised. (And the blizzards, including the one we had last week.) I struggle to have a mind for winter.

Every year, I have to gird my loins to survive, much less enjoy, this difficult season. Hence, a manifesto – a few things to do, try and delight in while I’m waiting for spring.

  • Go to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships – my husband surprised me with tickets to the ladies’ free skate.
  • Get a massage, and go to the dentist. Self-care is important.
  • Continue with the yoga routine I’ve established (two or three times a week).
  • Go see the Celtics play at TD Garden, courtesy of a friend.
  • Watch the Olympics – I love the figure skating and the skiing.
  • Knit something cozy.
  • Tackle another hefty classic. (Recommendations, anyone? Last year’s was Les Mis.)
  • Indulge in a bit of color therapy.
  • Plan some springtime travel.

snow hood jacket

How do you survive – and/or enjoy – winter?

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In 2013 I have…

Last year and the year before that, I’ve made long (but non-exhaustive) lists of the things I’ve done over the course of the year. It’s so much fun to look back on a year and appreciate all it has contained.

coral-scarf-christmas

In 2013 I have:

What have you been up to this year? (Do you make lists like this?)

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I turned 30 last month, which felt rather momentous and completely ordinary at the same time. I’ve never been one to worry over milestone birthdays, but I did enjoy marking this one with our trip to Montreal, and of course, I loved the cards and gifts from family and friends.

Katie Gibson-4

For the past few years, I’ve made a list of things I want to do, try, accomplish and/or enjoy before my next birthday. I crossed off many of the items on last year’s list, but I am feeling less ambitious this year. (Besides, I’m already working on my fall manifesto.)

But I do love a good list, so here’s my fresh, new, slightly shorter one:

1. Try a new-to-me author every month, including the list of Canadian authors sent to me by a Canadian friend.
2. Knit myself a pair of cozy slippers (probably from this book).
3. Visit Nantucket.
4. Buy a go-to neutral handbag (black or brown).
5. Fly to San Diego to visit our friends who live there.
6. Go to the dentist (carried over from last year).
7. Visit Prince Edward Island.
8. Attend a carol service at Harvard.
9. Spend at least one lovely long weekend in NYC.
10. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Three of the above items qualify for this one.)
11. Get a massage (my husband bought me a gift certificate for my birthday).
12. Develop a regular exercise routine.
13. Write something I can be proud of.

(Photo by the talented Kristin.)

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Katie Gibson-6

I’m turning 30 (!) in just a few days, so here’s my last update on the list I made last September of things to do/accomplish/try/enjoy before then.

Items completed (or jettisoned) are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically Oxford (where I used to live). Not happening this year, between my newish job and various financial commitments.
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* I’ve cleared out a lot of books. Done.
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop. Couldn’t swing it this year. See #1.
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene. (Loved being there over Christmas.)
5. Finish a draft of my memoir. On hold for now.
6. Pay off my student loans. DONE!
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI; the Berkshires in MA; Portsmouth, NH; Upper Cape Cod; Camden, ME; Lower Cape Cod)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre. I’ve read 18, including Les Mis.
10. Participate in a cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle my sweet nephew a lot. (Yes – at Christmas and in March. Planning more cuddles this fall.)
13. Conquer the snooze button.* (Still working on it.)
14. Knit a few beautiful things. (See my late winter knits.)
15. Go to the dentist.
16. Visit Canada.* (Birthday trip in the works!)
17. Reach out to two friends every week. (Social media makes this easier.)
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. Done.
19. Take a vacation with friends.* (Planning on this soon.)
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month. Delicious.
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays.* (Still working on it.)
22. Re-imagine our cluttered guest room.* (Major progress.)
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats. Finally.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Yum.
25. Get a pedicure. Ahhhh.
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.
27. Write half a dozen more essays. (I’ve written for Art House America about laundry, mending, and prayer. Now working on a series of three essays for TRIAD.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace.
29. Savor the last year of my twenties. (Absolutely.)

What lists are you working on lately?

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hot chocolate burdicks journal watermelon

Every year I make a list of things to do before my next birthday, from the fun to the profound, and post periodic updates. Items completed (or, let’s be honest, jettisoned) are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically Oxford (where I used to live).
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* (Major progress.)
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop. Couldn’t swing it this year.
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene. (Loved being there over Christmas.)
5. Finish a draft of my memoir. On hold for now.
6. Pay off my student loans.* (Nearly there!)
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI; the Berkshires in MA)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre. Done!
10. Participate in a cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle my sweet nephew a lot.* (Loved doing this at Christmas and in March.)
13. Conquer the snooze button.* (Working so hard on it.)
14. Knit a few beautiful things. (See my late winter knits.)
15. Go to the dentist.* (Made an appointment.)
16. Visit Canada. (Maybe for my 30th?)
17. Reach out to two friends every week.*
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. See my post about these books.
19. Take a vacation with friends.
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month.* (I love doing this.)
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays.* (Attempting this at a new-ish job.)
22. Re-imagine our cluttered guest room.* (This is not going well.)
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats. Finally.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Yum.
25. Get a pedicure.
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.*
27. Write half a dozen more essays.* (I’ve written for Art House America about laundry, mending, and prayer.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace.
29. Savor the last year of my twenties.*

What lists are you working on lately?

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Late winter knits

After nearly a decade as a knitter and three winters in Boston, I’ve accumulated quite a pile of winter accessories: scarves, fingerless gloves, lots of hats. But as the gray-edged piles of snow linger and the cold temps refuse to rise, I keep knitting more of them. My two most recent projects are getting lots of use.

First we have Rosebud:

rosebud hat

I coveted this pattern for ages, finally bought it and promptly knitted it up in yellow – but it turned out way too big. So I tried again with this lovely purple skein of Madelinetosh Vintage. The colorway is called “Flashdance,” which suggests ’80s neon, but the color is rich and deep. It’s warm and cozy and I’ve been wearing it almost every day. I love the big braid on the side. (Ravelled here.)

My favorite yarn shop, the Windsor Button, is closing (sad day), so I stopped by the clearance sale and picked up a few skeins of yarn. My new gray Fluted Cowl is made of two skeins of Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky. (I wish I’d had three, but there were only two skeins on the shelf.) It, too, is warm and cozy, either worn long or doubled up around my neck. (Ravelled here.)

fluted cowl

fluted cowl

If winter’s still lingering where you are, what are you wearing to keep warm? (And when, for heaven’s sake, will it be spring?)

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Every year I make a list of things to do before my next birthday, from the fun to the profound, and post periodic updates. Items completed are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

scone tea journal l'aroma cafe boston

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically Oxford (where I used to live).
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* (Working on it, though the stacks grow constantly.)
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop.* (Signed up and making plans.)
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene. (Loved being there over Christmas.)
5. Finish a draft of that memoir I keep talking about.
6. Pay off my student loans.* (Nearly there…)
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre.* So far, I’ve read seven.
10. Participate in a cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle that sweet nephew of mine a lot.* (Made a good start over Christmas, and planning to go back in March.)
13. Conquer the snooze button.*
14. Knit a few beautiful things.*
15. Go to the dentist.
16. Visit Canada, as we’re only a few hours away. (Making plans.)
17. Reach out to two friends every week.* (Continuing to do this.)
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. See my post about these books.
19. Take a vacation with friends.
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month.*
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays: less frantic multitasking.*
22. Reimagine our cluttered guest room.* Lots of filing and clearing out over New Year’s.
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Love their breakfast granola, apple cider and rosemary fries.
25. Get a pedicure.
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.* Most recently, for four birthdays.
27. Write half a dozen more essays.* (See my second piece at Art House America.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace.
29. Savor the last year of my twenties.*

What lists are you working on lately?

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