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Knits in Action

Yesterday I, along with Eric, my 3 brothers and their friends, my uncle and his friends, went to the Patriots AFC Championship game in Foxborough.  In total, we had a caravan of 8 cars.

The tailgating was awesome.  We had food stations with slow-cooked pulled pork, ribs, chicken wings, chili…. but the pièce de résistance was deep-frying chickens, and then anything else we could put in the deep fryer – meats, cheese, PB pretzels, cookies.  We all reverted to our inner 15 yo boy selves around the deep fryer.

(I don’t know who the weird guy in the background is, and yes, that’s a TV hooked up so we could watch the NFC Championship game.)

I don’t want to talk about the game, or what an absolute spanking it was.  The overlooked story of this game was the wind chill, and the battle of gear vs weather.  I came to the fight prepared:

SnowmatesEndpaper Mitts layered under Bella’s Mittens, to allow fingertips for picking at chicken or opening beer.

These handknits were but a small portion of the wool.  I had knee-high smartwool socks under a wonderfully soft and warm pair of Red Maple alpaca socks I got at Rhinebeck from Mel & Dave.  I had full-body woolen long underwear, under another pair of long johns, jeans, 2 woolen sweaters, a down coat, a giant woolen scarf, lined woolen hat with earflaps, with my down-filled hood up and pulled snug.  I had hand warmers and toe warmers stuffed in mitts and shearling lined boots.

Overkill you say?

The opponent was a sustained wind in 18 degree weather, for a windchill of 5 degrees F (That’s -8 / -15 C for the rest of the world.)  Our seats were about 10 rows from the very top of the stadium, so I don’t know, we were probably 10 stories up in the air, with no shelter.  In fact, what’s the opposite of shelter, because it felt like the stadium created a wind tunnel of brutality.

I stood in this for 4 hours straight.  Almost comfortably.  Almost.  I still have all my fingers.

The real victor last night?




I realized late last night that I need to rip my current project back about 2/3rds of the way back to the beginning.  The project will be perfectly serviceable if I don’t rip, but I know that I won’t be happy with it unless I do.  I SHOULD be eager to rip back, get going, and churn it out.

But instead I’ve done this:

And this:

And this:

I didn’t even realize what I was doing (you know, other than having food ready for the week, of course.  What a help it will be to have all this on hand.  Etc. Etc.) until I churned the 3rd baked piece out, had nothing left in the queue, and thought, I should really rip that project out now, and then, what about some rice pudding for dessert tonight….

It’s out of hand.

Food Friday

Yesterday I made bread.

No-Knead Peasant Loaf

I made bread so good it makes me giddy.  It almost makes me want to cry, it’s so good.  And it’s not because I’m such a skilled cook, or a trained pastry chef, or a dough-whisperer.   I am none of those things.

It’s because I bought a book a long time ago, and finally cracked it open and gave it a try.

It makes me giddy because, where I live, there is no good bread to buy. I’ve been struggling with this for years now.  There’s an adequate bakery 20 minutes away.  There is one bakery in the county that produces truly great bread, and it’s a good hour drive from my house.

A loaf of good bread is such a simple thing, right?

But it’s so much more too.

Clearing the Dust

I was inspired by Maryse.  I don’t know why her photo inspired me so fundamentally…  the simplicity?  the beautiful yarn?  the message?

I thought about it for days.  And then I dusted off my DSLR.  I had to track down the various components: Camera.  Lenses.  Remote.  Tripod.  Charger (!)  Cords.  I’ve been simplifying and organizing my home these past few months, so I was pleased with how little time it took to locate items I haven’t touched in years.  I may have thanked Past Jackie out loud for her thoughtfulness toward Future Jackie in the careful placement of these things.  There may have even been an air five.

Pay-off for deliberate effort is sweeeet.

The photos on the memory card were a treasure trove of photos, not-yet-uploaded, so they avoided the same tragic fate as all the other photos on my old laptop… utter annihilation upon the disintegration of its internal hard drive.

EJ, circa April 2011.*

I find it extremely interesting, in a social-behavior-intersecting-with-technology sort of way, that the last picture on the memory card was 2 days before I purchased my iPhone.

*Wondering if it was me who gave him the Lloyd Christmas cut.

2012 Year In Review

I think it’s obvious what I spent my last year doing:


Snapping fuzzy pictures of my kids with my iPhone, as one does.

What hasn’t been showing up, on my iPhone, Flickr, blog, Ravelry, or anywhere really, has been the upswing in knitting content.

This I resolve to change.

People, I have been sleeping through the night for a few months now, and I’ve spent the past year or so re-establishing my career as a financial services and small business professional (accounting, tax, financial analysis and cash flow management services!), and it’s a wonder it didn’t happen earlier, but really it was only a matter of time.

(I suspect it was the combination of consistent sleep and regular childcare.  The combination is like alchemy.)

My professional training has seeped into my knitting.  I have spreadsheets.  Concrete, measurable goals.  A master schedule even.  Ideas.  Lots of ideas.

I expect you’ll see some of the results right here on this here blog.

2013, here I come!