knitting, life, monthly updates, writing

October Wrap-Up

Someday the time distortion effect will ease up, right? I’m looking at my calendar and thinking, There’s no way that was only three weeks ago, what the hell? But here we are, the last day of October (also a full moon, also Halloween of course), so it’s time to consider the month.

In terms of this blog’s focus, the most important thing about October is that I wrote 22k words of the new book. I have decided to try for another NaNo win, which if successful should get me through the bulk of the first draft, with the goal of finishing it by the end of the year. In purely physical terms, this is do-able; we’re not going anywhere this month, we’re not hosting any gatherings, I don’t have a commute right now, and my new job is not crushing me with tasks or boredom. I have the time; it’s down to whether I can muster the focus to keep putting words together.

No word yet from my first batch of queries. I’m going to give them another couple of weeks before I send out a few more. So much for the writing category. Should I be explicit about my goals here? The 2023 plan is all about concrete goals. I shorthand it as “writing” but the actual goal is “get paid for creative work.” Keeping that in mind is supposed to be a motivator.

In other areas, “save for a house” has taken a hit due to major progress in “don’t hate my living space” — this was expected, and worth it. However, being ten weeks into the plan and seeing no progress in that goal is frustrating. We do have a full month of budget information to work with based on my new paycheck now, so I have set myself some small, actionable targets for the month based around that.

My day job feels like it’s coasting right now, and that won’t do in the long term, but November is no time to plan any major activity in that zone. It’s only been two months; I lucked out beyond hope with this change; it’s okay to just enjoy that for a while. I am keeping an eye on my general satisfaction level there, and come December will put together some 2021 targets.

And then there’s the fifth zone, which still doesn’t have a name or a chart because it’s generally about being at home in my body and at peace in my mind. “Lose 20 pounds” is a goal, but it’s not the goal, and I don’t want to mix up forest and trees here; I don’t know whether or not losing weight will make a difference to how I feel day to day. Meditating does seem to be helpful, but it doesn’t have an end date. Maybe I could set “establish these habits” as a goal for a few months, see if that goes anywhere.

I’m still knitting, in between all of this other stuff.

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I finished both of these cowls in October. The top one is snug and warm and a very quick knit. The bottom one has been languishing since last winter, and I am very glad to see the back of it; its a finer yarn than I’ve ever worked with before and took forever. Loosely draped, it’s nice to wear indoors on a chilly day; doubled, it’s cozy for walking outside. I even put together a queue of projects that should get me through the winter.

It’s been a good month.

garden, knitting, life, reading

Are We Still Counting Days?

There’s an asterisk in my journal next to the day they started opening things back up in Massachusetts. I don’t feel confident about this process at all, and nothing in our household is going to change for the time being. Caseloads have been shrinking locally, but there are so many variables at work, I doubt that anyone has solid ground to predict farther than a couple of days out. For the time being, I continue to count.

Continue reading “Are We Still Counting Days?”

knitting, life

Letters

I have found myself engaged in all sorts of analog activities during these weeks of relative isolation. I got an origami kit, bought a half dozen fountain pens, made a few tentative forays into drawing. I have also been writing letters, considerably more than my usual few per year. One of the people with whom I used to exchange them quite regularly, my father’s mother, passed away early this year, so perhaps I have been making up for that by reaching out to other people more often, even those with whom I frequently text or talk.

Some of it, I know, is a self-conscious chronicling of These Unusual Times, like I’m auditioning for a future role in a Ken Burns documentary. I’ve noticed another attitude has crept in lately, on top of that one, a sort of hyper-awareness of the fact that letters written on paper and sent through the mail are immune to the Big Data vacuums that hover just offscreen in our every digital action. No one is going to send me or my correspondent ads based on the written contents, or the design on the card, or the inexpertly crafted origami boat I enclosed. (They may now, based on this post.) There is no record of its existence outside of itself.

Speaking of the analog arts, a knitting update. This is seven or eight inches. I’m quite pleased with how it’s coming along.

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knitting

The Year in Knitting – Pictures

Plus a cowl I don’t have a photo of, which I made for a co-worker, the scarf I made for my MIL, ditto, and three projects in various stages of barely-started, because they don’t count until they’re done.

The only goal I had for knitting this year was to use up random single skeins I had bought or been given. Most of those were on the small side, hence the numerous hats, but a couple were hefty. I have little room for storage, and want to keep the stash size under control. This modest goal was met, as eight skeins went out over the course of the year. I have probably at least that many again still waiting for inspiration to strike.

I bought a fair amount of new yarn in the fall, but it’s for specific projects, and won’t be taking up long-term residence in my single storage bin. I find myself getting a bit more confident with practice, although as you can see, I’ve been sticking with simple projects.

2020 will probably see a continued working through the backlog, and finishing what I have started, which will mean mastering yarnovers finally.

knitting

What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Writing

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The Monster Skein is no more. The results will be going to the Blanket Project. Today I wound one of my skeins of fancy alpaca yarn and cast on a scarf. So far this year, if memory serves, I have used five skeins of yarn and bought two, which is good for my storage space.

Nothing much to say on the writing front other than that I have started re-reading the draft so I can get back into it. Have also been busy getting ready for school to resume. This week, unfortunately, I have to drive to PA to attend my grandfather’s funeral, and right after that is Labor Day weekend with all of the usual get-togethers for that side of the family. We shall see what eventuates.