coconuts and snow

i'm not sure i'm in the holiday spirit quite yet, but the snow outside helps. it has been so beautiful. even as i type the flakes are fluttering about in the light from the street lamp outside my window.
what also helps is attending my friend's annual holiday cookie party tomorrow night. i'm excited to catch up with a few old friends, and to fill up on tasty treats. i'll be bringing coconut dream bars, a super easy recipe i nabbed from the martha stewart show. after making these and loving them, amy scherber's the sweeter side of amy's bread is now on my christmas list. the sweeter side of karen.
happy baking to you all.


cold outside, warm inside

it is cold and blustery today, today being what feels like my first free, really free day in months. accomplishing a few gratifying chores this morning(like putting flannel sheets on my bed, an event i usually enjoy a little later in the season...) has left my afternoon free to get lost in the meditation of knitting the set christmas stockings i promised to my parents would be ready to hang on their mantle this year... i have two and a half finished, and two and a half to go... i've put this project off for a while, not able to get my mind in the right spot to work out the details of each, slightly different cabled stocking. but as i sat down to work on mike's this morning, i easily fell into the rhythm again, remembering how much i do love knitting these.
my mind is still elsewhere, but i can't deny that 'tis indeed the season.
(last night i watched the unexpectedly heartwarming film, be kind rewind. it's clever, left my eyes a bit teary, and will make you fall head over heels for mos def, if you're not already.)


second storie} indie market 2008

having spent so long preparing for our second storie} indie market, i'm a little sad now that it's over... sad in the most relieving, fantastic, and peaceful way.
i am still in recovery mode. i spent yesterday intermittently napping, a luxury i can rarely allow myself... today feels new and open... happy!
i have so many things i want to say... but for now, i'm content with a few photos, a couple of bags full of wonderful art and craft i was able to buy/trade for, and some fantastic new friends.
i can't wait to share more. until then, a huge thanks to our vendors, our sponsors, our shoppers, and especially our boyfriends and husbands and friends who've been patiently putting up with the chaos!


finding more than time

i find it very easy to push aside my knitting for what intends to be a short time while i work on the more pressing tasks of any given day, knowing that at the very least i can squeeze a few rows in during charlie rose before i go to sleep. but too often even that feels labored and forced for fear of guilt...
this is not right. i do not knit to not feel guilty for not knitting. i knit because i love the process. i love the making. i love the pattern. i love the knitting. it is mathematical and it is creative. it is what i am made for.
yet i push it aside with little hesitation. i easily take it for granted that i can push hold on this and be able to un-hold again later, picking right up where i've left it.
but it rarely works this smoothly.
i know i am not the only one who struggles with this balance. the ever-shifting fulcrum plagues us many. yet i feel so naked when my humanity shows.


oh holy trinity

i have a new-found love for the trinity stitch. the knitting of it is rhythmic and divine.
paired with sublime's organic merino wool, i can truly say that this is why i carry on.

yes we can!

this has been a week. of. i'm not sure i even have the right words for what this week has meant to me, to my friends, to my country. i have renewed faith in my homeland, and i feel weight lifting from my shoulders and from my heart. this weight, now, is proudly and ambitiously upon the shoulders of a capable leader. for the first time in many years (say, eight or so?) i feel the direct connection between my daily life, my personal turmoil and triumph, and the grander happenings of my government and my country. i've missed this connection. it feels right again.


maintaining intelligent optimism

i have been, as many, distracted so much by politics lately. more than the incessant campaign coverage, though, i've been delving into the econimic 'crisis' with heavy shoulders. i've long had a bad taste in my mouth over our bizarre economic system thriving on greed and solitary conquests. yet, i am a consumer. i have loans that i pay, i have a credit card, i am a part of what drives this economy... for better or, as it is now, for worse.
i was very taken with the jurriaan kamp's words in the latest issue of ode magazine:

"It’s interesting—and scary—to note how much creativity and intelligence has gone into making money with money instead of making money with new, meaningful goods and services. Maybe history will record the present bubble as the ultimate example of what greed may ruin."

there is hope. there is always hope. i'm just a little sad to see it buried so deeply in words that are usually brimming with it. i suppose that is just another testament to the 'worse' of it all.


stealing a little time for love...

the day started with my perfectly full and warm mug of coffee slipping out of my hands and onto the carpet and a string of curse words slipping out of my mouth and into the air.
so i took a long walk and focused on my footsteps as they mingled with the fallen leaves.
back at home, i was determined to make good use of the recently-picked apples, so i baked a pie. i overworked the crust, and it's a little tough.
in the midst of the day, the lovely begbie charmed me a little.
this evening i'm trying my hardest to feel cozy at this computer for a bit more work...


up and down, up and down

the family went apple picking today, and it was a perfect, perfect day for it... but for the apples being heavily damaged from what i can only assume was early-season hail. our bounty is, though, fair enough for a pie or two. i shall soon be digging for my grandmother's pie crust recipe that i have not quite memorized yet. perhaps tomorrow?
this evening, however, i am dedicating ravelry. i was told about it from an unlikely source as i sat at the swfm a few months ago, and as with most social-networking sites, i've little interest. so, for months i've been on ravelry, but have 0 friends, 0 projects, 0 favorites... you get the idea. but now, i find that's just silly... why am i so disinterested in a whole network of people like me, who've knitting on the brain all the time. (all the time, indeed. as i write i'm fading away and considering blowing off ravelry and curling up to gain some headway on a project or two).
we shall see. for now, an empty stomach beckons, and i have just the thing to fill it...


indeed, a good morning.

i don't have many words this morning. things are just as they should be. the crunching of the dry leaves underfoot, the clear sunny skies and warm air... i will not soon forget this feeling.
even as i search through bins of wool and evaluate their warmth as mittens in the cold of the coming winter, my mind is replaying golden leaves rain down as the sun warms our faces...


a project just for me...

i hoard things... knitting things, to be more relevant. i hoard yarn that wonderful people have given me as gifts (one of my favorites is a beautiful auburn wool shorn from an australian alpaca named daniella. tra la la la la...). along with this yarn starsh, i've found that i also hoard ideas and patterns... and, tada, the two hoards go so well together! i, though, rarely allow myself to spend time knitting for myself, even a pair of socks... how quickly these gifts and ideas turn into dusty yarn skeins and chilly toes.
for at least a year i have been looking at this gorgeous little ball of oatmeal-grey wool my sister picked up for me somewhere in her travels... small, precious, and wanton of a purpose, i've dedicated this ball to a simple pair of fingerless mittens... and if i time myself well, i'll have them to wear to the market thursday as i sew more carrots with shanna in the beautiful autumn afternoon. i'm very happy to give myself this small gift...
i surely will still be devoting much of my time to second storie, and to a friend's walls that need paint (just in time for her housewarming party saturday night!), and to the debate tomorrow night, and surely to this new boy of mine, and to music sharing with a new friend...
yikes, will i actually have time to knit this project just for me? maybe i should stop the writing and start the working...


a cozy romance...

it may seem from my previous post that i've been off on romantic adventures, galavanting through dewy meadows and taking afternoon horseback rides along the beach... oh, the romance of romance.
ahh, but no... i've been diligently knitting 'til my wrists ache. knitting, taking it apart, reworking a problem, taking it out, thoughtfully coming to a solution, re-knitting, and in the end hopefully pairing the function well with the style.
it is with this that i am in love. it is with this process that i galavant and get lost in thought... i so enjoy the making more than the made, and knitting couldn't be more forgiving... i truly am in love.

this new project was a commissioned bag. my time with it was short, and sadly rushed, so i've no pictures of the finished product (the handles were sewn on around 3am, and by 10.30am it was being whisked away to brighten a friend's birthday.) but i've got the handbag bug again and am very excited to play with the design...

i hope to have a few for sale at the second storie} indie market in november. i'm VERY excited for the new work i have in mind for the event... it's such a lovely time of year for knitting inspiration!
and i'm VERY excited for our event! it's going to be rockin' and perfect! more posting on that will surely come as it is consuming my very being right now... until then, you'll find all the details here.


up up and away...

my head is in the clouds of late. i've been wonderfully distracted. by a boy. i feel like a school girl who is covering her notebook margins with doodles of hearts. i am smitten.
i have been working on a wonderful new knitting project that is just monotonous enough to let my mind wander away a little (while still staying on task, as the deadline is fast-approaching).
my head indeed is in the clouds, but i've attached a string, so i will hopefully be pulled back down again soon... in the meantime, i'm thoroughly enjoying the view from way up here.


a slow and perfect sunday

today the cloudless sky beckoned.


waiting for my tea to cool.

on this beautifully cool evening, i look forward to warming myself down to my toes with a cup of peppermint tea and some freshly-baked sugar cookies... it is lovely indeed to be enjoying this treat with the sound of crickets and frogs still ringing loudly through the summer night. it is my favorite time of year to say the least, and this night is begging for reminiscence.

when i turned 28, my dear friend took me out for dessert and stood beside me patiently as i nursed a prematurely-wounded heart (it did take a little longer than the one night). it was a nonplussed celebration.
following was a wonderful whirlwind of second storie, of new friends, more new friends (who've added beautifully to my art collection!), new strength, and new hope... and yes, more new friends.
when i just turned 29, my same dear friend who rescued me from 28 (with beautiful help this time) gathered together the amazing group of friends i am so honored to know. it was a sublime (and surprise) celebration.
perfectly parenthetical birthdays... filled with love and pride.

what, oh what, will these coming twelve months hold? i am brimming with excitement if not words!!


best birthday since '82!!!!

i spent the morning with a purring cat on my lap and knitting needles in my hands. i spent the afternoon outside on the most perfect day our summer has seen; a warm breeze on my face, and the sun casting beautiful shadows. i spent my evening in the surprise company of friends new and old.
the day was all right in every way.


scallion love

just a quick peek at what i've been working on lately. the full garden of market vegetables will be harvested in time for my afternoon at the south wedge farmer's market on august 21st, but for now, i'm too in love with these scallions not to share them.
i'd been getting a little bored lately with my knitting, and and i needed a quick addition to the line to help push me along. these were perfect. with full encouragement from someone very special as i vocally thought out the pattern, and in perfect company as i actually took the yarn to the needles, i'm happy and interested again. i'll be making one last push in the next week or so to finish the rest of the veggies before the market, but it'll be at a comfortable pace.
i can't wait to see how this project finishes, and i really can't wait to work on some new projects i've had rolling around in my head for a while. more on that when the time comes...



lightning storms from a tim horton's parking lot

my wonderful friend nick is in town and i'm thrilled. no one else could get me (happily) to a tim horton's in the middle of the night ("i have a coupon!"), and with no one else would i just happen upon a breathtaking lightning storm.
six years ago we similarly happened upon lake ontario in the middle of the night, on a boredom-drive. pulling off to the shore, we watched for hours the lightning in the distance, wondering if it really was lightning we were watching. the next morning the paper reported the uncommon sightings of the northern lights from the shores of lake ontario.
sitting on the curb of the tim horton's parking lot watching the electric sky, we both fondly (and uncharacteristically) reminisced to that long-ago night...
i will miss nick in a few days, as he moves on in his usual fashion, but am looking forward to an autumn train ride down to visit him in new york city.


timing... holy cow.

"each of us carries our own clock, our own monitor of the passage of time. each clock is equally precise, yet when we move relative to one another, these clocks do not agree. they fall out of synchronization; they measure different amounts of elapsed time between two chosen events."

brian greene, the fabric of the cosmos

in the context of physics, this statement is pretty profound (or at least the idea behind it was pretty profound when einstein proposed it in 1915). in the context of life outside of the scientific preoccupation, this statement loses no profundity. we each have our own individual paths and timelines... and when we're lucky, they'll synch up with another's in beautiful, elegant ways. i don't believe in "fate," i don't think things are "meant to be." i believe in timing, in how powerful synchronization can be when it's realized.
coincidence leaves my jaw on the ground. with over 6 billion people on this earth, each with their own agenda, each realizing one of
innumerable possible outcomes of any given moment, it amazes me when our outcomes entwine themselves with eachother's... against all of the odds, our paths will simply and unexpectedly cross with another's and for a moment of moments we'll be in synch and in perfect harmony. beautifully.


-the most perfect sidenote: earlier today i read the passage i quoted above. i, obviously, was quite taken. i've been thinking about it all day and planned to post about it this evening. as i was image-searching for "timing" and "clocks" i stumbled upon the photo above, which linked to a blog by tam rice. there is rarely a more profound elegance than me reading her words as i prepared this post...


a sort of homecoming...

as the soothing sound and smell of the mid-afternoon rainstorm blows into my window, i'm feeling more and more at home. i've given myself a rigorous schedule today, forcing myself back to work on a project i've been avoiding for weeks, organizing my thoughts for upcoming second storie events, filling my kitchen with fresh and lovely food, and overall climbing out of the self-induced, uninspired funk i've been in. it finally feels good to be back. my recent week in the woods has left me in an unexpected state of sadness (maybe more on that soon?), and the transition home has been slow.
as the rain outside is letting up, so too are my dampened spirits.
i'm off to write a letter to a friend i miss dearly. and on that note, i must add praises for a wonderful little office supply company who have recently provided me with fresh, blackest of black typewriter ribbons. they are beacons of hope in the dying markets of typewriter supplies and good customer service. they were a true joy to do business with.


mourning absences

i've just returned, smelling of bug spray and campfires, from a week in the adirondack woods. my clothes have been laundered, my pack has been returned to the closet, and the dirt from my feet has been washed down the drain. though my physical body has quickly acclimated itself to its normal routines and comforts, my head
and my heart remain distant and burdened.

i'm struggling for more, but its absent.


sun up, sun down

there will be no full-circle eloquence to this post; i am too spent for that tonight. this day has dragged me throught the mud and has tested my emotional limits. i have just simple thanks.
i got onto this computer of mine tonight to lay some things to rest before i lay myself to rest. as heavy as my shoulders are, and as droopy as my eyelids are, my heart is happy again.
as easy as it is to let another person dramatically alter your day for the worse, as i did today, it's so much easier to let yourself be swept into a peaceful calm by the unexpected and kind words of friends.
megan, i'm glad for your adventurous journey here, too.
and shanna, i suppose there is a certain full-circle eloquence afterall... thanks for being there this morning, and especially thanks for being there this evening.
i will dream well.


there is change. there is life.

i have spent my past week amid changes... they are subtle and significant, the most ponderous kind.

change is lately such a common word (especially when our next president is campainging on it) that i often lose sight of it's impact. we are ever-changing in so many, so many ways. our universe is continually expanding at an unfathomably-rapid rate. earth is in a constant state of movement, of evolution as we hurl on through time. our physical bodies are in a constant fluctuation, always processing, digesting, surviving in such elegant, coordinated systems. and then our minds... our selves. each situation brings a new realm of knowledge previously un-existing to us. each moment our minds have changed, even if from the simple act of processing the previous moment. change is, in so many ways, synonymous with life.
taking this all for granted, these constantly changing selves and worlds, i'll feel a monotonous drone as i too-often find that an entire week has gone by without my conscious presence. one week. the entire lifespan of most moths, and i'll have spent that prescious time on auto-pilot. wakeless. changeless
but this week... this week has been a present one. a changing one. i've regained a long-missing awareness of my physical body and its beautiful systems. i'll treat them right, they'll treat me right. i've found myself more internally aware of my places in my life, and my happiness or unhappiness with them.
where there is unhappiness there is change. and where there is awareness and acceptance of change, there is happiness. there is life.


good words, strong words

dear brothers and sisters,
dear enemies and friends,

why are we all so alone here
all we need is a little more hope, a little more joy
all we need is a little more light, a little less weight, a little more freedom.
if we were an army, and if we believed that we were an army
and we believed that everyone was scared like little lost children in their grown up clothes and poses
so we ended up alone here floating through long wasted days, or great tribulations.
while everything felt wrong
good words, strong words, words that could've moved mountains
words that no one ever said
we were all waiting to hear those words and no one ever said them
and the tactics never hatched
and the plans were never mapped
and we all learned not to believe
and strange lonesome monsters loafed through the hills wondering why
and it is best to never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever wonder why
so tangle - oh tangle us up in bright red ribbons!
let's have a parade
it's been so long since we had a parade, so let's have a parade!
let's invite all our friends
and all our friends' friends!
let's promenade down the boulevards with terrific pride and light in our eyes
twelve feet tall and staggering
sick with joy with the angels there and light in our eyes
brothers and sisters, hope still waits in the wings like a bitter spinster
impatient, lonely and shivering, waiting to build her glorious fires
it's because of our plans man; our beautiful ridiculous plans
let's launch them like careening jetplanes
let's crash all our planes in the river
let's build strange and radiant machines at this jericho waiting to fall.

~from 'built then burnt' by thee silver mt zion orchestra and tra la la band


the beauty of a palindromic acronym

i have a crush, oh boy, do i have a crush. who he is is fairly insignificant and he shall be known only as m.m.o.m.m (mystery.man.of.my.mind). but, man oh man is he of my mind... our paths have crossed once or twice, and surely will again, and until then, he will randomly stumble through my thoughts as i stumble through my day.
i'm fairly certain he, like most, is currently with another, alas, but what is a crush but a harmless romp into the realm of hopes and standards that are never to be met with real possibilty, for it is that meeting that is the end of the crush and too often the beginning of disappointment.
aahh, but for now, i'm miles away from that disappointment. for now i'll camp out where i can doodle little hearts in the margins and daydream about our next encounter.


summer is abound

there is summer on the calendar, there is summer in the air, and there is summer in the hearts of my loved ones... big things are on the verge, but the laid back afternoons are happily the priority.
i'm always amazed at how, with the shifting of the seasons, there too is a shifting of our selves, our moods, our desires. the frantic energy of spring has dulled slightly and is now settling into a peace and a happiness that we can all wrap ourselves in. there is a comfort in the air, in the warmth, even in the word itself. summer.
my arms are wide with welcome.
as i'm coming out of a too-long slumber of emotion and creativity, i'm opening my eyes to that fact that my slumber was not a lone one, regardless of how often it felt so. the wakening of my friends' spirits is as joyous to me as my own. for some i'm watching from the sidelines with a proud smile, and with others i couldn't feel more intertwined. but we are all feeling it.
big things are indeed on the verge, and i'm happy to not be anxious for them. in due time, as with all.
for now i have my begbie and my books. i have my wine and my will shortz.
and i have my summer and my friends.


i've been given a little push.

i resisted this for a long time. i've held this world at arm's length and am still a little trepidatious about it, but why dip your toe when you can jump in, full-bodied.
there is a lot to share, to learn, to meet... there is a lot.
our zen brothers and sisters tell us that we have 'enough' always 'enough' yet i'm now entering the sea of 'more' always 'more'.
it will be fun to let myself drift for a while...
thanks to all who've unknowingly helped get me where i am, which is here.