ProjectsThis week I definitely suffered from startitis. I originally planned to cast on another Linto Creek cowl, but Sabrina, a member of the podcast's Ravelry group, kept posting all the beautiful hats she knit on Instagram. I've wanted to knit the Francie Nolan Tam from Literary Knits for some time now, so I started that instead. (Francie Nolan is the main character in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of my all time favorite books.)
I used some Berroco Abode I had in stash; teal is my favorite color, and this bright yarn will look great with my read hair!
I also cast on a winter cowl in yarn I found on clearance at JoAnn's. I try very hard not to be a yarn snob; I've been known to use acrylic on occasion (gasp!). That said, this yarn is Big Twist Natural, 80% acrylic and 20% wool, has perfect fall colors and matched a gray GAP fall coat I bought less than an hour before discovering this yarn. Originally $6.99/skein, I got 4 skeins for 6 dollars! (Go to Joann's and get some. I'll wait.)
I'm doing an Instagram challenge with the hashtag #craftyblisschallenge, and one of the challenges is "Trying Something New". The pattern for this cowl was on the back of the tag wrapped around the yarn. I love this broken fishermen's rib stitch and haven't learned a new stitch in awhile.
Unfortunately, I've developed a bad habit with regard to patterns: I read them then think I know a "better way". I don't know a better way, and I need to learn that the pattern designer is a designer for a reason! This pattern started with 73 stitches cast on size 13 needles. I decided to do a provisional cast on so I could do a 3 needle bind off when it was complete instead of sewing the ends together (it's not knit in the round). Three hours later, I realize that you don't sew the bottom edges together so that provisional cast on was worthless!
I really didn't want to frog all that work, so I pulled out the scrap yarn to see what the edge looked like. It's loose and will lay flat which I think I'll like in such a large cowl since I am my own little furnace these days and don't like to be too bundled up. Stay tuned to see if my decision is a wise one!
In book news, I started Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber late last week and cannot recommend it enough! Karen of the Kitching Stitching podcast recommended it to me through Goodreads, and I'm so glad she did!
I really want to talk about this book once I finish it on the podcast in November, so I'll just say that Bolz-Weber's flavor of Christianity is much like mine. We both have a serious problem with comfortable Christians buying in to the "left behind" mentality. Jesus moved among the fringe of His society, and I truly believe that if he showed up today, we'd find him in a rescue mission in Asbury Park not a mission-style mansion in Beverly Hills. This book is a series of essays on Pastor Bolz-Weber's interactions with an entire rainbow of people (some with tattoos, most with wild hair, a few with ironic hipster glasses, and one corporate vice president).
If that's where you're coming from, you may want to find that book at your library - that's what I did! (If that's not your thing, totally cool, we don't judge.) If you're interested in hearing my complete review, please check out my next podcast. I plan to record in the next week or so. It's available on iTunes and other podcast streaming sites as well as well as this website!
I also attended the Dodge Poetry Festival with 12 students and one other teacher in Newark, NJ, this past Friday. This event is free to high school students, and the entire day is spent listening to poets read their poems, discuss their craft, talk to fans, and then go eat food truck food. Perfect day, right?
Every year, I discover a new poet, and this year, I discovered Tanya Olsen. She was one of the 3 poets who read/spoke during our first session, and she was also on the Poetry and Pride panel. We always close out the day with that session, and this year didn't disappoint. I bought her book of poems at the pop-up bookstore and have been enjoying them over the past few days. Her poem "Rose Goes to Sunday School in the New World" is an incredible exploration of the honesty of young children, and there are 2 poems from the point of view of Jonah (he of whale fame). Her book is available on Amazon if you're interested.
Today I'm joining The Really Crafty Link Party. On Tuesday's, I join Nicole at the Keep Calm Craft On link party. On Wednesdays, I participate in the Yarn Along on Ginny Sheller's blog. Please join us either by contributing a link to your fibery work in progress and current read and / or by checking out the posts to the link parties. You may find your next book or project waiting for you!