Feb 232017
 

I used to love having breakfast in bed. It seemed like the epitome of luxury. When I was still in university I would even get up in the morning, throw some clothes on top of my sleeping tee, walk to the bakery, then make breakfast, and take it into bed with me on a tray. Ever single day.

Then I met my husband. My husband doesn’t like to have breakfast in bed. After a while I decided that I’d rather have breakfast with him than in bed so we established a new routine.

Still, every time I was alone I looked forward to going back to bed with my tea and bread or muesli and a book.

Until I found that I didn’t enjoy eating in bed anymore. I’d rather sit at the table, dressed for the day, and not have breadcrumbs in my bed. Weird.

The one thing I am still doing, though, is setting my alarm early so that I can read or write in my journal for half an hour before getting up. I was really loving that stretch of time, that part of the day when I was completely alone in the quiet before I needed to talk to anyone, or do anything.

And then something weird happened. On weekends or on days without school when I don’t need to get up at seven I stopped reading in bed but instead got up immediately.

First because my husband doesn’t like coming to breakfast only to find everybody else is still in bed (he gets up much later than anybody else in the house) but then because if I stayed in bed reading the whole day would have a very unstructured and unproductive feeling to it. And I could read just as well while having breakfast. And then afterwards. And I’d already be wearing real clothes instead of pajamas, and would be ready for everything the day could throw my way.

And then the other day our son asked me to wake him up a little early so that he could look at something for a test in school. I don’t mind because we don’t actually wake up earlier if I do that, it only means I don’t lounge in bed for thirty minutes before getting up.

And lo and behold our morning was much less stressful. And I still got the same amount of reading time, only a bit later. And there was much less yelling of, “You need to hurry, you’re too late!”. Which is a very good thing.

And so I’m actually debating trading those thirty minutes lounging in my nice and warm bed before getting up for a little less stress while having breakfast. I’m really curious how that will go.

Feb 212017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • rot/schwarz BFL/Seide für Pi-Tuch: weitere 20 Gramm gesponnen und gezwirnt
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Knöpfe an Jehanne genäht!IMG_1849

Erwähnt wurde:

IMG_1851

Feb 112017
 

Today it’s eleven years that I started this blog. Every year I am a little surprised by the growing number. A little like looking at my growing son who might have to start shaving in the near future.

But the blog is still the blog.

And I’m still me.

I will be turning fifty this year, that will be a milstone, and I’m busy as ever, and I think I’m better organized and more productive but who knows.

Still living in the same house, doing the same job, married to the same guy, though. There are things that I don’t want to change as well.

I really should open a bottle of champagne later to celebrate.

And everyone of you, the people who read this gets a glass (or something different if they want), and some cinnamon rolls (I’ll be baking those soon), and a big thank you for coming back here to read time and again.

Thanks.

Feb 072017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • rot/schwarz BFL/Seide für Pi-Tuch 122 Gramm gezwirnt
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • gar nicht
Gewoben habe ich:
  • auch nicht
 
Genäht habe ich:
  • gar nicht
Erwähnt wurde:
Jan 292017
 

After being really motivated and excited to get moving on reaching my goals and changing things up I’ve had a not so good week or two. I can’t even point to a day where it started, I only know that I did not do the things I wanted to, started binge-eating again, and skipped exercise two times in the last week alone.

And I just don’t know why.

There was a moment when it dawned on me that my husband’s „Summer of Love“-project is starting to loom (there will be two performances in May), and maybe that’s when the overwhelm set in. Or maybe it was helping our son with writing a paper about a science project that took several hours over several days, and at the same time I tried to do all my own things on top of it.

And then I finished reading through the revised novel number one, and then I couldn’t quite decide whether I should write a few more scenes for that one, or start reading the rough draft of novel number two.

Of course a decision like that can make you not do anything for a week or two.

And I didn’t sleep well. Again. Woke up in the mornings, way too early, and was tired all day long. So that didn’t help as well.

So I decided to get my act together, and just do the things on my list, and get on with life. But it didn’t quite work, and this afternoon I found myself gazing at the computer screen, procrastinating like crazy, losing yet another day.

And then I felt that familiar thing again. That feeling of being paralyzed and unable to move, or do anything. In the past I have reacted to it by putting myself to bed for a day or two or three, telling people that I’m not feeling well. And I’d sit in bed reading and eating and drinking tea, and not feel better. Until the day when I needed to get up again, or got fed up by my own inertia, and then suddenly I would get moving again.

Only I found that sitting around waiting for the black hole to go away doesn’t really help. And that sometimes that feeling can last months or years.

So I learned to counter the black hole with exercise and with doing things, and with not eating too much chocolate. Taking care of myself by tackling the things I’m scared of and don’t want to do.

This afternoon still feels lost to me. And now that I’ve realized that the black hole has been sucking me in for more than a week I’m not all that confident that it will go away tomorrow.

Seems I have to make myself do things that feel impossible. Like sorting through the papers on my desk, and playing the piano, and writing a blog post even if it’s not a good one.

I have ninety minutes until dinnertime. I bet I can at least do most of the things on my list.

So how are you feeling these days?

 

Jan 232017
 

I have knitted:

I have spun:

  • red cotton: more spinning
  • green merino/silk on the Bosworth Featherweight: about 3/4 spun
  • green BFL with glitter: done
  • first half of the BFL with the Pi-shawl is almost done
  • brown Ashford merino: sample skein on the Little Gem gesponnen
  • dyed by me burgundy merino on the Bosworth Mini: spun about 150 gram
  • Targhee by Etherische Öle on the Turkish IST Crafts started
  • brown Ashford merino: spun for the Miss Marple cardigan
  • red-white merino-silk on the Victoria: spun all the yarn for the Armande cardigan
I have crocheted:
 
I have sewn:
  • Swing-Kleid: one in purple and one in orange with red dots
  • burgundy Leggings done
  • orange-red striped and purple Leggings: done
  • Martha-Kleid: the first one is done
  • Alabama Studio-Top: still needs embroidery on the second side seam, and facings
  • cut out three pairs of leggings
I have embroidered:
  • Dropcloth Sampler „Knotted Stitches“: finished
  • Dropcloth Sampler „Filling Stitches“: started
I have woven:
Jan 142017
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Sunny Socks: der erste ist beim Zwickel
  • Vine Leaves: fertig gestrickt, Enden vernhäht, muss gewaschen werden und braucht Knöpfe
  • Windschatten: Silvester angefangen, der erste Socken ist fertig, der zweite angefangen

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • rot/schwarz BFL/Seide für Pi-Tuch weiter gesponnen
Gehäkelt habe ich:
Gewoben habe ich:
  • Brettchenwebband
 
Genäht habe ich:
  • gar nicht

 

Faserverzückter Jahresrückblick:

1. 2016 – dein Craftingjahr:

  • die Highlights: nicht wirklich Highlights, aber das vorherrschende Thema war, dass ich Jacken aufgeribbelt und neu gestrickt habe
  • Neues ausprobiert/gelernt? Das erste Mal gefärbt.
  • die schlimmsten Reinfälle: Beim Färben 500 Gramm Merino verfilzt.
  • Deine Lieblingsteile 2016: die beiden Swing-Kleider

2. Der Stash 2016

  • Zu- oder Abnahme? Weiß nicht, etwa gleich, schätze ich
  • Deine (Garn)Vorlieben 2016: Auch dieses Jahr habe ich vorwiegend handgesponnenes verstrickt. Ansonsten bin ich wieder zurück zu Merino gekommen. Weich ist halt doch am besten. (Außer, es verfilzt.)
  • Neuentdeckungen? Nicht, dass mir da gerade was einfällt.
  • Was ausgemistet? Mottenverseuchte Seide und alles, was ich eh nie verspinnen werde

3. Events und Aktionen

  • deine Highlights? Ich habe sowieso nur an der Tour de Fleece teilgenommen
  • neue Leute getroffen? Ja, ich habe Besuch aus Amerika gehabt, den ich über Ravelry kennengelernt habe (AlisaB)
  • weiteste Reise zu Craft-Events? (falls du gereist bist) keine Reise

So, und jetzt noch ein paar allgemeine Fragen zu eurem 2016, die nicht unbedingt aufs Handarbeiten bezogen sind. 🙂

  • Song des Jahres? Nö. Aber ich höre wieder die Red Hot Chili Peppers rauf und runter.
  • Buch des Jahres? Auch nö. Hier ist eine (bis jetzt unvollständige) Liste aller Bücher, die ich gelesen habe. Insgesamt etwa 120.
  • Drei Dinge, die du nicht hättest missen wollen?
  • Drei Dinge, auf die du gut hättest verzichten können? monatelange Hüftschmerzen
  • Was hast du 2016 neues begonnen? Färben, Zehnfingersystem fürs Tippen, Fingerübungen am Klavier machen, mehr auf tägliche Gewohnheiten achten und dadurch mein Leben verändern
  • Wovon hast du dich 2016 getrennt? von recht viel Kleidung und Büchern
  • Hast du ein Motto/Vorsätze für 2017? Und wenn ja, welche? Nein.
  • Wenn du sowas hattest: Wie hat es mit deinem Motto/deinen Vorsätzen für dieses Jahr geklappt? Hatte ich nicht. Neuroplastizität finde ich aber immer noch hochspannend.

 

Erwähnt wurde:

Jan 112017
 

I could say that getting more done on the projects that matter to me is a New Year's goal but then I've had that goal for ages, and remember that back in October I decided that I really need to spend more time on writing novels because otherwise I'll never get them finished.

Which is why I seriously buckled down in November, and found that even spending an hour a day on writing was seriously hard for me.

Now I should have lots of free time. I only teach about four hours per day, often less, I don't do much on weekends, I don't commute, I don't do a lot of housework, and so there should be a few hours per day free for things that matter like writing, and blogging, and podcasting.

Now I am still exercising quite a bit, about 45 minutes per day on average. That means on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I don't schedule anything big in the morning because that's when I go walking/running, and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I block off between twenty and forty minutes after work to do strength training.

Still, I'm usually done with breakfast by 8, I don't really cook, just help my husband cut a few veggies here and then, and eat lunch at 1. That's five hours of time, and even with housework and building a fire in the woodstove, and talking to my husband for an hour while he has breakfast, there should be an hour somewhere in there to work on something creative.

So I started writing down what I did in chunks of 15 minutes. I did start last week when it was still winter break. Even though I only did it for a few days, and even though I sometimes forgot to write it down that exercise was eye-opening.

After breakfast I'd sit there, knitting and reading, for three hours. Three hours! And then I went to my computer and spent an hour on the internet. And after lunch I went back to knitting and reading and surfing the web, and then I barely managed to do a minimum of piano and singing practice before squeezing the strength training in, then there was dinner, watching some show with my son, and then bed.

The first day that I tracked my time I spent six hours knitting, reading, and surfing the web.

Well, I like doing all these things but six hours is a bit much.

Now I'm teaching again, and of course the numbers have changed a little. Because I'm spending most of the afternoon teaching. As I should.

But still before or after every single thing I do, housework, practice, or teaching, I check e-mail, instagram, twitter and blogs. It is a bit embarassing, really.

Now I don't want to stop these things completely. I really like blogs and ravelry and instagram and books and knitting. I still want to do other things as well, like sewing, and weaving, and writing.

So I think I need to change things up a bit. Limit my time online. Not give in to check instagram and twitter quickly before starting something else because quickly is always half an hour or more.

I don't really want to use one of those programs that block your internet access. I've tried that in the past, and I always get around it in some way. It does help that right now I'm sitting in the kitchen (right after breakfast) and the wifi is still turned off but in the long run I will have to find a way to build new habits. Like leaving the studio five minutes after the last student, and not half an hour. Like not spending every single minute between students checking social media.

And most important to actually write and sew and weave and spin when I have thirty minutes here and there.

How are you spending your time? Are you happy with where it's going or do you wish you had more time to do what's important to you as well?

Dec 272016
 

And yes, I know I'm almost too late.

Still I wanted to let the people who are still watching this space know that I'm thinking about them often. It's only that not writing has become such a strong habit that writing this feels weird. Which it shouldn't.

Interestingly this advent has been the least stressful in ages. I'm still thinking about why that is.

November was crazy busy and at times rather stressful because I did NaNoWriMo again, and I also did the sweater knitting thing. I had to knit the sweater twice because the first time it was way too small, and while the writing went well it did not go as smooth as I had hoped. Still I think doing both events was completely worth it.

Then Decenber came around, and I went to see a few people for brunch, and afterwards I just knew that that had been the one thing too much.

And I canceled everything for December. No meetings, no appointments, no concerts to watch, no parties to go to, I even canceled the spinning meeting that I really had looked forward to. And our son decided that he didn't really want a birthday party. And I got all the presents rather early and sent them off pretty early as well.

And then I started decluttering the house. I spent two weekends going through all my clothes and books, and I'm planning to tackle papers next. I'm doing it by the KonMari method, mostly.

And while that did add a bit of stress, and quite a bit of work, it also made me feel like I had more control over my life, and that felt really good. I'm completely fed up with all the piles of things everywhere, and my options are to either get lots and lots of new shelves, build another annex, or get rid of stuff.

I don't want to end up living in something that looks like a warehouse, and there is a lot of stuff around that I neither need nor want, and so I am letting go of it, and it feels glorious.

I actually reduced my clothes yet again, something I wouldn't have thought possible, and there still are a couple of things that will go next year once I have bought new things that actually fit me. And I got rid of about 200 books. All books that love but I am completely sure that I will read none of them ever again. And I don't need the physical book to remind me that I used to love it when I was fourteen.

So apparently the key to having a stressfree advent is to not do anything, and make sure to get enough sleep if possible, and to meditate every day, and to focus on the things that you're able to control.

Now we are right in the middle of Christmas break, and I'm planning to make these days as normal as I possible can. Work on my writing, do the housework on time, go to bed early so that I get enough sleep, and exercise as usual, maybe a little more because there are still all these cookies and chocolates to eat.

And I'm planning to continue the decluttering. We'll see how that goes.

I hope you all have a peaceful and relaxing time as well.

 

Dec 112016
 

Gestrickt habe ich:

  • Black Rib: Socken aus anthrazitfarbener Regia Silk für mich, der zweite ist bei der Ferse, aber wahrscheinlich stricke ich den ersten dann noch mal
  • Sunny Socks: hatte den ersten bs zur Ferse fertig, war zu lang, also noch mal
  • Armande: fertigIMG_1802
  • Vine Leaves: wird heute angeschlagen

Gesponnen habe ich:

  • rot-weiße Merino-Seide: auf dem Victoria für Armande 500 Gramm gesponnen
Gehäkelt habe ich:
  • Jehanne zum zweiten: Vorder- und Rückenteil fertig, eventuell zu klein
Genäht habe ich:
  • gar nicht
Erwähnt wurde: