Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Fresh Start

Mild January days make for good walking weather and gorgeous sunsets. I miss the snow cover but am happy not to be slipping and sliding along. Yesterday I put away the last remnants of Christmas. The Christmas mugs went to the top shelf and my children's Christmas books are back in their storage bin. This year Jonah and I read The Night Before Christmas over and over. I tucked the old (really old - 1949) Golden Book copy from my husband's childhood into the book basket that sits by the rocker year round. No matter the date, the grands get to request their favorites. The winter picture books are out on the coffee table, available for reading. 

Monday I decluttered and dusted my study. The room accumulates Christmas gifts along with gift bags, paper, tags, and mailing supplies. In one corner, I sorted out a basket of knitting stuff: odds and ends of yarn, patterns and needles that might be or have been used and need to be put away, tape measures, and several little notions bags with extras. I also cleaned out desk drawers, a small cupboard of office supplies, and mopped the floor. Walking into a clean, well organized space this week feels so nice. Now to move on to the yarn stash and the kitchen desk. The new year lends itself to fresh starts.

I unraveled the Archer sweater. The yarn at gauge and pattern were not a good combination and I wasn't enjoying the project. I swatched with three different yarns before choosing Finch by Quince and Co. Generally I swatch until I create a fabric I like and then modify the pattern to fit my gauge. If Archer had a more conventional construction, I'd do that. Instead I am dreaming up a Spring cardigan with the yarn. In the meantime, I finished the first sock and cast on the second. Rows on the Minimalist Shawl grow longer. This all makes good knitting for January.

I am reading Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver. Her work has been among my favorites but this novel is not her best writing. It feels heavy and confrontational. During the first third of the book, the constant switch between stories is jarring. Maybe they will come together later. I wonder if Kingsolver's social statements would have been better written as essays or nonfiction.

Linking with Kat and the Unravelers. Here is to a fresh start for the New Year. 


  1. What a beautiful sunset photo. I am longing to get out and walk, but it has either been too wet or too windy or a combination of both on the weekends. I loved Kingsolver's early books (Poisonwood Bible is one of my favorites), but her later books have just plain annoyed me. I'm on the Overdrive wait list for Unsheltered, but from reviews I've read, I'm not sure I will be able to get into it.

  2. Your fresh start sounds lovely, clean, and ready for a new year. I've just put away the last Christmas bits, and now need to vacuum and clear out the cobwebs. I fear that I'll soon have dust buffaloes roaming the landscape.

    My experience with Unsheltered was much the same. It's funny because I agree with many of her opinions, but I quickly tired of feeling like I was being bludgeoned with them. Essays might have been a better format.

  3. I love your Fresh Start! I am hoping to get that very thing completed soon - I am high on ideas but low on energy to get them done. Hopefully my Fresh Start will be finished next week!

  4. Oh, Jane. I felt exactly the same about Unsheltered! Barbara Kingsolver has always been a particular favorite of mine, but I found Unsheltered to be off-putting. Her "preachy" style didn't work for me at all -- and I line up with her politics! I'm sorry to tell you that . . . nothing really comes together later. :-( I love the charming sock!

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  6. you and I are a lot alike. My studio becomes a dumping ground of all the Christmas wrappings and stuff. I am back to regular order (yay!). I do like kingsolver especially poisonwood bible. She writes compelling plots. I have not read the one you are reading and I've read mediocre I'll be passing on it probably! sorry about the sweater but then you get to knit again with the yarn for something else so it's double the pleasure :)