Tuesday, May 05, 2020


I've been thinking a lot lately about routines and how we adjust to them. As someone who has a tendency to worry about things, I like a routine and find comfort in it -- and at the same time, I also get very anxious about uncertainty and not knowing what's coming next. So in times like these, when there is so much that is unknown, I've found it to be very grounding to stick to a routine, even though it's not the routine I was used to before the pandemic. We've all adjusted to a new schedule, and I can't say it's been a bad thing. We're all getting a bit more sleep and we're eating more meals together than we used to. Life feels a lot less rushed because we have few obligations and nowhere to be except in our respective work spaces in our house. My work schedule certainly feels a lot more flexible, given that I'm able to sneak more crafting time in (when I'm in the office, even if I'm not busy, I have to have the appearance of being busy, so I'm limited in what I can do, but now I can spin or knit or crochet while attending meetings or in between projects).

Whereas at the beginning of this stay at home time I felt a bit scattered with my crafting and couldn't really concentrate, I feel like things have settled now and I'm focusing on just a few things. One has been Rainbow's crochet blanket, which I'm continuing to work on for at least 15 minutes a day as part of the 100 Day Project. I am now into the fourth skein of Felici of the original eight, and we uncovered six more skeins yesterday while looking for something else. My foot is provided here for a sense of scale.

Now that the rounds are getting larger, the stripes are starting to do some interesting things. I can also tell that the fabric is skewing a bit, which isn't surprising, but I'm pretty sure I can block the blanket out square when it's done. I also know that Rainbow won't be too picky about it.

For my knitting, I've been fairly faithful to one project, the shawl design that has been on the needles for way too long, and I can see that it's almost done by the amount of the main color (the blue) that's left. I have three rows left to knit in the current sequence and will be weighing the yarn after each one to get an idea of whether or not I have enough yarn to complete one more sequence or need to move on to the border. Either way, it's looking like the shawl will finally be off the needles sometime this week.

I know it doesn't look like much of anything here -- with this shawl shape, it's really hard to get a sense of it when it's still on the needles. So I'm very excited to block it and get the full picture.

Reading is continuing at a good pace, and I should finish up two books in the next couple of days. I was surprised on Sunday afternoon when I found that my hold had come up on Blue Lightning, the fourth book in the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves. I got about 50 pages in that day and then read most of it yesterday while spinning; I now have about 50 pages left and expect to finish it this morning. I also have about 2 1/2 hours left to listen to Ask Again, Yes, which has been my listen-while-running book but has been so good that I've also been listening while cooking, folding laundry, and doing other things. I've been listening to it at 1.25 time, meaning I can get through an hour of audio in about 45 minutes, so those 2 1/2 hours will actually probably take me only about two hours. I ran yesterday, so today will probably be a long walk while I listen.

I'm still trying to get outside every day, and the weekend was great for it, but it's gotten colder here again -- I'm wearing a sweater right now, and they're saying we'll get snow tomorrow! I'm hoping the cold doesn't damage any of the plants, especially because we have some sunflower seedlings starting to come up:

That rosemary, by the way, is from last summer -- it gives you an idea of just how mild our winter was because I literally left it out in the pot and did nothing to protect it! The sunflowers are seeds from the ones we grew a few years ago that grew to be something like 7 or 8 feet tall, with positively enormous blooms. We tried to grow some last summer, but our landscapers mistook our seedlings for weeds and pulled them; this year, when I plant them in their final growing spot, I will be very deliberate about labeling them.

I'll have some more plants arriving this weekend thanks to the annual plant sale our synagogue preschool does annually as a fundraiser. I was worried it wouldn't happen this year, but thankfully they're still doing it, with a socially distant pickup on Mother's Day. I ordered impatiens for the front yard, marigolds for the back (I'll continue to pick and dry them for natural dyeing at some point in the future), three types of tomatoes, and a pot of "Italian" herbs. I'm excited to get the garden going again!


  1. It's amazing how projects get completed, even when you're "monogam-ish"! I've personally been surprised at how those 15 minutes a day really add up on Hitchhikers, and you are certainly progressing on Rainbow's blanket. I know we're all chafing at the bit, but in some ways it's also going to be hard to go back to normal (whatever that looks like). More sleep, more meals together, and more crafting time are going to hard to give up.

  2. I like the skewed effect of Rainbow's blanket. It looks better and better as it grows.

  3. I'm glad you added your foot to help scale Rainbow's blanket - wow! It's huge already! (the blanket, not your foot)

    I love your garden pictures. Can't wait to see more!!

  4. Our Rosemary and Sage survived the winter (which is just stunning to me!) I was feeling comfortable in this "new routine" now with Steve working mostly from home, and now this week he started back to the office 4 days, which makes me fret a bit, because other.people. My comfort level vanished overnight.

  5. Impatiens are one of my favorite annuals, because they looks so meek when they go in the pot--and they get SO seriously mighty! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on routine. I'm anticipating the shift here after 5/15 when schooling is done. I can manage it for myself but wonder how long it will take my kids to settle into a HEALTHY new rhythm.

  6. Routines are so important for us -- and especially now, when things feel so otherwise scrambled. I'm glad you're finding a routine that's working for you. :-) Love your projects -- and really can't wait to see that shawl.

  7. monogam-ish is such a GREAT word :-) I do find I make the most progress when I focus on just one (maybe two) things and that always encourages me. until that squirrel crosses my path and sends me in another direction.

  8. I am enjoying your progress on both the blanket and the shawl. I'm anxious to see the shape of the shawl. Yes - it is good to get the garden going. I went out today and did a curbside pick up for plants. Now for a little warmth and sunshine. It's chilly here although the frost predicted last night didn't materialize.