Monday, April 16, 2018

Lessons Learned

I started this year with a post on challenges and opportunities, which came on the heels of a rather long and busy year.

April often signals the beginning of "challenge" season, as I like to call it now. I've also realized that April is the month that things are being finished up while other things are begun. It feels like the start of another part of the year, kind of like September does. The fact that my schedule is arranged around the academic year clearly influences this perception.

Nonetheless, April always brings the 30 Days of Biking challenge and the 30-Day Yoga Challenge, two things I've participated in in the past. But this year, I took a moment to remember what I'd written just a few months before and decided to let them proceed without me.

I have a much better idea of what April requires of me. Initially I'd be seduced by the fact that classes were over in the first week or so, which erroneously made me believe I had more time. The fact is, I have a lot of work to do to finish the school year. While I could probably handle the yoga challenge, it's not in my best interest right now.

The biking challenge didn't really tempt me much this year. The weather has been really crappy, and frankly, I don't feel like I have anything to prove - to myself or to the world - about my relationship with my bike. We're good, thank you very much. We'll be on the road soon enough.

In the meantime, I feel like the past few months have been quite productive. I'm getting all kinds of work done - writing, making, etc. - and the fact that I'm not participating in these two challenges has helped that continue.

Of course, that said, I will be participating in Me-Made-May 2018. Hey, my grades will be in; taxes will be done; and I have some new me-mades to wear!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Last Day of Class!

Dress: Yohji Yamamoto
Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Tights: Wolford
Boots: Aquaitalia

Monday, April 9, 2018

March Debrief; April Plans

When the weather finally warms up, we'll take the spring tree down.
Okay, so my three goals for March had been -
1. Finish my Kate Davies cardigan
2. Deal with the dress shirt
3. Get started on beer and the Schoolhouse Tunic.

I'm happy to say that the dress shirt is finished and a success, and I also finished the Schoolhouse Tunic. I still can't seem to get to beer making (need a three-hour window of time, and it's been busy). And then there's the Kate Davies cardigan.

On Saturday, I decided to just get on with it already, so I put in the lines of crochet reinforcement (following Kate Davies's lovely steeking tutorials) and threw caution to the wind.

Here are some things I learned -
a) use a grippier yarn for the crochet reinforcement
b) crochet it tightly

As you might guess, it did not end the way I'd hoped. There were moments of panic as the cut threads broke loose from their reinforcements. There was great frustration and gnashing of teeth. The issue has yet to be resolved, but I've decided to take the sweater to the studio on Sunday and sew those bad boys down. I'm trying to take it all in stride as a learning experience. I'm still hoping for this to ultimately be a success story.

I had another knitting disaster. I'd finished knitting the Anna vest and had really wanted to be wearing it when I had coffee with Karen Templer in Nashville (because I'm a keener), but I hadn't had time to finish it. Back at home, I decided I just needed to put my general disinterest in sewing together my knits aside and finish it already, and then I discovered this:
The best thing about this is that the two vest fronts match and the back has loads of straight-ahead knitting that will be relatively easily to cut and Kitchener back together. I've done it before; I can do it again. The questions is - why do I have to do this again? Oh well.

Oh, I seem to be in the knitting weeds. The Anna vest, the Kate Davies cardigan, and what feels like endless knitting on the Brae Cove tunic (the word tunic should be an indication of commitment required). Plus, I'm still working on the ladyfriend's Squall (trying to avoid being stuck on sleeve island). It feels like all of my projects at the moment are testing me.

So where does that put us for April goals (already a month in!)?
1.  Project to Finish (WIP): it's all about the unfinished projects this month - the Anna vest, the Kate Davies cardigan, and the ladyfriend's sweater. I need to clear the decks before I move onto other WIPs.
2. Fix/Remake/or Let Go: I'm selling two bikes this month - a six-speed cruiser, and a single-speed cruisers. We've been meaning to get rid of them for awhile. I'm believing that spring will actually come.
3. Get Started On: I'm going to work on my crafty plans for the summer, outlining when I should work on which project according to the various elements I pay attention to (e.g. the summer of basics, me-made-May, where I'll be, etc.). I like a good plan.