Yesterday I cleaned out the pantry, which was in a sore state. I tend to just shove the overflow in there (in sharp contradiction of my express principles). So I organized the food, found places for a lot of stuff that was just on the floor, and generally made it so that I didn't want to barf when I went in there.
The problem is that there are so many projects going on, and this is my project room as well as my food storage room!
|Simply, the floor. Sometimes you can't see it...|
Yes, these are pictures of a 'tidy' pantry. This is indeed the best I can do!
Back to yarn.
Last week I went to the sale at our local yarn shop and lucked out with enough Shetland wool to make something largish for someone for Christmas (nod, wink). At 75% off the yarn, I'm feeling very smug about that.
|It's not easy to take a photo of black yarn.|
You can see it all packed into this wire drawer. It's black. That one drawer is my yarn stash, and I have vowed not to let there be more yarn than what fits in there. That seems wise, doesn't it?
Aaaanyway, I also picked up these little skeins for a dollar, with the idea that I could maybe make little fingerless mitts or some other small project. However, each one is only 110 meters, and I'm not sure that the vague idea I had of combining them in some sort of striped pattern to eke out the yardage (meterage?) is going to work.
They are pretty, aren't they? The mustardy yellow was in my mother's stash, but I assume it's about the same amount. I do think the green and the heathery beige could go together.
Now, about the books.
I took a little trip to the library yesterday and got these (all but the Euclid, which was lent by a friend).
Going from bottom to top:
Closely Knit: Handmade Gifts For The Ones You Love has some attractive patterns, including something that might do for the black. Simple, knit in the round, useful. And it may be that when I can look through this book for small projects, I will find a pattern for the little skeins. I'd say that of the books in the library, this one had the fewest truly ugly patterns. Honestly, some people's ideas of what could be worth making, much less wearing!
Backyard Sugarin': A Complete How-To Guide, Third Edition was recommended by Amanda Soule yesterday, and I immediately requested it and lo! It came in right away. Love that interlibrary loan! So far I love it.
How-to books should all begin this way: with what makeshift apparati folks have come up with, leading up by degrees to the ideal, 'proper' if you want to call it that, usually more expensive set-up that only someone who is committed will get into.
Obviously you don't know if you are committed until you try, and there is always room for failure, improvement, and experience. Why all books aren't like this, I don't know. In fact, this is what we try to do here on the blog. Show you what's possible without all the money and shiny equipment...that's what I like. I often have to convince myself that spending a teeny weeny bit of money is okay.
Next year, if I can convince the Chief of this, we might get into maple sugaring.
I did think of it before. We have a neighbor who, every once in a while, pops over to tell me what I should do. A few years ago he came over quite unexpectedly to tell me I should tap my trees!
Well, yes, I should! But I don't think he realizes that not everyone is ready to do what they should do.
I'm a city girl. I can almost tell a maple from an oak, but not quite. If I had been younger, I think I would have cried after his visit, because really, he could have offered to help me to do it or at least to figure out how to do it. Instead, I sort of laughed it off, but in truth I would have loved to tramp around with him, figuring out which trees are best.
Maybe now he'll tell me. I'm even older now.
And maybe he has some of the equipment in one of his ramshackle structures...
The Euclid is there because we are about to start into it with Bridget. I believe that Euclid can be profitably studied by a mature student. It should be in every high school curriculum (even though it's part of the Quadrivium), which sort of falls into the category of "do what I say, not what I do" because only some of my children have studied it, and not at home.
That's mainly because I've been unsure I could tackle it, not having studied it myself. But my friend convinced me I could and that she would help if necessary (see, that's a bit of a different approach from my neighbor's!).
Some other time when we're talking about education, and not yarn, I'll go into it and why it's better for a kid to study Euclid than any amount of philosophy or even literature. But anyway, that is why that book is there.
And The Search for Joyful is my bedtime reading as of last night. It's a sequel to Mrs. Mike, a book I found irresistible reading but oh, so traumatic! Then yesterday in the library I realized that it is a novel, and that makes it a bit better -- to think that it didn't actually happen to a real person, although of course, many wrenching things do happen in real life.*
However, this book doesn't seem to be as well written, so I may abandon it unless you can convince me it gets better.
So, these are your action items:
Ideas for those little skeins, talking me out of maple sugaring, and telling me if that book, The Search for Joyful, is worth it.
*Okay, it's not a novel, even though it was in the novel section and the authors call it a novel. Other than the whole trauma thing, it's a wonderful story and I guess I'm good with knowing it's true. However, the consensus from the comments and private conversations is that the sequel is not worth reading and gets worse the longer you go into it. So I'm going to finish My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams, started last year, instead. That's far more edifying!