wip

Hi, my name is Anne, and I have KADD (knitting attention deficit disorder). I have multiple projects in progress, and that never stops me from casting on another — and another. However, I’ve found that it’s handy to have a variety of challenges on hand. I always need an easy Netflix-and-knit project, something repetitive that I can knock out on a roadtrip, something more challenging that I can conquer, and something that I need to set aside and think on for a bit. And any of these are subject to being ripped out at any time.

knitting bag

Currently in my knitting bag are these works-in-progress (wip):

Baby bibs and washcloths in cotton. I’ve found that knitting with cotton yard is hard on my hands (there is no “give” in it), so I only work on these in short spurts.

bibs.jpg

My first grown-up sweater (I’m seriously contemplating frogging this one and using the yarn for something else). I love the yarn, but I just don’t love the project. I’m trying to decide if that’s reason to move on or not.

cardigan

Reyna Shawl in dreamy Anzula Squishy:

squishy reyna

My second Strathmore scarf with Quince and Co Sparrow.  I made one for my mom and decided I wanted one just like it. This second one has been all kinds of trouble, though, and I put it aside weeks ago.

strathmore-scarf

And even with all of that going on, I have serious urges to cast on a dress for Kenna and a little black shawl for me. And I’ve already got Christmas gift ideas percolating.

Are you a knitter? If so, do you have KADD, or do you knit one project at a time?

Off to surf ravelry,

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well, hey there

I didn’t mean to take a blog break — especially such a long one, but sometimes life gets in the way. February flew by, and March is nearly gone, too. I don’t have much to show for it here, but I did get to go see my peeps in Chattanooga for a long weekend last month. Kenna (now 8 months old!) has grown so much and is learning new tricks every day. Paul and I kidnapped her and had so much fun. She’s a sweet, happy girl.

meandk

(photo credit: Will)

I have been knitting up a storm and reading some, too, but not as much as I’d hoped. I cast on a center-out baby blanket that should have been really easy, but I took it apart and started over about 10 times — once after starting the third skein of yarn! I can live with some imperfections in a project, but I decided to rip it all out when I realized I would never be happy with this one as is. So I cast on yet again — which is a real pain because it starts with a circular cast on and then double-points. If nothing else, knitting pushes me to persist and be patient.

embracing-obscurity

Last month I finished reading Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything (by Anonymous!), and y’all, it is good and challenging.

I read Rules of Civility, a fiction work I’ve heard fellow readers recommend again and again. I enjoyed it.

I found a copy of Sweater Quest on my shelves recently, and it was my bedtime reading for about a week.

I’m still slowly rereading Island of the World, and I’m juggling several other books, too.

 

If anyone is still reading this poor little blog, thanks ever so much! I’m looking to make some changes in my life — inspired by some recent things I’ve read and heard which I want to share — and hope to return to more regularly updating this little corner of my world.

Happy Saturday!

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“A calling is not some fully formed thing that you find.”

gritI just finished reading  Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. It was recommended to me by a dear friend, and the subject matter is right up my alley. I’ve often wondered what makes some people able to weather adversity while others wilt and give up under it. And I’ve wondered if this mental toughness — or grit — is something you’re simply born with. Duckworth is convincing me that grit can be encouraged and developed, and that is some very good news if it’s true.

We all know that talent matters, but that’s only one ingredient of success. Even more important (we all know talented people who just can’t seem to get it going) is effort. And gritty folks make the effort — over and over again. Gritty people have passion and perseverance, and Duckworth argues that these traits aren’t fixed. We can learn them.

Which is very good news for younger folks, if they’ll just pay attention. And it’s very good news for older people who may be discouraged about their own progress or frustrated by what they see in millennials.

The instant success story is exceedingly rare, and I’ll bet that when we hear of one, we’re only hearing a tiny piece of that story. Yes, some people — very few people — seem to “luck” into something great. But that’s the exception and not the rule. The more likely scenario is putting in time, effort, figuring out how to bounce back after failure, and eventually creating a rewarding career or calling or hobby out of all of that.

Actually becoming good at something doesn’t often look like much at the beginning, and sometimes we don’t even know we’re beginning something. But if we stick with it, over time, we see nuances and get interested enough to pursue more. Here’s Duckworth’s colleague Barry Schwartz:

“There are a lot of things where the subtleties and exhilarations come with sticking with it for a while, getting elbow-deep into something. A lot of things seem uninteresting and superficial until you start doing them and, after a while, you realize that there are so many facets you didn’t know at the start, and you never can fully solve the problem, or fully understand it, or what have you. Well, that requires that you stick with it.”

Duckworth contends that “passion for your work is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, and then a lifetime of deepening.” Just think how much time all of that takes! I think we all have a romantic aha! moment picture of passion, and we impatient humans don’t make the time to develop interests and cultivate passion. We think that just because we have an interest in something, we’ll naturally be good at it  and love every part  and will see instant success. That reminds me of a quote from this “literary perfectionist” (I love that description!):

“The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.”

Drudgery. Time. Effort. Perseverance. Work. Development. Learning. Failure. Pursuit. Patience. 

Dirty words. But true, time-tested ingredients of getting good at something.

Unlike Duckworth, I’m no expert here. I came to my current career only in the past few years (although it is a return to my field of study in college) through a series of events that turned my world upside down. And I feel like there’s just not enough time to learn all I want to learn about it. But I do know that the more I learn, the more I want to learn. I feel a sense of urgency. But there is no substitute for time and picking up new things every day, trying to figure out how the parts fit into the whole, asking questions, messing up and determining not to make that same mistake again, and, yes, drudgery.

More from Duckworth:

“What do you tell people,” I recently asked Amy [Wrzesniewski, a management professor], “when they ask you for advice?”

“A lot of people assume that what they need to do is find their calling,” she said. “I think a lot of anxiety comes from the assumption that your calling is like a magical entity that exists in the world, waiting to be discovered.”

That’s also how people mistakenly think about interests, I pointed out. They don’t realize they need to play an active role in developing and deepening their interests.

“A calling is not some fully formed thing that you find,” she tells advice seekers. “It’s much more dynamic. Whatever you do–whether you’re a janitor or the CEO–you can continually look at what you do and ask how it connects to other people, how it connects to the bigger picture, how it can be an expression of your deepest values.”

“A calling is not some fully formed thing that you find.” Amen.

And as a side note, I think these ideas apply to hobbies as well as vocations. My first knitting project is embarrassing to look at, but now over two years in, I’m able to make pieces worthy of wearing and giving as gifts. And I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I want to learn and make. Time, practice, watching You Tube knitting tutorials over and over again, asking questions, getting stuck, messing up, ripping out, and starting over. This is the stuff of knitting. The more I do it, the more I enjoy it.

I usually fly through a book like this one, but I’ve taken my time and thought a lot about it. And I’ll keep thinking about it after I return it to my local library. Have you read it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2017 knitting goals

If you know me, you already know that knitting is my favorite hobby these days. Here’s how that happened: A little over two years ago, a fabulous yarn shop opened up in Thomasville, and some of us at work did a team-building exercise of learning to knit there. I’ve always tended to be busy with my hands — cross-stitch, a brief foray into macramé back in the day, needlepoint (I’ve got dining room chair cushions and a William Morris framed series to show for that), sewing (for home, for me, for my daughter), and cake-decorating. I’d tried to knit here or there through the years, but it never “took” — mainly because I had no one close by to help me when I hit snags. This time, the utterly inviting and inspiring atmosphere at Fuzzy Goat, the ever-available help and encouragement from Cadence, and a common bond with work peeps combined to make me fall in love with creating with yarn.  I’ve slowly progressed, but I feel that I really learned some new skills in 2016, and I am more confident now that I can tackle harder projects.

So this year, I want to:

  • make a sweater for myself (I’ve made two baby sweaters, but a larger one that really needs to fit will be a challenge.)
  • learn to cable
  • start my Christmas gifts early
  • make a few fun decorative items for our home (maybe a wreath or a seasonal garland for our mantel)
  • visit yarn shops as we travel and pick up souvenir yarn

I recently updated the knitting tab up above, and I’ll try to add to it as I go. I’ve been spending a good bit of time these days on ravelry searching for projects and inspiration. You can find me there as ge0rgianne (the o is a zero).

Here’s my current work-in-progress. It’s a gauzy wrap made with very fine yarn that is causing me to go blind, but I love the color (the gorgeous blue-green does not photograph well) and the softness:

etherial-scarf

Are you a knitter? If so, let me know so I can follow you on ravelry. And if you’re not a knitter or have no clue what I’m talking about, please be patient with these posts. There are other topics here at floridianne, I promise. 🙂

I’ve got lots to do today around here — cleaning, finally undecorating the Christmas tree, grocery shopping, laundry — but I’m already looking forward to this evening when I can settle into my chair beside Paul and pick up my knitting. That’s when I will relax, feel so at home in our home, and be productive and creative all at the same time! Perfection!

Happy Saturday friends!

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lately

Things have been busy but good around here. Most notably, Paul and I traveled to Tennessee last weekend to have Christmas with my children and their families, along with their father and his wife. It was a wonderful time of celebrating together, and all of us were grateful for the healing and grace that allowed us to gather. My daughter and her husband hosted us for a delicious meal, and my sweet granddaughter was passed around and cuddled. She’s a gift!

 

I knitted some gifts this year. Below are a scarf for Anna, and a cardigan for Kenna. I forgot to take a photo of the scarf I made for Caroline:

(I couldn’t resist getting Kenna some skinny jeans! Jersey-lined, with an elastic waistband!)

We continued our tradition of visiting McKay’s, and I finally stopped by Genuine Purl and picked up a skein of yarn I can’t get locally. We also had some Mojo Burrito.

Outside of Genuine Purl, these leaves took my breath away:

ginko

Caroline cut my hair, too! I got the luxury salon treatment and a new do! (Photo by Caroline – @haircrash on instagram):

hair

We gave the kids record players! (totally Paul’s idea!). We celebrated to the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin:

record

Paul washed dishes, and I snuggled sweet baby girl:

I’ll leave you with this one (photo by Will). It cracks me up every time I see it!

amazed

Gotta run — super busy Saturday!

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random thoughts

~ It really rubs me the wrong way when I hear the word ‘gift’ used as a verb. What’s wrong with ‘give’?

~ I’m listening to rain falling, and it’s a sweet, sweet sound.

~ I’m listening to my husband snoring, and while it’s not a sweet sound, he’s a sweet man, and I’m glad he’s mine.

~ 2016 has whizzed by faster than any year I can remember, and it’s also been one of the weirdest.

~ I’m in a bit of a reading rut, but that’s okay because I’m on a knitting binge. If I could just figure out how to do both at the same time, I’d be in hobby heaven.

~ I rarely use my laptop anymore except to blog. I love my iPad. So this seems like an awesome idea.

~ Are any of you watching This Is Us? I’m really enjoying it. It’s filling the Parenthood void in my life. 

Gotta get back to my knitting!

saturday miscellany mashup

Whew! After a tough week, it’s Saturday, and I’m so very glad. I slept until 8:30, made some coffee in my new Keurig (the one I’ve had for over four years finally gave up, and Paul couldn’t resurrect it), and got back in bed to read. I’ve caught up on the news (none of it good), and I’m about to pick up The Nightingale from the tall stack of library books on my nightstand.

Paul told me that today is Anne Day*, but I still haven’t decided what to do with it. For now, I’ll enjoy this quiet time in our room. And I think that later I want to hit up the sale at Fuzzy Goat.

Knitting has been a reliable stress reliever for me these days, and I’ve got some finished projects to show for it. Recently I completed a self-fringing shawl that got me back into my knitting groove:

fringeshawl

And I made my sweet granddaughter a cardigan and hat. I just need to block the sweater and add a button and then it will be done:

libertyset

Last night on a whim I cast on for a shawl with Zauberball Crazy yarn that is really driving me crazy — the yarn keeps tangling. But it’s in the perfect Auburn orange and blue, so I will persevere — much like I hope our team will persevere tonight.

Here are a few links I’ve bookmarked this week and finally been able to read this morning:

~ Ina and Jeffrey: A Love Story

~ In the pot nine days old

~ Stop acting immutable

~ The gift of sleep

Oh, Saturday! How I love you! And Paul, thank you ever so much for giving me an Anne Day!

Happy Saturday to y’all!

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*If you’re new around here: Anne Day is this sweet gift Paul gives me. Essentially, it means that I get to do whatever I want to do. This means that we spend the day together doing fun things instead of chores. 🙂

saturday

Today has been a perfectly lovely day:

~ Paul’s brother and his wife are in town and stopped by for a visit. I can’t believe I didn’t think to get a photo of the brothers!

~ Paul and headed up to Thomasville for lunch and a couple of errands:

beemer

gear

George & Louie’s for lunch:

gandl

~ A stop at my favorite yarn shop. I just love this place! I love that when I walk in Cadence calls out, “Hi, Anne!”

lys

~ A stop for an Icee on the way home (I know, I know… it’s not Whole30. But I felt like we were on a little vacation, so I indulged. It’ll be okay.)

iceestop

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drive

I hope you’re having a good Saturday, too!

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a few things

~ Months ago I lost a favorite earring – one of a pair I bought in Hong Kong over fifteen years ago. They were my go-to silver loops. I almost tossed the remaining one recently, but last night I found its mate in a tote bag I haven’t used in ages. Hurray!

~ I’m a Florida voter, and although our primary is on March 15th, I voted early today:

vote

I’ll share more of my election thoughts soon, but for now I’ll just let you know that I voted for Marco Rubio.

~ It looks like our house hunt is finally over. We just have to wait for the builders to finish it. Meanwhile, I’m purging like crazy. I only want to put what we need and enjoy into our new home.

~ I recently cast on a new knitting project – Ridged Wrap. Here’s what the finished project should look like, and I chose yarn in a shade very close to that pictured:

ridgedwrap

~ Just like I have multiple books in progress, I have many knitting projects in various states of completion. Tonight I’m going to cast on for a gift for my granddaughter who is due to arrive this summer.

I hope your week is going well,

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weekend of chill

I cannot tell you how very much I needed and am enjoying this three-day weekend, but I’m going to try…

Remember the insomnia I recently lamented? Well, Friday and Saturday nights I slept all the way through, and then some. And last night, although I did have some awake time in the wee hours, I went back to sleep until 8:30 this morning! I’m beyond grateful for good sleep. If you sleep well on a regular basis, stop right now and thank God for that gift!

I’ve been productive in a few things (laundry, grocery shopping, finishing a scarf), but mostly I’ve rested and relaxed and knitted and read and watched tv and celebrated Paul’s birthday (Saturday) and Valentine’s Day.

I kicked off the weekend of chill by knitting:

frikni

On Saturday we celebrated Paul’s birthday with dinner at Ted’s:

bday

teds

 

teds2

And on Valentine’s Day, we went to church, looked at houses (we’re trying to find one to buy), then went to a nice dinner at The Edison:

edison

ed2

And now on this Monday morning, it’s nearly noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I slept in, spent time reading, drinking coffee, and visiting with my stepson. I’m about to pull out the knitting again.

bib2

knitbag

So the weekend of chill continues. It’s wonderful.

Happy Presidents’ Day, y’all!

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