There's a lot of heaviness in the world right now.
Now that we're well into January, I'm sitting down to write and glance back at the last year. I'm not much of a resolution-maker (not fundamentally opposed, just not for me), but I do find it's healthiest for my heart and mind to reflect and then continue on into the next year. Like every single year, there are good, hard, and in-between snippets and seasons.
I did it. I hopped aboard the sourdough train. I've made exactly one loaf of sourdough in my life, once last year, just a few months before we moved across the country from Texas to Indiana. I've long been interested in fermented foods, and tried my hand at a few, namely, kombucha, yogurt, and sauerkraut. And sourdough has been one on the want to try again list. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
I love baking. I truly do. The difference between a bad afternoon and a good one can be as simple as a baked good. I love the slow process, the premonition of preheating the oven, sometimes playing around with different flavors. My favorites are your typical "home bakes," nothing couture. Cakes, cookies, brownies, etc., are all my go-to baked goods to make in my own kitchen.
Some projects come along at just the right moment, and this shawl is one of them. After several rather hectic months, I wanted to get back into the rhythm of knitting, but wanted a fun, low-pressure, but still creatively inspiring project. I love knitting socks, but I wanted to knit something with more colorplay and this shawl was just the thing.
I thought it was time I wrote about my recent reative pursuits, since I haven't done a "Creativity check" since February! In the interim, I didn't work on as many projects as I usually do, in part because moving and transitioning took precedence. That said, I haven't been totally idle and I have been knitting, but I haven't gotten around to sharing those projects and I wanted to get caught up!
It's that time of the year when typically, as a born-and-raised Northerner, I'd be yearning for spring. That yearning isn't quite so pronounced here in Austin, but nonetheless, February is a month of almosts. Winter is almost over, spring is almost here, etc. And so it has been timely for me to indulge in a few self-care practices (and treats) while we're living in the almosts.
Every January, when many are looking forward to the next year, I like to take a few moments to look back. I dig into what the previous year meant for me personally and what it meant for me and Nicholas in the context our our family and community. After I've done that, I feel like the year has a sort of closure, and I can look forward with clearer eyes. As is usual with my annual year-in-review posts,* I've grouped everything by category and linked to previous pertinent blog posts. This was a big year for us! But I suppose every year feels rather big because every year, in it's own style, is a year of full, hard, beautiful life.
Each year, I enjoy writing up a little summary of completed projects. It's fun for me to notice trends in my creativity from year-to-year, considering life events etc. And I do enjoy looking at year-long collection of work, so to speak.
We're in the midst of some preparation for a trip up north to visit Nicholas' family, but I wanted to stop by and talk about life lately. I've settled fully into pre-Christmas rest. This past week was filled with the last-minute busyness of mailing Christmas cards and shipping some Christmas gifts to my family, filling the stocking with a surprise for Nicholas, and regular, ordinary life things, like work, laundry, etc.
I've mentioned numerous times that much of my knitting lately has been gift-related (and secret). I finished and gifted one such item recently and wanted to finally share it here.