Yesterday was the end of a week in which I needed some grounding influences, and two delightful ones arrived in my mailbox:
A gorgeous calendar, thoughtfully put together
Janel Laidman over at Spindlicity has created a 2009 calendar to support that online magazine for handspinners, newly reborn (and welcome back!). She took the photos (nicely styled) and put together a very appealing calendar.
Some of the months are natural-colored, and others, like July, blaze brightly:
The spindles range from antiques to contemporaries, with an emphasis on the latter (so you could actually acquire one that appeals to you), and include many varieties. Janel knows spinners: not only are the spindles identified by maker (when that's possible), the fibers are identified.
The daily blocks are nicely laid out, with six weeks in each calendar's spread. The extra days (from the preceding or following month) are labeled with gray numbers and the month in question is in crisp black. I don't know about you, but I appreciate being able to see that much of a month's neighbors before or after I've flipped the page.
Looking through the pages, there's a whole lot of visual diversity. We have four positions in our house for wall calendars, one of which (by the kitchen table) is reserved for Leslie Anne Ivory's cats.
I know exactly where this calendar will be spending its year: opposite my desk, where I'll be able to look at it during most of the hours of the day. This year's occupant of that space has been offering me a delightful sequence of Chinese folk art. Previous years have seen Wolf Kahn there, and also Deborah DeWit Marchant, who will be upstairs in '09.
Janel's spindle images are perfect for that spot: colorful, calming, inspiring. I'll be looking forward all year to October, for Tracy Eichheim's wonderful spindle, along with hand-combed Polwarth from The Spinning Loft. (Which reminds me that Tracy's building me a spindle some time this fall. He had sold out of what I wanted at the Estes Park Wool Market.)
Blue yarn and a nudge in the right knitting direction for the (scattered) moment
My daughter saw the pattern sitting where I'd left it on the couch last night and this morning said, "I think I want to make those, and I think I have the yarn." The pattern is set up as a formula, rather than specific instructions. There are actually two patterns in the packet (there's information on the backs of those pages, too), with lots of possibility for variations. The ideas will work with any weight of yarn, so I'll bet my daughter does have something she can use even though her stash isn't very big yet ( . . . yes, she does have access to some portions of mine). And I'll also bet that with Lynn's thorough instructions my daughter won't be asking me many questions while she's working on this project (I'm happy when she asks questions, but I'll bet she'll also be happy, as a new knitter, not to have to ask as often).
Browsing through the pages of Lynn's pattern also has me wondering how many of the people on our holiday gift list might enjoy a nice pair of wristwarmers.
Meanwhile, yes, with Lynn's propitious nudging I've cast on with the blue yarn and started knitting some fingerless gloves. My start is shown with the calendar page. I noted yesterday that I had several projects and project-planning bits of swatching going, all of which felt like walking uphill with lumber tied to my feet. Not so with Lynn's gifted yarn and this small project, which I'm working in a simple pseudo-cable rib.
Our county is predicting that on Tuesday we'll be processing about 60,000 voters at the vote centers, of which there are either 33 (as we were told in training) or 32 (from my count on the website). The outlying centers won't have very many people, so the city ones (including the one I'll be at) may see several thousand voters each.
If I were still a regular ballot judge, I wouldn't have a chance of knitting a stitch. Over in the provisional area, with fewer voters needing more extensive record-keeping, I might get in a row or two. I'm glad I know what I can take with me that will be soothing, instead of cumbersome.
And great work, Janel!