Posts by Karen Kaminski:
Between the flu and the sudden cold weather, the hot water bottle has been getting a workout. So has mindlessly browsing the internet–I ended up on a German sock yarn site and saw that they knit up the thickest sock yarn into a hot water bottle cover:
I’ll try to track some of this Rainbow Brite yarn down stateside and find a pattern to use–maybe a goal for tonight’s mindless scrolling.
The one year I forgot to get a flu shot–there was kitchen remodeling and all of December to distract me–I get the flu (or la grippe, if you’ve been reading turn of the century novels). I’m on day three and have felt pretty consistently lousy, but today might be a little better?
If only I had some opium pills for it!
1. Funny but depressing: “Popular Dystopian Fiction If It Were Describing 2023.”
4. Presented without comment:
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This was in a Hell’s Backbone Grill email–the owners certainly find excellent picks. January is a fresh start and a birthday and also when my mom died; January right now is ease and health for me and unimaginable suffering for many others.
For When People Ask
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
I want a word that means
okay and not okay,
more than that: a word that means
devastated and stunned with joy.
I want the word that says
I feel it all all at once.
The heart is not like a songbird
singing only one note at a time,
more like a Tuvan throat singer
able to sing both a drone
two or three harmonics high above it—
a sound, the Tuvans say,
that gives the impression
of wind swirling among rocks.
The heart understands swirl,
how the churning of opposite feelings
weaves through us like an insistent breeze
leads us wordlessly deeper into ourselves,
blesses us with paradox
so we might walk more openly
into this world so rife with devastation,
this world so ripe with joy.
It’s my birthday today! I don’t do involved lists of goals anymore, but I do set an intention. And this year I want to keep being a dilettante and reconnect even more with things that I loved as a kid: playing with paper and building LEGO sets, but also listening to music and concert-going and whatever else pops up. (I just discovered there’s a huge Breyer model horse community on Instagram, watch out.)
The point isn’t to be good at it, the point is to do it and delight in it. This illustration of Sister Corita Kent rule (by Caitlin Keegan) sums it up:
Over the last six-ish years, I’ve moved from a gridded bullet journal to the ready-made Leuchtturm weekly planners. (Of course I still use a paper agenda; you never know when you’re going to need to whip it out and take notes about something.) Now that I know how to bind books, though, I thought I’d move back to a gridded bullet journal for 2024–one I MADE MYSELF:
Yet again we can thank Hollanders for this project: They have unsewn graph paper signatures, which come already folded and grouped. Unlike their ready-made text blocks, though, I did have to sew the signatures together:
(That black linen thread is giving off Frankenstein’s notebook vibes, but it’s what I had on hand.)
I’m in love with the cover paper–mountains and colors, some of my favorite things. It’s katazome paper (bought here) which is stenciled and resist dyed, vs the chiyogami paper I’m more familiar with, which is silkscreened. Either way, it’s great and I wish it were available on fabric, too.
As of today, I’ve made 6 pairs of socks this year! (And it may end up being 7; I just have toes and heels on one more.) I wanted to really get into sock knitting in 2021, but I kept getting tendonitis flare-ups. I finally did something about it in August of this year and started getting medical massages. Not only did I knit half the year’s socks in the time since then, I’m back to trying to do a real pull up at the gym–highly recommend this practitioner if you’re local.
Other numbers-based milestones for the year? I finally hit 100 pounds on bench press in November (also thanks to the medical massage); Doc had 3 hospital stays and 1 surgery (and is doing great); and Toby turned 16 (and is also doing great after his vet brought in a pet nutritionist and we got him different food).
I guess the lesson I’m taking from 2023 is… pay for a specialist to fix your problems! Easy! Seriously, though, I’m grateful we could afford our specialists and that their expertise helped us all feel better.
Happy New Year, friends. Stay warm and knit on.
The family didn’t escape getting bookbinding presents–Altair got a gardening journal and Skyler got a photo album. Both were quick projects because Hollanders had the text blocks ready to go.
I was pretty pleased with the casing-in on the garden journal. I’m sure it helped that I practiced with mine but this is my best job yet:
I didn’t get a good picture but I put in a loop of foldover elastic between the back cover and end paper to hold a pencil, and then I tried covering a pencil in matching paper for good measure (extremely fun and easy; everyone almost got a bunch of pencils, too).
The photo album needed a “hollow back tube” binding style, which I hadn’t done before. It definitely turned out as instructed, but it’s not the cleanest job (the tube got a little creased on the side).