Amy Artisan

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Routine Things

I find it interesting how quickly we can slip into routines. Initially some “new thing” may seem odd and then before you know it, it is “your” routine and any change to it causes you to pause.

While work travel might seem like a big distruption to routine, in reality a new set of routines emerged for me while on the road…a Sunday evening flight to Chattanooga…Tatum, the shuttle driver, waiting at the airport to take us to the hotel…the barista at Starbuck’s starting to make my drink every morning as soon as I walked into the store…the 2 block walk from the hotel to the office…These routines helped to bring some normalcy to the “un routine” when work was extremely busy.

Now that I’m back home routines are shifting and some old routines are once again new…making coffee each morning with the french press & listening to NPR on the kitchen radio while getting ready…the daily commute on the bus & el (including darting across 4 lanes of traffic on Western Ave. from the bus stop on the way home each evening)…etc…

A routine that is never routine is having a birthday. With the travel of the last couple of months, mine seemed to sneak up on me last week. The first Saturday of this month was a delightful afternoon tea at The Peninsula Chicago with my friend Elaine – her birthday is in late October so every year we try to celebrate our birthdays together with something fun. On my birthday, I met Jen & Kristy at Bin 36 after work and we each enjoyed a wine flight and splitting an appetizer. Jen’s husband, Greg, picked us up and then we all enjoyed a yummy dinner at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr. The day was also filled with emails, e-cards, instant messages, cards, and calls wishing me well. All in all, a lovely celebration!

A long standing routine has been my bookclub, The G.I.R.L.S. When I moved to Chicago in the fall of 1999 this was one of the first things that I joined – my friend Maya invited me to “her group” and the first book I read with them was “A Widow for a Year” by John Irving. Last week I was able to participate in a gathering for the first time since May – it also marked 7 years since my first meeting. We were a smaller group than some months; however, that didn’t diminish the good conversation. Our book was “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell – as is always the case, we talked about the book for a bit and that conversation spurred many other conversation topics.

A newer routine (since 2003) is scrapbooking – I host a quarterly “crop club” for friends to get together and spend a morning working on albums and catching up on life. This past Saturday was the last one for this year and it was great fun to have everyone back at my house for the morning (In Sept. a friend graciously hosted us at her place because of my travel) Since it was a chilly autumn morning it was the perfect weather to make some yummy fall goodies – a pot of spiced cider simmering on the stove, warm applesauce and a pumpkin cranberry coffeecake (using one of my favorite shortcuts, the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread mix).

As I’ve mentioned, knitting is once again (finally) part of my routine. This weekend I finished up several felted bowls from Oneskein. These are a quick knit and it was fun figuring out which bowls to shape them against. I anticipate making a few as gifts and as I get my office/craft room/guest room organized I plan to make a couple for in there. (pictures to come) I continued to work on some of the projects that have been on my needles for a while (including socks!) and tried to start some new ones.

Knitting to comfort others is a routine that I enjoy. In the coming week I’ll be knitting a square for a new comfort blanket. Cathy is pulling together a blanket to comfort her friend Jenn who is in need of some comfort these days.

As I also get back into the routine of blogging, I have a couple of Knitbloglandia items that I’ve been meaning to post – so now seems like a good time to do it!

Soctoberfest

I joined Lolly’s sock celebration for October and then didn’t knit a stitch on a sock – although a sock project traveled with me the entire month. Insert your favorite quotation about good intentions…

So belatedly, here is my sock history. It is a short history.

In February 2003 I took my first sock class at Arcadia Knitting. Over the course of the class I finished the first sock. Pretty soon thereafter I began the second sock. And well, recently I discovered the bag with the sock and yarn – as you can see not much progress has been made on the second sock. In May of this year I took a “Socks on 2 Circular Needles” class at Arcadia. As I blogged about earlier, the first skein of yarn was a bit defective so I didn’t get the sock finished. When I learned that I would be traveling for work this summer I thought that socks would be a great travel project. Yeah, well that didn’t happen. The work travel is done and no socks were knit; however, I have picked up quite the sock yarn stash over this year. At Stitches Midwest in August I picked up Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles and have started on another pair of socks using this method. With all the sock yarn that I now have I am definitely ready to knit socks. I have several projects to finish before the holidays; however, I hope that the coming months will be an extension of Socktoberfest for me.

Swap-o-rama

In August I signed up for several swaps – not “putting it together” that the mailing deadlines were in the middle of the work insanity. I’m thankful that my spoilees have been patient as I’ve been slower getting their packages together.

  • KnitFlix: This concept was a lot of fun – movies & knitting! Earlier this year I even had a post about movie knitting. My swap pal was Amy in MN. She put together a great box of goodies. The movie is Babette’s Feast – I’ve never seen it but had it in my Netflix queue. Lots of popcorn for snacking. And the yarns! A beautiful purple silk from Alchemy yarns. A Dusty Olive Malabrigo with a great button & the pattern for the Gelato felted bag. Thanks Amy!
  • Knitter’s Tea Swap 2: Round 1 in May/June was so much fun so I’m back for more. I was spoiled by Barb in Canada. With the cooler days, these yummy teas will be enjoyed soon – Also some yummy honey sticks to sweeten the teapot. One of my favorites for tea snacking – shortbread! A berry candle the smells of fall. And a pale blue Paton’s Divine yarn. Thanks Barb!
  • Dishcloth Shuffle: As I’ve mentioned in numerous posts, dishcloths are a relaxing “go-to” knit for me – so this exchange seemed like a great one to join. I was spoiled by Alisa in Australia. Alisa knit 5 different dishcloths in beautiful colors and patterns. She also included some bright cottons for my own dishcloth knitting, some fun Australia themed stickers, an iron-on to embroider, a dainty hankerchief (how did she know I have a collection?) and a cute notepad from her recent vacation to Thailand. Thanks Alisa!

My packages have been dispatched to Minnesota, Nebraska, Western Canada & Eastern Canada. whew!

15 Comments

  1. Goodness Amy you have been busy! I’m glad you are able to spend more time at home in your routines with friends! I also wanted to thank you for signing up for a square for Jenn and for posting about it here – knitters never cease to amaze me in their generosity and compassion!

  2. Your routines aren’t so routine, really. They sound … comfortable. Happy birthday, happy Thanksgiving, and happy normal daily life to you!

  3. Happy birthday!! I agree, it is nice to get back to some comfortable, home-based routines, huh? My favorite is the French Press Coffee one – I never start a day at home without a big cup of coffee from my French Press. 🙂

  4. Your birthday evening was lovely! Glad we could celebrate with you.

  5. Welcome back home finally…and happy belated birthday! It’s nice to find you can make routines in ‘foreign’ places. I find it’s all about the people who start to notice you and make you feel like you belong.

  6. I’m so glad that you had a good birthday and hope you’re enjoying settling into home again. Home is so comforting after being away for a long time.

  7. That update made ME tired. Hope you had a wonderful birthday.

  8. Wow! That was a lot of “routine”! Your socks look great. And Happy Birthday!!

  9. As a child you always were ready to try something different and looked for the excitement and comfort of new routines. We have established many deep traditions but they didn’t keep us from incorporating new memories. Change has always been an adventure for the family – which is probably why you thrived in school despite going to nine schools in 12 years. I’m glad to see that you still maintain that sense of adventure and excitement.

  10. Hope you had a fun-tastic birthday! We have lots of “routine’s” too. Its funny how we always fall back into them, but with 3 kids (and one more on the way) we need our routine’s!! Great swaps, love the dishcloths 🙂

  11. You have some lovely routines. I loved hearing about them!

    Fab birthday wishes for a fab girl! Hope you had a good one.

  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As always, I love reading your blog. It’s warm and loving and always makes me think. I hope this is a fabulous year in your life and brings you lots of surprises!

  13. Happy Birthday! I’m ehausted now…need a nap.

  14. Your birthday was last week? Happy Birthday!

  15. I haven’t seen “Love, Actually” in a couple of years and I really enjoyed that. (I cry over anything warm and fuzzy and have to hide it from my husband who thinks I’m a wuss.)

    You just reminded me that it’s time to rent it again.

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