Beguiled

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Reflected light,
hides depths below
Murky shadows,
slither and stir
Envious green,
lushly surrounds
Innocent face,
a sage’s gaze
The snare is set,

sirens cry out
A crooked tooth,
thwarts the trap
The idyllic path,
can lead astray

Shannonbridge, Ireland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2009

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c.b.w. 2013

Favorite Thing Friday: Simon’s Cat “Christmas Presence, Part 2

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Happy Friday! It’s the last day of work before Winter Break, so I’m in a great mood. I just have tidy up my classroom a bit and then I’m off for two weeks. Better yet, it’s raining today!! Nothing can really beat that except for a new Simon’s Cat. The conclusion to Christmas Presence is pretty darn cute:

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Between two weeks off from work, the rain, and Simon’s Cat this is shaping up to be an awesome Friday!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2013

Knit Happens at Christmas

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With Christmas only a week away, I am busy wrapping all the presents I made over the last couple of months. In a year of financial challenges, I have to say I’m pretty thankful for my crafty skill set. Not only are handmade gifts one-of-a- kind (and from the heart), but they are a lot easier on the wallet.

Last year, I made a ridiculous number of socks for my family and friends. I’m sure they would have all loved another pair, but I decided they needed another accessory to go with those snazzy socks. My recent obsession with making hats came in pretty handy this holiday season. Starting in September, I sat down and knit a total of five hats in all different styles, (six if you count the one I made for myself). From the basic ribbed hat to a super cute owl hat, my circular needles got one heck of a workout!

From here on out, it is spoiler city for my family and friends. Don’t scroll down any further, unless you want to spoil your Christmas surprise! If you keep going, at least act surprised when you open your gift.

Seriously,  no peeking.

As for the rest of you, scroll past the stars to see some super cute hand-knit hats!

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This hat has already been ripped open and worn. My friend simply couldn’t wait until Christmas! It’s a simple 2×2 ribbed hat made out of my mom’s favorite yarn, Red Heart (Color: Aran).

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It goes with everything!

I used the same 2×2 rib pattern to fulfill a family member’s request for an Indianapolis Colts Blue hat. She wanted a big, thick hat to wear to the games, so I got to work. This super warm hat was made with Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky in Colonial Blue.

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Go Colts!

Pattern: Basic Ribbed Hat by Anne Laird

Last year, I made the Lucy Hat for myself. A family member loved it so much, I decided to make her one for Christmas. After finishing it, I admit I was quite tempted to keep it for myself. I love the color! This hat was knit with Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool in Plum Heather and Dark Grey Marble.

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I seriously want to keep this hat!

Pattern: Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer

Another family member has a thing for sports, so I made her a beanie in University of Arizona red and blue, (as an ASU alumni this hurt a little!). I combined and modified two patterns to make this hat (I liked the general shape of one pattern and the decreasing sequence on the other). I used Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool in Bright Red and Navy to knit this hat.

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Go U of A? Nah.

Pattern: Sorry no link for this one as it’s my own creation.

A friend of mine is obsessed with owls, so I made her a hat with an owl cable brim. To give it some serious personality, I embroidered eyes into every other owl and dubbed it the Peek-a-boo Owl Hat. This hat was made with Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool in Harvest Yellow.

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Peek-a-boo Owls!

Pattern: Owl Hat by Jennie Powell

Of course, some people just don’t like to wear hats, so I had to make some socks and other accessories. Another Knit Happens post is forthcoming, so stay tuned!

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c.b.w. 2013

Building a Chapbook

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After participating in the Writer’s Digest November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge, I found myself with thirty poems and a deadline. The second phase of the challenge involves narrowing thirty poems down to twenty and arranging them into a chapbook. For a newbie such as myself, this is utterly terrifying as I don’t know the first thing about formatting a poetry manuscript.

Aside from the technical logistics of formatting the actual print manuscript, I have a bigger fear that stems from one central question: In what order should the poems be arranged? During the challenge, I chose not to lock myself into a particular theme or type of poetry. I simply followed my muse when responding to each prompt. Thanks to my willy nilly approach, I ended up with everything from multiple stanza poems to haikus.

While not ideal, I decided the wide range of poetry I wrote was more of positive than a negative. Seeing as they are all rooted in my voice, they already had one common thread binding them together. Somewhere in the madness of irregular pieces, my story was waiting to be found.

I printed all of my poems and cut them out. Squares of all sizes lay scattered across my dining room table, each one a small piece of a bigger tale.

I started by making three rows of randomly placed poems so I could see how they “reacted” with one another. From there, I just started moving poems until a timeline of sorts began to appear. Without even knowing it, I had written 20 poems describing a journey I had taken two years prior.

My last trip to London changed my life in so many ways. Everything inside of me shifted and nothing has been the same since. It was a trip that taught me I had more strength than I ever could have imagined. As it turns out, that strength has been an incredible ally as life has tossed a number of challenges my way since my return. Sometimes I wonder where I would be today had I not discovered that piece of myself.

Fragments of emotions and thoughts still wander through my mind, all of which reach back to my days of wandering London streets and soaking in a new environment. All that time alone in a country so far away changed my default settings and forced me to see my world in different way. While I recommend this experience to anyone, it is not for the faint of heart. It’s easy to lose yourself and your footing when attempting to change your perspective.

In honor of an experience that uproots any sense of foundation, my chapbook carries the title, “Finding Gravity.”

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FYI, the deadline for the chapbook challenge is January 7, 2014. Good luck to everyone who submits!

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c.b.w. 2013