Knitting, Reading, and Other Plans


It has been a few days since writing and posting the last blog entry.  I have been a little busy with the finishing touches of my sweater project, started working on a baby blanket, and planning to sew a diaper bag.  In the mist of all thse projects, I have been listening and watching the election coverage, and catching up on some reading.  I am currently reading two books, Obama’s The Audacity of Hope, and a wonderful book by David J. Garrow an historian entitled Bearing the Cros – Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  Yes the title is long, and the book is more than 750 pages long (that includes bibliography and index), but Garrow writes a great biography the King and SCLC during the civil rights movement.  The book was first published in 1987 and won a Pulitzer Prize, and Garrow gives a honest portrait of the civil rights movement.  If you are bit of a history buff, Bearing the Cross is an important book to have in your library along with another author who wrote a triology about King, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65, and At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968.  Should read these books, you probably will meet your reading quota for the entire year (just kidding, but they are comprehensive books to read.

I have been keeping a running list of all the projects I like to do this year, and realized that my little Brother’s XL 2600 my not be up for the task, so I am thinking about getting another sewing machine (comupterized) at a good price.  However, I will give it a great deal of consideration as my pocketbook is the deciding factor into my decision, and there is no great urgency as the current machine works fine for the small jobs.  I still have to purchase fabric for the diaper bag and cover, and found a website called Erica’s (www.ericas.com) that has some great stuff for craft projects.  That is all on my mind for the moment.

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When All Else Fails, Find an Alternative


I decided not to work on the baby sweater for a couple of days and realized that I could resolve my problem by knitting the front sides in a rectangle to match the rectangle shape in the back, and attach the sleeves.  This will require me to make an adjustment without starting from scratch and I can now do a happy dance of the good news.  After that project is completed, I can move on and begin the new t-neck sweater and the baby blanket.  I tend to be obsessive where one thing becomes my primary focus during that period, but I have concentrate on sewing as well because I need some new clothes.

Today, I picked up a new knitting reference book at Borders book entitled The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, by Ann Budd.  The book explains the basic designs in multiple sizes and gauges.  The author discusses six different sweaters styles that differ in the way the sleesve join the body.  Anyone reading this blogging can venture a guess as my reason for purchasing the book after my experience with the baby sweater.  I buy and read reference books as they do give me a wealth of information and some inspiration to continue my project with confidence.  The books contains ample and meaningful information explaining gauge, basic anatomy about each sweater style, and adjusting the pattern for a better fit.  This book is a keeper and I never have enough knitting, sewing, and fiction literature books.

My Sweater Woes


There was a reason why decided to knit the baby cardigan sweater as I seem to run into a little problem. I read the directions and followed to the letter, but looking at the pieces, I do not see the sleeves matching up to the armholes correctly. I may redo part of the front parts of the sweater. Although, I could be annoyed, but am finding this process somewhat therapeutic with the assurance that I more patient than I give myself credit. It is all about a part of the learning process as well as I see my mistakes and really could learn from them as well. Does this process take some time? Yes, but it allows me to slow down in a world that is very fast-paced and encourages me to take my time.

It does look like that I may to start my sweater again from scratch, and conventional wisdom prevailed when I decided to start this sweater with enough time to complete before the baby made her or his debut.  I may to make a correction the pattern with knitting the to front pieces and that should fixed the problem of fitting the sleeves and save me from knitting the sweater from the beginning.  I just came up with an alternative solution while writing this blog entry.  Sometimes I come up with ideas in the middle of writing and part of my therapy.

I have not done any sewing this year as I have become so focused on the sweater, but thinking about purchasing a serger.  I do go back and forth on the to serger or not serger.  However, I do want to sew knit fabrics and would like to have a finished and neater to the garments.  The serger is still on hold for the moment along with my jersey wool fabric for my dress.

Hope and Inspiration


This morning, I had the pleasure of listening to speech given by Barack Obama at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday. I heard sound bites of the speech on yesterday’s news, but needed to wait for the video to air on the website or You Tube. The speech is entitled The Great Need of the Hour and I find it hopeful and inspiring.  With this hope and inspiration should invoke a passion to change, and no question that with change uncertainty that may cause some people apprehension.  However, there are times in life when you should take a risk and not always stand on the sidelines.  I posted the speech below and with one note, I am hopeful to complete the baby sweater this week.


The Scripture tells us that when Joshua and the Israelites arrived at the gates of Jericho, they could not enter. The walls of the city were too steep for any one person to climb; too strong to be taken down with brute force. And so they sat for days, unable to pass on through.

But God had a plan for his people. He told them to stand together and march together around the city, and on the seventh day he told them that when they heard the sound of the ram’s horn, they should speak with one voice. And at the chosen hour, when the horn sounded and a chorus of voices cried out together, the mighty walls of Jericho came tumbling down.

There are many lessons to take from this passage, just as there are many lessons to take from this day, just as there are many memories that fill the space of this church. As I was thinking about which ones we need to remember at this hour, my mind went back to the very beginning of the modern Civil Rights Era.

Because before Memphis and the mountaintop; before the bridge in Selma and the march on Washington; before Birmingham and the beatings; the fire hoses and the loss of those four little girls; before there was King the icon and his magnificent dream, there was King the young preacher and a people who found themselves suffering under the yoke of oppression.

And on the eve of the bus boycotts in Montgomery, at a time when many were still doubtful about the possibilities of change, a time when those in the black community mistrusted themselves, and at times mistrusted each other, King inspired with words not of anger, but of an urgency that still speaks to us today:

“Unity is the great need of the hour” is what King said. Unity is how we shall overcome.

What Dr. King understood is that if just one person chose to walk instead of ride the bus, those walls of oppression would not be moved. But maybe if a few more walked, the foundation might start to shake. If a few more women were willing to do what Rosa Parks had done, maybe the cracks would start to show. If teenagers took freedom rides from North to South, maybe a few bricks would come loose. Maybe if white folks marched because they had come to understand that their freedom too was at stake in the impending battle, the wall would begin to sway. And if enough Americans were awakened to the injustice; if they joined together, North and South, rich and poor, Christian and Jew, then perhaps that wall would come tumbling down, and justice would flow like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Unity is the great need of the hour – the great need of this hour. Not because it sounds pleasant or because it makes us feel good, but because it’s the only way we can overcome the essential deficit that exists in this country.

I’m not talking about a budget deficit. I’m not talking about a trade deficit. I’m not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans.

I’m talking about a moral deficit. I’m talking about an empathy deficit. I’m taking about an inability to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we are our brother’s keeper; we are our sister’s keeper; that, in the words of Dr. King, we are all tied together in a single garment of destiny.

We have an empathy deficit when we’re still sending our children down corridors of shame – schools in the forgotten corners of America where the color of your skin still affects the content of your education.

We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can’t afford a doctor when their children get sick.

We have a deficit in this country when there is Scooter Libby justice for some and Jena justice for others; when our children see nooses hanging from a schoolyard tree today, in the present, in the twenty-first century.

We have a deficit when homeless veterans sleep on the streets of our cities; when innocents are slaughtered in the deserts of Darfur; when young Americans serve tour after tour of duty in a war that should’ve never been authorized and never been waged.

And we have a deficit when it takes a breach in our levees to reveal a breach in our compassion; when it takes a terrible storm to reveal the hungry that God calls on us to feed; the sick He calls on us to care for; the least of these He commands that we treat as our own.

So we have a deficit to close. We have walls – barriers to justice and equality – that must come down. And to do this, we know that unity is the great need of this hour.

Unfortunately, all too often when we talk about unity in this country, we’ve come to believe that it can be purchased on the cheap. We’ve come to believe that racial reconciliation can come easily – that it’s just a matter of a few ignorant people trapped in the prejudices of the past, and that if the demagogues and those who exploit our racial divisions will simply go away, then all our problems would be solved.

All too often, we seek to ignore the profound institutional barriers that stand in the way of ensuring opportunity for all children, or decent jobs for all people, or health care for those who are sick. We long for unity, but are unwilling to pay the price.

But of course, true unity cannot be so easily won. It starts with a change in attitudes – a broadening of our minds, and a broadening of our hearts.

It’s not easy to stand in somebody else’s shoes. It’s not easy to see past our differences. We’ve all encountered this in our own lives. But what makes it even more difficult is that we have a politics in this country that seeks to drive us apart – that puts up walls between us.

We are told that those who differ from us on a few things are different from us on all things; that our problems are the fault of those who don’t think like us or look like us or come from where we do. The welfare queen is taking our tax money. The immigrant is taking our jobs. The believer condemns the non-believer as immoral, and the non-believer chides the believer as intolerant.

For most of this country’s history, we in the African-American community have been at the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man. And all of us understand intimately the insidious role that race still sometimes plays – on the job, in the schools, in our health care system, and in our criminal justice system.

And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that none of our hands are entirely clean. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King’s vision of a beloved community.

We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them. The scourge of anti-Semitism has, at times, revealed itself in our community. For too long, some of us have seen immigrants as competitors for jobs instead of companions in the fight for opportunity.

Every day, our politics fuels and exploits this kind of division across all races and regions; across gender and party. It is played out on television. It is sensationalized by the media. And last week, it even crept into the campaign for President, with charges and counter-charges that served to obscure the issues instead of illuminating the critical choices we face as a nation.

So let us say that on this day of all days, each of us carries with us the task of changing our hearts and minds. The division, the stereotypes, the scape-goating, the ease with which we blame our plight on others – all of this distracts us from the common challenges we face – war and poverty; injustice and inequality. We can no longer afford to build ourselves up by tearing someone else down. We can no longer afford to traffic in lies or fear or hate. It is the poison that we must purge from our politics; the wall that we must tear down before the hour grows too late.

Because if Dr. King could love his jailor; if he could call on the faithful who once sat where you do to forgive those who set dogs and fire hoses upon them, then surely we can look past what divides us in our time, and bind up our wounds, and erase the empathy deficit that exists in our hearts.

But if changing our hearts and minds is the first critical step, we cannot stop there. It is not enough to bemoan the plight of poor children in this country and remain unwilling to push our elected officials to provide the resources to fix our schools. It is not enough to decry the disparities of health care and yet allow the insurance companies and the drug companies to block much-needed reforms. It is not enough for us to abhor the costs of a misguided war, and yet allow ourselves to be driven by a politics of fear that sees the threat of attack as way to scare up votes instead of a call to come together around a common effort.

The Scripture tells us that we are judged not just by word, but by deed. And if we are to truly bring about the unity that is so crucial in this time, we must find it within ourselves to act on what we know; to understand that living up to this country’s ideals and its possibilities will require great effort and resources; sacrifice and stamina.

And that is what is at stake in the great political debate we are having today. The changes that are needed are not just a matter of tinkering at the edges, and they will not come if politicians simply tell us what we want to hear. All of us will be called upon to make some sacrifice. None of us will be exempt from responsibility. We will have to fight to fix our schools, but we will also have to challenge ourselves to be better parents. We will have to confront the biases in our criminal justice system, but we will also have to acknowledge the deep-seated violence that still resides in our own communities and marshal the will to break its grip.

That is how we will bring about the change we seek. That is how Dr. King led this country through the wilderness. He did it with words – words that he spoke not just to the children of slaves, but the children of slave owners. Words that inspired not just black but also white; not just the Christian but the Jew; not just the Southerner but also the Northerner.

He led with words, but he also led with deeds. He also led by example. He led by marching and going to jail and suffering threats and being away from his family. He led by taking a stand against a war, knowing full well that it would diminish his popularity. He led by challenging our economic structures, understanding that it would cause discomfort. Dr. King understood that unity cannot be won on the cheap; that we would have to earn it through great effort and determination.

That is the unity – the hard-earned unity – that we need right now. It is that effort, and that determination, that can transform blind optimism into hope – the hope to imagine, and work for, and fight for what seemed impossible before.

The stories that give me such hope don’t happen in the spotlight. They don’t happen on the presidential stage. They happen in the quiet corners of our lives. They happen in the moments we least expect. Let me give you an example of one of those stories.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organizes for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She’s been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and the other day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

So Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he’s there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.”

By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we begin. It is why the walls in that room began to crack and shake.

And if they can shake in that room, they can shake in Atlanta.

And if they can shake in Atlanta, they can shake in Georgia.

And if they can shake in Georgia, they can shake all across America. And if enough of our voices join together; we can bring those walls tumbling down. The walls of Jericho can finally come tumbling down. That is our hope – but only if we pray together, and work together, and march together.

Brothers and sisters, we cannot walk alone.

In the struggle for peace and justice, we cannot walk alone.

In the struggle for opportunity and equality, we cannot walk alone

In the struggle to heal this nation and repair this world, we cannot walk alone.

So I ask you to walk with me, and march with me, and join your voice with mine, and together we will sing the song that tears down the walls that divide us, and lift up an America that is truly indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. May God bless the memory of the great pastor of this church, and may God bless the United States of America.

Knitting Mishap and a New Knitting Book


I ran into a problem the other night with my baby sweater, the stitches keep twisting and that became a little irritating for me.  The back of sweater is knitted fine, but the problem occurred while knitting the front left side.  There were two problems, the instructions called for knitted 22 times the knit and purl row which translate into 44 rows and the twisted stitches.  The first problem with knitting the 44 rows that it did meet up with the armhole to the back of the sweater, but is easily corrected by just knitting more of the knit and purl until it meets up with beginning of the armhole and adjust the number of rows to make sure it is even with the neck to the back of the sweater.  The second problem is little more difficult, but a solution is on the horizon.  I purchased Knit & Style Magazine during the summer with an article about twisted stitches to refer to correct the problem.

 

 A to Z of Knitting, The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Knitter

A couple of weeks ago, I purchase some reference books for knitting, sewing, and scrapbooking (yes I am thinking about scrapbooking).  For one reason or another, I find that you can never enough reference books when it comes to hobbies and interests.  I decided to the purchase the book  A to Z of Knitting, the Ulimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Knitter by Sue Gardener.  The books has more than a 1,000 photographs of instructions, and the interesting thing about book is the how-to embroidary and intaria knitting with also other knitting basics.  It is a good reference book for knitters, and I like the hidden spiral binder as it is easy to turn the pages along with them staying in place.  If should get a chance, visit Adrienne Little World (http://adrienneslittleworld.typepad.com/) and read her interview with Alice and Grace of Kathryn Ivy blog (http://kathrynivy.com/).  Good day.

Knitting the Pieces Together


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In an earlier post today, I talked about the progress of the baby sweater.  I have got as far as knitting the back and half of the left side of the sweater.  I modified the pattern somewhat as I do not know if she having a girl or boy, so the border is in garter stitch than in seed stitch.  My hope is that I knitted the front of sweater correctly to shape the neck and shoulders.

The Baby Sweater


I did a few things over the weekend.  I started working on the baby sweater for my co-worker, read blogs, and began reading Barack Obama’s Audacity to Hope.  I worked on the back of the sweater and must mention that I started three times before it looked fine to me.  I am left-handed and my stockinette stitches looked criss-cross, so in order for me to change this pattern is when I did a purl stitch, I turn the yarn in a counter-clock stitch just as I did for the knit stitch and it was so much smoother and more consistent.  A lesson learned for me as I was knitting counter-clock wise, and purling clock wise which does make a difference in the look of the pattern.  I finished the back of the sweater and began working the left front side and found it remarkable that is knitting baby clothes is much easier than I thought, although the trickest part of the sweater will be the shaping of the armholes.  That is the thing about knitting it is flexible and you can always do it over.

I must admit to being a procrasinator or perhaps placing too many things on my plate and becoming full before finishing everything.  I tend to purchase books with the intent of reading them later, particularly literature.  I brought Obama’s book when it was first printed in November 2006.  I read his first book Dreams of my Father, and thought it was a well-written and well-told story about how he had to come to terms with his identity and finding where he becomes in the grander scheme of things.  Now, I am going to let you in on a little secret, I personally met Barack Obama in 2004 when was newly elected to the U.S. Senate when he came to radio station for an interview for one of our programs.  Upon meeting him, I found very approaching and leave with the instinct feeling that he listened to what you were saying.  In other words, I think is probably one of the most perceptive individual I have ever met.  He has the ability to play attention to whoever he is speaking with at that time.  It was within that moment, I had this feeling that he is going to run for president and could win.  I found him to be a leader that would mobilize and galvinize people in which to change or improve policy that is inefficient and ineffective.  I think he bring smart, talented, and doers together to put a plan in place and call people to action to implement it.  It will be interesting to see what happens in this election.

Getting Through Another Week


Now that the holidays are behind along with a nice little vacation, I getting back into the thick of things.  I finally made the trip to yarn shop and received the correct dye lot for the other two skeins of yarn.  It is amazing how you can see the subtle differences in colors, and I certainly did not want to knit the sweater in two different shades of beige.  Of course, I am making the knitting for probably would not care because I put thought and took the time to knit something for her baby, but it would bother me if I did not put my best into the project.  This is the project I am knitting using a smaller needle size and it is different as it does take a longer to finish with smaller needles than larger needles.  In addition to exchanging the skein of yarn, I purchase three skeins of Plymouth Yarn to knit a blanket.  If I just focus working on the sweater, I could complete project by the end of next week, and start on the blanket which I can put those project away for March.

I also have some reading to catch up on as well.  I couple of magazine articles from the New Yorker and the Barack Obama’s Dream Machine article by Newsweek.  I have some heavy reading to get through this year.  I purchased Obama’s The Audacity to Hope, What is The What, a memior, A Long Way Gone: Memiors of a Boy Solider by Ismael Beah, On Beauty and White Teeth by Zadie Smith, and other books I should read by the end of this year.  My book and CD stash are huge and probably need to do a purge of things I no longer need (Clean House yard sale).  It is good to get through the second week of the year, and make room for a fabric and yarn stash.

Only Tuesday


Yesterday, I returned to work after being on vacation for a week and discovered over 60 emails in my box with only a few of them really important such program changes due to covering the Iowa Caucus last Thursday.  Of course that particularly email was no longer a priority since the time has come and gone.  However, one email stood out from all the others.  The radio station is moving to a new location in Soho New York City and dealing with moving more than 250 employees and engineering and studio equipment.  I was designated as the move coordinator for my department and serve as the “conduit of information” between the department and facilities director.  Much to my surprise and chagrin the email stated that was a meeting for Tuesday located at the new space.  I asked myself, why do we need to meet at the new space to discuss the move when it came be done at the current one.  It is a 20 minute commute via subway and sit for a little over an hour discussing the logistics of the move.  That took a two hours of my work day particularly when you have other things on your plate at work.
 
 
Then I came home and find an email from Hot Patterns for the latest patterns to its catalog.  Hot Patterns as two new patterns, a blouse and the Wong-Singh-Jones Kimono dress.  I love the dress pattern for its contrasting fabric in the front and slash.  I so am going to purchase the pattern and find some cotton or silk jersey with a print for the contrasting fabric.  Then again, there is always a black and white print shape-like thin branches with a black solid fabric for the contrast.  There are plenty of ideas, but it is only Tuesday.
 

Tackling that Sweater


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 I must admit that in my apartment are plenty of knitting magazines I purchase over the past six months.  With this in mind, I decided to make my first sweater for the year 2008 as it is getting little boring making hats and scarves. This meant me searching through magazines for that first project.  In finally chose to knit a turtleneck sweater from the fall issue of Knit.1  The pattern seem be one of easiest to knit, and yarn chosen is Lion Brand’s Jiffy which is not expensive.  I went on http://www.discountyarnsale.com and purchase the yarn for $16.83 for nine skeins. No the yarn is not wool, but it is a good price for nine skeins.  The yarn is an acrylic fiber, but it is fine since this my first sweater and this builds me up to spend more on the next sweater project. On a side note:  The new show How to Look Good Naked with Carson Kressley on Lifetime Television premiered tonight.  I have always been a fan of Carson ever since Queer Eye because his buoyant personality and made his subjects look at things differently when it came to looking their best.  Well Carson does the same for this new show in getting women to accept and feel good about their bodies.  Body image is important to a lot of women and we have something we do not like about our bodies.  I for one am not going to dye my hair when the graying starts.  In fact, I am going to get a new hair cut to show off the gray.  However, there is always something from I do not like flab under my arms to my feet are too big.  I think some of you will like the show if only for Carson to make you laugh.

 

Another Knitting Project Completed


Knitted Bag

With this being a new year, I decided to finish unfinished projects around the apartment. So tonight, I decided to finished a knitted bag I worked on over six months ago. All the pieces were knitted, but did not get around to sewing everything together (the downside of knitting, hand sewing). The only thing left is to stitch the pocket. I also receive three new books today from Barnes & Noble, Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, volumes one, two, and three. I promised myself that I would learn and experiment with different stitches including cables and color knitting.

The body of the bag is a chocolate brown, pink strap, and green pocket. I sewn in two pink pockets inside the bad, but I still do not know what how I am going to use it. I could use it for a workout bag or traveling bag to keep my knitting projects. This is a little kink, but I can adjust and wait until next week to start project. It is the reason why I allowed myself enough time before March to complete the project. I still have a stash of yarn and waiting for my knitting needles to start on the baby sweater. However, that the three skeins of yarn I purchased for the project, I noticed that one of the skein was not the same shade as the other two, same color number, but different lot number. It is my hope that when I return to the yarn shop next wee.

Baby Project

Project Runway


After a couple of weeks of repeat, Project Runway continued with its competition taking an interesting twist. Wednesday night’s challenge sent the designers to the Hershey store at Times Square and use the materials available the store to make an outfit.  I thought most of the outfits were creative with the idea of the outfit being playful and like candy.  It was interesting that Jillian actually was the only designed who used candy to make her outfit.  I thought Christian is more of a figment of his own imagination as he only used the Reeses’ butter peanut cup wrappers to make his dress, and wondered if he realized that Michael Knight from the previous season used coffee filters to make a dress, so it probably was not as originally creative as he thought.  However, Rami’s creation was innovative and just great garment construction.  I think Jillian, Chris, and Rami took the time to think about the constructions of their outfits (Jillian has the most difficult time).  I have to say it was one of my favorite episodes thus far.  

Being a Perfectionist


With just two days into the new year and hopefully starting with the new year resolution or the bucket list I wrote about in yesterday’s blog, I heard a program segment on the Brian Lehrer Show about perfectionism.  The dictionary definition of perfectionism is a propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.  I believe perfectionism has its place as we certainly want a surgery to pay attention to every detail performing surgery, or the air traffic controller in the control tower directing planes to land or take off with the greatest precision.   Perfectionism has its positive and negative aspects.  The positive aspects of perfectionism are that it can drive people to accomplishments and provide motivation to persevere in the face of discouragement and and obstacles.  It can provide driving energy which leads to great achievement, meticulous attention to detail necessary in scientific investigation commitment which pushes composers to keep working until the music realizes the glorious sounds playing in the imagination, and the persistence which keeps great artists at their easels until their creation matches their conception all result from perfectionism, according to W.C. Rodel. With negative aspects to perfectionism include being a possible workaholics who cannot relax; people who reproach themselves for the smallest errors or wrong words for days afterwards; the person so intent on finding the perfect mate that they never settle down, the procrastinator, the finicky person, and tend to be exceptionally sensitive to criticism.  This kind of behavior to could lead to a lot of stress, unhappiness, and depression.There are times when I am a perfectionist with certain things in life such as whenever I am baking because chemistry is important to the process and everything should be measured correctly.  Whenever, I knit in the round to ensure that I do not twist the stitches or I could end up with something twisted and unwearable.  I can imagine event and wedding planners are perfectionist, but probably are more on the healthy side as they know that sometimes things can go wrong and need to make any adjustments.   I learned to become an well-adjusted and adaptive perfectionist, and there are just some things I do not care about.  However, I have spent hours finishing up a knitting and sewing project because I wanted to get it just right.  If I made a mistake, I would do it over, but rarely got angry with myself as I learned it is a mistake and it can be corrected.  I will admit to my times of procrastination and that generally comes to something I really do not want to do, so I do it as the last minute such as getting up in the morning to get to work. However, I will not allow perfectionism overshadow the goals I want to obtain in my knitting and sewing for the year just as long as create a reasonable expectation of what I can accomplish.  Which means not making a couture dress when I have yet to sew my first dress or blouse.  It does not mean that I will not eventually build up sewing skill to get to the level of making a gown, but dress will be fine for me this year. 

Happy New Year!


Another new year has arrived and one question I asked myself is do I feel any different than the year before. There are some things that remain the same such as working at the same company, living in the same apartment, and family is doing well.  However, I do wonder about what this new year will bring and there is the idea of creating new resolutions of how I can improve myself in those areas that are less than perfect.  Then I listened to a radio program yesterday where the host Brian Lehrer posed the question what if we created a bucket list of the things we want to do before we die than doing the traditionally new year’s resolution.  The bucket list is from the movie entitled with the same name starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play two men terminally ill who decide to take a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they die. This gave me an inspiration to create my own bucket list of things I wish to do before I kick the bucket.  Writing a bucket list is not a usually way to looking at things, but there is a reality that we are going to meet our demise at one point or another, but why not write the list before we are face with reality of having some disease to realize of the things want to do.  Unfortunately, we do not celebrate life because life gets in the way.  We are busy with the mundane that we miss the bigger picture of living life.  Now I am not suggesting that you fore-go taking care of your family, continue to work, or ignore saving for retirement, but remember that life is precious and short.  We should remember that we should not wait for something tragic to happen to appreciate life, and use our creativity to live the best life possible.  So when that final time comes we face death, we can look back and said that I lived my life to fullest and death is just another milestone for our completion. Our bucket list can be anything we choose we want to do, it can be as something as contributing something your community or the world such as one woman who wanted to give money to help with the poverty in Haiti, or something as simple as learning how to ride a bike (for adults who have not learn to ride).  It does not matter with your bucket list includes as along as it those things you want to do within your life that gives you fulfillment and enriches your live.  So when you start to create your bucket list?  Happy New Year everybody!