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Don’t you just love new beginnings? The first of the month, Chapter 1, a fresh journal with blank pages waiting to be filled… New Year, of course inspires even the most unaffected of us. I have made my fair share of plans (not quite resolutions), and inspired by the freshness of everything and my co-operating wrists, I started a couple of knitting projects. Won’t it be nice if I cross them all off by the end of February?

  • Mum’s socks (an unfortunate Christmas gift, due to running out of yarn while in Greece)
  • Zefi’s wristwarmers (an excellent travelling project)
  • Blue cardigan (just the button band and sewing in the buttons left)
  • Brown sweater (began in Greece, but goes fast)

I really want to finish all of them soon, as I have great plans for an ambitious long cardigan next (involving cables. Cables mean counting, hence the element of ambition.)

The photo above is not quite relevant to today’s content, but it was a lovely morning moment for me and couldn’t resist taking a photo of it!


Ever since I was a kid I have been making notebooks out of anything that looks pretty. Over the years, the process has been simplified. At the moment, all I use is some paper, a stapler and a pretty paper or cardstock for the cover. As an obsessive listmaker, I have many uses for little notepads in my bag, but don’t necessarily want to carry the weight of full pads for each type.

These are the ones I am currently using (one for doodles, one for financial notes, one for my to-do lists). They are part of a series I make regularly at work, using recycled paper and unused photocopies of maps we make for patrons, and for whatever reason they get thrown away.

The main thing about these is that all the materials are picked up from the recycled bin. Colleagues keep an eye for, and put aside for me any pages of mostly white paper from the printer. In fact, on Earth Day I made a batch and we gave them away to anyone who wanted one. The color ones are made from a super cool map of Berlin, which ended up very popular indeed!

Lately at home I ‘ve been  throwing away lots of junk, in a very time-consuming but liberating spree of cleaning.  Today I made a big batch of new notepads, once again using stuff that would have ended up in the recycling bin otherwise.

Here is the New York Subway map series:

And here is the South American 2007 calendar  series.

Of course, they are too many to use all by myself, so they ‘ll go into the pile of potential spontaneous gifts. If you see something you like, leave me a comment and I ‘ll contact you, to get your address so I can mail it to you (unless you live in Greece and know me personally, in which case you ‘ll get it in person next month or so!)

e.t.a. Based on this recent article at the New York Times, the subway map notebooks are soon to become collective items, as new maps will begin circulating next month. Time to stop throwing away the old maps and make more notebooks?!

Either it is too much to say, or nothing to say, but when in doubt, turn to lists. So, here ‘s a list of things that made me happy today:

  • Using my recent quick project: bookmarks made with paint samples, ribbon, and a punch hole maker. Easy, fancy, quick.

  • Seeing Seven appreciate said bookmarks, by pulling one out of the book and running away with it.
  • A closet full of folded clothes in neat piles.
  • A huge pile of clothes for ironing, matched with a good movie and a stiff drink on Sunday night (I know, this one sounds weird…)
  • Post-yoga breathing and relaxation.

I hope your weekend was also full of little things to make you happy.

1. Fall is here. This means I can wear some of my scarves, long-sleeved shirts and light coats. Digging them out of storage is like reuniting with old friends.

2. Knitting progress to report
2.a. Brother’s wooly hat: check!

Modelled by: Lamp

Now it is just waiting to be fitted with a soft piece of (other) brother’s flannel shirt, but that will have to wait until Christmas. My job is done here.

2.b. I made a few more squares for the granny blanket, AND managed to weave in all the ends.

I am discovering, however, that I don’t really like the way it looks with the squares in different sizes. Once all the smaller ones are made the same with the rest, I will count again and post a percentage. So far, I will still consider it as of my 15% estimate.

2.c. Blue and green sock # 1 is at the stage of turning the heel. Once this is done, I can count it as 25% done.

3. Kitty company. As I write, all my girls are curled up around me, grooming and enjoying the peaceful company. Being with them is always in my list of ‘things I like’, whether I mention it or not.

4. Quick and yummy snacks. Today I made a smoothie by mixing a handful of almonds (skins removed), soy milk, and a banana. It was very filling and tasty, but not heavy.

Reading back on my Alphabet posts they remind me of primary school essays. That may have something to do with the time of day that I write them, or the lack of interest in talking about myself. Didn’t take that long, did it? Truth is, I ‘d rather talk about knitting and sewing (and occasionally the cats). This structured and ordered sequence of self-imposed topics certainly did not stimulate my creativity. I am impressed with all those people who manage to do it, with much grace and perhaps little effort, but I am obviously not one of them.

No problem with that – I have a list of projects that I ‘ve been working on for a long, long while. I don’t know how this got so out of hand, as I never had more than 2-3 projects simultaneously. Longer projects, though, would reach a point where I ‘d be too tired to work on them at the moment, or I ‘d be watching some fancy Japanese or Indian film where I ‘d have to keep my eyes on the subtitles. Then inspiration would strike, and I ‘d start something new before I knew it. So here ‘s the list of unfinished projects:

1. brother’s grey hat (90% done)
2. Beachcomber Tunic (65% done)
3. Granny Squares blanket (15% done)
4. Lizard Ridge blanket (80% done)
5. Red Sweater (destined to become 9 balls of yarn)
6. blue-green socks (15% done)
7. Noro Clapotis (30% done)
8. Dots bedspread (15% done)
9. red skirt (perhaps destined to become pillowcases?)

The funny thing is that I really want to finish all these projects, and use them. So I will try my best NOT to begin anything new, except the occasional bag (I may need my instant gratification fix every now and then) until I bring the list down to two projects, one of which should be portable. I plan to start with those that are close to finishing, so I can knock them off my list – because that’s what us experienced listmakers do. Wish me luck!

Good luck, Katerinaki! Here, I ‘ll hold on to those until you’re done!

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