take it personally

new year, new paradigm

2016 is ushering in a lot of great new things over here at casa akabini!

I'm back to designing full-time, and looking forward to re-issuing some of my 2nd Nature patterns as akabini patterns...

And Unpatterns.com has found a new home here - see the tab up at the top of the page (where there will be more detailed content coming soon), and feel free to click the Patternfish link at right to see the whole collection for purchase over there.

And I'm looking forward to posting here again with my random thoughts about life, healthy food, geeky knitting tricks, and ALL THE MAKES!


Nice to be back.

always more tiny

Our move two years ago into this mildly smaller house (1200 sq.ft. down from 1400) was a great exercise in refining our lives and the things we lived with. When Boyhood and I were moving our possessions, we took advantage of the fact that it was a 5-block move to "high-grade" our stuff. We took the things we truly loved, and had a lull of a few weeks to consider everything we'd left behind in the old house. Did we miss it? Was it really great? If not, it's gotten purged.

Fast-forward a few years (has it really been almost 2 years since we moved into the Red Cottage?), and the steady creep of 'stuff accumulation' has led to fewer hangers in the (already tiny!) closet, a dresser drawer filled with socks, underwear, loungewear I can't identify....

And then once I watched "Tiny" on Netflix, it was settled. A purge was in order.

I've also been following Project 333, and while as a clothing maker I have a profound wariness of getting my wardrobe down to 33 items (all the sweaters! all the scarves! would I have to stop knitting?), I'm longing for a simpler wardrobe - especially as I move from space to space for work and weekends.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you: half my wardrobe. (The half that's at home - there's another load just like this in my work-week living space).

I'm about to pull out the things I know I love to wear, the things that are easy and a good expression of myself in the world. The things that fit, that fit with one another, and are fun to wear.

In another pile will go the obvious donation items: things I'll never wear again, things that really don't fit, or things I've just gotten over or worn out enough to let another person have a crack at them.

In another pile will go my off-season items (right now, that's winter) - we have a separate space upstairs where I can store these until they come into rotation.

And a third 'oh god, I can't decide!' pile will get boxed up, put under the eaves upstairs in deep storage, and if I don't miss it in a few months' time, it'll get donated too.

Will I get down to 33 items? Maybe for here, for my weekends/off time at home... Then I'll winnow the work clothes down to a similar number, and start sewing my ideal wardrobe to streamline even more!

Stay tuned. Excited to be documenting the process. (And glad to be back in the blogosphere!)

life in a southern town

Hey, peeps:

Time to answer some questions...

• Are you still alive?
Yup, just displaced. Poppy got a hip replacement almost a month ago, and we've decamped to provide support while he rehabs. It's been so great to be around to help out, and it's also been interesting to be removed from our usual home setup for a while. I've been shipping out orders (from my friend's garage), running and working out (OMG obsessed with TRX!), and of course knitting -- just not lace.

• What do you mean, no lace?
Well, I packed two lace projects (one cowl and one Unpattern sweater in lace, just for yucks), and then discovered that I do not have the brain space for lace, no I do not Sam I Am. All Stockinette, All The Time is the mantra of the day, and that my lovelies is how it will stay for the next few weeks until we head home.

• How's the marathon training going?
If you were keeping track, you'd notice that the ticker to the upper right hasn't been moving lately. That's not because I haven't been running -- quite the contrary. I've just decided that with everything else going on, the part-time job that is marathon training needed to get put aside. I'll run another one soon, but Eugene didn't happen for good reason, and Bellingham won't either, and that's okay. I'm actually enjoying building a more casual relationship with my running -- a more day-to-day sustainable regimen. I'll be running 4-6 miles a day, 3-4 days a week for the foreseeable future, and (to quote Martha Stewart), that's a good thing. 

• Have you MadMen'd Yourself?

Why yes I have, thanksforasking:

More soon, my lovelies, I promise.

Talk amongst yourselves... 


My sister-in-law D, she of Mooseknits and now Running Water, said it best: blog entries about not blogging are bo.ring.


I've realized I'm not blogging about today because I never finished blogging about the trip. And then today becomes yesterday, and another day goes by unblogged. So.

Here comes the rest of the story about Our Big Trip! I'll keep them up here in the July section for a few days, then file them down where they shoulda gone, under earlier dates, to keep the story in sequence.

Here we go! Back to Blighty...! (Pardon me while I pour a pint of cider to get the proper atmosphere.)

now *this* is funny

You Should Be a Teacher
You are patient, optimistic, and good at explaining things.
You work well with all types of people, and you are a good role model.
Success and positive outcomes are extremely important to you.
You are both a good leader and instructor. People look up to and depend on you.

You do best when you:

- Can see the results of your work
- Are able to teach someone a new skill

You would also be a good nurse or non fiction writer.

And that I should take this quiz... at Stitches? hee hee.

happy birthday, jed!


Fabulous nephew Jed,
and writer of cartoons,
turns THIRTEEN today.


Happy teenagedom, Mr. J !

I love you from all the way up here!

p.s. I hope you like your presents. 


[Illustration from www.bluebison.net] 

a little glass of whine

After posting yesterday, I realized that it sounded a bit too "oh-poor-me-little-suburban-American-white-girl-my-expensive-toys-don't-work-right."

Have no fear - the knitting content and the goofy running commentary will resume asap.

And just this very moment? It's 9:30 am, and beautifully sunny, which means it's getting warmer out there by the second and I really really don't like running when it's hot.
And I knew that when I sit down at the computer to check e-mail and read blogs, that's one step in a direction away from running this morning... and this afternoon it'll just be hotter.

So here I go.
See you out there.
(p.s. We're up to 60 minutes and about 5 miles now!)

in which I whine (but only a little)

Well, we're entering Week 2 of Life Without A Computer of Mine Own...
and really, it's not for lack of trying on anyone's part.
• the guy on the phone at Tech Support was super-sweet;
• the folks at the Genius Bar deserve the name;
• and my in-house Genius Bar (thanks, Snej!) has been checking in every few days with some new ideas...

and the back-up new computer still just hasn't shipped yet.

So we're trying to enjoy Limbo-Land, and remember what the *@&% it was that we all DID before we could surf three hours a day and type up every single little thing and save everything to a spreadsheet or word-processing document...

I remember now.
Before I geeked out, I used to garden:

So that's what I did all yesterday afternoon.

This photo was taken at sunset, which comes around 4:30 pm these days here in the upper parallels-
the day had been simply too beautiful to spend inside. About 55 degrees F, sunny and still - just right for working in a long-sleeved shirt in the garden.

Now our veggie beds are all tucked in for their winter nap, under straw eiderdowns.
I even snapped a shot of our kale bed, sporting a magnificent colorway I wish I could translate into Fair Isle for Janine:

If this computerless state carries on for much longer, I'll have to resort to entertaining y'all with photos of Boyhood mopping the kitchen floor or something!

what i got

It's an early Thanksgiving around here at casa akabini:

I got
• a husband who encourages me to spend an overnight in Bainbridge to knit with my homies;
great friends who also happen to be colleagues;
• still more friends with en-suite studio apartments wherein I may lay my weary head after much knitting;
• a chance to learn at the feet of Feralknitter today;
• license to play with color and yarn and pencils and charts and oh my oh my.

And lo, the latte was good. And she drank of it, and was happy.
Photos of color play tomorrow!