slow by hand

well it seems as if we are living in intense times, no? here we are, people. dig it.

it’s good to be alive & oh my, my heart is full of gratitude and kindness and love and sadness and i feel open to all of it and to laughter, too. that giant container we call the heart can sure hold a lot of stuff at once.

photo-59anyway. the other day i managed to steal away a couple of hours and i made a little embroidered uterus for a gynecologist friend. this is my first embroidery project ever, & i’m pretty stoked on the soul of the whole thing, this sewing up a picture from your mind situation. the mistakey nature of this piece makes me smile, because it looks pretty much exactly like the way i feel freedom. can anyone think up other uterine puns? (i didn’t think up that one myself.) maybe i’ll do a series. that would be very portland.

other things i’d like to make: the woodsy association… cute insanity!! and… ooh la la, i’m totally getting down with some bûche de noël action on xmas eve!

wishing you all a happy, warm, slow christmas, with something in your hands to make and something in your heart to love.




thick in it.


Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

-Robert Hayden, c.1966


i made my way into the woods on sunday morning and walked and walked and walked. the girldog came with me. she stayed by my side until we neared the end of the trail, and then she zoomed up and back, up and back, just like i knew she would. these woods, for all of their ever-change, are predictably ferny and misty wet and restorative, and i’m predictably closer to myself when i make the time to visit.

since i’ve written here, i’ve been to the vet with my pets more than twenty times, not exaggerating. remarkably, both animals are well and healthy at this point; my savings account is another story. what else: a good friend went through open heart surgery and the carpenter & i spent a good sum of time in the sterile vacuum of an icu waiting room with other hand-wringers. what else: american vaginas shared a collective sigh of relief on election day. also: progress on the knitting/ fifty-five hours a week of work hours regularly logged/ numerous carbohydrates consumed.

i am thinking about pecan pie for thanksgiving and about when i can get to the woods next and about how i’m going to embrace winter. i am thinking about staying good and solid when the world around us all seems so frayed up. but in the woods, the fraying ceases, it’s all just creak and echo and wild ghosts and all i need to do is just go there and follow the trail and breathe.

wishing you all the happiest of thanksgivings, friends.

x’s & o’s, emily

r & r

tomorrow, the first day off in three weeks. mutable plans: a morning ride to the country, then sinking in at home. apple pear pie, yarn and needles, comfy cozy, a stack of books, and my matchy sweat suit. yes, i said sweat suit; don’t judge.

what are your guilty pleasures for the weekend? i hope you have good plans. xo


this yarn smells like lanolin. it smells like cabin in the woods in the white mountains, late falltime. it feels coarsely soothing, if you can imagine that… scratchy, but you want it on your skin anyway. i don’t think i’ve ever enjoyed working with a yarn so much as this. i mean, just look at it, what a beauty. i’m in love with the kaleidoscopic scene it unfurls, and it’s so right for autumn, for this time in my life full of little changes, one bleeding to the next, peeling things back and watching the newness underneath take shape, tiny step and step and step, then something bigger, brighter, starts to show its face.


a quilt for a little.

hey y’all! some dear friends of mine are having a baby boy, which is nothing remarkable in and of itself, but which is indeed actually remarkable because these people are going to make great parents, exceptional ones! their little one is lucky. 

when a & m got married a few years back, they eloped (because hello, they are awesome), and i don’t think i ever sent them a wedding gift, so i wanted to do something extra special to welcome their little one. i came upon blue is bleu’s triangle quilt on pinterest and really loved it, so i pretty much just copy-catted the design.  

i’ve gone back and forth about the colors/ pattern combos i chose (should i get all faux-british and bloggy up in here and call them “colours”? ha.), but in the end am mostly happy with the outcome. i’ve made two quilts before, only one of which i machine quilted. this one is closer to technically perfect than the last, and unlike the last one doesn’t have any unintended puckery areas on the backing. i attribute this win to dropping down my feeder foot, and (most importantly) to setting my machine at half-speed. sewing at maniacal speed is not the best when quilting. i learned my lesson: slow down.

i backed the quilt in a soft brown flannel, to add to the insulation factor & keep it from sliding around. (stick to that baby, quilt!). before i sent it off, i tied it up all pretty like with a rogue crochet item i had floating around in my knitting bag. because life is in the details, folks.

there are many many details and projects and adventures in my corner, friends, and i have pretty much dropped the ball on blogging. but the rains rolled in just yesterday, and they are here for winter, and i have plans of inhabiting this space, i really do. i miss it here. have a fantastic weekend!


where we are

(by gerald locklin)

i envy those
who live in two places:
new york, say, and london;
wales and spain;
l.a. and paris;
hawaii and switzerland.

there is always the anticipation
of the change, the chance that what is wrong
is the result of where you are. i have
always loved both the freshness of
arriving and the relief of leaving. with
two homes every move would be a homecoming.
i am not even considering the weather, hot
or cold, dry or wet: i am talking about hope.