Knitting, Paint Sketches, and New Year's Intentions

I dug out my paints and knitting today. I've been so busy with travel that I haven't spent much time working on my hand crafts, and today felt like a perfect day to create.

I bought the pattern and yarn for this poncho when I was in Cottonwood. The style and colors remind me of the landscape here in the desert. It's knit from the shoulders down, starting with the back, using a provisional cast on. Once the back is complete, the provisional stitches are picked up and the front is knit from the top down. There's a small amount of short row shaping at the shoulders but other than that it's a pretty straightforward rectangle. The color work is a slip-stitch pattern, so yarn is not carried along the back of the work. It's a clever design!

I also dug out my paints and did a few quick watercolor sketches just trying to get a feel for the landscape around me. These rough sketches help me to begin to see the colors and textures of this desert environment. The mountains change color dramatically throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky. I'm trying to be braver with my painting and just put something down on paper even if it's not a finished success. I think of it as practice, like doing scales when learning to play the piano. I learn something from every little sketch that I do... mostly what not to do...but that's okay! It's a starting point and I'll keep at it!

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and I'm planning to spend some time writing. I would like to perform a ceremony of intention. Years ago I had the privilege to study for a while under the guidance of a Native American Shaman. One of the rituals he shared me was to write down what you want to release, wrap it up in a bundle and burn it with some sage for purification. The turning of the year is a great time to reflect on what things, ideas, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors I might want to leave behind as I move into 2018. I also want to write about those things that I hope to adopt in the coming year. Not resolutions per se, but more like intentions. I find that writing in the form of an intention or a prayer, in combination with a physical ritual is a powerful way to clarify my thoughts and bring about change.

Do you have a New Year's practice? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Please share it in the comments below!