Yarn Along:: Happiness in Progress

Last week I was reading and knitting a lot at my sister’s house.  On the needles was another attempt at Little Sister’s Dress, this time for Baby M in Be Sweet Cotton Candy.  More on that project another day…

On the nightstand was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  This was a fun and inspiring read, one that motivated me to give my life a little look-see to see where I could increase happiness.  Inspired by Rubin’s 12 Personal Commandments and Secrets of Adulthood, I came up with my own.  Some of my personal commandments are:

Be myself, Tell the truth, Don’t keep score, Let it go, Pack a snack, Don’t let it fester, Keep my word, Show love and gratitude, Be present, Ask for help.

One of the little tidbits in her book that has really stuck with me is this: if it takes less than a minute to do something, just go ahead and do it now.  Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped keep some of those messy piles at bay, like laundry, dirty dishes, paperwork to file, etc.  It may seem silly, but clutter and feeling like there’s something to clean or do gets me down; by taking care of these things before they get out of hand, I can increase my happiness in small measures.

For this week’s Yarn Along, I’ve returned to a favorite author and a longtime work-in-progress.

I first read Lisa See a few years ago when my book club selected Snowflower and the Secret Fan.  This was a classic case of reading something I wouldn’t have normally chosen to read, and loving it.  Since then See has come out with two more works of fiction, and they have both been on my reading to-do list for some time.  So when I saw Shanghai Girls at the library, it was a no brainer.  Set in the 1930s and spanning two decades, this is the story of two Chinese sisters caught between the traditions of the past and the opportunities and confusion of modern life.  I’m  just starting out on the adventure with May and Pearl, but already I am hooked.

My knitting is chugging along; I’m on the last repeat of the second chart for Hamamelis, which is the main body of the shawl.  As you can see, it’s doing that typical scrunched up lace trick, where it doesn’t look like anything very impressive yet.  History reminds me that as soon as this beauty is off the needles and given a nice bath and a firm blocking, it will transform into something else entirely.  I’m trying to keep that in mind as I work steadily on it in an attempt to finish this month.  Which reminds me: happy June, everyone!

What’s on your nightstand or in your project bag this week?