a wee little update

March 5, 2009

YIP 2009 | 3.2.09

Howdy. It’s March. This year is going way too fast, but I am not sorry to see winter coming to a close. This might be the first year in my life that I am hating the cold. Hating it so much. And the ice? Oy. Let’s not even go there.

Maslenitsa Spread | smoked fish + caviar

This past weekend was my family’s annual Maslenitsa celebration, so back to New York I went. We laughed, we did a shot of vodka, we ate. Boy, did we eat.

YIP2009 | 3.1.09 (part 2) Maslenitsa meal

This is my favorite meal of the year, to be honest. Even though I do not eat meat and eat very little dairy, I do eat fish and love fish (yes yes, I know that makes me not a vegetarian, yadda yadda, let’s not get into the sticky details, ok?). My Amama made her russian blini and we ate it alongside smoked salmon, pickled herring, smoked capers, chives, chopped egg and caviar. Om nom nom, indeed. It was nice to get together with the family, in a non-commercial holiday way, and continue our heritage and traditions through yet another year. We only get together in total every so often, since we are spread over 3 different cities, in 2 different states.

While at my parents, I tried to get more done on my Minimalist Cardigan. You know, instead of writing for graduate school. I don’t know if it’s the endless moss stitch or if it’s the foggy mush my brain is lately, but this cardigan is slogging along. I do want to finish it, since the moss stitch texture in Rowan Felted Tweed is so fantastic, but it’s hard to keep focused on it for too long.

m i n i m a l i s t

At least I’m supplementing it with simple knitting, in the form of cowls and a shawl that is going round and round and round. FO shots soon. Now back to work!

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Pieces of me

March 25, 2008

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my family, memories, and symbolism of the past. My family is a small hodgepodge of traditions and cultures. I guess these things are on my mind as the first birthday of the year (my sister’s) is quickly arriving. Once her’s is over, the birthdays across the summer and into the fall mark the year’s passing. I don’t visit home very often. Partially because I’m busy and it’s expensive, and partially because I just don’t. I still don’t really understand that second reason, but it is what it is.

Western Easter has come and gone, and it will be a little while until Pascha arrives. I’m not religious, nor do I really understand or choose to make choices about my own spiritual beliefs, but this holiday is one of those memories of my family that I hold dear. I haven’t been a part of the Pascha celebration since the beginning of college, but I still remember so many things about growing up immersed in church festivities.

pysanky

I remember being fascinated by Pysanky as a child. Probably because of the slavic symbols and culture that weaves its way around my parents’ house and my background. One time, when I was in my early teens, I remember staying home from school sick (or “sick”…I can’t remember if it was legit or not) and sitting in the TV room with one of our brown ceramic bowls (of which only 2 still exist in the cupboard at home), an egg, and the rubber bulb to our baster. I had poked a hole in the egg and was attempting to use the rubber bulb as a crude suction cup to pull the yolk and whites out. This was my pysanky experiment. I don’t believe this was successful, as one can imagine. However, I did get to try my hand a pysanky at some point, even though I can’t really remember when. Every year, around this time, my mother pulls out the few pysanky in the house. One still has the dried yolk inside, since it wasn’t drained (which is a symbol unto itself) and another one is my creation. It has a blue background and simple geometric lines. I doubt I had known much about the symbolism behind pysanky and its many representations, but after reading about symbology of colors, geometry, and traditional forms often found on these eggs, I am itching to run out, buy supplies and try again.

Or I might just get this shirt for now.

All in all, my brain keeps bringing me back to the slavic symbols of my past. I’m toying with the idea of taking Russian classes again during the fall semester, since I always regret not sticking with it when Grandpa tried to teach me or when I took it in college. Russian art movements are my favorite in terms of art theory, representation, socio-political and religious overtones and undertones.

And the idea of one day, possibly standing in front of the Kremlin makes me very excited.

And I think I might need to make a special trip to a Alberta, Canada to see the largest Ukranian Easter Egg. I mean, how can I resist?