Books & Supplies that will make a Better Spring.

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Now that 2019 is fully underway I wanted to write a quick list of some of my favorite things that got me through January and February and that might help you start the Spring fresh. What does fresh mean? Well, for me it means immersing myself in what I love, learning something new, leaving things better than I found them, and using my hands. I hope this list can help everyone figure out what it is they need to get through this long winter.

 
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I know January often feels like the Monday of the whole year, so February is basically a long Tuesday, but this slow part of winter is ripe with the opportunity to kick start a craft project, learn a new skill, become more socially aware, or change your attitude with the perfect book.

Books…

The Seas- Originally published in 2006, and reprinted this year in a beautiful new edition from Tin House, Samantha Hunt’s The Seas is a beautiful and strange novel about a girl who thinks she’s a mermaid. I know that sounds a little cutesy, but this book is anything but that. It is heartbreaking, unsettling, carefully wrought, and unlike any novel I’d read before.

The Carrying- This collection of poetry, Ada Limon’s follow up to Bright Dead Things (one of my all time favorites,) continues to muse words on life, death, love, illness, and everything in between in beautiful, taut phrasing. The poems are challenging while still being accessible for those new to poetry, and there’s a good chance more than one will make you cry.

If Beale Street Could Talk- This classic novel from James Baldwin was just adapted into a beautiful and heartbreaking film by Barry Jenkins. After seeing the movie I decided to read the book (I am still reading it now.) It is a raw, gut-wrenching portrait of race and of being young and black in America, which is as relevant today as it was when he published it. If you want to commit to a life of anti-racism and resistance, and, like me, tend to learn best through novels, this book (and the film) are an excellent place to begin. 

Eat Up! This book by Ruby Tandoh is a perennial favorite of mine that I often refer back to when I start to feel guilty or frustrated with my eating habits. It helps me slow down and focus on the wonderful things about baking, cooking, and eating, instead of the calorie content or the number on the scale. 

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Makes…

Project tote from Bookhou (hyperlink: https://www.bookhou.com/collections/tote/products/box-tote-sprigs )- I feel like I’ve been looking for a knitting tote like this my whole life. It fits multiple projects or skeins, and several books. Plus it pops out to a square shape to sit on the table and hold yarn as I knit. It is perfect for when I want to knit in public but don’t want to have to chase my yarn across the coffee shop floor after it rolls away. (This is really awkward, trust me)  

Personalized Sewing Labels- These labels from Dutch Label Shop (hyperlink: https://www.dutchlabelshop.com/en_us/ ) make a great gift for the maker in your life. They make me feel really professional, and I love sewing one in as I finish a garment. Use the code meredith15 to get 15% off your first order from them

Mending Matters- If you’ve already embraced slow fashion or are just beginning your journey this book is essential. Katrina Rodabaugh begins by the book with a quote from Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” And I can hardly think of a better nine words to live by. 

Chia-go needles- Full disclosure, up until recently I didn’t understand why anyone knit on metal needles, and was even kind of snooty about only using wooden ones, honestly, and I am embarrassed to admit this, mostly for aesthetic reasons. But I was totally wrong, because Chia-gos metal needles are my new favorite and I’ve used them for all of my recent makes. 

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