i'm distracted by my own stash

i’m distracted by my own stash

This is another one of those times when I tell myself to just start over and try and get it right this time. My competitive nature is at war with my leisure nature and the two have not found how to live in balance. One takes over then the other and they undo all the good the other has done.

It’s crazy on my planet.

I am running out of time and it is just getting to me. I need to make my mark – whatever that means – all I know is right now, my mark feels something like stain. And I can’t think of any scenario where making a stain is desirable.

I got started on the reboot by cleaning off the top of the printer. This is a big deal. There was a lot on top of the printer: books, papers that I don’t need, empty potato chip bags (the single serve not the the family size) and now all that’s on top is a small stack of blank paper, two small notebooks and a novel. It doesn’t make you cringe to look at it.

This is how a mark starts.

My bud, Bri of Ghostface Knitter fame, is moving back to Denver. Bri is my spirit animal and I know that we will be friends forever but I was hoping she would be available for viewing a lot longer. Lucky for me, my brother lives in Denver and Bri is an adventuress so she would travel from her part of Denver suburbs to my brother’s part of Denver suburbs. I think it’s a whopping 16 miles. But Denver is kind of strange – that 15 miles can take an hour to navigate.

She’s worth a couple of hours. We will so have to Skype.

Knitsville is also getting the reboot and there is a scarf done in knit 1 purl 2 and 21 stitches on size 9 needles that is getting attention. It’s being done in I love this Yarn in this color and I am really surprised how much I like the color. I have three skeins of it – don’t know what I thought I was going to do with it – but the scarf will be one skein and if it doesn’t come out long enough to be a scarf, the ends will be joined and it will become a cowl and then I am going to do a matching hat in the same knit 1, purl 2. I will just have to do a tad amount of designing.

There’s also a  rasta hat that’s an smallheartscranberry1order and some dishcloths to be made. I’ve also started retaking pictures of the hearts to go into the shop – the irony of Valentine’s Day being passed is not lost on me. This is why it’s a stain and not a mark.

I am going downstairs and I am going to bundle myself up for a short walk in this really cold weather before I get to work. I am taking Mr. Honey to my therapy session today because he has told me how the therapist should be working my fingers and I think someone with his vast knowledge should tell her himself.

I have no doubt he will not do that. The big thing will be stopping him from playing with the tools I use like they’re toys.

Onward to the mark!

 

 

Knit fast...die warm

Knit fast…die warm

I have added another item to the pile and I did try taking a photo in front of the picture window and I didn’t like it. The background doesn’t appeal to me and I don’t feel like find another background and somehow putting it up. I would much rather take the shots outside and I will do that in really cold weather and take a few shots. I like the sunshine all around me.

I should also point out that though the fanfan cap cap can certainly be worn like a slouch, it is more of a cap. Which means when I take the real photos, I have to take it both ways to show how flexible it can be.

I finished a drop stitch cowl using discontinued boucle yarn from Yarn Bee called Artistry.  I do like the drop stitch and the small amount of boucle adds a little boho chic. I have a good amount of the yarn in different colors. It’s fun and I want to make it last so I am using it with other yarns.

The drop stitch cowl was also pretty easy so there will be ore of them coming.

I have three orders (two from designbcb and one from knit360five.) The one from Knit360five is three sales so that’s a nice thing. I am still not making my very low threshold and I am looking into new ways to get the shops out there.

I just got the bill from my surgery. I was there at about 10 in the morning and left before 4. I was out for about 1 hour from the time they wheeled me into the OR until I woke up. And the cost for this minor surgery was $17,000. I said it before and will say it again: healthcare should be free.

I also worked out three days in a row and today was my day off from working out. Get back to it tomorrow and looking forward to it.

I am going to call it an early night. I have an order on the needles and the thought of doing another 3×3 rib scarf and since I want to finish early, I have to start early which means bed again by midnight.

This is what constitutes a thrill in my life. No, no don’t envy me. You can have it, too, if you want it.

 

 

 

well...actually...

well…actually…

I could go downstairs and take a photo of the huge pile (70+) items that make up my completed projects pile but that would just be fun for one of us and whether that’s you or me, that’s just not worth the effort.

But if I did take a photo of it, you would see some new things that need only a warm and non-windy day to be photographed and some of them placed in the shop. I don’t delude myself that all of them will be photographed when that said day arrives. But some of them will. I look forward to that day as I really do need some new blood in the shop. I have just four open orders and Mama needs some income. Fresh blood may supply it.

My latest thing is scarves. This scarf particularly.ribbedscarf I have knit two ribbed scarves; one in caffe latte and the other in sunflower. I have a third scarf started but that’s using some boucle yarn that’s been in the stash for probably six or seven years. It will be a limited edition scarf as the yarn isn’t made any more.

I am also contemplating how to make an indoor photo station using the natural light in the picture window in the living room. I should probably get a winter setup.

I still haven’t started socks, though I am certain to run into a sock pattern sometime within the next few weeks and that will change. As of right now, the scarves and the sideline fan caps that I’m making are taking up the time and the mind.

The finger continues to heal. The therapy is great and the pain goes more than comes. I still don’t have full use of it but I can do the long tail cast on without yelping too much so that’s better.

Remember a while back when I gave Mr. Honey a visor I never wore because his was wearing out and he wouldn’t wear it because Mickey Mouse was on it and that wasn’t manly? He bought me a coat for my birthday and this is perhaps the coolest (and warmest) coat I’ve ever had. It has a heavy fleece lining that I can wear alone and if I wear the outer jacket alone it’s like a really good windbreaker and put them together and it’s thermal warming at it’s best. It also came with a plaid scarf. A purple, black and grey kind of scarf that I think is cute but I don’t much do scarves. It is, however, clearly a feminine scarf.

He’s been wearing it. Proudly. Boldly even. It has taken the place of the scarf I knit not for him that he commandeered. That has be more than a little irritated that the handmade, thick, warm scarf has been replaced by a mass produced, scarf that goes on a woman’s coat.

Maybe the plaid is manly.

dogDo you like how I did that? Welcomed you back, right in the title, like you’re the one that’s been gone? I’m sure there’s a psychological term for that kind of thing – and I am sure it wouldn’t go my way so just give it to me, will ya?

The finger is still swollen as heck but the therapy is going well and I believe I am back up to knitting speed with it.

There’s snow everywhere. I went outside for the first time since the storm and the snow was halfway up my body. That in itself doesn’t mean anything because I have no height to begin with. But it came up to Mr. Honey’s knees and he’s all legs. I am going to have to brave the elements again today to go to the bank and pick up some meds.

Speaking of meds, I had surgery a few weeks back to clear out some stuff in the lady parts. It was a sign of cancer and my gynecologist wanted to get rid of it because it shouldn’t have been there and also check to make sure the evil C wasn’t setting up house.

The pathology came back and I braved the frozen tundra to go out to the office to get the news that everything is clear: no cancer, no precancerous, all clear. So, of course, last night, I had some spotting – go figure. Watching it though.

Knitsville is also under snow but there are orders to keep the natives busy. There was also an inventory of items in stock and after discarding some back to the rip this project out and use the yarn for something else pile, there are about 70 items that can be photographed and sold in the shops or at a craft show.

That’s a good thing and gives me ideas.

Currently on the needles: an eyelet rasta, a 3×3 hat and a new hat made from  this yarn. I must like it because I had two skeins and just ordered two more. I had started making an entrelac scarf with it and changed over to the hat. I like it in entrelac and that could make a comeback.

Socks are still on my mind. More so because I don’t have a pair that matches – I can’t even find two of the hospital socks that I love and think are worth a trip to the hospital just to get. I actually had the thought of buying some (gasp!) when I remembered I have sock yarn and even if I didn’t, I have made that one sock I made from worsted weight so it’s possible to do that and I can make a pair of socks and have a pair that matched. the beautiful Kevia has this book and it’s been on my mind as well. I am dreaming of a nice pair of slouchy socks. I love slouchy socks – a hangover from my tennis playing days. I may have to break down and make socks – I promise to resist going over to the dark side of sock knitting and knit them from need and not become one of those obsessive sock knitters. I don’t understand them.

There’s no avoiding it any longer, I must do some work and go outside into nature.

Good to see you again. Don’t be a stranger. (I did it again; did you notice?)

 

da-da-dadada

da-da-dadada

Happy New Year! I thought I would start the new year off with a dislocated finger! It’s on my left hand, middle finger. It won’t bend and it’s still swollen but I feel better about chances for a complete recovery. It was a really rude looking dislocation. I would show you but it’s not for the squeamish.

It happened on a Monday night and I was back knitting like a champ yesterday. There is still pain and discomfort but I am nothing if not a trooper.

I have orders to get out and I have a special order to make 30 pom-poms in light blue which requires me to purchase a big hunk of blue yarn. I am hoping the store has Caron by the Pound in light blue sitting on the shelf waiting for me to come by and make it into 30 3 inch pom-poms.

I also need to get a skein of Fiesta Homespun to go with the other two skeins because I have to knit a prayer shawl and a black hooded scarf to crochet is also on my list of things to do today.

And I have to go do this shopping before the storm Mr. Honey thinks is coming hits.

I also issued a challenge to myself to get an entire afghan done for the family party in three weeks. I had the bright idea of making an afghan and raffling it off to a family member. (The arrogance of thinking they will even want one!)

I have two squares made – this is going to be quite fun with a broken wing. OK, dislocated wing. But now that I have put it out in the atmosphere, I must make it so.

Nothing like a challenge for the new year. I don’t even want to tempt fate by saying something stupid like ‘it can’t get worse.’ So, I won’t say it.

Hopefully fate has a sense of humor.

So, there is a new year on the horizons and all those things we resolve to do. I don’t make new years resolutions anymore because I don’t see them through and that somehow makes it worse.

No, or i'd be a rail by nowI did not have what I consider to be a successful year in the shops and I determined to do it better in 2015. I’ve already begun by working on Valentine’s Day items.

But I do want to get back to the fun side of knitting and I am going to rely on the blog for that. There is always something so much fun in knitting. (OK crochet, too..geez, purists.)

I am working on something yarn related but not knitting: I am making pom-pom flowers. I have my little stems and will take photos if I can make it work, It seems simple: which is why I question if I can pull it off.

I do like making pom-poms. They are fun to make and fun to trim and now I get to stick them on little spikes and make them into a bouquet. I’m already getting ahead of myself. I need to see if I can make just one.

I just finished the first one and it works fine. I used wire stems and I cut away the paper from the wire so I could get it into the pom-pom. I am going to make some more. I am starting out with medium gray. I am envisioning a great many flowers but it won’t happen. I only bought three packages of stems.

 

9mmIt doesn’t seem like Christmas to me. I am doing some orders – nothing like a few years ago and I am not complaining about that – but I didn’t get a lot of the frantic messages from people to feel stressed out over their orders and it’s been cold but not terribly cold and there have been some flurries but no real snow.

But the big things is my neighbor, Giovanni, did not put out his big Christmas display. It usually goes up the day after Thanksgiving but it wasn’t there and Mr. Honey and I even talked about it. We saw Giovanni, he wasn’t ill. His wife made her rare appearance but nothing…and then one day avemaria

 

There it was. It’s a little different this year – there’s a lot more going on in the windows and the animals seem a little scarce. I’ve always wondered about the snowman being there at the birth. There were times when Santa was there as well but now he hands on the other side of the stairs – being respectful of the family time.

I thought about putting up one of our trees. Believe me, the thought is the closest I’ve come to doing it in years so I take it as a sign my Christmas spirit may be coming back. Mr. Honey and I decided last year to forego the giving of presents and to save that money instead for a vacation trip and we decided to do that again for the coming year. We already have our two destinations in mind: one road trip and one air trip. You know what that means – two yarn shops.

The ‘I gotta have this for Christmas’ orders are all out and I am still a few days ahead of my shipping schedule. Christmas is over as far as I’m concerned and I am now on to Valentine’s Day. I have made a couple dozen hearts and I am making pom-poms for pom-pom flowers. I am determined to do this right.

I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas or Hanukkah and as Kwanzaa approaches, I wish everyone a prosperous and more aware new year.

Black Lives Matter Solidarity March

Black Lives Matter Solidarity March

The pastor sent out a message asking the church to wear black on Sunday and to walk, if one was interested, in the Black Lives Matter Solidarity walk last Sunday in Oak Park.

I was at a dinner Friday night and one of the women very caustically stated they saw the email and deleted. “I’m not gonna walk or wear black. All lives matter.”

Well, duh.

I think it might be easier to say ‘all lives matter’ if you have no skin in the game (forgive the pun) or if you think that by saying ‘black lives matter’ you’re saying the lives of policemen don’t or the lives of whites don’t. Or if you think that mystical, magical land of post racial is with us now.

But no one said that.

I was on the planning committee for that march and the story I shared about why this march mattered to me was this:

When I moved into my house, I moved into Mr. Honey’s house and his house is right next door to the house he grew up in. He has lived on this block his entire life. This street is the only street he’s known.

When I would be in the front yard or the back yard, I began to notice this car and the man inside it would just stare at me. First I thought I was imagining it but nope. Same car; same guy. I pointed it out to Mr. Honey who told me the guy lived four houses down from us but he thought I must have been imagining it, too.

Until the guy started driving down and staring even when Mr. Honey was with me. We were out front doing lawn work when the guy came down and stopped the car. Mr. H. put down his rake and started walking towards the car and the guy drove off – but just to the corner – and continued to stare until we started walking there as well and he drove away.

Now, I can easily dismiss this guy. In fact, I told Mr. Honey I thought it was a waste of gas for him to drive down and I would just go and stand in front of his house so he can stare at me from the comfort of his home. I could label him a sad, poor soul and go on about my business.

Except…

This guy went around the neighborhood telling his neighbors they had to get me out of the neighborhood. They couldn’t allow me to stay. They couldn’t allow a black person in the neighborhood.

Staring at me from a car is one thing and I was never intimidated by that but when he put words to that action and took action by trying to rally the neighborhood, he moved into an entirely new sphere. When was just staring, he was prejudice. The moment he spoke up and moved to garner support, he became a racist.

This wasn’t a moment when all lives mattered because this was, to this guy, about a black life – my black life. Maybe if I stood in front of his house with a sign that says: All Lives Matter…

You can tell me that guy is a jerk; a racist jerk even but the one you can’t tell me is that I had nothing to fear. If this guy had gotten encouragement from even one of the neighbors – this guy was a Chicago Firefighter – and we have policemen who live on the block – if he had a thumbs up from anyone – he could have been George Zimmerman before George Zimmerman was cool.

The scary guy in the room isn’t the one who says: ‘We have to run her out of here.” The scary guy is the other guy who says, “We can make that work.” Followed very closely by the third guy who says nothing.

People are lucky when they have neighbors who keep the music down, will loan them a lawnmower or who will take in their mail when they are on vacation .No one should be lucky to have neighbors that won’t run you out of the neighborhood.

Of course all lives matter but once in a while society allows itself to lose sight of that and a specific aspect becomes detached, not totally on its own. At those times, the rest of society needs to stop and say: “You matter.”

The rest of us need to stop and declare their worth not just for the benefit of the part but for the benefit of the whole. We have to know that equality isn’t the same as justice so saying ‘all lives matter’ may give the idea that everyone is the same but it dismisses the fact that everyone isn’t treated the same and it lets us off the hook when we value certain lives less.

Black lives matter because we need to know they do.

By the way, the guy never changed his mind about me; he died.

No, or i'd be a rail by now

No, or i’d be a rail by now

I still have my $1.40. In my travels yesterday, I didn’t see anyone on the street and I didn’t stop anywhere there was a bell ringer.

Did I mention last weekend at the craft show, a woman paid me for a scarf with ten gold dollars? They will be used to pay this tithe as well as tips when we go to restaurants.

But there is more to my plan than just tithing. I get (as I am sure you do) calls and letters from a bunch of people who want just a little bit of my time to ask for a little bit of my money.

There are many worthy organizations – worthy being a completely subjective thing – not just charities but my university needs some assistance (so they say – though when I left it was Aurora College and the week after I paid off my student loan, they became Aurora University – not a coincidence, I think,)

How does one decide? How do you decide what organizations to give to?  Which ones are worthy of your treasure?

I’d like to know. Maybe we can give a shout out to some places others haven’t heard of.

 

Knitsville is still buzzing with work to do – even though today I took the day off to give the hands a rest. It’s the chance of getting some writing in though mostly it’s been the chance to be a bit lazy. I did get some writing done but not nearly what I should be doing. So I am about to get back to it. I look forward to the rare day when my calendar gives me a complete day off: no knitting, writing or walking. A veg day.

But it’s not this day…so with this bit of writing done, I am on to the next one – I’ll be happy to be back to my sticks and hooks, too. It is my life after all.

 

The reading I do about tithing says the wealth should go back to the Lord or to God, I don’t see where it says it has to go the church. And the two are quite different.

I decided to go back to the beginning of my business and start the tithe thing – giving 10% of what I make back to God on a month to month basis. The first month – well, Dec 21 to Dec 31 way back in 2008 – I didn’t make anything.

But January of 2009 saw me with my firstil_570xN.53467693 Etsy sale.  sold a grocery or tote bag for $14.00.

That mean I have to give away $1.40. This isn’t as easy as it looks. I don’t want to save it and attach it somewhere else, I really want this to go out.

Do I place it in church as part of the loose offering? Do I place it in church with an envelope that has my name on it?

Do I give it so someone on the street or place it in the donation bin at McDonald’s for the Ronald McDonald house? Do I take the time to write and a check and send it off? (Hey, Alyssa Milano, here’s $1.40. Almost three days worth of bed nets.)

It’s not easy deciding where your giving goes when there’s not a lot to be given. I want to make an impact and I want to believe that the dollar amount doesn’t have to be grand in order to make a difference.

I’ve decided to give it to someone on the street or drop it into the Salvation Army kettle – whichever one I come across first.

In knitting news, I have about 20 orders going and though I was hoping for a little more, I am content that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. Things are looking quite positive.

I am headed back downstairs to finish a hat and get the packages out the door for the day. Choir rehearsal this evening will eat into some of the work day and tomorrow I have th day off so I have to make the most of the next five hours or so.

$1.40 – who know?