The Ladybug on the Window

Our craft makes us philosophical. Well, we probably have to have a bit of that already in us but it brings it out. I was in that kind of a mood a couple of days ago when I went to the grocery store. I was thinking about the political stuff but mostly I was thinking about my personal stuff.

Did I make enough for the craft show which is essentially the first show I’m doing alone. Miss April will be with me but she won’t have nearly the number of FO’s I will have. Currently I am at about 33 items which I think is way low but I am also of the mind that first and foremost my craft helps my spirit so I cannot get myself over excited about the stock. I will have what I will have.

I was thinking about all of this when I returned to my car after grocery shopping and noticed a ladybug on the windshield. Normally when a bug finds itself there I turn on the wipers and move it out of the way. But it’s a ladybug and they are cute. So, I let it stay there and started the car.

It soon disappeared from my view and I thought it jumped, hopped or did whatever ladybugs do to get off my car. I pulled up in front of my house (a few miles away) and as I stopped the car, there was the ladybug moving back down the windshield.

Oh no! I had taken the ladybug miles away from where it was. What if it was just taking a respite on my car as it traveled with other ladybugs (manbugs?) What if it’s children were back there at the store? It would have been better to wipe it away – as long as I didn’t kill or maim it. At the least, it still would have been with the friends and family I imagined were there at the store waiting for it.

I had taken it to an entirely new destiny just by moving it a few miles away. This bothered me for a good hour as I fretted over how I just changed this bug’s life. Why I didn’t think I improved the quality of life escapes me. I was certain I had somehow done harm.

I wish it luck – the ladybug on the window.

Here are the hats I made: I made two others but did not like them. I am currently working on a scarf and I will do a hat that goes with it – but it may not be this hat. Then again, I can make two different kinds of hats out of the same color fiber – we knitters get to do that sort of thing.

Tonight at the meetup, we had quite the crowd! Marion came with her daughter and Robin, we met Leah, Anne and Johann came with his mommy and there were lots of others!! Today has been a good day.

I will make one final push to get things ready for the craft show – I have to price Vicki’s items and get everything ready. I will give in to a little nervousness because I’m human. But I am hoping for a very good showing on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Working Cute..

I made the cutest hat this morning. I would show you but I haven’t photographed it yet. It has put me in hat making mood so I am going to make another one. I also put an afghan on the needles and it is going to be a time and stash buster. It recalls doing the loop stitch and it’s done over 140 some stitches. I know I get bored easily so it needs to find a way to make itself interesting to me and not just tedious. I am thinking of how it’s going to look when it’s all done with the loopy yarn and the straight stockinette in between loopy sections. That helps. It also helps it should kill a good ten skeins of yarn.

on the other hand the hat is really cute and so is the wrap I finished and photographed it so you may see it for yourself…It’s made with Marble Chunky and its folded in half so there are other options to wear it. The colors are much more stunning than the photo and it feels like a baby’s little behind. I have 2 and 1/3 balls left of the marble so I can make something else when I get a mind to.

It’s not yet up in the store but it is priced for the show next weekend and the shop when I get around to getting it in. There’s a fine line to how often you put something new in the shop. You want to keep it interesting by putting up new things or re-listing others, but you also have to match that with how fast you can make things. I have four things which are ready to go and I am spacing them out so there’s no big time gap between listings and something coming off the needles. I have four afghans (two knit, two crochet) on the needles and the hats I am throwing in will all be done before any of them get close to ready and the hats won’t take that much time away from them – they are just all very intense.

But that’s the fun of what we do – especially when we do it for business reasons. I’m still lucky – it’s all mine. No one tells me what to knit (sometimes I don’t even tell me what to knit.) I get to manage the entire operation from beginning to end – not that I’m a control freak – but the best feeling is having something of your own to do that you can do with passion. Maybe I will tackle that loop stitch a little more…

Seriously…

Are we seriously so out of touch with ourselves that we are going to put into office:
Someone who believes there should be no law against racial discrimination?
Someone who believes that not only should the minimum wage be lowered but abolished?

Someone who believes that women shouldn‘t serve in the military because they are a distraction to men?
Someone who says to a group of Latino youth: “I’m not sure all of you are Latino. Some of you look Asian.”

I don’t care what party they belong to; we should not be so shallow in our thinking that we put them in office just because they are Republican or not a Democrat. I very rarely vote a straight ticket so I don’t quite get the party loyalty at any cost but what is passing for Republican these days scares me.

We can’t blame anyone but ourselves for this. For believing all the hype when a candidate says they can bring about massive change as if there aren’t other branches of government which have a say and then turning on them when they don’t live up to our unrealistic expectations the minute they step into office.

I was never on the Obama bandwagon. Having done some work on the board of the League of Women Voters of Chicago, the names he had surrounding him did not fill me with confidence that Washington would be changed in any great way. I don’t drink Kool-Aid; I dye my yarn with it, so I was not swept up in the mania.

Still, I am impressed with how he’s kept his cool. And to say he’s done nothing would be way off base. He’s done a great deal. Finally – healthcare. Had to continue with the bailout (because my money is in AIG.) I’m not thrilled with his position on Ashcroft. I think he’s been too silent on the issue of race which is one of the reason the race baiting has gone on. And there needs to be a better explanation of why jobs are hard to come by and why some of them are not coming back. But he’s had to work with a mess he walked into and then with a congress where both Democrats and Republicans have impeded progress. That they do so is not all that surprising.

But even I have been surprised at the hatred from this Congress. I am hard pressed to find a congressman (woman, person) who has not forgotten their job. Their job is to legislate regardless of who is in the White House or who is on the Supreme Court. This plan to just say no makes a mockery of government and a mockery of the citizenship. The hypocrisy is astounding: the stimulus doesn’t work – but I want some of the money because it will work in my state. Healthcare should be repealed but send my state some of the money so we can give folks the benefits we’ll take away later. The president should work with us but only if we’re in the majority so we can overturn anything he wants to do.

This new crop of candidates have shaken both parties and now that we are getting a glimpse into just how backwards, out of touch and….well….dumb…they are – we’re a little frightened, too. It just goes to show that being a business person – even a millionaire or billionaire – doesn’t mean you’re made to be a legislator.

This would be funny – if it were a reality show.

The good news is: knitting can always be relied on. I have finally completed the Feather and Fan scarf: I have no idea why this took almost two weeks to finish. Perhaps because I didn’t work on it every day – but still.
I’m loving the Misti Alpaca. It took exactly two balls to finish it and the softness is beyond anything.

Another reason it may have taken so long to finish is because I decided I wanted to crochet another scarf because
I wanted to burn some of the Homespun I had on hand and didn’t have
enough to make an
afghan so, it took me about ten hours to make this one: The cool thing about this one is the color blocks on its own and Homespun isn’t known to do that but it worked out almost perfectly.

And then one of the kids was adopted by another family. One of the kids, the wonderful Melissa defended in an earlier post: the nanny square afghan went and got itself sold last Friday and is on its way to New York to its new family.

So, the show is in eleven days – I have only 28 things ready to go and active projects – three of which I think will probably be done in time for the show on the 30th. I don’t think that’s enough (quit laughing, Melissa) but I am trying not to panic about it. There are still some items up in the office but seriously, I am trying to be cool and not obsessive. It’s working. A little.

Miracles of Miracles

I stayed up to watch the miners pulled out of the mine and I am just recovering. I think the thing that hit me was the way they did not waste time with finger pointing and blame – at least not in public – the government took it over and called whomever they needed to call to help out and everyone did – from Africa to China to the Americas. The president of the country stayed there until all me men were out and then led them in singing the Chilean national anthem. The government also said they would be staying with the men for at least six months to make sure they recover fully and have some semblance of their life back.

The lessons to be learned are too numerous to mention and I love that NASA played a role and we said yes when we were asked to help. Instead of reciting the lessons we should learn, I think I would like to take the moment to be grateful for the lessons the Chileans did learn and teach in order for those 33 men to be with their friends and families.

Want to see something beautiful? http://www.etsy.com/listing/48487128/polaris-star-pendant-necklace

Go take a look at that necklace. Yes, I could paste a picture here but then you wouldn’t go over and look at her shop and she deserves that cuz you wanna see the necklace. You should want to see the necklace. I want to see the necklace and I just saw it! There are even matching earrings! Gasp!!!

In knitting news: the pile of FO’s is piling up. There’s a skinny scarf, a wrap/scarf and a baby blanket. Though the baby blanket was made a while ago and I rediscovered it. I have a little over two weeks to go and there are two WIPs on the needles. The one scarf I’ve been working on for what seems like forever (it’s been 10 days) and it’s not even half done yet. There is something about the pattern that’s taking forever (of course, there can be nothing wrong with me.)

I keep thinking I should be making hats (and the ripple afghan – I know!) but everything keeps coming out scarves and wraps. I suppose I should bow to superior knowledge and go with the thoughts of my head. I mean, there’s no choice really when I just finished the cast on to yet another scarf/wrap. I am stash busting to a high degree with this one, using the Kertzer Marble Chunky I got in Pittsburgh. It is a thinner chunky yarn but I am still getting good heft using size 10 needles. I think it will come out OK – this is what I’m doing: Come on, now. Cute isn’t going to describe it well enough. I am using a variegated yarn with golds, browns, and black so I am expecting great things. And I am expecting them relatively soon because it is being knit on size 10 needles. It’s a pattern from Plymouth (the first thing I’m knitting from the free patterns I got during the yarn crawl.)

I am hoping to have it for the show. Can I just say this about the ripple afghan I know I’m supposed to be making?

I don’t wanna….

I mean, I do wanna, I just don’t want to go back to it just yet. I don’t know why. But I don’t. There, I’ve said it. And I feel like a five year old…

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go sit on the love seat and knit.

Comfort and Joy


(A sample from my yarn stash.) When I was speaking with the fabulous Melissa, I said I was up in my office and working on sorting my stash and I said I found it depressing. She asked if that was because I knew I wouldn’t use it all.

That wasn’t it even though it’s true. I will probably not be able to use it all. But when I was thinking about it, I remembered something one of my professors, Donald Fuller, told me. I related to him I wanted to buy this series of books called The Great Books. He said it wasn’t that I wanted the books as much as I wanted to be surrounded by the books.

He was right. I love being surrounded by my books. I loved being surrounded by my fiber but when I was sitting in the office – there was no comfort or joy with being surrounded with the fiber I have. There’s just so much there. It should be fun to be surrounded by the colors and the softness but it’s not.

I took some of the yarn to the knit out over the weekend and there was a donation box where you could take some fiber out and put some fiber in and I put in a small bag full.
I am still doing the skein count down and I am determined not to purchase any more yarn (with the one caveat being I may need filler skeins) until I have breathing room.

Nineteen days until the craft show and I am still adding new items. Yes, I still have thoughts that I won’t have enough but it will be what it will be and hopefully it will be enough!

I’ll Try Something New

I spent the weekend with the fabulous Melissa and the wonderful April – though not at the same time. StitchCraft met on Friday and April was there along with the terrific Vicki and Debbie and Nicki (a twelve year old who sat and read and wasn’t at all interested in the knitting. But can’t fault a girl who loves her books – and we were in Border’s after all.)

April asked if I was going to the knit out that would be happening the next day at the Oak Park Women’s Exchange. I didn’t know there was a knit out so the next morning, I joined her there. It was a small group but we spent three hours knitting to raise awareness for Project Linus. We met Sharon and her daughter Rachel and granddaughter (I don’t know that I learned her name) Mary and Gloria who also came to knit out. It gave me the idea to team up with Sharon for our Sit and Knit and Pleasant Home next year because Sharon said the blankets produced here stay local and there are other local charities where Project Linus donates. We would be more successful if we partnered up so that sounds like a plan.

Last Sunday Melissa and I decided to go to a LYS closer to her and yesterday we met at The Woolly Lamb – which oddly enough is very close to my house. Though I missed the turnoff and went well out of my way but the kind folk at the shop told Melissa who then told me how to get back on track. Turns out, it’s less than 15 minutes from Casa Honey. (Just what Mr. Honey desires – less than 20 minutes from the house is a Joann, a Micheal’s and a LYS.)

There were, what seemed to be, a regular group that meets there because they were all just talking away and knew each others names but they were all very friendly. Melissa and I were in the back room and they told us to join them in the front. They were very friendly with their advice and praise (and let me tell you, there are some expert knitters there.) The store really felt like a big living room (complete with a comfy sofa.)

They were part of the yarn crawl but we really missed that one! The selection is smaller in both brand and quantity than our other haunts but the atmosphere is by far the best and the store front is across from a park and they have benches outside their store so it would be a great place for a knit out as well. Believe it or not, I didn’t buy a thing. Melissa and I had a long discussion on why I can’t buy any more yarn and then she proceeded to show me some yarn at 30% off. Pusher.

They invited us back and we will go back there because it’s so nice and I will certainly tell everyone else about it.

I love the company of women. I especially love the company of April, Melissa and Vicki – guaranteed laughs and good times and tree pals who listen and don’t judge. Another perk of knitting groups – you knit hearts as well as fiber.

Fun weekend.Thanks, girls!

Un-Remembering

I made this scarf. I’m pretty sure. I mean, I know I purchased the yarn that made the scarf and it looks like my work. And it was in my stuff.

So I must have made it. I mean it looks like a duck. Walks like a duck and talks like a duck. Must be a duck.

Just might not be my duck.
I know it’s my duck scarf. But for the life of me, I can’t remember knitting it. I am in the process of creating a notebook of finished objects because the wise people say I should have one at my craft show. It isn’t enough to show what’s available, I also should have a notebook of the kind of work that’s been done in the past. A notebook that says: ‘You coulda had this but someone else did. Now put down the notebook and purchase that puce hat you were eying.’ Well, OK, maybe it wouldn’t say all that, but I would say all that if I completely forgot my upbringing.

The point is, as I am pulling pictures from my files and putting them in the notebook, I can remember knitting it. I can look at it and think about the show I might have been watching or if I was making it in a quiet hour. I can remember if I liked the pattern or changed it (yes, sometimes, I knit the pattern the way it was written.)

But this one is alluding me. Make no mistake, I know I did it. I just don’t remember the details..kind of like that night in….never mind. Kidding!!

I don’t recall the details. Gonna try and sell it anyway.

Five Years In

I have a notoriously short attention span – it’s amazing I’m still married – and that I remember his name. Though, I have to admit, calling him Mr. Honey may be proof I have actually forgotten…what’s his name.

But my attention span is short. Something will interest me and then I am so interested in it that I burn the interest right out of me and I leave whatever it is abandoned and alone.

Which surprises me that I am still knitting. Knitting/crocheting. Every day. It will be five years this December that I started knitting again. It has shown me the better and worse parts of myself. It has shown me how I treat people and how my thought process works. Perhaps that’s why I still do – knitting/crocheting is good therapy – and doesn’t cost as much. Well, actually, it does cost as much but I get to choose so much about fiber that I wouldn’t get to choose about my therapist.

Perhaps a therapist could explain why I started to crochet this: I was looking through my project books when I came across a prayer shawl book that has some crochet patterns and I decided to try the pattern. A shawl turned out to be too big of a commitment considering I was supposed to be working on an afghan so I shortened it to a scarf. Quick crochet, it’s almost done. The photo doesn’t do justice to the lacy goodness of it but I am still pleased at how it’s coming out. It also does the color (a striking varied blue) little justice.

See, the short attention span rears its ugly head. There is something in my head that wants to take a break from the ‘have to make’ and play a little somewhere else. The compromise it made was to work on something that could be used in the sale and that way the time isn’t completely wasted.

So this little off ramp is still connected to the road but I know I will appreciate getting back to where I need to be.

Have you started your holiday crafting yet? I just made a list of family members on both sides. Christmas Eve has changed since half the kids are married and some of they’re spouses are from split families and every one has to make the rounds. So instead of us getting together at Christmas, we get together in January on my mother-in-law’s birthday. It is unclear if we are going to do the gift exchange we normally do. So I don’t know if I have to knit up three things (sisters-in-law and brother-in-law) or not. But I plan on starting at the beginning of the list and working my way down and do gifts throughout the year. My brother in Arizona is at the top of the list. An afghan works even in the desert.

I can start the holiday knitting just in case – if my attention holds, that is.

Superstar!

I thought I would drop over to my pal, Susie‘s blog to see what she was up to and she’s on a sock run. Looking in her blog list, I picked a new blog to go read and clicked on Thru the Back Loop. The blog belongs to Allyson who is also on a sock run – it appears October is Socktoberfest. And who was the person that turned Allyson on to Socktoberfest…Susie…the sock pusher.

I can imagine how it went. Allyson, all innocent and non-sock obsessed, was going her merry way when she passed by the alley and heard: “Pssst, pssst, hey, you there…wanna knit a sock? C’mon feel my fiber.” Just kidding, Sus; you know I love ya baby!

Many have tried to explain to me the lure of sock knitting and how one can become filled with the drunkenness of knitting them. But I cannot drink the Kool-Aid. I just don’t get it. Other than learning Kitchener stitch, I can’t find much need to even look at a sock pattern. Now, having said that, when Loopy Yarns was giving away patterns during the yarn crawl, I took scored obtained a couple of sock patterns because they were slouch socks and I love slouch socks and cannot find them ready made too easily anymore. So, if the urge hits me and I need to feel some slouch socks on the feet, I can make them. And I can make them out of a little thicker yarn than sock yarn. So, while I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of making socks, it’s no where near a top priority and after having made socks before, I don’t get the allure of them.

In other news, I was at Mosaic Yarn studio and fell in love with a poncho pattern I saw in a book on how to use your stash. That poncho has been calling my name for the past few weeks so I went back and got the book (50% off) and I am going to use my stash to make it. It’s the poncho on the cover. I don’t know why, but it wants me to make it and I think I must comply.
It will definitely use a lot of my stash as I can make it in a variety of colors using different weights of yarn. I’m looking forward to it.

I repeat that I have not forgotten about the ugly afghan I said I was going to crochet and it is actually waiting for me to get back to it. I have worked out, in theory, the part that is giving me trouble and if it works, the outcome won’t look much like the picture but that’s OK cuz the picture is ugly. I am not going to sabotage my own goal. That would be crazy. Besides, I still have a swatch of it that I started and I love the colors together so working out how to make the center pretty will ultimately get me something lovely. And who doesn’t need something lovely?

In the meantime, I have the latest granny square afghan (which once I complete, I will go on to the ugly beautiful afghan) and the lace scarf made with the Misti Alpaca. It’s 25 days before the Guerin Prep show and I still have lots to do in order to feel secure in what I have to offer. Maybe someone will have socks. Someone. Not me.

Friends

I don’t have a photo of Ed and Lori or Rocco and Kathleen but the six of us were together over the weekend. Rocco and Kathleen live next door to us (in the house Mr. Honey grew up in) and Lori and Ed live next to Rocco and Kathleen. The six of us were together because Rocco and Kathleen were married on Saturday and the four us were fortunate enough to be invited to the nuptials.

First, they had a Ukrainian wedding – (think My Big Fat Greek Wedding almost) and we had to stand the whole two hours for the wedding ceremony. There are parts to the service. First the betrothal, then the vows, then the crossing of hands, then the crowning, then the walk, then the blessing and I’m sure I’m leaving something out. But it was a beautiful service. I have to confess that somewhere in hour two I said to God, I bet they’re still legally married if I sit for a second. Sure enough they are.

And then the party.

I don’t know what it was – maybe because it wasn’t family – but we got on the dance floor. Mr. Honey says he has no rhythm but I made him go out for one dance – The Electric Slide – and I am here to say that Mr. Honey give credence to the stereotype about white men dancing. He truly has no rhythm but he has a lot of heart and he tried his best.

I also drank more that evening that I will do in the next year to come. Mr. H. said I was buzzed and we stayed later than we usually do at these things. I think it wasn’t so much that it wasn’t family but the crowd itself was older and so we were a bunch of old people out on the dance floor. No young folk to show us up. There were no children at the reception. There were some younger folks but no little kids that I could see. We sat at the same table and had a great time with the other five folks at our table (yes, it sat nine) who were friends of the bride’s family.
I don’t know if this contributed to my drinking more than usual but while I would not say I was drunk – I had all my wits about me – the next day I felt like I was hit by something on wheels.

On the heels of having cocktails at dinner on Thursday and Friday, the whole weekend was a lost weekend – but really fun. In the end, it was a great day and we wish Rocco and Kath the very best of God’s blessings and to stand on the faith of the Lord as they continue through life together. And we are grateful that we have friends for neighbors and neighbors for friends.

On the other hand, I am knitting a scarf. I tried doing the afghan and it was giving me fits because the flowers are coming out crappy and I had to rework them so I need something I can conquer before I go back there…but I will go back there. In the mean time I am working on this: I am using the Misti Alpaca for it and since I spent some $17.50 a ball for it, I should either use it or invest it so this would seem to be a nice lacy project for it and since the suggested needle size for the fiber are size 7 needles and the project (from here) says it also should be made on size 7 needles, I’m thinking this is a good thing. I’m using hand painted color – can I just say I am not a fan of ‘colorway’ I have no idea why we need it. Anyhow, it’s in shades of green. Despite the smallish needle size and the not quite worsted weight, this should be a relatively quick knit and I am looking forward to seeing the scarf fall off from the needles.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should also say I have started another granny square afghan (I was daydreaming of crocheting granny squares in black, grey and white so that’s what I’m doing. What? I’m following the dream.) It requires 80 squares and I already have 30 done. I swear, I will get back to the other afghan and yes, I am using the yarn I was supposed to use for that one but it will all work itself out.

Have faith.