Next Steps

The Cowl in brown

That cowl is pretty. I should make more of those….

So, I have finally selected my new doctor and I have even made my appointment. The appointment is for two weeks but I have a feeling I will be over there sooner than that.

I haven’t been to the doctor in a few years so this is like starting all over. Some folks don’t get second chances so I am grateful for the one I am giving myself.

I am about 1/3 done with the crochet scarf. It is a basketweave pattern and pretty simple. I started it Wednesday night at knit group. The reason it isn’t done is because I had to make a hat which I have done and which I will photograph. I modified two different patterns to come up with this hat and it’s a cute newsboy hat. The scarf should be ready to ship by Monday’s mail.  Get this, I am actually going to block it. I’ve made the scarf before and it will look better blocked. So I am going to do it. Imagine.

Tomorrow – is it tomorrow already? – is my free day. Mr. Honey bought me brownies so if I am awake at midnight, I will indulge. There’s no guarantee I will be up that late because I’ve been going to bed earlier these days but if I want to get a full 24 hours of a free day and start it with a yummy brownie and some ice cold milk then it might be worth it.

Hey, I could use it as a reward for finishing the scarf.

Clever and smart…

Fallin’ Up

Light blue prayer shawl

I have another order! This one is for a crocheted scarf that will make its way to Australia – where it’s fall time.  So, with that sale, I have reached my goals for the month of April – which means I have made my goals every month since December when I started out with having goals.

It’s a very meager goal but it did take 25 days to make it. The goal is 5 sales for the month and that means I make a donation to the charity of choice for the year (this year it’s the K.I.N.D. fund through UNICEF and I also pay it forward by purchasing something from an Etsy shop. It is a small goal but when I made it, I hadn’t fully experienced the holiday sale and I wasn’t sure the success of the holiday would translate into sales the other part of the year. This way, I can increase it at the end of this year. In any case, the meagreness of my goal means more money for UNICEF and more sales for Etsy and that can’t be bad.

Today is day 25 and I think I have hit my first plateau. Not to worry, it’s not making me anxious. My next free day is on the horizon and Mr. Honey has suggested brownies as the free day treat – yummmmm. I have to say Jewel bakery makes a really nice frost-free brownie. With some cold milk. Nirvana. Something to look forward to.

Plan B

block poncho

So, I made 22 hats because of the show we had last Friday evening. 22 hats and I sold 1. But the evening was not a total loss. One, because it’s a lot of fun. Two, because it is for a good cause. Three, because instead of a raffle this year (which I won last year), they did a 50/50. You all know what a 50/50 is. Folks buy tickets to go in the pot and the winner gets half and the host gets the other half.

I won that one this year, too. So, I actually walked out with three figures in dollars.

But now I have a whole host of hats. I have hats galore and I need to get rid have an event where they can be moved.

Etsy has something called Christmas in July and I am going to really deep discount those items I have in stock that are ready to move. I hope this will get some of the items out into the world. I also have a hat order for a single hat that I need to get done. I can concentrate on taking new photos of what I have in stock and putting them in a special section of the shop.

Today is day 22 – it is the first day of the fourth week.  My free day Friday was great and this week there were no problems with a relapse. Mr. Honey purchased the cookies I told you about and he pouted on Friday when he saw I hadn’t ripped into the Lenell cookies. I took them with me to the show and the wonderful April and marvelous Ellen did them justice. (BTW, everybody sold one item each.) We didn’t have the same amount of traffic and there were about 4 times more vendors and we were in the back. We asked to be closer to the door next spring. Gina is going to have the event just once a year in the spring which means, for us, we will have to entice folks to purchase warmer weather gear as well as make cooler weather gear. It will be a challenge but we can do it.

Anyhow, that part is going well. I am about 6 pounds down though I don’t really want this to come down to a numbers game while I pay attention to the numbers. The real goal is to have lost a good amount for vacation in the fall where there will be lots of walking – hopefully, this thing that feels like a pulled muscle will be positively resolved. So we move onward.

Anyone want a hat?

No Where to Run

Taffy scarf in autumn

I thought this week would go faster. I thought this because I have a show which I am not ready for and that usually causes an increase in the space/time continuum where everything is done at warp nine. But it appears time is moving just as it ought which gives me plenty of time to get ready. I am done knitting for it. I’ve made more than forty things since the beginning of March and I believe I said I wanted a couple of dozen things to have mixed in with the other things. So I have to clear out the living room and return it to something Mr. Honey recognizes as part of his domicile.

OK, I might as well tell you now and get it out of the way. I have abandoned the shawl. That thing was taking forever. I liked the idea of it. I really wanted to do the ruffle part which was going to be fun to see if it worked out but really, I would crochet and crochet and I swear when I put it down to do something like go to the bathroom, the evil crochet fairy would come and undo like a thousand rows.

We’ve all been there, right? The projects that won’t end? I’ve had some. I’ve written about them. They just keep going and you swear at them and around them and you want to use them to choke that little pink bunny that keeps going because none of it ends.

Listen, I don’t have to sell you on this, do I? I   We knit for pleasure. It is spiritual and connective. So we need to feel a part of our projects. I also have the added benefit of knitting for income. So when I make something, it has to be something I don’t mind making again. And in my head, I imagine some bride somewhere wanting to order I for every member of her 15 count bridal party.

I don’t want to make 15 of those shawls. I don’t even want to make the one. So part of it has become a hat. A hat I made in less than two hours. That’s what I’m talking about.

Today is day 18 and I don’t know what is up with my mental capacity but I’ve had to talk myself out of doing something I’m not supposed to be doing.  Mr. Honey got me some Archway Lemon Drop cookies and he also purchased some Maurice Lennell cookies. The lemon cookies I know are for me but I don’t know why he got the other cookies but he hasn’t opened them so I am guessing he got them for me as well. He bought them on Friday and they’ve been on the dining room table where he put them but yesterday the lemon ones started whispering at me whenever I passed by the table.

Our house is small. I pass by that table a lot. The package is still intact. I want the feeling of accomplishment more than I want the cookie and I can have the cookie the day after tomorrow so then I will have both. The accomplishment and the cookie.

Ta-da.

Stop That Horse!

The Prayer Shawl in black

Today is day 15 and I had a lapse. The free day went really well and things were going great the day after the free day when all of a sudden, I found myself eating ice cream and then cookies. I cannot tell you the devastation I felt at having to come here and say I fell off the horse after a really good and successful two weeks.

But then help arrived in and unexpected place. I logged onto Facebook and there was a status update from the adorable Miss Ruth. Who was saying she was minding her own nutritional business when she got thrown off her horse by some chicken wings that caught her nose. I knew at that moment it was OK for me to admit I had what was a temporary lapse. In fact, being able to admit it is what made it temporary.  I fell off that horse on Friday and yesterday that horse and I had a really good run. So I get to thank Miss Ruth for being an inspiration and a heroine to me and I get to go forward on my 180 day journey confident that I will make it to where I’m going.

On the knitting front – I completed another hat that I didn’t like when I first did it but now it’s growing on me. I still have the shawl/wrap on the hook and it is going to take a while. The reason it’s going to take a while is because I did change the pattern around but only to go up a hook size and it’s still a pretty small hook. I should have jumped it up a couple of hook size so I could whip right through it. As it is, it’s whipping me. But I am going to keep with it because I want to see it finished because I am doing the design a little differently than the pattern says – OK so  that’s two things. Three, if you consider I changed the fabric but that’s it.

Sigh.

Waiting to Inhale

knitted newsboy in aubergine

Apparently, the photo of a newsboy cap not withstanding, I am in the middle of a shawl run. You all know by now how I select patterns. Well, maybe you don’t so here goes – I have my pattern books lined up on a shelf (OK, shelves). They were supposedly in no particular order. I take the first one off the shelf, leaf through it until I find a pattern that I like to do – before I completely change it around – and then go merrily on by knitting way. For some reason, all my shawl books are sitting on the shelf together. Having a shawl party. Not inviting a scarf book or even a wrap book in the neighborhood. All the shawl books are sitting in a row.

Luckily, they are experiencing a breakup. Diversity is the key here. Because while I select a book off the shelf, the next pattern comes from those I’ve created or have store on my PC. So, the shawl I started a couple of days ago will go back on the shelf behind a hat book and a hat pattern encased in a page protector will slip in behind it.

Let a girl have her quirks – it keeps me out of the bars.

I was out this morning photographing hats. I actually had six instead of five and I got through four of them before the batteries in the camera decided they had enough. I will go upstairs and get some new ones whenever I need to go upstairs for something else.

The craft show is a week from Friday and I have sixteen (16) new items to add to the mix. Of course that is not enough – I don’t ever have enough – but other than pressing on, there’s not much more I can do. I know I will probably managed to squeeze out a few more and I will be surprised when I look into the bin with all the others that I have a lot there. I just want there to be some new choices for the girls to look at.

Today is day eleven (11) and I am chomping at the bit to get to my free day tomorrow. I have no idea why and I think it will be a great big let down when I finally get there. I think it’s the anticipation that is causing the hormonal rush and when tomorrow dawns I think the fact that I made it there without going off the rails will be the destination and not the journey.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, I just need to be prepared.

Bagels will help. I am looking forward to the bagels.

Day Ten And A New Day Has Come

Cowl in almond

There’s some new hats in the inventory. I decided not to take photos until I have about five of them. I want to work in groups of five. One more and we have ourselves a photo session.

I want to work in groups because it becomes more efficient and also because at this time of year, I am not so pressed to get new items in the shop. I am knitting items that will eventually go in the shop just in time for fall. If I put them up now, the listing expires in August. If I wait until later the listing will be fresh for the season and also there will be a good chunk of new items to see.

I have a shawl on the needles now. I started it in cotton and last night I changed and went with an acrylic worsted weight. I think the feel will be better and it will make a better photograph. I do like how it’s coming out. It’s going to take a couple of days to complete so in the meantime another project that moves a little faster will find itself on another set of needles or a hook and that photo session will happen.

So yesterday I had struggle with myself to stay on plan. I came out the victor of that struggle – I am glad to say. My free day this week is on Thursday and I managed not to get off plan by planning what I would do on Thursday to celebrate the seven days I stuck with it.

Bagels. There’s a bagel store down the road a piece and they make really good cinnamon raisin and an apple bagel and they also make a nice veggie creamed cheese. I have promised myself and early morning trip there if I could just hold on until then.

That’s an important thing. The struggle and the ultimate victory. It’s about choices and it means more than just eating something now or eating something later. It also affects my knitting and my business. Remember a few days back when I wasn’t feeling like doing anything? That was a dangerous place to be in. I knew the feeling wouldn’t last forever and I would eventually come out of it. The problem is the people who paid for items didn’t know I would come out of the funk – they just knew the days were passing by and their heads weren’t getting any warmer. They could write poor reviews that would stay on my site forever. I couldn’t afford to just go with it. I had to bring myself back before I got bored with being at my own pity party.

Everything has its season and I cannot afford to go into a funk during these next ten days. But April 21st would be a good day. I can go into a funk then. I should put it on the calendar.

easter people

the cassock

I attended Easter Service at Russ United Methodist on the south side of Chicago. I have to admit it was nice being back in church. The service was two hours long – not used to that except in black churches that have that baptist thing going through them. But it was enjoyable.

Thank goodness I have that smartphone to tell me how to get back home because I did manage to discombobulate myself. I cannot stand the Dan Ryan Expressway, all the turns and curves make me crazy. Give me the Eisenhower – straight lines with an occasional turn. That’s what I’m talking about.

During the service, Harriett asked if folks wanted to share what the resurrection story meant to people in their own lives. For me, the significance of it is found in a bible verse I first heard in college when a friend named Cindy stated it was her favorite: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live through faith through the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:19-21.

No matter who we are, no matter what are greatest gifts and our greatest flaws, no matter if we get the two of those confused or know how or when to use them, if we think we have something to offer or not, if other people think we’re too old, too young, too dark, too poor or even too rich and privileged, we are all perfectly made to give praise to the glory of God.

There are many sermons to give on Easter Sunday but we are an Easter people; we can always renew and restore and take root in the resurrected Christ. That being the case, we can do more than sit and listen to a sermon – we can be a living one.

Longer

autumn scarf

So, here we are on day 5. So far so good, though last night I was tempted to have something I wasn’t supposed to have. I survived the evening with my integrity intact.

We went to a new (to us) place for dinner on our date night. We went to Brick, a sports bar/restaurant in Skokie. It is now on our list of places to go. The food itself is OK, not better or worse than any of the other places we go but good enough to make the list. As opposed to Red Robin which is not on our places to go. We went there once and that was more than enough for me. Brick gives you a choice to sit in a booth, at a table, or on couches. We choose the table this time but the couch will be it the next time. We each get our own couch and they have enough  flat screens around the place that you won’t miss a sports event.

The Cubs lost their season opener and we don’t really need to talk about that anymore. Just to say if we thought the change of management and practically an entire team was going to be the panacea we were thinking, we now have a dash of reality to put our feet on earth.

I finished another hat yesterday and I have a specialty hat on the needles. This hat is geared towards brides and bridesmaids. It is a revised version of a hat I already sell and it’s one of those fun bridal hats. It should be finished today if all goes well.

This is Good Friday. Easter came fast and Lent was here and gone in a flash. This is the weekend of the resurrection. The days of new beginnings.  It’s also the weekend. It makes for a nice combination. I hope we all have a great time this weekend with spring officially here and the really bad weather behind us except for the occasional rain and storm. (I won’t remind those of us who are crafters and who sell our wares that the holiday season is seven months away – we should live in the moment.)  We should come back from this weekend refreshed, renewed and restored.

See you then!

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Day 3 In Review

3 Rib Hat in Scarlett

There are 180 days in this initial process. That takes us up to Mr. Honey’s birthday.

Yesterday was the first free day and I did a really nice job of it. The focus was dairy. I really craved dairy products so ice cream was my free day item. I also completed a hat (not the one in the photo – which is going to be revamped into another style) but a ht I had fun making actually following the pattern and that I am making a second time because I changed the pattern around until it looks about 90 percent different from the original pattern.

Changing patterns does not come as a shock to those who knit and crochet with me. Following a pattern to the letter is not quite my norm. I’m not averse to following directions or the road map. It’s essential that I have them. It started out when I was following a pattern and the author was making it so complicated. I said to myself – can’t I condense those eight steps into one by making this change? And sure enough – I could. The work went faster and (to me) better and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t look at every pattern with the intention of changing them and there are some that get made without me moving as much as a comma. But there are others that need modification to fulfill my curiosity or make the work process smoother and I think that’s fair. It’s not a slight to the pattern designer – it’s a flaw with me.

So today, day four, and I am back to the routine:  I have laundry and a workout on the schedule and then some free hours. I will probably read a non knitting related book.  I will go downstairs for some breakfast (cereal and fruit) and my lunch will be roasted chicken. I roasted chicken for dinner last night and today the flavors should be all melded from being made hours ago. Tonight is date night and we haven’t decided where we’re going but I think it will be a place we’ve never been either in Skokie or a new place down the street.

Oh, I’ll do some knitting, too. While waiting for the laundry to get done. Like I could go a day without knitting. I could…I think.