B*^#&H Slapped

stuffed snakes
stuffed snakes

The planet smacked me. I even felt it. Perhaps I didn’t give enough credit to the yarn goddess for the successes I claimed yesterday…which explains why there’s nothing  complete today.

I swear I was working on them but it’s all the same size even after crocheting rounds and knitting rows neither the hat or the prayer shawl have found themselves complete. I do know, in fact, I gave no credit to the yarn goddess (Yarndis, for those who don’t know.) I know I credited the transporter room for the strides I made yesterday which only proves the goddess doesn’t care for science fiction.

Today I approach the projects with what I hope is the proper measure of humbleness. I hope to have the shawl finished in short order. I feel as if the hat will be done during the day after I come back up to pack the completed prayer shawl for shipping.

I am pleased that I have below 20 open orders and I am quite hopeful to have that number cut in half by the end of the week. This will be a challenge because there are some multiple hat orders in the bunch but I am hoping with all the humility I can.

One has to be careful when talking to the yarn goddess. Supplication is one thing but arse kissing is quite another and she doesn’t appreciate that, either.

I am hoping to get the photos done as well. I waited too late yesterday and I think I am going to do them before the shadows set in.

It is Easter Sunday after today until late in the year, we will enter ordinary time. But make no mistake, there is nothing ordinary about time. Every day presents the opportunity to love and to learn. Extraordinary things happen in ordinary times.

Quality Time

spirit headband
spirit headband

You know that transporter thing I talked about yesterday? I know you all thought I was crazy but check it out – yesterday, nothing. This morning, not only is a prayer shawl done, packed and ready to go; there’s another one already on the needles with a fair amount done. And two, count them, two headbands are done. Add to that this morning, I went for a nice long walk and have already showered and dress and uploaded a new item to the shop and renewed another one. Don’t tell me there’s no transporting going on.

The thought of the white crochet cap still has left me and since the hook is sitting here and the yarn is sitting here there’s no real excuse to not start it. So now, the first three rounds of that are done.

Did you see Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet? It was very moving but am I a cynic for fearing for his safety? He is a throwback to the time before the pope mobile and I am glad to see it but I wonder about the nut out there who will want their claim to infamy. So on this Easter weekend, I pray he remains safe and strong in his faith because it looks as if he can be an inspiration.

I am actually headed back to bed. Though I did enjoy my early activities, I am still sleepy and nodding off trying to knit has caused me problems in the past and I would rather just get the rest I’m being told I need. Once that’s done, it’s back to the prayer shawl and the other things to work on.

I hope you enjoy your day and your weekend and you find your faith and hope renewed. To quote a famous play, “In a world where carpenters are resurrected; anything is possible.”

Step By Step

Crochet boyfriend cap
Crochet boyfriend cap

Someone play me the tape from yesterday so I can see why there is nothing packed up ready for shipment or ready to be photographed.

The prayer shawl is halfway done and the headband is a few inches short of being finished but there ain’t nothing done.

It is true that last night was date night but it wasn’t like I spent three hours in restless participation getting ready – I mean, it’s Mr. Honey and he lives here – I have no idea how come nothing got done.  Since this is not the first time this has happened and since it has also happened that there are days when lots of things get done and I can’t explain that either, I come to the only logical conclusion:

All knitting takes place on a star ship and every once in a while something goes wrong with the transporter and time shifts causing some days to be shorter and some longer while making it seems like the same 24 hours.

Makes sense when you think about it.

Wednesday evening was the knit group get together and we met two new folks: Shannon and Sharon – they are neither sisters or twins – but they are both fun. We hope they come back. It also wasn’t 9 folks either; Elizabeth – a new favorite and Bernice, a veteran favorite, couldn’t make it and changed their yes to no or else we would have been 9 and that would have been wonderful. As it was it was seven folks and wonderful.

Obviously on today’s knitting menu is a prayer shawl and I know it was supposed to be followed by two hats but I have to get another prayer shawl going. I may start that other prayer shawl instead of starting another headband and do that upstairs and do the hats downstairs.

It’s Friday again – where did the week go? Oh yeah, the transporter thing – I have twenty open orders with six from February. This is the first time in about seven months that my orders take just one page to stroll through. I told Mr. Honey I was looking forward to having them all done so I could have the option of putting down the needles.

Looking through those orders, there are some with two or three hats in them so it’s not going to be as swift as I’d like but I do predict I will be done with them before the end of April.  Just in time for me to start stressing about not having enough stuff for the Willow Academy show.

This weekend is Easter. The Christian holiday of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. I was invited to see The Seven Last Words of Christ at Micheal’s church and I gave thought to seeing what First Oak Park was doing with what they call the Stations of the Cross. I haven’t celebrated Easter for quite some time and I may go see one of them but it’s more likely I will be working on something and totally forget.

Instead, I may see if I can find “The Last Temptation of Christ” or “The Passion of the Christ” on the t and v and watch it. We’re pretty low key around Easter. However you celebrate it, or if you don’t celebrate it, I wish for you the message given for the season: we all have been given the chance of a new beginning. We are not stuck where we are. We are not tied endlessly to the mistakes we’ve made or the paths we have chosen. There are roads before us that can move us in other directions and to other destinies.

The crucifixion  is nothing more than a way to die if there had been a resurrection. The resurrection is the ultimate do-over. We die to the ways of the earth to live in the way of God.

We always have that option. We always have the choice to be better than we are today. We may never reach perfection but we can always reach.

We are Easter people. I hope your mind, body, spirit and soul come together and reach.

 

Scatter Brains

a discontinued hat
a discontinued hat

OK, so I didn’t make the white crochet cap. The white yarn is sitting right in front of me as I type but the item on the hook in front of me is a headband. A very simple headband that I have now started three times.

The second time I started it, I calculated it for gauge and it came out too wide so I recalculated and figured out my math was off before. Now it looks the way I want it to look. I am fairly certain I don’t have enough of the fiber upstairs to finish it. Luckily, I know there is a lot of it downstairs so it’s a matter of bringing one to the other and we’ll be set.

I am actually thinking of using the white yarn in another headband but what I want to do is make a separate ball and double it up and knit a thicker headband. Now, you could be asking yourself the question I asked myself, ‘If you’re making the headbands for the spring craft shows, why would you make it thicker?’ You and I both ask me good questions.

And the answer is: ‘Because it’d be pretty.’

The answer could also be that while I am thinking of the spring craft shows, I am also thinking six months down the road to the fall and it would fit in for the fall to winter transition and I want to stock the shop with stuff ready to ship as well as made to order. I’ve set my new sales goal at 480 sales this year. I’ve had 68 so far this year…not a bad start..but it took until September last year to get my 100th sale which means of the 318 sales I had last year, 218 came during those last three months and we all know I just got out from under that. I am determined with improved sales must come improved management so I don’t make myself nuts. I am hoping a well stocked ready to ship section will draw some folks to it and save me some time, wear and tear.

There’s a prayer shawl on the needles now and that will be followed by a black cableret and then a taupe cableret. Tonight is date night and I think we’re staying in the neighborhood. Thursday night is the best night for television: Big Bang Theory, Persons of Interest, Beauty and the Beast and Scandal. That’s just good stuff and a great way to end a date. He only hangs around for Persons of Interest and then heads upstairs but I go through all of them with knitting in hand.

Nirvana.

 

Disorient Express

Dana in tangerine
Dana in tangerine

OK, so remember day before yesterday I was saying I had a couple of hats I wanted to get done and I would have the latest crochet cap – the amethyst one – done by noon?

Best laid plans. I have no idea what happened. I did get the two hats done and I did get the cap done. It just took until two yesterday morning. For some reason, the day got away with me. I also didn’t have a walk scheduled that day but I ended up doing some circuit training because I thought it’d be fun to try. (The soreness is just an added bonus.) In any case, it got to be past seven in the evening when I realized the first hat I wanted to do wasn’t even finished and I had to feed Mr. Honey. I had gone to the grocery store(remember?) and forgot to get the one thing I went there to get so I had to switch from cooking steak to cooking pork but I got him fed then I settled down to finish that darn hat. Which was finished before eleven.

Do not ask me why I thought starting and finishing the second hat was essential. OK, ask me. It’s a pretty quick knit for a hat and I figured I could get it done and be in bed by one at the latest. And it was finished before one. So I took them both upstairs to pack them up and have them ready to go when the cap mocked me.  Yes, just like the other one did. There’s something about these caps that mock.  So, I stayed up and finished that one. Three hats – six hours not counting the lead time for the first hat.

YES!

There are consequences. Got two hats done yesterday but I felt like a zombie. I did some more of the circuit training because you have to fight the soreness with a little hair of the dog. A new crochet cap is done in neon purple and I’ve selected the yarn for the next three caps but I am getting that ‘over it’ feeling. I know I said I wanted to do about sixteen of them but I’ve done ten and that’s feeling like it’s almost enough. Almost but not quite. I’m going to work it up in white and see how I feel after that one. There’s nothing to stop me from coming back to them if I really find the need to make more.

In the meantime, there is a granny square hat, a prayer shawl and a black cableret to make and the great office clean up is almost done. I have come to the conclusion this office is just too small for it to look picturesque neat but it doesn’t look like a hoarders in training space anymore and that’s really what I wanted. The bin migration from the living room to the office will start today. There’s enough room to start bringing them up even as I move out more stuff.

Tonight is knit night and I look forward to seeing the 9 people who said they were coming. I will try and get there a little early. I’d be surprised – but pleased – if we had that many folks. I need to take my camera and get some new pics on the site.

It’s on to knitting!

Spring, you say…

The Classic in black glitter
The Classic in black glitter

In some ways, this winter/spring is stranger than last year’s winter/spring. Last winter was down right warm with temps in the 80’s in February. I don’t think this spring has seen 40 much less anything nearing spring temperature and yet the winter was pretty mild. In the regular days, we just had to hold out to February, have a few blasts of Arctic cold and then get over it. But March is about to end and you know that in like a lion, out like a lamb thing? I think the lion ate the lamb and is now resting while he slowly digests the poor thing. The cold ain’t moving. Under normal circumstances, I would be rejoicing that today is a balmy 35 degrees but that just seems a little cold than it does warm.

But there is always knitting. Two hats are on their way out. I know I left you hanging about the gray dilemma. So, did I use two different grays or did I go with the one gray? I went with the one gray for a very good reason. After looking at the order again, she ordered the other hat in taupe.

The cotton amethyst crochet cap is almost done. Yeah, I know, I don’t know why it isn’t done either. I must have been working on other stuff though for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what. It should be finished before noon.

I did get to go shopping for the Homespun yesterday and the gratification came in spurts. The first spurt was finding the main color I needed after thinking they didn’t have any. I looked for it and didn’t see it and thinking in my head where the next closest JoAnn was, I spotted it. Gratification spurt. Then I wiped them out of all the color. Another gratification spurt. I thought briefly about putting one back so I didn’t appear greedy. But then I thought the only person who would think I was greedy was a nosy person looking in my cart. By my way of thinking, a nosy person shouldn’t be standing in judgement of a greedy person. So I took it all.

But that was only seven skeins. That was hardly worthy of the having a 25% off coupon and a sale price of $4.99 a skein.  It certainly wasn’t enough to make me feel guilty about adding to an already overflowing yarn stash. So, I got nine more skeins. Big gratification spurt. Got to the counter, handed the clerk all the coupons (I don’t bother cutting them, I just hand them the entire flyer and they use coupons I didn’t even notice.)

Total: $55 and change. Did I mention, I also got a crochet mag? Gratification spurt bordering on orgasmic.

I have four prayer shawls to make and each one takes a little over three skeins to make. I can get two out of four skeins so most of these will be gone before the first week of April so I won’t be adding to the stash for very long or very much – gratification spurt there as well. So it’s all good.

On the needles today: a black rasta, a cranberry three rib and a gray rasta.

The first part of the great office clean up is done. I cleared off the storage case. Now all I have to do there is put a new battery in the clock I forgot was sitting there and I can move on to the next area. As I glance over, I see some things will be going the way of the Chicago Sanitation Department. I anticipate moving the bins from the living room up to the office by the end of next week as other things go to their places or get thrown out.

I don’t have a walk on the schedule today but I do have to do some shopping – grocery shopping. When Mr. Honey goes shopping he doesn’t always find the fruits and veggies and I have to cook dinner the next two nights – I get to opt out of Wednesday because I will be with my posse knitting.

Gonna do a little bit of knitting first before I head out. Junkie’s gotta get a fix.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Newsboy in yellow
Newsboy in yellow

Yes, I know it’s March. Late March. This is me catching up.

You know that gratification thing about the Homespun? Gratification will have to wait one more day. The sale on it doesn’t start until tomorrow. But there is a silver lining – got another order for a prayer shawl – so now I can buy more because I need to. Love it when those stars line up.

The camo crochet cap is done and is waiting patiently with two comrades to be photographed. I started the next one in amethyst and it’s the first time I am using I Love This Yarn in cotton and let me just say: “Wow!” That stuff is soft and it runs on the hook like a rail. (That sounds really nasty – I like it.) It so nice it makes me want to forgive them for messing up their yarn department by deciding to change suppliers in the winter. It looks like they are slowly restocking their shelves and the website. Some colors that were unavailable are available now. This gives me hope there are more in the store but before I make that 13 mile trek, I will call first.

But so far, it’s great to work with. I thought there might be a problem because it was curling way early in the pattern but it turned out, I made a mistake in stitching. Once I corrected it, the fiber lay beautifully flat. I am looking forward to seeing the end result. Of course, this fiber was from the old manufacturer so before I get crazy excited, I will have to see if the new cotton is as sleek as this one. I do have about five balls of it so the fun can last for a little while. I can’t imagine how fast it will knit up on the nickel-plated needles.

I did finish a hat yesterday and it will be going today. I could have started the others but I was ran into a fiber dilemma. I have some whole skeins of gray yarn and both hats in the next order are gray. But I also have some remnants. The remnants are enough to make these hats. But they are two different grays. Do I send matching colors or do I make the two different hats in two different grays? Believe it or not, I have made the decision. I made it while clutter busting last night. I slept on it and I know what I am going to do.

I am not going to tell you today because I am going to make a major announcement: the great office purge is done. That’s right. The purge is complete. I went to do some more of it this morning only to discover the items on top of the office supply bins were not as numerous as I thought and can be easily dispatched or stored as needed. So the purge is done.

Now the great office clean up begins. This is where books get put back in bookcases and things that need a place find a place now that they are not strewn hither and yon. This is where I come to terms with the fact that the office is a 10×10 room and really small and not everything that made the purge cut will make the cleaning cut and some more things will still have to go. Right now that means, things from other professions when I was a publicist and doing some freelance writing. Some of those will have to go. But that’s like trying to reduce the deficit by changing the toilet paper in the White House. It’s a gesture but it won’t really get the job done.

It’s clear we may have to touch the entitlement program that is the yarn stash. As much as I have paid into the system and love it, I have to say I really don’t see the real need of a 27 bin stash. This is especially true when not all the yarn is in a bin. This was passion run amok.  The new ‘ready to ship’ section will help with as will the additional craft shows we are doing this year. I see Miss Amanda and Miss Vicki getting bags of yarn in the future.

 

The great office clean up will not take as long the great office purge. The areas are pretty well mapped out and I can take them one by one. I’m actually excited about this. I really do want to move the bins from the living room upstairs so I can begin the really big project that Mr. Honey doesn’t know he’s going to be doing: the great house redecoration. I think after living here for eighteen years, we retire the bachelor beige on the walls and the furniture and create a living space. See? There is a method to all the madness.

Pray for me. Mr. Honey doesn’t like change.

On Our Way

Cableret in Gray
Cableret in Gray

There’s a hat waiting to be packed up and sent. I haven’t decided if I am going to make it wait for another, totally unrelated hat, to be started and completed so then the two of them can be packed up to go their separate ways. That’s just how I’m rolling today.

Yesterday I was undecided but anxious about getting to the new crochet cap. Shortly after the post, probably during the post, the last crochet stopped being stubborn and allowed itself to be finished. That meant I was free to go over to the bins and actually look inside. I’ve picked the yarn for the next two caps. I pulled one bin out and that gave me a view into the bin below it, where the next hat would come from, so it just made sense to select them both while I was there.

The cap that is currently on hook, and almost done, is cotton. The color is called ‘renegade’ but it reminds me of camouflage and I was already contemplating making one before I knew the yarn was in that particular bin – remember, I was going for the wool blend.

The one after will be cotton as well and it will be the first time I am using the ‘I Love This Yarn’ in cotton. The color is amethyst. I am eyeing as it is in front of me right now. The cap that is almost finished is also within eyesight and I swear it is giving me a look because it sees me looking at the amethyst with a wanton eye.  I wants it.

However, patience will have to be the order of the day. When the renegade cap comes off the hook, I will have to take it and the two previously made caps downstairs, sew in the ends and photograph them all. I decided to do it in sets of three and the renegade makes the trio. So I will be out in the under 30 degree weather taking pics of hats. As long as it’s not as windy as it has been the last couple of times it should be fine.

I also get to do a little yarn shopping. I was in JoAnn’s the other day because I needed a ball of Lagoon Homespun to finish a scarf that was on the hook. I walked out with one ball of Homespun, one skein of By The Pound in taupe because I needed that for a bunch of hats coming up and a book of caps. Three coupons. Spent less than $20. However, I did go because I need Homespun for three prayer shawls I have coming up. The Homespun is now on sale – so I waited. I also have a 25% off entire purchase coupon – what? I was fine with delaying the instant gratification for the gratification that costs less. I am hoping a few balls of Wool Ease Chunky can find their way into the basket and I admit, I don’t exactly have need of them right now but one of the hats on my radar calls for it and since that hat will be the first one of the fall and winter hats I make, I can justify it just fine. Did I mention the 25% off?

Date night last night was at Cucina Paradiso in Oak Park, Mr. Honey devoured some poor little chicken that didn’t have time to sit on the plate looking pretty. I ordered one of the pizzas – the four cheese pizza and that will be what I go downstairs from here to finish before I do the hats and the shopping thing.

That means I am going to pack up this hat so it can go to the post office. Shouldn’t make one person wait any longer. I do have hats to make this weekend. Friday already. How did that happen?

There are just 11 February orders left. Come Monday, I want to report that half of them have gone on the their destinations. Winter hangs still on this second day of spring so they are needed. Wish me luck on that.

 

A Little Dream…

The Ribbed scarf in taupe
The Ribbed scarf in taupe

I woke up a little early again yesterday. No counting game this time, I just wanted to go out for a walk. My legs felt too heavy and a walk would get the blood moving. But it was cold yesterday. But I wanted to walk. So, I made use of this new fangled thing called a coat and I went out for my walk.

It’s colder today but I’m pretty sure the coat will work as designed.

In knitting news, there’s one package ready to go out and the crochet cap I was working on yesterday, for some reason, has decided it doesn’t want to made as quickly as its counterparts were. It is still unmade. It’s almost made but you can’t wear (or sell) something that’s almost made.  I’m curious to see what the next color or fiber will be. I can turn to the right and see the bin that is holding the next hat and I am tempted to use a wool blend fiber that I can see. I haven’t used it for anything else. I purchased it from Chix with Stix and they’ve been closed for almost two years. I am hesitating only because it’s not a winter or cold weather hat. It’s a change of season to spring or to fall hat.  I can’t quite make out from here what else is in there. I suspect some Kureyon and some cotton that won’t work.

I need to start another one. I haven’t had a sale in four days. Those old feelings are coming back. I didn’t conjure it up – came on its own. I was surprised it did given I have more than 20 open orders. But there it was. I did tamp it down.

I will be moving the small craft table so I can get to the small storage container behind it. That container doesn’t hold yarn; it holds office supplies. There’s some things on top of it that need to be sorted through. It’s the next step in the great office purge.

I think a walk will do me good. But first, I have got to finish this cap so I can see what’s coming next.

 

 

The Good Stuff

The Boyfriend Hat
The Boyfriend Hat

So, it seems we are having something akin to a real winter. ‘The March wind doth blow, we soon will have snow.’ OK, we will have flurries but I am not ruling out more snow before spring officially hits a few days from now.

This is one of the reasons we knit six months from the calendar date. Trying to knit for the weather now would be ridiculous because things change from day to day. But if I add six months to the date and think about knitting for September, then I can think about the weather changing from warm to cooler. I can think about fall and winter stuff and not about the stuff going on right now.

The weather is deceptive. It looks sunny enough but every fifteen seconds or so a huge gust of wind breaks through the brick and mortar and lets you know it’s there. A quick look at the weather bar says it’s less than 20 degrees out there. Not even I can fake that it’s warm. When I go out, I will actually have to wear a coat.

Etsy has started keeping customer service stats – don’t know why but I think it’s going to part of a rating or feedback system – the stats are kept on a 60 day roll and according to one of the stats, it’s taking me 23 days from the time an order is placed before it gets out the door. It is determined by the processing time the shop sets or two weeks if there is no processing time.

I stopped putting in the processing time when I was hit with the mass of orders because there was no way to really get it right, so for the most part, the two week default is being used to calculate this time.

And it’s actually gone down by half from when it first started. When the stats first came, it was 44 days and that was pretty accurate. Now, it’s 23 calendar days which is almost within reach of the processing time stated in the description. I have proof I am catching up.

I finished the crochet cap and as predicted, it is cute. It will be photographed another day when the wind wouldn’t send it to Kansas or Oz. In the meantime, the prayer shawl is almost ready to come off the needles and be fringed. The office purge continues. The next crochet cap is in cranberry. And there is work to do.

Good stuff.