Mind Meld

i roll like that...
i roll like that…

It’s design time in Knitsville. You didn’t think we moved out of Knitsville, did you?

My schedule (my life is set to an Excel spreadsheet) says I have to do some pattern writing and I’ve already done it.edenautumn1 The Eden Cap Pattern is complete and will be sent out for testing. I am already thinking about what’s coming next and I think it might have to be the arm warmers and/or infinity scarf that came from a custom order request. I have 5 or 6 skeins of a discontinued Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice that is looking at me.They are whispering to me what they want to be. They are not basket material. They have told me that much. I think they are suffering with a lack of confidence because they are not might in numbers. Those 5 skeins are only 170 yards each. So they are afraid they are only good for one article and then they will be done. I have told them it doesn’t have to be that way. I do believe they are telling me they want to be wrist warmers and not arm warmers and we are currently discussing the stitch they want used. They seem to really want a gathered knit stitch. Something to take under advisement.

The weekend is fast approaching and I am heading off to Denver to see my brother who has stated many a time that I have yet to visit him in his home and I haven’t seen my sister-in-law and nephew since my brother’s eldest son was married and that was five years ago so I guess I’m due. Nic is going to meet me out there so I get to spend time with the kid. She didn’t make it to the wedding so I don’t know the last time she saw her cousin or her uncle. We are going yarn shopping because she has decided she wants me to make her a hat and cowl. Never once has she made the request to learn how to make these things herself but I will not push it, This is one way I can stay relevant. Besides, she can become a walking advertisement.

I will not be taking any of the open order projects with me. This is a vacation. So the knitting will go but the pressure will stay here. I am thinking a lot of gray yarn will go with me so I can work on the cabled afghan squares and perhaps a few skeins can go and come back as baskets. We are going to the Cubs game that happens to be held in Coors Field and some crocheting may be done there. I am on a row seat so I won’t disturb people.

In case I don’t get here tomorrow – have a great weekend. August already. I don’t know where you are but here at night we still have the winter covers. Making sure I’m taking a jacket to the mile high city – isn’t colder up there?

 

 

Ummm…

sometimes it be like that
sometimes it be like that

The thing about having a blog is that sometimes there’s really nothing to tell.

Mr. Honey hasn’t done anything blog worthy lately – which means he’s due – and the knitting goes on. 1 of 8 is done and 2 of 8 is on the needles. I hope to have that finished along with 3 of 8 before the weekend is through.

I am working on the replacement Eden cap and it’s going to be a color called peacock stripe and it’s a little difficult to work with. This is one of those fibers where I have to make more rows to get it to do what it needs to. If  I use the standard pattern, I get a little tube instead of a pancake to turn into a hat. I have several skeins of this yarn and I love the look of it but for the life of me, I can’t find anything I’ve made with it. Which would explain why I have at least three skeins. Well, now there will be an Eden cap and since I won’t use the entire skein, a leftover cap seems to be in the making.

I also made a reworking of what’s coming next. Mandy tried on the poncho and it’s cute enough and Mr. Honey may be right to want it in a thinner yarn but it’s very cute in the thicker yarn so they both will be on the menu and the headbands are out at least for the moment (which means the boot cuffs are too, though they were toast before now.) I just didn’t think an accessory should take the place of home decor and since I don’t want to do pillow covers, I should do something for the home.

So, I have to decide just what that will be though pom-pom garland has the inside track.

See? Nothing much at all. Work to do and gratitude for it. That’s ruling the day right now.

And just like that….

wish some people in my family got this..
wish some people in my family got this..

The first thing I do in the morning is check the shops to see if there are any sales and this morning in designbcb, the first thing I noticed was the huge drop in listed items. I knew there were a bunch of things that were going to expire within the next ten days but I don’t list that many at one time so it was kind of a shock. Then I looked at the number of sales and I swore my brain froze. It said 855 but I know Saturday night it said 850 because my sister was 850th sale (that is its own blog post.)

Yeah, I sold five hats last night. And there was also a sale at One Gift Shop Plaza that belonged to Vickie. That was after having three sales during the week I think I mentioned already.

I know blessings and lessons when I see them. Sometimes the lessons take a little longer but I do hope I get there eventually. When I was telling the spirit of my gratitude, I heard the reply: All I wanted was for you to try.

I still find myself in awe and surprise that this thing called knitting has taken this turn in and around my life. I am also in wonder at how it brings me back and grounds me. The past few days have been a little hard on my nerves and I am focused on doing some things which could task me but they need to be done and can’t be done for me so this big order and the three orders before them are giving me something tangible and creative and useful to do.

I’m really happy because I found the other skein of Mosaic for the Magic hat i’m making which means I don’t have to order any! It also looks like I won’t have to order much yarn for the big 5 hat order. I know what that sounds like but believe me, I love the profit margin more than I love yarn shopping.

There’s much to do – like all these hats – and I have three baskets that need to be photographed. I am filled with thankful sighs and grateful relief. Something may come of this.

 

A Street Car Named Desire

http://www.confectious.net/thinking/
http://www.confectious.net/thinking/

I really am inspired by my friends and I made the good start to doing what I was supposed to do but yesterday through me for a loop.

Earlier in the week, I did the stupid thing of listening to the phone notifications I got to upgrade the apps on my phone. I usually ignore them for no other reason than I can ignore them but two of the apps are phone only apps and if I didn’t upgrade them, eventually the app wouldn’t work and I need Instagram for business – especially because Bri said she picked up some business there and I am just starting to get a following – so I upgraded the app.

And now it’s not working. I can open it, follow people, comment – but it won’t upload photos. It just sits there saying it’s loading when it clearly has no intention of ever being loaded. I tried to uninstall the update – no go. Couldn’t go back to the old one. That happened with another app on the phone, too. Should have learned my lesson. But when I got the notice from Square that I had to update or it wouldn’t work – I knew I needed a new phone.

Got the cheapest one T-Mobile had to offer and it turns out to be a Windows phone. I ordered it Tuesday and the notice said it would be here on the 30th and it arrived yesterday when I was on a good cleaning roll. (I know!) I should have ignored it but believe it or not, I wanted to get back to doing my Instagram so I stopped what I was doing – luckily most of it was done and I got right to work on setting it up.

Instagram works but Square won’t talk to me in English. I downloaded Square onto the new phone and it asked for my sign-in info in English and then went to Spanish to tell me my info was invalid. I would switch it to English and try again and that didn’t work. Talk to a nice young lady at Square and we rest the password and I should have kept her on the phone because it didn’t like the new password either and then switched to Spanish. I then had the bright idea to log in on the Spanish screen. It worked. Then I had to refresh the screen to move it to English even though English is listed as the default language. I don’t know if the fault is the app or the phone. But I didn’t have to pay an additional $8 a month for this.

So now I have to get my cleaning mojo back and it won’t be that hard because I love the way a clean room looks. There is still clutter but it oh so livable and now it’s on to the  dining room and kitchen. All needs to be done by 2pm tomorrow because guests start arriving at 4. I’m not too worried.

I have an order to make this

magic granny square hat
magic granny square hat

I’ve made it a couple of times and I can’t remember if it takes just one skein or two. I think I have to but only one is within arms reach. Hopefully that will be enough. It was taken from here except they wanted more granny squares and I just didn’t find it necessary. I will get started on that a little later. There’s also some writing to be done. I told you I was working on the climatic scene. That’s pretty hard to write. I started it and it was too tame so I turned it up a little bit and it’s going now, I just have to get it to the apex and that might or might not come with the next session. The guy was right, though, getting this scene out of the way first is really significant because this deescalate from there to the beginning and to the end. Pretty smart. Which is probably why he’s a published author and I’m not.

Yet.

Back in the Saddle

mine is here to drive me crazy
mine is here to drive me crazy

I have been inspired or it could be that I have been put to shame; either way, I am on the move again. I do not do well in temperatures about 75. I feel the heat and it just makes me want to do nothing and for the last few days, it’s been well over my heat limit. But even so, I am seeing friends both younger and older than myself doing stuff I know I can and should be doing.

Did I ever tell you I had a competitive nature? I tend to tamp it down because I am not comfortable with the thought of asserting myself. It seems strange and a contradiction and it is. But it is true and it is what it is and I have to unlearn some things I don’t think my mother meant to teach me and being afraid of my own talent is one of those things.

But I don’t like it when other folks are out accomplishing things and I am just sitting here wasting my talent and time. I do believe that is not what God (or my mother, for that matter) had in mind. So I am so grateful for friends who can inspire me to be a better version of myself.

So yesterday, despite the heat, I did accomplish some things (including working out) and this morning, the feeling has not passed. I am ready for more. After this, I am going to do some writing and then I have a photo session for the new shop items: 3 baskets, 2 headbands and a pom-pom garland that I knew I made but didn’t photograph. I am prepared to do this in the blazing heat but as fate would have it; it is cooler today. It is in the high 60’s – a temp I can deal with.

I have all that to do and I am determined the house will be ready this weekend for the block party. I am running with the philosophy that the arthritis may indeed be real but I don’t have to cave in to it. I think I can move myself away from it. (Don’t burst my bubble – if I wind up in the hospital at the same time of the block party it might just be worth it.)

I have started and restarted the first of the leftover caps. It will be in shades of green (sage) and orange (pumpkin) and I am keeping myself from making any Thanksgiving or food references.  I restarted it because there was some messy colorwork I just couldn’t live with and even though I was about halfway through, I couldn’t allow it to go on. Luckily these are pretty quick knit so going back isn’t killing me and I will like the results a whole lot better. Can’t mess up the mojo with sloppy work.

Tonight is knit night at the HIP and I will be taking some basket work with me. I need to crank out some more of those puppie. With seven of them done, I can’t determine if it has had an effect on the yarn stash but I am determined that it will.

I will keep you posted.

 

 

Punt…

everybody's got something
everybody’s got something

OK, I have to make a decision because of the decision I just made. I thought it might be a good idea to sell my yarn remnants and that still might be a good idea but you all know how much yarn I have. (And now the orderly way I had my bins is history as I tore it apart and put it all over my office in an effort to find something I just knew I had. I did have it so the mess is worth it.)

But there’s so much and I don’t think just selling it will do it so I stole revised a plan to do the leftover hat from what Diane does with her remnants and I am liking that idea but I also think there should be something else and I was thinking about doing a remnant blanket or afghan and I was thinking I could do it in one of three styles – you all help me out if you have a preference. (I know you’re out; don’t pretend you’re not.)

1. I could just do strips. Just knit until I run out of a remnant add the nest one and keep going until I have a long enough strip then add it to another strip. My first thought is that it is simple. Simple to boring.

2. I could do a ten stitch blanket thing. But we’ve had that discussion, the fiber and I and I am thinking I would want to do that just to show I’ve mastered the darn thing without much help from the professionals. I think the universe would get back at me for trying to bitch slap a technique; especially one that seems to be enjoying some popularity at the moment. I am fully willing to say the problem was with me and not with the technique itself but I did figure it out but I think the universe would take my perseverance as cockiness and crack me upside the head.

3. I could do entrelac. That would be fun and interesting and look woven so to give some kind of interest to the remnants coming together.

4. I could just stick with the hats and not think so much about it. Hey, I could de entrelac hats with remnants. Now there’s a thought.

Now that I’ve written it all out, I feel better. I actually feel better and less pressure to do anything. So you really don’t have to weigh in, You can just do the lurking thing. I am going to stick with the hat thing because that makes the most sense from a shop viewpoint. I will eventually have to add another hat but I haven’t even decided on what pattern should come next because between now and the next hat are a half ton of baskets, some drop stitch ponchos (which may turn into drop stitch wraps because I don’t want to deal with the sizing issue. Something I wish I had thought about before making two drop stitch ponchos.) an afghan and two different headbands (the boot cuffs are also out – not nearly as much fun as I thought.) So, you see, according to the plan, another hat is somewhere over the horizon but if I have some of these going and use up the remnants in the process and have less yarn….well..come on.

I got a hat order in yesterday or the day before and I need to get that off the needles and in the mail and the living room is being readied for the block party this Saturday so I need to get some work done so I can get back to work.

No, no, don’t envy me. With a little hard work, you too can have this glamorous life.

 

 

The Calm Before the Storm

actually, not everyone can
actually, not everyone can

We have put our dissatisfaction with the instructions regarding the 10 stitch blanket behind us. We believe we have found the fiber that will make the blanket and we are happy to say it will be a marriage of variegated and solid yarn. Two different color and we think it will turn out just fine.

When we can get around to it.

That’s right. It is not yet time to knit a second afghan. There is a system to this thing of discipline and consistency that says I cannot ignore the plan to indulge my pleasure. There is an order to it and though I am now thrilled to pieces that I have discovered the key to a successful 10 stitch blanket (I know because I started another one yesterday) there are rules to follow.

1. I need to make more of the containers. The new way I’ve done them means there are no Bochet containers in the shop and I only have four done and there needs to be at least 24 of them so I have got to get a move on. I had first thought these would be just solid colors but I am now thinking variegated crocheted containers may not look bad at all.

2. After the baskets, the drop stitch ponchos need to come and these will be done with the chunky yarn. I thought of doing them with worsted weight but worsted weight is for the baskets and trust me, though I have a ton of yarn, that’s just volume. When it comes to breaking the skeins down by color and having en0ugh to do any given thing becomes tricky. This is one of the curses of the yarn stash.

I am enjoying the drop stitch poncho. I can glance over to my right and see that after the one in spice comes off the needles, the one in cocoa or chocolate will be the next one and there’s one in black lurking in the wings.

I simply must stick with the plan. I can see signs the plan will pay off. I did the Eden caps first and in the beginning, I wasn’t getting anyone coming to the shop searching for hats but now hats for men and women are in the top ten of search words that bring people to the shop. I have a few more hats to add which will help to better my search position. I will eventually have to introduce a new hat before I get buried in the searches but another will be coming before the end of the year.

3. There’s so much more to running a business before you even know it’s going to be successful. It is important to have a plan and to stick with it. This is also the toughest for me so I have to act like a grown up. (Which is also hard for me.)

But I love it. I truly do and though my office now looks like a storage room and as much as I admire those highly organized folks, I like my office too. I am going to use all of this yarn in one way or another and do good in this world.

This ia my solemn vow.

Freakin’ dumb a$$ 10 stitch friggin blanket

mine ins behind me and in front..
mine is behind me and in front..

There were a bunch of people on the Knitting page in Facebook singing the praises of the 10 stitch blanket. It’s a blanket where there are never more than 10 stitches on your needle at any time. There were some beautiful ones being shown and I thought: I wanna get me some of that. So, I looked up the pattern and thought it was an easy enough thing to do and before you know it, I put up and idea to the knitting group that we should do a Ten Stitch Knit Along.

Thank God the only person who signed up was Brianna because if I had been in the company of people who don’t know how I can be, that would heen ugly with a capital UG. Now that I’ve lived through the horror, I can do a knit along and maintain my dignity – such as it is.

I thought it would be a good idea to take the stitch out for a test drive and when I went to the yarn stash, some fiber I bought  a lot of because I loved the way it looked in the skein raised it’s fuzzy arms and said it would be perfect for the ten  stitch blanket.

Please note that this yarn has lied to me before. When it was in the store in the skein it said it would make a lovely Eden cap and I bought 2 or 3 skeins of it because it was on sale and I had a coupon good on sale items to boot.

It does not make a lovely Eden cap. So I thought maybe it had been thinking too small and little of itself and that a blanket would be just what it needed to be . So. I opened the pattern and began.

Didn’t get it.

Got the first part because that was pretty straight forward. Even got the first corner but the way it goes is that you make two mitered corners in a row and they say that’s the most complicated part of the pattern and if you get it then the rest is a breeze. I followed the instructions just the way they were written and I alway wound up on the bottom, My second corner was backwards and upside down.

I went back to the Facebook page and there were some others having difficulty (but no one mentioned anything about being backwards and upside down, so I take it I am a maverick) but, rest assured, others said because…….

there’s a video. And it explains EVERYTHING.

I was happy again. I went to the Tube of You, found the video and the nice lady said what the pattern said, “Get through the first part and the rest is easy. It’s the hardest part of the blanket. Let’s get started!” or something like that.

Took us through the first part (pretty easy just knit x amount of rows)
Then went through the first square – two parts the decrease and then the increase – got it; all good.
Then she started the second square and I was happy I was going to see where my mistake was and then she said:

I’m not going to take you through all this. Just finish the second part and you’ll be ready for the next section.” and when you get to the next section the first thing she says is: you’ve gotten through the hardest part…”

NO I DIDN’T BECAUSE YOU SKIPPED THE HARDEST PART!!!!

Wouldn’t you think that if there is a ‘most complicated’ part of anything that someone is trying to demonstrate on a video that they should…I don’t know….actually demonstrate it?

I called that woman a whole bunch of names I bet they never called her in church.

It took me a little while longer (I’m thinking we’re at about 1 in the morning) and I finally figured it out. I discovered my error (and the error in the pattern as well) and I was on my way.

Fast forward 24 hours.

The fiber has decided it doesn’t want to be a 10 stitch blanket. I decide not to listen to the fiber because the fiber lies.

After another round, I decided the fiber doesn’t want to the be a 10 stitch blanket. Start making another ten stitch blanket with some green yarn – even though the voice in your head says the best yarn for this is a self striping yarn – don’t listen to the voice in your head. It’s late at night, who knows where that voice is coming from.

Cast on. Get through the straight knitting part. Get the first corner. Do the second corner. End up backward and on the bottom.

Pull it out and start again. This time mark the beginning of each section with scrap yarn so if you mess up you have a place to go back to that isn’t the beginning.

Get up to the second corner again. Do the second corner. End up backward and upside down. Rip back to the scrap yarn. Go to bed because the sun will be up shortly.

Get out of bed six hours later and go into office where the pile of yarn that is supposed to be the beginnings of a 10 stitch blanket is waiting.

Lay it out and take a look at it. See lightbulb go on. Do the second corner. Perfection.

Immediately put it aside and cast on another one to test the theory (and before forgetting how it was done. This time take notes of what’s happening.)

Cast on. Do first part. Do first corner. Do second corner. Perfect. Make notes. Still curse the pattern and the video. Continue knitting with this blue yarn and decide the blanket will be made with shades of blue scrap yarn.

Continue until you get to the second ball of blue scrap yarn when the yarns tell you they don’t want to be a ten stitch scrap yarn blanket either and that it would be better to have a self striping yarn do most of the design work. There are several of our buddies in the stash and there’s certainly enough for a great start even if you have to order 2-3 more skeins to finish it off.

Frog the blue yarns and turn them into  pom-poms.

 

 

Easy Peasy

i've always liked bill
i’ve always liked bill

So the photo session is over. I photographed six hats, four buckets and a poncho. I will have to redo the poncho and this time use all of Oona and not just her torso. (I didn’t even use her head.0 I will need her arms because the poncho had trouble staying up where her shoulder would have been but the other part of the shoulder is on the arm piece.

I wrote on my Facebook page that my work is not hard but I work hard at it. That is  very necessary distinction for me as I watch Mr. Honey go around the house and yard putting siding on the garage and making sure the downspouts spout down. He works really hard and sometimes I feel guilty that I am still of a working age and stopped working in an office.  I think I have to do something big or famous so he will think I am contributing. Sometimes I think if I cleaned the living room he’d think I was contributing. That’s another post.

There’s another poncho on the needles and this one is being made from Wool-Ease Chunky which I am falling madly in love with. This is one of those times where it doesn’t pay to have a huge ass stash because I can’t run out to get more of it. Truthfully, the skeins I am knitting are new skeins.

I had one single skein of Chunky in spice. I had to go to the store to get the  Homespun (in the color being discontinued) when I noticed the spice Chunky was also on clearance. Yes, it was going away. Normally $8.00, they were letting it go for $3.97. There were only six of them there and I had the orphaned one at home so.

You know how they have ‘direct to video movies’? This is a direct to project yarn so it really can’t count as much of a new purchase. Give me a minute, I can justify almost anything.

It is already mid-July and 1. It’s still cold out at night. Last night we had the winter stuff on the bed. 2. It’s almost fall anyway. That means I an looking forward to the shop(s) coming to life. I did a comparison of this year to last year and last year was a lot better at this time of year. I really need something to break for me. 3. I am not going to wait for something to break. I am going to work towards it.

I am going to go play in the Twitterverse. I don’t go to Twitter that often (I don’t go to anything often except my FB personal page) so it is always something of a surprise. I like that. I like that I am no on there so much that people expect to see me there. I’d rather be a mystery than a stalker.

I am looking over my yarn stash and how much I have and thinking of all the things I can make. I started a ten stitch blanket sample. I had such a problem with ending on the wrong side after doing a corner. Took me three tries to get it right. I followed the instructions to the letter.

That was probably the problem.

 

 

 

Caution: Road Work Ahead

writing, knitting, singing...that's what i got
writing, knitting, singing…that’s what i got

Being a knitting star is no small thing. When the zombie apocalypse comes, other people will be looting the jewelry stores (which makes no sense, zombies don’t care about jewels and what are you going to do with them really?) I will be looting the yarn stores and the yarn departments of craft stores.

My shopping cart, and I’m want one of the big old fashioned ones, not one of these new fangled smaller ones, will be filled with yarn (and snacks.) It will be filled to overflowing with fiber – and I am going to loot by what I like so there will be a blend of natural, animal and synthetic yarn. It’s the apocalypse but there’s no reason to lower standards. I know there will be people who will think I am expendable because I will be yarn shopping but those people are dumb.

Listen, a pound of yarn can make significant garments. It can make a lot of stuff and when it gets cold and the jewels aren’t able to keep your feet warm, you’re gonna be glad to have me on your team. I’m just saying – you don’t want me to be the first one eaten.

Yesterday, when the weather report said there 0% chance of rain, the rain kept me from taking photographs. I had 3 hats and 4 baskets to take shots of. But the rain didn’t stop the knitting so this morning when I leave here to travel to the backyard to take photos, there are now four baskets, one drop stitch poncho and five hats. I have only one hour to get as much of it done as I can. One of the hats is an order and I am shooting it so I can offer it in the new shop. (I don’t want to use old pictures.) So that one has to get done because it’s out of here today.

I had a prayer shawl order last week and I need one skein of Homespun in Prairie to finish it off and when I got to the store, I thought it was the greatest luck because they had the color on clearance – just $4 for the skein. There were three skeins so I got them all. Then it hit me.

The color was on clearance. They are getting rid of it. I asked the guy at checkout -incidentally almost all the employees at this JoAnn are male. Somehow that seems noteworthy – he said the color is being discontinued.

And you wonder why I think there’s an apocalypse coming. My most popular prayer shawl color and it’s being phased out. My online place has about 90 of them in stock and it was all I could do not to buy a big hunk of those. I controlled the urge when I realized I am not certain prayer shawls will make it to the new shop. If they do, they will be in a different color. It is something I have to get in my head – colors will be discontinued. Adapt and survive.

The Eden caps are all done. Really this time. I have hit my goal number and now they will be done to restock. Now, if they would just start selling.  The next things are the baskets and as I’ve already said, there are four of the revamped style ready to go.

I have selected the next four projects – the drop stitch poncho, which hopefully will make it in the hour to be photographed, the cable square afghan (one square is done and it’s lovely. It’s going to be a beautiful afghan). I didn’t want to do the pillow cover. I just wasn’t feeling it and I had the thought of doing two different kinds of them so now one pillow cover is a knitted headband and the other is boot cuffs.. Because when you think of pillow covers your next thought is of headbands and boot cuffs.

Zombies beware.