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a moment for THIS lady.

January 24, 2015

WOW.

I’ll just quietly, VERY quietly, go back to knitting my stupid hats now.

I am not that knitter.

January 20, 2015

it occurred to me last night as i added some more welts and wedges to Nymphalidea that it’s been over a year since I started this project (that link, btw, is to the pattern’s Ravelry page – you don’t have to be a member to see it or download it – it’s free from Knitty.com anyway – but you can also find some extras that have been added since I list actually looked at it on Ravelry – blocking notes and other things – that are QUITE handy – god help me if i ever find myself in a place to block this thing).

I have a friend who knits Swirls like they’re going to go out of style. I can’t even imagine having enough of the same yarn to complete a project like that, though my Ravelry queue and favorites are full of grandiose ideas. I am not that knitter. In between she cranks out hats like she’s got fifteen heads to dress daily. I am not that knitter either, though hats are about the only thing I can usually finish – and so most of them HAVE been finished, but there are still a couple on the needles – because I ran out of yarn. Probably that yarn is discontinued at this point.

I am just not that knitter. I knit, and I don’t always take in the structure, the math or the science. i simply knit to stay sane, I guess – which is why I’m mostly crazy. I get about three hours of knitting in a week. I play my ukelele about as much.

My daughter and I are going out of town for a couple of weeks. We’ll be doing quite a bit of sitting, per se, the first major bit of that on an airplane (but let’s be honest here – my daughter is FOUR – and there will be no knitting accomplished on an eight hour flight with a four year old). I’m not sure if I’m that kind of knitter, the one who takes knitting on an actual vacation, anyway. I’m not the knitter who takes my knitting everywhere (anymore, anyway). I’m not the knitter who can’t sit through a movie without knitting. I’m not the knitter who takes knitting to a party. I’m not the knitter who knits in social circles, unless they’re dedicated knitting circles – and even then i’m often too excited to TALK about knitting to get much done.

I just knit when I can find the time to make it enjoyable. I used to knit a lot more, and I still gush over yarn. I’ve just learned how to leave most of it on the (shop) shelf, and I’ve learned to tame some of the grandiose ideas – in another twenty years or so, perhaps I’ll be that knitter – fatter, more inclined to stay home, and maybe a little more dedicated to not-instant gratification. Or maybe I’ll have an ungrateful grandchild to pile it all on. God only knows.

In the meantime, for the next year I’ll probably just work on this Nymphalidea shawl – I might run out of yarn for it by then.

this was FUN.

January 7, 2015

although i knitted it in a variegated yarn (which, ya know, renders many stitch patterns invisible) it turned out ADORABLE.

hats knit in chunky yarn – instant gratification.

The child size Nordeaster was a blessing. I needed to finish something. And now, back to Nymphalidea – which will present some challenge, for some reason i’m having to reknit a weft for a third time.

To be honest – I am consistently attracted to fingering weight yarn (like the sock yarn I lusted over – and yes, that’s common for people to say that – in a brief purchased-nothing trip to the yarn shop today), but I need to be a bit more honest with myself. In my life these days, there is so little time for knitting, and things in fine yarn take me forever to finish. The lesson, I guess here, is a little less instant gratification, which is a hard thing to stomach for an ex-new yorker and someone of this day and age. But it is a lesson all the same. If I can chill out on the instant gratification and work toward something, I get more of the amazing materials to do it with.

Ah well – these are just “first world problems” then, aren’t they? Sometimes I look at knitting, and all the “lust” that happens over extraordinarily expensive yarns and the idea of S.A.B.L.E. (““SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.” ― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much) and i’m just disgusted with the whole “knitting world”. I have a plastic bin and a couple of paper bags stuffed full of yarn and even that’s too much for me. Even that is “SABLE” at this busy point of life.

it sure does give me pleasure in the winter though, in the little bits of time i devote to it. And it continues to go well with Call the Midwife.

Winter vices…

January 1, 2015

Santa brought us one of these – not my first but the concert size is easier for me to handle and this one actually stays in tune! Also it is really just so pretty. And my daughter is sitting here next to me looking at s book of sheet music and playing it for us. She will be four soon and is just pretending but it still gives me hope. She’s pulling some fairly cool strums and slaps out of it.

In other news – it is very, VERY cold in Mount Shasta right now. It is hard to keep my house warm – we’re pulling an old-school “open oven” tactic and taping plastic on the windows and burning through wood like there’s an endless supply. I am not a fan of cold, really. The idea of it gets me happy because it means some knitting and Netflix but the reality is that I’m often too cold to bother with anything other than the netflix part of the equation while I huddle under blankets. With little extra meat on my bones, chill sets in quick (maybe I should knit more).

It ain’t a happy season, though, generally, for me. I keep my mental crap at bay with healthy diet, herbs, fresh air and a LOTS of movement. These things fall short in winter, for sure, though when coerced I can be bothered to put on ten layers of clothes and head out in it, and I have tons of fun once I’m in the thick of it. But it takes a lot to get me there, generally. Today we went ice skating – the rink is only a couple of minutes from my house and doesn’t require the massive preparation a day on the mountain entails. It’s a little easier. While my four year old mostly bitched, moaned and complained the entire time (she is learning), in the end she did about twenty feet solo all while screaming “I can’t!” And the little grin of accomplishment afterwards was worth all the rest.

I’ve made half a hat I intend to work on later while binging on Call The Midwife. A favorite knitting friend, as well as my mother, both raved about it. It took months but I have finally been suckered in. I began to panic a little about how long it can sometimes take to sift through Netflix and find something new after I flew through Marco Polo and Hemlock Grove (both of which I enjoyed).

Yeah life is interesting here in this sleepy little mountain town. That was the point of being here – but on paper it doesn’t look so good, lol…

Happy 2015. Maybe I’ll finish a project! There will definitely be a stash sale happening at some point, via Etsy I guess.

Kiva Zippin’…

December 5, 2014

Yeah I knit – but not so often these days. I am a single parent, and I own my own business – and those two things take up nearly all of my time right now.

Almost two years ago I bought a children’s consignment shop  in Mount Shasta, California. It seemed the best way to begin to “legitimize” myself in the eyes of the system after having been a vagabond for nearly a decade, and it meant I could bring my daughter to work with me when I needed to.

Now, she goes to preschool two days a week – she’s almost four, and it’s hard to keep her occupied in healthy ways in here for six hours a day. but there are definitely days when she’s still gotta come with me, and that’s handy in so many ways. I am grateful!

I am heartily supported in my endeavors here by an amazing organization called the Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) – they have promoted me, held my hand through doing taxes, taught me some business classes, and just been all around AMAZING folks. We live in an area of the country that is stunningly beautiful – but there aren’t a lot of jobs available here, so in order to be here, a good bet for making it happen is self-employment.

Lots has changed since children’s consignment hit the world – including Facebook trading. I realized very quickly that I would need to up my ante a bit if I wanted to stay in business, so I only take in the best stuff I can resell and i’ve pared down how much I accept from people, and I’ve also ventured into selling toys. NEW ones.

My focus, which I’ve been researching and collecting catalogs for nearly a year on, is on ethical, educational and imaginative toys and games, especially those made in America. My first two investments already were from Peaceable Kingdom and Maple Landmark, two awesome companies that provide very different but equally cool product. Peaceable Kingdom is known for its “cooperative games”, especially – games that have kids working together on a common goal, instead of one person winning and everyone else losing. Maple Landmark is a generations-old Vermont company that specializes in wooden toys with non-toxic paints, all made in their factory in Vermont – and surprisingly affordable! There are four generations working at Maple Landmark, including 95 year old great-grandma Hattie. I LOVE THIS COMPANY!!! I can’t wait to carry their toys in my store, but I need some help – and so I am going through Kiva Zip, which is an interest-free crowdfunded LOAN. No, this ain’t kickstarter or gofundme – it’s a LOAN, and people get PAID BACK.

So… I’m looking for a few new people to help kick this thing into overdrive! It’s only gonna take fifteen bucks and three people to make that really happen.

Wanna help? Click here to go straight to my Kiva Zip loan (and while you’re at it, check out a bunch of the other amazing endeavors from entrepreneurs around the globe).

hello old friend :)

November 29, 2014

I took a bunch of baby hats to my shop to sell this morning. It is holiday season, after all. I knit baby hats as a way to warm myself up to knitting again this winter, but I was using fingering weight thread and mini-circs and sock needles to get those jobs done, with fancy merino and gifted cashmere… it was luxury, but…

i’m glad to be back on the Nymphalidea, on size six needles, for a minute – tho last night most of the knitting involved “frogging” and backtracking since i hadn’t touched it in a year, but it’s nice to have that sweet softness and some bigger needles in my hands until I begin the next endeavor, which is whipping out a bunch of cute kids’ scarves for the shop.

Mostly that will be fun with stitch dictionaries and stash-busting, and I’ll post anything i whip up – i don’t believe in trying to sell a pattern that’s simply a stitch pattern with a border, lol (but ohmigerd i’ve seen it done) so that’s why things like Shakti and Evie’s Dream and also free (and if you like knitting lace, Evie turns out GORGEOUS).

Oh and… it’s kind of violent and dark, but I’ve been loving the Wentworth series on Netflix. Bizarrely enough, the second season was released yesterday – unbeknownst to me, who’d binge-watched/knitted my way right on through the end of the first series the night before. So although there was a rather jarring shift between seasons one and two (like, one character drastically replaced with hardly a mention that she’d left), the series itself is intense. Danielle Cormack is INTENSELY good. Probably not for everyone. During the day I’m the crafty mommy-blog reading kids-shop owner. At night after my daughter goes to bed I watch violent tv series on Netflix about women in prison while I knit, drink tea and eat cacao paste and honey. I’m not everyone’s favorite knitter. It’s probably best that I stay out of the Ravelry forums.

oops.

November 25, 2014

well then… even though it’s been several months since August (my last post) i’m still knitting baby hats, and an adult hat, and a shawlette, and a blanket, three out of the four of those items started last year. lots of UFOs floating around my house these days. I did finally succumb to Netflix, because I have a wood stove and ya know… Nights with yarn, fire and netflix… I am an old lady in a 41 year old body.

I’ve not been on Ravelry much either – mostly just for the pattern browser and free downloads. Getting kicked off the big six after seven years of membership put me off so much I have become the sort of person that just takes in a relationship. Odd things are coming from this, however – i read books again. And magazines. And my yarn consumption has just… dropped. I’ve got plenty, thanks.

The other day I actually bought a knitting magazine in the grocery story, something i NEVER do. I really only like two of them, Vogue Knitting and Knitscene – and most of the time I only half like the offerings in Vogue Knitting (in fact, most of the patterns in most magazines, including Vogue Knitting, tend to come off as completely frumpy to me – maybe it’s the “old lady lavender” yarn that kept showing up everywhere in this latest issue, or the seemingly ill-fitting garments- I would have happily just put the magazine back until it fell open to this (Ravelry link).

Considering that it takes me three weeks to finish a baby hat, were I to endeavor to begin this, and to of course, happily “invest” about $300 worth of yarn into the process, this might be finished by the time my AARP card arrives.

Seriously, how do people actually find the time to knit anything?

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