Today I’m thankful for safe travels, Valpolicella in Dollar Store fancy glasses, live Christmas trees, and fairy lights.
Today I’m thankful for safe travels, Valpolicella in Dollar Store fancy glasses, live Christmas trees, and fairy lights.
A tapestry loom! I learned a lot, and I think I might be able to use this in my fiber art. Not sure how yet.
This is basically me experimenting, and I’ve decided it’s going to be a bookmark.
While I have you, enjoy the blooming of my Christmas Cactus!
Well my week got away from me and I missed my Thankful Thursday post. I am thankful for so much in my life. I am truly lucky.
But today I’d like to express my gratitude for this online knitting community. It has really meant so much to me to get to know each of you via your blog. And there have been some days when it has kept me knitting and making, which brings me joy. So thank you.
I went to my LYS today for an hour or so of Open Stitch. It was well-attended by a lovely group of regulars. I am hoping I might become a regular, too.
Do you have a regular knitting group you attend? I would love to hear about it.
Today I took myself on an artist date to a couple of galleries in the Short North, an arts district in Columbus. It was a special day – Sunday Bazaar- when artists are working or talking about their work in the galleries and shops.
At Studios on High, an artists’ cooperative, I met Jennifer Jolley Brown, a printmaker. She was trying a new medium for her, woodcut.
We enjoyed chatting about art and life, and I love this image she is working on. She gave me some woodcutting tips in case I should ever try it. I must look like a serial enthusiast. (Is it that obvious?)
Then I came back to my studio and stewed in my juices a bit. After a long leisurely stare out the window, I opened my new planner/journal.
I had this binder made on Zazzle. This is a Carl Larsson painting. The knitting on the table and the textile on the chair, which must be Karin’s, inspire me. Really, the whole thing inspires me. It’s a home scene but so light and colorful — how I would like for my home to be.
I worked a little in my wardrobe planner. My aspirations are so modest here. Surely this is possible!
I was inspired enough to trace and cut out the Ottobre jeans.
The plaid is for the pocket bags.
I missed a few days blogging, but I did catch up on your blogs today!
In the spirit of blogaraderie, I started knitting a sock just so I could blog about it today. “Sock It To Me Monday” was started by mildlygranola, and picked up by quiteayarnblog. Of course I wanted to join in! (I also wanted to start on a sock, since I’ve been talking about it for such a long time.)Purl Soho’s toe up sock pattern in Moondrake Yarn Co‘s Silky Fingering in Autumn Jewel. I picked up this yarn when I was in Oklahoma City. It has a lovely sheen, and the silk gives the merino some hardiness the way nylon does in other sock yarns. After I took these photos, I had to rip the whole thing out because I overlooked the part of the pattern where you are supposed to knit the yarn over increases through the back loop to close the hole. I don’t want socks with a bunch of holes at the toes!
I will restart them tonight, the correct way, and I’ll share more later (next Monday of course) once I have it really going.
Here’s me in my Marauder’s Map York. It’s not as comfortable as I want it to be, which has less to do with the pattern and more to do with the fabric I chose. I have noticed my sewing tends toward costume. I think the Seamwork collection planner will be good for me. It will help me think about what I really like to wear versus concepts that aren’t super wearable. I like the idea of this shirt. I think this pattern is better suited to a fabric with more drape. I also don’t like the neckline. I don’t see why you should use bias tape when you could make a facing. The sleeves are cool. I turned the cuff fabric around so I could read that part when I’m wearing it.
This is a photo from an advertisement that showed up in one of my social media feeds. I don’t remember the company. I saved it because I liked the look of it. I like the soft palette and three different patterns in similar colors. I’m going to print it out and put it in my collection planner for inspiration.
Inspired by Compassionknit, I vlogged today!
This is so fun. Maybe next time I’ll put on makeup and NOT hit the table making it vibrate. Sorry! (Not sorry.)
This would be a great format for The Just Craft, which I have been procrastinating on because I feel overwhelmed about how to get started. I keep thinking I need to get equipment but maybe I could start out vlogging?
I forgot to tell you I found the Marauder’s Map fabric at Crimson Tate when I was in Indianapolis last week.
ETA: Well, sadface, I don’t have enough Marauder’s Map fabric to make the Lily blouse. I’m on the hunt for a simpler top pattern or there’s always PJ pants.
Last week was a travel week for work, but I still managed to accomplish some things.
I finished my PJ pants.
I started a dress. You can tell I was in an Eastery mood. I’ve had this material for ages – a gift from my friend Laurel – and today I decided I need a spring dress. (I’ll probably wear it over jeans though.)
I sold “Meditations on Wholeness” today to my friend Harvest, someone I know will treasure it as much as I do.
I pulled this little dude out of storage and fluffed him. He’s still in pretty good shape!
I went to Craftin’ Outlaws and had a lovely time. I saw someone selling her hand block printed textiles and it got me thinking about fair trade textiles from India that are block printed by hand, like my pillowcase, and how the desire to make beautiful things by hand spans all cultures.
I also bought these earrings.
I drank wine and talked with old friends and shared my plans to start a podcast, which will hopefully bear some fruit soon.
I am plugging away on Hitofude!
It will look so pretty with my new dress. Must! Knit! Faster!
When I decided to lease a studio space for the coming new year, I made a commitment to myself to set creative goals. One of those goals is to start designing knitting patterns again.
Although I never had much success selling my patterns or kits, I did have some success in making, showing, and selling my designs and artwork, and in teaching sewing, knitting, and felting classes. At the time, it was my way of trying to build a career for myself in the arts while also staying at home raising our young children.
Life happened while I was busy making other plans. I needed to earn an income – fast – and I started over, building another career in business. I am grateful and I feel fortunate to have been able to support myself and my kids, and wholeheartedly love my work in fair trade. I recognize how lucky I am to be able to earn a living wage while helping others do the same with handmade goods.
One of the boundaries to creating my own knitting patterns is the plethora of patterns out there. If I want to knit something, all I have to do is search for it on Ravelry, and there is usually something that fits the bill. This year, however, I’m not going to do that. My challenge to myself is to sketch what I want to make, take the measurements, swatch, do the math, and knit it (if I still want to make it.)
It doesn’t mean I’m not going to knit other designers’ patterns. I have a whole list of knits I want to make that will last me well into next year, and I’m sure there will be more! But when there is something that I am envisioning, I am challenging myself to create my own pattern for it.
I’m also setting goals to sketch one design per week, and create a pattern draft for one design per month. That doesn’t mean I have to knit it. But I do hope to knit at least four of my own patterns next year. I will also make patterns available for free to people who would like to test knit them for me.
In order to meet these goals, I am dedicating 8 hours each week to studio time: 3 hours on Wednesday evenings, and 5 hours on Sundays. This is a lot on top of a 40 hour work week, family time, Haven Herbs time (5-10 hours per week), gym time (1 hour per week,) hiking, phew! There’s so much I want to do! Luckily I’m one of those people who wakes up at 5AM and is finished with half my work before breakfast!
I also still need to fit in art making time at my studio, as I need to create work for another group show taking place in July 2019. I have old artwork on display in my studio, and another fear I have is of going down the artmaking road more than the design road. So I’ve got to be sure to balance these things if I really want to create my own designs.
Wow, thanks for reading all of that if you are still with me. Here’s your reward, some photos!
Here’s me being impatient to try on my Carbeth sleeve. I’m ready to start sleeve number 2.
Here’s my favorite 10 year old being creative with glitter. I love how scientific her approach is to creativity.
Here’s my Christmas gift to Bob. He’s lived in the US so long, he does not have a passport. If he leaves the country, he can’t return. So I put together a little kit of (almost) everything he needs for his Canadian passport. The only thing I didn’t do is fill out the form for him. We are hoping to travel to Nova Scotia in October to visit his family.
Here’s a Q&A for you, my first! You can answer questions in the comments or post them to your blog. If you post them, please leave a comment so we can go read them!
Now I have to answer my own questions.
Nothingbutknit graciously offered to participate in a holiday swap with me. It all started when I wanted to send her some shea butter lotion chips made by local women. The challenge was to send a skein of local yarn.
Here is a photo of the beautiful things she sent me. (Except for the candle which I made with a pottery cup gifted to me and handmade by my stepson.)
Isn’t this red yarn festive and lovely? It’s also soft enough to wear around my neck, so I think I want to knit a “hap” with it. (Props to Kate Davies for reintroducing the word to our vocabulary.) I didn’t know a small shawl or wrap had a name, but sure enough, if you look it up, the third definition is “clothe, cover.”
Here is my favorite “hap”, which was the start of a lace shawl that I cut short because I’d had enough of knitting it many years ago.
I wrap this around my neck once or twice, and it’s the perfect scarf. This is knit from Jagger Spun Zephyr Wool Silk, which has really withstood the test of time.
But back to the red! Aren’t the gold flecks lovely on this Campfire Knits yarn? The hand dyeing really stands out too. This is “Winter Cranberry.” I’ve already cast on a simple eyelet increase triangle scarf, but I’m not sure how I feel about the garter stitch.
And I love these stitch markers which were included in my package, made by her husband. So festive! They make me crave peppermint.
My issue with lace is I prefer for my knitting to be intuitive. I like to memorize the pattern so I’m not constantly referring to the chart or instructions. And because I’m
old have short term memory challenges, I need the repeat to be about four rows. So I am looking for a simple, all over lace pattern. I’ll keep looking! Maybe my fabulous red hap will be done in time for Valentine’s Day!
Thank you, nothingbutknit! I’m grateful for your friendship. It is always encouraging knowing someone is reading and paying attention. Thank you for the beautiful things and for being willing to participate in a gift exchange with me. ❤️
Although November ended on a sad note, I have to say I’ve had a really great year, and December has been the cherry on top.
As mentioned, the Blendon Woods I pair of photo and felt painting were sold today. It made me very happy, and I can use the funds to purchase a work table and pair of comfy chairs for my studio space.
At the beginning of 2018, I chose my words for the year. They were, “doing it all.” I worked hard to be promoted to Executive Director at work. I started knitting in earnest again, and even managed a successful design. I made art and participated in an art show. I started a cooperatively owned business with two other women. On top of taking care of kids and being in a relationship with my spouse, that was a lot, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull it off.
I chose to take the same path that I had been taking with my work over the last few years, which led to the success of our new store. That path is, “say yes whenever possible.”
I know saying yes too much and too often can get you into trouble. It’s important to know and respect your limits. I’m not going to pretend this approach didn’t take a bit of a toll. I worked my ass off, and it’s not something that can be sustained forever. But this year, whenever possible, I said yes and reached out and grabbed with both hands whatever opportunities came my way, and it really paid off in a multitude of ways.
Here I am at my side hustle, knitting and selling my aromatherapy candles for Haven Herbs! Look how happy I am! I look a little dorky, and I am a little dorky. I can own that and still be happy. Also, check out my great earring game.
My Christmas Cactus is blooming with gratitude as well.