Say Yes

carbeth shoes

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.

  • I went back to the gym.
  • I secured a studio space near my house.
  • I sold two of my art pieces.
  • I signed up for two 2019 knitting clubs.
  • Not only did I finish the work budget, but I also pulled together our household budget and got it all entered into Quicken. Yay, financial literacy!

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.

candles and knitting at preserve

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.

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wovember 2018, Day 26

I’ve noticed Daughter of a Shepherd sharing #wovember2018 posts on Instagram. I didn’t realize it was something anyone could do.

Today I joined in with pics of the oldest wool thing I own: my Mother’s boiled wool coat:

I also have a mohair shawl, cashmere sweater, and tartan scarf and tam of hers:

I believe these are all from around the same period, early 1960’s?

I have worn all of these things from time to time. The boiled wool coat is gorgeous and comes in handy on below zero days, but we don’t get too many of those.

I wore the sweater in the 1980’s when the 1950’s were back in for a bit. We used to have 1950’s dress up days, and I would wear this sweater with a pencil skirt and a black beret, and go as a Beatnik.

Both the coat and sweater are too small for me now. I can wear the coat, but the shoulders are tight.

I think I wore the shawl once when I lived in San Diego in the 1990’s, but the mohair is so itchy, I never liked it. But it is beautiful to look at. You can see how fine and sheer the fiber is woven.

I wore the scarf a lot in high school, and there is red spray paint on it from when we painted the streets my senior year. (Yes, that’s something they used to let you do.)

I can’t find the tam for a photo, but I never wore it as it is very sit atop the head with a big pom on top type of tam. I have often joked that if I learned to play golf, I would wear that tam.

All of these treasures are beginning to look a little shabby, truth be told. I should probably wrap them up carefully in tissue and put them in my cedar-lined drawers.

Are you participating in wovember2018? Do you have any favorite wool heirlooms?

Taking Myself Seriously

After the bobbledisaster tam, I am reminded I should never follow a pattern blindly. As I was decreasing for the crown, I thought, “It seems too early to be decreasing.” But I carried on, thinking the pattern knew what it was doing.

This happens to me in art, in life, and at work, that moment when I stop and think, “This doesn’t seem right.” There’s a reason for that feeling, and the reason is because I know better.

So from now on, I do solemnly swear to take myself seriously (but not too seriously) and to listen to my inner voice when it graciously sends a red flag my way, and to heed it with caution, calm, and clarity, and to reassess, and reimagine if necessary, the way forward, amen.

On that note, I am taking a studio space starting in January for my fiber arts. I need the literal space and the headspace in order to design and create. This is me taking myself seriously.

That bobbledybabbity tam is going in the bin. Bobbledybin tam.

Edited to add: I’ve decided to rip it out and make a cowl.

Sunday Off

Tonight I knit the neck ribbing on Harald’s sweater. I think I may have picked up a few too many stitches in the front, what do you think? Maybe it will block out? Maybe it’s because I chose mock cable rib for the chest panel? Maybe it’s close enough and I should move on?

Look at those lines from the kettle dying below the chest. I saw them when I was knitting them but decided it didn’t matter. I am still okay with it because it’s hand dyed yarn and a hand knitted garment. I hope he will be too. I might be in denial about myself being okay with it.

A friend of mine introduced me to Color Street nail polish strips. I never paint my nails because ugh! What a pain. But these are cute and really easy to use. Check out my “Fleece Navidad” Christmas sweater nails.

So fun. And you don’t have to wait for them to dry to start knitting again! Because they are already dry! I think of them as being like window clings when I am putting them on. It was my first time and I did pretty well.

It might be a little early for Christmas nails, but I rationalize it by calling them Fair Isle nails.

Today was my only day off this weekend. I tried to relax and do fun things. Middle Child and I watched Season 5 of Vikings since the new season comes out later this month. I am loving this cold weather and looking forward to a big Thanksgiving.

I see many bloggers knitting Christmas gifts. I am not ambitious enough to do that. What about you? Are you knitting any gifts this year?

Interlude Sans Knitting

I am bogged under with work right now. I have a speaking engagement out of town today and am vending at a crafty event all day tomorrow, and I’m hoping I’ll have enough energy on Sunday to attend my youngest son’s Marching Band performance in a holiday parade. I’ve missed most of his events this season, sadly.

Shout out to Bob who is playing taxi driver the next two days.

This is a photo of me and my middle child voting together on Tuesday. It was his first time voting and I have to say I was supremely proud to discuss the candidates and issues with him and walk over to our polling place together.

I have been knitting a leafy washcloth here and there for gift baskets. And of course I’m all caught up on everyone else’s knitting blogs! We’ll call it “calming.” If I don’t have the wherewithal to knit, I can at least read about knitting.

Glorious Fall Sunday

Bob and I had a wonderful day today. It started out visiting our kid at the bakery where she works.

Everything is gluten-free and nut-free so we could eat everything! We had a tough time narrowing down our selections, so we didn’t. We each took one bite out of everything.

Then we went for a long hike at Mohican State Park. It was wet and rainy, but we were enjoying the trudge and took a break under a rock ledge.

I love to pore over the carvings in the rock. The oldest (dated) one we found was from 1871.

I brought coffee (an idea I got from stgeorgeknits) and what was left of the blueberry muffin. I may have been stalling a little on the climb up these stairs, too.

All the fall yellows were out in full force.

As you can see, I brought my Birds of Blendon Hat along.

We even got to walk across a covered bridge!

It was a charming day, and I made some progress on my sock while in the car.

And I got a thrill when we arrived back home. Kate Davies left a comment on my Instagram saying my hat was lovely! What a great topper to my day.

How was your Sunday?

Experiments and a Q&A

experiments in leaves and wool and wax.jpg

Today I experimented with wet felting my coopworth fleece, real (pressed) leaves, and beeswax. Not a total failure, but nothing great either. I have an art piece due in a couple of weeks and hey, guess what, I don’t have one ready to hang. I might have to fall back on knitting, as it is the one medium I feel I have mastery over. I do still have time to knit something, but I am lacking a strong vision.

So how about a Q&A from nothingbutknit2?

What is the first actual craft you remember doing as a child? (Not coloring or finger painting. Something more special that you didn’t do regularly.)

Embroidery with my grandmother. I also remember some really great crafts at my hippy dippy primary school. We made those ice cube candles and sand candles, and batiked our own t-shirts. I made a Wild Cherry design on mine. (Enjoy.)

What is the craziest craft you’ve tried?

I can’t think of anything crazy. I made corn dollies for a short while. It was fun and easy and I was good at it. The hardest part was sourcing the dried wheat.

What craft would you like to try but you know you’d be bad at it?

I would love to try lost wax casting my own jewelry. I probably would be bad at it because I’ve never been a good sculptor. It was the one art class I didn’t take in college. Although, if I am being honest, I’m not sure that’s relevant. I did take painting, and I’m a horrible painter.

If you had to give up your crafting how would you spend your crafting time?

Probably still sitting on the couch watching horror movies but not knitting. I would like to spend more time hiking, though.

What craft isn’t your thing? Have you tried it or do you just know you wouldn’t like it?

Macrame. You would think it would be my thing, all fiber arty and really trendy right now. But I guess I have some old memories of the 70’s lurking in the back of my mind and some resistance to trying it. I have seen some beautiful jewelry made with macrame.

Anniversary Getaway

This week Bob and I went to Hocking Hills to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. We went for our honeymoon, and we go back every October.

This year we went back to the cabin where we stayed for our honeymoon, Evergreen Place. I was ambitious and brought a lot of knitting.

I made a point to knit at least a little bit on each WIP. And I started a sock!

The yarn is really that blue, but the basket it is sitting on is not quite that dayglo orange. Pretty close, though. The yarn is Knitting Goddess and it is 85% Wensleydale and 15% Shetland, and it is wonderful and full of lanolin! I picked it because it is all wool but sturdy enough for socks. I think I blogged about this before.

In addition to my knitting, we did a lot of hiking on this trip. On our last day we hiked Jacob’s Ladder (a steep zig zag incline) to be rewarded with this view from Christmas Rocks.

It was breathtaking, or maybe that was all the climbing. But we were happy at last to have a crisp autumn day, even if there isn’t much color in the leaves yet.

I had to share this photo because these are little fungus spores. I touched one and it puffed which surprised me, and I accidentally breathed the spores in. I told Bob the fungus might take over my brain and I might become the first zombie in the zombie apocalypse, so to keep an eye on me.

What do you think about this fall display we happened upon? It is certainly striking. I may have edited the photo to make it a little more dramatic.

You can tell I’m in a Halloween mood.

This means “a hundred thousand welcomes” in Irish Gaelic.

Here’s a random pic of Bob to wrap up this random post. Also, this bear. I love this bear keeping watch on the porch.

October is for Horror Movie Knitting

Bob surprised me today by putting on Joe Bob Brigg’s Horror Marathon on Shudder. I love horror movies, even bad ones. Maybe especially the bad ones. I watch horror all year, but we seem to watch nothing else as Halloween approaches.

We just watched Tourist Trap. Spoiler alert: this movie is from 1979, but in case you haven’t seen it and are considering watching this gem from bygone days of yore, you might want to skip ahead one paragraph.

Chuck Connors is hamming it up as a deranged serial killer who chops up unsuspecting daytrippers and brings them back to life as mannequins. The surrealism of the mannequins made this film really fun to watch. Apparently the director trained with Luis Bunuel. It shows.

I am still plodding along on Harald’s plain gray sweater. I’m almost done with the back. I decided on set in sleeves. I’m going to knit mock cables on the front, gansey style. So I guess I can’t call it plain anymore.

What is your favorite thing to watch while knitting?

Knitting Q&A

You know I can’t resist a Q&A! This one is from nothingbutknit2.

Q. You’re given a magic yarn bag that will supply one skein at a time as needed. You reach inside and pull out a skein. What is this yarn? Be specific or not.

A. Cerulean Wool DK. It’s similar to a yarn I’m working with now. I almost said cashmere, but cashmere is too limp and floppy. I like my yarn to have some body. Also I prefer a local yarn. So maybe Targhee, although I don’t know that much about sheep. And maybe a tweed with some flecks of navy, olive green, and burnt orange.

Q. When you enter a yarn store how do you work the space? Does it vary if it’s your regular store or a new to you store?

A. I will head directly for the worsted. Then I will backtrack and go up and down the rows. If it is a new-to-me store I will stand in a place with a good view of everything for a minute to assess the layout, then do exactly the same.

Q. Have you ever knit or crocheted something that you swore you never would? What was it? Why did you never want to make it and why did you?

A. Yes, big knitting. It was that big knit ruff/cowl. I think that big yarn is absurd and not fun to knit with. But that particular yarn was so scrumptious I really wanted to make something with it. Also, I really wanted to knit something for my favorite then nine-year-old and I didn’t have much time.

Q. What is your next project going to be? Do you have a planned queue or do you make whatever strikes your fancy at the moment?

A. I’m going to cast on for that Carbeth in the red Targhee soon. I also have socks in blue Knitting Goddess yarn that I haven’t started. I was going to make them plain but now I think I’m going to use a pattern from this Hunter Hammersen book that feels like it was created specifically for me:

Knitting and plants and vintage botanical illustrations! I haven’t picked a pattern yet.

I’m also going to knit another Brassica hat out of the same yarn as before, but in green:

I over-edited this photo in Snapseed in an attempt to make you feel as in love with this color as I am.

As you can see, I mostly plan my projects, but sometimes I linger over the planning stage because the fortuitous unexpected will happen, like the Hunter Hammersen book. That’s fun to say! Hunter Hammersen.