Weds WIP… in Bed

Do you ever play that fortune cookie game where you read your fortune aloud, and then punctuate it with “in bed”?

I did make it to my studio today, but not for very long. Although I am feeling better, I fatigue easily. I came home, ate dinner, relaxed in a lavender bath, and crawled into bed.

I resketched my Ohio Star Bandandit Cowl. (This is what I call it in my head as I imagine wearing it over my nose and mouth like a bandit.) I think I’m ready to cast on. I’m not gonna lie, I saw the Purl Soho Bandana Cowl months ago on Ravelry and thought it was a clever idea, but I did not look at the pattern because I knew somewhere way deep down in my heart I was going to design my own one day.

I didn’t even link to it. So there. You can search.

The first pattern in the Kate Davies Knitting Season Club is a lovely sweater with a simple motif. The design challenge was to create your own motif. I think my Ohio Star qualifies, even though it is texture and not colorwork. I do love the sweater but will probably wait to decide if I will knit it, and if so, how.

I had forgotten what it is like to have to slow down to accommodate my body. I had been doing very well for a year or so.

I’m going to try to go to the gym tomorrow. Fingers crossed…

What are you working on? I think I’ll check out my reader and see what you all are up to…

Wednesday Off

I took today off for some self care after my whirlwind inventory tour for work.

I can’t decide if I should get out of bed or not.

It’s finally snowing. I love the snow and would be very sad if we didn’t get at least one good blizzard. It’s only flurrying today, though, so not enough to keep me from going to the gym and running some errands. If I can get out of bed, that is.

It’s Good to Have Goals

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!

img_1474

Here’s me being impatient to try on my Carbeth sleeve. I’m ready to start sleeve number 2.

img_1469

Here’s my favorite 10 year old being creative with glitter. I love how scientific her approach is to creativity.

img_1470

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!

  1. Do you set New Year’s Goals or Resolutions for yourself?
  2. Do you have any creative goals for the new year?
  3.  Some people like to set a goal for a certain number of things to make for the year. For example: 18 in 18. Do you do this? If so, what is the number? How do you decide the number of things to make?
  4. Do you have blogging goals for the new year? If so, what are they?
  5. What is your favorite thing you’ve made in 2018? Post a pic!

Now I have to answer my own questions.

  1. Yes, I do.
  2.  Yes, I listed them above.
  3.  I did create a number of designs I want to create in the new year. I came up with the number by trying to decide what was realistic, but still challenging, based on the time I am setting aside.
  4. My blogging goal for 2019 is to blog two times per week, although I hope to blog more.
  5. My favorite thing I’ve made in 2018 is my Birds of Blendon Hat!

img_0917

New Year New Club New Studio Same Me

I’m very excited for the new Kate Davies club. I received this beautiful journal and a bag full of Milarrochy Tweed yarn! I admit I feel intimidated by this gorgeous blank journal. I look forward to starting the club. Until then, I’m afraid to make a mark in it.

I am starting to look around for washi tape and stencils, even though I feel silly since I’ve never used a bullet journal before and have no idea what I’m doing.

I am mostly moved into my new studio, where the above photo was taken, on my new standing desk. As I was moving and sorting I found some old artwork. If it aged well I went ahead and set it out. Why not?

I’m currently knitting away on my holiday red Carbeth. I’ve just started the sleeves.

And here is a photo inspired by skeinherder.

JoJo insists on curling up in my lap while I’m knitting, so I should be allowed to have a little fun, right?

Also, do you remember how Charlie Brown had a kite eating tree? I have a knitting needle eating couch.

Knit Like the Wind

Time to watch the Joe Bob Christmas horror marathon on Shudder and knit like the wind!

Sleeve number two is underway!

I only have one sleeve to knit, then I have to sew it on, then finish a hat, in two days! Do you think I can do it? I think I can do it. I’d better stop blogging and start knitting.

Also, Joe Bob was complaining about cranberry sauce, but it’s clear to me he’s never had homemade, whole cranberry sauce. I would eat that year round. Maybe I’ll extend cranberry sauce season to include New Year’s alongside black eyed peas and greens.

One and Not Done, and Lofty Thoughts on Fiber and the Environment

img_1392

First off, sleeve one is done. It took much longer than expected, and I knit like a woman obsessed while watching one after the other of Christmas horror movies (A Christmas Horror Story, Krampus, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – not a Christmas horror movie, but horrific in its own way, and you can only tolerate so much schlock in one sitting, after all. Although I would consider all of these movies dark comedies.)

I want to credit Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns for helping me through the armhole shapings. I should really know how to do this by now, as I have sewn clothing and drafted my own patterns, but it has been a while, and this is for my son and not myself, and I felt nervous about it, and this is why next year my word for the year is going to be “exercise.” This includes physical exercise, but also exercising my design muscles with monthly challenges. I look forward to blogging about it.

Talking to Henry about the environment has me thinking about how sheep farming and the wool trade effects the climate. While I am not vegan – I am not even vegetarian – I believe factory farming is unethical – so bad for animals, people, and the environment – and I think small, family farming is the way of the future, and we should eat much less meat than we do. I would be happy giving up all animal food products, but I will never give up my knitting wool. There, I said it. I do try to source my yarn ethically, although the supply chain can be deep, so sometimes you don’t really know. I am looking at you, Berroco Chunky Alpaca. My guess is that alpaca farming is pretty ethical, though. In general, I find small yarn companies to be very transparent, which makes it much easier. Knitters have always cared about the sheep, and I think yarn companies know that and make sustainability part of their ethos.

How sustainable is wool? As a fiber, it is very sustainable – long wearing, biodegradable. And as far as land use, wool animals (sheep, goats, alpacas) can graze on land that is not suitable for farming, so that’s okay too. Yay, wool!

Of course, we have so much plastic that now it is being recycled into fiber for clothing. Think about that. Plastic clothing that will never get dirty and never wear out, like The Man in the White Suit. Would that be better for the climate? I guess it depends on how it is processed. And what happens to the animals, who now rely on humans for their survival? So, no thank you to plastic for my part. Plus, I like my clothing to breathe.

If you are still with me, thank you for reading. I needed to get these thoughts out of my head before I start my very busy work week.

Here’s my question for you, dear reader. Do you see those stripes on Harald’s sweater? Those lovely stripes that say, “Hi. I am a handknit garment of fair trade wool yarn that is hand kettle dyed by women in Uruguay, which is why I went a little stripey here. Don’t mind me.” Should I vat dye this sweater and try to mottle those stripes out a little bit? This is totally within my power. Let me know what you think. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

Scarving Children, Sleeving Sweaters

If you haven’t watched the new Bob’s Burgers yet, you should. Bob (my Bob) said he had to stop watching it until we could watch it together.

I snagged this image from ergoiknit on Instagram, who is also excited that Linda is a knitter.

I am not knitting nearly as much as I should be if I am going to finish a sweater and hat in the next two weeks.

Hello sleeve! All I have to do is finish this sleeve, knit another one, sew them on, and then I’m done! (I sound a little like Linda when she said scarves are a cinch.)

Here’s a gratuitous scrunchy kitty face pic for your amusement.

Carbeth

I finally cast on Kate Davies’ Carbeth in the red Targhee wool from Yarndaze. I decided I want to finish it before Christmas because it’s a gorgeous holiday red. I hear it’s a quick knit.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We had a full house here, with lots of food, family, and friends. I had such a good time I forgot to take photos. We played a fun but morbid game called Gloom.

I’ve been working the last two days, but I am looking forward to a fall hike today, and baking and decorating gingerbread cookies with my youngest. It’s one of our traditions.

Thanksgiving Eve Cast On

I cast on the Goats of Inversnaid hat today in Milarrochy Tweed. I’m making it for my youngest son, Hans, hopefully for Christmas. I chose Bruce (black), Hirst (oatmeal), and Ardlui (blue) for the contrasting rib. I think these are colors he likes to wear. Like me (and my other boys) he likes his wardrobe to be subdued. But that subtle pop of blue on the ribbing will match his eyes.

Do you like my little bag? I made it some years ago with a remnant from my Grandmother’s stash. I love the mod apples. 1960’s or 70’s, do you think?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Bob is busy cooking. I did my part. I made the cranberry sauce from scratch.

I also have some festive new nails.

Shiny!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you are celebrating. I am thankful we will have a full house tomorrow, to Bob for cooking, and to you for reading my blog. 😊