Check It Out Wednesday

img_5824

Check out my beautiful baby’s long gorgeous locks! What color is that? Chestnut?

No, he didn’t know I took his photo. Yes, he needs to brush his hair. But he just got braces, so I didn’t say anything.

img_5820

Check out this Madonna from the 1300’s knitting in the round. This was taken from Vivian Hoxbro’s Traditional Danish Sweaters book. This is my evidence that if you want to understand how the Universe was created, you just need to learn how to knit.

img_5816-1

Check out my new pencil. You know what’s so funny about the unicorn stuff? The Head coat of arms is three unicorn heads. Our motto is “Study Quiet.” I think our motto should be “Magic” (whispered).

I didn’t bind off the Cumulus Blouse last night. I had a glass of wine and got sucked into bad 80’s horror movies. We watched “Monster Humanoids from the Deep” and “Chopping Mall.” Pew pew.

I knew today would be a good day when this song popped up on my workout playlist. Vote for Pedro.

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

A Back to Blogging Q&A

I’m still not knitting much right now, but I got my peas and greens seeds planted in the garden. Then it snowed. Mother Nature told me, in a sing-song voice, that this would be the last snow this year. Or I might have dreamt that. She looked like this:

MotherNature

I have more seeds coming, so there’s more planting to do, and some baby seedlings to get started. I’m not sure how I’ll do that this year, since my grow house was damaged over the winter. I guess I’ll wing it, my go to.

Here’s a pic of the only plant to survive my attempt at a fall garden. I wonder if I’ll get any brussel sprouts? I’ve never grown them before, so only time will tell.Ms. B Sprout

After getting back from Boulder, I worked very hard on an exercise to get promoted at work! And I did! So that’s some good news.

I thought a Q&A would be a good exercise to get me back in the swing of blogging. This is from compassionknit.

Have you knit with a gradient yarn?

Yes.

If so, was your motivation partly due to the fact that there are no ends to weave in?

Probably. Also, I like watching the colors unfold.

Do you forbid your cats to sit on the table?

I don’t, but Bob (SO) does.

If you could go anywhere in the world this week, where would you go and who would you go with?

I would take Bob to Scotland.

Many of you suggested great shawls for me to knit next.  Thanks!  Do you want a few more that I found?

Sure! Although, I’m not sure compassionknit will be over here to read my answer. And I’m not a shawl fan, as a rule. I’d rather knit and wear a sweater. So it’s okay.

If you could pick two things that would grow well in your yard /garden/patio this year what would they be?

I will be growing snap peas, arugula, some kind of lettuce, and sorrel. Those are all heirloom seeds that I collected from the plants in my garden last fall. I will also be planting kale, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, german chamomile, lemon balm, dill, parsley (because Bob likes it), greek oregano, and some birds eye peppers that I collected the seeds from the last plant I grew from the last seed I had last year. Bob really likes these, so I’m going to try to grow several plants.

Bob Bob Bob. That’s all I ever talk about!

img_3777

Date night selfie.

What’s your favorite positive affirmation that you rely on to encourage yourself?

I engage in a lot of self talk, but nothing that I would call an affirmation. Just real talk from my real self to my real self.

I’m on the Bobble Row

img_2698

The Bobble Row takes 5 times as long to knit as the rest of the rows, because of all the additional stitches it requires to make the bobble. Knit purl knit purl knit into one stitch on the front, purl back those 5, knit across the 5 stitches again… for each bobble.

Hang in there with me. There’s a point to this.

Essentially, there are two different sets of instructions for making the bobble in this pattern. On the first bobble row of the hat, I followed the “make bobble” instructions, which have you completing the bobble on the bobble row by slipping the extra stitches over. The hat instructions have you purling 5 together on the next row, on the way back – which I dutifully followed after I noticed the instructions were different.

Purling 5 together is no easy feat, and the process can be riddled with mistakes. It is much simpler to slip the stitches over the bobble while you are on the bobble row. In fact, completing the bobble on the bobble row is much faster and more efficient, because you can just knit and purl on the other 3 pattern rows. And the bobble looks identical.

Ergo, you should complete the bobbles on the bobble row. Feel free to apply this tidbit of wisdom to life as well as knitting. I think it is something akin to doing it right the first time. Or maybe it is about not doing things the hard way.

Unless you know a reason why I should complete the bobble on the next row? Please leave me a comment if you do! Or just to say hi. That’s nice, too.

I hope there is a good reason why I should be knitting this hat flat and seaming it instead of knitting it in the round. Maybe some shaping magic? I can dream.

Life Is What Happens…

img_2590

It is Sunday, and it is time for my weekly blog post. This is my version of “Never Give Up! Never Surrender!”

A lot has happened in my life the last few weeks. All good things, to be sure, but they are getting in the way of my knitting progress and this blog. I don’t mind, but I need to readjust my expectations. I can’t blog about what is happening, but I hope to be able to soon.

I haven’t worked on my hat design. I haven’t knitted anything except Harald’s Plain Grey Sweater, so I give to you a photograph of beautiful ribbing and stockinette in Manos Maxima Kohl, being very close to getting divided for armholes. I still haven’t decided if we will go drop shoulders or raglan, so I guess I’d better make up my mind.

What do you do when life happens while you are busy making other plans? Do you power through with your plans and give the finger to life? I used to do this, and honestly, it was fine but didn’t really get me to where I wanted to be. This year I am practicing some turtle medicine: how to go with the flow. Downstream is looking pretty good from here.