Sunday, September 09, 2018

Focus, Girl! Focus...or, at least, finish something.

I'm in Louisville, Kentucky right now, enjoying a quiet morning of reflection.  I drove up yesterday for a rare treat, dinner with my parents and both of my siblings and their families.  With my family living in another state and one brother and his family in another country, a gathering of all of us happens, at best, twice a year.  We laughed, teared up a bit, acted goofy, marveled at how the nieces and nephew have grown, talked about the passage of time, books we've read, movies we've seen, and, maybe, just maybe, beaver butts. (Have you heard the urban legend about secretions from beavers' rear ends being used in candies, etc. as strawberry and raspberry flavorings?  Turns out it is NOT a myth!  Ew.)  Yes, my brothers, sisters-in-law, and I will talk about anything.  I think it's great that we still can be loving, supportive, serious, and in the next moment plain silly.  It's been an incredibly hectic few weeks at the day job, and I almost stayed home this weekend.  I'm so glad I didn't. 

With being stretched in so many directions, it's been hard for me to knit anything that requires much brain power.  Seems my resistance is low, too, because THIS happened:

That's right, 2,000 yards of Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.  I'm thinking of belatedly joining the Find Your Fade fever.  What do you think?  Too much pink?  Can there ever be too much pink?

But first, I AM GOING TO FOCUS!  I am not allowing myself to dive into the cashmere loveliness until I finish a few things in my active UFO basket:

Making progress on the Crown Wools MKAL.  I'm on Clue 10.  This has been a fun knit with lots of interesting stitch patterns.  I'm about middle of the pack of the knitters at my favorite LYS (Ewe & Company) who signed up for this.  Not bad, considering my low powers of concentration right now. 

I've also vowed to finish the Tegna before I find my fade.  I'm knitting this in Ella Rae Lace Merino.  I love love love everything about this yarn.  I'd had my eye on it for a while but refused to buy it until...I was at the LYS and picked up a project the owner was working on.  It was beautiful and felt luscious.  When she told me it was another colorway of the Ella Rae I'd been!  The yarn and the pattern went right home with me.  I was making such good progress until something else caught my eye, sending this lovely into hibernation in the basket. 

And then there are the sock.  But do those really count as UFOs?

Plus, the one at the top is butt-ugly.  So right now, I can't even.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Life is about beginnings and endings and beginnings and endings and beginnings and...well, you get it.  Call them phases, chapters, segments, whatever you like.  They can be painful, and they can be beautiful.  Often, they are both.

About 10 days ago, we celebrated the beginning of my youngest daughter's adventure - moving away from home to finish college.  She took her Gen. Ed. classes at a local community college (always fiscally responsible, that girl) and is finishing her degree at university, away from home, so she can get the whole "college experience".  While moving away marks the beginning of her adulthood, it also marks the end of her childhood.  That's painful for a mama, a mama who wants the best for her children, but also who misses them terribly.  The transition was more painful than I had expected, and it's taken me a lot of tears and a lot of self-lecturing to get me over the hump.  But I think I'm finally there.  I haven't cried at all today - well, hardly at all. 

So now what?  What's next?  I have a hectic and, sometimes, very stressful day job.  I try to squeeze in trips to the Y and am dabbling in running, having just "run" my 8th 5K.  Although I haven't blogged, recorded any new podcasts, or updated Ravelry in longer than I'd care to admit, I've been knitting like there's no tomorrow, spinning a little, and teaching, teaching, teaching - everything from beginner knitting and crochet to wet and dry felting.  So, again...what's next?

Well, I've been told by a couple of my knitting students that I should do more video tutorials.  I have 4 basic tutorials on YouTube for my beginner knitters so they have something to refer to when they get home from my class and suddenly can't remember one of the many skills they've just learned.  I get it.  When you're a beginner, remembering all the steps to a slip-knot, cast-on, knit stitch, purl stitch, and bind-off can be daunting until that muscle-memory kicks in.  Then it's like riding a bike.  Anyway, so I think I'll put up a few more videos.

What else?  I'd like to teach more classes.  I love love love teaching beginners.  It makes me all giggly inside when I see that light bulb go off over someone's head, when it clicks, when they get it!  I'd like to do some more felting classes.  I led a workshop a couple of months ago at Ewe and Company where we made owls (my spirit animal - ha!) from Woolbuddy kits.  That was loads of fun.  I took a sock blank dyeing class at the Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival in April, and I think I want to put together a class for that.

And, who knows?  Maybe I'll resurrect the podcast.  Once upon a time, I hosted a podcast that had a small following.  It was mostly me just rambling about what I was working on, things I wanted to try, fiber events I'd gone to.  I enjoyed doing it, but it became harder to keep up with and it faded away, and then my content got deleted from the hosting site (the horror!).

So, that's what's stirring around in my mind.  We'll see where it leads.  For now, I'll just post a couple of things I'm working on:

The Crown Wools Mystery KAL:

Yarn:  Frabjous Fibers (I love their fiber and their name is fun to say) 12-color kit, custom-dyed for this KAL.
Photobomber:  Henry, Sketchy, Jake, Kit (name depends on who you ask around here)

Vanilla socks:

Uneek Sock Yarn - I'm using Color 56.

I was a sucker for the packaging - a little box containing 2 balls of sock yarn that promise to make a matching pair!  Who could resist that?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Emerging from the Darkness

I know many of us fade into the woodwork after the hustle and bustle (and STRESS) of the holiday season.  I call it "going dark" and it happens to me every year.  Actually, darkness begins to fall on me right after Thanksgiving.  I have recognized it as self-imposed stress over trying to meet everyone's expectations for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.  This year, that, combined with a full-time job that just didn't slow down at all over the holidays, and I've just wanted to crawl into a cave and hibernate since New Year's Day.

BUT...I got to spend a long weekend with my best friend and her husband at Pensacola Beach last week, and this week we had record snowfall in the Nashville area (essentially closing down the city).  I've had some quality down-time and finally feel rested.  I even picked up the knitting needles and made some small projects.

1 hat for me (that's sand in Florida, not snow in Tennessee):

2 dog sweaters this weekend:

Tina, the Tiny Terror of Tennessee (she's always cold)

Sammy, the Super Model

1 small chemo cap to send to Vanderbilt (in progress):

And, as soon as I (a) find my long cables for my interchangeable needles or (b) can make it to my favorite LYS, Ewe & Company, to buy the needles I need, I am going to cast on the Boxy.  I've loved this pattern since I first laid eyes on it.  I have some Cascade Heritage Handpaint sock yarn in shades of red that I think will be gorgeous in this.

I even brought Grazynka out of hibernation.  Would you just look at all of that unspun fiber?

Today, I feel like a light has come on.  My perspective has changed, and I'm ready to accomplish some things.  First on the list - the mountain of laundry.

See you soon.  I'll leave the light on.