Monday, October 27, 2008

Yaaaarn

If you are here from Susie's post, welcome! There is much mutual adoration for that woman and her yarn and fibers, especially this roving. Someone go buy it, please. It has been staring at me on my favorites page for months. It is completely unreasonable for me to buy superwash roving when I have pounds and pounds of it right here, but man-oh-man those colors speak to me.

Is it just me or has October been crazy? It started with the Strange Folk Festival which was wild and wonderful. Then launching the website (woefully understocked). The What's on Watson fair was next. Next weekend is the Weaver's Guild sale which will have woven garments, accessories, baskets, hand crafted jewelry, yarn, spinning fibers and more. I saw a few other artists while I was waiting to be juried. Yowza. I predict that I will spend more than I make at the Weavers Guild sale. [For a preview of what I'm planning to take to Weavers Guild, see my next post]

In between preparing and working at those fibery events, I have been doing a lot of worrying. It is an exhausting sport. Our friend Jennie, daughter of a very good friend Selena, was airlifted to St. Louis with complications from a recent transplant, namely one type of rejection. She was released from the hospital almost two weeks ago and unfortunately was only home for a day or two before having to return with more rejection--this time two kinds of rejection. She is currently in the hospital having her immune system, as her doctor phrased it, "destroyed". As awful as it sounds, as awful as it is, her immune system has to stop rejecting her new lungs. As her mother, another dear friend, says "prayers, karma and good wishes welcome". If you want to help materially, you could donate to the Children's Organ Transplant Association.

In the meantime, another friend was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery to remove the tumor (which proved to be the cure) and is starting a bout of preventative radiation just in case. Other friends have been struggling with frustrating ailments and I worry about them. I have been moving at a break neck pace to keep everyday life moving forward, including starting a new job (that makes 3), dealing with expensive car and home drama, trying to mitigate the stress of the factory closing (it happens this week--we still don't know what's going to happen) and going through the sniffly sneezing coughing aching fatigued fibro/allergies/asthma amalgamation that is the change of seasons. [Update--add to that the flu. Stupid flu. Go away.] Plus, I've just not had enough time to be a good friend. Through all of the craziness some corner of my brain has been sitting and worrying, holding my friends' collective hand and wishing I had more of myself to give and trying to forgive myself for not having enough for everyone.

Friends, I need a nap. BUT, this is a knitting blog so lets talk knitting.

Remember what I said last holiday season when I said I was only going to knit for people who asked for it? I have a brother-in-law with a standing order for socks, a mom who will wear anything I make her, a stepmother with cold feet and a request from another brother-in-law for a warm scarf. That's one scarf, one pair of socks and one whatever. Totally manageable, so I decided to make a vest for my mom (nearly done), a sweater and hat for Scott*, a scarf for me (already abandoned due to boredom) and a pair of socks for each of my sisters (not for Christmas, just because). Still manageable, enough to keep my needles busy through the end of the year, and the bonus of no self-induced holiday knitting pressure. So naturally....

Scott knitted a scarf for last years extended family swap. It was so well received that I decided to let rest of the family know we were starting to knit for winter. Historically they have said they weren't interested, but they loved Scott's scarf so much that I thought there might be a few takers. I let them know that if they wanted something we would be thrilled to try to accommodate. If not, no worries and no offense. The response was...well, unexpected. The Holey Shepherd and Old Man Winter must have joined forces to spread the Word of the Wool to the chilly and shivering. Nearly everyone in the family responded positively to offers of knitting.

First off, Wahhoooooo! I love gifts that I know are wanted and appreciated. Even better that they are knitted for I love the knitting. I am thrilled at the response, especially from those who have been lukewarm to the idea of knitted gifts in the past. Second, OMG What Have I Done? The preliminary total for knitted and crocheted gifts this year? 5 scarves, 5 pairs of socks, 1 sweater, 1 possible afghan and a pair of gloves. Third, this is karmic payback for all those nasty things I say every year when I'm up in the middle of the night the week before Christmas watching Harry Potter over and over again. [4 Harry Potter movies = 1 sock] Fourth, if I didn't love the pressure I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do crazy Christmas knitting. I wouldn't do the Tour de Fleece. I wouldn't start a 101/1001 and I wouldn't ever entertain Knitting Olympics. Fifth, when the night before Christmas has rolled around and I'm saying all those nasty things, someone remind me how much I love this and how happy I was on this day. Because really? I love the pressure and I am so happy that I can make something for the people I love and know that they will appreciate the time, money and love that goes in to it.

*Poor Scott. He's like the cobbler's kid. I have knit him a grand total of one pair of socks and then promptly felted them so much that he can't get it over his heel. The silver lining is, he now has a nice pile of felted potholders and coasters. By the way, older Jitterbug labeled as machine washable totally isn't.