Friday, August 13, 2010


I started off doing a bulleted update, but then one of the bullets turned into a blog post in its own right, but turned out too personal, so I went back to bullet points. None of these bullet points are related to each other, although I can see how you might think they were. They are just things that have been on my mind. 
  • The people most proud of shucking social convention and "being themselves" are the people who will put the most pressure on others to conform to what they think ought to be normal.
  • Empathy is not a disease. Don't try to push your religion on me as a balm.
  • It is absolutely ok to, upon losing a job/breaking up/getting sick/lose a friend, to take some time to wallow around in it, just so long as you don't get lost in it. Take a day, or a week, a month, a year to cry with your friends, to imagine the worst and prepare for it. 
  • It is absolutely not ok to make people feel like shit because they don't handle emotions in the same order, the same intensity or on the same time table as you do.
Moving on. 
  • I'm still sporadically writing on Balcony Homestead. It turns out I don't have time or inclination to maintain a separate, article-based blog about gardening. Most of the posts are just state of the garden updates. I don't need a separate blog for that. Next season I'll probably move the gardening stuff back here and keep Balcony Homestead just in case those articles ever write themselves.
  • My cat smells like a rancid turkey and leaves his rancid turkey smell where ever he goes. I gave him a bath in wool scour. It seemed to work pretty well until he let loose a series of SBDs. Turns out it isn't his fur that is smelly. I'd like to trade this cat in,  please. 
  • I'm knitting the worst, most poorly-written sock pattern I've ever knit. God help any new knitter who tries to knit this thing. It is amazing to me how many errors I find in every single pattern I try to knit from *mumbletymumblety* press. Every single pattern has had an error and this is the second one I've knit from that press were the errata also contained massive errors. I should have ripped this thing out a week ago, but I'm almost to the toe of the first sock. What to do, what to do.
  • It took a lot of that "taking it easy" stuff, and I gained 20 pounds by doing so, but I think I successfully avoided the big major huge enormous awful painful flare up that my doctor and I expected when I tweaked my back and fell down the stairs. It was frustrating to have to re-do the way I work and my business goals, but it wasn't demoralizing and derailing in the same way a big flare-up can be. 
  • The degenerative disk thing seems okay for now. Obviously, I am still dyeing yarn. Obviously my career is not over like I thought it was going to be, but it is very different. Having that nurse call me and tell me that I'll never feel better than I did at that moment, well....that was rough.. Also, not true. I feel loads better now than I did then. But then again, I quit slinging 30 pound pots of boiling water 10 times a day and spending 2 hours in the evening hunched over a sink twice a week and the rest of the time pretending I'm not in pain and overdoing it.   
I had to rethink how I did my work, how much I produced and and what my goals are. I still do wholesale (and have an opening for a new shop if you know anyone), but I am not going to be in a studio this year, I am not going to be able to hire anyone, I will not be at TNNA this year and I am not going to be the next Lorna's Laces. I have, however, found ways to still produce and produce well.
 My dye process is more gentle and done in smaller chunks. If I can't dye yarn then I spin. If I can't spin then I knit samples or items for sale. If I can't do that then I work on learning more about design. If I can't focus on that then I'm online absorbing what I can about the industry.

It's been an adjustment, for sure. I really liked spending a day or two dyeing as much yarn as possible, another day prepping it and then taking the rest of the week essentially off. I can't do that anymore. I have regular hours now. I have a schedule. It is starting to feel like work (the horror), but it means that I can keep doing this job.  
  • I've been writing this post for 2 hours. This is why I had to work 18 hour days as a freelance writer. I    write    very     slowly. Time to get to work.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lightbox Day

I pulled out the lightbox today to take pictures of new inventory. While it was out I took pictures of some FOs and WIPs.

Deborah and I are doing a 6-month Yarn Harlot-esque sock stash "club". We are choosing 6 yarns and 6 patterns to do for the last 6 months of the year. These are socks for Scott that I made for July out of Opal's Coral Snake color.

July socks made from my own Strong Arm. Technically this wasn't a stash yarn. I took it from inventory. The pattern is the Chevron pattern from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarns. The pattern is clever, but holy god, the errata. I recommend checking Interweave Knits website and Ravelry for errata before casting on any of the socks.

I started the Coquille shawl from the current Knitty using some of my 5/2 Cotton Warp yarn.  

I'm crocheting flowers from 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet
I started working on Inverness from Knitty a few years back. THIS is going to be my Harry Potter sweater. It doesn't scream "wizard geek", it looks like something Hermione would wear, and I have the gray yarn for it. It is perfect if, aside from the fact that my gauge doesn't match, it doesn't come in my size and the neck and shoulders are all wrong.
I don't just take pictures of my FOs. I took a picture of this Hand-Charmer that Deborah knitted from Dyeabolical Sporty! in the Superheroes colorway. Pretty!