I'm sorry to have been gone so long. It seems like I dropped off the face of the earth after vacation. The truth is, I'm spinning madly and I wish I meant that in a fiber-related way. Instead, I'm spinning plates in the air and trying to keep them all going. And not always doing so well.
Nothing serious - heart's fine, family is cool. Just that I'm over-scheduled and upset with the fact that I'm too busy to do much of what I'd prefer and am instead, doing things I'd rather not be doing.
I did resign from a board of which I was a member for over 15 years. It was time. I'm a firm believer in enabling others to take over. I'm not the be-all and end-all of anything. It's very much "to everything there is a season" and I had found an able replacement for my seat so I didn't worry about it too much.
I'm still involved in one group, but I've let up on myself. If I miss a meeting, I miss a meeting. That's the way life is.
In short, in some ways, I'm burning out.
Because of the busy-ness, I haven't written in a long while. I'm out of practice. I did try a poem... I was reading far too much Plath and thought I could do a poem. Turns out that I don't do so well with poetry. No surprise there. Kid #2 critiqued it and said that I needed to work on cento styles - where you take various lines from different poems and basically rearrange them.
I thought about it. I thought about trees. Do you KNOW how many poems there are about trees???
So I'm thinking and planning and trying to find time to write. It's hard to come by. But I think I need it. I'm starving here for putting words together.
Two projects on the needles, not counting the WIPs.
Here is the Sally Melville "Shape It" scarf, in baby alpaca, on larger needles. I'm working on the "wings" of it. It's a pretty one, and I think that if I can get myself moving, it'll be ready for the cooler weather. I'm really liking the way this is knitting up and I think the "bouncy-ness" of the resulting fabric will not only block out nicely but will be almost "thermal" with the little halo of the alpaca fibers.
I have another hank of baby alpaca in fall-ish colors which I could use to do another one, and this is really a "traveling" project, much like the Before and After scarf. Once you've done the triangle part in the beginning, the wings are the mindless knitting part.
The other is seriously something I might re-name -- my favorite baby sweater. A friend is pregnant, and she loves orange. So this is on the needles as well. I have brown buttons with a cartoon-like giraffe figure on them. It'll work. This looks a bit bright, but it's a very lush autumnal orange. It's the "New Arrival Cardigan" and I'm thinking of re-naming it (even though it's not mine to re-name) "My Usual" because it's actually my go-to baby gift lately. I'm stashing them with unnamed yarn thanks to my friend Doris (not the Franklin Habit "Doris" but a real person who handed me over several large balls of acrylic - good acrylic, but acrylic nonetheless) and I'm just knitting them up as I go. I'm trying to do matching hats, but that depends on the yield I get from the yarns. I can use buttons from my button tin and they don't have to match or be "baby-themed." It's kind of a grown-up baby cardigan with the asymmetric front.
So I have a knitting gripe... I bought two yarn bowls from Darn Good Yarn, and I'm disappointed at them. The sweater yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash wool. And it's spilling over the yarn bowls. I measured them, and I didn't take into account the thickness of the base of the bowl.
So I have one for a Christmas present, and I have to decide what to do. I got them on sale. They're stunning. But they're small. Maybe the Arne & Carlos 50 gm skeins would fit more nicely, but this large cake isn't cutting it.
Anyway, I've got to get my stash under control (go ahead, laugh) and see what's what. Start knitting my way through stuff and getting my act together.
At the Fresh Thyme, I saw these two things and I was gobsmacked. S'mores kits. Seriously.
In full disclosure, I've never had a S'more. My kids think I've missed something essential - like water or consistent meals. But I never had one. And this apparently is a great way to experience that. Notice that they even have the firewood there. A complete family evening.
Maybe one day I'll experience them, but right now, I just thought that was a very odd thing. I've see the usual thing: Buy a box of graham crackers, a dozen Hershey bars and a bag of jumbo marshmallows. I'm not sure about this kit. I guess I think "It could have been sitting in a warehouse for months. I wonder how fresh the contents are?"
Food snob much?
And this was the other abomination. Look at the middle shelf there. And tell me how hard it really is to make "infused water" at home. I mean really - glass bottle, cucumber, water. Assemble. Chill. Done. It would be different if they were at least in a glass bottle, but they're in plastic. I just can't imagine the laziness.
I totally get convenience; but this is just one step too far. Just think of the increased number of plastic bottles that'll be tossed because of this "convenience." Boggles the mind...
Well, the studio is humming along; I wish I could devote even more time to it. These are two pictures that Kid #2 did for me. I wasn't sure where I was going to hang them, but the saying is on the far wall, and the Om is on the dark blue wall over the altar. It's really amazing how the blues in his stencils do so well with the blues on the wall. Blue is notorious for being difficult to match and coordinate. These really look good.
When I first saw the saying, I misread who said it. I thought it was Gandhi...but it's Malcolm Gladwell. The students are enjoying both pieces and while I was thinking of framing them, the consensus is: No.
We just had a great workshop, and another one is coming up in October. We've found that we really do need to have one workshop per month. Our market won't stand more, but we do need to do something special every month. So we'll work on 2017 and see what happens.
So the plan going forward is to do what I can to start building that up - it will mean even MORE busy-ness and even LESS time to actually have a life, but if I want to reach my goal, I need to create a situation where I have reliable income from the studio.
It's definitely a work in progress.
This Buddha was at the window, and now he's occupying my desk.
The two stones are from Lake Michigan. I love the vague heart-shaped spot in the rock on the right. I use them as paperweights when I need to. My desk is pretty much a disaster, and often I need to hold things down, since I have a fan running all day in the office.
When Buddha was in the window, the light shone through the blue and white and pearly stones; he looked as if he were floating.
It's a nice touch. For some odd reason, Buddha in a sugar bowl on glass rocks - it's soothing and makes me slow down and breathe. The Lake Michigan stones remind me of my friend's vacation place, the crashing waves, and the power of the lake. And the peace. Of water, of silence, and of the space - the horizon stretching almost to infinity as you gaze across the lake.