I have been busy as of late, which seems to be my norm. But I have the age-old adage “Being busy means work. And work means money.” That motto has been (and still is) effective in my life. Why spend money needlessly when you could be making more during your free time? In my instance, my busyness alludes to taking care of my daughter and work. This first post of 2014 would not be complete without some goals to reach. For work-related items, besides the work I do for Westminster Fibers, I have some fairly large “behind the scenes” projects. One of them requires fourteen (yes, you read correctly — 14) handknitted pairs of socks. The other projects are secret, but I hope to release their information soon. The closest I come to combining work and pleasure knitting is when I have the opportunity to knit up Kate Lemmers‘ innovative designs, and use the various patterns and/or yarns from WFI. Pretty much anything and everything designed by Tanja Steinbach, Renate Foos, Sarah Hatton, Lisa Richardson, Martin Storey, Jem Weston, and Marie Wallin jump to my MUST.MAKE.NOW attention.
Since their release in North America, I have been smitten by Ann Kingstone‘s “William” pullover and am plotting to knit it for myself and SlytherBun. Both Georgina Park and Rachel Coopey have wonderful sock patterns that use Rowan Yarns’ Fine Art. I happen to have a Fine Art skein of the colorway Tawny, and am torn between using it for one of their patterns, or selecting one of my favorite handdyers (in alphabetical order) like Enchanted Knoll Farm, Holiday Yarns, KOIGU, Lisa Souza, Lorna’s Laces, Mad Color Fiber Arts, Miss Babs, Moose Manor Hand Paints, Spunky Eclectic… Shoot, I have a lot of people whose works of art I collect!
Though I do my best to find time to knit or crochet for pleasure, pretty much everything that I make has had a targeted purpose. For my first example, currently I am down to the final 10 “Thank you” washcloths of SlytherBun’s long distance and/or yarn-crafted shower gifts. Knitting up these tokens of thanks has been a journey of sorts, and for 2014 I am applying “Duty” and “Achieve” from “My 3 Words” as encouragement. If you could imagine the little engine that could climb up the mountain, that is exactly how I feel whenever I work on these washcloths. As of this time I have over 20 made, and I “savor” the potential excitement of what these friends will have upon opening their packages.
Besides the washcloths, I have been working on chemo caps for friends who have been undergoing cancer treatment, and other pals who celebrated personal events. I met most of these handknit-worthy friends while living in Rhode Island. Seeing how they muscle through their struggles of daily life constantly humbles and inspires me. They remind me not to covet shiny and new temporary things, but to appreciate the worth in my family, our time and resources, what we have as values, and working smartly to save pennies for our future. So I have been savoring making handknitted items for recipients who understand how much the materials and my time actually cost. We are grateful that these folks keep in touch and have not disappeared from the radar.
Often at times, reaching out to keep communication lines alive is wanted and needed, even when others think you “need space” in life. I have an enormous shout out to both Jennifer of Holiday Yarns and Leslie Wind. Jennifer had given me a skein of Cafe Au Lait, and Christine Manhart (who is an amazing geologist turned massage therapist) won it! Leslie Wind had gifted me one of her beautiful dual-metal tapestry needles that she made after she learned I had recently lost the one she had given me in 2009. I absolutely LOVE both of these ladies. If you ever meet them in person, I think you would feel the same way too. <3 My apologies for this long post, but I have been bursting to leak some of what work has occupied me. On another note, a personal project which has also been engrossing me will come to fruition next week when Rowan kicks off its Spring/Summer 2014 season. It involves throwing a party for select friends to "taste" something delicious on their needles... Meanwhile, be on the lookout for random giveaways that I blurt out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You might just win a nice present for answering a trivia question. Not into trivia? How about listing your 2014 goals by January 3oth for my February 1st post? I will be letting the lucky winner choose between a package of Martin Storey or Bruce Weinstein goodies! =:8