29th day, twelfth month


It’s hard to know what to title a post when I don’t really know what the post is going to be about yet. I find that the best posts, or the best bits of posts, are those which are unplanned. If I just let myself write, I find that my fingers have things to say! If I give myself a topic a day or so beforehand, then I over-think things, and my writing feels stilted somehow.

Let’s see what my fingers come up with today…

One thing I’ve learned from writing these posts

Jack Frost blogs on our window

I’m really glad so many folks are getting so much out of these posts. Writing every day has been an interesting exercise, and I’ve learned some things. Here’s one:

Having One Thing that I have to do daily (like write a post) gives my day some much-needed structure, and helps me to be more productive overall.

I’m not a disorganized person. No one who has worked as the managing editor of a major craft magazine (or several of them at once; I managed Knits, Knitscene, Crochet, and a couple of the special issues all at the same time) can afford to be disorganized!

Coffee in my sheep mug totally helps, of course

Back then, I had a G I A N T spreadsheet calendar of all the important deadlines and press dates; I had to print it out in pieces and tape it together. It hung on the closet doors in my Interweave office where I could see it from my desk. It was colour-coded. There were Post-Its. I had coloured markers and matching coloured folders for the different magazines. I’ve never worked so hard in all my life. (Everyone bow in the general direction of the current Knits’ managing editor, Laura Rintala, who is so organized she makes me look like a chaos demon. She is AWE-INSPIRING.)

But left to my own devices…dude. Ravelry. Twitter. Reading knitting books and blogs. Toodling about with stitch dictionaries and designs. Actually MAKING things would be shoved into the couple of evening hours I spend with Nicholas and the TV after dinner.

Now I have a rhythm going: Breakfast, strength training, coffee, Ravelry/Twitter. Then chores, then crafting time or other freelance work (like editing) if needed. Blog writing in the afternoon/early evening, followed by dinner and Nicholas time and knitting.

Structure is good. Also: I’m getting sooo much more done. All that from a wee daily blog post? Good stuff.

Thus, I’m a bit interested to see how things go if I cut back to blogging three times a week. I have other work things I need to put in the blogging spot, that’s one reason I’m cutting back. But the blogging was consistent, and that really helped. I just don’t want to burn out, as so many of you mentioned…We’ll see how it goes.

Studio progress: Books

I spent a chunk of today going through my craft books. When I’m researching something, like the qiviut spinning project or the WiseSweater, I tend to want my books in piles All. Over. The. Entire. House. When I come to the end of a big project, however, I’m bad at putting the books back so I can find them again. Today, I started gathering all the books from all their various hidey-holes and putting them on shelves. In alphabetical-by-author order. According to subject.

Not even half the craft books.

Top shelf still needs work; that’s spinning, dyeing, and stitch dictionaries. I probably have another shelf-full for those categories, so I’ll have to move things around a bit.

Second and third shelves are knitting books. I probably have at least two more shelves’ worth to go. More moving about.

Bottom shelf is Interweave Knits, just IK, from the very first edition to current. I have magazine holders, but it’s easier to get them in chronological order first. (And if it looks like there are a lot of them: There are. I have two complete sets. Obsessive much.)

I haven’t even unpacked the weaving books yet, nor the beading books. The crochet books are on the other side of the room.

I also have quilting books, sewing books, books on Native American stuff; spirituality books; women’s fiction; and a huge collection of science fiction, horror, and fantasy books. And an equally huge collection of thriller/mystery/suspense books.

I like books.

Crafty progress

Weaving: I’m stuck. After Barbara’s great feedback and the great video she posted, plus some photos I studied of inkle bands, I know the band I’ve done so far is too loosely woven.

It’s supposed to be warp-faced; meaning that the vertical threads, the ones with all the colours, are supposed to be dominant, and the little cross-threads, the weft, aren’t supposed to show at all.

Do I just stop the band I am doing now, do a short sample to practice until I get it right, and then do another band? Trouble is, this warp was meant to be two straps; at this point, there will only be length left to do one properly. I could unweave the entire thing (groan); I suppose I could do another warp if I have enough yarn. Hm. Opinions?

Knitting: I’ve gotten quite a bit done on the lining for the first mitten.

It’s slow going; 64 sts each round and fingering-weight yarn. The first good news is that I have the body of the second one done. The other good news is that the lining is just positively sinful. (The lining yarn is Bollicina by Baruffa, 65% cashmere, 35% silk. It’s from my stash so I have no idea if you can still get it or not.)

Today’s Random Good

Since so many of you said you were LEGO fans, I thought you would like to know that the little Molly Weasley LEGO figure (included with some of the Harry Potter sets) has a pocket-full of knitting (click to embiggen):

I like it when big corporations get crafty things right. (Photo from Brickipedia, the wiki of all things LEGO.)

And because there’s no cat photo in this post, Dusty insists on the following:

Because kitty photos are ALWAYS good.

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Almost 2-yr-old kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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12 Responses to 29th day, twelfth month

  1. I know you have other things to do, but I will miss your daily musings. I am glad you are finding a way to put order in your life. I should do the same.

  2. georg says:

    That’s lovely even weave on your inkle, which is not something everyone can do. But if you want it to look like something done on the inkle, it needs to be pulled in tighter and beaten tighter. Think stressful thoughts at it. 😉

  3. stitchesandwords says:

    On weaving: I like the look of that band, even if it’s not turning out to be what you intended. Like little bricks. If you have more warp, could this be useful elsewhere, as it is?

    On mittens: Mmmm, tasty tasty cashmere. Fortunate Nicholas. I’ve never knitted with cashmere yet, I’ve got some fiber going on a support spindle. That will be a nice spinning project to get back to, when its turn comes.

    On studio progress: Yay! Organizing!

    On structure: I have been thinking for myself that a little structure/discipline would help, on the order of pegging something down that I want to do every day. I don’t know how to go about it, because I let myself off the hook too easily, after a few days I get distracted and just stop. I don’t know what to do about that yet, I wish I did.

    On blogging: Congratulations on a month-plus, and toes crossed you can adjust your routine to fit in all of the work that needs to happen. I envy your success!

  4. Joanne says:

    Good luck as you find the structure that works when you aren’t blogging daily. Structure is so not my strong point. FYI Baruffa Bollicina is still available, at least one of my lys had it on the shelf when I was there last week. Very luscious yarn to knit.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Organizing and cleaning makes me feel better, and more productive. Having an outside obligation helps considerably, too. I’ve been freelancing online for almost 12 years. It took a few to get it straight on how to hit deadlines well, and to protect my private self. I still get it wrong when a big contract comes along, but mostly I get it right now.

    Here’s to starting the New Year with some organized crafting resources!

  6. Abbie says:

    I have to admit, I have not been very good about commenting (I blame holiday brain, which is finally starting to retreat and let me think about things other than baking and wrapping paper) but now that the month is almost over I felt like I should say howdy, and I have, in fact, been reading every post (albeit not always on the day they’re posted) and I’ve been enjoying them immensely. I’m contemplating challenging myself similarly — maybe for February, when there’s not much happening and I need a push out of the doldrums.

    In any case, thank you for alerting me to the existence of Molly Weasley with knitting. There’s a Lego store in Rockefeller Center so the next time I am in the City I will have to pop over and see if I can acquire one for myself.

  7. Lynn says:

    Random comments: Maybe blogging short posts (no more than 30 minutes!) Monday through Friday, but not on the weekends? Inkle band – put a stick or pencil in a shed and start beating hard against it. Yes, that means it’s “only” a practice/learning band, but that’s okay: you’re learning. Books and magazines: yup, I got ’em, can’t live without them.

  8. Pat says:

    I have really enjoyed your posts. The Lego lady is a bit scary (even though she knits, or at least carries knitting) but the cat is a nice balance.

  9. Sharon says:

    I’m not a weaver, but I like how your band looks. However, I did sort of understand what you didn’t do to get one that looks exactly perfect, and understand why you want to get it right. Pity unweaving isn’t as easy as frogging!

    You are providing loads of inspiration to get my work room sorted out! I have lots of books too and they end up all over the house. I wish I had room to keep all my knitting and crochet books and magazines in my workroom. I have IKEA shelves and need more of them, but my workroom is tiny. All my gardening books are in the living room with hubby’s cookbooks and his craft books. My science fiction, mystery, and women’s fiction are in bookcases in the basement, where I have my computer desk and am surrounded by the bulk of my stash; my two kayaks are hanging from the beams above my desk. It’s cozy! 😉

    By the way, I loved your IKEA posts! It’s our first stop furniture store whenever we need new shelves, curtains, bedspreads, etc. Hubby has trouble with the instructions for assembly, but I find them as clear as day. Try putting together any sort of metal garden structure that was manufactured in China, if you want to be tearing your hair out and rolling on the floor laughing! Sometimes the translations are just too funny! And most of the time, they don’t tell you anything relevant. You have to read diagrams, not text!

    I’ve been enjoying your posts, but do understand that you can’t keep up the every day pace. I’ll be happy with whatever you decide is right for you. And keep the cat photos coming!!

  10. donna lee says:

    I have done some of the ‘blog every day for a month’ challenges and I learned that it made me more observant. I had to be to find things to blog about. I spent more time looking at my world and finding the intersting things in it. There’s so much that I just walk by each day and don’t see. Now I carry a small camera with me and keep my eyes open.

  11. Nonnie Balcer says:

    Sandi,

    Happy New Year! And can’t resist commenting on the inkle band, which is beautiful as it is–wouldn’t be long-wearing enough for a strap, but would be perfect as a decorative object…do you need a bell pull to summon the servants? (I know I do, but I would be the only one to answer the bell…!) And you will get the hang of inkle weaving without a problem, but I wish someone could explain card weaving to me…imagine a woman tangled up in bits of cardboard and yarn: that was my experience of that particular experiment…NOTHING produced but a tangled mess…

  12. Wendy says:

    I know what you mean about structure – I’m not a naturally organized person, and when I don’t have some kind of imposed structure I tend to dawdle.

    My vote on the inkle band is to wind a second warp – then if you’ve found you have enough yarn, go ahead and use this pretty for something else. (I’ll bet your kitties would LOVE a bell pull 🙂

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