Here’s what Nicholas and I were doing seven years ago today:
Like all couples on their wedding day, we had a lot of hopes and dreams and plans. Like all couples…not all of those dreams have come to be. We wanted to be living in California or Colorado, have a couple of kids by now, maybe a couple of alpacas on the back acre, blah blah blah.
Well, so far no kids, and no alpacas, and um…hellooooo Canada! However, so much good has happened: Career, friends, crafts, new adventures. But to be honest, a lot of unexpected and stressful things have also happened, and being the workaholics that we both are, we never quite got the hang of Taking A Vacation.
So now, in Year Eight, we’re going to learn something new: How to Take Time Off. Wednesday morning, bright and early, we’re taking the animals to the kennel, and then we’re off to Vermont and Massachusetts for a couple of days of rest before we see friends and hang out at the Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Festival next weekend.
It’s not a huge vacation. It’s not exactly Bermuda, or a cruise, or even a week at one of Canada’s famous lake cottages. But it’s Away, and it’s Time Off, so we’re going to have fun and just see what this whole vacation thing is all about.
Nicholas is all stressed about the travel arrangements. Predictably, I’m worried that the animals will be miserable during their stay in the fabulous kennel we’ve found for them. I think I’m really just worried that I’m going to miss them while I’m gone. (They’re going to have a party in the kennel, I just know it, and won’t miss us a bit.)
Other than that…
Statement #1: By jove, I think I have a touch of writer’s block.
Statement #2: Either that, or I need a vacation so badly I’m creating one for myself by Not Writing.
Statement #3: When all else fails, write about what you’re making, have made, or will make.
One for him…
I love knitting shawls. I love that they come in so many different shapes and sizes; I love that some of them are lace and some of them are not and some of them are everywhere in between. I love that I can knit them out of sock yarn as well as laceweight. I love that I can put beads on them…or not.
A couple of weeks back, I finished Pogona by Stephen West.
The reason Nicholas is wearing it is because Nicholas stole it from me. Well, OK: He didn’t steal the shawl from me, technically, he stole the yarn. I was rummaging through my stash, looking for pretty sock yarn FOR ME, and he reached out and grabbed the one I had just set aside for myself and said, OH PRETTY CAN YOU MAKE ME SOMETHING OUT OF THIS PLEASE?
Now, folks, I don’t know about you, but when the dude I love asks me to make him something, I become a helpless puddle with knitting needles sticking out.
This was mid-March, and I think the sight of all those bright spring colours was just more than he could resist. He asked for a neck “scarf/shawl/thingie,” so I pointed him towards Stephen West’s designs on Ravelry, because if anyone can make a shawl look hip and stylin’ and masculine, then Stephen’s our Man About Shawls.
It’s a great pattern. Easy, with enough mindlessness to soothe a weary mind, but enough interest to keep an unruly mind entranced long enough to bind off. Plus, it’s a great pattern for handpainted yarns. Win all the way.
One for me…
I’ve been pining after Rosemary Hill’s 7 Small Shawls for a long time now, and one of you nice people actually made a gift of the pattern booklet to me this winter. I’d been waiting for the right yarn to show up, and show up it did one late winter day: Sanguine Gryphon’s Bugga in Purple Sea Star Ochre.
The first shawl I fell in love with in this collection was Maia, so that’s the one I started with. I just happened to buy some awesome silver-lined amethyst beads while I was in Ohio at Stringtopia, so really…I had no reason NOT to cast on for Maia. (I am grateful that you are generously ignoring the six thousand other projects I have on the needles, on the looms, and on the spindles at the moment. Thank you for that.)
I love how clever Romi is. I love that she takes the traditional starting-at-the-neckband technique and turns it into the star of the show, with leaves and beads and a provisional cast-on, oh my. And then, as if we weren’t already dazzled by her mad skills as a designer, then she throws in textured panels (instead of the traditional Acres of Stockinette) and more leaves and MORE BEADS, and can I help it if I am smitten?
And another one for me…
Damson. I love this pattern so much I’ve cast-on for it twice (and I almost never make the same pattern twice). This yarn is Dream in Colour Sock Sparkly or whatever they are calling their sock-yarn-with-silver-in-it these days.
I admit that I’m not really knitting the exact same pattern twice. I modified things the second time around, inserting triangles of stockinette in amongst the garter stitch, because I love the way this particular yarn looks in stockinette.
But Wait! There’s More!
I’m weaving kitchen towels.
I’m making tiaras.
I was waiting for the graphics person to finish up my Etsy logo and banner so I could pop the tiaras in my new Etsy shop and let all you nice people fight over who gets to buy the May Queen tiara and who takes home the Lilac Crown and so on and so forth. But I got impatient, and used the in-progress logos, and opened the shop yesterday. I only had three tiaras ready to go…and two of them sold within the first couple of hours. The first one sold within the first five minutes. WOW!!
The May Queen Crown is still there, though.
And there will be more, once the new batch of bases arrive (I used up all the ones I had for Stringtopia and these first few; I had no idea they’d sell so fast!). And I think I’ll make some earrings, and a few other sorts of sparkly things. (Shop will be closed during our vacation, of course. But when we get back…more sparklies!)
Gals in the Basement
Yes, the gals in the basement are still hard at work. The figurative basement, I mean, although goddess knows I would love to have a crew of Actual Gals at work in my Actual Basement, cleaning things up down there.
The phrase “gals in the basement” is from Bag of Bones, where Stephen King’s main character, an author (write what you know!), gets a severe case of writer’s block after a major change in his life is forced upon him. He talks about the feeling you get when you know Big Things are going on in the back of your mind, as though a moving van full of big burly guys (or in my case, big burly women) just pulled up to your house, ready to unload all sorts of Big Wrapped Items to your basement. You know they are delivering furniture, King says, the perfect furniture in fact; but you’re not allowed to see what they are bringing, nor how they are arranging it, until they’re all done and gone.
This describes how I feel rather precisely. I know I’m at a crossroads in my life; I know that things are shifting around in the back of my head. However, I don’t know what kinds of things will be a-changin’, because at this point, Life’s in charge of this remodel job, not me. This leads to me feeling a bit restless, a bit preoccupied, a bit grumpy, even…because I do so hate not being in control. It’s all so unsettling, and anxiety-making, this being-in-transition, while the internal makeover folks are at work.
Gotta trust the remodelling crew. This is their job, after all, remodelling. Right?
Meanwhile, we’re going on a V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. (I’m taking the computer, so you might get sheep photos this week!)
Does your kitty yearn to be a documentary filmmaker? Now she can fulfill her dreams with Kitty’s very own docu-camera.
While we’re on the subject of Making: Please make rubbish. Great, must-read blog entry on creating and creativity.
Thought-provoking story: Parents keep child’s gender a secret.
Doctor Who Fans: Has anyone else noticed that Rory dies a lot?
Someone you know is going to be in a book. This book. Someone…say…who makes tiaras and knits and writes a crazy blog with lots of pictures of her cats.