Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's time to party... and by party, I mean knit! Or crochet!

I've set this blog aside for almost three years.  A lot has happened, but we will get in to that later.  For today, I want to invite my fiber friends to join a fun event.

I love independent workers, people who are entrepreneurs.  Not surprising because I have been surrounded by them all my life.  My father, my husband, my son, cousins and friends.  It seems like many people in my life are working on their own, full or part time.  We've never been without jobs because we would create our own.

But this is an opportunity to enjoy those who design.  So fire up your needles and hooks, organize your independently dyed yarns and get ready for the Independent Designers Gift Along

So what is this thing I speak of?  Well, are you on Ravelry?  If not, and if you are or want to work with fibers, you should be.  It's free (best price ever!) and a great way to expand your skills, learn new skills, meet people who have similar experiences and enjoy knowing you are not the only one who has 10 totes of yarn and more needles than your family would ever know about. 

Anyways, once you are in Ravelry, search for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long and join the group.  Don't be overwhelmed by the enormous amount of posts per day.  Don't try to catch up, just read the last few pages and jump in.  Luckily Ravelry will let you know when someone replies to your posts.  And you WILL get replies. People who understand why you needed 6 skeins of yummy fingering weight despite your 150 skeins at home.  People who will share recipes, ask for photos of your dogs, want to see what you are working on, people who will give you validation as only another fiber artist can do.  It's glorious!

But what is more glorious is that on November  21 at 8 PM EST, the REAL fun starts.  Many independent designers who want nothing more than the opportunity to allow you to enjoy a great pattern written by an individual with a unique vision will offer some of their patterns at a discount.  A Discount, people!!  Hundreds of patterns available to you at a low cost.  The patterns I have acquired in my three years on this group is mind boggling.  There are designers I follow and I feel I know who they are.  I've seen their designs, talked about their families, compared other designers we like, talked about dyers we liked.  Because these designers don't just offer their wares and disappear.  Oh, no.  They are part of the group!

 2 Days Til GAL.png

Another reason to be part of the group is the games, the prizes, the friendships.  Wait, did I say PRIZES!! Yes, yes I did.  There are games and competitions.  There are opportunities to win goodies.  You not only get the opportunity to buy great patterns at a discount, knit or crochet a WONDERFUL gift for a friend, family member, or yourself AND win prizes.

So how do you win said prizes?  Once you join the IDGAL (the acronym), buy your pattern, and get started, stay with the group.  Start your project.  Join the group that best describes your item.  Enjoy hearing what others are doing and perhaps you will find someone who is making the same pattern.  It's always more fun to  have someone join you.  

Will I see you there?  I hope so. I'll be there with my needles at the ready!   I'll be discussing this GAL as it gets started.  It will be fun!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A new start

Well, last year was a total bust as far as writing goes.  I was way to involved in the real world to be part of the digital world.  Here are some of the highlights of 2014:

  • Last spring I took two classes instead of one.  One of the classes was Ornithology.  It was a great time and we went on 6 field trips. The other was Pilgrimages.  I added 3 places I'd like to visit to my bucket list.
  • Kelly had a baby boy!  Valerian joined our family in the spring.  He is a little sweetie.
  • Ethan and Baylor graduated from college.  I can't believe both my boys graduated the same week.  It was a very exciting week.
  • I went to South Carolina for a week of enjoying time with my sister, Laura.  My niece graduated high school so we (Lou and I) went to South Carolina for the party and  spent the rest of the week on the beach. 
  • Our 4H club got third place with our booth.  In my tenure as an advisor, we've never placed!  This year, we placed 3rd.
  • I got a lot of knitting done this year - knitting up about 15 completed projects.
Now looking forward to the goals for 2015.  I am a part of two challenges to (hopefully) get my numbers down.  One is a Stashdown project.  What is Stashdown?  It is buying less yarn than you use during the year.  Hopefully, but the end of the year, I'll have a negative change in my stash numbers.  I am starting out pretty well - using up (and staging some) several projects from stash.

The other is a WIP reduction challenge.  A WIP is a Work In Progress.  I am down to 10.  I cleaned up my stash and frogged 12 projects I will probably never finish.  I can repurpose the yarn to some other project that interests me. I haven't started any yet, but plan on choosing one on February 1.

I am also hoping to do some other crafting this year.  I hope its a good one.  I'll be posting photos of the items I complete.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A week goes by...

and life continues.  I have a lot going on at work.  Way too much. There is so much that needs caught up that I am not sure if it will happen.  I haven't done a lot of demographics in about 5 weeks and just because we are closed, doesn't mean people don't move, give birth, get married, etc.

Ethan will be leaving for school this weekend.  It was a nightmare, as he needed to have several THOUSAND dollars to go back because his Fall semester bill wasn't paid.  It would have been so much easier if we (Ethan and I) knew about it before Monday, but Steve didn't say anything until Monday. Oh, well, we have a small fix that will buy us some time.

So on to goals for the year.  None are really accomplished yet, but I have plans.  I was going to do a down and dirty cleaning in the living room last weekend, but got sucked into a project for Steve.  He has a 15 passenger van and wanted to build a bench to go between the front two seats.  He built it, but wanted a cushioned cover over it.  I was in charge of that part- and it HAD to be completed last weekend.  I spent most of Saturday designing one out of old blue jeans.  It came out pretty good, but it wasn't my plan for the day. 

What I have accomplished is some knitting.  I got one slipper done, one to go.  It will be glorious when it is felted.  I am working on the second one now.  I am also working on the Age of Brass and Steam shawl in Lion Brand Amazing.  It is a great set of colors- bright blues, oranges, fuschias.  It's so much fun to knit that I don't mind the miles of stockinette stitch. 

I am still reading The Book Thief and it is very good.  I almost have a hard time putting it down, it's so good.  I highly recommend it. 

Classes start on Monday and I am happy/scared/ excited all at the same time.  As I said, Ethan goes back to school over the weekend.  Baylor heads out for Tucson next week.  It will be me and the dogs again.  I'll miss my boys, but they are on the downhill slide of finishing school.  I hope it all goes well.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New starts and snowy days

So, here we are at a new year.  I love new starts - the opportunity to think about what you would change in your life.  If you could change anything about yourself, what would you choose?  To lose weight?  Organize? Purge? Quit procrastinating?  All of the above?  That is what I want to do.  I also want to be more grateful for all the things in my life.  One of my goals is to be grateful and try to seek out the good in life.

I am a naturally upbeat person.  Many think it's because I am uninformed, maybe even a bit daft.  Its just the way I am wired.  I could look at life and see things that are negative, but I chose not to - to look at the way things could be and the bright side of the event.  Oh, sure, I have times that I get down, overloaded, all too sad, but I don't stay there long.

Here are my two grateful things so far:

January 1
I am grateful for my friends that I can go and play with for an evening.  They got me out of the house yesterday before a snow storm and allowed me to enjoy some time without my family.  I love my family dearly, but just needed a break.

January 2
I am grateful for snow.  I love snow, even when it causes travel issues.  There is something very exciting about snowy weather.  The chance for a snow day always hides in the back of my mind.  I don't get them very often any more, but I still can dream.  Even when you are at work, there is a change in the air on a snowy day.  You feel like you live in a snow globe.

Knitting goal:
As always, I have goals for knitting.  This month I am finishing my Christmas gifts, hopefully before the 7th.  I am also working on the Age of Steam and Brass shawl.  It's an easy shawl so I am doing it in bright colors. I need to finish a WIP, but that remains to be seen.

Household goal:
I need to finish cleaning the living room this weekend.  Maybe even get the tree and some other decorations taken down.  I think I'll get another tote or two to be sure I have good ones for the Christmas stuff.  Maybe do some moving around - move yarn out of clear totes into colored ones, move Christmas stuff into clear totes.  I don't have much up that needs taken down, but do have a few things that need completed.

I would say that takes care of at least three areas of my life for my resolutions.  I need to look for text  books and see if renting would be cheaper than buying.  It would have to be significant to make it worth my time, but for now, I believe it's time for some ice cream.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Baby knitting

I don't know why, but lately I have been obsessed with baby knitting.  Maybe it's the idea that baby stuff is little.  You can knit a pair of booties in an evening.  Really.  OK, some of you may be saying 'yeah, right, I can't do that', but I can and I am sure you could do it in maybe two evenings.  To knit a pair of socks takes me significantly longer.  The only problem I have is that there are no babies to knit for currently.  My kids are in their early 20's.  It will probably be a few years before they even start considering having families of their own.  The only child I have that has kids won't talk to me, so I don't even know HOW to get knitted goodies to his children.

So, what should I do to solve my dilemma?  Well, I mentioned something about this dilemma tonight at Sit and Knit.  These people are GENIUS, I tell you!  I guess that is why I love them so much. Terri said I should go ahead and knit a few items.  Just tuck them away somewhere for future use.  She said once my kids start having kids of their own, it will all be at once.  This way, I can get a jump start on it and still solve that bit of an itch I have.

I know, why would I knit for a baby that I don't know the gender of yet?  Well, I used to make things for my kids before they were born and I didn't know their gender.  Added bonus - I love brights for babies.  There really is no 'gender' to brights and gem-tones - I am talking about lovely ruby reds, beautiful sapphire blues, rich emerald greens, the sunshine southwest feel of turquoise, all of it.  I love these colors. I am so excited, I cannot decide what to knit first. I believe it will be one of my goals for the year.  I'll try to knit one item (or two) a year so I can scratch my baby itch and get a few things made up for my future grandchildren.

What a great idea!  Thanks Terri!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day

We celebrated Labor Day in the way only we would do- with lots of labor.  Ethan and Baylor are both back at school, Ethan on Sunday and Baylor on Monday.  Steve was working all day and so was I.

Ethan had school on Monday, so he had to go back on Sunday to finish any homework.  Walkie, though, spent the night with Steve and I.  It was a lot of fun.  He's such a big goofy dog, but wouldn't let anyone hurt any of us.  He is just a big sweetie that loves spending time here on our farm.  He runs up to the barn, rides around with Steve and TJ, and overall just has a great time.  We are glad that Erika doesn't mind us keeping him occasionally.  He will probably come over at least once a week until Ethan gets bogged down in all of his school work.  Even then, he might be over.

Baylor left yesterday to go back to his internship.  There were some changes to the internship - not sure how it all works, but he's only getting 32 hours in per week.  He's trying to get another job to supplement his income.  Also, he may spend the spring semester in Tucson!  How exciting is that?  I need to try to get in touch with my cousin who lives out there.  It would be nice for him to get to know some more family members. 

Steve is working in the field.  Hopefully, we will get another cutting of hay before the season ends.  None of the row crops are ready for harvest yet, but they will be soon.  The beans are turning yellow and in some places will be ready in two or three weeks.  The corn ears are starting to drop and the stalks are browning nicely.  This week, the temps are in the 70's and low 80's dropping down to the 50's at night.  It is beautiful.

I took an extra day off work to get some things done.  Linda and I went together and bought the rights to a 10 yd roll off dumpster.  We have it for 10 days and I don't know how much more we'll be able to get into it.  I am hoping it sifts down a bit before next weekend because I have a lot of stuff I still want to put in it.  So far, though, I got to clean out my garage and got rid of a lot of stuff - old fold up chairs, lots of paper, plastics that are not recyclable, lots of stuff went out the door.  My goal is to actually park my car in the garage this winter.  I did a lot of purging and sorting so far.  I have another day of purging and sorting to go and then I'll put it all away!  I am going vertical to get a lot of this stuff up off the ground.  There is so much that needs to be organized, but now it's not as bad as it was.  I am so close to parking in the garage.  YEAH!!!! 

Some people consider January 1 as the time to set goals and start working towards something.  For me, the first of September always feels more like the time to do this reflection and goal setting.   I am already well on my way to actually completing one of my goals.  To keep the momentum going, I am writing down all  that I've completed.  It will keep me motivated.  Just a note in my planner of what was done when. I am hoping to get caught up on many things I've let go (knitting, cleaning, etc.).  I am really happy with all that I've accomplished and would like to do the same thing with the basement, but that will wait until after the holidays. 

Here is to goals.  I like that term so much better than resolutions.  Resolutions are made to be broken, goals are attainable.  What will yours be?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bad, bad blogger

Wow, I am a terrible blogger.  One of my goals for 2013 was to try to write at least twice a week.  I haven't written a word in 5 months! 

So here we are, at the end of August.  I glorious time it was, too.  Ethan was home all summer and was busy as can be.  He and his dad built a greenhouse and he sold vegetables at the farmer's markets all summer.  It was an interesting endeavor.  We still have tons of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers.  I need to figure out what to do with all of it.  I don't know if Ethan is going to come home from school and go to a few more markets or not. 

He didn't do it all on his own, though.  He had a lot of help.  Steve was really excited about the whole thing.  They traveled to Indiana, Michigan and other places to look at other greenhouses.  They've talked to other people, emailed, and facebooked.  Several of the local farm market owners helped Ethan with advice, ideas, etc. 

He went to State of the Plate in Champaign County.  He was very excited about that evening as he was introduced as the youngest producer at the market.  At the end of the season, he was asked to be on the board at the Mechanicsburg market.  I would say that is quite a compliment.

Baylor wasn't home all summer, but get home at the end of the fair.  He got to spend some time out there with his friends, which was great.  In his few short weeks home, he got to visit with his buddies, spent a lot of time with his girlfriend and I think he had a really great time. 

I haven't seen much of Kelly, since she works 10 PM - 7 AM.  By the time she is getting ready for work, I am winding down for the night.  Oh, well.

I've been busy working, knitting and having fun.  It was a wonderful summer. I'll try to be a better blogger and post more now that school has started again.