Thursday, November 29, 2007
the way-yay-ting is the hardest part...
What I'm waiting on this time around is to find out if my design for a lace scarf that I submitted today to a local yarn company will be accepted or rejected. I can't share more of the particulars than that, as I'm finding that the knit design world can be dog-eat-dog, it's just that I'm more hopeful and eager to be published than I ever imagined I would be a short time ago! I'm repeating to myself that it's no big deal if these folks aren't interested, because that means I can shop the design (which I think is really cool, if I do say so myself) around to other places, and I also have plenty more ideas percolating around in my brain. I'm just hoping that my designs sell sooner rather than later, because my cash-flow woes continue. I love buying Christmas gifts for my friends and family, but because I chose to do what I'm doing, that's not going to be possible this year. While it's true that my hand dyed yarns are selling quite well, as are my stitch markers (they are now available at A Grand Yarn in Spokane as well as Twisted in Portland, so there, boss lady!), I'm just impatient for my post-corporate earnings to grow. Being a starving artist sucks big time, trust me on that.
When Mental Illness Strikes, Go To Your Fastball
Hoo boy. Guess what? I had a real big meltdown this week! Feelings of rage and helplessness, extreme irritability, with my teen bearing the brunt of it and my reactions to stress triggers way out of proportion to the situation. Before things could get any worse, I got myself to a doctor, who reassured me I wasn't bipolar (because I don't sleep anymore-- I'm skeining undyed yarn to be dyed, or skeining dyed yarn, or knitting up swatches--anything but taking care of myself,) but that my depression, which I have been managing by downing a 75 mg. Effexor with my morning coffee, heading out the door and forgetting about it, has gotten considerably worse and my meds needed to be doubled. He also prescribed a mild tranq for the short term, which is SCHWEET. I slept great last night. Better living through chemistry. With that, I'll be OK until my system ramps up to the new dose, and then da future's so bright I gotta wear shades! Back on the street with Doc Feelgood. Yes yes yes.
Here are the latest from my dyepot, and I have another one still drying.
"The Body Electric" (which I think is kind of meh)
Hey, thanks for being in the trenches with me--my love to you all. I'm now being kicked off the computer by the 17-year-old evil despot I live with; in actuality, I'd rather relinquish it to her than listen to her godawful music, so it's really a trade-off.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Yarn: fabulous no matter where you find it
The second pic, although fuzzy, does show the little glints of the beads. Tomorrow I will send the shawl off for professional-quality photos, which along with the pattern will be submitted for publication. I'll keep youse all in the loop!
As cold as it was, you know me--I couldn't resist going on a yarn expedition. Here's the haul.
That's 8 hanks of Louet Riverstone in eggplant and 2 hanks of Mountain Colors 4/8 wool in Yellowstone. After much searching, I found the elusive Paradise Fiber & Yarn. Who would have thunk so much amazing yarn would be hiding behind a smut shack?
But yes, it was there and this is the only sign to be seen. As I was snapping the first pic, a "customer" (ick) pulled into the parking lot, and stared at me as if I were some sort of narc photographing license plate numbers for the web or something! When he saw me taking the second pic, he finally decided I wasn't trying to bust him and went in for some, er, reading material. I doubt he would have believed me had I tried to explain the concept of "knitblogging". Hey, I'm willing to take certain, calculated risks for my blog readers' enjoyment!
Monday, November 19, 2007
I have a blog?!
In order from top to bottom: "Ghost Rider", "Syrinx", "A Passage to Bangkok" and "Summertime Blues." The last one is back by popular demand.
And My Big News
It was first shawl design, the "Cagney & Lacey" wrap. It's a simple, six row repeat with glitzy (expensive) yarn on huge needles (to get the most out of the yarn's price tag). I had it as a free pattern on Ravelry. A designer in Texas told me she was inspired to make this shawl, and when she discovered it was my design, she told me I should be paid for it, and submitted it on my behalf to Dreamweaver Yarns who publishes her patterns. They accepted it, and will publish it under my name provided it is re-knit in a yarn they carry. So here it is again, in Tilli Tomas' Rockstar, a beaded silk. I plotzed from the yarn's gorgeousness, and then again from the price tag.
To land my plane, save you from any more of my babbling and put it succinctly: the pattern is no longer available for free, as I am on the verge of becoming a published designer.
Is that the end of my pink cloud story? No, I say, no! Because while I was in Knit Purl shopping for the Tilli Tomas, I showed my original shawl to the sales manager for Shibui Knits, and she offered me the chance to design for their Silk Cloud laceweight.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This is can't-put-it-down knitting. I've got to admit it--I work in a shop that's filled with high-end yarn I really have no business buying, even with the employee discount! However, this yarn was a birthday present. It's HandMaiden Camelspin, and I'm knitting up the Montego Bay scarf pattern from last spring's Interweave Knits. The stuff is like buttah.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Bagged and tagged
Cindy tagged me for a meme! Aw, shucks, I'm flattered, even though I am not that interesting. I'll play, though--because if it's true that if the shoe fits you must acquit, it's also the blogger's code that if you're tagged, then you're "it". Here goes.
38 things about me that you may or may not want to know.
1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? My daughter--when she's not being a drama queen, she can be damn funny!
2. What were you doing at 0800? Making miniature knitting bag ornaments.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Turning on a movie called "Running With Scissors," then remembering that I needed to tend to the blog.
4. What happened to you in 2006? I got a job I was targeting since before graduation in '03.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? "I'd like some ice cream."
6. How many beverages did you have today? 2 coffees and a few glasses of water.
7. What color is your hairbrush? Black with red doo-dads on the ends of the bristles.
8. What was the last thing you paid for? I stopped at Marie Callander's on the way home from work last night. That way, I could have the left-overs for lunch today!
9. Where were you last night? What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! OK, seriously, I was at work until about 7:30, then Marie Callander's, then I went home.
10. What color is your front door? Turquoise. Ew. I have wanted a red door for as long as I can remember, but that will involve painting the whole house.
11. Where do you keep your change? I used to keep it in a little jar above the sink, but now it's all in my wallet as Michelle kept taking it.
12. What’s the weather like today? (Tonight) it's in the 40's and calm. We are in for a wowser of a windstorm tomorrow, though.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Chocolate, no question.
14. What excites you? Baseball playoffs, especially the Red Sox! The possibilities of yarn. Travel. Getting together with friends I haven't seen in a long time. Having something to look forward to.
15. Do you want to cut your hair? Nope, I like it the length that it is.
16. Are you over the age of 25? Are we talking human or dog years? ;) You know, for dyslexics, 25 is my right age.
17. Do you talk a lot? No, I don't say much, but I take it all in.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? Nope.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? I have in the past, but don't think so right now.
20. Do you make up your own words? No, I'm not that creative!
21. Are you a jealous person? Is the Pope Catholic? Hi, I'm a Scorpio, nice to meetcha. Next question.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Amy.
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kristin.
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Michelle.
25. What does the last text message you received say? "Thanks for doing that." It's from Jason--I did some sort of parenty thing last week.
26. Do you chew on your straw? No.
27. Do you have curly hair? Nope. Poker straight.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Bed.
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? My brother. He sucks.
30. What was the last thing you ate? Chicken and rice
31. Will you get married in the future? Am currently married, but can't envision being married to someone else.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? The Queen.
33. Is there anyone you like right now? Yes, I like lots of people.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Today at work.
35. Are you currently depressed? No, Effexor is a magic drug.
36. Did you cry today? No.
37. Why did you answer and post this? To honor those who have gone before me.
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.* Kay, my knitting and crocheting friend extraordinaire; Knottykitty, who writes a good blog and leaves me nice comments whether I'm celebrating or whining; Sophanne, whose blog I always enjoy, especially her "Knit Night" posts; Kelly, who I'm tagging for the chance to get to know her better; and Mrs. H, who is a busy lady but nonetheless might do this meme!
*Edited Monday morning: I originally tagged Uberstrickenfrau, but then I saw that she just did a meme and decided to let her off the hook!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Christmas is coming! (look busy)
Since I never seem to throw away any yarn, I have a plastic bin full of oddments and endments, and I've been having a good time putting colors together. Also, I loved making the "needles"--just toothpicks, beads and Elmer's glue! Uh oh, I'm starting to sound like Martha Frickin' Stewart. I'm outta here before the SEC shows up, but I just wanted to run the idea by you guys and see if anybody thinks they might do well on Etsy. I'd sell them in sets of two or three.
It's been a great knitting workout this morning, but I'd best grab a shower and be off to work. Have a slammin' weekend!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Busy, busy, busy!
Without getting into the specifics of what transpired at Dublin Bay, let's just say that my hand dyed yarn and beaded accessories will not be available there. And that's fine--really! No one is obligated to buy my products. And by the same token, I am not obligated to do such things as I had previously been doing at the owner's behest--such as announcing new products at the shop using my Ravelry ID. I have my own business to promote and run! I'm also not under any obligation to disclose any details about Stitchjones to my employer, since we do not do business together.
But the happy news is, my gorgeous, hand-beaded stitch markers--both ring type and lobster clasp--are available at Twisted. Some of my hand dyed yarns are also available there. Twisted is a great place for sock yarn, and they are also incredibly supportive of local crafters and fiber artists, especially those like me, who are endeavoring to make a little money at it. So far, the response about my products has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am a happy busy girl!
Let me show you the newest of my hand dyes. I just put three up on Etsy.
In order from top to bottom, these are more Rush worship colorways: "The Trees," "Roll the Bones" (ever reminding me that sock yarn dyeing, like life, is a crapshoot,) and "Summertime Blues." The boys covered that teen-angst classic a couple of years ago. Michelle hates Rush, but she likes that cover, so it was she who suggested I do this colorway. Of course, she gets her cut when it sells.
And this one is custom dyed for the queen of all things dark and divine, Flutter.
There has also been knitting--honest! But I'll have to save that for next post. Now I'm going to calm down and eat some fruit or something. (thanks to M. Night Shyamalan for that great line from "Signs".)
Monday, November 05, 2007
Some days are like that.
Love knitting so much that you dream of working in a LYS? If you land a job in one, I hope it is truly everything you want it to be. Let me just say that there's a big, BEEG difference between being paid to sit and knit all day--(if you want to do that, be a test knitter)--and working in a LYS. Because as nice, friendly and charming as yarn shops are, (uh oh here comes the kvetching,) it is still retail, folks. Reee-tayylll. What you earn isn't enough to pay the bills, and sometimes--not all the time, but sometimes--you have to take crap. Sometimes from customers, sometimes from management. The crude expression I first heard at my first job as a teen still rings true: shit does, indeed, roll downhill.
Yeah, the honeymoon's over. Blinders came off today, so to speak, and I now have a much clearer picture of the establishment in which I work and how it is run. The reality is harsh when you finally see it for what it is: as an employee, you represent X amount of dollars. Expenditures: your wages. Those may be partially offset by the earning potential you bring to the establishment. Clearly, and contrary to what I believed when I started this job, what I have to offer is of no value to management. And even though it stung to find that out, I'm glad I know what's what. Very glad, in fact, that I learned the truth sooner rather than later.
Do I want to continue working there? Yes, for the time being. I can knit while at work, as long as the shop isn't busy and I am making something for the shop. I have a co-worker who is intelligent and pleasant, whose company I enjoy. The overwhelming majority of the shop's customers are nice people, and a lot of them bring their dogs, so that's a bonus. But it is just a job, after all. All I owe the proprietress is a full shift of required tasks correctly executed, nothing more. And I shall conduct myself accordingly from this day forward.
Since I'm no web wizardress, I used a sucky template from Yahoo Web Design--however, there is now a lot more to stitchjones.com than a single page. It'll take quite a lot more time and work to build the kind of website I want, but for now at least visitors can see who I am and what I do. My goal is to do something each day to develop and expand this fever dream I call a "business plan". I actually have a sales appointment tomorrow, so I really should get my beauty sleep. Nity nite all, thanks for staying up with me over warm milk. And I'll do my damndest not to grouse any more about where I work, because I'm well aware that the decision to cast myself into a sea of financial insecurity was mine. It's just that no matter how much we think we want something, the unforeseen has a way of knocking us on our round little asses. Such is the case with how my day went.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Dyer on fire
The first two were dyed with Wilton icing dyes, and the yarn I used was Kona Superwash. The hanks have extremely generous yardage--around 560. The yarn weight also seems thicker to me than what I consider to be fingering weight, or "sock yarn".
This one started out to be something quite different from what it turned out to be. While I haven't quite made up my mind if I like it or not, it only costs 20 cents to list an item on Etsy, so WTF. It's called "Between Sun and Moon".
With this one, I was back in my comfort zone, materials-wise. Jacquard acid dyes and British Naturals sock yarn. I was trying for the "Red Barchetta" colorway--it being my second attempt to create it--and when the hank was dry, my heart sank because all I could think of was Bozo the clown. But wait! It's got silver-grey in it. Oh crap, Bozo's a senior citizen! Yeah, it's way past my bedtime and I've begun to stop making sense, (which was a kickass Talking Heads show, BTW.) One more and that's it.
Again, something else that didn't turn out as I envisioned. But if I let that stress me, then what's the freakin' point? It's all experimentation, it actually has to be, because most of these dye shades are ones I'm using for the first time and I have no idea how they'll translate to the fiber. The blue is actually lilac, thus making this look like an Easter egg hunt gone awry. My mind is so fogged in that I don't even know what to call it. Suggestions welcome!
And with that, I bid you a fond goodnight...
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- Name: Sharon
- Location: Oregon, United States
I like making a piece of string into something I can wear. ~Author Unknown
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