Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Poncho and a mini-reflection

I finished my version of A Very Harlot Poncho (.pdf) using 3.5 skeins of Malabrigo Kettle Dyed Worsted in "Oceanos". Like a dope I cast on with size 9 needles--"I don't need to make no steenking gauge swatch", y'know--then about 6" down switched to size 10's. So the opening is a bit snug, but not strangling; even without a scarf or high neck top the soft wool feels comfy. I haven't even blocked it yet and I wore it out shopping last night.
Since I'm not a fringe gal, and I didn't want to mess with making fringe out of single ply yarn anyway, I finished the bottom edge with 4 garter stitch ridges (8 rows). The length from neck edge to bottom point is about 29".
This year I've done fewer Christmas preparations than ever. I haven't gotten holiday cards out, at least the ones I need to enclose notes with. Still need to get a gift for my mom. The tree is up and some decorations are out, thanks to Jason and Michelle, but I haven't made any cookies and Christmas Eve is frickin' tomorrow night!
Relax, there's still time...as the emails I get from various retailers say. All the ingredients for my cookies and Christmas dinner have been bought. Dye work can wait until next week. I just wanted to get in a post to wish everyone who reads this blog (thank you! thank you!) a wonderful Christmas with people you love, and activities that bring you joy and peace.
And now for my mini-reflection.
This has been a very difficult year for us. I'm not going to re-hash the family deaths and money problems, but they bear at least a small mention because the emotional cost has been considerable. There were some joys as well though, which helps balance things out. Our DNA jackpot of a daughter graduated from high school and is an outstanding college student, and we celebrated being married 20 years. These are big things, great things. I'm blessed and I'm thankful.
At my worst moments during the past year, I confess to having felt pangs of regret for my decision to leave my job in September of 2007 to go to work in a yarn shop and start Stitchjones. However, a former co-worker had commissioned me to knit some fingerless mitts for her niece, so yesterday I went back to the company and visited with some of the folks who are still there. I found out that I had been replaced; however, my replacement was laid off less than a year later. So in essence, it turned out to be as I figured it might: the economic downturn would have caused my head to roll had I stayed with the company. And of course I have no regrets about leaving the yarn shop after only a few months. All drama aside, for me yarn shop employment was a trap, because I spent so much of my pay there! It's dangerous enough for me to have yarn shops as wholesale customers, because I can never leave without buying something.
What being the owner-operator of a small fiber art business has done for me, in terms of personal reputation and feelings of self-worth, business and personal contacts, and friendships--is tremendous. I've met amazing people I never would have met had I stayed where I was. I've done business with people all over the world via the Internet. I've discovered that I have things of value to offer and talents I didn't know were there but were waiting to bloom. What I'm trying to say is that I don't regret the path I chose and now walk. It's been an adventure and a privilege, and it still is. I'm looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring. May it bring us all renewed prosperity, peace on earth, and dear God- Health care!!

Merry, merry Christmas to you! You are living your dream job. Good for you.
I didn't know that was a new poncho. I am sorry I didn't tell you how much I was admiring it! I love the color!

I think you have done tremendous this year with your business. I love your yarns and while I cannot always buy as much as I would like to, you make very nice yarn that knits up so lovely! I feel so lucky to know you and call you my friend:)!!
Merry Christmas to your family! Lots of my family are now wearing your yarns and its totally cool to get to say - I know the designer. ;-) Hopefully more of my family will be wearing more of your yarns in the future. Like Rachel can't always afford to buy as much as I would like.
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