Saturday, July 19, 2014

There's A List

At last, the deal breaker was revealed by the crazy landlords, and now the Man agrees to move.  I knew it would happen eventually.  I'm looking at September 1st at the earliest and October 1st at the latest.  Now to pack up the headquarters and find a place to go.  In the meantime, I've amassed a list of tasks to do before packing.  The last part of July and first part of August is going to be just nuts.  I'm still angry at how I got into this situation in the first place, and the expense and sheer work of a move.   Until the meltdown in February, I was perfectly happy here despite the state of disrepair and the lack of amenities.  I am determined that the next Lucky Penny HQ will have some.  What I really desire is just a place that I can feel safe.
Weather wise, this has shaped up to be a pretty good summer.  Moderate temperatures, including some sweater weather!  The mosquitoes are huge, through, and I'm pretty chewed up.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

It Was a Weekend

It seems like every year I have a dog, I grow to hate the Fourth of July holiday more.  I don't understand the fascination with at home pyrotechnics.  I had a little dog who was freaked out for days.  One seizure, and not eating very well.  I'm writing this post on my usual day off.  I'm on a self imposed deadline to write up a book proposal, but the noise in this residence is "off-putting" for doing anything creative.  Ear plugs are good.  Isn't this a cute photo of La Mad?  Photo credit to the Man.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fish Oil is Good

Fish oil.  It's been a running joke at the store.  About how we need it to boost our fading memories.  I downloaded this tunic pattern, Rosalinda, after seeing it at TNNA.  I'm knitting it in two strands of Shibui Linen in Suit, a lovely navy blue.  The color is deeper and more intense than the photo.  I'm reading the pattern, and the body increases didn't make sense to me.  I'm doing them in a different way. They will be coming from the center of the panels rather than at the sides.  It only made sense to me after examining photos of other people's garments on Ravelry.  The shame of it is that I teach people how to read and interpret patterns.  I also encourage people to correct mistakes and rip back if they need to.  Handmade not Homemade.   I am going to flagrantly disobey my own advice.  In my desperation for warm weather wardrobe, I am going to knit on.  The panels will look nice and fit into the stitch pattern, but will be different than the designer's vision.  If I make another, I'll do it right.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Summer is here in Chicago, and I am back to hating it.  I love wearing wool, and dreaming of and planning the making of wooly garments.  I'm back to sleeping on ice packs,  on the sofa under the ceiling fan.  Twelve weeks to go.  I understand why the murder rate goes up during a heat wave.  Clearly I'm not the only one irritated.  This photo is from a colder time, la Mad in a Shadow sweater from my book, Doggie Knits.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Notes from the Razor's Edge

It's taken nearly five years to shake off my professional credential.  It was one I worked hard for twenty five years ago.  Going back to school as an adult and taking on student loan debt, and trying to fit into a culture that didn't understand me.  I made a decent salary, that hit a ceiling during the last ten years I worked.  I ended up doing everything I said I wouldn't do during my internship.  I worked in some pretty horrible places.  I had a resume that would always get me an interview.  Then I got older, and my profession got more crowded.  I had decided that an advanced degree wasn't an expense I wanted, as it didn't garner more income, now it is a necessity.  The same job I had eighteen years ago now requires a Master's degree.  The job didn't change, just the requirements.  In 2010 I had two interviews total.  My profession also required continuing education credits.  Since my credential no longer was serving as a safety net, I didn't feel that putting time and expense into it was warranted.  So, today it expires.
I'm thankful that I can knit and sew.  It sustained me as a creative outlet during some rough patches, and now it really sustains me.  The safety net is much smaller.  Even though I feel most times that I'm on the razor's edge, I still wouldn't go back.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Season Spanning

True to my nature, I made the Modern Tunic again.  I used Schoppel Wolle Linen Los, 4 balls in the darkest color, and a partial ball of the natural color for the pocket linings.  Linen Los is fantastic--a three seasons yarn.  This is modified from the first one that I knit, with more decreases so it isn't as loose on the top.  I finished it in time to wear to TNNA, where I went all goofy for the designer, Lori Versaci.  I wore both tunics I made for her.  I am obsessing about the new designs that she's done for Shibui this fall.   I'm also stalking Julie Hoover's designer page on Ravelry, waiting for her new Shibui designs.  I am going to be knitting a lot in Pebble and Cima this season.
I like to think that I put some effort into dressing appropriately for a professional event in my industry.  I was a little surprised to see how some (or one) put no effort at all into dressing or grooming for any of her book signing appearances at the show.  When I did signings for my book, I bought new wardrobe, and had new hair and mani/pedi, etc.  This woman consistenly looked like she just rolled out of bed.  It was a source of amusement for me.
In my personal wardrobe knitting, I am working on another sweater in Linen Los.  I used the leftover white from this tunic, and purchased more to complete the sweater, which is knit from the bottom up.  There is a slight color difference in the whites which I hope won't be too noticeable in the garment, or I can rationalize it as a design feature.  I'm also working on an accessory pattern for the store to offer during this year's yarn crawl, using more Linen Los.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Go Deep

We got back last week from the big industry trade show.  Not as action packed as in years past, but inspiration was found just the same.  I am obsessed with some designers and some yarns, including the one I knit the Steppenwolf sweater in:  Shibui Knits Pebble.  Luscious.  I am lusting after a few new designs that use this yarn.  The garments that I like the most for me are simple in design, but have interesting construction details.  One of the things that I noticed is that the designers that I like the best have something in common with me.  Maturity.  I was a little tickled by that, I must admit.  So I have returned wanting to knit more.  I am also approaching round two of me and book editors.  We'll see how that pans out. A proposal is in the works.
I purchased another knitting machine.  A standard gauge.  I just now need to locate some transfer tools and latch hooks.  Any apartment that I move into will have to include an option for storage.  Rents have increased (according to the NY times, 30%), and the Lucky Penny studio/household may need to downsize, including getting rid of some furniture pieces.