Monday, August 22, 2016

Today

Today is a work day.  For at least two jobs.  Right now I'm girding my loins for the day with some iced coffee and breakfast.  In a few hours I will be helping to set up an estate sale, then will put in a few hours of driving.  But I won't forget that today is the day that Piccolo left me, four years ago.  Her loss is something I feel every day.   When I returned to the apartment, she would come out on the landing to make sure I got in (happily, Madeline does the same).  Piccolo would curl up on the bath mat outside the tub while I showered.  My purpose in life was to love and care for her.  She did the same for me.  In retrospect, it was lucky for me that I witnessed her death.  Coming back to find her would have been a horror.  She left me suddenly, but in a happy moment, the way all pets should.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Road Knitting

I'm so looking forward to driving in the fall.  I think about the wardrobe that I'm going to be wearing. Sweaters.  Fortunately I have a lot.  I'm going to buy some wool sneakers in the next few weeks.  For the winter, I will wear a heavier sweater rather than a coat.  I have a few of those, too.
There is down time during my work day, mostly at the airports when I'm waiting in the queue.  I always have knitting with me, of course.  I just purchased this project bag at Stitches Midwest last week.  It could only be cuter if it had Pekingese.  There's a hat and a sweater sleeve in it.
I had not been to Stitches Midwest in maybe seven years.  The market was so good.  It felt good to splurge on purchases.  It's been a long time.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Possibilities

It had to be done.  If you know me personally, you may have known about my financial difficulties.  It hasn't helped that I was working at minimum wage without a raise for five years, was replaced at that job, and that the part time job that I was hoping to be a safety net while I got the Lucky Penny enterprise going has turned out to be a disappointment.  It's not a safety net if I'm not on the schedule for six weeks, however, the people who are on the schedule aren't doing much better.  I haven't had a theatrical project or a sample to knit for some time, and the only cash coming in is from some private lessons and some finishing/ repair work.  And the bills keep coming.  I think about how I'm going to pay for the haircut I desperately need, and the vet appointment that Madeline is due for, which will probably result in teeth cleaning.  I think about the fiber festivals that are coming up, the sweaters that I want to knit, the quilt tops that I would like to take to the long arm quilter, the tattered sandals that I would like to throw away instead of wearing every day.  Throwing out all my worn and tattered clothing, in fact.  Then, there's the biggest thing.  That I've been desperate to move.
So, a rideshare service.  The problem was, the car I was driving didn't qualify.  Eighteen years old, with the muffler held together by a coat hanger, and not fully functioning air conditioning.  Yesterday morning, I saw a huge grease spot under my poor old car, and wondered if she was the source.  I was going to lease a car, and keep the old one as well.  But, that's not how things worked out.  I had a failed leasing attempt on Friday at a dealership nearby, for a sweet little 2014 Corolla.  The dealership was new to the Uber program, and things didn't happen.  I was frustrated, and desperate to get some cash flow started.  So yesterday I went to a dealership with it's own Uber department and ended up saying good bye to my 1998 Rav4 and driving away in this--a new Camry.  With all the features and maintenance that extends for the length of the financing.  The crazy thing is that the financing was based on estimated, and not actual earnings.  The Man was furious with me, but he was the same when I came home with the Rav4.  So, in a few days the hustle to repair my finances begins.  Fortunately, I like to drive.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Hot and Cold

In summer I dream of wool and what wool things I am going to need and wear in the cold months to come.  My favorite thing to knit for me personally is a sweater, and my favorite is the pullover, followed by the vest, and then the cardigan.  Knitting for Madeline walks the line between personal and professional.  Then there are accessories.  Little projects that I can bang out in a few concentrated sessions.  The one accessory that's mostly lacking is the triangular shaped shawl, although there's one design in Brooklyn Tweed Wool People 10 that I can't stop thinking about.  It's more of an asymmetrical triangle really.  Lots of my pattern obsessions have been sparked by what I need to wear for warmth on dog walks.  I used to be anti- fingerless glove, but now I'm on board with that.  This is a Lambing Mitt, that has a nice fold over cuff.  It's a free pattern.  I knit the largest size, but if I do another, I'll likely do the next smallest.  As with socks, I like a snug fit.  I knit these with Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia, color Quail.  I love having that yarn surround my hands.  The other thing that I have given thought to is how I want a fairly snug neck piece that covers my chest.  A dickey.  I don't have one in my collection currently, so once I settle on the right yarn and color, I will knit an Askews Me Dickey.
What's on the needles in current rotation (meaning, that I actually have been knitting, there are lots more on hold) is a Woodfords cardigan in Brooklyn Tweed Loft that I cast on last November.  I am down to the last 4 inches or so of the skirt.  The rows are long, and the sweater is too big to carry along.  It was packed in my suitcase this past weekend when we traveled and I only got a few rows in.  The other sweater is Alvy in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and I started a Lightweight Raglan Pullover in Purl Soho's Linen Quill.  
Professionally, what's going on now is I'm working on a fresh sample for the release of the first Doggie Knits pattern, and working on a new design.
I really like watching movies that have cold weather settings when it's high summer here.  I've seen Everest on cable a number of times and it's sparked some curiosity regarding who was in that 1996 incident, and where they are now.  I was surprised to find out that one of the survivors, a professional climber who saved three people ending up dying in an avalanche the following year.  I can't imagine how anyone would be drawn to such a dangerous sport.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Work Begins

I had suspected for some time that Doggie Knits was nearing its expiration.  With the last royalty statement, I was pretty sure.  I called the publisher last week and they confirmed that Doggie Knits is out of print, and out of stock at the warehouse.  The only way to obtain it now is though a secondary market.  I should have set up individual patterns to go up immediately after the rights revert back to me, but the distraction of life set me back.  So, this summer, one of the tasks is to do some revisions and get the designs established as individual PDFs for download.
This sweater is the Madeline Basic 4.5.  I knit a smaller size for my samples, and loved the color so much, called Tomato, that I wanted one for Madeline.  I did a brief fitting yesterday in the summer heat (we were in a shaded area next to Lake Geneva) to confirm that the length was right before binding off.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

I Only Want to See You Panting in the Purple Sweater

If you've been following me for a while, you know that for the most part, I dislike, detest even, summer.  I just don't like to be hot.  I'm not as productive as I would like to be, and I can just feel the energy drained from me as the temperature starts to rise.  It doesn't help that I don't sleep as well, trying to stay cool next to the blast furnace known as the Man, and often end up on the sofa that sits directly beneath a ceiling fan.  I'm sorry that Mad and I won't be wearing much wool.  I have to come up with meals that mean not turning on an oven after a season of preparing comfort foods.  It's more difficult to travel in a hot car when there are different opinions on air conditioning.  It has not even gotten over 90 degrees here and I'm uncomfortable.   I think I'm going back to lay under the fan this evening.  Fortunately, for the most part, I can knit from a reclined position.
The sweater Madeline is wearing is the Madeline Basic 4.5, that I worked in a gradient using two strands of Brooklyn Tweed loft.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Everything Takes Longer

My sock drawer is teetering on the pathetic.  I've taken to wearing mismatched socks.  Many of my hand knit socks have holes, some with big ones.  When I'm working my safety net job, my feet need to be comfortable.  Which means wearing sneakers.  I'm so lucky that I dug a pair out of my closet that have fantastic arch support.
For the summer, I want footies instead of a substantial cuff.  I shopped my stash, and this is sport weight pattern dyed yarn that's maybe been with me for ten years. It's Opal, and I expect to wear them for a very long time.  Some of my first socks are knit with Regia or Opal, and are still in rotation.  I can get two pairs from one skein.  I didn't really use a pattern.  Just a vanilla footie with a 56 stitch cast on using size 2 needles.  Right now I'm about half way through with the mate for this sock, and expect the pair to be worn the next time I work the safety net.  Speaking of which, I'm not working it as much as I need.  So, looking for something more.  I keep hoping that my hours at this one will increase, but after six months, my expectations are low.
I'm knitting a sample for a book, and after I knit the first pattern sequence, discovered that I omitted two plain rounds.  The sample is fair isle, so dropping down and  correcting was not going to work.  I had to take down what amounted to almost a whole day's work.    I'm hoping to finish knitting tonight or tomorrow.   There are still a few odd jobs to do, and I've been putting off finishing a sweater for a friend.  The thing that's keeping me from doing it is that I really don't like the yarn.  I just have to buck up.  Because I promised.