Well, I had a wonderful visit to Oklahoma City to meet my new granddaughter Evie. And while there, I was happy to find that Dez decided he liked me (unlike the Disney trip). We had a great time together, even the last evening when he wanted nothing to do with me and I had to give him a bath. LOL! Course, he didn’t like anyone that day. And the next morning he was all cuddled up with me on the couch like nothing had happened. We enjoyed the splashpark, going for walks, playing with bubbles, and watching tv.
And Evie is lovely. There’s just something about a baby girl. Pretty much all she did was nurse and sleep. There were some periods of wakefulness, but for the most part she was getting used to the world. She did better with noise, naturally, and of course she loves to be held while sleeping. And while that’s nice when they’re newborn, it’s a really tough habit to break when you’re ready for them to sleep on their own. But they’re only that little once, and what a lovely feeling it is to have that warm, snuggly body against your own.
One of the most fun things for me with Evie was coming home after Meg, Dez and I went to the store. Look at her in these little jeans I knitted! I was so tickled they used them AND they seemed to fit her, even though they did have to roll up the cuffs. But boy, oh boy are they ever cute. It’s probably the third pair I’ve knit but the first pair that actually worked for anyone!
All a parent really wants is for their kids to be happy, and they seem very happy, in spite of Dez’s extremely stubborn personality! I told Drew how proud he made me being such a wonderful husband, father and provider. And I told him I was proud of ME for my part in it! There are certainly many sleepless nights ahead, but as we know it’s all worth it in the end. If they can keep their sense of humor (and how can they not with Andrew around?), they can pretty much weather any storm.
The temps were going to approach 80 today, so we headed to the beach for a couple hours with the dog. It was really a perfect day; mostly sunny, very little wind, the tide was half out, and the waves were just right. Afterward, what could be better than knitting in the sun and the sand!
It might seem like a lot, but seeing as how two of them are ‘samplers,’ that means I do a sampling of ‘this’ for a little bit, then a sampling of ‘that’ for a bit, which is nice cuz then I don’t get too bored with it. Though I have to admit the dress is already boring and I’m only about an inch into it. As you can see by the picture, it’s all stockinette stitch, which is lovely in a brainless-I-can-watch-tv-and-knit kind of way, but is also a little hard on the hands because I don’t take as many breaks. But it’s a shop model (‘natch), so I need to get it done.
The scarf is a pain in the ass harder, so it takes longer cuz I have to go so slow.
And the afghan? Well, that’s gonna take all summer, I think. And honestly, I only have probably three more squares to go (out of 20!). But then it’s stitching them all together, and THEN adding the border all the way around. Yeah. Hopefully when the cold weather returns (if it ever leaves) it’ll be done.
Know what that means to me? No, not April Fool. It means my shop newsletter is due again. Argh! Whenever I think the days and weeks are dragging, I think about my newsletter, and somehow time magically speeds up and the new month is upon me! I struggle every four weeks to put together a newsletter that’s ‘newsy,’ fun, informational, and inspirational for my 500+ loyal readers (well, maybe they don’t all read ’em). I look for fun clip art, information on classes, events and workshops, along with little quotes and helpful hints that will make reading it at least a little bit worthwhile. But it’s tough. Sometimes there’s nothing new going on so that there’s nothing to put in! Sometimes there’s so much going on that I forget to put stuff in! But I have to say, I do get some lovely feedback from some of my readers; enough to make me keep doing them. At least for now.
Did you know that yarn has seasonal lines twice a year every year? And that every year yarn companies come up with ‘new and improved’ fibers to tempt the yarnaholics who own yarn shops into trying and buying their new yarns? Somewhere in the wee area in the back of my mind I must have known this when I began my search for yarns to carry in my shop all those years ago. But I have to say I really wasn’t aware of the scope of fibers out there and the creativity of people who come up with some of the most beautifully soft, yummy, breathtaking yarns ever to be found in the world!
Balance that with a budget, and welcome to my world.
Which leads me to Cathy, who made a visit to the shop yesterday. Now, Cathy’s one of the best yarn reps around, because she knows. Having owned her own yarn shop, she knows what it’s like to be me. She’s been on the receiving end of a table full of yarn coming from suitcases packed with yarn and stacked up around the table. She understands the pressure of wanting it all and having to try (and I use that term with anxiety) to stay within some kind of budget. After all, shops carry more than one brand of yarn, and they all have yarn reps! So the best thing about Cathy is there is absolutely, no pressure from her end. None. In fact, she’s more the opposite, sometimes suggesting that a particular yarn I’m leaning towards might not even be appropriate for my little shop in this particular area.
And so, of course, I try and stay focused on the upcoming season of spring and summer and zero in on what might interest my customers without breaking the bank. I go through binder after binder filled with yarn samples and color cards, and if she notices a pause, or perhaps a quick intake of breath, out comes the yarn and a knitted up swatch for me to feel. I open up the fold-out card of colors and lean back in my chair and look at her shaking my head. How do I possibly decide? With close to a hundred colors of this particular yarn, how do I narrow it down to 10? This is where the angst comes in. And this is where Cathy comes in. With her prior shop knowledge and her knowledge of my shop, she will direct me to what she thinks would be the best colors to carry, help me match yarn with patterns, and then quickly and painlessly close the book and remove it — and the yarn — from my sight.
I hate lace. Correction. I hate knitting lace. So every year I try to do at least ONE lace project. This year I’m attempting the Lacy Sampler Scarf using Tahki’s Superior yarn, which is a lovely blend of cashmere and silk, and very fine. The pattern is free on their website. I had some issues with it as at first I couldn’t make heads or tails of the process, and there are no charts. After visiting Ravelry and reading others’ notes, I think I have it figured out.
So far I’ve tinked a few rows, but then in the wee hours of the morning I had to frog about 8 rows. I thanked myself over and over for pulling a life-line through every once in awhile. At least I only had to go back to that and not start completely over, which I would have done had I not had it in. But the very best part is that I get to use my beautiful Signature needle with the ‘stiletto’ points! They’re definitely pricey, but so worth it working with this type of yarn. So I’m on the second part of the sampler now, and while I’m not loving this particular lacework, I’ll keep working on it.
I bought this sweater pattern and yarn at Stitches last August in Chicago. The pattern is Sundrop Cropped Cardigan by Kirsten Hipsky. I didn’t figure I’d get to it too quickly as I usually have shop knitting to do. So when we found ourselves on a four-day road trip to Arizona and a month away from the store this past winter, I decided that was the perfect time to take a stab at the sweater. I got most of it done on the road, then finally finished it after we got home. It originally had three-quarter length sleeves, but I decided I wanted them longer, so I picked up the stitches and did a 2×2 rib with a little flared cuff. I also made it a good 8 inches longer than the pattern called for. Plus I changed the button placket to garter stitch instead of ribbing. All in all, I really like it. I made it with Webs Valley Yarns, “Sheffield,” which is 70% merino, 15% silk, and 15% angora. Totally yummy, even though I do find fibers floating everywhere!
Words I couldn’t have said 20 years ago. But it’s true. I miss my blog. I haven’t written in here in months and months. And lots have happened over those months. And years. My store took up most of my time, then I got a divorce, and then my life changed dramatically when I was reunited with the very first love of my life. Then things got really busy, and I just stopped blogging.
Sooooo…. maybe I’ll try again. I have another one up, Cabbage Life, that I’ll post pics to and some knitting stuff, but I’ve had this one so long I hate to just let it go.