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This RingSurf Site is owned by The Patchwork Butterfly

I wasn't born with wings, so I'm trying to make my own
Thursday, May 31, 2007  

I didn't want to let May go by with only one post, so I figured I'd drop in and say "hi." So... hi. That's all I got.

Just kidding. Kind of.

I haven't been writing for a lot of reasons. The main reason is that I don't know what I want to write about. I have a lot of thoughts on this, but tonight I'm too tired to eloquently express them all, so I'm going to just sum it up. Maybe I'll go into it more soon, when I know better how to express it all. So, here's why I'm struggling with blogging in a (somewhat large) nutshell: First, my fiber work is very slow. I am a slow spinner and a slow knitter. On top of that, I work full time, and on top of THAT, I don't devote all of my time outside of work to fibery pursuits. So, if this were to be a fiber blog only, I'd probably post once a month. Once I get my new spinning project started, there just won't be much to write about. I'll have a long-term(ish) knitting project going and a very long-term spinning project going. How exciting is it to show a scarf every week that is about five inches longer than the last time you saw it? Or a bobbin that holds a few more grams of fiber? To me, that seems pretty boring. I could (and probably should) write about some of my tried-and-true tricks and tips that work for me in spinning and lace knitting, but I work on craft books all day at work, and while I love crafts there's only so much reading and writing I can do on the topic in any given day. So, since my fibery pursuits aren't enough to fill up a blog, there has to be more. And I don't know how much more I want to (or should) give away to the whole wide innernets.

First, there are my personal concerns. The blogs I love most just let the crazy all hang out. And boy, do I have more than my fair share of crazy. I'm all broken and messed up and crazy, just like everyone else. And just like most people, I don't want anyone to know it. I want to seem happy and put together and Very Grown Up. For pride reasons, you see. But I'm also scared that if I unleash the Real Me on you, you won't like me. I really wish I could say "Who cares, like me or don't" but that is not where I'm at right now. Plus, I'm not so big on criticism or meanness. And I'm sure if I let all the crazy out, I'll get plenty of both. And I would totally deserve it. If I put it all out there for people to observe, I'd better be ready for the observations. And I'm not.

Second, there are professional concerns. I work in the craft industry now, for a publisher of craft books. I'd like to work my way up to doing acquisitions, which means I'll have a somewhat public face in the craft world. And my credibility might be hurt by all of the crazy. I don't just come out and say who I am and where I work on this blog, but the astute could probably come up with some good guesses as to my employer. Also, my editorial director wants me to write a book of my own for our imprint and I might want to talk about that here if/when that happens. And then I won't be (somewhat) anonymous anymore. You'd know my full name, where I worked, and again all the crazy would ruin my cred.

So, that's where I'm at right now. I wish I could just put on my big girl pants and put it all out there and accept the consequences, but I don't feel ready for that at this point in my life or career. And since (interesting) fiber discussion is pretty thin around here, I just haven't been writing much.

And yes, that was actually the short version of what I've been thinking/feeling. Hard to believe, huh?

Anyway, since you made it through all of that, I'll now reward you with a pretty picture:

I really wanted to spin bombyx silk for my next big shawl project, so I looked through the stash and picked a likely suspect (the cursed silk I wrote about in my last post). Well, after all the struggle and strain, I finally got a half-decent swatch knit and decided that I didn't like the way spinning and knitting had reconfigured the colors. It's pretty in its own right, but not what I wanted to work with right now. Plus, I was kind of mad at that silk after all the trouble it caused me and I didn't feel like working with it for a while anyway. So, I dove back into the stash, spread out all of my bombyx and... couldn't decide. (I also found out that I have an EMBARASSING amount of bombyx silk in the stash, but that's a different story for a different day.) So, since I just couldn't pick one, I entered them all into a spreadsheet, found a random number generator and let the spinning goddess decide for me. I ended up with this one, Treetops bombyx in the color way English Gardens. This is the chain plied sample all knit up. I like it quite a bit this way, but I'm working on a 2 ply sample right now for comparison. Once the plying issue is decided, I can start spinning in earnest. No more samples for awhile! Yea!

My fleurette scarf is doing quite well, also. I've more than doubled the length since I last posted, so I'm happy with my progress. It's a few inches past two feet now, and growing. And since I've alternated it with sample spinning and knitting, I'm not even bored of it yet. It's a very simple lace and I have the pattern memorized, so it's an enjoyable "sit down and relax" knitting project. Hopefully, this means it will be finished in a timely (for me) manner. Only time will tell...

Monday, May 14, 2007  

Sorry for the long radio silence, but there just hasn't been much to write about. Life is the usual, some good, some bad, some ugly (but mostly good). We're starting to enjoy the privileges of summer. Lots of grilling out, the basil has been planted and I've brought my sandals out. Hip, hip, hooray for sandals! I tacked an extra day onto my Memorial Day weekend, so I have a four day weekend coming up that I'm really looking forward to. Taste of Cincinnati, a street festival where you can sample food from many of the restaurants in the Cincinnati area, is that weekend, and Mark has the entire four days off as well, so that will be awesome. One or the other of us is working every single day of the week, so it's rare to have a whole day together. Four in a row will be a real treat. I've been assigned two more books at work, bringing my count up to five, and two of those books are knitting books, so yay! I also just did a heavy edit of the first book I was assigned and I think my managing editor was really impressed, so I'm very happy about that. I get to go to TNNA, CHA, and Knitter's Connection, all in June, so work couldn't be better (unless they paid me more to work less, that is). Fiber-wise life is, well... sucky. I've been working on the scarf, and that is going well, if slowly. I've got over a foot done and it's looking pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. And I do.

This is the last picture I'll post of it for awhile, seeing that it's outgrown my bobbing lace pillow, which is my most convenient quick blocking surface. I might post a "halfway there" picture, but we'll see. With more of it there, I don't notice the stripes quite as much, so I'm happier with it now than last time I posted. The suckiness comes in because I am STILL trying to pick the fiber for my next spinning project. I'm about to tear my hair out (and maybe spin that!). I thought I had settled on a fiber, but it seems to be cursed. It's a pure bombyx silk, and the spinning was great. It was so smooth, beautiful and easy. And the yarn I got was sooooo fine. After knitting with the bombyx, the yarn for Fleurette seems like rope. But, as wonderful as the fiber was to spin, the bombyx yarn is CURSED. I cannot knit it! I am doing sampling to determine how I want to spin this - 2 ply, 3 ply, or chain ply. And I cannot knit the freakin' samples! I'm pretty experienced at knitting lace and I've gotten adept at catching my mistakes. But every time I try to knit this yarn (5 times so far) I screw it up royally. It's making me feel like a real idiot! I'm not attempting complicated patterns, here. I've tried Horseshoes and Ostrich Plumes, both extremely simple patterns, and both patterns result in total failure. It is completely ridiculous and I am so frustrated. I'm torn between just putting the fiber back in the stash, moving on and coming back to it another time (this would be the sane thing to do) or just keep trying until I stamp that @!#^%#$ into the ground (this would be my crazy OCD type-A side talking). Or option 3, take it all out into the woods, bury it and chant holy words over the grave to rid the world of its evil influence. If you never hear from me again, you'll know that the silk won. Via con queso.

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