Hello there –

I know. It’s hasn’t even been a week and I’m back. That’s because being on a regular schedule means getting through the calendar to do list faster and that means blog posts will be more frequent. 

Getting back to this kind of normal has been a little disconcerting. I have knitting on the schedule and there will be days when it seems I will be knitting many hours of the day but for now, the sessions have been far and few between and I’ve been catching up on other things.

For instance, my workouts are back. I’ve worked out five times this week. I’m not sure I’ve worked out five times during January let along in a week. 

I don’t even have anything new to show you. I’ve been working on some new stuff. Oh, wait. I do have something:I finished the Basketweave Shawl. The pattern is done and up in designbcb

I think I should add more fringe to it and that may yet happen though it is put away and I’m not selling the finished product – so it could all be more of an idea rather than something that actually happens.

I am working on a headband and I’ve tried it on different yarns that have yielded not the best results but I am back to cotton and I think it’s going to stick. The problem is the first and last stitches are somewhat loose and it leaves a messy edge. I’m trying different techniques to get it cleaned up. Cotton is the preferred fiber because these are warm weather headbands. I’m sure if I take it to the YouTube, I will find a solution.

I also did some yarn shopping – which I have now stopped until August and I purchased some Zing crochet hooks – nice but a little disappointing and some Zing double points – looks promising but won’t know until I make a hat. There will be things to show in the future. Right now, be impressed that I did two posts in the same month!

 

I’ve been missing things. Some little things, like a good  thunderstorm that doesn’t knock over trees and powerlines and leaves the air smelling freshly washed. Some more important things like a church gathering where you can greet each other close up. Civility and not so random kindness. And prayer shawls like this one.

 I haven’t made many prayer shawls this year and no one has inquired about them this season. I haven’t found a substitute color that is as rich in autumn tones as this one and that may have something to do with it.

Autumn as a colorway is very popular which may explain why this hat is selling and being favored I’ve made three of these thing week. I just received two orders for different stocking caps. Stocking caps seem to be a big thing. I created a section for them in the shop.

But the most fun thing that has happened since we were last together was the custom order for a Lenny Kravitz scarf. You know what I’m talking about. Someone ordered a scarf like this one. I had to create the texture stitch and they chose a charcoal gray wool blend. I’ve been working on it a couple of weeks and it’s due to them in five days.

I am already afraid because the knit math has started. No matter how much I knit, it doesn’t seem to get past four feet and this thing has to be somewhere between eight and nine feet long. I originally got seven balls of yarn but I don’t think it will be enough. So I picked up four more yesterday. Certainly that should appease the knit math gods and they will let go of the inches and I can get on with it. I’ve already decided to do a crochet version as well. 

There’s no doubt this is a stash buster. Among the missing things you’ll have is yarn. Pictures to follow.

2020 be like, I ain’t leaving no one untouched. For me, I lost a friend in an officer involved shooting and we lost our nephew in a bad motorcycle accident. I’ve written about that nephew. He leaves behind four young children. 

There’s far too much to say and nothing to say about both those events. You can share things and then leave them alone.

Knitting has been done. Someone wanted to purchase a warm weather hat and they wanted it in the incredibly beautiful color purple. Look at it. Lush, rich and soft. The hat is made from Red Heart with Love in aubergine.

I’m looking at this color, and I am thinking cables. I need to make something with cables. I love this yarn – I love it better than I love this yarn by Hobby Lobby. It doesn’t have the color depths of ILTY and it costs $1 more but it has more yardage than ILTY and it is softer and fuller. Other than the two skeins I have, I don’t think I have a lot of it in the stash and there’s no reason for me to stock it. I have plenty of worsted weight solids but this is going on the list for the January yarn buy.

There are also some long stocking caps made and I think I have figured out how to take photos with my lightbox in the studio so I don’t have to try and cart all this stuff outside and work on the side of the building. 

 I think every one will be happy to see this year in the rear view. 2021 has to be better. Right? 2020 be like a very hard year.

It’s like the Discovery Channel – Knitsville Edition. Where the folks in Knitsville are putting away the winter clothing and pulling out the summer clothing only to discover some fall clothing no one remembered they had.

That is to say, I have found a number of hats and scarves hiding away in places and there will be some new additions to the shop when I can get around to it all. I’ve also cataloged the ready to ship items and they have new sku numbers and if they weren’t in the shop before they are now.

I am also working on some new stuff that is piled unto on one of the trunks. This  stocking cap is about to come off the needles.All that’s needed is a stretchy bind off and a pom-pom. It can be a little splitty but I can overlook it. There is a review of the yarn right here

The move in continues. I still have boxes in the room. Some I’ve opened by couldn’t completely empty until I find something else in another box.That is somehow a good thing. There will be more donations when they start up again. I am discovering yarn I forgot I had. It is kinda ironic I am looking forward to my biannual yarn buy. I know I am not likely to be using it soon no matter what I get so all I will be making is room.

I enjoy cooking in the kitchen. It will be better when the boxes are empty and off the counter. I’ve been ambitious in this new place. I did an eleven hour low and slow roast and I’ve baked some bread – really delicious. Gonna have some right after this. Loving two bathrooms and no stairs.

It’s amazing the things that thrill us. 

 

 

I didn’t know what I was going to show you in this post. I had to go to the Google because I thought ‘I’ll try something new’ then had to see if I had actually done it.

There was this:

Lasagna. I haven’t made lasagna in years and it was tasty. I’ve made it twice and the second was better than the first. This does take some time to prepare. The sauce is sooooo good. I did only a small variation. I don’t like ricotta cheese so eliminated that. The recipe is here

And then there was this:Doesn’t look like it’s finished but it is: except for the pom-pom. Couldn’t put that on there because the pom-pom maker is at the condo. But as soon as I’m over there, this will a completed hat.

 

 

But wait…there’s more: I started and finished a mask. Pattern was pretty simple and I even wrote it down on paper. I haven’t lined it yet because the cotton and thread and needle are all at the condo. (We move a week from tomorrow.)

There’s more. I finished the Shale Cowl in gray. There’s a few thing sitting in my bag waiting to go over and hang out with the rest of the finished projects and they all need to have their photos taken. I will be over there tomorrow or the next day to get that done.

I made a pork roast using a new recipe. It was good but I cooked the pork too long. My dutch oven really gets things done fast. I will use a meat thermometer next time. All in all, a very good week.

I have a new hat on the needles made with Ice Yarns Tweeds in two colors. I’ve got a toy turtle or tortoise started. The week will be busy and there’s no telling yet but the next post may be from new place! Now, that would be something new.

If you’re reading this anywhere in the world, I don’t have to tell you about the Coronavirus, Covid-19 pandemic/ I am in Illinois, Chicago, to be exact and we are under sheltering orders until the end of the month – or we were. The governor extended it to the end of May but some businesses are reopening.So I am going nowhere fast.

For me, it doesn’t make that much of a difference because I work from home and my boss didn’t give me any time off.

The condo is filling up with boxes and the move has been scheduled. I am packing/cleaning. I have done some knitting but no photography. But this is what I’ve got thus far: The mittens to match the hat. The hat is at the condo and I haven’t been there since Easter. The Shale Cowl is really pretty and it’s now complete. I have another one in shades of gray that’s about a day away and another hat.

I was not going to jump on the mask train but along with the extended order came the mandatory wearing of face coverings. Might as well make some pretty ones. They aren’t medical grade so I don’t have to pretend they are anything other than pretty mouth coverings. I can make them in cotton or any of the blends or acrylic. 

I did have some sales. A pleasant surprise. If you feel the need to go shopping – here’s my shop.

I was going to take a photo of all my needles. They were all in one place for a hot minute but I packed some of them away and don’t want to pull them out until they are at new place. I had to select a different sleeper sofa. Mr. Honey took measurements and it won’t fit through the space. Picked put a smaller one that costs more – sigh.

Moving is not for the faint of heart. I hope I am doing this again any time soon. Unless I can find a way to be younger. A younger me can handle it.

 

 

 


Has there been progress made in the move? Yes and No. There’s nothing new in the studio but Mr. Honey and his brother have done the floor in the living room and the hallway. I’ve also done my first product shots at new place.

That’s something like progress. The floor is gorgeous. He and his brother left it covered in sawdust and I got out the vacuum and the Swiffer and it cleaned up great. It’s even more gorgeous than the photo. 

There are boxes in the dining room/kitchen, bedroom and studio but they can’t be unboxed because there’s no place to put the stuff in the boxes and that’s because we haven’t moved the furniture. I didn’t know moving companies were considered essential so I didn’t even think about scheduling them during a Coronavirus pandemic but they are working. Now the floors are done, we can seriously think about doing a shift from living at the house and coming to the condo to living at the condo and going to the house to get it ready to sell.

It’s not quite real yet. I’ve spent time in the studio and even in its present state, I find it comfortable. I like the bathrooms – better than the one in the house. But I still can’t imagine us being here. I think the shift will help with that and get me in the mindset of saying good-bye to the place I’ve lived the in the longest.

In knit news, like I said, I took some photos at new place.

These are not edited but they came out fine. There’s a small patio area – not even big enough to be a patio – can’t set a chair out there though you could get a small gas grill there. But it will work well for taking photos.

Though these have yet to be put up for sale, you can find the available market and beach totes right here at designbcb.

I also completed a hat and a pair of mittens which I will happily share once I get pics of them. 

I also had 3 sales – 2 patterns and 1 order for a hooded scarf. That’s always good news. 

So, not in the condo but getting closer. Decisions made and more packing to do but knitting goes on. Hopefully, there will be more to share next time.

 

You have this plan and you work the plan. You think the plan is going along just fine. Then you wake up and it’s Welcome to September, the doorstep of your busy season and you find maybe the plan needs a little tweaking.

This is what I did with my August. I finished them in August, too. That was a good thing considering I started working on them August 7th or something like that. I know I didn’t start them the first day of August. All the photos are done as well. So now starts the administrative piece of getting them ready to be sold.

The plan is a good one: create 10 items a month. That’s pretty straightforward. But I started the plan in June and here we are in the fall and I will have just 60 items in the shop. For those who are math minded, I had some patterns that were already up in the shop.

I’m gonna stick with the plan because it is an ongoing one. I may have less items in the shop than usual but I don’t know how well the plan works or where the tweaks need to be made until I see if the plan worked.

In the meantime, I have already done 1/10 for the new Do You Collection and I’m about to get busy with 2/10. Cuz knitting never stops in Knitsville.

Nuthin’. I got nuthin’. Well, that’s not exactly true. Another shelf has been cleared and fourth one almost cleared. There are some more books to add to the stack that will be going to Economy Shop and they may be books someone is actually interested in. There’s books on gardening and graphic design (tools from an earlier life.) And photography. It was written when cameras still had film but I’m sure it’s more technique than material.

There’s also more than an inch more to the sweater. I know I should take a photo but the camera and the sweater aren’t in the same place. But I was working on it this morning when there was noticeable length. It was just a little over an inch yesterday and when I measured today, it was almost three inches. Knit math working positively for me. I think the cleaning gods are putting in good words with the knitting gods. I wanted to vacuum that place in front of the bookcase which made them happy but they whispered for me to calm down and finish the bookcase and then the next step would be to clean that area of carpet between the bookcase and the first desk. I am actually looking forward to it.

The cleaning folk also want to know what I am going to do with that Celtic suncatcher I’ve done nothing with since I purchased it more than 20 years ago. I don’t know but I’m keeping it. We aren’t anywhere near Irish but I do like it.

10/10 is almost done. I took it to lunch with me yesterday with Ellen, Melissa and Laeh. We all bought our knitting with us but we decided to eat instead. Imagine that. It was past two in the morning when I decided I wasn’t going to finish it. But the decreases have started and I can get it finished before September rolls in. That would be a great accomplishment. I did the video for the stash dive on August 2nd and nothing was made then. C’mon, you have to be kinda impressed I did it all in under 30 considering we were on the road. Right?

Laeh might have gotten me some yarn from Herrschners. She works at a summer camp every year and she passes by this mecca on her way to and from. She is kind enough to drop me a note and ask if I want something. I’ve been very good in the past and said no – in between the years when I’ve said yes. And this year she may have bought me back something. I will take a photo of that and perhaps do a mini yarn haul video. It was just five skeins but a little bit of heaven goes a long way. I need to go finish a hat so I can pull some yarn and start the ordered mayhem all over again.

Plan the work then work the plan. That is a key to success on many fronts. Where my brain was all a scramble just yesterday; there is hope today.

No amount of money or love of readers will move me to post a before photo of my office. It is a wreck. The producers of Hoarders – Yarn Addition have called – twice. However, today I was thinking of the after photo.

That in itself is progress because it speaks of me believing there will be an after. There will be a time when it is all done and worthy of a photo. What has me in such a positive spirit? Two of the bookshelves were emptied and are now neatly filled with books. Well, nearly filled with books. Can’t be full of books because there are fewer books. The culling has produced space. That means the big pile of books on the floor are no longer on the floor. They are on the shelves. Considering how long most of them have been on the floor, that is improvement. It means I can get the little vacuum and clean that part of the floor.

Yes, there are three more shelves to clear and those books haven’t even been culled yet. But we need to take our victories where we find them. I am already eyeing that third shelf and it doesn’t seem as if it will be a big deal. There are very few books on the shelf and I will have to deal with a couple of supplies and the other shelves have books which will be leaving. A few will stay. I think I will have this first part wrapped up in short order.

There’s also improvement on the sweater front. I decided on the rib pattern and started knitting and I’ve already got more than an inch done on that. Only 13 more to go but I feel like a warrior so I don’t see worries on that front.

I’ve even started the last of the items for the current collection. So the new collection may be started on time. I am hoping to get the last hat off the needles tomorrow so I can do the video and then pick the new yarns. Fun times!

I am hoping the cleaning and knitting gods and goddesses see this as being excited at being kissed on the forehead by them and not being arrogant. I need them to keep this going for me so I can get stuff done. Don’t tell me to look at all that’s left. I know it. I just need this moment. This moment is good.