30 December 2011

...focus, back on track...?

Just finished reading a friend's blog with comments about the upcoming new year and the resolutions people make when they sense its looming presence.  To paraphrase her post, "I'm not really a resolution maker"...but I'll admit it is difficult to pass yet another small milestone without at least thinking about how I can better myself in the coming year.
I look back just a short while ago, well a few years anyhow, and I am a bit amazed at what I have accomplished.  Its big things, personal things that I never thought I could achieve.  I am more organized.  I keep a cleaner house.  I am working two jobs outside the house -- both very rewarding and enjoyable.  I am transitioning from teen mum to mum of young adults.  There are little things, designing three original knitting patterns, coaching kids practices on my own, cooking from scratch more often.
Oh, but there are the improvements...more exercise, better eating, letting go of stuff, better use of time, more time with husband, more time with good friends, more organized, less procrastination, cleaner house, oh the list goes on...
It is always amazing to me how much more there is to do on this side of life.  Frustrating to be sure.  I will never be perfect, I will never achieve all that in my mind needs to be done.  But I am going to be resolute in this alone:  I WILL not worry about it.  I will not get down on myself for back-steps, or fear of moving forward.  I WILL be positive and go with ease....yeah right.

21 September 2011

...my first "official" designs

Moose Toque

St. Pauli Fan Mütze

Baby Jacket
 While I have actually been designing knit and crochet pieces since I can remember, I have not -- until now -- written them in a form where they could be shared and duplicated by other interested fiber folk.  These are the first three pieces I have worked up and notated in a form that can be understood by most people with even basic knitting skills.  I am still working on wording them in a more standard form (i.e.; the proper language of knitting -- sort of like the King's English or High German of the knitting world!) so that I might actually have a form that could be published "for real".  Perhaps I will even submit them to who knows and see what happens...


  Ok.  So the reason for starting this blog long ago was to somehow chronical the jouney from mere knitter to designer...(mind you, I am not stating here "published" designer...wink!)
Its time to post my first three "official" designs.  The patterns are in written form (HANDwritten) and ready enough for anyone else who would care to work them up...although I must admit they are very personal designs and I am not sure just WHO would really be interested in the first place.
But I am going on the advise of a very good friend and taking the leap to put these out there for people to see.
  My first step to "going public" was to set up a Facebook page...yeah, really.  I was pretty sure my friends would be there to sort of stroke my ego enough to prod me on.  I may consider Etsy or some similar site in the future, but first things first.  I have to make these patterns look like something people would actually like to purchase. 
  That is the part that makes me procrastinate (well, along with a few other reasons...but that's another blog post) My computer skills are limited.  I'm sort of kicking myself, as I had actually had a chance to learn the publishing and set up skills I would need to produce professional looking documents.  Way back when I had gone to art school, digital was the "new way", now it is the norm.  I left graphic design because I did not WANT to do computers, I wanted to draw with pencils and pens, and conte crayons and crayola crayons...Now I could use some of those computer skills I would have learned -- oh well, maybe someday...
  I've given the concept a name -- Hübsch Handknits.  It combines my love for the german language and knitting.  It translates "lovely" Handknits.  I am striving to make sure that each finished piece is just that, a lovely handknit. 

14 August 2011

...obsessed with Ellchen

I'm not sure just when it started.  But I do know it has grown into an obsession just barely in control.  Recently fueled to a full flame again by reading the book Loving Frank.  I am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but someone recommended the book so I gave it a go.  It was a pretty well written story following closely the details of Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress  for who he had build the glorious Taliesin.  Now, I must note here as well, that I am not a huge fan of FLW either.  I do admire and appreciate his work, but I think because of the proximity to so much FLW that one sort of grows to a "eh, what's the big deal".  But he really was a big deal. 
  Anyways, this book put me to thinking.  It did a fine job in my mind putting personality and real humanness to a very grandiose figure.  I don't know how other people are, but I want to know what these artists were thinking, feeling, dealing with when they set some of their ideas to paper and more.  What was THEIR obsession and drive to create?  Now the Frank book was fiction based on facts.  I know it is just one woman's idea of how it all was.  But it prompted me to track down a book about a couple of artists in a "similar situation"...Gabrielle Münter and Wassily Kandinsky.  The book transcribed letters they wrote to each other around 1905-1911 (dates approx.) giving some insight into what they were feeling at the time they were literally changing the world of art.  They were real people, making good and bad choices, getting angry, depressed, elated, anxious, jealous...all the human emotions. 
  I've been to Murnau and Seehäusen am Stafflesee where they were based during this time.  I've seen a most beautiful collection of their art in a lovely museum in Murnau.  And thanks to Mrs. Harry L. Bradley, we have a MOST fabulous collection of Münter's work (the largest outside of Germany, I am told) only 15 minutes away from my very own home!  We had, a number of years ago, a very thorough exhibit of her work as well, of which I am the proud owner of the book representing it.  I refer to it often.  I visit the Bradley gallery.  I knit there, read there, and sometimes just stare and take it all in.  Mrs. Bradley and I seem to have a very similar taste in art -- and I am so glad for it!
  The paintings I have included here are two of my many favorites.  The first is "In Schwabing" by Münter.  The second, "Fragment I for Composition VII" by Kandinsky.  The Kandinsky painting was one I visited often with my kids and we played a sort of art "where is Waldo" thing, where the kids would pick an element of the painting, draw it in a sketchbook, and I would have to find it in the painting.  Oh, the good times in that gallery!
  But back to the original subject of this post...I'm just continually thinking about the German Expressionist period these days; in particular der Blaue Reiter group; even more specifically Kandinsky & Münter.  I am reading everything I can get my hands on (with in reason -- I DO have other responsibilities...) about this period of art history and these artists.  I am feeling so inspired by their work (yet lacking enough focus to actually DO something...but that will come)  I have been touched by "Ellchen's" way of working, and sometimes not working as it seemed to match my ups and downs in such a familiar way.  I am hoping that her successes will motivate me to create and find success in my arts as well.

27 July 2011

...my kind of town -- but not today

So with the house empty, only a dog to tend to, I thought I would make a little jaunt down to Chicago for the day.  I had it all worked out with the pup for feeding and such.  My day bag was packed.  I was ready to go...save for the uncooperative weather.  We are getting the soaking rain the green things soooo needed.  It has made for a change of plans.  I had planned to have an inspiration day at the Art Institute, instead I've turned it into a "lets get this knitting pattern project going full steam".  Yes, after two years of talk, I'm finally producing something. 
Not that I've been at a complete standstill.  I know I've blogged many times about the "dear in the headlights" syndrome, probably to the point of causing anyone following this to just shake their head.  But that is my weakness.  Fear of success, fear of failure -- both ends of that scale affect how I attack a project.
I've designed an "identity" for my project.  Its to be called hübsch, the german word for pretty.  I thought I needed to combine my two of my loves -- the german culture/language and knitting.  They are the two things I think about to the point of obsession.  I have been messing about with a logo, setting up a FB page to introduce it and generate interest among peers, then attack the ravelry site (a step up from my own IT knowledge -- so that could take a bit more time, I'll be staring into those head lamps again...) and possibly etsy (...by that time, I'm thinking roadkill...).  I think though, that by blogging about it, it gives me some accountability, right? 
I have to get a grip on why I am doing this as well.  It will help me to keep things in perspective.  It is not capitalism or making a name for myself (although its always been a silly little dream)...its this innate drive to create stuff and then share it.  So many times I hear, "oh I wish I could knit..." "where did you get that pattern?" "can you make me one of those?"  I will be covering all those questions, comments and more with this project.  Plus it sort of feels good just to show it off. 

20 July 2011

...if only it were 100 degrees today

Yup, remember that dreamy wish you made way back in January?  Well, its taken a few months to come true, but today is your day! 
Holy smokes, is it ever warm out in Wisconsin!  Its forced me to stay in and finish that culling job I started with the files and paperwork I've accumulated all around my house.  But you know what, I think I've finally gotten through all the boxes and cabinets.  I'm probably far from done, but I am more at peace knowing that I have whittled it down to what appear to be the necessities at this time.  Now I can start going through each section one by one and organize it into something usable.  Like my ideas books and project boxes.  I really feel like I'm getting somewhere, and that if it doesn't get done before I leave this world, the people who are still here wont be embarrassed by what's here.
I'm more in a position to start working on notating patterns now.  I've found all my scratchings and musings about patterns I've designed and finished, hell I've even found the details like number of stitches to cast on and how many rows to knit, and where to decrease!  Magical...

11 July 2011

...the joys of culling

Well, I did not think I could ever do it, but I am now 90% through all my filing cabinets (and there were many) and I have probably TOSSED 90% of the papers I have been through.  Mind you, these are not the important household papers needed for taxes or insurance or investing.  These are files of things like projects, future projects, instruction manuals for various appliances, ideas for decorating, ideas for knitting, ideas for craft/beading projects, house cleaning tips (yes, there were articles about going through files on a regular basis in this folder!) and old school records for the kids.  The stuff in these files meant nothing to anyone else but me really, and they were scattered about the house in so many different filing systems that it was weighing me down greatly.  On a daily basis, I would think about what was in these files, how am I ever going to get to all these projects I've filed away, and how I would ever really find something I might actually need in all the unorganized chaos that was my filing system?  There were labeled boxes, file cabinets, desk top files, plastic storage containers, shoe boxes...I could go on...
But I've taken the big step to empty it all out, sort through it and get the files down to two small boxes.  Excepting one category of papers...I've yet to find a way to organize my "scrap-book" of knitting ideas.  I've got many manila folders and notebooks full of sketches, pictures and magazine clippings and I'm just not sure at this moment how I will organize it all to be useful.  Its a pile of lovely ideas that I am not ready to toss to the recycling bin just yet.  It is not as easy to decide between "keep" and "toss" as the other paper work was.  I want to put it in a large binder format -- that's my idea for now.  But there is so much I've collected that the prospect of doing this seems a bit overwhelming at the moment...
But I'll ride the wave of my success at parting with all the other papers that I've been able to part with and we will see where that takes me...

19 June 2011

...enough drama already!

...ok, must have been a bad day when I wrote that last post.  Looking at the date, I realize perhaps what was triggering all the drama.  DH had been gone a week in Mexico for work, and being the off season for one of my jobs, I actually had some time on my hands to just sit and work a few things out.  It was really just the first step in processing all that is going on here in my little space on this planet.  What with two increasingly independent young adult children and more and more time for myself on account of it, I have had much to sort through. 
  I really put too much pressure on myself to make sure I get it right, the use of my time and abilities that is.  I probably should not do that so much, but that, I am afraid, will be a hard habit to break.  I guess at least I am starting to realize that is what I do.  A wise friend has often reminded me to "enjoy the journey".  I am trying to put that foremost.  (perhaps its time to re-read 'The Art of Pilgrimage'...?)
  When I was a kid, my family - mum, dad and two brothers both younger than I - used to go up north every summer.  It was a trip we sooooo looked forward to each year.  I remember it was nearly the same route each time, but we would amble our way up there stopping at waysides to climb trees, walk paths, have a picnic lunch.  There were regular stops, favorite ice cream shops and the like.  It would take us over four and a half hours to get there, what should have taken 3.5739 hours, if the weather and traffic co-operate!
  So what happened?  It seems these days, when we go anywhere, it is drive like crazy, what's the shortest route, undue pressure to get there in the fastest amount of time so as not to waste any of the vacation time getting to the destination.  And its become that with every day life as well. 
  I think that is what was getting to me last week.  It has become time to redefine focus.  I have had the pleasure of another week to sit on my front porch and think about it.  It is time to start using my time purposefully, even if that purpose is to simply watch in wonder the half dozen or so squirrels romp around the trees in my front yard...while I continue to sit on my front porch and think about it...

11 June 2011


Some days I just wonder why I bother keeping a sketchbook full of ideas, as it seems that most will never come to anything.  I look around and see how much NEEDS to be done that it seems frivolous to even entertain the idea that I will have free time to develop any of them. 
It feels so good to get them out and on paper, but then comes the day when I just look at it all and feel overwhelmed with thoughts of guilt and the feeling that my life will be far to short to see them to the finish -- then follows that inevitable thought... "what is the point"?
I think too, of the projects that seem important to me.  Today was one of those days where I could not find any reasoning to explain why I should put time into them.  For what purpose am I learning (re-learning?) german?  What in heaven's name makes me think that putting ideas into patterns for sharing with others is worth spending time on when so much around me seems more of a priority.  Practice those musical instruments, for what? -- who will listen, who cares to?
Perhaps it is my poor abilities for prioritizing that puts me in these funks.  And when I am in them, I just shut down.  I have so many interests that it it overcomes me to the point of paralysis.  I have, at the moment all the lovely leisure that summer brings for me...lighter schedules, less responsibility to others...so why is it when I am gifted with this free time, the leisure that I so long for during the soccer season,  I am not driven or even slightly motivated to work on all those ideas floating around in my head?  Is it fear of failure? ...fear of SUCCESS?  ...do I really need a purpose or goal?  ...can I not just enjoy the journey?  I don't know the answers...

22 May 2011

I'm sensing a pattern here...

...I wanted to sit down an do a post about what was on my mind this morning, and realize it was going to be about how this spring morning have my senses reeling yet again.  I'm on my patio with my compulsory cup of coffee, enjoying Deutsches Schlagermusik, morning sunshine, the fresh air and spring blossoms every where.  I'll soon pick up a bit of knitting to complete this moment of bliss ...  *big smile* 
  I am not normally a morning person, but so much was going on later today that will monopolize my time that I felt restless upon waking.  Usually I have a hard time getting moving, but something in me just "turned on" this morning.  Got a big turkey in the oven, got the wash going, got the stray dishes done, swept floors and then thought some morning patio time was in order before the second wave of activity hit.  Not to mention that the house was ALL mine!  Only a sleepy dog to tend to, or more accurately NOT tend to...  *another big smile*
  This afternoon will be the beginning of a busy week.  The last concert of the school year starts it all off.  Following later in the week is work, car recall repair, vet appointment, tutoring lesson, more work, dentist appointment, yet more work...and that is just what I KNOW is scheduled.  That of course is interspersed with housework (that cleaning fairy never seems to make her scheduled appointments here!)...oh, but don't think there will be no fun activity.  Looking forward to a luncheon with "the Brit girls", a coffee out while that car is being looked at, and a visit to the farmers market (all whilst knitting is getting done I hope) So, there always seems to be a bit of balance -- even though I let the responsibility side get a bit heavy, in my mind anyways.
  It is an amazing thing that a simple sit on the porch on a sunny spring morning surrounded by my favorite things can bring that all to light...my life is good...

20 May 2011

...wisdom of Oscar

"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."
  Surely the dear Mr. Wilde had my magnolias in mind when he wrote this...as well as the aromatic cup of coffee this morning while seated on the patio of Alterra at the Lake watching the eerie fog hovering on the other side of the Lake Drive.  I think ALL the senses were on heightened alerts today.  And this did make for a lovely day!  ...Schlagermusik (yes, a weird little pleasure of mine...), language homework, sitting at my fav cafe, great weather, wine later on my front porch with my dog restlessly watching birds and sniffing the air.  It was all so simple, so wonderful.  Just the other day, a good friend posted on her facebook status something about all the little things she encountered during a routine day.  It really made a lot of people rise to the occasion and comment about how they, we, usually miss these little things.  I try not to...yet I still do, because my over-active sense of responsibility tends to force me to stress unnecessarily.  Life is too short...even when we are granted a long life in the terms of the normal human being in these times.  We should stop and smell the magnolias!

03 May 2011

...r.i.p. Uncle

...the music will live on.  I will never listen to those tunes the same way.  I can still sing all the words!  ...a white sport coat, and a pink carnation...peggy sue...ring of fire...tiny bubbles...unchained melody...all the buddy holly, patsy cline, everly brothers...I could go on all night.  I will carry everyone of those songs in my heart.  Grandpa was a part of it.  My dad, my brothers, my cousins, all a part of it, playing together at your lead.  I will miss the silenced voice, but it lives on in my head and in my heart!

01 May 2011

...fun and frivolity!

Some how, in the course of my recent rash of life changing moments, I have become acquainted with and quite attached to a group of women from the UK all living here in the metro area.  Well, that "some how" actually has a name -- S.W.  Since meeting her (and then "losing her" to a job transfer...), I have had the pleasure of being adopted into her friend circle.  And this adoption has led to a hidden secret bit of Brit  making itself known...go figure!  From teas to curries...ales to bickies -- (um, not the Australian ones...) its been here in my house all along and I feel very comfortable with them and adore their quickly growing friendships.

As a group, it really all started with the Eurovision Song Contest Gathering 2010.  A hoot of a time...The latest group get together was yesterday's tape delayed viewing of the Royal Wedding.  The company, as always was grand.  The required hats even grander.  And oh, the MENU!  What actually I believe, started as a "bring a bit of food over" turned into the Royal Buffet itself!  JW did her homework and prepared several items from the official menu, very well done, I might add.  The Cadbury Awards for hats was lovely, the Pom and Prosecco was free flowing and the wedding commentary far better than any we were listening to on the broadcast -- either of them CBS or BBC!
 We all had such fun, it left us asking what the next grand event will be to prompt another gathering such as this...Eurovision 2011???

30 April 2011

...some things that have come to light

So now that indoor soccer season is over, my gainful employment takes a bit of a holiday.  A good portion of my time that would be spent working with the kids and planning sessions and generally hanging out at the indoor soccer complex disappear.  This always causes problems for me.  And now that my kids are more independent, it takes on completely new dimensions.  You see, I am not a terribly organized person...nor am I particularly driven (well, productively anyways...).  I get a sort of "deer in the headlights" reaction when I have a load of time with "nothing" to do.  By that I mean other people -- bosses -- giving me schedules and direction. 
Because I have been like this for so long, my living space shows it.  It doesn't help that I have the pack-rat gene passed down from at least three generations...its going strong!  Looking around me, I realize that if I want to move forward, I must organize, make space for myself, create a comfortable atmosphere.  So I was at the ready when the season ended two weeks ago.  I've been to the charity shop several times with car loads, really, literally car loads...seats down, one occupant, stuffed to the gills car loads getting rid of years of collecting things that "might come in handy one day". 
The artist in me sees use in everything and anything, so this has been a difficult task.  But I am forcing myself to give it up as there is someone else out there that can use the stuff in my life time.  There will always be stuff for me to create with, it just doesn't have to be stored in my house! 
I can do this...I know I can...

..in this photo--missing, one GINORMOUS piece of white milk glass that was basically unidentifiable as to its use.  It finally made its way OUT of my house and into another by way of a royal wedding party gift exchange.  See, I CAN get rid of stuff!

19 April 2011

...no more excuses

ok...its time for action...I find myself easily intimidated by a great idea, usually to the point of not implementing.  It is time that I put this knee-jerk reaction aside and move forward with this idea of putting my knitting designs "out there".  I've thought about doing this for some time now, years in fact.  But I always seem to create as many (if not more) excuses as to why this is crazy as the project ideas I've gone so far as to put in a sketch book. 
My latest excuses are these:  ...if I start and I actually succeed, I wont have the time to keep up with it all (um, pretty bold excuse, how 'bout just start and see what comes of it all)    ...wow, all these knitters doing the same thing I am thinking about doing and succeeding-how can I really compare to all that (um, colleagues, not competitors, remember for me, this is a for-fun "necessity" to create)     ...what if I don't succeed (um, see response to excuse number one)    ...do I have the resources-money, time, space-to do this right (um, just look at the stash, and then glance at the recent calendar changes)...and the BIG ONE:  just where do I start???? (causing "deer in the headlights" syndrome)
Organization is not one of my strong suits.  I am afraid if I'm not organized enough, this will never work.  Then I go on an "organizing tear" through my house, and find myself productively distracted and sidetracked.  While this is much to the delight of my husband, it does nothing to really further this endeavor.  Oh sure, in a way it is preparation for creating a "working environment" -- I have always envied my husbands "hobby space" - where mine has been spread throughout the house.  That part of the dream is starting to come together...not ideally -- that probably wont happen until one of the "babies" moves out, some time off I would think.  Now if I could just turn off the telly...

...anyone else sensing a trend of useless excuses???

27 March 2011

...eight years is just too long

...but when it is a true friend, there is not a hint of guilt, just happiness when the reunion occurs!  It is a true friend who you can sit and talk with for hours about all the good things happening in each others lives and not compete for who is better off.  It is a true friend who can help you sort out the mistakes you made and come up with ideas on how to overcome your weaknesses.  It is a true friend who can help you discover your strengths and suggest ways to develop them.  It is a true friend who asks questions in genuine interest and does not interrogate.  What a beautiful gift it is to have a true friend!  ...you know who you are...

...times have changed, life has changed

...so when did I go from a person who had great ideas and plans to one who puts those ideas and plans into action?
I spent my years until 40 living life...well maybe not living...thinking I was not good enough to accomplish some of the things I really wanted to do.
Recently, I have been a bit introspective about those years.  Now mind you, they were not bad years by any means!  I had everything I could have ever needed and more than most.  Strong faith, loving parents, fun friends...activities abounded, I tried it all...or at least anything that presented itself.  I did not always go out of the box to search for things.  I took what life gave me and reacted to it. 
Things seem different now.  I tend to look for what could be done, seek it out and take the risk to try it.  I dont always succeed, but that does not stop me from trying like it did in my first 40 years.
Its not easy to make this change -- sometimes I revert back to "old ways" because of a bit of self doubt.
...but sometimes all it takes is a good friend to get you back on track...

13 March 2011

...interesting turn of events

...so this may be my future...

24 February 2011

...ever have one of those days?

..this little picture is the best explanation of how my head and heart feel today.  There was a glitch in the flow of the ortho office today.  So much is changing and we fell victim to the inevitable realization that change brings moments of unrest and uncertainty.  Just when you seem to have it "down just right", that little something happens to throw the wrench into the works and remind you that you DON'T know everything you need to.  You are reminded that you are NOT always comfortable with doing things differently no matter how many times you say out loud that "this change is easy to deal with, its all just fine..."  The thing that gets me tonight is that I feel I missed it.  I left thinking "that wasn't so bad", and yet it was because it did not go RIGHT.  I left frustrated because I want to do such a great, outstanding job at what I do and that just did not happen tonight.  Then to come home to a house of chaos -- two extra labbies, kids in transition, the house a mess, and a little time to think of all that needs to be done and how little time I have to get it finished.  I'm the proverbial deer in the headlights.  NO motivation to start because I am overwhelmed at all the necessary things and even more so by all the desires...hope the feeling passes soon, because even though in the great scheme of all things, every bit of it is really very insignificant, it is taxing every bit of my being this evening...

...a funny thing happened on the way home from lunch...

...so, I FINALLY get a chance to lunch with a couple of good friends this week.  It used to be that I had a fairly open schedule that would accomodate this little luxury a bit more often, but that is part of the "changing tide" these days.
  We agreed to meet in Bayside at a place called Maxfield's Pancake House.  Misnomer.  Its definitly pancakes and MORE!  After much deliberation and paging throught the menu, we had lunch ordered and chatted away.  Now I have to say that these two ladies have been a very positive influence on my world recently.  From getting my bum off the couch and out walking or checking in on exercise in general...they get my creative juices flowing just being around them.
  One of the ladies asked the other two of us to take notice of a fine arts/crafts gallery next door.  She had to run, but she insisted we go in.  We peeked in the window and it looked just too luscious to pass by, so in we went.  Surronded by beautiful hand made things, mostly jewlery, accessories and tchotchke, all of it faboo!  We finally went to leave, drooling a bit when the proprietor noticed my friends bag, stopped her, asked her where she got it -- she points at me -- owner asks where I got it -- I tell her I made it  -- she shakes my hand, slips me a business card and says call me if I would ever want to sell any others that I have made...
  I left rather surprised, really.  I'm giving it some thought...perhaps I will make a few small bags and see what happens....

06 February 2011

...need I say more?


04 February 2011

...for future reference

 ...honestly, european knitting patterns can be so frustrating when you are used to the format and wording of american knitting patterns.  While every detail and every stitch are right there in black and white, there is no "hand-holding".  Its usually all pictures, which is GREAT for a backwards knitter like me, but in the case of the sweater I have just started I am encountering a "word" explanation of the set up row just does not seem to match up with the "picture" explanation of the cable pattern.  I am wracking my brain trying to figure it out.  Looking at the photos of the finished sweater, it really seems obvious how it should set up, and yet my eyes do not see it.  I know I will be a smarter knitter when the light bulb turns on, but until I reach that point, I could just scream, cry, rip my hair out, kick something...but of course that will not solve my problem.  Why the rant?  Well, I've been pushing around the idea of writing up patterns for some of the designs in my sketchbook...swatching, developing and putting to paper the imaginings I've recorded in it.  The frustrations I am finding with the format of this euro-pattern cannot be repeated in what I put together.  It is showing me aspects of conveying details needed to repeat the design and how it should, or should not be done.  I need to use the information I glean from attacking this fabulous pattern to make my pattern, readable, and thus doable.   

02 February 2011

...snow day

Nothing like a good snow day to spark creativity and motivation.  The Midwest states got seriously hit with a good bit of snow.  Then came winds to whip it around creating drifts like we have not seen in over ten years.  The national weather service certainly called this one and we were physically and mentally prepared for the "lock-in".  It literally took over 4 hours to clear the drive and dig out the cars.  In that amount of mindless, monotonous, physical labor, one really has time to think, and think I did. 
  I have been wanting to get some of my knitting ideas from the sketch book stage to "knitable patterns on paper" stage.  It just seemed that if I could be out there with my kids tackling (and overcoming) the piles of snow that had to be moved, I could certainly start to take action on getting these designs to paper...as workable patterns.  The next logical steps may be to find a way to publish them, be it e-published or old-fashioned book or magazine published, it would be a dream to have someone else in the knitting world see them as valuable to others in that same creative world.
  I think my first one will be the Oktoberfest jacket I made from my friends son -- he was less than a year old when I made it for him.  A small, simple pattern with a few special details, it should be a bit easier to translate to a written pattern.  
  Part of my problem though, is the fabulous idea seldom makes it to reality.  You know, all talk-no action, this is my past pattern.  Usually it is because I run into a bump in the road that makes it hard to proceed.  When the way becomes difficult, I tend to bog down and get no where.  Perhaps now is the time to put to rest that bad habit and develop a new one...My old way was to just sit and wait for my hubby or a neighbor to take care of the difficult task of clearing the way from all the snow...This year, this snow storm in particular I felt empowered by being out there with the kiddos and getting the job done.  Perhaps this is the year I put old, bad habits to rest and take on new challenges? 

30 January 2011

...the road ahead

...so, another year well underway.  Just returned from a holiday jaunt.  Had the opportunity to spend some quality time with a dear friend during the trip.  This friend is always good at spurring thoughts about what I have done with my life up to this point and just what I shall do with the future.   She helps me to sort through regrets and happy memories.  She challenges me to think outside the box when I talk with her about dreams -- she's really good at getting me motivated to make those dreams the stuff of everyday life.  She helps me see that the ordinary is not always boring and when things look bleak, they are not so much so when put in perspective with all the other things going on around me.  She helps me to see some of the harsh truths regarding aspects of my life and is never slow to point out that there are just as many, if not more details to counter the harshness.  We used to do all this over tea and coffee at the kitchen table.  Since she has moved away, this is not possible.  But once or twice a year, I am privilaged to a visit at that very same table.  We pick up as if it were just a few hours ago that we had last sat over a cup.  This is certainly a mark of a good friendship. 
...I must admit that over this visit, nothing definite has come to light as to where this year's road might lead.  Some small details made themselves known -- a new faboo work out in a mag at the PT's office;  ideas for better eating habits, again from a "gift" mag her hubby brought back from GB; project ideas for knitting; renewed interest in modern arts from a visit to "the Dali"; thoughts on renewing friendship and relationships with our husbands and children and good friends...so many little things that will affect the big picture in some manner, I am sure.  ...looking forward to sharing the stories yet again at that table, but until then the cell and computer will have to do.

28 January 2011

...what I need

...really, saw this on the interstate going through Nashville.  Could have probably used a bit to settle my hand when taking photos, don't you think?

27 January 2011

...dali, what a head trip

...HAD to check out the new and improved Dali Museum in St. Pete's.  Wow, this has to be one of the most fantastic museums I've been in.  I did not think they could make it better than the old place, but they did.  More prints/paitings/drawings etc...than the other.  It was wonderous and head-spinning.  Each one more bizzar than the next.  I absolutely loved it.  The new building was fantastic, but for some odd reason we could not find the entrance on the first try!  It was only obviously marked with an arrow showing it, but yet we walked the perimeter of the building.  It was worth the trek around.  The grounds are well designed -- the rocks (I did not get a photo -- why I did not think of it is beyond me...) looked just like ones Dali had painted in many paintings.  It didnt hit me until we were through a better part of the gallery.  Came home with a few goodies from the gift shop to savor the memory...

...have knitting, will travel

...so, here you see my knitting basket -- on the road.  Finished a no-brainer scarf project requested by my son.  He will be happy to have it around his neck when we return.  But the dilemma now is which project to start next.  In the photo you can see the wool for two of the three remaining, planned projects.  The blue wool is for a sweater pattern I found in a Rebecca magazine.  The self striping is for a pair of leggings.  The third wool is hidden under these, also a self striping ball of Opal for a pair of socks.  I'm really wanting to start the sweater, but it is a german pattern -- not as detailed and "hand-holding" in nature as american patterns.  My mind is definitely in VACATION MODE and does not want to process the steps to figure out the german pattern.  Its a cable/bobble/intricate pattern thing that will be lovely when done, just a troublesome thing to get set up and started (as I believe I may rip out a few times before I get it just right...)  ..."destination procrastination" on this one, I think.  Then the leggings one is a flat pattern that I wish to knit in the round.  Sounds simple, but I just cannot picture in my head why the cast-off and cast-on are where they are in yet another european pattern...left brain/right brain NOT co-operating!  Then there is the sock pattern -- not in the mood to do socks, but it will probably be the pick, as it is the one of the three projects that IS no brainer...
...oh, and I would like you to take notice of my FAVORITE knitting tool in the world...my hand-turned Nostepinne...I love this thing!  Thank you Adam for making it for me!!!  It has been very therapeutic for me to wind balls of wool using it...they look so pretty sitting like little eggs in my basket, I think....

23 January 2011

...on the road

...leave at midnight, drive like crazy until 1pm, find hotel, watch game.  This was the start to our get-a-way.  We made it to Beckly, WV, we are in a cozy hotel, well fed, drinking beer and its half time (we are ahead 14-0!)  Kiddos are holding down the fort (we hope - also, have oma and opa's help with this one -- LOVE them!)
Long car rides ALWAYS mean knitting projects -- especially winter driving.  Its a great distraction for me so I don't slam on the phantom breaks floor side passenger seat!  This time, though, I was the driver for the snowy part of the trip -- ugh!  Thank God it only lasted a few miles...freak squall.  I have finished Jack's scarf request and have supplies for three projects - pair of socks, pair of leggings and a beauty of a sweater.  Let's see where that goes, eh? 

16 January 2011

...wow! Has it REALLY been that long?

...I am sooooo surprised that no one has actually lost their life!  I am coming off of a VERY long dry spell of needle-less activity.  I've been getting my "career" in order, my social schedule more balanced with my "responsibility schedule".  Then the holidays just fell into the mix.  That is what brought the needles out of the dusty vase where they reside these days.  Granted the knitting was not the PLEASURE knitting I would have hoped for.  It was gift knitting -- a different creature altogether. 
  Now, don't get me wrong.  I don't mean to say I hate knitting for other people, its just a different mind set from the start.  Deadlines, preferences of others over personal creativity and the like sometimes makes gift knitting more of a "job" than my regular knitting.  I'm still finishing off a gift or two, but it is more like "request" knitting.  A scarf for "the boy" (soon to be "the man" -- whoa!) is what I'm working on right now. 
  I just really wanted to post to let any stray soul who might happen to actually follow this blog know that I'm still alive...bordering on the insanity that mid-winter in the northern Midwest USA brings...