Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A New Direction

Hey there Hi there Ho there chickie peeps! Happy September … for most people, the air has a touch of crisp autumnal chill (or rain), but here in Houston it’s still a balmy 92 degrees, and will probably stay that way until November. However, today is cooler than most other days (it’s not supposed to get into the 90’s until later this afternoon, rather than by 8:00am!) and I’m bundled up against the A/C in my Old Navy cardigan, so it’s easy to pretend that the colors are changing and we’re only a few weeks away from warm comforting drinks and cozy socks.

It’s been a tumultuous last few weeks … I left my old job at the wonderful Alley Theatre and have started anew at the Children’s Museum of Houston. I’ve been here for a little over a month by now, and am plugging away at all the things one does when learning a new job. Introductory emails abound! In the shifting-of-jobs that has been happening, I’ve been asking myself: is this what I want to DO for the next ten (or however many) years? (For those of you who don’t know, my previous title at the Alley was Promotions Manager – I handled audience-building programming, audience events, the annual Open House, and a myriad of everything else. For the Children’s Museum, I am Group Promotions and Facility Rentals Manager – so I’m in charge of bringing non-school groups in to the Museum, promoting the Museum to the community-at-large, and convincing people to rent out our various available spaces for parties, meetings, presentations, and whatever else they may be hosting.) The answer to my question was a resounding and unhesitant NO. It's certainly a good way for me to make money, but I just don't want to DO this for ten years. So then the next natural question is: “well, then, what DO I want to do?” The answer: knit. I can’t think of anything that has given me such pleasure (and frustration) as knitting has since I discovered theatre in high school. So when asking the question “what do I want to spend my time doing the next five-to-ten-to-however-many-years?” the only answer that sounded appealing to me was: knitting. So how do I do that? How do I create a career for myself with – of all things – knitting? Well, I have to start by learning more. Learning more techniques, more aspects of the craft (finishing, embellishing, designing, sewing), and while I work a "day job" to save up enough money to leave this knitting-unfriendly-hotter-than-the-seventh-circle-of-hell city for woollier climates, I can take classes to teach me these things and practice at night, and create more of a name for myself online using this blog and Etsy.com.

SO … after months of idly posting random thoughts and photos of my latest WIPs (work-in-progress for you non-knitters kind enough to follow me), I feel like I have a direction I can take this thing. I’m going to talk about the things I’m learning as I learn them, and post photos of my progress. I’m going to ask those of you who read this far to share this blog with anyone you know who would be interested or remotely care for long enough to add themselves to my followers, and to check out my Etsy shop (
www.knotforknothing.etsy.com, or click the link in the “Talk to Me, Babe” section at the top right of this page) and order things from me, or send me a message with a request for a unique item. There are tons of things that I can make that don’t have photos in my gallery, because I just haven’t made them yet. I have ideas for patterns for sweaters, fingerless gloves, mug cozies, hats, blankets, anything knitted – I can also do felts, napkin rings, baby stuffs … hand-made gifts are making a comeback, people! Nothing shows you care more than something that was made by hand – even if it wasn’t made by you. So check out my store and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, then all you have to do is ask.

That being said, here are a couple of things I’ve finished lately – a kinda Fair Isle hat for sale at Hazel in Chicago

Another hat for Hazel – it has a thistle cable pattern knitted in that’s very subtle. I’m naming the hat “Sassenach,” after the nickname given to the main character in the series of books I’m reading right now (and totally obsessed with – it’s the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Sassenach is Gaelic for “Outlander,” or someone not from the Highlands of Scotland). The thistle is subtle, but you can see it if you look closely.

From more knitting stuffs
And a gift for my Nana – it’s another cable swatch, called Secret Garden. If you look closely, it looks like two people hiding between trees. I knitted this for her, because when I was younger my Nana read the entire Secret Garden book onto tapes for me and sent it to me as a gift. My Nana is a National Treasure and she deserves a statue in a park somewhere.

From more knitting stuffs
And my first pair of needle-toppers -- they're cups of tea! (13" size 7 bamboo needles - for sale in my Etsy store.)

From more knitting stuffs

As for upcoming classes you can look forward to me reporting on:
*Basic Sewing – a private class with my good friend Janet Copestake, date still TBD
*Beginner Hand Spinning – September 26
*Edging Magic & Flower Power -and- Designing Embroidery on Knitting with Nicky Epstein – November 15

And I’m hoping against hope to make it into the Cat Bordhi tutorials being hosted at my LYS (local yarn store, again for you non-knitters) in November. I’m on the wait list. I’m also planning to take a Dyeing Workshop at the end of October, but I’m not sure if my schedule will support it right now – but I’ll take one at some point, so you’ll get to see plenty of pics of a messy kitchen and stained fingers.

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