Thursday, April 21, 2011

Living Situation

This morning as I was driving to work I started reminiscing about my old apartment. What spurred this sudden look back was the fact that my house seems a bit in shambles right now. Even though, in reality, my old place was always in shambles, for some reason I wanted the comfortable feeling of being in a well known "home". I've only been at my current apartment for 9 months. I lived at my old place for 5 years. There's not the history here yet nor the lived in feeling of putting down roots somewhere.

When I moved into my old apartment everything was new. I was fresh out of college and about to start my first real job. By contrast, necessity drove me to move to my new place (multiple break-ins, one in my own building, and too much stuff for only 900 square feet). Work was the same old same old though I was contemplating a change (last fall was when I first started thinking about leaving my teaching gig). Everything else about my life was pretty well established. I even had a fairly serious boyfriend at the time (long since gone).

After the move I had to jump right back into the teaching scene and, as is typical, there were things that have gone undone since then. The office is probably the worst off with clutter abounding in every corner, most noticeably in this pile of old crafting supplies and pictures and an unused storage unit:
There are also half unpacked boxes all over. Stashed between the couch and the chair:
Behind the "dead cat":
And more in the office closet (which is actually ok because it's out of sight, out of mind). The bedroom is little more than a bed with sheets on it and massive piles of laundry (the original plan was to buy new bedroom furniture this fall but with me leaving my steady job I don't think that's in the cards any more). But that's not to say that I don't love the new apartment. The size alone is a major seller. It's got the second bedroom/office (great for yarn storage) and second bathroom which is nice for when I have visitors (don't have to clean the master bath!). The kitchen is big enough for "three butts" and I actually have a dining area. And while I miss looking out my office window to see this:
I get to enjoy this:
Which I plan on using even more once I have a little time to actually relax for more than 10 minutes.

So, while I had a little reflection this morning I'm even more inspired to start turning this new apartment into a home: hanging curtains, unpacking boxes, painting a wall or two.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Selling Out

Recently I've gone through a bit of personal struggle over my business. Part of me wanted to be a purest and only sell yarn. The other part of me wanted to diversify to reach new clients by offering knitted goods. I didn't want to make my dyeing seem less important but, frankly, if this business is going to support me, I need to sell more stuff. And I've always considered myself a Knitter first (with a capital K) and a dyer second. While dying has definitely become more and more important to me (and even more so over the last 8 months) I still love knitting deep down at the core. I could sit all day and knit and be perfectly content. I do love to spend all day dyeing but it's just not as pleasurable to me. Not that I don't get a great deal of pleasure from it, don't get me wrong. But there is still an aspect of work there for me. In knitting, even when I'm making things to sell, it really doesn't seem like work. It seems like I'm enjoying myself while (potentially) making money. The only issue comes when I don't want to make something that I think will sell. I mean, there are only so many washcloths a girl can make before she starts to get a little bleary eyed.

 Baby booties, another thing that might make you go bleary eyed if made in large quantities.

So, there was a little struggle. But in the end, the diversify side won. If you look at the dyers that are out there very few only wear the hat of Dyer. Most are also designers, button and shawl pin makers, or spinners as well. And some started with one of these other areas and moved into dyeing. And that's just talking about the lucky few who do this full time. Many more have dyeing as a hobby that makes a little spending money. So, why can't I offer my knitting? I'm no master but it doesn't take a whole lot of skill to make some felted coasters or baby booties. But people like that kind of stuff. There are a lot of people who are looking for something unique and handmade. Something that's not mass produced. Something with a little character. I could be that person. If that seems like I'm selling out or selling my dye abilities short, well, that's something I may have to deal with down the road. In the meantime maybe I can actually make knitting into a profitable venture.

Pile of knitted things to be felted.

On a side note: I will be at the Inman Park Festival April 30th and May 1st in Atlanta, GA and the Snellville Days Festival May 7th and 8th in Snellville, GA. If you're in the area please stop by! Inman Park looks to be a huge event with a Street Market and juried Arts and Crafts Market (I'll be in the Street Market). Snellville Days is a bit smaller and more folksy but they are both worth the trip.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

That's Life

Just some updates on this game we call Life.

1. Surgery recovery: It's been exactly two weeks since I had my tonsils taken out and my sinus surgery performed. I still have some tightness and soreness in my throat but I'm feeling human again. Monday was really rough, I still couldn't eat very well, there was a lot of scarring in my throat, I needed lots of pain meds to make it through the day, and I was super tired. I went to the doctor for a check up and to clean out some of the scabbing in my nose. That seemed to be the magic pill because that night I slept great and Tuesday I woke up with my throat feeling tons better. Recovery is still slow but at least it's steady. Most nights I can make it until about 4 or 5 in the morning before I have to get up for pain medicine. My biggest issue now is how to keep the cat from bothering me while I try and rest. She's definitely making up for the week and half I was away from home by following me around everywhere and giving me lots of kisses.

2. Work: Things have been the usual craziness at work except I no longer have the energy to deal with it (not that I had a whole lot of energy to work with in the 1st place). I'm just counting down the days until the end of the year. Two weeks ago the county office told us that, due to the large amount of snow days that we had to take this year, all employees had to make up 16 hours "somehow" (literally their words). They have already taken every day off we had until the end of the year and extended the school year the maximum number of days. So, myself and my coworkers are either coming in early or staying late each day for at least an hour trying to make up the time. So far I have 4 hours. I may doing this for awhile.

3. Grad school: Grad school started back this week (thankfully it was this week and not last week, not sure I would have made a whole lot so sense last week). My group counseling class seems like it will be fine but I'm a bit intimidated by my Tests and Measurements class. It's all about the standards of test administration and how to determine the validity and relevance of tests. It's very technical but the worst part is the book is drier than dust. I guess in one sense it's pretty straight forward as far as procedures go and what not but it's not interesting to read in the slightest. Needless to say I fell asleep at my desk today while trying to get a chapter read.

4. Knitting: All felting all the time. I've decided to carry some felted coasters and wine cozies at some of my up coming shows so I've been making lots of felted items. Not exactly exciting but it is what it is. And I'm knitting so that's always good :)

I think that about covers everything. Hoping to have something a little more interesting to post soon. I'm in the process of making up the week+ that I lost so there should be a lot of activity around here soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Exactly one week ago today I had surgery to remove my tonsils and adenoids, fix my deviated septum, clear my sinuses, and remove some polyps from my sinus cavities. Everything I have managed to do since that time has been chalked up as a major achievement since pretty much every day since then something has been hurting, irritating me, or not doing the job I think it should be doing (I'm looking at you pain medications). Here, in no particular order are some things I've done that I feel are press worthy:

1. I took a shower. On Tuesday but still. I took a shower.

2. I ate chicken nuggets. 10 in all. Over a period of three days.

3. I did not pass out. Not when they took out my tubes (which were three inches long with butterfly wings on the sides). Not when I had to leave the office after taking out my tubes. Not when I hadn't eaten anything in two days except medicine and Powerade. Not yet.

4. I finished a blanket.
It's just a little one made from scraps of my hand dyed yarn but I like it and I think it will be lovely and warm once it's blocked out.

5. I made some booties.
Again, nothing big and huge but right now I can't really handle big and huge.

6. I worked almost a full repeat on my Red Dragon socks.
I never understood what pregnant women meant by not being able to knit because it makes them queasy. Now, I totally get it.

7. I started a pattern. It will be for a set of items with a chevron theme to them. A hat with a chevron band, mittens with a chevron design on the back and a multi-directional chevron scarf. I did that one at 2 in the morning so I really think I should get a prize for it or something. I'm telling you about it because I want to be held accountable for actually finishing the pattern. I want to offer it as part of the Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project's Game, Set, Match! campaign where we are collected matching hats and other knitted items for orphans. So, if you don't see updates about the chevron set in a few days start asking questions.

Now, I'm off to take another nap because I've been up for a total of 20 minutes and I'm exhausted.