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Archive for January 28th, 2007


Sunday, January 28th, 2007

It is ugly winter here (Lansing, Michigan, USA), alternating between very cold one day, sunny and almost warm another, then cold again the third. There is nearly no color unless you choose it in clothing or home surroundings. I’m doing my best to wear my brighter clothes these last few days.

Today when the sun went down I felt a wave of sadness. Our sun stays out longer than Alda’s Iceland (read her Iceland Weather Report blog, it is wonderful… and it reminds me of the sunlight hours we get that she does not).

When I get a bit o’the blues, I try to get back to gratitude. I remember that as I got home today I was so grateful for the community in Lansing, the fibery wonderful folks and shops and students and guilds, who all make it possible for me to actually make a modest but honest living as an artist.

I teach, I write/sell patterns, I occasionally dye yarn and sell it, I more occasionally make buttons (or teach polymer clay). I sometimes sing professionally, and when I’m really lucky I get to dance for pay. Mostly I’m a knitting-related fiberartist and teacher. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, the most rewarding job ever.

Yesterday I was in all three shops where I usually teach. Today I was in two. I’ve made such good friends at all of them! Yesterday I was in line buying something at Threadbear, and behind me was a student I met at Little Red Schoolhouse. Today I was at Rae’s and I saw a student I also see at Altu’s restaurant where I sing.

Today I got to see my friend Rae after she was gone from her shop for a week on vacation/working retreat… getting away is a rare thing for we self-employed folks. My friend Linda who runs Little Red Schoolhouse also got away for a while and will be back soon. I will enjoy talking to her about her trip, as well.

And today I delivered several dozen patterns to Threadbear. Can I tell you how much I appreciate the folks over there? They like my patterns so much they recommend them to folks who are looking for projects to knit. They know that my instructions/photos are clear enough to help someone who may live out of town and not be able to come back and pop in with a question. And they keep on ordering/selling patterns. In what are wonderful quantities for a little business like mine. I am so grateful!

Improving a Little Each Day

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Tomorrow it will be three weeks since I got sick originally. I am still not my whole self, but I’m much, much better. I feel close to normal when I am sitting still. My mind is now pretty much as quick as it usually is (the slow brain thing was maybe the hardest part of this bug).

I still need a tissue occasionally, but not a box of tissues. And I seem to mostly only cough when I breathe cold air or dusty/dry air. The only really rough part now is that if I try to stand up a long time, or if I need to walk any distance, my legs get wobbly. It is truly frustrating but I’m learning to slow down.

Of course, while I was sick our microwave died in a big way. As a matter of fact, you could turn it off and it was fine sitting still, but if you opened the door, the power would go on and it would be microwaving your hand if you put something inside, but once you closed the door it would shut off again. Whew!

We called one place we know will work on older appliances but they do not service microwaves. Brian did open it up and he found the switches that were connected to the door latch, but we could not figure out what part would control the safety mechanism which had switched gears. We gave up and decided to buy a new one.

But Yours Truly, Ms. Wobbly Legs, had to go with Brian Friday to three stores, two of them absolutely huge home stores, and walk all the way to the back (or at least halfway). We found a Panasonic at Target. I was *so* ready to find something I could stand in my house and go home to sit down!

The new appliance is not white (which I strongly prefer) but it’s shiny metal with just black as the glass on the door. I like LIGHT in my house, I do not want black anything soaking up the few sun’s rays we get. I don’t care how european or sophisticated it looks, I am already set in my ways at age 48.

At least in this house we have a “shiny metal” thing going on, with chrome furniture both in the kitchen and living room. The shiny microwave will look like it mostly fits, although it looks modern and the rest of the metal is older than me.

The good news is that I could figure out how to use the thing the first day. It’s much nicer than any I’ve before, it has a lot of settings but I can actually figure out how to use some of the basic ones without reading the (very fine) manual.

During my years as a travelling computer trainer, I would go to new locations to teach every day. I would bring lunch and be in a brand new break room more often than not. And here I was, perhaps teaching Advanced Microsoft Access 97 Programming, and I could not always figure out how to heat up my lunch. It’s so frustrating to not have an industry standard, though perhaps a standard would bring down the quality of the better models. I’m glad this new gizmo is truly user-friendly.

Now I’m back home and mostly sitting down. And I don’t have to cook stovetop or in the oven this week. That is, unless I prefer to do it that way. Whee!

In knitting news, I taught a class Saturday to one person which was quite wonderful (a relatively new knitter, we had fun). I got yarn at two shops for samples (Diana, bless her heart, has volunteered to knit them for me again). And I did not knit much at all for myself, but I decreased my gussets on one Aran-weight toe up sock for me. Not too fancy, not much knitting, but enough to relax a bit while I was at Altu’s restaurant waiting for my dinner to arrive.

Now send good vibes… last night I was awake in bed until 4:55am or so, I could not sleep for at least an hour after I went to bed (later than usual because I was finishing up a new pattern) and then I woke up at 9am without an alarm. Thank goodness I got an almost-two-hour nap at 5:30pm. I feel fine right now, and tired enough that I think I will actually sleep tonight. But that was a major drag.

Finally it is again time to sleep. And sleep, and sleep. I have no appointment times tomorrow, though I will deliver patterns to Threadbear and pop by Rae’s shop just to say hello (she was gone a whole week and I missed her). Sleeping in is the first order of the day, at any rate.

Persephone Books in the UK

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

I was reading “yarnstorm” and found a link in the January 16 post  to Persephone Books in the United Kingdom. It looks good, I bet some of you would like to take a peek.