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Archive for January 29th, 2007

My Heart Leaps with Delight!

Monday, January 29th, 2007

I talked to Diana tonight (Monday). Today it went from sort of cold to really, really cold here. They are predicting snow, at least a little bit, every day and night through Friday. We will not be anywhere near freezing even midday. This is two-pairs-of-socks-to-bed weather.

I told Diana how lucky I felt to have Rae’s sample of my new wrap today, when it got so cold so quickly. I had one wrap under my coat around my neck, and the really warm cushy one on the outside of my coat and wrapped close to my face.

She said “Why don’t you let me knit you one?”

Be still, my heart. I have learned that when someone wants to present me a gift, I need to say “yes, thank you” and allow them to love me. Since I’m a knitter (and I have knit one of these myself), I know what she is offering and I’m humbled. And delighted, of course.

I joke often “I wonder who would knit me that sweater/wrap/hat/you name it” but I would never ask that sort of favor. Diana knits for my business because she chooses to work for me. I don’t take that lightly, and I believe I should knit my own frivolous personal items.

I would love a comfort shawl. I have all the yarn required, but not the time. I can not afford to spend time knitting for me. Most of my “pleasure knitting” which ends up my own, is socknitting done in line at the post office, pharmacy or allergist’s office.

I can’t take large projects in my purse, they do not work out well for these little snippets of time which can turn into real wearable socks. So I knit myself socks and almost nothing else. The rest of my knitting is designing new patterns or creating samples for the shops which sell my patterns.

Oh, joy! A comfort wrap just for me? Knit by my sister-in-love, Diana? How lucky can I be?

Trust me, I’ve already assembled the yarns… two balls of hot pink Nashua Creative Focus wool/alpaca, a few smallish balls of handspun from when I was still learning to spin, one ball of green alpaca, and a whole lot of sockyarn in grays/blues/teals/greens. One smallish leftover ball of brushed purple alpaca (yum). I should look to see if I have any bits and pieces of mohair, it really works well with this wrap.

Selfish little, childlike little me. I get a present! I am beside myself with anticipation.

Thank you for loving me with your heart and your hands, Diana.

Finally, a Really Productive Day

Monday, January 29th, 2007

I started Sunday with sleeping in, past noon. After a short night of sleep the night before, that was just the thing I needed! Unfortunately the first thing I tried to do (make buckwheat pancakes) did not work out, and that was the second day in a row on that disaster. I will start over next week on pancakes, as I’ve made them for years and it is just this week that I’ve had trouble with them.

kristicomfort3inch72dpi.jpgBut after that? It really turned around. I got to see Rae and deliver my patterns to Threadbear, as I said before. I had the energy to run two dishwasher loads in the kitchen so that it almost looks like a regular week rather than a week where I felt too crummy to tend to maintenance. And dinner? We have a microwave again so we just ate some very nice foods I’d frozen previously. No cooking, but good solid homemade food.

And then Brian helped me out with a computer problem that had been nagging me for weeks. I love this man! I know it was his day off and he does computer work all week, but he did the research and fixed it. I had done enough research to know what was going wrong but I could not seem to find the answer to the problem. Go, Brian!

And now I think I really do have a new pattern. I sent the final copy to two friends for a final look-over, even though it has been knit at least 3 times already. Every time I change a sentence trying to get it more clear, I take the chance that I have muddied it instead. I hope a few fresh eyes will help me out and I can release it this week.

cozycomfortshawl33forweb.jpgI’m calling this the Cozy Comfort Wrap/Lap Blanket. I started it as a wrap/stole and then realized it was so warm and so cozy and so cuddly, that if it were just a bit larger it would make a great lap blanket or throw. You can not believe how soft and lovely it feels.

Here you see me modeling it on the front porch Sunday when the temperature was 18 degrees out. I had a cotton turtleneck and a very thin wool sweater (almost T-shirt thickness) underneath that wrap, and I was pretty comfy out there in the snow. And I get cold at the drop of a hat! It really is a wonderful fabric.

The base yarn for this one is Nashua Creative Focus Wool/Alpaca worsted weight yarn. It is one strand (a “singles” yarn would be the official description, but I think that sounds like a declaration of marriageability). Each row is knit with a second yarn held along with it.

There are two pages of information in the pattern on how to combine yarns, colors and textures, and how to care for special fibers if you choose to knit with them (the softer the yarn, the more special it can be). The first version I knit of this, most of the knit-along yarns were alpaca or silk blends. Super soft and warm!

Diana is preparing to make two more of these Comfort Wraps very soon. The one you see me modeling here is the sample for Rae’s shop (she carries the Nashua Creative Focus yarn I used for the first/green one and also this purple one). Diana is also doing one for Threadbear using Malabrigo merino worsted as the base yarn, and one for Little Red Schoolhouse using Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride worsted as the base. All beautiful in their own way, of course, though I am very fond of alpaca anything.

cozycomfortshawlcloseuppurplefabricweb.jpgI’ve been very pleased with how many patterns I am selling on my somewhat-new shopping cart. I am preparing to put up a few more polymer clay buttons this week on the cart, as well as this new pattern (and I have two more in the works, very very close to production). I hope this is a busy week for me on the shopping cart front. I know it all depends on me at this point.

Tomorrow is another day. Well… actually, I’m typing this an hour or two into the tomorrow which is Monday, but I have not retired for the night yet. I am sipping some very-low-caffeine Japanese tea and really relaxing. I may even let myself knit a little for my own pleasure here for 15 minutes or so, and then I need to tuck it in for another day.

But what a great day it has been. I have not had a good day like this since the first week of the year. Whew!