I am not sufficiently disciplined to not want to start something when I decide to stop doing other things.  As not starting something when you stop doing something would just be silly, and much too disciplined for me.  I have stopped selling on Etsy, reading any number of blogs, checking my email too many times a day, watching too much TV, and other things that escape me at the moment.

The corresponding thing I will start doing (again) is knitting others’ patterns.  I am somewhat happy with where my design is, but I feel that if I want to take it to the next level I will need to start knitting others’ patterns.  I have never found classes or discussion to be effective ways for me to learn knitting (I learned almost entirely from books): the only way I have ever really learned anything is from knitting it myself.

I was inspired by this article about Tiger Woods last week.  I want to live in that pursuit of excellence, and have the courage to cut out anything that is not perfection.

I have also started cooking more and as proof — my shopping list of last week:


I almost think I should start a cooking blog — that may be taking things too far by the time I finished making anything the light would be gone and I couldn’t take good pictures of it.

My midwinter feast of choice is Christmas, and I started decorating yesterday — I have almost completely dropped the ball and haven’t bought a present or written a card, though I did go grocery shopping, so it’s not a complete wash.

I did however pull out the Christmas decorations and decorate a house plant for a tree (it’s my new Norfolk pine):


There was a  bit of a snow storm yesterday:


Yes, that is snow almost halfway up my window — it’s quite charming today, but I am a little concerned that it will stay there all winter.  We are on the second floor, so surely it will blow off or fall off on someone’s head in a big clump.  If having a bird leave, um — droppings — shall we say, on your shoulder is lucky, them a big pile of snow on your head must be too.

And please remember, when you bite into that gingerbread cookie, that symbolic human sacrifice is an important part of the tradition.


Have a wonderful celebration of light coming back into the world.

Merry Christmas!

I was doing some professional reading today and came across this article. The salient question that started the subject of the article to start this process of stopping doing things is “Imagine that you’ve just inherited $20 million free and clear, but you only have ten years to live. What would you do differently—and specifically, what would you stop doing?

I think I need a stop-doing strategy.  There are so many things I have spent so much time doing — there are of course the usual suspects: surfing the Internet in general and Ravelry in particular and watching TV, but there are also other things that just sap my energy and don’t fit into what I really want to accomplish.

After reading about being a professional crafter on Etsy yesterday (see post here), I realized anew that though superficially it looks lovely, and I feel a fair amount of jealousy towards people who are successful, it just isn’t for me.  I don’t want to do that even if I had the time to do it well, which I don’t — it just ends up being hokey, and I hate hokeyness.

This has led me to the decision to pull all my listings from Etsy — and it’s done.

Partly I just don’t like having to mail stuff then getting blamed when it gets stuck in customs.

I wonder what else I should stop doing.  Any suggestions? What do you want to stop doing?

I just saw this article in the New York Times.  It discusses some of the things that I have thought for some time — to put it simply, making a living on Etsy looks hard.  I would probably focus on pattern design as opposed to production work anyway, as that is more satisfying for me personally, and I am not really one for wanting to make the same thing twice, never mind more than that.

If I were unemployed, I would probably try to make a go of my knitting/design career, but I can’t see myself quitting my job to do it full time any time soon — partly because I like it too.

I greatly respect those who do it, and so many people are making such beautiful things, but it really looks hard.  My hat off to all of those who do it.

Addendum: There is also discussion about this at one of my favourite blogs, Poppytalk.  See here.

The new issue of Knitty is up here, along with my Four Corners in Tokyo:


I know I am a bit late, but I was out of town yesterday.

The sample was knit my Jenny of Spinning Jenny.  If you would like to see how the sample fits with different amounts of ease you can check out her wearing it here.  This was the first pattern that I worked with a sample knitter on directly, and it went so well.  It’s funny when you start doing your hobby professionally – I never thought I would outsource my knitting, but there you go.

Today I have been sitting inside and not going out.  This is part of the reason why:


There is a windchill warning, and I just don’t feel like it (it is -27 centigrade and feels like -40 — I don’t need to look up what that is in Fahrenheit as that is almost where they are the same).  I am not sure that anywhere in the city is better than right here:


I made myself a nice pot of soup for lunch and continued working on a project with an upcoming deadline, which is the other reason I am not going out.  I am still working on it for several reasons, among them that I started these:


They are Mari Muinonen’s Yellow Harvest Mittens from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2008, except of course that mine are red  (Hmm, I just noticed there are errata, I wonder if they will affect me yet).

I can’t wait to really get on them when I am done the sweater this weekend.

I really should make myself finish two projects for every one I finish for a while.  The number of unfinished projects is getting a little out of hand.  I don’t propose to be someone who only knits one thing at a time — for me attempting that would just be silly, but maybe five current projects would be feasible.  Now I will just say that I really don’t know how many I am “working on”.

We were out doing a last minute photo shoot today in the sun:


It was so lovely.  It snowed a little last night, but it wasn’t cold, which is good as I am unsure of the attractiveness of a very red nose and how it will ever induce anyone to knit a sweater.

A couple little girls walked by, and they were very interested in what we were doing.  One of them says to me: “I want to be a model — are you a model?” To which I didn’t have an immediate response — I guess I am, as I model my own designs, it would be a bit different if I were paid to do it, but as it is no one can tell me I can’t.

They told us that designing sweaters is cool, and they would be happy to buy the one I was wearing.  Apparently they thought the lovely Jonathan was proposing, instead of taking my picture, which would have been more exciting than having my picture taken and require much less standing on boggy ground.  Not that I want to imply that having a sweater in Knitty isn’t very exciting indeed.

Having been married and published in Knitty, it is difficult to say which was more exciting the first time — being divorced, I can say that I think getting published in Knitty was.

That isn’t good: I guess I will have to fall back on many more people being married than being published in Knitty and leave it at that.

I just read an excerpt from The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber in the winter issue of Twist Collective (The Softness Myth by Clara Parkes).  I think this article is full of good observations — yarn should not just be as soft as possible.  I have had the conversation on many occasions about a particular yarn I happen to like and been told it is not soft enough, but I ask you: how soft does yarn need to be?

I confess here that I am quite accepting of scratchy wool and will quite willingly wear a hat that makes me scratch and scratch when I take it off — which of course means a red forehead, but I don’t mind (I generally make sure that any yarn I suggest others use in my yarn suggestions is not too scratchy as I know not everyone shares my particular preferences).  All the same, if you live somewhere really cold — please never underestimate the value of good forehead coverage, it really is important — I gave myself frostbite (or something very close to it) walking to work one day when it was too cold for the car to start and will never forget that particular lesson (other lessons, yes, that one, no).

But all the same yarn should not only be judged on being as soft as possible — there really are all sorts of measures of a yarn, and I am happy to see more discussion on the subject.

I have immediately requested said book from the library to check out what else Clara has to say.

I have been home for the last couple days as I have been sick.

I really feel like I can’t go outside as going out when you are sick is like the new drinking and driving and people will yell at me.

While on the road I spent a fair amount of time knitting in bed (there never seems to be a good place to sit in hotel rooms):


And I finished my socks, but I think I need to do more socks to get the grafting at the end of the toes right.  It just didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to — it has nubby bits on each side of the grafting:


I can graft quite well when the two sides can butt up against each other flat, but having to do it when the sides were laid on top if each other stymied me a bit.  I will wash them — that first wash takes our all sorts of knitting ills.

Oh well, if I were got at everything when I first tried it life would probably be less rewarding, and I would be less modest, which would most likely do me no good at all.

I would like to try it out for a month or so though.

October 2016
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