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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.
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.
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 have registered for a spinning course as part of my efforts to become part of the community here, which has inspired me to finish the following skein which I have been “working”* on for several months:
After the course started, I immediately had to start travelling for my job, which is impinging on my spinning time dreadfully.
I need to wash/set it first, but I think I will count the yardage. Maybe I have enough for an eccentric hat. The knitting of said hat will be simple, it will only be eccentric because anything made out of this yarn, when worn on one’s head, must be considered eccentric — it’s the nature of the beast.
*Had sitting idle on my wheel
I started my new job today. My alarm went off at 6:15, to make sure I would get to work on time. I got up made myself a lovely breakfast of slow cooking oatmeal with dates and almonds, got dressed in record time, got out the door with time to spare, and then about half way there, as we were coming up to the train tracks that I didn’t even know were there, the lights started flashing.
Yes a train made me late for my first day of my new job. It was positively farcical — the train traveled up the tracks, then backed up a bit, then another train came up beside it, then the first train moved forward and back again. Finally twenty minutes later the road was clear, and I could finally get to work.
I am glad I had a bit of time off, because if that had happened a few weeks ago I would have been ready to jump out of my skin.
Of course one hears a great deal about drinking and driving and how it is a very bad thing, but I have got other things quite wrong while tipsy as well.
A few weeks ago I was in Vancouver and having a glorious time — though I did do something quite painful to my foot then have to stand around for several hours in high heels at my sister’s wedding, which made it swell up and change colour quite impressively.
The first night there I went out for dinner and shopping with a friend. We went to Zeffirelli’s on Robson street, which is lovely as the food is good and not too expensive and the windows all open across one side, and you can look out into the trees. In case you were wondering I did not notice any particular problem with birds or bugs coming in.
We ate our pasta and slurped our wine and then we went shopping, and I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, but I actually bought an acrylic sweater. It was just so pretty and exactly what I wanted, except it was acrylic and I thought it would be no big deal, but in the morning I felt like I had sucked a lemon. I have to say that I didn’t return it though because it was just so cute and the decision was already made, but I really don’t think I would have done it without the expansiveness of the wine helping out. I guess it is a little like going grocery shopping hungry.
A couple of months ago, again in Vancouver, I went out with my sister, again for Italian food — I love Italian food, and again had wine with (and before) dinner. It just took so long for them to seat us and the nice servering staff kept coming to the waiting area and taking drink orders. Then when we left I paid and then when I woke up in the morning I realixed that I had left a 40% tip (on a fairly substantial bill), apparently because I can’t be trusted to do math while drinking either.
The funny thing is that I was not particularly drunk on either occasion, I guess there is a not very deeply buried part of me that likes to buy acrylic sweaters just because they are really cute and tip extravagantly (or else someone who is just bad at math). I wonder if that part is more fun than the rest of me. . .
So much has happened since I last wrote. My sister is married, but not living with the man she is married to, and I am living with a man I am not married to — everything is as it should be more or less (my sister would be quite happy to live with the man she is married to, but I am happy to be living with the man I am not married to).
I got to a bride’s maid for the first time. Which of course means being primped:
You can’t tell, but I have a nice cup of coffee in my hands, so it is all good.
I have moved to the thriving metropolis of Regina. We are very happy with our new apartment and are still putting everything together. Due to not being in the province the week before we moved (see previous paragraph), we paid movers to pack for us. This led to us paying to move an empty Snapple bottle and other random objects of no continuing value.
Finally, I have decided to change — what better time for new years type resolutions than moving to another city. I am quite suspicious of trying to accomplish anything great that you start at the beginning of January — I prefer September and my birthday overall, but surely a new city gives you the potential for a whole new start. If it doesn’t make you feel too tired or exasperated at my lack of initiative (it really could go either way), here is a shortened list of new initiatives:
I have started running.
I have started outsourcing my knitting when I don’t have time to knit all my samples.
I have decided to keep the place cleaner (what else am I doing with my time anyway? — well aside from knitting, please see previous item).
I have decided to stop getting so worked up about work — it’s just a job after all.
I have started knitting a pair of socks (yes, socks — it’s a red letter change).
I have decided to many other things besides, some of which I can’t recall and some of which I don’t care to share.
I will leave you with a glipse of the brilliance that is my sock:
Surely only good things will come of this.