Aka newest stash additions.
My days go by so fast it makes my head spin. I probably don't accomplish that much, but I try to concentrate on major things. Take care of my body, my family, and my house. Socialize. Knit. You get the picture.

The other day I did several loads of laundry, felted bowls in between loads and went for a two hour walk with a friend and my son down by the sea wall. We got some very cute photos of his two-month birthday. For awhile I was making lame excuses for not working out. Stupid excuses like not having proper footwear. The last pair of sports shoes that I bought was way back in 7th grade when I wanted to join the track team. I owned them for 11 years. I quit the track team before the first meet. Running sucks. I finally threw my Adidas away when we were moving from Germany to Virginia and I realized that I was hanging onto .. well, trash. Plus, my plastic tote with shoes was absolutely bursting at the seams and the whole scenario was ridiculous.

Reminiscing about footwear : here's a photo of the first pair of socks I ever knit. Back in 2005 I was stuck in Marmaris, Turkey with nothing to do after the tourist season had ended. I had vague plans of possibly staying there on a permanent basis, even if that meant taking the ferry to Greece every six months to renew my tourist visa. (And I swear (crossing my fingers) I was not the girl hiding out with the Russian chick in the bathroom when the Turkish cops came looking for illegal workers.) I was working as a tattoo artist for a friend of a friend of my ex-boss. After months of working up to 14 hours a day, mostly tattooing and sometimes selling jewelry, I was bored out of my mind in the coldest winter Turkey had seen in 50 years. All hopes of living it up in a warm climate for the winter went out the window.

On the weekends I taught my boss's ten-year-old daughter, Sezan, English. I adopted a kitten and I taught myself how to knit socks on DPNs. I simultaneously had two websites open - some picture tutorial to guide me through the steps and a free generic sock pattern. Somehow I managed to wrestle 5 needles and a ball of yarn into two, equally sized and very slippery socks while huddled in front of a space heater. Two months later while recovering from surgery, I knit another pair of pink and orange striped socks. Those were the only pairs of socks I ever finished. I have two loners hiding out, one still on 0-sized needles because I lost my pattern notes and another gigantic I-broke-up-with-him-before-his-socks-were-done sock. One of these days I might get over my new sock-knitting phobia and start again.

Try as a might, I could not find wool locally in Marmaris, the yarn stores only carried acrylic. I still have most of a ball of the green/brown yarn left. I'll probably never use it, it's more a souvenir of a time past. I think it's kind of ugly now, anyways. Maybe I'll knit a charity hat and attach a story to the yarn. Or maybe I'll store it until the moths consume it. (Insert shrug here.) When I flew home to Germany two days after Christmas I left behind a pile of clothing so I could fit more yarn in my luggage. Me? A yarn-stasher in the making? No....
My day started out relatively normal yesterday. After picking up around the house and whipping up a batch of banana bread all hell broke loose in my little world. While I was pouring the mix into the bread pan I started to get an aura around the corners of my vision. It lasted for about twenty minutes, during which the baby woke up and was hungry. While feeding him the pain came. I had to interrupt him to bolt for the bathroom to vomit. Pain makes me throw up. I hate migraines. Hate them with a vengeance.

A nap, a grumpy husband and many hours later I was determined to leave the house at least once today. So I collected my coupons for Joann's and Michaels and headed out. It's hard to believe that both craft stores only carry one brand of pure wool yarn. Seriously, wool yarn has been around since ... let's not get technical, but let's just say since before Christ.

My husband found some Halloween-esque biker bar model that lights up. It was marked at 79.99 - not a sale sign in sight. A sales associate informed us that it was going on sale tomorrow, but that "we didn't hear it from her." At checkout we were both unable to use our 40% coupons because my yarn and his model had been marked down 25%. I purposely checked for signs - there were none. Thus ensued a less than pretty back and forth between my husband and, I'm guessing here, the manager. She stated that at 7 p.m. every Saturday night the sale signs are taken down. Please note that they don't close until 9 p.m. Now, my husband is working on his Bachelor's Degree and just took a course in business. The manager should have honored our coupons because by not keeping those signs up they were partaking in false advertising. He was quite heated. Technically we could report them to the Better Business Bureau, something I might still look into.

I'm not one to engage myself in arguments and the scene was slightly embarrassing as my husband was throwing back comments to the manager that she should know business and adhere to the law as we were leaving. What I didn't understand was why the manager got so snarky with us. After delivering her piece she blew us off. The customer is supposed to be right at all times. Her behavior was impolite and she was in the wrong. My husband and I agreed that in the future we'll be taking our business elsewhere as much as possible. I plan on checking the local yarn shops for some wool in the coming weeks. I was shopping at the craft stores for convenience's sake mostly anyways... traveling with a baby isn't the easiest thing. The nearest yarn shop is a good 30 minutes away if there's no traffic (and there always is) and the owner is so chatty that I can't even concentrate on what I'm looking at. I may have to pay a little more there, but honestly, at least small business owners are more concerned about keeping customers.

So if you're shopping in the Hampton Roads area, by all means, try to avoid Michael's in Newport News. Their customer service sucks.
Well, as I mentioned earlier I have been knitting. I got bored with my raglan mid-sleeve and have been sneaking in smaller projects...

Firstly, I found this really pretty striped cotton yarn. I crocheted four flowers and loved the colors so much I went back to Michael's and stocked up for future projects. Eventually I'll get around to getting a decent photo of my niece's sweater, I added one of the flowers as an embellishment. Anyways, when I was browsing through some dishcloth patterns on Ravelry, I saw the Ballband pattern and knew it would be a pretty match with the yarn I had. I also made one in reverse colors - white as the foreground and the striped as the background. I figure they'll make a nice gift with some handmade soap if I'm in a pinch. It was such a relief to make something out of smooth cotton after wrestling with the raglan boucle. It felt so good on my hands. One smooth stitch at a time...

Secondly, after borrowing a couple of knitting books about felted items, I decided to take the plunge. Nesting Bowls. Otherwise known as my new temporary knitting obsession. Better than crack! This is the first time I've made anything out of pure wool (Patons Classic Wool) and the first time I've felted anything on purpose. The nesting bowls were very easy to make. I knit the majority of them while ignoring what my hands were doing and probably watching LA Ink or trying to get my baby son to smile at me. I felted the first one by itself in a pillow case closed with a hair tie. It felted faster than the other two bowls which I felted together. The blue-ish yarn didn't felt as well as the other two, particularly on the bottom, but I'm not too concerned. The point of a bowl is to put something in it anyways, right?

Now I'm thinking about combining the two - using the washcloth pattern on the bowl...
My schedule, that is. Since I helped my husband stay up the night before he started night shift my time table has been absolutely kooky. I'm really not liking it. The only advantage to staying up until 3 in the morning is that I get the chunk of time that lies between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. all to myself. What have I been doing with said time? Knitting, thinking about knitting and spending obscene amounts of time on Ravelry and Etsy. The knitting part is productive, the other not so much.

As I type I am impatiently waiting for three felted nesting bowls to dry. I'm in love with this quick project. I had all three knitted in different sizes in about 5 hours. All three were felted and formed in about 20 minutes. I didn't imagine ever having to use my casserole dish, a ceramic bowl and a Jack Daniels glass as a felting form. I made the bowls from Patons Classic Wool in heather-themed colors and I am giddy about the results. Seriously, this yarn was made to be felted, simple knitted objects do the yarn no justice. But felted, it's a whole different story. I didn't actually have any specific interest in felting, but now I think I'm hooked. Felting is my new crack.

At first my husband was very skeptical about the bowls. He didn't get why exactly someone would knit a bowl. Then he saw them and I think he liked them, though he didn't say it outright. I'm assuming this because he mentioned I should make some as Christmas gifts. The first year we were together, before we were married even, I knit house shoes for quite a few people on my Christmas list. I prefer giving people handmade items if I can. Last year I was pregnant and we had just moved into our new place so I didn't have the motivation or enough time to make gifts.

I haven't been writing about knitting much, but I have been knitting whenever I can. Now that my son is developing a good sleeping routine and my husband is at home during the day I've managed to get much more done. I am half way done with the first sleeve on my raglan. I had to re-do the bind off after I did it too tightly. I added a pretty cowl to the neck. Unfortunately I found out a little too late that my attempt at body shaping was a flop and refusing to rip and redo that much, I plan to stick it under my sewing machine later on. Thankfully, the boucle I used lends much room for hiding mistakes. To break up the monotony of working on a big project I've been knitting cotton washcloths and of course, the bowls.

I promise to post some photos soon.
Seeing as I'm nocturnally inclined as of late and there's no one to talk to... I'll blog!

I wonder if there's a market for a book of craft ideas. Throughout the day I have endless ideas of things I would like to make. Knit items, things fashioned from clay and fabric, clothing... oh how the list goes on. The problem, though, is that I don't have the time to make everything I want. Even if I do find the time, I'm usually already working on something or I have something more pressing to attend to. Generally, these pressing things include such exciting things as cleaning my house, doing laundry, running errands. Plus, quality time with people is a huge factor. Being a new mom has cut a huge chunk of my disposable time out of my life. I'm not regreting that factor, I'm just stating it as a fact.

There are many days when I vow to knit and something will come up and I don't get the chance to do it. Wednesdays I go to knitting group, it's a set appointment. Even after having the baby I only missed two weeks of knitting and I've been back every week since. Now I wish that I had another group to meet with, a group oriented around crafting in general. If I had a set date on which to craft, I think I would do more. But, really, I'm not sure I can or want to have another commitment like that.

Back on topic - making things. Since I discovered Etsy years ago I've had the desire to make things with the intention of selling them. It's not so much the money, it's just that I really enjoy making things and having a shop would be a great motivator to make more. Any money I might make with it would be a perk, but not the main draw. A long time I lived in Germany and while the majority of Etsy and it's buyers remain on the US side, I put off having a shop for the sake of avoiding high shipping costs and the general difficulties encountered with overseas transactions. Not to mention I was operating a tattoo studio at the time and that was practically my whole life.

After moving back to the States in October I did in fact open an Etsy shop. For awhile I sold some ATCs, but it kind of fizzled out for me. As a tattoo artist I have to draw enough as it is and honestly, I don't like giving up original drawings - not even for money! I draw things so that I can put them on people as tattoos, drawing for the sake of drawing doesn't do much for me and I can't keep up with it. I'm better with objects, physical things I can mold with my hands. I'm a fan of diversity, I like to keep things moving and changing. Draw today, knit tomorrow, mold on Thursday - something along those lines.

A friend of mine has the Big Ass Book of Crafts. I think I could totally do something similar but different. I have an embarassing amount of sketches and jotted down craft ideas. I consistantly buy crafting-related items all the while muttering, "Some day soon I'm going to make something with this and put it on my Etsy..". Hm. Well, that day has yet to come and probably never will. Etsy shops, at least most of the successful ones, are based on one major product - hand bags, knit items, clothes... You get the point. I'm craft scattered. I want to dabble in a bit of everything, but I can't commit to just one thing. I'm easily bored by repetition. I have made many proteges only to not follow through on making several. Apparently I only do one of a kind projects mostly once and rarely twice. As I stated - repetition is not in my blood.

So, the question remains- is there truly a market for a book about craft ideas of all kinds? I know I could write a book. I already have the basic materials - the ideas and some finished objects. What I don't have is someone who wants to publish me and I certainly don't have a name for myself as a crafter on which to bank. See what I'm saying? I don't know how to go about finding someone who would be interested in my book pitch, either.

These are things to think about. Input is welcome.
Oh ye wind
your caresses I adore
waves over sand
washing my feet

Cloudy night full of sound
may all
may all tranquility abound

Full lungs on the moon
your silence I hold
heartbeats in the air
throbbing on my skin

Oh heavens all around
may all
may all peace abound