February 25, 2016

Pay It Forward

It is rare that I take the time on my blog to promote a total stranger's efforts.  I know. That sounds awful, doesn't it? I think it's because this isn't one of those blogs that interviews people and reviews products.  I like to keep it simple around here.  With that being said, I have to tell you, whether you knit socks or not, to go to Ravelry and buy this pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel by SoxTherapist (Rav ID).  First, if you don't knit socks, you are going to want this pattern because it's inevitable that if you knit, you will learn to knit socks.  Second, if you already knit socks, then you know that knitting the same 'ol heel is tedious. People ask me all the time about this type of heel that they have heard about from somewhere in the sock classes I teach. It's $1. Your reference library needs this.

But most importantly, I want you to buy this because SoxTherapist has stage 3 breast cancer and this is her way of raising money to get all of her family together one last time before things get any worse.  I hope that she survives, but in the case where she doesn't, buying this pattern is the least any of us can do.  It's $1.

This is not the type of pattern that can only be used once for one sock pattern.  It's just like a Dutch heel or a French heel or a Short Row heel ... substitute it for the heel that bores you.

I can't imagine that there's one of us out there that hasn't been affected in some way by cancer.  Cancer is the new "6 degrees of separation". Everyone in my family dies of cancer--well, except me because I have decided that I will not and I believe completely in the power of the mind over matter.  I've also lost irreplaceable friends to cancer.  I've lost co-workers to cancer. I've knit blankets for friends whose loved ones were dying of cancer or who was going through chemo and could never get warm enough. And now I'm buying a pattern.

You should pay it forward and buy one, too.

February 17, 2016

I'll Tell You What

Man-oh-man this has been a rough start to 2016!  It came in with a vengeance in the illness department, I got a week of "normal", and then I spent, well the last MONTH trying to get over the flu followed by a second round of bronchitis.  Add to that the crazy weather that has made farm life a real pain in the derriere as far as cranky, cold, and wet animals and people are concerned.  January was also all about the end of basketball season for Rocket--we are so glad there are no more games because each one was so incredibly stressful that I was sure either Honey or myself would end up with an heart-attack or an aneurism or something along those lines.  It wasn't a bad season for a group of first-time players, having ended with an even win/loss record, but it was hell on the parents!

So now we're halfway through February and we've had 3 wasted snow days for precipitation that never arrived. Tennis season has begun for Scout #2, just in time for his Eagle Scout project, the SAT, the ACT, and his midterms. I'm not even sure that, because we have a school system that becomes hysterical at the mere suggestion of snow within a 100 mile radius, there is going to be a spring break. Meanwhile, it's time to start planting the garden--inside the newly rebuilt green house, at least.  Mother Nature was pretty wicked this past autumn, and pretty much tore it apart.  I'm going to try the whole plant-by-the-moon strategy this year because ... well, why not? That's assuming that the weather holds up from here on out and that darned groundhog wasn't wrong.

At the same time, I'm trying to get geared up for two back-to-back shows that are happening the last half of March.  We should talk about these because everyone loves a good yarn show and well, you know, 'tis the season to be shopping for yarn!

The first show is one new to me, Spring Fling.  This show will be held at the Perimeter Marriott Hotel in Decatur, Georgia.  This is a relatively new yarn and fiber event, but so many of the really amazing artisans that I do other shows with are going to be there that I figured I'd toss my hat in the ring, too.  Unfortunately, I don't really know what to expect from this show, not having been there before, so I'm having a difficult time making a game plan.  For certain, there will be a series of color ways across my yarn lines that will be available first to this show before they go online.  

However, since I am going to be leaving one show, coming home for a few days for a breather, and then heading back out for the next show, the Carolina Fiber Fest in Raleigh, North Carolina, it may be that some of these color ways never see the online shop.  I guess that means that if you are in the neighborhood, you'd better either stop by Spring Fling or the Carolina Fiber Fest, huh?

The Carolina Fiber Fest will be held in Raleigh at the North Carolina Fair Grounds in the Governor Holshouser building, Friday, March 25, (1 pm — 7 pm) and Saturday, March 26 (9 am — 5 pm).

And if that's not enough crazy, I've talked Honey into having bees.  I'm going to come back from the Carolina Fiber Fest just in time to pick up my order of 3,000 honey bees.  I have no idea what I'm doing, and time keeps slipping away from me, so the learning curve is still quite a concern.  All I can say is that I hope Mother Nature has her act together this April and doesn't throw in 24 hours of near-zero temperatures, like she did last year at Easter, just to kill my bees for the spite of it.

I'd love to show you what I have been working on for the last six weeks in the knitting department, but it's all hush-hush and top secret.  Patterns are being test knit for the book I'm co-authoring like crazy and that New Year's resolution about knitting for myself for a while is pretty much dead and buried at this point.  Hopes are high that an e-book version of the book will be available by September with printed copies following shortly after that.  I make no promises.  Writing a book is hard, but test knitting all the dang patterns for the book is harder.

And, now it's back to the grindstone with hopes that your February is full of Spring and knitting!


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