A wedding, a pattern and a show…

Life here in my world seems to be in full swing.  School has started again, marching band has taking over and archery practice will join the slate too.  In the meantime around the girls believe it or not I do occasionally work 🙂  Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

Saturday it was a wedding.  In what feels like a past life some days I made cakes and sometimes still do birthdays.  This time it was the wedding of a dear friend that decided to tie the knot in Vail this past weekend.

IMG_2943Congratulations Ena and Steve!!

In August, you were also treated to a new pattern in PIeceWork’s Sept/Oct issue along with a cable hat pattern for Yarn Crush box.  So glad the yarn finally cleared customs on that one!  As part of my motivation to keep things going I have said here that I’m going to publish at least one pattern on my own per month so here’s September:

KODAK Digital Still Camera

This is my Raindrop Cowl that I just published yesterday on Ravelry.  It uses one skein of fingering weight yarn and is knitted in the round and inside out to make it fast and fun.  The yarn in this sample is some of my hand dyed that is available at Your Daily Fiber one of our local yarn shops here in the Fort.  This particular base titled Faith is 70% merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon.  This colorway is I Love a Rainy Night as I was on a music kick last time I dyed yarn.

This Saturday will be my first ever show with my handmade items.  I will be at the French Nest Open-Air Market down at Civic Center Park with my friend Mountain Woolies.  I am a bit nervous but know that once I get down there and into the swing of things it will be good.  The market runs from 9-3.

There are times that I doubt myself on this journey and wonder if I’m doing things in a way that is appropriate for my girls and I.  Well today I am glad that it wasn’t a trial to stay home with one that isn’t feeling well and that I can still get some work done.  Then I get comments like this on Ravelry:

“Hello, first let me tell you that I absolutely love your designs.”
“I am very excited to knit this shawl! Do you have any idea when Pieceworks will add it to the data base? I am getting antsy to cast on.
Thank you for your lovely designs!”

“I have been drooling over your design in the May/June 2017 issue of PIECEWORK. Please tell me that you didn’t use the entire skein of Treenway Silks Silken Cloud (all 1600.3 meters) to make them up!”

So maybe I am doing something right and traveling the path I’m supposed to, guess I just have to wait and see 🙂



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Gratitude is not only for November

Again another month has passed in the blink of an eye.  Some days drip by like the sands in an hourglass and others fly around the track faster than you can think.  The calendar turned to August and the first five days have already been full of band camp, a first concert and a treasured traditional trip to the ball park.

Today I got to spend time with Lori of Cowgirl Yarn in Laramie, Wyoming as part of the Hot August Knits Yarn Crawl.  For those of you that don’t know, a yarn crawl is just like a pub crawl.  You travel around to local area yarn shops tasting all of the different offerings of cashmere, merino, silk and more.  As the local carrier of Jaggerspun, a yarn that I have used in some of my designs, they invited me to hang out for part of the day with my pieces.


Yes, that’s me with Lilacs and Rain, Compass Rose and both versions (color and black and white) of the Doctor Who inspired scarves.  Cowgirl has an amazing selection of color in the Zephyr lace right now:


I had a great time and yes some of this did come home with me!!

What struck me on the drive home was an overwhelming sense of gratitude…bet you were wondering when I would get back to the title of this post.  Life may not be perfect but right now it’s good and it makes me thankful.  Some to my husband, his motto of “hope for the best, plan for the worst” has allowed me to continue to be here for my girls, to be able to take care of them in the best way I know how, which is with time.  I get to see the light in one’s eyes at her excitement of a new marching season and I get to have some of the most interesting conversations with my little one, that range from medicine, the nature of sharks, to death and the afterlife.  Some to my lovelies, my crafty community that are walking a similar path to my own, of wanting and needing a creative life yet still trying somehow to get it to be prosperous as well.  Some to my inner circle, who have stuck by me for so long and through so much, believing in me; knowing that I can do this, especially on the days when I don’t think I can or try to rush the future.

As for those business type things….for locals to the Fort, I will be at the French Nest Market on Saturday September 16th with my handmade pieces.  Later on this month I will be able to share a new pattern through Yarn Crush as part of their August 2017 box.  Be on the lookout for PIecework’s Sept/Oct issue for a new one there as well.  I’m still going to get a pattern published a month and will start that in September.

Gratitude is something to be shared every day in the little things we do, from a good morning text to a kiss on the forehead saying good night, not just the fourth Thursday of November 🙂

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Maybe this monthly plan is a good idea

Here we are again…another month and I didn’t say a thing to you about this crafting life.  Maybe that’s a good thing though, last thing you need with your own crazy lives is me butting in too much.  I have been told however that my stalkers get lonely without me so here goes.

June is really the only month that the girls get off from school.  What?! You’re saying?  Yes summer is the standard June, July and August here in the Fort, but both girls are now involved in band.  Summer band camp for one begins July 17th and runs for three weeks.  This one is important as this is her first year in middle school.  She’s not going where most of her elementary buddies are and so it’s going to be more of a social opportunity to make new friends more than anything else.  The sophomore’s (?!) schedule for marching band begins July 10th with rehearsals twice a week and full on seven hour a day camp July 31st.  Anyone that says the football team works harder than the band hasn’t seen these kids.  Yes, it’s hot, tiring, demanding, yet every one of them accepts it with grace and humor.  Sometimes I personally think it’s a little much but then again they won 2nd place at the State competition last year.  So for June we took some time off and were major touristy out in Chicago for a week which was a great load of fun, but now it’s time to get back to work.

I have 2 deadline patterns to bust out this month!  PieceWork and Yarn Crush both get my attention for July.  I’m hoping that the Yarn Crush package with the yarn in it is in my mailbox and here is the start for PieceWork:

piecework Jan feb 18

Rapunzel has also received some attention as I finally got the third Van Gogh inspired piece strung up:

van gogh 3 weave

I’m loving the blend of colors and patterns.  I also have an idea to try out soon on my little loom…little being that it’s only ten inches across.  It’s still eight harnesses and currently threaded with 20/2 tencel.  Hoping to spend some time with it next week.

As for the future, one of the biggest things that I have to do with this craft venture is to let go of fear.  I can’t be so afraid of things not being absolutely perfect before I begin so I have applied to be a vendor at The French Nest Market in September and October.  Also I have set goals for September-December of this year, to publish at least one pattern and get at least one handwoven piece made each month.  My patterns are currently available at Ravelry but I’m also thinking of trying to figure out how to offer pdfs from my website so that you do not have to be a member.  As for the woven pieces, I do have an Etsy store that needs some serious work and that is where I plan to post those along with my hand dyed yarn.

Happy Canada Day yesterday!  We had a great time watching the pregame festivities between Toronto and Boston and Happy 4th!  Safe travels to all who are doing so this weekend and dear stalkers I will try not to wait another month before saying hi.

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What to write about?

Well I truly didn’t plan on taking a month off of talking here but what do you talk about when life is just doing it’s thing? Passing day by day? May is a pretty crazy month anyway with projects and the end of school celebrations. I can happily say that I now have a middle schooler and a sophomore and both of them had straight A’s this last semester. Now I have to figure out how to keep them occupied over the summer. I don’t think that this will be too difficult as there’s the pool and with each of their involvement in band summer really only lasts about six weeks for us.

On to craft! I currently have a major case of starteritis. For those of you that don’t know what this is it’s where a creative person wants to start several different projects at the same time. With so many different craft options at my disposal I get inspired for each of them! My main focus during May has been knitting a cape for a young lady to wear to her uncle’s wedding this summer. All that is left is the edging so now I’m starting to get the new project itch. I can’t start the two deadline projects that I have coming up as I’m waiting on yarn. So yesterday I gave in a little bit. I measured the next warp in my Van Gogh series…

This is the third scarf I’ve woven with inspiration from Van Gogh.  Considering Georgia O’keeffe next or painting some of my own with inspiration from Monet.

Then I warped my little inkle loom…inkle

I just learned how to inkle this spring from my friend Pockethouse Textiles.  This is going to be a lanyard for my sophomore for her marching band chart book, that is if she likes it.  The loom is handmade by Windhaven Fiber & Tools.  This size is called Minstrel and can make a band 3 1/2 feet long.  They also offer left or right handed options which is great as I’m a leftie.

And last but not least I started a spinning project…fiber

Last year at Interweave Yarn Fest I picked up this amazing bundle of 50% yak 50% silk from Greenwood Fiberworks.  Galina Khmeleva of Skaska Designs and Orenburg lace knitting fame is who I learned support spinning from and I love it.

So what are you up to this holiday weekend?  Creating?  Relaxing?  Family?

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What a pretty cover!

Good morning!  Early last week I already had ramblings of what I wanted to talk about this week floating in my head, however that all fluttered away when I saw the cover of PieceWork May/June issue Wednesday morning………piecework cover

Oh Wow!!  Those are mine!  I was overwhelmed and shocked as this was my first submission for the prized lace issue.  Considering how the rest of life was when I was creating these I was deeply moved.  Size 0’s and a fine cotton silk blend are not the easiest of materials to work with when you are out of your usual elements.  Jeane, the lovely editor let me push the deadline on these to the absolute limit and I spent one whole weekend marathon knitting to finish.  I’m glad their offices are just down the street and I could hand deliver them.  This is my second cover for the PieceWork the first being the Sept/Oct 2015 edition.piecework sept oct 2015

Point being with all of this….Go for it!  If you have an idea and you think it will work send it in.  The only way things like this happen is if you put yourself out there.  Could it get sent back?  Maybe, I’ve had submissions not get accepted and at first it’s a bummer but there are many factors that go into the selection process and what won’t work for one just might for another.  I do know that seeing my ideas travel the globe make the risk worth it.  Here’s the link for PieceWork’s Editorial Calendar…..It is a history magazine along with the projects and they cover all kinds of crafts from knitting to crochet and beyond.  My brain is already trying to come up with some tatting for them even though I only started a couple of years ago.  Find a good story or family history and go from there, you never know what might happen!


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Another one off the Loom

See?  I am trying to get better at this writing and sharing thing!  I still don’t understand hashtags but you can also find me on instagram as threaded_dream.

Looks like peaceful Sunday mornings are when I have time to type so let’s get started

Lately I’ve been trying to build an inventory to have for sales, be it with starting an online shop or to join local craft events here in the Fort.  My loom is very handy with this because with weaving once you get past dressing it weaving is the easy and fun part.

Here are the latest two scarves to come off of Rapunzel, yes my loom has a name and considering with tencel my favorite weaving medium, I use a comb to detangle the strands it’s very appropriate.  With the purple piece you can see a white piece of card stock woven in.  No, it does not stay in the piece.  When I submitted and the Doctor Who scarf for HandWoven I had to keep meticulous notes on the process and had enough warp to weave a small sample to keep for myself.  This has influenced me to start a weaving journal where I keep notes on the project and purposely measure out a bit extra on my warp so that I can keep a sample of the finished piece.

Here’s the next warp ready and waiting to start.  I pulled the colors from Van Gogh’s Starry Night and it has given me the inspiration to find two more of his paintings to do the same with for the start of an artists’ series of scarves.

Where do you find inspiration to create?

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Yesterday dinking around in the morning on Facebook I found and read Sweetgeorgia Yarns blog about how her March plans were totally destroyed by illness.  More poking around showed that April is National Stress Awareness month and self-care month.  So it got me to thinking, what do I do that takes care of me?

Almost fifteen years ago the idea of self-care was a very difficult one for me to learn.  As a new mother I was constantly on call to take care of everything so the idea of taking time for me felt selfish, guilty and went against the grain of what I thought I should be doing.  Yet over time I have found that the better I take care of me, the more I have within myself to take care of others.

So what does this mean?  How much time is involved?  What should I do for myself?  My own self-care may seem extreme to some of you especially after I looked at my hours chart that I created for Ranger Jen, 28 of the 168 in a week I give to myself, 17%.  And no, sleep doesn’t count!  It’s actually more than I thought but I’m all sure that you appreciate me taking showers which is part of that time.  What do I do?  Lots of things, the main one being exercise.  I spend 5 hours a week at the gym sweating.  With everything else in my life, I’m constantly in control and running the show.  During that time at the gym I give that control over to someone else.  He pushes me to do insane things physically that I alone would not think possible.  I also read, meditate and work on projects for me.  Lately this has been the stitch a day project that Jenny at The Loopy Ewe  got me started on.  A wonderful yoga instructor in town, Michael Lloyd-Billington has what I like to call the 20 minute rule.  Twenty minutes practiced with mindfullness and consistency regardless of what it is can work wonders.  His practice is made up of 20 minutes each of meditation, yoga and journaling.

Does this mean that these things are right for you?  Only you can answer that question.  So I want to know here or on Facebook, what do you do to take care of you every day?

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