Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Three months

It seems like three months is the average cycle of my blogging.  It takes me that long to remember my password I think. haha 

So in the three months since I've posted, I've been busy.  Imagine!  Busy?!  No.  I am never busy.

I've made more window displays for the yarn shop. 

Here's October's window:
I had a lot of help with this one, so props go to Mrs. Mary Walker for her help with the ghost and the pumpkins.

I've also made the Christmas windows, but I don't have good photos of those yet.  One is a gingerbread house in the middle of a forest (and a yeti hiding in the woods).  The other is a view of a kitchen counter where someone has been baking and decorating sugar cookies.  They are both super cute, even though I say so my self.  I'll post pics when I can get some taken.

I've also made most of my Christmas gifts.  It is a crazy list of things that includes:
2 pair of women's size 8 socks
2 pair of men's size 12 stripey socks (each stripe is a different yarn!)
See?  Crazy 

1 cabled hat
3 toy bunnies
1 7ft woven shawl
1 crazy cabled hat
1 pair of fingerless mitts
1 pair of little boy's striped socks
2 woven dishtowels

I think there might be more, but I'm not 100% sure.  These are the ones I can remember. 

I've also been spinning like a fiend.  In fact, I think my arm is sore from my constant spinning right now!  haha  Taking a break and going back to knitting now thought.  Here are the fruits of my labors:

See?  I have TOTALLY been busy.  I'm no slouch.  haha Now, I just have to get the rest of that Christmas list done, and I'll be able to relax and enjoy the time off I have coming.  Maybe I'll knit something for me!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

10 things

As I'm stuck in a rut and a deeeeeeep funk, this post will be a stretch for me, and hopefully, it will be a kick in the pants to stop being so grumpy and gloomy all the time.  Work's tough.  Looking for new jobs is demoralizing.  Wanting to move to be closer to friends (who are basically family) and being stuck due to the toughness of finding a new job is hard to deal with too.  But on this gloomy outside day, I'll try to uncover a little bit of sunshine in my own life.

This post was inspired by Amanda Blake Soule's post here.

Ten Things that Bring Me Joy:

1- Having a job at all.  It may not provide me with ALL the money I'd like to have, but by God, I've got a job.  Having someone in your house unemployed will draw this into sharp perspective quickly.

2- Having friends who feel like a pair of broken in jeans - comfortable, a little roomy, and ready to tackle anything with you.

3- My health- such that it is.  I don't have any major issues rocking right now.  On the whole, I'm usually pretty hale and hearty.  Let's all hope that trend continues as I don't have health insurance. haha

4- Fiber arts.  I once felt as confident about my knowledge in my subject area as I now feel about fiber arts, only I was afraid of failing a paper or a class back then.  With fiber arts, I'm not scared of much except spending too much time or money on something I don't wind up loving.  Even then though, I've been able to sell most of my personal rejects at my LYS.  They are great pieces, but sometimes the process breaks the bond between me and a work.  Ah well.  It happens, and now I'm happy to let that go. I don't fear that at all.

5- Having a relationship/partner who is really a partner most of the times.  He cooks and cleans and listens to me moan and groan about life.  He pays his share of the bills.  He really is a partner.  He's not a hanger-on or a slob who eats Cheetos while I'm working away.  There is not pleasure greater than slipping into clean sheets at night when you didn't have to wash them or brushing your teeth over a spotless sink you didn't clean.

6- .....  I'm halfway there, but I'm a little low on steam.  Um...Ravelry!  Yes.  That really is a joyful thing.  I love being able to see a bajillion patterns at my fingertips and just as many projects too.  I also love chatting with friends on the forums. True, it has drama of its own, but I usually just eat popcorn and watch it happen.

7- My LYS- Yarnhouse Studio in Opelika, Alabama.  While this might sound like a cheesy advertisement, but it's not a plug in any real way.  I'm so glad I took that 30 minute trip last summer.  It's really changed a lot about who I am and how I see myself.  I've felt more confident and happier since I've found a place where I really feel like I fit in.  They are my people and understand "just one more row!"  or "I'm counting!"  Being able to help out there has helped me be happier and feel like I'm helping folks since I came out of the classroom.

8- My car- I know this is silly too, but Lord knows I love that car.  I'm paying for it with my very own dollars, so I'm going to hold that puppy tight.  It's me and her 'til the wheels fall off.  I've never owned something so nice.  Both cars I drove previously were hand-me-downs.  I was the last owner of their lives.  It was really like driving a ghost they were so close to the scrap yard.  Now I have a sleek, fancy new ride that I love.  True, I should spend more time taking care of her (hello!  wash me!) than I do, but I still love her.

9- Almost done now.  Vacations with the in-laws and my in-laws in general.  I've heard horror stories about how bad in-laws can be, and although mine aren't true in-laws because we're not married, mine are pretty good.  His mom takes us along on her vacations, and we always have a good time.  I always know she's got my back, and that's a nice feeling.

10- The Olympics.  Yeah. Another cheesy one, but it's also true.  I get so excited when folks are excited, and there are plenty of people excited about the summer games.  One of my friends got cable just to be able to watch the games.  I've been reading up on the results online so that I can talk to her this weekend about it.  We were lucky enough to sit right below some tvs at the mexican place we ate at last Friday with them, so we all got to see most of the opening ceremonies. I love Mr. Bean, and then when the "queen" jumped out of the airplane, I laughed so hard.

So those are the things that bring me a little bit of sunshine in an overly Eeyore kind of world. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


When I was in middle school, Mrs. White tried and tried to teach me how to spell business.  "Lacey, business men are BUSY.  Think about it that way."  I'm sure she'd scream if she saw my post title, but it fits, so I'm leaving it.  Thanks to all those college professors, I've learned that if I know a rule, then I can break it.  It's the unknowingly broken rule that's the worst.

So, as those business men are, I have been as well.  Between working 2 jobs and helping out at the yarn store, I've been pushing this life into high gear.  And for the most part, I couldn't be happier.  Working nearly 12 hour days kinda sucks the life out of you, but what'cha gonna' do?

Since March, I've learned to weave.  I even got a loom from my favorite cousin, Cal.  He's the bees' knees.  [I assume those bees own those knees.]  When it comes time for gifting, he just hands us his card and gives us a limit.  I always get the best stuff from him.  hahaha 

I present to you, the fruits of that loom (who could have resisted?  "certainly not I," said the cat):

Project 1:  Resurrection Scarf
This poor project was started by the weaving teacher at the yarn shop, and then she sold the loom out from under it!  She cut it off the loom and it was piled in a corner, forgotten.  I loved the colors and the yarn she chose, so I asked if we could save it...bring it back to life.  She had never heard of it before, but she was happy to try with me.  BAM. We tied that puppy onto my new loom, and I was off.  Well, sort of.  Then we got busy at the store, and I didn't really have time to deal with it.  It got shuffled around the back room, jostled and jerked.  It was kinda sad and pathetic when I finally brought it back out to work on it.  But work on it I did.  And I finished it.  We tied the fringe, and I took it home to give it a spa treatment.  This picture is from before it was washed, so please forgive any imperfections.  D was so taken by the scarf that it inspired him to start preaching at me.  I snatched the scarf off him quick before we got too deep into that crazy.

D's got the spirit!  How 'bout you?

Then Anne ordered these crazy triangle looms.  Of course, like a little kid, I had to try it out.  And not just the small one like she did.  And not the 5 ft one that was the next size up.  I had to go big or go home- I went for the 7 ft. shawl.  It was amazingly fast.  It took probably full 2 days of combined effort.  I actually worked on it over 2 different weekends, but all told, it was less than a 48hr project in terms of labor.  The awesome thing about this loom?  It uses very little yarn!  This shawl was made with 2 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted- I used the black to do a single crochet around the edge and STILL had some left over.  Amazing.  Knitting would have used GOBS more yarn.

Super proud!

Last Sunday, after we visited a Unitarian Universalist church for the first time (super cool btw), Anne helped me warp my first real project onto my loom.  I spent Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon/evening weaving as scarf using some of my handspun.  I should have made the sections smaller so that I could have used more handspun, but I guess I'll just have more for another project!

Close up of scarf right off the loom.

I'm so emboldened by my success last night that I'm already plotting another project for my loom and thinking of doing it without help.  EEP.  That's nearly a sure sign for disaster.

Obviously, there have been MANY other things taking up my time besides the loom, but that is the most photogenic product of my time these past months.  I am also working on the window displays at the yarn shop, but this month I can't get a very good photo due to glare and reflection.  Boo.  

Hope everyone else is busy with crafty mojo goodness like I am!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Childfree by Choice

A new Facebook friend posted a link to a post today that kind of hit a nerve with me. Before you read on, I'm not attacking anyone who has made the choice to bring a child into their lives. I actually applaud you for doing so and being awesome (most of you lol) at it. I think stay at home moms have a super hard job and working moms too. Dads who are there for their kids have it rough as well. Some parents would rather chill in bars or spend the weekends with their kids shoved off on one relative after another and never really get a chance to know their kids. Those folks don't get my respect and admiration. Those folks are partly why I feel the way I do about having kids. After I read that lady's post about why she is childfree, I wrote a comment to respond to her and thought about my motivations for the first time in a really honest way. I agree with most of what she said as well: love my life + TEACHER.

Here is the comment I posted in response to her comment:

I salute you for putting this out into the world. What bravery and courage! I imagine some of the 146 comments above me might be questioning your choice or saying rude things, but I hope not and honestly don't have enough life force in me on a Monday to read them and get mad for you.

What I do have in me today is to say that I too question the decision to have children. I'm knocking on 30's door, and that was always the limit I wanted to have kids in, if I wanted to have kids. I've been with my partner for almost 9 years now, and we aren't married. We are kind of failures in the marriage dept. in our families. My parents split, his parents too. As well as BOTH sets of his grandparents. We also feel icky that not everyone who wants to get hitched can do so, and we feel like it's unfair for us to go into that state without being sure we actually want to keep the "sanctity" of our marriage vows when others would die for that right.

However, we both stand on shifting sands about kids. He is the last of his line. If he doesn't have a boy, the family dies with him. We're also from the South. Imagine the pressure to get married and produce an heir (and there's not even any money or title or land to pass down- just the stinkin' name!).

We both have unsteady jobs (teacher at a state school- budget cuts! and a contract employee with county governments- budget cuts!). Kids cost a ton of cash.

My mother and I have a fractured relationship and are not really on speaking terms right now. I am not sure I can be a mother right now.

I also look around at the horrible things that keep happening and the crazy laws that everyone wants to pass to limit the rights of others- how could I bring a child into this mess?

And there's the idea of growing an actual living thing inside my own body- a body that I don't actually take awesome care of right now. This body is no place for a tiny thing to be growing.

So I wind up with the same answer to my own math problem: childfree.

I totally agree that there is something in our culture that marks us as less than if we don't hit those milestones of adulthood.

I haven't bought a house and don't plan to unless I can afford to build it. I haven't gotten married for reasons explained. I don't know that we'll ever have kids.

So am I still an adult?

Even more, am I still a woman? I am overweight and short, so I just keep falling just shy of the mark of womanhood that is fed to me by culture makers and the media. When a friend talked about the fear of breast cancer, she focused on the fear of losing what makes her a woman in her eyes: her breasts. I couldn't really understand that position because I have never seen my body or any part of my body as what makes me a woman really. Yes, I have those physical markers, but I am a woman because of other reasons as well. So the loss of my breasts or my lack of reproduction doesn't really hit me as a loss of womanhood or feel like a reason for being cast out of the womanly clubhouse.

I feel real sorrow for those who want nothing more than to be parents and are denied either biologically or through adoption laws/costs from having them.

One day, I might feel the urge for a child. One day I might feel like the world has moved on and become a place where a child might be a safe addition to my little family. One day, I might be older than 32 (the absolute last age I would feel comfortable having a baby due to the increased risks of birth defects) and feel that maternal instinct rise up in me.

Ok. Rock on. We'll do something on that day about it.

There are faaaaar more children alive on this planet today and every day until the day I want a baby that aren't wanted, loved, or cared for. My little brother is 9 years younger than I am, and he was a total accidental baby. My parents didn't mean to have another kid. They didn't even really want another kid, and they surely weren't prepared to raise him. His life has been greatly diminished by that lack of desire my parents had to bring him into this world. They didn't have time for a baby by the time he got here. They didn't have time for a toddler, a tween, or a teen. He's been bounced around from parent to parent, house to house, city to city, and school to school- always in trouble because nobody had time to look out for him. I was away at school and looked after him as best I could, but that wasn't my responsibility. I didn't bring him into the world. He also didn't get the benefit of a great family support network like I did because our grandparents were in decline and dying by the time he could understand who/what they were.

I couldn't stand to do that to a kid. It's unspeakable.

On the day I want a child, I will look into bringing one of those children into my life to make his or hers better. I want to have something to offer a child other than air to breathe and the possibility of a good life. I want to be a whole person who can afford to give freely of myself, my time, and my money to make that kid's life so much better than mine ever was. Most parents spend less time with their kids than strangers do-teachers, daycare workers, nannies, baby sitters. I want to have time to enjoy my child and give my child every possible advantage and experience he or she wants/deserves/needs.

For those reasons, I don't feel selfish for my desire not to bring a child into the world. I feel like a rational person making the best decision for myself and any future kids I might want to have.

So, bravo sister. I'm proud that you are brave and courageous and am inspired to explain my position as well.

And also, sorry for the GIANT comment. Obviously, your post hit a nerve. :D

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The stars aligned in October, and I was able to hitch a ride with a friend to SAFF in Asheville, NC.

I was sadly restrained in my purchases. I wanted to BUY IT ALL! ALL THE THINGS!

Here is what I did buy:
I got a braid of beautiful fiber from KnittyAndColor.

I also got 2 skeins of yarn from kitchen sink dyeworks (sadly going out of business).

a bag of fluff from Moonwood farms

a felting kit for a pumpkin

some natural wool, some acerbitas merino, some yak/merino fibers from LunaBudKnits

2 skeins of sock yarn from UrbanGypZ

some patterns

a SAFF tote bag

some bunny fluff

a sheepy pin and a lamb button

I had a great time. I'd love to go back. My friend phobbs to me to the Biltmore, and we ate at Cedric's Tavern. Have the fish and chips. And the chenin blanc limited release. NOM

The leaves were fantastic. We don't have many around us here. They won the leaf lotto in Asheville. :D

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I miss the 90s

The 90s seemed to be a Wonka-lika wonderland filled with hope, goodness, and prosperity for most folks I knew. I was a kid with zero responsibilities or bills, but I remember the 90s being a time of plenty for the folks around me. The innernet was new and bubbly. (Thanks for that btw Mr. Gore!)

Even the early 2000s shaped back up after 2001 and were ok. I was in college with scholarship money to burn. I had hope. I had a FUTURE! I was going to change the world.

Yeah, 6 years down the road, and I find myself fresh out of all of those things: scholarship money, hope, the desire to change the world.

Now I'm jaded. I'm cynical to the point of being a severe pessimist. I didn't change the world. My degree didn't help me get a good paying job. The future just looks like more bills, more work, and even less money day after day.

At work, things are terrible. Our lab just had to cut hours by 50%. Yeah. Hearing that was GREAT!

So that explains my negative nelly attitude in this post. But in general, I'm really tired of the economy, unemployment, elected officials, protests, paying bills, being responsible, be a grown-up. It would seem that I'm primed for a job in our government. Badaboom-ching!

Anway. I just miss when things were bright and wonderful. Where's that blue bird that once sang to me from my shoulder? It feels like the glass isn't half empty or half full; it seems like the glass is shattered on the floor. Today, I feel every inch a member of my jaded generation.

At least knitting still holds true. I can always trust my needles to see me through. If I move them in the same way, time and again- if I work really hard, I'll come out with something useful, functional, and possibly beautiful. Knitting is the only place in my life that I feel that way any more. I once thought that if I worked hard enough that it would make me happy. That I would feel like my actions meant something. I've learned time and again this year that it isn't true. It doesn't matter how hard you work when education is last on everyone's balance sheets.

So here's to making your own happy. To finding that silver lining even if you have to scrape through 10 layers of crap to get to it. In this month of gratitude and thankfulness, I am still happy that I am mostly employed. But I can be bitter and thankful all at the same time, right?

I'll pack up my pity party now and head on back to knitting. I just felt the need to vent that out there. It lightens the load on my shoulders. Feels like the whole world is up there these days. :D

And thanks for the love about my successes at the fair. It means a lot. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


In the spirit of Charlie Sheen, I titled this blog post "winning" based on my performance at the Ga. National Fair.

That's right kids, I cleaned up at the fair. My mama taught me to be humble and not to brag, but I can't help it. I'm so proud of these accomplishments I could burst.
I went back to my post (on a limb) and copied the content below.

1 skein of handspun, beaded supercoils- first place

1 handspun crochet scarf - Queen Anne's Lace Scarf - first place

plain roll brim- 3rd place (the first place winner had a beautifully spun.knit snood that was lace. SOO honored to be 3rd after that work. (the hat is pictured above on that foam head)

1 felted singles shawl - Citron -third place

1 handspun shawl- The Age of Brass and Steam - honorable mention (the first place ribbon went to a beautiful lace pi shawl)

3 handspun hats -Fairy Lights didn't place

button tab hat- honorable mention.

I have 1 crochet monster (the one with 3 eyes from an earlier post) - first place with an award of excellence

1 knit shawl - first place with an award of excellence

1 cabled hat second place
1 knit monster (Maddox the monster by Danger Crafts)- first place and an award of excellence.

So for my first year, I think I made out like a bandit! Only 1 thing, ironically the 1 thing MADE for the fair, didn't place or get a ribbon of any kind. I nearly tore boyfriend's arm off as we walked around the convention hall looking for my spoils. When I found more than 1 blue ribbon on my stuff, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

And yes, I'm already plotting for next year.