Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fifteen More Minutes of Fame

Over in the fiber subculture we have the Phat Fiber Sampler Box - a monthly box of samples that go out to several dozen lucky buyers.  They do up on the Phat Fiber Etsy shop and are sold out in minutes.  To drum up excitement, Jessie, the queen of Phat Fiber blogs about different contributors throughout the month and people go check out your shop and talk about what they like. It's a fun community and since I am a contributor I get a box each month.  It's a great way to keep up with what other fiber artists are doing.  At our SAFF meetup back in October, I got to meet a number of the Phat Fiberistas - a fine group we are too!

I'm on the blog today, giving away a full size version of my December sample, Saturn.  I love to make this colorway - a vermillion red with gold - and all the colors in between.  In fact I blogged about it just the other day, but this is a different picture. And I admit it - I like reading the comments to hear what people like about my work.  Besides everybody says nice things!  They want to win!  No place here for that dreaded 'feedback.' No constructive criticism for my own good.  I'll just bask in my own personal glory for a little while longer!  I'll come down to earth soon enough.

Back to knitting:  Calorimetry 1 & 2 completed.  Scarf 1 begun, all of 5 inches knitted.  Still choosing yarn for the fingerless mitts.  Solid or multicolored?  Life is full of difficult decisions!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Looming Ever Closer... it's time to change my mind about what to knit for people. Oh No!  Instead of the scarf for person E, how about fingerless mitts?  Found a cute pattern that should be a fun knit and I can convert it to knitting in the round (or not!).  Truth is, I hate to knit scarves.  So don't already. 

The picture that you see here is my kitchen window about as decorated as things get around here. Yes, they are hot pepper lights which I purchased in Long Beach, CA back in the mid-nineties. Even though I don't decorate my hoe or office, I like to visit Christmas and that I will do that when I travel to see my sister and her darlin' family.  Now they do Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ho Ho Holiday Knitting Fun

Taking a break from dyeing for SmokyMountainFibers and knitting for the local gallery shops, it's time to knit a bit for people I love.  I always have such good intentions; then Christmas tends to sneak up on me.  Can't really tell you why.  Unlike movable feasts like Chanukah, Easter, Back-to-School, Christmas, as they say, comes but once a year.  And as far as I can tell, on December 25th. 

Back in the olden days, my parents used to host the family get-together on New Years Day.  My mother strongly believed that children should wake up in their on beds, open their presents on Christmas morning, go to church and spend the remainder of the day playing with their new toys, reading their new books, arguing over engaged with their new games and eating candy from their stockings.  Children did not need to leave the house, unless sleds or skates were involved.

What this meant for out-of-town Annie was that the statute of limitations for shipping gifts had a one-week extension.  Finishing and shipping had a January 1st deadline.  Now if I had actually attended said gatherings the deadline would have slipped even more positively, but the airports and roads between North Carolina and Minnesota are simply closed that time of year.  Now the nieces and nephews are mostly grown.  The little kids' mom gets a check to add quietly to their Christmas fund.  I only see the  Pittsburghers and frenzied shopping on the 23rd is part of our tradition. 

But I do have a few gifts to knit. I will see just a few people with whom I will exchange gifts and sadly the drive north is a mere 8 hours, so I can't leave it all to do in the car.  Here goes...

Calorimetry in Punta Merisoft in a handpainted green - 90% done
One Row Scarf in variegated reds - stash yarn selected
Another scarf in 'woodsy + blue', highly likely same pattern - yarn purchased
Pink Mittens - Yarn in stash. I think.
Available, fully knitted and not spoken for: some number of knitted hats that are particularly nice and have been held back from the gallery shops as gits in reserve.

Can that be all?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Phat Fiber Spoiler

The Phat Fiber theme for December is 'AuroraBorealis and Beyond,' but in my case it's a little closer to home.  I'm staying inside the solar system with Saturn, one of my stock colors.  A year or so ago I developed a group of colorways inspired by the planets and Saturn is one of my favorites.  It is red-orange and gold, a hot and happy color and the secondary colors that form where the dyes mix are very nice.  There is pink and coral, both pale and saturated.  During the Thanksgiving break, I dyed up a few batches and made up samples for the Sampler box, taking advantage of a bit of time off from work to play with fiber.  I even sent them in as soon as the post office reopened on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  I always look forward to getting my own box.  It is both gratifying and inspiring.

With the shopping season in full swing, I have knit hats and hats and hats.  Now I'm ready to deliver the last of them to the shops and knit for friends and family.  As so often happens, when I sat down to begin I knit a disaster, using a much too thick yarn so I not only have something to un-knit, I have to reknit it.  I's okay I like to knit!  Since it's my own yarn, I have already made new plans for it.

My Etsy shop has been rocking the past few weeks, thanks to my new and loyal customers. I have been taking piles of boxes to the post office 3 or 4 days a week and sending them to their new homes.  Thanks!   I appreciate your continued support. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Counting Down the Days

Though I don't have children counting down the days until the guy in the red suit makes an appearance, I do have a number of students who are ready to usher the semester out the door. I make sure that their most difficult projects in my class are over earlier in the semester.  This way when they are covered up at finals time, I am not in competition for their scarce time, limited resources and failing sense of humor.

I'd rather spend my time on fiber!  I'd rather spin and knit and dye that read research papers.  I'd rather grade projects that demonstrate that they are learning.  Because of my work in teaching with primary Sources, I am working with a group of students who are creating a documentary about the struggle for civil rights, that is my real work.  These students are doing creative work whereby they have to understand the content as they build their group video.

Life in the world headquarters of Smoky Mountain Fibers has been hoppin'!  I have been spinning and knitting a LOT, shipping daily, working at Locally Grown, the crafts gallery at the Western North Carolina Farmer's Market.   I'll be there this Saturday and next, knitting and spinning as I booth sit next door for my friend Mac, who is doing a show.

I've been included in 2 recent Etsy Treasuries - in both cases my hand dyed Romney locks.  Here are the pictures.  The Reds are a real treat, the Purple locks  got a great spot in the upper corner.  Keep in mind, the links don't stay active long.  They get recycled pretty quickly.  Meanwhile, time to take a little walk to the Post Office, then get grading, work on budgets and generally put nose to grindstone!