Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Shop Items, Baby Socks, and a Fiber Column

I've just have too many thoughts swimming around up here to get organized properly.
Or at least like I used to. 
Days of spending endless hours creating and writing are over. 
Or at least on hold, for a long while. 
But that's ok. I've got a human to raise and cuddle and love and just be with. 

Motherhood is a crazy time warp spent swimming through diapers, cuddles, and every emotion. 
And being a new mom whose life has been spent creating has its special challenages and highlights. 

My good friend, Casey recently told me about the podcast On Being with Krista Tippet. In particular this episode with Ann Hamilton. I loved the last question of the interview about balancing motherhood and creating. 

I had had a particular crappy week with teething issues with our 5 month old. 
The concept of balance has always eluded me. 
That is until however I heard the Ann's answer. 
I then started to feel differently. 
Thoughts mainly consisting of:
Nothing is written stone.
Lower my expectations for myself and for my baby's routine.
Sink in deeper and cuddle more.
Put off that project if it's not working. Let it breath, think about it, come back to it. 
The response Ann had to how she keeps her balance invloves looking at everything, from her art work, to making soup for her sick child, to whatever needs to come next- as all one big project. 
What I took away from it was
L E T  A L L  O F  I T  B E  YOUR  W O R K 
the laundry
the meals
the playing
the relaxing
the creating

And for me the word work isn't a negative one. But rather filled with privilege, meditation, graditude, hope, shelter, color, nourishment, entertainment, therapy. 

This past week, my heart has felt new aches for the world that it hasn't felt in a very long time. 
I've been reminded to be thankful all over again for the rhythm we've created in our family, the environment we live in and to remember to look up at strangers to smile, say hello, or even give a compliment. To just slow down and notice. 

So, to let all of it, my work, to be part of one project that is never ending. 
Doesn't it make sense? Because laundry and meals and general care of our selves and our child is not suppose to have an end. Neither should our creating. Or interacting with one another. 

I used to think I needed (and sometimes I still do) so much clear head space to get settled into a creating rhythm. But I also realized that part of my creating rhythm needs to include prepping and cleaning materials and making lists or steps and documenting- it's really endless what needs to go into creating. 

All this has come about for me with the approach of winter. I've been remembering that at the beginning of last year, I was writing and creating a dye tutorial once a week or this space to share. I miss my dyeing desperately and hope to get to it when I can. But in the mean time, I'd like get back to my once a week posting and share whatever I've been working on for the week. When I decided to do this, I was reminded that Damn! I make a lot! Despite the broken hours and stranded projects and misplaced ideas I have at 4am. I'm still creating!

For my shop, new Holiday themed project bags. I love making these so much. 
I am a fat quarters hound. I visit a fabric store and I immediately start looking for stacks of fat quarters. I found these sweeties at Z Fabrics in Portland, Maine. I've also been taking a weekly sewing class there working on garments. I love it so so much. I've completed 2 so far that I'll share later.

I often have several knitting projects on the needles and I love keeping them tidy and clean and in a to go mode. I never know what I'll want to work on while on the boat and on car trips. 
Sewing up fat quarters and adding a simple ribbon or lace at the top to create a simple size bag and an easy to open and close bag. 

I couldn't resist these prints. And I really enjoy adding to my project bag collection every season. 

My little one has been growing faster than I can blink- as babies do. He's just over 5 months now and growing out of his soft stretchy new born Old Navy socks. Though I can't believe how long they've lasted. Babies grow in funny ways. Our guy has been growing long and fast but it wasn't until last month or so that he started growing out ward much faster than before. 

I've had a few balls of my hand spun Irish Texel and fermented lichen dyed yarn hanging out in my stash for a while now from experiments I did here last year. You can also read about my whole process for lichen dyes there. 

For this little sock pattern that I improvised, for the starting point I used the pattern from a book in my home library, Last Minute Knitted Gifts, Angora Baby Booties
I've made countless pairs of these booties and they are so much fun to make. I tried the base of this pattern with my thick and chunky handspun. The only adjustment I made was continuing to knit up the leg and adding a few rows of rib stitch. I tried to make my bind off nice and loose and stretchy but it didn't happen. Resulting in making it kind of hard to get the socks on his chubby feet. I found instead it worked to fold over the rib edge and get them on that way! He wears them that way too. And usually stay on for a quite a while. 

My latest endevor involves venturing more into my home state of Maine exploring and sharing Maine's fiber happenings through a new media outlet known as Northern Journeys Magazine. A quartley publication that was created by Jason Thomas nearly 20 years ago in Idaho. You can read more about it on their website. I will be a contributing columnist for each edition for the 
Your Maine Fiber Connection.
In the first edition, I share my own fiber journey. The online edition will be live soon. 

I somehow was able to complete this post around a feeding and getting a pumpkin in the oven and feeding myself!