Archive for May, 2010

I don’t have an Etsy store.  It’s not that I don’t  want an Etsy store.   After all, I make lots of stuff:  Bags, pillows, duvet covers,  needle cases, etc.  I’m always fantasizing about making this or that cool fabric thing or customizing  my checkbook cover or some such.  If I actually made all the things I envision making, my house would be so full of crap lovely handcrafted artifacts that I’d be a candidate for the Hoarders TV show.  Why not channel some of my creativity into some extra income?  Plus with a fabric stash as big as mine I would have minimal start up costs.

So why don’t I have an Etsy store?  Because when it comes right down to it:  I make things all day at work and when I come home, I cannot seem to wrap my brain or my fingers around making more stuff.  For one thing, it would cut into my knitting time.  For another, I’d rather write.

I do have fantasies about the writing providing some extra income.   Really,  I’d like to believe it’s going to be my retirement income but that’s a little like believing one is going to win the lottery. So far, it’s pretty much still just a fantasy.  Although I did get a lovely dinner at one of those Brazilian Gaucho places as a prize in a writing contest.

Today, however,  I am one step further along the way to a second career as a writer.  Today I am a published author with a short story in an anthology of works by UC Berkeley alumni.

The book is available here.  The proceeds go to support an alumni group for those who work in the arts.

Next goal:  get paid for writing something


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Oh yeah, the thing I forgot to mention,  the only bears we saw were these:

The stuffed ones on display at the visitor’s centre at Tallulah Gorge.

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It was foggy, really, really foggy.  We were up inside the clouds where it was also rainy and windy.

Since the beauties of nature were, frankly, a little gloomy, we hightailed it out of there made our way back down the mountain and  headed for the nearest yarn store.    Silver Threads and Golden Needles in Franklin, NC.  Where the memory of just how much yarn I bought at Stitches kept me from buying more.

We inquired about  lunch and were directed to a French restaurant behind the “Hot Spot”.  The Hot Spot turned out to be a gas station and there was indeed a restaurant on the back of the station.  We had a lovely lunch.  Mine was so pretty I had to take a picture of it.

The restaurant was owned by a man who had retired as the chef of a well known resort and it did indeed have more than french fries on the “French” menu.  It also shared the bathroom with the gas station.  The bathroom was everything one would expect of a gas station bathroom including a condom machine which offered a random selection of prophylactics from all over the world.

We travelled back thru the Cullasaja River Gorge which was quite beautiful.

We stopped off in Highlands where I bought a small treasure- a tiny- like maybe 2 inches big- leather bound book.  A miniature copy of Twelfth Night by Shakespeare which is only my favorite Shakespearean play.

We all filled bags full of licorice all sorts and other goodies from of  the candy shop and headed back up the mountain.

Where the fog and rain rolled in and rolled out all afternoon and we knitted and talked and watched funny movies and ate things we wouldn’t  admit to eating at home and we had a fine ol’ time doing it.

I’m so glad I got to go- Thanks, Diana for sharing your vacation and thanks to Jane for driving.

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Last weekend, I let the rest of the world and the opera know that they would have to fend for themselves for a few days.  Then I put myself out of reach.  I went to the mountains with Jane and blogless Diana.

We left on a beautiful sunny afternoon and our first stop was:  The Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center at Tallulah Gorge.

What could be more fitting?  I snaped a picture of Jane hurting some yarn.

Then it was on to investigate a great American Tourist Trap:

Goats on the Roof!  Where there were indeed Goats on the Roof and on the bridge.

After a well derserved stop at the Dairy Queen it was on to our mountain top retreat.

We had been warned that there were bears in the area and were instructed to ask about the “bear safety pamplet” at the gate.  The gate attendant found that quite funny and told us if we saw a bear we should just scream.

Once we unpacked the van,  I took these lovely pictures of the view from the house.

Then we sat on the porch and knitted until it got too cold.  It was a good thing we did too because the next morning this was the view from the porch.

More about our adventures……Next time.

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I’ve  been a little busy but to bring everyone up to date:

I opened another opera- this one with puppets and other extravagant scenic elements.  This always seems like a great idea but in our enthusiasm for the new and different we also always forget how long it takes to get this right.  It was a long week.

Which was even longer than usual because at a fund-raiser last fall the opera auctioned off a chance to have a special occasion dress designed by the costume designer and made by the costume shop staff.  This ended up being something that while I am glad it made some money for the opera; it turned out to take way too long and need  too much attention.  Since the recipient wanted to wear it to the opening of the most recent opera- I had to become a couturier in addition to the rest of my duties.

So because the nature of the universe, or my nature anyway,  is to cram as much activity as possible into a single point it time no matter how exhausted I already am- I spent Saturday at Stitches South!

First I had to find something to bring with me to knit.  Nothing I am currently working on could  handle Stitches.  I needed something simple, something that wouldn’t butt in and demand my attention when there were friends to talk to and yarn ooh and aah over.  Some easy going project that could be dropped in a bag  when I just had to run off so see this or that wonderful thing.  Something that could be picked up again even if I stopped in the middle of a row.

Not the vest- it’s being a little difficult about picking up the stitches evenly for the band and collar.  Too much math involved for all the distractions at Stitches.

The Merlot is a lace pattern and since I only knit on it every once in a while- I haven’t memorized the pattern and can’t quite manage to talk and knit it at the same time.

The Habu is just too fiddly.

So I cast on for a Scarf Cowl which is a very simple garter stitch trapezoid which is then sewn together along the diagonal ends to make a cowl with a point in front.  I’m knitting it, very fittingly, in Bugga from last year’s Stitches.  The colorway is Praying Mantis.

It’s almost too boring but I love the feel of the Bugga knitted up.

Of course, I got some yarn at Stitches, just a little bit, really nothing special.

Just some

More Bugga!


Dragonfly Fibers Squishy Lace

Colorway:  Pumpkin King

I splurged at little on this:

Ivy Brambles 4 ply Cashmere

Colorway:  Pomegrante

I had a lovely conversation with the owner of Ivy Brambles about the difficulty of dying cashmere without felting  it.  I think he did a lovely job and I am hoping to make this into Ishbel.

Then I wanted something from Knitting Notions- I am currently knitting Merlot in her sport weight merino and it’s very nice.  I also love her colorways.  After looking through the fingering and sport weight and unable to decide on a color,  I noticed she had some organic cotton.  The knitted up sample was wonderfully soft and drapey so I decided on that instead.

Knitting Notions Organic Cotton

Colorway:  Latte

I’m looking for a suitably rustic looking pattern that will compliment the “natural variation” in the thickness of the yarn.

Then I had to have some of this:

Isager Strik Alpaca 2

In a wonderful dusty plum color.

I hadn’t seen or heard of this company before but they also import Opal sock yarns and Zauberball.  I was very tempted by a brown, teal, green, and orange Zauberball but I had a little financial reality check at that point and was able to resist.

Then it was off for some fun and frivolity at the Scalini’s dinner organized by The Knitwitch.  I ate too much, I laughed a lot, I stayed out really late, and if we could have collected all the laugher in that room we could have floated a hot air balloon to China.

And on the 7th day, well, I rested.

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