A finished project is always so satisfying. My Rainbow Hat was extra gratifying because the recipient loved it too. I finished this up a few days before Christmas, and it made the perfect early Christmas gift for Kev.
The yarn is Knit Picks Felici Worsted. It was my first time using this yarn, and I was very pleased with the results. It’s smooshy and soft, and the stripes are so much fun. The pattern is the Headford Hat by Theresa Gaffey from the book Drop Dead Easy Knits. It was a lovely pattern, and I’d definitely use it again.
My next project is already on the needles. Another hat (for me this time!) using lovely yarn gifted to me by my mom for Christmas 🙂
My table at the craft fair was a success! I figured out how to use the point of sale card reader. People *did* buy things, despite my fears that the would not. And best of all, I had fun! A huge thank you to my family, especially my mom, who came to visit or stay at my table with me.
I’m putting more items up in the shop today. Come take a look! Last day to ship for Christmas is December 17!
The craft fair is only three days away. Three days.
Final preparations are under way. My inventory is set, my PayPal credit card app and swipe thingy is all set to go. Today we are practicing the table decorations.
It would be accurate to say that I am pretty darn nervous. There’s the bit about talking to people. The bit about not knowing the ins and outs of the craft vendor world. The bit about never having used the dang PayPal card reader. And of course there’s the bit about making a fool out of myself in front of others.
Wait…what? Yeah that last one creeps into most things I try.
But in the interest of my personal happiness, I will POR (press on regardless), and I will show up on Saturday with a smile and a positive attitude.
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A finished project! I think it’s a great example of my state of mind that I cannot remember when I began this sweet little sweater. Sometime early fall?? The more important point is that it is finished! Completed and gifted!
This is the Sock Yarn Sweater by Hannah Fettig with modifications to include a cowl neck and short, gathered sleeves. This is actually my third time making this sweater, which is incredible. I never knit a pattern more than once. Except, of course, for this pattern. You can check out my Ravelry page for this project here.
This time I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. The color is called Scout, which reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird. No idea if that’s why it’s really called that, but that’s what I’m going with. I knit this little bitty for my brand new niece, although she won’t fit into for a while…
When I finish a project, I always soak it, then roll it out and block it using a plain old towel. I have used a variety of soaps, but my favorite is probably Wrapture. It smells like jasmine flowers! I’ve also used Soak Wash and Kookaburra. All work well. Any knitters out there with an alternate process?
This year marks my third year homeschooling. My kids are seven and three, or second grade and preschool to use traditional terms. When we began our homeschool journey, we were pretty low-key about it. There was no need to structure preschool or kindergarten. We read books, or played games with numbers. We went to the library, the museum, and the zoo. It was lovely and fun.
When my daughter started first grade work, things changed. For the first time, we had structured curriculums. And we had quite a few of them. Math, history, writing, grammar, and spelling, plus less structured subjects like science, art, and music. My son was two, and like most mothers of young children, I felt overwhelmed.
By the end of that first “real” school year, things had become…not fun. It was stressful, for me and for Evy. She started to complain and drag her feet about every subject, and I started to lose my patience because your brother is napping so let’s get this done!
We muddled through, and took a much needed break that summer. I knew something had to change; I knew I wanted to rekindle the joy we had felt that first year of homeschool. I just didn’t know what to do.
I thought community might help. So being the introvert that I am, I sought out blogs and finally stumbled upon a few podcasts. I found Homeschooling in the North Woods, and through Alisha and Amanda I discovered Brave Writer.
And suddenly, something clicked. I realized that I didn’t have to do school at home. The traditional classroom was the only school experience I knew, and I had tried to recreate it without thinking. So I talked it over with my husband, and we decided to back off a bit. We’re trying to do less each week, and we’re trying to make what we do more fun and engaging. Now you can find us lighting candles for copywork, reading history in a blanket fort, doing science experiments, and enjoying poetry tea time.
Trying to find a community and listening to others’ experiences helped me remember that I can do this. There is no right way, and our homeschool does not need to look like a classroom. Homeschool will be whatever it is in my home. And that is just what it needs to be.
I hope that you can find space to stop and breathe, to relax into whatever endeavor you are a part of. It isn’t always easy. So next week, when I am freaking out that we haven’t accomplished enough, or that my daughter is behind in math, or that my son watched too much TV that day, I will try very hard to pause, breathe, and relax.
My daughter started tap dance lessons recently. She’s been asking to take tap for years, and this year she’s finally old enough. For some reason, seven seems to be the magical age for beginner tap lessons.
We signed her up, bought her shoes, figured out how to navigate the parking situation at CCM, and drove to Clifton for her first lesson.
Her tap class starts right after her ballet class (she’s a dance loving kid). Ballet ends, we rush to get her shoes on and find the class. Well the registration information had an error, the nice reception woman tells us, so sorry. Her class is now in a different room. We rush to the new class. We find the room number. The door is closed.
Cue my old friend, anxiety. A closed classroom door. It’s like college all over again. Do I interrupt and go in even though I’m late? Won’t everyone be looking at me? Will the teacher be mad? Notice how in this moment, I’ve forgotten my daughter. My fear has me thinking irrational thoughts that center on myself.
Luckily, my sense of duty to my kids runs a bit stronger than anxiety. And I am resolute that I will model how to handle anxiety when it comes, at least when I can. So we open the door.
And you know what? It was fine (of course). The instructor and other kids were in a circle, introducing themselves. So I walked Evy up, checked that we were in the right place, and said, “Have fun!”
I have a feeling that people without anxiety will not understand why opening a closed door could be problematic. But I also know that some of you will get it, all too well.
That Saturday morning I watched my daughter walk into a brand new classroom with excitement and anticipation, even though she was late. And she reminded me, opening a closed door is no big deal.
A few months ago, I spied a flyer at my local YMCA. A craft show was coming up, and the organizers were calling for crafters and vendors to sell their wares. My interest was piqued.
I had recently relaunched my Etsy shop and was looking to expand my business. That sounds almost ridiculously formal and preplanned. Basically, I saw the flyer, remembered that I had always wanted to try a craft fair, and sent an email asking for more information.
Fast forward a few months. My place is reserved. I’ve purchased the necessary vendor-like tablecloth (with full skirt, thank you) and gift bags. I’ve gathered my point of sale gadget, my cash box, and my display forms. I’ve stocked over 40 items worth of inventory. I am ready.
Actually, I’m terrified. I’m excited, and terrified. What if I don’t sell anything? Or worse, what if I do??
I have several more weeks to ponder these worrisome thoughts. In the meantime, I’ll just continue to tell my six mind to chill. It’s going to be fun…right?
Ah, November. Around here, November is when it starts to get cold. The hard frosts come, the plants die, daylight savings robs us of our natural sleep cycle. Okay so I dislike the dark and the cold. But, however true that may be, I do enjoy this season.
I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday, if I had to choose. Kevin’s birthday is in November, too. And November is also when NaNoWriMo happens!
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an event run by a nonprofit organization. It happens every November, and the goal is to write 50,000 words (the average length of a full-sized novel) in 30 days. For more information, head to their website.
I have participated in this wonderful, creative, crazy event once before. I loved being a part of such a large group of fearless (or fearful, yet courageous) writers. But when it came time to sign up this year, I hesitated. Being a mom, homeschooling two kids, and running a very small business, I figured I just wouldn’t have time.
But writing is what I love to do. It’s what I’m passionate about. And I’ll be boldly honest here – becoming a published author is my dream. After a little nudge from a friend, I decided to just go for it.
And so I came up with my own criteria for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m sharing them here, for all those who have ever said, “I can’t do that…”
Set your own word count goals. There are no NaNoWriMo police. The event is about creativity. Go for it!
Write when you can, accept when you cannot. This year, my writing time is limited to once, maybe twice a week. Be where you are. It’s okay.
Recognize what NaNoWriMo is all about. Stories matter. So do you.