New Year and New Snowflake Hat Design

Yikes!  the new year is here!!!  I have a thousand things to talk about, time is flying, and it’s only a week into 2009.  I think I can only do that with a schedule, so here goes:

today:  knitting update

friday:  health care meeting update

saturday:  new knitting store update (

sunday:  may be an off day for blogging

monday:  weight and Weight Watchers

tuesday:  how I learned to “do” holidays

That’s enough planning.  It’ll give me that locked-in feeling if I go any further.  I have this vision of my calendar filling up, day by day, with blocks that represent obligations. 


Today in the Tennessee valley it is wet.  We’ve had record amounts of rain:  December had twice the usual inches, and this week we’ve seen 5 to 7 inches.  It has flooded in some areas of the city, but only where it was expected.  My back yard has a mini swamp in one corner but is otherwise clear. 


I am alone in my house.  Sorry, Lucy, just counting humans here.  That means I am in charge of the agenda, and everything else.  I scooted out to put my trash on the curb at 8 a.m. and then fixed my planned breakfast.  I love the peace of getting up to my own thoughts.  I love the holidays winding down, leaving me with everyday chores and goals.  I feel like real life almost grinds to a halt during the holidays, and I love picking up that forward momentum again.


In the past week I’ve joined two Etsy street teams.  Etsy is a huge community of sellers, the internet “place” where my store is located.  There are hundreds of smaller groups that have formed, some by geography, some by shared interests, some by craft…I joined the etsyknitters (self-explanatory, I think) and etsyfast – the fiber arts street team.  I’ve had a chance to follow their conversations for a few days, and to jump in at times.  Quite interesting how the two groups have entirely different characters.  One thing the fiber arts team does is to issue monthly challenges to its members.  Taking the challenge is voluntary, but it’s an opportunity for growth for those who do, and you can present your challenge item to the group for critique. 


Below you see my challenge item for January.  We were to use a colour that is not usually in our pallette.  I chose white/off-white.  I rarely use it for adult pieces.  When I do, it’s usually in the form of an undyed yarn, not one that is intentionally white.  This particular yarn is Brown Sheep Burlyspun.  I crocheted (something I’m doing more of) a hat with a deliberately open, lacy crown, reminiscent of a snowflake.  I liked the design so much that I followed it with a black snowflake hat.


These can be seen in my store at


I crocheted another hat, pink with earflaps and ties, the same day.  My crochet hand has been itching for expression lately.  In the knit world is a neckwarmer for my dad in soft, bulky cotton (Blue Sky Alpaca’s Organic Cotton), something that won’t itch 90 year-old skin.  Also, finishing the thumbs of my cousin’s gloves and mailing off a blocked square that I knitted for the afghan being made by friends of a wonderful knitter that I know through another knitting forum.  Her husband is fighting eye cancer and the knitting community is responding with customary generosity. 


During the holiday, my daughter requested two scarves.  One was crocheted granny squares, end to end, in pastel slinky yarns.  The other was a looooong crocheted stretch of deep blue soy yarn from South West Trading Company.  I played with pattern in the second, developing some neat new sequences to use later.  I’m thrilled that she has suddenly become a scarf person, and that I can knit/crochet what makes her happy.  I also seamed up some silk blouses that she found at Old Navy for $6.99 apiece.  She has a fashion director’s eye and a banker’s grip on her wallet.  If she finds a good buy, and it’s not in her size, she knows what can be altered to fit.  Once, last year, she found a maxi dress she loved in size 2X.  She talked a seamstress into altering it to fit her size 4 form for $20.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!


Well, gotta go dance with Ellen.  WW says I have to “move” 30 minutes each day.  Might as well be dancing.



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