In which I’m NOT subtle

One of the hidden benefits of the pandemic has been what’s been available remotely. Granted, people have been pretty upset about how there have been a lot of accommodations that businesses/employers have said they couldn’t do in the before times, but now in pandemic, they are being done without issue (I’m looking at you work from home). On a less serious note in that same vein, I’ve been able to attend Stitches at Home. I’ve taken a class in each of the 2 sessions I’ve been aware of (February and March). This time (March), I took a fabulous sewing class. It’s classic quilt blocks done in a scrappy, wonky way. People who know me IRL know that I LOVE scraps.

I really, really do. I’ve talked about it before, and I’ll talk about it some more. I love being able to take something unwanted and turn it into something beautiful and appreciated. My poor Poopie thinks this is a lot of scraps. Sorry, I forgot to warn you to put down your beverage of choice. If you snorted your drink, apologies. Really, this is nothing, it’s just part of ONE paper bag. And, wonder of all wonders, it’s not all me. I love when people give me their scraps. It’s fun to me to see what they’ve been working on. And it expands my palette. So, if you have unloved scraps, you can leave them on my doorstep, and I’ll love them 🙂

Back to my class…I hadn’t heard of Shibaguyz prior to this class ( I am poorer for this. They are an incredible duo, and so much fun. I really wish this class was in person. One of the things I’ve complained about before, and I’ll complain about again and again, is how in our crafting world, we end up with crafting police. Unless you are submitting your work for competition, crafting police are completely unnecessary. These people are the ones who tell you your seams aren’t pressed flat enough. They are the ones who tell you there is only ONE way to do a specific thing. These guyz are not crafting police, and they go out of their way to reaffirm YOUR work should be what pleases YOU, in the manner that pleases YOU. Photo credit to Shibaguyz.

Crafters know that we have “go to” colors. Some people make things in shades of purple, others find every fiber they are drawn to is blue. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. Some of us recognize we have these preferences, and go out of our way to explore other colors. We buy that orange that we don’t have any experience with, and find out that it turns out it’s the PERFECT color for a project. For me, never going outside my color comfort zone would make me sad because it’s just not as interesting to me. Sharing/swapping scraps is an easy, no fuss way of testing out different things you would normally be hesitant to try as well as getting rid of some of your stuff that you know you won’t ever finish/do. Or….you could do what I did last week while shopping for my sashing fabric, and grab some fat 1/8ths in an underrepresented color.

I still love taking classes, even though I could probably just craft away for the rest of my life with what I know. Some classes, I leave feeling like I could have learned it from a book. Other classes, I learn so much my head explodes. My favorite ones are the ones where I learn just one tiny tidbit that may or may not have anything to do with the subject matter. This, In my experience, largely depends on the instructor.

I have found with just about anything, there are certain levels of knowledge. Beginners know they don’t know anything and will ask all sorts of questions and absorb information like a sponge. Advanced beginners know how to do what they like, but have listened to too many gatekeepers (crafting police), so are unsure of themselves. Intermediates know enough to have started to believe and parrot the gatekeepers, many are nascent gatekeepers. Advanced are the gatekeepers–they have a rule for every question, they often think they are experts. Real experts, though…they are not gatekeepers. There may be legitimate safety rules, but other than that they are the epitome of the newest (to me) gen X meme: F*ck around and find out. With a beginner, they’ll say “I do it like this”…because a true beginner needs to have a direction, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only direction. With advanced beginners and intermediates, they’ll say “hmmm…I don’t know, why don’t you try that?”, or “ooh, that sounds interesting, let me know how that turns out”, and sometimes “when I’ve done that, I got this result, which didn’t work for me at that time”. A really good expert responds to advanced questions by….LOL. Trick question, gate keepers don’t actually ask questions. In classes, they are the people who’s question is a statement of their gatekeeping either with an upward inflection at the end to make you think they are asking a question, or “isn’t that right?”. If you find yourself doing this in ANY situation, apologize, lower your hand, and realize you are the equivalent of a teenage know it all. You’ll grow out of it, hopefully. Also applies if you start off any sentence with “Well, actually”. And yes, I know this is a bit of gatekeeping. I’m not claiming to be an expert blogger, or even an expert human.

If you find yourself with an advanced teacher, know that they DO know a lot. Don’t completely discount what they are saying, because those gatekeeping rules are there for a reason, they have the most consistent success rate for whatever the established success is. If that is what you are going for, great. I’ve been told it’s the Sagittarius in me that wants to know all the rules so I know when and how to break them. I listened to my fair share of gatekeeping. I’ve, unfortunately, done my share of gatekeeping (again, apologies D and C). I was well into my 30’s before I had the epiphany above about the different levels. It took some phenomenal classes and instructors in knitting and spinning for me to see the pattern, and then I realized it actually extrapolates to all of life (that I’ve experienced).

We actually talked about this in my last session of the class. Someone had said they were told an always or never (I don’t remember which). The Shibaguyz handled that perfectly. Firstly, as true experts, they highly encourage taking classes with multiple teachers. They explicitly said that other teachers have other ways that may work better for us, they also can explain things in a way that maybe wasn’t catching with us. Secondly, they encouraged us to respectfully ask why? Why is that the only way to do something? Why do we never do this other thing? There may be legitimate reasons, or maybe there are gatekeeping reasons.

Classes may not be something that is feasible for you (maybe for cost, time, or something else). If that’s the case, there are local guilds, and/or groups. Barring all else, there are online groups you can join. Even if the local group/guild isn’t really what you are wanting/expecting from your support group for your skill of choice, try them out. You may find that their orange really pops in your work. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll try out a little of your purple. If you are a bit unsure of joining a group by yourself, do what I do, and become an enabler. Rope the friends/family you can stand into your obsession of choice. D and I started a group over a decade ago. It’s had people come and go for various reasons. I can tell you that a diverse group fixes the gatekeeping problem. I can say there’s only one way to do something, but then L will stare me straight in the eye, as she’s doing it a different way. Or, I could say, “you should never do this thing”, but C will lift up the project where she did just that thing I said to never do.

I did my thesis on community, and a lot of research has been done (by people actually qualified to do research) on the effects the loss of community organizations (ie guilds) have had on our communities. Learning to deal with and work with people who are different from you is an important life skill. Hearing everyone’s voices makes a better song. I don’t think I need to expand on how this applies to all aspects of our lives. Instead, here’s a song for you to enjoy. Its about celebrating differences, in ourselves, and others. Also, look forward to seeing my wonky blocks, which are all named after musical artists.


It’s not hoarding if you use it!

Once again, it seems that life conspires against me. I start to get into a groove, and then something comes along to shake it up. I had so many good intentions of getting at least one post done this last weekend, and finishing up/starting a couple more so future Me would have things easy. We knew we were supposed to have an ice storm last Friday, so Poopie made sure to have us all stocked up so we wouldn’t have to go anywhere over the weekend. I was going to be watching the Red Alder interviews in the evenings and while away the days doing whatever craft, and finding a new show to binge watch. I’m sure he had his plans which likely involved loud music, either listening to, or creating.

And then our power went out Friday night. There went all of my plans for the weekend. As well as the following week. We were without power for 12 hours shy of a full week, just getting it back yesterday morning.

So we come to hoarding. Or…allusions to hoarding. For over a decade, I have dealt with not so thinly veiled criticisms of me keeping things. Don’t go thinking it was just from Poopie, I also hear from other people who have no problems giving me their unsolicited opinions on my things. There are many reasons why I keep Useful Things. I mean, firstly, they are Useful Things. I have Plans for them. Yes, I have many Plans; and some do not come to fruition, but some DO! Secondly, I grew up poor enough that we couldn’t afford to throw out Useful Things. Take paper bags, they can be reused for all sorts of things: garbage sacks, and just…sacks. Book covers as well. No, I’m not old enough for that to have been a “thing”, school mates thought I was weird…of course, this was not the only evidence for their thinking that way. Paper bags also were wrapping paper. Fun fact: this year, they were again. That’s saying nothing of fabric, string, yarn, stuffing, etc…

I’ve already mentioned this, but way last March, when we needed to start wearing masks, but there weren’t enough of the disposable kind (and who wants to keep making more garbage????), I found a pattern for a relatively easy mask. I could actually make 2 out of a single fat quarter. But…why would I use up my fat quarters? I still had a ton of fabrics left over from goodness knows what else because I’ve inherited a BUNCH of fabric scraps. Friends and family all know I’ll welcome them. In fact, for one of Thing 2’s birthday parties, instead of goodie bags for the guests, she wanted purses, so I made a bunch of simple purses out of scraps I had gotten from my MIL (which included her mom’s stuff, I believe). I think she (MIL) enjoyed the memories of a skirt or dress she had made herself in school. I’ll be honest, I take a great amount of pride in making things from scraps that look like they are supposed to look that way. I love making trash into treasure, and I fancy myself good at it.

Shocking no one, I digress….back to cutting up scraps for masks. I made some for our household, for my in laws, for the households of my mom, sister, and aunt. Basically anyone who wanted them. The only thing I needed to purchase was the elastic. I did not have a hoard stash of that. I was also able to make a bunch of masks to donate to various drives. Again, with very little out of pocket. And the time spent making masks was time I didn’t spend dreading/worrying like so many others. I’ll try to talk about this “trick” of mine in another post.

When the wildfires came, and the local charities were gathering toiletries for fire refugees, all those tiny bottles of shampoos, and little wrapped hotel soaps, and who knows what else I dragged out of my linen closet were put to good use. See? Not hoard — stash. Not junk — Useful Things.

We’ve been the family way station for firewood. Got extra wood that needs burning? It ends up at our house. Anyone going on a camping trip calls up, and they end up grabbing a load of wood from us. We have a fireplace in our house, so it makes sense for us to have the wood. We don’t heat with it. My house was built in 1979, so the fireplace is more ornamental than functional. Unless our electricity is out for almost a week. It’s still more ornamental than functional, but we managed to keep the living room at 50 degrees, while the rest of the house was 40-42. This lovely picture is of Poopie restocking the wood by the front door. He’s wearing the helmet because while the temperature was warming the next morning, that just meant giant ice chunks were falling from the cedar. He said it was a good thing he was wearing the helmet considering the loud crashing he kept hearing in the helmet.

And for my final “hoarding” story….the candles from our wedding…11 years ago. I had an evening wedding in winter. Instead of flowers everywhere, there were candles. What do you do with a metric ton of 1/2 burned candles? (Actually, just one under bed sized tote) I mean, no one wants them, but I can’t just throw them away. It’s not like they’ll go bad. Well, we went through about half that tub. I was so very glad I had that hoard stash of candles. Especially since I still haven’t received the tapers I ordered online yet. Sitting in the dark, even with your spouse is depressing…I assume. I didn’t have to find out…because I was prepared with a stash of candles.

I was able to use the electricity at my local volunteer gig for my computer for my day job. But, I’d come home just as it was getting dark. So lots of candlelight. We do have electric lanterns, but they don’t really give off much more light it turns out than the candles do, and the light isn’t as nice. I was able to channel our textile fore bearers (finally! she gets to some textiles!) during our outage. I sat by the fire and spun up the last of the random fiber I had been spinning when I last chatted with you. I now need to figure out how/what to ply it with. I couldn’t before because I didn’t have enough light to be able to see, but I’m hoping to figure that out tomorrow. It wasn’t light enough for me to weave. It might have been, but I broke a warp on Saturday, and the light was never good enough for me to confidently fix it. I spent most evenings knitting on one of last year’s Knitter’s Almanac projects (more on that elsewhere).

I have been keeping my patterns on a cool app in my iPad, and working off that. That meant I wasn’t able to work on either the shawl or scarf I have on needles because I didn’t want to drain my iPad. Basically, I was hoarding conserving the power I did have. I did realize that the lighting with candles probably isn’t good enough if trying to do a project that you need to refer to a pattern for, anyway. My black out knitting was an easy peasy double knit single color. garter edge, k1, sl1wif. all the way to the garter edge, turn, repeat.

Honestly, the roughest part for me was the job portion, the computer set up going to a laptop was terrible. The desk was an ergonomic nightmare as well…my back is still super unhappy with me. At home, we were able to borrow a generator to keep our freezer running, so we lost a minimal amount of food. We have no kids at home, so the only whining was our own. Of course, if it had to go much longer, I’m not sure how sanguine I could continue to be, I was starting to feel the strain. I spent today watching Franklin Habit on YouTube which has restored my knitting zen.

The blackout knitting just wasn’t enough to rejuvenate my zen. After this year, with pandemic, wildfires, surgery, other family issues, and now this, I think it’s fairly reasonable that I was seeing cracks in my zen. The blackout knitting was definitely keeping the beasts at bay, but I am always grateful for any added assistance.

Back to my thesis. These examples show that it’s not hoarding if you use it. Sometimes, if you have the resources, it makes sense to set aside for the rainy (insert plaguey, firey, or icey) day (week, month, year). And if you find you have some good fabric or yarn that needs a home, Poopie doesn’t have access to this site’s email…just sayin’ 😉


Do as I say, not as I do

Sound familiar? If your mom never said this to you, then I don’t believe you are really human.  This post is about following directions…-ish.  In my knitting group, we are just as likely to call a pattern a recipe, as anything else.  It may be that we are old and have problems with words.  BUT, I’m going to tell you that it is because patterns are like recipes, and you should treat them the same way. So, you should read through the entire thing.  You should gather your tools (remember all the blogs on yarn?).  And then you can start.  I do this every time (wink, wink).

Before Christmas, I have about three craft/cooking days.  Things 1 and 2, as well as O all have many gifts to give.  We started a while ago making gifts.  Thing 2 has her process down pretty pat, and then will add something in to keep things interesting.  Thing 1 and O do different things every year.  One of the things I really try to stress is to read through the whole recipe (or pattern) to make sure you know what you need to be doing and when.  This is intended to keep the comments of “oh, oops!” to a minimum.  We are all fairly terrible at this step (or we forget in between times), so it’s heard pretty frequently.  Except Thing 2’s day…Thing 2 and I swear like sailors when we screw up.

Aaah, screwing up! That’s what crafting is all about.  Screwing up, and recovering from those screw ups.  A couple weeks ago, I had to pull out 10 rows of the Waiting for Rain shawl because I *thought* I had remembered how to do one of the increases.  I mean, sure, it had been several weeks since I’d worked on the shawl, and that time was working the lace insert, but I remembered.  Except, I didn’t.  So, the lesson one would be expected to learn from this is that when one puts down a project, one should re-read the pattern *again* to re-acquaint oneself with the pattern.  I can pretty much guarantee that Future Tejedora will be having a similar moment later on.  She keeps thinking she’s smarter than she is.

This would be like when Thing 2 and I were going to make a cheesecake for my brother.  We read through the whole recipe like good little cooks–or, rather, skimmed.  In the skimming, we missed that there are something like 15 different baking steps, for different times and temperatures.  I might be exaggerating, but not by much.  Oh, oops.  Still tasted fine.

Occasionally, though, you do read the pattern/recipe, and you do follow the directions, but they still don’t make sense, or you still screw up.  There can be many reasons for this.  In the featured photo, see how there’s a section of nice and neat, and then 1/2 way along, stupid purl bumps? I followed the directions!!! I really did!!!

Well, except, I modified the pattern for two colors vs. one.  But that doesn’t count, right? Well, um, yeah, it does in this case.  So, I had made an adjustment, but I didn’t carry that adjustment throughout the project.  It’s like doubling a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but not doubling the chocolate chips.  It’s fine, I guess.  In this case, I did not take into account how my alterations would necessitate altering directions later on.  The way the lace happens in this pattern, you do short rows of stockinette lace, and then when you are done, you just knit off into the sunset.  But, that means that only 1/2 of your lace insert is knitted on that row.  When you come back, the rest of the lace insert is knitted, but now, it’s showing as purl.  So, an adjustment must be made.  I chose to leave this like it is on this first insert.  It’s rustic looking anyway, it’ll be fine.  But, in the next insert, on the way back, I switched from knit to purl on that last 1/2, so the insert is all smooth.  This *does* mean that I have a section of not quite garter for one row, but that was more acceptable to me than the 1/2 in 1/2 out visual experience that dogmatically following the rules gave me. OK fine, you purists!!! *dogmatically following the rules after I threw them out the window in the first place. I suppose one should learn to follow a change through the whole process to make sure one understands how the change could affect things in the future.  One should also live a little.

And then, Dear Reader, there are the times you follow the directions, and it just doesn’t turn out.  You re-look at the directions, and re-do it so many times, and it still doesn’t turn out. This happened to me this last year with a sweater I made for Poopie.  The cable pattern was not coming out right.  It was Elizabeth Zimmerman, so I was sure that it was me.  Clearly, I was doing something wrong.  I finally looked up the pattern elsewhere, and found there really was a typo in the Zimmerman book.  This one clearly taught me that even our heroes are just people.  And everyone needs a good editor.

Except me.  I’m going to keep telling you my typos and formatting issues are part of my charm 🙂


For what it’s worth…

In high school, I was a *bit* of a drama nerd. One of the plays I was in was called The Curious Savage. I played Lilly Belle, the spoiled socialite. It was the closest I ever came (or ever will come) to being part of the upper class. It’s a wonderful play about what makes a person “crazy”. One exchange from the play has been coming to me a lot lately.

Hannibal: And did you know that the human body has only twenty cents’ worth of calcium in it—five cents’ worth of iodine, twenty cents’ worth of phosphorus, and –well—even at present high prices—nobody is worth over a dollar and a half.

Mrs. Savage: So you only value me at a dollar and a half?

Hannibal: Never. You said “worth”. Your value is inestimable.

The Curious Savage by John Patrick

I can still hear the disappointment in April’s (playing Mrs. Savage) voice when she thought she was only valued at $1.50.

This question of worth and value has been plaguing me as I’ve been trying to price my work.


Usually, I subscribe to the philosophy on the right, which I’ve stolen from the internet. However, over time, I’ve been asked to sell some items for various different events and functions.

I have to admit, I’m usually very Hannibal-like. Many years ago, FIL and I got into a slight amount of trouble one Christmas. We were given a limit on how much to spend for our Christmas exchange.


My FIL made me this beautiful laminated cutting board (I don’t let Poopie use it, I can’t trust him to only use one side). I made a pair of socks for a cousin. We were told we “cheated” because our gifts were worth more than the limit. However, neither of us spent *any* money on our gifts. The materials were scraps off from other projects we had done.

I had made many things before for close family. Many of my family are crafters. So while handmade is appreciated, it is also more expected. We never learned how to determine the worth of the items in dollars and cents. It’s like that meme says–either free, or no go. Basically, it’s putting a dollar amount on love. We were also poor, so we weren’t ever going to spend money on something we could do ourselves, so it’s not like we had an idea of what *other* people were willing to spend for the same/similar item.

Which leads me to my Other News. I was invited to participate as an artist at the Second Annual Rejected Art Faire (I’m assuming it’s going to keep going). I am so excited about this project as a whole and will surely bore you in future blogs about it. There are so many lessons to be gleaned from this event!! We’ll have an arts vs. crafts discussion at some point. As well as discussions about rejection, perceived failures, the downfalls of perceived success. Who knows what else I will milk this thing for.

Right now, though, we are going to look at value and worth since I need to figure out pricing structures on my items. Let’s take Poopie’s Cookie Monster (featured image). I want you all to realize that I have re-stuffed him 2x. I have no idea at all where his stuffing goes. One of the times I fixed him, I tried to put eyes back on him, and believe it or not, he looked way creepier. So, Cookie is still blind. Defining value vs. worth is difficult because they are in each other’s definitions. For ease of understanding, Dear Reader, I will just use definitions based on above. Worth is the dollar amount. Value is the intrinsic amount. So: W orth = W ealth and Value = Values.

Take Cookie (don’t really, we’d cry). We will talk about worth first, because that seems to be easiest (I’ll show later on how it’s not). Cookie is literally worth nothing. Even if you found a Cookie monster collector, they wouldn’t want him. However, I know without a doubt that if the house were on fire, Cookie would be the first thing saved, even before me. There are many reasons why Cookie is so valued. However, those reasons don’t translate to dollars and cents. So, his value is truly inestimable. For more on this subject, I highly recommend reading The Velveteen Rabbit. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s at any library as well as retail outlet.

In the past, I’ve crafted as gifts. I think I’ve talked in less specific terms about how the Value of those gifts were mismatched. Take a sock for example (I make a LOT of socks, so this is easy). The cost of making a pair of socks for me is this: 5-30.00 for yarn (depending on the yarn used and if I find a sale). If I’m hand knitting, then we won’t count the cost of the needles because they are amortized over many projects–so, we’ll assume that it would end up being a wash. However, with hand knitting, it would take me say 10 hours, (an hour a day for 2 weeks = 14 hours) which is crazy fast–I’m sure it’s way more. Minimum wage in Oregon is 10.25/hour. That means that I should get 100.00 in labor. But we all know that’s unrealistic, so lets say it’s only 5.00 an hour. Even *significantly* devaluing my labor, this pair of socks is 55.00. Ok, I rarely “hand knit” a pair of socks anymore. I use a Circular Sock Machine (CSM). That brings my labor time down to 45 minutes to crank each sock. But I still have to close the toes by hand, so I’ll say just 15 minutes for finishing a pair of socks. We are back to an hour. Lets not devalue my labor quite so much. Lets say minimum wage is appropriate, and not argue that (though I could). So the time is less, but the CSM costs $2,000. I have NOT made anywhere close to 2,000 pairs of socks. But lets say I do, that’s still $1.00 a sock. So, conservatively speaking, with significant devaluation of myself (by way of my labor), not taking into account any overhead or profit (yay capitalism), a pair of my socks is worth:

$5.00 yarn, $10.25 labor, $1.00 machine, which is still $16.25. Again, this is the product only, this does not include the marketing/selling costs (booth costs, time in a booth, web hosting fees, I could continue to go on and on)

I go through all of that not necessarily to show you how awesome I am (though I am awesome), but to continue this conversation of value and worth. A pair of socks made for a gift is worth $16.25, but what is it’s value? That is in the eye of the receiver.

The cousin listed above found the value to be much more than that $16.25, that’s why I got in trouble. For that cousin, the fact that I made it gives the item more value than it’s worth. However, Thing 2 doesn’t find the fact that I made something to be of any more or less value than the item’s worth. She would much rather I spend $1.00 on a store bought pair of socks for her. She values them much more than socks I make. For whatever reason, they fit her values better than the socks I make. I’ll be honest — for a long time, this hurt my feelings. To be truly honest, this still hurts my feelings. I do not make her socks any more because of the value mismatch. The purpose of giving is pleasing the recipient, so it behooves me to give what is valued by the other person. Not necessarily what I value. My feelings have been much better since I stopped trying to foist my valuables onto someone who prefers something else. We are both happier: she gets what she wants, and my feelings aren’t as badly hurt.

So, we come to the pricing of my work. The general public much better aligns with Thing 2 when it comes to value vs. worth of a handmade item. So we have to price accordingly. However, many in the public still don’t understand how much they are devaluing labor. I’m not even talking about intellectual, emotional, or creative labor. I’m talking about just the manual labor. Others who work in the previously listed fields can go into much more detail on their concerns. I’ll just say that if a maker of goods has such a hard time valuing their work, how much harder is it for a maker of ideas, feelings, and/or services?

I have been to events with vendors and heard people scandalized at the prices of some things. In fact, I see it in Facebook groups as well. Or they don’t understand how something which they believe takes fewer materials could be a similar price. Well, maybe the labor is the same? For example, if I get into making shorty socks, they’ll probably be the same price as “regular” sized socks (20.00 for inquiring minds). Why? because I can still only get the same number of socks out of a skein regardless, and because the most difficult part is the shaping, which I will still have to do, so, the savings in labor is minimal, and as we see, I’m already devaluing my work left and right to make it marketable.

We have all done it–we’ve discussed pricing of someone’s work in their booth, or just outside of it. Guess what…they can still hear you. The question for you shouldn’t be how much it cost them to make it, but rather, how much would it cost you to make it?

One year, BIL and SIL thought they would make gifts instead of buying. Part of it was Christmas ideals, and part of it was honestly cost saving. Do you know what they found? They ended up spending at least as much money, and far more time making things than buying pre-made things. I’m not sure how all the other recipients of their gifts feel, but I can tell you, regardless of what the dollar amount they spent on making my gift, the value is inestimable to me.

So, why would you spend $20.00 on handmade socks when you could spend $1.00 on store bought? It depends on what you value in a sock. If you want a barrier between your foot and your shoe, then buy the $1.00 sock. But, in doing so, don’t tell an artist/crafter that their wares are not worth what their price is. But, if there is something in the socks that matches your values, then by all means, buy them. And if you cannot afford them, let the maker know how pleased you are that they are making things that match your values.


Madrona day 3

The thing with these events is that sooooo very much goes on all the time.  You try to take in everything and tell the story, but there’s just SO MUCH. I feel like a toddler going “and then…and then…and then…no wait, first…and then…” I can’t tell everything all at once, so I’m sure Madrona stories will end up in future blogs.  Today was my big day.  I took 3 mini classes.

The morning class was social media.  Frankly, we just went over Instagram.  I learned a bunch.  But clearly not enough. I *thought* I had successfully linked my Instagram to the La Tejedora Facebook page.  However, the featured photo did not end up  going to Facebook. The featured photo is of a lot that has been abandoned for at least the last two years.  However, the spirals are new since last Madrona.  I saw that on my walk down to the hotel from my Airbnb yesterday morning.  Of note, I now need to make sure to add my Instagram to this blog (but not tonight, please not tonight).  I’m latejedoracrafts on Instagram. Huge shout out to Debbi Stone for putting up with all the myriad ladies with all our various skill levels.  My poor friends had to put up with my live-texting my frustrations with a particular classmate.  There’s so much to tell today, that I won’t get into her issues (or, more accurately, my issues with her) this post.

The one complaint I have about the mini-classes is that there is not any transition time between classes.  My first morning class was 9-10:30, and my next class was 10:30-12.  Which would be fine, except it was 3 floors down, and the other side of the hotel.  I got to run, run, run.  Pam, thankfully, agreed to have my 10:30 stuff for me, since she was taking that class as well.  I made it, and all was well. Amelia Garripoli (I apologize, I’m not sure of her current online presence) taught small loom weaving.  20180217_104337.jpgWhen I sat down and opened my notebook to be ready to take notes, I found this.  I don’t remember which kid had done this, but I’m thinking it was likely Thing 1.  This was a random notebook from the house, and this was done a long time ago.  But, how fun to find it!

Pam informed me that I was taking notes for two.  And she kept trying to tell me I was going to be teaching this technique at CRABS in April.  Um, no.  She can teach it at CRABS, or at the Yarn In in July.  It’s very interesting, and I look forward to playing with the technique some.  20180217_111830.jpgThe round part will be woven to make the top of a hat.  My plan is then to pick up and knit down.  I’m planning on using twined knitting to keep a similar texture.  We’ll see how this experiment ends up working.  There was also a technique for continuous weaving which should use a Danish Scarf Loom–which may or may not exist anymore.  I didn’t play with that technique, but it plays with the idea of what is the warp and what is the weft.  This is what I want Pam to teach this summer since the idea is completely fascinating.  Weaving is really Pam’s area of expertise more than mine.  We’ll see…

Then, lunch and  resting.  Otherwise known as doing my homework for my 3:00 class.  My poor calves are killing me from all the hill walking and stairs.  My goodness, the stairs!  Prior to Madrona several yaers ago, I thought Tacoma was flat.  I always knew that Seattle was super hilly, but I never really thought about Tacoma.  I was wrong.  So very, very wrong.

Three P.M. brings us to Anne Berk.  And Zippers. I hate zippers.  Not like in life.  But in crafting.  I don’t sew zippers.  If at all possible, I work around zippers, or try to talk MaryAnn into doing them for me (she won’t…she tells me she’ll show rude!).  Adding zippers into knitwear?!?!?!? Madness!!  I mean, there are so many cool sweaters I could make Poopie, but they involve sweaters, or modifying them to not have zippers.  Which is work.  So I haven’t made them (I’m sure that’s the only reason *eyeroll*).  wp-1518925463438.jpg

There are prohibitions in all walks of life about trying to join un-like things.  No spinning linen with wool.  No using steel screws in aluminum.  No joining machine woven with hand knit.  But there are always ways to make things work out eventually.  wp-1518925488242.jpgAnd so it is with zippers.  As you can see, in a very short amount of time, I learned how to add a zipper to knit fabric.

My fear of zippers has been conquered!! This isn’t to say that I won’t still have some trepidation about working with zippers, in the future.  I mean, I’ve spent years and years being afraid of them.  Bad habits are hard to break.  But, if I am aware that I have a tendency to fear and avoid zippers, I can keep working on that.  Eventually, I won’t have any problems with zippers, and may eventually even learn to love the zipper!

It’s been a long day, and I have an all day class with John Mullarkey.  It is a design class, so he probably wants me to be awake for it!  I’ll sign off now.