Anxiety is overwhelming

The last 3 months have been a blur of social gatherings, dear friends moving, one roundtrip flight, and another kitten. I don’t think I’ve ever been this disinterested in anything fiber related in ages. Honestly I’m pretty sure it’s the constant changing of my anxiety meds along with not wanting to do anything. Sheer motivation right now can’t even get me to do anything past getting out of bed and getting dressed. The idea of social obligations right now is indeed quite petrifying.

I did accomplish many mini social gathering and get togethers for my kids. I managed to hop on a plane and fly all the way to Maryland from Alabama for my best friends wedding. It seems like such a blur now. It was the most relaxing, fun, go with the flow time I’ve had in ages. I got to see people I haven’t seen in over a decade and meet new people within a circle I’ve heard about but never had the opportunity to until then. I miss my east coast life at times.

Now I’ve acquired animal #4, Jon, Jon Snow to be more precise, or bat cat as I call him. Sam and him are two peas in a pod and instigators. We’ve had him for almost two weeks and it’s really quite interesting to see how different their personalities are. I’ve only broken out the yarn for them, to make new cat toys to chase around the house and lose under the furniture. Now to get back on track and start getting some accountability lists going so I can force my motivation back into me. Ha.

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A week into September…

I feel as though I’ve done nothing since this month has begin, but really it has been spent socializing and out in the real world to an extent. I’ve managed to start and knit a couple of rows on my Hitofude. Other misc projects have started, but nothing I’m dead set on committing to as my main project. Honestly, I didn’t mean for this post to turn into a book, but it needed to come out of my head as it’s interfering with my knitting.

I’ve also been following the fallout of a particular MKAL with popcorn in hand. It’s not so much that it was a disaster from a shortage of yards recommended, but the designer was incompetent on many levels from the beginning, and it wasn’t the first time that they had screwed up with orders and delayed and MKAL based around that, but they also didn’t knit it, or test knit. So dredging through the forums on Ravelry has brought to light a certain behavior or cycle per say. Screw up, flagellate self in public, give an indirect apology, spend months “fixing” problems, repeat.

So needless to say I’ve had a lot of interesting reading, years worth to be truthful. I’m not saying this in an aggressive tone, or to be mean, or to drag down the designer, in fact I will not even name them for the sake of embarrassment. Facts are facts. The designers initial response to people asking for refunds was to call them names and start a thread insulting and belittling them, looking for answers as to why they haven’t received their yarn or beads that they paid for over a year prior.(because said designer said they don’t check their email or Ravelry mail, so they had no choice but to oust their issues in public-which I’m sure is nothing short of embarrassing for both parties)

The designer also had pattern collections that were supposed to include multiple patterns, reduced without prior indication and no refunds offered until people pointed it out in public forums. (many are using the way back time machine to compare the prior releases to what is currently up, and there is literally no apology or mention of reduction) More push backs. Faulty dye jobs, wet/smelly yarn being sent to people, everything late after having a sufficient amount of time to get it done. (nearly 18 months from announcement)

So to say that my mind is anything short of boggled with how one is still on Ravelry putting out patterns with such things going on is beyond comprehension at this point. If you were to check out the forums that have been screen capping the whole scenario, you’d be inclined to agree that they are someone who has taken on more responsibility than they are quite capable of handling. It’s quite sad to see someone who hasn’t figured that out by this point in their business and offered nothing more than mere “I’m disappointed in myself too” in response to the debacle.

What initially dragged me into this, was that I had been looking forward to this particular MKAL for a while, but hadn’t had a chance to start anything with a couple of sweaters on the needles. By the time I did get the chance to start anything, there were major issues arising, and you can see that on many of the project pages of people that participated in this MKAL. After reading one thoroughly written notes section I was sent to a forum that had been advising people how to deal with getting their money back and other issues associated with the pattern collections from the same designer, as certain promises were made, not met, and therefore constituted as fraud and they were due a refund. This group was helpful in showing people how to navigate the waters of Ravelry and issuing the proper complaints necessary to warrant their money back, or if they got the patterns as a promotion, to report the designer for altered and delaying of collections on behalf of those unaware that had paid. The fact that there is probably a group of people out there, be it small, that is unaware of what is going on and are paying customers is why this group has taken a foothold on this problem.

The collections were pretty well unnoticed until this group started pointing out the issues when the MKAL blew up. There are 7 pattern collections that have been altered and/or delayed somehow. This MKAL still isn’t complete. The original pattern still hasn’t been tested and knit by the designer, but they have put out one smaller version that they had someone else knit as a 3rd version. A second version is being knit in the yarn meant for the MKAL. But there seems to be no conclusion to this, and a lot of people have wasted their time and money on this and are not getting what they originally expected. It’s sad to see that there was little consolation to this other than a free pattern or refund of goods purchased, but at your expense of return until received.

My brain hurts to see so much going on with little resolution offered but promises. It seems as though things are slowly coming to an end, it’s not an end for those that have more invested with that designer, as more MKALs roll out and more patterns are due to be released and the excuses for delays have already popped up again. The clarity that should have been there from the beginning has just started showing up, but will probably fade as people forget the disaster that the MKAL was.

I’m just disappointed with the flakey behavior and overall attitude from the designer who has had no problem with jumping into the next group of projects and leaving behind a bunch of people still waiting for answers. Thankfully there are ways of helping people, and people have been able to get help from all of this. It’s a great takeaway lesson into paying more attention to the designers you choose to purchase and invest in, especially when it comes to MKALs and unreleased pattern collections.

TL;DR: designer royally screwed up (also has a history of this), major fallout occurred, fraud has happened and refunds are being issued on behalf of that-yes Ravelry is aware and managing it.

Mustardseed

It feels like forever since I’ve posted. I’ve  been preoccupied with many different things. Soccer, spring break, and shawl knitting have been the majors for me lately. I just started Thistledown by Booknits using some gifted yarn from Enchanted Stitches.

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I’m working on sample projects for Enchanted Stitches with the gifted yarn. I was really surprised to see how much Heather sent, it was like Christmas opening the squishy mail.

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I’ve already completed the Mustardseed Shawl by Booknits
It was fun watching it progress and my first ever shawl with beads.

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I started on it Saturday and finished it last night, washed and blocked it as well. It was a delightfully easy pattern with crystal clear instructions. Typically,  lacework is intimidating to me because of my inability to keep track of the pattern repeats and I spend more time counting than I probably should. I was pleasantly surprised with how quick this knit up and how easy it was to add beads. I will definitely be making another one in the future.

I have a Love in a Mist shawl started in Madelinetosh in the colorway Tart and I’ve gotten matching beads for it. I think I’m going to be adding beads to everything I can, it’s so fun!

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I’ve managed to finish my step dad’s socks, as well as a pair for myself.

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I’m on a knitting spree. Seriously have not been this motivated in ages. Somewhere amidst all the chaos my car decided it didn’t need a sparkplug and we ended up stranded a block and a half from home. Thankfully it was a quick, cheap fix. My hubby rescued us and got the old neon back and running without any further issues.

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Now I just have to survive the rest of spring break without losing my sanity.

A bit of dyeing

It seems as though the busier I get the more I long to do other things and start cramming a ton more into the schedule. I recieved a pound of merino and a pound of cheviot a couple weeks ago. I had plans for the cheviot making dryer balls, but nothing for the merino. When I finally got a free day I ended up dying the roving in the oven. It was a first with oven dying. The results were great but because I didn’t put enough to dye through to the other side in spots, some of them really annoy me even though they have areas left intentionally undyed. Now that I’ve learned a thing or two about this, I think that next time I’ll be more prepared. I loved how they didn’t bleed one bit, not even my toughest colors.

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My favorite ended up being the one with a bit of
yellow.

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The colors turned out really pretty and spring like. Naturally I had to spin that one first.

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It’s been a while since I’ve been super thrilled to do anything fiber related. I’ve been tempted to put all knitting on hiatus for a bit. Spinning on the other hand is something I would do more if my hands would cooperate, being a bit on the arthritic side doesn’t help.

So in between projects that I’m avoiding I made a hat, but haven’t blocked it. It’s the kind of pattern that would show up well on a single colored yarn, but harder to see with a self striping or variegated. The pattern is Tombreck and it is a simplistic looking hat with a long repeat pattern.

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It’s a bit hard to see the pattern in all that neon, but it’s a nice loose, comfy hat.

Last night I learned how to make bread from scratch. That was quite an adventure. It was messy, tiresome and the outcome was edible. I decided on a simple potato bread recipe, which ingredient-wise it may have seemed simple, but it was a very long process with several steps that the cookbook seemed to combine into each step. So there was lots of double checking and a skipped 10 minute rise period. I nearly over proved it because I set it in the oven which happened to still be warm from dinner an hour and a half earlier.

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Even my daughter had to have a few slices before bed because it was a nice change.

I’ve been looking through this modernized cookbook we acquired from the holidays and challenged myself to make a few things this week.

Let me tell you a few things: 1) I’m not a planner, and have never meal planned, 2) I’m a picky eater-which is why I don’t cook or make things often that don’t come out of a box, 3) I’m not the only picky eater so it’s easier to have separate meals for the kids, the hubby and I, 4) I don’t own much in the way of baking and cooking supplies other than the basics, which makes things complicated and easier to just not do. So this really is a challenge to push myself outside of a lot of these habits, bounderies, and excuses. So one down, 3 more to go by the end of the week. I’m almost too excited for this.

Clarity

Blurry.

Between the rain and the fog, things have been quite dismal the last few weeks. We caught a short break today, if only for a few hours. During this time I managed to scoop the short people up from school and make a run for the eye doctor’s before the rain came back in full force. My eldest has now joined the ranks of the four-eyed clan with the rest of us, only part time with reading glasses though.

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We had an incident last week with our kitchen faucet deciding to quit on us. So my better half had to finagle a few things around, and get the old one out (3 hours and many colorful words later).

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The new faucet is a breath of fresh air compared to the leaky, hard to shut off thing that was originally there. You have no idea how good new things are when you have used crap for years. I just hope this lasts until we get to remodeling the kitchen. (who knows when that will eventually be)

With all the time that we’ve had inside lately, games have been in order. Hubby and I had a lunch date Friday, well it started out as a surprise at work and turned into a date. Saturday we went and saw Deadpool while my stepdad babysat. We ended up going out window-shopping and finding Bean Boozled. Now, if you don’t know what it is, it’s 10 different colored jellybeans with 2 flavors each-1 good, 1 gross. We’ve watched tons of youtube videos of people doing the challenge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do something silly like this. The kids got a kick out of playing it. Better yet was my 50¢ Goodwill find of a complete travel Battleship set. I spent the weekend teaching the kids how to play and Rachel finally beat me, declaring her victory throughout the house, as she was the first opposing winner.

Earlier this week I made sure to get a progression picture of my Moho. I’m so close to being done with the second section, but I’m definitely playing yarn chicken with this shawl. I’ve found one annoying flaw that I’m going to have to go back and fix with any spare yarn I have leftover.

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I finally wound up some of my handspuns. I love loosely winding them and thinking about all of the possibilities they contain. They are beautiful inspiration and temporary decoration.

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A bit of spring cleaning

So I’m on a bit of a spinning hiatus due to some cold weather arthritis flare and a touch of a cold/plague/flu. Between the two I’m not much use of anything. I did manage to start cleaning through my craft room before this miserable illness took over. I frogged a few projects and even took them out of the Ravelry queue. Some projects just weren’t meant to be finished. This led me to make some really hard decisions, who really wants to frog single ply lace? I had to. I didn’t have a choice. It just wasn’t worthy of continuing. I have projects that I walk by and go “someday I will” and others that I can’t even look at the bags without guilt. That’s when I knew it was time. I just had to.

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Organizing is now to the point where I’m getting the projects and forcing myself to look at them. They aren’t just pretties on a shelf. I forced myself to clear the shelves and put them in baskets on the floor. So I have to trip over them, or look at them, or be in some way attached to them psychologically so that I can’t forget about them. It’s a punishment for all the pretty bags I’ve put them in and made it so easy to forget about the contents. If this is what it takes to get them finished, then so be it. They are already more in focus than they have been the last year.

Let’s talk about the dreaded book shelves. I have 2 bookcases that I have been using to harbor yarn, projects, books and the miscellaneous gizmos and gadgets. I have everything from oil paints and mineral spirits to glass beads and candles to my keepsake wedding bouquet. I have no theme to these shelves other than if it fits, cram it on there. I also have 7 wall shelves and 2 3×3 cubbies to store stuff and so organizing can be a bit tasking when you start pulling things out. I don’t know about you, but I get a bit absent minded and end up upturning the whole room because of things like ‘this yarn has to go over into this basket and *ahhhhhh* it needs to be organized!’ Organizes yarn basket, finds something that doesn’t belongs, takes to proper place and finds new disaster just to continue cycle until whole room is organized!’ (this is my style of cleaning and my house would never get cleaned if I didn’t do this)

The night my cold hit I was attempting hairpin lace, and might’ve cracked it. It seems to be easy going and has a lot of rhythmic movement. Finding a use for it might be something else entirely, but for now I’m just glad to understand it.

We ended up with a bit of snow that disappeared almost as quickly as it came down. It was quite funny, as a friend of mine in Oregon was experiencing sunny 60+ weather in her sandals, down in the south we’re freezing our britches off and enduring school delays.  I also had the joy of chasing down my darling dogs a couple days ago as they decided to run out of the garage while it was opened instead of getting into the car for a drive to pick up the kids from school. So they ended up being left at home on bad behavior in doggy jail.

Now I have to pull myself together and manage not to be sick for a half hour for the Valentine’s class party, room parent, adulting, responsibilities, blah blah blah. DayQuil is my BFF today. Maybe if I’m good the kids will let me nap after homework is done? This thought thrills me to no end.

 

Fiber tool investment! *I really shouldn’t post at night, many edits*

Ok, I’m super stoked. I’m more than that, I’m down right silly excited right now. To explain why, I have to rewind a few days. Wednesday, was a miserable,  terrible, horrible, everything that could go wrong quite possibly did go wrong day. So bad, hubby brought home flowers and candy for me. (The rarer than a blue moon treatment ) Anywho, the next day I went to post something and came home and I was on the phone with my bff. We were discussing the horrors of the day before, when lo and behold, a package!

Now our mail is for the most part consistent and comes between 10:45 and 1pm. This was well after 3pm. So my suspicions were aroused. You see, my husband has been buying a bunch of cheap Chinese made knock off stuff for his guns and other random stuff around the house, that I had totally forgot about something I had purchased earlier this week. Who knew a perfectly timed package could brighten a day so quickly?

This purchase was one of the smartest fiber purchases I have made yet. I bought a second hand Woolee Winder with extra bobbins. The lady I purchased it from was moving and was selling a wheel as well, but it was the same model I had and I was not in the market for another, but a half price Woolee Winder, that didn’t take me long to jump on!

So I’m currently in the middle of spinning the chocolate brown bfl my mom won me on ROC day, and I will be spinning some caramel colored bamboo  and plying them for a nice two ply. If I’m correct I will have two nice sized 2ply skeins. I’m in love with the ww already. It was a fabulous impulse buy.

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I’ve actually spun more since this picture was taken, but won’t be taking any more until I get to the bamboo and then start plying. Bamboo is tricky to work with, so I’m going to have to be patient. Especially since I’ve only been working with wool exclusively lately. I can’t wait to start plying, it’s going to look like a twix bar by the time I get through, all chocolate and caramel colored.
Now I just need the fiber fairy to visit me and up my fiber stash, because I’m down to 1 or 2 roving braids after this for a bit until my Camaj fiber arts group order comes in. I guess I’ll have to start knitting some of my beautiful hand spun stash. (Like this freshly added beauty)

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