Slowly Finding a Rhythm

Last evening we had the nicest visit with some new friends West of Minneapolis, just a wonderful group of folks. We were all so content on the way home, we had a lovely time!

Max was able to get up on the skis again, I got to meet a new friend (several!) and do some knitting, and Gerry got to talk to NEW PEOPLE (not me or other MM folks in his support group – fresh blood!)

Max was in his element, and triplet boys only added to the fun! Hannah was a little bored, I think, but she handled it well by reading and playing the piano while dinner was being prepared.

It’s hard to be the only girl in a group of rowdy boys! (Speaking of rowdy boys, here’s Max with the scarf just before he gave it to his coach)

At one point some of the adults went for a calm cruise out on the lake, it was pure heaven. I swear, if I lived out there I’d be on the water every day.

As it is, I’m thrilled to be on my bike every day (even if I had to stop for some high-octane wheezing today…) I’ll miss that when I’m in NJ, but I really don’t want to take the bike, and it’s both too hilly and too humid for me to do much riding back east.

I’m very gradually moving into a routine with my new office, and it’s such a comfort. I knew I missed having a space of my own, but I hadn’t realized just how much. In my living room chair with the overloaded bookshelf there was only SO much I could juggle at one time.

Now – with storage in the basement and an office where I can keep my current projects and, most important, a DOOR I can close to create a private space, I’m able to prioritize.

Triaging my projects, articles, even my fun stuff is one of my greatest strengths – deciding which can be left untouched over the weekend, what needs to “cook” a bit more in my mind, and what should come out right away as a swatch or sketch is what has allowed me to work very fast and smart.

I’ve spent the last few years getting so much done in short bursts of energy – but those are preceded with months of preparation so that when the ‘birthing time’ comes I can crank out many projects at one time.

But this past year and half was devoted to so much non-design stuff, so much family work, that I couldn’t find the internal space to allow myself to concentrate as much as I needed to on the work that was right in front of me.

The family worries are still here – as they are for everyone – but now I have a physical space which is allowing me to create, temporarily, a little calm time every day. I don’t have to answer the door, answer the phone, say “Hi!” to various delivery men and folks who stop by (unless I want to!)

When I was planted in the living room I was in the fishbowl – everyone who even knocked on the door could peer in and see me. I’d wave, grind my work to a halt and stagger across the living room, through the front porch to the door. Usually the visitor wanted me to sign a petition, sign for a package, or buy something. Gerry, being upstairs, would often not even know someone had stopped by.

Now the heat is off of me as far as being the doorkeeper of our house. Gerry’s well enough that fielding the various visits is a nice break in the day for him, and I can work uninterrupted!

Last week I finished one article on working with color, and I intend to get a good bite taken out of a sister article on shaping which is due in 2 weeks. With a desk to sit at, and my scanner at my elbow, I can sketch, swatch, scan and bring all those elements together in design submissions for magazines and yarn companies. And I can work on my book!

Knit With Courage will still be out on September 1, but we’ve moved the “official” publication date to late October to coincide with Multiple Myeloma Awareness Week (10/22 – 27). This also gives us more time to get some nice reviews and blurbs on the book jacket, and hopefully get some national press on a book about a family dealing with cancer. Well, one can hope!

I have been cranking out some new design ideas, and I have a nice, juicy project to take with me to NJ (a mitered skirt out of Sea Wool) which I’m really excited about writing up.

I’m finishing up a Crocheted Corset (I know, high time, huh?), this one also in Artyarns Regal Silk. I have to write that one up, too! I’m doing it with thin straps, thick straps, and a small sleeve, all crocheted.

It also involves a lot of embroidery up the front, which is – of course – optional. But it’s a lot of fun!

I swear, I have SO many new patterns to put up on my website. Hopefully I’ll get that done when we’re back from NJ.

I’ve been SO foot dragging about setting up teaching engagements – I sort of understand it, but I’m also a bit confused by my hesitancy. The classes that I’ve taught lately have been very full, with a smallish class every now and then for a bit of relief. It’s been surprising to me just how full many of my classes have been, but it’s flattering and good for the shops where I’m teaching!

But – for whatever reason – it’s been hard to fill up the two weekends I was asked to do at the Medayto Cottage in Spicer, MN.

I can’t decide if it’s because the weekend setup isn’t right for folks, or if the weekend itself isn’t ‘full service’ enough (all meals are not included) for someone who just wants to get away and no think about ANYTHING except knitting for two days. Or maybe it’s the price of gas? Of course, it could always be me!

We’re debating canceling one or both of them if they don’t fill a bit better by mid September, which is sad but only makes sense. I hate thinking about it, but if it must be I’d at least like to learn something from the experience.

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