Monday, July 30, 2012

Time Struggles

It's been quiet on the blog lately. I do have several projects in the works, but nothing's ready to show yet. And it doesn't help that the two projects that are making the most progress are the only two that have to be kept secret. One of those is a pattern that I hope to release mid-August, the other is a gift I hope to finish around the same time. That will then free me up for other things, I hope.

I'm at a point where it's hard to plan what to knit, and when and where to knit it. For the first time since college, I have a job that affords me the opportunity to knit at work (we'll call it Baboushka). However, if I knit something of my own design at work, it would legally be Baboushka's intellectual property. I doubt Baboushka would choose to take any action unless it involves lots and lots and lots of money, but I don't want to take that chance. (And if I do somehow make lots and lots and lots of money from knitting patterns, I think I would like to keep it.) So better safe than, sorry, right?

So in my head I have two knitting queues: Baboushka knitting and Creative knitting. Knitting other people's patterns, and knitting what I make up. And there's also the queue of things I'm dying to make, like Array and Color Affection. I've even bought the yarn for these two. But how do I manage my time so that I can get everything done?

Right now, the Baboushka knitting queue consists of two overdue baby sweaters, and a scarf. The scarf was tacked on recently by the request of a coworker, who has been teasing me about knitting him a scarf. I thought he was just messing around, until he facebooked me outside work and was more direct about it. Which is fine, I don't mind. He's offered to cover the cost of the yarn, the project itself shouldn't take too long. But now that I've taken this request, will there be others? Will they keep me from knitting the projects I see on Ravelry and have a burning desire to make? Don't get me wrong, these projects are all things I genuinely want to do. I'm not sure how to do it.

Because I also have non-knitting projects I'd like to do. I want to sew a jacket. I have a pattern, I have the material. But not the time. I also want to make a quilt for our bedroom, to tie all the colors together. Same thing, I have the fabric, the pattern, just not the time. Because I also have to sleep. And eat. And spend time with my husband and my other people. And attempt to keep the home place reasonably tidy, and keep us in clean clothes. And work. Working does come in handy when it comes time to pay for things. Somehow I'll figure it out. Someday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Harvest Home Farm Artisan & Fiber Festival

On June 16 my mom and I attended the Harvest Home Farm Artisan & Fiber Festival in Whitehall, WI.

There were sheep far away in the pasture.

And blueberry bushes!

These brothers were checking out the llamas.

And there was a sheep shearing demonstration! Shortly before this, I had read something about shearing and was intrigued. When you've shorn a sheep, the fleece is supposed to be in one whole piece; I was trying to figure out how they do it. The answer is complex, but to grossly simplify, you start with the underbelly where the fiber length is too short to use, and throw that part aside. Then, starting with short strokes around the neck and face and other nooks and crannies, then do the bigger areas. That is, again, grossly simplified. They do not do it in one continuous stroke of the shear, like I had thought. The wool more or less stays together as it is shorn, so it easily stays in one piece. And after several sheep, you have a big burlap bag of wool and some freshly shorn sheep.