Thursday, May 29, 2014

Random Thought Bytes. I'm Either A Multi-tasking Genius or A Complete Flibberty-Gibbit

Can't decide.

Every time I start something, my brain is like, "HEY, look--Yarn!   HEY! Cross-stitch!  Oooh---OIL PAINTS!" 

All my life I've always had numerous interests and projects going simultaneously, and it's showing no sign of letting up.  Oh, sure, I always eventually finish the thing, but I never work on Just One Thing, straight through.  Maybe I'm just unfocused, but I find it impossible to start one thing, like, say a fair-isle knitted sweater for Shane, and then FINISH it before starting something else.

So, my projects are all in various stages of "Look, it's almost done!"

You will ALWAYS see something like this by my chair
I am very proud to say that I DID totally just finish two sweaters that I started about 4 years ago before I got crazy with wedding cakes:  A gorgeous dark purple ribbed alpaca sweater for me and an ivory and tan fair-isle sweater for him (read: SUPER COMPLICATED YOU GUYS).  I love complicated sweaters, but when you're working a lot, the last thing you want to do is sit down at night and focus on something that requires every second of your brain and eyes for everysinglestitch in everysinglerow, or the whole thing will be wrong and no one will ever wear it, EVER, NEVER EVER.  So--those two projects are finally done.  Now, in just 4 short months, we can wear them.
Thank goodness it's stretchy; I started it 15 pounds ago.

See? You can't look away from this pattern while working on it.  Also, sorry, my phone camera has some damage to the left side of the lens--I didn't *add* that hazy effect.

I'm also doing the final detail work on a giant cross-stitch picture, which feels like a flippin' tapestry at this point.  I started working on it like 10 years ago.  OK, so I started it and then let it sit with about 2 hours of work done on it, in the corner of my bedroom, for about 5 YEARS before I picked it back up.  But still.  It's almost done.  It should be actually finished about the time that my girls both graduate, move out, finish college, get married, and no longer care that I made it for their upstairs living room.  But the grandkids might love it.

I also decided to finally dive into my Cookbook Project this year, which consists of me poring over every recipe card and cookbook I own, and compiling all of our favorite recipes into one book that I wanted to have printed in hard-bound loveliness as a graduation present for my oldest.  Her graduation is next week, so, um, yeah....It does have about 208 pages done, though, but then SPRING! Yay, plants! Time to start seeds and keep track of garden chores and order fall tulip bulbs.  So, maybe I'll give it to her as a going-to-college gift.  Or Christmas.

After I finished my lovely purple alpaca sweater, with the somehow very limited quantity of yarn I bought on a trip to a New Jersey alpaca farm (I was visiting my aunt--I'm not Martha or anything), I still had some yarn left.  So I made myself a pretty hat.  And then some mittens.  And another hat.

Then I realized--Hey! I have tons of various quantities of different yarns.  Like, a WHOLE YARN STORE WORTH of my own multicolored crazy closet FULL of yarn.  Guys.  I have yarn from sweaters and afghans I knitted in 1988.  It's literally a whole closet.  It looks like a yarn store, only it'd be more like that "Check This Out" tent/sale booth that someone's sitting in front of in a folding chair, out in the corner of a gas station parking lot...


It occurred to my grasshopper brain that, HEY--I have a ton of yarn.  I have a ton of time.  I love to knit.  I can only wear so many sweaters (and believe me, I have a LOT of sweaters).  Why not make all that yarn into hats and/or mittens?  It was that, or make a king-sized afghan with one million different-colored stripes...

THEN, we went camping last weekend and I spent about 5 days away from technology, which is probably a whole other post (if you have never turned OFF your phone and computer--and left it off--for 5 days, I highly recommend it).  We spent one morning browsing our favorite farmer's market, and there was this awesome hippie chick with dreds, selling...hats.  The same hats I love to make.  FOR SIXTY DOLLARS APIECE.  What?  Are you even kidding me right now?   Another lady was selling mittens for $55 a pair, and there was a sweater hanging there, with some basic cables in it, just like the ones I make as gifts.  And it was $460.00.  American. Dollars.


OK, I guess, it doesn't matter.  Maybe the artisans just make that stuff, drag it all to town, set up the booths, watch people read those price tags and choke on their organic coffee, then tear it all down and go home...But the point is YARN.  I have yarn, and I have time, and I'm always knitting.  So, I think I will start making hats in all kinds of colors and fun patterns and pile them up, then either sell them online (I haven't ever been on Etsy, but I know it's out there, waiting to suck me in, like Pinterest did), or give them as holiday gifts.

Not that I'm the first person to think, "Hats.  Yes.  We're going to be so rich."

Either way, I win, because it gives me something to do in the evening, AND it will clean out that closet and all those baskets full of yarn, AND keep me from owning 75 sweaters.  So it's like I'm doing us a favor, because I'm also keeping my closet emptier, which means we won't need to remodel the bedroom to accommodate all my sweaters, which is also a win.  Right?

Oh.  Also, I'm studying French!  Yes, for real.  Because I feel like it, and also because we're planning a long trip there next year, or possibly retiring there someday (shh, I didn't say that out loud), and I want to be able to say more than "Hello, your food is lovely. Where can I charge my phone, please?"

(On that note, if anyone speaks actual fluent French, keep me in mind for later when I can't find someone to converse with.  My cats and my kids are already tired of listening to me...)

And, no...I haven't had coffee yet today.  This is just my regular brain after a weekend of camping and getting enough sleep...

I need to go, I have a hat to work on, lawns to mow, a garden to plant, and a French lesson, plus a graduation cake and a party to plan, and my mom gets here Tuesday for two weeks, so June will be crazy busy, and I may not be around here much.  But I will think of you all fondly while I'm picking colors for each hat.

Thank YOU for listening, too.  Just realized this is a rambl-y post about sort of nothing, and for some reason, it made me think of that SNL skit that Will Ferrell did of Harry Carey, so HEY, here's a laugh for you.  Have a great day!


  1. Those sweaters are gorgeous! And yes, you could definitely make some money with your knitting talent.
    I'm glad to know you were unplugged for a week instead of bogged down in some kind of difficulty. Have a good time with your mom!

    1. Thanks! I know I could be like a knitting millionaire, I just know

      And, yes--It was the nicest weekend! I turned my phone off on Thursday, left the laptop in the trunk, and didn't turn them back on until 5 pm Monday night. Surprising how much life you just *live*, when you're not checking your tech stuff every waking moment.

  2. Flibberty-Gibbet. I LOVE IT.

    You could definitely sell those. And you're very talented. Damn, knit, you bake, you write...

    1. Thanks, lady. Though...*eh*...I don't think of "writing" as one of my actual talents, lol. More like a hobby or a way to clear my head.

      If I sell them, I'd be back at the mercy of taking orders, and then it's no longer artistic--it's just "work". Plus, I still can't get my head around WHO pays $460 for a sweater?

      *Probably the same people who pay $2500 for a wedding cake...*


  3. Hahaha! I love it! I too am a bit of a fibberty-gibbet (love the Sound of Music too). This post sounds like my brain at all times, not just when I've had good sleep...thus the reason I try to exercise like a maniac as much as possible to keep it worn out and ready for bed.

    I helped my niece bake a simple pound cake for her grandmother's birthday the other day. She had so much fun stacking the cakes into tiers, making the buttercream and tinting it hot pink to make rosettes. She has now decided that that is what she wants to do for a living. Now I have to teach an 8.5 year old how to make cakes over the next few years before we send her to culinary school....thank goodness kids change their minds all of the time! :)

    1. I know right? Brain. Stahp.

      I wish I had the drive to exercise like a maniac. I knit like a maniac though, lol.

      Ahh--Cake decorating fever can go for years, my dear. I baked my first cake at like 15 and I'm only just getting over it.

      Ummm. Aaaactually, I'm signed up to make a stacked graduation cake for 100-200, for our school next weekend, complete with gumpaste bagpipes, a British flag, a painter's palette and who knows what else for each of the grads.

      (Pictures to follow...)