Undereye Luggage

Yesterday was a very good day. Despite the fact that I didn’t get to chaperone my own kids, I got to spend the day with a wonderful family, and three other neat kids. It was kind of cool seeing Disney through younger girls’ eyes. I’m so used to the jaded teenage boy perspective!

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See those bags? That’s the problem – I am useless today. I am trying to supervise some catch-up work for both boys in their English classes. Language Arts? Not my forte! Three hours of sleep on Friday night, combined with a 4:30 am wakeup call on Saturday and not actually crawling back into my bed until 2:30 am on Sunday morning? This woman is feeling her age and isn’t very helpful!

I am actually making coffee right now and I rarely drink it at all anymore. But if I don’t I will be snoozing at the kitchen table while my boys play on their phones instead of do their English re-writes and notecards!

Knitting wise I’m still plugging along on the autumn colored lace piece. I’m finally deep into the lace edging, but it’s slow going. I also have some swatches that need finishing for another project so I’m trying to convince myself that short and sweet projects like swatches are the way to go. What’s on your needles on this sleepy Sunday?

No, I appreciate you!

One of my favorite things to do, especially when a Friday is acting like a Monday, is to look at my user activity on Ravelry. It’s this sweet little place where I can see what how folks on Ravelry interact with my patterns. I get to see queues and favorites and the things I love most – project pictures and finished objects. When I looked today, I was reminded that someone said this about my Longfellow pattern: “This is probably the prettiest thing I’ve ever knit, with the prettiest yarn I’ve ever used.’

It’s one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.

So to share the love, I’ve got a little appreciation for you – my awesome customers! If you buy anything today or tomorrow, you can get a free pattern! Basically pick something you want from my store, and then choose a pattern you want for free. Add it all to your Ravelry cart – and then add the coupon code “appreciation”. It will take $6 (the going rate for my singles) right off your total! You could even make Longfellow one of your choices, one of the Seven Sonnets.

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Coupon code is good today and tomorrow, so get on it! And I’m happy to say that tomorrow will be nothing like a Monday because I get to spend my day at the happiest place on earth. My sons are altar servers at church and it’s Disney field trip day and I’m going along as a chaperone. Hopefully I’ll get to exert some chaperone muscle and ride my very favorite – the Haunted Mansion! What’s your favorite amusement park ride?

Wednesday Work Day

It’s 10:37 AM. I’ve accomplished a few things, but not nearly the volume of work I had hoped to get done. Just now I’ve finished printing off the chart for the final edging for this lovely fall shawl. I think I’ve got all the increases and decreases paired just so, but when you heavily modify lace patterns like I tend to do, there will be some snafus. But knitting it all out will help me catch any issues before I send it to the tech editor, so it’s all good.

I’ve handled a ton of volunteer work this morning as well. Sometimes I feel like I could make a full-time career of volunteering. But since I’m trying to have an actual knit design career I have to carefully choose my volunteer commitments. Right now it’s all Trunk or Treat all the time. This is the cute little graphic I put together to request candy donations for Trunk or Treat.

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Now if I could just figure out the perfect costume for that night that would allow me to run around like a madwoman without roasting to death, all would be good. It’s a busy night for me, so I need a cute costume, that’s not too warm (because it’s always hot for Halloween), and I need to be able to wear sensible shoes. Also I prefer no wigs. Wigs are too danged hot! These are the odd problems I deal with people. If you have any suggestions for costumes please let me know!

Every Day I Write The Book

We shall not speak of September. We are taking the beautiful cool October morning that I woke up to today and calling it a do over. October will be beautiful and full of great things. The cooler weather is already a step in the right direction! Speaking of October (the month of all things autumn) I have some lovely fallen leaf colored lace back on the needles!

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I worked on this over the summer, but time and life and TNNA got the best of me and it never got finished. But now I have the beautiful lace charted up for the edging, and I only have a few more rows of stockinette body to do before I get to the pretty part! You might remember the lovely neckline detail on this shawl:

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Other good things are coming up in October too! Come October 21st you’ll get the sixth of the Seven Sheep. And I’m working on my very first e-mail newsletter. And if you sign up for it, you’ll be getting a special coupon code! I’m hoping to have this pumpkin colored pretty done in the next few days, and there are all sorts of fabulous ideas swirling around in my head that I can’t wait to share with you.

And just because I am clearly insane, I’ve committed to blog everyday in October! So we’ll have knitting blogging, and life blogging, and way more than you ever wanted to know about me and my knitting business. But in a good way. Because I’ve decided that October is all about the joy.

Fall

I really, really miss fall. I was just saying to myself the other day that I needed to plan a family road trip somewhere north where the leaves properly change color, and you can feel the crispness in the air. But then I realized that the next five years of my life include a high school football game every Friday night during the fall which kind of puts the kibosh on weekend trips. Today we’re getting a heavy soak. Which is bringing the temperature down but is not the fall experience I’m looking for!

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Of course I think the fact that those are pineapples growing on my back porch doesn’t to bring about a feeling of fall either. Also I was planning a trip to the beach tomorrow. Not a very fall-like activity. But I think the rain is going to persist.

I think I just need to do fall things inside. Decorate a bit, make soup and possibly something with pumpkin. Speaking of which, when did pumpkin become the end all be all of fall? I love all things pumpkin, but I think we’re going a little overboard.

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Ooh, that might be a good fall activity. Snuggle in with knitting and a blanket and a Lord of the Rings marathon. Yes, that is a stretch, and really has nothing to do with fall, but I don’t have much to work with here! Honestly I think I just need to design and cast-on for a cozy sweater!

But maybe you do need some knitting where you are to keep your lap warm. So to help in that regard I’m having a little fall BOGO sale. Buy one get one free on all e-books and patterns in my store.

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And if you’ve got some gorgeous fall foliage where you live, take a picture for me! I need to live vicariously through y’all!

Grateful

Things have been a little crazy lately. Maybe a lot. There are appointments and meetings and practices nearly every day. And I found myself falling prey to the glorification of busy. How are you someone will ask? “Crazed as usual” is my standard reply. But busy is not a badge of honor. Crazed is not something to aspire to. And then I started to look at my schedule, really look at it.

It’s not that bad. Right now my older son is in his first year of high school football. There are a lot of practices, and games every Friday night. But it’s good for him. He loves it, and he’s having a blast. So that is non negotiable.

My younger son started his football league this week. It’s two practices a week and games every Saturday morning. But again he loves it and it’s good for him. Plus he’s looking forward to high school football next year which will simplify our schedule with both boys doing the same thing.

What else is going on? Boy Scouts. But that’s a constant, and the boys are working towards Eagle Scout, and if we miss a week once in a while it is not the end of the world.

And then there’s me. I have a fair few meetings, but I’ve tried to cut back on my volunteer commitments. But I have lined myself up nicely with a career that can go anywhere the boys need to go. I have a husband who brings home the majority of the bacon so I can do what I love and I am blessed by that. And during the school day, as long as I’m focused, I can get a ton of work done.

It’s a good life.

So the next time someone asks me how I am, I will tell the the truth. “Very good, thank you!” And I will bring my knitting with me to all the places I go, and remember how truly blessed we really are. And what knitting am I bringing along with me right now?

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This is the 5th sheep worked up in a gorgeous skein of Baah Yarn MCN (merino/cashmere/nylon) in the richest, deepest purple I think I’ve ever seen. It’s called Winter Purple and to make the most of it, I’m working up a very open lace body pattern for this one. Yes I know, you can’t tell it’s open. It hasn’t known the magic of blocking yet!

The 5th sheep will be released um, this week. I know, very specific right? I’m hoping to get it out before it’s “due date” which is the 21st. Weekends aren’t great for releasing new patterns for me! If you want to make sure you get it automatically, you can buy the Seven Sheep e-book!

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Finish Line

Next Wednesday is the first day of school. Hopefully come then I can get back on a reasonable schedule and stop buying all the things. I adore my boys and I miss them when school is in session, but this summer has been rough. My older son had football practice nearly every weekday, so it’s been hard to plan stuff. I actually think next summer will be easier because both boys will be on the same football schedule.

This is my one and only year with the boys at two different schools. Hopefully we won’t have too much trouble with that. The schools don’t start at the same time (half-hour stagger) and my older one won’t get picked up until nearly dinner time most days while football is in season. It will definitely be interesting.

As for me I’m settling back into a more “normal” designing routine after some huge deadlines. Normal being relative and overrated of course. I’m actually in the process of doing a massive cleanout of my desk and designing tools to help me get back on track. And today we will be casting on with this gorgeous yarn…

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This is Baah! La Jolla in the gorgeous light turquoise shade called Maldives. One skein is all you need for the fourth sheep. Which will be released on August 21st (or before!!). So if you don’t own the Seven Sheep, get on over to Ravelry and buy it! That way you’ll be sure to get the new pattern as soon as it comes out.

Speaking of buying patterns, to get me over this final back to school hump I’m having one last back to school BOGO (buy one get one free) sale to help offset all the expenses. These young men (I can’t really call them boys anymore sadly) I have in my house not only eat me out of house and home – they are expensive to clothe! Of course it could be worse – they could be girls!

So use the code “finish” to get Buy One Get One Free on anything in the PicnicKnits pattern store. Including the lovely Cassian, which is now available for individual download from my store! The code is good for this weekend only.

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TNNA Countdown – 5

I took last night off. I didn’t really have the time. But I sorely needed it. A sweet friend is leaving town (she’s military – happens all the freaking time here!) and was having a going away at a local restaurant/bar. I’m not really a bar person. But I’m so glad I went. I got to spend time with my friends, and relax and the entertainment was amazing. All the waitstaff at the bar sing so they put on a show the entire night with favorites like Margaritaville and Brown Eyed Girl. It was exactly what I needed and I truly need to do it more often.

This morning I got up at an obscenely early hour (thanks dog) and finished polishing up a pattern for a publication. This afternoon I’m getting ready for a fancy church dinner tonight and doing the grading on this pattern:

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I’m totally in love with this sweet little sweater and hoping I can get it published still before TNNA. But if you’ll be at TNNA you can see it in person and order the pattern for your LYS in the Stitch Sprouts booth, numbers 547 & 549. And the ridiculously perfect Anzula yarn that this is worked up in  – Cricket, a DK MCN blend – is available for order in booth 347.

Pattern specials are still a-going - use “TNNA-ten” for 25% off any e-book, use “TNNA-nine” for half off Brindille or Sarla, and use “TNNA-six” to create your own e-book – seven patterns for only $21!

TNNA Countdown – 7

Today I went dress shopping. Came home with 3 outfits and tried them on for my husband. The one I loved is the one he hated. But I did an internet poll of my online girlfriends and they all said it was the best. So there! I’m not big on posting full body pics of myself but I did find some pretty things!

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I’ve actually started designing more shawls that are a bit more generous – which is nice to wrap up with if you’re less than petite! I was super pleased with how Sardinian turned out – the shape makes it lie perfectly on your shoulders and it’s a nice generous coverup. Doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing doll clothes!

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Today to add on to the sale I’ve got some of my more generous sized shawls half off! Use the code “TNNA-seven” for 50% off Sardinian, Natessa, Callais (work the large on that one), Bryndis, and Natessa!

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Bryndis

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Natessa

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Brain Rain

It’s been raining for a couple of days now and there is no end in sight. You’d think rainy weather would be perfect cuddle up with a good movie knock out some deadline knitting weather. But it’s not. It’s just depressing. And cold.

If you follow me on twitter you might know I’ve established a new satellite office. This is my office furniture:

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I got so much knitting done on the beach last week staring at the ocean and feeling the sand in my toes. Way more than I’ve been able to get done at home lately. The man has had a ton of conference calls lately which isn’t good for movie watching or knitting. But the beach is good for my soul. I cannot wait until the rain stops and I get back out there!

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And I know it’s still snowing all over the place. Snow. In May. I lived most of life in Ohio and two years in Nebraska, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen snow in May! So to put a little cheer in your Friday I’m having a sale. Buy One Get One Free Friday! Use the coupon code “beach” and you can buy anything from the PicnicKnits pattern store and get another item for free!

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