September 3, 2013 - WIP

There is J-O-Y in being crafty! The more you tap into your left-brain the better you feel, the happier your outlook and the more you get out of life. Maybe it is just me, but having multiple projects going, deadlines to meet and plans in mind for my finished items gets me on a positive track, no doubt about it.

Production is ramped up these days for two main goals. Goal number one: I am always looking to step up my game with Classic Knits - new designs paired with increasing my skills in order to have more to share with you. Goal number two: I have committed to producing items to sell this fall to help with the expense of two boys attending University and my youngest starting 6th grade at a private school.

Any parents ever have gang recruiting in their local public middle school? Welcome to my world. The sad thing is that the school was spanking new when my two older sons attended (6th and 7th grade) and it was a flagship school for the district. Yet reports are that high school gangs are on the hunt for new members and think they will find them there. I am not naive, I realize that the NYC Metro area is one of the major drug trafficking regions on the planet and these narcotics do not all leave my neck of the woods. Who handles a lot of this stuff? Gangs. Yet our family has never dealt with gangs in the 17 odd years we have lived in this neighborhood. Not willing to dwell on the negative, we decided to try and figure out an alternative that would offer a quality environment not only inside the school building, but around it as well. I would not have thought we could afford it, but am so glad we are finding a way to try out a private school. This middle school is much smaller than the public one and on the tour I was so impressed! Not with any high-end equipment or lush facilities, but with the warmth and caring that was exuded by the teachers. Not to mention my impression of the students! They did not look, well... rebellious, bored, disinterested or lazy. They appeared engaged, behaved and there were abundant smiles all around. Alright, enough gushing about my son's upcoming adventures, suffice it to say where there's a will there's a way. For me that means selling some knitted masterpieces. I need to get what is completed online for sale...and start preparing my pitch for selling one-on-one!

The fledgling etsy online storefront has a long way to go, but it feels great to be making definite progress. I do not blog about my "9 - 5" job very much, but suffice it to say opportunities there are too good to pass up so I am stretched. The great thing about pushing myself to be a better mom, successful professional in the suited world and a quality knitwear designer is that I am learning every day. The life lessons in knitting/crochet design are things I'll save for future posts.

Insofar as being a mom and desk jockey are concerned, when striving for ways to make the best use of my time, I have found the world around me becomes brighter. The possibilities for enrichment are visible just about everywhere. It seems the people I serve in life have become more precious, I can more readily recognize their value and the importance of all my different relationships and acquaintances. There is an awakening that goes hand-in-hand with pursuing excellence. I find that when you set goals, make plans to achieve them and then take action on your plan you find this process is invigorating! Although my schedule is as hectic as ever, my energy level has risen to meet the challenge.

Here is what is in the works on the design front right now:

Emerald, Pantone color of the year is up first in a crocheted cowl, (stitch detail above). This is one if my easily transportable commuter projects.  The cowl pattern is from the Autumn 2012 edition of Crochet Magazine, however I've opted not to use the suggested border and line the cowl instead. The creamy contrasting lining is a soft merino blend from Valley Yarns and features a touch of lace. 

After updating my Heel Flip Skater Hat to offer not just one, but five sizes, I am knitting several of them for gifts or to sell. The current hat is being worked in a sturdy Romney blend hand dyed in Maine by Romney Ridge Farm (where the sheep are lovingly raised),  in a luscious vintage gold. 

A pair of socks comes next. I'm following a standard pattern until I get to the sole where I will fiddle with some ideas I have swirling around. The wool has a bit of kick to it with fuzzy color changes. It's from Drops Design called "Delight." 

I also have two longer term projects lurking in the production department. One is a vintage sweater for my eldest son that fights to get on my schedule. Thus far the sweater has not been winning. I expect with Christmas coming before we know it that this will get more attention. 

Finally is a new design for a fox-trimmed capelet done in Tunisian crochet. This is a bit "007" right now because the design is still in its infancy stage. There will be piecing involved and a silk lining to the border behind the vintage fox least that is what I am dreaming up now, stay tuned to see how it plays out.

What is stretching you these days, any interesting projects in the works? Please share what is happening!


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