Monday

Brought to you by Hell Week.
No, seriously.  This week is going to be icnredible if we all make it through in one piece.  The lineup?
Monday – crafting
Tuesday – crafting, Ellette has gymnastics after school
Wednesday – Crafting, aerial rehearsal 7:30pm until my arms fall off pm (around 10)
Thursday – crafting, possible sanity saver knit night
Friday – load car, 7-10pm circus rehearsal, 1 hr drive to Waukegan to follow
Saturday – Awake at crack of dawn, drive pregnant lady with me to the Janesville Renaissance Festival, set up tent, run through sales and problem solving, leave pregnant lady to manage fairy shop, drive 3 hrs to Evanston, 4:30 and 7:30 circus show, pizza and beer following, sleep in own bed (maybe).
Sunday – Awake at crack of dawn, 3 hr drive to Janesville, 12 hr day in 83* fair (at least I hope it is 83*), pack up shop, drive 3 hrs to Evanston, pass out for an undetermined length of time.
The following week: Take inventory, scramble to restock.  That following weekend, 1 party, 1 face painting gig, Memorial day breather, spend the next week restocking, Witchy Wearbles’ Fairy Day Event follows to be succeeded immediately by a much needed vacay to Hawaii and then one week to finish restocking in preparation for Custer Street Fair.
And really, the rest of my summer follows in similar order – but you will find out about that as it comes.
The crafting, you ask – what could I have left to do?
Well, this week I have around 50 pairs of Celeste wings that need to be sewn and framed.  Celeste wings are a great design – lightweight, fabric, and small – they stand out in a crowd without bonking people in the shoulders.  Manouverability is important in large festivals.  They are made of fabric, sewn and reinforced, and held sturdy with heavy steel wire.  They sit just between the shoulder blades, with satin ribbon to secure around the shoulders or the “U” shape to slide down a bodice.  The loose fabric around the bottom flutters beautifully through movement, and what I call the “underside” of the wing – the part that people would see if they were looking directly at you – is made of sheer organza dotted with silver beads.  They glint magnificently in the sunlight.
The best thing about these is that it is a relatively simple design that I can produce quickly and consistently in a variety of colors at relatively low cost, which means that you – the fairy-to-be – can get high quality wings for relatively cheap.  50 pairs of these wings may last me the summer, but they will at least get me through Custer Street.
I also have some of my stock nylon wings that need the finishing touches and a couple pairs of steampunk paper wings that need ribbons attached.
I have not yet needle-felted the fairy houses, which, when I get down to it, shouldn’t take too long.
I have several more tiny top hats and tiny witch hats that need decorating and headbands.  Some still need to be felted, but I have been doing so much felting lately that finding “dirty” clothes  to warrant the washer hogging is becoming increasingly difficult.
Aside from the stock crafting, I have to make signs and displays for my new items.  I wrote a very detailed list for Odin of the things I need from Home Depot and Joanns, along with encouragement to grab anything that might look useful or attention grabbing (which has it’s own uses).  This will be a big help.
I have two pairs of custom wings in various stages of completion that I really need to buckle down and finish.
Not to mention the every day things like some level of sanitary cleanliness, personal hygeine maintanence, and food.  I have a few things I need to do involving finances and some things to prep for Hawaii.
After this week I take stock of all of the wings and wands and hats and decide what needs to be restocked – and chances are I’m going to have to churn out another 50 or so wands and a couple dozen pink and purple wings.
Just thinking about this is making the adrenaline pump.  I have been having really bad dreams brought on by the anxiety over my season starting.  This is normal.  Mostly.  I think I have some worries this year that I didn’t last year, and the drama that is happening in my personal life is only making the stress levels rise.
Deep breath.
It seems like I’m crazy, and I probably am.  If I denied it, I’m sure someone out there would find a way to lock me up for my own safety.
That being said – I know my roommate and a few friends do read this regularly – so this message is for you:  I would not mind your company.  Make the work load seem lighter.  Know that if you do want to sit down and chat or watch a movie – I will more than likely hand you something that needs ot be done.  Here’s a spool of ribbon – cut 100 2 foot lengths and singe the edges with this lighter.  Here’s my bag of scrap fabric, start cutting circles of all sizes.  Here’s the wand template and a pair of scissors and a tracing pencil – get to it.  Anything you can do, you will do.
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The ABCs of May

As of May 1st, there were 26 days of school remaining.  The first grade teachers thought it would be cute to assign each day a letter of the alphabet and have an appropriate theme each day.  A was for “animal day” and the kids talked about their favorite animal.  F is for “future day”  and the kids dressed as what they want their career to be.  H was for “Hawaiian day” and Ellette was determined to have a grass skirt.

We started with Raffia, which we picked up at World Market for cheap.  Ellette picked out the colors she wanted.  We cut off strips – a lot of strips – and fought with the cat over raffia territory, and knotted them around the elastic.  The result?

A stunning, colorful, well coordinated grass skirt.  The weather required her to wear leggings underneath, but she had tons of fun anyway.  And the cat loved chasing her around.

This all reminds me how close it is to being over and the summer starting, how busy I’m becoming, and how big my child is getting.

This is Not Knitting

Right now, knitting feels like work.  I constantly have a bag of yarn with me and my size 8 DPNs so that during any down time, I am churning out hats and fairy houses and other items for the upcoming shows.  That means it is getting harder for me to find joy in my knitting.

Instead, I crochet.

 

The thing about crochet is that it uses more yarn in less time, meaning you spend more money more frequently to make things.  It also means that this top will probably be completed by the time we leave for Hawaii on June 6th.

It is a nice change of pace from what I do for work, and the edging is kind of amusing – although I did have to rip it back due to a counting error.  Now it seems to be working out, although I think perhaps it will be a little full and ruffly – which I’m really kind of okay with.

This is unfortunately all you get.  Things are kind of redundant around here at the moment.  Progress is being made – it just doesn’t look like it.  Until then, satisfy yourself with crochet.

They Call This Random

  • There are things I would like to blog about but my world is sort of spiraling away from me – so this is all you get.
  • I settled on the Cecilia Chemise.  It’s turning out beautiful. I am making the cropped version and currently I am stuck on the edging.
  • Nor stuck – stalled.  The edging requires diligence; lots of counting and keeping track and I jsut don’t have the time for that kind of focus.
  • My afternoons instead have been spent with iron in hand making coordinating bias tape to sew to the stack of Celeste wings to create the wire sleeve.
  • Producing wings at this quantity does kind of take the fun out of it.
  • But my faith and joy in what I am doing is restored every time I have a successful show.
  • I really ened successful shows this season.  Money is so tight right now my wallet squeaks.
  • Ellette and I both need new shoes and I need a new phone.  I’m trying to put this off as long as I can.
  • I am trying to put off a lot of things.
  • To cheer up a bit, here is a customer appreciation photo:

  • You remember the Limerick contest.  This is Gareth, one of the winners, modelling his lovely wings.

Bear With Me

Things have been pretty tumultuous lately.  And by pretty, I am really.  No, by really, I mean severely.  It’s been a constant dance of doing what I can with the weather while getting more orders, circumvent the weather (to no avail), and pacify a needy family.

I’m failing.

For one, the weather is not cooperating.  There are certain things that can only be done outside – for the safety and cleanliness of the household.  And it has been raining or drizzling or misting all week.

For two, I have been edgy and tempermental because things aren’t going according to plan.  The lack of professionalism in people I am working with is causing my schedule to be inaccurate.

Suffice to say I will not be at the Chocolate Festival in Long Grove due to a lack of coherent information in a timely fashion.

However, I have just signed a contract for the Evanston Famer’s Market – Home Grown Artists for several Saturdays beginning September 22nd and end October 27th.  The Farmer’s Market runs all summer, beginning this weekend, and continues into November.  I have just signed up for select weekends.

Also, I have changed around my June calendar a bit.  Instead of the Pirate Festival, I will be at the Fairy Day event on June 2nd and 3rd at Witchy Wearables in Midlothian.

And the following weekend, you will be reading blog posts from Hawaii – as our awesome roommate is taking us on vacation.  A much needed vacation.  And that is the understatement of the year.

For this trip to Hawaii, I got it stuck in my head that I could knit something fun and summery by the time we leave.  I got to thinking, and settled on the Tea Rose Halter from Interweave Spring 2007.  It is something that has been on my to-do list since I first saw it.  It is lacey and feminine and striking.  So when I went to knit night, I dug through the summer yarns for the perfect one.  The yarn is Firefly, by Classic Elite.

I got home, had a rough evening, and decided I was going to swatch and begin the top.  I went to the knitting bookshelf and looked through my magazines, and it wasn’t there.  I started rooting through every bag and yarn box in my studio looking for it. I pulled old suitcases out of the closet, I looked everywhere.  Couldn’t find it.

I thought it would be ok.  Interweave sells patterns online.  So, I went to their website.  This particular pattern, because it was part of the magazine, is only sold with the magazine, which is currently out of stock.

Crap.

Now, I have tons and tons of this yarn and don’t know what to do with it.  I want it to become something.  By June.  Something summery, and flirty, and quick.

I was thinking Norah Gaughan’s Roundabout Lead Tank .  This is another one I have been eyeing up for awhile.

Then, I started purusing Ravelry for projects using 900 yards of sport weight (or Dk or fingering).

There’s Stitch Diva’s Cecilia Vest and this really cool tank that I can’t pronounce.  There is a very sexy top – The Knitting Bohemian – which is an option as well.

Lastly, I do have enough yarn that I could make the Dahlia cardigan, which may be a good summery cardi.

I am trying to distract my troubles with fancy yarn.  What are your thoughts?

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