Dear 2012

You have been quite a rollercoaster year for me. I started the year with such high hopes for my future. There were so many things I was looking forward to, hoping to accomplish, new things to learn. I wasn’t expecting so many changes – or rather, these kinds of changes – by the time you were over.

This year turned into an exploration of love, overall. What love means, how it grows, and how it hurts us. I found myself nurturing new friendships and letting go of old ones. I started planning a future with the love of my life, only to have the relationship end abruptly – I still don’t understand what happened. Maybe it’s not really my lesson to learn, but his. Perhaps 2013 will be the year of discovery as well as healing. Today, this last day, I will let it go.

There is still much to look back on, though, and many good things to be thankful for. Many things have happened to spark creativity and inspire hope.

I did my fairs again – Janesville and Custer – as well as new ones. It was a difficult realization to make that wings just aren’t as profitable as they used to be. I blame Disney. Retiring them – except for special orders – is going to be rough, but so far I have enjoyed not worrying about them. My energy has been going toward more productive endeavors.

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Aerial, for instace. I debuted in May at the Actor’s Gymnasium’s “Circus in Progress” show. It was exhilarating, challenging, and incredibly fun.

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Again in October, we performed at the fall Circus in Progress. That was a clever trapeze act in which our characters were ones you would find in a midnight diner.

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I was the lonely old lady – a character I had much fun concocting.

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I have been pushing my levels of endurance and my threshold for pain as I train for this. I am hoping to turn it into a career – and that is what I hope the end result of 2013 will be.

In September, I started teaching beginning aerial arts, and in January, my daughter will begin learning.  This has been a wonderful experience, albeit stressful at times.  My students are amazing and talented, and I am excited to be the one inspiring them to push themselves farther, and even more so to be able to give them skills and confidence to do that.

Ellette in Lyra

I made a big push in the knitting world.  I participated in two challenges.  I did not succeed in one, but the other was fantastic.  The Ravellenic Games were a bit hard on me – I had too much going on at the time. The other was NaKniSweMo, and I adore the end product.

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I attended Stitches Midwest and took some wonderful classes, met amazing people, and bought too much yarn.

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I also released three new patterns.  The Tetris Afghan, Dragon Slayer Gauntlets, and Cascading Leaves Cowl:

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In June, we acquired our little Pygmalian.  He has been a fabulous addition to our household – goofy and loving and adorable.

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He is about three times that size now, and I still haven’t trained him to leave my yarn alone.  What a rascal!

There are more little things, here and there, that shine for me.  I run into bits and pieces as I walk through my house and go about my day.  With the recent relationship change, I have been working hard to clean my house and cleanse my soul.  Many things have resurfaced with this purge and my thoughts are filled with reflections.

This next year is going to be wonderful, if a little difficult and nerve wracking.  I am going to do some adventurous, dangerous, and hopefully clever things that shall be revealed throughout the coming months.  But that is in the realm of 2013.

For now, I am putting on a party dress and going to see friends to bring in this brand new year among people I love dearly, and who love me in return.

Goodbye, 2012.  I won’t be seeing you.

No longer yours,

Pixie

 

 

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Stick-to-it-iveness

I spent my free time today, of which there wasn’t much, putting things on Etsy.  It’s going to take a big push to get through everything, and I really hope I can have it all up by the end of the month.  I have a lot of plans for December – coupons, giveaways, contests, etc.

Today, on Etsy, I listed my extra Rose Headbands <- follow that link to see the listings.

 

And I utilized the lightbox.  I really like how these pictures came out.

 

These headbands make great gifts.  They are small, inexpensive, and fantastic stocking-stuffers.  Good for small children all they through adulthood with a variety of colors and a comfortable metal headband that hides in the hair to be mostly invisible.

Between Ellette and I, I think we have one in every colors imaginable.  She loves them.  I have a few in my jewelry mish-mosh that I wear occasionally.

Tomorrow promises to be sunny and relatively warm, so I am hoping to get outside to photograph some more items.  Check out my shop tomorrow night to see if there is anything new!

 

Sympathy

I have been having a rough week.  I’ve been perpetually exhausted from the constant working and still haven’t caught up on sleep from the weekend.  I feel like I have been caught up in some sci-fi time vortex, where the days just keep repeating themselves to the same monotony.  In my day job, I have been spending hours upon hours making hundreds (getting close to the thousand mark) of phone calls to people who are sometimes really mean about it.  In the fairy world, I have been streaming old tv series and knitting the same scarf, the same flower, and the same bracelet, over and over again.  I have been tired, drained, upset, and working nonstop.

But this morning I woke up to this.

On very rare occasions, he will realize I’m having a hard time and do something sweet.  And he remembers that lilies are my favorite.  Thanks darling.

Nothing if Not Efficient

Odin is an engineer.  He thinks, speaks, and lives like an engineer.  It makes it easy when we get in arguments because I know exactly how he is going to handle it – by being perfectly reasonable, logical, and incredibly, infuriatingly stubborn (and a lot of times – wrong).  That being said, it has often been the case that I come to him with a problem, and he creates a solution (let’s ignore that sometimes I, myself, am too stubborn to accept the solution, let alone that there was a problem to begin with).

Today, I spent the morning cutting tulle into strips so I could continue making fairy skirts (a.k.a. tutus) for the upcoming shows.  I have been having a hard time focusing on cutting them into strips, and Odin happened to be walking by as I sighed and said “there must be a better way of doing this.”  I had been measuring out the length of tulle, cutting it, putting it aside, and doing it again.  Odin looked at me and said simply “there is, you need a board with two pegs in it.  How long are the strips?”  And went into his work room.  I thought he was continuing work on his air plane, so I went back to work.

Since there wasn’t much else to do, I thought about what he said.  I realized my yarn swift has pegs.  Pegs in boards, in fact.  So I took off one of the sections of the tabletop swift, put the pegs the correct distance apart and began wrapping the tulle around the pegs.  A little while later, Odin emerged with a slightly more stable design than what I had improvised.  I looked at what he gave me, and then I had an epiphany.

 

A yarn swift turns.  A yarn swift like I had could work in reverse.  It was perfect.

I timed myself.  It was taking me around 5 or 6 minutes to cut one roll of tulle.  Now, it takes me about one minute.  I shaved 80% of my time off the process by this new device.  Then, I remembered he had put two pegs in the board, and I realized what that meant.

I made it through the dozens of rolls of tulle just through nerdy fulfillment.  But if I’m a nerd, at least I’m an efficient one.

What followed was a debate of whether three pegs would be more efficient than five.  Thoughts?

Getting Things Done

At some point in the day, every day this week, I have sat in front my computer, ready to write.  Then I would heave a sigh and close the lid, because I had nothing I felt worthwhile to say, or having too much on my mind to take the time to write anything down.

This house lately has been a string of stressed energy, and it has leaked into every facet of my daily functioning.  We have all been tiptoeing around each other, afraid the others will bristle at the slightest surprise.  At times, we are to withdrawn to interact.  Most evenings this past week, I have curled up in the corner of the couch with headphones glued to my ears and knitting in my lap.  No one wants to approach the pointy, potentially dangerous, sticks, and I’m okay with that.

My to-do list isn’t getting marked off, which is my own fault.  I have been focused on the never ending ever growing Tetris afghan, which is coming along nicely and pattern requests have already been made.  I am eager to finish, photograph, and send it on it’s way.  I’m worried that by the time I have finally finished, it will be too heavy for the weather in San Fransisco, it’s final destination.  Either way, it’s a journey.

The new year has inspired, as it usually does, the desire to purge the unwanted build up in my house, head, and life.  Starting, a much needed update to my Etsy shop.  For starts, we have new top hats:

            

They can be found here, here, here, here, and here (in the order they appear!)

Trust me, there are more to come.  This is a constant endeavor, as what I make quickly gets snatched up by individuals or consignment shops. I have taken to keeping yarn at the workplace with me and when I need a break from staring at a computer screen, I work a round or two.

I am also in the process of taking stock inventory.  What do I have that has been broken in transport (unfortunately, that happens a bit)?  What do I have from prior to 2011? (And I really don’t think there is much).  Then, there is a look at what materials I still have and trying to get through those so I can get started bringing out fresh designs.

And then, finally, I will feel like 2012 is on track – perhaps 3 weeks late, but things are still rolling along.

This Little Thing Called the Holidays

This is my first year knitting for the holidays.  I have never been big into this time of year, although I do appreciate the way everyone I care about tends to gather in one place.  The craze for gift giving, however, has never been my cup of tea.  At least, not in my adult life.  I would rather share experiences together than anything else, but possessions aren’t really my thing, either.

This year, however, is a bit different for me.  Odin’s family has taken me in, and the past couple of years we have traveled to Virginia to spend the winter holidays with them, and they have always made an effort to include me (even when I was being a little emotional and unreasonable about one or two things).  Last winter, I finished a pair of mittens while at their house, and went off by myself to photograph them.  When I arrived inside again, Odin’s mom looked appreciatively at the mittens and mentioned how much she would like a pair.  She is an extraordinary woman, and I am not about to divulge the details of the lives of Odin’s family, but I have several reasons to be grateful to this woman, especially considering she gave birth to the man I love.

I mentioned to Odin the idea of going in on presents for his mom, sister, and nieces this year.  He purchases the yarn and helps me pick out the pattern, and I make the items.  He agreed it was a good idea, and together we spent many hours searching Ravelry and then the yarn store for the perfect materials.

I started knitting.

This was the hardest, and so I started on it first.  This is the only one I couldn’t find a pattern for, and had to make one up on the fly.  I have the left hand finished and have started on the right, but I am trying to reverse the stitch pattern and finding it a little tedious.  There is no chance of me writing this out for you, as it is far too fiddly for my tastes.  The intended recipient, however, will love it. (But, she’s a teenager, and one can never be certain of that.)

This is still waiting to be started – the gifts for Odin’s mom.  They will be fairly easy (read: words to fall by).  I am going to work on them on our trip to Texas next weekend.

This is the other present’ in progress.  This is a slow going one because it requires so much concentration.  It is not one I am going to take with me places.  Pretty much, I sit at the table with the graph in front of me, focusing intently on making even stitches.  The yarn (Knit Picks Palette) is a lot thinner than I would think of using for mittens, but the colors are so perfect for the recipient.

I also have a scarf for Odin’s other niece and I want to make socks for Odin, but when the yarn arrived, I realized that I had made a huge error in yardage.  I am going to purchase other yarn from me LYS and use this stuff for something else.  I also can’t decide what to do for Ellette.  Any suggestions?

Besides all that, I have something to offer all of you – in case you are still looking for projects for presents.  I have uploaded two more patterns to Etsy and my Ravelry store.

The Keyhole Cowl:

Available on Etsy here and on Ravelry here

 

And, the Zigamorph Scarf:

Available on Etsy here and Ravelry here

Also up this week, Holiday preparations and then a road trip to Texas to visit friends which is promising so far to be a spectacular experience!

Knitted Things for your Amusement

I have a ton of things to say, but today I am going to focus on one.  Because my holiday knitting is a bit intricate and on tiny needles (I know, I’m crazy), I have been addicted to knitting pixie hats for my travel knitting.  These do the trick completely.  They are on big needles with a chunky yarn and are so free form it makes me giggle.  Now, my living room is littered with various sizes and so many colors you would think a parade of clowns with too much alcohol in their system threw up all over.  I have finally listed them on Etsy so that everyone else may have their pick.  If you are a non-knitter or a knitter in need of some fiber assistance, check these out:


I have been making baby sized hats from the remnants bin.  The top is Nashua Handknits (can’t remember the color) and the bottom is Cascade 128 Superwash.  They are both incredibly soft and entirely adorable.  To find them in my Etsy shop, look here and here.

I seem to be making up for kid’s sized hats than anything.  I suppose it is fitting, after all.  Kids would go nuts over them (and mine does!).  These are very bright – I especially like the blue one – and perfect for keeping spirits up in the middle of winter.  They are available here, here, and here.

 

And, of course, I have made some adult ones.  For some reason, it is so much easier and natural to make the kid sized one.  I am currently working on a beautiful black and gray one in an adult size.  (There are also some kids ones that just need finishing).  These two hats are available here and here.

 

I will try to remember to tell you when new things are being added to the shop, but remember to keep on eye on it for new arrivals!

 

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