By The Seat of My Pants

(I just found out this never posted.  What?? I’m trying to catch up. Oi!)

Remember when I said this summer I would have more time to blog, and I would be sharing all of the wonderful things I’ve got going on with all of you in the blogosphere?  Do those sound like famous last words? Anyone? Beuller?

Yeah, I’m mostly winging it over here.  I would like to say that today I’m feeling the groove more, but I’m fairly certain that’s a lie.  Knowing this is the end of the Midwest has really spurred me into action, visiting with all of the amazing people in the area, spending time with family, and doing that networking thing I need to get better at.

Last weekend, I was auditioning in Boulder, Colorado.  I am going to stay positive and say it went as well as I could have hoped, although I may have been over enthusiastic about the sunshine and spent too much time before the audition doing things like acro yoga and biking.  My hips were feeling a bit tight the day of the audition.

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I lived the sunshine and the people, and really hope it works out so I can live there for a year or two.

But its over now, and I’m sitting here biting my fingernails and trying not to lose my nerve, waiting for an answer, and still at this point of having to make a choice.  Nothing I decide will be bad, but its all a risk, and I don’t want to jump the gun committing to plan b or c before I’m sure plan a is out the window having a tea party down a rabbit hole I can’t seem to locate.

Week 3 Day 4 into summer camp and I’ve realized I can only handle this for four days a week, but I’ve got to come back tomorrow and wrap up Go Green.  I want a nice, relaxing day but foresee a bit of the pent up energy issues coming out.  That’s been the theme this week.  I adore the kids, but I wish I could ditch the theme in the afternoon and wear them out playing red rover at the baseball diamond next door.

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Next week is circus arts, and I’m hoping I’ve got enough of a theater game arsenal in store to make the week easy.

Plus, I’ve got a mini top hat and a waist coat. You can’t ignore a crazy lady in a top hat and waist coat.

In the end, I’m counting down the days I’ve got left in Milwaukee.  I leave August 1st.  There are butterflies in my stomach.

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I’ve started the summer camp section of my summer travels.  I must say, it has been nice having one place to be that is solid for awhile.  Last week and not having a definite place to sleep and no daily structure was exhausting.  Interesting and entertaining, but exhausting.  Currently, I am sitting in the house of friends, content that I will be here for another week or so.

On the subject of transience, I feel a bit transformed already.  I’ve shed some of the darkness that has been weighing me down over the past year or so, and I’ve been able to reconnect with people who have been influential in my life – past and present.  Something about treating these days as my last in the Midwest is helping me get passed the negativity I’d been hanging on to.  That isn’t the only reason, and that alone is definitely not what has helped me take those steps, but it is wonderful nonetheless.

Now, summer camp… I have two camp groups a day.  The first is the younger kids – adorably uncoordinated but tiringly needy. I have an hour lunch break and then the older campers have their time with me.

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Everyone is having a blast.  I’m staying late I’m the studio every day to work on my own routines and enjoying every minute of it.

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I get to see those excited and smiling faces throughout every day.  And, even though sometimes I deal with tears, this is totally worth it.

Must. Knit. Faster.

This past weekend saw beautiful temperatures.  I was outdoors in a sundress and light jacket, soaking it in.  That also means that some of my knitting projects are about to go in to hibernation if I don’t finish them soon.  One of the afghans I’ve been working on since Christmas was accidentally left at my grandfather’s house on Saturday, so that’s gone for another week or so.  Apart from that, I have two summer sweaters on the needles, so I’ve been working on those as quickly possible.

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Ellette’s sweater is coming along nicely.  The instructions are easy to follow and I’m zipping through the endless stockinette.  I thought I would be sick of it by now because the puff sleeves were a ridiculous amount of knitting, but I found if I marvel at the bottomless ball of yarn I’ve been using I can keep going.  It’s like a mystery – how many rounds does it take to get to the end of the tootsie skein?  I’m almost done with the body, and still have a few yards to the ball at least.  The world may never know.

I’m hoarding my other fingering weight yarn for on-the-road summer knitting.  I’ve got a few design ideas in my head – now I just need the time to execute.

What summer projects are you itching to begin?

Can You Tell?

This sweater has really been giving me the run around.  Or rather, the yarn itself has been rather uncooperative.  It was a gift from a friend who was stashbusting.  Those kinds of gifts can be amazing (for instance, same friend just sent me a bag of yarn, and it was more lovely than I could have imagined!).  This gift was a wonderful gift; it is that some of the balls had been knit, and therefore were caked without ball bands.  I know what the yarn is, and roughly what color, just not always which dye lot.

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So this sweater has been a bit of cobbling together what I think is all the same yarn, realizing I don’t quite have enough and trying to piece together other yarns for it.  This is the back of the sweater, and therefore what the main body will look like.

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I bring up the color thing because the shoulders are white.  They are white because I ran out of the blue ball in the very last row.  When I attached the next ball, I realized that it was ever so slightly paler than the previous, and crocheting a whole row would have been awkward.  So, the white was thrown in to distract you from the color difference.

Can you tell?

The last three balls of blue I have are also a tad mismatched.  Two are the slightly lighter shade of blue, and one is the same blue as the front.  Do you think a shade difference between front and back would be noticeable?

Under the Sea

This past weekend saw me dressing up as a mermaid for a benefit for the Actor’s Gymnasium.  I was telling stories about all manner of sea creatures to adults at the event.  Somehow, it was difficult to get kids to sit and listen to stories.  Overall, I think this was one of my more challenging venues.  I felt unprepared – this character and stories were all created in less than a month, and the last few days saw me frantically sewing the costume and making a cheat sheet notebook to carry at the event.  I also felt that, compared to the contortion and acrobatics and aerial work that was being done as well, I didn’t stand out.  It was still a great learning experience for me, and I know that a reached a few people, not to mention I have a cute mermaid costume now.  I’m looking forward to developing this character more.

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Initially, I was going to have a monofin on the bottom so I couldn’t move, but I ran out of time and improvised as best as I could.  I took different colors of iridescent tulle and organza, cut it in a spiral, singed the edges so they wouldn’t fray, and sewed them to the bottom hem.  Then, I made over the knee leg rompers for a “fin” like appearance when I walked.  I spent so much time on the skirt that I lost inspiration for the top and ended up going with a simple bandeau.  The jewelry is stuff I made years ago and the hair falls were made by a me a few weeks ago.  I’m excited that the costume can also come with me to Burning Man.

I took Sunday off as a day to myself because the past few weeks have been fast paced and more than a little stressful.  It was the best choice I’ve made in a while.  I cleaned, I finished laundry, a got rid of boxes of give-away stuff from the massive purge of Ellette’s bedroom, and I knit.  I would have finished the adorable baby cardigan if I could have found it. (Even though I cleaned, the house pixies seemed to have stolen my knitting).  Instead, I worked on a baby blanket (one pattern repeat and a border away from being finished!), I blocked a secret knit (and picked out buttons), and finished and blocked a Burning Man knit.  I also stash busted some chunky rainbow yarn into a waistband for another project, crocheted a couple of roses, cut out pieces for a unicorn costume, and sewed flannel jammy pants for Ellette for Burning Man.  I don’t know how I managed to squeeze ALL of that into one day, but I did.  I just hope that my remaining nights and weekends can see a similar warping of the time vortex.

Up this week is prep work for my trip to the Aerial Dance Festival – I leave bright and early Saturday morning.  I’m super excited about spending a week in Colorado exploring one of my passions!  Then a three week scramble to finalize details for Burning Man and pack.  I teach two workshops and spend 3 days working at the Renaissance Fair. I have a face painting gig on my birthday and immediately after, load up a rental vehicle and start the 2000 mile drive to Black Rock City.

And then summer is over.  Ellette goes back to school.  I resume my day job, my teaching schedule starts again (5 hours of aerial every Sunday, I’m really looking forward to this!) and somehow I have to cope with the “normal.”

I can’t believe time is passing so quickly!

This Time It Will Fit

Last night, while watching 90s sitcoms and sitting in front of a fan at full blast, I whacked out a chunk of the Summer Pelisse for Jeana.  This time, I knit the size about what she would fit now, because I was unsure how long it would take me to knit it.  As it stands now, I have the right front and most of the back done.  This leaves the left front, two sleeves, and a tiny button band until I reach completion.  I think I can get it finished by Sunday evening.  Famous last words…I know, I know.  Sunday will be my only solo day for the entire summer.  I won’t have another day off until the second weekend of September.  And by “day off” I mean a day in which I can accomplish what is on my task list without obstacle, kick up my feet if I wish, and knit to my heart’s content.  I will have two vacations, but those are so jam packed and crazy I can’t really see them as “days off.”

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Anyway, back to the Pelisse.  The color in the photos is looking more lilac than what the color is in reality.  It’s more of a navy, cornflower type thing.  Not as dark as navy, but along those lines.   I love it, and I think with the horseshoe lace pattern, it’s turning out rather feminine and sweet.  This is the same yarn as the other one, knit to a slightly looser gauge.  I really like the feel of the fabric – full of drape and very soft.

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I have one more of these to make.  This last one will be for Jeana’s big sister Ryley, and will be in a lovely lavender.  That probably won’t get started until sometime in September, but could end up being a little later.

Also, a reader pointed out to me that a link wasn’t working in a previous post.  I fixed it, and want to reiterate why the link was there.

At the end of August I will be driving to Black Rock Desert with my daughter and a friend to attend Burning Man.  This is kind of a big deal for me – a major bucket list item will be crossed off with this adventure, and so many stories, inspiration, and friendships will be borne from it.  Remember Lakes of Fire?  It’s like that, but BIGGER!  I will be departing on my birthday for the most world-changing experience I’ve ever undertaken on my road to self-discovery.

But, it ain’t cheap.  To fund this trip, I am offering a discount to my Etsy shop.  Use coupon code PIXIE2BURNINGMAN to receive 25% off anything your little heart desires.  All funds from sales will go to my bucket list.  I will even include a mystery gift with every purchase (excluding digital patterns).  Custom orders are included in this – so if you want a special pair of wings or knitwear designed specifically for *you*, please consider this.  Your help is greatly appreciated!!

 

Roundabout Time it’s Done!

Another finished item to show you!  This has been in my queue for years, and then in my project basket for several more weeks than it should have (and that was entirely my fault because um….I lost it.  Yeah, see previous post about admitting you have a problem).

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This is the Roundabout Leaf Tank by Norah Gaughan.  She has to be one of my all-time favorite designers.  I adore the way she pulls inspiration from nature and uses clever geometry to achieve her patterns.

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The yarn is a linen blend a coworker gave me.  When she handed me the bag full, my eyes lit up and I knew immediately it was going to be perfect for this project.  It is the kick in the keester I needed to get started.

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Mods: I made it a 33″ bust instead of 36″, and I went down a couple needle sizes.  This meant I had to add more spirals, which only became tedious after the third. I also changed the straps. I felt that the way they were constructed in the pattern seemed a bit matronly, so I opted for a racerback.

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Overall, I am very happy about the product, and I am glad to have crossed something off my list!

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And it’s going to be a lovely addition to my summer wardrobe – if only the temperature would reach above 65F.

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