My Inspiration Book

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Long ago I use to have a tiny envelope filled with a few clippings of pictures from magazines. These were images that moved and inspired me. When I went off to CalArts, I pinned this pictures up on a cork board in my dorm room- my first inspiration board.

When I was a teacher and costume designer at Phoenix College, I collected more images that rotated on my design boards. I also taught my students to keep files of pictures that were interesting to them.

After I got married I looked at the files of pictures I’ve collected over the years and realized that they had grown too large to hang on boards. I didn’t want them sitting in some drawer anymore. I wanted to find a way to be able to look at them all whenever I wanted. I also wanted it to be portable to go with me where I traveled.

Among my things I found a big 3-ring binder that was used to hold my copy of scripts. I emptied it out of its previous contents and began to but thick sheets of colored construction paper inside. On each page I glued my pictures. Soon I was going to the craft store to buy more paper and what started as a small envelope of images has now grown into a notebook that continues to grow.

I still keep an inspiration board, but when I add new images to the board I take the old ones down and give them a permanent home in my notebook.

I highly recommend an inspiration book to anyone, even if you are not the type of person that would normally have an inspiration board. It becomes a great reference and a way to help unblock you when you feel creatively stuck or in a slump.

The Joys of Being 30

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I use to be one of those people who always carried a day planner and would start my mornings organizing my to-do list in order of priority. The sale associates at my local Franklin-Covey and I were on first name bases. I would even schedule in my bedtime!

But all that changed after I turned 30. I don’t put so much pressure on myself to get a million things done in one day. I no longer feel the need to be superwoman. I’m just enjoying being me.

Life is no longer put on paper and set in stone. To-do lists are scribbled on the back of grocery lists and my schedule is open and changes as the day goes.

Before, in my twenties, I had something to prove. It was me against the world. I wanted people to know who I was and realize I’m someone important and deserving of respect.  Now my motto is more along the lines of, “as long as God is happy with me, I could frankly care less what you think”. My mom tells me it gets even better when you turn 60. She says that by that time you just put up your middle finger and walk away.

I happened to notice this change first in the way I knit. I use to only knit if there was a true need. I researched patterns, compared yarns and would frog and re-knit until I got it right. Now I’m not ashamed to use some no name yarn I found at the thrift store and whenever I make a mistake, as long as it’s not noticeable, I just shrug my shoulders and keep on knitting. Knitting is no longer a functional scheduled craft. Now its a kick-ass fun playtime with sticks and awesome fibers!  Here’s to being 30 and knitting!

A Call To Sock Knitters!

Hi all you sock knitters and aspiring sock knitters. I’m looking for some people to interview for my blog. I know there are a lot of you sock addicts out there and it’s about time the rest of the world gets to know you too.

Why? Well, because you knit socks, I love socks, and other sock knitters love reading about socks and the sock knitters who sock them…wait…I mean, knit them. It doesn’t matter if you are a published professional or just turned your first heel yesterday. Me and my readers want to hear about your experience and love of sock knitting.

So, drop me a line and let me know if you are interested. Feel free to pass the word on to other knitters as well.

Cats Love Yarn

Okay, I’m thinking the history of the first yarn ball went something like this:

In the B.C. era, a shepherd, after hours of spinning, realized he could wound his yarn into a manageable ball. The shepherd spent the next hour winding a decent ball. Five minutes later, a wild cat discovered the freshly wound ball and in less than a minute had it all unraveled into a huge tangled mess.

As long as there has been knitters, there have been cats that own them. It would seem that one could not exist without the other. I know more knitters that own cats then those who don’t.  I happen to live with two cats myself and can tell you first hand the joys and woes of having cats and yarn under the same roof.

I have waken up to find balls of cotton yarn sitting in the water bowl. I’ve tripped over wool spider webs that are wrapped around every chair and table leg in the house. I’ve even found balls of Angora yarn that has been licked to death and lovingly pushed under the couch for the dust bunnies to enjoy. My stash box has been raided more than once and I’ve become an expert at retrieving knitting needles from under the fridge. Oh, the fun of cats with yarn.

Cats have this uncanny ability to know exactly when you are about to knit and will make themselves comfortable right on top of your work. Dark haired cats adore sitting on your light-colored knits while light-haired cats prefer darker knits. They roll our yarn balls to just out of our reach and chew on our yarn so as we are knitting we get the lovely gift of wet fingers and soggy sections in our project.

Despite the added challenge of knitting around cats, they are a great comfort to any knitter. They never judge our work and could care less about any mistakes. They think acrylic is just as good to lay on as cashmere and are always appreciative of any knitted gift they receive. In short, they are the perrr-fect knitting companions.

Online Drug Dealer

Pss… Come here. Around the corner, follow me. (Looks around to make sure no one is looking)

Okay, here’s the deal. I thought I would be a good drug addict and share with you a connection to my online drug dealer. My dealer goes by the name, Knitting Pattern Central. My dealer has every type of drug a knitter could want- baby blanket patterns, hat patterns, sweater patterns, even sock patterns!

Here is a link to the sock patterns: http://knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/socks.php

They got every sock pattern a sock druggie could want and most of it is free!

Just don’t let the knitting cops catch you and try to play it cool and natural at your next stitch n’ bitch so no one will get suspicious. Keep it on the down low and if anyone ask, you didn’t hear it from me.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I am addicted to looking at pictures of knitted socks in progress. Something about seeing a sock just started is thrilling to me. My mind is curious about how the sock will evolve the patterns, the texture, the colors.

Seeing half-finished socks also shows me how proud sock knitters are of their work. Most writers would never show a draft of their writings. And a painter would never think about showing a painting that’s only half completed. But us sock knitters will show you the entire process from start to finish. To us, the art is not in the finished product, but in the process of making it. I simply love that about us knitters.

So below, I share with you a gallery of socks in the making:

Shameless Knitting Plug

Months ago  I started a group on Ravelry for those of us who love Jamie Cullum. Since the start of this group there has only been three other people who have joined. I know we can’t be the only knitters in the world that are addicted to Jamie.

So, I’m asking all you knitters out there with a fetish for Jamie to join my group. Share your favorite photos of Jamie. Talk about the songs that you love and even any knitting/crochet designs inspired by his music. Come on, I know you’re out there. I can hear you breathing!

The group can be found at http://www.ravelry.com/groups/jamie-cullum-love

Knitting Gets Inked!

I love knitting tattoos! If I could, I would totally get one. But the tribal scar that my liver transplant left across my belly is about as close as I’ll ever get to marking myself. So, instead, I live my tatoo fantasies through these hardcore knitters:

Tammy aka PuNkrAwKpUrL

Pamela Wynne of Flint Knits

Why Do We Knit?

So why do we do it? That’s the question most knitters hear more often then any others. “Why do you knit?”

The feminist tell us, we have the freedom to do what we want, so why continue doing something that was an obvious sign of oppression for our mothers and grandmothers?

We hear the frugal young mothers say, why on earth would you knit something that you can buy for just a few bucks at Wal-Mart?

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The business woman reminds us that with our education, why would we stoop so low as to pursue a craft that’s the work of women in third-world countries that don’t have our opportunities?

Then there are men who hint to us that only spinsters and women of leisure have the time to entertain such a thing as knitting.

Finally, there is that voice that creeps in the back of our own minds that question why we would spend such time and energy on a child-like activity of playing with sticks and string.

Then, with the start of a cast on, the turning of a heel, the finishing of a sleeve or even the bind off of a scarf, we remember. We remember the men and women that knitted because they had to. The children and spouses that were clothed because we loved to. The soldiers that were grateful because we knew how to. The art that is expressed through the different stitches and techniques because we learned to. And the next generation that will carry on the tradition because we pass on to. So why do we knit? Personally, because we want to. But as a universal craft that crosses all boundaries of color, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation and social status- as a human race we realize the reason why we knit is because we need to.