Hiatus

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I’ve been avoiding writing this because, frankly, I’ve been in denial. It’s time I faced up to it and made this official. I am on a knitwear design hiatus.

The fact of the matter is for the last 10 months, I have been trading one set of stress related health issues for another. I’ve shared the issues pertaining to my back. Unfortunately, there have been some other things going on as well.

Over the course of the last eighteen months, I’ve simply taken on more than I can handle. My body has been punishing me for it. For the sake of my own health, I need to reign things in. Knitwear design isn’t the only thing that I’m placing on hold, but it is the thing that is pertinent here, and it’s the thing I’ve been struggling to find a way to keep going. Reality needs to factor in, and I need to take a break.

So what does this mean? For starters, I’m not quitting. I’m simply taking an extended leave. I don’t know how long this will last, but it will probably become obvious when I’m back on duty.

I have a couple of design commitments that I will honor (or at least try to – one of these is currently at extreme risk because the yarn support has not arrived).

I will continue to knit. In fact, my head is filled with ideas for new things. I simply won’t take on the effort to get the new things published for a while. If designing just meant creating something cool and pretty, it would be easy; however, designing, or rather publishing, means taking photographs, coordinating editing and testing, and working out the layout. I suspect that there are things missing from that list, but suffice it to say, those things all take time.

My blogging activity will continue to be sporadic. I’ll probably post when I’ve finished something new and shiny because like many people, I like to show off too.

The vlog will continue to remain on hold. Editing a 5 minute video takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, and I need that time for other things.

I won’t send out another newsletter until I’m back to publishing things. You are free to sign up, but don’t expect to receive anything in your inbox for a while.

At the end of this month, the quarterly KAL that I’ve been running on ravelry will be placed on hold. If someone would like to volunteer to moderate, this may change; however, I will not be taking on the coordination tasks.

I will continue to be active on twitter. Fair warning, most of my tweets of late have more to do with cats and knitting. The one caveat to this is that I may take a break from twitter if the world continues to spiral into chaos. Every horrific news story seems to spawn a bunch of tweets that aren’t good for my psyche.

I will continue to offer pattern support for any currently published pattern. I actually enjoy answering questions and helping people work things out. Besides, I generally don’t receive a bunch of support requests. Additionally, my current portfolio of patterns will continue to be available.

If I’ve missed anything, assume that it is on hold.

I must say that I greatly appreciate this virtual community. I’ve been avoiding acknowledging this reality because I really like you guys. As I said, I just need to slow down for a while and sort some things out.

All that said, please know that I am mostly fine. Once I’ve slowed down a bit and gotten things sorted, I will be completely find, maybe even better than fine.

I leave you with a picture of me and a cat. Enjoy.

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Posted in Knitting Tagged with:

Signs of Life

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It may be obvious to some of you that I’ve been on a bit of an internet hiatus lately. It’s been more than a month since I wrote a blog post, more than that since I’ve pulled out the camcorder for a vlog. My ravelry group is languishing a bit.

Sadly, my visit to Maryland Sheep and Wool made me painfully aware that my back had not recovered from the visit from our dear friend Jonas in January. It became obvious that my strategy of ignore it and it will go away wasn’t working (I am my father’s child). In mid-May, I realized that I reached the point where I had to pace myself at sitting. Thus began what I refer to as the trifecta of torture. After several visits to the chiropractor, massage therapist, and physical therapist, I can now sit upright for several hours without wincing. (Side note – at my first chiropractor appointment, he said “I can’t believe you’re standing upright”). It seems that my spine and my right hip are currently colluding to torture me. I am happy to say that I’ve reached the point where I can visit the massage therapist and the chiropractor without screaming (the physical therapist is another story – that dude is just plain evil). I am not out of the woods yet, but I am much improved.

There has been knitting. Most of it is something that I can’t talk about. I can show you the above sock. Colorwork, once you get the hang of it, is just stockinette, so there’s no grappling with cable needles or squinting at charts trying to figure out which way a decrease is leaning. I’m quite pleased with these; although, I think the gusset needs to change (sometimes it just never seems quite right). Of course, this project is taking a time out while I rush to finish something that has a deadline.

Blog posts will continue to be a bit sporadic. I’ll let you know when there is something new and shiny for you to add to your ravelry queue. In the mean time, I’m going to work on nominating the person who invented heating pads for sainthood.

Posted in Knitting, sock Tagged with:

Remember These?

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Yes, I know, it’s been a few weeks since I blogged. It’s been even longer since I’ve vlogged. I am knitting. I’m just knitting things that I can’t exactly talk about right now. There are a few things that I can write about, which is probably why I’m writing this post (OK, I’ve been on too many conference calls today). Today’s post is about the most recent happening because some of you asked about it.

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You may remember these socks. I’m happy to announce that the Bare Naked Wools Ensemble: Spring 2016 went live on ravelry last night, and said Ensemble includes the pattern for Arques.

Arques is a river in France. You may be wondering what does a French river have to do with a lacy, textured pair of socks. Well, rivers meander. The lace meanders. There you go. It’s also a name that’s never been used for a pattern before, so bonus points for originality (maybe).

The entire Ensemble had a soft launch at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this past weekend. If you happened upon knitspot’s booth and were able to take your eyes away from all the really nice lace tops and the yarn, glorious yarn, you may have seen these actual socks in the flesh (or in the wool, I suppose). They had two samples. The one pictured above in the Breakfast Fingering, and another in the Ginny Sport.

Given that these socks work in both a fingering and a sport weight, there are 8 sizes in the pattern (it didn’t start that way, but when you throw another yarn weight into the mix, that’s what happens). These are top down, and have the usual heel flap and gusset.

It’s actually a thrill to be included in the Ensemble. My name is included with Bristol Ivy, Andrea Rangel, Janelle Martin, General Hogbuffer, and Anne Hanson. I’m still not entirely sure how that happened. You can read all about the Ensemble and see the various pieces on Anne’s blog.

Since the socks are part of the Ensemble, you can get the pattern either on ravelry or on the knitspot site. They may even be doing kits with their yarns if that is your thing. Having made the sample using the Better Breakfast Fingering, I have to say it’s a really nice yarn to work with and it has a very generous yardage.

If you check out the ravelry page, you may notice what I’ve been told are “really cool boots”. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that those are not my boots, nor are they my feet. 🙂 One of the advantages of collaborating with a publisher is that I don’t have to do the epic dance of getting my camera to talk to my tablet while preventing a cat from knocking over a tripod.

Posted in Knitting, sock, sock pattern Tagged with:

Hello Knitters!!!

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I’m just popping in to say that I am alive and well. I appreciate the kind and thoughtful comments that were left on my last post.

I was recently talking to a friend, reflecting on the last 3 months, and I realized that 2016 has been not without its challenges. Some of the people I work with at my day job have been acting as if they were bitten by rabid ferrets. There was that blizzard business and the havoc it wreaked on my back. All of this was topped off last month by a death in the family. The individual and I were not close, but several family members had quite a bit of unfinished business with the deceased, so the past few weeks have been interesting.

Despite all of this, I feel optimistic. I have good friends. I belong to a wonderfully creative and supportive community. I’ve had a very good knitting year, and this craft continues to sooth me when I’m down. My cats continue to delight and amuse me with their antics.

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Knitting has been happening over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, it has all been things that I can’t actually talk about. I’ll share them when I can either here or on the newsletter.

Blogging and vlogging will probably continue to be a bit erratic in the coming weeks. With all the secret knitting projects happening, finding content is a challenge. I am keeping an eye on the KAL in the ravelry group; although, I haven’t been much of a cheerleader.

My life is considerably less messy right now, but my house on the other hand….

Posted in cat, Knitting, random Tagged with:

Sometimes Life is Messy

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This is one of those times.

I’m not going to go into details. While the events of this past week have had an impact on me, this really isn’t my story to tell. Suffice it to say that I have been stressed and tired.

I am doing what I need to do to take care of myself. I am knitting; although, not as much as I really want to.

There probably won’t be new blog posts or videos for a bit. Time is limited at the moment, and I have to prioritize. I’ll keep an eye on the ravelry group just in case someone needs help.

I will get through this, and soon enough, I’ll be back to being that silly bald guy who knits things because he doesn’t know what else to do with his free time.

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