Soft spot

Another moment of quiet on the deck, my Dream Chair proving to be a heavenly temptation away from the others in the family. I’m knitting and listening to the second Locke Lampra book. Stillness and restfullness on the outside, heists and lies and danger in my mind. 

Gradient Love

Sandra, my sister Katie, and I had a blast dyeing gradients this weekend using this tutorial. We used Jacquard acid dyes instead of Koolaid.   I used a white worsted weight and a light grey fingering weight. We experimented with winding the second (grey) ball more loosely to get the dye to penetrate more deeply. I’m not sure that it worked, but it seemed to.      It was a bit fiddly to wind the wet yarn into a hank to dry as the yarn was very much inclined to stick to itself and knot up. But I have more time than money and this was a great way to get a gradient like those I see online.


I’m not sure why, but with the whole house to myself I’m working on the floor tucked between the sofa and the coffee table. I feel cat-like or dog-like in my desire for a little safe spot to call my own. 

World Cup

We bought Stadium Passes about 3 minutes after the tickets went on sale last year. This was months before they even did the draw to see who played where. We knew we were in at the front of the list with a promptness like that (we hoped!) But Category One is a very broad category. About half the stadium. Eventually we got our seat locations. And we learned who would play in the 7 games we’d see. 

Our seats were primo. 9 rows up and behind a team bench. When the Nigerian coaches kissed the ground after their goals, that was right in front of us. 

Yesterday was an amazing start. 2 fantastic games with 4 strong teams. The level of soccer on display was really impressive. We saw the Nigeria-Sweden game and the U.S.-Australia game that followed. 10 goals. 

The stadium was packed with Anericans who’d made the trip. It was probably half American. Impressive soccer love for North America and impressive support for a women’s team. 

5 games left in the next 7 days. 

(We are thinking of doing something a bit deliciously mad: going to the semi-final in Edmonton. We’d only have two days to do it, though, because of Sandra’s work, and it’s a ten hour drive. But the semi-finals!) 


walking to work 

I homeschool at home. I design at home. Nearly every hat I wear, I wear at home. Yet I’ve been walking to work for the past month or so. 

::just outside the BU library::

It’s really been walking Rainer to work and then walking home, 20-25 minutes. It started as a way to spend a bit of time with him and enjoy the spring. Then it morphed into a little competition when he got a FitBit too, and I didn’t want him to have such a clear advantage. 

Now it’s morphed into ‘walking to work’. At first the walk is chatty and companionable, then I turn back and start to think of what is most important for me to dig into at home. Matthias has a teenage sleep schedule, so mornings are mostly time alone for me, prime time to Accomplish. 

The walk is a brilliant transition technique. I come home delighted by the flowers I’ve seen, the little changes in the bird populations, the colours of the houses, alive to my surroundings. Physically, I’ve had a bit of a gentle start, but not so gentle that I’m a blob. Mentally, I’m ready to focus on important tasks and make headway. 

So…what to do when winter comes? It’s one thing to enjoy this habit now, but what will happen in the steely, grey days of November?

on being coached

In addition to the fabulous yarn from Fyberspates and the tech editing from Kate Atherley, winning the Design Along also meant a coaching session with the Kate of A Playful Day podcast.  I really didn’t know what that meant and what it would entail.

Yesterday I settled in with some plain knitting, a large cup of tea, my notebook, and my iPad for a chat with Kate over Skype. I had a few questions I thought she could help with, but was willing to let a subject expert guide the conversation. It turned out to be a great conversation.

It’s not easy to put into words without just transcribing my notes, but the essence of the session was this:

– She gave me important questions for me to ask myself to clarify and focus my activity

– She gave me specific resources that I can read to learn skills we identified I need to learn

– She let me talk about my business for about an hour, without having to explain the context before outlining a question, the way I need to do when bouncing ideas off my family

Since the essence of this contest has been encouragement and community, I’d like to pass on a free resource she recommended.  Tara Swiger has made a business of supporting crafty small businesses.  I’m really enjoying her podcasts.  I’ve gone to the beginning of them and have been listening while mowing the lawn, running, and doing other tasks these past 24 hours.

It is all…So Much. It struck me that it’s like it’s a bit like my parents and their bifocals: I’ve got things in the area around me (swatches, design ideas, pattern writing and testing), and when I look up away from the couch cushions around me, I see a whole host of other things (business plans, paypal accounts, learning web page design and spreadsheets, etc).  The trick is to keep looking at all the areas, I think.  Obviously, this is a no-show without patterns designed and ready to share with you, but the bigger issues and the workflow issues support that creativity.