It's been a beautiful, but HOT, summer thus far, and this has been one busy household.
Other than some spinning not much has happened on the fibery front for the reasons previously reported. I have a custom order for cotton dyeing I have been WOEFULLY slow on, mainly because, while I know how to dye cotton, I have never done my current method of controlled, reproducible dyeing with it, so I need a solid block of time with relatively few interruptions to work out the dye concentrations and formulas.
Sadly every Saturday I have had open, initially, has filled up with something or another that pushes time for dyeing out of the way. Hanging out with friends, house maintenance, church obligations... there has been NO time and it's been pathetic. I really do have to buckle down and do this, though, as the gal who wants this yarn has a deadline approaching for its' creation. Putting it off for one reason or another is no longer an option!
I have tons of knitting I need to do this upcoming fall as well, including a sweater for my mother-in-law that is her Christmas present. The tricky part is that she had yarn taken from another felted and slightly shrunk sweater that she'd like incorporated into this one, but it is sock/sport weight and finer than anything I'd use for the rest of the sweater, and I fear there is not enough to do the whole garment. The other problem is that it has many break and short lengths because I had to unravel a sweater to get it, and the sweater had some funky construction. What I believe I will do is work the body of the sweater in a natural colored light worsted merino I have, and then think up a colorwork pattern for the yolk and top of the sleeves to work in her yarn, and maybe around the cuffs as well. I think I am just going to work the sweater as a raglan with some ribbing down the sides of the body of the sweater, so it has a more tailored fit.
I think with the oatmeal reclaimed yarn doubled up the gauge difference will only be slight. The biggest issue is that I have to essentially draft a pattern from scratch to fit my needs with this project, and that is both time consuming and complicated. I can do it, granted, but it's a pain. Still, after this dyeing project is through I will be making a concerted effort to spend at least an hour an evening knitting this while I watch tv. It needs to be done, there's no way around it, now I just have to buckle down and DO it!
On the family front - we're boring, what can I say? Lilah had two teeth for the longest time but just jumped up to five with her two top teeth and one eye tooth coming in. She can cruise along furniture now and crawl with amazing speed, and is getting bigger every day. She's a real joy 99% of the time.
Callie is a typical rough-and-tumble toddler. She has a huge vocabulary and can now count to 20 pretty reliably and say most of her ABC's. She can identify almost all capital letters and the numbers 0-9, she just hasn't quite learned that those numbers can combine to BIGGER numbers and that the letters combine in sound to form words. But I'd say she's ahead of the curve for her age now, after spending her first two years of life languishing at her own pace :) Her favorite activities include digging in dirt, coloring, and getting horsey rides. Ah, to be a toddler!
Peter is ridiculously busy, as always, but doing very well. He won a spot to speak at an important bridge conference in Sacramento this September, and gets to talk about his design to engineers from across the country. I am VERY proud of him!
Life is just chugging along here, going pretty well. On the weightloss front I am down about 25 pounds from the end of winter and going strong. I'd say that is about 1/4 of the way to my goal, and I am chronicling the nitty gritty details, complete with fat pictures, stats, and all my struggles with habit change over at Weight Issues: Taryl's Weightloss Chronicles. It's definitely the good, bad, and ugly, but I am coming out of this victorious, pound by pound, and honestly it's taking up a lot of the time I'd spend dyeing or doing general fibery pursuits, which accounts for some of the blog silence. I'm still here, just occupied with other matters.
Unfortunately it has also come to pass that I believe shutting down my business, except for the occasional custom order, is the best thing for my family. I have been praying about this a lot and I just don't have time to be both a business owner and SAHM and homeschooling mom and wife and housekeeper and all the other various hats I am currently wearing all at once. Something has to give, and I truly feel I can't give my family and myself the attention deserved and still run a business during this season of my life. The economy has affected the luxury market, of which my business is a part of, and that makes volume and sales slow, but I'd have probably made this decision regardless.
I am not closing shop or quitting forever, not by a long shot. I will still ship current stock items and take custom orders, but I am lacking time to market and further my business beyond dabbling. Down the road, when I no longer have small children or homeschooling to mess with, I will pick this back up again and go at it hard. But in order to do what I want to do with it I would literally have to put my kids in daycare and work a normal 8 hour day from home, were I to do my business justice. It is not something easily dabbled in halfway, and so I am choosing to put 100% of myself toward my bigger duties and shelve my personal goals and dreams in the short term.
It was a painful decision, and I honestly feel like a bit of a failure, but I have to make the best decision for my family even though I LOVE what I do. I just don't have enough hours in the day to give this what it deserves, and thus I am prioritizing. Custom orders are still welcome and I'll sell and ship anything currently listed, and maybe add items from time to time, but no actively furthering the business for now.
Watch this space!
taryl | General | 10 July, 11:16pm
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