Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yay and Double Yay!

Good morning, yarners and blog followers!  I'm sitting on the chair, Penny is sitting on the other chair, Bluto is passed out on the couch, and the husband is upstairs.  So I'm basically alone.  Big deal in my house, considering the dogs like to act as cardigans.

So anyone who followed my "anatomy of a sock" series on saw photos of my socks, made in a yarn called Lorna's Laces Solemate.  It's lovely.  Colors are also lovely.  I can't think of a bad thing to say about the company's's worth every penny of what you are paying and then some.  So every year, the Ravenswood ArtWalk happens the last weekend in September, and the only year I was able to go was 2008 with my friend Ellen and her mom.  Even this year, I was scheduled to work this weekend until I arrived at work yesterday.

Turns out, we are embarking on a big project this week, so I offered to work overnight from Sunday to Thursday.  This means that suddenly I have today (Saturday) off, and suddenly...I GET TO GO TO LORNA'S LACES BECAUSE THEY ARE LOCATED SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ARTWALK.  Yes, that was me screaming from the rooftops.

In case you're curious, here is the article I wrote about it for  I of course get paid by the click, so make sure you share this with your friends, family members nearest neighbors on the bus via Samsung Galaxy SIII click, whatever:

Now, I respect the fact that people will think I'm geeking out in a way I don't normally geek out.  But two things to consider:
1.  I have no Chicago Blackhawks preseason to speak of
2.  You all have your ComicCons, Live Action Role Play, World of Warcraft, Coffee of the Month Clubs...

So yeah.  I'm there.

Also, I am getting press credentials for Vogue Knitting Live, something that STILL has me geeked out.  I was asked if there was anyone I would like to interview, and I didn't feel right by responding with, " about everyone on the docket?  I can do that, right?" I chose one of my favorite designers.  It will be a surprise, but if this person is free, I already have my rapid-fire interview ready.

This has been another good month on the writing started out with the Red Scarf project, which to-date has 52 "likes" on facebook (click here if you didn't get a chance to read's a fantastic organization).  This has also been a good month on other fronts, as I had an epiphany in the middle of a training class.  The first voice I heard was CJ's, which figures, since I was only a few blocks from his house (in fact, Teeny Jesus made an appearance in his front yard).  Then I heard a woman's voice, telling me basically, "I told you so."  It was in a very nice way, and I couldn't figure out the voice, especially since only ONE person had dissented on the particular I-told-you-so decision. Come to find out that the voice I heard was the person who originally dissented, and she had passed away that morning.

By the way, I don't care if you agree, disagree, believe, or think I'm nuts when I say things like this.  But if it's true to me, just respect that.

So anyway, I heard the signs loud and clear.  I need new direction.  I see the new direction.  It's just a matter of getting there.  Next month's pattern is ready to be shipped (via email of course) to my subscribers on the first of the month, I get to drool at Lorna's Laces this afternoon, and basically all is well with the world.  Or something.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rat Extraction

It's past eleven at night.  Everyone is asleep except me, and possibly Axl (who is not in my field of view at the moment).  I was at work until almost three in the morning so I really have no business being awake right now, but whatever.

After living like a zombie for the first half of the day, I finished the second Sunday Swing sock...for those of you not privy (and why wouldn't you be, since this is a knitting blog), these are the socks I making for the tutorial.  I also wrote an article about Second Sock Syndrome, that horrible affliction that overtakes you when you are about to knit your second sock, and you get a case of the fuckits.  So here is the article...

And here is a photo of Teeny Jesus blessing my new pair of socks:

Otherwise, my day was spent flipping through the new Vogue Knitting 30th Anniversary issue, and perusing the 10th Anniversary issue.  In other words, the whole day consisted of yarn and journalism, and for some reason, my brain isn't full enough to let me get to sleep.

At the very least, I wanted to celebrate my sock victory, but the dogs started freaking out.  I went to the back door to let them out.  I waited a minute.  I looked outside to make sure they weren't digging.  I see Bluto cradling and cuddling something fuzzy.  Of course.  F***ing Bluto.

So I go outside.  Call the dogs back in.  And this is what I find, curled into the fetal position on my back porch.

Now, I'm pretty sure Bluto didn't mangle the guy...I think he was like that for some other reason.  On the other hand, I'm praying he is just stunned and spooked and gooey from afterbirth so he can wake up and scurry out of the yard on his own power before I have to let the dogs out to pee one last time.

I think it's time to go back to Vogue Knitting.  Nobody needs THAT as their last image of the night.  Or I could start on those slippers.  Or finish the kimono sweater.  Or the scarf.  Or...

Friday, September 14, 2012

GORGEOUS Knitting Weather

Good morning, everyone.  So here I am, coffee in hand, dogs in lap (as much as 125 pounds of dog fits into ONE lap), laptop on armrest, getting ready to continue my day.  I started thinking about Life In General, and there have been about zero noteworthy observations to share.  Zero.  Seriously.

So apparently, I should be knitting.

Here is a roundup of events going on in the Chicago area this weekend...yarn-related, of course:

I have asked for the help of knitters to tell me how they combat Second Sock Syndrome...any other suggestions would be appreciated.  It's for Tuesday's article, so there is still time, baby.  My last five weeks of Knit Tips Tuesday have been dedicated to making a sock; I now am about halfway done with the second sock and I'm literally talking myself into finishing because I don't want to have a random sock just hanging out there.

Last month, I finished having over 3,000 unique hits on my articles, and this month I'm on pace for more of the same.  Yay!  This is causing more traffic to my Etsy site (I've sold six patterns this month), and I'm now to the point where I'm hoping I can get a good second-income thingie going.  It would be nice to retire a year or two early, just because I write about colored string and all things heavenly that go with it, no?

This next few weeks, I'm trying to figure out what I need to change.  Getting organized is at the top of the list, but I'm still just not feeling it.  I built a desk, bought a drawer tower, and have effectively at least looked at my tax paperwork.  So that's a start.  The thing is I really need to finish what I've started, before the mess overtakes the house to the point where I'm going to be on an intervention television show.  Sadly, I don't even watch TV so it's not like I'd see it when it airs., one of the stores I mentioned in the article above is Sifu Design Studio.  Lisa opened her fabulous store over two years ago and has so many kitchy and awesome things going on there, I don't have the space to write about it.  She has a weekly caption contest where the winner wins the pattern in the caption photo and a $5 gift certificate to her store.  This is the picture from last week:

  1. Photo: Congratulations to @Amy Kaspar for winning last week's caption contest. This one made me giggle!!  

I was SO hoping you'd say "Yes!"

    Well, my caption won the contest last week:  "I was SO hoping you'd say 'Yes!'"  I'm a horrible crocheter, but I do collect vintage patterns and like I said, I can't think of a single bad thing to say about Lisa's store (or herself for that matter).  The energy there is just fabulous.  So yeah.'s time I showered and know...did something today.  I am hoping to plow through the sock, as the October scarf pattern of the month is already finished and I'm not ready to start on November's yet.  I also have to meet the roofing guy, deposit some checks, wear clothes that don't give off the vibe that I actually DO spend all of my spare time at the employer's address...

    Have a good day, everybody!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday Saturday Saturday!

Good afternoon!  That title was done in the voice of the NHRA guy who tries to make Sundays sound like the most awesome day of the week.  I was at work until midnight finishing a spreadsheet, following up on little notes, blah blah blah, and this was the week of tears and snot bubbles so I was ready for my three days off after the first day.  The last customer I encountered reeked of alcohol and stopped to tell me I had to fire someone for giving him the finger.

Now granted...had one of my associates given this guy the finger, with witnesses, maliciously, because of something unprovoked, then sure.  But by all accounts of those around these two people (and there were a lot of witnesses), the only truth is that the guy reeked of alcohol.

Chicago has a new yarn store which opened today.  It's called Knit Nirvana and was opened by my friend Sue Jaffe, who used to work at two yarn shops in the near western suburbs.  I'm very happy for her that she can see her dream realized and share it with others...there is no other feeling like that.  I also took a bunch of pictures so I can write about the store.

Today, though, I wrote about the fact that September 1 is the first day the Red Scarf Project accepts donations.  Who's with me?

So then, just in case August wasn't affirming enough, I got the loveliest email from a reader from another part of the country:

Hi, Amy …

I don’t know if you’re still doing this (below) or not, but whether you send me a free pattern or not I wanted to e-mail anyway and tell you how much I enjoy reading not only your articles but also your Fiber Friend blog posts.  For a full six months I commuted by air from Charlotte, NC, to Phoenix, AZ, very early each Monday morning, then put in 60 hours, and flew back late every Friday night; somehow I feel kinship beyond knitting with you!  8^)  By the way, I’m also (name withheld) on Ravelry.  Thanks again for the enjoyment you bring with your writing and designing …


How nice was that?  I of course sent her a free pattern...if anyone forwards me the email of the subscription confirmation from, I send them a free pattern.  The warm and fuzzy feeling I got from reading her message is just a bonus!

I am currently taking a break from putting the finishing touches on the photos from September's pattern...I have until 11:59pm...ha ha ha.  My subscribers, hopefully, have given up on scheduled emails because of me, so this month's pattern (and the last three after that) will be sent out the old-fashioned way.  I actually can't wait until the 20th to share this pattern with's one of those that gets noticed because the yarn does all of the work for you.  Pretty darn easy pattern to turn out so pretty!  I may send a teaser later in the month, but not today.

Then, there are still two more posts on for Knit Tips Tuesday regarding sock-knitting.  I have to show the heel-turn and gusset this Tuesday, and the foot and toe the following week.  The sample sock is super-pretty...makes me actually want to make the second one...

Have a great holiday weekend!  By the way...don't text and drive.  I was at a stop sign earlier today, waiting for a freight train so I was actually in PARK because there was a wall of about fifty cars before me that were also parked.  A woman scared the bajeesus out of me by...wait for it...banging on my window when I wasn't looking and yelled, "Hey!  Don't text and drive!"  Duly noted, lady.  I believe in safety as well.  However, banging on my window could have caused me to freak out and take my foot off of the brake...good thing I wasn't in gear.