Tabitha's Mountain Rhapsody Family Artist's Byway
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When I was a kid, I didn't do very well with coloring inside the lines. My teachers could always tell which paper or art project was mine. I could never quite get into doing things the same way as everyone else. That sort of fiercely independent streak often shows up in my knitting. I see something I'd like to make, then I decide to make it my own way instead of following the pattern. Sometimes it doesn't work out so well. Most of the time I totally enjoy out of the box thinking. Just finding a way to make it mine. Everyone should know that they have a way of making the world a unique and special place. Here is a ONE of a kind, never to be repeated afghan for a very special little boy. His daddy is an over the road truck driver. This is a compilation of patterns I organized into one big afghan. Out of the box thinking... way too much fun!!!
Quite a handy problem solving tool. WHAT does this have to do with fiber arts? Well my husband spent 22 years in the military. You sort of learn to adapt the problem solving skills to real life. Adapt and overcome. Each commission, project, gift, comes with its own set of issues, no project, no matter how ordinary is "a no brainer". SMEAC helps to coordinate projects nicely; S- Situation: What type of project am I making, and what projects to I already have on the needles? Will I have time to make the project on schedule?
M- Mission: The who, what, when, where, why of the project. What do I want to accomplish with this project? What can I learn during the creative process?
E- Execution: Plan, tasks, and instructions for completing the project. (Including yarn, color, content ect, pattern, size,) Of course working with and bringing the customer up to speed on the materials, pattern, plan and execution is a fabulous process.
A- Administration and Logistics: Every artist has their favorite supplies and suppliers, getting the supplies and then getting the completed project from point A. to point B., all part of the job and expense. Part of the reason I only ship within the US and Canada.
C- Command and Signal: Yeah I know it sounds weird but when your main mode of communication is the internet, cell phone calls, and text messages, data about your project has to be sen to the correct person, at the correct time via the correct social media, email or text. It can be a nightmare. One evening I was coordinating with THREE customers at the same time. It was CRAZY. I was writing notes as fast as I could. Amazingly enough all three projects got out on time. LOL YIKES.
Here are a couple of projects that posed challenges to my "Command and Signal" structure due to time differences and my availability, but SO worth it because my customers are happy!!! (at least that's what they said :) )
Without thinking too hard, what is your favorite gift to give or receive? My mom always taught me, give people something you would like to receive. Great rule of thumb, except I am pretty sure not everyone would like to open their package to find 20 skeins of yarn and a pair of ebony knitting needles inside. LOL! Those of us who are "seriously knit addicted" are like every other collector or artist.
I hate to go shopping for clothes, LOVE to go shopping for yarn, would rather not go out for dinner, LOVE to go out to see a fiber arts show at a museum. Its true... I'm not telling you anything my BFF's don't already know. Recently I was privileged to view the Cleveland Clinic's art collection. (there for an appointment) I looked at several pieces in their "Shared Vision: A Selection of Gifted Artwork" when one breathtaking piece caught my attention: Hildur Asgeirsdottir Jonsson, Hekla #14, 2008. As I read the attending placard, I was amazed (though not really) to find that the piece was created on silk yarn. :) My husband laughed and said ONLY YOU could find the only art within a mile that was created on yarn. LOL! Probably not the only one, I'll bet there were other knitters who did exactly the same thing. In order to share the experience of the work that caught my eye, I have added links for you to enjoy. The Tang Museum has great educational section of Ms. Jonsson's work: https://tang.skidmore.edu/index.php/posts/view/777/
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/arts_medicine/art-program/exhibitions-archive is where you can view the artwork I found so amazing. Simply scroll down to click the "Shared Vision: A Selection of Gifted Artwork button.
There's a sweater that has become a favorite of my customers its dubbed "Wash's Sweater" created by Don Yarman. This sweater pattern is based on a sweater worn by a TV character named "Wash" from the series "Firefly". Having never watched "Firefly" the TV series, I was unaware of this very cool sweater until I ran into the pattern during a quest for a truly "manly" sweater pattern. These sweaters are BIG like 42 to 44 long. I've completed one and started a second. The first sweater, now completed, was a great experience. I very much enjoyed knitting it and I was able to get help from the designer! :) The sweaters take me about a year to complete but WOW once the sweater is finished you see the genius in the pattern. The current version of "Wash" I am making required some "re-working" the original pattern to make it ever so slightly longer and a little larger but not much. Its taken a while to rework and pray that its not ill fitting. Its my perfection gene. I can't help it, I was kind of born with it. I want the sweater to LOOK like it came out of a store, each stitch done with perfection, even, smooth, the same size. But when there are a total of four rope cables and 2 knot cables total on the body and the sleeves also require cables. So that perfection gene works overtime. Its a JOY to make something that unique to give to a friend and I will continue to work it diligently until I've given it my very best finishing touches. I have to say, I so enjoy this type of work. I just wish I could work faster... but faster means mistakes and lower quality which I will not have. No compromise on quality! So for all of you Cable fans I give you Wash's sweater... 1 and 2 (a)!
I live in Northern New York. No not the Northern New York that is just North of New York City, I'm talking NORTH, as in... up next to the Canadian border. Those of us in the Northern states, like Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Dakota get the shaft from the fashion industry when it comes to Spring holidays like Easter. On the racks of every department store are a million dresses with short sleeves or no sleeves, chiffon, tulle, and lace. Okay for those in Hotlanta or Las Vegas, not so much for those living in the woodlands of Northern NY. Its still 38 degrees or colder here in Northern New York at the beginning of April. (I know other states have even colder temps) So what is a person to do for March/April/May events when its still FREEZING and the clothing choices are slim. ACCESSORIZE! :) Now I have the very great benefit of having an awesome daughter who lets me experiment with her accessories, and friends who will say to me "Lyn, I've got a wedding coming up and its still cold, can you help? " Why yes, yes I can! Once again... the photos to prove it:
Ever look at a knitted garment or an afghan and feel a little tug at your heart? You think my grandmother used to make those blankets for each one of her grandchildren or my Aunt made my child a sweater just like that when he or she was born. I have that experience a lot. The other day I was working on a gift, while at the same time explaining to my mom that it was the same afghan pattern my Grandmother used. My mom and I chatted about that afghan for a long time. We both remember Gram so fondly. There are a lot of jokes out there about afghans and crazy knitters. But truly, even if its not a pattern you love or its not the colors you wanted or would have picked, remember someone very likely put hours of love into that project. They did the work because they wanted YOU to have the best. I know my grandmother always wanted her grandchildren (and there were ALOT of us) to have the best. She was a true treasure, and I treasure everything she made. Here's my attempt at making "gramma's" afghan. Nope its not as warm as hers but I know she would approve:
The WEE hours of the morning. I'm finally back home! We got some snow... actually a lot of snow. We arrived safe and relatively sound. ( a little crabby from being cooped up together in our car for a day LOL!) Everyone stayed healthy through the whole week we were gone, we had a great time with family and friends. It was all around a very productive visit. I've got pictures of my trip home. You'll note they are spectacular in one respect:
YES They all look EXACTLY the same. Not Exciting. I tried to find points of interest to share with you all but clearly there weren't any, except for the fact that we had a lot of snow. So I guess I'll get to work unpacking later today. Get out all that lovely yarn so I can get to work. Thanks for sharing my trip and for being patient with me. I realize my posts haven't been very interesting..
If you are going to do something do it right! Okay so I went yarn shopping today at Pat Catan's craft centers. I had a few things to do. 1. Fill the yarn needs for commissions placed 2. Fill the yarn needs for gifts I am making for friends 3. Support a couple of important causes. 4. FUN... Of course I was shopping for yarn so it was all fun. I came away from Pat Catan's Craft Centers with 2 bags filled with yarn and 1 bag filled with some miscellaneous, yet important things. Pictures are worth a thousand words right? So check out the yarn haul!
I wanted to go yarn shopping today but my appointments took a lot longer than expected. Well its super cold so I'm sticking close to family. Electric lap blanket on and crocheting in tow. Now you might wonder how do I go about finding a yarn suitable to my project? Well I could run to all the yarn shops, look at the yarn, feel the qualities of the yarn OR I could just go to
Look up my favorite yarn using the links on the right side of the page. Each yarn has a "Softness meter rating". Then I know if a yarn is an appropriate buy for a car blanket or a baby blanket! I send my customers to this page all the time to check out the yarn and the "softness rating". I can assure you that if you choose to order from me, I do my best to offer you the right yarn for the right project.
A lot of people can say "I work from home" and a lot of people can say "I work on the road" I can say I DO BOTH! I know I'm a little too in love with my job right? This morning I was waiting for a medical professional and she asked me what I did for a living, so I pulled out my current project, she said "That's beautiful, being able to create your own gifts must be very gratifying". I smiled and said "you have no idea" so today you get to see my "have knitting will travel pictures" (I know don't quit my day job right? LOL!)
Click the button to see my portfolio!
**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.