The Big Arrival – And Getting Ready for the Next One

Friends, let us welcome Ms. Mylah Grace into the world, born in the year of the Sheep (I feel a special connection to her already) :

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She’s beautiful, healthy, and in my biased opinion, just about the most beautiful baby girl I’ve ever seen (save my sister). Just look at that head of hair!

In a little over a week I’m traveling back to Massachusetts to meet my niece and treat my mother and sister to a Mother’s Day brunch; I’ll be with them for five straight days, which is the longest consecutive amount of time we’ve spent together in at least four years. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of my lifetime: it feels good to be surrounded by your immediate gene pool and celebrate an addition to the wolf pack.

Of course, I’ve jumped forward in time to when Ms. Mylah is about five years old and I can deck her out in Swarovski crystals, training her to be the little Cha Cha dancer (we do not waste such an incredible natural tan) I envision her to be. While I feel like the suggestion will go over well compared to when I made the same suggestion for Mylah’s younger brother (what do I know about baseball? I’m a knitting dancer, after-all), I have to remind myself to focus on the present, the right now. You see, I haven’t even started Ms. Mylah’s “WELCOME-TO-THE-WORLD” blanket; as a matter of fact, I have not one knitted goodie to gift to her when I visit in less than ten days.

Panic? I think not.

I have mused and mused about the blanket I want to create for my fabulous little niece, and after months of wracking my brain and several false placements of yarn into my online shopping basket, I realized there was a reason I hadn’t been able to even decide on a color scheme, let alone go through the actual design process.

This little girl is too special for commercial yarn. Nothing I run into, not even the nicest blend of alpaca and cashmere, seems to be special enough: it’s either soft but not the right color, has the right color combination, but isn’t soft enough – on the off chance the yarn ticks off all of the criteria boxes, it seems the colors I need are backordered. In short, purchasing yarn for this blanket is just not meant to be.

I tried to figure out exactly what the universe was attempting to say, and when I opened the closet in my knitting studio, the answer slapped me in the face (or rather, I stubbed my toe on it). I have pounds and pounds of gorgeous Shetland roving ready to be spun in various natural colors. Yes, that’s right – I’m going to spin the yarn for this blanket – all 2,500+ yards of it, and then knit it up. I don’t even care if it’s done by Christmas.

There’s only one problem: I don’t own a spinning wheel . . . or even a spindle. Last year, I sold the used Louet S15 wheel I had purchased to see if spinning was for me; it wasn’t the greatest wheel in the world, but it did the trick as far as teaching me the mechanics and getting me hooked on the expansive creative abilities I would add to my knitting belt if I could control everything about yarn: color, ply, fiber, twist, etc. For a further explanation on why this works for my personality, read this post.

I had every intention of upgrading to a newer, more advanced wheel as soon as I offloaded the Louet, but I’ve never did.

Is this a real problem? Eh. Not when you have a birthday coming up in less than a month!

I’ve decided that my next wheel, and first to my permanent collection, will be a Kromski wheel, but whether it is a Symphony, Polonaise, or Minstrel remains to be seen. I have about two weeks to decide, and then I’ll commit. If anyone has any feedback on any of these wheels, please, leave it here – I’d love to have your help in making a decision.

In the meantime, I know exactly where the wheel is going to go in my kitting studio (I guess I’ll have to start calling it a fiber studio?). Check out these awesome upgrades I made over the weekend, in addition to some much overdo current knitting pictures:

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The rug, knitting chair, and letters that are doubling as a light source are all new. It really creates a cozy (and comfy!) environment in the studio; I spent a couple of hours sitting and working on this project (my first original shawl design) last night, and it was such a great zen zone to retire to and just let the outside world disappear.

This is obviously quite a feat, considering how active my mind usually is at all times of the day.

Now it’s just time to put some decor up on the walls, and I’ll be ready to welcome the new spinning wheel home.

More details on the shawl later this week.

Happy Monday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.

Replacing A Habit

While I was writing my last blog post, an end-of-the-season cold was making its way through the office at work. Oddly enough, even with the Chiberia winter we experienced here in the Second City, there wasn’t a whole lot of illness passed around the office this year.

This may have been due to the extra space we acquired, and the few additional feet in-between desks we’ve indulged in as the office has expanded. It was actually a pretty great season, and it looked like we were home free; we probably would have been if the Spring had actually arrived when it was supposed to, but this particular cold knew the party was about to come to an end, and just like last call on a Saturday night, it wanted to make the most of the 15 minutes it had left.

Over two weeks, several members of my team had to be sent home due to being ill. Sometime in the middle of week three, after exclaiming to someone how I “hadn’t been sick since 2007″ and as a result wasn’t worried about the cold getting to me, I woke up congested and unable to speak (much to Mr. Joseph’s contentment, I’m sure) due to the razor blades I had somehow swallowed in my sleep that now remained lodged  in my throat.

Convincing myself that I wasn’t ill, a dutifully went through my typical morning routine: coffee, shower, moisturize (my skin is somewhere between Brillo pad and crocodile in the winter; super rich lotion persuades it to represent itself as almost human), coffee refill, dress, yogurt and banana for breakfast, coffee refill for the road, and out the door.

I walked the three blocks to the bus stop, waiting five minutes for the next CTA vehicle to appear, hopped on, and pulled out a book to pass the time. I made it five stops before I had to get off the bus, stormed into the closest alley, and let my banana/yogurt breakfast reappear.

I begrudgingly handed in my “Perfect Attendance” title and called the office to let them know I wouldn’t be into work that day. Nyquil bombs commenced as soon as I could get home. Rinse, repeat for 72 hours.

Once the cold had been subdued, I was able to enjoy a full week of normality before allergens arrived for the Spring season, upon which I started the Allegra/Sudafed cocktail I credit for keeping me breathing during this time of the year.

After about three weeks, I decided to go to the doctor to really get to the bottom of things; the OTC meds just weren’t doing what I needed them to do, and I needed to get a consecutive six hours of sleep (minimum) desperately.

The good news? Yes, it’s only allergies. The bad? I can’t take any more decongestants, at least for the meantime. Why? High blood pressure – which has me completely FREAKED out.

I’ve quit everything: smoking(yay!), coffee (boo!!!!), carbs (uh!!), salt (meh), and pretty much anything else I’ve relied on to fuel my body (salty carbs) or stabilize my humanity (caffeine and nicotine) for the last ten years.

It’s been four weeks, and despite some slip-ups here and there, I’ve stuck to the plan. Scheduling time within my day to get some exercise  (and my incessant need for napping in order to survive the day sans-caffeine) have completely chewed up most of my free time outside of work. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out how to run and knit at the same time, so I’ve only made moderate progress on anything fiber related since my last post.

With a better-than-last-time reading last Saturday at the doc’s, healthy progress is being made in getting this issue under control, and I feel like I can really start reinvesting some time into knitting now that most of these major lifestyle changes have become more habitual.

I thank you all for your support and patience while I’ve been away. I’m back, I missed you, and am ready for some normalcy.

It’s time for me to cuddle up with an herbal tea and a shawl I started designing almost two months ago. Oh, and the ringer on my phone is on full blast – my sister is in labor, and my little niece is on her way!

Happy Friday, everyone,

H

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.