All the projects packed

I thought it might be fun to take a walk through my project sickness. Really it’s only one small facet of the illness I have. Startitis is the main one and I embrace it whole heartedly. The secondary sickness is what I’m talking about today. It’s my packing problem. When I pack to go someplace for a weekend I have a small bag with clothing, a medium bag with coffee and food stuff, and a large bag full of projects. Sometimes, projects that I never touch, like this past weekend.

Those that are knitters will understand this version of the sickness and may even have it themselves. Here’s what I packed for the weekend:

allprojects

If you wanna know what all the projects are – you can run through my Ravelry projects listing:
Top Row L to R:
Spring Lines
Contrasting Dots
Gluten Free
Foolproof

Bottom Row L to R:
Mohair Shawl
Hitchhiker
Zombie Scarf

And just for good measure…since I didn’t knit a single stitch on any of those projects this week; I wound up 4 new yarns and will cast on new projects tonight hopefully
newyarns

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Inspire Me

#InspireMeSE

I have seen many posts here and there talking about losing their Mojo for knitting or spinning. There was even a great article by LeeAnn in Twist about it. It’s all true. At least for me it is. I have ups and downs in my crafting life. I think the hardest for me is the summer. It’s hot, it’s humid and I’m not exactly one of those people that likes that weather (bring on the snow!). I feel a greater sense of fiber-loss through the summer when I just don’t want to touch anything, let alone anything warming.

I know I’m not alone either in the “summer isn’t for wool” feeling or the waning in the fiber mojo all together. Sometimes it’s external forces or injury that brings us to this place. I have talked to people here and there at festivals and no one seems to be ok with this loss of mojo. We all would like to have it back. Get back what we were missing.

So let’s do this.

There is already a tag out there for Inspire Me so I added SE to the end of it…. and because I did that, we’ll get Spunky Eclectic (SE) to give out some random prizes to those that are playing along. How are we playing along? Many ways. But you need to use that tag.

Post in Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Use the #InspireMeSE tag – this gets you one entry in the random drawings.
Use Spunky Eclectic products and tag #SpunkyEclectic to get 5 entries in the random drawings.
The drawings will be random. Random times. Random prizes. All good fibery things.

But most important is that you are inspiring yourself and others. You’ll see posts from me showing what I’m feeling inspired by. Things that may not necessarily be SE. Things like fall trees.
img_0534

My friend Casey that sells LuLaRoe and has a stack of amazing Lindsay cardigans that has sent me on a search for the perfect Kimono cardigan pattern so I can knit one… to go with the rest of the LuLaRoe outfit that I bought. Kimono Cardigan, Blue Maze, Kimono-oh. im

And then because I was searching around Ravelry for Kimono patterns I happened up on this Bulky Kimono Lace Shrug which happens to be exactly what I need for this handspun yarn:
bulkylace

Watching iZombie and that chicks outfits in Season 1 (that’s the only season Netflix has so don’t spoiler me please).
izombie
That wardrobe person just gets me. Empire waist dresses, hoodies, tunics, and chunky sweaters. Sign me up. Now I want to knit an Avocet and an Iba in these:
iba-av

This fiber that I picked up at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. With the idea that I needed a Cormo handspun winter set (hat, scarf, and mittens) in a fair isle something or other. Which led me to find These goats and These goats and This Shawl – no, they don’t all match but the colors will and it will tie them together.
fi-inspiration

Inspiration can be that simple.
Inspire me. Inspire you. Let’s find our mojo.

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Why I haven’t blogged my thoughts on Fair Fiber Wage…

I can’t tell you how many times over the past couple of weeks I’ve gotten the question “Where’s your response to the #FairFiberWage discussion?” Mostly I can’t tell you how many times because I don’t remember. But I can tell you what my response has been; “It’s coming.”

This discussion ended up happening at an inopportune time for me. Or maybe it was perfect to prove a point about the work a teacher does to prep. I was smack dab in the middle of getting my teaching prep done for Wisconsin Sheep and Wool when everything started to unfold. This was two weeks of trying to make sure the classes were ready. No wait, I wanted to update that class, and freshen that one…. Did I have outlines done? Were the handouts printed, filed, ready to go? Did I get the fibers and yarn preps all done? Didn’t I want to do new samples for that class? Did I order all the materials I needed?… You get the idea, right?

I do have my normal work that needs to be completed for Spunky Eclectic but some of that even goes by the wayside so I can prep for teaching. Why? I want to make sure that I’m earning my pay. I want to make sure that when asked a question, I have an answer. I want to make sure to cover so much material that there may not even be a need for  questions. I want my students to walk away having a good experience and having learned a bunch. Having made great yarns or weaving. I want them to feel like they can tackle the next project even when I’m not there to help them through it.

So this discussion has been marching on, but I wouldn’t say it’s been going on entirely without me.  I’ve been commenting, retweeting, reposting on FB, and making my contribution in that way. I’ve not been silent but I have been doing my marching a little more quietly and a little in the background than I normally might.

I believe in fair fiber wage. I believe that teachers, vendors, farmers, and really, everyone in the community has a stake in this. I believe this all benefits everyone. If I was already 100% prepped for the show (hasn’t happened yet) that far ahead, I might have jumped in sooner. If I wasn’t so tired from writing and doing my job, I might have been able to jump in sooner. Ifs…. All of it.

Truth is, I’m a professional. When I sign up to do a job, I get there (even if I need to jump through some hoops like I did with Wisconsin this past week**). I put on a good show. I teach to the best of my ability and continue until the students stop asking questions. I’m a professional. When you pay my wage, you’re getting ALL my years of experience. You’re getting every inch of my ability and every ounce of my professionalism. This means some personal things, like blog posts, get set aside and moved to the future.

I’m not a diva or a princess as has been suggested elsewhere. I require food and a place to stay where I can recharge. My first day of teaching at Wisconsin was done on 4 hours of sleep. That’s not ideal, travel was unusually rough, but I was going to get to my job dammit! If I had had a roommate it’s possible I couldn’t have functioned. I needed sleep. Time to recharge. Time to make sure my classes were ready. You  who hire me, you want to have this. You want me to be ready and fresh. Simple requirements. No fancy red carpet. No caviar. Just simply time and space to recharge.

There aren’t many professions outside of the arts where we expect people to take a low pay, inhospitable conditions, or disrespectful treatment. I’m not sure why the arts are thought of so lowly. Especially the arts that provide some service. Now, I do have a longer post brewing in my head on this but it’s going to take some time.

This is my start of talking about #FairFiberWage on this blog. There is more to come but I’m flying today (the day I wrote this I flew, I had to wait for Jay to read through to make sure I was coherent) and I didn’t want my voice to be missed any longer. This fiber community is just that, a community. I look forward to all of us getting together and working together like I know we can. It’s like a huge metered square afghan, we all have a square involved and we know how to make the best damn blankets.

**If you didn’t read my travel saga on social media already here it is in a nutshell. Because of storms in Chicago flights were delayed. I was flying from Maine to Chicago to Madison. We sat on the plane (yes, on the plane) in Maine until about 30 minutes before my flight was scheduled to land in Madison. Needless to say, that wasn’t going to happen. I got to Chicago about 630ish. The event planners and I decided it would be smarter to rent a car and drive to Madison as the airline wasn’t guaranteeing I’d even be able to get to Madison that day. Best to have a little drive and get there to meet my contract, right?
I deplane in Chicago, tell the gate person my plans (and that I needed a checked bag). He said baggage claim would help me. I leave TSA check in and the baggage dude says “We don’t do that” and “If your next flight leaves on time (probably won’t but it might) you won’t have time to get back through TSA. Rent a car and meet your bag in Madison.” Ok. So that’s what I do. Get a rental, drive to Madison and my flight indeed was delayed. I waited for my class materials in Madison baggage claim for 2 hours. At 1030pm (after leaving my house in Maine about 12 hours earlier), I left the airport in Madison to drive to my hotel.
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Journal – September 2016

Its September and I’m absolutely gonna finish out this year of prompts. I’m not always using them and not writing a ton sometimes but they’re there and helpful when I want them. Fall is so hectic but the weather is delightful and a more regular schedule can’t help but happen when you have to work around school.

PDF of Journal Prompts for September

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I teach….

Did you know that I teach classes? Of course you do because I talk about it a lot. I remember being in Kindergarten and doing little activities where the teacher asks you to draw what you want your profession to be. I drew a teacher. If you asked me through most of grade school, I would have told you I wanted to be a teacher.

Fast forward to being a little more grown and I still wanted to teach but I wanted to teach art to all ages. That was the major I chose when I went to college. I never received my teaching certificate because that was a lot more work and money then I was going to put into that at an age where I was still a little wild. Sure I knew what I wanted but I also wanted to be free and make art and well….

Now, I’m fortunate enough that I do get to teach art. Fiber arts. I rarely teach kids and that’s ok because there is something very different and exciting about teaching my peers. There is a sharing of knowledge and a love of this art form that is just spectacular. Sure kids love art but when an adult loves art, there is something different.
header-welcome-image

All of that to just let you know that I’ve made a new teacher’s page for myself. Amy King Teaching

There isn’t a lot there right now. I plan to expand it with a list of lessons that I teach and I’ll be putting up or at least linking all of the tutorials that I’ve done. It was a lot more time combing through all of that then I have had lately but once the garden is put to bed for the year and all my preserving is taking care of, I’ll surely have more time. In the meantime, if you’re a guild, shop, event looking for a teacher – please use the contact form there and message me for information.

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Journal – August 2016

Here’s the scheduled posting of the journal prompts for August. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I talked about another way that I’d been journalling.
writing

I’m here to set up with the regular PDF of Journal Prompts for August but I figured that while I’m at it, I’ll throw a few more words at you.

Feminism
Joyous
Rapture
Excitement
Intrepid
Celebrate
Delighted
Felicitious
Coffee or Tea or Me (ha ha ha)
Laughter and Hilarious
Health
Creativity
Inspiration
Positive Thinking
Bliss
Zest for Life
Be Gentle with Yourself
Tickled Pink

Ok. Go forth and write more you pretty beasts.

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Keeping it easy

Lately I’ve been keeping it easy with the knitting. My mind wanders and a pattern is gone. Or I sit there with the item in my lap just not working on it. Every so often I go through a stretch where if I’m going to work on something it better be pretty brainless or it just won’t see the light of day. Seems like this is one of those times. I swear the heat eats at my brain but I can still whip through something easy.

Recently I finished another Hitchhiker. This one again was out of my handspun. It was from a club earlier in the year called “Aspens” and was on BFL. It’s a navajo ply that I split up for short color sections. I had meant to make this into socks but seems it wanted to be a scarf instead.
hitchhiker
It’s squishy and lovely and once I was done with it…. I had NOTHING else to knit on. We know that’s actually a serious untruth but I had nothing really easy and brainless so I cast on for 2 things.

I pulled out a skein of Victoria Yarn to make another Hitchhiker.
hittchiker-painteddesert

And I grabbed my giant ball of Caterpillar to make another Caterpillar Shawl.
caterpillar-rainforest

I have an old one I’ve been using as a shop sample that I’d really like to make MINE. I recently made another in handpsun that was featured in my Craftsy Class on Singles.
caterpillar-papaya-done It’s super squishy and lovely but probably the least likely color for me to wear. I’m really loving these thick happy easy shawls. We’ll see how many I make. If I keep this up, at some point I’m gonna have to start selling off the samples.

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