:stitches west 2016|recap:

Yes, this post is going up way late, but I swear, that is how long it has taken me to assimilate the overload that is the Stitches West Marketplace.

We first moved to the South Bay area on Valentine’s Day of last year. After two years of being away from my husband, it took us months to spend any kind of time apart. It was necessary for us to reestablish our family. Even when I found out that Stitches West is in San Jose and always falls around my birthday (happy birthday to me!), I didn’t even think of going.

This year, ironically, Doug had to be out of town due to help him mom with something, so with the kids which a friend and after dropping Doug off at
the airport, I found myself with the entirety of the Stitches West market- place to play in and birthday money.

So, first, let me say that it is HUGE. Ginormous!

So many people.

So many booths.

So. Much. Yarn.

I didn’t quite know where to look.

When I first got to the hotel, the Marketplace had not opened yet. I was
tickled to see so many people knitting! There were knitters everywhere. I
got coffee and sat down to knit

I fangirled when I met Andrea Mowry

by myself, and who should sit down
right near me but Andrea Mowry. I
had come with a very short list of
projects I wanted to buy for and her Range Shawl was one of them. She was so sweet and I got to spend the time knitting and talking with her. She
even gave me suggestions of yarns for the shawl. If a designer tells me what to use for her pattern, I am definitely going to go with it (more on that later). She also introduced me to Annie Claire. They were so nice, and it was all I could do
not to go all stupid fan-girl on them.

Another one of the designers I wanted to meet was Carrie Bostick Hoge of Maddermade. I love, love, love her designs, and bought her Maddermade Anthology 2 so I could knit Lucinda. I wanted to die when she asked me if I wanted her to sign it and it took me a moment to realize who she was. Sorry Carrie!

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Carrie Bostick Hoge

So that brings me to my purchases.

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Hiya Hiya 4″ sharps interchangeable needles

My big deal purchase was a set of interchangeable knitting needles. I was
trying to decide between the ChiaoGoo and the Hiya Hiya. Luckily I was able to try them out while there and decided on 4″ Hiya Hiya sharps. The
shorter needle lets me hold them in a way that does not hurt my right wrist.

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Madder Anthology 2

I met Carrie at the Never Not Knitting booth where Alana Dakos helped me pick this gorgeous Quince and Co. Owl in the color way Canyon, for my Lucinda sweater. She had the cutest little booth with all these vintage inspired notions. At this point I was too shy to ask Alana for a photo. Her booth was packed with people!

I picked up this little kit of lotion bar and lip tin from Love+Leche. My hands are loving these in this dry Cali climate.

At the YOTH booth, I picked up a gradient of their Father, 100% Rambouillet wool for my Range Shawl in Portobella, Cacao, Shiitake, and Nutmeg, a copy of the pattern Blanche by Veronika Jobe and a couple of skeins of the yarn called for in the pattern, Little Brother in the Shiitake color way, as well as a Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag and a couple of notions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Finally, I found a copy of the first Barbara Walker, A Treasury of KnittingPatterns and a couple of hand thrown coffee mugs from Pawley Studios.

I spent way too much money and had a great time.

Hey there…

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When I was last here I was going through a lot. A. Lot.

Still am, but I finally feel ready to start writing again. What I am going to use this space for is up in the air. I feel like I should have a reason for being here. I just can’t seem to nail that reason down. That and design and lack of photographs and stress and…and…and…

You get the picture.

Ninety percent of accomplishment is the act of DOING.

So…

I We have moved clear across the country, from sunny, humid, hot Florida to sunny, dry, cooler California. NorCal to be specific. This moved actually happened eleven months ago (I’ve been away from the blog way too long!)

We added one more move while here. This move has also encompassed my twentieth move, and our family’s tenth.

To say that D and I suffer from a bit of wanderlust would be an understatement.

So, the limbo I have been in has been one filled with changes in locations, just being a family of four again (I’ll get into that another time), started homeschooling with the kids (always wanted to do this), ending my career as a CrossFit coach, making new friends, missing my family, and trying to figure out who I “am”…again.

This year I also told myself I needed to get back into this blog or just let it go.

So…

Here I am.

Dream Childlike

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I watch my children with absolute wonder. They are amazing, and I am not just saying that because I am their mother. All children are.

They have no limits on their imaginations. The set goals of being cowboy boot wearing astronauts who own art galleries and find a new species of tiny monkey. And they are serious about it. I wish I had a mind was that big.

I hear all the time that children are limited in their understanding, but I think that is a constructed truth adults tell ourselves and our kids to make ourselves feel better. Think back to when you dreamed with no limits, to the discarded dreams, to the promises you made to your self, and then broke. I know my past is riddled with them. Usually they are marked by the memory of a sudden death at the hands of others: teachers, parents, friends.

“That’s kinda risky.”

“It’s a nice dream, but your not really going to do that.”

“It’s time to grow up.”

And I listened. I listened and I sighed and trudged on the straight and narrow path of normalcy.

But what child wants to be normal? What child dreams of being average and unnoticed and ordinary?

And why do we have to change? There seems to be no wisdom in that. History if full of men and women who dreamed big. They are the ones we hold up high as an example of success, and then we turn around and tell our children “Be like them, but don’t do what they do. Do the opposite. Do what makes you average. Do what makes me comfortable.”

“…what makes me comfortable.”

Children’s dreams get stifled for our sake, not for theirs.

Learn to dream big again. Make people call you crazy. Make them tell you to stop being unrealistic.

Then you know you will be on the right path.

Humility.

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The other night I was handed a bit of humble pie.

Before I explain that, let me say that I am not a person that feels the need to know it all nor do I claim to. I am definitely not the kind to crave confrontation. However, I am the kind of person who feels a need to fix things, whether it is a boo-boo on one of my kids or a social right violation not being addressed. Those are the sorts of things I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut about.

Anyway, back to the other night. I was having a discussion about right and wrong and why systems seem to set up to punish those who have little recourse to fight for themselves. I gave a very specific example to illustrate what I know, and I got schooled on just how much I don’t know.

Many times we make up our minds about something, and that’s it. We read the surface information and decide. The media is notorious for this, giving us surface facts to work with, never the true context or details, and then fanning the flames those false assumptions can create. Well, I put my foot in it, got schooled and accepted the growth (however painful) that came with that.

Accepting that we may not know all or that changing our minds does not make us weak. There is strength in being humble to the world. There is strength in understanding that what we see may not be what is. Being humble to the world is not always easy, for our hearts or minds, but it keeps us connected and growing. Being humble is important to me because it tells me that I am still teachable. I am still childlike in my heart. I am still open to the world.

Hope.

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Deep inside, in the place between fear and desire, lives hope.

Hope of a better future.

Hope of the job of your dreams.

Hope of family.

We all have hope.

But how long has it been since you actually looked at your hope? How long has it been since you took it out and examined it, held it up to the light and turned it on every facet? How intimate are you with your hope?

Hope cannot exist in a vacuum. It must be fed and handled and nurtured. Hope neglected is a pale, thin vessel for life.

Dreamers Vs. Doers

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Choose.

That’s what your’ve always been told, right?

I am a dreamer. All my life I have had someone (usually someone who loves me) telling me I need to get my head out of the clouds. To stop dreaming. To be more like so-and-so. To finish what I start. “Why?” I would ask. Usually the answer had something to do with dreamers never get anywhere. Dreamers don’t have good careers. Dreamers don’t save for retirement.

So, I did it.

My dreamer got pushed down. My dreamer was put in a box and told to behave.

You can be a dreamer, living your life in your head, thinking outside the box, jumping from project to project with an enthusiasm and speed that makes your friends dizzy.

Or, you can be a doer, nose to the grindstone, carving out your little piece of the world. Punch the clock, put in your time, go home, relax on the weekend so you can get up Monday morning and do it all again.

I put my nose to the grindstone and let others make my decisions for me. I did the work. I forged ahead. I was miserable.

Then I married a man who saw the dreamer in me. This logical, practical, curious, problem solver, doer of a man looked at me in my suits and heels and corporate job and saw the dreamer. Then, he started fiddling. Poking. Prodding. Pulling back the taped seal until it frayed and started disintegrating. I did say he was a problem solver, didn’t I?

And suddenly, I started to dream again. Small dreams, at first, but they didn’t stay small.

And my doer smiled and told me to dream some more.

When I doubted myself, he didn’t coddle and encourage. Do you know what he did? He got mad. He got mad each and every time I tried to stuff the dreamer in me back in the box.

When my dreams got really big and I couldn’t figure out where to start to make them happen, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Every step, the dreamer and the doer worked together. Working harder than we ever had. Being true to ourselves and keeping true to each other.

Dreamer or doer?

“Pick one,” they say. I say you already are one.

You don’t have to chose. You don’t have to deny yourself.

Success comes from both. The ones who have figured it out are the ones who realize the two are required to make the kind of life others envy. Those who can dream big, partner with a doer who can knock out the work. The doers who want more, partner with a dreamer they trust. The symbiosis of that relationship works. Rare is the individual who has both. Success does not exist in a bubble, inside one person. Success is a living, breathing organism of dreams, desires, blood, sweat and tears. It is a marriage between the dream and the action. A marriage based on trust.

Do you have someone you trust? A spouse? A friend? A parent? Someone who can be your mentor? Someone who can be a partner?

It doesn’t have to be someone you are married to. Just open your eyes and ears to the possibility. Let yourself desire the amazing and they will show up.

You are meant for more. Go after it. Bring the person or team into your life that will take you were you want to go.

Ask for it.

I would bet they are looking for you, for what you have to bring to the table.Their partner in awesomeness.

I’ll bet they don’t even know it. I didn’t.

We got knocked down, hard enough to lose our breath. My doer forged ahead, grinding away, letting my lick my wounds. And I watched the grinding take it’s toll until I could no longer watch. I began to want the big dream again. It bubbled away inside me while I watched my partner hold it together. He Did so I could Dream again. When the pressure built up to the point where I said, “Enough!” He smiled and and kept working and said, “Keep going. I’m right there with you.”

So I do.

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Doubt: Just Another Word for Ego

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Wait. What?

Yup, you heard me. Ego.

Here is the dictionary’s definition:

Doubt: |dout|

noun: a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction: some doubt has been cast upon the authenticity of this account

verb 1: [ with obj. ] feel uncertain about • question the truth or fact of (something) [ with clause ] : I doubt if anyone slept that night.• disbelieve (a person or their word): I have no reason to doubt him.• [ no obj. ] feel uncertain

verb 2 [ with clause ] archaic fear; be afraid of

Doubt comes in many forms: skepticism, fear, self consciousness, and flat out disbelief. When you face doubt from an external source it is the ego and belief of the doubter being imposed on you. They know better. They are saving you from yourself. They don’t believe the same thing, so it can’t be true.

Self-doubt is also ego driven.

Yes, that’s right.

Think back to when you doubt yourself. Think back to the times you did not do something out of fear and doubt that you would be judged. Think back to when you held yourself back because of what others would think.

Because you would be called crazy.

Because your ego couldn’t hold up to criticism or scrutiny.

Because you wouldn’t see instant success, and it was therefore easier, better in your own mind, to simply not expose yourself to the world.

To hide.

To save your ego.

Was giving in to the doubt and your ego worth giving up on the life you want?