Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Letter to Father Time and Mother Nature...

Dear Sir and Madam,

It occurs to me that in my prayers for time to knit and crochet, I may have left out a few qualifiers…

Although I have been extremely busy, and have not had or made enough time to knit or crochet in the past few weeks despite my desperate desire to wrap up the two current projects I have going -- I do not wish for you both to work together to give me time away from my work.

I owe you both a great thanks for your efforts to free me from the bonds of my lowly programmer existence, but I should point out that it would be more convenient if my time to knit or crochet occurred more as vacation time or in the discovery of a few free hours here or there and less as the result of a myriad of natural disasters.

Although I would most assuredly get some work on said projects accomplished if I was ousted from my house due to the rampant wildfires in the Great Dismal Swamp as they near my house and literally consume my ability to work from home, it’s not really necessary to take my request this far.

And even if it’s possible I would be freed from work for a few days if you razed the Richmond office to the ground in this week’s recent, and unusual, earthquake -- I would make the point again that I work from home and the corporate office probably wouldn’t care.

Finally, I can assure you that whilst I am preparing my home for the onslaught of this week’s hurricane -- I am most assuredly not knitting or crocheting.

Therefore, I submit to you my formal retraction for prayers of project time. Let’s leave the time management up to fate for next week and see how it goes…

All the best,


Knitting is like...

There are, occasionally, moments of insanely clear self realization and introspection that occur for all of us. Today, I had a clear realization that all of my ‘interests’ (for lack of a better term) have the same goal -- that is they meet the same self need.

Knitting is like Drawing or Painting...

I have moved through various creative interests in my life depending on what is available to me… I have always drawn and painted as long as I can remember. When I was about 5 I began to cook and bake. At about 6 my grandmother taught me to crochet. I kept up with these things as the mood strikes until college. In college, I became attracted to photography and ceramics and became less interested in drawing/painting/cooking/and the fiber arts…

Knitting is like Cooking or Baking...

What I was left with after college is a hodgepodge of tools and supplies for each of these hobbies. Sometimes, I have felt guilty about holding on to my pottery and photography supplies. It’s been 6 years, and I’m not likely to pick ceramics and old-school photography back up anytime soon -- the house I rent does not have an attached kiln or darkroom and I have little desire to implement these additions myself :) So, instead, I began working as a cooking class teaching assistant at Sur La Table. I loved the work and enjoyed teaching people -- this was profoundly rewarding.

Knitting is like Darkroom Photography or Hand-making Ceramics

When I married and away from Richmond however, the cooking instruction fell apart and (as I’ve said) old-school photography and ceramics aren’t viable outlets where I live now. Cooking is still enjoyable, and indeed necessary, but when you are working hard to improve your health it is remarkable how much less you actually cook and how many things you find you should eat raw (read vegetables and fruits).

Knitting is like Teaching

Finally, in the face of all my ‘interest’ brick walls, I picked my crochet hook up again… Shortly thereafter, I coerced a dear friend to teach me the basics of knitting and I have been possessed of the fiber arts ever since. I’m very happy in this medium :)

Knitting is like Meditation

It was while knitting that I came to the realization that I should not feel guilty over my unused supplies hiding in various boxes around the house, nor the fact that I have moved from one interest to another throughout my lifetime abandoning others in my wake. Because through the rhythm of this latest craft, I have come to realize that I have picked up each of these pursuits out of a desire to createsomething. Through seemingly unrelated pieces the artist, cook, baker, photographer, ceramist, teacher, and yes, knitter is able to make something of their own design. These unrelated pieces come together into (hopefully) something beautiful and useful though nothing but the creator’s genius and the simple tools of the craft.

Knitting is like Creation...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Things are moving quickly...

Well, everything is moving quickly this week.  I've got the blog set up to my current satisfaction as well as the facebook, flickr and twitter accounts.

I've often wondered what it would be like to attend an art retreat so this week I decided this week to attend the first annual South East Men's Knitting Retreat (SEMKR).  I'm excited about learning several new things and visiting a fiber farm to see how yarn is made!  I have been trying to distribute the flyers to any local establishment I know of that will post them -- today I'm taking flyers to Michaels and the local library.  I want to thank the Williamsburg Va yarn store Knitting Sisters for their generous support of the retreat as well as the work of SmallTownKnitGuy who is coordinating the entire thing (go Rusty!)...

I am still working on the two blankets and they're coming along but not as quickly as I had hoped.  I have plans to finish the baby blanket this weekend, so I'll try to get pictures of that up as soon as it's completed.

I received some extremely soft and washable yarn in a Cashmere Merino blend this week and I am looking forward to creating some things for the elite baby line in the Etsy store soon.  I'm looking to start the store off slowly with a few finished garments that can be commissioned in various colors (baby blankets, baby cardigans, baby hats, mittens and booties).  I'm eventually hoping that it will grow into a larger effort with a wider assortment of finished objects available on the site.

I'll try this weekend to figure out a way to pull in the Ravelry account's works in progress (WIPs).

Everybody have a relaxing weekend!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

South East Men's Knitting Retreat

 It’s the first annual SEMKR! Everyone’s excited… Here’s a few details and links…

Facebook Page:

The following is written by Small Town Knit Guy who’s running this whole thing:


2011 South East Men's Knitting Retreat

It’s time to start planning the South East Men’s Knitting Retreat 2011!!!!
Veteran’s Day is far enough out for planning and preparation for this event and this year, Veteran’s Day long weekend is Friday, November 11th through Sunday, November 13th. I’ve confirmed this weekend with Sarah at Asbury Hills and they are very excited to have us. We will either be in Creekside or Batson depending on the number of attendees. I would like to have at least 10 of us to make it worthwhile. I also need a show of hand/commitment before I can make a deposit on the Reservation.
Friday, Nov. 11(3 pm-ish)-Sunday, Nov. 13 (11 am-ish)
Here’s the fee/price breakdown per person:
$124.50 - housing for 1day/2 nights (Fri dinner-Sun breakfast, includes 5 meals & LINENS!!!)
Add $50 for private room.
$40 - Admin Fee (this compensates me for my planning and execution time)
$40 - Printing/Supplies Fees/Badges/Thank you cards/postage/phone
$5- Teaching Stipend (To help teachers with their costs and time)
$15 - PayPal Fees (this is now 4% of the total cost and is charged when you transfer money via PayPal)
$225.00 (sharing)($275.00 private room)GRAND TOTAL (does NOT include your air fare, gas, shuttles, special field trips, etc.) (I also rounded up on paypal fees and to whole dollar to cover 2 transfers: you to me then me to Retreat center)
Check-In Time is 3pm (11/11), Check-Out Time is 11am (11/13)
I have to sign a contract and pay a deposit 20 days after booking reservation. (1/2 of projected attendee room/board fees).
There will be ABSOLUTELY no refunds, once we reach the 30 Day mark (10/12)
I have given Asbury Hills our request for reservation but we don’t officially have the reservation until I make the deposit. I’ll be signing the contract within the next 60 days. I need to be able to book the reservation soon so no one else books the spot. The sooner you can reserve and make your payment, the sooner I can sign the contract. If you’re interested in going, please let me know on this forum and I’ll send you an invoice via PayPal and a registration form.
I’ll be crafting a poster (with pictures from other retreats)! When, it’s ready, I’ll include a link and how to get a copy for promoting to your networks/contacts.
I look forward to seeing all your faces for this year’s retreat! Please share this with anyone I’ve overlooked or that you think would like to join us. Please Contact Us if you need more info or have questions.

Thanks, Y'all!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

On the hook...

Current Projects:

A super soft, machine washable and dry-able baby blanket for a friend. This one is a twin of another created for TheHippieHomemaker, except it’s worked in a variegated yarn.



A beautiful Tunisian crocheted afghan — complete with embroidery (this afghan will have 4 panels and a border when it’s completed…).  Will post a pic once this item has been gifted – I don’t want to spoil the surprise!


Welcome to A Call to Yarns.  I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while and now that I’m setting up an Etsy shop so that my hobby can ‘do us all a big favor and support itself’  (-:  That’s how my wife would put it… :-) it seems like a good time to start a blog related to the store and the projects I’m making in my spare time…

In an homage to The Yarn Harlot‘s original post, I’ll get straight to the top 10 reasons I should blog about fiber arts and their entry into the world through an Etsy store:

10 – I’m a fiber artist, starved for a creative outlet by my left-brained computer science programming drudgery…
9 – I knit and crochet, rather successfully most of the time.
8 – People like to see the development of a project (especially a commissioned object).
7 – I have lots and lots of yarn.
6 – Despite already having a sizable stash, there are no signs that I will stop acquiring yarn.
5 – I enjoy sharing the combination of yarn and pattern when they come together successfully.
4 – I have a portfolio of works I’ve created over the past 22 years.
3 – I have a digital camera to take pictures of those works and a working knowledge of :)
2 – By establishing a network of other knitters who share an interest in what I’m doing, I could stop trying to have two sided conversations with friends and family who couldn’t give a fig about the difference between yarn fibers or the pros and cons related to knit and crochet stitches.
1 – And finally I, too, have the seemingly essential quadruped companion. :)