life on the oregon coast, knitting, airbnb hosting, grandmotherhood, vegan cooking, and...
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It's been years since I've done a show of any kind, and the time has come to get myself out there again. Please join me, and many other talented Taos Artists, for Taos Folk. It runs from nest Friday, November 25 (the day after Thanksgiving) until Christmas Eve. We'll all be there opening night, with good food, great, affordable gift items for everyone on your list, and lots of festive fun. If you come to Taos for the show on any other day, and would like me to meet you there, send me an email and I'll schedule it in! For more information, visit the TaosFolk website. I hope to see you at the show!
As Airbnb hosts, we have lots of lovely interactions with guests while they're here, and with potential guests making inquiries before they book. I try to be really clear in our listing, about the house, amenities, and rules. The trouble is, some people would rather not actually read the listing, or if they do, they just ignore the parts they don't like. Oy. I mean really, who thinks cats and dogs are the same thing?
Today I got a booking for two nights in March, from a very nice-sounding couple coming down from Canada. They were very excited to stay here at Mermaid's Nest, and everything was great... until I got to the part in their message about bringing their cat...
I had stated very clearly in our listing that we allow small dogs. Cats were not mentioned. Neither were goats, snakes, skunks, or rhinos, because I figured people would see that part about dogs, and at least ask before assuming all other animals were welcome. Oh, silly me. Apparently these nice p…
If you come here often, you know that I finished this pretty little swath of yarny love a few days ago. The yarn is from CandySkein, and I love it. A lot. It's a beautifully hand-dyed, washable merino fingering weight that was quite wonderful to knit with, even though I'm sort of a lazy knitter and usually use something quite a lot more bulky. This worked up into a delicious, lightweight-but-warm fabric that's perfect for between-season wear.
Pardon my pilly worn-all-winter sweater, and focus on the scarf. It's my favorite style - an asymmetrical triangle, worked from end to end. It has a ziggy-zaggy edge on one side, and a smooth edge on the other. The pattern is called the Hitchhiker Scarf, and you can get it on Ravelry.
I test drove this one for a day and loved it. But as I do with most of the things I make, I also decided to let it go. Only three have made it into my personal wardrobe for keeps, and I'm just fine with that. Make them, love them, let them go. It…
I've had this amazing ball of hand-dyed-and-spun yarn for months. It was made, and given to me, by my friend Valerie, which makes it even more special. I've moved it around the house, looked at it, held it, and asked it what it wanted to be, but it's been very quiet. I've loved it so much just as a ball of yarn, I was in no hurry to knit it into something else. Here it is with my great-grandmother's hand carved crochet hook. So much wonderfulness. Maybe sometimes yarn can just be yarn, at least for a while.
As the weather got colder, I started think of hats. Not just baby hats like I make for the hospital, but big hats. For me. That wind on the beach can really bite a girl's ears in the winter. So, long story short, I knitted my beautiful, most favorite yarn into a hat. I found a really easy pattern for a beret, which Rick made for his daughter (yes, he knits a bit). Here's the pattern. It's really cute! And here's my hat. Also really cute.
Well, because I think Etsy has done great harm to the livelihoods of makers everywhere. If you do manage to get noticed, which is pretty difficult these days, it's impossible to compete with the pricing on so-called "handmade" goods that are mass produced in foreign countries. Equally frustrating to me is the number of actual makers who drastically underprice their work, effectively turning themselves into voluntary sweatshop laborers in order to stay in the game at all.
I'm not playing.
I would love to see makers of all fine handmade things everywhere reclaim a sense of dignity, and charge a fair price for their skills and talents. Until I find such a group of folks that I can join, I'm back to being on my own here, in my own little shop, charging a reasonable price for the quality materials and hours of work it takes to make the things I make. I feel good about this.
I'm sharing this today for those of you who like to create for the greater good. My cousin, who wishes to stay as anonymous as possible, was deeply inspired by the students who are planning school walkouts in protest to current gun laws. Wanting to do something to show support, she came up with the idea of making simple, white crocheted hearts with safety pins attached, to give to as many of our young activists as possible.
"White yarn represents innocence and new beginnings: a blank page, a blank canvas, a blank movie screen waiting to be filled with hope and peace and solidarity of purpose. The heart, of course, represents love. The safety pin represents security and protection that we all deserve. Especially our young people."
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in, by either crocheting (or knitting) white hearts and donating them to the schools and students of your choice. There's a very simple crochet pattern provided on…