So now, as the weather turns to fall, I reflect back on a crazy summer that put me through the ringer and realize that despite it all my knitting kept me sane and was a continuous thread throughout. I finished several large projects, kept up with the monthly shawl KAL and met all deadlines. I submitted my work to the county fair and took home a few ribbons, and I visited the Garden State Sheep and Fiber festival, exploring Angora rabbit wool and learning how to spin with a drop spindle.
All in all, that's a pretty good summer! And with the move I made some other self reflective discoveries. I have way too many finished objects with no homes. They sit, lovingly blocked and ready to be worn, in my guest room dressers (which are almost full) and more keep flying off the needles. I have finished 26 projects already this calendar year and will easily finish a dozen more before year end. My wonderfully knitworthy family is drowning in shawls, hats, scarves, socks, and mitts.
So what to do about this? I have options, of course. I can start limiting my knitting to only sweaters and cardigans that I will actually wear (and I do wear those!). But then I wouldn't be able to do as many KALs and I wouldn't be able to continue to execute the lacework that is my joy. Plus my stash, while small, is heavy on single skeins of "ooh, pretty" yarns just dying to be a shawl or other small accessory. However, if I continue to pump out intricate lace, colorwork, and beaded items, I'll soon be able to insulate the house with them!
From time to time I debate putting my work on the market, I certainly have enough already available to create a store front. And I would love to see these finished pieces be out in the world for people to enjoy. But it means dedicating time to pictures, descriptions, measurements, and care instructions. And pricing fairly is another topic for another day - what is my labor worth on the open market? I've spent some pretty serious time in contemplation of this possible expansion into sales, and I know I would have to include a way for people to send their items back to me for re-blocking when needed and do I really want even more things added to my to-do list? What about repairs or commissions? Neither one fits in my model right now, I'm leaning towards finished items ready to ship only, and re-blocking service for a fee. You see, I am a planner!
I've actually thought even harder about trying to find a way to donate these items, but they aren't practical pieces and surprisingly they are harder to donate than one would imagine. They aren't machine washable so assisted living and senior facilities don't want them. Same goes for any other facility I've contacted - veterans, pediatrics, special needs. Not appropriate for homeless as they aren't designed for warmth, I'm stuck with no outlet yet identified. There was a lead with a group doing care packages for moms of children at Ronald McDonald houses, but that fell through with the fact that not all my pieces are superwash. It really shouldn't be that hard.
For now I have the luxury of not acting on these concerns and continuing to knit to my heart's content. And that's a good thing as I'm gearing up to moderate the October KnitCrate Artisan KAL in addition to the next in my series of shawls and a few projects that I just want to do. As the days get shorter the knitting speeds up.
On the farm we've hit breeding season, at work I've reached the next pinnacle of the project I lead which will require multiple trips to Europe and possibly Asia before year end, and my knitting will once again be the tie that binds me to my sanity. And I am ok with that.
As for Angora Rabbits and Spinning? You'll be happy to know that I'm not going to be starting yet another adventure just now. While the caring for rabbits and harvesting their fur doesn't scare me, the processing and spinning techniques are not in my wheelhouse. I don't have the coordination or the patience for that action. And while I know that practice makes perfect, the small exposure I had at the festival was enough to remind me that it's probably not an activity I'd enjoy. At least for now.