This is my second annual Halloween Shawl. The first shawl came about when I was out shopping with a friend at the closing of a department store. I said to her that if they had some orange yarn I would make a Halloween shawl. All they had left was orange yarn. A tradition was born.
Christmas is coming. There, I said it. Yes, it's only early October and we haven't done Halloween or Rememberance Day and yes, we haven't even had Thanksgiving in either Canada or the U.S. but in the world of handmade gifts time is a wast'n.
Every year I get great ideas like "This year I am making socks for the whole family" or the classic " I will make an afghan for each one of my brothers and sisters because that way I can make one gift for each family". I think I am starting early because hey, summer is just over and I have plenty of time. I've got September, October, November and most of December to get this done. I don't know how this happens but some how I wake up one morning and it's December 15th and I still have three pairs of socks to make. I have knit until 3 in the morning Christmas Eve finishing things. Most of the time it just all goes in a box needles, pattern and all with an IOU. I have learned from this and I would like to share my discoveries with you.
1. Never promise to make anything for anyone. This way there is no disappointment and for you, no guilt. If you do manage to get something made, you look like a master craftsman! People will be so surprised that you had the time to do this.
2. If for some reason you cave and do mention you are making something for someone, never disclose what the actual item is. Many craft fairs happen in December and although this is very deceitful sometimes the guilt you must bear is much easier to deal with than the disappointed look.
3. The cut off date for promised items is November 1st. If your darling grandchild, nephew or niece has used those big soulful eyes with the incredibly long lashes to talk you into making the dinosaur sweater anything after this date is for Valentines or Easter. Before this date remember if it takes you 3 weeks to knit a sweater allow for 6 during the holiday season.
4. If for some reason ( like a high fever due to flu) you completely loose your mind and start a promised gift after November 1st your soul belongs to the project until it is done. expect late nights and several unforseen mistakes that you would never make any other time of the year.
I love giving homemade gifts, even the promised ones. I love to be able to tell why I chose the colour why I thought the shape or texture was perfect for the receiver of the item. Creating for me is a joy. Giving of this joy is the best feeling on earth. I would like to say that I always heed what I have learned about the pressures of a Christmas deadline but I am a sucker for a new project. Most years my soul is owned.
Well I am finally here. I had talked about starting an online business for what seems like forever and with the help of some very talented people, my daughter holding the figurative gun to my head and my dear sister wiling to supply the bullets opening day has arrived. So many friends and family have encouraged me to do this even the pizza delivery dude said I should be selling my shawls. So with all this in mind I would like to thank a few people who helped me in this new venture.
First and foremost I would like to thank Sean Cameron of Wing and Oar. He is my web designer and graphic guru. Basically this is how it went. I make the shawls he did everything else. From all the beautiful pictures to my great looking logo Sean did it all. Sorry Sean I'd put a link to your site but you haven't taught me that yet. So please if you need help navigating the world of online anything check him out.
I would like to thank my model who happens to be my daughter and biggest fan, Tamera Rogers. First for the threat of a finger gun to my head saying you have seven days to get this going or BANG! I took two months but threat was a great motivator. I appreciate her modelling all the shawls and humouring me as I tried to figure out what look I was going for.
To my sister Diana Frajman for being willing to supply the bullets for Tamera's imaginary gun and for really making me believe I could do this. Thanks Coach.
Thanks Lenora and Michelle for just listening. You two are the best.
Last but not least my husband Steve for letting me take up half the house with my yarn. looms, spinning wheel, knitting needles and books. You may not understand fully my need to create in yarns and fibres but you financed most of it anyway and I love you for this.
Wow!, you'd think I was getting an Oscar or something after that long list of thank -you's but I got something better. Love, support,and encouragement. Oh! and Tamera, you can put the finger gun away now.
Fall is coming! It's time to get cozy. On October 1st, Stillnight Studio launches on Etsy with a collection of shawls guaranteed to keep you warm. Here's a sneak peek at just a few!