Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bright Lights and Web Sites.....

The last few days have busy, busy, busy. I'm knitting like I'm on speed in order to get my product supply to a healthy level for the summer fairs and I've been busy working on the website for Oz Dust Designs, by The Green Girl Studio. The domain name is in concrete, the design process is in the very active stage and I hope it goes live next week. It's all very exciting, but very mind numbing when you stop to consider all the things you don't know about this process. It's been one of those things where you say to yourself - "Self - you've done well, you've learned a lot, but if you had a million dollars you would have done the smart thing and let a professional make this site for you." C'est la vie! One day this little business will be large enough to have people to do these things and at least I'll know enough to nod and tell them they are doing a good job. See, I'm staying positive!

I will say this, Mike web master extraordinaire at the "web hosting facility" (this is all very TRON to me) was very nice on the phone when I called blabbering about things that I'm sure made no real sense. He was patient, thorough, and allowed me to repeat myself several times for clarification. I hope this secretive place out there somewhere has an employee of the month award, Mike should definitely get the award for March 2011. Oh why not give it to him for the year, he knows I'll be calling again with more blabbering.

OK - that's the latest and greatest from the world of Oz.

Peace and joy to ya all....
The Green Girl

Monday, March 21, 2011


S - is for the "slip stitch"
P - is for the Purl 2 together
R - is for ribbing - 1x1 -2x2 - or 1x2
I - is for Increase - make one or yarn-over
N -is for needles and notions
G - is for Gauge - the bane of all knitters, but a must have even though it can lie.

Just a little reminder of the true meaning of the new season and all that can be accomplished.

Peace and joy to you all.....
The Green Girl.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wearing of the Green....

Happy Saint Patrick's Day -2011... Have you knitted yourself a shamrock to wear on this day?? Don't get pinched because you're not in green.

As I am of Irish heritage many times over, this is a special day for me. Not because of Saint Patrick, but because I feel an extra pull on the heartstrings that bind me to the Emerald Isles.

I am thinking of my ancestress that came to the United States to raise a family and used knitting as her occupation. My hands feel more in tune today because of my connection to her. So, I am casting a on a sweet little neck warmer, in what else a lovely shade of green merino wool. I think I might have a little shamrock or Celtic knot button to sew onto the finished product. It won't be finished until tomorrow, but as they celebrate Saint Patrick's Day for the entire month of March in the Ireland, I'll wear the neck warmer tomorrow. My fellow Americans may think I'm one day short (which is typically true,) but I'll know that I am really channeling my Irish Green Girl...

And for always,
Peace and joy to ya all.....

The Green Girl

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I've been thinking about things that I miss. Someone said something to me late last week that got me to thinking about:
1) How exciting it was when I was little to sit down on the sofa with my mother and look through the Sears catalog, marking up the styles that we liked and put "outfits" together. Outfits was a big word used back in the stone age for ensemble. No one's mother could pull-off an "outfit" like mine, she was the queen of the outfit. We never actually bought even 1/4th of the outfits we put together, but it was a great time to play with my mom and share something together. I miss those days.

2) When I started learning to read, I taught my Grandfather (PaPa) at the same time. He had very little school - something like second or third grade, but because he was needed on the farm, he never really learned to read that well. We learned together and then later when I was a teen, we would sit and read books and newspapers together and discuss their meanings and that would lead to discussions on the meaning of life type stuff. All really good stuff and good times. I miss those days.

3) Then this evening, I started thinking about how I missed my brother. He is many years younger than I and he was the greatest thing that I ever asked for and actually got (save my DH.) I remember how I fed him, bathed him, diapered him, taught him his ABC's, rocked him and sang him to sleep. When he was little we shared a bedroom and he would stand in his crib and knock things from the top the dresser that stood between my bed and his crib onto the floor so that I would wake-up. When I would jump up from the noise he would giggle - his laugh today is that same giggle (it's burned into my memory and my heart.) As he got a little older, he would come into my bedroom and  stand at the edge of my bed and in a still small voice he would say, "Sissy, can I sleep with you, I had a bad dream." I happened to be home visiting my parents when he was in high school and his first girlfriend broke his heart. I miss sharing those days with him.

All this "missing" is what I get when I am trying to make up product for the summer fairs. I sit and knit and knit and I think and I reminisce and then I miss. I guessing that this endless knitting could help with remembering as well. Someone should try that and let me know how it works. Lose a shoe or a lip-gloss - knit until you remember where you left said item. If this works, I may try it for finding the cell phone that I lost a few months ago. I was sure it would turn up by now, but no go.

Enjoy some time missing and membering the next time you knit, I found that it's kind of like meditation. At least I was in a trance.

Peace and joy...
The Green Girl

Thursday, March 10, 2011

La Liste....

The check list:
1) Finish web site
2) Finish the laundry
3) Work with Amanda to start the second round of the Baker's Dozen Group
4) Knit 100 neck warmers for sale at the this year's Craft Fairs (starter stock)
5) Finish Fair paperwork (that is when the coordinator sends it to me)
6) Finish the laundry (this needs to be stated twice as it is an all the time chore)
7) Plan the garden.
8) Start knitting my Spring socks
9) Get a handle on my book reviews for Knitty Scribe.
10) Finish research and write rough draft for my Ancient Civilizations paper. Hoping to present in 2012 at annual meeting in Chicago (this is the non-knitty side of my life.) 
11) yada yada yada........

This is only part of the list that keeps running through my mind on auto-repeat. In one day I have become very busy. That's a good thing, but it's daunting as well. The Green Girl is going global, viral, (choose whatever word that fits). I am going on the Craft Fair circuit this summer. I'm going to be offering two of my designs pre-knit and three patterns for sale. So, I've been knitting late into the next day's early morning - going to sleep, waking up a few hours later with an anxiety attack and going back to knitting for about a week now. I'm also going to offer these neck warmers on my website (should go live by the end of the month of early April) and through Etsy. So far, I'm planning about 12 colors - 4 neutrals, 4 brights, 4 pastels. They will fit any teen or adult. I'm making a child size, but I have to get it tested by a few children so those may not show up until Autumn.
Neck Warmer - Bright 
Neck Warmer - Neutral

As of today, I cannot check anything off that list, but everything is in motion. I consider this a triumph as very little was in motion a week ago. Ah -there goes the dryer bell - time to turn back into Washer-Woman!!!

What amazing tasks are you up to these days???

Peace and joy...
The Green Girl.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We are Women -

Hear us roar - In numbers too bug to ignore......

Happy International Womens Day!!!! Today we celebrate that fact that we are strong, beautiful, intelligent, capable, etc.... This is something that should be celebrated daily in the lives of all women.

Point of Interest regarding the Green Girl - I am a feminist!!! The definition of this word is as follows:
"The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men." Let us note that this does not say we are better, stronger, the same as, or superior to men, but equal in standing in the social, political and human rights arenas. Feminism has gotten a bad name because a lot of people think that the word means something other than the definition listed. 
I have been a feminist since 1972. I organized my school's first and perhaps only bra burning in junior high school. They were training bras for the most part, but we were women in training at the time. I still carry the flag of equality throughout my life. I love being a woman, I love knowing that my husband is strong in ways that I am not, but we are equal in voice. He is better than I at his career, I am better than him at my career and we celebrate that fact. 

However this is a blog about knitting and I want to celebrate that idea. There are numerous female role models in the knitting world, wonderful women that share their art with everyone. Where would my knitting be without Edna Geraldine Russell Mullins or Mary Lucille Tinsley Street (my grans). Then there are the knitting worlds more famous icons - Elizabeth Zimmerman, Nicki Epstein, Debbie Bliss just to name a few. And there are all the independent knit designers that can be found on Ravelry, Etsy, etc... I am proud to be among such an illustrious group - each and every one of us unique and talented in our own ways, giving and noteworthy in the journey of life. We are strong... we are invincible.....WE ARE WOMEN!!!
Finally, let me say as a feminist and a knitter, I am thrilled to have the menfolk joining our art form in greater numbers. Designers like Alan Dart - Kaffe Fassett and many famous male sports icons are well known, but it is the man on the street that seems to be jumping into the stash with more and more abandon. I recently read an article about men taking up knitting as a way to save their health. I'm glad to see that men are finally learning what we women have known for decades, knitting is a stress reliever (ok sometimes it's a stress inducer, but you get the picture.) 

So, celebrate being a girl - keep bringing your talent to the masses, and most of all - find your own peace and joy and spread it around....

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Art of the Edit....

This week saw me complete two cowls, and scarf. That would normally be really good progress, However, I could have finished more......

I think that many of us get very excited to publish our patterns whether for free or for profit. I understand it is an exciting moment. However, that excitement should not allow one to over look the need of a second pair of eyes (aka - the editor or the test knitter.) For example, I wanted to publish a pattern earlier in the week. I sent it off to an editor and am patiently waiting for her to send it back to me on Monday. I'm disappointed that I cannot publish yet, but in the end you will all get a well written pattern.

I remind us all of the need of an editor or test knitter because I spent two days re-writing and frogging a simple scarf pattern that should have been finished in an evening. The original pattern that I pulled as a freebie from Ravelry was so poorly written that there was nothing to be done, but start from scratch. In each section something was glaringly wrong. I think part of the problem was that the writer wrote things such as:
       1) Start the pattern again working only k1,p1 on the front and purl on the back. Keep the pattern correct throughout. OK - problem is that this was not the entire pattern, there were two more lines to the original pattern listed on the first page. She kept forgetting to list or refer to the full pattern. If you did just what she wrote, you did not get the pattern that she wanted.
       2) Making a loop for the end of the scarf: These instructions looked fine except that the author forgot to tell you that after you knit the first half, you have to cut the working yarn and start the yarn again on the second half or you get a three inch piece of yarn loop hanging out the side that can in no way be reincorporated in the design.

And the list went on and on. These are things a test knitter or editor would have caught. The pattern is cute as can be, but the bad writing made it impossible to make without having to guess at what the author wanted. This pattern should have been knitted in two halves and then stitched together because you get a funny look on the second side because the pattern is done in the opposite direction. So, I offer two suggestions - get someone to edit for you - be that a read through - a test knit or both.
 And then find yourself a pattern writing template. TKGA has a great template to follow for writing a concise and well put together patten. These tools are invaluable for those of us that self publish or submit or patterns to magazines, and other publishers. It could mean the difference between someone giving your pattern a second thought or having it end up in File 13 (aka the recycling pile.) It also keeps fellow knitters from shaking their head and wondering what you thinking.

In the end you'll be happy that you spent a little more time on your written instructions and so will the people that take the time to make your designs.

Peace and joy....
The Green Girl