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Reeling from sticker shock right now, I dropped a couple of grand today for enough oak grooved strips to completely fill the back of Jose's van top to bottom. All I could think of was "I could get a new computer for this, or enough wholesale yarn to keep my business stoked for 2 or 3 years". Gut renovation is disgustingly, immoderately expensive, and I'm sick to death of it! I hereby publicly promise myself that I ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT RENOVATE SOMEONE ELSES BUILDING AGAIN, it's got to be my own god damned property. Shit! Another 400.+ for track lighting, polyurathane, $6. halogen bulbs, moulding, and other assorted construction supplies and I'm reaching saturation point of what I can take, both financially and emotionally. This is all without a backer or bank loan, being the overly independent little mofo that I am. It's all mine, good and bad.

I don't think I've ever needed a break more... Tommorrow is the last day the shop exists on 6th avenue, and then I'm FREE AS A BIRD for 2 weeks to do other things without the prison-like schedule of keeping the shop open regular hours {not naturally good with routine, at all.}. I hardly remember what that's like. Hopefully hiring someone ASAFP in the new place for a day or 2 a week so I can do my work in peace.

Oh Irving, please let this be over soon. Of course the construction is now going to go on until at least the 5th, thereby moving my second carpenters schedule, who's doing shelving, dressingroom, etc, back a week. The new gate gets installed then, as well as the new glass above the main picture window and door. Also, the chandelier will have arrived by then {right? oh please}, and will be installed then too.

Also, the plumber mistakenly routed hot water to the potty, not cold, so that now has to be redone before the bathroom can be installed. Not into boiling hot flushes. *huge fucking sigh*

If I pull this off, it's be a small miracle. Happy New Year, patient, durable readers, Pursue your Dreams this year! if someone tries to stop or discourage you, SHOVE THEM THE HELL OUT OF YOUR WAY. Not literally, you know what I mean.

Now I'm going to make to-do lists.

Off to the 'pot to pick out wood/other flooring with Jose this am. Was woken up at around 2am by men yelling, beating each other with pieces of wooden boards and breaking bottles last night on the sidewalk just downstairs. Called the cops. The jerky bodego owners got attacked again. Last year, someone pissed off at them drove by and shot a gun inside the store. Today, I'm just tired, couldn't get back to sleep. The cops broke it up, and no-one was seriously injured, apparently, no ambulance came. They need to learn some social skills.

Having a Huge Moving Sale at the shop, today and tommorrow are the last days, then I have no more {bricks & mortar} store for 2 weeks {or more, if the construction lags}! It's both scary and exhilarating. Can't wait to get set-up in the new spot.

Start 2005 off right: take a good karma break from incessantly worrying about your own life, send some help where it's really needed by donating a bit:

Doctors Without Borders {my choice for many reasons}

or a whole, varied list here:
CNN list of Aid groups

As off this am, over 80,000 are accounted for as dead by the tsunami. NO animal carcasses to be found! who are believed to have a sixth sense, and supposedly got out of the way. uh. Makes you step back and look at the big picture, doesn't it? And here I am mildly panicking about a chandelier gone missing.

Have many major things going on now that I need to pay complete attention to. Obsessing over interior design and object design has led me to create a small antidote, {can't take any of it too seriously}...
Happy New Year, 2005

Blogging: light schedule till January. Shop: Finishing construction, packing and Moving. Knitting projects: on hold.

"If everything is under control, you are going too slow." - Mario Andretti

As long as I'm posting pictures of Anastacia, here's one in a fine gauge merino/tussah silk criss/cross top I made in the summer. I guess this should go in the gallery eventually.


Some snaps from last Sunday at the shop:

Playwright Kaethe and her sweetie Luke visiting from London before embarking on a cross country road trip, and yes, Kaethe is wearing her new merino wool Swirl:
Kaethe & Luke

Neighborhood ingenue Anastacia brought me a complete brunch on Sunday!! Including coffee, light, no sugar! It was excellent:
Anastacia brings Brunch.

Chandelier drama going on. I'm opening up today in a little while, have to see how the reno is going, first, run some errands. Getting pretty Tired..

Clever Hilary has come through for us, googling pro that she obviously is! Here is the pattern for the crocheted Lorenz Manifold. {in .pdf form} Thank you! Fantastic! And if I were inclined to crochet tens of thousands of stitches, one of these would be hanging in my shop sometime n the near future. Her pattern is all numbers. I love it. What a beautiful thing in every way.

Mathematicians Crochet Lorenz Equation. They're offering a bottle of champagne to anyone who can follow their pattern, published in Mathematics Intelligencer. Where can I get a copy? Hilary?

An extremely great thing happened at the shop today: One of my long-time customers, Laura, brought in her boyfriend and his sister and brother. The brother is a soldier stationed in Afghanistan, his job there is to train the Afghan troops. He was home in Brooklyn for the holidays. His sister bought one of the BKLYN stickers, and he mentioned how he was going to put it on a tank in Afghanistan. I gave him a whole pile of them for the tanks there! Brooklyn is representing in Afghanistan! If he's able, I'm going to get an email with him and his stickered tank, and I'll post it here. How incredibly friggin cool is that? It was an awesome day in every way, Day 2 of construction, the sheetrocking is almost done. Samantha, my pastry COOK {not chef, ok?} friend made white chocolate/cherry and sweet ginger cookies for my shop, so we were hopped up on delicious cookies all day. If you need spectacular pastry catering, drop me a line, and I'll give you her number. She's also making a sweet and a savory for my new shop's opening in January. Essentially, I try to get Samantha to bake for me at any opportunity!

Having one of those days where I love everyone again!

A combination of wheedling, whining, ball-busting {feel a little guilty about that, I can be "too" good at it} subtle and not-so-subtle manipulation and some good old cash money and: Construction has Begun. Spent the morning in Home Despot with Jose and 40 pieces of sheetrock. Came back to walk the dog, and now off to work. Thanks, all, for best wishes. I feel much, much better. Can now *exhale* and my shoulders are 3 inches lower. If you are waiting for an email back from me for any reason, I'll write you tonight! xxx s

The Ceramic Greek Coffee Cups in the webshop are completely sold out, the cases that came in yesterday are all spoken for. Amazing! I think I've gone through at least 10 cases, haven't stopped to count. New shipment due in Feb., 2005. Thank you to everyone who ordered them.

I took pictures of the Kenyan knitted animals, started the page for them, but they're selling rather quickly in the shop, so I'm hesitant to put them online, some animals are already sold out. Will post them FS online after another shipment comes in, most likely not before the 25th, though. Brooches are also almost gone. I knew it would be a challenge to keep the webshop current, and it is.

Got in some Japanese plushie monkeys and hot springs bear toys yesterday. Again, hesitant to post in case of sellout, let's see how they do today.

Meeting with the iron gate guy in about an hour, have to replace the pull-down gates on the new shop to be see-through, not solid, and also not a nightmare to pull up, that's murder on my poor wrists.. Anticipating a very expensive morning.

Update: Phil the gate guy was professional and on time {!} and I can afford new silver see-through inner {inside the window} gates, much less ugly than the heavy pull down outer kind. A nice breath of fresh air. Jose is still a no-show. So, as it stands now, I'll have a wonderful looking storefront, with a gutted, dark interior. Will be hiring someone new next week for reno, if I don''t get some construction action going by Monday. He's had the keys for almost a month. *huge sigh*

Among other somewhat obscure & interesting mags, the new shop is also going to carry Heeb. There's plenty of edgey out there, the whole country is not going soft and suburban, I promise you. Although, here in Brooklyn, the powers that be are trying like hell to dumb everything down. Resist! Shop Mom & Pop, wherever you are, stay away from big-box chains, because they suck your money right out of your community, not recycle it back. Know what I mean? And while you're at it, you can also vote with your dollars and Buy Blue.{via Not Martha}

Construction not progressing, but in limbo. Walking the edge of a razor, every day. Come on!! Let's get a move on. Forced to start busting some balls this week, hoped it wouldn't come to this. The "catch more flies with honey" routine is not cutting it. Bitch on Wheels coming through. Not happy about it, but you do what you have to to get the job done.

Today was a very rough day with frustrating errands and construction issues. I felt like crying a few times, or I should cry, but didn't. I think I've somehow become really fuckin' strong, or at the least the parameters of what make me cry have gotten wider. But now, I'm going to make a big hot black glass cup of PG Tips tea with milk no sugar, and work on a pattern and breathe deeply.

The Kenyan Knitted Animal Department in the shop:
Kenana Knitter Critters

"There are four cardinal rules at Santacon. Don't mess with the police. Don't mess with kids. Don't mess with store security. And don't mess with Santa. These rules were printed on the backs of vomit bags." {via NYT, reg req.}

Love this. Getting yeasty from too much treacle everywhere. Hey, I'm a Jew! Holding on by the skin of my teeth till the '26th. Shop is mobbed on weekends, it's kinda fun. Lost my voice last night, was up working with my elf Jen in the studio packing internet orders till 11:30.

Finding some absolutely amazingly talented artists and designers work to bring to Brooklyn for the new shop. This is the incredibly fun part of my business. Going to have a men's department this time, expanded art mags and silk-screened posters, collaborations aplenty. No details online yet, to prevent poaching. It's really interesting, some shop owners are joiners and collaborators, and others want to not only compete with you to the death, but eat your liver and suck the air out of your lungs. Met with some other local "collaborators" last night for a glass of red, and feel quite happy about it... The current shop is physically in a "no man's land", kittycorner from one of the "Liver-eaters", and that is very soon over... literally counting the days.

Working on the "Swirl" hat pattern in .pdf. Graphing out the twisted stitch edge pattern this am. This is the most popular hat at the shop this winter. This will also be the first pattern for sale in the webshop. Took pics on Miss {edith} Head yesterday.

Would you like to beta-knit it for me before I post it? I'll take the first 2 or 3 knitters who leave me a comment here. You will get the .pdf sent to you for free {a $6. value! Whoohoo!}, and will have to buy your own skein of Brown Sheep worsted, knit the hat, and email me feedback in a somewhat timely manner, let's say a week or so. It calls for size#8 circs and dpns, US.

Beta knitter volunteers are David, Pam and Andi. Thank you everyone one else for your interest! There will be other opportunities, as I plan to do this with every pattern.

I expect the pattern to be ready to beta-test in a few days.

Swirl Detail

Why don't you just knit yourself a uterus doll? I love that thing! MK Carroll, you are fab!

Updating the webshop later tonight, got some amazing clutches, wallets and belts made from recycled Amsterdam firehose and German innertube. Really beautiful, they have an objects equivilent of "soul" in that they have been used, and used hard {to put out fires}, but are so durable, that there's plenty of life left in the material. You'll see. I used to collect my friend's daughters outgrown toy gowns, covered with dirt, crayon, paint, pen marks, juice stains, rips and tears etc, because they were so well loved and played in. They took on a very distinctive life and showed history. These have the same aura, but in a much more hardcore way.

The sun finally came out today after 2 full days of rain. My studio is a freaking wet mess, {not the one in my house, that frightmare was a few years ago}. Leaking ceilings must be my karma for a while, Enough, please, can we move onto the next obnoxious crisis?

I thought I got a case of hives yesterday, but today it looks like some type of insect has bitten my right shoulder, back and breast to bits. Attractive! What the hell? It's too late in the year for fleas or mosquitos. What else could it be? Spider? My pets are not scratching, just me. :-<

Annie Modesitt is making some couture knitted bags for my new shop, and I'm very, very happy about it! I'm going to post them in the webshop as well so all knitters can be inspired and enjoy their beauty. Thank you, Annie! I very rarely carry other knitters work, unless it's professional level design, materials and workmanship. The shop is also carrying a men's hat by Tony Limuaco, the "Eskimo Pie". Fab. Tony is working up a pattern for this, it will be in the webshop by and by for sale. And of course you can buy Annie's patterns on her site already. My own patterns are nearing completion, but it's still going to be a while, just have too many other things to do. There's one, the Swirl, inspired by ice cream also, and a desire for a non traditional decrease up top. That one is most likely to be the first one up. The Turbanado is problematic...I usually just knit them but writing the pattern down is not as easy as just making it, and it's not, uh...symmetrical? Can't explain, still working it out.

Studio roof is leaking AGAIN!! HOLY FUCKING SHIT! am I tired of that. Tried knitting a few times yesterday, but am so burnt out, just mostly lay around like an underwear-clad zombie eating ice cream, making phone calls, etc. Sense a theme happening here? Vanilla fudge. Loved it.

BTW> Excellent new Knitty!

Feel infintely better after sleeping like a log, made some minor revisions to the ad this am, it's now done. {2 pixels one way or another DO matter, BTW}.

Note to self: No more renovation work in December. No moving in December. No deviation from these new rules.

Just finished designing a print ad for our local magazine regarding the move, it's now after one am, and I've been working in some form or another since 6:30 am. I realized today I have to redesign the website, send out change of address to dozens of vendors, get new cards printed, change utilities, hope I can keep the same phone number, etc. My workload right now is positively scary. I want to vomit just thinking about it. I took a long look at the shop today, it's cram full of stuff to be sorted, packed or sold or donated to charity or moved.

Thank you in advance to my dear, priceless friends for offering to help, I'll be taking you all up on that.

Trying to be "zen" about the whole thing and not sweat it, but how can that be helped? There's no-one else to organize this, and organization is not something I do well. Jose, my contractor, has been on vacation, and time is a-slipping away, although I trust him completely to get the job done in time, I'd prefer it be sooner rather than later in the small window of time we have to do it.

I'm still too wound up to sleep. On some level, this is extremely enjoyable and satisfying, because my whole life is self-created, I'm doing exactly what I want, and all this is the result of success. But it's an enormous shitload of seemingly endless things to do. Also knitting as fast as I can for the shop when I can sit down, seasonal shopping started in earnest today, it seems, and work is very busy. My customers are so supportive, some of them have been coming around for the entire 4 years I've been open. I've seen people date, get married, get pregnant, have babies and now those babies are wearing my hats and the tiny deerskin booties I carry in shop. Sometimes there are three generations that I've dressed, as my customers bring their moms in also. That's pretty cool.

Even though I'm massively stressed out, I feel like a very lucky woman. I could still be sitting on a rapidly spreading ass in a soulless office somewhere worrying about billing enough hours, working on mindless corporate design bullshit. But I'm NOT. I'll NEVER do that again, no matter what. What a nightmare for someone like me.

Iced Cube Silver paint for the walls. It's actually a shapeshifting ultrapale grey, changes color depending on the light.

Tired and rambling. Have to lay down and try to turn my mind off.

The chandelier chosen for the new shop:

the new chandelier

This shot is from the manufacturers site, my ceiling does not exist yet. Isn't it beautiful? It's either like a bionic spider, or something that's melded with the ceiling. It has a very, very clean look, which will go with the new visual direction the shop is headed. And this has 500 watts of blinding light, just like I like it.

Doing way too much with too much still left to do, and periodically melting down, then reforming for another day just like it.