Revisiting past wisdom. What a concept! I am always pressing onward to the next thing, and I usually forget what I have done, despite having been totally jazzed when I did it.
Funny things happen when you combine living in a pandemic and moving into senior citizenship. You begin to realize that you know a lot. I mean really a lot. About lots of things. My past has become wisdom.
I love to do my work, and it is so meaningful to me, but I have a desire to share what I know. Not necessarily to give it away — my knowledge is the result of me putting in untold hours to learn and practice.
My blog has been neglected for quite a while now. I virtually quit sending out a newsletter. It felt like there was so much going on in the world that it was like talking to a waterfall: no one could hear or even know I was talking. So I quit. Talking out loud. Trust me my internal conversations continue unabated.
I am now fully vaccinated, we are planning trips, seeing friends, and generally looking up from our inside lives. I want to breathe deeply and open up to the future again.
Sharing Past Wisdom
One of the things I truly enjoyed during the past year was mentoring a younger designer. She reached out to me (apparently I had said in a Facebook Group that I would do mentoring) and we started chatting every-other week. As a mentee she was fully committed to the process and came to each session with questions or things to discuss. I got to talk about what I know, and see through someone else’s eyes. I was so proud when she said she had a “what would Jill do” [wwjd] moment!
Our most recent discussion was about making money. I told her how hard it is to do so as a designer. We talked about what does make money. She is now dyeing yarn.
My True Self
This blog post was written in March 2017. I wrote it a little before that, because it published while we were on a trip. I’ve tried to find the article (I do know I was reading something) that got me thinking about different selves, but it seemed like such a great way to tackle some things I was then thinking about. My mother, who has died since then, used to say “A leopard doesn’t change their spots.” I now say it too. We don’t really change, but we do sometimes become new and improved versions of our self.
As an observer I began to look at myself in terms of what was at my core (my true self), what I did for my Future self, and the price often paid by my Now self for my True Self indulgences. A friend asked about procrastination and I conceived of the Not-Now self.
Past Wisdom: True Self Patterns
I’ve always had an idea of matching patterns to this series of blog posts. Here are pattern ideas that I think reflect my true self.
- French Quarter Tank. This was a re-invention of a previous design. I love the changes I made; a really lovely design, even better in a new yarn.
- Ninth Ward Cosy: A reimagining of a rectangular shawl that goes with the original design that French Quarter is from. Quicker to knit, easier to wear.
- Positano & Steps to Positano. As a solution to me being sick of writing patterns in different gauges, I have been creating worksheets that lets the knitter redo the numbers for whatever yarn they want to use. The Positano pattern is for Super Bulky yarn, Steps to Positano allows you to choose. There are written instructions for both versions!
- Lyon and Lyon Traboules. Another pattern that gives the written and charted information in one gauge, then has a worksheet for the gauge you want to work at. Again, written instructions for using the other numbers.
- Naples Collar & Cowl. Here I wrote out the designs in different gauges and knit the samples in different kinds of yarn. I love doing this, but the pattern writing isn’t really fulfilling.
- Phoenix (part of Rise Up) This is a perfect example of me: I got the pattern up as part of the Collection, but never got the single pattern up for sale. By the time I got the piece finished (I knit it myself which was a total mistake) I was over every part of the process. I still loved the concept, the design, and the yarns, but I needed some distance! It had taken a lot of focus and knitting samples isn’t what I do anymore. The professional photos have been in my possession for a couple of months and I have done nothing with them. These design collaborations are so fulfilling, but my True Self does come out. This design is called Phoenix because it resulted from my friend Nancy losing her house in the Atlas Peak fire in Napa.
These are just some recent designs that come to mind.
Flotsam and Jetsam
Practice Makes Perfect
Mitch began baking bread when the bakeries I frequent closed last March. I am fortunate that he loves me enough to learn to bake me bread! He has become a really excellent bread maker (we’ve had a couple of Eastern European sweet breads too). Practice is the key. I think I may have hinted at that in the past.