I think this comes along with being self-employed. It doesn't really just 'come along', it's something you cultivate over time - often after many attempts to do more than you ever can and find yourself totally spent, completely saddened and feeling like a failure. Sure, you can dust yourself off and try again but, over time, you get tired of that, too. So, the wise person (or the one just beaten down by this repeated experience and desperate for a change) realizes there are tools and tricks to make things more efficient. The wiser person realizes that you have to know when to stop. When to call it done, even if you know you can do so much better. After 4 layers of frosting on your daughter's fairy cake because you are sure you can do better on a wing - you realize that this level of tenacity for 'better' is a bit whacky. Don't ask me how I know. So, I try to operate with some mental picture of a target. Then, an "I would really like to have x, y & z done by this date/time," then, "omg, this is due now!". Then, the release - you've done the best you can, you've run the race, it's time to let the chips fall where they may. Noon on Christmas Eve is my stopping point. What is done is done. What is not, well, it goes on my list of things I didn't get done. I'm really still learning that letting the chips fall bit but it is so much harder than it sounds.
These beauties are much more my style for knitting yarns. This is my 'Bunch of Hippies' colorway and I love it for its bright, bold beauty.
I'm so grateful to this Kelly woman - not only because she's been an awesome friend to me (I know the combination of being super nice to her and saying so many nice things about her here will have a much desired effect of making her want to pinch me and that, my dears, is just how our friendship gig works - LOL) but also because she's kind of the reason there is so much crankiness here. I'm embarrassed to say I have had this vintage sock knitting machine for about 5 years now. I bought it for its charm - because I wanted to make LOTS of socks, and because the history of these machines just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It reminds me every day of the resourcefulness, grace, and fortitude of women and I really dig that sort of thing. But, mostly, I wanted to make lots of socks. How disheartening it was to find that you don't just put it together and start a cranking. It's a machine - Ugh! I don't 'do' machines! They break, they are unpredictable, they need people with some machine skills and finesse to operate them! Woe! I tried watching countless videos, tried setting it up multiple times. I'd make progress, get a sock done - go back the next day to make its mate and have yarn messing disaster on my hands and terrible swear words flowing freely from my mouth. It was horrible and it went on for months before I finally gave up, put it in a box labelled 'Stupid Thing' and stuck it in the attic.
Then, said friend invited me & my machine into her lair where, as it turns out, she is a sock machine genius and she had it assembled, up and running in no time. Then, there was that awful part where she had to watch me use it and tell me what we both already knew. It wasn't the machine that was being stupid, it was yours truly. She showed me how to be less stupid and, before I left, I had socks! I've been cranking since and, wouldn't you know it, making LOTS of socks. For a while, when the machine would fall out of alignment or go crazy, I would panic and immediately start calling her name like Sheldon calls for Penny but, over time, I've actually learned how this thing works and I only pull a Sheldon when the stuff really hits the fan:) She's always there whether I'm panicked or not and reminds me to be the machine's alpha, not the other way around. I still experience surprise every time I pull a pair of socks off the thing and think, "I'm making this happen - ON A MACHINE!" This from a woman who, more than once, has experienced a breakdown on the side of the highway and contemplated 1) trying to find out what is wrong and see if it can be fixed 2) calling a repairman, getting a tow truck and going through this fresh hell or 3) hopping a bus to the airport, using said funds for fixing car to relocate to a city nearby and forget where I came from. Believe it or not, before kids - option 3 was my favorite and how I came to live, car-less, in downtown Austin for a few years. I don't deal with machines well. I have total breakdowns over broken machines. This is not a quality that is serving me well in the current social climate.
I guess you could call this a happy ending. I'm happy, there are socks, machine is fine. I just wish, for once, I could have had it all - that it could have been a 'Stupid Thing' that caused all the problems, got magically fixed, and I remained a genius the entire time and am now even more, geniuser????
Ah well, a girl can dream.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! I'm off to 'test' the caramel batches I made and sent out for holiday gifts. Yes, they've already been tested but today's taste buds might be the best to decide. I love the basic salted caramel but then I went and made a batch of bacon caramels. I wish I'd have put more bacon in but I'll do that next time. Lastly, there was the nut cluster blend wherein I put pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, white chocolate and dark chocolate in the pan, poured the caramel over it and salted the top - yuuuum! I'm going to have some of those with a glass of cinnamon whiskey as my Christmas Eve fireside treat tonight! Be well! Enjoy your holiday! Knit for sanity!