Creature of (pattern) habit

Guys. Guys. Guysguysguysguysguysguysguysguysguys. Have you seen Melanie Berg’s shawls? Oh? You have? Well I guess you haven’t been living under a tastefully yarn-bombed rock like me. Have you actually made one though? ‘Cause until 3 weeks ago, I hadn’t. I’m a creature of habit in the worst kind of way when it comes to yarney-goodness. On the one hand, I miss out on stuff sometimes, because I suck at trying new things. On the other hand though, when I like something I go all in fangirl style. And right now, I am cosplaying as Melanie Berg.

In all fairness, it’s not my fault. I think we can all agree that Kylen at Knit One in Pittsburgh got me hooked. We met her when we did a trunk show in July, and basically, she is my new best friend. #SorryNotSorryJacquline

At the trunk show, we helped folks pair minis with base colors all day in preparation for their On The Spice Market knit along, and I got a teensy bit jealous. Who has the time to knit shawls? With STITCHES Midwest and a super top secret project right around the corner, I couldn’t fit in a “just for me” project, so I stayed content for a bit by stalking their KAL progress. But then one night, when I was feeling down and making mini skein packs, I freaked out. I mean just completely unprovoked, chaotic evil, hulk-smash levels of freaking out. I ranted about everything I could think of, and I looked at Jac with what I suspect were crazy eyes and started going off about how I don’t get to have any fun, and it culminated in:

And I want to make a Spice Market, but NO. ONE. WILL. LET. ME.

Because she’s a better person than me, Jac didn’t comment on my craziness, and was just all:

Um. Yeah. I told you last week that I think you should take more time to make samples and keep up with patterns. How can I look #FreshToDeath if you don’t make me stuff? No one told you not to make the shawl. Make the damn shawl.

It’s worth noting here that Jac’s super power is pronouncing hashtags. She doesn’t say the word, it’s just so implied you know it’s there.

Anyhow, in that moment I realized I had become such a creature of habit that I had forgotten to actually enjoy my craft. I was so focused on what I “had” to do that I hadn’t left room for what I wanted to do. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Since setting aside some time to make things for me, I have done some of my best work ever.

This isn’t a woe-is-me-boo-hoo-my-life-is-so-hard thing. I’m telling you all of this because I have heard this story a hundred times. How often do you feel like you can’t knit for yourself because you are so busy with projects for others? I don’t mean to demean that, knitting for others is one of my great joys in life, but I think that as a community we tend to forget to make things just for fun. That we deserve to spend our yarn dollars on ourselves or to try patterns just because we want the FO or want to try a new technique. I didn’t have time to work on it everyday and I missed it on the days I didn’t get to.

I WANTED a Spice Market and now that I am one shawl richer, I am so happy I took the time to make it. In fact, the second I was done I turned around and started a Drachenfels. I also hand painted a box full of cotton yarn and got more designing and dying done than I have in a while. So I wanna challenge all of you to make a just-cause-you-want-it you project.

I made my Spice Market out of Vacation Yarn. I used a Dark Phoenix mini-kit, plus one Red Shirts and a Moriarty mini-skein, and one 100 gram skein of Vacation in Alistair for the base color.

I’m knitting my Drachenfels with Adventure Yarn in Winterfell, 80’s Hair Band, and Galaxy Quest. It looks freaking metal. If a shawl can be hardcore, then this one is.

I realized while I was writing this and pic spamming you with my project photos that I never made a Ravelry Group for Lattes & Llamas that is separate from the Geek-A-Long. The GAL deserves its own space and I think it would be cool to have somewhere to post about stuff like this. Also, I want to see your projects! And finally, I need some test knitters. All this taking care of myself has led to a burst of creativity. I’m polishing off some patterns I’d love to have some of you test for me, so I’ll post those projects in the new group when they are ready to go. So, join the group and share all your L&L projects, past and present with us. We’re going to start running give-aways and what not through the group so that we can keep everything organized, so stay tuned for that. I have it on good authority that Jac is planning on giving away some of our STITCHES Midwest swag. :D


But, to my knitters all across the globe
In small towns that I don’t even know
To all local international codes
Whether you see me in streets or catch me at shows, I’m callin’

I’m shawlin’
(Yeah, maybe I’m selfish)
Out to
(I want to knit it for myself I can’t help it)
All my
(Yeah, maybe I’m selfish)
Y’all my, knitters and I can’t
(Maybe I’m selfish) -Kanye West (sort of)