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hmmm. For about a week I couldn’t even bear the thought of going onto the computer. I haven’t been blogging, or reading blogs. I have barely been able to check email. Funny how that happens.
I even spent a few hours being very very quiet. My mouth may have been open, I suspect it was. All I can figure is that I have been going through an “incubation period.” I am over my splendid stupor, though, and I don’t feel awash in the next step of… whatever I should be stepping into.
Anyhow, I will make a half-hearted attempt to play catch-up.
Tonight’s post is going to be about the sock swap that consumed all my time for an unmentionable amount of hours. Last week. Sheesh.
I made these:
and well pleased I was with them, too.
They are a pomatomus variant. I didn’t carry the pattern down the foot, for purposes of speed, and I like them like this. I was thinking that this would make a wonderful hat.
I received these from my partner Rahime at Prayer For Rain:
socks I got in a swap!
They are a wool/bamboo blend from Trekking XXL, and a beautiful yarn. I don’t have many handknit socks, and these would be a humungous addition to my collection, but they are a tad too small. Quite upsetting it is to Rahime, and I can totally relate, so instead of giving them Alice like I thought I would, I think I will take the toes off and knit them a bit longer.
she also sent me some merino sock yarn, which thrills me ’cause I never buy that kind of yarn, so the gift is meaningful to me, for sure! I am going to try some toe-up socks with it.
I have been all about knitting patterns lately. Kind of a departure from my patternless life, but I think it is the structure I need at this time.

Okay, tomorrow (maybe) I will regale you with a bit of alchemical musing.
Til then you can check out the Helvetica Hegemony. Who knew.

auds' flags

Over the last few seasons, I have really come into my own where trades are concerned. I have been swapping for a long time, sometimes in a rather flakey way, but the whole romantic notion of trading that lived in my imagination wasn’t really coming to life. I mean, I had visions of running these trade routes, picking up lemons and pepper at my dad’s in SoCal, and bringing them up north and trading them at Barter Fair for, I don’t know, onions, or something suitably northern. And of course I would have brought my dad some things he needed.
That kind of thing.
So, what has been the hold up? Really. I grew up amongst enough hippie faire vibe to be able to hold my own, it would seem. I certainly can speak the language of non-monetary dealing. I guess I can chock my recalcitrance up to good ol’ Inhibition. If you know me, you’re gonna laugh, but really! I’m shy!
Well, last year I made a commitment to myself to follow through on my desire to attend Last Thursday Street Fair on a regular basis. This event is right up my alley; you don’t need to register, or pay a fee. You just show up and find a spot to pitch your sales table. It is a madhouse at times, but I feel very much at home there.

Somehow, that cracked the ice for me. I’ll be honest. I don’t sell much stuff when I try to. My etsy shop never really yielded me much, and now that I don’t make many things for sale, it obviously is super stalled. Besides, I hate feeling like I need to argue about what a thing is worth. It’s worth a lot, damn it!

I know I go back and forth about the selling thing, but lately I have been back, or forth, or whichever direction feels wishy washy about it. I told the Universe that I was ready to start trading, and all of a sudden it’s going on.

here are some successes, and successes to be:
I swapped this hat to a friend who was admiring it. She is a block printer extraordinaire, and made the lovely prayer flags you see above. For the hat, I’m going to get some more of her cards.
lughnasa flag
my favorite of the bunch. This is for lughnasa.

Soule on flickr (who is actually lives real close to me) was admiring these cuffs, and therefore I am making her two pair in trade for some art, or something. I haven’t decided yet.
the beginnings of a set of cuffs
the beginnings…

The person who received the pink cuffs sent my girls a humungous box of books from the publishing company where she works. It was an amazing bounty! The funny thing is, I thought we were trading cuffs for a skirt, but I like the books better anyway.
The thing about trading is you know the person loves it. And that is what counts.

here’s alice with a groovy outfit she put together. And a bunny smile.

Warning: If you are my Beautiful Use swap partner reading this blog, don’t scroll down! I’m going to show off the stuff I made for you.

Here’s a pic of Opal to divert you…
a glam shot while exploring

So, now, I have been working on working on items for a Glitter version of the Beautiful Use swap, and I wrapped all the last bits up and sent it yesterday.

beautiful use swap, wrapped

In these little packages are the following:
tote made for a swap
made from thrifted and gifted fabrics entirely. I am not happy with the way the bottom sags, I boxed those corners but still. It’s a nice bag.

after reading this post on soph’s blog, I decided to improve the way I go about lining bags.
lining of the tote
and because I like taking those macro shots like the big girls:
fabric from finland
fabric from Suomi.

also in there was the finished product, the results of the first of my french knot studies, on knit and fulled fabric (yarn from Grand View Farm).
fulled cozy
I decided to go with the natural shape of the fulled piece rather than cut it. It’s a cozy, I guess. (It’s really a vehicle for the knotting practice…)
notecards with fashion illustrations by Opal.
Pluis some buttons for good measure.

It was a good swap for me; very instructive, and I am getting better about working through projects, trying to train myself out of procrastination. I was still late on the send-out, though.

so there’s some craft content for ya.