Introducing the Stowe Bag — our first sewing pattern!

From Fringe Association.  This makes me so happy and so inspired!

Source: Introducing the Stowe Bag — our first sewing pattern!


What a thing to live your life and try to be kind or at least not be a pure-D asshole as you go through it.  What a thing that some things you do that are little, inconsequential to you, or just part of your job are THE THINGS that a random person, somewhere, out there finds to be just appropriate and just timely and just the reminder that we are all, in fact, all in it together, no matter what anyone says.

Random love, accidental kindness, surprising friendships.  Oh. And, mmmm. They’re pulling me through hard times on the regular, and particularly this month, so I’d like to celebrate one that made me smile a bit tonight, if that’s okay.  Maybe it’ll put a smile on your face, too.

Bill, loved right back, and unexpectedly.

Bill, loved right back, unexpectedly, and as he should be.

Knit-a-Long ….er

October’s Knit-a-Long for Make.Do. is/was the Wurm Hat by Katharina Nopp.

Click thru for the pattern.

Click thru for the pattern.

I was super enthusiastic and couldn’t wait to get started.  Until I didn’t.  And I missed Rhinebeck for work and life and a whole bunch of other stuff, so wasn’t much in the mood for making. For those of you who started, good on ya!  I’m going to pick my yarn and get started today so I can finish in time to start the November Knit-A-Long on time.

Stop It Already

Planning a consolation trip to Montreal (the train is a marvelous thing) and looking for portable work to take with me, when I remembered that EspaceTricot (actually in Montreal, so it’s on the visit list) has these awesome Free Pattern Fridays.

Lo and behold, Candygram.

Source:  EscapeTricot

Source: EscapeTricot

Slotober Frock step 1: Yarn becomes fabric

Every time I find my groove, Fringe Association comes up with something to shake it all up!  I ain’t mad. Motivated to learn, more like. Let’s watch this project together and be inspired!

Source: Slotober Frock step 1: Yarn becomes fabric

Free Research

That’s what I’m after, here.  I have the first knit-a-long for Make.Do. slated to start on Monday, 10/12 and couldn’t be more excited.  I am still having beaucoup problems with the website.  SquareSpace is great and I love everything about it, except my ability to use it, so I am hiring a real company to work on it.  (Yay! Rocketbike!)  The thing that stymied me — which was the most important thing, sadly — was figuring out the shopping cart.  No dig at SquareSpace.  I think that if my life were different and I were less inclined to treat myself to Saturdays full of Hart-to-Hart marathons, I could have figured it out.  But the weekend comes, and I find myself consistently hella tired, so need to watch Jennifer and Jonathan do their thing and solve those crimes!

I digress.  So, the October knit-a-long for Make.Do. is going to be administered through this blog and the Make.Do. Ravelry account, but going forward, it’ll happen on the Make.Do. site.  I am trying to get ahead of the game and plan for something cozy in November and something(s) gift-worthy in December.  The plan is to do a giveaway to the first 5 folks who join each knit-a-long, so they’ll get a kit for making the project from Chicago TextileWorks.  Bonanza!  I am asking for your help to determine which projects would be most fun/interesting.

Here are the November options:

All from the site. See below for details.

These are all from the site and free patterns for you to download.

The pullover is Pierrot, and is available here.

The hat is Droste, which you can find at this link.

The grey scarf is Henry (love a chevron, I do), and you can find the pattern here.

And, that gorgeous cowl is Sallah, which is here.

I’d like to post the November knit-a-long next week so I have time to source the yarn, get the colors the winners want and put the yarn boxes in the mail to the winners by the end of October, but I need your help!  Which one is the most appealing/interesting, do you think?  I’ll pick one extra winner from the responders to get a free kit, too!  Thanks for your opinions!

Click here to share your thoughts!

One Other Thing

This was Monday, which is usually a hard day, so I get that.  Okay, not the best day of the week.  But I have to say that I struggled more than I do most Mondays. And I struggled in a way that wasn’t the typical:

  • “I don’t want to get up”
  • “Russell Jenkins, I wish you were a monkey so you could just use the toilet”
  • “Eli, why did you have a hairball THERE?”
  • “Why aren’t there any clean clothes?”

I was struggling with some serious get-your-shizz-together-and-move-on stuff prompted by an email — yep, just an email — from a coworker/colleague.


And, it made me feel some kind of way because I started to think not about my capacity to accomplish something, but my ability to do so.  Not that I’m not able, but that the context I’m in might not be one in which I can do more, and just have to take what’s there and make do.


It felt hard at first, but it was also freeing in a way, because … well, because of Make.Do.  This situation was the exact thing that brought Make.Do. from and idea to a physical thing, and is the reason that the venture is so named.  There’s a difference between having to make do and choosing to make do.  I’m glad to be on the path to the latter.  It’s going to be great!  I shot 18 product photos this weekend, with 16 more scheduled Wednesday – Friday.  All patterns are written and waiting for me to get the printer out of my trunk to scan and PDF them.  Meeting with building owner tomorrow night to hopefully get signatures on their respective dotted lines.  There is progress. Thank you for reminding me to live my motto.


You Just Call Out My Name

Feeling very grateful right now for my friends and family and people I only know online, who are also friends, and whom I hope to meet IRL one day.  The last two weeks were a slog, and after a day of working from home, when I thought I’d get scads done, I had an early morning email that sent me around the bend, and stymied my productivity.

So much so, I took a nap to dream it out!  The days are getting shorter, the light less bright, the air crisper, and the moods darker than they were in summer.  I felt it today, and let that email get a hold of my forward-looking spirit and turn it into a doubting and angry one.  That lunch nap, though … totally cleared it out.  Had a great meeting for Creative Mornings this afternoon, and on the way back, put a call out to my cheer squad just asking for some words of encouragement.

It took 3 minutes to get all the encouragement I needed!  Thank you, Mom.  Thank you, Pooja.  Thank you, Veronica. Here we go!

Everything is Possible

I have been working on the Make.Do. website nonstop for so many days now. Right in the middle of real job getting super-real.  It is often hard not to feel beleaguered or like 8 am the only one working this hard or like nobody knows the struggle I’ve seen (… are you humming now?  Me, too.).

But the fact of the matter is, as was pointed out to me on a conference call with my assistant just now, this ain’t nothing that other people haven’t gone through before, and it surely ain’t nothing compared to folks walking miles and miles with babies in tow trying to find not just a better life, but a SAFE life. I got my complaints in check. My biggest problem right now is getting the shopping cart and the newsletter widgets to work … ON A WEBSITE.  I am clothed, fed, safe, and relatively happy. And and about to get my life — 3 days to site launch and I am totally okay if it’s a little wonky at first. Life is a draft.

Thanks to Amaya and my fierce cousin ( for reminding me to enjoy things that are almost okay, to hold tight the angst and squeeze it until it relents, and to be ever grateful for the little wins that portend greater things on the horizon!  Stay tuned for a semi-functional website in T-minus 3 days!


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