Soap Box

Work has been jumpy lately and web access is being more and more restricted. They disallowed several “craft/hobby” sites this week, including YarnHarlot, which is disappointing. I am worried they will take away Knitty.com and InterweaveKnits.com too, so I am approaching those sites rarely and close to or during my lunch hour. My photo host is also blocked so I am learning to post pictures though WordPress itself.

I finished the entrelac dishcloth a couple of days ago and someone from Ravelry wrote and asked if I was serious about wanting a test knitter. That means I actually have to write the pattern down. Yikes. Do you know how much writing is involved in an entrelac pattern?

I started Cookie A.’s Monkey Socks.

Monkey- 3 repeats

Monkey- 3 repeats

Someone contacted me yesterday about my knitting lessons ad. I am terrified but I responded to her questions. We will see if anything comes of it. After posting an ad looking for wool from local sources specifically for spinning, someone contacted me asking if I offer spinning classes. I confessed I had not taught someone previously, but I was willing to try. I never did hear back from her.

Speaking of spinning, I put up my small batch of hand-dyed and hand spun yarn today. As it was a first attempt at dying on my own, and a small batch, I made it really cheap at $5.

Handspun On Etsy

I really enjoyed dying the different wools I have dyed so far. I have an ounce of shiny mohair locks that I dyed green and blue, but I haven’t got a good idea on what to do with it. I think it would look awesome combed in with some pure white wool with very little sheen, but I am not a pro at mixing and matching yarns and colors and fibers yet.

I am still spinning away at my lace-weight handspun that I have decided to name Summer Sky. It is the same blue as a June sky with some white fluffy clouds scattered about.

One last thing for the day. A little soap box moment, which, being my blog and all, I think I am allowed from time to time.

Last week, we decided to go out to our favorite local Mexican restaurant. They had been in business in Richmond for 30 years and it was the best Mexican cuisine in town. Unfortunately, we discovered they had closed down. Yesterday, taking a walk at lunch, I learned that Main Street Market and Deli had closed down, despite their awesome sandwiches, rocking craft beer selection, and a neat variety of European treats. That is the second café to close in that spot in a year. The Chinese hole-in-the-wall place next door that was so good has been closed for 6 months. So has the equally awesome Main Street Mocha 2 blocks away. Close to my house, Gi-Gi’s Delights, a coffee shop closed a while back too.

Every one of these eateries was a locally owned, family owned business. They aren’t coming back.

Times are really hard. I know this and I know you do to. My plea to you today is this: when you do decide to dine out and splurge a little, consider skipping Chilis, Outback, AppleBees, and all their ilk. Consider hitting place that is locally owned, even if it is a few bucks more. The chains will make it. They will always have business and they have much bigger cash reserves and big parent companies in most cases. Until La Siesta closed up, it had not dawned on my just how hard it is to survive in the restaurant business during these times, so now I am trying my hardest to choose local over national now. We chose our local Italian place, Pino’s, over Papa Johns when we wanted pizza over the weekend. I am promising to choose the Farmer’s Market over the Wal-Mart produce aisle as much as possible once it gets going.

I am even trying to apply this to my knitting and spinning hobbies. I am buying from Etsy when I can to support crafters there. When I can afford it, which is not often anymore, I am buying much of my yarn at my Local Yarn Store, Lettuce Knit.

So, when you can, think locally and think of the people you are really helping when you choose them over a national or regional chain.

I will try and come up with some ideas for knitting on a budget soon.

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