Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Regarding the Opening of Black Goat Fibers

After discussing it with Robyn, I've decided to postpone the opening of Black Goat Fibers until July 17th.
 
To promote myself, pretending everything is fine, while people are out fighting for the right to exist freely and without fear for their lives, is against everything I try to be as a person. 

Instead, I will be using my platform to continue to share and amplify Black voices, leaders, and creators during this time, as well as share important resources and information. 

Below you will find a list of resources, as well as places you can donate your money, time, and energy to.

Organizations:

Black Vision Collective: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/

Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/

The Bail Project: https://bailproject.org/

My Local Bail Funds:


Columbus: https://www.paypal.me/columbusfreedomfund

Cincinnati: https://www.paypal.me/columbusfreedomfund
(Choose amount, then select "Cincinnati Freedom Fund")

Fundraisers:


Other Resources:





Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Moment of Sweetness

I haven't been doing much in the way of knitting lately, but I did get to check the hives recently. So I thought I'd share the pictures from that.

A moment for you to sit back and smile and see my wonderful girls.





We transferred some queen cells (something new to me!) because we were splitting off new hives.



I also learned about festooning, which is where bees interlock their legs and form a chain. You can see some doing that in this photo.


I also got to shake bees for the first time, which is TERRIFYING.

"Let me just take this frame full of live bees and just *SHAKESHAKESHAKE* it into a new box!"


And lest you think I've given up on the yarn dyeing...


Black Goat Fibers, opening June 19th.

Mark your calendars, because it's gonna be fun.

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Brave Hue World

I knew, going into this, that I would probably enjoy dyeing yarn.

But even I didn't think I'd enjoy it this damn much.

It's all I want to do every day when I wake up.

My brain is constantly dreaming up new color ideas, wanting to experiment to see if I can make what I see in my head.

I've dyed 32 skeins now.

I'm out of my first order of bare yarn.

I've resorted to rooting around my stash for anything that I can dye.

And I can't wait to share all of it with you.


These are 32 of the 33, most of which will be for sale.

The last one I wound up to start on a shawl... because I obviously need shop samples, right?

But don't worry. I took a LOT of gratuitous glamour shots first.



AHHHH! I LOVE THIS COLOR SO MUCH!



This is the blue faced leicester lace weight base I'll be carrying.

I'll also have a sturdy 75/25 superwash merino/nylon blend and a super luxurious merino/cashmere/nylon blend (both fingering weight).

I want to start with just a few bases so I don't get overwhelmed straight out the gate.

And I'm still working on developing a color catalog.

But things are still looking like I'll be able to open by June... which is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.

I really, REALLY hope you all love these yarns as much as I do. Because I'm having so much fun making them.

For now, though, I guess I better get back to work.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Friends

I didn't meet Morgan by pure happenstance early last year.

In fact, it was a deliberate choice on my part.

I remember getting the email from Harps and Thistles about an upcoming trunkshow with Knitcraft and Knittery, their first in the US. And my little heart was all aflutter with the chance to meet them because, duh, new yarn friends!

What I didn't expect was just how important of a person Morgan would end up being in my life.


As we've gotten closer over this last year or so, I've been privileged to see just how incredibly generous and passionate of a person Morgan is, always going out of their way to not only help others, but to fight for and lift up others' voices, too.


Morgan, for me, has been the cheerleader, supporter, and mentor that I never knew I needed.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a clear, reachable goal ahead of me (global pandemic aside) and I WILL get there.

None of that would have been possible without Morgan guiding and helping me, with a smile and a "You've got this!"


Last Saturday, we were supposed to go to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival together (which has obviously been cancelled), a rather big thing for me as I am not used to going so far away from home without Robyn.

But with Morgan's reassurance, plus the generous offer to change their own plans to better suit my anxieties, I was excited to go.

I had knit this shawl (Softsweater's Authenticity) to wear, specifically to showcase the new Targhee/Columbia base Morgan's now selling.

I used Sandilocks for the body and Kat-ctus for the edging.


But what Morgan didn't know, was that I was always planning on gifting this to them as a thank you for everything they've done for me.


To be clear, I told them I was doing this right after finishing the damn thing, because I am HORRIBLE at keeping secrets.

But I figured I should show y'all before I pass it on.

So thank you, Morgan, you wonderful, amazing, smart, talented, hilarious, beautiful soul, for everything you've done and are doing.

Love you, bud.

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Friday, March 13, 2020

This Is A Lot

There is just Too Much going on right now to try and write a cohesive post, so it's time to bring back an old favorite... the list post!

1. First and foremost, the world is a terrifying place right now. Coronavirus is in our area and things are looking grim.

They've shut down our schools for the next 3 weeks, which means some of our kids are going to be going hungry because school was the only place they got consistent meals.

People are selfishly hoarding everything, which means that lower income and disabled folks aren't even to get the bare necessities.

And because of fucking capitalism, this virus is going to spread through the masses as we've created a system where missing a single day of work is the difference between surviving and complete ruin for a lot of folks.

I personally am terrified for a few family members who are older and/or immunocompromised.

I can't really do much other than offer to listen if you need someone to unload your anxiety on to, but know that I'm here if that's the case.

2. It's been said a million times in a million other places, but please minimize your contact with others as much as possible. Frequently disinfect communal surfaces. Keep away from family members and loved ones who are more susceptible to illness. AND FOR FUCK'S SAKE, WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS!

Seriously, I don't fucking care if you think this is "no big deal" or that "I'll survive it fine." Think about someone other than yourself for once and realize that NOT EVERYONE CAN AND WILL BE OKAY! And do you want to be the one responsible for someone else getting ill AND POTENTIALLY DYING because you can't pull your head out of your own ass?

Do your research. Listen to ACTUAL SCIENTISTS AND DOCTORS. Not your bullshit consipracy-esque facebook memes.

3. Sorry, I'm a wee bit frustrated with Certain People at the moment.

4. Because of the virus, huge events are being cancelled everywhere. This is going to severely impact and hurt a lot of indie dyers, artists, and other content creators who rely on these events to make a living.

So if you can, try to support them as much as you can. Order from online shops, donate money, sign up for folks' Patreons... whatever you can do to help make this time less stressful for others.

5. I was actually supposed to be going to the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival next weekend with Morgan, but it's been postponed.

Which means that this shawl that I started last Thursday...


And finished yesterday (a mere week later) with the intention of wearing it to said event...


 Doesn't really have a purpose.

Which means three out of the last four shawls I've made have earned that designation.

Maybe I should stop making shawls for events...

6. We know that isn't actually going to happen.

7. Speaking of Morgan, we've been hanging out a lot and it's been AMAZING.

Mostly because they're just an awesome person and the extrovert writing this has sorely needed some human interaction.

But also because they're teaching me to dye yarn.


Which leads me to...

8. I may actually soon be in a position to sell my own hand dyed yarn, something I've literally dreamed about for YEARS.

Morgan has literally thrown open the door to a path that I never thought I'd get close to. (Seriously, I've cried several times over the last few days because of how grateful I am and how overwhelmingly happy I am that I get to do this. And even saying that isn't really a good description for my current emotions.)

I am SO EXCITED to share the plans and schemes I have soon. I think my fellow lace knitters will be happy in particular.

It'll be awhile before anything is finalized and fully set up, but keep an eye out.

9. And if that wasn't enough excitement, I also GOT ASKED TO BE A GUEST BLOGGER FOR YSOLDA TEAGUE!

Apparently, her and her team loved my giant friggin Orchid Thief and would like to feature it.

I'll share a link when it comes out.

But y'all, WHAT EVEN IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?!?!?!?!?!

10. And on top of all that, I'm ALSO working on writing up a worsted version of my Rainbomb pattern with the intent of selling it.


I'm making the sample in all affordable yarns, too, so anyone will be able to make it.

I'm not sure exactly when it will be out, because pattern and testing and such, plus trying to figure out the whole yarn business thing, but I promise it WILL be out sometime this year.

11. Is that still not enough? Because guess what?

I ALSO have found my passion for painting again.

One of my favorite artists released a how-to-ish video for watercolor, making this piece at the end.


And I was so firggin inspired that I whipped out my own paints and made this.


I loved that little creature so much that I also made this.


And I started a new Henry piece.


I feel like I'm waking up and living again. I WANT to make stuff. I'm excited to.

I've missed that.

Of course it has to be while the rest of the world is burning down around me, but I guess I'll take the wins I can.

12. And to round us out (and because it wouldn't be a good post without some yarn porn)...


Why hello, there.

This is Serendipitous Wool's Vajra yarn in Forbidden Forest.

And y'all, I've got SOME PLANS for this.

Which I should probably get to.

So I'll catch up with y'all later and leave you once again with this:

WASH YOUR GODDAMNED HANDS!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Little Things

You know how sometimes you get these little ideas that pop up in your head? Just a small, wee thing that you think would be lovely to have.

Like maybe you have some worsted weight yarn just lying about the stash that you think would make a nice shawl... and you think "hmmmmm... maybe if I pick a fingering weight pattern, I'll have a nice cozy shawl that I can wrap up in. It won't be THAT big."

Famous last words, Ashtan.


Some of you may recall when I did my shawl-a-month project back in 2017, I kicked things off with Orchid Thief. And you would have thought I learned my lesson after that turned into a yarn eating monster.


 That was for the first go.

This time?


Yep.

Had five balls in the stash, four were usable, and I had to go out and buy four more. I had to tap in to the 8th ball just for the bind-off, which took THIRTEEN FRIGGIN GRAMS of yarn alone.


And yes, it's a monster. The central spine was 54 inches long while it was blocking.

For context, I'm only 63 inches tall.

Yeah... this thing is a bloody cape.


But you want to know something amazing?

This only cost me $23 in yarn.


The original four balls I got for $2 a piece when Pat Catan's was going out of business.

The other four were $15 total from Michaels because of coupons.

This is just Patons Classic Worsted Wool. Nothing super fancy. But it still looks AMAZING.

I've been thinking of doing a few other shawls with more affordable and accessible yarn options just to show y'all that you don't have to put a bunch of money into a project to make it look good.


And don't give me any crap about how you can't do lace.

You CAN do lace. You just need some confidence and concentration.


As for me, I'm going to curl up in this thing and start my next project.

I'm thinking a nice lace weight, beaded project.


Y'know, just a simple, palette cleanser project.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fourteen Gat Dang Years

Guess what, y'all?

Robyn and I (Did I mention the name change yet? If not, HEY, THEY'RE GOING BY ROBYN NOW, OKAY???) have been together for 14 years now.

Rather than sit here and gush about them (that's soooo 3 years ago) how about I share our vows we wrote for the vow renewal? Then I'll end with some cute pics of us and y'all can leave nice comments about us below. Sound like a plan?

Mine:

My love, I promise to accept you as you are now and as who you shall become. I put my full trust in you and the commitments we’ve made to each other. I will continue to stand by your side as I have for all these years. I promise to be someone you can lean on, who will offer what comfort and love I can.
I give you not only a piece of my heart, but my joy and laughter as well. I promise to do everything in my power to make you laugh and smile as often as I can, so long as you’re willing to forgive the occasional accidental eye poke from a failed attempt to do so.
I also promise to always give you advantage on your charisma checks because, let's be honest, I'm the talkative extrovert to your reserved introvert.
I will always be the Batman to your Robin, the Luigi to your Mario, the Captain to your Number One.
I promise this all from now until whatever end takes us. I love you.

Theirs:

Eight years ago we promised to always love and support each other, no matter what hardships life threw at us. And we have. But in that time we've also helped each other grow and change so much for the better. And we've come so far. I've watched as you tried your hand at so many creative hobbies and discovered your passions. You learned how to heal from the past and found your unique voice in the world. And together we learned how to love better. So now, today, I promise to always stand by you as we continue to grow. I promise I'll still laugh with you at every corny joke and I'll still hold you when life feels too overwhelming. And I promise I'll always be with you as we continue this adventure together, because I can't wait to see where it takes us.












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