big time quirkiness
For instance...when I was a kid, I fell in love with the notion of Bermuda Bags. I loved that you could take off one cover, button on a new cover, and --wow--a whole new bag without having to take your stuff out of the actual hand bag! That seemed great and very matchy-matchy. When I found a new retro equivalent of these bags, I thought it would be super to design bag covers. I loved doing it...and the Pin Check Bermuda Bag in Knit Green is one of my favorites.
That said, I didn't use a purse consistently until I had to. Pockets also work fine and I like purses with long straps. I put them across my body like a messenger bag, and that leaves my hands free to hold dogs' leashes, grocery bags, knitting, etc. So, while the Bermuda Bag is still in my possession, at least for now, it's part of my trunk show and not part of my wardrobe.
Another "favorite" of mine is the Zafu cushion in the book. I loved designing and knitting this. Sourcing Navajo-Churro rug yarn was hard to do. That's because this rug wool from rare breed Navajo-Churro sheep is prized by the famous Southwest rug weavers and it's hard to find outside of New Mexico. However, I found some here and creating the project itself was a joy. The sample is too large for me to carry around to show off. I'd like to show it off in my home instead. I just haven't figured out yet where it will go so that it will be well appreciated by humans. (my dogs have been eyeing it; if I don't want it to be a dog bed, it needs to be placed carefully!)
All this is a weird preface. Yesterday, I checked the Amazon ratings and discovered Knit Green had made it to #55 on the "Knitting" list! Fiber Gathering hovered around #59, and although it's been much lower on the list in the past, it was a good moment. Like I said, I have no idea what will be popular, and for an hour or two there, well, my work looked popular! (that's compared to the day before, when the numbers were no where near so good and someone called my book "mediocre" in a review)
This book writing thing has been a big learning experience. I sometimes feel discouraged about having such public commentary all the time. It can be upsetting...and I can't figure why some people enjoy saying recreationally critical things about other people's professional work. (it's just not something I'd do if I could avoid it, it's part of the "when you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all..." school of thought.) Constructive criticism, ok, I get that, but otherwise? just not my thing.
On the other hand, I was at a dinner for the Manitoba Crafts Museum earlier this week and a kind person I'd never seen before said, "Joanne! Joanne!" because she read my blog, seen my photo and wanted to meet me. She invited me to a weaving guild event. I felt, very briefly, like a movie star. :)
In coping with this, most of the time I feel relatively quirky about it all. That's obviously the reaction I get when I tell non-knitters what my books are about. ("Weird!" is their reaction.) Sometimes, when a kind person pops a nice review up on Amazon, I'm very proud and grateful. I want to write those folks thank you notes! Mostly, though, I'm just a regular person, and this sudden launch into the knitworld's "public" has been bewildering. I can never predict which designs will be popular. I also could never have known what this would be like. It's nice to know the world keeps offering me new and challenging experiences.
I only hope my quirkiness rises to the occasion. :)
In the meanwhile, there's been a hiatus on the designing front. I'm blinking a bit, trying to find my place in a new city, and figure out who I want to "be" now. Plus, I have all this backlog of designs to finally talk about. A year ago, I was knitting the zafu and math mobile in Kentucky. (scroll down to the end of the post to see those "in progress" photos) Now I'm in Winnipeg and the book is done! Who knows what next year will bring?