Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SSK 2013

Leslie sent me an email!!!!!!  I am so excited!  For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Leslie and Laura of The Knitgirllls Podcast are putting on a knitting retreat here in Nashville this July.  The one here last year pretty much shaped my current career, but there was a really long waiting list (still is), and I was afraid that I wouldn't be allowed to go to the retreat.  I pictured myself sitting on the sidewalk just past the entrance longingly waiting for someone to endure the heat and sit and knit with me!!

However, I did indeed make it off the wait-list and onto the wonderful REAL ATTENDANCE list.  I'm a "day-passer" which means I won't be staying on campus, but I still get to go to the classes, vendors market, and hang out with all of friends that I met last year and will meet this year.

Want to know why I say that SSK shaped my current career?  Well, some of you will remember from watching the podcast that I was also waitlisted last year, and 2 weeks before the event, I got in!  At that time, I was teaching math at a local charter middle school.  I received my SSK notification on the last day of school.  On one hand, it was a hard decision to make because I wasn't going to be getting paid throughout the summer (weirdo charter school!) and we hadn't budgeted for the retreat.  On the other hand, the retreat was in NASHVILLE-how could I miss it!  So, my wonderful supportive husband didn't even wince (well, I told him over the phone, so I didn't see it anyway!) when I told him that I REALLY REALLY wanted to go.  He said we'd figure it out.

Well, I went to SSK and had an amazing time.  I met so many wonderful people that I'd known through my computer and that I hadn't known at all.  I think the most fantastic part of the weekend was the friendships that formed.  One of the nights, I was EXHAUSTED and wanted to get some really good sleep.  (I'm sure my exhaustion had nothing to do with going boot scootin the night before.)  So, I came home.  Before walking into the house, I checked the mail.  In the mail, I received a VERY UNEXPECTED letter from my school.  It said they were taking the math department in a different direction.  (huh?  I had excellent reviews and made great improvements with the children--there was no explanation, but that is a post for another day!)  I was fired.  And, we didn't have any income other than my Sundays at the restaurant.

Determined not to let it ruin my retreat, Josh told me to push it out of my mind (yeah right) and not worry about it until I came home.  The next night, I ended up hanging out with some very cool people, one of whom is my hero, Sarah (Ponkie) from Another Crafty Girl.  (Go ahead and look at her amazing yarn. I'll still be here.  It is absolutely stunning.  Breath-taking.  Mesmerizing.  Set a timer or beeper or something or you WILL be in a trance--unable to move away from the colors.)    Ponkie was a vendor at SSK.  In fact, she was the only one who's yarn I came home with that day.  (another wonderful story for another time)  While we hung out, Ponkie explained that she had just started her business in January of the previous year because she wanted to make a career out of something that she was truly passionate about.  She explained that she started out playing with Koolaid then worked her way up.

I should point out that I had never really thought about dyeing yarn to sell it.  I had bought 2 blank skeins from KnitPicks about 3 months prior to SSK and hadn't even touched it.  When I came home, Josh and I talked about what we were going to do for an income.  I was determined to get another teaching job.  I wasn't happy at the school that canned me anyway.  I had been looking for another position anyway, so what was the big deal?  I interviewed for so many schools-I can't even tell you the number.  I tried to keep my spirits up.  I picked up another day at the restaurant (yet another long story--maybe I should blog more often...) and Josh ended up getting a job a CD/Video store that his friend manages.  Before all this jobless hulabaloo, Josh was a stay-at-home-dad, and we both loved it that way.

I also played with Koolaid.  I was inspired by Ponkie to just jump in and try it.  I watched lots of videos and read lots of stuff about it online.  I tried it in my crockpot and in the microwave.  I even used coffee!  I loved it.  The stuff I made was so pretty!  Josh helped me tremendously and we had a lot of fun playing.

Then summer was coming to a close (Nashville started a modified year-round school, so they started really early), and I didn't have a job.  I wanted to play with colors more, but I didn't have any more "naked" yarn to play with.  (Thank you, Joanna!)  I felt guilty buying it just for myself, but I was compelled to make more pretty colors!  Once I had dyed up a few more skeins, I decided that the FIBER GODS were calling me.  I wasn't supposed to teach (duh!  I couldn't), I was supposed to dye (and sew!!).

On August 4, 2012, Spartickes Dyes was born!  It's not always as profitable as I'd like, and I'm still not ready to give up the security of the restaurant (well, I AM ready, but the budget is not! ha!!), I am absolutely loving this new career.

The inspiration of Spartickes Dyes is totally from SSK 2012.  I met so many awesome people.  I fell even more in love with the amazing knitting community that we have.  I wanted to live it 24/7.  Ponkie inspired me, but the people that I met at my first retreat, and through Plurk, and through Ravelry, and through this podcast, and in real life knitting groups actually sealed the deal so to speak.  I'm so excited that this is my life!!

All this to say, I'm super excited about SSK 2013 and can't wait to see what wonderful things will come from it!

And, in order to raise the money to pay for SSK 2013, I am having a sale!  Enter code SSK2013 at www.SpartickesDyes.etsy.com in order to receive a 13% discount off anything in the store.  The sale will continue until I've raised enough to cover my costs, restock, and pay for my ticket.

Thank you so much for your support and friendship.  It has helped make me who I am.

1 comment:

  1. very well written!!
    no matter what I post in Plurk, or say in VKNs, I much admire your dedication,, and hope you are successful.


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