Here at our farm, some things have changed and some things haven't. That is the nice part about living on a farm. There is a real routine to the seasons on a farm. We base our lives on what happens around us with our animals, the weather, and the cyclical nature of the planet turning and years going by. In the beginning of this blog, I used to chronicle a lot of the activities that we did and still do. It was my mission to inform people "out there" in the world about the daily goings-ons on a small family farm in western Massachusetts.
Our daughter Julia was young then - only 7 years old. I was an isolated country woman and Mom - with extremely slow dial up service trying to keep my sanity living away from my family and friends. The blog world was a friendly one back then. Bloggers all over were sharing their children's activities, their baking, their meals, their projects. It was a sweet and innocent time on the internet.
But with as with all things, the internet has changed. Back in 2006, people were fearful and intimidated by the internet. Now, people aren't afraid to put their personal information on their computers and send it into the ether. The possibilities for on-line business seem endless. I worry that people won't leave their houses one day and just live inside with Amazon delivering everything they need to their door. Will Amazon own us all one day? I think about my sweet little grocery store closing up shop because no one buys toilet paper and cat litter from them anymore. It worries me. How will children be able to learn to communicate with adults if they are just learning everything from an on-line teacher? What will help them with social skills like eye contact and conversation? Will all the small public schools in the country close down because there won't be money to fund them and teachers will become irrelevant? Oh gee, I really hope not.
Don't get me wrong - the internet is a beautiful thing and I take much advantage of it. I mean really - how are you here reading this past middle aged woman's ramblings? I'm trying to stay current - because if I don't - I might as well cease to exist. I want to keep learning new skills. I want to keep sharing them with others.
This blog - Getting Stitched on the Farm - has given me you dear readers. Those of you who have been here since the very beginning. Those of you who are new here. Many come and go. Some move on. Some return. I really don't know much about you all. Perhaps that is the way it should be. I think about you a lot -- as individuals and as a collective group - my reader friends. What would you like to hear about? What can I inspire you with? What can I teach you? What can I share with you that you might be interested in learning? What can I do for you?
As the years have gone by, I am less interested in sharing the day to day life on our farm. Frankly - sharing it bores me because I have written it over and over again. The farm and natural year cycles around. We have lambs. The sap starts flowing. The grass greens up. We move sheep, I plant a garden. We do farmers markets. I develop recipes and take photos. The sunflowers bloom. The leaves turn colors. It starts to get cold. It snows. And then it starts all over again. I feel so fortunate that I get to see it all happen over and over again.
I have watched friends get older. I think about that a lot now - as I too am getting older. Seriously - how did it happen? This year I am turning 60. I don't feel 60. That seems like a big number. I think about how many more springs I will get to see. I don't dwell on it but every once in a while I think about it. You know - that beautiful day when the sun is shining and all of a sudden the leaves on the trees unfurl it seems in an instant. That color - that beautiful spring green color that makes me feel so optimistic and happy and makes me want to shout and smile and tell everyone who will listen what a beautiful color it is. And I watch my daughter grow and learn more about the world. I try to help but I know I have to step back and let her find her way. It isn't easy letting go. But then if you are a Mom - you know that too.
This isn't exactly what I had planned to write as I sat down this morning, thinking about beginning the 13th year of my blog. I thought I would write about the release of my upcoming new book and maybe bore you all with self-promotion. But no - this has turned out to be from the heart - my heart - to all of you who have read and continue to read.
Thank you for coming here. For sharing. For making me feel relevant as I have typed and photographed and rambled. You make my "professional life" possible - as odd as it is. I will continue to write on. Happy 13th year to all of us!
If you are looking for topics here are a couple. You have designed yarns in the past, how did you come up with the mix of wool, mohair as your base.
I like how you bring all these different color yarns together and make beautiful quilts, blankets etc.
While you may not be specifically in the yarn business anymore, have you thought about working with a dyer to make limited editions yarns and sell them? Now that your daughter is older and testing her wings, do you think about teaching at various yarn stores? If you are more into fabric, could you do an easy quilt with your fabric and setup a class?
How about a calendar or notebook/calendar with your photography and textile designs and sell a limited quantity?
have you thought of a Where are they now designer series. The designers that you worked with are legendary, as are you, what are these designers doing, how has business changed for them. How has Ravelry changed the dynamic of creating. Helpful tips for us individuals who are in an in between stage of life. What was the biggest surprise in your career. Would you recommend others to the field. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything,
I really like your blog, I really follow it because I love your style, the success you have had, the vision of making a colorful house. I am truly amazed that you have such an artistic like that has been rewarding in the here and now. I can’t tell you how many times i pull out your books and just sit and look over and over them. the color the details, the adventure, it is worth my time.
*have you thought about working with WEBS on helping them color their yarns? Or do a limited edition of yarns. I am about an hour away from ANYTHING so there is lots of mail ordering for me. Just a thought.
Patty, formerly from Maryland, now in Texas.
Happy blogiversary! I don't get tired of reading the same old daily activities, the turn of the calendar and the change of the seasons. I enjoy that I can read blogs from all over the world and see how life for you in Massachusetts is different from my life in New York, or someone else in New Zealand. Who knew that there would be so many people that I would come to care about, even though I've never met them? Your posts are enjoyed, whether it's frisking lambs or the sunlight sparkling through a cozy crocheted blanket.
Hi Kristin - I really look forward to your posts but I hear you. As I'm getting closer to 70 than 60 in July, I'm feeling less relevant than I did when I was younger. I shouldn't since creativity doesn't get old - there's always potential for something new. Spring will come, you will be over the "number" associated with your age and you'll come up with a fresh idea and you'll be excited again. Remember to treat yourself kindly, as you would a sister or a dear friend.
Wow - 13 years blogging - well done! I think I'm in my 7th year and can't quite remember when I found your blog, but I love it for many reasons. I feel as though we made a connection when I made my Gypsy Rose blanket, from your Julia yarn and from that moment, I've popped by a few times a week to see what's happening in your world. You're always inspirational, your use of colours, projects, textiles, workshops, pottery, open days, markets, animals - I could go on! Keep us posted with the simple things as well as big projects, like your books. I know what you mean about saying the same thing, year after year, but there's always a pleasure for us readers, to share your sunflowers and see Julia grow into a young woman. I'm 60 this year too - and don't feel it! They say it's the new 40, so that suits me. Maybe we share a birthday??? Mine's in November and I too hope to celebrate many more and at least see the kids properly grown up - when is that exactly? Looking forward to 13 more years of your blogging - and more! Love from across the pond - Adaliza x
Kristin, you are a marvel to so many of us, and I thank you. Thirteen years blogging, wowza. With all your responsibilities you continue to innovate and create and educate. I just turned 65, and if you decided to no longer blog or educate, but to concentrate on your family, farm, and your artistic endeavors I'd totally understand. I'd miss you, but I'd 'get it'. People keep saying how 60 is no longer 'old', however I did start to slow down. You are still running a marathon! Your ideas continue to influence me. I may even try to learn how to crochet because your hexagon blanket is gorgeous! Taking a weekend embellishment class with you continues to be a top highlight in my life. I appreciate all you've shared with us. Thank you!
Your are welcome. I love your blog, I have learned so much and have been inspired by your art, your yarn and your designs. Your wonderful farmer stories dogs and lambs. Hope for at least 13 more
Thank you for such a heartfelt post! I enjoy your blog and will continue to read each one! They are always interesting and colorful and inspiring! I am in my mid-fifties and am just beginning to have a few ‘what will the future bring’ thoughts. I worry too about the incredible changes this world is experiencing with the internet, especially the youngest children. I work with them and their families and see that they are developing a whole new set of skills, which will need to be accommodated when they reach school. Sometimes, it’s just too much, too quick. I’m glad you are continuing with year 13 and, hopefully, beyond! My greatest passion is knitting so I’m always thrilled to see posts related to knit and crochet:)
As a side note, I am wearing my socks made with your Summer Fruit colorway of Regina yarn-so fun! Do you happen to know where I could get more coloreays?
Hi, Kristin! Thanks for sharing your life with us for the past 13 years and many more to come. I think you don't have to worry or concern yourself with what we want to hear or see as you've always had your finger to the pulse with that anyway. Just do whatever your heart and head tell you to do. We are your faithful readers, even though you don't hear from us. Upbeat and real. Love it all.
Hi Kristin! Happy anniversary to you. I've always enjoyed reading your blog for your down to earth and heartfelt observations about your world and the fiber universe. I love the passing of the seasons and you illustrate them so beautifully. I will have the same milestone birthday this year and I share your surprise at how this doesn't seem old at all. We both have some good miles left on us! Keep creating, planting, tending, sharing!
I know exactly what you mean about time. I will be 59 this summer and then the big one, and then what? This is the last year of my 50's and they have been good except for the cancer 8 years ago. I gotta say that my 50's have been the most satisfying, I really got to know myself, some parts I didn't like much, but for the most part I think I'm okay.
I don't dwell on "not being here" either but there are days that I look up to the blue sky and see eagles flying and ask myself "is this it? Is this all there is?" "What happens to us after we pass?""is it all dark, that is all there is?" do we have a soul that goes onto somewhere else?" Sorry, listen to me, but, there comes a time that we make sure things are in order for when we are no longer here. Oddly enough this is what I have been doing for the month of March so far, getting things in order both in my life and in my house.
So, hoping that didn't offend anyone. I have been trying to make colourful things and create every day, something that I love. Life is good at the moment and I plan on living it each day, the best way I can. Thanks for listening and thanks for your blog. I love the wee lambs and your beautiful crocheted blanket, really nice!!!!
Happy anniversary to your blog! I missed quite a few of the early years. I don't recall how I found it, but I was so happy when I did. Ever since, I found your yarn and patterns from the time you worked at Classic Elite Yarns, you've always been the personification of creativity to me! Over the years, it's been fun learning more about you through your blog and being fortunate enough to attend classes at your farm twice! While you may tire of sharing the regular cycles of your day to day life, I sure hope you continue to share pictures now and then of the "regular" stuff in your life. Robin
Hi Kristin, I think I am one of those faithful readers from the early days as I remember your struggles with Julia's health. I literally had tears in my eyes when I read your graduation posts. As I have a grandson who is emotionally impaired and cognitively impaired, I feel a real kinship.
Thank you for sharing your life and your creativity with us all. I am looking forward to your new book when it arrives, to curling up and enjoying the wonderful photos and colorful projects. Getting older just means being more comfortable in one's own skin...so get comfortable, and I look forward to reading you for as long as you feel like writing!
All the best,
Carol Perecman, fangirl
Your blog is a breath of fresh air to me. You may think that the minutia of your life is boring, but it is far from that for those of us working corporate jobs in suburbia. There is far less depiction than you fear. I love all th different crafts that you do and that a little of your daily life is woven in with the story. I have read your blog since the beginning, sadly, without ever commenting. I rejoice for your daughter and for another lambing season gone well. Please know there are probably many more like me than you will ever know.
Happy belated blogversary! Thanks for hanging in there with us, Kristin! As for the impact of Amazon, I worry about that too. But do you know what I see? Big chains closing, malls closing, but an emphasis on buying local, supporting small local businesses, and supporting handmade. My daughter, a young mother, even has diapers and wipes delivered by Amazon, but when it comes to buying gifts, books, clothing and toys for the babies,etc, she shops at the marketplace down the road. I see little shops reopening in all the corner store buildings in my neighborhood that have been used as apartments for the past forty years. Young people opening bakeries, clothing shops, handmade boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants. I hope we can sustain this direction, don't you? As for the blog, you do YOU! Keep on writing what you like. I loved following the renovation of your pottery shed! I DO long for some new lovely colorful Kristin yarn though--just sayin'. All best always, Kristin. xoxo
P.S. Just opened the new Booklist at work, which fell open to the page with the STARRED review of your new book! Hooray! Can't wait to see it!
We readers are always grateul for the ideas and inspiration from you!
Good morning, Kristin, and happy anniversary on the blog! You raise such interesting questions, and you post the very best links (love your newsletter as well, and always forward it widely). I was at a sheep shearing this past Saturday at Winterberry Farm in Colrain, and you, your blog, and your design work were among the topics of conversation (all good). Another thing we talked about as we put out bags of dyed locks and fleeces was how access to the internet is changing public school education. A fellow spinner commented that in her small western Mass district there's a move to have students watch lectures by their teachers on the internet at home in the evening, and the next day at school they have more intensive face-to-face interactions. They've already had the info given to them, so time in school is more for questions, discussion, and writing practice, withe the teacher right there to assist. Interesting idea! It swaps school time and homework! Is this good or bad? I didn't raise a family so maybe my opinions don't count on this issue, but it sounds like a good use of in-person time to me.
So - there you are, another blog entry, more food for thought.
Are you going to do any book signings in western Mass? Just curious.
With warm best wishes, Kristin.
Kristin, can you comment on any upcoming retreats?
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