I finally have time to write.  This week was one of those that gave me lots of things to write about, but no time to construct an entry. 

Yesterday was a long day that started with SNOW (!), continued with about 5 hours put in at my place of work, and then ended with some super-fun holiday shopping on the way back home.  I was glad to find some great gifts for various family members, and I’ll be telling you about some of them in future posts.

At one of my favorite local gift shops, there was a section of decor and ornaments designed by an artist whose name I don’t recall.  Within the collection there were small, square, canvas wall hangings with various inspiring words on them such as “faith”, “love”, etc….  I’m not big into that type of ‘inspirational’ art, but one of the little squares did catch my eye.  It said “Create”. 

What a great little piece to have in your art room, or painting studio, etc…. 

We knitters know about the desire to create.  I don’t think most people really recognize fiber arts as actual ART, per se, but those of us engaged in the craft understand why it is.

I passed up purchasing the piece, but since then, I have been thinking that WHEN I get a chance to display my collection of antique sock blockers, that little square could be really great displayed among them.  Hmmm….maybe a second trip to the store is in order.

The Christmas gift knitting is underway, even though I’m still recovering from the exhaustion of the past two weeks at work.  I plan to head out to my parent’s home this afternoon to just relax, eat, watch some football, and knit.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress of hand-made gifts as I make my way through finishing them.  I just finished knitting two last night!

On a completely unrelated topic:

Sometimes I get really down on the way our society is coming along.  It is sad to see how many people feel it is appropriate to conduct themselves.  I hear things all of the time – like “nice guys finish last” – that are just so wrong, and that make me want to rage against these ‘norms’.  I notice that the public is really quick to complain about things, correct one another, and focus on the negatives, while the good and positive aspects of others and life go completely unacknowledged.

In the world of animal handling and training, there is recognition of the power of positive reinforcement.  It is noted that when an animal is being trained, they will learn best, and respond the most rapidly when being praised for good behaviors rather than being punished for the bad ones.  As a matter of fact, it is so in our human nature to stress the punishment part of the process, that professional animal trainers have to REMIND student trainers to communicate to the animal what TO DO, rather than focus all effort on communicating what not to do.

I was in one of those ‘frustrated with the state of society’ moods a few months ago when I decided to send some letters of appreciation to companies that I felt were doing a great job.  Positive reinforcement!  It wasn’t hard.  I just shot off a few emails. 

One of the companies I chose to write to was Lion Brand Yarns, for several reasons that I won’t go into here.  The short version is, besides the fact that they make many of my favorite commercial brands of yarn, they also provide many services such as free patterns and fun newsletters that have always made me feel that they really like their customers.  That’s a nice feeling.  So I told them so.  A few months later I received a nice email in response from one of the company executives.  I was glad that the email made it where I hoped it would go.

Satisfied with that outcome, I didn’t think any more of it until I got home the other night and noticed a box on my porch.  I thought it might be a Christmas gift from an out-of-town relative.  Closer inspection of the box revealed that it was a sampler of Lion Brand yarns sent to me with yet another letter – this time from the head of customer service – thanking me for the kind words and inspiration.




They really do like their customers.  I wasn’t expecting anything like that.  I almost feel guilty… but I will certainly use much of the yarn to knit more warm accessories for charities needing them.  The aloe vera infused sock yarn, though, I think I will enjoy for myself:)

~Happy knitting!