Published on Friday May 25th, 2007

Some people fix their hearts on their goals, map out a plan to achieve them, and toil relentlessly until they’ve become doctors or successful entrepreneurs, artists or builders of schools for girls in Southeast Asia or published authors. I truly admire those people, and for a long time I lived with the gnawing worry that I didn’t seem to be one of them. I’ll be 28 years old this summer, and so far I’ve been employed as a teacher, an editor, a construction worker, a paralegal, an administrative assistant, a college admissions intern. I have degrees in anthropology, environmental studies, and education. I’ve contemplated further schooling in art history, astronomy, architecture, literature. When I was a kid I thought I’d be a veterinarian, an archaeologist, or a marine biologist. Sometimes I think I’d just like to go be a woodworker with my dad. At any rate, my career path seems to have the trajectory of a windblown dandelion seed. As I said, this used to bother me.

But the upside of lacking the drive and vision to pursue the kind of quantifiable success that gets you introduced by your vocation at cocktail parties is that you’re generally more free to follow the interesting overgrown offshoots from the trail. And you never know what’s down there.

Because I have a blog and a knitting habit, I drifted into a job at one of the greatest schools around. Because of said blog and habit, I met Katrin, and we began to take weekly knitterly refuge in one another’s company. And on Sunday, waiting for her at our usual haunt, I was suddenly offered a job in a yarn store (cue Holy Grailish choral music). Could there be any greater felicity than spending a few days a week fondling yarn and helping other people to fondle yarn and getting paid for it? I won’t even tell you about the discounts. You’d cry.

So Tuesday and yesterday I spent four and a half hours up to my elbows in luscious yarny goodness, happy as a pig in a slop trough. As if this weren’t enough, the powers that be needed someone to model a gorgeous silk sweater for a quick photoshoot while I was there. For Vogue Knitting. (I assume just for their advertisement in the magazine, but Mr. Garter is getting maximum mileage out of the notion of his wife as a model.)

Still, it gets better. Here’s a teasing peep at a pending addition to the ShibuiKnits pattern line (imagine the green as richer and less yellowy than it insisted on being here, despite my best efforts):


Designed and knit by yours truly. Now excuse me while I go do a little boogie dance. I may be blundering around in the woods nowhere near a career path, but I’m not wholly without ambition, and becoming a designer has been a dream of mine for the last couple of years. Life, though not without its heartaches, is ultimately very invigorating these days.

17 Comments to “Kismet”

  1. minnie Comment Says:

    trust me, i understand the whole yarn thing. right now i’m spinning sock hop sock yarn for crown mountain farms, and i’m the adMinnie for Miss Violet of Limenviolet podcast fame. i get to handle all the lovely handpainted and handspun goodness that runs through her store. love, love love it! (and i also understand the job thing, too. after 20 years of working in foodservice, i’d had enough! but i’m not trained in much else. sigh)

  2. tiennie Comment Says:

    Beautiful picture! Yay for a job that you will surely enjoy!

  3. Lisa Comment Says:

    Now you can add modeling to that long and colorful list of previous employment. It doesn’t mean you lack drive or vision – it means that you have incredible aptitude for many different careers, which is a good thing!!

    Love the little peep you gave of your design!

    Has ‘Gus returned??? I am thinking of him and you every day!

  4. john Comment Says:

    Well written, great post. I love you.

  5. Karma Comment Says:

    Wow. The stars are all aligned above Portland right now! Enjoy…

  6. Daphne Comment Says:

    Wonderful news! It should, then, be very easy to find you next time I’m in town.

    I really, really like the sneak peek here. Your design is beautiful and I like the fuschia and chartreuse together. The Shibui sock yarn keeps trying to come home with me from Hilltop; yesterday I was thinking my 3 skeins of sea green silk cloud (is that the mohair one?) were lonely at home and pale next to the firey orange/red blend. I think if I produce some more FOs, I might be allowed to bring more yarn home tomorrow.

  7. Kristen Comment Says:

    Oh, hooray! I’m enamored of the new knit, as much as I can see, and the job sounds heavenly. I can definitely identify with unexpected career paths, though I’m not sure I can count anything I’ve blundered into as a career. Congratulations on so many wonderful successes at once!

  8. laura b Comment Says:

    How exciting! Can’t wait to see the full design!

  9. rebecca Comment Says:

    My career path has been just as meandering as yours! I used to let it get to me, when I heard about all the folks “back home” who were becoming doctors and lawyers and whatnot. Then I turned 30 and I got over it. My life has afforded me a number of amazing experiences and I’ve been able to meet lots of incredible people (like you)! Hooray for odd jobs and deep discounts!

  10. kaitlyn Comment Says:

    WOW! Banner week! All of this is great news. I just met a girl in this little slice of yarn heaven that worked at a yarn shop in Portland–kismet indeed.

  11. schrodinger Comment Says:

    Wow! What great news, you must be thrilled – and I must be jealous 😉

  12. carrie Comment Says:

    Wow! You have been busy. Many congrats! I too know the way of the wandering worker (though most positions were admittedly in the same or similar field…) and have had to endure countless family gatherings peppered with “so when are you going to get a “real” job…?” If what you do makes you happy then it’s real enough for me!

  13. Elena Comment Says:

    I am like you, a generalist, good at many things and not specialising too much on something. I like to be really open so that I can find opportunities that includes as many of my talents as possible. It’s not easy as most proffessions for example demands deep expertise. For a few years a studied to have a Master in mechanical engineering. It wasn’t really my thing but I decided to finish my studies, as the ‘good’ student I was. It sort of killed much of my openness. Now I’ve started to come back to the ‘flow’ again, that I was more in before these studies. Life is full of opportunities and I don’t want to miss The interesting things. And I want to be keen and accept opportunities that I come across and like but may think I’m not so good at. Then life is really good!

  14. merete Comment Says:

    how nice for you. congratulations. one is better than the other.

  15. Katie Comment Says:

    Exciting! Congrats, that’s great! I can’t wait to see the photoshoot AND your design! Whoohoo!

  16. Debby Comment Says:

    Congratulations! Your post made me feel a lot better. I’ve been in two (related) fields and still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up. I only wish I could answer the question, “What’s your dream job?” with something other than I don’t know. You have a great point about the serendipity to be missed by following one path strictly.

  17. Nonnahs Comment Says:

    Wow- what exciting developments! Congratulations!