I'm trying to exact a little willpower over here by blogging every day this work week, and just like everything else in life, doing what you're supposed to is hard. You feel better after doing the deed (dieting, exercising, researching, cleaning the bathroom), but sometimes the thought of shoving a meat thermometer in my ear (c'mon, you gotta remember that SNL skit!) sounds a little more fun than actually strapping on those snowshoes.
Anyhoo. Blogging. Here I am. Doing the deed.
Since I have no knitting progress to share today, how about a trip down memory lane? After shuffling through a few memory cards, I found the pictures of the Christmas handspun yarn and realized I never shared before today. (This is also me making myself feel better about all those projects I say I'm going to finish but don't--I said I would spin this yarn in time for Christmas and dang it, I did.)
"Naggaroth", 2-ply Rambouillet wool. Can't remember, but I think it's around 265 yds (?)--7 5/8 oz. total weight. This was a very pleasant spin--the fiber was purchased from my friend Elizabeth's shop.
Which is 12 colors of Merletto, a beautiful (and brand new!) viscose/linen blend from Louisa Harding, The Knitting Fashionista. Knits up like this:
And after a bath:
A little bit of shine, but not too much; plenty of drape and fluidity; lightweight and just the ticket for summery tank tops--maybe a 3/4-length cardigan for an air-conditioned office? Although a bit out of my comfort zone (linen doesn't usually make the Desert Island Top Five), I give it a hearty thumbs-up.
And another pile of yarn love dropped off about three hours ago:
A fiber I've been anticipating for a few months. It's brand new, too. An organic, fairly-traded cotton, dyed with low-impact dyes. What says Perfect For Baby better than that?
(No bath--this is straight off the needles.)
Love. This. Yarn. Spun in a tubular-style (cabled), this yarn lends itself to full, plump stitches and a fabric that is both dense and matte to the touch. And with 15 colors here at the shop? I can dig it.
I'm still cruising right along on the Knitted Tube. There was a point earlier this week when I thought I might be able to finish this sweater by Friday evening.
I don't want to ruin a good thing, but it could happen.
P.S. I'd like to give a little shout-out to my friend Kim who has just published her first pattern in the March issue of Creative Knitting Magazine! Go! Buy the magazine! Support a fellow knitter!
The mojo has returned. With a crazy death grip. There's nothing like a half-day zoned out in front of little perusal through Ravelry to get the juices flowing.
I am now officially Out Of Control; last night I started a new sweater:
Totally brainless stockinette, yet it provides the soothing relief I need after trying to knit from yet another pattern riddled with errors. (Yes, the striped sweater. Yes, the armhole decreases were in the wrong place entirely. Yes, the sweater is stuffed in the Time-Out Box. And yes, I could right the wrongs, but why try when I could start something new?)
Another project I started this week. Tam, take two:
This one is for my sister Liz--and she knows I'm working on it. She stopped by the shop on Wednesday evening and tried the sample on. It looked so dang cute on her that I immediately felt the intense need to cover that blonde little head of hers with a dollop of pastel wool.
It's safe to say the feeling has passed.
If there's anything that ticks me off in the Land of Knit, it's handpainted yarn that pools. Nothing cranks me more. Nothing. Give me yarn that breaks under tension, skeins that are peppered with knots, heck, I'll even take splitty yarns.
But pooling? Total dealbreaker.
The sad little start of a hat pictured above is, unfortunately, not my first attempt. It's the second. (And really, I think it'd be slightly redundant to have two pictures of the same ugly misfortune placed side-by-side.)
I have two options here. Yarn pools not because it's poorly dyed (far from it!), but because of a mathematical setup. Change the circumference of the knitted piece and the pooling stops. I can't really reconfigure the pattern or the gauge, because I like the way this yarn knits up on US 1s--the way I knit, it would be too loose a fabric to knit on 2s. (Zeros, for all you funny guys out there, is not an option.) And I can't really change the size of little Lizzy Lou Who's head.
So I can either: A.) Knit from both skeins at the same time, alternating every two rows, and carry the yarn up along the point of origin, or B.) Knit the entire hat in the Fair Isle fashion, knitting two stitches English-style with one hand, two stitches Continental-style with the other, stranding the yarn behind the work and thusly creating a super warm and squooshy hat, sans pooling. It would also make knitting a hat that's already being knit with sock yarn on size 1 needles take approximately 15 hours to complete.
I think I've already made my choice. I know what I need to do, painful as it may be.
That because it's January and post-holiday and snowing no fewer than six inches a day and the sun sets at approximately 2:47 (et cetera, et cetera), this would be the time to really go gangbusters on the knitting/spinning front.
You would be wrong.
Where, I wonder, is my mojo? I have only been able to eke out one small FO--something I started waaaay back in '08--and one measly skein of handspun:
Pattern: "Basic Tam" from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd, Knitting Rock Star. Just like art, this book will save your life. Need one? Let me know!
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted fingering weight in Moss, 1 1/2 skeins.
Needles: US 1s, Addi Turbo 24" circular and Clover 7" dpn.
I feel like everything I've tried to do these past few days (knit a few rows when I come home at night, blog more than once a week, make a peanut butter sandwich) is the hardest, most miserable task I've ever been asked to complete.
I'm in a bit of a funk, and I'm trying to snap out of it. I dug through ye olde stash and found something that might solve everything.
If this doesn't work, I'll need to call in the professionals.
It's a new year, people. I can tell already--this one's going to be good one.
So rather than try to recapture the blur that was the end of 2008, I'd rather just start out by showing you what excites me now; a freshly finished object (the last of last year's), what's on the needles and a few projects I can't WAIT to start.
Needles: US 8 & 6, 24" circular Addis and Brittany dpns.
Started: Friday evening, December 26th, 2008
Finished: Sunday afternoon, December 28th, 2008.
Babies in rainbow Noro. (Friends' babies in Noro.) I can hardly imagine anything cuter.
A plain-but-very-feminine cardigan. This one to be exact. And as much as I love wool, Louisa Harding's Jasmine pretty much trounces all things cotton. Or silk. Or even bamboo. (I love this yarn.) So far, this is one shop sample that's crazy enjoyable to knit. It may actually get finished.
Bring on the brown and turquoise! When I was a sophomore in high school, we brought a German exchange student into our home. She is my family, and I thought I'd put together something for her as she starts to create a new family--she's having a baby! This quilt from Last Minute Quilted & Patchwork Gifts just might work. (Not that a sweater wouldn't have, but I'm rather up for the challenge.)
I can't help but notice that everything I'm working on is stripey and I wonder how that relates to my psyche. I kind of think it has something to do with order and priorities and patience and diligence--all things that are on my List of Personal Goals To Chip Away At in 2009. Things that did not make the List in 2008.
I won't be making any major formal declarations about the things I want to do in 2009--I've discovered that's just not a successful move for me. There are big things, sure (like spinning enough yarn to knit a sweater and shaving off a few pounds before my 10-year high school reunion), but the small things that are on my mind, the little things I'd like to accomplish, are things that when, well, stacked up, make for a better me.
Hey, 2009? I'm so glad you're here. I've been waiting.