This is why playoff hockey and lace knitting don’t mix.
This is why playoff hockey and lace knitting don’t mix.
It’s hard to believe this break is almost over. Despite it being a lot more busy than I would have hoped, I still had plenty of time for fibery goodness. First I swatched up a bit of colorwork for a change and sent off a submission for a new design.
Then there was also that sleeve I posted about Monday, which I’ve since reworked successfully. I also finished some lovely cabling for a design that’ll probably be released in late summer or early fall. I took the occasion to put together a nice little tutorial on grafting cables as well. That’ll come out next week.
The main thing I’ve actually indulged in this week is spinning, though. I have been on a serious spinning kick. It included an utterly failed attempt at Andean plying which we won’t talk about. It also resulted in all the lovely 2-ply below though, which is growing ever more even but I suspect still not quite even enough to replace store-bought in a pattern. Not a clue what I’ll use it for yet, but it sure is pretty!
I’ve pretty much disappeared from the internet the last little while; sorry for that! Things are pretty chaotic in the real world right now (mostly drama with Hubby’s job and my mother being in the hospital) so there hasn’t really been much time for the web. Or knitting. Or spinning.
My friend came over to hang out a bit yesterday though, and we went shopping for my bridesmaid’s dress as well. She always is good at pulling me out of my own head, so it was just what I needed. It’s also now Spring Break (although it sure doesn’t feel much like Spring!) so I plan to do some “fiber therapy” over the next week as well. Time to start taking care of myself again. Look for a post on the details of my fiber therapy in the next couple of days!
The rectangular lace shawl is absolutely perfect for this time of year, when it can be so sunny and gorgeous out you can’t even think of staying inside, but there’s still just enough chill in the air that bare shoulders just won’t work.
A bit of cozy merino is just what the doctor (Mother Nature?) called for. The size of the repeat on the Vine Lace may look intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite memorizable and surprisingly intuitive. It becomes almost meditative after a while. I’m sure it’ll impress the idle viewer though!
The simple garter edging and picot cast-on and bind-off also add interest and stability to the shawl. No monotony here! So be sure to check out Leonardtown, and join in the fun! I’ve chosen to knit the sample in green because, well, Spring. In my mind, there is no greater color than green this time of year. What color will you choose?
There are a whole lot of things about to happen in my life, and not a one of them is in my hands right now. Frustration!! Most of them are things I don’t really want to talk about for fear of jinxing them, so instead here is the beginning of a baby sweater:
I’m not usually a pink girl, but this is knitting up ridiculously adorable. Also my best friend is getting married in September and I find myself daydreaming about designing a shawl to go with my bridesmaid dress. This is a really bad idea because I already have multiple samples going, plus the baby sweater and Spinning Tuesdays (yes, I am spinning today). But since none of those projects seem to have any interest in finishing themselves, I really want to start something new. Because Knitter’s Logic is like that.
So I put a nice, tidy lace WIP into my knitting bag, and pulled it back out looking like this:
Not my favorite moment of the day. I don’t normally have issues with things getting mangled in their bags. I put them in nicely and don’t abuse the bags, so generally things come out pretty much like they went in. Occasionally an especially slippery dpn will pull out of a sock, but that’s something I can plan for. This one surprised me. So I put it down, had a little chocolate, and then set about “reading” the lace to see what I could salvage. Have I mentioned that this project is pretty much cursed and I’ve restarted twice already? Not to mention it seems to be a personal favorite of the cat, so there’s been some serious reknitting there too.
See that circled bit there? That’s where a 4th AND 5th purl stitch unraveled all the way into nothingness. Oh yay. Unlike April Showers, dropped stitches are not the look I’m going for here.
I managed to get that put back together fairly respectably (see arrow) thanks to judicious use of my trusty crochet hook. Then it was time to attack the next issue – that looooooong loop of yarn that is 2 more purl stitches dropped into nothingness, plus 3 more stitches dropped down 1 row and another that unraveled 2 rows just for fun. There was another monstrosity like that towards the end of the row.
All in all it took about twice as long to fix that little half row as it would to knit a full row, but I did NOT do any serious ripping. I’m going to consider that a victory.
Between the steady rain for the last 3 days, and the 2 days of heavy fog before that, I have not seen the sun since Friday. It is also disgustingly cold. Sadly, this is pretty typical for mid-winter around here. For someone whose mood is as dependent on the weather as me, it’s easy to fall into a steady state of “blah”. How do I combat it?
1. I wear as much sparkle and shine as I can get away with while still looking like a reasonably respectable professional. Sometimes that means hiding a bit of sparkle under a tamer cardigan or dress.
2. I wear lots of deep, saturated colors in a semi-deliberate attempt to counter the dark and grey outside. Bonus points if I can combine the rich colors with some shiny.
3. I wear the warmest, softest, most decadent clothes I own – this is where being a knitter comes in handy. The warm and fuzzy against my bare skin is a little tactile treat that almost replaces the warm sun on my bare skin.
4. I work out like a madman. This is partly because the workout itself boosts my mood, but also partly because it leaves more room for the comfort foods that also boost my mood. Bread and soup, anyone?
What do you do to keep the “blahs” at bay?
The solstice has passed and with it, the darkest days of the year. In honor of the slowly returning sunlight, I’m going to take a moment to appreciate the other things bringing light to my life right now.
The donations from this post have been made, and giving, no matter how small the donation, always makes me feel a bit warm and fuzzy. I hope the families of Sandy Hook and recipients of NAMI’s aid are also feeling a bit more warm and fuzzy now.
On more of an “immediate gratification” level, my coworkers were very excited and gracious about the apples and handful of cabled bracelets I made for them. I deliberately chose projects that wouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so apiece so I wouldn’t feel crushed if they were simply met with a polite smile. However, there was a literal gasp of excitement as two of my office-mates arrived at the same time and rushed over to the basket, then immediately began negotiations over who got the orange bracelets and where the best place to hang an “amazing” ornament like one of those apples might be.
I also taught a student to crochet during the little party we had at the end of the last school day. He was really intrigued by the apple ornaments and wanted to know how to make them, but I unfortunately didn’t have any knitting with me that day. I did have my half-finished tree skirt in the car though, which is crocheted. He took to it like a fish to water, picking up the hook and producing perfect single crochets after watching me make all of 3 stitches. He can now lay claim to most of a row in my new Christmas tree skirt, and I am proud as can be.
Which leads me to my final bit of joy today. All of the presents are wrapped, just about all of the baking is done, and there is nothing left for me to do but enjoy this Christmas Eve in peace. Whether you’re celebrating anything this week or not, I hope you’ll find a little time to appreciate the light in your life during this dark time of year. Love and peace to all!
This was a busy weekend for us, as Hubby and I both had our office holiday parties this weekend. Unfortunately, particularly for mine, Friday’s events in Connecticut threw a bit of a damper on the festivities.
Regular readers know that when I’m not writing blog posts and knitting patterns, I teach elementary school. On Friday, December 14, a mentally ill 20 year old killed his kindergarten-teaching mother, and then proceeded to her school and massacred most of her students, as well as several other staff members and children. While Sandy Hook, CT is nowhere near Virginia, and a school shooting is always an unthinkable tragedy, this one is hitting particularly close to home. In all, 20 children under the age of 8 were killed, as well as 7 innocent adults, one of whom was exactly my age and literally took a bullet protecting her students.
What do you do in the face of horrors like this? What can you do? The answer is not much, and frankly, that sucks. So I’m going to do what little I can. For the next week, all profits from my Ravelry store will go to the Sandy Hook Elementary PTSA, via Crowdrise and the Network for Good, in order to help pay for things like funerals, and counseling for the survivors. I will also be making a donation from my personal funds to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) in the hopes that we can fix our broken healthcare system and a tragedy like this will never happen again.
Is it enough? No. But it’s something.
It feels like it’s been forever since I actually finished anything, but I’ve got two today! That’s mostly because I was fantastically irresponsible during my break and didn’t accomplish most of the things I planned to. I just spun and knit and cooked instead.
First, I finished this cowl, which will be donated shortly:
Then I spun a couple more cops of the blue-grey stuff so I could finish this extra super warm garter stitch beret:
Even though I really didn’t get much of importance done, and I’ve got some catch-up to do now, I feel so much more relaxed and capable now. I think a couple days of not worrying about work was exactly what I needed.