Over Thanksgiving weekend (during the OSU-Michigan game, to be precise), I cast on a shawl that I’d bought as a kit from Knit Picks a few months ago. The Tuscan Sunflower Shawl was a surprisingly quick knit, at least as far as shawls go for me. It took me less than four weeks to get it done. Of course, it was almost the only project that I worked on in those four weeks, which is a little unusual for me.
Here it is, just off the needles:
Weaving in the ends on twenty-four little petal points was annoying, not to mention a bit hard on my back. I had the shawl resting on my exercise ball while I picked up each petal to weave in the ends. Right now, it’s soaking in the tub. The yellow yarn seems to be bleeding a bit, so I’ll have to see how many rinses it takes to get it clear. Then I’ll have to block it out. Considering I don’t have many lace blocking tools “block aggressively” could be an interesting direction to follow.
I love Saturday mornings, perhaps more than any other morning of the week. Mondays actually aren’t so bad, at least not this semester. Mondays are a chance for me get a fresh start on the week, to tackle with enthusiasm all the things I need to get done to feel like a productive teacher and scholar. But Saturdays… Saturdays are better, because they’re a chance to feed my creative side.
Saturday mornings are like a hank of new yarn, especially yarn that I haven’t wound yet. It’s all potential. It’s the start of the weekend, when I’ve finally had enough sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, instead of with the knowledge that not only do I need to do everything on today’s agenda, there’s probably still one or two things left over from yesterday. Not on Saturdays. Saturdays I try to carve out time for me, to indulge in whatever whim takes me. Not unlike the potential of a hank of yarn. New yarn, with no project attachments, represents all the promise of knitting. It could be a scarf, or socks, or my next overwhelmingly large lace shawl. It could be a present, or it could be for me. New yarn can be anything, just like Saturday. It could be an adventure, or I could spend my time lounging on the couch mainlining Sherlock.
Of course this feeling of promise is ultimately limited, just like the yarn promise. Once we get to about two o’clock, it’s clear what my weekend will be. Once I’ve wound the yarn, I usually have a project or two in mind. And heaven forbid I have to try two or three (or more) times to get the right project for the yarn – that completely spoils the promise. But for that brief amount of time, when Saturday is all promise, before I settle in to whatever I’m doing… well that feeling is just wonderful. And it comes back every week.
Baby leg warmers!!
I’ve been having great fun this past week posting close ups on Instagram of my mystery project. (For those of you on Instagram – @playingwithfiber) But yesterday afternoon, I finished the leg warmers for my friend’s baby, and was able to present them to her in the evening when we had a girls’ night in with delicious Chinese food and Hocus Pocus. Now I still need to make the coordinating hat, but that’s not really a mystery project since I showed her the pattern.
The project details: Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Royal Heather (MC) and Meringue Heather (CC), knit on size 3 (3.25mm) double pointed needles. They took me just over a week, with many distractions in between. Leg warmer #2 took less than about 8-10 hours of actual knitting time. Still, they are adorable, and I’m now considering making a pair for my niece. At almost three, I’m sure she’d look adorable in a pair of her own.
My knitting mojo has been a bit lacking recently, which I’m pretty sure can be directly related to the amount of work I need to get done. Fortunately, Wednesday nights I usually go sit in on a Humanities lecture with a friend, so that’s fifty minutes of dedicated knitting time. Unless I do something silly, like send a ball of yarn rolling to the front of the lecture hall, preventing me from getting much knitting done. That was a fun night. Even more entertaining was live-tweeting it.
Today my yarn arrived for a mystery knitting project, so that’s fun. I haven’t knit with Knit Picks Andean Treasure before, but I’m looking forward to using it. It’s wonderfully soft, as one would expect from alpaca yarn. I’m making a gift, so until it’s done and given to the recipient, all you get are hints of what is coming.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of a scarf I’m making using Wollmeise Sockenwolle:
One of the qualities I’ve come to accept about being an intelligent person is having an unquiet mind. I’m almost always thinking about something. It isn’t always important, but very rarely do I ever sit and not think. I’m turning things over, sometimes trivial things, sometimes remembering something stupid that I did back in high school, and occasionally having important thoughts that I should really write down (but probably won’t).
This morning, I was sitting on my couch, drinking my coffee, and my mind felt a peace. It took me a moment to realize it for what it was, especially since the semester just started, so this is prime time for racing thoughts and stress overload. But I felt very zen, and it was a wonderful feeling. Now I’m trying to channel it into productive energy, with some success. But mainly, I’m just enjoying the feeling of quiet and well-being, because by week 10, it will be long gone.
(Disclaimer: this is cross-posted from my history blog, because I feel like sharing it everywhere.)
Hey, look, it happened again! I proclaim a massive goal pertaining to some large-scale event (Tour de Fleece, NaNoWriMo, Ravelwhatever), then proceed to disappear in shame over not meeting my goal. Yup, I did not live up to my lofty Tour de Fleece goals. It’s a good thing I didn’t attempt any actual cycling goals, because those would have been met with equal failure.
But life goes on. Like Charlie Brown and his repeated attempts to kick that football, I will inevitably try again. I will run at the ball, thinking that this time life’s Lucy will not yank it out at the last moment, waiting to see me go flying through the air. In the meantime, there are still stashes of yarn and fiber all over the place, taunting me with my lack of motivation or inspiration.
It’s the end of June again, which means that very soon (in like, 2 days), le Tour de France will begin again. This is one of the few sporting events I make a point of following (together with the Olympics and the World Cup). It’s been difficult the past two years, what with the lack of cable television. But hopefully, the power of the Internet will not fail me this year, and I will be able to do a decent job of keeping up with coverage. Thank goodness for Twitter.
Of course, as every good fiber fanatic knows, hand in hand with le Tour is the Tour de Fleece. That crazy event in which spinners spin their way through mountains of fiber as the cyclists spin their way through the mountains of France. The past few years I’ve made vague commitments to participate in the Tour de Fleece, only to fall off somewhere around day three. Not this year! This year I will make it through the first week before giving up! (I’d like to say I’ll complete the Tour, but I might just be lying to you all.) I may have to procure more roving to make this happen, but I do have a decent stash to get things going.
Here’s a hastily cobbled-together photo:
300 grams of Knit Picks roving (two hanks of pink, one purple); plus the 12 oz of roving I picked up at this year’s Great Lakes Fiber Festival. I could probably do the conversion to figure out the exact weight I’m dealing with, but at the moment I’m just not interested. Maybe at the end, I’ll figure it out. But it seems a worthy starting place. And at the end, I’m sure to be a better spinner than I am now, simply for having put in the time with my spindle. Maybe if I’m successful this year, I’ll treat myself to something special, like a cupcake.