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Archive for August, 2015

Free range fresh start

“Wow. Its been a long time since I picked up the needles and started a project. IMG_0335I hope I remember how to cast on. Its simple, right?” were my thoughts this afternoon, though I’m sure I’ll remember. I noticed that at least two of the last three posts on this blog have “long time” in the title so I took it out of this title. I’ve kept this blog alive and paid for, because it was always my intention to come back to knitting, its just been a lot harder than I anticipated.

The last project I completed was my Pinkerton Shawl that I started back in the early part of 2011. Half was stockinette, the other half was lace. It was a project I started as part of a class at the local yarn store. I’d never knit anything that called for so much increasing or so much lace work. I finished the stockinette half, and went back to the lys to get started on the lace half. I went the afternoon of May 25, 2011. Getting the lace half started was a bit tricky for me, and a bit frustrating. The worst part, though, was that my mom died that night. She’d been sick, but I was expecting her to come home. Her death really shook me to the core (obviously). I went on and finished the shawl, very poorly. Mostly I worked on it while my dad was having treatments for cancer, or while waiting for his doctors. Needless to say, my heart wasn’t in it. I think I mention feeling kind of tethered to the shawl, in a way. It took me months to finish it. After it was blocked, I just shoved it in a drawer and never wore it. I actually ended up donating it earlier this year because it was just a reminder of such a painful time in my life that I didn’t want it any more.

At the same time I was working on the shawl, I had Amelia on needles. I was working it up in this gorgeous burgundy worsted from Squoosh Fiberarts. I kept frogging it because I kept goofing, and I wanted it to be perfect, and I think I kept changing the size. Anyway, it was much more soothing than Pinkerton was, and I thought I would finish it. I was going to the lys on knitting night, working on it, so it spent a bit of time in a bag. When I took it out of my bag one evening, I noticed little black specks, which I thought was weird, but not much more. I tossed the partial sweater in my basket that had most of my yarn and a couple of projects that I was working on. The holidays rolled around, and it sat for a couple months. I went back to start again one day the following year, and that’s when I first discovered the moths.

The god damn moths. Oh, I hate moths. Fucking MOTHS!

They were casing moths, which eat animal products, like wool and other animal hair (I have a semi-long haired cat, so as you can imagine, they’ve had a lot to eat). They destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of yarn, a blanket, several already knit projects, a couple of sweaters, etc. I eventually had to go through everything in my room and do a seriously thorough cleaning, including moving all of the rather heavy furniture, to finally (knock on wood) get rid of them. The loss of yarn and completed projects was difficult, but the worst has to be the small hole in my Guernsey Wrap that I can’t fix or have fixed because the moths ate through what little I had left over of the yarn!!! Its small enough I could just patch it with some from a new skein, but still! Its the principle. I worked hard on that. Its flawless except for that one. damn. hole. Ahem.

Needless to say, I haven’t knit anything in quite a while, I started a pretty basic ribbed scarf a couple of years ago, but I still had moths and they got to the yarn. I’ve been getting emails from Eat Sleep Knit, Jimmy Beans Wool, catalogs from Knit Picks, so I’ve had a longing feeling, but I just didn’t feel right starting a new project. I’ve been afraid it would reopen the wound I got when I lost my mom. A wound that will probably never heal. But I have a need to create things. I need an outlet, and knitting has been so good to me in the past, so I’m coming back.

Last month I got an email from Jimmy Beans Wool about a limited edition color from Madelintosh. I adore Madelintosh yarn. I almost cried when I had to get rid of skeins of yarn they no longer make. IMG_0259The color is called Free Range Egg. I don’t usually go for variegated yarn, but something about this one spoke to me. The colors were so soft, yet saturated. I excitedly ordered two skeins of Tosh DK, figuring I could make a scarf with that much yarn, and it would be light weight enough to actually use in Florida. A pattern was available on Ravelry, the Free Range Cowl that was just MADE for this yarn. I got the pattern with plans of converting it to a knit flat scarf. Scarfs are safe, comfort projects for me, so how can it go wrong? I’ve had a couple of false starts, almost went to a knit night to start it, but ultimately chickened out (HA! like a free range chicken? ok, you’re not laughing). Today, though, I asked for pattern changing help on twitter (Thank you, Laurie), wound the yarn, and I’m ready to go. I’ve never knit a chevron pattern before, but I’m hopeful I can make this work.

As soon as I decide what size needles to use.

Give me some time. I’ll get there.

 

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