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Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

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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A long time

I’m surprised people still pop over here. I didn’t post at all last year. That’s because I didn’t knit anything that I can remember. I think I’ve had such a hard time getting back into because in the middle of my last project, my mom died. I think that created a negative association in my mind. With my dad being sick with cancer, I didn’t want to chance anything.

I started working on a scarf in October. I knit about six inches one day but I haven’t picked it back up since. Not sure what the deal is there. I just get distracted by the tv and internet.

I’ve also had a major moth problem. Some larvae must have come on some yarn I ordered because I’ve been dealing with the things for a while now. I had to throw away several skeins of yarn that had been eaten into pieces. Some of it was for a sweater I was working on and kept restarting. Now I have to get new yarn if I want to knit it.

Hopefully I’ll have some projects to report on this year. I’d really like to get back into knitting.

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oops

I’ve let this go for nearly a month without an update. Shame on me! And no picture for this one.

I guess there just hasn’t been much exciting going on in my knitting life. I restarted Amelia but I keep making stupid mistakes. I’ve got a couple of projects for other people due within the next month and a half. I should get started on those.

The decreasing rib caplet is still on needles. That’s such a simple project I should have finished it ages ago, but my knitting mojo has been interrupted by life. Soon it will be hot weather that slows me down. Maybe that will be a good time to learn socks.

Its Malabrigo March and I haven’t done a thing in Malabrigo. I’ve got a sweater pattern that I’ve knit before and I know is fairly easy. I should consider starting that before the month is over. Or the Malabrigo weave scarf that I started in one color an then changed my mind about. Last March all I knit was Malabrigo. I almost got tired of it.

I should get off of my butt and start reading more knitting blogs for inspiration.

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I knit myself another slouch hat, this time in cream so it will go with pretty much anything. Its so easy to knit! I started it last Friday while my dad was undergoing chemo, and didn’t quite have time to  finish it that day so I finished it over a sleepless Saturday night.

I have wool moths. I don’t think they’re that common in Florida, so I have a feeling they might have come with some wool I ordered from somewhere. I have no idea what to do to control them. I haven’t noticed any yarn damage either, but a moth did fly out of one of my yarn baskets. I should be keeping it in sealed containers. If anyone has any tricks to turn off wool moths, please let me know.

I started work last night on this decreasing ribbed caplet. I’m making mine in chocolate brown Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky. I like the way its knitting up so far. But its a safe project, almost like a hat except you don’t close the top. I want to start other things like shawls and cardigans, but I seem to be lacking the confidence to take them on. Maybe its just the way things are going in my life right now that’s dragging me down. I’m taking on so many big problems and dealing with a lot of stress, maybe I just don’t want a big project on my shoulders right now.

How about you? What do you work on when you’re stressed?

 

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motivation

I finished the hat for the boy, and it fits his big head. Now hopefully he’ll wear it. Not that it was difficult to knit or anything, I’d just really like it if he wore something I knitted for him.

I was trying to decide which mittens I want to knit for my next project. I’m not sure why I settled on mittens. I guess because I haven’t knit any in a long time. I don’t know why its such a hard decision, especially when the patterns (Bella’s mittens or Irish hiking mittens) are really not that similar. I think I’m going to do Bella’s mittens first because the yarn for those has been in my stash longer.

That’s what I really need to plan my projects around-stash busting. I can use up some Malabrigo in March, and knit one of the cardigans next month. I’ll just keep plowing through the list and stop looking at new patterns. Then I won’t be so tempted to buy yarn. I’ve done this before though-putting myself on a yarn diet. Goes about as well as regular diets.

Still, I’m having trouble finding motivation to knit. Maybe its because I’ve got a cold and just don’t feel great, but I haven’t been revved up to start anything lately. Its winter! This should be peak knitting time, but its not. This time last year I was working on my first cardigan, I think. I started it sometime in January. Now I’m doing nothing. I’m sure it will get to me soon.

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knit a hat

So the first project I have on needles this year is a hat for my son. I knit one for him for Christmas, but it was too small (epic mom fail), so now its my hat. The pattern was supposed to fit a man size head! I guess he just has a big head. I have more of the same yarn, so I’m trying a pattern that is similar but I can already tell it has a better chance of fitting his head. Its the hat fit for a boyfriend pattern. Simple and uncomplicated, quick to knit if I were inclined to knit faster. I got the pattern idea from Karin over at iknit2purl2. She did several over Christmas and it looked like a good hat to knit. I can’t knit much else for the boy. He doesn’t like scarves or sweaters. I haven’t given sock knitting a try, but unless they were plain and white, I don’t think he’d like any socks I knit. Teenagers, seriously.

I’m thinking about casting on for herbivore. Its not exactly in my January knitting plans of cold weather accessories, but there’s a twit-a-long for it, and that would be kind of fun. I’m starting to feel like I’d be too far behind, but I might cast it on anyway and see where I get. It would be a good stash bust project.

I did end up taking Amelia off of the needles. I’ll start it over in a smaller size. It was definitely going to be way too big, so I’m kind of glad I stalled on it. It will be nice to have a sweater that fits. I’ve got a bunch of cardigans lined up that I want to do, and I have the yarn for a lot too.

Happy knitting!

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new year, new knitting

Happy 2011 to you! I actually did manage to get Guernsey Wrap off of the needles by midnight last night, and then I was fast asleep. I need to take a picture of it against a white background so you can see the true color.

I’m not making any knitting related resolutions because I’m not big on resolutions. Plus I know if I make one I will no doubt break it and disappoint myself. I will try to stick to the not buying yarn idea though. We’ll see how well THAT goes. One thing I do want to do is find a hat pattern that will fit my sons large head. I should do that this month.

I’ve decided January is going to be winter accessories month-mittens, hats, scarves, cowls. I’ll decide what to do with them as I go. I’ve got a couple of mitten patterns picked out already. I don’t have a real urge to cast on right now though, probably because I just finished one semi-large project. Plus I’ve got to take Christmas down too (I know, right?).

Happy knitting everyone (and crocheting. Why do I forget that?)!

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