Breathe

Yesterday started out well enough; I got up and did some exercise, got ready for work and had a pleasant morning until someone hurt my feelings and for some reason it ruined my whole day. It was a paltry comment, not even worth the breath used to utter it or the synapses used to hear it, but for some reason it irked and wrankled and I could not let it go. It wasn’t meant to be hurtful, and I think the person who said it honestly thought they were commiserating with me. Maybe I’m sensitive due to the pressures I’ve put on myself with my ridiculous procrastination and some fitful nights of sleep. Whatever the case, it hurt and feelings are there for a reason.

So when the end of the day came, I went straight home rather than stopping at the library, and instead of picking up my homework, I picked up some knitting. Knitting for me. With Christmas looming, I should be working on the two gifts I’m trying to complete, but I didn’t want my bad juju to get wrapped in the stitches I am giving away. And I knew I wouldn’t focus on my writing. So I popped in some movies and knit.

And knit.

And the pain of the day unwound as my project grew.

Because it is a sort of meditation. It is a repetitious action that if you concentrate on it, and it alone, it soothes, it is a balm. I realised long into the project that my counting (and I counted my cast-on stitches three times) was completely inaccurate and I was four stitches short for one of my cuffs, but I’m not going to frog that cuff and re-knit it because it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t even angry with myself for doing 76 stitches rather than 80 because I had calmed down. I was still a little sad by the time I went to bed, but I was no longer hurt. And I slept better than I had for days.

Thank goodness for knitting.

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Where are they now?

The February Lady Sweater.  It’s so cute on so many people, I had to start making one.  I found beautiful (and expensive) buttons to add to it, I got so much of it done and then I stopped for awhile.

I picked it up again a couple summers ago, but I had lost a fair amount of weight and realised it was too big so I paused.

I gained the weight back and thought, well, I may as well finish it.

I was working on it a couple of weeks ago, and realised, it doesn’t suit me.  I think I am not a girl for wearing worsted weight sweaters.  Where is it now?  Sitting in one of my yarn cubbies, waiting to be frogged (once I decide what else to do with all that Cascade 220).

Skill + 1Up!

I tend to be a fearless knitter.  I see a project I want to do, I figure out how to do it.  Sometimes, the only deterrent is my gauge.  Yup, I’m one of those people.

So I didn’t really learn any new skills this year.  So my one-up-ing comes from experience points.  This past year I have done more colourwork than I had done in previous years, and I did some modular knitting which involved a lot of picking up and knitting, as well as a lot of weaving in.

I do have skills I need to 1 up – mostly they have to deal with spinning flax fibres into linen yarn.  I need to do this soon.  That ties into the other skill I’m working on – finishing.  I have a wicked case of startitis.

Well, hello there

Look!  A hat!

Norie by Gudrun Johnston.  Ravelry link to my project.

So much for this being a school journal.  Journaling isn’t really a daily thing for me.  Mehh.

Although, speaking of school, I think I’ve come up with a new way to encourage myself to get my level 4 spinning homework done (because apparently I need incentives other than actually finishing it).  Shoes.

This winter has had more snow and cold days than most of the preceding 10 years and because of that, I’ve been wearing my winter boots almost every day since I got them in November.  I love my boots, but I’m really looking forward to wearing something else.  I’ve taken to wearing my plaid sneakers around my apartment and eyeing my “Roman” sandals with longing.

So if I get my yarn homework done in a decent amount of time, I’m going to get myself shoes.  Below are links to the shoes I’m currently tempted by; I may go with none of these because I may discover something that fits my shortness and thick calves better, but I wonder which are your favourites?

Shoe A.  Fluevog boots with tonnes of buckles?

Shoe B.  Fluevog printed boots with lattice-work cutouts?

Shoe C.  Neosens Rococo in “Ghobi Albahaca” with a cute little ribbon bow?

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 6 – Revisit a past F/O – knitcroblo6

Sorry, this is a day late…

Very early on in my knitting career, I had another influence I haven’t mentioned in the previous Knitting and Crochet Blog Week posts; Virginia van Santen.

When I met Virginia, she was working at Ewe Asked For It.  At first I only knew her as the extremely knowledgeable but mildly gruff, and therefore intimidating, employee of “The Ewe”.  But then I got a little less intimidated by her when I started admiring her yarns.  The woman had a gift for hand painting yarns, and became well known in her love.  But then she got really sick, and we lost her.  The Yarn Harlot did well in her tribute to VvS.

I think in the end I only bought two of her yarns.  One was in purples and greens (which I knitted into an Argosy for my Grandmother), the other was in peaches and pinks and all number of colours, which I knitted into a still unfinished Trifle Cowl (I have to put the buttons on).  But I used some of that multi-pinked yarn to create a colourwork mitten.  Yes.  A single mitten, of my own design, and when I wore it my father would often say, “Nice mittens, do you have another pair like it at home?”

I didn’t care that I never made the second one.  I never made any notes anyhow…but I loved that mitten, and was pleased that Virginia liked it too (she definitely approved of using handpainted yarns in colourwork and would often use two different handpainted yarns in her colourwork).

I wore that mitten until I wore it out.  It was imperfect (the three-needle bind off I did at the top wasn’t exactly done in the right area so instead of having a flat top, I had one was twisted over my fingers), but I made it out of my head, and it was the first.  And call me a pack-rat, call me sentimental, but I still keep it because it’s full of memories.  It’s my first design, my first knitted item that I made that wore through, and a memory of a fascinating friend to boot.  So I’m keeping this mitten.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 5 – Location, Location, Location – knitcroblo5

I’m a knit anywhere kinda girl.  Yesterday, much to my mother’s amusement, I was wandering around a gift shop, chatting with her, looking at various knickknacks, and knitting.  She was impressed at the level of multitasking.

My dad is not overly fond of my knitting habits.  I’m not allowed to knit at church when I visit my parents (though last time I was there I knitted while we were waiting for the congregation to file in…I’ve got some cheek, let me tell you), and when he takes me fishing, he won’t let me bring it with me to do in the truck on the way out to the lakes because I’ll miss the scenery (I kind of want to knit while I’m in my belly boat sometime; I think it would be hilarious).  One day while we were watching TV and I was deciding which of the projects I had brought home with me I wanted to work on, he accused me of being addicted.  I admitted that I was, but at least while I was sitting on my ass I was being somewhat productive.

I have a couple groups of friends, one group tolerates my knitterly ways with a little sceptical tolerance (oh, there she goes bringing out the knitting again), and the other contains my knitterly friends who whip out the knitting whenever convenient as well.

Generally on the whole, when knitting in public, I’ve never had anyone freak out that I was knitting.  In fact, I’ll often get someone who is curious, or someone who likes to reminisce about their own knitting.

Knitting a Herringbone Scarf (Rav link) by Allison Blevins at the Edmonton Folk Fest with Bela Fleck and Toumami Diabate in the background.  Upon posting this shot in facebook, a friend commented that he was told by another musician that knitting is the new Rock and Roll.

I just can’t knit in the dark.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 3 – One Great Knitter (and then some) | knitcroblo3

I have never been someone who could just choose one of anything.  My favourite colour is blue…no, red…is black a colour?…  I love Grey’s Anatomy, but Chuck is awesome, and I’m so excited for True Blood’s next season.

So choosing one important knitter is impossible to me.

Elizabeth Zimmermann must receive credit where credit is due; her brain is one I should dearly love to have been able to pick.  But I’m sure there are thousands of us extolling her virtues, as there should be.

The Baby Surprise Jacket I made for my godson.

Jared Flood should follow EZ since he is an EZ aficionado.  He has a very clean, crisp aesthetic and I love his love for texture in patterns and yarns.  But I mostly love him for his phenomenal photography; I aspire towards that.

The Turn a Square I made for my buddy Jay.

Ysolda Teague has this amazing ability to waiver between elegant, feminine patterns and delightfully cute ones; I have learned a lot from her (especially from her video on how to do a tubular ribbed cast-on), and the title for her collections of patterns, Whimsical Little Knits is ridiculously appropriate.

The Veyla and the Ishbel I haven’t told Ravelry about yet…

Cookie A is the designer whose patterns I have knit the most.  I am definitely a sock knitter and she’s the reason why.

The Kai-Mei socks I’ve already worn through.

Adrian Bizilia is the first knit blogger I read and her influence in my knitting and spinning has already been covered in the last two posts.

I can’t find the hat that I knit of an EZ pattern out of yarn I spun from wool I purchased from Hello Yarn.

Kristen Kapur is someone I regularly turn to for knitting goodness.

The Sikkim I made for my friend Raura.

Hansi Singh (Ravelry link, since her etsy shop is gone) is the designer who almost made my brain explode when I tried to knit her snail.  I never finished the body of the poor dude because the yarn I had for it was too big and the body ended up HUGE…one day I’ll finish it.

The aforementioned Garden Snail.

And finally, I have two friends who keep me inspired regulary, neither of whom have blogs that I’m aware of.  Raura and Hannbanann; both somehow find time to knit while going to school full time, and both create such beautiful things!

13 Months!

I saw this pattern when it was released in March 2009 and instantly fell in love.  But I’m easily distracted, an admitted starter of projects, and I somehow put it by the wayside.  Finally last week I decided I had to finish it, especially since I was so close to the end.

Finally, my Aeolian:

Pattern: Aeolian Shawl by Elizabeth Freeman (I did the shawlette version)

Yarn: Dandelion Knits Handpainted Alpaca Merino Lace in the Mountain Lake colourway

Needles: 3.75 mm circular

Cast on: March 11, 2009.  Wove in the ends this morning.