Where do I even begin?
It’s Monday morning, and in an order to pull off that whole faking it thing (see previous post), I need to hit the ground running. Funny enough, the only mojo I seem to have gotten back is in the knitting department. I have crocheting and sewing that needs to be jettisoned though…and soon. I need to try and reclaim my living room.
Knitting mojo, it’s a funny thing. I guess it only really took me completing that quick and dirty Jayne hat to help me get it back. I’ve been looking at my pattern collection and stash to see what I can use. I would love to start working on making the stash smaller again. I was also inspired while having coffee with Dana last week. She was knitting this really cool looking shawl called Nightlock. I had always wanted to knit a Danish style shawl. I really like the idea that the ends are long enough to tie behind ones back, saving you from having to have a shawl pin with you. So I grabbed my newly stashed Oink Pigments yarn and purchased the Nightlock pattern.
So I began my shawl…and as of this writing I am about halfway done. I worked on it last night, even though the AC is out at our place and it has been rather warm lately here in sunny SoCal. It was almost too hot to knit…*almost*.
So, now that the blog is done, it’s time to get my crap together and attack my sewing project head on…with breaks for lunch and crochet. It is going to be a very busy day!
Thinking of knitting has me feeling blah and I am starting to wonder if I may have lost my knitting mojo. I mean, it wouldn’t be the *worst* thing to happen to me. Everyone needs a break, right?
Honestly, I have plenty of other things I could be doing. As a matter of fact, I was just chatting with my mom yesterday about how I have three crochet projects on the hooks…and I was just approached to do a custom job for a friend. I have plenty of sewing I could do…or wrangling pattern testers…or editing patterns.
I’ve done nothing. More importantly, I don’t *want* to do anything. I’ve spent two whole days just staring at yarn (or in some cases, a computer screen). It’s making me slightly twitchy.
Whenever I think I want to keep my hands busy, I start going to the last places I should be in my head. I think about my hibernating WIP’s (my Amy Pond lace scarf or my Mountain View Cardigan), my unfinished spinning, or I get the overwhelming urge to warp my loom…and we all know that would be a slippery slope.
I try to look on the bright side. One of my “babies” is nearly done cooking. Now, if I could get over my fear of the unknown and put it out there for public consumption. It’s still early in the day…I still have plenty of time to get super productive doing the things that actually *need* to get done.
I really miss you. It’s been just over a week since I have been able to sit down and enjoy your company. I know I have things going on…I got sick…got relatives in town…I’ve been here and there and everywhere. I haven’t made a single trip to the yarn shop…and I am still upset that I can’t take you Disneyland!
(Who woulda thunk it? Those beautiful needles you so gracefully adorn are considered to be weapons.)
I just don’t know when I am going to get to spend time with you again. There has been such craziness and drama happening in my life. I know I normally share it all with you, but this time I just haven’t been able to reach you.
Trust me when I say I am trying to clear out space on my calendar for you and I to visit with each other. I would really like to get you finished. I have a new KAL coming this summer and I intend to wear you while I work on that.
So, here I sit at Detroit Metro Airport, kinda bored. There is no large TV here at my gate, so I have no idea what’s going on in the world. What I do know is that I only have a 30 minute layover in Atlanta, and I hope I don’t miss my flight because I have to go back to work in the morning.
At least I have my sweater to keep me warm, knitting to work on while on the plane, and snacks and coffee to keep me happy because I wont have time to grab dinner.
My knee socks are progressing nicely. I’ve started my calf increases last night and am about half way through them. They will look so cute once their done and as long as I don’t run out of yarn.
Well, off I go to explore the airport. We’ll see how this post turns out. If it works, this will be my very first post from my iPhone!
Well, as most of you can see, I have been pretty absent for awhile. My problem has been a big one.
The “powers that be” decided to steal my mojo.
For a girl who does something crafty every day (and I mean that…literally EVERY DAY), dealing with a creative slump is tough. I went though all sorts of phases. There was denial and mourning and letting go. I figure, why force something that isn’t there right? Maybe it was all the stuff I did before my slump that burned me out. All those projects *I didn’t post here*. I couldn’t bring myself to even take pictures of the garments I finished before this loss of creativity. I had no desire to knit.
Before you start thinking, “But Stacy, you have plenty of other hobbies. Why not work on something else?” The answer is: “I just couldn’t”.
All this happened at the height of Tour De Fleece, which turned out to be an epic fail for me. I finished NOTHING. I was so excited about starting, but I fizzled out quick. I had no desire to spin.
No knitting, no spinning. I had done a few sewing projects pre-slump. But even though my sewing machine is still sitting on my dining room table…it looks cold and lifeless.
My husband suggested our trip to Comic Con might help jump start things. It didn’t. A couple trips to the my local LYS had me sitting in a chair watching everyone else knit. How. Freaking. Sad.
So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. For what seemed like an eternity, I did nothing.
But then something happened…
It started with a request to knit for the shop. It’s a pattern I don’t care for particulary, but I decided to take it on anyway. I decided I was gonna force myself to soldier on through whatever this is I am going through. Then I was watching Being Human and decided I was going to try and sew this:
I started sketching right away. Hey, it wasn’t knitting, but it was *something*.
Then it got even better! I went to Stitch ‘N Pitch 2010 on Friday night. The Dodgers v. The Nationals. There was a big pre-game sale at my LYS (Unwind). I was there two minutes and zero’d in on the Madeline Tosh Merino Light. The Fjord colorway. I snatched up the 4 skeins that were left and carried them around for very little time before I walked up to pay for them. 4 skeins of yarn with no project…but I knew they were destined to be something awesome.
I got as far as Dodger Stadium before deciding what that yarn was destined to be. I met a lovely lady in line for a Dodger Dog that was wearing the most amazing sweater. I made a point to ask her about the pattern name twice and texted it to myself. Pas De Valse.
So now, I am excited about knitting again. I can’t wait to get started on my sweater. Thank goodness!
I had heard the stories around the shop, and to be honest, I think the Friday Night Knitting group started at a Stitch ‘n’ Pitch a few years back. Of course, that wasn’t how I had gotten acquainted with everyone…
It was an interesting time. I brought knitting and spinning, but I can’t say I got much done. We found out that a reporter from NPR was going to be on the bus with us. He interviewed a few of the ladies in the back of the shop while Penny and I watched, but I got a chance to be interviewed on the way to the bus. Of course I was in full on spinning mode because I had started Tour De Fleece already and so I gave my take on how I think spinning has given me a better appreciation for yarn and knitting or something like that.
The game was blowout, but that didn’t matter. I got a free Namaste KnitTube and I got to get myself a Dodger Dog…and I got to look around at all these people in the section next to us that looked at us sideways because they couldn’t figure out why there was a whole section of men and women knitting at a baseball game. Don’t get me wrong….I love it when people look at me all confused.
Except for when I got married….oh and that weekend I had the kids….sorry honey!
Seriously though, this weekend was amazing!
It started off bright and early on Friday morning. Good thing I am morning person (I mean, what mom of toddlers isn’t?). I left the house at 6-something in the morning…which is still even pretty early for me, and headed to the lot to pick up Parcae. We stopped for Starbucks and to pick up a few snacks. After that we headed to NoHo and Sherman Oaks to pick up Camille and Ang. We were off and running by 7:20 am.
The drive went by incredibly fast. We saw a lot of cows and that made me happy. It is so nice to get out of the city!! We also stopped to have lunch with a friend of mine. It was a really good trip.
We got to the Hilton Santa Clara sometime between 2 and 3. I really don’t know when. We checked in fast and didn’t even try to unload our stuff out of the car…just headed straight across the street to the convention center. We walked into the marketplace and it was sensory overload. To be honest, I don’t remember much after that. I do remember walking around with Camille and thinking that she had tremendous restraint. It apparently rubbed off on me, because I only really shopped from my list.
First stop for shopping was Creative Dyed, where I got 12oz. of bluey-green seawool for spinning. Thank goodness Purlescence had spinning stuff…that is where I got my Schacht hand carders. My final purchase of the day was at the Habu booth. I was in search of the Kusha Kusha scarf pattern which I found there. They look like that had already run out of some of their stainless steel/wool yarn colors, so I decided to take a chance. I got the light lavender stainless steel yarn to mix with a dark brown wool. I think it will tone down the lavender. I also picked up a cone of this gorgeous burgundy lace-weight yarn that had shiny bits of a greenish color in it. So pretty!
We left before the close of market and had a few drinks at the bar to unwind and try and remember what we seen. I had a whole new game plan for the next day.
Later on that evening, while we were knitting, I got a text from the ladies back at Friday Night Knitting. Myrna was there and she was knitting up some of the handspun I had made for her Secret Santa gift in December.
So, I finished the Christmas Lights yarn right under the wire. I think I had the stuff soaked and ready by December 23rd. The stuff turned out great! Of course the color repeats didn’t exactly line up, but whatevs!
The yarn was great, and since it was for the Uniquely Yours spin-a-long, I was really trying to get it done by the Christmas Eve deadline. I was also going to try to make something with it by that same deadline, but the kids were sick and so I didn’t quite finish by midnight. I did, however, get my Christmas hat done Christmas morning and I got to wear it all day!
I ended up using the Wooly Wormhead Rollin’ Beret pattern. I made it a little on the small side because I was anxiety about my yarn (seriously, I need to learn to *trust the pattern*). When they say it takes 135 yards, they REALLY mean they only need 135 yards. And, as if that little stint of knitting crazy wasn’t enough…
A lot of my friends will remember my poppy yarn. I had gotten myself a batt-of-the-month subscription on etsy from Loop. This was one of the first batts I had received. What she had done was requested we give her inspiration for an individual batt she would send us. For this particular month, the theme was flowers. She had asked us to go out, take photos of what flowers we would like to inspire our batt. I think she did a really good job! Her batts are simply gorgeous. I am hoping at some point this year I can get back into one of her Spontaneous Spinning Batt Clubs because Steph Gorin (Loop) has a great eye for color and her batts are amazing.
So back to what I was talking about. I had finished this yarn back in April and kept saying I was going to make a hat with it. In a couple of hours on Christmas day I had completed hat #2.
I had 140 yards of this yarn, but was being incredibly conservative with the yarn usage. I could have used bigger needles and made the hat a little larger, but I really thought I would run out. I need to TRUST the PATTERN. Of course that doesn’t always apply, I know there are tons of pages on the net with countless errata for all kinds of stuff, but when the pattern says 135 yards, I should just trust it. I know I didn’t use quite 135 yards because I did have a little ball of yarn left over. The hat is super cute though. It’s my new favorite winter hat because it is crazy bright!
I have some silk poppies at home I thought about attaching to the hat, but I haven’t decided yet if I would feel a little too “Blossom“.
Once again it has been a busy week. No more work at the old job…I am officially done. My last day was Thursday. Of course, everyone was asking why I didn’t actually take some “real” time off in-between jobs, but I guess that wouldn’t be something I would do.
I really over-scheduled myself this weekend. I spent most of the weekend volunteering at the annual SCMOTC Workshop. In my down time at the workshop (like general session and lunch) I worked on my Interlocking Leaves Socks. Luckily, early Friday morning I finished the Wooly Wormhead Mystery Beret. While I was not happy with the yarn, I really like this hat. I think I may make another in a different color. I have a ton of spinning to get done too, so maybe it would look good in some handspun! It is a super quick knit too!
Then there was Sunday and FELT CLUB! I was so excited I was acting like a geeky little kid. I made sure that we left early ’cause I don’t play when it comes to getting in line for free goodies! We got a little lost on the way there, but met some friends in line.
This past weekend I got a lot done. I was knitting like there was no tomorrow in every free moment I had. I was a knitting robot.
Friday morning I went into work and had a good 20 minutes to finish my Spooky Monkey October KAL socks. That makes for a good workday…getting a project done before work starts. They turned out really nice. I think they would look pretty cool as a pair of knee socks or stockings, but I just can’t seem to wrap my brain around how that would work with increases in the pattern. I think if I think about it too much my brain might just explode. I haven’t entered the world of anything-bigger-than-a-normal-sock sock. I have too many other projects in my queue.
I have to say, I wasn’t really in love with this pattern while I was working on it, but I am really pleased how they ended up. They are pretty cool. I may even do this pattern again sometime (maybe in a light colored yarn, I have some Ghillie Dhu Spirit Colorway yarn in my stash).
So I worked real hard all day Friday knowing that I don’t have much time to get things done at my job before I leave. I was thankful Friday night’s are stitch ‘n’ bitch. I got a lot done there too.
Ta da! Friday night I knit like the wind and made it through clue #2 on the Wooly Wormhead Mystery Beret for the Ravelry KAL. I had a few people ask me what the mystery is, well, basically Wooly Wormhead releases the pattern in bits and pieces. Each clue gets you through more of the beret. I am basically knitting something without knowing what the next part of the pattern is like, or what the finished product will look like. So far it looks as if it is going to be incredibly slouchy. I think my gauge was pretty dead on, and I am just doing the slouchy version and not the extra slouchy version. I can’t imagine what the extra slouchy one would look like, especially if you block the hell out of it.
I do have to come clean with a little review here. While I really like the yarn I am knitting with, the yarn is very fragile and the skein I bought had a ton of knots (at least 8 knots and I have only gotten through half the skein). I had it break twice on me while doing the long tail cast-on. That bummed me out. I soldier through it though because the yarn is so pretty. I know it is recycled, so I am hoping that is the reason behind all the things that are making my stomach do flip flops (in a bad way).
So then, this weekend, I started my November KAL socks. I decided to knit the Interlocking Leaves pattern on knitty.com with yarn I purchased from my friend kata on etsy.com. See this picture on the left? This is what it looked like from my desk at work Monday morning. This is before the girl that is taking my place came in for training…and before the stomach bug that seemed to attack our family finally got to me too. Yup… That is when the knitting stopped entirely. I spent the morning training, then about lunchtime I went home and curled up in a ball in bed and stayed there. I slept through most of it luckily, and didn’t get it nearly as bad as my son…but it was bound to happen since I crawled into bed with him a few nights before (right before he started showing symptoms) thinking he had a nightmare. Really, I think it was just this funk coming on. I am happy to say we are all on the mend though. It no longer sounds like I have a dozen angry ferrets ripping each other apart in my stomach. Yay! Of course this all had to happen my last week of work. Luckily, I should be healthy enough to go back and put in my last day and a half.
Now back to the knitting…