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Archive for October 9th, 2005

I’m So Funny

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

wristwarmersOK, so what did I do to deal with my unfinished object problem? I started a totally new project and finished it in one day! It definitely made me feel better, but my UFO situation has not changed a bit. (Well, I did wind the yarn for my grass skirt into tamed center-pull bundles but didn’t cast on yet.)

Sometimes I think I’m really 13 years old! Instant gratification works every time. Or so it seems…

So now I have some beautiful, bulky purple alpaca wristwarmers. They are just the most luxurious thing I could make. I love them! I’m wearing them right now as I’m typing, and my hands are getting warmer already.

(The yarn I used is Alpaca with a Twist brand, Big Baby, color 2003. It is 82 yards in 100gm/3.5oz. For comparison, my DK-weight ColorSport has appx. 225yd in 100gm, and Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s pride bulky when adjusted for skein size, would be 109yd for 100gm. Considering how warm alpaca is by weight, this is seriously fat and dense yarn! I’m not complaining.)

Now I need to be extra-careful not to lose one. Maybe these will be my “keep them for cold days at home” pair. I tend to lose things during days when it’s cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon… I’m not the only one with this problem, but it’s worse when you made the item you lost.

Anyway… Somehow finishing something made me feel waaaay better.

Inner Adolescent: 1, Inner Adult: 0

It didn’t hurt anyone, though… And I have no remorse over my choice at all!

Great Class without Pictures… & My UnFinished Objects

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Class
Saturday I taught 5 people how to knit Fast Florida Footies, at Threadbear. It was fun but went too fast. I totally forgot to take pictures! Marti, Kim, Crystal, Dorothy and Cari were great fun and all had beautiful starts on their projects. (I also saw Jamie, who came in wearing her Watercolor Bag from a spring class at Little Red Schoolhouse, and I forgot to take that picture as well…)

The yarn (Cascade Fixation) comes in such great colorways, we had a hard time picking which ones we liked best. Partway through class I fell in love with Dorothy’s solid turquoise yarn… will consider that one for the next Fixation dance top. Yeah, that sounds great! This weekend I chose a sort of raspberry I’ll enjoy a lot.

Digression: I am of two minds on one-day classes. I guess from my years teaching computer seminars, this is how I usually offer my classes. It does allow more people to attend, but the nature of the beast is that folks can’t possibly finish the project that day.

I guess that’s the nature of knitting, anyway. It’s a process, not a destination. I just always feel I want to stay with my students another several hours… no matter HOW long the class is. But longer classes cost more and are harder to get a babysitter for, for example. I guess life is just one big set of compromises and we do always have a nice time in class. I have students who repeat, attending class after class, so I must be doing something right.
End Digression.

FFFooties by LynnHThe FFFooties I wear myself (as opposed to the almost-zillion I’ve knit as gifts and for yarn shop samples) are hot green. Reeeeally hot green. I love ’em! They are actually the last pair I totally finished (pair 119), and that was mid-July.

Socknitting Slowdown
I am sad about that statistic (no socks finished in several months). I love knitting socks and for several years I averaged about a pair every 10 days or so. I knit 10 pair in 5 weeks when I went to Africa. And now my most current pair is one I mostly finished in August on our trip out east, waiting for kitchener stitch (on the afterthought heels, they were toe up). I probably have a zillion other pairs partly started… or so it seems.

I must say, though… this summer was a slow one for my business so I spent much of my knitting time, knitting samples for shops (to encourage pattern/class sales). I’ve knit a handful of single sample socks but they don’t make it to my sock-pair log. I’ve knit more hats than I’ve ever knit, I think (in preparation for a pattern to go in hat kits with my handpainted yarn and buttons). I knit a baby blanket for a pattern that is now being tested by another knitter.

It seems I’m knitting all the time, but sadly not much for me. And then I guess I’ve been experimenting some (as with the machine-knit tank top) where I have to rip out problems and start midway again. And that is the nature of experimenting. And artists do that. It is part of the territory.

Bloom Shawl by Trish Bloom I’ve also knit a bit on patterns written by other designers, though I seem to have finished nothing in that area. I have swatched all sorts of yarns. I am currently dreaming of wristwarmers and legwarmers now that we are having a cold snap, though I haven’t started the specific alpaca legwarmers I dream of.

I’ve dyed more yarn late this summer than I’ve ever dyed in one short timeframe. And I started making buttons (and that project is not really even started yet… I don’t have enough buttons to make a web page and sell them, after selling a few handsful to Rae at Rae’s and Linda at Little Red Schoolhouse… and the Boyz at Threadbear did say they wanted some but they want earthtones and I haven’t made any in earthtones yet). Hopefully I’ll get back on that this week now that the big push on our music CD is mostly over.

Time seems so ripe for a new pair of socks… I started a pair for my mom last spring, hoping to give them to her for her birthday in mid-August. They are still partly knit. And she has tiny feet and these have short cuffs! That’s life, I guess.

Looking Ahead
However, I do really need to make samples for upcoming classes. Right now I’m most excited about my upcoming “Design Your Own Colorful Mittens” class at Threadbear on October 19 (scheduled for 2 weeks but I have a 3rd in spare in case people want to continue) from 11a-1p. I know that not everyone is available during the day, but for some people (like me) daytime is actually better… and with 11-1, some people who have flexible work schedules may be able to work out long lunches. Or so I hope.

Musing
I guess I’m sort of rambling today. I know I often write a lot… but typically I do have something to say, and I think I can be relatively focused in print. Right now it’s Sunday morning, I’m sitting near a sunny window wrapped in wool (with chilly toes even so) and it’s my first day off in several weeks. I’m not very focused today!

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep on the couch at 11pm. Now, I almost never go to sleep before 12:30, usually more like 2am, so this tells you how tired I was! But that means I woke up early (for me) and that gives me a very long day off.

I’ve been reading other folks’ blogs for the first time in weeks, I caught up on my DyeHappy email list, my all-time favorite list (they never get into a snit over anything, have never had a flame war in 3 years, and I adore them for that), and I’m drinking black tea with ginger root, trying to focus a little.

I will have to go out sometime today to get my fuzzy purple beret back from Rae. I left it at her shop when I was trying on sample sweaters, one of my favorite hobbies. Have I mentioned how much I love clothes? Trying on sample sweaters is such a delight! I do it as often as possible.

Yarn Binge
Funny, I got a large payment from a computer client this week and so I determined to buy the yarn for projects I’ve been dreaming of in the last few months. I got some purple worsted weight silk (on sale, no less) from Little Red Schoolhouse for an Annie Modesitt knitted corset tank top.

Then I got some Noro Blossom yarn from Rae’s for Trish Bloom’s Bloom Shawl from Knitty (see photo above… yes, I do have her permission to use the photo). And I’m still waiting semi-patiently for the Jamieson Shetland yarn (approx. fingering weight, very wooly, almost like little springs) to come in to Threadbear in white or light gray for a Vivian Hoxbro Shadow Knitted shawl (I think it calls for 4 colors, but 3 of the ones I want are already in stock). As if I needed more things to knit???

UFO’s
Meanwhile, what am I knitting? Right now as I read blogs and email, I’m knitting a bulky alpaca pair of wristwarmers. They are sooo soft, and soooo warm, I’m very happy they are knitting up almost like magic. I’ll have a whole new pair in an hour or two. I’ve got another pair but these are longer and warmer than any I’ve made yet.

And I am planning to start today on my 2nd Surf & Turf “grass” skirt from yarn I got at Yarn Garden in Charlotte. (Yes, the first one is officially toast… it will make a nice “carpet” bag when I can stand to look at it again.)

I’m still dreaming of knitting the Cascade Fixation bikini top by KnitWhits that I bought at Yarn for Ewe. I also am halfway through two Lily Chin bras… cups finished but not straps.

My most-worked-on UFO is my Lucy Neatby Equilateral Vest. The back is maybe halfway done. For that one, I got the pattern from Threadbear, and the yarn partly from Yarn Garden and partly from Yarn for Ewe (they have a totally new website recently, you might want to check that out). And the socks that need kitchener stitch? Yarn from Nancy McRay’s shop, Woven Art, in East Lansing. I’m nothing if not an equal-opportunity yarn purchaser, I guess.

I am feeling for the first time that I might actually want an inventory of all my unfinished projects. Some of them I should just rip out. For example, when I teach classes, I start projects so the students can understand what I’m teaching. But of course I spend more time working with them on their projects than knitting mine. And some of those projects should just be ripped out so that my UFO (unfinished object) guilt can be slightly lessened.

…and so that I might actually set priorities on which to finish first? I’ve never had trouble with finishing things before, I’ve always had many irons in the fire and I’d eventually finish everything I cared about. But right now it’s bigger than ever, and I’m a little overwhelmed.

Maybe this day off will help in the overwhelm department. OK, one more cup o’tea for Lynnie…