Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Maybe It Will Work for Easter

Earlier this fall I bought yarn for making my Loopy Academy projects. I had patterns and plans but alas, am a Hedgehog of the Occasional Inability to Read the Pattern Properly Until Several Months later. *sigh*

And so I refactored, grabbed new patterns, and faced my yarn choices. 

Two skeins from that shipment have to be set aside for gifts, so I'm left with my original yarn choices and a curious wondering about what I was possibly thinking in September.

I bought lavender wool. I don't particularly care for lavender-- I don't wear the color; I'm not a big fan of the scent. More for those of you who do like it, truly. Why did I buy lavender wool? If you run into September Hedgehog, ask her. 

And the project needs to be at least 250 yards and include bobbles, which means I need to use both skeins. 

I also don't like bobbles. Sibling-the-Elder has done some fantastic work with lace and nupps. I adore what she is capable of and my coworkers keep threatening to permanently borrow the shawls she has made me. But bobbles in worsted weight and with me knitting just look like clunky blobs dangling off an otherwise reasonably satisfactory knitting project.

Each semester, Loopy Academy brings me a project with a skill set I don't really have and while I can say, ah yes, I've now done it, the result turns back into yarn or goes immediately into the gift bin.  In doing a quick count on Ravelry just now, of the 12 projects completed so far 4 were gifted/are in the gift bin; 3 were frogged; and I've kept 5. Of the three for this semester, I have a feeling I'll keep 1. It depends if there is any hope that the gloves will fit someone else.

I've restarted the bobble project a couple of times now. And I've just decided to rip out what I have so far and start again. My first effort was a pattern that I found online and while yes, it would have been doable, six inches in I found it so hideous that I refused to take pictures of it. Not the pattern's fault, though the designer wasn't the clearest and I wouldn't buy anything from her again. But lavender feather and fan lace topped with chunky bobbles wasn't doing anyone any good.

So now I've tracked down a crescent scarf pattern that I will modify to add a row of small bobbles. And if I run out of yarn, I'll bind off early and it will be a shallow crescent. Hopefully this is the last time, as I go to cast on again. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It Always Comes Down to December

Every year, I think I will do better. Every year, I don't. You'd think I'd learn and either would do better or would at least know my own tendency to put things off.

Fall knitting has been taken up by large projects that you've not seen, due to my wanting to get them finished and off to recipients before I showed pictures. The last ends are finally woven in and the delivery date for them set. and proof that I haven't been a total slacker.

I'm now trying desperately to catch up on my Loopy Academy Junior Year Fall Semester Projects. I could easily have knocked these out months ago but instead here I am frantically trying to catch up. It didn't help that when I went to work on one project I realized that I'd not bought enough yarn. Some refactoring and new patterns later and I'll be okay, if annoyed.

Getting attention this weekend was Loopy Project: Make a Toy. I've not gotten much into toys, for all that I have the Rebecca Danger Monster book (AudioGirl, is that still at your house?). The Philosopher tracked down an unusual pattern for me though: Balloon Tying Stuff Animals

I, of course, am tackling the Elephant, albeit with a bit of help. It's fiddly, mostly because I tend to knit all of my circular stuff inside out. It's slowing me down to have to knit it this way, because you stuff as you go. Also six stitches on four circulars is a disaster waiting to happen if you are me.

I'm working on one of the legs, with another leg and then the ears up next. Then it's back to knitting purgatory as I continue the fingers of gloves. AudioGirl reminded me that I really don't like knitting mittens and yes, it's very true. And there are a couple other finished projects and a start of  a pair of socks that I took to Moana last night (excellent movie, by the by!)

Christmas Knitting and Loopy Academy Deadlines are upon me. I'll get through but December is going to require a lot of extra knitting focus. Good luck to the other knitters facing these deadlines!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Knitting Adjacent

I've been searching for a knitting metaphor for the world over the past days since the US election. Not so much for you, for myself. Knitting focuses me when I am troubled, gives me tangible progress when information work feels horrendously intangible, and has the added side benefit of connecting me to a large community of people who share my hobby--if not all of my opinions (e.g. DPNs vs. Magic Looping for socks. I'm #TeamDPN).

Knitting is often made up of big projects. Long projects. Anyone who has ever undertaken a large shawl, the second sock at that tiny gauge, or a full size afghan knows the slog, the haul, the do-I-really-have-that-much-more-yarn-to-go feeling.

That is what is keeping me going right now. Following the election and facing tumultuous and scary time ahead, I'm grasping on to all the knitting metaphors I can find. This may be simplistic but it gives me a little bit of reassurance.

I can do big things. And each big thing is made up of many thousands of small things. I cannot do much knitting most days -- I've been too tired, too overwhelmed, and still working on the train. But it's rare that at least one stitch doesn't get done. This is then my approach to the larger project of trying to deal with a world where the word of the year is "post-truth."

I will be trying to document my single-stitch actions, privately. This isn't about seeking accolades, it's about knowing for myself that I have made those stitches and to remind myself of each activity so I can repeat some of them.

We have much work to do. We have many people to advocate for and defend.

And I have pointy needles.

Make Sure You Give Back

Make sure you give back. Such a common phrase, such a polite idea. And so insidious. Give.... Give to your profession. Make sure you...