Monday, January 11, 2016

Bad Habits Resurface

Days and days without posting. Days without knitting, actually. At least I finished the WIP! This one, is bigger, which I figured, since the yarn is slightly more bulky and I used larger needles. I guess I didn't realize quite how much bigger it would be. (Especially considering the fact that the baby isn't even born yet) It looks to be about a 2T, if memory serves.

I've been in a bit of a strange head space the last week or two. I don’t know how many creative types go through a period of weirdness right before a creative breakthrough or not, but I do. Any breakthrough, creative or otherwise, I experience is proceeded by a period of what I call, “staring at the wall”. I don’t really know what is going on in my brain during that time for sure, but I can only describe it as feeling like my subconscious is working out a problem that I am not privy to

It’s an odd feeling. I can’t focus on complicated things. I function mostly normally, but go quiet. For most people that know me well, quiet isn’t usually a word used to describe me. The thing is, over the last few years I’ve been described that way more and more. I don’t know if it’s good, bad or indifferent, it just is. Even now, trying to write a simple blog post, I can see the inconsistency and rambling nature of my thoughts in black and white. Still, I have to put something down, something I can point to and say, “I did do something. I DID start on the thing I was trying to work out.”
The thing is, I’ve been feeling the call of the arts. But they are all calling at once. I want to take amazing photographs while painting an abstract in oils and knit miles of self striping yarn as I write my book. Focus focus focus – I have it, I don’t have it, I have it, I don’t – It’s all the same. I’m focused on them all without being able to do any of it. Oh yeah, I want to figure out how to make bread. Really really good chewy bread with giant holes that rises the way it’s supposed to and make a sandwich. (for the record, I’ve been making bread a long time, and much more lately, but I’m not happy with my results yet)
On the plus side, I've become a veritable sourdough lord of the yeasts, so all my bread tastes marvelous. (Gentlemen Broncos reference) My biggest problem is getting the risen bread not to collapse once it starts baking, or to rise at all after the punch-down. So far, my best success has been with a very simple Ciabatta recipe that my sister sent me. No kneading, it rises in the oven all night and then you shape it into a loaf and start baking it in a cold oven at 400. So far, I have 2 successes and 1 failure. 2 more rising now for tries 4 and 5.

As for my book ideas... I have several stories bouncing around in my head. When I sit down to write them, they jumble up. So, I think I'll start with collecting my random poetry.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Baby Surprise the Third

I seriously love the drape of dishcloth cotton! I never really thought about it much until I realized I was out of nice baby yarn for baby boy sweater stuff. I have a whole slew of new relatives now I'm remarried to the second of NINE siblings. I have gained many brothers and sisters in law, nieces and nephews, step children and even a grand! Crazy, eh?

Well, one of my sisters-in-law has three daughters, two of which are twins, who were both pregnant at the same time. (awesome, right? twin cousins! how cool) Anyway! One of them recently had her baby (like a week ago or so) and I thought...hmmmm I wonder if she'd like the baby sweater I made already? So I sent her a picture of it and asked her if the colors were too girly for her baby boy. She said no, she really liked it. So, that one will be on it's way to it's new home probably the beginning of next week, when the people stealing packages off of doorsteps stop looking for packages to steal.

After that, it occurred to me that I shouldn't leave the other twin out, that would be rude, right? So I'm digging through my baby yarn and all I have is the pink colorway that corresponds to the yarn I used the last time. Pink and purple and white and maybe another color. (they are both boys, in case you didn't get that yet) I think it's Baby Bernat in their baby cotton line (antique by now, practically... I bought it before I knew anything about yarn) So after looking at the dishcloth cotton I have left, I started to formulate a plan. A similar color combination to the previous one, blue and purple and green, as would befit cousin twins, don't ya think? Similar but not exactly the same. heheheheheee

Of course I still must double check the colors with the soon to be mom. (the moms are 6 weeks apart in due dates - how cute is that?) What do you think? Do you like these colors?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Baby Surprise Sweater FO.

One Baby Surprise Sweater down and at least one or two more to go

I've started the next one, hopefully I have enough yarn to get through the whole pattern.

This one has a home waiting for it and the next one will, too, if mom likes it. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Casting Off

I must say, that after a million miles of straight knitting (garter stitch) casting off a hundred miles in purl feels very strange =)

FO pictures of The Great Dame E.Z. Baby Surprise Sweater to come.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Baby Surprise Stashbuster

Elizabeth Zimmerman was a genius. I would love for my brain to work the way hers did. The baby surprise sweater is (as many others have said) engineering genius. I've made one and am working on my second. The thing is, the time in between knits means I've forgotten everything I figured out working the first one. 

I understand her instructions being completely understandable to her and many others. They are, quite wonderful and simple. It's just that, for me to know what I'm doing, I need to know exactly where I am at all times - which means knowing what row I'm on and how many stitches are supposed to be on that row etc etc. So I (being me) have to over complicate the pattern to keep it straight in my brain.

Maybe if I make about 3 or 4 in a row, I'll have the recipe down in my head enough not to need these notes. But rest assured, if I go another 2 years without making any more, I'll need the notes again (and again) Considering I'm on a dual stashbusting/getting my groove back kick, I should be able to use up all the baby yarn I have. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Second Thought Beanie

The stash-busting continues. It's been quite a long time since I've actually been in the habit of knitting, that it's taking some time to get back in the swing of it. I ought to be doing better than I am, but, for one reason or another I can't seem to settle down and focus. So, in an attempt to knit down my stash of less marvelous yarns while getting myself back into being a real knitter, I've been working on getting my dishcloth cotton knitted into useable objects rather than balls of yarn that seem to just sit there and long to be real stuff.

I had planned of making lots of dishtowels. I've got to that stage where I have worn out most of my dishtowels and really don't like the rest of them. =) So I started another random dishtowel, much like I started the last one. No pattern, no specific number of stitches, just cast on randomly and start to knit. Once I cast on, I realized I didn't want to do garter stitch and I was bored with seed stitch. So I started doing YO K2tog just for kicks. Once I'd been doing that back and forth for a while, I noticed it didn't want to be a dishtowel. (funny how some projects seem to have their own personalities) It would have been a very odd towel, anyway, too floppy to be serviceable, really.

I looked at it, flipped it over and looked at it some more. (we were in the car on a meandering road trip of sorts) I dropped down the vanity mirror on the visor and wrapped it around my head. As it turns out... it was the perfect size for a little hat thing. I joined the stitches and began to knit in the round after fudging the number of stitches only slightly with one strategically placed K3tog and continued on with the same basic YO K2tog. Of course it was only then I recalled the obvious implications of straight knitting back and forth in a pattern and switching to straight knitting in the round. I pressed on anyway just to see it I could deal with it and I found I could bear it very cheerfully indeed. (emulating Charlotte Lucas from the Ehle/Firth P&P)

Here's the result
One Stash-buster Second Thought Almost Flapper Beanie

What do ya think?

Friday, December 4, 2015


Over the last few days I've been updating the blog, moving around the "furniture" and removing old non-working links. As I was going through all my links, I noticed many bloggers seemed to have quit posting regularly very near the same time that I did. I have to wonder what was going on in 2012 that so many of us stopped blogging? Was knit blogging a fad that had run it's course for all but the most dedicated and tenacious writers? Or was it something else? I think perhaps it was Facebook that took my attention off blogging. I noticed another knit-blogger said something about a Farmville induced funk. I was in that boat for a while, too. I also started working like a crazy person at the beginning 2012. It seems to have been a time for big change for many of us.

Transition: The most painful part of labor and delivery.

Most any transition is painful  or at least uncomfortable. After feeling completely stagnant and stuck for so very long, one would think that a bit of change would be a relief. Lots of it WAS a huge relief, but relief and discomfort aren't mutually exclusive. Change can be just a scary as stagnation is frustrating. 

Stagnation has it's own strange comfort to it. Nothing ever changes. You are still. Maybe you starting being still to try to heal. Maybe you just got depressed and stopped to assess. Whatever the case, the stillness turned toxic and you began to ... stew in your own problems.

Once one begins to move and live again, and things begin to change, change itself can take on a whole new life of it's own. Very soon I'll tell you the story of all the change in the last few years. Buckle up, it's a dizzying ride.