twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Sock it to me! January 24, 2013

The pair I just finished

The pair I just finished

Since this is the time of year I find myself doing lots of introspection and investigation (in my home, this is more commonly known  as sorting, cleaning and mumbling to myself over the ridiculous amount of yarn I have collected over the years), a couple of things keep popping up on my radar: I have oodles of sock yarn, and I need socks.

However, I also have to admit to also having a few UFO knitting projects to complete, as well as some  writing UFOs, and a few other creative UFOs I want/need to finish that I’ll be focusing on this year. I want a clean slate.

So I decided, starting with the yarn excesses, it would be fun to copy something the brilliant Yarn Harlot has done in past years; specifically, go through her stash and pair 12 skeins of yarn with 12 patterns for a pair a month. Genius. I’d like to say I’m gonna do the same thing, however since I cannot knit as fast as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee  can, I’m gonna plan of 6 pairs for myself (1 pair every 2 months), which allows me to also do some work finishing the UFO sweater, shawl, 2 pair mitts, and 2 scarves–all which are more than 1/2 finished, except for the sweater–and add in the occasional giftie project or extra pair of socks along the way.

Oh yes, and don’t let me forget the new hat I’m making Bug that she “absolutely needs right now,” since she cannot find her wolf hat which is lost in the Pit of Despair (her room). This project is going super fast, however, so I should have it finished by the end of the weekend.

The "Seedling" Hat in lovely Madelintosh Vintage worsted, Filigree

The “Seedling” Hat in lovely Madelintosh Vintage worsted, Filigree

Anyway, back to the socks.

The other thing I’ll do differently for my bi-monthly sock project is that for sock the patterns, I’m will do what I did for the pair of socks I just finished. Specifically, I used a basic top down, short row heel, wedge toe sock pattern, and put a single lace repeat on the front/top of the sock, and plain stockinette on the bottom.DSCN0019

I did this because I was playing around with a sweater design and wanted to see if I’d like doing this lace pattern on the sweater, so I tried it out on the sock. Kind of like a swatch on steroids. making the swatch useful.

Many of my knitting pals and I hate doing swatches. We don’t wanna waste precious time on something that, while extremely useful in determining fit, is something that has no other use, unless you’re gonna save them up and make a blanket. Not to mention, how many times have you had to unravel your swatch to have enough yarn to finish your project? In my case, too many to count. So socks are, for me, a great way to test a pattern stitch and get something useful to boot. Besides, the top side is the side most everyone sees anyway, and it’s way easier to darn stockinette. Seriously.

But I digress.

So my plan is, I’m gonna go through my stitch guides, mark the patterns I want to try out, sift through my yarns and put them in a big bag to get them ready to go. It’s kinda exciting…but then most of you know, making lists makes me hot! 😉

Here's the proposed lineup of fiber...

Here’s the proposed lineup of fiber…

Watch out, sock drawer.

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Back in the Saddle Again… January 2, 2013

Filed under: jewels,knitting,life,writing — kathy @ 1:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,
A few favorite pieces from this year's trunk show

A few favorite pieces from this year’s trunk show

Well, I may not have been abducted by aliens as I joked months ago, but I’d certainly have to say that I was overwhelmed by UFOs since I wrote my last post. UFOs–unfinished objects, that is.

The finished "Coat of Many Colors." What a project!

The finished “Coat of Many Colors.” What a project!

Where do I even start? (Begin run-on sentence, because frankly that’s how it felt) It started with knitting like crazy to finish those “nearly done” projects that I really could use, knitting gifties for those I love, then I got the wild hair to open a new Etsy store, made scads of bridal jewelry this year, and mid-summer, determined that this year I’d be ready to go with my new pieces of jewelry at the beginning of November instead of a day or two before my big annual trunk show; the plot thickened when Bug’s 8th grade year began, and all sorts of little things needed to be accomplished before the Holidays that somehow required my help (these are too numerous to list, but include class projects and the 8th grade class trip).

Namely her applications to the local private high schools were a huge focus this fall. Sheesh. It was like applying for college (well, way back in my day, anyway; I know that’s also tougher now). And the poor kid has to take a test like an SAT in a couple of weekends, on top of it all. Not that she should have a problem (even though those Waldorf schools don’t generally test the kids, so she’s not really used to “test-taking”), however, we’re practicing taking timed tests just for the feel of it, and that makes for an unhappy kid over her Christmas Break. Not to mention I’m now helping out in the school handwork class once a week until the end of the school year. This, of course, caused me to come down with a horrible cold over the break on top of it all.

I know all of that doesn’t sound like a good reason for not writing; I suppose it sounds like a whole bunch of whining and I’m sorry for that. Frankly I really miss writing. It was just that so many things were vying for my attention, that I was truly overwhelmed. I think the thing that overwhelms me most is the jewelry-making. And honestly, between the rising cost of materials, the huge drain on my time, and the lack of a good place to work (a place where I can leave out my work-in-progress, as well as do metal clay and torch work, and no, what I  used to call my “studio” has become a fancy cat bathroom…sigh.), I’m seriously considering taking a year off from jewelry-making.

A view of some of this year's trunk show items...

A view of some of this year’s trunk show items…

This year’s show was not as well attended, which was no huge surprise to me with the way the economy’s been going. What was hard was that for all the time I spent making jewelry, I could’ve made more money working part time at the local Hallmark store. More than that, however, I feel somewhat as though I’ve made a wrong turn, focusing on jewelry, and that I should stop, take out a map, and re-examine my route.

I’ve been meditating and praying a lot lately, trying to determine a real direction for my next few years (especially since the world didn’t come to an end on 12/21, thank you very much. Oh, how much stash yarn would’ve been wasted.). I suspect things are about to take a wee shift, and I sense the need to move along with them–get into the flow. Every year I talk about my writing, and how much it means to me. perhaps this is the year that will be my “get it done once and for all year.” I’m not exactly sure how it’ll pan out, but then, I’ve never really followed through with it all. I have so many stories to write dancing around in my addled brain…

And somehow, fiber and yarn is also part of this shift in focus for me. Not sure if it’s the dyeing, or the pattern-writing, or what. I just feel like I really need to commit to a new direction this year.

Anyway, instead of dwelling on time lost and the unknown ahead, I will say that finishing knitting projects and making gifts was a joyful and fulfilling process since the summer’s end. And the undertaking of opening a new Etsy store for my rosaries and rosary bracelets, with all the photography and copywriting, was refreshing as well.

So the journey begins once again, and I’m happy to say I’m back in the saddle. I wish you all, dear friends, wonderful things in the upcoming new year, and give you a promise to keep you all abreast of how my own trip’s going. Happy New Year!

(Below are just a few of the knitting projects I finished in the past few months that I wanted to share…)

For a friend's baby...

For a friend’s baby…

A cuddly "Delius" Vest for Captain Romance

A cuddly “Delius” Vest for Captain Romanc

A loverly teapot cozy for a most loverly friend

A loverly teapot cozy for a most loverly friend

 

 
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