Planning and Knitting and Sniffling, Oh My!

I spent most of the weekend fluctuating between excited bursts of activity and sniffling in bed as I tried to fight off a spring cold.  Fortunately for me, it’s not an incapacitating cold, so I was able to get a little knitting accomplished.  I am pleased to say I’m almost finished with my first warm-weather knit of the season!

As always seems to happen when I round the corner into the home stretch of a project, I start dreaming about what to cast on next.  I like to dangle a little wooly carrot in front of myself, something to motivate me to keep on knittin’.  It’s an attempt to maintain focus while still allowing myself to feel that rush of excitement that comes from browsing patterns, shopping the stash, and putting the two together.

I have a small collection of summery yarns I purchased last spring that I never got around to knitting.  There are a couple I picked up for PB and a couple I picked up for myself that I am motivated to use this season.  Cotton blends are the name of the game, and I have these lovelies to choose from: Rowan Purelife Revive, Be Sweet Cotton Candy, and Cascade Luna Paints.  I have enough of the Revive to make myself a top or large shawl of some sort; I’m thinking thisthis or this.  The other two are for PB and her soon-to-be-born cousin, and I’m still browsing patterns. Ideas?

Of course, I couldn’t neglect a couple of the newer wooly additions to the stash that keep calling to me from behind the closed doors of my yarn cabinet: Becoming Art’s Agave worsted will be Windschief, and the String Theory Caper sock yarn is for a Cookie A. sock club pattern.  Neither is in the most seasonal of colors, but I think that’s what makes them good counterpoints to all that aqua and purple cotton.

And finally, because I have been wanting to knit a high-contrast Stephen West shawlette for some time, I’ve been playing around with my sock yarn, creating color combos.  I think I’ve settled on knitting Chadwick with this peacock-blue and raspberry red, out of Shu Bui and Plymouth Happy Feet, respectively.

The best part of all this planning is that the yarns are all from my stash!  I made the informal commitment to myself that I wouldn’t buy any new yarn between February (after my Stitches spree) and the end of July when I plan on going to Sock Summit.  With all these goodies lying around, it shouldn’t be a problem.

What are looking forward to knitting this spring and summer?

A Jolly Fix

It’s taken a nearly month-long hiatus from knitting at my usual pace to make me realize how much knitting affects my life.  I knew that it was a meaningful, expressive activity for me.  And without it, I feel a distinct lack of creativity in my daily life, not to mention an increase in fidgetyness!  This isn’t a complete negative.  After all, if I’m not knitting, I can spend more time on other creative pursuits like reading an actual book, baking holiday goodies, and finally getting around to hanging some pictures.  And yet…

Somewhere along the way, I got the idea that knitting up a couple of small, quick ornaments could be just the fix.  Not too much time or strain, a wee project could help lift me out of this no-knitting funk I’ve been in.  I also caved and put up our mini tree, decorated only with some twinkle lights and a spray of berry garland.  It looked a little lonely and in need of some crafty baubles!  When I stumbled upon a wreath ornament pattern on Ravelry that contained just 3 rows of knitting on size 15 needles, I knew it was a project my achy hands could handle.

I knit a couple as written, then I doubled the amount of stitches cast on and knit a few more.  Pretty soon I had a nice little stack of wooly rings ready for felting.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felted anything, but I have had past success with felting small objects in my Kitchen Aid mixer.  Remember these?  I simply boiled some water and filled up the mixing bowl about halfway.  Then you turn it on to the lowest setting (you don’t want to splash yourself) and let the mixer do the work.

The little wreaths sat like this for several days until I had the inspiration and time to pull out some decorating action.  The mood hit last night, and me and my glue gun had a great time.  Buttons, mini jingle bells, ribbon…how could you go wrong?!

  • Pattern: Felted Wreath Christmas Ornament by Moppity, free here (Ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Wool scraps from my stash, 2 strands held together
  • Needles: US size 15/ 10 mm
  • Mods:  Some were knit starting with a cast on of 30, then a plain knit round before binding off.

These wreaths were the perfect antidote to my knitting blues.  Like eating a bag of chips or cookies, they were fast, fun and easy to do.  You could probably whip up a few today if you’re in need of a little last-minute holiday cheer. Go on, check your stash…

Happy Holidays!