An update

I just looked at my last post and am a bit horrified about the amount of time that has passed since I last wrote.  So many things have happened.  I have travelled to one side of the continent and then the other (Halifax and Vancouver).  I went to Kansas and Manitoba (Kansas is very far from Saskatchewan when you are driving, Manitoba not so much). I had job interviews and a job resignation.  I have found a new place to live in a different city, and a new job.

We will be moving to Vancouver next week and starting a new job the week after, so I guess what has been happening instead of blog writing is life.

We have started packing, and it of course gives a different perspective.  I am smitten with the way my plain bookcase looks with no books on it.  I would like to keep it like that, except that then I am not sure what I would do with my books.

We are also appalled yet again at how much stuff we have accumulated — where does it come from? And why do we keep doing it? Did we agree to having to deal with so much detritus?

I knit this cardigan last summer for publication; I planned to submit it to Knitty, but never got it together:

I haven’t worn it really, but it is lovely – perhaps this week.  It is knit from Rowan Wool Cotton, which is a wonderful yarn.  I used to want to knit with yarns that mix a lot of colour and texture — yarn this is on the continuum approaching novelty yarn, but not as far as eyelash.  Now I find that I want to knit with smooth yarns that hold texture well — like Classic Elite Classic One Fifty.  They just seem more wearable, which is ironic as I haven’t worn this one yet — part of this is that it is cropped and I haven’t been sure what to wear it with.

I think that the answer is a blouse — form fitting t-shirts underneath somehow feel a bit wrong with so ladylike a sweater.

I am actually knitting a sweater in Classic One Fifty right now that I have been too lazy to photograph and post about, but perhaps next week.

I spent some time a few days ago compiling some bits of fabric and embroidery thread to make some embroidered patchwork cushions for our living room.

Here is the first one:

I recently cut the patterned silk off the bottom of a dress that was never the right length (it was something my ex-husband brought me back from China, and it was supposed to be long, but was instead mid-calf length).  I have been planning to hem the top and make a blouse out of it and use the bottom for crafting, which I did, and I plan to embroider something as yet unidentified on the linen.  I think the corduroy was from a  pair of pants.

Here is the second:

This one I plan to do a piece of embroidery on each side and uses some leftovers from a cushion I made a while ago and the remainder of some fabric that I sewed a dress from years ago, yet never hemmed (it is still in my sewing desk).  I think I will do some geometric embroidery on this one.

Finally the last:

The pillow form for this one is much bigger than the others (actually it is this one), the knit piece is from my attempts at knitting on my machine, and the orange is from a silk shirt from about 1994 if I remember trends correctly.  For this one I think I want to stabilize the knitting on something and embroider paisley on it in navy blue using back stitch.

Since I don’t have any knitting deadlines, I have been spending some time doing other projects that I have been thinking about for a while.  Here is a tea towel I hemmed last weekend:

My Granny gave the linen toweling to me years ago.  I hemmed all the blue cloth then, but I still had this bit of brown and pink left over.  I don’t have any of the blue ones anymore — I used them up completely.

I think I will keep this one nice and use it as a runner for a while.  I like the crispness that is ruined by the dryer.

I have spent time over the last few months thinking about my knitting design, and I am just not sure I want to do this anymore.  I have a job, and I want to have a life outside work, and knitting has begun to feel like more work to me.

There is so much support required for patterns, and I never wanted knitting to be a social activity — let’s just say that I do not belong to a knitting circle.  I also just don’t make enough money to pay anything like the time I put in.  It was my “lonely impulse of delight,”  and I want that back.  I want to be able to fart around with fibre and embroider and crochet and knit and even quilt if the mood strikes me (and this certainly makes me want to give it a try).

I am in the process of clearing out the clutter and pulled a bunch of things out of my bedroom to get rid of yesterday — this is one more thing.

So I will likely not be publishing anymore patterns in the near future, but I do (as I try to always do) reserve the right to change my mind, if I have more time or a particularly entertaining idea.  However, I do plan to continue playing with fibre and blogging, so this page may all start to get a lot more interesting, so I would like to invite you to stick around to see how it turns out.

Thank you all for reading so far.

And with it my Lace cardigan pattern (Ravelry link here):

And I even made the cover — it just doesn’t get any more gratifying than that.  It really doesn’t.  This is my first crochet pattern, and now that it has all worked out okay I can admit it, the first thing I have crocheted in almost ten years.

If you would like to purchase the electronic version of the magazine you can get it here:

And to think I thought I was tired today.

The preview is up for Yarn Forward, No. 25 fro June 2010 and with it my Sheffield Vest (Ravelry link):

It is so strange to see it as I didn’t knit the sample or ever even see it — I just sent off a pattern and several months later this is what comes of it.

This is the one I knit for myself:

It was knit with Noro Taiyo (Ravelry link) in colourway 1.

It is one of my favourite hand knit garments.  I like to wear it under one of my other favourites — a grey cardigan (not hand knit, that would be a bit much).

I have not been as idle as you may think I have been since I last wrote.  First things first – I finished these mittens (knit using Mari Muinonen’s pattern Yellow Harvest Mittens from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2008):

And got help taking a picture of them, which was more touch and go.

I also got a new job, which has kept me quite busy, but now it really is mine, rather than just having me acting in it, and it is with the same organization, which avoids me looking flighty.  Or more flighty than usual – anyone with more knitting projects on the go than she can count has to have some amount of flightiness about them, but I would rather not broadcast it on my resume.

Spring has more or less sprung, and I got to tell someone new to the province that it would likely snow again, which didn’t impress her at all, but I got to pretend I was old and wise and all that.

I hope you are all doing well, and hopefully I will get pictures taken soon to show you the sweater I have completed.  With the mittens, it completes two projects finished since the new year, which justifies me starting a new one, but now I plan to finish two more, so I am completely in the clear first.  It is a good thing to finish things, but it does make me a little bored.

I finished my second unfinished project this week.  That means that I can start a new project with complete impunity at any time.  Of course I could have started a new project any time before finishing two projects, but this year I decided to finish two projects for every one I start.  I guess it is silly to talk about a New Year’s resolution like a wish coming true, but some times it feels that way.

I guess one just has to grab the bull by the horns, take responsibility for one’s own fate, and all that. I confess I have decided not to make any important New Year’s resolutions, because I think that if I think something is really sufficiently important to do, then I should just do it.  It seems like a capitulation of some kind to treat change as something that requires a special day, but for my hobby I think it is a perfect time to give in to tradition and have a resolution instead of being so puritanical.

I finished the sweater in the previous post and in so doing have freed a wonderful amount of knitting paraphernalia, including stitch holders (I haven’t had access to real stitch holders since 2008, and I can tell you that waste yarn works almost as well in most ways and in some ways is actually better) and 6.5mm knitting needles (date since last access also 2008).

Saying this makes me wonder if I ever needed or will need them at all, because if I didn’t use them in two years, will I ever really need them?

This is definately the road down which asceticism of some kind lies, and I don’t want to get carried away, but I am trying to keep getting rid of things until I only have things I think beautiful or know to be useful — that is surely a more elegant way of putting it than most of the de-cluttering show hosts use (this is a very loose quotation from William Morris).

Well you may have not believed me when I said it (I may have been too sheepish to actually tell you, but I am now too lazy to check), but I have in fact decided to finish two projects for every one I start for a while, so that I can reduce the shameful number of unfinished objects in my knitting basket.  That is a little lie right there – they don’t fit in my knitting basket and haven’t for some time. They are in my knitting basket, in bags in the closet, in bags next to the chair at the foot of my bed, in plastic totes, and box shaped baskets beside my desk.

Yes, it may be getting out of hand.  But I just like starting projects so much more than I like finishing them.  There is so much thrill and potential in a new project.  You can go out and buy yarn (I cringe to say it), fuss around about the pattern (either deciding to buy one or write one), pull out the perfect set of needles (my needle resources are much diminished by being all over the house with half knit projects on them instead of in the vases on my desk so I can use them), cast on, then drop the whole thing for something else.  I am not talking about changing my mind and ripping out the knitting and starting something new – that is a decision, but just dropping what I am doing and starting something else.  This goes on to such a degree that I have actually needed to buy needles lately – I should never need to buy needles again unless I sit on them or something like that.

So I am finishing two projects for every one I start.  I finished the first one already, it is mittens with photos to come.  What to do next was more difficult to decide, but finally my gaze fell on this one:

I started this project in approximately November 2008 – the blog gives me away.

I started working on it again yesterday, and after experiencing the inevitable negative emotions that throwing a bunch of what is essentially string in not very secure bunches in a bag and leaving it there for over a year, but periodically pulling it out, looking at it, and putting it back, give rise to:

I have worked the front and back to the shoulder shaping, and have run into a little problem arising from not actually figuring out how the sweater would end before I started, and I am not sure I can make the stitch repeat work for the sleeves, i.e. I think they will need to either be too wide or too narrow.

I have however, come up with a brilliant, if somewhat nefarious plot — I may make it a sleeveless sweater.  I plan to finish it this weekend, and I already know what the next project I start will be.

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