Something Finished

I finished something.  I did.  There was moment when I wasn’t sure if I would because of the way the colors were pooling.  This is the perfect commuter project though, and I love the end result.

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Pooling is when colors start to group together in a project.  That happened here – in kind of an odd way.  If you look at this photo above, you will see three lines of rings.  I had no idea that colors were going to do this.  It just happened.  When it first happened, I was bummed, not sure what it was going to end up looking like.  After the second group formed, I rather liked it.  It adds some visual interest to an otherwise ordinary pattern.

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What’s really cool about this pattern – the main draw for me – were the loops at the edge.  I had been dreaming up something like this for awhile, but could never land the perfect idea.  Then, I found Clincher, and knew it had to be done.

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The skinny end of the scarf goes through the loops, making  an interesting scarf that doesn’t need to constantly be adjusted to stay put.

 

Sad to say, however, that I started something new.  The hood on Ellette’s sweater is just killing me.

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Spinning

I have come to the realization that I have simply stretched myself too thin.  I lit the match and started burning the candles at every available wick and I’ve been suffering for it.  So, my blog hiatus was induced by forgetfulness because I simply could not keep up with my life.  This is hard lesson for me to learn, because I have spent the past couple years building the strongest friendships I could, throwing myself into this social group and experiencing as much as possible.  I’ve committed to projects for others and created double the projects for myself.  I’ve amped up the amount I’m teaching and training and I am still working 40+ hours a week at a “regular” job.  I have been creating so many new stories and experiences for myself, and the thought of reducing the amount of activity in my life, and thus reducing the number of new people I meet and new adventures I partake in, is such a sad idea that I could not bring myself to contemplate it.

But everyone needs to rest and reset.  When my mood took a swing for the worse because I could not keep up with my promises and my brain started sparking in overtime, I had to step back.  I’m wrapping up projects and forcing myself not to commit myself to new ones yet.  There are not enough crossed-off for me to feel balanced once again.

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At least one has been crossed off – the Lindisfarne shawl I traded for something (which I cannot remember now).  It was a pleasure to knit and was completed a few months ago, but it ended up in a project bag and tossed in the corner when it came time to blocking.  Eager to wrap it up and put it in the mail so I could free up brain space, I pinned it, steamed it, wove in ends, and shipped – then heaved a gigantic sigh of relief (wholly unworthy the small task that had laid before me).  It has been so long so I’ve crossed something off, I had forgotten how it felt to finish, that wave of accomplishment, the way the task suddenly drops off your list and you feel like you have so much time now.

And I did not start another project!!  I pulled out Ellette’s sweater, which I had abandoned when I came to the hood and it seemed to go on forever.  I think I put it aside because I was worried about running out of yarn – because knitting slower makes the yarn longer…. Like I said, clearly I need to free up more brain space.

Hate Is Such A Strong Word

I *dislike* the yarn I used for this scarf.  When I was knitting, it felt processed and oily, but I thought that would wash out when I soaked it for blocking.  The yarn is Newton Yarn Company’s Pencil Roving.

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While I was knitting, the yarn dye rubbed off on my hands.  I have worked with yarn that wasn’t stellar, but the magic happened in the blocking.  So, I maintained faith that it would work out in the end.

I soaked it for a week, changing out the water every couple of hours, letting it soak over night, adding a mild soap to break down the oils and remove the weird smell (like walking into a basement – not musty or moldy, just moth ball-esque).  Finally, worried that I was going to felt the scarf if I putzed with it too much longer, I pinned it in place.

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The smell hasn’t left, and the coarseness of the yarn only feels worse, like it’s a wet acrylic instead of a natural wool.  Maybe it will be better once it is completely dry, or after it has been worn a bit.  Right now, the thought of wrapping this thing around my neck makes my neck itch uncontrollably.

The only saving grace is that that the butterfly image pops beautifully and the lace is clear.

Have you ever worked with a yarn that you ended up disliking?  Did you finish the project?  Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of the smell or coarseness of the yarn?

A Continued Resolution

In 2013, I made very little headway on wrapping up my WIPs.  Recently, however, these are the only projects I am carrying around with me.  I really want them out of my basket.

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My resolutions are kind of intense, and keeping them at the front of my mind is pushing me to work hard at clearing away the clutter in my life and getting ready for new adventures.  I’ve got these “Don’t Get In My Way” resolve to move forward and it feels great.  My shoulder is almost healed, I’ve got boxes of stuff on their way to charities, I’m keeping on top of my life.  So far, so good.

Wrapped up in Virginia

I fell off the radar when I hopped in the car and drove out to the Virginia countryside for the winter holiday.  It was beautiful, sunny, relaxing, and time stood still for a few days as I enjoyed the rest and atmosphere.  I did remember to photograph the Esjan shawl before deciding to give it away.

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In a moment of solitude, I walked to the top of the hill and laid out the shawl.  The colors really shined with the soft, setting sunlight hitting it.

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While the colors are beautiful and I love the pattern, the combination of it all didn’t feel like me.  It wasn’t quite bright enough or soft enough.  I will probably make it again, but next time, I will start with more stitches and create more of a crescent shape instead of the half circle.

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I can’t believe we only have one more day left of 2013.  I’m spending a lot of my time today thinking about the past year – all of the ups and downs, the tears, the laughter, all of the wonderful adventures I embarked on and the amount of personal growth I felt.  It’s been incredible.

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The shawl ended up with someone who truly appreciated it.  I have dozens of photographs of what I did in Virginia, along with more stories and thoughts about 2013 and the quickly approaching 2014.  I hope you are having a wonderfully festive time and gaining everything you need from it.

Reveal

Yesterday was the white elephant swap at Gothee House. I had been working on my contribution up until we left the house to go to the party. I didn’t snap any pictures before wrapping them, so I had to wait anxiously for them to be opened in order to capture a photograph.

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The Nyan Cat scarf was the first to be opened.  It was much sought after throughout the game, which made me feel really good.  I had been worried that I had picked a meme that was funny and would be appreciated, but no one would actually want to wear it.  The people who tried to claim it surprised me a little – definitely not the individuals I would have pegged for wanting a bright rainbow scarf.

The other item didn’t get opened until the very end of the game, when we were opening the extra gifts for the final swap (to make sure everyone left with something they liked).  Ellette laid claim over the item.

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We call it the Gothicorn.

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It is made from Cascade Magnum, a ridiculously lush and chunky yarn in a beautiful blue.  The horn is made from a pale yellow in Ella Rae classic, and the mane is a bunch of odds and ends I threw together to make the unicorn more goth (the theme for the party was “gothic elf”, which we embraced with abandon).

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The hat is the Unicorn Hat, and my fifth or sixth one made.  I adore the design.  Ellette wore the hat for the remainder of the evening, and left the house this morning with it firmly on her head.

I have had to slow down on my knitting even more, and crochet is out of the question as it sends a strange numbing sensation up my arm.  I’ve kind of said “screw it” to trying to make anything in time for the holidays.  Now I’m racking my brains for other gift ideas and my knitting has gone to a slower paced – what-do-I-actually-want-to-make format.  What has happened thusly is that all of the designs I’ve been sketching, charting, writing, and desiring are being realized (one is even with test-knitters now).

The Great Reveal

It’s DONE!  I finished the bind-off on Saturday and squealed happily, showing everyone within sight and wrapping myself inside of it.  I wove in ends while it was wrapped around me.

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It took a while, but I’m glad I used the picot bind off.  I like the way the colors ended up melding.  I like the size and shape.  I love how squishy the yarn is, and how soft against my skin (I’ve been wearing it all day and can’t fathom taking it off).

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It is knit in Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Flashdance and Grasshopper (The purple and green respectively), and in Mad Tosh Sock in Charcoal (the gray).  It’s bright without being crazy, and matches a good portion of my wardrobe.

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I keep looking at it and cheering.  It’s done! Finally!

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Now, how do I wear it?

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On to the rest of the holiday knitting before NaKniSweMo begins.

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