Thursday, January 26, 2012

now what?

what now? 

When you're knitting a garment that is steeked up the middle, the neckline, and the armholes, a certain amount of faith that everything is going to turn out OK is involved. And mostly everything did which is rather amazing. There is nothing sweeter than cutting that baby open, trying it on, and realizing that it looks pretty dang close to what I imagined it would look like when I was designing it. The only thing left to do is the covered steek finish on the front opening, which I've already done on the neckline and armholes. Once the front is finished this garment will be reversible. Depending on how I feel I can wear the "right" side or the "wrong" side of the vest with the collar that is laying open showing the other side of the garment. That's right ragazzi, a completely reversible stranded garment!

But, I think it's too short since I would like to be able to wear it with a belt. In the photo I have it pinned with a giant safety pin.  As it is, it's not quite short enough to be a cropped garment and not long enough to wear with a belt. So now what? I'm going to try to unravel the garter stitches at the bottom, join it in the round again and knit in the other direction. This seems a little daunting since I will have to tug at some of the reinforcement for the steek that has been cut already, but this wool is so nice and sticky that it just might be doable. Wish me luck!

Vest sketch

This a sketch that I drew last summer when I was swatching for this garment. Not too far off, right?

a letter from Sweden

The mother of my high school roommate is Swedish and eventually returned there after a number of years. I haven't seen her in ages but my roomie pointed out my blog to her and she felt moved to send me this cute card and the Swedish stamps that feature knitting. She is really the loveliest lady and it's was so sweet of her to send me the note. I LOVE those stamps! It's nice when a country takes such pride in knitting. I also love that the socks in the big stamp at the top are nothing fancy, just fun, striped socks. Thanks Mommy Rowley! xoxo

Sunday, January 15, 2012

blogiversary and other reflections

I never sit in this chair.

This is a nice chair to photograph things in but I almost never sit in it. Mostly I sit on the floor to knit while watching TV with my back resting against the couch. I think it's better for my posture and I'm hoping that sitting cross-legged will encourage my hips to loosen. If you look closely you can see bits of the guinea pigs' hay under the chair.
My fourth blogiversary was yesterday. Four years seems like a lifetime in some ways and a blink of an eye in others. In that time I've discovered the level of blogging that I'm comfortable with, which is once a week most of the time. I know that I'll never be one of those bloggers who posts everyday or even frequently or I would burn out and wouldn't blog anymore. I also found my voice, it isn't funny like I would like it to be, but more matter-of-fact and to the point. The way I write can't be forced it seems, it's just the way it is and I've come to accept that. If you want funny, great writing, I highly recommend Steven's blog, he'll make you laugh and cry. Though I do occasionally wonder why in the world I am blogging, I think I still have things to share that aren't covered by all the other social sites that I frequent and I have met many wonderful people through blogging. So, I will continue to blog and see where it takes me. Thank you all who take to time to stop by and leave a comment, you make it all worth while.

For the last couple of years I've had New Year's Resolutions lists and they've hung by my desk. In 2010 I did a great job of getting through them but last year I didn't do as well. Maybe this is why I've been hesitant to make a list for 2012. Here it is, mid-January, and I'm still wondering whether I should write one up. I actually did fairly well with my knitting resolutions but not quite as well with my professional and personal ones. What this has made me realize is that I need to cut myself some slack. The demands of parenting and family are actually greater than I tend think and particularly in the last year, with my husband's new job, a larger load came my way than I was used to. Parenting and partnering-wise I think I do a pretty darn good job, or at least the best that I can possibly do and it's something that I never pat myself on the back for, it is just the way it is. When I look back on my resolution list from last year and all the spots in which I didn't quite achieve what I wanted (I don't set hugely unrealistic goals, except for the "do the dishes every night" one), I need to remember that it wasn't a failure on my part and I need to celebrate all that I do every day.

 Last year's knitting resolutions:
1. Knit selectively, choose projects wisely. check. Though I reigned myself in so thoroughly on this that now I just want to knit something just for the hell of it, not because it's a learning experience.
2. Design a knit that has letters in it. not done. I wish I had, maybe this year.
3. Rework my fingerless chevron mitts pattern. check. see #5.
4. Knit myself a colorwork hat (I've knit several for others but not for myself). check. I knit Mary Jane's Castaway Tam.
5. Write up a pattern (I've slipped this one in the middle because frankly, I'm a little terrified) check, I published my Vagabond Mitts pattern last spring and it's done really well. It gave me new appreciation for how much work goes into writing up a pattern, I'm proud of having done it.
6. Take more photos. check. Not sure if I've taken more photos or just better ones, I got new lenses for my camera which are amazing.
7. Finish Manos blankie. check. This is the everyone's favorite couch blanket.

This year's knitting/creative resolutions:
Give myself the license to knit or make whatever I want because it gives me pleasure, and yes it's for me, it is my moment of zen and it is not selfish. Top of the list is a pullover for me. I have some light blue (The Square on the Hypotenuse) Sanguine Gryphon QED which I waited in line in Rhinebeck for TWO HOURS to buy and it has just been taunting me from my shelf since October. I'm not good at working on many projects at once and this yarn has been waiting since then for my other projects to be done. Other than that, I'm not going to plan ahead.

If you're still reading after all that, I hope this year brings you lots of time to do what gives you pleasure and the ability to appreciate it when it happens.