Many Thanks

I am utterly and completely blown away by all of the supportive comments, virtual hugs and offers of support my desperate post last week brought out. It was a difficult and scary post to write, far outside of my comfort zone. I let it sit as a draft for several hours, nearly deleted it half a dozen times, and then finally published it.

And then there you all were, with great kindness and compassion, reminding me that I’m not alone, that I’m not the first person to ever feel this way. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

My retreat last weekend was simply wondrous. Three straight days without a headache. Hours upon hours of knitting, spinning, laughing, eating and drinking. I took a walk on Friday afternoon and saw a bobcat. It was exactly what I needed…

I even came home with a wonderful new relaxation device. My friend Janel decided that she’s got too many spinning wheels, and has graciously loaned me her Ashford Joy to learn on and possibly (probably) purchase. Pictures of that (and my first laughable spindle of disastrous singles) very soon.

Also coming soon, a sample project for a friend who dyes some rather-quite-lovely yarn, knit up in one of the most challenging and addictive sock patterns I’ve ever worked on.

In the meantime, I’m working hard at holding on to that calm center of myself I rediscovered at retreat. One thing at a time, right?

Posted in Spinning, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

White Flag

I’m drowning here. Completely lost, out to sea. Pick any tired cliche for ‘overwhelmed and desperate,’ that’s my life right now.

The past several months have seen the foundations of my world grow very shaky indeed. Stress at work and at home have made tension headaches pretty much a daily occurrence. I either sleep too much or not enough, and I always feel exhausted when I get up in the morning. Sometimes I just want to crawl under the bed and stay there.

I’m mildly claustrophobic. Under the bed shouldn’t seem like a good place to be.

I’m going out of town tomorrow for a long weekend with a group of mad spinners and knitters. We’ll sit in a big circle and do our thing. We’ll eat and drink together, work with our hands and tell outrageous stories. Some of them may even be true.

When I come home, I’ve got to get to work finding a way out of this place I’m in. This isn’t the life I want.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Slightly Biased

I have become obsessed. People who know me well will wonder why I feel the need to point this out, but that’s entirely beside the point. My current obsession is with Cat Bordhi and her New Pathways for Sock Knitters book.

I got this book as a birthday gift a couple of years ago. (Thanks Mom!) I read through it cover to cover, boggled at the ‘sockitechtures’, giggled at some of Cat’s asides and observations, blinked at the idea of Master Numbers (why didn’t I think of that?) and then knit nary a thing out of it for quite some time.

And then the Spiraling Master Coriolis (Ravelry link) pattern took up residence in my subconscious, niggling at me every time I thought about casting on a new pair of socks. “Knit me! Knit me next! I’m pretty! I’m intriguing! I’m prettier than that other pattern! Knit meeeeee!” (What? Don’t try to tell me that never happens to you.)

So I knit a wee little gauge swatch, did the math to get my master numbers, and off I went. It was the first design of Cat’s I’d attempted, and there were many times when I just knew she was leading me astray. I wasn’t certain what was growing on my needles, but it sure didn’t look anything like a sock.

And then suddenly it did look like a sock.

Like a pair of socks.

That band you see spiraling up the foot and just barely missing the heel flap, that’s where all the magic is. All the gusset increases happen in relation to that band, and it creates this lovely biasing which must be seen to be believed.

I felt like some kind of sock knitting superhero. What an eye-opener! I’ve been knitting out of this book ever since, and I can’t seem to stop. But hey, with results like this, how could that be a bad thing?

Project Details:

Pattern: Spiraling Master Coriolis by Cat Bordhi

Yarn: Superwash Merino 4-ply dyed by a friend of mine

Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)

Posted in Footwear, Socks | 9 Comments

In Which I Forget and Then I Remember

I have something of a selective memory. I’m perfectly capable of forgetting things which annoy me, putting them out of my mind altogether and going merrily about my way.

Take knitted stripes, for instance. They look lovely, and they’re pretty easy. Just join a new color, cut the old one and away you go.

Pretty Stripes

Yep, simple as can be, all those pretty little v-shaped knit stitches doing just what they ought to. New colors every few rounds just to keep me interested.

More Stripes

Astute readers (which is to say every one of you who is not me) will have figured out what I forgot. To wit: Knitting in stripes means there will be ends to weave in. A lot of them.

Ends

This is the moment when I realized that I have in fact encountered this issue before. It just about brought me to my knees that time too. The only thing I can possibly say in my own defense is that the Baby Surprise was knitted nearly two years ago, and my mind did its usual fine job of forgetting about the tedium of all that weaving in.

Pardon me, won’t you? I’ve got a hot date with my darning needle.

Posted in Baby Knitting | 11 Comments

Bring Back The Sun

And so the earth turns. The days here in the Northern Hemisphere will get longer.

Although it barely seems possible, we’ll get a little bit more sun every day. Helped along, I am sure, by all the bright and hopeful lights people have strung up on most every available surface.

And by the candles on my front porch last night.

Solstice Light

They burned all night, and with any luck at all, the sun will be so intrigued by them that she’ll come to investigate and decide to stay a while.

Solstice Light

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

How To Make A Knitter Happy

There are several ways to make a knitter happy… many of them involve stash enhancement. This one does not.

Here’s what you do:

Have a baby. The knitter will knit something for the baby.

Pembroke Vest, October 2009

Several months later, dress the baby up in said item and bring him to the staff Holiday Party.

Grand Champion Award Winner: Most Cheerful Baby 2010

Let the knitter take pictures and post them to her blog. She will be happy. She will be very happy to see her handwork being put to good use.

See how simple?

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Strange Beginnings

There are times when you just have to trust a designer. You fall in love with all the pretty projects you see on Ravelry, you pick the yarn and you dive right in. Then there comes a time when what you see on the needles bears no resemblance whatsoever to the finished product you’re hoping to get.

Like this, for instance:

What Is It?

What Is It?

Does that look like a sock to you? It didn’t look much like a sock to me. But I decided that it was best to trust the strange genius which is Cat Bordhi’s mind and soldier on.

I’m so glad that I did, because eventually I got this:

Sidestream Sock

A simply lovely sock that fits perfectly and suits the yarn just as well. Then I did it all again, and the next thing I knew I had a pair!

Sidestream Sock

So let that be a lesson to you. Strange beginnings sometimes lead to perfect socks.

Sidestream Sock

Project Details:

Can I just say that knitting socks from sport-weight yarn is great for quick gratification? Wow, these went quickly!

Posted in Socks | 7 Comments