Friday, February 28, 2014

Marvelous Miters

The timing of the winter games worked for me.  I used the event to help motivate me and as a general guide for a progress and completion timetable.  If you recall, I was knitting a baby blanket, and I finished it.  Final assembly and edging took place on Monday, and I was finally able to get photos yesterday.  Now I just have to write a note, wrap, package, and get it in the post.  
The pattern is Mitered Crosses, and it is a simple, lovely design.  I hardly had to pay attention to what I was doing.  Row after row of garter stitch kept my hands busy and productive whether my mind was empty and incapable of thought or full of all the things.  Knowing that this was just a baby blanket and that I only had to complete nine blocks allowed me to see the progress and keep going.  

Knitting this also reminded me of how nice project monogamy can be.  That isn't to say that I have changed and will only knit one project at a time from now on, but it can be the right way to go sometimes.    

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

POP! The Final Chapter

Well, it took a little over a year, but now I have a new blanket.  Now that it is finished, I am able to look back and reflect a bit.  I remember the many places I worked on squares.  Given the length of time I took from start to end, most places in my 2013 probably have a square tied to them.  I can even point to a few of them and recall what was happening at that moment in my life as I knit those particular squares.  

Of course, knitting each block was only the first part of the adventure.  I had a few moments of feeling stuck as I contemplated the sorting and joining.  As I did not want to allow the opportunity for dread or over-thinking to set in, I spread a sheet out on the living room floor and just started playing.  First, I sorted by colors and considered math.  Then there were color questions, and possibilities of deliberate patterns or designs.  Finally, I settled on an arrangement that I liked, and I rolled up the whole thing and set it aside for the day, as the process had been exhausting for me.  Over the course of the next few days, I crocheted the squares together.  I clipped together chains of blocks with my Clover locking stitch markers, joined that strip to the previous, unclipped the stitch markers, lather, rinse, repeat.  Once all of the squares were together, I blocked again and considered the edging.  I briefly bumped up against the idea of i-cord, but decided upon crocheting around instead.  I had just a little bit left of the Universal Yarns Classic Shades in Rainforest, and most of it was quite similar in color, (with the exception of a section of bright green that I cut out) so I used it, and quite like the effect. 

As soon as I finished, I curled up under it and took a nap.  The only thing left after that was to wait for the right weather and take some pictures, so that is what I did yesterday.  If anyone is feeling jealousy or ill will toward me for having the weather for a blanket photo shoot, you can take comfort in the fact that there was much mosquito harassment.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

They Doubted His Powers

Maybe people will make a bigger deal out of Groundhog Day next year, eh?  I sure wish I had been able to celebrate it more, but a small celebration can be good, too.  The weather shutting things down for a few days can be good, too.  It reminded me to watch out for being ruled by busyness and to look for the difference between the urgent and the important.  

Today, I am remembering to take a moment to take joy in the little things in life.  Things remain rather rough around here, but life is like that sometimes.  I think the stress of it all is reflected in a flurry of little online purchases I have made over the past week.  I have a couple of sewing machine feet, some knitting needles, and about 1500 beads on their way to me.  As far as stress-shopping goes, that really is not too bad, and I have some plans for most of what I bought.  I even intend to use most of it soon.  Well, soon-ish, and the sewing bits might be more telling on where I am on the lunacy end of things, but it is not as bad as it could be.  

One of the things I plan to make soon from the recent purchases is either Celestarium or Southern Skies.  They are the reason for the bead purchases, and yes, I did order enough beads to make them both, but I do not know that I will.  I still have not bought either pattern, and have not decided whether to knit with or without the YOs.  I ordered a set of faceted ab beads, and a set of clear silver lined seed beads, and am not sure which I will use.  If I wait for both sets of beads to arrive, I should have plenty of time to decide, as one set is projected to be delivered some time in March.  Then again, the tracking for one package showed it out for delivery yesterday, 100 miles away ten hours later, and then showed up today, so whatever happens could be a mega-mystery.  While we wait, I am entertaining thoughts, opinions, and advice on which shawl to knit, which beads to use, and the YO/noYO issue.

In the meantime, I am knitting.  This time it is a baby blanket, and I am making nice progress with it.  Garter stitch is good, and the size of the squares is just right for me.  They do not get too big as to be in the way, but they are large enough that each block completed means substantial progress on the overall piece.  I have a plan that could put completion within a week, but this is a no-pressure, no-stress, and no deadline project, so if it takes a bit longer than that, it is fine.