It Has to be Done

Sometimes, in order to maintain any creative energy, cleaning and tidying needs to occur.

I do not enjoy these moments… I am not, by nature, a happy housekeeper. I do what is necessary to keep the house at some acceptable level of cleanliness, but I’m afraid that organization and keeping things tidy in this interim house have definitely taken a lower notch on the priority list. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a sparkling clean and everything-in-its-place tidy house, I just wish it would happen without any effort on my part.

Anyway, it had to be done, so of course I started with the stash.

Make that part of the stash.

Sometimes, even though I am loathe to admit it, a nice cleaning up can do wonders for your focus and state-of-mind.

My only wish is that I could find a way to make cleaning up an inspirational activity.

What Do You Do with All That Yarn?

Why you make hats of course!

Introducing the Permafrost Hat by Cosy! It is currently being test knit and this is one of the examples.

Here’s a little tidbit from me to you… when you offer to test knit for someone, you should probably follow the directions as written, and not go off and do your own thing. See, when you’re test knitting, your testing the knit as written. So don’t go and get all fancy. For instance, when it says to knit in the round, why don’t you go ahead and do that instead of knitting it flat so you can get a funky orange intarsia stripe. Back and forth knitting is not the same as knitting in the round and if you’re trying to find potential problems with the pattern, it’s best to remove any possibility that your brilliant, err, interpretation of the pattern might have caused. Really, really sorry Cosy! I made it up to her by knitting another one that I can’t find!

Anyway, I have to say this pattern is brilliant! I absolutely loved knitting it. If you’re new to cables and find them intimidating, I suggest you try this one out. The cable is created with a slipped stitch (easy!) over several rows, then dropped and picked up, no cable needle needed which makes it the perfect introduction for cabling without a needle, in my humble opinion, the only way to do it.

I also have to add, using your own hand-dyed yarn is oh-so-fun! Not that I don’t love it when I knit something for someone with normal ‘ole yarn, but it’s that much more significant when you add your own touch to the color. Both of the hats I knit up went to my kids, and they totally love them, which makes me beam!

And one last parting shot…

Go grab this pattern as soon as it’s up. You won’t regret it!!

Warm & Fuzzy Navel Gazing

Hello? Is this thing on? Do I have any readers left?

Friends, it has been a rough few months for us here at It’s Two AM. Without whining on and on forever, I will state this: Packing, Moving, Selling, Buying, Leaving Behind, and Starting Anew are, on their own, difficult tasks. But when combined together in various combinations and in a short amount of time they tend to make life a bit tiring, and of course, stressful. We are slowly starting to find our footing, and I am beginning to recover my composure. At least I hope I’m not misreading the signs or recovery.

One of those signs is the willingness to jump into new interests, as evidenced by this pile-up resting on the arm of the couch, waiting for some attention.

A few loose skeins of hand-dyed yarn, and a number of yards of fabric. Dyeing yarn is something I’ve been meaning to try for quite some time, and once I started, it was quite difficult to stop. Any protein fiber lying around that wasn’t already a lovely shade of something-or-another didn’t make it through unscathed, I’m afraid. What a fun, magical, and utterly surprising creative form dyeing is. I never suspected how addicting it could be. I’ve already succumbed to ordering more wool; just what I need right now hanging around here collecting dust and waiting to be packed up and moved to our as-yet-to-be-found new home… more wool.

At least I’m not the only one who has found the colors a little too hard to resist!

As for the fabric, well, I am slowly building up my fabric stash for the eventual glut of sewing I am sure to start any day now. I have big plans, but I’m also suffering from a big bout of intimidation. Any tips for getting over it?

It has been during this time away from the blog, and away from my creative endeavors that I have come to realize how important making is to my health and well being. These past months since leaving our home and beloved friends behind have been devoted to finding our way around the new town and finding our new family home. The process has been slow, all-consuming, and has left us with little to show but for stacks and stacks and stacks of paper. I have felt ungrounded and unlevel, and we have all suffered because of  it.

And then I made bread.

It was a simple act; not much work required, it is made of humble ingredients and given time. The process is best left to develop on its own, undisturbed.

The metaphor seems so obvious now, but then, on that day, when I needed it most, the measuring, the kneading, the proofing and baking, there was little thinking and abstraction. There were my hands, there were materials, there was motion, and memory… I was once again caught up in the act of making.

It was  simple act, but really, it was the perfect reminder.

Take time to make.