The Latest News

The good news: It’s almost done.

The bad news: Almost…

I don’t know how people do it. This afghan feels like an epic, never-ending battle to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the blanket; the yarn was amazing and the colors really strike a harmonious chord with me. But honestly, if it wasn’t a gift for my mother (that I gave her in pieces on Christmas in 08) I would have long ago given up. I am not an afghan person.

Almost… almost there…

Slippers! Felting!! Fun!!!

First born has been running around with ten blue toes for the majority of the winter. What’s a knittin’ mother to do but find a cute pattern on the internets and try to warm those toes right up? Thanks Ravelry!!

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Little Snuglets by Maggie Pace of Pick-Up Sticks. It was a nice knit, although there were many pieces with a good deal of seaming since every piece was worked twice for each individual slipper. I used a chunky wool, Reynolds Lopi, for the exterior, knitting one size smaller to get gauge, and Alpaca With a Twist Highlander for the interior.

Photos are all pre-felted… they’re huge before sticking them into the washer. The felting and the never-ending drying have already taken place, but I haven’t taken photos yet since I have one more finishing touch to add… a cord of some variety for the closure. Once that’s done, then on the tiny twinkle toes they go!

Meditation

Because of the lust I feel for the Haverhill Throw from Garnet Hill, I have started to crochet an afghan…

This is big news as, for the most part, I hate to crochet. And I have tried several times to knit a blanket, even a scarf–and please don’t mention that stole right now–and have never managed to finish a single one of those projects. Every one that was begun, has been ripped apart and the yarn recycled for something else. Now I am crocheting an afghan. It’s a crazy world.

When I first started, all I could think about was how many hexagons I had to make before I would be finished, and then I would sink into feeling overwhelmed at the sheer enormity of the task, a habit to which I have consistently conformed. I had never crocheted before this, and it has taken me a while to get started as I had to teach myself both how to crochet, and how to crochet this particular shape, the hexagon. Once the learning curve began to even out and I made it past twenty octagons, I found a rhythm and now I have at least seventy completed. Seventy! By concentrating on one row, one shape, one color, at a time, I got over that hump of stagnating inertia crippling any progress that might have been in favor of anxiety. It is a huge relief to know that I am trudging along at a steady clip and enjoying the work as I go.

It also helps that the fiber is delicious. I’m using Alpaca with a Twist’s Highlander, a blend of alpaca, merino, microfiber and viscose. I’m loving the little bits of tweed as well as the colors. Being able to switch from color to color in a short amount of time and chosing the combinations for each little guy has definitely kept my interest, and when I do make mistakes, it normally doesnt’ take so much time to correct.

Speaking of mistakes, this experience has been an excellent exercise in letting go of my perfectionist ways. Not that they’re entirely eliminated, but it seems that crochet is a little more forgiving than knitting. There are a few things I won’t let slip, but if I miss/add a double crochet here or there, I’ve found that it doesn’t really matter all that much, especially since I’m planning on making close to two hundred or so. Actually, I’m still not sure how many I’m going to make… enough to make a good sized afghan, but not a bed spread I guess.

One of the things I love most about knitting is how relaxing, and significantly mind-quieting, I find the repetition. It helps with the insomnia I’ve suffered for years, and it takes the edge off when my emotions get the upper hand and I lose my calm. It’s something I can do when the kids are playing and still manage to be somewhat present, and it makes those few shows that I do watch feel a little less like such a wasteful time sink. And these are things I never managed to feel while crocheting before, but that have now, thankfully, crept into this project. Everyday, this afghan is feeling less like a labor of love, and much more like a meditation.

Now, if only I could figure out what to do with that craft room!