I was planning to do a “hat” themed March. In my mind it goes something like “Hats of for March!” I wanted to see how many hats I could finish in a mont ( spoiler alert: I have started and finished a couple before March) but I just keep getting distracted by anything and everything: Amy Miller is having a Sweater KAL in her Rarely group, I really should work on the Sankaku since I registered for the Plucky Shindig at the end of September, I really want to knit something with some stash….. Oh it is so hard to pick what to work on next. I guess I have about a day to decide since I need to finish up a secret test knit.
In the meantime here’s a list of the hats I would like to make (I hope by writing them down it will make me go with this option, but I hate obligation knitting):
Scrollwork by Irina Dmitrieva
Moss and Deer Horns by Sylvia Bo Bilvia
Puck by Dani Sunshine
Skiff by Jared Flood
Crayon Hat by Midori Hirose
Bumble by TinCan Knits
Winter’s Fern by Trin Annelie
Curam by Ysolda Teague
Triangle Hat by Eunny Jang
Saudade by Ysolda Teague
One Bourbon by BabyCocktails
Oonksi by Ms. Purple
OK, I admit I am a little excited writing these down… I just need to commit already.
I kinda had an epiphany when I was at Madrona Fiber Arts last month. I am actually an introvert. It seems weird to say but I am going to own it “I am an introvert who is passionate about knitting.” My love and excitement about knitting makes me chatty, often gregarious at times but doesn’t make me an extravert. I love seeing friends that I don’t get to see often (as evidenced by the number of fiber festivals I attend (I kind geek out about knitting)) and I don’t think that will change but I do think that I know now myself a little bit better.
When you live in a household where you are the chatty one it is easy to get mislabelled, but there it is the truth “I recharge best by myself.” As much as I love seeing my friends I tend to get drained a bit when there is a big group. I was frankly surprised that by having 20 minutes to myself I was completely recharged me for the rest of the day( so I cold hang out with more friends and geek out about all things fiber for the rest of the weekend)
I have also learned that friends can come out of the woodwork when you really need them to and least expect it… which means a lot.
So this month I had decided to see how much of a dent I could make in some of my projects. You know the project the ones that we convince ourselves we should not be monograms on because the project is going to take a longtime. You sneak in a few rows here and there…. and often times decide you need to cast something on, because the monotony of working on the big project which you know you will not finish is getting to you.
So imagine my surprise when I actually applied myself and discovered that I could complete a project. I not only completed one but as mind boggling as it is finished 2! Now I know I should be excited and I am… but what this really means is that if I actually focus on something and don’t get distracted, I can finish something…. I am a little horrified at this concept.
So it is with great pleasure that I get to move Bartlett in to the Completed category and have a couple mommy and me pictures.
Reimagining Top Down Sweaters by Elizabeth Doughtery
I was lucky enough this year go tot Madrona Fiber Arts Festival this year and stay at the Hotel Madrona where the event was being held at in Tacoma, Washington. It was the 2nd year I was able to go and it is a really great festival. It has a nice intimacy to it and there is a wide variety of fiber enthusiasts.
It has a marketplace which is free to the public and has a lot of open spaces to sit and knit. Sitting and knitting was the main reason I went. It was great to see friends who were local and had travelled to the event. Many people attend for the classes but many come to shop and hang out as well. It was a lovely time, and a different vibe then other fiber festivals I have attended. VK Live and Stitches seem to be focused on classes and shopping, while this really has a more of a feeling of a fiber community. People who attend have a lot of knowledge about fiber, many who attend are skilled spinners, knitters, and weavers, instructors and authors.
In this regard I kind of feel it is the equivalent to walking around in NYC see someone famous, not one cares, everyone is here to see and catch up with each other and take classes and talk about their love of all things fiber.
I ended up not getting any yarn(See! look at me go on my yarn diet!), but did pick up a Joco cup from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (seriously loving it) and a pattern from Catherine Lowe ( I got to try on garments from her booth for the 2nd year in a row) Her stuff is oh so nice. Next year I will be picking up a sweater’s worth of her beautiful and refined yarns.
Oh yeah, I decided to give myself permission and knit a project out of my queue for Madrona. I finished it up a couple days later (a lot of talking and catching up) but I did manage to take a couple pictures of my new Oonski hat.
I finally finished my Cashmere Ombre Wrap by Purl Soho. I kinda can’t believe it. I think I might pinch myself to believe I am no longer knitting it. I have been working on the project since July and I had been projecting that I would finish around September( when my daughter starts Kindergarten).
Several of my friends thought I was crazy for taking this on. They are better knitters than I am but have no great interest in knitting 1600 yards of seed stitch in a sock weight yarn (even if it was in cashmere). Heck I am no sure I would not have signed up for it either until I tried it on when I visited Purl Soho last year. It was pretty perfect and surprising that pink was the color that seemed to best “pop” out of all the colors I tried. I need to explain. I am not really a “pink” person. It is a sheer coincidence that I am knitting two pink projects at the same time.
It has been something that has been on my needles for a longtime and to be honest I had fooled myself into thinking that I would work on it “a little bit here” and “a little bit there” in-between projects. I think you know what I mean where you tell yourself that you can “work in a couple of rows” here and there and that it is a long term project. Imagine my surprise that when I really applied myself I finished it on the 7th of February. I certainly made a bigger dent in the project than I thought possible.
It is with a surprised and sad realization that I can actually make a reasonable dent in my projects when I devote myself to something on my needles and don’t get distracted with the “latest” pattern or new yarn that comes to my house. So know I need to turn my attention to my Sankaku by Olga Jazzy or Bartlett by Michele Wang ( I was a little tipsy after watching the Superbowl and opted to knit on neither until I sobered up). I am tempted to work on both Sankaku is averaging about 2 hours a row (which is an improvement) and Bartlett is so close to being done. Decisions….Decisions…
I have no idea why I am blogging about this but the topic popped in to my head and hasn’t popped out so I figure I needed to comment on this whole topic.
Knitting is a personal thing for people. Some people knit to create, some knit for the tactile interaction, some knit as a form of meditation…( there are so many reasons and I can’t name them all. I have been knitting for about five years now it has been a real life changer. I don’t even want to think about how my life would be if I had not come across it when I did. It has enriched my life in so many ways. I tend to try to focus on the positive ways it has enriched my life but ones but one of the negative ones is the one that has come from being so dialed in to social media and the interactiveness of Raverly; What I am talking about is the non knitting related concept of “Keeping up with the Joneses” You know where you see what is going on in your Ravelry group, Discussion boards, or at your local knitting group and get sucked into the vortex of what everyone is doing.
Sometimes it creeps up in the form of seeing how often one of your friends is casting on, sometimes it is buying what your friends or someone on Instagram has, and other times is might be trying to one up your friends on the number of “likes” or “favorites” they get, but they all kinda amount to the same thing. being influenced by what is going on around you. It can be exhausting and to be honest expensive too. I have and continue to be guilty in participating in this concept of trying to keep up with the Joneses, but this month I have been trying to “unplug” from it a bit.
I don’t know if it is a desire to work on whatever I feel like or that I am not buying yarn for a while but at least for the next month I am thinking that I am only working on projects that are slow, tedious and have been on my project page( No I am not a masochist). I figure at one point or another I decided I was committed to the project so why not recommit?
I am going to focus on getting them done and just enjoy the process of knitting with no attention paid to new yarns being released or new patterns. I have figuratively put my hands over my ears and going “lalalala” to any outside noise. It is kinda nice, like a personal challenge to see how much I can do in a month. Not only am I getting to connect with projects that I haven’t really been committed to but I will be able to make a big dent in them this month (did I mention I have 75% done on my Cashmere Ombre Wrap?). I have been trying to fit in a couple rows on some of my bigger projects, the thought of giving myself permission to work exclusively on some of my languishing WIPs means I might even finish something:)