Posts Tagged knitting

Keeping Production from Overheating

I originally starting writing a post of epic proportions, laying out everything I’ve done and even just thought about doing over the last two months… it got a little ridiculous.  Instead, I will break it up into a little bit of a series so that I can not only tell you what I did, but also why I chose to tackle the project during the summer months.

One hundred degree weather doesn’t normally send people running for wool and hand knits.  Yet, in the past two months I have completed five projects, spun two pounds of wool, and currently have six more works in progress.  So, how is it that I’ve stayed so motivated?  Other knitters and spinners.

It all started with TheKnitGrllls “Stash Dash” running June 3rd to August 12th.  First, everyone participating set individual goals for how many grams of stash we would use over the course of the event, including any WIPs (works-in-progress).  Since this is not the first season of this event, I watched some group members post goals way beyond my comprehension.  After careful thought and consideration, based on the summer events to come, I set a goal of 1,800 grams.  I pulled out the yarn and fiber, photographed it all, and assigned it to projects and dates to start and complete each project, keeping in mind my progress in other projects to make sure I wasn’t being overly ambitious.

Stash Dash 2012 goal – 1,800 grams of knitting and spinning fun!

During the first few weeks, I completed my Shaelyn Shawl, Wingspan and a cotton dress for M.

The first project was obvious, as I had been working away at it for some time, but had simply run out of yarn at the very end.  I was knitting the Shaelyn Shawl out of Sweet Georgia Yarns in a very summery teal color that was heavy enough to keep me warm, while the shawl was at a loose enough gauge that it is still breezy enough to be worn during the summer.  I decided to pick up more Sweet Georgia in a lighter and truer blue colorway to work the final edge pattern repeat and castoff.  Not only was it a quick finish, but I’ve gotten some wear out of it at work, where the temperature constantly fluctuates throughout the day.

Shaelyn by Leila Raabe knit in Sweet Georgia Superwash Sport in the Tourmaline (main) colorway and the Saltwater (edging) colorway.

I chose the Wingspan next because I had been trying to find the perfect pattern to use some of my Mini Mochi yarn from Crystal Palace that I had been obsessing over.  Though it’s a single ply, it’s definitely very fluffy and warm and I only had two balls in the colorway, so I knew I wanted it to be a fairly small project.  Plus, I wanted it to be portable to knit at work and be a simple enough pattern to knit through very quickly.  I haven’t had the chance to wear it out yet, but it was such an enjoyable knit and the summer heat didn’t slow me down one bit.

Wingspan by maylin Tri’Coterie Designs in Crystal Palace Mini Mochi

As for the cotton dress… sigh.  I had been promising M, and my mother, a cotton dress for M for the summer. I had originally intended it to be finished for her to wear to Maryland Sheep and Wool in May.. but never got past the cast on.  I love the end result. I even taught myself to do a double crochet edging around the armholes and neckline.  I didn’t even really mind the feel of the cotton.  But my hands we screaming at my every time I knit on this dress for more than ten minutes a day.  Not a sitting, A DAY.  I had knit cotton before.. but it was Knit Picks Shine in a Pima cotton.  I know that Pima cotton is softer and just better, but I had found so many wonderful, bright and cheerful color combinations in the Sugar and Cream (dishcloth) cotton that I knew would be perfect for M.  The pluses: the pattern is lovely and I felt completely comfortable knitting this poolside as I knew this dress would also get wet and have sunscreen all over it whenever M would wear it.  Cotton a big plus for summer knitting… just maybe real garment cotton for big projects.

Elenka by Inna Aleksandrova

The rest of my summer knitting was planned out to the extreme.  List after list was made to ensure that everything could and would be completed on time. Of course I totally stayed on schedule…….

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Crafting Under The Influence… Of Illness

M gets sick… a lot. She’s two years old, so it’s expected. Unfortunately, every time she gets sick, I do too. We are, however, very different when we’re sick. I just want to lie around and do next to nothing, while she wants to be no where near a bed and instead gets rather hyperactive. So when I found that we needed to take a day off for her to go see the doctor, all the while nursing my own illness, I knew it would be rough trying to get some crafting in.

The morning went well, with few tantrums (from either of us) and a lot of snuggling in bed before her appointment. Just how a sick day should be spent. Then we packed up and went to the doctor’s appointment. Of course, I brought both of my drop spindles, more fiber than I could ever spin on a day spent completely by myself, and a simple cable cowl I’m knitting up. Though it was highly unlikely that I would touch any of these at the appointment, I did take the time to carefully choose projects to bring that would require little-to-no brain power. I just didn’t want to risk knitting a challenging project under a cloud of sickness… I needed to just relax and zone out.

It was a beautiful day, so when we arrive an hour early to the appointment, we decided to park, roll down all the windows and talk while I pre-drafted some fiber. After a surprising ten minutes of M sitting still, it was time to go inside. Fortunately, we were seen right away and didn’t have to go through the waiting room torture of M racing out of the room every time I tried to sit down.

After her appointment and lunch, I thought I would get the lazy knitting and/or spinning time I so desired during nap time. I kept waiting and waiting, trying to calm, getting frustrated, leaving the room, sitting in the room, rocking. I did everything. Almost anything to get my daughter to sleep so I could rest and relax. When it was finally clear that this was a giant waste of time for both of us, I gave up. She insisted on watching 101 Dalmatians and let me spin sitting next to her.

It was just what we needed, to revert back to how our morning was spent, lounging and doing very simple crafting. She watched the movie and me spinning and seemed equally fascinated when I relaxed and felt productive at the same time. Now that she’s been on antibiotics for two days, while I continue to get worse, here’s hoping that this weekend is full of relaxing, mindless crafting while lying in bed ignoring the two hour restriction on screen time.

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