A blog about fibre, wine, and all things cozy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Time to Think Ahead

Christmas is over. The tree is still up, but the gifts are unwrapped. The left over dinner has been turned into soup, and the mess is mostly cleaned up. Now comes the next “big day” in the holiday season and the one that prompts people to make resolutions for next year, New Years Eve. It makes sense, there is a clear starting point and ending point and 365 days in between to work on that goal.

I don’t make resolutions. I know that my body feels better when I put healthy things in it, that my mood and appearance are better when I work out regularly, that I feel better about purchases when I make them with cash instead of credit, that too much booze at a party will give me a vicious hangover and not drinking enough water in a day makes me feel that same way. I know all these things and some weeks I do really well at all of them, and some weeks not as well. I don’t feel the need to makes a promise to do something “better” or “more or less frequently.” I just go about my business knowing what needs to be accomplished most days and attempting to do it. And then, I look at my stash and my knitting life in general and all that goes out the window.

Dec 2010
My stash is out of control. It is disaster waiting to happen. When I am brave, crazy enough to need something out of it, I need to have both a trained Sherpa to get me in and Search and Rescue team to help dig me out when the inevitable yarnalanche happens and I am buried. I have considered starting to take a few energy bars in with me so that if I am home alone and trapped until my husband returns, I won't starve. My stash has also started creeping into other areas of the apartment as I can no longer contain it all in one area. I recently (yesterday) went to acquire two specific balls of yarn from my stash and they weren't where I thought they would be, which means I have no idea where they are in the mess. I am pretty sure that we don't have yarn elves living in our building, (and if we do, why are they doing their job and the kitchen elves don't?) which means that the yarn is somewhere in the mess. It needs to be dealt with and I have decided that 2011 is when that is going to happen. So I am going Cold Sheep and not buying anything new until the DKC Knitters frolic in April. I will still accept gifted yarn, which is truly a big part of the problem. I will not try to blame my addiction on others, but I do have a lot of enablers in my life. Yarn, especially pretty yarn, means that I am an easy person to buy for. Even my brother in law, who knows nothing about yarn, walked into my favourite knitting store and came out with four balls of sock yarn and a gift card for me. I am both spoiled and blessed. (My WIPS are out of control too. But that one's pretty straight forward to understand.)
So here I am at the end of 2010 and I am making resolutions. I will knit solely from my stash until April 30th. I will get the one day reprieve and then no new yarn until Canada day, July 1st. I will stop ignoring the spinning wheel that I have on loan from my best friend. And I will be an active member of the 111 in 2011 group on Raverly. I am determined to use 111 balls this year. I will do all these things and at the end of 2011, I will have a far more functional stash and a calmer knitting life. I will control the addiction and stop letting it control me. I can do all these things, and I will keep telling myself that this is not a punishment. These are my resolutions. What are yours?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!  I hope that there have been a few minutes of knitting time for you.  I finally was able to open the magic box.  I have to say, I am a very spoiled knitter.  This is what I found first.
Then, I opened the inside package and found more goodies.
The whole package looks like this.

My Husband is enjoying his Christmas knitting too.
I wish you all a fibre filled day and that whatever you are doing, you're having a great one. Cheers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How to Vex a Knitter

My Husband was kind enough to order me yarn from my favourite indy dyer, IndigoDragonFly, for Christmas.  I have been forbidden from even touching the box until we open our gifts on Christmas Eve.  So this is what's under my tree.  The message is from Kim, and my husband thought it was more fun to taunt me with it then wrap it any further.  Sigh.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I am off the Wagon

I am off the wagon so hard that all I can see are the plumes of dust rising from the earth as I try to stand up and clean myself off. Back in September, I exclaimed loudly to my Husband that until I had all 
 the gifts made, I would not cast on anything new, unless it was a Holiday gift. I would permit myself to work on pre-existing projects, but nothing new. I already had a few gifts knit, as I try to get at least a few out of the way throughout the year, but I still had quite a few more to go. And, I'll be damned if the proclamation didn't actually work. I stuck it out and my gifts are finished. (I will admit, I did sneak this little dice bag in right at the very end.) So that revelation happened on Monday, and today is Wednesday, and I want to cast on EVRYTHING. I have yarn that I paired with projects months ago that are all waiting to be picked up and loved. I have projects on the needles that I want to get back too and try to finish. I want to grow extra arms and hands so I can do it all at once. I want to see just how many more finished items I can sneak in before the year 2010 is gone and 2011 begins. My head is spinning with possibilities. I'm not really sure where to go next, but I'm pretty sure it needs to involve having knitting needles in my hands. (I will try not to be too resentful of the fact that I am going out this afternoon to finish my Husband's Christmas shopping.) I wish you all a happy knitting day and if I don't surface again anytime soon send a search party. It means I’m lost in my stash.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Miracle has Happened

Yesterday I was too exhausted to consider doing anything of real substance. So I sat myself down on my sofa and finished a hat that I had on the needles for my friend Josh T. By the end of the day, the hat was done even though I had ripped one of the earflaps out because it looked wrong. I tossed it aside to take some photos of it and then picked up the blanket I'm making for my husband and I and worked on that for a bit. It wasn't until this morning that I realized that I am finished my Christmas knitting. I texted my husband and told him the good news then headed out to the gym. It didn't really sink in at that point, (I openly admit that I am not the brightest crayon in the box first thing in the morning.)

The Final Gift
So I get to the gym and am running at a fairly good pace on the treadmill when the realization really hits me. “Holy s**t, I'm done my Christmas knitting. How the F**K did that happen?” I think I said that last part out loud. It's takes another second to fully sink in and I stop running. (You will note that I said I stopped running. Not the treadmill stopped moving. This lead to me having a moment of superb grace and beauty as I had to scramble to stay upright. I did avoid falling on my face, but only just.) In that moment, after I recovered from my Bambi meets ice moment and I caught my breath, the sun seemed to shine a little brighter and the falling snow seemed that much prettier and a wonderful calm passed over me. This is a stark contrast to last year when I burst into tears realizing that there was no way I was ever going to finish the last of the gifts in time. In all the years I have been making Christmas gifts, this has never happened. I will not actually have to finish gifts on the way to parties or shove a darning needle into my husband's hand and force him weave ends while I bind off a project. I still do have to weave in a few ends, and figure out how to make the Kitty Pi that did not felt small enough a little more cat bed like. (I love my Husband, but I am not willing to accept the answer, “Thing is really old, this will be easier for him to get in and out of” as a solution.) But damn, the knitting is finished.

To all of my knitting friends who are still in the midst of the Christmas knitting craziness, I wish you the best of luck in finishing. I have been in your shoes many, many times. But now, if you'll excuse me, I think I will celebrate with a glass of Chardonnay.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Moments of Joy

I've been very fortunate in the last week that I have had two moments of true joy associated with my knitting. The first made me smile a whole body type smile. The second, uncontrollable giggling.

The first came from talking to my 90 year old grandmother. In the middle of our conversation, she blurted out that she “loved the beautiful shawl that I made last year for my Aunt.” (It's a Clapotis made in red bamboo.) So when she was visiting her a few weeks ago, she “borrowed” it and now whenever she gets cold “she wraps herself up and rolls around in it.” I can't even type this without smiling. You have to understand that my Grandmother lives in a tiny town in Northern Ontario. She's right on the North Shore of Lake Superior, so it's cold up there. She must wear the shawl all the time. I love knowing that she's happy to have it and that she's feeling my love from all the miles away just by staying warm. (I am a little sad for my Aunt, who has now lost two years of knitted Christmas gifts to other people. She needs to stop showing things off.)

The second is when my package from the World Domination /Smart-Ass Knitters group arrived. Admittedly that on it's own is enough to make me happy. Really, what knitter wouldn't be pleased to have a package with gorgeous hand-dyed yarn delivered to them. But this package was extra special. I knew that this package also contained the lace weight that I had ordered from IndigoDragonfly back in November. She was good enough to hold it for me and toss it in with my package so when she made her next delivery to the city everything would come at once and I wouldn't have to pay for shipping. So the package is given to me and I tear into it with the enthusiasm of a very small child in a very big candy store. (Just for the record, my husband is very methodical when he opens presents. It drives me insane. Tear into the damn things would you!!!!!) 

First I pulled out my two skeins of lace weight. The colourway, Slutty Thursday Afternoon Things. (Kim really names her colourways better then anyone else I know.) The appropriate amount of fondling was completed before reaching for my “club yarn.” I spent a few minutes going completely gaga over the colour and the fact that it's Cashmere before noticing the name of the colourway. The name you ask? F**K You. No, I'm not making this up. (All of the colour names have a story behind them. This one Kim claims is for all of us who have wanted to scream it out at the top of our lungs. Thinking she was a shade frustrated with life when coming up with this name.) So, I line up all my new yarn and I start giggle snorting and finally manage to compose myself long enough to enquire what exactly is being implied about my personality by sending me both “Slutty” and “F You” in the same package? I don't know. Maybe you have to know one, or both of us to find it funny, but I gotta say I was having an “F You” kind've day at that point and thinking about that made me giggle every single time and helped turn a crummy day into a much better one.
"F" You

Oh, there is one last joy. Not having to do any Holiday knitting today. Not because I'm finished, but because I feel like I can take a little break without going nuts. Maybe this will be the year of miracles.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Changing Seasons

The falling snow

It's snowing here again today. Which most people seem to think that, as a knitter, I should really like. I think that a lot of non-fibre people have this romantic notion about the onset of winter causing knitters to merrily frolic through all their knitted goods pulling stuff out and bundling themselves and their loved ones up in a bunch of handmade goodness. Maybe there are knitters who do that. I can, however, assure you that I am not one of them.

I hate winter. I hate it with a passion. I hate the crummy road conditions. I hate the leaving work in the afternoon in the pitch black. And really when it comes right down to it, I don't like snow. Until my knitting can find a way to shovel the snow and make the sun stay longer, I will continue to hate winter. (Just for the record I think that fall is a much better time for knitters. My heavier knitted goods serve me well in the fall.)

More Snow
The changing seasons do affect my knitting. There is something about the short cold days that changes what I want to knit. For me, I want to stay indoors and hide from the outside. (I know lots of people that ski and snowboard and actually like winter. Me? My ideal winter day involves a hot beverage, a lot of wool, and other knitters sitting around in my favourite LYS lamenting about the nicer weather that we all miss.) I want to knit something big and heavy that going to get me through the winter months. I am more likely to cast on a sweater in the winter and be willing to give it a fairly solid commitment. I want a project that has to sit in my lap while I knit it because an afghan keeping you warm while you knit is a welcome gift in the middle of winter. (Anyone who has ever experienced temperatures in the -20 C range can back me up on that.) I am also more likely to knit something for myself. Though I think that has more to do with being finished the Christmas knitting than anything else. Winter is when I want to sink my teeth into something big and time consuming that will help me get through the nasty cold.

This year, I am well supplied with enough yarn in my stash for at least three sweaters. Plus, I still have a cute summer cardi on the needles 'cause it just didn't get finished in time to wear it this past summer. Maybe I will save that one for closer to the end of winter. It can be my little knitted light at the end of the tunnel and something to remind me that warmer days and smaller projects really are just around the corner. And in the middle of February, when it's freezing and dark I will look at that little cardi and try to believe that at some point winter really does end.