Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh, such random doings, with some pretty things at the end

(For now, a little tease...if all you want is the fiber and knitting, feel free to scroll ahead...)

I've been feeling very insecure yarn-wise lately. I keep wondering when everyone is going to discover I am a fraud. My colors really suck, resulting knits look like poop, and I should just get the hell out of this business before I bankrupt my family. Anyone else ever get to feeling this way? Perhaps not about yarn, but about whatever their chosen path may be? The wonderful blogless Kelly cranked out a few pair of socks for me on her CSM so I could experiment with painting various skein lengths. And I'm just. not. happy. I just can't seem to get the yarn to do what I want it to do. Now, I know stitch count and gauge have everything to do with a finished project, but I want to see more magic, dammnit! I am beginning to think I may just be overthinking things. Perhaps listening to the anti-pooling faction is getting to me. I am obsessing over this, even though I know there is nearly no way to avoid it (save for the kettle-dyes, which have a lesser chance of this). I haven't dyed to any significance in weeks. My perfectionist nature is taking over and paralyzing me. A friend, going through a rough time, recently got a tattoo on the inside of her wrist that says "Just breathe". I think I might need that. (edited to add -- I actually wrote this post a few days ago, and I think I am in a better place now...working on it!)
In other things, there has been knitting -- lovely knitting -- and I promise more of that later, and also horrors. Unable to bring the dogs with us to a family party on Sunday, I can home to discover that I had left a bottle of Children's Motrin on the coffee table, and Chewie-the-canine-garbage-masher ATE IT. Roughly 16 pills. 1600mg of ibuprofen. I immediately began to cry, killing myself for being careless, and certain that this was going to be IT. He happily jumped in the car for a trip to the Animal ER where they whisked us in to an exam room and after getting the details and doing the math they determined HE WOULD BE OK. Tears of relief -- omg I love this dog. They took him out, gave him charcoal to absorb anything left in his body and a shot of sub-q fluids to help flush his system, and $260 dollars later (that yarn order can wait) and a very drained but relieved mommy later, we left for home. and the store. To buy more Motrin. ug.
Get home; get settled; watch a bit of TV (stay tuned for THAT upcoming post); and hear the desperate cries of "Mommy, my throat hurts!" Remember the Motrin? Yeah, it was coming, but now even that isn't helping. A trip to the doc the next day confirmed my in-denial-worst-fears. Strep throat. He spent two days home with me, so of course, very little has been done around here. Thankfully, I haven't gotten it and at this point think I may be in the clear. I really want to be able to get back in the dye studio, or I'll never get my mojo back.
Now knitting, that is a whole other story. While I haven't been doing much dyeing, I have been knitting. I still have to get a pic of the finished Greenjeans, and I also pulled out the first sweater I had ever knit, but had never finished, as seaming scared the bejeezus out of me. This was from the free Lion Brand Pattern for a family of hoodies. I hated Homespun and so used Woolease Chunky instead (never checked for gauge, darn rookie) and knowing nothing about knitting and being self taught via the computer I began this sweater and my knitting career knitting every stitch through the back loop. A twisted stitch. It is no wonder I used to lament how long knitting took versus crochet. I learned the "proper" way to knit half way through the sweater and had to rip back almost an entire sleeve at one point when I realized I had been doing it "right", which, for the sake of consistency, was now wrong in this instance. 3 years this sweater has languished and been moved from hiding place to hiding place waiting to be completed, and now it is. But, I didn't get a pic, nor do I know yet if it fits the intended recipient. She has promised a picture when she gets a chance to try it on, and was thrilled with the gift, long time coming as it was. I am just glad it is off my back.
In celebration of all of my finishing, I could not resist the call of my most recent spinning project that wanted to be more that just yarn, it wanted to be more, of so much more. So I cast-on and I knit...

and knit...

and knit until it was done.

And blocking.

And finished!

The pattern is the Forest Canopy Shawl (I was inspired by this one of Jackie's) and was knit in my Blue Hawaii Falkland wool handspun, 4 oz., 2 ply, but don't ask me anymore details. I was too anxious to cast on to stop and check WPI or yardage (although I believe it to be a sport weight just under 300yrds.)I kept knitting initial lace pattern until I felt I had just enough for the border and lo-and-behold I was exactly at 195 stitches, right where the designer wanted you to be. So, no mods! Just a lovely little shawlette that I can't wait to wear.
(I'm back at the dye pots today -- if you have requested anything of me while we were at Spa or any other random group, and I may very well have forgotten or not known if you were serious, but you are, PLEASE e-mail me! A think a few people are wanting Blue Hawaii fiber such as I used for me shawl, but I'm not sure who and in what fiber. Gina, Kelly, I have your requests!)


Manise said...

Make sure you toss his toothbrush 48 hours after the start of his antibiotics or he'll get re-infected with strep.

Sorry about all of the drama and angst lately. Things have a way of sorting themselves out. Glad the dog is fine, though they will get into things. I crate mine while I'm out so it eliminates the possibility of coming home to their naughtiness.

Hang in there!

Cheryl said...

Yikes, you have a lot going on over there. For what it's worth, I have never been anything but happy with your dyed stuff, and you're the first person I would think to go to for any custom dye needs I might have.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've had a bit of a rough time! I can't believe you doubt yourself on your dyeing; I think your dye jobs are GORGEOUS.EVERY.SINGLE.TIME!

Love the shawl; you're making me want to finish the neverending sweater for Samm so I can get mine started!

Heather said...

That shawl is stunning. The colors, the pattern, everything about it is gorgeous!

I've been happy with the few skeins I've used of yours, so don't give it up just yet!

Sonya said...

What a scare with the furry baby!

Love the shawl, it is gorgeous.

LMardenNH said...

Heather, even Van Gogh thought he sucked. Just don't cut off an ear, or you won't be able to hear the continued ravings of everyone around you who CAN'T WAIT to see the treasures you bring with you.
You are one of the most talented and creative people I know and it makes me so frigging sad to see you doubt yourself. Cut it out. It's a waste of time. You need to get going on your incredibly potential-filled path. Start walking. Just put the Ibuprofen on a high shelf - k?

SleepyEyes said...

Truly one of the most beautiful handspun yarns and shawls I've ever seen. In this's breathtaking. Wow!