(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 until it was done.
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!)