Archive for January, 2012

So, the knitting…

I did manage to get my one and only knitted present finished – not before Christmas, sadly, but before my mum (the recipient) went home. Here it is:

It’s an Incus cowl (you can get the pattern – part of a collection of three – here). Mum chose the pattern and the yarn – it’s Manos Silk Blend in Aurora – and I knitted it up. The pattern is lovely – once you’ve got the stitch pattern set up it’s mindless knitting for 9 rows, then a teeny bit of concentration to cross the cables, then mindless knitting for another 9 rows. The yarn is heavenly – absolutely gorgeous to knit with, and a lovely sheen.

The variegated yarn makes the cabling a subtle detail rather than a big style feature – I am tempted to knit myself one in a solid colour for comparison purposes. I have a skein of yarn I’d love to use, but it’s the wrong weight, so I’ll need to do some sums to adjust the pattern and do a bit of swatching to work out if I have enough.

I have some other projects on the go – the monochrome crochet, a nice simple knitting project that is currently not impressive enough to show off, and a more complex one which I can’t show off because it’s for someone who I know reads the blog. But I will say that I have already used more than 1000 metres of yarn this month, so that resolution at least is off to a good start!

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Happy New Year

It’s taken me a few days to get into the swing of things – I got a bit too used to being on holiday! I don’t usually make new year resolutions – I find the middle of winter usually has me at a low ebb, and not in the right frame of mind to be all determined and will-powery. But as it happens, a few things have happened which have lent themselves to resolutions exactly at the traditional time of year.

The first is that I was given a sewing machine of my very own. It’s very old but it’s new to me, and so I’ve decided that it’s time to get over my sewing machine phobia. The phobia is quite deep seated and results from a girl in my textiles class – when I was 12 – sewing through her thumb. Lots of blood and disgusting nail death and that sort of thing. I have occasionally used a machine but not often enough to completely get over the fear. But I fully intend that a year from now I will be confident – if not completely competent – in the use of my machine. So, that’s resolution one.

The second resolution came as a result of big clear out Chez S&S. I have been decluttering like a mad thing, and at the same time, we’ve been doing some home improvements – including in the room where I store my yarn. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned the ‘too much yarn’ problem before. And yes, I have had plans to deal with it, which have come to nothing, or little. But when you combine emptying the room with the yarn in with decluttering the house and moving all the yarn in baskets and project bags scattered all over the place, so it’s all together – well, suffice to say that it made me feel a bit queasy. I knew it was bad, but it was worse than I thought. Much worse. So this year is going to be a stash reducing year. I have decided on the following rules. It’s useless to make myself promise to knit/crochet a certain amount. My life is unpredictable and it’s bound to go wrong. It’s also useless to make myself promise not to buy any yarn. Because, well, if I could do that I wouldn’t have a yarn stash that threatened to exceed my life expectancy.

So Rule 1 – as I use yarn up, I can replace it – with half the amount. For every two metres I use, I can buy one.

Rule 2 – yarn is only ‘used up’ when it’s in finished objects. No starting lots of things and ending up with dozens of half-knitted things lurking in corners, because we’ve been there before. 

Rule 3 – no staying completely in the comfort zone. Yes, there can be some repeated projects or mindless easy projects, but some of the projects have to be things I’ve not done much or any of before.

And as I can’t imagine not being able to buy yarn at Wonderwool, which is in April, I need to get cracking.

This is my current project, which is a nice bit of crochet. The white Christmas tree and white Christmas cake seem to have propelled me into a bit of a white phase – but I rather like it.







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