Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life mimics art

Or is it vice versa?

My plan for March was to knit only accessories. Small, quick little knits that come in so handy when winter starts to draw in. In my mind, that meant brisk and regular blog posts showing you little finished item after finished item, and a nice sense of productivity - just the ticket for getting my head down in April for some more cardigan and lace knitting.

But there have been, as in life, some unexpected complications.

In May, I am involved in an exhibition of sorts at the old Kiama Fire Station. I don't have anything to sell, so I thought I'd make a few brightly solid coloured baby blankets.

I made one in February.



But it used way too much of the cotton/microfibre blend yarn, and was therefore quite expensive to complete.

So I tried a different plan - this time with a cheaper yarn and the very popular and free tiramisu blanket. I went with a bright watermelon with a chocolate satin ribbon. But the pattern proved so slow growing and boring that I abandoned it within days.

Went back to the sunny spread idea:



Problem. This cheap yarn is horrible. I just don't like crocheting with it.

On to plan C - a plain heirloom cotton shetland fir cone stitch blanket.



This is the go! I thought ... But I was almost immediately distracted by the lure of a crocheted dress.

DISTRACTION 1

I got carried away with that crocheted dress I posted about last month and I swatched a couple of spiral hexagons.



I hit a stumbling block with not knowing how to change colours in these hexagons and not really having any idea how to shape a dress in crochet.

So the question of colour led me to another distraction - the Kaffe Fasset sock yarn crochet blanket.

DISTRACTION 2


There is the skipping stones blanket from lion brand via ravelry that I like very much. So, I crocheted a few of the motifs in Kaffe Fasset's regia sock yarn.



But my motifs aren't circles, they're more like octagons. Not happy with that, I was distracted again with some beautiful yarn.

DISTRACTION 3


Beatiful yarn. ooohhh my god. Debbie Bliss Andes, from my little trip to Calico and Ivy. Like a siren's song - I was captivated by it ...

I wanted a cowl. A supersoft cowl so light you didn't even know you were wearing it. I began something I thought I could make up as I went along but soon realised that designing on the fly with such delicate yarn isn't such a great idea.



I frogged and re-knit part of one ball three times, and so afraid of ruining the soft single strand yarn I put it away until I'm sure I know what to do with it.

DISTRACTION 4

I'm in this knitalong thing. I'm not keeping up. I finished the first sock, but even if I did have enough yarn to finish a second (which I don't), I wasn't that keen on it. In keeping with the dragon theme, I thought I'd knit the pendragon socks.

I tried a new technique for me, knitting them both at the same time. And at first, they were coming along just fine ..



Until about a week ago, when I discovered a big mistake in the cable just where it splits for the heel flap. And because I can't knowingly live with a mistake in my knitting, it's going to have to come out back to that point.



I don't like knitting socks that much at the best of times, so I put it away for a time out period, while I got back to my cowl idea.

DISTRACTION 5


About that time, I got some new base yarns in the store, a superwash sport weight merino, and a superwash merino/silk single. So I had to dye some, didn't I?









DISTRACTION 6

So, back to the cowl idea. Wanting to try the new sport weight merino, I dyed some up in a lovely silvery grey and began designing a simple wide cowl. After a few false starts mathematically, it's proving to be an addictive and easy to remember little stitch pattern, with garter stitch edges, the plan is to have some big buttons and strategically placed buttonholes so it can be worn a few different ways.



And I really thought I could commit to this, right through to the end.

But .. something just wouldn't let go ..


DISTRACTION 7


Those pesky socks kept playing on my mind. I had to get them sorted out. So, last night, I pulled out the project bag and made some progress on the sock that doesn't have a mistake in it.


And I got past the gussets and partway down the foot. It was going great, but there's a stumbling block ahead..

That's all the yarn left in the ball. It's going to run out.



(I think I have one more ball of it though, fingers crossed.)

So, I've concluded in what feels like a productive month so far that has spectacularly failed to produce a single thing - for me, knitting monogamy is best.

So when I get these socks and this cowl finished - it's back to one thing at a time for me.

Oh, and give yourself a round of applause if you've lasted this long. Long silences = long posts I guess.

16 comments:

DrK said...

It might not feel productive but all those things are the foundation of many great projects. So many great ideas! April is better for accessories anyway. And I hope you do have another ball of that sock yarn cos they look spectacular.

Melissa said...

Oh those socks are beautiful, I might have to find some time to knit those. I love my sunny spread, but I have to agree that it eats up the yarn.

You have the makings of a lot of wonderful things there.

Rose Red said...

Oooh, very excited by your new yarn bases - great colours (red, squeeeee!)

Like DrK said, all these things are the start of great projects. From a serial new project starter, I know what it's like to jump around from thing to thing - but they do get finished eventually!

(I might be able to help you with the crochet dress thingy. Maybe, I've not done any crochet garments but I have some ideas)

La MaƱosa said...

Everything looks beautiful to me! Lovely colors and patterns.

It cracks me up that you counted the socks as two separate distractions, one to start them and one to correct a mistake. They were really distracting you! :)

MoonKatz said...

Your distractions seem tame compared to mine! All of it is gorgeous though, even the 'yucky cheap yarn'. I can definitely relate to the bit about not feeling productive, even though you did really get a lot done. I tend to start a dozen and finish two, maybe. My craft area has more UFO's than Roswell.

Maria said...

I have for a long time silently admired your many beautiful projects. Even your 'distractions' are wonderful. More inspiration. Love the new yarn colours

travellersyarn said...

Love the new yarn colours. I think sometimes you need to jump around where the inspiration takes you!

kgirl said...

haha - *great* post! totally resonates with knitting months I've had ;)

everything is lovely that you've made, so no time is wasted if that's the case!

here's to more lovely distractions, I say!!

Ruby Girl said...

Look at all the projects you will have when you do finish each of them. So very productive I would say.

1funkyknitwit said...

Well the post was long I've forgotten half it it..lol

But I do remember this about it.. I enjoyed it ! as always Ailsa you bring a sense of humor that I love about you and ALL your projects if not yet finished look lovely, especially the crochet ones ..so nice !

Your new yarn colours look very nice indeed :)

Happy monogamous knitting ;D

Lawrence said...

We all get distracted but I love your distraction #5 would love some of those.

Your knitting is lovely and I actually DO like your octagonal circles.. lol

Leeanne said...

Sorry I just posted under my hubs name.. Opps. Lawrence is actually ME!!

artificiallymythic said...

Whew! And I love, love, love all your gorgeous yarn, and your cowl and those socks!

Waiting for your blogposts are totally worth it. :)

Bells said...

i loved this post. I didn't get time to read it last week so I knew I'd come back and take it all in properly.

So much great stuff but wow, you are easily distracted aren't you, you floozy? Any shiny thing that passes by.

The crochet dress sounds just mind boggling to figure out.

But really my favourite here is the blanket in the very first pic. I freaking love that.

Ann said...

Well, I read the whole post & don't feel that you have not been productive. In fact, you have been so productive & creative in your projects - they just need some time to finish.

Yoga Knitdra said...

Glad I'm not the only one suffering distractions! Your new yarn is helping add to that in the nicest possible way. Love the socks and the crochet in KF and half a dozen other things you've posted about lately. I think I'll implode with idea overload soon...