Monday, January 7, 2013

Blocking Time


 
 
 
 
I was lucky enough to receive two gift certificates to Cottage Yarn, my local yarn shop, and used them to buy enough Noro yarn to make a long vest featured in last fall's Noro magazine.  The neckline requires steeking, but I might just change the pattern a bit.  I want to alleviate stress during this coming New Year. 
 
It’s amazing to me how, when I focus my efforts in a concerted manner, aiming them at one particular large task to accomplish, other areas of my life seem to languish—disregarded and ignored.  I’ve been determined to finish a somewhat complex lace sweater—one that has shown its face (in various stages of completion) in my blog since Easter of 2012.  I worked diligently during my sick time over Christmas break on this project and also spent many hours this past weekend, blocking and seaming—although the garment isn’t completely finished yet.  

 
 
Slowly I'm putting together this 2012 sweater project--a Louisa Harding design made with her Willow Tweed yarn.  The picture on the bottom is a sleeve I'm joining using the mattress stitch. 
 
Consequently, I’ve neglected my blog for a bit, and now that I am working at it again, I’ve decided not to write a New Year’s resolution post filled with new skills I wish to master.  After reviewing the list of goals I related early in 2012, I realize that there aren’t enough waking hours in each day for me to tackle all that I want to accomplish—knitting related and otherwise.  (I’m also a bit embarrassed that I could post virtually the same list this year without the need to edit out any completed tasks.)
 
My sister-in-law and I each gave one another yarn bowls and yarn for Christmas--my gift to her is made of pottery; her gift to me is wooden and was handmade by her husband.  He used a jigsaw and some type of routing tool--a very clever idea and a great gift. 

Also, it’s now January 7—New Year’s Day has passed and I’m already caught up in the teaching routine and family schedule that eat up the vast part of my energy and time.  There aren’t windows for planning and executing grand Jane Austen inspired designs, spinning three big bags full of fiber, or learning how to steek.   There is time, however, to eke out the small pleasures  of knitting each day—as I did yesterday evening while I watched a program about Highclere Castle shown before the PBS airing of the first episode of season three of Downton Abbey.  There are also moments for cooking special meals, spinning odd skeins of fiber—who then eagerly gather together, rubbing shoulders in bins and baskets, naively anticipating their role in future projects—and for experimenting with new techniques here and there. 

This is a pretty cowl I made with Mohair yarn from England. 
 
 
This frog purse is almost ready to felt.  

With the constraints of time and with some self-knowledge I’ve gained over this past year, writing resolutions, which merely amount to a to-do list, seems a bit pointless at this juncture.  Maybe I’ll think differently when I have some time off to ruminate, but for now, instead of setting goals,  I will undertake to try to keep alive all that was positive in the past year and leave behind all that was damaging.  This “resolution” is less daunting to me than a traditional list and, I hope it will serve as personal encouragement as well.   Happy New Year !


My mother in Arizona asked me to knit a red scarf for her.  I'm making this with
Rowan Kidsilk Haze.  I am savoring this rich color and the soft feel of this haloed yarn. 
 

 

 

   

3 comments:

  1. Lovely projects going on :) I, too, am not making a list of things to do.. I have a never ending wish list that doesn't necessarily coincide with the New Year. So I am just determined to carry on learning and enjoying my knitting (as well as the rest of the things going on in my life) :)
    Hope you have a great week!

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  2. I love your take on New Year resolutions - always dispiriting to find I've broken them before it even gets to February! All the knitting projects on your needles look wonderful - I do love your versatility! And your yarn bowl is super - what a very clever idea. Hope it's not too frenetically busy now term has started again. E x

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  3. Please do some steeking! I've got 2 Alice Starmore books - the Fairisle and the Aran - she's always going on about steeking and lit looks terrifying - I'm impressed that you've even considered it. I have to admit I'm a sucker for NYresolutions - it's a tradition for me, but I never make them too ambitious, that way I know I can keep to them. You are amazingly productive with knitting - I've hardly picked up my needles this week. Judy.

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