Monday, January 30, 2017

The Power of the Perfect Project

I've been knitting for 20 years 
for 20 years
I never stopped.
I have constantly had a project (or 5) on the needles. 

But this past year I slowly 

There have always been good reasons happening in my life where it would make since to slow down. 
But knitting has always been a safe haven, a respite, an outlet. 
So I never have.

Until now.

This summer I decided I needed to make myself a sweater, with a fair isle yolk, with my handspun yarn. 

I had been creating yarn for my shop for a number of years but I never saved enough of it to make something really special for myself. 

I carefully hand selected various colors and packed them away and spun a whole shetland white fleece to compliment my plant dyed yarns. 

I searched and searched for just the right pattern. 
I searched and searched for just the right designing tools. 
Because really I couldn't make up my mind if I should design it myself or do something simpler.

Then last week as I finally choose a pattern and cast on, frustration set in as I struggled to work the 200 stitches. 

I let it sit for a few days and then I started day dreaming about socks, hats, and mittens knit in two colors. White and yellow. White and green. White and pink. 
I knew what I needed to do. 
As I sat on the floor of my studio with my toddler by my side rummaging through a box of ribbon, I frogged the few rows of my sweater. Added the yarn back to the basket and set it aside for later in the week. 
It felt so good to change course. 

Next, I went through my yarn chest and quickly but ruthlessly set aside half of my yarn 
to give to a friend who 
knows how to knit, 
really wants to knit more, 
but only owns 1 pair of needles and 3 skeins of yarn. 
Friends don't let friends be yarnless.

She needed my help 
and it felt so good to pass on what felt like almost 
10 pounds of yarn and a handful of needles to her. 
Some of this yarn I had had for 20 years. 
I could still tell you where every single bit came from. 
She was overjoyed to receive such booty 
and I was overjoyed to give it to her. 

While putting all my yarn back into the chest, 
I was reminded by these three little balls of silk kid mohair 
I had dyed with lichens, mushrooms, and then indigo. 

Back in August I had attempted this pattern but I messed it up right away so I frogged it.
Seeing the yarn again, 
I was reminded of what I had wanted to make and decided to give it a try once more. 

That evening I had everything set up so that after I put my son to bed, 
a new episode of my current series was set up along with pie, tea, the lighting, my pj's and slippers.
I cast on as Queen Victoria brooded and pined for her M
and I was in heaven.

Finally a project I knew would work and I knew I would enjoy. 
And one word would float through my mind as I worked on this: 

Late last night when my husband returned home from a weekend away, I showed him my new project. 
As he picked it up, he said,
"Wow, it's so.... gossamer like. 

You can find this pattern, here

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