…to bring back my knitting mojo.
For the last few weeks I have been struggling with knitting, I just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for it and I was starting to worry that there might actually be something wrong with me (not enjoying knitting does not happen very often) but I put it down to the test knit of doom that I was working on, all that moss stitch had put me in a bit of a funk but after watching quite a few podcasts I began to notice a trend. A significant proportion of the knitters I was watching were also complain about a sense of ennui or missing mojo when it came to their needles. Perhaps it wasn’t the test knit of doom that was to blame after all, perhaps there was something in the air. I’m beginning to wonder if it had anything to do with the clocks changing which is odd because the whole notion that “Winter is coming” (I am of course picturing Sean Bean as Ned Stark when I say that!) gets me quite excited, I love snow, I love Christmas and I love knitting jumpers. Time will no doubt tell but could someone keep an eye on this for me and remind me if I complain about this again when the clocks change again in spring?
Crafty baby and I have been out and about in the lovely crisp, cold weather over the last couple of weeks but my favourite trip was when we went for a walk up to Dovestones Reservoir and up Chew Valley. With views like this I am sure you can see why.
On the needles:
As I mentioned earlier it took a pair of socks to bring back my knitting mojo and here they are;
They are the Caffe Macchiato socks by Marian Moldan and I am knitting them as part of the Knitting in Circles podcast KAL. Normally I hate knitting socks for my OH as he has massive feet but these are practically flying off the needles (at least by my standards) and what is more, I am really enjoying knitting them. I think the fact that the pattern accounts for only a third of the stitches and the rest is an otherwise vanilla sock helps no end, as does the self striping yarn (“just one more colour repeat”). The thing that I am enjoying most about this sock though is the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by the Sox Therapist, if you can be in love with a knitting pattern I am in love with this one! I predict more of these socks getting knitted in the run up to Christmas.
Last night I also cast on the Gorgeous Kerchief as I needed a new hat/ head covering. Now, I already own a lot of hats but after a recent incident which involved lots of hair pulling by crafty baby, a pair of scissors, a bit of a strop and a rather drastic hair cut none of the hats I currently own actually suited my face anymore. Sadly the ones that I had lined up for casting on weren’t going to work either but I saw Stacie from the Must Stash Podcast wearing one a few weeks ago and it looked brilliant with her short hair. Quick disclaimer though, there so seem to be some errors in the pattern but I’ll have to look at it again now that I’m not quite so tired to work out where they are or if it was me just not being able to read a pattern because I was too tired last night.
Off the needles:
The test knit of doom is officially off the needles and winging its way back to the designer. Never again will I knit a garment comprised mainly of moss stitch. On a more positive note, it did help me to learn a couple of new techniques (picot hems and provisional crochet cast on) and I may scale the pattern down for crafty baby but change the stitch as it would make quite a cute baby knit.
I have gone a bit spinning crazy of late, partly because I was in a sulk with the knitting but also because the craft cupboard was getting a bit full so I thought I’d better spin some of the excess fibre up. Spinning my own yarn should also stop me from buying any new yarn because that cupboard is full too!
The first batch on my spindle was this one, its 100g of combed merino top which came out at a 2ply DK/ Worsted weight and I got 189m of it (this photo only shows 1 of the 2 skeins at 50g each).
Next on the spindle was a mystery mixture (all combed top though) 20% merino, 40% mystery fibre A, 40% mystery fibre B. This came out when plied as a fingering weight and I got 137m from 50g. I have another 50g to spin and I’m thinking about giving this as a Christmas present.
The fibre for this spinning was some I got over 2 years ago from Colinette. I have no idea what the fibre is but I do know that it had got really compacted (I actually spun it earlier on this year but it had been sat on spindles since I’d done it so I just skeined it up this week). As you can see it is still very energised but I’m hoping that is just because I have left it as a single rather than plying it. I’m also hoping that it will relax a bit more once it has been washed, thwacked and reskeined. Its a fingering weight single and weighs approximately 115g and I got 433m out of it.
Finally, this is fibre that I spun in June of this year but had a bit of a disaster when I tried to ply it. A very big tangled mess but thanks to a couple of cardboard tubes, some knitting needles and a plastic basket my plying troubles are now behind me. This also came out at a fingering weight but as it was made up of the part balls that I had rescued from the plying disaster only weighs about 35g and measures about 99m. I have as total of 200g of this fibre, have of which is still waiting to be spun.
I know I said that the fibre cupboard was full but I still purchased some more last week from Adelaide Walker. I was having a bit of an expand your horizons moment, for which I am totally blaming the Yarn Raising Podcast . I got 100g each of 4 different breeds just to see how they spun up differently, most of the fibre I have spun has been merino and I wanted to practice on other types to see how they worked differently. I picked;
The Masham and the Swaledale made it in to the mix as I have relatives with these breeds of sheep so I wanted to know whether or not to pester them for fleece when it comes to shearing time!.
The only thing I have planned for the next week or so is attending the workshop at Manchester Museum to help create the http://www.ravelry.com/groups/manchester-museums-crochet-coral-reefthey are working on. Its running this Sunday the 17th from 1pm-4pm. I had seen the hyperbolic crochet coral reef they had at a Gallery in Sheffield a couple of years ago so I was really excited that I might be able to take part in creating this one.