It’s time for our weekend rituals, the ceremonies of escorting one week out and preparing the next one. Which, around here, is the Gauge Check, where I take a look at my week and figure out where I’ve come from and where I’m going. Sometimes there are goals, sometimes I just talk about what’s going on in my life and my crafting. You are all welcome to join in in the comments.
Yesterday was my second Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, and what a difference a year makes! Last year I felt incredibly overwhelmed by the sheer amount and variety; this year I was familiar with most of the artists.
At this point, I really don’t feel like I need more fiber or yarn. (It’s a space issue.) I picked up a skein of Paca-Peds by The Alpaca Yarn Company, which is an alpaca/wool/nylon sock yarn, in the colorway Singin’ the Blues, but that’s all. An amethyst necklace also decided it wanted to go home with me, and someone was selling “sample packs” of Jaquard dyes, so I grabbed one of those. It gives me a way to try out more serious dyeing without investing much into it.
Mostly I enjoyed walking around and looking at the colors, feeling the textures, and talking to people. That’s the best part of a festival, in my opinion. Portland never has any shortage of crafting supplies, but being able to talk to the artists behind the yarn and fiber is a fantastic experience.
This week I finished off the Welsh Traveling Socks and put several more pattern repeats in on the Peacock Tail and Leaf Shawl. I also dug through my physical library, trying to figure out what to cast on next for the Year of Good Intentions.
To be honest, I’m kind of at a loss. I know I want to knit sweaters out of Big Girl Knits and Little Red in the City, but I don’t really want to cast on another sweater until I finish the Gnarled Oak Cardigan. (I’m coming to terms with the fact that I don’t like the way I did increases on the sleeves, and I’m going to have to pull them out and start over.) I’m also trying to get past the fact that the sweaters that catch my eye first are cardigans with a stockinette body and a decorative yoke, and how many hand-knit variations on the same type of sweater do I need? Until I’ve knit numerous sweaters, one is probably sufficient, and Gnarled Oak will serve that purpose quite well.
For the most part, the other books are… not being very inspirational. I bought Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines with the intent of knitting the Belinda shawl, but the more I think about it, the less I think it’s actually a good fit for the way I actually wear shawls. A lot of the other patterns I like out of the book are either sweaters or kids’ patterns, and knitting for a kid I don’t have seems like a weird kind of borrowing trouble. (How do you knit to fit a hypothetical child? What size do you pick?)
I was planning on knitting socks out of 2-at-a-Time Socks, but I bought the book (on sale, even) for the technique, not for any particular pattern – and most of the socks in the book are sport- or worsted-weight, and I’m not really interested in knitting socks that don’t fit comfortably in shoes. If I wanted to knit something for my feet in a heavier weight yarn, I’d actually break down and make slippers.
That’s a good example of how I feel about the remaining books – I bought them for techniques, or inspiration, or because I enjoyed the way they were written, or what I most want to knit out of them is a sweater, and knitting anything else would just be settling.
In the meantime, I have other books that I’m excited about, that didn’t qualify for the project because I’d already knit something out of it or I bought it after I started. So, I successfully completed seven projects out of books I owned, and I have specific plans to knit out of two others. Can I redefine the parameters of the project so I keep going, or does that qualify as failing or giving up?
What I didn’t want to create out of this project was a bunch of things I’m knitting out of obligation, not because I’m excited about the object or the knitting of it. I don’t want to knit a bunch of tiny mountains, for example, and then have a bunch of tiny mountains cluttering up my living room.
What do you think? Is it safe to redefine the idea, or is that cheating?