Saturday, January 25, 2014

Project Pre-thinks, Illustrated

Since the holidays, I've slipped back into the routine. Gym, work, dog-walking, dinner, stretching, bed... repeat five times, then try something different on the weekends. Unfortunately, I've also fallen back into the habit of thinking about my projects rather than actually working on them.

Perhaps the whole project pre-think is under-appreciated. It's a great comfort to me to daydream about what I'm going to make while I'm on my walks with Rascal, or while I'm falling asleep. If I'm really on the ball, I'll actually pull a skein of yarn out of my stash for a proper fondle as I think about how it will handle the stitches and if it will drape the way I want. The collection is properly loved, if anything.

Lately, I've spent lots and lots of time thinking of my vast collection of sockweight/fingering yarn. It is the yarnie's instant fix, the perfect souvenir whilst traveling, and the most easily justifiable purchase of luxury we can think of. One skein = one project. Maybe a shawl, a scarf, or, shockingly, a pair of socks. Socks out of sock yarn? Will it ever happen for me?

The trouble is, I've amassed quite a large collection of shawls, cowls, hats, and scarves made out of sock yarn. I'm still the selfish yarnie I ever was, so I am ready yet to give away any of my lovingly-made, time-laden creations... but I really don't feel a great desire to make another shawl. Not yet.

Therefore, my project ponderings lately have been centred around the question: How can I make a garment out of so many single skeins of sock yarn?

The answer so far seems to be: stripes!

I've always liked stripes, and luckily, they seem to be in style and aren't showing any signs of going out of style anytime soon. Maybe a cardigan, like Ann Weaver's Tempest. I'm not really so much into cardigans right now, but that's just because I don't really want to deal with buttons and buttonholes. But it is simple and beautiful.

But I don't like to do things simply. I've been searching for interesting ways to do stripes, like Alexis Winslow's Turnstone Pullover. Oooh, bendy stripes. The pattern is written for sport weight yarn, but I'm pretty sure I could finagle a decent version out of my lighter-weight yarn.

And while I'm at it, why stop with stripes when kinks and bends in it? Why not add a little bit of lace, like in this top that I found whilst wandering around Pinterest:

The best part about that one is that, it uses three different colours. Three skeins in one project? Well, that's a pretty good stashbuster, if you ask me!

But where there is inspiration, there are challenges. The ones staring me in the face are:
  1. A lot of these ideas work well with non-variegated, single colour yarns. I have very, very few of those, thanks to this magpie brain of mine that is attracted to all colours, altogether, all the time.
  2. Many of my ideas will take a bit of engineering. That is time-consuming. I don't have a lot of spare time these days.
And the biggest problem?

In order to have handmade things, one must actually use ones hands to hand make things... not play with your phone or change the tv channels or surf the web.

So, I'm going to shut up here and pick up my current project and work on it, because darn it, I want to make stuff. I'm going. Right now. See?


YarnKettle said...

I think dreaming/planning projects is underrated. You know how mindless knitting keeps our hands busy but our minds free to pay attention to something else? Or how some people need to have music playing to study better.

I think planning and dreaming about projects is just another form of knitting, mental knitting if you will.

Relax and enjoy it. You're getting quite a bit done up there in your noggin.

I like the first sweater best but that could be because I love green so much!

AdrieneJ said...

I thought you might! It's an interesting combination of two different greens. I might have to root through my green yarns just to see what I can come up with...