Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fun Good Things

If you never did, you should.
These things are fun and fun is good.
-- Dr. Seuss
I finished my cowl the other day, but the weather has been so damp that it took three days for it to completely dry after I blocked it. I know, I know... rain is not as hard to deal with as sub-zero temperatures or several feet of snow, but man, that's a lot of rain. I savour every rare minute that the sun shines through my windows. I bask like a gecko on a palm tree.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the result. I adore the colour. I can't decide if it's a bit too big. What I know for sure is that it's lovely and soft and comforting on my neck. I'm looking forward to having it around my neck while the weather is still cool:


I am also very pleased with how well the stitches came out. I used this Tear Drop stitch, which I have seen in other patterns before, and I'm quite mesmerized by it. It reminds me of bubbles in a glass of soda water. I'm more of a one-time wonder when it comes to patterns, but  I like it so much that I might actually use it again somewhere:


I actually have nearly two balls leftover, and I'm thinking about making a set of fingerless mitts to match, but I sat on the couch last night with a bit of knitter's block. I didn't really feel like jumping straight into another project with that yarn, but the trouble was that I couldn't really think of what I wanted to make next. That was an unsettling feeling: I usually have a long queue of projects that I want to dive into, but I've made a hat, a scarf, and two cowls over the past couple of months, so I'm kind of tired of making warm weather accessories. Do I want to make a shawl? Meh, not sure. And I'm still feeling kinda lumpy and bloatish from holiday excess that I don't really feel like making a sweater.

Luckily, today I got to go to the local printing workshop for a class that I'd signed up for way back in November. I've been itching to go since my last class where I learned how to make woodblock prints. This class was about monoprinting, which is where you use one plate and use stencils to block out some of the ink to make images. You can run the print through over and over again with different shapes and different inks to build up a picture.

On my way to the workshop, I realized I hadn't really thought about what I was going to make while I was there. I always feel like I should at least have an idea of a project beforehand because I have a tendency to arrive and sit for so long musing about what I want to make that I usually have to rush at the end. This time, I decided that I'd just go in and play around and hope for the best.

I'm very glad that I did. It was great fun playing with inks and pieces of paper. This was my first print, which I think I ran through about four times using different torn paper stencils:


This was one where I ran it through twice without re-inking, but with different positioning of the stencils, then I ran it through again with a darker ink with only some of the inked plate contacting the paper:


This was the one I did after lunch when we got to play with different materials and textures. I did this with paper stencils, some jute woven ribbon, and some plastic ribbon with holes in it:


And this one was my last one. I wasn't so sure I liked it at first, but it's really growing on me:


I'm really glad I took the opportunity to do this today. I think I needed the break from my yarn for a while. I still don't know what I'm going to work on next, but it feels good to have produced something. And I didn't even get any ink on my face this time. That's a result in and of itself.

I think I'm going to go and put my feet up and muse on some laceweight for a while and see if it feels right. Have a great week!

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