Sunday, October 6, 2019

Killing Time

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. --Marcus Aurelius
While I was on holiday, I did something I've never done before.

Was it bungee jumping? Um, no.

Did I try out a new language? Only if you count my bad Scottish accent.

Did I eat new food? Well, yeah... and lots of it. But that's not what I'm talking about here...

I signed up for a CAL. Whoa nelly.

A CAL, for the uninitiated, stands for "Crochet-A-Long," and it's this one is online and seems to have folks from all over the world taking part. And what's more, I even ordered the CAL kit, which is also a first. I'm not usually someone who joins in with group activities, nor am I one to buy a kit sight unseen, but I saw a post about it on Twitter while sitting in the Airbnb in Edinburgh and I was full of shortbread and was suffering from jet lag and the next thing I knew I was getting out my credit card.

So, yeah... not all my fault.

The CAL project is called Rozeta, inspired by the big stained glass rosettes seen in cathedrals. Dudes, it's a blanket. I'm not even really a blanket person, but I refer you to my jet-lagged and shortbread stupor mentioned above. I chose to do the Midnight colourway, as it closely resembles an over-priced towel I've been coveting. At least this one will get more use than a poncy towel.

Anyway, my kit arrived last week, and I was super excited to open it. It includes a few extra goodies, which apparently will be used for another little project later on:

I immediately set to work making the test swatch, and I was amazed that I got gauge on the first try! This technique is called tapestry crochet, which is new to me, so I took it apart again to give myself another practice run. Gauge was achieved again the second try as well:

So now the trouble is that the pattern is not released yet, and it will only be released in sections so we can work together on it. This is the part about group projects which puts me off: the waiting. The first section will not be released until next week, so I am wandering around trying to decide what to do in the meantime.

I finished off my Honeycomb Brioche Cowl and washed and blocked it. It is a yummy wonder, all golden and warm and pretty. It's just the right size to stuff into the neck of a coat on a cold day without taking up too much bulk:

I am loving the juxtaposition of the two textures here. I am definitely using this stitch again sometime:

I also have been daydreaming with some extra yarn I ordered with my kit. It was one of those situations where I could get free shipping with a minimum order, which is an offer I am always a complete sucker for. And could you blame me? And when the shop packages it like this, it's like getting two beautiful gifts in the mail. If you're wondering, I ordered my kit and this yarn from Taemombo here in Canada. It was so nice to be able to support a Canadian retailer:

This yarn is a fingering weight cotton in a line called Skies. They're dyed using natural indigo and each colourway is named after a type of cloud. I bought seven skeins in two different colourways because I couldn't get them all the same, but they're so similar that I think I can get away with alternating them in a project:

The top skeins are "Stratus" and the bottom ones are "Altostratus." And both are just lovely. I'm thinking about working them into a spring top... maybe with some simple lace and dolman sleeves... or something like that...

In the meantime, I thought I'd practice some more tapestry crochet, and made this little pencil case from this pattern. To keep it interesting, I put hearts on both sides. When it came time to put the zipper in, I struggled with a zipper and a needle for a few minutes before I chucked them aside and decided to crochet in a button loop band and close it with some buttons from my vintage stash. It's darn cute, if I do say so myself:

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, so I kept myself occupied by getting outside to enjoy the last of the sunshine before the rain comes next week. Seymour obliged me by posing nicely against the autumnal backdrop:

I found myself without a project last night, so I decided to pull out this wild skein of BFL that I handdyed a few years ago, which I called my Wild Wee Skein. I have no idea what possessed me to put all these colours together. I was having so much fun that day that I didn't really think ahead to what on earth I might be able to use it for:

I had come across a pattern in the newest Knitty called Always Be Brave that looks to be perfect for using up those unruly wild variegated skeins. I immediately thought of this skein and thought, "Oh yes! I'll finally be able to use it for something!" So I stopped off at the local yarn shop and picked up a couple of neutral options to try it out:

After deliberating for a couple of hours and getting opinions from my friends, I was pretty sure the grey yarn would work... that is, until I swatched it:

I am underwhelmed. I think I might try it with a darker charcoal grey, or even a black. The pale green and yellow are just getting lost in there, and I'm not convinced they can stand up well enough against the grey to make it worthwhile. Sorry, Wild Wee Skein... we'll come up with something else for you.

It's been a long time since I've had such a rush of excitement around my projects. It feels both familiar and foreign at the same time. I can't remember the last time I've had so many ideas percolating in my head. It feels good... like coming home.

So here I am, Sunday evening and I'm not sure what I should work on... but I think I have some help deciding in that regard now:

There's nothing quite like chopping off the tip of your finger to help you make decisions with your time. Ah well... I guess I'll spend some more time daydreaming until Wednesday. This finger better be healed by then. We've got work to do...

Have a great week!

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