Sunday, October 18, 2020

Not Actually

I suppose there’s a time in everyone’s life where you discover you’re a fool. Sometimes, maybe, it’s a slow revelation. For others, there’s a moment when it becomes obvious.-― Catherine McKenzie, The Good Liar
I must confess. I'm not who I say I am.

For years on this blog, I have declared myself a monogamous knitter. The truth is, I am not.

The reality is that I always have half-finished projects going on in my head at the same time. For me, they’re ongoing projects, as real as if my hands have already worked on them. I might be working away on one project, but my brain is often far away, thinking about other projects.

It's not just one project at a time in my head either. I usually have a few on rotation in there. It usually starts with me picking up a skein or two of yarn in my stash. I gaze at them for a while and then set them apart from the other skeins and leave them out in plain view. I walk past them each day and look at them, stare at them while I'm stretching on my yoga mat, think about them as I'm falling asleep in bed. In my mind, I am making shapes, thinking of textures, casting them on with needles or working stitches with my crochet hooks, hand-stitching seams, adding and taking away buttons... It's like an imaginary workshop where I have half-worked projects lying around, and I pick them up, work on them, and then and put them down again for me to work on later.

These are the "mind projects" I currently have on rotation: 

1) I bought this skein of thick and thin yarn on a trip to Sweden a few years ago, and I think it's about time it became something. Ever since I bought it, I have imagined something that was a mixture of undulating forms and imperfect details. I am experimenting in my head with plain knit stitches to highlight the bumpy texture but with an overall shape with curves and swerves... like the images you see of shifting sands in the desert. I think I will use size 6 needles. I think it will be a slender, curvy shawl, but we'll see what happens: 

2) I've written about these two skeins of yarn before, but you can see that they still remain skeined up and unworked. I've tossed them around in my head a number of times, but I have yet to settle on what they are going to be. I want to do some kind of colourwork with them, probably stranded/Fair Isle, not too intricate, but complicated enough to keep me interested. I want it t be something elegant and structured, something that reminds me of the detailed stone masonry you see in cathedrals and castles... I think I will be a tubular cowl, but again, we'll see what comes of it:

3) This project so far does not have yarn assigned to it, but I am looking through the stash for the right one. I've been wanting to experiment with Tunisian crochet for quite a while now, but so far I've only managed to buy the hooks. I am interested in the texture of the honeycomb stitch, but until I find the right yarn, I'm not sure what it is going to be. I think it would look best either in a long-stapled single ply yarn (either worsted or bulky) or a high twist fingering weight yarn. I'm leaning towards the fingering weight because the research I've done on Tunisian crochet has shown that you need a larger hook than you would normally use as the resulting fabric is quite thick and prone to curling. I don't know if it will be a full garment or an accessory or a blanket. I'll know when I find the right yarn:

4) This one is not a knitting or crochet project at all. I wrote about the original plan a few weeks ago before I actually got the materials. I was thinking about making this crochet mandala and stitching it onto the sweatshirt, but when the sweatshirt finally arrived I was really not happy with the shape of it. I kept trying it on over and over, but each time I do I feel like a faded Oompa Loompa... not my best look. I'm thinking about turning it into a cardigan by cutting the front straight down the middle and finishing the edges. The problem is that my sewing machine is out of commission and I can't decide if I want to have it repaired and serviced or if I want to see if I can borrow someone else's machine to do it. It would be nice to have an operational machine, but I know that to keep a machine in good working order one has to sew regularly. I do not sew regularly... but would I sew more if I had an operational machine? Until I work that conundrum out, this one is on hold for technical reasons for now:

Apart from these projects, I also have countless photos and screenshots of not just clothing, but colour palettes, leaves, frost, book covers... things that catch my eye and make me wonder about how I might represent it in yarn. Like this photo of some frost on my windshield from a couple of winters ago. How cool would that be as a shawl in a silvery yarn?

Here is a shrub I saw on another winter's day. It's as though the fairies forgot to take down the Christmas decorations. I imagine something in a light brown yarn, maybe with beads... maybe it's a wall hanging, or maybe a hat...

Here's a mushroom on a tree. Don't you think that looks like a golden butterfly shawl?

Anyway, here's the real-life project, all finished up today. It's a cushion for the new furniture, and I am very pleased with the result. It's based on the Pointillist Cowl by Katie Green, but with more stitches and fewer colour changes:

I am very pleased with myself because I actually set in a zipper properly for once in my life:

And I never thought I'd love a whipstitch as much as I love this one:

So, I guess I'm off to work on another project in the queue in my brain. It might be one of the projects I shared today... unless I get distracted by something else. Stay tuned.

Have a great week!

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