I Knew I Was Having a Slow Year….

I really had no idea how little I had accomplished from a crafting standpoint until, on a whim, I looked at my FOs for the year.

Considering I have, for the past several years, completed in the neighbourhood of 25 knitted projects over the span of the year, I’d say calling this one slow is a massive understatement.

I have, to date in 2015, completed exactly five projects.  This is unheard of.  I should be at a minimum of 14 by now, if I were on track for a “usual” year.  And in fact, two of these five are not even officially in the FO list because they have not been blocked and photographed.

Now, in my defence, there are other things I have been doing from a creative point of view.

I am in the midst of a sooper seekrit project that I cannot talk about for another while yet.

I have taken up hand dyeing and have dyed up about 20 skeins (plus a single braid of fibre) this summer…plus I have more undyed yarn winging its way to me as we speak.

I have done some spinning (although no plying and as such have also added almost no spinning FOs to my list, either!).  This is a lovely indigodragonfly braid I started for Tour de Fleece (don’t even get me started on how badly I did in keeping up with TdF this year!  Downright embarrassing…)

I took a sewing class, although, if I am honest I haven’t done a whole lot of that either.

And I sure as heck haven’t been blogging!

I wonder where my year has gone….?  Looks like I am going to have to get a severe case of finish-itis if I am going to make any progress this year at all.

The other option, I suppose, is to stop forcing it and just craft when I feel like it.  That’s a valid lifestyle choice, right?

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FO: No Purl Monkeys

Sometimes, the mood takes me, and I knit. A lot. And I can finish a pair of socks in a very short amount of time. This was one of those times!

I started these socks for the indigodragonwedding…Kim and Ron of indigodragonfly got married last September and the wedding invite specifically said, “Knitting encouraged!”  So I located a long-stashed skein of MCN Sock (later rebranded as Mergoat Sock) and cast these on, two cuffs on two needles, and off I went.

I knit exactly one 11-row repeat and laid the project down…to this day,  I have no idea why.   And while winter and spring came and went, these barely-partly knit socks sat and sat.

A few weeks ago, the spirit moved me to haul them out of my WIP tote bag and start them up again.  I have said it before and I will say it again; I don’t know what it is about this pattern but it practically knits itself.  I completed the first leg on a Sunday afternoon, and the entire pair in under three weeks.  If that’s not a record for me, it’s darned close.

cordeliaMonkey2

The colourway is named for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer character named Cordelia – the quote was one of many snarky ones for which Cordy was famous.  It’s wonderfully variegated with several different purples running through it.

"Don't You Have An Elsewhere To Be?"

“Don’t You Have An Elsewhere To Be?”

One more pair to add to the pile for when autumn starts in earnest in a few weeks!

Pattern: No Purl Monkeys

Yarn: indigodragonfly Mergoat Sock in “Don’t You Have An Elsewhere To Be?”

Who Was It Made For?  Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  I don’t think so, but I knit them from memory so it’s possible.

Did I Learn Anything New?  No

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  I am sure I will…what can I say?  I am a creature of habit.

So much going on…

And so little I can really show or write about 🙂

I have a freebie sock design completed, photographed and laid out, and being test knit as we speak.  A second design has been drafted and test knitters are all lined up!   A few more designs are spinning about in my head and will have to wait just a little longer.

While all this is ongoing, most regular knitting has been suspended with the exception of my indigodragonfly No Purl Monkeys.  These things really just knit themselves!

Sock 1 complete!

Sock 1 complete!

I am actually ready to start the heel flap on Sock #2 and plan to have these done soon so they will be ready for when the weather turns.  Until today’s 30 degree high, there are many that might have argued that had already happened, but I digress.

I have also done little to no spinning.  That has to be remedied soon so as not to lose the consistency I have gained.  Plus I really miss the soothing, zen feeling that it brings.

What have you been doing now that autumn is just around the corner?

Road Trip!

On Saturday, at some ungodly hour, my dear friend Caryn and I set out for a day trip.  Destination?  The wilds of Haliburton and the home/studio of indigodragonfly yarns, for their 5th Annual Highland Fibre Fling.

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Kim and Ron open up their home on the third Saturday in August each year for friends and strangers alike to drop by and visit.  There is food, and drink…and this year, in celebration of their 5th Anniversary, there was even cake!  But, of course…it’s really all about friends…and the yarn.  Oh the gorgeous colours!  So many to choose from!

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Marit, the creative mind behind Gobstopper, was in attendance, with a selection of her “cake-dyed”, gradient yarns.  Such lovely colours!

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And of course, no Fling is complete without the requisite piñatas!

Jenn (with Kim, right) holds the Elmo and Minion pinatas, moments before their untimely end!

Jenn (with Kim, right) holds the Elmo and Minion piñatas, moments before their untimely end!

Sadly, this year we didn’t get to take them outside…it was quite the rainy day.   But it turns out that modern day piñatas are rigged with handy ribbons and no longer require baseball bats, golf clubs or other bashing implements.  So fun was still had by all on the piñata front!

I had to have one of the 5th anniversary goodie bags:  a project bag containing a skein of CaribouBaa in a limited edition anniversary colourway called Cinco de Mine!, and some other goodies that included buttons, stitch markers and soak wash packets.

goodie_sm

Days with my knitting peeps…definitely fewer and farther between that I’d like, and totally worth the hours behind the wheel!

The Quest to Finish…Something

A few weeks ago I looked at my list of projects that I have cast on in the last *mumblety-mumble* months and found the number to be more than a bit jarring.  I seem to have “knitting ADD” lately…the minute something new and pretty comes along, I am off and my lovely WIPs are left languishing.  Right now, OTN, I have a collection of three fingering weight scarves…one of which has the distinction (?) of being my oldest WIP…cast on in January of last year.  There is my Colour Affection, which for some reason I never really got into, and another shawlette I was super excited about (love the pattern, adore the OOAK Tanis Fiber Arts yarn) and just put it down last fall, never to resume.  On and on it goes.

Shockingly, I only have two pairs of socks on needles, one of which is on 2mm needles and I think it intimidates me somewhat….again, a pattern I adored (Margaritaville by Adrienne Fong) but it has a 72-stitch cast on, ergo the small needles.  (I have little-ish feet).

The second pair is a pair of No Purl Monkeys in indigodragonfly MCN Sock (since renamed to Mergoat Sock) in “Don’t You Have An Elsewhere To Be”.  I cast these on last fall for the wedding of the indigodragonfly couple, Kim and Ron.  (The invitation said knitting was encouraged…I HAD to bring something!)  I knit the cuff and a single repeat, then put them down to knit socks for my parents for Christmas, and that, as they say, was all she wrote.

Kim and Ron are hosting their Annual Highlands Fibre Fling this coming weekend and I figured I’d resurrect them to bring as my “sit about and chat” project.  I dug them out of my WIP tote yesterday morning and started them up again.

It seems my finish-itis is in better shape than I might have thought.  By dinner time last night…the leg was done.

cordeliaMonkey

And before I went to work this morning, the heel flap was done, the heel was turned and the gussets stitches were picked up.  By the end of the evening, I am hoping to have all the gusset decreases done and be on the foot.

I am suddenly glad this is the first sock so I can have a second one on needles for Saturday.

On a not unrelated note…I wonder if this is the reason why, of twelve WIPs, only two are socks.

Is it just me….?

Or does summer crafting just seem to go a lot more slowly?

Admittedly, this summer in Toronto is uncharacteristically cool…but I still can’t seem to find the energy to do much in the way of, well, anything, to be perfectly honest.

I have been doing bits and pieces of a scarf for my mom, and last week I cast on a hat in MadTosh Vintage for a colleague at work.  He has proven himself knit-worthy by wearing (and gushing repeatedly over) a cowl I made him last year.

Watch Cap in Madeline Tosh Vintage in Baltic

Watch Cap in Madeline Tosh Vintage in “Baltic”

I did put a new braid of fibre on my wheel – a braid of SweetGeorgia BFL in my favourite of her colourways, “Stormchaser”.  (I also have this colourway on Tough Love Sock which I will eventually get to.)  I am alternating this with a bobbin of the Humpspun that I started during Tour de Fleece, and my spinning progress seems to be much slower.  That is to say, it seems to take a LOT longer to get through a braid.  This might be a symptom of finer spinning.

Stormchaser BFL

“Stormchaser” BFL

In any case, I am not even through the “fractal” half of the braid yet.  But I love the colour so much that I don’t care how long it takes.  I want this on every base!

So even though this looks like I am doing a lot, I am really not.  My heart’s not really in it and when I am too warm, my energy is just tapped out.

Maybe this boredom is what’s feeding my start-itis that I am fighting, quite valiantly, I might add.   Something to consider.  What do you do when summer is here or your mojo is just plain out of whack?

Tour de Fleece 2014 Draws To A Close

I have officially completed my first Tour de Fleece.

I am pretty happy with how it went, overall.  I didn’t spin as much as I had hoped.  Actually that’s not true.  I spun more than I thought I would at the start, but after finishing a whole braid in my first 8 days, I had thought I’d get more done.

However, it seems that spinning progress got a lot slower in the second half.  Maybe because I spun less, time-wise…maybe because the fibre was different and it just took me longer.  I am still not sure.

In any case, I turned a 115 gram braid of merino bamboo into 300 yards of gorgeous yarn,

Colourway: “Cast On Couch”

and a 62 gram braid of merino cashmere into 230 yards of delightful squooshy-ness,

Colourway: Flamingoes Are Not Munitions Experts"

Colourway: “Flamingos Are Not Munitions Experts”

and I made some headway into a third braid of camel/silk.

Colourway: "I Am A Drinker With A Spinning Problem"

Colourway: “I Am A Drinker With A Spinning Problem”

I spun indigodragonfly only…being their team captain and all.  The only untouched indigodragonfly fibre I have left is some merino/seacell…but I have 300 grams of that so I am keeping that until I figure out what I want that to become.

I will keep on keeping on with the Humpspun…and maybe alternate that bobbin with some other fibre that has been languishing in my stash.  I am looking to learn some woolen techniques and I may have to break into some batts for that.