While I may not exactly be current with all of my goals, I have already posted more often in the first three months of 2016 than I did all of last year. And I’ve been making more things! Sweaters even! And reworking and posting a pattern!
I think that making 50-100 hats and 35-50 pairs of fingerless gloves each year has been sucking the life out of my knitting. The only thing fun about production knitting is speed, otherwise it is BORING. I’m finding that it is pretty wonderful to prioritize my own projects above salable items.
It is difficult for me to find time for knitting complex projects, mostly because I don’t seem to have a lot of quiet alone time at this point in my life. Some things, like Violet’s pair of fingerless gloves (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/police-box-mittens) which require a chart for stranded colorwork…while the project is small and really not difficult, do require ongoing concentration. So those project have to be taken out on special occasions. I mostly try to find a happy medium. A little thinking. A little more commitment.
Last weekend I attended an environmental law conference at the University of Oregon in Eugene. We’ve been going to this for the past 8-10 years. It runs Thurs-Sun with mostly 90 minute time slots during which there are 10-15 different panels and workshops available. Some are really geared toward attorneys and law students but many are accessible to a range of attendees. We learned about the hidden environmental impact of the internet (spoiler: worse than you’d ever imagine), ecology of the prison complex, anti-civ movements, corporate and government surveillance methods, youth activism, indigenous peoples and their role in the environment, and much more. This was Violet’s first time at the conference, and she particularly liked the Know Your Rights training presented by the Civil Liberties Defense Center and the keynote address by the Raging Grannies group. Our farm brings seeds to this event, and we distributed over 1200 packages to participants at no charge.
I find that copious amounts of knitting are a requirement for events like this. With a 6 hour drive time each direction, and hours upon hours of sitting during presentations, I totally rely on knitting to keep me focused. I’m always a bit torn over which project(s) to bring because it has to be big but kind of mindless so that I can concentrate on the presentations and speakers. This time, I brought one of the Bundles of Bliss from my Etsy shop inventory and made another Bliss Wrap (and a couple of smaller items as well). Here are some photos of the more recent one, and my personal wrap that I’ve been wearing for the past several winters:
These wraps are super easy to make but still interesting because the yarn is just so nice. It’s really one of those “let the yarn do the work” sorts of projects.
Cast on (long tail or some stretchy method) 100 stitches with a size 10 circular needle using the bulky merino wool yarn. This will make a wrap about 22 inches wide (flat, or 44 around), although it can stretch another 10 inches or more. These measurements are from a finished wrap that has not been blocked.
Knit two rows with the bulky wool. At the beginning of the next round, switch to the mohair boucle or the bamboo handspun yarn and knit one round. Switch to a different yarn at the next round. Continue in this manner until the wrap is about 18 inches long (unless you’d like it to be shorter or longer).
I would suggest not using the mohair for more than one or two rows at a time because of the integrity of the yarn. However, I have also seen wraps made with the yarn in stripes and it does seem to hold up just fine.
If you think this may be too loose to sit around your arms or shoulders, you may reduce by knitting two stitches together every 10-12 stitches for one round. Continue knitting in the normal manner for 3-6 more rows, then cast off.
I prefer a stretchy cast off (here’s a link to a video using one method http://blog.expressionfiberarts.com/2014/04/29/how-to-easily-work-jenys-surprisingly-stretchy-bind-off/) .
If you knit the wrap to at least 14 inches, you should be able to loop it twice around your neck and pull one layer up over your head for a hood which will cover your neck and top of shoulders.
If you use a Yarnarchy Bundle of Bliss, you will have yarn left over. Quite a lot. Possibly enough for two slightly shorter wraps. If you use this to knit a throw, it should knit up to at least 35×45 if you block it.
Note: you can download a printable PDF of the pattern for free on Ravelry here:
Here are a couple of projects hot off the blocking board-both made with Yarnarchy handspun. The 6 month size baby sweater is made with one skein (100 yards) plus another 25 yards of black single ply worsted. The purple project will be a really sweet cowl with quite a lot of buttons, but I couldn’t wait to post a photo. This project is made using about 2/3 of one of my handspun kits.
And finally….spring sale goes through the end of March!
To cure your winter blues, to encourage the coming of spring, and in celebration of all things Irish (St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th and my own birthday on the 19th!), I will offer a fantastic March sale. Green or Spring themed colorways will be offered at 10% off of the normal price during the month of March.