Has it been two weeks already? Wow, I didn’t anticipate how long it would take to write my next post after St. Brigid, but in a lot of ways I needed the break.
In my last post, I mentioned that knitting St. Brigid taught me a lot about my knitting. It’s taken me a couple weeks to really gather my thoughts. What I’m outlining here is what I’m thinking for myself — and may or may not apply to yourself.
- Quest for Perfection – Finishing the sweater has been bittersweet for me. With over 3 years of dreaming and planning about it, in my mind the sweater was going to be perfect. But it’s not. In particular, I would narrow the shoulders another inch per shoulder (the weight of the sleeves pull at the shoulders), I would deepen the V neck by another full repeat, and I would taper the neckline more. It’s still a very wearable sweater, but if I could do it all over again, I’d make those adjustments.
- Sweater Bulk – All those cables are heavy and add to the bulk. While I expected this to be the case, seeing it in person made a much bigger impact. I’ve been looking toward finer gauges and less cabling to manage the bulk.
- Fashion versus Art – As beautiful as St. Brigid is, I find myself obsessed with more wearable designs lately. I’m unclear whether that’s a current obsession or more of a permanent thing. Either way, I’ve been focused on finding sweaters that are fun enough to knit, functional enough to use, and fashionable enough to wear. That’s a lot of requirements but when I look back on my FOs versus UFOs, in most cases it’s those three items that separate the two.
- Mindful Colors – While knitting with all kinds of color sounds intriguing, I know I’ll make something more useful if I stick to my core colors — black, reds, greens/blues, pinks and grays. If it’s a color I wouldn’t buy RTW, then I’m not buying yarn to make a sweater in it either. Accessories don’t count though, so socks, scarves, and wraps are safe for all colors. Oh, and I’m currently test driving purple — until last week I didn’t own a single thing in purple but I think I might like it. I bought an inexpensive sweater to see how I feel when wearing it.
- Mindful Stash Usage – I’ve spent a lot of time photographing and inputting my stash into ravelry. In the process I frogged several partially-knit projects that I had no interest knitting, and even made 4 trades with other ravelers! Cataloging my stash renewed my interest in many of the yarns I already have, and stash trading satisfied my desire to shop without spending a dime.
- Project Focus – I’m still not sure where I stand on this one. On one hand, I knit a huge sweater in under 10 weeks. But on the other hand, I was dead tired by the end of it, and my hands ached. I like project variety but there also comes a point when too many projects is just plain too many. I still don’t know what that number is though — is it only one sweater on the needles at a time? Only one pair of socks? Max quantity of WIPs that I can’t go above? I’m torn by this one because a hobby should be fun, but I also want to be able to wear and use what I knit. There’s got to be a good way to balance the two.
So where does all this leave me? For the past couple weeks I haven’t knit much. The only thing I’ve worked on is the dragon scarf. I spent a lot of time with my stash though, and my Ravelry queue grew quite a bit. Seeing all that yarn again, and having some time to contemplate has really sparked my interest again. If I could cast on for all of these today I would. And this pic is only a sampling of what’s enticing me right now. I haven’t been so excited about knitting in a long time.
click for more info on each design
Some of you may notice that a couple of these designs don’t look exactly like the originals. That’s because I’ve been playing with color a bit.
left: original; right: color corrected for me
I’ve noticed that the color something is featured in plays a bigger role in my interest level than I would have expected. Seeing other people’s FOs in colors that I like a lot more was really eye opening. I’m going to try to pay more attention to this. Coral is probably my least favorite color, and yellow-neutrals are right behind that. So it’s no wonder I passed right by these two. But as knitted items, in the color of my choice, I love them.
So what do you all think? Do you have the same problem when something is knit up in a color you don’t like? Or do you just instinctively know?
And as for Bianca’s Jacket — if anyone has any Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in color 19 please let me know. I’m so obsessed with this cardi that if I had enough in my stash (I only have 2 hanks) I would cast on right now. right. now.
This getting my groove back…damn, it’s a good thing.