I knew on Monday that last week was going to hard. Back at work after a month away (illness-conference-holiday), I was bound to be tired and swamped. I hadn’t expected to feel like a zombie most days, and by Wednesday afternoon, I was ready for another weekend. I’d love to say that I jumped out of bed full of the joys this morning, but it was almost as much of a drag, even if I don’t feel quite so much like my head is full of concrete (more like cotton wool).
After having a bit of a switch around last night, both of my works in progress and my queue, it occured to me that as well as thinking about yarn and pattern, I tend to think about how when I choose projects. The six I took to Menorca weren’t just chosen because I had them on the go or because I wanted to make them. There are hundreds of things I want to make. These were chosen because I could make them in specific contexts. I’ve found that stitchers are practical people, and most of us think not only about what we’re making, but where we’re going to be making it, and cast on accordingly (although in my case, you might want to add ‘excessively’ as well :))
1. Peacock Verdant – The Talking Project
This is a pattern I’ve made before, and which I absolutely love, but I made it in a colour that I’m not sure about. Wanting something more wearable, I chose my precious skein of Crannog (discontinued), as I wanted to show off the colours and for that, you need a fairly solid fabric. But I also chose it as an ideal conversational project. It’s an incredibly simple four-row repeat with just one row of edging. That means that you can stitch without needing to count, or really pay attention that much, as long as you put your stitch markers in the right place.
2. Grey Dahlia – The Travelling Project
Again, this is a repeat of an earlier, much-loved shawl, this time in a set of grey yarns from The Yarn Yard. My earlier shawl came out far too small, while this one has already taken on monster proportions and I’ve only just started the 4th ball of 6. This is the project that goes in my bag when I leave home to make on the bus or in my lunch hour. Again, it’s a four-row repeat, with the only differences between rows coming at the middle and the two ends. Given the length of the sides now, I can stitch for quite a while before I need to check what I’m doing! It’s speeding along nicely, probably because I can’t wait to wear it and work on it as much as I can.
3. Pink Hitchhiker – The Car Project
I really hope I love this scarf once it’s done, or that I can find someone who’ll appreciate it. It was picked as an ideal beginner project, nice and simple garter stitch, and something that would be easy to practice my knitting with. I hadn’t anticipated not enjoying it as a knit, although I can’t quite put my finger on why. I’ve found remembering the repeats quite difficult, and some of the teeth have ended up taller than others where I lost count and added a couple of rows. As a result, I’ve tended to take this project on long car journeys, when it’s the only thing I’ve got with me and so I have to work on it. As we’ll be making fewer long journeys in the next few months, I’m not expecting to finish it before Christmas!
4. Vintage Fremont – The Home Project
I don’t think I’m ever going to love the process of knitting the way I do crochet. But there are certain knitted things that I want to have made, and after seeing Roo’s Vintage Fremonts on her blog, I knew this was one of them. I managed to get through ten repeats in Menorca and another one since we got home, but this is strictly a sofa project. I have to concentrate much harder with knitting, and I can’t just stop and bundle it away when the bus gets to my stop!
5. Purple Patricia – The Extension Project
While it’s fun to just make things, I always like to be learning as well. After losing my beloved Patricia shawl on a train (sob!), I decided to make a new one, this time using beads. It’s not something I’ve tried before, and while I love the effect and will be using more beads in my work in future, it does mean that I can only work on this shawl at home, sitting very, very still. If you’ve met me in person, you may already know that I’m clumsy to an almost comedic level, and just the idea of taking a box full of very small beads out and about makes me break out in a cold sweat. So I’ve actually mostly been working on this project in bed at the end of the day, because beads don’t bounce when they hit the duvet!
6. Silver Stole – The Heart Project
[stash picture, as I’ve been too busy stitching to take photos yet!]
I am more than a little in love with this yarn. It absolutely lives up to its squooshy name, and is ridiculously soft and lovely to work with. After trying it out as a Bel shawl, I decided that it wasn’t really working for me, and cast around for something I’d actually enjoy making, and settled on Silver by Bernadette Ambergen, a designer whose work I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. Also, Ravely has this yarn classified as a Laceweight, which seems ambitious for something with only 450m to the 100g. It comes in 114g skeins, so you have to do some maths to figure that out, something I failed to do in the shop! But having 2 balls is perfect for this stole, which is worked from the centre out in each direction. Another 4 row repeat (is there some rule about that??), and one that’s proving easy to remember, even just a few inches in. It’s going to make a great winter evening scarf, assuming that with everything else I’m making/want to make, I actually finish it while there’s something left of the winter!
So that’s the run-down! I have 3 mobile projects, 2 home projects and 1 car project. There’s also a cardigan lurking at the bottom of my WIP bag that I really should get out of time-out, but once again, that’s a home-project, as it’s too big and fiddly to take around with me. But otherwise, it feels like a balanced set of ‘things I can take around with me’ and ‘things I can only do at home’. As I finish one, I’ll probably aim to add another of the same type, so that I’m never short of something to do!