It’s easy to lose blogging momentum. You skip a day here, forget to post there, and suddenly it’s a fortnight later and you’re staring at the blank entry box wondering why you started in the first place. And the project bags sit in the corner, mocking you.
I would say that I’ve had a thoughtful couple of weeks, but frustrating would be a better word. I’ve been extraordinarily tired and a little glum, coming home from work and more or less getting straight into bed. Then two of my crochet projects started misbehaving, and I had to stop listening to knitting podcasts. Not because they’re not awesome, and when I’m in a happier frame of mind, I love them. But when I’m a little wibbly, they make me feel excluded rather than included, talking about techniques and patterns that I don’t understand or can’t make. It’s silly, because I know it’s a community I’m welcome in,* but you know what it’s like when you’re fragile. It’s like everything is specifically designed to get at you, and you take everything personally and critically. It’s easy to get cross and work yourself up (which I do sometimes, sorry, folks who have to listen to me!) but it’s easier just to put the podcasts to one side until you’re feeling better. I’ve worked my way through several more Bryant and May audiobooks, as well as a couple of Lawrence Blocks while I wait for my podcast love to reboot.
And when projets misbehave, it’s better to actually sort them out rather than chuck them to the back of the wardrobe in a fit of temper. However much I didn’t want to rip out four inches of one and the whole of another. Both problems were the results of my shoddy counting, nothing to do with the patterns, and I hope to make time to work on the one I’ve re-started this weekend. I should have two 3-hour car journeys to make progress in!
I also decided to pick up a couple of new things. One is a hat, that I’m hoping to finish while it’s still cold enough to wear them, and the other is a rather tricky scarf. (click the pictures for my Ravelry project pages)
The yarn is natural alpaca, very loosely spun and exceedingly hairy. So hairy and loose that if you make a mistake, forget trying to rip back. The stiches are so tightly locked together that the yarn tears rather than unravels, and I’ve had to throw away a few metres from my swatching. I finally settled on a simple feather and fan pattern, using a big enough hook that the fabric should have some drape once blocked, but not enormous. Crocheting very fine thread with a humongous hook is rather tricky, as it can be hard to see where to put your hook for the next stitch – everything just becomes a mass of loops, not at all suitable for my mood and concentration at the moment.
To my slight surprise, I’ve actually found that knitting does suit my mood at the moment, if only because I want to finish this shawl and wear it!
I’ve still got 3 repeats and the bind-off to go, but it’s definitely getting there, and I’m hoping to get it done by Easter. Of course with all the other things that I want to do by Easter, I feel like I’m working awfully hard to stay in the same place. So clearly I should plan to join in with the Hap Along from the Knit British podcast, and clearly I should do so with a self-designed Hap. Actually, I’m hoping that the 10 April start date will be a nice deadline to help me clear the decks a little. Also, hopefully the photographs above will help me remember that while it seems I’m not getting anywhere, I’m actually making progress, one stitch at a time. And that it doesn’t matter if I don’t post for a fortnight or so. Neither I nor the blog are going anywhere.
To see how others are getting on this week, head over to Ginny’s Yarn Along using the button below.
*For everyone thinking, “so start your own!”, I’m working on, but hit a slight technical hitch when my awesome microphone that was working fine last year turns out to have developed a common, fatal fault. Plan B is underway…