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Perspective

Next week I will not be working.  For the first time in my life, it will not be my choice.  The cause, economic crisis, is scary.  However, I am trying to keep some perspective.  It is brief and temporary. My not working, the crisis remains to be seen.  There are others suffering much worse.  My situation may change but for now I will avoid making mountains from mole hills.  Besides, I will have chocolate, yarn, and no need to wake before the sunrise.  See?  A little perspective goes a long way to calm fear.

Great Beginning

My husband and I met the first minutes of the new year quietly without noise or celebration.  The last minutes of the first day were the exact opposite.  Those minutes were loud, full of laughter, and spent with friends from our wine club.   I cannot think of a better way to start a new calendar than with family, friends, good food, and wine.  If the rest of the days of 2009 are more of the same, I will consider myself very blessed.

Only Looks Fancy

Lamb cutlets with Romesco

Lamb cutlets with Romesco – Food and Wine, August 2006

Lamb is an ingredient that is often experimented with in our home.  A hold over from my hubby’s many years in Australia.  So it was no surprise when I asked him to choose a new recipe to make that he found this one.  He received bonus points for choosing a dish that was not complicated or time consuming.  With almost no effort on my part, I had a dish that looked like it took hours to prepare.  Next time you want to impress your family, you should give this recipe a try.  The lamb could be easily replaced with pork, or dark chicken.

A Little Break

Tink… tink… hello?  anyone out there? How have you been? 

I didn’t mean to be gone for so long, but . . . I guess I needed a break from the huge world wide web more than I realized.  I haven’t been slacking or taking it easy though.  There has been afghan square knitting for Knit Michigan, preparing a new design, preparing for new classes at the store, and an unexpected but much appreciated design submission acceptance.  That is just the knitting part of my life.  I’ve also been drinking studying wine and experimenting with dinner forced upon my captive audience discovering new recipes for my husband and I to try.

Knit Michigan Afghan 2009It is hard to believe that the time for Knit Michigan is almost here again.  This year I volunteered to knit one of 25 squares that have become a blanket.  A blanket that will be raffled off to raise money for this great cause.  The afghan is always a work of art and I’m honored to be a part of it this year. If you are interested in purchasing a raffle ticket ($5 US), email me for details or leave a comment.

My Square

Square #18 closeup

My square was a simple one and yet a very fun knit.  Details: Square #18, The Great American Afghan Book
Yarn: Marks & Kattens Bomull, 1 skein
Needle: US8 (5.0mm)

Stalled

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research would it?” – Albert Einstein

This is one of my favorite quotes. It may also explain why my knitting (and thus my knitting blog) has slowed to the speed of cold molassess. I think the problem I am facing is that I have a reached a point with my knitting that I require a design that still has some mystery for me. A sock that is the same as other socks but just a different stitch pattern doesn’t have the challenge that it once did. I want clever and tricky in my knitting. I want to learn something new. I want to get to the same end result but from an entirely different route. I want to be surprised from beginning to end. I want it to be fresh and trendy but practical.

In theory, all of that is great but it comes with a price. Those types of designs are not easily found. Mindless knitting it is not. Patience and time is required to knit tricky and clever. New and surprising requires constant attention.. These are qualities in short supply here at chez’ Some Knitting. Essentially I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Is there a fiber equivalent of that analogy?

What do you do when your knitting inspiration stalls?

Is It Next Week Yet?

It has been one of those weeks.  You know, the sort of week where the bbq grill catches fire, the water heater blows up, and the yarn you need to keep going on a project disappears.  I’m exaggerating but not by much.  It wasn’t the whole grill, just the lava rocks.  A fire extinguisher was still required to put it out.  The water heater remained in one piece.  However, it gave us the option of hot black sludge or cold showers for our morning bathing ritual.  And the yarn reappeared after I bought more to replace it.

evening shawlA brief comment from Lynn during last week’s sit and knit prompted me to pull out my longest enduring project, my evening shawl.  Last I put it down, I had completed the third of twelve color sequences.  It should be noted that I had all the yarn required to work through the fourth sequence at that time.  I know this because the only new color from three to four is silver.  Except I didn’t.  Somehow olive had grown legs and wandered off.

this colorI have physical evidence that olive had been present.

previous sightingI have photographic evidence from a previous post.

I tore apart my left over stash. I looked where all the other colors were patiently waiting their turn. I even accused my husband of taking it.  Nope, nada, gone.

Houdini yarnI finally gave up.  I clicked confirm of my purchase of one skein of #3610 – light olive.  The same color as this skein that waited until I recieved a UPS tracking number to make itself visible again.

Monday may get a bad rap, but I can’t wait.  If only because then this week will be officially over.

Perfect Fit

Andrea Schaefer YarnSchaefer Yarn – Andrea 100% silk, colorway Renata Tebaldi. I bought it nearly two years ago with the deliberate intent to knit Icarus. I brought the yarn home, placed it in my stash, and promptly did not cast on. Weeks, eventually months, went by and I still did not cast on.

20080804_99_12.jpgEvery time my path crossed with this skein, I would instantly think of my intentions to knit Icarus. There was never a doubt as to the pattern that yarn should be used for. Still, I did not cast on.  I march to my own offbeat drum. Independent and eccentric quirky unique are good words to describe me. Sometimes too good. I can acknowledge when everyone else is right. But I won’t enjoy it. Why? Because I wasn’t first, second, or even fifty-seventh. Not a redeeming character feature but there you have it. I am not just independent; I am stubbornly-dig-my-heels-in-headstrong independent.

20080804_99_13.jpgRecently, I needed something easily memorized and preferably lace. Icarus was a perfect match. The yarn was a perfect match to Icarus. The only thing that didn’t fit was me. It is a popular pattern. The more popular it became, the more I was determined to not “give in”.  I am not comfortable with popular.  Even when something is popular for a darn good reason . . .  simple but not boring, well-suited for strong variegated colors not just solid yarns.   

20080804_99_17.jpg
20080804_99_5.jpgThis time I didn’t listen.  Instead, I pulled the yarn out, wound it into a cake, found the appropriate needles, and casted on. I loved working the stitches almost from the very beginning! My need to be different, my unfounded fear of not being seen as unique, dissolved with each column of yarn overs I added. No one was going to think less of me for being the 1253rd person starting Icarus. It was a perfect fit. Even if I had to be forced to see it.

I know there is a lesson in here somewhere.  Probably some point to be made about letting go of fears, enjoy something for the sake of the doing, or learning that my own opinion is the only one that matters at least with my knitting.  I’ll have plenty of time to ponder while I have this shawl on my needles.

Do you have a project, knitting or other, that you have been reluctant to start? If so, what is holding you back? 

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