Knitting can be soothing, relaxing, calming. But what if you have the Blues? What if you don't need to be soothed, relaxed or calmed? That was the predicament I found myself in yesterday. I think the past few weeks caught up with me. The excitement of the Coastal Condo, the scare of Mom being sick again, and the pressure to do it all perfectly. Yesterday found me exhausted, down and blue. For the past several weeks, I have been knitting samples for classes and kits for Ann's By Design. They fit perfectly into My Year Of Selfish Knitting but I found myself in need of exhilaration not zen. When I need a boost, what do I do?
I climb my stairway to heaven better known as the Stash Studio and start the quest for something new, exciting and well, exhilarating. Remember my stash is pretty extensive so I figured I could find something to light my fire.
I'd like to say the Stash Studio looks this good right now, but it doesn't.
I was hoping I could find something to cure The Blue Funk. Just opening tubs and touching yarn excites me but I couldn't spend 24/7 opening tubs and touching yarn. I needed a new project. I decided to go to my Ravelry library and find something that made my heart pound and my eyes widen. I discovered this a new pattern I found very intriguing.
I love this. The only thing it doesn't have to facilitate exhilaration is a new knitting skill. But right now I think exhaustion may trump the excitement in learning a new skill. I first picked out this yarn because I have been wanted to use it since I bought it at Knit "N Purl in January.
It's the beautiful, blingy Transitions Lux by Trendsetter. I was dying to knit this so it seemed perfect. Next I had to find the main color to complement this spectacular contract color.
I picked out this Madeline Tosh in a beautiful grey that changes from light to dark. Perfect. Right? When I got the mail yesterday, I found this.
"Wow!" I thought. "Stripe Study Shawl in Dragonfly Firecracker and Madeline Tosh." When I wound the skein, it just didn't seen right. So, I went back and fourth. Dragonfly, Trendsetter, Dragonfly, Trendsetter, Dragonfly, Trendsetter. I realized that the beautiful cake of Transitions Lux was 620 yards and I only needed 440 yarns. I just couldn't waste this yummy yarn. So I thought, "Eureka!" Something I have wanted to use for two years would be perfect.
I went through my three tubs (I call myself Twisted Fiber Art South) of Twisted Fiber Art and found this. Perfect! This is Evolution in the club color Waterfall made out of Muse which is 50% silk and 50% merino and it has 470 yards. Perfect color with no wasted yummy yarn so I started my Stripe Study Shawl. I got into using the contrasting color and somethings was wrong. A little silk makes wool lustrous and soft to the touch but 50% silk makes it kind of slippery. Just not right to combine with Madeline Tosh. Now I was in another quandary. Should I continue, tare out, continue, tare out, continue, tare out. After all this was an exercise in knabbling. Knitting and dabbling. Sometimes knabbling is just what I need to lift my spirits. Last night at 9:00 I made yet another trip to the Stash Studio. I was looking for Twisted Fiber Art Evolution in a cake of 500 yards or less, no Muse, great colors to go with the Madeline Tosh. Here it is.
It is Twisted Fiber Art Evolution Tasty in colorway Juicy. PERFECT! I started right away.
The knitting process has many faces. Sometimes you need the soothing, calming zen of knitting and sometimes you need the exhilaration of planning a project. My trip to the Stash Studio brought me out of my Blue Funk. Now I can enjoy the zen of actual knitting. Never under estimate the power of all stages of the knitting process. Appreciate the energizing of knabbling. Some times the best thing you can do is stop what you're doing and get into the planning and discovery mode. It can take you to the next level. It did me.
Finally, I can connect with Knitting: A Love Story. We are enjoying our new condo in Sunset Beach, NC. We entered Wonderland on April 13 and immediately went to our ATT cable provider. DRATS! We couldn't be hooked up until today. 7 days with no TV, no wifi, no anything! It is 12:05 on Thursday, April 20 and we're finally hooked up with the rest of the world. I learned something very strange. Without cable, I get sleepy very early in the evening. It didn't matter if I was reading or knitting, in a little while I'd feel my eyelids getting very heavy. It was almost like I was becoming hypnotized. I also learned I'm a better knitter when I am knitting and watching/listening TV. Crazy, huh? It's almost like the more of my senses involved, the more engaged I become. It's amazing what you can learn when you unplug.
I am going to show you my favorite places in the Coastal Condo to knit. I remember when I first took knitting lessons a long, long time ago. One of the requirements for comfortable, body-friendly knitting was "good posture with both feet on the floor." I'd like to say that I listened to my knitting teacher and mentor, the woman who changed my life, Mary Helen Growt and that I knit with both feet on the floor. I would be lying. My favorite knitting posture has always been curled up with my left elbow resting on the arm of a chair with my feet tucked under me. Ahhhh! I can close my eyes and feel the comfort of that familiar posture. Now let me show you the places at the Coastal Condo where I love to knit.
This is my inside the condo knitting spot. It is a comfy couch. I even brought an Ott light. I love the way colors look using the Ott light, and you know how I love color. My condo knitting has been very colorful. Turquoise and black in one and teal with multi color Mini Mochi in the other. Both are samples or classes at Ann's. In between unpacking, moving furniture, scrubbing floors, cleaning mop boards, lining shelves with self paper, I did get some knitting in. This is the place where I can engage more of my senses thus really knit better, The picture over the couch is a painting of our home in Adrian, one of the things we brought to make the condo feel like home. It really helped.
This is one of the places I love to knit in our 4 Seasons room. It is a lovely chaise lounge with sun and breeze and happiness pouring in. I found myself knitting then catching myself day dreaming. A very lovely place but maybe not the best place to engage in anything complicated.
Now this really is almost heaven. I can get in my favorite knitting posture (maybe that was the reason I didn't fully engage in knitting on the chaise) and knit to my hearts content.
I finished this. . .
and started this. Both are for classes at Ann's By Design. Both meet the criteria for My Year Of Selfish Knitting. I will talk more in-depth about these at a future post. And I will get back to Mary, Mary Quite Contrary How Does Your Yarn Stash Grow when I get home.
It has been a fabulous 10 days. No time to visit Knit 'N Purl but I did learn there is a social knitting group at Sea Trail. Social and knitting, two of my favorite activities. As you can see, these have been a fabulous 10 days in our new second home. We leave tomorrow but will be back in May. Hopefully, I will find that important tub of yarn to finish part 2 of the growing yarn stash.
One is silver and the other gold. The past weekend proved that to me. It was always a very special weekend for Linda and me. It was The Spring Fiber Expo. Linda and I had some of our best days exploring the Fiber Expos. I was very sad in the weeks preceding the Spring Fiber Expo. I even toyed with just not going. After all, I really don't need any yarn. But Fiber Expos aren't just about buying yarn even though there is plenty of that. It's about spending time with people who love everything knitting as much as I do. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to organize a field trip to The Spring Fiber Expo. My knitting buddies Thea and Patience and I set off on an adventure.
We walked in the door and I immediately remembered why I love Fiber Expos so much. I love seeing all of my LYS friends. And right there when we first walked in was one of the best, Why Knot Fibers. Best of all, they remembered me. Well, that wasn't best of all. What was best of all was the Stardust Gradient Mini Sets. WOW! I showed them my Knit The Day Part 2 and they loved it. Knit The Day is made with Why Knot Fiber Stardust in a Roy G Biv set. I love it and it should be done June 1.
Isn't it beautiful. Now I'm wondering why I didn't buy more colors.
What a friendly group. It has become tradition that Why Knot Fiber is my first stop at the Fiber Expo. I always buy something. Last fall it was this yummy set of Alpaca.
Isn't it beautiful. Since this IS my Year Of Selfish Knitting and it IS about "want to" knitting and knitting things that bring me joy, I think I will start looking for a patterns for this yummy, scrumptious, exquisite yarn. Then maybe by the Fall Fiber Expo, I will have it done to show them. WOW! I really should take a breath and slow down a bit before the top of my head explodes. You know what I mean, The Escalation Cycle when you keep getting more excited the more you think about what is possible. Many times it sounds like "I could do that, then that, or this, then that, and this, maybe that, etc!"
Right next door was guess who! FiberStory! They have been next door to Why Knot Fiber for a couple of years. It makes it so easy for me. That's my buddy Patience with her back to the camera. Thea, Patience and I all fell in love at the FiberStory booth.
This is what I fell in love with. It is so beautiful! It is merino and silk. Every fiber feel better with a little silk added. Ok, now I have two things to find patterns for. Wouldn't it be great if I had both the Why Knot Fiber and this beautiful FiberStory done by the Fall Fiber Expo so I could show them off? OMG! What a great idea! I'll start look next week while we're at the condo. I am so excited!
Right next door was Kellie and Knitting On The Fringe. That's Thea with the Christmas scarf I gave her. I have been shopping with Kellie for many years. "Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold." This is what I bought from Kellie.
It's a basket for my knitting in the condo. More about the condo later.
About this time, Patience heard a buzzing noise. She knew I was living for seeing a sheep sheared. "There it is!" They were shearing sheep.
I got to watch the whole process. Shearing isn't just about the wool even though that is very important. It is about the health of the sheep. It is like doing a scrub to get dead skin cells off your skin. It also shows how fat or thin the sheep are which is impossible to tell with all of that beautiful wool. It was great. I enjoyed it.
Next we saw these beauties. Does this remind you of my yummy alpaca yarn!?!?!
Last but certainly not least is my favorite LYS and favorite yarn Twisted Fiber Art and one of the fabulous Twisted Ladies, Beth. I got a big hug from Beth and a thank you for bugging Jocelyn Brown to write about TFA in her column. I got to introduce Patience to TFA. I love introducing my friends to my LYS friends. Of course I couldn't leave the booth without a purchase.
Aren't they beautiful!?!?! The top is Rendezvous. TFA is so very smart. They have a sample of each of their colorsways knit up. Without seeing Rendezvous in the Pebble Beach wrap, I probably wouldn't have purchased it but once I saw it I was hooked. The bottom is the limited show color. This year it is called Pleiades. I bought two when the words "limited addition" appeared in the equation.
"Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." that holds with people and LYS. Spring Fiber Expo proved that to me. I miss Linda terribly but had a great time with Thea and Patience.
My next post will be from our newly purchased condo in Sunset Beach, NC. I will be writing about the wonderful knitting space I have there. I am so excited about finally being able to visit this beautiful second home. When I get back April 23, I will try once again to find the tub of yarn which is crucial to Mary, Mary Quite Contrary How Does Your Yarn Stash Grow, Part 2. I am afraid I may have to open every tub and do some deep searching. I'm not really afraid. I'm looking forward to it. Talk to you from Sunset Beach!
Before I get into my story, I must tell you why this isn't Part 2 of "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary How Does Your Yarn Stash Grow?" I have a theme for Part 2 but I can't find a significant tub of yarn. "How can you loose a TUB of yarn," you ask. I don't know. It is one of my very favorite yarns so I know I haven't thrown or given it away. Dick is frightened by the Stash Studio so I know he didn't even go up there. But the story of my growing yarn stash can't go be told without this tub of yarn.
In case you haven't figured it out my commitment to "My Year Of Selfish Knitting" has collided with the tremendous responsibility I feel to help grow Ann's By Design. Ann's By Design needs more and better class offerings. My Year Of Selfish Knitting says I will only knit things which bring me joy. No "have to" knitting only "want to" knitting. Before I go on with my dilemma, I wanted to show you this picture of my knitting Buddy Thea and the beautiful Hitchhiker scarf she knit. Once again the photography doesn't do it justice. It is a rich green with splashes of purple. When we were in social knitting yesterday, I couldn't help but stare. The Hitchhiker scarf and the purple top looked absolutely STUNNING. That is the most precise word I can find which explains exactly how beautiful Thea looked. To find the perfect piece of clothing to showcase a knitted treasure is the pinnacle for every knitter. Thea hit it out of the park with this one.
I have been struggling with remaining true to "My Year Of Selfish Knitting" while supporting Ann's By Design. Teaching a class sounded a whole lot like "have to" knitting. But I have found away. I will discover patterns I love then find the Cascade yarn which Ann carries to make them beautiful. I will teach a class after I have completed the absolutely "want to" treasure AND THEN we will create a kit for customers to purchase in store or online. Why didn't I think of this before? Start with an intriguing, "must knit" pattern then find yarn which Ann carries to make it pop. Let me give you an example.
I found this pattern and went, OMG, WOW, YUM! You know, I don't even have to search for patterns. Noble Knits, Earth Faire, Little Knits and Pinterest bring the idea right to me. This is just garter stitch with some triangles and strips knit together. I am excited to start it and it will be fun for me and for classmates. I am geeked. Now let me show you the Cascade yarn I chose.
This is Cascade Heritage Sock yarn and Mini Mochi which Ann also carries. Your may think settling on one pair was it. You would be wrong, you would be VERY WRONG.
I actually had four combinations picked out but mentally slapped myself back to reality and put two back. I want to make it perfectly clear that at any moment I could go back and get those other 2 combinations. As a matter of fact, this is an example of my theme for Part 2 of "Mary, Mary How Does Your Yarn Stash Grow. Can you guess what that theme will be?
I am a happy, contented person. I found a way to reconcile two important but competing things in my life. I feel pretty smug right now.
This blog is dedicated to Mary Helen Growt my first knitting teacher and the woman who changed my life. The mission of Knitting: A Love Story is to preserve, share and promote the love of knitting.