Tomorrow morning I leave for the Coastal Condo to meet LINDA! I can't wait! We will have 6 days of shopping, laughing, talking and KNITTING. I can't wait to introduce Linda to Miss Molly at Knit 'N Purl. I can't wait to turn the 4 seasons room into the Linda and Jan knitting room. There will probably to a little wine thrown in because after all. . .
I have 36 Magic Balls finished for the Survivor Shawl kits. I also realized I had an extra week to finish before the I-75 Yarn Crawl. Soon I will be back to just knitting. Can't wait. I will have lots to write about when I get home Sunday. Until then, "Celebrate Good Times!"
I have been obsessing and stressing over making 50 (well, now maybe 30 or 40) Survivor Shawl kits for the I-75 Yarn Crawl. I have 2 weeks from tomorrow to finish (and I'll be at the Coastal Condo for 6 days with Linda. EEEKS!). I haven't felt this stressed since studying for a test in college or finishing "The Boyfriend Sweater" one Christmas. This is exactly why I knit things I love then figure out who they want to go home with for Christmas rather than knitting specific things for specific people. This is exactly why I don't knit things to sell. "Have to" knitting is not me but I desperately need some "want to" knitting.
Then I got an email from Jocelyn Brown Detroit News columnist asking for my phone number. In February, I emailed her about her column "Yarn Diet May Be Just What Doctor Orders." She emailed me aback asking what I was currently knitting. I wrote back, "Right now I am obsessed with bringing out old sweaters I have knit but not worn for ages, frogging them and reclaiming the glorious yarn for something new and amazing. My 93 year old mother died the end of January and I've had a very difficult time finding comfort in knitting. The is the first time in my life that I haven't been able to find solace in two stitches and a string. I have just finished a wrap made from reclaimed yarn that I love. I find that solving the puzzle which takes a sweater to a ball of yarn is very soothing. I even took off several weeks from writing Knitting: A Love Story. I just didn't feel clever or interesting. But now I feel myself getting back to the old me. March is Knitting: A Love Story's fourth anniversary. You did so much to help Knitting: A Love Story find an audience. I am so grateful. Thank you so much. Let's keep in touch." This was the picture I sent.
I loved this yarn and started to knit something for Mom but didn't have enough. It set in a tub for several years. I wrote about this in the March 14 post "Color or Cushy, Vibrant or Velvety?"
Jocelyn called Friday and is thinking about doing a column on reclaiming yarn. She asked me to send some pictures of yarn I've reclaimed, preferably with a picture of what it was before and a picture of what I made out of it. This is what I sent to her.
The Yokohama jacket became. . .
The Anemone Hat.
The paneled jacket became. . .
the Zig Zag afghan. Love it! Love it! Love it!
Just as I have fabulous fiber and amazing patterns in the queue, I also have more sweaters in the queue for frogging. Remember, I used to be a cold person but now I am a hot person. I couldn't wear a pullover sweater if my only other choice was to go naked. I never knit with "just a yarn." I always knit with yarn that spoke to me and made me fall in love. I couldn't toss them and some I love the yarn so much I couldn't give it away. These are the next two sweater in the frogging queue.
It is so obvious why these must be frogged! Getting that email and phone call from Jocelyn was just what the stress doctor ordered. It made me realize the wonderful life after the I-75 Yarn Crawl when I can get back to what I love: knitting wonderful treasures from amazing yarn. I will try to write before I leave for the Coastal Condo but if I don't you will know I am consumed making Magic Balls for Survivor Shawl kits.
I'm back finally after a two week absence. I have been swamped. Last week I was at the Coastal Condo with my friend Barb Tinsler. We had a ball. In the days leading up to our leaving, I was consumed with figuring out what exactly I could pack in my travel purse. I am very proud. I am at the point that all I need to take to Sunset Beach is my purse with medication, cell phone, iPad, sunglasses and, of course, knitting. It's great since Spirit (the summer airline of choice to Myrtle Beach) charges for everything. They not only charge for checked luggage, they charge for carry-on. My goal is to get everything I need to take in my big purse which counts as a personal item. Barb and I had a ball but I came home to another kind of ball commitment, Magic Ball.
Ann's By Design is participating in the I-75 Yarn Crawl which goes from Michigan through Tennessee and Kentucky during the first week in August. I love Yarn Crawls. They are a great way to explore new LYS AND decide which one's you love so much that you want to go back. When I came back from the Coastal Condo in May I was troubled by the discussion around what would be happening during the 2018 I-75 Yarn Crawl at Ann's By Design. There must be something that says, "Hippy, Skippy! I've just found my new favorite LYS and I am coming back!" I didn't hear anything in the planning that would make visitors do that. I know from experience that many LYS participating in a crawl have authors or designers as a draw. That's when I got to thinking. . .
I thought of the most magical project I have ever been involved with. . .
This is my beloved Annabelle who was my critic teacher when I student taught and she's wearing my most magical project the Survivor Shawl (which I designed.) So technically, I guess in one instance, I am a designer. If you haven't already read my posts on the Survivor Shawl you can find it during March of 2014, March 21 and 27 to be exact. To make a very long story a little shorter, I volunteered to make 50 Survivor Shawl kits including the Magic Balls which make this shawl unique. Originally I thought I needed to make 100, but after slapping myself back to reality, I realized that would NEVER happen but I thought I could make 50.
"Where," you might ask, "are you going to get enough pink yarn for 50 Magic Balls?" I don't know if you remember, but when I paused in the making of Survivor Shawls, I had 15 tubs of pink yarn. Then I did this. . .
A Yarn Bombed chair for the Adrian Artilicious Chairity Auction made totally out of yarn from my 15 tubs. Then I did this. . .
A class at Ann's By Design where participants got to pick 9 different pinks from the tubs to make their own Survivor Shawls. Then I did this. . .
A Christmas tree honoring Breast Cancer Survivors for the Lenawee County Historical Museum made entirely out of pink yarn from the tubs. So don't worry that I won't have enough pink yarn to make 50 Magic Balls. Worry that I won't have enough time to make 50 Magic Balls. Before I made this commitment, I made a very strategic purchase.
This is a yarn meter by Schacht. It is a miracle. No longer will I have to use the old nose to finger tip to measure a yard of yarn. I have done that for years. It never fails. Right in the middle of a nose to finger tip count, Dick asks me a question, the telephone rings or Tess does something to interrupt the count. I have to completely start over. See the little box on the left? If is a counter! I can stop in the middle of measuring a piece of yarn and IT DOESN'T MATTER! I just come back and pick up where I left off. That was my first time saver. My second time saver was a purchase of 5 small tubs and labled them 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30. Next I measured and put the little balls in the appropriate little tub.
Then I counted out little balls of yarn until the big ball would measure 470-480 yards. Next I wound the little balls into bigs balls. I have 15 balls to this point. 15 down and 35 more to go. I will use my giant ball winder and wind each into a center pull cake. I have three more weeks to finish up since Linda and I will be at the Coastal Condo the last week in July. It took 1 1/2 weeks to get this far. There is lots more work to do. I better get a crackin' or maybe decide that 40 kits are plenty. When I get done, I will show you the amazing little kits I have made up. The hardest part of all this is that I don't get to knit as much as I want.
During the 2018 I-75 Yarn Crawl, I will be the designer in residence AND author in residence at Ann's By Design. After all, I guess Knitting: A Love Story makes me an author. I have committed to being at Ann's By Design just waiting to interact with Yarn Crawl participants every free minute I have that week. I am pretty excited about introducing potential readers to Knitting: A Love Story. I reiterate, "What have I gotten myself into!?!?!?!"
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.