Wednesday, December 27, 2006

back into knitting

I am always on a cleaning kick that tends to make things messier... I'm always wanting to clear away the clutter and usually end up making things worse. Our house looks like our attic exploded--there are boxes and tupperware tubs of blankets and fabric all along our upstairs hallway. I am sure Kelly and Angie and my other clean-conscious friends would balk at how our house looks right now; and just think, it's all in an attempt to clear *out* the clutter. (You know what I think is interesting? How we look at other people's homes and think, "I could really help with this mess..." and we can't turn the tables on our own home. Like my mother's neverending stack of catalogs. She's got a reason for keeping them. And I'm sure people reading this have thought, "Well, yes, S, I could clear out your house in no time flat... like that empty bottle of Shakespeare Stout you've got--what's that all about? And the growing collection of books on CD that seem to want to be organized, but you never get around to it... etc." I'm sure the list could go on and on until I'm reduced to a bit of carpet and maybe a chair or two.)

Anyway, in an attempt to clear out the yarn (I'm going for the stuff that I thought would benefit the most... I've got a white wire storage thingy up in the second bedroom full of yarn just dying for a home that is not my own... I thought no, no, as long as it's not the books... I'll work my way through anything but the books), I started a really warm and heavy afghan for our house. I have a ton of Lion Brand Homespun yarn... I really love it because it's so warm, it's not wool (so no allergy problems for guests, though the people I know who are allergic to wool are already allergic to cats--I can't win), and it is quick on the crochet hook (and knitting needles, as I'm finding out). Oh, and when you crochet with it, it doesn't turn out all stiff like most crocheting does. This is why I prefer knitting a thousand times over... I think it looks nicer especially, but it's also not all stiff. Some things are neat for crocheting... K's mother gave me a crocheting calendar that has all kinds of really neat patterns, like a dog bone shaped mat for the water and food dishes, etc. I'm pretty excited to check that one out. Oh, and crocheting is probably really good for dish cloths, though I seem pretty insistent on knitting them.

(Seriously, a few days of vacation and my brain cannot follow a consistent thought.)

Anyway, I have been making this really lovely afghan (I'll post a picture) for our bed as we tend to keep the heat way down at night. It's the first project I've made that is for myself, though it's really for both K and myself. I have tons of patterns for myself, so there are plenty of intentions.

Anyway, I decided that since K and I are getting married, I can finally knit that sweater for him that I've always wanted! The sweater curse will be broken. :) I've even got a pattern picked out that I think will look lovely on him, and years ago I ordered the yarn (a very luxurious yarn that had to be shipped in from Germany), patiently awaiting the day when I could put those things on a pair of needles.

Of course, I have only knitting scarves and dishrags and the beginning of a mitten. A sweater? My goodness! That is too much of an undertaking. So I am making this sweater for K's nephew (for next Christmas, as K's nephew is only six months this year and I'm working on a 2T version of it... but K's nephew is a big baby--in the 100th percentile!): It's sickeningly easy (though I managed to get confused on one part of the pattern). I've already made the back to it--in about three days--and hope to have the rest of the Frankenstein monster parts (front, two sleeves) done before I return from break. I would then just weave in the ends (and at the top, you can imagine all the little wiggly ends making it look like a festive scarf bit) and piece it together, which I think I'll need my mother's help to do. It's ridiculously blocky and large sweater, but it looks cozy, and it's something that I can actually accomplish, which is good because I get frustrated easily. Those who are close to me and have known me a very long time know that I have come a long way in patience (it must be the occupation), and I'm a little skittish at the idea of having to rip things out because I'm not so good at fixing mistakes.

So now my stash is doing nothing ... not diminishing because I've bought a few balls of yarn to fill in the colors for the afghan. Some colors don't fit, so they'll have to stay in the basket.

I've got two more projects that aren't scarves or dishrags planned, but they would be for people who may or may not have retained interest in reading this blog, so I will share them when they are done. I hope one or both do not require the purchase of new yarn... I think I should get rid of my stash and force myself to only buy yarn when I have an actual project attached to it. My big issue is that I get really excited about a specific texture or color of a yarn and buy two or three hanks, thinking I'll make a scarf. And I collect tons of patterns for things that I like, but they're usually bigger--sweaters and whatnot.

In other news, I signed up for two classes in February--one on putting together a poetry manuscript (not really close to ready for this, but I'm interested in the marketing of poetry) and one on beginning stained glass.

The poetry one is spurred on after K gave me two coupons for the Loft Literary Center. I took some classes this fall and really enjoyed them; it even inspired me to send out three of my poems for the first time in years. While I know they'll get rejected (I shot a little too high on the first literary journal), I am glad they're simply "out there." I haven't really submitted in a very, very long time. I have a whole list of places I'll send those poems out until they get published or I have realized they are crap--one or the other!

The second class is a very selfish sort of class. My good friend A came to visit with her husband and the four of us (K being the fourth of course) went to a winter arts festival. She was very inspired to take some classes, and I hemmed and hawed as we are trying to get ourselves financially untangled and into a good direction (investments confuse me, but I confuse pretty easily) and I also resist signing up for classes on weekends, especially as the musical looms in the future. But I realized that these classes, though time consuming, make me happy. I need to stretch my brain and do things (like knitting) that relax me, challenge me, and bring me pleasure. So stained glass it is. There is also a pottery class in late spring that we might take together, depending on when it is, etc. That I'll have to look into, but in the meantime, I have a beginning stained glass class in February where I'll make a very rudimentary and scary looking suncatcher. I'll give it to K for his birthday. :) I'll be like a little elementary kid presenting something from art glass--what is it? We don't really know, but it was made with love!

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