I’ve been busy finishing things.
No, I’m fine, thank you. No, no fever, and I don’t need to lie down right now. Thanks, I really am OK.
I finished my newest pattern, Spring Has Sprung Mittens. The good news: It’s been released in kit form by Holiday Yarns, with the kit having made its debut at TNNA this past weekend…The not-so-great news: I don’t have a photo of the finished mittens (in the correct yarn) to show off. Here’s a hint:
And another hint:
Flowers and butterflies, leaves and bugs, vines and buds. Plus a Latvian braid thrown in because why not? These are to wear in the doldrums of March, when we’re all tired to death of winter and want to give Spring a little help in showing up to the party.
Charted, three sizes (each one charted separately, you’re welcome), stranded knitting, picot hem. Tech-edited by Shannen the Wizard, with colourways chosen by Jen the dyer herself. All fun, all the time.
I’d link you to the kit, or the pattern, but the Master Linker is trying to survive TNNA right at the moment. (I don’t think she has slept in days. Sleep, Jen, sleep. Maybe eat, too. See how generous we are?)
I’ve finished two more chapters of the WiseSweater book. That sleeve cap chapter nearly put me in the looney bin, I tell ya. I think it would have been easier if I just put in the formula and said, Do It This Way; but of course, that isn’t the point of the book.
The Point is to explain why sweaters are designed the way they are designed, so that if you want to make adjustments or even design your own sweater, you’ll actually understand what you are doing. Even on weird sweaters where the numbers don’t fit the “fill in the blanks” style of formulas.
I have half the next chapter done, and after that, it’s just blocking info and sewing in zippers and finishing stuff and I’m done!
I’ve finished several skeins of plied yarn of various sorts.
I’ve drumcarded some batts for my Tweed Experiment.
I’ve worked on a tiara or two,
and organized my travel-to-teach bead box.
I’ve even hung up the cute bird-and-branch hooks I bought in Vermont for my necklace collection.
I’ve ripped out projects that weren’t working out, and gotten back on track with projects long set aside.
Well, OK, I guess that all those things are not technically “finishing”. I don’t have a new shawl to wear yet, or socks to give, or a sweater to show off. But there’s been Serious Progress made in a lot of areas, and that feels great.
You know how sometimes you feel stalled, as though you’ve been knitting that same shawl for-ev-er, or spinning that roving since the Great Flood? We get stuck, methinks, or perhaps time really does slow to a crawl, and we tiny humans are too self-involved to notice that the universe is taking a mental health month.
It’s easy to feel as though every project in the house is on the needles in a project bag under the dresser, or in a plastic bag (because you ran out of project bags) stuffed into the corner of your armoire.
There are bins of fleece under the bench, and there have been bins of fleece under the bench for quite a while now…and maybe they are even the same fleeces in the same bins as always. One begins to wonder if perhaps one is a collector, rather than someone who actually has Finished Objects to share, merely a buyer of Things, instead of a maker of Stuff-out-of-Things.
Signs of progress are important, especially on the days when you feel frustrated by the overwhelming number of things trying to keep you away from needles and wheel.
I’m now working on projects in shorter chunks of time, over a few days or weeks, rather than in one or more long “all-dayer” that wipes me out flat. I’m setting up my To-Do software so that it lists intermediate steps in projects; this way, I can check off (and celebrate) the smaller accomplishments as well as the larger ones (finish first sleeve, finish second sleeve, spin first ply, spin second ply, ply, whoo!). If the project doesn’t have (and doesn’t need) some sort of inherent deadline, I don’t give it one (other than the vague “by September” or “before Christmas”).
I also try not to snarl when I am interrupted; I try to take a deep breath, let it out, and smile instead of biting off someone’s head. (It’s the little things.)
I’m working on saying No to things that are Off The Path, and on keeping my eyes and ears open for whispers of things which might either be On The Path or else signs pointing to another path I might want to try.
Throughout most of the past year, I’ve been focussing on The Doing, not just the Ending. I’ve always been a process person, but an impatient process person who really wanted to be a product person in her heart. I want a wardrobe of thirty handknit sweaters; I want everyone in my family to be clad in handknit socks, I want all my friends to have handmade goodies that remind them of me.
What I have is a bin full of unfinished projects marked with various names of friends and family. (Happy Birthday, I made you an UnFinished Object!)
So I do what I can, choose carefully what I attempt, and let myself dwell in the actual Making.
Sure, these clicking keystrokes will eventually be posted for you nice people to read. But for now, I have pretty manicured nails and I am enjoying the loud clicking of (short) purple tips on keys, savoring the joy of stopping to choose this word or that word, relaxing into that state of creating which allows something new to come into being without being rigidly planned and outlined and scheduled and organized to death.
All of which just helps me to enjoy LIVING the creative life, rather than just reporting on the creative life. I’m very lucky to have this wee sabbatical in which to learn and grow and seek and create; I don’t know where I’m going, but if I pay attention to the cobblestones under my feet, and the companions next to me on the road, and the pleasures of each word and stitch, then I ought to come out all right in the end.
In Seattle, land of wonders, they have a Parking Squid to assist your vehicular needs. No, I’m serious.
Do what you can, when you can. So simple; so profound. This is the world I want to live in.
Finally, you can play with the Doctor! TARDIS playset with 5-inch figure of Doc #11. Playsets are cool.
And what if playsets weren’t cool? Would you play with them anyway? Do you have the courage to be uncool?
There is nothing cuter than a baby platypus…unless you have another one in the same hand.
That’s all for today, folks. The Tour de Fleece begins on Saturday, so you’re bound to hear from me regarding that. I mean. I have five fleeces drying in my yard. I think I need to get on that tour, don’t you?