Sometimes I feel like the mythological Sisyphus (remember Camus’ essay from high school English?), rolling my own stone up the mountain as I try to sort out and make progress on the mountain of UFOs. I often say I just need periodic stimulation of something new, to break the monotony of stockinette (as in the Cobblestone Pullover for Son#2), but I suppose I have to admit to suffering from Knitting ADD …
I think that in the past week I’ve worked on at least 12 different projects (!!!), and finished only 2.
1. Completed: Another charity knit hat, teen or adult size this time, made with the never-ending patties of laceweight merino from Handpaintedyarn.com. Even with regular knitting sessions on the recumbent bike this one took too long. But I always managed a smile as I tried to work on it as I walked for errands about town – the hollow plastic cable on the cheap (Chinese) circular needles I used was usually too stiff to work with in the winter air.
2. Completed: a “kippah nipple” for The Nipple Project. This was something of a lark. I’m not sure how I stumbled across this “knittivist” project (if you can characterize as knittivist this tongue-in-cheek challenge of taboos associated with the female nipple), but I immediately took out the never-ending cones of silver metallic cord to whip up a nipple based on my usual kippah/yarmulke pattern.
3. Serious progress was made on my son’s Cobblestone Pullover. With so many projects in progress, I needed a few more stitch markers – which meant a quick trip to the bead shop and an hour with the pliers. I’m very, very pleased with the knitting genies I made, one of which guards the center-back stitch so important to Jared Flood’s pattern. I can smell the end of this project, but never seem to manage the time to sit with it in my lap – it’s just too large and the rows too long to work on in the typical short bursts of time I have.
4. The second of my Chevalier Mittens is nearly done! These are so much fun to work on – it’s hard to put them down, in spite of the fact that the cables demand such care (I’ve frogged more than a few of them a few times already).
5. My stash of sock yarn is overflowing, and a good friend wanted to learn to make socks. So I finally started a new pair of socks: Knitzi’s Nutkins, with one of Kaffe Fassett’s colorways for Regia. The pattern is easily memorized (perfect for mobile knitting), the yarn a pleasure to work with – pools pleasantly. I’ve decided to shorten the leg by two repeats. Ellen-the-tikkuntree-leaf-machine is learning with toe-ups (photos soon, once I’ve seen how she made out after our first lesson).
6. Ever on the lookout for slippers for our front hall hospitality basket, I started another pair of guest slippers. This time, revising the homely (but useful!) Pocketbook Slippers and Norling Kay’s Slippers – from simple rib to sophisticated (and warmer, firmer) twined knitting. Why repeat what one already knows when a new technique can be learned or applied?
7. I cast on the ubiquitous Shedir hat, thinking it would be a straightforward project for a friend with cancer. What was I thinking? The Cashmerino is a pleasure to work with, but the pervasive twisted stitches and cables demand far more attention than I expected to have to give. I’ll see how far I get this next week on the recumbent bike, which has a reading slot for the chart.
8. Another car project (there’s always the light over the passenger seat’s primping mirror for late night travel!) – a reversible cabled scarf. I think I started this for Son#1, who probably doesn’t need it – but his brother’s Cobblestone makes me feel guilty, and obliged to give him something approximating equal (knitting) time.
9. Designing and drafting always tempts me away from my needles. It was necessary to take a hard look at the Valentine Cables Hat – after repeatedly frogging and reknitting the from-the-top cable knotwork, I decided to rip the entire thing and read a few more books on cables. Sigh. I’ve been working on a circular version of the MillionVoices colorwork chart, and converting (finally) sketches of op-art designs to charts (both stranded and cabled). They’ll find there way to posts soon enough (or not, I suppose, if I can’t get the repeat to work over 6 or 8 wedges).
10. The synagogue’s knitting group met for its first evening gathering (a “Knit & Knosh“), and I quickly made a pair of Quick Baby Socks to demonstrate, and also another Sweet Baby Cap (the skein had more than enough for two of these in the smallest, 6 mos. size). The cap was a favorite at the meeting, so I expect to be coaching more than a few of these at the next meeting.
11. The TikkunTree Project is moving slowly. Each week I manage to have a conversation or two about its peace-ful intentions and needlework needs. I finished another Safed leaf, and am working on a couple of new designs, one cabled and the other stranded (examples and patterns coming soon).
12. Finally, my “kippah project” is still in the works. I’ve started a few to work out technical challenges (my brioche cables aren’t yet fit for prime time, but will be soon). I have a bobbled Bukharan kippah on the needles, but it also needs some tweaking. Some back-ordered (from last year), MCY wool & silk fingering/DK weight yarns finally arrived; their colorways are inspiring. Along with my collection of DK weight wool & sari silk colors, I’m looking forward to trying out a few ideas with them, …. when I have a few minutes down time.