Saturday, July 02, 2011

Progress, thou art my bitch!

I'm feeling so inspired lately! I can't seem to knit fast enough and the entire time I am knitting on one project, I am contemplating 20 more. I seem to do that, go in bursts. Maybe it is a function of the creative mind, I don't know. But I find myself stopping mid-row to look up the pattern I see in the book on my lap while I gaze at the shelves of yarn on the opposite wall and "casting on" blank projects on my Ravelry account. It's exciting! And go figure, it is the middle of the hottest, driest summer I've ever experienced!

Simultaneously, I seem to be in completion mode. (Actually, I'm just in every mode at the same time!) I always have many projects "aging" at various stages, but I've actually been finishing things! I'm very near completion of a cashmere scarf I started over a year ago on a car trip to Birmingham. I double stranded 100% cashmere (from Colourmart,) and cast on hundreds of stitches (too long ago to remember and I wouldn't count them now if you paid me.) I knit garter stitch for a few rows, then every other stitch I did treble yarn overs, which I unceremoniously dropped the following row, until it was looking somewhat symetrical. I bound off the jillions of stitches and strung an entire tube of glass tube beads. Now I have a teensy metal crochet hook that probably came with a frosting cap and I am single crocheting in a stitch, chaining three, moving a bead, chaining it in place, chaining three, and single crocheting in the third stitch from the original one to make a ziggy-zaggy border with a bead at each vertex. I'm approximately 1/6 of the way around the border. Pics to be supplied after blocking, which may be tricky because this yarn breaks with a decent wind puff.

I have a bulky wool sweater on honking size 13 needles at 75% completion as well. It looks small to me, so my Plan B is to steek the front, add ribbing and buttonholes and make it into a cardigan. As it's looking more and more likely I will resort to this modification, I'm also planning to change the set in sleeves and crew neck to a raglan and neck-to-be-determined. I stop every now and then and read up on bottom-up-raglans and pour over my Elizabeth Zimmerman books for wisdom and courage. (Some people, it seems, find her condescending, but I find her brilliant, inspiring and enabling!)

Lace learning has been moving along quite well!!! I have completed a cowl in waterfall drop stitch, a blanket in feather and fan, several mesh shawls and scarves, a vine lace kerchief, a book mark, and several others I can't even remember...and I have become if not proficient at least capable of reading lace charts. Lace has lost it's power over me and I can now approach most patterns with a can-do-but-may-not-want-to attitude. I am beginning to find lace tedious, which is what happens to me with every technique when I have figured it out. But I'm not ditching it just yet...

As usual, I have also been thinking about knitting from another vantage point...which is at this point in time therapeutic healing. I can't say enough about how knitting as a process has helped me in the last few months to deal with hurt, worry and neglect. It has allowed me to take unproductive time and magically transform it to productive time. Illness has struck our family and long car rides and hospital stays have been made immeasurably more tolerable, and for this I am so thankful.

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