Thursday, January 18, 2007

Trying to get motivated, find direction...

I'm trying to figure out the best thing to focus on today and am feeling a bit aimless and undirected. Here are a bunch of perfectly good choices:
  • 1. Pick some area of the house and do some cleaning and organizing.

  • 2. Work on a sewing project: in particular, some soft flannelly-knit pajamas. (Like knit jersey fabric with a bit of a nap.)

  • 3. Work on any of four different hand-knitting projects
    a. Shetland/Faroese cardigan (about 5 inches along.)
    b. socks for Owen
    c. Longstanding WIP for Mr. SABLE: Scott's Tweedy Pullover
    d. mohair scarf
    e. Any others that could jump out and bite me.

  • 4. Finally finish a machine knitting project for a friend, that I should have done 2 years ago. What can I say? I had some frustrations and put it on indefinite hold. I might be able to finish in short order and feel very virtuous.

  • 5. Work on my ongoing desire to learn website creation and design.

  • 6. Probably about 10 other things that will just become distracting filler.

  • I'm leaning toward #4 because it's one that would be a great thing to cross off my list of nagging obligations. I'm putting #5 aside for now because I know I could spend all day on it and yet, have nothing tangible to show for the time. And I think today, I would like to have something tangible for the effort. That's a reason both for and against spending time cleaning and organizing. It seems like it should be a tangible result, but the mess is so great and the slobs are so persistent, that a small dent becomes invisible in 24 hours. (I did clean the downstairs bathroom sink the other day and the kitchen sink the day before that, so I'm on a bit of roll there.)

    Before I go down and tackle the knitting machine project (which is on the tempermental machine), I thought I'd say a bit about the Harrisville Highland I'm using for my new cardigan. This yarn doesn't feel very pleasant in the skein or while you're knitting with it. But I compared the swatch which I washed and let dry to the knitting on the needle, and the washed swatch is really nice. I could probably wear a hat from this stuff. (That's my standard test for itchiness. My forehead is my most sensitive spot for itchy yarn.) So, if you had ever considered the Harrisville Shetland or Highland, give them a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

    More on that project
    After I started knitting the Highland cardigan, I had a couple moments of concern. The first was that I bought nearly equal quantities of the rust and the brown. One more brown than rust skein. Then, I actually counted the number of stitches of each color in one full repeat of the pattern. 19 browns:9 rust. Which tells me I need about twice as much brown as rust. Back to the yarn store...

    Also, I was a bit haphazard about gauge. I used some size 7 dbl pts for my swatch and a different size 7 circular to knit. And my knitting was looking really big. For a moment I considered taking it off and starting over, which I consider not too big a deal when I'm only one evening into the project. Better to do it early than late. But, I got another long circular and transferred enough stitches to spread it out to full actual size. Yes, it's a bit bigger than I first planned, but not as much as I feared. I think for the kind of garment it is, a warm dense winter cardigan, a little oversize will be ok. My ease is about 15% of my bust measurement.

    So, without further stalling, I'm off to the basement to do battle with the machine. And, perhaps, emerge triumphant. (I only have one sleeve left to make, but then sewing up, and neckline trim. The end could be in sight!)


    kemtee said...

    Harrisville Highland is really nice stuff. I agree -- it feels like rope while you're knitting with it -- but the colors are diverse and lovely, and it's a good sturdy wool. My FO was so nice to the touch that I almost kept it for myself instead of gifting it.

    Lynn said...

    It seems that everyone's in a shirking mood these days - I think it's a sign that we're supposed to hibernate for the month of January, or at least, until the days are substantively longer.

    I have a good bit of Harrisville Highland and Shetland lying around on cones (Webs stocks it), and I'm tempted to skein it all up and wash it, in anticipation of some day (year, decade) getting around to knitting it into something.

    Bezzie said...

    Hee hee, I like that you've added "shirking" as a label because you know, I might need to come back and read all of your entries tagged "shirking" to make sure I'm not the only one putting stuff off. ;-)

    I'm hoping to tackle a few of my own lofty goals this weekend after four days of doing jack and squat.

    Batty said...

    I have some of the same objectives! Learn web design, clean the house, get around to sewing because it can't be as scary as I remember it from 6th grade home ec, right?