No pockets

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I don’t know what this means to you. What it tells you. If it bears any meaning to you at all or if it just looks like some left over yarn (and some sun, don’t forget the sun, there is not much sun around these days so we cannot overlook the sun in this shot). Well, to me this means a decision had to be made and that decision was pretty clear. To me this means no pockets. No pockets at all. Why, you ask. Well, this means that there simply isn’t enough yarn left to make pockets on my cardigan. Instead I’m just going to knit this up and then move on to the border. I might have to make the border longer than expected too, due to some yarn shortage in the main color department. But when the border is done, so is the cardigan and I can’t wait till that happens.

Proceed boldly on!

Time consuming

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I had such high expectations. I was going to bobbin a lot of lace and then move on to something new. That didn’t happen. I think I’d better realize that two exams in a week can really just eat all your time till there is nothing left for bobbin lace or knitting a great lace. I think I’ll just have to accept that hope that next week will be better. Yeah, good plan.

Enough already

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I have to admit it, I think the cardigan should be done by now. I’ve been knitting and knitting and knitting and even though I’ve also managed a pair of socks, a hat and a neckwarmer in between, I totally think this cardigan should be done now. I can’t imagine how many meters of yarn are in that thing but I can tell you it’s a lot (which, if I’m unlucky, will probably reveal themselves in the wash/block event though I swatched profoundly). I knit and knit and knit and I know I can sort of see the end of it all but still, I think it should be done now. I’m really grateful that it actually will be done once I cast off the baby, apart from blocking and buttons, since I’ve already knit the sleeves, but still. There are just endless rows of body left. It’s not even that I have something else luring somewhere, another thempting project that’s trying to seduce me into casting on, no, it’s not that, I just think that this should be done by now.

So, what else to do but knit?

Crafts Fair

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Yesterday I was at a crafts fair. It was my first time and I had a really good time. Since I’m not only bicraftual but probably quadrucraftual or something, there was a lot of things there for me, beads, bobbin lace, sewing, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, yarn… Oh, the yarn! I’ve found at least two new interesting Swedish dyers that I will be looking into. It’s probably a good thing I haven’t really been introduced to quilting yet or I would never have been able to leave.

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I had a great strategy though. I had good shoes which is probably essential.

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We left our jackets in the car so we didn’t have to carry them around with us.

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We made sure to have each other’s phone numbers and picked a meeting place and a time.

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If I would change anything for next year I would point a homebase where someone could gard all the bags that accumulate. There is a lot of people and the more bags you carry, it harder to move around and squeeze in between some very determined cross-stitch shoppers blocking the way.

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We didn’t feel obliged to walk around together all the time so no one would have to feel like they didn’t get to do or see all that they wanted and no one had to feel like they had to hurry somewhere. Also we didn’t risk losing each other in the crowd and then spending many hours looking for each other. It was a great plan.

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Also, I would carry a water bottle. The air is dry and I was really thirsty.

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I actaully managed to stay away from the scrapbooking booths. I’m pretty proud of that.

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I did manage to see some tatting though. I’ve always wondered how they do that.

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The bobbin lace section was interesting.

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I surprised myself by getting material for a entire new project.

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I also got to see a lace I’ve made on display. Not that I’ve made that particular lace, but I’ve used that pattern. Also, look at the lace below “my” lace. It’s beautiful!

It was a great fair and I can’t wait till next year.

Quick is the new pink?

I was in a book store the other day, to buy some cards. While there I walked past the crafts’ section (if by crafts’ section you understand that it really was only one book case, not even a meter long for the entire crafts’ section and knitting crowded with sewing and crocheting on one tiny shelf) and decided to have a look if there was anything new in. There wasn’t. Or rather, there was but nothing to my taste. What struck me, and that was the main reason for my disinterest in these books, was that they all had one thing in common. All titles included a word like easy, quick, fast and in under 30 minutes. Now, why is that? It might be that a book store tries to concentrate on the non-knitters and rope them in slowly with tempting words – knitting is not hard and it’s quick. I guess they think that the choir, in this case the knitters, doesn’t need preaching and that they already know where to find patterns and such. Another reason for this interest in quick fixes might be that in this society we don’t have time for things that lasts longer than 30 minutes.

A more scary thought is it that making something from scratch today is so rare that we need the quick and dirty to actually consider doing it? What can you knit in under 30 minutes? A pot holder perhaps? It takes me three hours to make a baby sock and I am a pretty fast knitter. There are no sweaters that can be done in under 30 minutes. No lace shawls (no shawls at all actually unless you settle for a cowl and needle size 10). No socks (again, unless you settle for needle size 8 and only have one foot and kind of breeze past the heel without really making one). A pair of wrist warmers might work, if, again, you use needle size 8 and bulky yarn. But the remaining question is, why does it have to be so fast?

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Apparently this isn’t the case everywhere. When I was at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, one of the world’s biggest, if not the biggest, book stores in the world, back in March, I found they had an entire section with books about crafts. Knitting has it’s own sign! Here I found a number of amazing pattern books, new and used, so many I couldn’t even buy all the ones that I wanted (please note that I brought about five or six or maybe more pattern books with me back home and that was really restraining myself).

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Just look at these shelves! Of course there were beginner’s books as well as advanced pattern books but I couldn’t see any signs of the American knitters having a high demand for quick and fast. Sure, Powell’s is the world’s biggest book store and compared to my little local book store (LBS? As compared to LYS – local yarn store?) it’s an elephant to an ant and of course that means I can’t expect the same supply but still, if there was a demand, my LBS would have a bigger knitting book section. But this isn’t it though. There are Swedish knitters, or at least there are Swedes who can keep a lot of yarn stores up and running, but if I think about it, not even 10% of my pattern books are bought in a Swedish book store. And that is not because I haven’t been looking or because I was cheap. Maybe the ideal (aka trendy) knitter these days is not the person churning out her own sweaters but the one with an afghan made of super bulky yarn and needles size 15, leisurely thrown over the couch. Maybe the trendy knitter is the one giving away much praised accessories that looks like they took no effort (which honestly they didn’t if they only required 30 minutes of your time. Remember, three (3) hours for one (1) baby sock) and maybe the hours and hours spent on a pair of dress socks or a cabled scarf are just considered a waste of time and the knitter a loser for spending that much time on such a ridiculous entertainment.

These are interesting thoughts and I need to pend on them a bit more while I make a few more stitches. Say hi to me if you see me, will you? I’ll be the dork in the corner, intently working on a complicated lace shawl.

(Please note that nothing will ever be the new pink and especially not orange.)

The eager sock knitter

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Socks. For reasons unknown to me, this fall I feel an urge to knit socks. Last year I kind of wanted it too but felt discouraged by the limited use I noticed.  After I had blogged about that though, people started to come up to me and mention their interest in hand knit socks. I made three pairs as Christmas gifts but then it was done and the sock knitting itch was over. This year it’s back. I think about knitting socks whenever I’m not actaully knitting socks (and then I want the sock to be done so I can cast on a new on in even more delicious yarn and another delicious pattern). It slowly crept up from behind and started when I bought a skein of sock yarn as I was ordering yarn for some other things. Then it was the impulse-buying of three pair’s worth of sock yarn. Then another skein of sock yarn made it’s way into my home.

Then due to last weeks moth panic attack I cast on a sock and kept knitting on it. Then the urge hit me full scale in the stomach and I keep looking at new patterns and new yarn and maybe I should even get some better needles to accomodate this. I think this might be the answer to yesterday’s thoughts about Christmas. I know socks were on my list last year but socks aren’t forever and if you’ve worn them correctly (and enough) they should be pretty much done by know. Or, you might have two pairs. That works too. Or, I’ll just keep all my socks for myself, I haven’t decided yet. I will try to finish my cardigan (it’s out of the freezer since this morning) and I’ll obviously knit on the Great Lace (equally out of the freezer), but other than that, I think it’s socks. Socks, socks, socks. At least till the itch fades.

No plan

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I was once on a date without knowing it was a date and it wasn’t until the date in question said “I have no plan” that I got what was going on. I admit there were other hints as well but I was completely oblivious, I just thought I was dancing with a very polite person. I also admit that “I have no plan” is not a universal way of telling someone that they are on a date, it depends heavily on context and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’ve built up to it earlier. Instead, asking someone to a dance is a more universal way of asking someone out but in this case, and this context, it wasn’t obvious.

When I now say that I have no plan, I’m not trying to ask anyone out on a date, no, I speak of something totally different. Christmas. I have no plan. Last year by now, my plans were all over the place and I was a bit stressed out about it all. This year, I have no idea what to give people for Christmas, I haven’t got a single knitting plan (I did buy some sock yarn the other day though, maybe that is a hint). The weird part about this is not the non-existing plan but that I have absolutely no worries about it. Christmas? Yeah, it’s coming. Soon from a knitter’s perspective. So?

I think this might be because of the Great Lace. I think that I have somewhat accepted the fact that if I’m going to knit on the lace, I won’t be able to knit as much on other things. Books are good gifts too. I’m probably going to be a bit more stressed later on when I see the big picture. My laissez-faire attitude will most likely turn into a big cloud of stress somewhere mid-November but for now, I’m completely cool about having no plan at all. (I am not as cool about not meeting my goal for the knitting for me this year but the year isn’t over yet.) I know there is a baby coming soon, for which I’m not only a knitter but also a knitter by proxy which means I’m also knitting gifts from someone else to this baby. Still, this doesn’t stress me at all. To tell the truth I’m a bit worried about this no plan, no worries strategy. It might just be a big procrastination that will eventually, just like the no-plan-date eventually did, go haywire. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Moth panic

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Wow, last week sure wasn’t my week. It all started at the beginning of the week when someone brought a knitting to work. During Tuesday I looked at the yarn of this knitting and noticed that it was thinner in some places. Now, the yarn was a 70 % acrylic and 30 % wool blend so it probably wasn’t very interesting for any unwanted guests anyway but once the word moth was in my head I couldn’t get it out. I have a vivid imagination and usually I’m a pretty practical and realistic person but if I get something in my head, there is no end to the things I can imagine, especially not when it comes to the stash.

When I left work on Tuesday I gathered everything woolly that I could find and as soon as I got home I stuffed it all in the freezer, my hat, my mittens, the knitting I had had with me, everything, and I immeadiately felt better. I picked up a new knitting and settled in for a nice knitting evening. This could have been the end of it if I hadn’t woken up on Wednesday morning realizing that my actions hadn’t been enough. I had, after all, been with the suspiciously thin yarn all of Monday too and I had worn a woollen cardigan that I had then worn at home in the evening when I knit. That cardigan went into the freezer together with the new knitting I had cast on Tuesday evening and my Great Lace that I had worked on Monday evening. I thought about throwing the entire stash in the freezer but I didn’t really have the time right then. When we left home for work I saw something fluttering around in the stairwell and asked Julle if it was a moth (I might have been mildly hysterical) and he assured me that it wasn’t and that it certainly didn’t come from our apartment. I barely believed him.

I refused to bring a knitting with me on Wednesday and urged the owner of the thin yarn to bring it back home and put it in the freezer. Wednesday evening I wound a new skein of yarn and cast on. Thursday I did bring my knitting but kept it away from the place where the thin yarn had been. A co-worker who is experienced when it comes to moths told me that since we hadn’t seen any moths we were okay and that I shouldn’t worry. She also said that moths are creatures that fly around in the summer and they will enter your home through the window or elsewhere. Just keep the stash and wool closets clean and it should be okay (the last part is not really what I heard, I heard “there is no way to completely protect oneself from moths, gaaaah!). I guess you could say she managed to make things better and worse at the same time. I stopped worry so much about this moth alert but instead started to worry about the over all safety of the stash. I’m not sure that was better. I decided to keep the things in the freezer the full week anyway.

Saturday night I found something fluttering in my bedroom, dangerously close to my closet. Again, some kind of panic crept up (really, if you don’t want panic, stop fluttering when I’m tired) and Julle chased the offensive creature down and again assured me it wasn’t a moth (I have no idea how he can tell). The panic stayed on but when I murmured something about getting rid of the stash because it was too much strain to live in constant fear of it’s safety, Julle somewhat desperately explained that he will build some kind of moth free zone for it as soon as we get somewhere bigger to live. I didn’t really get how we would do it (it was late at night and I was tired after all) but the words air-tight and cedar tree and controlled ventilation was thrown in there and in the end he made me promise not to get rid of the stash.

On Wednesday I can remove things from the freezer and hopefully things will be okay again. At least as long as I don’t see anything else fluttering around.