Summer of sorting (out the knitting)

My goal this summer was to sort out the knitting problem once and for all. Looking back in the blog it seems it had already started last summer so there is no wonder this spring was crazy knitwise.

In Scotland I got to see replicas of the embroideries made my Mary, Queen of Scots, while she was in confinement. She made wonderful embroideries and put all kinds of symbols in them to send secret messages to her friends on the outside. I got inspired, imagine having all that knitting time!

So I started with material. I got to visit some really great yarn stores while in Scotland and bought some delicious yarn as well, things I’ve been meaning to try for quite some time, things that are pretty and that I always find pretty and some new things too.

I continued to work with the material part of knitting once I got back home. I started to sort and organize my stash in Stash Dash 2017. I managed to take care of almost all of the stash before going on my next trip but had to leave the leftovers till after.

Italy was not a yarn trip, nor was it meant to be one. It was over 30 degrees Celsius every day so I didn’t really feel like yarn shopping (well, one can always shop for yarn but it wasn’t the first thing on my mind right there and then). Instead I was worried about the non-knitting. I had had two weeks at home after Edinburgh and I hadn’t finished a single project. What’s wrong? I had even gotten out of the habit to always have a project with me, in fact, I have bought a purse where I can only fit a really, really small project. Again, what’s wrong!?

I did get inspired though. I looked at the beautiful mosaics in Ravenna and I thought about color combinations and yarn quality and cross-stitch. There is a clear connection between mosaic and cross-stitch, where the picture is formed by one little stitch or one little piece of glass at the time and I got to think about the mosaics as a craft and the conditions under which they were formed. How was it done, what where their thoughts? The craftsmen must have had ups and downs as well, they must have made mistakes and solved them, either by redoing everything or by pretending the mistake never happened. Just like with knitting. There are corners in the mosaic borders at the Galla Placidia mausoleum that doesn’t really add up and I wonder why, was it deliberate or was it a mistake from the beginning? It got to the point where I actually bought myself a beginner’s mosaic kit, just to get a feel for the craft.

Then one evening it happened. We had asked for the check but it never arrived, we waited and waited and all of a sudden, I picked up my knitting. I didn’t get much work in but I did it, which was the important thing.

Once I got back home I continued with my stash dash. This time it was the leftovers that got sorted. I have a lot of leftovers! Once that was done I rewarded myself by adding the yarn from the freezer, the newest yarn, to the stash and by that it was all done.

I managed to empty 17 project bags (I have about 30(!)). I added shelves for WIP’s/UFO’s and project kits and all in all it’s just lovely. I realize I might have to go through an entire shelf (or three in the case of fingering weight) to find the yarn I’m looking for but at least I don’t have to go through six shelves to find yarn in different colors. No, all yarn in the same weight have sections of their own, no one is sharing. Except the leftovers but they can take it. It doesn’t look much on the picture but I happen to know that at least one of those shelves contain about 50 skeins of yarn. 50! I wonder how many kilometers of yarn I have…

When all this was done I went on another trip. This time I had a little more knitting time and most of all, knitting opportunity. I brought all my WIP’s so that I could knit whatever tempted me and off I went.

I picked the new cardigan to be my new best friend and cast on and knit the entire trip. It felt good and I wanted to keep on doing it but as a precaution, since someone said the horrible word moth, I put all the projects from that trip, aka all my WIP’s, in the freezer. Now what, no projects for a week? And here I was, just starting to get into knitting again.

In the end this proved to be easier than I thought. During the stash dahs I had found quite a few UFO’s and suddenly one of them just spoke to me. It whispered my name and lured me with promises of pretty cables. I picked it up and started knitting and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish Before the week, and with that the quarantine, was over. But there I was wrong. I am now close to the end and it all goes according to plan I might finish it tonight. That’s awesome! Not only will I have a new little shawlette (it was never intended for me when I cast on back in 2014 but the intended recipient never knew about it so I think I’m safe to keep it) but it will also free up one of my prettiest set of 4 mm needles, needles that I’ve been missing for some time now.

During the week I’ve also managed to block some things (that shawl was done in February but I never had the energy to block it) and also to take photos of a lot of shawls. The backlog at Ravelry has been huge but is a little less huge right now, which makes everything easier.

I’m not sure what this means. It might mean nothing (except perhaps a finished shawl and another set of 4 mm needles free) but it’s something and it’s also one step closer to the Magic12, the amount of projects for me in a year. Right now though, I feel pretty awesome.