Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Garden and EZ's birthday

Summer is in bloom at Little Red Mitten ...

..and I'm on an Elizabeth Zimmerman knitting kick.

After I finished my February Lady's Sweater, I felt like looking through my Knitter's Almanac again. Bad move. I cast on for the February Baby's Sweater and a Pi Shawl and then remembered that we have a Baby Surprise Jacket class this week ...which I hope to cast on for tonight in Lamb's Pride Bulky.

The stars must be aligning because it will soon be the 100th anniversary of Elizabeth Zimmermann's birth.

8, 9, 10 - August 9, 1910 - Elizabeth Zimmermann's birthday



The Fiber Trends Felt Clog pattern is a pretty cool piece of knitting architecture. I'm in awe when I think about how the designer, Bev Galeskas, could come up with all of the wraps and turns, M1's and multiple other details to create such a wearable piece. These floppy clodhoppers always look so ridiculously huge ...and then you felt them, and everybody wants a pair.

Can you imagine how many prototypes Bev must have gone through to get this one right? ...how many unusual felted blobs must have emerged from her laundry room? This is the essence of patience ...and maybe perfectionism.

Perfectionism: Seems that I get teased about this. Some people laugh at this trait, but it does have its value. As one friend says, it's because of perfectionists that other personality types can enjoy their easy-going lifestyles.

Perfectionism in Clog Class: Picture a group of knitters all sitting around a table with no one talking. Socializing is the furthest thing from their minds, as they count carefully, change directions and perform amazing feats of skill.
Row One is a challenge. When a knitter gets to the end of this row with the correct number of stitches, I think that friends and family should get together and celebrate!!! It doesn't matter that thousands of Row Ones (more than 25 000 on Ravelry alone) have been completed. Each one is an accomplishment for the knitter.
As I notice the worry and focus on everyone's face , I read aloud from the Yarn Harlot's page-a-day calendar which, interestingly, had this to say on the morning of the class:

"Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person. Dr. David M. Burns

Seven new clog knitters relaxed and their knitting progressed quite nicely after hearing this. Thanks, Stephanie, for such a timely quote.

Update: The buttons for my February Lady's Sweater have been found! They were sneakily hiding mere inches from my knitting nest.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's not February, but ...

My February Lady's Sweater is done. Well, almost. If only I could find my buttons!

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to finish this project. Normally I bounce around between (way too many) knitting projects until the finishing bug strikes and I find some focus in my knitting life.

Why did I decide that this project was next?

- Maybe it was because so many of my Addi Click cables were tied up in this sweater (and I have extras). Two cables were holding the sleeve stitches and I had joined a couple of lengths for the body so that I could try it on regularly to check the length. Yup - I needed those cables so that I could get to work on a couple of new ideas.

- Maybe it was because a friend had finished hers ...and we had started at about the same time. If I dragged this out much longer, it could get embarrassing.

- Maybe it was because I "knew" where my buttons were.

Really ...I saw them a couple of weeks ago when the push was on to get this project finished. The buttons were in a tiny little bag inside my then current project bag for this sweater. And then I switched bags.

Have you seen my buttons?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Now if only I could think of a title ...

Time spent vacationing with visiting adult children - WHOOSH! Time spent getting back to normal - who knows? I'm not there yet!

Life was quite different here for awhile and I was starting to wonder if the word "creativity" had left my vocabulary. It seemed that my left brain was in charge of every thought and activity. The only knitting I could handle was projects that were already works-in-progress ....and socks, of course. (I guess that's one great excuse for having multiple projects!) While knitting, there was always something else going on - conversation, travel, movies ... I never allowed my mind and body to just knit.

When life whirls around you and you find your mind jumping from one thought to another, there is no chance to think, dream, imagine or create. As one friend told her children when they complained that they were bored, "Great! Now is when you are the most creative!"

I needed some boredom in my life.

Friday night, after a very full day, I sat in my comfy chair, put my feet up and flipped through the pages of a quilt magazine. I don't think that I read one word. I just looked at the lovely colours, designs, techniques and artistry. In one hour, I worked on 4 different knitting projects: a few rows or rounds was all I could stick with. But as I knitted, I happily ignored a ball game on tv ..and I relaxed. My mind wandered. There were words and ideas in my head at last.