organizing.

Organizing my knitting projects, I mean. Last night, while waiting for it to be midnight, which is when I made my students’ current essay due, I decided to empty out the bag o’ knitting that lives in the family room, mostly because I’ve been so busy with new/gift projects that I hadn’t looked in there in awhile.

Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I ended up pulling out every WIP I could think of. (Only the stuff in the tote bag is pictured above.) I put away needles, filed patterns (like I’ve looked in my knitting binder since Ravelry really took off…), and even decided to frog things I haven’t touched in years. The Thermal sweater I started in BLACK fingering weight yarn 5 years ago? Frogged. The Milkweed shawl I knit 5 rows of and put away because of something with a deadline? Frogged. The adorable Manresa legwarmers I started knitting — right after I started knitting? Bound off, right where I was. I’m totally keeping the beautifulness of my stranded knitting, despite the fact that the floats on the wrong side are atrocious, and so tight that the legwarmer probably wouldn’t even fit Boh in places!

Still, I’m keeping this as a reminder of my fearlessness as a new knitter. Maybe I need to give colorwork another go sometime soon? I also moved a bunch of my WIPs into places where I’m more likely to knit: some near my spot on the couch, and some next to my bed. I even moved a lamp I rarely use into a spot in my bedroom that will help me to see what I’m knitting — or reading. This is long overdue, as I’ve had nights where it has been hard to get to sleep. Other things I’m organizing?

Veggies! I joined a spring CSA, which is super exciting. The farm I belong to in both the summer (June-November) and the winter (December – mid-March) takes a break from providing veggies in the spring in order to get everything ready for summer. It is always a rough time of year, and I spend it anxiously waiting for awesome veggies. This year, I don’t have to wait! A local farm has rolled out a plan to fill in this gap, and is offering a mid-March through May CSA, and I got my first box this week: crunchy sprouts, braising greens, red Russian kale, local honey, and pickled ginger. Yum!

And maybe, to keep with my blog post theme, I’m organizing myself. Yesterday I lounged about all morning, Skyped with a dear friend, and generally took it easy. Then I put on a pretty outfit, and went to a coffee shop, and did not leave until I’d written 800+ words. The draw of meeting a friend for a beer when she got off work at 5:30 helped me to keep going. If I can do 4 hours of writing work most days this break, I’ll be really happy.

And here are a couple of porch pictures: me reading, Boh lounging. (As it should be?) I’m thinking we’ll do a bit of this today, weather permitting!

victory (for jonny wilkinson, and for me)

but in vastly different things. Wilkinson managed to lead England to a victory over France in today’s World Cup Rugby match. It was a low scoring, frustrating game to watch. Both sides had brilliant moments, but each had a hard time finishing. I’m by no means a hardcore England fan, but I do think that Wilkinson is one of the most handsome men in world-class rugby…

My victory is much smaller: I’ve figured out how to format photos so they look pretty when I press “publish” here at wordpress. Because my entry point into this community (which, on day one, is still very one-sided and awkward-feeling) is knitting, it seems only fitting to share a bit.

Here is Fetching, from Knitty. This project made me feel like a Knitter (capital K). Directions were easy to follow, and the payoff was close to immediate. I remember taking this to a coffee shop and just knitting row after row, happy as a clam to be displaying my newfound addiction. (Coffee is my first, though I prefer to think about my coffee intake as directly proportionate to my personal happiness level. It has nothing to do with caffeine. That is bad for you. Happiness, on the other hand, cannot be bad.) Back to Fetching.

fetching WIP

I don’t have any pictures of the finished object, but these were on my wrists every morning this summer as I watched the sunrise, hands clasped around a delicious cup of coffee on the back porch. Early risers get press-pot coffee. Late risers get cowboy coffee. Sadly, Boh (who is both snoring AND dreaming right now) managed to grab one and gnaw apart the bind off and a few rows of my hard work, so they are in the “learn to repair” pile. As a relatively new knitter, I have a burgeoning love affair with color. There is definitely a bright pair of Fetching in my future.

Here is a pair I made on request for a friend. (Yarn for both: as recommended, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, needles: US 6) This pair went even faster! See Pam model:

fetching pam

Discovering Knitty was a momentous occasion — I think I looked at every single pattern, including Calorimetry, which blew me away. The concept is cool, and I remembering thinking I might actually wear it, but that wasn’t it. The model in the pictures — I know her! From college! What was she doing, here in the internet pages of my brand new, all consuming addiction? Apparently, a lot of people knit. Or know people who knit. That made it feel even more accessible. (I did, actually, make Calorimetry, but was lazy and did not swatch. I know, I’ve learned my lesson. It is very pretty, but also just a bit too large. It may work as a neck warmer. I will be making another, maybe in Malabrigo — saw the one over at tentenknits and it is beautiful. I have my first skein, which is destined to be Foliage, from the Fall Knitty, but right now I just get it out and touch it.)

One more Knitty picture: Manresa. These leg warmers are awesome. I am still surprised that I just decided I could make these. I started them right after Fetching, a week into learning. Most of my summer knitting was happening by headlamp, in my sleeping bag, so I decided to leave the chart and colorwork here in my teeny tiny house. The last time I snapped a picture, here’s where I was. Fall is finally here, and these will be very toasty when I finish them. I should pick them up again.

manresa WIP

That’s all for now — I have to save a few pictures for when I run out of things to tell you all!