Saturday, 10 August 2013

Two days

That's how many days I have before we leave on our vacation!  And also the number of days I have left to get all my $#!T together.

Fortunately, I have accomplished one of my goals already.  I have taken the pile of blocks that were pictured in last week's post, and turned them into a blanket.  I already mentioned that it is for a co-worker who is due in a month, and leaving for maternity leave in three weeks.  A few months ago, one of my work friends suggested to me and two others that we team up and knit a blanket as a present.  She found the pattern (Giggles Mitered Squares blanket) and gave us each a ball of yarn from her stash to start knitting blocks.  The four of us, each with very different levels of knitting experience, knit a whole mess of blocks, until we had enough.  I volunteered myself to put the whole thing together, however this was back when I thought I was going to have a week at home after coming back from Victoria.  So when the trip to Seattle got scheduled, I realized I had to get it done before leaving, since I wouldn't have time to do it after getting back.

Over the last week I powered through and sewed together all of the blocks, and last night I did a simple single crochet row around the edge.  I also realized that instead of weaving in all of the ends left from sewing it all together, I could just crochet them right into the border.  It seemed to work pretty well, although I really hope that it doesn't literally fall apart at the seams. *knock on wood*

I'm pretty happy with the finished blanket.  Not all of the blocks are perfect, and they weren't all quite the same size, but somehow when it's all sewn together you can't even tell.  I think (and also hope) that the new mommy-to-be will love it.

Once that was done, the next most pressing thing for me was to figure out what knitting I'm going to bring with me on the trip!  I have to bring more than one thing, of course, because I know me, and I won't want to be knitting the same thing the whole time.  I'll bring along Vulpix (the shawl for the Enabler) as I'm making good progress on that and want to keep going, and I will also start some early gift knitting.  But that's not enough for a wooloholic like me, obviously.  Most of the other projects I've got going on aren't great for travel, so I need to start something new for myself.  Each project needs its own bag, though, and I couldn't find any empty ones.

The first course of action was to empty out my knitting bag completely.  This is akin to emptying out your purse, but worse.  I guess it depends on the size of your purse, but no matter how big or small, there's going to be a few things in there that you didn't realize were there, and probably a number of things that should just be thrown out or put away.  However, I use my purse every day and I'm usually pretty aware of what's actually in there.  When emptying out my knitting bag I found patterns for things I finished knitting ages ago, a homemade pom-pom maker, stitch markers I thought I'd lost, at least three pads of paper and about four pens, a couple of project bags with things in them that I haven't knit on in awhile, and so on and so forth.  Once I had all of it pulled out of the bag I realized that I had a pile of patterns and other stuff on my side table as well, so I had to clean that up too.  And THEN I noticed my old knitting bag in the corner and I figured I should empty that out as well, and basically I was spiralling down the rabbit hole for awhile.

In the old knitting bag I found a project bag, and the only thing in it was a cowl thing epic failure of an experiment that I had knit well over a year ago and never got around to wearing blocking burning.  I used a couple of balls of Noro Kureyon to knit it, and I have more of each colour in my stash still, so I decided to frog it instead of burning it.  I mean, it's still Noro.

I don't know what I will do with the reclaimed yarn, but I'm fine to keep it in my stash for now.  And I now have another project bag to put a new project in.  Success!

After finishing that, and putting all of the scattered patterns into the right pattern binder, I set about picking the project and the yarn.  I've been wanting to make Viajante ever since the pattern came out, and I ordered yarn for it a few months ago.  As the designer says in the description, "viajante" is Portuguese for "traveller".  If there is anything more perfect to knit while travelling, I don't know what it would be.  It's over 1.5 kilometres of knitting, no purling required at all.  Beautiful, simple, relaxing, meditative, knitting.  I pulled out the yarn (tosh lace, colour way: fjord), and noticed a problem.

Do you see it?  The bottom/left yarn has distinctly more brown/white in it than the top/right yarn.  They are the same dye lot, but with hand-dyed yarns, there can still be a lot of variation between skeins.  The way around it is to alternate skeins through the whole piece, but that would make my simple, relaxing, meditative knitting somewhat less simple, relaxing and meditative.  Not badly so, but I just really wanted to only juggle one ball of yarn at a time.  Every project I'm knitting lately has two or three balls of yarn to manage at one time, and I didn't want to add another one.  I posted my conundrum on Instagram, and someone helpfully suggested that I unwind them and check out what they look like when they're not wound into a skein... so I did.

It's better.  I can still tell a bit of a difference, but it's not so bad.  It's just going to be for me, anyway. If this was going to be a gift I might worry a little more, but when it's just for me it doesn't seem to matter so much.  The things I make for myself can't be TOO nice, otherwise people might start bugging me to make stuff for them, too.  Ick.

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