Monday, August 17, 2009

Dazed and confused

I keep disappearing, don't I? I've been so overwhelmed by the work email coming in to my computer this last week that I just turned the darned thing off for the weekend (query: I am not paid during the summer, so why I am I spending hours each day wading through work email?). This reduced my temptation to check email and get sucked in, but also meant that I didn't post, and I wasn't responding to friendly email, either. I need to find a balance point here, and weekends offline may be it, but I'll try to give warning next time.

I was going to write a post about what's going on at work, but I'm feeling peaceful enough this morning that I don't want to haul out that soapbox. I'm going to have to soon enough, since I need to plan out what I'm going to say to students on the first day of class, which is rapidly approaching, but I think I'll keep this morning's fragile peace and think of happier things instead. It turns out that, in all of this chaos, I have been knitting (isn't that what keeps us sane?). I find that the more crazy things are getting in the rest of my life, the simpler my knitting gets. I'm on a bit of a stockinette/garter stitch craze right now, getting my comfort from lovely yarns, beautiful colors, and knitting that feels like a meditation. I'm also sorting through my acquisitions from Sock Summit, and I'll be sharing them little by little as I take pictures of them. I keep forgetting to mention things that happened at sock summit, and things I wanted to talk about, so I've started keeping a little list next to my computer -- how pitiful is that? But I think it reflects the dazed and confused (hence the post title) state of mind that I'm in right now.

For example, I completely forgot to mention that I finally got to meet Wanda in person!
(This is one of her pictures which she kindly shared with me; have I mentioned that I forgot to take any pictures at all?) Wanda was one of the first people to read and comment on my blog, and I have so enjoyed our email exchanges over the last couple of years. It was truly a treat to get to meet her (and her lovely husband Ed!) in person; I only wish we'd had time for a quiet visit, but it turns out that Sock Summit just wasn't the venue for that kind of thing.

I also got some gorgeous sock yarn while I was there (imagine that), from March Hare, who was sharing a booth with Jennie the Potter (I got one of her yarn bowls, too, but haven't taken a picture of that yet; next time, I promise).
Aren't they gorgeous? The one of the left isn't photographing too well; it's a beautiful flame orange/red (the colorway is, appropriately enough, Wildfire). I'm tempted to knit a shawl out of it, I love it so well, but I'm guessing I'll go with socks for now. The one on the right is a colorway called Driftwood, and I got it to make socks for Rick -- it seemed like a good guy color. I'll probably cast on for those once I get my current pair of simple socks off of the needles.

Speaking of which, here they are:
I cast on for these at Sock Summit, so that I'd have something mindless to knit in the evening and on the flight home. I'm using my new Signature needles (I got the size ones, which are 2.25 mm needles), and I'm loving them. I'm also loving the fabric that the smaller needles are making with this yarn, which is Handmaiden Casbah; I think that the colorway is wildflower. The socks are plain top-down socks, with 1x1 corrugated rib at the top and on the heel flap, and I'm just putting little wildflower knots (from one of the BW stitch dictionaries) in whenever the mood strikes me. I'm most of the way down the foot on this first one.

While I was at Sock Summit, I also finished this, which I started while at the institute.
It's a Forest Canopy shawl (my Rav project), which I knitted using Sundara fingering silky merino in the Across the Water colorway. I think I used size eight needles for this one. I started it at the institute with the goal of taking it with me to the Hooked on Beads class I took with Sivia Harding so I could put beads on the edging.
So I knitted madly to get through the body, and finished just in time to take it to class. I beaded the edging along both the decrease lines, and on the twisted knit stitch between yarn overs. I don't know how well you can see it there, but I'm very happy with the way it turned out, and I like the weight on the edges like that.
I love the size of this one; it's not really a shawl, more a neckerchief, which is a very nice thing to have. I have enough yarn left that I may try to improvise some matching mitts for myself. I'm also thinking that I have at least one family member who may need one of these for Christmas; I'll have to see if I can find just the right yarn...

There are a few more things on the needles right now, but I'll just mention one more, because I'm dithering over it. I fell in love with a version of Elektra that I saw someone wearing at the institue. She let me try it on, and I decided that I absolutely had to have one for my very own self. I think it's going to be one of those sweaters that I can wear everywhere, plain and fancy, work and weekends, and I decided to invest in the yarn to make it exactly what I wanted. My lovely local yarn store, Yarning For You, ordered the kit in Petite Voodoo for me from Twisted Sisters, and I cast on last Friday. The problem is, I'm just not sure about that light blue. I like it fine on its own, but somehow, with the other colors (which I adore), I keep sort of stubbing my eyes on it.
(Imagine those colors about eighty times richer, and with that lovely sheen that silk gives to yarn. Mmmm....) I keep thinking that maybe something in a deep purple would be better.
That's not quite right, but they have a lovely color, Iris, that might do the trick. Opinions? I am planning to take it in to the store tomorrow for a confab with Debra, who is so helpful and willing to let me dither. I really want this to be something that I love unconditionally, so I want to get the colors just right.

OK, off to catch up on email (sigh) and some blog posts, and then I think I deserve a bit of time at my spinning wheel outside on my back patio. Next time, Sea Pearl (double mmm), and an absolutely gorgeous treat that Sallee delivered to me at the summit.

19 comments:

FUZZARELLY said...

Quite envious of the new stash and FOs.

Miss 376 said...

That shawl is stunning, such a beautiful colour. I hope you manage to knit and spin the stres away

Gwen said...

See all that posting I've been doing? Right, me neither.

Sometimes you need the *ding* of an odd colour to pull the rest together to sing. I wonder if the purple would be too close to the others. Though you've got that green in there... Shall I dither along with you?

Shawl is beautiful! Didn't take you long at all. I'd love to feel the beads on it.

Mary Lou said...

I am with you on the disappearing. Work and other life issues have been sucking up my time, and then I just want to sit outside and relax, not at the computer. And so sorry for not getting a chance to visit at Sock Summit. Maybe I'll get to San Diego again one of these days.

Mary Lou said...

And I forgot to add that i loved your title since I loved that movie. I always think of that line in the movie where martha meets george at the door with a big fat bowl. She was one hip, hip lady...

twinsetjan said...

The shawl is beautiful! And I'm so jealous that Ellen got to meet you in person...maybe next year!

twinsetellen said...

So do you want Elektra to be casual funky or somewhat comfortable suave? The light blue takes it to the funky, not a bad thing unless that isn't what you want. The iris takes it to smooth and comfortable.

I wonder if your craving for comfort knitting isn't just expressing itself in simplicity of knit, but of color combination, too. Not a bad thing, either.

By the way, the beads just glow when you embiggen the photo. I love them!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you make the light blue line a little thinner, it might make it pop but not be distracting. The lavander is a beautiful color and would slip in so smoothly but maybe not enough contrast?

AlisonH said...

Ooooh, prettyyyy...

Cassandra said...

Oh, I like the blue! Probably when it's finished it won't be so striking. Sorry I missed you at Sock Summit!

Rachael said...

ooh, your forest shawl is gorgeous! that sundara yarn is so lovely, I ordered some of the fingering silky in one of those colorways that doesn't ship for months and I really would love to have it now!!

The beads are very petty on there, a nice subtle ending. I am unsure of the beads on mine, I am afraid I am making it too fancy for every day wear, but I think it's pretty, so I'm going to keep going!

EGunn said...

Beautiful shawl! I've never tried a Sundara yarn, but they do come in great colors.

Totally with you on the not-posting thing. Don't know why. I have all the time in the world, and blogging is just slow at the moment. It will come back when it's ready.

Fall classes already? Ick! That's just too soon. I'm glad that I'm not teaching this year (and I never thought I'd say that)!

I don't know about the colors. I really like the light blue (perhaps even better than the purple), but maybe not next to the brown? Dunno. I vote for more dithering and yarn petting. =)

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I've been eyeing that forest canopy pattern for a while now... I must not cast on! I must not cast on!

Bea said...

I'm probably not the person to ask since I'll usually say take out the blue, but I think it looks good that way. The main thing though would be to consider that if its bothering you now it will probably keep bothering and then might make you want to wear the sweater you loved and wanted so badly far less then you would if it looked just right to you. So get the iris and see how it looks against the other colors and compare how you feel about that if you cover the light blue with strands of iris.

The forest canopy looks lovely and I love your new stash acquisitions.

Rachel said...

Having a separate emails for work and leisure can solve your issues (something like a gmail account).

I love all you knitting. Those socks are pretty, do you enjoy the casbah? I loved knitting with it.

I think I prefer the Iris for your Elektra.

Willow said...

Lovely catch up today with this post. I met Wanda at the Knit and Crochet Show last September. We hardly had time to get a photo together. I understand all the emails/news from work. The Professor is dealing with little bits of that too. (can it be that classes start next week??)

I'm loving that shawl!

KnitNana said...

Forest Canopy is gorgeous, and I LOVE the tiny beads!!

Well, let me tell you that it's hard for me ever to say that purple isn't a good choice, so perhaps I'm not the best to advise you...

Hang in there...email if you need to!
(((Hugs)))

Alwen said...

Hi! I finally got to Briar Rose Sunday, when it wasn't so busy, and said, "I'm here to say hi to Chris and Christy from Jocelyn." Christy lit up and said she was just thinking of you and missed you.

It was fun to connect the two of you - it makes the world feel small and friendly.

Carrie K said...

I'm the last person to give color advice. It looks good to me!

FCS is gorgeous but I LOVE that colorway for Rick's socks! Perfect.

I go offline over the weekend generally. It pretty much overwhelms me come Monday but it's hard for me to unchain otherwise.

Uh oh. Soapbox? Sounds ominous. Hope it gets better.