Socks and holding on to stuff {Wednesday’s WIPs}

IMG_1553The socks are my only current WIP (work in progress).  I managed to finish up everything else and trying to work at one thing at  a time.  They are for my daughter, she asked for them.  The yarn is Knitpicks Felici and I had two balls of this colorway, my last two and since Felici has been discontinued I was hoarding them.  For some reason I decided to use them.  I have been decluttering all month, using the Konmari method from the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Japanese author Marie Kondo.  The secret to her method is to only keep what truly brings you joy.  Own only what you truly love and cherish and it will be enough. 

I had already gotten rid of most of my yarn stash, all of the things I didn’t like got sent away to the charity place.  Even my extra needles and hooks were sent.  All that is left is yarn that I really like, that truly brings joy, so it did not make sense to save it anymore.  I bought it to use it, so I might as well just do it. 

I thought that I got rid of things easily, and in general I do.  I try not to attach sentimental value to objects and things.  I try to keep attachment in general to a minimum.  But sometimes some items slip by.  When I was tidying up, I found movie ticket stubs to when my husband and I first got married.  I found notes we had written to each other.  Forgotten at the back of drawers.  So why had I held onto them?  Why was it hard to throw them away?  Maybe deep down we feel that these things become talismans of happy memories.

Marie explains why we don’t get rid of things “But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”  And to drive the point home she also wrote “Truly precious memories will never vanish even if you discard the objects associated with them.” and “It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure.

She is right.  The memories didn’t go away when I got rid of the stuff, the preciousness of the beautiful moments that I was tried to preserve did not fade away.  Symbolically, to me personally, it felt that I should work harder on making more beautiful memories with the people I care about instead of trying to find mementos to preserve old memories with them.  It works for the yarn too.  Yes it will probably be the last time I will enjoy the yarn, but the socks will last longer, well maybe not for the 7 year old, who grows out of her socks in the blink of an eye. But the enjoyment of knitting them and seeing her wear them for some time is much greater than the yarn being left forgotten in the bottom of my yarn basket.  There will always be more yarn and more beautiful memories, I just need to remember to make a conscious decision of choosing the joy of experience over the joy of possession.

 

Oops I did it again {Wednesday’s WIP}

I am making another sockhead hat on larger needles so hopefully it will fit this time.

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A sockhead hat {Wednesday’s WIPs}

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I was knitting socks with this yarn. But it just wasn’t working for me. So I frogged them and started a sockhead hat. I think it is going to be too tight. Either my head is bigger than average or I knit much tighter than average. Oh well the 6 year old really wants it.

Boring projects {Wednesday’s WIPs}

It is not really their fault that they are boring, it is not them, it is me.  I don’t feel inspired by my current projects, but I will try to keep going. Hopefully I will finish them before I am tempted to quit crocheting and knitting forever. Yes I am that close.

BoringProjects

Sometimes you need to go back to go forward {Wednesday’s WIPs}

 UntitledI had managed to finally get down my WIPs to just two blankets.  A ripple blanket and a hexagon blanket.  But, I had this feeling that I really wanted a shawl.  Not just any shawl, I want a big thick rectangular shawl that is cozy, but still lacy.  I looked on ravelry but I couldn’t find what I had in mind.  I didn’t want to use fingering weight yarn, because it is really hard to find here in Kuwait and the sock yarn I do have in my stash is mostly single skeins.

So I spent a couple of hours pouring over my stitch dictionaries until I found a few that  I liked.  Then a couple of swatches and modifications later I cast on.  I have 4 balls of this navy blue yarn, unfortunately I couldn’t find anything acrylic free so this is a wool/acrylic blend.  I have already used up one ball (so the shawl is bigger than it is in the picture), and three to go.  It is fun, but it was starting to get tedious.

So I decided I needed to cast on something else.  After a lot of thought, I decided on plain vanilla socks for the foot and then ribbing until the yarn ran out.  I want thick house socks, the kind that are long but will scrunch down the leg, if that is a thing.

Also the book was awesome, I probably read it in two days, and it is 400 pages.  It is a kids book, but I loved it.

UntitledI was so hung up on having no WIPs at all and getting them all done, but the monotony of a single project was killing me, sometimes you have to go back to go forward, with the two new WIPs I am knitting more and enjoying it more too. 

 I am going back and forth between both projects. Well I’d better be off, those WIPs won’t knit themselves.

Knitting for other people {Wednesday’s WIP}

Striped Cardigan

Knitting is a solitary sport, it is a doorway to the place in your mind where you can have some very interesting conversations with yourself.  But then again we knit for others and that changes the game a little.  When you knit for someone else, you want to appeal to their taste, their choice of color, their fashion sense and how they want the world to see them.  The person I knit for the most other than myself is my daughter, since she is 6, it is quite easy to pick for her.  Yet, when I ask her what she wants, she usually has clear preferences.  She asked for a long sleeve cardigan this time, not a dress.  When I told her I was going to mix the gray with another color, she picked blue even though I gave her a choice of purple, pink and a brightly colored striped sock yarn.  Interestingly, I also decided to knit my sister a hitofude.  I have finished mine, but forgot to post the finished object.  I gave her a choice of colors and she said that given a choice of pink in the mix she could not choose anything else.  I chose the pattern, the yarn and she just chose the yarn.

Knitting for someone else is special, it is a gift of time and effort.  The average sweater takes at least 35 hours of knitting in my case.  Or at least it does when you have an obsession for fingering weight yarn.  I just love the drape and fabric produced when knit with a finer yarn.  I have yet to knit a lace weight sweater, but I am sure it is just a question of time.  Speaking about time, it is perhaps the best gift you can give anyone.  When I knit something for someone, especially newborn babies it is my way of saying, you are loved, you are special, you deserve my time and my effort.  I am giving you something irreplaceable.   The blanket I knit or crocheted for you can never be replicated again, because while I can buy the same yarn and make an exact replica of it, the real cost of it was time.  Time that can not be lived again.  Whenever I look at something I made, I can remember how I felt while I worked on it, what else was going on in my life and how I made a conscious decision to invest in it.

It is a true labor of love. 

Quick update {Wednesday’s wip}

I cast on a hitofude cardigan. It is a genius pattern. It is knit in one piece usinh a single strand of yarn. Meaning you start knitting and keep on without any seaming or even adding new yarn. The lace is so much fun. It is simple enough to be easily memorized but interesting enough to keep you engaged. I am using Knitpicks stroll fingering. It is not a fancy yarn but it is robust and great value for money. I dream of the day I can buy a sweater quantity amount of luxury yarn but until then I am happy with knitpicks. I thought about the color for quite a while. I finally settled on grey because I figured I would get more wear out of it. I am already considering making another one in a bright color.

 

I am also working on my daughter's halloween costume. She wants to be Wanda of where is Waldo? So I am knitting striped leg warmers and I have already finished her hat. I also have some striped red and white fabric to make a shirt for her. I really wanted to find t shirt fabric but all I could find was a heavier weight cotton. So I am still thinking I should make it into a dress or a tunic.