Stitches, steps and Rhoda

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Stitches have been added

I worked a fair bit on the cushion cover the weekend after I dug it out of storage, but didn’t add much at all this week. Looking back at the previous photo, I have put the last few touches on the leaf to the left of the rose, worked a reasonable amount in the top right-hand quadrant, and most recently started working on the top left of the rose itself. I am finding it quite hard to determine if I’m using the right colour wool a lot of the time, and I find I need to refer to the photo on the cover of the pack to aid me, particularly with some of the pale pink, white and pale apricot shades. I am not sure how precise I am being, but perhaps it doesn’t have to be precise anyway.

This is definitely a good project to work on right now. It has the right balance of being something I can put down and pick up with minimum fuss and the chocolate button temptation of doing just doing one more little bit. It is satisfying my craving for some colour in my life whilst being less taxing than knitting a garment. I think it is a case of cometh the day, cometh the project,

I don’t know how many stitches I have added, but one thing I do know is the steps I walked on Saturday, grocery shopping and flat hunting: 25, 662! 11.73 miles! The Apple Exercise app gave me a medal and my feet thoroughly deserved it.

I am back immersing myself in New York, 1974 by watching episodes of Rhoda which was a spin-off from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It is about Mary’s friend Rhoda after she moves back to New York from Minneapolis. It is rather sweet and may well be the reason I never felt the urge to watch Sex and the City – surely just the same thing a couple of decades later….

 

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Emergence

Rose cushion
Something to work on

Whenever I am inclined to express feelings of superiority over my lack of long-term works in progress, I need to be reminded of this item. This is the project that I have been actively failing to work on for the longest time. If I may borrow a term from the disc jockeys of my youth, this is a rave from grave.

For much of its life, this project has resided on the top shelf of my wardrobe. It has come out into the daylight every so often, and a few rows have been added before it has returned to its roost.  More frequently, it has been pushed aside to allow access to equally disregarded things below it.   

The thing is, I really want to make this and to enjoy using the resulting cushion; it also has sentimental value for me which increases my desire to see it complete. Every other time I have worked on it I have set it aside in favour of some knitting project, but perhaps now I am in a knitting lull it is finally time to give this some love. I am always disappointed when I look at it to see how little I have achieved in all the years I’ve had it, but I can make visible progress if I just do a little bit each day.

I can but try.

(If I put in some significant work on this, maybe I will also finish that Christmas bauble from 2008. Just a thought.)

Are there guilty secrets lurking in your wip stash, or on the top shelf of your wardrobe?

Project status update

28-01-19 old gold

Now I see the photo and compare it with the one I took last week, I can see that there has been a little progress on the knitting front, but all of that progress was achieved yesterday. Prior to that I had hit a bit of a dead-end. Having started two garment projects, and then set them aside to knit socks, I felt gung-ho at the start of the week about returning to my works in progress, working on them turn and turn about, and getting both of the finished in the coming few weeks. I didn’t knit a stitch on either of them. If there was a Eurovision Knitting Contest (which surely couldn’t be any less entertaining than the Eurovision Song Contest), I would score a well-deserved “Nul points”.

On Saturday, when I could have been knitting, I was sitting in a cafe eating Carrot Cake (contributing to my less than stellar week on the diet front too!) and reading some notes I took a while back on an article entitled Stop Shuffling and Start Creating, over on Charley Gilkey’s blog, Creative Flourishing. What I had taken from it were that your ongoing projects can only be in a limited number of ‘states’:-

Active – you are actively pursuing it at the present moment; if it’s not complete yet, it is down to you to do it.

On Hold – you are waiting on something else – a person or a resource – in order to complete this; or it is simply stalled.

Completed – self-explanatory.

Dead – You need to be able to determine the difference between projects On Hold which you will one day complete and the ones that you are never going to complete. The dead ones you need to ditch.

When you move your focus from one project to another, the projects swap between being Active and On Hold, and each time you do this you lose momentum and it takes a while to regain it. In the strictest sense, the movement isn’t just a big “I’m going to stop working on this for a few weeks,” decision – it happens every time you pause or stop one thing and pick up something different.

So, how does this relate to my knitting? Well, as I said last week, I wasn’t entirely sure which way I wanted to go with the Gaudi project and I kept dithering over it all week. Instead of working on Old Gold until I had decided about Gaudi, I just put off working on either project. One of my sisters made a very useful observation, that it would be better to continue with Gaudi as a cardigan rather than adapting it into a jumper, because that would be more versatile, and I agreed with that, but I still had to ponder a while longer before I could sort out my feelings.

As a result of thinking about project status ideas on Saturday, I came to the following conclusions:-

  • I want to knit Gaudi as a cardigan
  • I want to knit Old Gold as a jumper
  • I currently want to finish and wear a jumper

So, now Gaudi is On Hold. I am working on Old Gold. When I finish Old Gold, I will go back to Gaudi. It is that simple. And if it is that simple, why did I have to go such a complicated route to make my decision?

Well. my mum would have told me that the reason it took a while to decide was because the time wasn’t right. As soon as the time was right, the decision was made. This isn’t the same as a fatalistic attitude because in that you believe that events are pre-determined, whereas the timing thing seems to be more about needing all the pieces of the jigsaw to be in place in order to move forward.

Another area in which I am suddenly making decisions, is my wardrobe. I was going to dispose of my old winter coat because it’s a little ‘tired’ and because it hasn’t been worn for a couple of years due to not fitting (and because I bought a replacement). This morning it caught my eye and I realised I still really like it; it fits like a dream again; it just need a serious de-pilling and the buttons replacing. I already have two sets of buttons which would work. So there’s a little project for me to work on.

28-01-19 resurrect

I feel I am moving forward once again and that is a relief. How are you doing?


 

A yarn update, some squooshy wool, and a shop review

Madelinetosh "Tosh DK" in the Tern colourway

I know, I know – it’s all boom or bust around here.  You wait ages for a single post, then two come along practically together.

Let’s start with the squooshy wool which I’ve posted a picture of.  This is the lovely Tosh DK, purchased this week on a trip to Loop in Islington.  I took some quick snaps yesterday afternoon then immediately wound it into a ball and made a start on a cowl in simple feather and fan lace.  It’s beautiful yarn, I’m enjoying working with it, and the colourway is delicious – grey, but with a subtle hint of something slightly lilac bringing a tinge of warmth to it.  It ranges from darker to lighter parts, but not distractingly so.  Yummy.

I did cycle over to Norfolk Yarn yesterday, but had to order the Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend.  It’s slightly disappointing not being able to cast on immediately for the cardigan, but I would rather wait and have it in the perfect colour.

As I’ve already alluded to, I spent Tuesday in London; more specifically in Islington.  I had a trio of shops to investigate there and I’m going to start with a quick review of Raystitch which was my first visit of the day.

Raystitch is primarily a sewing shop, with a small amount of knitting yarn and an integral cafe.  They have an online shop which I found months ago whilst searching for button sources.  The real-world shop is a treat.  It is quite small (a feature of all the shops I visited in Islington) but impeccably neat (not, unfortunately, a feature of all the shops!).  After a three-hour coach journey down to London and the underground trip from Victoria to Islington, my first priority was coffee and cake.  The coffee was coffee, the Bakewell Tart was delicious – moist with extremely good pastry and just the right amount of jam.

I don’t sew (I keep thinking I might one day, but that day has yet to come) so the stock was of limited interest.  If they had had any of the fabric printed with bicycles which I’ve seen in their online shop, I would probably have bought a metre just for fun, but I couldn’t spot it.  It was my intention to visit Loop that day, so I didn’t really look at their yarns.  They had a bit of the Rowan/Debbie Bliss type.  What they do provide are the more unusual bits and bobs like Japanese pattern books, and rather ‘designer’ accessories for sewing.  I bought a couple of things to use as stocking-fillers for Christmas and, of course, I found the little metal measuring gauge to add to my collection of knitting accessories so the visit was well worthwhile.

Service was good, staff seemed helpful, and it was unhurried and pleasant.  I should note that the opening hours of this shop were what I would consider normal – 8.30am to 6.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday.  You will see over the next couple of days that the opening times in Islington can be a bit odd.  If you sew I would recommend a visit to check out the fabrics and the off-beat selection of pattern books.  If you knit but don’t sew I would recommend a visit for the cakes!