Sunday, June 29, 2014

Disappointment is Awesome!



“It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn't have something in the first place. I guess that's what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.”
― Deb CalettiThe Nature of Jade

I've been waiting to play with this pink since MDSW.  I did my squares first; I finished the projects that had to be done first.  But everything has gone wrong with the pink since I picked it up. 

It calls for a size 1-3 needle and I didn't have any that worked with a 40” cord.  How I can’t have a needle in my stash always astounds me!  But I didn't.  So I tried a 4. 

For a hot second I thought it might work, but I truly hate the bigger size.  It is way too loosey goosey.  I thought it would be okay with the stitch this pattern used; but I should have listened to my inner knitter when I made the gauge swatch and thought it was too loose.

I kept going though because in my head this was going to be such a wonderful pattern; the truth is, it just isn't working for me…at…all.

In life we all tend to create ideas around things that make them bigger, better or some kind of wonderful that is all our projection and then we feel disappointed when the actuality is different then our idea.

I did that with this pattern and this yarn and now I’m kinda bummed that I just had to rip out 320 stitches and five rows.

It isn't the pattern’s fault.  It isn't the yarn’s fault.  It isn't the needle’s fault.  It isn't even my fault.  There are some things in life that just don’t work out the way we thought they would.  That doesn't make them bad or wrong; it just means that our perception of them needs to be looked at from a different POV.

My sis had some school stuff this week and I was happy to take a break from squares to work on my pink and now I don’t know where to turn or what to do.

Did I really want a cowl or just to play with the pink?

The reality that I need to buy needles and wait for them to get here before I can touch the pink makes me sad.  :(

So the pink is going to have to be put away for a bit as I find something new to do with it.

That means back to WIPs.  Time to change gears…

…stomps feet.  I don’t wanna!

I want to play with the pink. 

So what can I do with what I have?  I could use a provisional cast on and then knit on straights (which I have in aluminum) until I get to the end and then I could joint the two sides back together to create a cowl.  I could knit the cowl in linen stitch and then one side would be smooth and one would be textured.  But I’m not sure that I want the dark side married to the light.  Hmmm.

I could do a few inches in each size and see what works…but wait…linen stitch needs to be done on a needle that is at least one size larger then the size that is called for. 

That means I could try swatching it and if I like the result I can then recast the 320 stitches back on the needle that I have and it just might work on the 4.

Linen stitch in the round is easy and so lovely.

Round 1:       *K1, WYIF (with the yarn in front) sl1*, repeat to end of round
Round 2:       *WYIF sl1, K1*, repeat to end of round

I don’t like it.  ...stomps feet again!  I want to with ever fibre of my being.  But I just don’t.  The yarn is soft and vibrant and beautiful but it is 2-ply and has just a bit of texture to it.  The linen stitch just won’t work for me.

I’m back to being bummed.

I was surfing the web looking for guidance and found this:


I can feel her pain.  It is nice to know that I’m not alone.

But I still don’t know what to do with my pink…

So, a few days later I found in an old stitch dictionary the Trellis Lace pattern.  It was written with yarn forwards (YF) instead of yarn-overs (YO) so I think it might be English in nature; but c’est le vie.

I think all the tight woven stitch patterns smothered this yarn.  The light airiness of the Trellis Lace allows the fiber to breathe a bit.  The lace drawn attention to the brilliant color and lets it really shine.

I fell in love with this swatch, which is just 8 rows, as soon as I finished a repeat.  This is just what I was looking for.

The Trellis Lace pattern Repeat of 6 + 5
Row 1: (RS)  K4, *YO, sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K3*, repeat * to last stitch, K1
Row 2: (WS) Purl all stitches
Row 3:          K1, *YO, sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K3* repeat * to last four stitches,                                YO, sl 1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K1
Row 4:          Purl

I tried this BC (before coffee) and realized the +5 is broken up before and after the pattern, which is very common.  It was just something I noted while charting.  It will also have to be changed when I write up the final pattern or there will be a block of stockinette with no holes at the round marker.

Since this pattern will be in the round I will be changing rows 2 and 4 to Knit all stitches when I chart it in the round.  It is an easy change and it means a bit of relaxing knitting between the odd pattern rows.

Now to figure out how many stitches to cast on...  I was originally going for 320 and that was a nice size.  I was able to double it once against my neck.  53 x 6 = 318 + 5 = 323

With all the ado I went through to get this far, I might as well start a little pattern as well for this cowl.  I will use the stitch calculator that was in the Holda pattern so this can be used in any yarn.  Palette would be nice for a wooly look or some nice sproingy cotton with a beautiful sheen.  Some soft merino would be pretty too.

Will have to think about a name...  You know I always have a reason behind everything and really I just wanted to play with the pink.  The whole time I was writing and swatching “Everything is Awesome!” was going through my head from the Lego Movie.  If you hit this link it can go through your head too.  :) There is just a backdrop on the video so no spoilers.

How about the Awesome Trellis?  It climbs around your neck in riots of changing color and awesome lace.  lol

This will be the third time I have cast on 323 stitches.  I really dislike casting on even though it is the foundation for something wonderful.  But if I want my Awesome Trellis, then I will have to suck it up.

This project is a metaphor for life in so many ways.  It was something that I wanted so badly and projected all kinds of happiness on to the creation of this project that the reality of it was skewed.  When it didn't live up to my expectations then it was very frustrating for me.  I ripped it out.  I picked myself up and dusted myself off and tried to find another way to make it work.  I didn't give up.

After finding many ways not to make an Awesome Trellis, I finally found a new direction.  When I cast on something was wrong and I didn't find it until halfway through the first row.  I ripped everything out and started again after putting it away for 24 hours.

In the end, I won’t remember how many times I cast it on or all the other little things that bothered me about it.  I have my notes which detail a journey of sorts and I have this blog but otherwise most of the trials to get to this point will fade away. 

The journey is important and it is vital to follow your passion: each step gives way to a greater whole.  Sometimes the goal in the end is a let down after all that hard work: sometimes it is the greatest moment ever.  An achievement is nonetheless an immense moment to be savored and treasured…no matter the outcome.

So pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on “achievement get” and know that all those steps you took to get to this point were meaningful and important learning lessons on your path.

And...do not put this project down.  Do not look away from it when it is shining and new.  If you do look away, then make sure without a shadow of a doubt, that you do not twist the needles.  And if you do twist the needles, please make sure you do not start knitting...say 3 rows before you notice that not only did you twist the needles in four (4!) places and not notice but also now you have this honkin' piece of yarn that wraps around your entire project in four places as well.  And it took me 3 rows to notice!

After ripping back 3 rows and fixing my twists, I decided that this is not a project that I can flit back and forth to.  This is not a project that I can just trust myself to knit.  And that is good to know.

So, on Saturday morning while the house was asleep I knit slowly enjoying the stitch and the flowing repetition of the lace.  I never let go of the needles and now there is enough on them that I would hope to the Blessed Goddess that I would notice if I were to twist the needles.  And I am happy.  All the todo...all the disappointments have formed into the beginnings of some lovely lace.

I feel like this project is making me slow down and breathe a bit and there is nothing wrong with that.


This is what I was able to complete.  It isn't much right now but to me it is a shining happy moment of pink. As disappointing as the first incarnation of what I wanted this yarn to be was, the actuality of what it helped me to create is really beautiful.  My disappointment gave me the energy to change the outcome and create something new…and awesome.

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen

:)

FYI:  All swatches were made with love and hopeful anticipation and then ripped out before I could take photos of them.  The cover photo is the mess I had when I took out the needles the 1st time.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Flow




This is Laguz, the Norse rune of flow.  Laguz represents water in all its many forms.  Water is necessary for most life to thrive: it is a part of us.  Spiritually it is our emotions which course through our being like the blood in our veins.

Water is ever transforming from vapor to liquid to ice it is every moving: ever flowing.

If water finds an obstacle it flows around it and creates a new path.  

Water can be fierce like a raging sea or gentle like a burbling stream.

I reread my blog the other day.  What a long journey it has been!  When I started this blog I was so full of light and as I read I watched myself become heavier and heavier: much like a cloud gathering water for a storm.

I tried to stay fluid but everything just bogged me down and I had to fight to stay above water.  I lost much along the way as I also lost pieces of my self.  It hurt to write: the words would not flow and for a year I was silent.  During that time I lost my readers, my friends and my support team and now after reading my blog I see how their absence has affected me.

I am ever thankful to everyone who has or ever will read this blog.  I am blessed by the support of my internet family whether you post or not: I have always felt your love and you have helped me through some really, really dark times.  I am grateful to each and every one of you where ever you are: past, present or future.  

I feel like in truth I am back at the beginning again except with all my knitting knowledge honed through years of practice.  Lately my life has been flowing as I realize how the spaces that have been created are really there.  Life seem much fuller now that I can take more time to enjoy it.  I can't really explain it.

It's like for a while my life seemed to be the sum of my to-do list.  I am glad that I could be whatever was needed for those that needed me:  it was a blessing to be able to provide for those I love...but I just felt like I was a walking agenda and my being was made up of the things I could check off of that list daily.

I didn't flow...though I tried.  I dragged myself to one event to the next and just swallowed the emotional baggage afraid to let it out...terrified of what it would do to me.

I can see that now.  You could follow my path through the blog and see how clearly I was so close to losing it.  But if you keep reading you would also see as I made it through each dark night of the soul I got a little piece of my self back.

And now I feel that the pieces that were strewn all over the place are back where they belong.  This doesn't mean that I don't have growing and changing to do: because that never stops.  It does mean that I feel more complete then I have in...well years.

It makes me glad that I started this blog because my friend knitnana had one.  It was a risk for me.
It was hard putting up my feelings each week for everyone to read, but I'm really happy I did.  

I need to revamp this blog.  I've ignored most of the sidebar stuff because just writing it was so hard for me. But now...well things are slowly going to change as I do.  Namaste



Back to knitting...here is the 2nd layer of the 4th block of the blanket.  I feel this anxiousness of actually finishing this summer and it makes me giddy.  :)



Here is my Niece's birthday cowl.  I finished it before the deadline...go me!  I think the colors she chose are really lovely and complement each other.  She wanted to make sure there was some pink in there and wow is that pink!

I have been so good and finished a few things that had been languishing...which means I can treat myself to this.  I've been dreaming about getting my hands into the pink yummyness!  I think it means more that I finished the things that were on my very small list first.  It really allows me to enjoy knitting on this cowl.  (I cast on 320 stitches but that is it.  I'm afraid it is just a twist of cable and pink right now and not very photogenic.)

I will only allow myself to work on it after my squares are done.  I have gotten very good about finishing a current goal and I would like to keep it that way.  There is something that happens when my squares are done for the week that really allows me to cherish the new knitting as a gift or reward that I give to myself...and that always makes me smile.

Oh, in today's crossword was the words: cowl, Oahu and picot...I feel it might be a sign of something magical and wonderful.  Hmmmmm?  ;)



Finally, our little Frost is now a beautiful boy who loves to bask in cold places.  He waits until I've moved the ice from the box and then jumps right in.  lol

Happy crafting and beautiful blessings,
Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Level of Difficulty

Everybody's life has some mythical quality. You struggle against obstacles, you fight to get to a higher level and there are great loves.
Dolph Lundgren




So here is another beautiful tier of the blanket.  I love these rich combinations of the dark fairy tale highlighted by the lighter colors. 

This week in my game I walked over a bridge and found myself in a 37 to 43 leveled area.  Suffice it to say, at level 21 I did not stand much of a chance; though I really tried.

I've felt this way for the last few years; that everything was just a little more then I could handle, but I still worked my way through it.

Now I don’t really feel that way anymore. 

I've been having trouble with eye strain and it has kept me from knitting for a lot of the year.  I don’t know if it is better or if I just decided to knit again no matter what.  Most of what I have been doing is memorizing the way the stitches feel with my fingers and then doing something else while I knit.  I’ve gotten a lot of reading done this way.  I can read or watch something but I really can't speak, while counting in my head and working a repeat at the same time unless it is straight knitting.  But give me time.  :)

My tactile sense can usually feel a mistake in the fabric.  I know this sounds a little strange, but I feel closer to my craft when I knit without looking. 



This week I completed a cute little pattern that I’ve made before for a friend.  I’ve had it for a while but the lace was really vexing me and I had to blow the chart up to use it.  I really am happy to be able to give it back to her. 



Also this week I’ve been working on a Nana’s Cowl for my Niece.  Apparently she borrows Nana’s and wanted one of her own.  I had her pick out colorways and she wanted two variegated colorways.  I’ve never made anything with two variegated colorways.

I’m using Knitpicks Chroma.  I really love this stuff.  It is light and fluffy and soft to the touch.  It shows off the pattern really nicely and the definition is lovely.  The two colorways my Niece picked complement each other beautifully.  I’m loving making this.  The repeat is so easy to memorize that this just flies off my fingers.

They tried to trick me though; the two balls were wound opposite ways so my colorway would have started going backwards.  Luckily I noticed before I started to knit!  

Wow!  3 projects in one post! 

To all the wonderful Fathers out there; I hope your Day is as special as you are!  Happy Father's Day!  

Happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)




Sunday, June 08, 2014

I Like Life!



“At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.”
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

Three whole squares done.  Wow! 

I really like the contrast of hues in this one.  I keep thinking that I’m going to get sick of making the squares but I never do.

And really that is the problem that I've had my entire life: I think too much.

I worry.  I fret.  I doubt.  I replay scenarios over and over in my head when I’m alone.

With this blanket I made a promise to myself to not fret or worry about its outcome.  I must admit I broke that promise when they had a sale on Brava at Knitpicks: I was afraid I’d run out of yarn so I bought one of everything and now I have a box of yarn I don’t need.

That of course, is nothing to fret about: I can always use more yarn.  :)

My sister and I have been doing a layer a week except when life got in the way and we agreed to put it off another week. 

When I look at this blanket I see joy, happiness, bliss and nature in many forms:  why can’t I focus on that?

This week I have been trying something new.  Every time I have a thought that is negative and I realize that the worry, fret or doubt tape is playing, I stop it.  I think or say STOP and I mean it.

Your mind gets a little confused when it is doing something that it always does and you tell it to stop with the force of your will behind it.  Of course after that you have a split second to fill that space with something else that is not full of worry, fretting or doubt.

I chose a line from a song.  It was simple and packed with meaning.

I like life 
Life likes me 
Life and I fairly fully agree 
Life is fine 
Life is good 
'Specially mine, which is just as it should be 


Every Christmas for as long as I can remember we watched Scrooge with Albert Finney.  It is not Christmas until I have sat down and watched that movie singing the songs with my sister.  That movie always makes me cry and laugh and even though I know the words, lyrics and scenes by heart it always touches me deeply…profoundly.

The Ghost of Christmas Present, who is singing this song in this movie, loves life.  He embraces every second that he has and enjoys life to the fullest.  He is a character worth emulating.

It is his song that I have chosen to reprogram my mind with each time it runs amok.  If I listen I can hear my Father chuckle softly and I know my Mother is smiling.  My sister’s voice intertwines with mine choosing a harmony that makes my song a little richer.  My son’s voice chimes in with a new deep baritone to broaden the spectrum of the melody.  Out of the corner of my eye I can see my husband smiling at the words being sung.

All these moments are woven into my song and the truth of it is very clear.  Worry, fretting and doubt take me from real truth…I like life.

So what if my pattern isn’t working this week?  There is no use to fret about it.  It will happen or it won’t but worrying about it won’t change that.   Actually taking time to research stitches or swatching…now that might actually allow me to work through the hurdles of this current pattern.

The answers do not come when one is looking for them.  The come silently and creep in when our attention has been drawn away from their focus.  When our mind has shifted then the mystery unravels itself.  In that moment of discovery it all seems so clear because we stopped and allowed ourselves to see in way that we could not imagine before that moment.

And that is what stopping the negative dialogue does for me.  It allows me to step outside of my thinking and decide if this is something that I need to focus on.  It shows me a glimpse outside the box of my original thinking and opens up a whole new way to see the situation.

Did I mention that when I do my little STOP mantra I smile?  Smiling puts a physical response in with my mental one and strengthens my body, mind and spirit connection.

This is my Peter Pan happy thought, my there’s no place like home slippers, my  
bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, my supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, my Oracle at Delphi and my Holy Grail.

Why?

Because I like life!

Hugs and happy crafting,
Ruinwen
:)