Thursday, April 09, 2009

Faster than I thought,

very much faster, but good, in a fast way. Today there are three projects on the go .. so three reports. And I'm packing and planning for a week of fiber fun ... well, 6 days. I leave Monday with 3 other knitters for a road trip swinging past a fiber shop, to Christchurch and a lace knitting workshop with Margaret Stove. The workshop is on Tuesday and Wednesday, so Thursday we drive to Timaru, swing past a fiber farm to the Creative Fiber Festival. Bear is planning to park the cubs with Grandad, and meet me there .. for you see Timaru has a camera repair guy, who specialised in vintage gear. Monday thru Sunday, knitting and fiber ... does all this sound like geek knitter heaven? It must be close.

Except, there is the perennial knitters dilemma.... which projects to pack, what to take, do I start something new, or do I take things with charts? I've anguished, I've sorted, I've selected and returned and selected and returned ... and thrust it all back in the work basket, and I've been doing that for a few weeks now without much progress. First I thought socks, I'll finish my Garnet socks and take another pair ... but which pair? I wondered if Signe was to tiny to work in a car, in a hotel, in a lunch break, in a bar .... and realized Signe needs to stay here, Signe has a detailed chart with a small grid. So not Signe ... but if not Signe, then what. I've been pulling random books from my knitting library and scanning - and knowing that I didn't want to buy more yarn just to start a project ... so anything new had to use yarn from stash.

Bingo! Main Mittens, for Toby, And I had a few odd balls of DK weight yarn in stash just waiting ... So I cast on, this morning. Here it is Easter Friday, so not a work day ... yet I woke at a 'going' to work hour. So I luxuriated in spending my early morning winding a center pull ball of yarn on the nostepinne and knitting.

As you can see these mittens are quick, very quick. I like knitting these, they have an order, a sense of planning to them. Once set up the knitting and the shaping falls into place. I suspect several generations of knitting a pattern as a family tradition will do that, polish the pattern shaping until it is 'just right'. Maine Mittens can be found in Favorite Mittens, by Robin Hansen, a reworking of her earlier mitten books. I love just about every mitten in this book, and I love her suggestion to try a few, pick a favorite and make many, for family and friends, teach people how to make your favorite and create a family mitten tradition. become known for a special mitten you make your own.

When I wrote about a pattern being 'polished' I was meaning little details like this, where the gusset grows out of a 2x2 colour work rib - but the it is done so cleverly growing 5 stitches out of the two and using decreases to keep the colour work true. As you can see I spent the day knitting, I knit while the hot cross buns rose, I knit while the cubs played at the park and I chatted to other parents ... I knit ... much of the day away. Which is a problem ... because this was to be my take-on-the-read-not-a-sock project. Oh well ... I have some more of the blue, and white ... and the pattern includes a poppy size, and these are an easy on-the-road project.

But I promised 3 projects, my socks grow, I've done one, and am now knitting the second Garnet. Like any sock its easier the second time thru ... the numbers are crunched, and the sizes checked .. so its just knitting, and cabling, and again its a pattern that looks complex but once set up, its pretty easy to read what to do on each round.

And the last project? Signe Mitten, although she is not coming with me on this trip, I am making progress. I've worked the gusset increases and am working the decreases, complete with the colour work pattern. I like the way the swirls on the back of the hand are growing ... really is a case of just one more row to see how it changes/grows.

The palm is working up pretty as well,the gusset decreases are half gone. I have to think more when knitting this one ... but its fun.

So all three projects are currently stored neatly in little project bags ... which is nice. I like scooping my hand over the edge of the sofa and picking up the bag with the project I want in it. I like being able to grab a bag on the way out the door to the park, and know its all there neat and tidy ready to go(knit).

and I guess I have to say it out loud, blogging will be intermittent at best and more likely non existent for a week or so ... maybe two weeks. I have no computer access while away, and wne I return to my role on the organizing committee of a conference. I suspect I won't have time, for much knitting let alone blogging till the conference is over. So I won't make any promises about blogging ... but I will report once I have time to myself.

take care, enjoy the festival and say hello if you are there, I'll be hanging with the gals at the Vintage Purls table .. when I'm not enjoying festival wares.
na Stella


Suzanne said...

Isn't that the way of it? When one finally settles on just the right travel project, it starts knitting itself while we avoid packing and other decisions. Good choice though. Of course, now I shall have to get the book....

Have a wonderful trip and bring back lots of fun tales of the festival and lace workshop.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ah yes, I recognize the travel-knitting dilemma well. I hope you're having a fabulous time while you're away, and enjoying the break from conference organizing :)