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  • naturesknitch

Today and every Monday we are going to connect with a project that has been waiting for you to touch it again. So this is not stash diving, its reconnecting with a project (UFO - unfinished object) that at the time it was started stirred some excitement and anticipation of how it would look when its finished. But somewhere between the initial excitement and image of the finish, we got tangled up in the pattern, got distracted by the next beautiful yarn offering or picture, or lets face it got tangled up in life.

So how do I reconnect?

Well, if you are like me, we seem to have project bags scattered about with yarn on the needles. When you start to count the number of those bags you are likely to start dreading this never-ending line but wait...pick 3 projects - random or whatever (maybe a simple straight knit, a challenge focus project like lace and cable and a small project e.g., socks?) These are the projects you are going to actually take out of the bag and look at critically today - its decision day (d-day).

What is decision day all about? Well, when you open the project bag, you will go back to the time when you first cast it on the needles and remember that bit of excitement that started. Was it the colours? Was it the design? See if there isn't just a little bit of smoldering embers that you can light that fire of excitement again. Ah yes, there it is. You know many of our projects are timeless, when they finish they were meant to finish and still look beautiful in their ending. So did all three projects get the same rating? Did one of them fall flat dead?

Deciding to let go. Yup, there is a moment where you chide yourself and go what was I thinking??? I firmly believe that you need to let this one go. Some projects will never get or are meant to finished. The love is gone so give yourself permission to let go. As knitters we are very lucky because we can tink or frog a project and redeploy that yarn elsewhere to something that gets us fired up. I think of other creative crafts where this is not the case, the die is cast...the fabric has been cut... Its okay, be good with it. There are so many other projects that we can touch that are warm and waiting to be fueled. If you think about it, all is really not lost. If the project was to be, it could be cast on again with vim and vigor at another time. Let go and be good with it.

Goal of 10 rows (rounds). So now that we have that project, some air has stirred those embers, we are going to challenge ourselves with just incrementally moving it forward. We have all heard the saying "How do you eat an elephant? Why one bite at a time of course! No different here. Go back to the journey and why you knit and recommit to this time for you. You decide what is incremental, 10 rows of the back of a sweater is doable and yay its done or it may be an intricate pattern so maybe today I find out where I left off, make a note of it and do only a couple rows. What matters its you have poured your creative energy there again and sparked the commitment to move it forward!

So my friends, move it forward if only by 10 and feel good about it. You are now on your knitting journey again and it feels great doesn't it. 👍

Will talk more about making notes next week...

Happy Monday!

Best Regards,

Carol :)

  • naturesknitch

So here's a happy ending! As the creator of your own designs there is nothing to stop you from ending a project, putting it on hold or just never completing it. I believe some things we start to create and never do finish are meant to teach us. The journey in to this point is valuable. An example: 4 years ago I feel in love with a light grey lopi and envisioned a caplet with collar and contrasting trim (purple grey white mohair wool). I did complete it but it wasn't right. The collar was much too big and took up almost all of the single skein I had, the button band and buttons were chunky and clunky. I didn't have enough to trim the caplet properly. Clearly, I must have been in a hurry with the design and I actually showed it at Fibre week the following year. Yikes! Certainly not in keeping with image that I want to portray: Knit Something Beautiful. Anyways, it ended up tucked away until two weeks ago.

I was writing up some of my projects (ponchos, stoles) and thought again about Ice Princess. The vision was still very real, I just had to spend some time figuring out how to shape the shoulders. Best to learn from others and I turned to my trusted knitting books to learn a few things. So Ann Budd of Interweave Knits is my teacher. She builds her caplet with raglan shaping and so I figure out how I too can use the same technique. Then I layer on a double seed stitch pattern (5st repeat) and I am determined to master this. Well, it works out but the tricky bit is finessing the pattern when you are increasing two stitches at each of the 4 raglan shaping points. The gift here is if you are an experienced knitter you can wing it a bit (I know you think this is outrageous to say this but...) and look further along the pattern repeat, work backwards to figure out whether the M1L or M1R should be a purl or knit. Key is to try to be consistent with the pattern so the eye does not call it out as an error (perception is everything you know). So, here is the rework of Ice Princess as I originally envisioned with a better understanding of shoulder shaping. It is knit top down, all that remains of the first attempt was the partial collar that I made into a standup collar. I am delighted with this finish and learned another way in the process.

  • naturesknitch

Just recently I had the opportunity to reminisce about Nature's Knit-ch's true beginnings. This was prompted by wanting to finish a lace poncho...let me explain.

Sometimes you finish a project but it really isn't finished. In the back of your mind the design is not quite right. I find I wait and let it percolate until something comes. And it generally does. It just so happens that this shawl built a decade ago was the exact colour need to complete a mohair wool lace poncho. So what do you do? Well, what can be knit can be taken apart, so I unraveled a portion of this 6 ft. shawl/scarf and knit up a beautiful lace edging for the poncho. Then I went back and added back the beads and finished up the shawl, just a little shorter, but just as beautiful.

This shawl was made from my first purchase of yarn from a local BC producer - Eastwin Farms, Duncan, BC. I can remember my first encounter vividly; arriving at the farm and passing by the mohair goats to get to the house. I was shocked that their eyes weren't like ours but an irregular shaped iris. Odd to be sure. So how did I find this producer?

I found Eastwin Farms product in a trip to the Loom off the island highway in Duncan ( I just checked it out on the web and its still there!) At that time, it was a small store but it was packed literally from the floor to the rafters with yarns from everywhere. But I didn't want everywhere, I wanted local and Canadian. So when you get a chance to shop in these stores, ask about locally produced yarns. I know there is more now than 10 years ago and I am thankful for that. It is still my preference today to create a design using locally sourced fibres and that likely will never change.

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