around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Comfort knitting

Comfort knitting means something different to every knitter. To me, it's working with yarn that's very soft and strokable, using a pattern that's not so hard I have to sit poring over instructions or a chart or so easy that I could fall asleep working on it.

Socks usually fit that bill, although softness is sometimes an issue with sock yarn. I trade wearability for some of that softness on some yarns, but didn't have to with these. These are my husband's Regia Bamboo socks. Nice and soft!

I've knitted nothing but socks for the last six months. Don't get me wrong - I love knitting socks. I even went to the yarn store the other day and bought more sock yarn. I'm 2/3rds of the way down the leg of the 2nd sock of my latest pair.

While I was at the yarn store, I went and stroked yarn. Fortunately, this is primarily a knitting blog, so that last statement shouldn't sound too strange.

Right at the front of the store I found this beautifully soft stuff in my favorite color - a dark, rich red. I patted it and held it against my neck (checking for itchiness, of course) and squeezed it a bit. I put it back on the shelf and strolled on, looking at the wall of needles and notions, the shelves of wool, cotton, silk, mohair. I picked out my two pairs worth of sock yarn - including some yummy wool/silk blend in a rather bland beige for dress socks.

Then I wandered back towards that dark red beauty. Lying on the work table in front of the shelf was a little baby sweater. Wait a minute, isn't that the same color? Yes, it's the same yarn, all knitted up. And it's just as soft as the skein.

Hmmmm... I need a .... bed-jacket. Yeah, a bed-jacket. It's getting cold and I like to sit in bed and read at night. An old-fashioned bed-jacket, that just happens to be very soft and snuggly, is exactly what I need to stay warm at night. (Let's ignore the fact that I have plenty of other items of clothing that will keep me warm at night and that in Texas cold weather doesn't last all that long. I need this bed-jacket.)

I bought all they had of the dark red yarn. It's Berroco Comfort in Color 9755 Wild Cherry. Somehow it's appropriate that I'm doing comfort knitting with a yarn called Comfort. I whipped up a pattern on my Sweater Wizard software, plus I'm using some of the techniques I learned knitting the Circumnavigate Cardigan.

I'm keeping it pretty simple, since the idea of comfort knitting is to be able to knit without having to refer to a pattern every other row. Stockinette and a garter-stitch border, with a 2-stitch i-cord edge to keep things neat. No buttons to fiddle with, although I may incorporate i-cord ties. Full-length sleeves, but no ribbing, just a bit more garter stitch. It won't be very long, waist-length probably, and is meant to be over-sized and loose-fitting (comfort, again).

It has been a while since I've been excited about knitting. So many other things have been going on (yeah, that work thing) that knitting is one of those things I do in tiny increments of time. A round or two on a sock is all I've been able to manage lately. But now I'm eagerly awaiting lunch time so I can sit and stroke my pretty yarn and do a few rows of the bottom border. (We won't discuss the fact that I sat in my car in the parking garage this morning and knit a row. I was still in the office early.)

It's such a relief to be out of the knitting doldrums. Even my husband has commented that I've not been knitting as much as usual. Who knows, maybe this renewal of spirit will allow me do tackle some of those poor neglected projects that have been patiently waiting their turn. I know that I should have probably picked up one my UFO's instead of a new project, but that's the breaks, kids!

Speaking of my Circumnavigate Cardigan - it's finally been cool enough to wear it again! Yeah for Fall!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My dream knitting room

Now this is the kind of meme I can go for.... What does my dream knitting room look like?

Shelves, lots of shelves. Not only for the yarn (of which there is plenty), but for the quilting fabric, costume fabric, weaving materials, patterns, books, my violin collection, and other crafty things I've accumulated over the years. These shelves need to cover at least two (or three!) walls and go floor to ceiling. Not to worry if there are a few empty shelves... that won't last long.

Good lighting. I feel like I'm living in a cave most of the time and as I (and my eyes) get older it's getting worse. I've got a small Ott light (thanks, Mom and Dad) but I need more, more, more. Not bright, migraine-inducing, fluorescent light - clear daylight light. Mood-lighting is for younger folks.

Along with the good lighting - one of those fancy, hands-free magnifying lens. I don't always actually look at my knitting, but when I'm doing really fiddly stuff, that would be kind of nice.

A comfortable chair. It needn't be fancy, but does need to be something I can comfortably slouch in. We won't go into the proper posture necessary for knitting. Proper for me involves a slouch. Deal with it.

A corner for the spinning wheel and it's chair - you know, actually set up so I can use the darn thing, instead of folded up by the bookcase in the bedroom.

A corner for the sewing machine - it's actually in that corner in a nice sewing cabinet (thanks again, Mom and Dad). But a corner I can actually get to, and sit and sew.

A place for everything and everything in its place. Being terminally disorganized, I always admire those people that have everything neatly put away and can easily find a set of size 5 birch knitting needles and 6 skeins of blue-gray wool without emptying out three drawers, 2 bins, and 5 knitting bags. Frankly, I also am deeply suspicious of anyone with these kinds of organizational skills. They're the kind that can hide the body and get away with it. (Of course, looking at the chaos that is my current craft room, there could be a few bodies stashed away there and no-one would ever know.)

I actually have a room (the aforesaid craft room) that I could make over into this perfect knitting room, so this isn't pie-in-the-sky talking. It will only take three things:
1. Money (there is sufficient in the kitty for this)
2. Time (alas, there is very little extra of this right now)
3. Energy (sorry, none left)

So when there is time and energy... maybe around June of next year... I'll come back to this post and remind myself that this needs to be done.

Thanks to Rebekah for the meme! She's much more imaginative and entertaining about her dream room.