Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Knitting Mojo Returns

Funny that.

It really is no coincidence that my knitting mojo has returned with the end of the school year. Somehow I imagined that school wouldn't get in the way of my knitting. I can't really say that it got in the way, but it did seem to squelch my desire to pick up the needles. It's not that I didn't have the time per se; it wasn't an out-of-the-ordinary, taxing year school-wise. But I think that when I had the time, I just felt too tired or unmotivated to cruise through my projects the way I have in the past.

For example, I give you Exhibit A:

These are socks - simple socks, using the Tin Can Knits "Rye" pattern - that I cast on in early October to finish for a Halloween knit along, hence the autumnal colors.

 I just finished them last week.

No, they weren't hard, but with any pattern you can make mistakes and I made a few with these. Normally this is not a big deal, but I found I just didn't want to think with my knitting. Not with teaching here at home and studying too. So, I only ended up working on these once-a-week when I went to the assisted living where I volunteer. But knitting there doesn't actually amount to much knitting for me; I spend a greater amount of time helping my ladies fix their mistakes, casting on or binding off for them, etc.

I had this sock pattern, another pair of socks, and my "(Taking) Forever Birthday Sweater" on the needles: all projects in fingering or sport weight yarn. So, in late January or early February I decided I needed a more instant-gratification project and so I used a gift certificate to purchase some bulky Spud & Chloe "Outer" yarn and cast on Lee Juvan's, "Shroom" hat.

It was wonderful to have something moving along at a nice clip and taking shape so quickly. Until. Until I did two extra repeats and then had to rip them out. Once I got that done, there were dropped stitches to find, stitches to move around and count and... yeah. Well, that project got put in time out, because I just didn't seem to have the brain cells to think about those things either.

School projects finished last week, I quickly made adjustments and finished this hat in under two hours on Saturday.

And so now I have two projects OFF the needles...just in time for spring! Oh well. I'll have some cozy goodness to look forward to this fall/winter. It feels incongruous to be poring energy into knitting in the summer instead of being able to hold and work with warm fibers in the cold months, but that's just the way it is right now, I guess. I'm just glad my knitting love hasn't left me for good; this may be the longest slump I've experienced since I began knitting. I think I'm just going to have to learn to plan differently in order to enjoy my knitting during the school year while I am a student. I am obviously going to need a lot of auto-pilot knitting. That should help me with pattern selections for the fall.

And since I'm linking up with Ginny's "Yarn Along" today, I'll share with you all that I am in the middle of a few books (surprise, surprise). What actually is a surprise to me though, is how much I am enjoying Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton.

I am always nervous when I pick up a classic, because they often seem to fall into a "love" or "hate" category for me. When they fall into the "hate," I wonder why they are so lauded. Then I wonder if other readers know or understand something I do not and I don't like feeling that way. This is the way I feel about Ernest Hemingway's books, for example.

Also, Cry, the Beloved Country was an Oprah's Book Club pick. That's usually not great for me either.

Thankfully, though, I can say that despite its "classic" status and Oprah's nod, I am loving this book.

The book is in two parts and I am just beginning the second part and looking forward to it. That and other summer books and summer knitting!

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