So many mitts

So, I try really hard to keep the blog (and instagram…and twitter…and ravelry…and even, in theory, pinterest) up to date, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.  It seems to go in phases, and just lately I’ve been chattier over on instagram (I think it’ something about the 8 zillion little heart notifications and the never ending scrolling wall of pretty…that’s totally not an accident, it’s pretty much designed to reel you in and steal your attention for hours on end).  And that means I’ve been scandalously remiss and haven’t show off the mitts in a while.

They zipped along in record time.

And now they’re all done (the sort of done that means blocked and ends woven in and photos taken and pattern written and tested, and all set to go up on ravelry, not just the sort of done where I’ve finished knitting and then jammed them in the ‘needs photos’ basket to languish for an indeterminate period of time).

They should be out on Tuesday! (I say ‘should’ because I always worry if I say ‘will,’ I’ll die…or my house will burn down…or I’ll end up in the hospital…and then I’ll be furious that I said they’d be out on a particular date and missed it.  But generally, when I say ‘it should be out on Tuesday’ what I mean is ‘it’s coming out Tuesday unless my world blows up.’)

Now if you’ll excuse me, the pink speckles in this pretty much perfectly match my winter coat, and I think that means I need to go for a walk and show them off!

 

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All grown up

So, those itty bitty hats we did back before the holidays?  Yeah, they needed people versions.

Now…I am totally not diligent enough to make all 12 of them into people versions.  Because that is…well…that is an unreasonable amount of knitting/photography to pull off for one pattern.  A dozen hats is a book, not an individual pattern.  I’m just not that cool.

But…I can manage a few…likely three.

So I’ve picked some of my favorites and am zipping along.

Yarns are Alegria Grande (in Natural) and Maxima (in Daffodil), both by Manos del Uruguay (looks like one skein of each yarn should be enough to knit two hats).  If I knit with a color called daffodil, it’s pretty much guaranteed to make the flowers come up sooner right?  That’s totally how it works?  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

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Mending

So for a good solid year after I broke my leg, I either had to wear this oh-so-stylish compression brace or my ankle was puffy enough that knit socks were tricky to wear.  Which is Something Of A Disappointment if, say, you have a giant basket of hand knit socks that you love dearly and wear constantly.

But…just lately…the ankle has started behaving itself, and I’m back in my socks.  These are particularly stretchy and so were one of the first ones back in rotation.  I noticed they had a tiny little bit of a thin spot on one of the heels, so I patched it up before it went back in the basket this time.

I’m a firm believer in mending my socks.  They take an age to knit, I’m not throwing them away before I absolutely have to.  These are nine years old, and there’s no reason they can’t last many more years with just a bit of attention.  Before you ask, I have a lot of socks so each one only gets worn once every few weeks at most (I try and enforce even wear by waiting until they’re all dirty and doing one giant load of sock laundry rather than just wearing the same five socks over and over), and I’m picky about my sock yarn, and I knit socks with a seriously tight fabric…that’s how I have nine year old socks.

So how about you, any old socks in your sock basket?  Do you mend your socks?  Or is that taking things a bit too far?

You’re probably right

We need to talk about something…

When I post a picture of a swatch or a project on instagram, the second most common comment I get (right after ‘what’s that yarn?’) is some version of ‘I could never do that, that’s way too hard for me!’  And it sort of breaks my heart.  Because if that’s what you’re telling yourself, you’re probably right…you probably can’t.

But I have some news!  You’re not right because the thing itself is particularly hard.  You’re right because if you go into it thinking ‘I could never…’ then you’re not ever going to try, and as trite as it sounds, you aren’t going to learn anything new if you don’t try.  So I’m going to ask you to make the tiniest little shift in what you’re telling yourself.  Instead of saying ‘I could never do that,’ say ‘I haven’t done that yet.’  I promise it makes all the difference in the world.

I had my own little ‘I haven’t done that yet’ moment earlier this year.  We had folks here working on the house (burst pipe…water everywhere…ongoing nightmare of plaster dust, paint cans, phone calls, and despair…we’ll talk about it later).  And while they are all lovely and are working hard to fix everything, it is disruptive.  And disruptive means I can’t write.  So I decide I’d learn something new.

The next thing on my list of stuff to learn is brioche.  So I grabbed a few bits of scrap yarn, poked around on google for five minutes, and started trying.  A few minutes later I had this:

Stunningly beautiful? Nope.  Full of mistakes? Yup.  Instructive? Oh very much so.

So…with the stuff I’d learned , I grabbed some other yarn and started trying more things.  Five more minutes of searching and reading and I was ready to try again:

Is it going to stop anyone in their tracks? Nope. Did it make me feel a whole heck of a lot more confident? Once again, very much so.

At this point I was ready to just play around for the afternoon.  If I got stuck I could always either rip it out or go read something and see if I could find help.  This was just a swatch, not anything precious…plus it kept me distracted while the nice people tore my house apart.  After an hour or two, I had this:

Again, not especially amazing.  But in a few hours of practice, I’d gotten comfortable enough to go from ‘brioche…oh yeah I don’t know how to do that’ to being able to cast on, work flat or in the round, increase, decrease, cable, and cast off.  And I was ready to cast on for my first actual project.

And I’m not special.  You can absolutely do this too…if you’ll let yourself.

In fact, if you knit at all, you have done this. You’ve gone from ‘I don’t know how to knit’ (because none of us are born knowing how to knit) to whatever level of proficiency you have now.  And there’s no reason at all that you can’t learn more.  So if you look at cables or lace or colorwork or brioche or steeking or whatever else is freaking you out and think ‘I could never,’ stop that.  ‘I don’t want to’ is fine…that’s totally valid and there are all sorts of things I don’t want to do right now (sweaters, I’m looking at you…you too blankets).  But if you want to but just haven’t yet, try switching from ‘I could never’ to ‘I haven’t yet.’  Leave yourself room to learn something…and be smarter than me and don’t wait for a burst pipe and a house full of contractors to make you do it.