Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s February, and I’ve been off the radar since November. I know, I know. But there were reasons . . . Really.
Although, doggone it, none of them are particularly good.
However, since friends and family are starting to wonder whether I’m still alive since the blog has been silent, and they’re threatening to send Vito to give me an
The last two months have been a bit of a challenge, and there’s been as much illness going around here as everywhere else, but we’re finally nearly back to normal. I’m personally thinking of it as a sort of cosmic investment: if you spend the first month of the year ill, that meets the quota for the next 11 months and you shouldn’t have to worry about anything more than a common cold until next year, right?
Things caved in a little over the past two months, but I’m catching up, and 2013 is going to be a good year, barring the unexpected catastrophic disaster. (You have to allow for those, you know. Like planning a dinner. You cook for the ones you know will be there, but make a little extra in case Cousin Stinky shows up out of the blue.)
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I do try and think about what I’d like to accomplish during the year and set a few goals, but they’re more tasks on my schedule than anything else.
This semester is largely my own, for the first time in a long time: it’s a research semester and I’m looking at actually having time to do some proper research and writing, but I’m also looking back and breathing a huge sigh of relief that I survived the past semester . . . . and didn’t throttle anyone in the process. My first goal, then, was just to breathe, and when you’re sick, there’s not much else you can do—which means that I’ve accomplished this one nicely.
Next on my list of tasks is a game plan for the rest of the year in terms of academic production. I’m working on it.
On non-academic fronts, I need to get the current MSP workbook off my desk; it’s been lingering there for the past 2 years while I was buried in other things. I’m working on that as well, although I had to put it down for the past month since I couldn’t knit my way out of a paper sack. The goal is to finish it in the coming month.
For the rest of 2013, I’d like to:
* continue to spin down my fibery stash, keeping myself on a fiber diet for just a bit longer, then
* make a dent in knitting up or gifting away the resulting yarn, including completing the current WIPs. About 125-150# would be a nice percentage of fiber stash reduction.
* restore the exercise routine. I’ll never get back to my military weight/fitness, but it’s time to eliminate the stress effects of the past couple of years.
* play a bit. Have fun with the things I’m working on, give myself permission to chase rabbits, explore ideas, investigate things that interest me, pick up things I’d set aside because of other demands, participate in pleasant nonsense now and then, and do all that with no other necessary justification than that they’re fun. Play.
That’s my “plan” for 2013. It’s nebulous, rather unformed and a bit messy, and I’m totally fine with that. For now. And I give myself permission to revise along the way.
I think that permission is important. I suspect that we go into long-term objectives with a sort of cold-turkey approach, then give up if we don’t match the goal 100%. That ends up being counterproductive. Working toward something and modifying that objective as we go—as we find we can or cannot do something, that we hadn’t thought about a factor we need to figure in, that something else is actually more important–at least gives us a fighting chance of accomplishing something. And, the goal we accomplish may well not be the one we were aiming for—and that may be A Good Thing.
On a fibery front . . .
Fiber: Tussah silk, “Night at Niagara” colorway, July 2012 Enchanted Knoll Farm club fiber.
WPI/TPI: 20wpi, ca 14tpi
Yardage/Weight: 872 yards, 105g
The color doesn’t show well here, but it’s a wonderful deep purple with dark and subtle highlights. It was spun specifically for a lovely gal I work with and who is leaving us in a week or so. I’d intended to turn it into a scarf for her, but I’m not an instinctive knitter; I have to see and be able to think about what I’m doing, and until the past week, that wasn’t happening. There simply were no functioning grey cells to speak of; they were all out sick. After ripping the scarf back half a dozen times—and I’d deliberately picked an easy lace with the hope of getting it done in time—I realized it simply wasn’t in the cards. But, she’s a knitter, so it and a few other yarns were bundled up into a gift BoY (now, now: BoY = Box of Yarn), and I’m hoping she thinks it was a satisfactory solution.
Then there was this:
Fiber: my own blend of Tussah, alpaca, and a superfine Merino.
WPI/TPI: 20wpi, ca 10tpi
Yardage: 890 yards
This is a blend for a friend and colleague—and doggone it, but the Longest Thread spinning seems to have me stuck in laceweight mode! I forgot to take a pic of it before I wound it off, but the yarn is soft, silky, and will have a lovely drape. But it’s laceweight. Again! Sheesh.
See, the problem is that I’d intended to do a soft cable fabric. But after swatching, I realized that wasn’t a good choice; I’m a loose knitter, and I couldn’t get a solid enough fabric for the cables and surrounding material to look anything other than sloppy. I finally found that I could do a crossed brioche stitch on 2mm needles . . .
without it looking too lacy. I’m hoping that when I dye the fabric and full it a little, it’ll plump up a bit, but this seems to be the best I can do without blending and then spinning another batch and knitting double. And I don’t trust that I’d get the same grist given that there have been a couple of yarns spun since then—and why, no, no I didn’t think to make a control card. Because I hadn’t actually thought about the yarn weight I was spinning. Clever, eh?
I think it’ll be fine, but it’s taking me a small eternity to knit. Laceweight on 2mm needles isn’t exactly a speed exercise, is it? In any event, I’m hoping it’ll be done in the coming week. Then we’ll see.
And finally, there was this . . .
Fiber: Fine superwash Merino (lambkins), “Common Grackle” colorway, November 2012 Enchanted Knoll Farm club fiber.
WPI/TPI: variable 10-20wpi, but mostly around 14; ca 10tpi
Yardage/Weight: 1130 yards, 270g
This yarn was on the wheel for the past three months, but not being able to knit meant that I could at least do a little spinning. The intermittent nature of that spinning is also the reason for the uneven grist, but it turned into a soft, smushy yarn which will knit up into something seriously wonderful and cushy. Ya gotta love those kinds of yarns, and Josette is brilliant when it comes to colors. I’m typically not a fan of barberpoling, but the black base here is perfect for the darker tones of color, and the sparkle is just enough muted that the colors work much more subtly than you’d expect. It’s a rich and rather wonderful colorway.
And if you’re wondering about the framing in that picture? Yeah . . . Right now things are a bit dark, and the only place I could get halfway decent lighting was here:
That’s the back porch. And yep, it’s still winter.