Thursday, May 17, 2007

Enthusiastic or Chaotic?

As I think about what next to post on my blog, I am torn with a decision. Do I pretend that I haven't been knitting to avoid potential criticism, or profess to being fickle and chaotic? Self-confessor that I am, the answer is clear!

I have not been knitting on the Russian Prime. I have not been knitting on the Saddle-Shoulder Aran. I have, however:

  • swatched for an Adult Surprise Jacket (a knitalong) from EZ's The Opinionated Knitter,

  • swatched for a Celtic Cardigan, using Elizabeth's Percentage System (EPS) to follow Janine (Feral Knitter), because I have ultimate faith in her color/pattern choices.

  • begun a Pi Are Square shawl from EZ's Knitting Around,

  • received 3 huge skeins of Kauni Wool (photo at right) from Germany and been carrying them around like preemie babies! These are for Ruth's Kauni Cardigan, following advice from Melinda (Purlwise).

  • knitted a small Faroese-Style Shawl from a new pattern by Meg Swansen (not yet available, lucky me!)
I have a great many excuses for why I start new projects when I have so many on the needles already: 1) I love the process of knitting. 2) I want to have lots of just-started projects ready for Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp, where I spend the entire month of July as Meg's assistant. 3) I teach lots of classes, and always need some knitting with cables, Fair Isle, lace, and garter stitch for those examples.

The truth of the matter is, I have a common affliction known as "Failure to Finish". I have been accused by friends and critics alike as "not liking to finish". Untrue! I can kitchener, sew in sleeves, cut steeks, I-cord bind-off, and weave in ends with the best of them! The trouble is, to get to that point, you must first complete the knitting, which I seem to rarely do! I am very envious of those knitters with piles of finished garments to show off! I just don't think I'll ever be one of them.

Once I have done my swatching (such as it is), wound the wool, calculated all the measurements and knitted 6 inches of the body, I am ready to move on! I was a weaver in my misspent youth, and enjoyed warping more than weaving! I'm an ideas person, I suppose. Once I see the project start coming to life, I'm on to the next idea, and completing the previous seems irrelevant. There, having confessed, I feel ready to talk about more interesting things!

Knitting Weekend
I had promised to write more about my experiences at the Knitting Weekend with Meg Swansen a couple of weeks ago. As you can see, I was only going to be gone for 3 days, so I "traveled light". I do think the grocery bags add a je ne sais quois.

The weekend already seems a long way off, but I have been thinking about the women I met quite a bit since returning home. We had different backgrounds, skill levels, ages, and shapes. We had a judge, a yarn shop owner, an IRS agent, and an entrepreneur (OK, now I have to spell-check). The 3 days went by so quickly, I can't remember eating or sleeping, only the lively discussions, the heaps of knitting, and the beautiful faces of my new friends. I realize that I sound sappy, but it was a pretty sublime experience. I need to spend more time with knitters.

Meg is considering offering more of these smaller workshops in the future because this one was so successful. We created this weekend to accommodate people who were on the waiting list from last year's First Timers camp. As a trial run, it was wildly successful.

Oh, and I got to meet Ada Lai, proud new owner of KnitWare knitting software. I've started playing with this (and there's a free trial download) and it is a very extensive program. It has some logic built in that I feel is lacking in other programs in that price range.

Life in the Bunker


We live in a partial-berm house (fondly referred to as "the bunker"). I took some pictures just 2 weeks ago and they are so brown and grey. Everything now is green and budding, and I'm glad to see this picture to remind myself that Spring comes in faithfully every year.

14 Comments:

Nancy said...

OK, let's try this again since I couldn't spell the first time!!! Answer is Enthusiastic! 'Chaotic', to me, only means something someone else imposes on my 'organized chaos'. All those windows! Perfect knitting studio (passive solar that they are!). And...a new Faroese shawl you say??? Hmmm...

Janine said...

Thank god--apparently this means that I don't have to finish the Celtic Knot Cardigan after all--I was feeling the pressure until this post clarified that you are 99% not likely to reach the yoke... Mini-camps sound wonderful. Perhaps Meg would consider special topic camps? Or just letting us move in with her?

lv2knit said...

I second the motion for mini-camps. I love you and Meg and to hang out and knit with you and other knitting peeps would be sublime!

Anonymous said...

"We had a judge, a yarn shop owner, an IRS agent, and an entrepreneur"...what? no buddhist phone-sex operators?

Amy Detjen said...

You know, we may have had a buddhist phone-sex operator, I didn't actually keep track. Now that I think of it, some had pretty sultry voices....

Anonymous said...

ohhhh, baby....any wearing carhartts?

Kathy said...

Amy,

And a former police officer. But you didn't know that. Did I start you on the Pi are Square Shawl? Mine is finally coming along wonderfully. Once I got the feel for it. In fact, I had it at a work related meeting Wednesday and I was told that I was to teach a new knitter how to knit it at our fall conference. Unfortunately, it has to sit for a couple of weeks as I have two pairs of socks to start and finish for gifts.

Hugs.....

knititch said...

wow you do beautiful things. and i myself am so envious of everybody attending the knitting camp. here in denmark there is so little of that kind of things and no meg, of course. i am starting the saddle-shoulder tonight. yes brooklyn tweed really knows the trade. he inspires me to do things all the time. he has an eye for turning wool into something fab. it was his seamless hybrid that got me tuned in on zimmermann. how else would a danish knitter know??? and how i found his blog, i still wonder.

Barb in Texas said...

Oh, man, I can SO relate to your characterization of yourself as an "idea" knitter.

I really just want to play with yarn and find out how it behaves and how the colors work out.

I drool over sweater designs, but all I've ever been able to finish are socks, hats, scarves, shawls, and dishcloths/facecloths. Stuff that basically doesn't require finishing or sewing.

I might be able to finish an Adult Surprise Sweater. Forgot about that one. Or a Bog Jacket. Must dig my EZ books out of storage.

Amy Detjen said...

A retired police officer! OK, we're just one Indian Chief short of having the Village People at our retreat! Kathy D, yes, you got me started on the Pi R Square... with help from Amy A who gave me that lovely skein of Malibrigo Laceweight (then I had to send Randy to the store to buy 3 more).

And Judy in Mn... you may have posted as "anonymous", but only you know of my affection for men in Carhartts, so I know it was you who posted that! You can't fool me. :)

Knititch, come to camp from Denmark! I'll pick you up at the airport. Try to come some summer, you'd be in heaven! We love having people from far-off lands. Hey, can you get Kauni for us?

judy in mpls. said...

hey, you got me...i, too, love starting new things, and have an uncountable # of ufo's...

Terry & Jonesy said...

I second the motion to move in with Meg...or how about with Amy? Yes! Another "ideas" person. I once was a marketing squid and developed new ideas for service products. It was so much fun to throw these ideas over the wall to the team who had to finish the project and actually implement it!! So Amy, where do we find knitters to finish those projects we design and start?
Terry - at anchor in Puerto Vallarta and waiting rather impatiently for camp 2.75

Sandra D. said...

Ahhhh, catharsis feels good, doesn't it? I don't finish much, either. Not that I'm exactly an ideas person, I just have more that I want to knit than I have time to knit (and I'm slow). But I do enjoy the process more than the product. Especially after coming back from that inspiring mini-camp. I'm still on a high over it!

Kate said...

Amy, even if there was no buddhist phone-sex operator, there was a poet/children's author and a philosopher-turned-lawyer. Along with the other fascinating people. Are all knitters so interesting?

Was inspired by Joyce's cable-y forest-green gansey in real gansey wool (knit so tightly(!) she broke her needle). The 5-ply wool felt like nothing I've touched before. Have put aside the Rangely I bought while there and am ordering the real thing. Might finish in a couple of years but it will be worth it!