Wednesday, January 29, 2014

][ wool, wool, wool . . . or, I covet stuff and babble a lot to keep warm

It's been cold, people. Bitter cold. Psycho cold. I've always been good at winter, and even I am struggling with this one. We had eight or ten inches of snow last week, and I'm getting used to single-digit temperatures in the morning. And we don't even have it bad.

I have accepted that fog and frost will just be constants for a while.

I'm layering like a pro. I've taken to wearing skirts to work, just so I can wear several pairs of fleece pyjama pants under and whip 'em off once I get to the office without having to awkwardly maneuver out of my grownup work pants in the bathroom to slip the leggings out from under them. I've got a big ol' pile of gloves and scarves and hats to rotate my way through, and I don't leave the house without 'em. There was a time when I'd go out sleeveless in the snow wearing my clogs, but that time is long gone. This winter demands respect and I'm paying it.

Traditionally I've been bad at knitting in the winter, for whatever reason. I've usually been most productive in the spring and fall, when it's not too hot to keep a pile of cozy fabric in your lap, but not cold enough that you really want the finished item more than you want to work on it.

Taken through a screen because I didn't want to put eight pairs of pants on to go out.

Right now, though, I do want to knit. Maybe it's that I've been knitting so much more and more consistently for the past year, or maybe it's that I am better at reading patterns and trying new techniques, but I haven't hit the same kind of dramatic loss-of-interest, even in between projects. I might stop for a week or a month but I am still interested. However, I find that it's influencing my habits in a totally different way: I want to knit, I want to always be knitting, but I only want to knit animal fiber. Give me wool. Now. Or else. I've got a pointed stick here, people. Several, in fact. Give up the goods.

(See how cold it is? Completely delirious.)

Here's a small part of my staying-warm strategy.

A drive-by finished object: the Welton fingerless gloves took a bit over a week to complete, lots of which was spent binge-watching The Walking Dead.

Also pictured: the cowlbeast! I love this thing, man.

I'm seriously surprised at how quickly these have gotten fuzzy and lived-in-- I always thought of this as a pretty sleek and tight yarn, and the gauge is pretty firm, they were knit on 3s. I'm a little miffed, but mostly okay with it, and desperately glad to have them. (I wear them under my mittens, to protect the vulnerable space between sleeve and glove.

The other night I knit in front of this roaring fire and drank hot cocoa with marshmallows. Life was good.

I started and have had to shelve it almost right away, because I don't have more of the brown yarn (leftovers from the childHood, if you go back a couple entries) and I'm not sure whether I want to a) frog the thing and re-do it with two blue stripes to every brown, and hope that gives me enough; b) frog back the bit where I'm trying the two-to-one, order more yarn, and continue, or c) tear the whole thing up and try this again some other time with yarn I've got more of. Add in the fact that I still don't know whether it'd look good on me, and you've got my current attitude: go away for a while.

Instead, I've started more socks.

Not actually exciting.

Not everyday socks, but what I call cocktail socks-- big, thick ones you wear around the house when it's bloody cold out. I don't really know what I'm doing with them, I just needed to get something on the needles to mess around with and saw some leftover LB fisherman's wool and said yes. (I know, that's mostly not fisherman's wool in the picture. I thought I'd use an acrylic blend for the toes and heel to give it a little more fortitude, so it'll be black toes and heels. Knitting the heel is going to be a nightmare in anything but the brightest light, unless I find a better way to do it, but oh well.)

I might dye them a more interesting color when done, but we'll see.

All fun, not so fattening on the stash.

Actually, a lot of my future knitting plans are socks. I got a Phat Fiber yarn box for January, and I'm planning to make a chaotically striped pair with a skein of black and all the sock-weight samples. I also bought myself a skein of one of the featured yarns, and I've got a skein set aside to try and knit a pair during the Olympics. I wouldn't call myself a sock knitter yet, with only one pair done and no real schedule on doing anything fancy, but I'm excited about it!

Planning out the color progression!

Other than that, I'm really craving certain things that haven't taken shape yet. I want to knit some stuff inspired by The Walking Dead, because it's totally taken over my mind, but I have no idea what would be the right project to go for.

I also desperately want a wool blanket-- but that might just be because it's so bloody cold lately. I'm not sure I want to knit one... I definitely don't want to pay for enough wool to do so! But I want one madly. Ah, if only I had a loom... and a flock of sheep... and no day job.

Til next time!
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment