Monday, March 12, 2018

Process, the beginning

 
  I saw a photo awhile back that made my wheels start turning, and this week I got out the sock yarn scraps and dumped them onto the table to see if I could do something like it.  I love this part, the beginning of a project.  The creative part.  
When starting from scratch, I first make a little sketch to figure out what kind of silhouette I want to achieve, then I decide about edgings, and if I’m planning a multi-yarn project I sort the yarns by color and (eep!) value—you know I struggle with that—and I make liberal use of the mono filter in my photo editing app, just to help me get it as right as possible.  The table is strewn with tools and pencils and markers and swatches.  There’s the usual measuring, and simple math, and then I can cast on.  It’s just so absorbing, all of this.  And then watching the fabric and shape develop—did I get it right?  Does it drape like I want it to?  Did that first buttonhole, which is all involved with the neckline shaping and the collar and the built-in buttonbands, end up in the right spot?  There are hasty notes that I later can’t decipher, and I make changes and then forget to write them down, so the notes are effectively useless anyway, but I press on because it doesn’t matter to anyone but me, and I don’t actually care.  After the first few inches of yoke are knit, I put the piece on a length of waste yarn and pin it to the mannequin to check for these things.  If it’s good at that point, I pat myself on the back a little and then I’m ready to put on my jammies and park in front of the fireplace beside the snoring catdog and start knitting.  What a good feeling all this is!  Especially when the yarn I’m using is the beautiful leftovers from my cupboard, which really makes it feel like I’m getting something for free.  You guys, I just love it.  
 
 
 I get so wrapped up in this that I am pretty willing to temporarily abandon other (also rewarding) projects, but weekends involve a fair bit of time spent in the car, so I made good headway on this, too:
This is my lightly modified Branches and Buds Pullover—modified because I don’t have very much of that gray yarn (it’s Quince and Co.  Chickadee in—I think—“Frost”; this poor yarn has tried to be so many different things, and has been unraveled so many times.  It is kinked up like an old Slinky.  I hope this sweater will be its forever home). It’s no good counting all my projects in progress, because there are so many it would just be stressful, but I’ll just say this:  there are a lot of them, way more than I would like, but there is always, and always will be, a fresh idea, just waiting to be explored.  This is my medium, and for the sake of the creative process, I am willing to let a few things languish for awhile.  There are at least four sweaters that I can think of, all at the same place—the plain part, headed down the body or awaiting stockinette sleeves.  The fun part of all these is done, and now I just need a good Netflix binge to make some headway.  Any ideas?  What are you watching?  

22 comments:

  1. I am so looking forward to seeing your "free-yarn" sweater. It looks like you have a subtle marled effect happening.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, that's the effect I'm hoping for. There's a bit more striping happening than I really wanted, but I think it'll work out okay in the end.

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  2. Watching: The Crown. If you haven't seen it, it's a drama about the current Queen Elizabeth from just before she became queen, and all the behind the scenes juicy stuff of the monarchy. Very good! Enjoy the knitting. :)

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    1. Oh gosh, I love The Crown! Anxiously awaiting Season Three already! :)

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  3. slinky, hah love it! you do wonders with a lot of left over yarns in the past so this shouldn't be any different :)) it's always beautiful!
    am doing a Netflix binge myself but i'm downunder so would have different shows but the ones i enjoy are all the Marvel & any supernaturals & sci-fi's
    happy knitting
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Thank you so much! I always say I'll give any show a chance, but it turns out I am very hard to please, so I start a lot of shows and then give up early. Must be more patient! :)

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  4. There's a gorgeous cut-out-from-the-background look to your photos of yarn here. Yarn companies could employ you. Ok, television to watch. well The Crown! I am from the Commonwealth but am no royalist yet this, especially S1, blew my socks off. For more Brit series, Last Tango in Halifax saw me through some easy knitting last winter. LTiH takes some getting into with unlikeable characters at first, but it works and I became invested in them. Happy Valley by the same director/screenwriter is very good. I think you've already watched Outlander. I liked S1 and 2. Shetland and Foyles War have something oddly comforting about them and recently Broadchurch S3 is great (S1 and 2 if you haven't seen them). I pigged out on This Is Us recently and was bereft when I finished and at times felt like I had sugar overload from too much tv. And Big Little Lies is the BEST, most beautifully filmed and acted, tv ever. I recently enjoyed knitting a baby hat to the British tv series Collateral starring Carey Mulligan. Ok somebody stop me. . . .

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    1. Thank you so much, Sally! Last Tango in Halifax is a new one to me, I'll be looking that up immediately, and Happy Valley, too. I loved Shetland and Foyle's and Broadchurch, and I'm worried that This is Us will make me cry too hard to see my knitting...:)

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  5. I love these kind of projects which use up bits and pieces but have an air of excitement about them. After the cable sweater I am on I am really going to crack a top down me size pattern and do all of the maths properly. I play roulette not with yarn but with size and it is often pretty costly. J x

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    1. Aren't they the best? So, so satisfying. I love your cable sweater in progress, and I can't wait to see how you do with your top-down DIY. You're so good, you'll be just fine. xoxo

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  6. I mostly love the start more than the finish :) have you tried call the midwife? I would also agree with the others The Crown is excellent. Love your postings xx

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    1. I kind of forgot about Call the Midwife, thank you for reminding me of it. I think I've seen two or three seasons and then it kind of fell off the radar, I'm not sure why. Dear Chummy! She's so lovely. I'm looking that one up right now. :)

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  7. Love seeing what the scraps will become! I just finished rewatching Marvel's Agents of SHIELD-- four seasons and tons of episodes (I knit blanket squares through the whole thing)!

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    1. Oooh, I'll have a look for that, thank you! :)

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  8. I do so admire your ability to create an article of clothing exactly to your specifications.

    Watching: I agree with all the suggestions of The Crown. I also enjoyed Last Tango in Halifax. The Great British Baking Show is perfect reality tv--no back stabbing, no nasty comments, yet still has real drama and excitement, some laughs, and the BEST music for a TV show! Have you seen Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? When it starts out you think it's going to be one kind of show and then it turns out to be something you've never, ever seen before. Each episode has two original musical numbers and my jaw often drops at the lyrics (in a good way). The aforementioned are all on US Netflix. I'm watching the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime, and I don't love it as much as other people seem to, yet I keep watching. I don't like the characters, but I like the sets and the clothes.

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    1. I love The Great British Baking Show SO MUCH! I will re-watch that one over and over again. Why do they like the crispy cookies so much? A cookie that snaps seems burnt to me. I love a soft, chewy cookie and I always think Mary and Paul would say it was raw...:D

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    2. I would be terrified to bake for them! They have a master baking class with just Paul and Mary on Netflix, too, which is cute but not as fun as the show. Let us know what your next binge is. I found Comedians in Cars on Netflix thanks to you. I'd heard of the show but never bothered to watch it; somehow having it available on Netflix was the push I needed to view it. I was surprised it was on Netflix because the Seinfeld show is only on Hulu and I have a vague memory of reading that he would never release it to Netflix. I guess I thought Jerry was shunning Netflix, but that's not the case because there are are at least two one-hour shows of him doing stand up on Netflix, too, in addition to Comedians in Cars. Okay, that's enough for now, I do have work I'm supposed to be doing today!

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  9. Just finished watching 7 Seconds on Netflix. Really enjoyed it but it's not a terribly "happy" "uplifting" show.

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  10. You are an absolute knitting wonder! I can't imagine EVER creating my own knitting pattern. On the other hand, I'm sewing and piecing quilts like a mad woman.......can't wait to start another as I'm finishing the first! So there you are........it takes all of us!!!

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    1. That sounds fun, too! Your quilts are works of art. :)

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  11. I've been re-visiting Dharma & Greg...zany and sweet plus funny


    Your sweater will be divine, as always, I am sure!

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