Emergency Knitting, Again

Over the last several years, I’ve spent a lot of time doing emergency knitting.  I’ve knit at the vet while one cat or another was having an emergency exam or procedure.  I’ve knit in hospital rooms, while visiting with a friend or family member.  I’ve knit at home or in the homes of family members, while keeping a quiet vigil during a loved ones’ last days.

Managing during difficult situations is one of the oft-cited benefits of knitting.  Knitting is the perfect thing to keep your hands and, depending on the project and what you need, your mind occupied.  The repetitive motion of the needles is soothing and the quiet click the needles make as they slide past each other is a white noise.  You feel like you are doing something, which helps stave off the desperate realization that sometimes there is nothing that you can do.  Knitting takes off just a little bit of that edge and allows you to be more present in whatever challenging circumstance you face.

Yesterday, I found myself picking out emergency knitting projects.  We got the call that we knew would come sometime in the not too distant future.  My mother-in-law passed away.  We were able to find a flight for late in the day and we flew up to New Jersey.  We don’t know yet how long we’ll be here.

This is a little bit different than the other times I’ve picked out emergency knitting projects.  I had a little time to contemplate which projects to bring — I didn’t have to just grab whatever WIP I could find on short notice.  I don’t know how long I’ll be here, so I don’t know how much time I will need to fill with knitting.  I expect that most of the knitting I get done, will probably be done in the evening or other down times, as a way to relax.  I won’t be knitting while exhausted or knitting in dark spaces, so I could bring more complicated knitting rather than a plain stockinette project.

All of this added up to lace.  It takes a while and is perfect for occupying the mind when you need a distraction.  Plus, I have several lace WIPs in varying degrees of difficulty, so I can make progress on reducing my pile of WIPs and account for different levels of concentration.  I ended up bringing 3 projects, all of them lace shawl WIPs.

Begonia Swirl

The first project I packed for this trip is Begonia Swirl.  If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve knit this before.  A friend of mine borrowed it and accidentally felted it.  A few months later, I bought the yarn to reknit it.  I’m not sure exactly when I cast on, but according to my January 15, 2016  blog post, it was months before that.  I’ve done significant knitting on it since then, but it has been months since I picked it up.  Here’s how it looks right now.

This project was a good choice under the circumstances.  It’s a straightforward pattern, mostly stockinette.  I do have to count stitches as I knit, since I did not put in stitch markers to separate sections, but if I mess up it is easy to figure out where I am.

Morrigan

This shawl is one that I have never blogged about and I never created a Ravelry project for it.  I cast it on in August 2015, knit about half of it and haven’t looked at it since.  The pattern is Morrigan by Beata Jezek (Ravelry link) and I’m knitting it with Nerd Girl Yarns Stellar, a laceweight yarn that is 75% Merino, 20% Silk, and 5% silver-toned Stellina, in the Colorway Merlin.  I picked the pattern because Morrigan and Merlin are both part of the King Arthur mythology.  It’s not a difficult lace pattern, but of the projects I brought with me, this is the one that requires the most focus to knit because it is not a primarily stockinette pattern.

 

Linea

The final project is a shawl I started in mid-2107 and I have neither written a blog post about it nor added it to my Ravelry projects.  This one is Linea by LaVisch Designs (Ravelry link).  I am knitting it with Baah La Jolla (100% Superwash Merino) in Brazilian Emerald.

I sometimes test knit for LaVisch Designs and she earburns me to her Ravelry group whenever she has a new test knit available.  This pattern is not one that I test knit; I bought the pattern after it was released.

Linea is a pretty basic knit and certainly the easiest of any of the projects I brought with me.  One of my goals for 2017 was to knit some larger shawls.  Linea is written for one skein of fingeringweight yarn, but I plan to use two skeins.  I will increase the number of repeats of the body pattern until I think I have just enough to do the large border and bind off.  I’m currently 3/4 of the way through the first skein.

Greencastle, Indiana: June 2015

Last year, I attended The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana.  I planned to attend this year also, but then Chris and I got to go to India.  The trip to India was at the same time as The Fiber Event 2015.

My primary reason for going to Greencastle is to visit my good friend Stacy, who moved there a couple of years ago.  We put our heads together to come up with a new date, and discovered the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival (a separate blog post is in progress; I’ve got to take pictures of my purchases), held about an hour from Greencastle on the first Friday and Saturday of June.  I changed my tickets from April to this past weekend.  I arrived in Indiana on Thursday afternoon and flew home Sunday evening.

At Work

Stacy was working on Thursday and Friday.  I spent most of my time, hanging out in her office, knitting.  She has these adorable sheep sculptures in her office.

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I especially love their happy little faces.

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Weaving

Stacy did attend The Fiber Event 2015.  Her mother bought her an early birthday present: a 10″ wide rigid heddle loom from Couch’s Little Workshop, an Indiana-based family business of handmade looms.  Stacy had not warped the loom yet and wanted to do so before we went to the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Couch’s Little Workshop was going to be at that Festival also, and she wanted to ask them questions or resolve any problems she might have with the loom.  On Thursday night, I taught her how to warp the loom and how to weave.

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Stacy took a three-hour rigid heddle weaving class two years ago, at The Fiber Event, but she hasn’t woven anything since then.  Her selvages are spectacular!

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First Fridays

During the spring, summer, and fall, Greencastle has a “First Fridays” program.  The downtown business group, of which Stacy is President, helps to organize First Fridays.  The town closes off a road next to the courthouse.  Vendors sell their wares and there’s music on the steps of the Courthouse.

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This month, a vintage car club came for the event.

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Several local clubs and civic groups attended this month also, including the Putnam County Spinners Guild, of which Stacy is a member.  I helped set up and take down the tables and chairs for the Guild.  The original plan was that I would finish spinning the Cormo and bring the bobbins with me so I could ply them on one of Stacy’s wheels during the event.  I didn’t get the spinning done, so I knit instead.

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The fiber in the box is llama that Stacy recently got back from processing. The fiber in the white bag on the right is unprocessed llama. The yarns on the table are all handspun. The full-size hanks are Stacy’s handspun and I believe they are all Nerd Girl Yarns fibers. The smaller samples were handspun and dyed by another Guild member.
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Guild members Sarah (spinning with a Turkish Spindle), Joy (spinning with an e-spinner) and Mary (spinning on an Ashford Joy wheel).
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Stacy chatting with a visitor to the Guild’s space.
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The girl in the middle of the picture came back to the Guild space several times during the event. She went to each spinner and asked questions about the method each was using.

The weather was perfect for this First Fridays event, though the sun was so bright that we had a hard time looking at people while we talked to them.  Stacy’s boyfriend, Lance, came to our rescue with Florida Gators baseball caps!  The vendors and tables part of First Fridays was from 5 to 7 pm.  We were going to stay for longer, but we had to move out of the way for the Antique Cars to leave, so packed up shortly after 7 pm.  The music continued until late, so after packing up we stayed and listened to music, and I got to meet several of Stacy’s friends.  It was a wonderful evening!

KCBW6, Day 3: Experimental Photography

The prompt for today is to take creative pictures.  On this blog, I usually use straightforward pictures.  However, I often take creative pictures of the pieces for fun or to include in homework submissions for the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  Professors often give bonus points for creative pictures!  I decided to pull out some of my favorite pictures and share them with you today.

In 2010, I knit a crown in Ravenclaw colors.  Since Tiger believes himself to be king of the house, I thought him an appropriate model.  I love the look of disdain on his face.
In 2010, I knit a crown in Ravenclaw colors. Since Tiger believes himself to be king of the house, I thought him an appropriate model. I love the look of disdain on his face.
This skein of yarn was a present from my friend, Stacy.  She collaborated with Christa of Nerd Girl Yarns to plan a custom colorway, based on the colors of the frog in my Ravatar at that time, and named after my imaginary magical beastie (this is a thing in Ravenclaw Tower).  Here, I've posed my Frogman statue with the yarn.
My friend Stacy gave me this skein of yarn. She collaborated with Christa of Nerd Girl Yarns to plan a custom colorway, based on the colors of the frog in my Ravatar at that time, and named after my imaginary magical beastie (this is a thing in Ravenclaw Tower). Here, I’ve posed my Frogman statue with the yarn.
Cats often interrupt my photo shoots!
Cats often interrupt my photo shoots!
While its not a fibery picture, I love this photo of Pepper stalking the  Christmas village.
While it’s not a fibery picture, I love this photo of Pepper stalking the Christmas village.
On my recent trip to India, I took this photo of goats lounging on the steps of a temple.
On my recent trip to India, I took this photo of goats lounging on the steps of a temple.

The Weasel of Wrath

In the fall of 2013, the Weasel of Wrath became a thing in Ravenclaw Tower.  Every project I turned in that term included a picture of him and told a piece of a continuing story.  The Headmistress Challenge that term was to write your own lyrics for a wrock song, with bonus points for recording it.  I wrote lyrics, another member of Ravenclaw Tower recorded the vocals and instruments for me, and I put together a music video.  The photos below are my favorites from that term.

The Weasel wearing a sock toe hat.
The Weasel wearing a sock toe hat.
Searching in the jungle (aka our hydroponic system) for the Raspberry Monster.
Searching in the jungle (aka our hydroponic system) for the Raspberry Monster.

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The wrock video included two different sets.  The lyrics are about basilisks, so I went to the home of a friend who has snakes and shot stills and video there.
The wrock video included two different sets. The lyrics are about basilisks, so I went to the home of a friend who has snakes and shot stills and video there.
The other set was the Weasel's burrow.  This behind the scenes shot shows the burrow set up on my dining room table.
The other set was the Weasel’s burrow. This behind the scenes shot shows the burrow set up on my dining room table.
The Weasel of Wrath, with his friends Foxy and Jewel.
The Weasel of Wrath, with his friends Foxy and Jewel.

Drum Roll, Please…

I finished spinning the Nerd Girl Yarns Lux Top that I have had on my wheel since last July!  I am absolutely in love with this yarn and am already looking for knitting patterns.  If you have any suggestions, let me know!

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WIP Thursday, January 22, 2015

Yesterday was a busy day around here and I did not get a chance to blog my WIPs for the week.  Better late than never!

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WIP Wednesday: September 24, 2014

I’ve got a lot of projects in process right now!  I haven’t quite finished the ones I already had on the needles and I’ve started a few new projects.

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August 2014 Preview

I know we are a week into the month, but there’s still 3 more weeks to go, so I’m still calling this a preview!  August is a HPKCHC break month.  I use break months to finish anything that is lingering from the end of term and get all my plans made for the beginning of the next term.  Chris and I are vacationing the last week of August (heading to New Jersey to visit his mother), so I need to plan for some portable projects that I can bring with me on that trip.

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WIP Wednesday: August 6, 2014

I have been delinquent in my WIP Wednesday posts, in part because I have been embarrassed by how little crafting I did in July.  But that is one purpose of the WIP Wednesday posts: motivating me to make progress, because it isn’t interesting content if there’s no progress.  Fortunately, I have progress!

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The Fiber Event, Greencastle Indiana, April 18 & 19, 2014

I don’t go to a lot of Fiber Events. As far as I know, there are only two (now three, but I’ll get to that) fiber events that take place near me: Distaff Days in early January and The Florida Fiber In in mid-September. I have not made it to Distaff Days yet because I’m often away for the holidays the first weekend of January. I have been to The Florida Fiber In twice. The third event is the Florida Sheep, Wool, and Herding Dog Festival, which is a new event, held for the third time this year. I have not been to that event before, because I did not learn about it until after the second time it was held.

This year is an exception to the few fiber events pattern. I am actually attending fiber events three weekends in a row. The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana was the first, held April 18 & 19. Second is the Florida Sheep, Wool, and Herding Dog Festival held April 25-27. Third is Maryland Sheep and Wool on May 3 & 4.

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