Monday, January 31, 2011

I heart Canada

I have been visiting Canada all week for work.  I travel quite a bit in my line of work, and as I passed through US customs, the officer noted the many Canadian stamps in my passport. Travel always affords me extra time for my knitting.  There are many opportune times--waiting to board, sitting in your seat while boarding finishes, taxing on the runway, the time between take-off and when approved electronic devices are allowed--for getting in a few extra rows, and these tend to be my most productive knitting times.  If not for work trips, I would not complete nearly so many socks.

I always enjoy my visits north of the US, so in honor of my finally getting my act together and completing some January projects, largely due to a cancelled flight and , here is a list of the top 10 reasons I {heart} Canada:

10.  The people are super-nice
9.  If you don't have a chance to change money, they accept US dollars without charging a commission
8.  The Canadian Rockies
7.  The airplane is never delayed for weather.  Canadian pilots can fly safely through any storm under any conditions with just a little de-icing. Seriously.
6.  Canadians love their knitware. Gorgeous sweaters, scarves, and hats are everywhere, even in the summer.
5.  I always leave with upon unique finds when scouting local yarn stores.  Quiviuk anyone? 
4.  Tim Horton's on every corner. 
3.  Poutine and Steak Frites (Go Montreal!)
2.  Everything is "super".  My fave?  Air Canada's "super-elite" class

And the top reason I love Canada?

1.  The cold weather and beautiful scenery inspire me to knit!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On the road again

So here we are, starting the fourth week in January, and I have yet to complete a project.  If I am to have any chance of completing my goal this month, I am going to have to get a little bit creative.  So here is my first solution: a project on larger needles using 2 skeins at once.

I started this top-down raglan baby pullover during Sunday's playoff game on size 6 needles, holding together 2 strands of Trekking XXL that have been sitting in my stash for a while.  The color is a mauve-y purple with slight variegation that looks like subtle white and gray stripes.  Fewer stitches plus two skeins consumed at once--I think this is my best idea in a while.

Part two of my catch-up plan will be a pair of toe-up socks in one of my two skeins of Opal Harry Potter series yarn.  This is the "Dumbledore" colorway.

Part three of my catch-up plan will involve the mango-and purple colored STR.  This will be a close one...

Monday, January 17, 2011

January Blahs

Here we are in the third full week of January, and I have yet to complete a 2011 project.  Life has been very difficult as of late.  I suffered a huge setback in my career a few months back, and I am afraid I am still not handling it well.  I keep thinking the cloud over my head will lift, but it has not yet and now I am afraid that my anger and grief are causing me to sabotage my career even further.

Add to this that all of New England is frozen and I have been on a totally yeast-free diet for the past two weeks, and I seem to have lost the will to knit!

In truth, I did finish the back and one sleeve of a sweater I started in Oct 2008 (I am SO embarrassed to admit that it has been sitting that long).  The second sleeve will probably only take an evening or two, but I have not picked that up for a week either. Even if I did, it would not count towards my sock yarn goal.

What is a knitter with a horribly huge stash to do?  I need a serious infusion of inspiration and motivation.  So how do you reignite your passion for work and for craft?

I have been sitting and staring at the same skein of yarn--already wound--for three weeks now.  It is a lovely skein of STR with colors that variegate from mango to purple.  You can see a pic (recycled from an old post) below.

It is the pretty one on the bottom right.  The other two have actually been knit up and gifted already.
  I fell in love with this at first sight, but I am at a loss for what to do with it.  Let me explain; while I love the brilliant colorways of STR, I have issues with how they knit up.  While the fabric is fabulous beyond compare, the brilliant colors seem to compete with all but the most simple stitch patterns.  Thus, despite many, many swatches, nearly all my multi-colored STR gets knit into basic 2x2 rib or straight stockinette socks. 

But this skein just does not want to be a 2x2 basic rib sock.  This skein needs to be something special.  I need to create something beautiful with it, if for no other reason than to get me through 2 more weeks of yeast-free eating, and the fact that I feel like a failure in my career and my personal life right now.  Did I mention that yeast-free eating involves giving up not only all breads and carbs, but also dairy, vinegar, mayonaise, and (gasp!) diet coke?  I did cheat slightly tonight when my room service salad came with a creamy dressing rather than the oil and lemon juice I ordered.  I am overcome with guilt, and this does not help the feelings of failure.  So I really need to make a fabulous sock this week!

Next post: how to rekindle inspiration.  This gives me something to research over the next few days.  Happy knitting in 2011, everyone!