Sunday, April 03, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day Seven 2KCBWDAY7

Last day of KCB Week--will it be my last post? Hmmmm ....

Today's assignment:

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

First of all, "crafting time"? In what alternate universe does the Knitting and Crochet Blog Arch Fiend live? 

For me, there is little or no "crafting time." What there is, is 10 minutes between getting home and feeding the dogs, another 6 while I'm waiting for the potato to microwave, a hour between laundry loads--no, I used 30 of those last 60 folding the last load, hanging up drip-dry stuff, putting it all away. 

There's an additional 30 minutes most mornings if I remember to set my alarm for 5 instead of 5:30. There might be a pitiful few more while I wait in various lines--at the bank, at the grocery, at the drive-thru, at the pharmacy -- 15 minutes to fill a prescription, my Aunt Sally's fanny!  Then there are the few minutes spent at traffic lights on my hour-and-a-half commute each way. [This in no way constitutes an admission of guilt in any charge of "failure to pay full time and attention" that might be levied by some over-zealous state trooper trying to supplement Georgia's pitiful tax coffers.]

I always think I have "crafting time" at night in bed. The reality is that more mornings than not, I wake, still wearing my glasses and holding my knitting in my hands. If I die peacefully in bed, it'll take the CSI investigators a few hours to figure out that I'm not a murder victim. ("She was holding a sharp weapon, but never even lifted it--she must have known her attacker!")

So, all this has shaped my knitting. Let's review the facts:

  1. I have almost no time to do anything.
  2. If I have any time, Mr. Pug is talking to me.
  3. If he's not home, there are always between one and three dogs on my lap.
  4. My powers of concentration are about shot by this advanced age. This means that I have the attention span of a flea smoking crack.
  5. I have lots of yarn and no time to knit.
  6. But I want to knit it all so I keep casting on new projects.
This unhappy combination of factors has resulted in a very confused knitting life. It results in multiple projects requiring differing levels of concentration, each project relegated to a specific minute portion of my life. 

First, major projects. In recent years, these have been few and far between. Last year there was the modular patchwork jacket, a project you may see one day only if I am crippled in an accident resulting in several weeks in a wheelchair or a hospital bed. Those are the only circumstances that I can imagine would force me to actually seam together all the pieces. (Note to self: you don't like to finish!) More recently, the Jane Slicer-Smith jacket which was begun last May, put away in June, and picked up again this January. Somehow, in the interim, it has assumed the proportions of a tent that could house several Bedouin sheepherders AND their sheep, and has been put down again. 

Now, Waltham, which may one day look like this:

but today looks like this: 

Long way to go, huh? And by the way, for the moment, please don't remind me that there will be seams aplenty in this project!

Second, minor projects requiring some level of concentration. Okay, there's some concentration (or a lot!) involved in a major project. (Did you see those cables in Waltham? Yikes!) But into this category fall things like lace. This cannot be accomplished with a spouse talking to the knitter about really important, critical, crucial things like "do we have any more dried mango?" and "how do you think the lawn looks now that I switched to that new fertilizer" and "let me tell you about the customer-from-hell I had today."  Nope, this requires absolute silence, and this means I can't even have the ubiquitous NCIS rerun going. Also, these projects cannot be carried away from the piece of paper known as the "chart." Losing the "chart" means abandoning the project. These projects either go well 

like Ishbel here (which needs blocking, I know, I know--I'll do that tomorrow, Scarlett) or they go hopelessly wrong like

this. What's the problem, you may ask? Well, the answer is that I have no idea what it is. Not the yarn, not the lace pattern. The only things identifiable here are the needle, the row counter, and the provisional cast-on. Otherwise, no clue. Classic case of chart separated from knitting. Hopeless case.

Finally, there are the carry-along projects, usually a sock but less frequently a multidirectional scarf and most recently 

 these little mitts or fingerless gloves or whatever the current word for them is. They're made of Zauberball and are warm and cozy--which might mean something next winter but here in Atlanta, where we've had our pedicures and have been wearing open toed shoes for weeks, means they might as well be T-bone steaks at a vegan convention. No use at all.

The ultimate carry-along project, of course, is socks and I always have several pairs on the needles (or, needle, since I almost exclusively use one long needle for Magic Loop). This type of project can, if properly chosen, be completed in the dark by a blind person simply by touch. [In no way is this an admission that I have  EVER knit on a sock on I-75S on the way to work.]

Since I just indulged in a major frenzy of finishing completed socks (weaving in the ends, etc.), I'm down to about two pairs and this is one of them. Plymouth Fino, a fuzzy unplied sock yarn that I hope will wear better than it knits. But it's pretty and someday I might even finish this one and get the next one started. This is the pair that's traveling with me in the car now that I've finished up the Blue Ridge Footprints socks. 

There's another pair on the needles somewhere. (Well, let's be honest, there are probably several pairs on the needles somewhere in this house if I could find them--see the post on organization, Day 3, I think--I think they're somewhere in the Rockies, but .... oh, who cares? They're lost forever.)

But, seriously, there is another pair somewhere (in the car? trunk maybe? in a knitting bag? somewhere in the garage, in which case they are well and truly lost) that I've been puttering away on. They're beautiful autumnal colors (which I'm calling Autumn in Orwell, for those of you up on your Vermont geography). And I'm sure they would be really nice ... if I ever see them again.

"Crafting time"? Are you crazy? I barely have thinking time!

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