Crowing Ram

Friday, May 23, 2003
Post-Apocalyptic Regrouping
The month's almost over, and I'm finally starting to really regroup after our several weeks of nonstop running. I thoroughly enjoyed the Broadripple Art Fair and our recent trip to Evansville, but it's good to be home. The chaos is slowly beginning to show the influence of order, and what was a minefield of yarn and boxes... slowly becoming the shop again.
We've gotten in even more stock as I've been trying to get everything back on the shelves, so I had to run out yesterday and purchase a few more boxes of shelving units. I've joked repeatedly about us moving into the basement, but methinks this weekend may bring the reality. Our weekend plans were suddenly nixed, and despite my deep disappointment, I'm thinking it would be the perfect time to tackle the task of reorganizing everything that just sort of got assigned to the basement when we moved in nearly two years ago.
Basically, there are lots of things that I've let go for far too long. As our business has grown in the last few months since I started working from home full time, it's been easy to put other things aside "for the sake of the business." Well, that's a bunch of pucky. It's time to get roaring on some stuff. The basement is a definite must; we've outgrown the two-and-a-half rooms dedicated entirely to ThreadBear upstairs. But I've also let my knitting and other fiber work languish. One of the things the basement will give me room for is to set up my loom, and coming toward the middle of June... drumroll please... Ashford is shipping our wheels! So the basement gets an overhaul, and some nearly finished projects need to get some attention, too.
So, here goes.
The last project that I actually completed was the Asymetrical Vest from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch that I made for a shop model. Love the finished garment, but um... it wasn't exactly a great technical achievement unless you consider the fact that I made it from the first printing without the errata. Let me tell you—I thought I'd lost my mind a couple of times. Given that, there's a stack of other... more challenging projects that are about to see the finish line.
The Aslan Socks are mostly complete except that I knit the second sock too long and will now have to rip back and add the cuff. No biggie, but it's a hurdle for me to pick it up when I know I've got to back up to finish it. Bleh! Again, it's not a real technical achievement (for anyone but Wendy who designed them—AWESOME technique, Wendy), but just going back to something that I've got to back up on hurts. It's an accomplishment for me.
My Philosopher's Sweater is coming along nicely. I'm probably up to or just past the armpits, and I'm completely unconcerned with adding the steeking purls. I'd rather go back and find where the steek should go than interrupt my knitting along the way. Yeah, I'm lazy about stuff like that. Oh, and if anyone is interested, I love my Philosopher's Sweater; I love the yarn, I love the texture, I love the knitted fabric, I love the color, and I love the technique. I completely understand that some people don't agree, and I'm cool with that—more for me! ;) Love you, Mar!
I did start a second pair of toe-up socks using my own hand-painted superwash. I love them. If you saw us at Broadripple Art Fair, they're the ones I was working on while Rob worked on his new Fixation sock design. The knitting of them is pretty basic, and they've become my new mindless knitting, but I loved dyeing the yarn, and it's been wonderful to see the yarn take on a life of it's own in these socks.
The High Helen Sweater is all but complete. The body is knit, and the sleeves are knit... mostly. I don't want to finish the sleeves, though, until I figure out how long they need to be. Then, while we were in Evansville, Rob made the comment that I was afraid to steek the armholes. "Preposterous!" I said. But now, the kernel of doubt is there. GRR!! I'm thinking it might be best, now, if I complete the new Fair Isle teddy sweater that I'm designing and steek it with the group before I finish up High Helen.
That brings us to the teddy sweater. The whole purpose is to knit a Fair Isle to fit a teddy bear so that you learn all of the techniques of making Fair Isle sweaters in a smaller, quicker, and hopefully somewhat less stressful project. We were asked recently to work out colorways for a pattern that was presented to us from another online source. Turns out, permission to use that pattern was never requested from the author, and we were asked to cease and dissist our involvement in that project. We did, so now, I need to develop a set of patterns of my own that will be freely available from ThreadBear. We'll post the patterns (vest, pullover, and cardi) at ThreadBear, and anyone interested in joining a knit-along for the project is welcome to contact me. Also, just so that everyone is satisfied that the pattern is my own, I'll post the details of each step I take to complete the design here in a very public forum. Of course, ThreadBear will sell kits for the colorways that I develop, but you're more than welcome to purchase your yarn anywhere or use whatever scraps you have available. This is intended to be a fun and educational project. Anything that detracts from that is useless; throw it away.
So, here are a few of the first sketches of motifs that I've come up with. Nothing fancy, but I'm sure your bear won't mind. Be well, and look for more progress soon.
Much love, folks.
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