Monday, January 4, 2016

New year, new start, new knit?

Happy New Year!  I am so excited for 2016, mainly because it is not 2015.  Not that it was a terrible year...  well, yes, worldwide especially it was a terrible year, but every year has terrible things in it.  Since I have pretty much no control over most of those, what I'm looking forward to in 2016 is a return to freedom of choice in how I spend my 'free' time.

Hint: knitting.

I didn't even set huge achievement-related resolutions for this year, and normally I do set a goal or two.  All I want to be able to say, this time next year, is that I was able to post a Hug every weekday like I did for, what, five years running before the renovation started?  I have so missed that!  If I could catch up with my Ravelry project page and yarn stash documentation, which I haven't touched in over a year, that would be pretty great too.

Yeah, it's over a year now that my daily writing exercise here has been a struggle to achieve.  Every so often I will commit to doing better, only to find there isn't enough time.  And there really hasn't! but also, I never actually made a plan to get back on top of things.  Right now, I have a plan, and that gives me hope.

In addition to a plan, I have devoted time over the holiday break to other measures that should reduce the number of directions in which I am being pulled, including but not limited to:

De-cluttering everyday stuff so I can find what I need faster

Paring down to just one pre-selected set of hat/mitts/scarf per coat and keeping them together (you need three coats at this time of year in Toronto - one each for mild, cool plus rain, and extremely cold weather)

Finally catching up on the teetering laundry piles (for some reason I unpacked a lot of vintage linens when we moved to the condo, thinking it would be a good time to wash and iron them)

Putting loose fabric things into plastic stackable bins to cut down on cleaning time - ha! as if I actually spend time cleaning, but you know what I mean

Sorting the yarn stash into bite-sized project chunks - more on this another day

Not just cleaning out but washing my purse - more on this another day too but you won't thank me, ew

And far from least, cleaning and washing my teapot, which was not just black inside but sort of coated, like a Smartie except without any sugar in the hard exterior.

My friend Bob's flight home got fogged in a couple of months ago so he stayed over at the condo with us - another perk of being downtown near the train station and Island airport - and he asked me about my teapot.  Specifically, whether the black coating is like a seasoned cast iron skillet, making the tea taste better.  Nope, I said.  It's like your friend is the laziest housekeeper imaginable.  But he already knew that.

I have googled the whole teapot cleaning thing and it turns out that not everybody fusses about the tannin stains in a glazed pot - in an unglazed pot it would be different, it's definitely seasoning in that case - and that cream of tartar is a good teapot-cleaner.  Who knew?  I've been using baking soda since forever for the job, one side benefit being really smooth and soft fingertips.  Baking soda is such an amazing skin softener on top of its many other virtues.

What is definitely not in dispute is how badly my pot needed cleaning.  I was getting crusty flakes of dried tannin falling out into my teacup, people.  EW.  but not as EW as the purse story.  Seriously, there's a horror story coming up on Hugs sometime in the next few weeks.

As a reward for all this responsible behaviour I really wanted to give myself the present of A New Knit. You know, a project that is just for me, is not socks, and is in a yarn not shown daily here at Hugs.

I couldn't think of one.

I mean, I do dream of a pair of fingerless gloves in this one very special Stoddart colourway I like, but that yarn is in a fingering weight and the pattern I love is for worsted, which means I would have to adapt the pattern and I know I don't have time for that.  Or the knitting needles, since most of my favourites are tied up at the moment.

Then I discovered a project I started last spring and never finished, so I looked into doing that, and then remembered why it isn't finished.  Three words: new wood needles.  Takes so long to get those things slick enough to feel like a reward after a confusing and/or exhausting day, don't you think?  Also the wool I'm using for it is pretty snugly spun, without the give I'm used to.  Either one is okay on its own, but together? it makes knitting feel like work, which is just wrong.

After that I considered a spinning project, and I'm still considering it.  I haven't had time to spin yarn since last winter and I miss it desperately,but I also know why it didn't happen no matter how often I looked at my sad lonely wheel. Seriously, the wheel is sitting right beside my knitting/working/writing chair and I actually had to dust it the other day, two things that should totally have compelled me to unfold it and make something with it.  The fact is, you need uninterrupted time to spin - or at least, more than twenty minutes a week.  If I go too long between installments on a spinning project I find I've forgotten the rhythm I was using for the last run, and then the yarn is even less consistent than my beginner skills allow.

There's a gorgeous pink scarf on my loom, too - I could finish that, and it would be great to wear in March when it's still cold out but I'm desperate for spring colours.  I think I even know where the loom is!  If only the idea appealed to me.  I like weaving, but unless I can sit down for a few hours and see it through it feels like work as well, and I only have room for delight.

So... for now at least, it's another pair of socks.  I ran out of travel knitting anyway, and I can't be without that: it's a practical choice, and in these colours, very comforting too.

Are you giving yourself a new knit for the new year?


Laurinda said...

I'm still working on the same selfish knitting project & I've just cast on a 4th time! However the color is so scrumptious that I can't even be mad about it. After my beret will be a matching scarf in warm, squishy garter 💜 All done in the Purple That Will Not Be Photographed. It's amazing, & sucks in all the light 😍 I'm even enjoying the 1x1 ribbing

Mary Keenan said...

What a perfect beret that is Laurinda! So simple, and adorable with the loop on top :^) I wonder whether I have any yarn that might suit one...

Su said...

That poor mistreated teapot! A stained, black interior and not even a nice hand knitted tea cosy to keep it warm. It's such a nice teapot too.

Mary Keenan said...

heh... it does have a cute sweater to wear now, this was an old pic!