Thursday, January 9, 2014

The more things change.....

Heh - we're only 9 days into 2014 and guess who's just now penning her 'resolving to change' list?  Or, you could say we're already 9 days in and guess who's finally getting around to it.  It's a glass half empty/half full sort of thing:)

Actually, I'm posting now but I've been working on the whole concept in earnest for about a month.  I don't usually even bother but there are also usually a good deal of things I wish were different and haven't yet changed so, clearly, some effort will need to be made.  I'm loving all of the ideas that are floating around pertaining to the year upon us.  Miriam Felton has kept us captivated with her 'year of making' in 2013 and that wave is growing and you'll find the #yearofmaking posts on Instagram and Twitter to prove it.  I love the idea, the inspiration, and the commitment.  And David at Southern Cross Fibre is hosting a Spin 365 spin along on Ravelry - with the goal being that you set a goal of how much you'll spin a day/week/etc and work to maintain it.  Spinners are firing up our mojo and the posts of beautiful pics of yarn are streaming in.  The concept of remembering to spin/knit/make for ourselves as well as all of those lucky souls we usually make for seems to be popular.  Our own Enchanted Knoll group is hosting the MINE! along in ravelry - where you are encouraged to spin, knit, weave, or make whatever you love JUST FOR YOU!

Which brings me to my own  personal goals for 2014:
 Organization - Chaos is no longer comfortable for me so I'm weeding out clutter in my home, disorganization on my website, and other parking places like my Ravelry stash and projects page.  It's almost embarassing how much I've already thrown out or tidied up and there's lots left to do.

Making a life - Keeping the making fun and not letting it fall by the wayside due to the hectic pace of that ritual called a normal day-to-day life.

42 - Yep, that's my number this year.  I've been catapulting back and forth for years in terms of health, fitness, etc.  My biggest excuse when I'm on the downhill slide of the catapult is that I don't have time to keep up with my physical fitness routines.  This year, I'm vowing to MAKE 42 minutes each day to take care of me.  Yesterday, it was the haircut I hadn't kept up with for over 4 months, this morning it was 42 minutes on the treadmill.  Everyday, no excuses.  42 minutes.

Branching Out - I'm vowing to learn something new each month of this calendar year.  A new knitting/spinning technique, a new craft, or, perhaps, how to maneuver the rivers in my area with Thing 3 and the canoe he won in a school drawing.  Exploring - changing, evolving and growing.  At least 1 new to me skill or task a month.

So, that's it - we'll see how this goes.  So far, I've got the 42 thing, I'm making and spinning right along with all of the alongs, I'm taking baby steps at organization, and I'm branching out.  What are you doing with your year?

Sea Goddess Shawlette

This is a 'knit til you are done' recipe.  The original measures 54 inches across but, if you have more yarn to use and continue the increase/decreases as described, you could knit a larger shawl easily.  The EKF yarn kit (which was a Happy Hooves Sock Yarn Club installment this month) came with 8 colors of about 50 yds each.  This is a very simple 'recipe'.  It lends itself beautifully to using up small bits of handspun or those little leftover ends of sock yarn.  It's relaxed knitting that will really let the colors and visual features of your yarn shine!

This is a simple, no gauge pattern that you will soon find a rhythm to and be able to knit it anywhere.  It is a basic recipe with very little complication in stitching so it makes great, relaxing knitting!  Working from light to dark with a variety of colors will produce a dramatic effect as seen here – making it a fabulous project for those little bits and ends of handspun or sock yarn.  About 50 yds of each of the 8 colors will work.

Yarn:  EKF Superwash Sock Fingering (400 yds) or any fingering wgt yarn
Needle:  Size 7US

Co 4 sts
Knit garter ridge until you have 38 ridges per side.
K2tog twice, Pick up 36 sts along garter ridges plus two from opposite garter edge
K 2 rows
K3, purl to last 3 sts (wrong side)
K3, m1 knit to last 3 sts, m1, k3 (right side)
K3 purl to last 3 sts, k3
Repeat last 2 rows 3 more times

Set up row:
Please note – you may find it helpful to use stitch markers for the increase points – this is a personal choice.  Some knitters will ‘read’ the knitting and see the yo, k1, yo at every point and find the marker cumbersome.  Again, it’s up to you.  Likewise, you may find it helpful to use a different type of stitch marker for the decrease points as you are using for the increase points – as a visual reminder to decrease or increase.
1.  K3, k2, *yo, pm, k1, pm, yo*, k4 - repeat until 5 sts remain, knit all
2.  K3, p to last 3 sts, k3
3.  Knit 3, place ½ decrease marker (dmkr)k2tog, knit to mid point of the sts between the first set of increase markers and the second set, and create the following full decrease marker as follows: ssk, slip dec marker, k 2 tog.  Knit all increases as in Set Up Row 1.  Repeat the placement of setting up full decrease markers until you get to the last 5 sts, while still knitting the increases as in Set Up row 1. k2 tog, place ½ decrease marker, k3.  Essentially, you have one increase row (row 1) and 1 increase and decrease row (to make the points) in row 3.  Make sure you are increasing on both row 1 and 3.
4.  K3, p all sts, k3

Repeat these 4 rows, changing color when you run out of color 1. For each color after that, proceed as follows:

K3, k2, *yo, sm, k1, sm, yo*, k4 - repeat until 5 sts remain, knit all  this is your increase row to make your star points
K3, p to last 3 sts, k3
K3, k2, *yo, sm, k1, sm, yo*, k to dec mkr, ssk, k2tog, knit to increase mkr- make increases, knit until 5 sts remain, knit 2 tog at last ½ decrease marker, sm, k3 this is your decrease row to make your inverted points
K3, p all sts, k3

Repeat these rows until the last color.  Then, stop all increases and decreases and knit 3 garter ridges on each side, casting off loosely on the last garter row.  I usually wet block but this pattern is very simple and stretches naturally so is easy to steam block for a quicker finish!