Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rethinking

Last time I talked about revisiting the theme “Wear Thy Knitting”. Generally I think that all the previously set rules still apply very much but I need to think up ways how to execute the plan more succesfully.

I love autumn. I love bookstores and new books and sort of envy the children who get all kinds of new books in the beginning of a school year. I love the smell of a new book, the crisp feel in the hands and finding out the first time what is hiding between the covers. Autumn is also the time to sharpen pencils and start writing down new plans, time to get into shape after lazing (I was not lazy this summer thought – a lot was accomplished outside of the house) without definite schedules for weeks during the summer. It is time to make a fresh start, maybe start a new craft or set goals for body exercise or time to make a decision to finally cut down the amount of sweets or coffee or what ever is giving you bad conscious. Autumn is a fresh start to me.

(I always think in the autumn that this year I will make a good structure for my house hold chores, so that every single corner and closet of the house would get some cleaning over the winter… but this always fails. I wish somebody would start a good cleaning blog or household blog and write inspirational stuff there… introduce different ways to do different things. I could use that kind of inspiration. Maybe there already is a blog devoted to that… must google to find out.)

So this is a good time of the year to be making resolutions. The fall resolutions work better for me than New Year’s because in the middle of the winter, the lack of day light is showing and also the Christmas time always wears me out.

I love yarns. I buy yarn very often without a specific pattern in my mind; I just go with the desire.

the colourchart for yarn by Maisa Tikkanen

I want to be able to do that because new yarn really makes me happy - even though I sometimes get overwhelmed when I look at the amount of yarn I already have.

the colourchart for the yarn by Maisa Tikkanen

I don’t buy excessively, and don’t exceed my budget, so it is under control. Where I could be better is the colour choices. I know what colours I mostly wear and by now know for sure what will remain in the closets – so I’m going to make myself a card

magazine clippings of favourite colours

where I will collect all the colours that I like and wear (and the girls’ favourite colours as well) and will slip that card into my purse. All the natural colours are fine – I love them all. I prefer wool but knit sometimes with cotton too, so no restrictions there.

When I buy yarn I should take the time to think a little bit for what the yarn would be good for. Like when I’m buying cotton, most likely it will end up becoming a little summer top or similar so I should buy the amount of that plus a little extra for making a swatch. Often when I see new yarn I forget the fact that I buy yarn to make something – sounds silly, doesn’t it – so a little list of things I’m planning to knit over the coming months along with the colour card in the purse is not a bad idea. I have started to make a list of interesting and tempting patterns as well. I have already listed a few in Ravelry in the Queue and will keep doing that. In a good yarn shop a saleslady can help often with the amount of yarn needed but there is a little handy tool

from Interweave Press that I will keep in my purse as well. (Actually I don’t have a purse, I drag a backbag around instead.)

Having all these randomly bought different wools/cottons in the stash brings me to the fact that very seldom my yarn matches the yarn that is advised in the pattern that I have chosen. This is not a problem if I’m prepared to swatch and recalculate the pattern according to my size with new numbers but this is where I’m bad very often. I’m too lazy to take the time to rethink the pattern thoroughly beforehand but this will have to change.

Enid is on the way. I did a swatch for her and tried to make a swatch that felt right – not too loose nor too tight – and then blocked it well.

a swatch for Enid with 3 mm needles

I ended up not having the same gauge that is in the pattern what means that now I need to do some math.

This is the good part. The planning. The hard part starts when all the good plans for some reason don’t work and I need to rethink and recalculate and rip. And rip.

I’m prepared and willing… I hope.

17 comments:

  1. Such great ideas, the card with favourite colours, the list of projects,...I have that Yarn Yardage tool, love it...I also carry around my needle inventory card.
    I know whatever you do...it will please us no end. Let the good times begin!

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  2. It's funny...every autumn when my kids go back to school, I think, "This year I'll have a housekeeping schedule! Vacuum here, clean bathrooms there, do laundry these days..." But I never actually do it, and my housework remains as chaotic as ever. :) If you find that inspirational-housekeeping blog, please let us know!

    Looking forward to seeing Enid in progress - it looks like a lovely sweater!

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  3. Autumn always feels like a new start to me, too - I get that same excitement I did when I was in school, and the shorter days and longer shadows always make me happy.
    If you haven't tried it, you can check out Flylady.com. She's all about the housekeeping schedules. I find her style a little over the top, but the principles are good ones, at least.

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  4. Try FLylady.net They have an email list that you sign up for so that you get daily emails that help you to do your entire house each month in little-bitty-bits and pieces. She never advocates more than 15 minutes of work at a time. I agree with the above poster who says she's a little over the top, but then I don't have kid clutter in my life at this time either.

    Anyway, your color cards are beautiful!

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  5. I do try to buy yarn with a sweater in mind, but I think you also have to have a little wiggle room. A creative place to play that keeps things fresh for the wearable pieces. You have such a strong creative drive, it would be a shame to cage it in by the reality of what you like to wear. We need the fantasy and the fantastical too.

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  6. Anonymous04:33

    A couple of others have beat me to it, but I am also suggesting Flylady.net

    Yes, she is over the top, but the system works quite well. Unless you really like perky emails, don't subscribe to her reminder system. Sometimes I need Perk, so... I delete freely though!

    Love your blog. Your knitting and your musings are an inspiration to me ;-)

    Joyce - blogless in Wisconsin

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  7. Making color cards for the people you knit for and yourself looks like fun.

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  8. your resolutions sound lovely, but it seems wise not to go overboard.

    personally, i get such pleasure from the yarn itself that i would hate to feel that every purchase must be tagged for a particular person or project. sometimes it seems the perfect project appears just after i have made a 'silly' or unlikely yarn purchase.

    these adventures seem even more filled with pleasure because they are unplanned!

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  9. Richelle17:48

    I have been working the Fly Lady system for the last month and it has made a huge difference throughout our whole house. The daily chores are small and easily done but by the end of the week it has really made and improvement in that room. Give it a try.

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  10. kitkatknit20:23

    Ok I am glad that I am not the only one that loves the smell of paper and printers inks. Oh and old fashioned pencil shavings when the pencils were actually made of wood.

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  11. Anonymous02:47

    The hard part, I think, about housekeeping is doing it by yourself. If there are two women working together, then time goes much faster and the work is not so tiresome. Having someone besides you who knows that all the linens were turned out and aired and put back in the closet makes the job more "real." You know you did it, and so does someone else. It is very hard, though, to find someone to work with--a paid housekeeper might seem like the answer, but you may find that she likes to do things according to her own system. Alternatively, she might want to talk your ear off. A daughter or a sister or other relative is nice to work with, but pretty soon, they get bored, and want to go so "something fun."

    So, each housekeeper winds up doing the task alone, and without getting the sense of pride and accomplishment which comes from sharing the work. Sort of sad, when you compare housekeeping today with how it was in the time of big familes--noise and cheerfulness, and feathers flying from the pillows, and everyone looking forward to a nice lunch.

    In the meanwhile, maybe have a look at a book called "Confessions of an organized homemaker" by Deniece Schofield. It is out of print, but available used on Amazon. It is not only full of good ideas, but it is also inspirational.

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  12. Very strangely, the Church year starts in September. They must know something.

    I always find fall to be very depressing, and some years, it was very bad, I almost didn't survive! But I know it's coming now, and can just be determined to get through it; I don't find it any easier, but know that it will be only for a short time (hardly!) and then I will go through the horror of winter! And then there is the misery of spring. Gee, not much of the year that I can really tolerate! LOL Our summers are too short.

    I really loved your kauni sweater. Yes, I've seen so many making it, and they are all different, and each has a special quality. I'm dreaming of dyeing my own yarn so that it will knit up into something similar... shall see! Maybe that will cheer me up in our dull grey winters!

    How did you sew on the buttons? I can't see any thread through those holes. Interesting.

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  13. What beautiful photographs in this post! I feel the same way you do about autumn, it's a time when I make resolutions. I feel in the mood for new things, new experiences, new skills.

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  14. Anonymous17:31

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing your photography, creativity, and thoughts with us.

    About housekeeping, it's not a blog, but the book House Works by Cynthia Townley Ewer, is good source for providing a system for not just organizing stuff, but organizing the what and hows of running a household and keeping a house a home.

    Kelley

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  15. Lene, Enid looks lovely....and Henri, wow!! Enjoy your blog so much. Jeanie

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  16. about household organization...look up flylady.net. I have used for 3 and half years now and am very happy--she's in the American South--it is its own little country. Doesn't matter--take the advice to heart and be open to it. You won't be disappointed.

    P.S. Your blog is wonderfully inspirational to me and your knitting is exceptional! I love hearing about your girls, dog, nature, coffee in the early morning outside, snow, running water in the spring--I love your serenity.

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  17. Oh but Lene, what do you do when you see an AMAZING new pattern in a magazine (IK springs to mind..) and know you just HAVE to make that instantly, despite the fact that somewhere inside a voice is telling you that you'd look dreadful in it, the colour isn't you, and it was all done with make-up and safety pins anyway...?

    But I love Laurie M's idea of needing 'wiggle room'. And in the dark nights, don't you need some utter indulgence to cheer you up?

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