There is lots going on behind the scenes almost all the time. I regularly try my hand at drawing, sewing, knitting and now in crochet too (sadly weaving is on hold). The other night we were having friends for dinner and I was preparing a demanding meal and my husband kept me company in the kitchen and admired my work. I thanked him for the compliment and replied that if you had been making as many mistakes as I have, you would do the same. He said that he had not realized this because he has enjoyed most of his dinners. Me again, that I don't serve the mishaps to you, nor anyone if I catch them in time! They go straight to the compost and then I either make something else or take the mishap as a challenge and try again. It is the mistakes that make me analyze my work and analyzing makes it better. The truth is that there are only few works I have done during my entire life that I have been completely satisfied with, if any.
I don't know if you remember when I knit Margaret, the beautiful cardigan from the Mason Dixon book Outside the Lines. I documented quite a lot of the process and of the mistakes but I did not tell you then that there was yet another mishap there along the way. I had forgotten about it until today when I went stash diving. There was a paper bag of yarn tugged away and since I could not remember what there was, I peeked inside the bag and found the remains of the very first Margaret. It is back into skeins now but it was almost completed Margaret in burgundy color. It had taken me of knitting almost the whole garment to realize that I did not like the yarn, the outcome was too heavy and the hem was stiff.
I am bringing this up because I just finished a mitten a yesterday of which I am very happy with it.
(I did not say that I am satisfied with all the aspects.) When casting off I thought to myself how easy the process was this time... That is what I thought until my eyes wandered off and saw beginnings of another mitten resting on my desk; a mitten very much like the one I just completed, knit in red.
I was knitting it just a few days ago and had already forgotten the whole matter. So really, this mitten did not grow out of knitting magic, there was some work and thought behind it, and some ripping too because I did not get the lace part right the first time, nor the second, and not even the third time. I think it took me half a day to get it just right, the cast on edge, the number of stitches, the yarn choice and the needle size. But while working on the lace, I discovered a new cast on method. Discovering something new is such a treat!
So why do I think that some work I do is a struggle from the very beginning, and then at the same time I think that some work sort of grows together without any laboring pains like this mitten, while it really is not true at all. I don't know the answer. Could it be that at times the thought is more mature in my head and I will just go and make it having to deal with only the making process and its choices while at other times the thought process is not yet done and I will need to make up my mind at every single crossroad beginning from the designing process. Could it have something to do with the size of the outcome? Could it be that at times I am not willing to admit that there is a problem and just stubbornly plough ahead and at the same time I keep listening to the nagging voice in the back of my head pointing out the problem and ignoring the voice becomes such a task. I know I am very stubborn, but I had not realized that I was so stubborn that I could ignore my own advice!!
So what has been going on here that I feel comfortable sharing? (All the errors cannot be public, if I had to make all my work visible, it would totally freeze me. While some mistakes can be shown, others are better to be kept secret, I'd rather hide them from myself too.) There has been some sewing. I made these little pouches last week (pattern from u-handbag). It took me three tries to get it just right, but now I know what I am doing and what I need to pay attention to while making them and I am going to make more. Two owls were born, pattern from the lovely Moonstitches.
This is a knitting bag I made for my shawls (my own pattern). I did thorough thinking beforehand and am mostly satisfied with the first bag although I have cut the pieces for the second bag with a few minor improvements. I truly like the ends of the strings.
I have been crocheting a bit too. At least three squares have been ripped out and here I have two remaining and I am not sure whether to continue or to rip these two also and make something else.
And then finally there has been lots of error in the field of mitten knitting because I am preparing workshops for Knitnation! I am thrilled to be part of this Knitting Expo in London this coming July! My classes will be the Rovaniemi mittens and the Korsnäs crochet. This new blue mitten is done using the Rovaniemi mitten technique.
The sky is lovely blue at the moment, not a single cloud in the vicinity. The temperature is still -17C! I'm writing this very early in the morning. It is not quite spring yet, but we are getting there. This has been cold winter, we have had more than one hundred consecutive below-freezing days. They say that the ground has frozen way over two meters in depth. I am beginning to doubt if it will ever melt again. Which really makes me wonder if I should get serious with sock knitting again. Maybe not, because I am truly inspired by mittens at the moment.
Have a good week and wool with you as always,
Oh, I almost forgot the true love part. (I took these pictures with my phone,)