It's a nice sunny Wednesday here in Waldoboro, Maine today. The sunshine and lack of wind have warmed things up to a balmy 37F outside. Spring still feels a long way off, as there are a few inches of snow and ice on the ground and another snowstorm expected to creep in overnight.
My baskets are lined up against the walls in almost every room of the house. Like I had mentioned in my previous post, I don't have as much time to create as I would like (does anyone???) With this in mind, I have really forced myself to slow down on how many projects I have going at anyone time. The idea being that when I multitask, I spread myself too thin. It may feel like I am making more progress because I get to do more things, but I really believe it slows down how many things I can make in a year, and it diminishes the satisfaction I get from working on a project or finishing it. The list of things I WANT to make is always a mile long, but by giving my attention to just a couple projects at a time, I'm telling myself and the item that this time we get to spend together is special. I put more of my attention and love and energy into one thing at a time, and I get more out of it.
With that being said, I currently have four WIPs right now. For those of you not in the know, in the craft world, a WIP is a Work In Progress. We can also call them UFOs, which stands for Un-Finished Object, but I tend to think of UFOs as projects that got shelved with no intention of finishing them. Whereas a WIP is something you are currently working on.
The first WIP I'll talk about today are these golden yellow ski glove liners for my partner's son. He's an avid skier, and asked me if I thought it would be too difficult to knit him a pair of glove liners with holes in the thumbs and index fingers so he could use his phone between runs. I mentioned they make glove liners like that with conductive thread so you don't have to expose your fingers to the elements. He said that he had tried those in the past and they only work when your hands are warm or sweaty, but his hands get cold and dry in the mountain air.
I've been chipping away at these gloves since right after Christmas. The first one went pretty quickly, right up until I got to having to knit the fingers. I find all the small diameter knitting in the round to be exhausting and fiddly, so I have been procrastinating. I did finally get the pinky finger on the second glove finished, so I only have 3 fingers and a thumb left and then these will be done. Maybe I can get myself to finish these before next weeks WIP Wednesday.
My next WIP is a long-term project, and is currently stuck between having finished writing/charting the draft and knitting my sample, and grading the pattern. I know that I once I go down this rabbit hole, it's going to require a lot of my brain power because I have a lot of new skills I'm in the process fo learning in order to do this, but my goal is to self publish, and have a successful pattern launch of my first graded knitting pattern by the end of 2020. I would love to be able to publish 3-6 patterns a year in the future, but this is the first time I have ever attempted to do this. I am constantly reminding both myself and my daughters that the first time you attempt to try anything new, it's always scary, you are always full of self doubt, it takes longer than you think it should, and seems more difficult than you thought it would be. But with repetition and practice those "new" skills become familiar and the process gets easier. SO, 1 year for my first sweater, next year maybe I'll publish two new patterns.
My third WIP is another long term project, but it's my mindless TV watching project. I've been using a lucet fork with my "less desirable" stash yarn for the last year, making cordage. I have a much bigger yarn stash than I currently have space for, so a lot of my yarn lives in clear storage totes in the garage. I've been working my way through the yarn making braided cordage that I will someday turn into a 4-strand, braided-in rug. If you have not seen one of these rugs, there is a great explanation/YouTube tutorial over here.
Last but not least, another goal I have made for myself for 2020, in addition to publishing a knitting pattern with a successful launch, creating with intention, and using up my "ugly" yarn in my stash for my braid-in rug, is to start using up my spinning fiber. I had originally bought a lot of fiber a few years ago with the intention of making felted clothing for the girls and I. I have since discovered that I would much rather purchase fulled wool fabric and sew it into the clothes I want, rather than go through the process of felting garments. So this fiber had been sitting in (more) clear storage totes while I gathered the courage to process it into yarn. I had bought a drum carder a while back with the intention of using it to make batts for felting. I quickly learned that I had no desire to use a drum carder so I was able to sell it pretty much for what I paid for it. Then, late in 2019, I learned that I could purchase a piece of carding cloth and make a blending board for a fraction of the price of the ones available for sale. I figured this would be a good way to try one without making a large financial investment.
Well, a couple things happened. It turns out that I really enjoy using my blending board. I love spinning my fiber in the "woolen" and "semi-woolen" methods, and the rolags that you get from the blending board are especially useful for woolen spinning. I quickly discovered that not only is it fun to use the blending board, I also quickly realized that its very easy to inure your fingers on the teeth of the carding cloth.
It turns out you do put a lot of pressure on the fabric, so even though I had tried to glue method to make my bledning board, it has not taken very long to weaken the bond between the fabric and the board. I ended up taking the whole thing apart and am getting ready to purchase a more sturdy board and staple it back together. Making rolags has been a lot of fun, and I'm excited to eventually spin my rolags up into yarn to either knit with, or turn into more rug yarn with my lucet fork.
What are you currently working on? Have I mentioned anything here that you would like to know more about? Please leave a comment or send me an email. I'm always looking for more blog ideas!