Sunday, December 20, 2015

The hardest decisions of all...

I decided Sunday was the day to tackle the most difficult set of decisions before the upcoming extended holiday visit to family. I care very little what clothes make it into the suitcase and I know if I grab my Kindle I can always find something to read.

Nope. Which projects to bring along is the big question. This gathering of fiber is fraught with a fair amount of fear. After all, being caught without anything to spin, knit, or weave when far from home is bound to cause some anxiety. If it lasts for two weeks, I might be looking for some valium (or more likely a yarn shop).

There are many considerations. The first is space in the car. I really wanted to bring the spinning wheel, but a few sweet and well-timed comments from Emily made me realize that there wasn't room... besides, did I really want my father, nephews, and brothers-in-law to mess with it? Seriously. These people can't keep their hands off a spinning wheel even though they have no idea how to spin actual yarn. Nope. The Ladybug stays home where she is safe.

But that meant I packed the Jenkins Lark spindle. I even picked up a little Sweet Georgia braid to have something entertaining to spin (passage through the state of Oklahoma warranted this purchase all on its own).

From there things got harder. There is a definite need for simple projects. There will be much sitting about, talking, and potentially even some mandatory football-watching (though I can hope to escape that). In a football-type situation, I can knit something harder. I know nothing about football and as long as I look sufficiently jolly when the team I'm supposed to be rooting for makes the ball go through that post thingy, I can concentrate on the pattern. But there will also be a lot of people. The couch will be crowded. There is no room for a sweater or other large knit. For this situation I have packed a ball of sock yarn (which I have already swatched!) and my Two-At-A-Time-Toe-Up book. I finished my first set of sample socks and I think I'm ready to try a real pair.

For the situations involving Christmas movies with fewer people, I can pick up the larger projects I have to concentrate on. The Aventurine sweater that Emily has been waiting for for almost two years WILL get done this holiday... especially if the nieces and nephews get enough movies to watch and I am allowed some illumination. I got a little discouraged when I couldn't get the Kitchener stitched hood top to finish correctly (resulting in a lengthy stubborn insistence that this sweater didn't even exist). But eventually I decided I had to move on and maybe my mother could help me fix it. Now I'm on to the plain stockinette of the body and sleeves. Home free baby.

For the rest of the time when I have to be participatory in the family conversation, board games, or just generally look like I'm paying attention, I have packed yarn for a cowl (which I have already swatched!). This was a request from Emily and she is REALLY hard to buy holiday gifts for. I couldn't find an appropriate pattern, so I found a stitch that I liked and I'm going to make the rest of it up on my own. I already respect knitwear designers a LOT more.

And of course there has to be a backup project. What if I run out of knitting? I have finally realized that my spinning teacher is right and I have to actually use my handspun if I want to become a better spinner. My winter hat is an old purple thing I knit about a decade ago. I think it is time to attempt a new hat with my handspun. I even bought 40 inch needles to try the magic loop method.

And as always, I'm still knitting these. I pretty much have a forest now.

I also had to bring some weaving. There are a certain pair of little girls who's grandfather has made them a dollhouse. I am anticipating a sudden need for small doll blankets (thus the Zoom Loom) as well as rugs and tapestries for the new house. I believe a 6 and an 8-dent Hokett loom should be able to produce the required floor coverings and artwork.
Now all I have to figure out is how to hide the fact that I just packed nine different fiber projects for a two-week trip. Maybe I can use decorative cookie tins for project containers... then they'll just look like gifts, until someone gets hungry.

11 comments:

  1. Wellllll, it appears to me you are ready to be snowed in. I think the only real problem you have now is getting all this stuff past Emily, as you mentioned. Good luck with that! Have a wonderful Holiday with your family.

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    1. I know it. Maybe I can disguise the projects inside an "extra" present box. I'll just say it is a big secret and everyone will leave it alone at least until Christmas... and by then it will be too late to leave the stash at home. I seriously doubt it will snow in Mississippi, but New Mexico might offer some up.

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  2. I understand and commiserate with your pain. I recently had to pax.click for 5 week trip to Alaska via plane. First problem, limited space, second problem-torn rotator cuff so drop spindle was out and spinning wheel too large to fit suitcase, get, bah humbug. That left me with socks yarn for two shawls and yarn for sweater for my daughter and of course directions to nearest yarn store(thank God, one in same town). Hardest thing, I bought gently used rigid huddle loom which came in right before trip, so no chance to warp it--of course with shoulder issues I probably would have made difficulty. Oh well, back home, recuperating from shoulder surgery- still can't use drop spindle but I can feel it, it is coming

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    1. Thank goodness for yarn stores at the destination also! 5 weeks is way longer than I could pack projects for if I were flying!

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  3. I always, always have a pair of socks to knit on. Everyone in my knit group is knitting the Sockhead Hat. It is a free pattern on Ravelry. Super, super, super, super easy and can be knit while reading, or in case the lights are dim. I know everyone gets tired of me dragging all my things around, but I can't be sitting and doing nothing. Once I was visiting my grandmother a few years before she passed. It was Thanksgiving and everyone was coming. I supplied the turkey stuff and my older brother supplied the ham stuff. After we were eating I was working on some needlepoint. Later my grandmother told me "It sure is sad." I asked what she meant. She said, "You are the last one in our family to know how to do this stuff." So everyone will have to get over it. I've got a lot to do to fill my two grandmothers' shoes.

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    1. I'm with you on the "everyone will have to get over it" thing. If they can't handle me knitting, I'm not coming.

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  4. Taking this opportunity to wish you and yours very Happy Holidays. I learn so much reading your blog and watching your videos. In fact I find you all over the internet. You are a very generous soul and I appreciate you more than words can say.

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    1. Thank you so much Auj. You made my day. :-)

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  5. Speaking of those little trees......I blame you for the fact that I can't get much else done because I am still obsessed with them! Have a great trip and looking forward to pictures of every project done and finished upon your return!

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    1. Ha Ha!! Sorry Peggy. I wish I had never found them. I'm still addicted after year two. Sigh. I'm trying to move on to more functional projects though. Maybe I need a 12 step program.

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    2. Only on my first year after seeing them on your website last year.....so let me know if you do need a 12 step program. I have to reforest my forest! Have a great trip. I saw a cartoon recently that said "If I can't bring my yarn I am not going"!

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