Not enough knitting

First, a confession. Or maybe an explanation. A confessplanation?

My big plan for April, my last month of freedom, was to work solidly on my master hand knitter project, and blog about it. That … mostly didn’t happen. I think part of it was the stress of my first day of work looming, but a lot of it boiled down to motivation. When a project becomes so bogged down that I feel like I have to force myself to work on it, and it becomes a source of guilt rather than fun, chances are I’ll frog it. I’ll certainly put it aside for something that doesn’t feel like work.

The master knitter project felt a lot like work.

This, of course, is fine. If it wasn’t a challenge, it wouldn’t be worth it. Plenty of projects have aspects that require perseverance. Usually what gets me through is the desire for the finished item, or even just the desire to move on to the next piece that was more interesting. I wasn’t finding that pull in the master knitter work. I wasn’t loving what I was doing, and I wasn’t feeling draw to the result right at this time.

So, at least for now, the master knitter work is a hibernating project again. Maybe later I’ll find the spark that causes me to pick it up again, but right now there’s no reason for it to be taking up metal knitting space.

In all honesty, though, that was probably for the best. Right now I’m hitting the learning curves hard at work. I’ve been running headlong into a new project that is similar enough to some of my previous work to look accessible, but just different enough to make me feel like an idiot for not getting it. I’m also learning some fancy new numerical techniques which are both awesome, and tricky.

And along with that I’ve been learning how to work with a new boss, a new group, a new department, and learning a new commute. By the time I get home in the evenings, I can barely manage stockinette!

On the plus side, I’ve just discovered that there’s a new yarn shop just ten minutes walk from my office! And tomorrow is payday. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it should be enough to knit by.

An i-loom-inating experience

Two weeks ago a huge package of Ashford equipment arrived on my doorstep. Imagine my excitement! Lots of fun new things to play with and *better yet* I got to enjoy making them first. Now I’m the kind of girl who will pay people to let me build their flatpack furniture, who shows up at IKEA parties with a toolbox grinning from ear to ear. Imagine the joy when I get to construct tools for fibre crafting!

The first piece made was a 4-shaft 24″ loom. While the instructions were clear it still took me a while to put it together because I had only a passing acquaintance with how a loom looks and works. Still I managed to put together this beauty:

Of course once the loom was assembled I had to check that it actually functioned! As a loom novice this was not exactly straightforward. Still, after making the warping frame and bobbin winder (also flatpacked) I had the loom warped with my first ever weaving project.

Despite being forced to weave on the floor, the only surface large enough, I was quickly addicted. I flew through weaving a little scarf, made from sockyarn. [There's 150 ends at 15 epi (ends per inch) on a 10dpi reed, so every second end had to share, and the warp was 2 metres long.] I started with plainweave and threw in some twill in the middle just to try it out. As you can see my edges are dreadful and loose and ragged – I thought they would shrink in more with blocking. Otherwise I’m quite happy with my little scarf, it’s a nice size and has lovely drape.

The most fun part of all is that, if you’re a member of the Irish Guild of Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers, this loom will soon be available to rent! As will the contents of the other Ashford packages (including a spinning wheel) and a dyeing kit. I’ll post more about the other equipment and the details once finalised. In the meantime I’d love to hear from members interested in the rental scheme. New members are always welcome in the guild, simply join online and be aware there will be a lead-time for rentals.

Now that I have a proper kitchen table I’m looking forward to trying another project. Perhaps I’ll have time for a table runner before the loom begins its travels.