Still Life from Quimper

Still Life from Quimper
A shot of an almost-completed still life needlepoint

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So very happy you came to visit. Now, pull up a chair, pour a glass of your favorite beverage, and read on about adventures in needlework.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New Project Madness

Have you ever noticed . . . that no matter how many times you promise yourself you're going to clean out your stash . . . it just never happens.  I think that the cause is:

New Project Madness!!

It's a true thing.  We go to one of the off-site consumer trade shows for needleworkers:  Celebration of Needlework or Stitches (insert region here), or even take a jaunt to our local needlework shop.  And what do we do?  Why, we BUY stuff, that's what we do.  And we bring it home!  And we can't wait to begin to work on it, so . . .

We now have an extra pack of needles (cuz we don't know what needles are in our various projects) and extra floss (cuz, you just never know), and then we set up our project on our frame, or swatch it . . . and before you know it, you've got a new project started!

Then you turn to your stash and you say, "Sorry, my dears, but you see, I just bought this new project, and I really just want to start working on it, and I need to start now, and I'll get back to you soon, I promise."

Fickle, fickle, fickle.

A year ago, I cleaned out my stash *gasp* with some little dog blankets.  Not really big ones, but there is a link I found that lists places that accept knitted dog or cat items, and I found AHIMSA House, which rescues animals that are in abusive situations so that the survivor can get free without worrying about her animal companions.  So as I knit, I wove the thought of comfort and love and calm into these little blankets, and I used up a whole bunch of acrylic and washable wool yarn in a simple K10P10 basketweave pattern, and voila!  There was room in my stash.  It was smaller.

Oh, and the lovely volunteers who took my blankets thought they were the prettiest things and they had small dogs that were going to go into foster care soon (which means someone was getting away to safety, thank the Goddess), and they would be put to immediate use.  And because they were machine washable and I knitted with two strands on smaller needles, there was less chance that they would be pulled or damaged by little animal nails.

Then I found a catbed pattern (also useful for small dogs) that uses FELTED yarns, and I looked at all my scraps of alpaca and Brown Sheep and other wools (not the English ones, though, that's slightly different!) and thought, "Aha!  I can make this felted cat/dog bed and there will be more room in my stash!"  Which was perfect, because I do have several projects that I need to get finished and this way, I could get those completion endorphins that only come with finishing a project.  And move onto the neglected projects.

So what did I do?  I bought some bright pink Lamb's Pride Worsted to add to the cat bed for a touch of whimsy, and then I got stuck.

Do I test felt everything?

Do I go ahead and knit it?

Could I add sock yarn and use up some of it, knowing that it doesn't felt?

What would it look like?

And the thought that has paralyzed me:  what if I test knit and test felt and I run out of yarn???

I suppose the first step is to admit we have a problem, and then the second is to go ahead and do something about it.

But you see . . .

One niece is about to have her second baby, and the first one needs her own little blanket, so I HAD to buy some cool crochet yarn and crochet a simple ripple afghan (from a long discontinued book that I've used time and again), and of course I had to buy yarn for the new little girl who's going to be born in cold climates in early September, and everything for this little family had to receive first preference so that new baby gets her warm sweaters when she's still a baby . . .

Here's a picture of the crocheted afghan when it was just started (and I forgot how quickly crocheting goes); it is finished now:

 And really, the stripe pattern doesn't matter:  she's two, she loves pink, and with luck she will drag it around the house while she gets used to a new presence in her life.

And of course, with patterns in hand, including one I used for her older sister, I run off to a local knit shop and find new yarns to knit these two new sweaters.   Which means . . . the projects that were almost seeing the "done" sign have been relegated to the bottom of the stash.  Not to mention the stash knitting I need to do, which still involves deciding whether to swatch (do I have to??) or just go ahead and knit (what if something screws up??).  And then there are the Yuletide sweaters for other great nephews and nieces for whom (which?) I've already bought the yarn . . .

Which brings me to the current project:  knitted little girl baby sweater.  I have forgotten how quickly baby sweaters take when compared to sweaters for older children!  Sweater #1, pink, is now at the sleeve #1 stage (and #1 is almost finished), so this afternoon will be spent listening to the baseball game and knitting sleeves.  Then assembling, and with luck I'll be able to take to Thursday's AKG meeting.  And then I start on Sweater #2!  It's a new project, right?  I can feel the New Project Madness taking over, before I've even begun it.  I really want to start Sweater #2 NOW because I want to see how the sweater pattern goes . . .

It is truly, sheer madness.

 Counted needlepoint of a tea house, from way back when.  I brought it for a needlepoint demonstration and felt sooo incredibly guilty that I haven't worked on it in soooo long.

Yes, this one is almost done.  Thank goodness there's only a little bit to go (haven't even updated pictures for a while!) and I have enough Persian yarn to complete it.

So, off to catch the Braves game and knit a sleeve.  Or two.  Just not three!