That Wildcard

The last week has been all about attempted progress on projects that I really need to be working on and the whims that distract me. As you know, I tend to be pretty disciplined in my knitting, but spinning is the complete opposite for me: it’s a total wildcard. I don’t have a specific space for spinning and it takes a bit of effort to get everything out and ready to go. When I get the urge though, I tend to just go for it if it’s at all plausible, knitting plans be damned! For example, I noted that my September Fiber Club from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber would be arriving at the beginning of last week. on a whim I decided it would be awesome to wrap up the spinning project that has been sitting on my wheel for a couple months (whoops…) with the motivation that I could spin that new braid as soon as it crossed my threshold. Never mind the birthday knitting for my daughter that isn’t going as quickly as I’d hoped or the Conversation Socks KAL I’ve been working on or the other socks I started a month ago. No, why should I worry about those things with actual deadlines attached? I sat down Sunday morning and had at it and shortly after I had this lovely 3-ply…

fishingIt is 100% Superwash Merino (I think) in the Gone Fishin’ colorway from Sun Valley Fibers. My singles turned out a little less even than I’d have liked, but going with super bouncy high-twist plying really helped make the most out of this spin. I actually sent it through the wheel twice to get the twist just where I wanted it and it really went from a ‘meh’ to a skein I can’t wait to use. I love it when things work out like that.

Well, having finished this spin up, my wheel and bobbins were all empty and ready for the incoming September fiber club due to arrive the following day.  The plan was to let the wheel sit and work on my Conversation Socks Socktober KAL socks in the meantime. But the August fiber club braid was kind of staring at me…

tiger lillyAnd as the leaves are turning here and we just bought a load of pumpkins, I just couldn’t resist…

tiger lilyIn the middle of this spin, I actually had to leave town for a family event. Since I don’t travel with spinning, this is a big reason I opted to not do Spinzilla this year and probably should have been a reason to not start spinning again right before leaving, but that’s kind of what a whim is, right? Unplanned and not always the most sensible.

Anyways, I am embarrassed but mildly entertained to share with you the knitting I brought with me on a 4day weekend in which I knew I would spend no less than 16hours of it driving (actually driving, not riding in a car) and the rest taking care that my children were mostly well-behaved in public away from home. Normally my husband drives and helps immensely with the kids, but he had to stay back for work so aside from my parents — who do help a lot and were kind enough to ride along with the kids & me — I was on my own. In any case, I brought along my Retort Socks for the Socktober KAL, my Quick’s Point socks, a hat I’ve been meaning to start, and — this is the best one — about 12skeins of sport weight yarn with the intention that while I wouldn’t be able to knit on the dolls for my daughter’s birthday surprise of the complete set of Mary, Millie, and Morgan doll set, I thought I’d be able to knit the full complement of their clothes after the kids fell asleep and I was subsequently grounded in the hotel room with them. What was I thinking?! Yeah, I don’t know either.

What did happen, though, was that somehow before I left I managed to finish my Cloudlover Blueberry Picking Wayfarer Scarf.blueberryI just have to block it now and I am beyond over the moon about this. I think this was my pre-trip stress knitting — there’s always a little of that with me — but I can’t complain. Finishing this was long overdue.

We traveled safely & with the good company of my dad as co-pilot and my mom entertaining the kids I managed the 7hour drive time in only 8 or 9 hours on the road when you added in stops and I somehow did not go crazy. Our visit was grand and so worth the trip — it was one of those events that just makes everyone so happy to be there and be a part of it. In the down-time I did manage to finish my first Retort Sock for the Conversation Socks KAL…

arlington20As you can see, instead of a stockinette foot I continued the pattern down the top of the sock. Especially with sport weight socks which I use most often around the house, I prefer this minor modification. I’m really happy with how this sock turned out and am incredibly happy to report that after weighing out my yarn, I do believe I will not run short despite playing yarn chicken with this one. Fingers crossed, my quick yarn weigh-in was accurate!

After the craziness of the weekend with its excitement and complete lack of proper bedtimes, yesterday we opted to do a short day of school and spent the remainder of the day resting-up. My husband was home and managed the kids for the most part, so I could focus on tackling Mount Laundry and do some spinning in between. I wrapped up the August fiber club’s Tiger Lily I started before the weekend…

IMG_6656I am just going to do a simple 2-ply with these gorgeous singles. I split the fiber in half and then spun one half straight ‘as is’ and the other half and I divided into a bunch of random smaller pieces. I guess  you could call it a disorganized or random version of a fractal spin. I’m a big fan of these spins because it blends the colors in really fun and unexpected ways.

When I finished these singles, the intention was to let it sit and ply it and turn my focus toward my knitting (sound familiar?). But… having just talked with Natalie from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber over the weekend about the custom colorway she did for me – Quick’s Point — that I’ve had since WI Sheep & Wool…

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Photo courtesy of Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber

I couldn’t resist starting it.  I split the 8oz of fiber I have into 3 equal sections to do a nice round 3-ply — I was tempted to Navajo-ply, but decided against it as I kind of want to see these colors blended a little more. I got about 2/3 of the first 1/3 done yesterday evening…

IMG_6654And hauled myself out of bed early this morning with the hunch that the kids probably would sleep a little later than their normal 6am…

IMG_6655And I got the first 1/3 finished. It’ll depend on what yardage I end up with, but I definitely have an idea for what I want to do with this absolutely gorgeous yarn. This colorway really was made for me — I could not love it any more. Earthy neutrals. Bright sunshine yellows with a hint of orange. Rich steely blues. Barely touched whites with just a touch of the colors nearby.  It. Is. Perfect.  It will be touch and go as to the time I have for this, but I’m hopeful for rain this afternoon and early evening so I will have the luxury of a little spinning time.

What about all the doll clothes I was going to make? Well all that covert doll clothes knitting time never materialized (believe it or not). My daughter was so wired from all the excitement around her and being in a hotel room that it was impossible to get her to fall asleep before 10:30 or 11pm. I was able to work on the sock, obviously, but there simply was no opportunity for ‘top-secret’ knitting time. I know what I’ll be racing toward finishing every night until the 26th! And last night was no different…

IMG_6652I managed to finish the legs on doll #2 before 1) nearly falling asleep and 2) my daughter randomly deciding she needed to sleep with us. Thankfully I had already stowed the doll before my girl came in! Tonight I’m really hoping to get this dolly’s arms done and start on doll #3. I’m leaving the hair, ears, and face details to do all at once when all three dolls are done. And then it’s my hope the clothes will be quicker for me to knit. I’m figuring worst case scenario I can give her the dolls and add clothes as they are finished, but ideally it will all be done on time. Time will tell though!

It truly has been a true hodge-podge of planned progress and random whims in the last week. Stress and life and fiber club deliveries will do that to a girl. And that wildcard of spinning, it gets me every time — disrupting the order of things, existing in a totally unpredictable way, and — always, always — being so addictive.  Sometimes you have to stick to the plan and sometimes you just need to follow your whims. And sometimes you just try to do it all. Can you blame me with such great projects surrounding me?

14 responses to “That Wildcard

  1. Last night I spun instead of going to bed on time. It’s a total stress response, (I’m working on grad school apps, eek!) but I forgot just quite how lovely and soothing it is to spend some quality time with your wheel..

    • Even my husband has commented that I look so relaxed when I spin! I swim, too, and I think spinning and swimming are a lot alike in that they force you to be in the moment. You can’t be multitasking like a mad person when you are at the wheel or in the pool and I so appreciate that!

    • It’s Mary, Millie, and Morgan by Susan B Anderson for Quince & Company. I’m following the pattern exactly except for putting pink shoes instead of red on the little blondie & I accidentally also made her legs a little longer (by one or two rounds). 🙂 It’s slow-going, but the dolls are turning out super cute!

  2. I love the sock mods. I also always carry the pattern down the top of the foot. It looks weird otherwise, right?

    Stealth knitting rarely happens in my house either. lol. Beautiful pics of the spinning. I need to learn how to spin!

    • Personally, I always feel like socks droop on me if I only have a cuff design that ends at the foot. I haven’t tried a sock that has the design end at the cuff in the last 8 or 10years either though, so I might be crazy there!

      Spinning is such a luxury for me. It is the most relaxing thing I can think of, so of course I highly recommend it!

  3. Those dolls are simply darling–you’ve helped me decide on my youngest’s knit gift for Christmas this year, thank you. Now to carve out the time! Sounds like you had a very busy trip with great helpers in tow. Always nice when the kids can spend time with their grandparents (and give mom & dad a little respite, too). 🙂

    • My daughter has been a bit perturbed that I haven’t made the dolls for her yet, so I think the surprise will be a great one. I will say, they are done all in one piece (and by picking up stitches, so very little sewing anyways) and I thought that would make them go faster, but I think the opposite is true. They feel like they are taking FOREVER. Just a leg and 2arms to go on doll #3 though! Then hair & face + clothes and I’ll be set!

  4. I just don’t know how you fit it all in. Are you sure you don’t have your personal version of the elves who came to help the little shoemaker while he was asleep? All very, very beautiful

  5. Oooh,I love that yarn you are spinning. And the socks, of course. Even when the best laid plans go astray, you still accomplish a great deal!

    • I love it, too! And now that I’ve kind of gotten going with spinning again, I have all sorts of beautiful fiber to spin through. I’m hoping to cruise through a lot of my stash in the coming months.

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