Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Looking Backwards & Forwards

Today I’m in a reflective mood. Must be the dark and dreary weather: dumping rain with a dash of sleet mixed in. Or maybe it’s just the end of the current year and anticipating the beginning of the new one. I’m looking back in my Accomplishments book (which is very fat this year) to see what I actually did. It all becomes a blur over time which is why I keep records. There’s a big fat section where I documented the many tunics and other costume accessories that I made for my Milady Daughter’s wedding in April. There are 20 pairs of socks (including my Purple Elephant slipper socks and the OYT Socks for T-Man that I just finished) — a new record I think. There are two lace shawls (including one in handspun), 2 simpler shawls and a couple of scarves. And lots more. So obviously I didn’t sit around twiddling my thumbs!

So what’s up for next year? I’d like to work from the stash(es) more and buy less. We’ll see how long I can hold to that. As with most knitters, sock yarn doesn’t count! My sock yarn stash is actually quite small if you don’t count the leftover bits, which I plan to find a way to use up. And there are lots of folks on my Sock-Gifting List so I will for sure need more yarn for them. Also I plan to continue the sorting and inventorying that I started this year. I still have to go through my yarns, both knitting and weaving, and get them in some sort of list on Excel. My fibres and books, magazines & notebooks are already done and it’s easy to keep them up-to-date now. I also need to update my hook & needles list which I started a long time ago but haven’t kept up. I never use straight needles any more, only dpns and circs, so I’m wondering whether or not I should hold onto them. Though it’s not like they’re taking up much space or anything. They live in a big wooden box on a bookshelf. Quite awhile ago I started an inventory of my equipment (with photos) which I never completed so I’d like to get that done. Yes, I know I have an awful lot of stuff! But it’s not like I got it all at once. It took decades of dedicated accumulating and amassing and stockpiling.

Further to Monday’s post, I’ve done a bit more research on “green” textiles and the best advice seems to be to buy less and use it for as long as possible. To do that you have to purchase good quality that will last and to not care about following the latest fashions which change constantly. Either go with classic styles or develop your own style that is somewhat outside of fashion trends. Mine is “comfort-casual” with the consistent addition of something handmade, be that socks or a sweater, a shawl or fingerless mitts. (Or these days, all of the above plus thermal underwear.) Luckily I rarely have a need to dress up and no need at all for business attire. (Shudder!) That makes it easy to wear the same piece until it wears out. Then I have a little funeral for it as I consign it to the garbage bin. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust. Or something like that.

Did you know that a lot of clothing these days is only made to last One Season? That’s 3 months max! It looks shabby after being washed only once or twice. Shrinks and pills and seams pop. Holey crap. Manufacturers (in China, Sri Lanka or some other quickly-getting-more-polluted third-world country) don’t care. They just want you to buy it. So don’t. Insist on better quality and don’t be afraid to pay more for it (up to a certain point at least). Do the math. If it lasts a long time then it’s worth the extra money. Oops! How did that soapbox get under my feet again? I’ll jump off now.

So I was busy with the grandkids yesterday while their parents went to the dentist for a teeth cleaning. We had fun! KiKi played with Play-Doh and the Fun Factory extruder making worms and “cheese please”. Stargazer and I played with the Duplo Lego and little Fisher-Price people left over from when his daddy was small. He’s just learned to clap his hands and it’s so adorable! Yeah, I know — doting granny. I really do enjoy my time with them. They won’t be small for long.

I’d show you the finished socks but they’re currently drying after their warm soapy bath. I did like knitting with the On Your Toes wool but couldn’t really tell if the added aloe vera did anything useful. It’s not as splitty as my usual Sisu anyway so that’s a plus. I’m looking forward to trying the KnitPicks Bare yarn that I got but that’s not going to be until I knit a few more pairs of socks that are already in the queue. Speaking of math, I figure I’d have a lot more sweaters if I stopped knitting so many socks. There’s almost the same amount of knitting in a large pair of socks as there is in a small sweater. But then my family members who are the happy recipients of most of my pairs would pout. Can’t have that, can we? That’s gifting on my terms as opposed to the marketplace’s anyway. My story and I’m sticking to it.

For some eyecandy I thought I’d show off the 4 skeins of madder-dyed wool handspun:

That’s 325 g and 845 yards approximately of 2-ply yarn. The photo is really close to true colour, on my monitor at least. Bet you can see the difference in shade between the rose-coloured wool to the left and the more orange wool to the right. My own fault entirely and I’ll be doing some tricky maneuvering to deal with the difference. On to some marigold-dyed wool next, just for a change of scene.

No comments: