Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sorry, No Pics. Just a Mini Rant.

I lost my knitting mojo, you think possibly you could help me find it?

It all started right before Xmas when I finished those socks. You know, the ones I was making for my cousin from the Socks That Rocks yarn that she picked out at Rhinebeck. By the way I gave them to her for Xmas and she loved them but I’ll save the picture for another post. Anyhoo, that project seemed to be my crutch. Socks are my crutch project. I never realized how much of a process knitter that I am but whenever I need something to keep my hands busy, I usually reach for the flavor of the month project which is usually a sock. These last couple of days with nothing to knit has been driving me crazy. I mean I literally sometimes catch my fingers “going thought the motions” even though there are no needles in my hand. It’s spooky.

I used to believe that I was the “finished product” type of knitter. I enjoy speedy projects that give me quick results like hats, mittens, socks, basically all accessories. Maybe that’s why I’ve been a little tepid to try a full fledge sweater. It’s like that ingrain fear that most new knitters feel towards cables. That’s how I feel about sweaters. There’s nothing holding me back but yet and still I keep on implying these self imposed road blocks stopping me from just casting on the doggone thing and get it over with. I figure if I write it down then maybe it’ll give me more motivation to get crackin.

If you can’t tell already, I’m a little frustrated. Like I said in the beginning, I lost my knitting mojo. I’m almost positive that it’s not gone for good but it’s irking the hell out of me. What has led me to believe that my mojo’s gone awol is due to the fact that I cannot get gauge to save my life and everything I try to cast on for comes out very wonky. Case in point, I tried to cast on for a pair of fair isle mittens that I charted from Hello Yarns Pattern. I swatched for two hours straight and I couldn’t get gauge with the yarn weight called for and needles ranging from 5US to 8US. So I flung the whole thing across the room put it to the side and tried to start something else. I thought that maybe I should try something easier so the next day I tried to cast on a scarf for the red scarf project using some stash worsted weight yarn. For some reason, out of all the 8 stitch dictionaries that I own, I couldn’t find one stitch that I wanted to use for the scarf. I had 4 false starts before I flung that across the room put it to the side also.

The next day, I figured that what I needed was some inspiration, so with gift card in hand, I headed over to Barnes & Nobles and picked up this book. I wanted to try her toe up sock patterns so badly that I could taste it. I just knew that this was the project for me. As soon as I got home, I decided on using up some Koigu that I had in my stash for the longest. Now you have to understand that in this book, the toe up patterns are for 12 stitch repeat patterns so you can only cast on for a gauge of 8sts or 5sts per inch. Because of the yarn, my goal was 8 stitches/inch. So first I tried with 3’s. Fabric to loose. So I went down to 2’s. Still too loose. Then I had to search for a good 30 minutes for my size 1 addi turbos which had mysteriously fell out of my regular needle bin and into one of my yarn bins. Made a swatch and got a gauge of 7.5 sts/inch. Now I really don’t remember if I have size 0 addi turbos because I’m a majic loop type of gal so I had to break out the dreaded dpns (the horror). So I casted on and I just knew I was going to get gauge. Well guess what? Still freakin 7.5 sts to the freakin inch. (ugh). So around 11:45 last night , I finally surrendered and figured that my mojo must be lost and hopefully it’ll soon find it’s way back home.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to work on all my wayward projects that have just been sitting there all patient like. So right now I’m working on my handspun socks that I’m not too crazy about. But hey, I’ll knit on anything right now so long as I don’t have to ride the trains staring off into space or trying to read over my neighbors shoulder.

By the way, congratulations to Rosi G for scoring some of my handspun. Since I only got all of 3 comments, I’m going to send La Bean and Del some handspun also. Hope you guys had a wonderful Holiday and I wish you all a Happy New Year!


Cara said...

Right there with you. I can't find something to knit. I don't like anything. Well, except I'm back to socks. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. You can force yourself to knit something if you're not feeling it. TRUST ME. I've tried and failed multiple times.

To get past your sweater anxiety - could you make a sweater for a baby or a child? This way you can get past that hump and not have it be a sweater for you with all that anxiety of lots of yarn and having it take a long time. Sweaters for kids are small and they are put together the same exact way you put together sweaters for adults. Excellent practice. ;-)

Hope you get the mojo back. Here's to a fantastic knitty 2007!

Nancy said...

Damn I totally blew your birthday wish. I meant to get back and comment on the day itself. I suck, I'm sorry. Happy belated!

Knitting mojo ebbs and flows, it will be back soon. Cara's right about trying a small sweater first though, it really makes it less intimidating.

Stephanie said...

Good luck with that. My mojo is gone too and not at a good time. My 4-year old daughter says that she "needs" a new hat and scarf (the ones knitted 9 months ago just won't do) and I very definitely need a new scarf at minimum and a matching hat would be nice.

I would rather curl in a ball and read. It's not looking good here.

By the way, your handspun is vern nice. I don't want to look to closely or I may find myself with a spindle!

Anonymous said...

Hey sweetie, the mojo WILL return, but it sounds like you just need a break. I've done it several times this past year (the first year I knitted consistently) & the worst thing is to try & knit when you're really not feeling it. Give it time & meanwhile, listen to some music or read or go shopping.

Thanks again for the yarn! :-)

Anonymous said...

Well you better find your mojo Miss Purl, you know you got skillz and I need you to get your mojo back in order to show me how to knit :)
Happy New Year!!!

I know how it feels to lose your mojo, it happened to me last year with my poetry and writing, I felt burned out and discouraged...just take it nice and slow.

Latoya said... is it that I missed out on receiving some handspun yarn? !!!! Drat. I say.

I'm sure that you'll get your gauge there. At times, it has taken me a few hours to get the right gauge - but well worth the we say after its all done. Smile.

Can't wait to see more pics.

Knit on!

Splindarella said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Doing the calculations for the bog jacket was the hardest part. The actual knitting is simple and enjoyable (though I think the 30 or so ridges of straight garter stitch I have coming up might get a bit wearying before they're through). I incorporated a bunch of the shaping options (plus, I wanted a shorter jacket -- if I made it according to the directions, it would have reached to my mid-thighs), which is what made the calculations so wonky. I *love* the yarn I chose, Manos del Uruguay. It takes a simple garter stitch and turns it into a wonderfully textured, interesting fabric. Definitely take the time to do your calcs and get started on one. :)

sahara said...

Hey there, Chante´,

Happy belated birthday, and happy New Year! Do you think if I brought you back some knitting needles from Australia, you'd get some inspiration? I'm currently enjoying a well-needed vacay.

In the meantime, why not just knit some swatches? I do it to have something to knit and I get to see how my yarn looks.

When I come back, we can do a trade––I'll help you with a sweater if you help me with my spinning.

Please talk to me through my blog, as my email is not hooked up here. I'm glad you and Sherrin became knitting buddies! Tell her I said hi.

See ya' soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey sweetie. I always start flipping through magazines to lift my knitting spirits. Check out Knit.1's winter 2006/2007 issue. There are plenty of cool sweaters there. I am excited to make at least two of them. But I must finish the central park hoodie first. There are even some really cute accessories in this issue as well.
And also, happy belated birthday!!!

Ava said...

Ah, yes, that mojo. Lost it for a year once. It waned over the Christmas holidays, but returned when I saw my friend Olga's beautiful projects. In the meantime, it was socks for me too.