Friday, March 10, 2017

We Don't Really Need It

This week, I'm feeling ahead of the curve. All the "extra" projects are finished and I have only one sewing and one knitting project on the go with some ideas tickling from the sidelines. And that's exactly the way I like it. YES YES!

The capelet I was knitting didn't work out. Even though the gauge was correct, the drape of the fabric was completely different from the one I made myself. When I tried on the first version, it was too tight. For the second version, I used larger needles and a few inches into the body (measuring from the neck down) I decided the neckline was too big and started over using less stitches. About mid chest  I tried it that version on and decided it pulled just a little too much across the shoulder so I ripped it apart and started over... and finished the fourth version... and tried it on... and it looked like a limp dishrag. And that was enough. The yarn went back in balls and...

... became a triangular shawl knit in seed stitch starting with one stitch and increasing one at each end of every row until finishing with an inch of ribbing. I've made what feels like a "million" of these shawls in the last several years. They are easy, attractive, stress reducing, and comfy to wear. Good and enough.

When I told that story to a friend, she felt bad on my behalf only it wasn't necessary since I wasn't feeling bad for myself. While I can't speak for absolutely everyone, as I explained to her, for most of us we don't really need it, whatever it may be that we are making. We are already warm, dry, safe, fed, clothed, loved and this thing that we are making is more for the satisfaction and fun of making it with the potential bonus of wearing it... or not... it really doesn't matter. That's why I'm far more interested in the journey than the outcome. Anyone can buy things. I enjoy making them.

The triangular shawl is a combination of a purple tweed yarn in a wool blend and a black, nylon-acrylic yarn. The Snowland sweater (below) is knit with a combination of a pink, nylon-acrylic yarn and a hand-dyed cotton yarn. I mentioned a couple weeks ago, how disappointing it was that the hand-dyed yarn went from the pinkish-orange that I loved at the outside of the skein into a greenish-beige that I do not love further into the skein.

Since I wasn't going to separate the yarns, pulling it apart wasn't an option so I finished knitting the sweater to see how it looked. I liked the pattern and not the colours. It's been a long time since I've knit myself a cardigan... that I actually finished... and intended to wear... and....

... I knew I wouldn't wear this one ugly as it was so I pinned it together along the underarm seams and tired it on to make sure it fit and then over-dyed it with iDye in a crimson red which turned out great.

The resulting colour is more raspberry than red. I threw a piece of white linen into the dye bath at the same time and it's now a co-ordinating tone. I plan to use the linen to make a garment to go with since this is a cropped cardigan and those look better on me unbuttoned and with a dress or longer top underneath rather than buttoned and ending at my waist... which is also the beginning of my hips.

After dyeing the yarn, I blocked the piece, finished the seams, and sewed on the buttons. I'm quite pleased with how the cardigan turned out and as soon as I sew something to go with, I'll wear it.

Switching from talking about yarn to talking about jewelry.... even though I think I've put the idea down... when I see jewelry around town, I'm constantly evaluating how I could interpret that inspiration with some element of textiles. The tickle hasn't left me so I'm allowing myself more freedom to pursue making jewelry beyond "just use fabric". I think that'll be a key factor.

I've ordered some wire wrapping books, have started researching organic jewelry and jewelry made from rocks, have started working on an inspirational collage, and will talk with Diane about how to go forward with this tickle during our coaching session next week. In the past, the tickles have always been the foreshadowing of some level of change so I'll be interested to see where this leads.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - tickle time


  1. Loved your results with iDye. Throwing in a piece of linen with it is a great idea also. I understand how you feel on the failures. I used to get upset about them but now I use them as a teaching tool and as a challenge to be more creative to "save" it. Keep on learning and playing! Paula

    1. Exactly - I like the challenge of saving it.

  2. What a fun post to read--so much optimism, so much focus on moving forward. Especially love the reminder that "We are already warm, dry, safe...."

    1. I use that warm, dry, safe... phrase frequently to remind myself to be grateful and to focus on what matters.

  3. I love the idea of dyeing knitting and a piece of fabric to match. Will have to think about how to use that.

    1. Trying the iDye product has opened up possibilities. I have the piece of linen but I can also dye more if I need it and that's intriguing.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.