Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mindless knitting

It's my practice to have several ongoing knitting projects, and there's always one I think of as "mindless." This means I can do it automatically, so I can talk to others while knitting, or stop and start it often, as when I'm traveling and have to sit down/get up/embark/disembark/board/deplane, etc., and not worry about losing my place. My place in the knitting, that is.

The Knitting Goddess once observed that all knitting design was nothing more than rectangles and tubes. With this in mind, and knowing well my own limited ability to combine shapes, I decided that my current Mindless Project would be a long rectangle knitted of lace-weight mohair on #9 needles. (I use a circular so I don't worry about dropping stitches when it's packed away.) Said project accompanied me during a recent trip to a shockingly beautiful part of the world called New Mexico. Ultimately the project will become a very lightweight, warm, and lovely shawl/scarf thing.

I'm using Schoppel Mohair Lady yarn, 80% mohair, 20% nylon, in 50 gram balls. One ball yielded about 18" of generously wide shawl, so I'm thinking maybe four or five will do the entire job. The color, teal, is gorgeous; the yarn is not so wonderful to knit, however, even though it looks great. Mohair knitting is not for the faint of heart. It snags and slips, and it's a horror to frog. (At the unfortunate Brandon Mably workshop I attended last winter, I did learn one useful thing--that if you have to frog mohair, put the yarn in the freezer first. Apparently mohair is a very juicy kind of yarn, and freezing will tamp down the cling action.)

So, we had a wonderful week in New Mexico (the usual suspects: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos), and I met some great fiber people, bought some amazing hand-dyed yarns, and all the while knitted my Mindless Project.

Outside the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe NM

We came home, unpacked, unpacked, unpacked (translation: still unpacking), I caught up on things, knitted this and that, and suddenly realized I couldn't locate my Mindless Project.

In typical extremist fashion, I ripped through all my usual hiding places, interrogated H whom I trust to know where everything I've lost is (he didn't), replayed endless scenarios of when and what I'd been knitting in the week since our return, and finally decided I'd lost my knitting. I began to mourn it. I had sleepless nights. I considered a fairly reliable but desperate last-ditch tactic--to begin knitting the project all over again. This would once again validate my Theory of Duplicates, which goes thus: If you lose something, buy or create an exact replacement. This guarantees that the original will reappear.  I was very reluctantly screwing up my courage to do this.

But then I noticed a tote bag on top of a shelf in my closet. I opened it, and there was the knitting! 

Calloo, callay, O frabjous day! she chortled in her joy.

It's remarkable how impacted I am by a vast, though somewhat repetitive, cycle of self-created dramas. Most of them are pointless and downright neurotic. At least this one had a good ending, even if it temporarily disproved my concept of mindless knitting .

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Indian Summer

Recently harvested hand-knitted, hand-washed socks line-drying, late afternoon, today.