Cultivating a Sense of Accomplishment

I finished something! This is a big deal. I’ve been doing a lot of work knitting, many swatches. And I came nowhere near finishing my Ravellenic Games project. But I finished this!

My Neiman (from Knitty Fall 2007) called for a wool/cotton blend for the main color and silk for the contrasting color. Well, I had some cotton/milk and shiny cotton/bamboo in my stash. I love all of Weaverknits designs but had never had a chance to work one up.

I was able to get gauge on the needles the pattern called for. This was a good thing. Working with a mostly cotton yarn on small needles made for achy hands. I can’t imagine having to go down a needle size for the body! The long stretches of stockinette were also a bit tiresome, but the increasing and decreasing helped keep me from being totally bored.

I ended up following the pattern for the 36″ size for the body and the 44″ size for the arms (mine are big) So I had to fudge the decreases a bit when I got to the yoke. The neckband was a bit of a challenge with this yarn and my shape. My shoulders are rather narrow and slope quite a bit. In general, I have a difficult time keeping straps of any kind up on my shoulders. Following the pattern and needles suggestion resulted in a *really* wide neck opening. Too wide, in my opinion.

I ripped it out and reknit it several times. I think a total of 5? What worked was ripping out the entire stranded yoke, doing an additional row of decreases before the stranded section and following the directions for the 34″ size. Then I knit the garter stitch neckband on size #0 needles. I couldn’t get the jogless stripes to work out so I just left the jog. Now I know which side is the back! I love it. It’s too warm for me to be a summer sweater. My timing was perfect

And while I’m talking about accomplishments, let’s talk about Play at Life Fiber Arts a bit.
I’ve been quiet at the blog. Well, everywhere really. Other than shop updates and previously scheduled vending events, life has interfered with some of the business. We (meaning my family) all have been dealing with some things that have been making it difficult for us to (at the risk of sounding super twee) be all we can be. I’m being vague because it’s nothing serious or life threatening, but it has caused me to look hard at where the business is going and what I can do to make it work and thrive.

I have decided a couple of things.

1. Play at Life Fiber Arts will remain small. FOR NOW. I can manage local vending events and shop updates. I can keep my at-home dye studio and workspace. This means I won’t be able to do BIG shows like NYSW, MDSW, or Stitches. But it should be easier for me to focus on the things I CAN do.

2. I am in the process of dividing the Maki, variegated, and self-striping colorways into seasons. This will allow me to focus on a smaller pool of colorways, thereby making it easier to have a variety of yarn weights and bases available. That means something available for you non-sock knitters who would like thicker yarns! I am still working out how I want to deal with the semisolids. Ideally, I’d like to have some fall/winter colors and some spring/summer colors. Maybe even some colorways that have been specifically designed to coordinate with Maki and variegated colorways. Things might be a bit bumpy as I transition into this dyeing schedule.

3. Pattern writing is not my thing. I do want to get Ruivo ( a sock pattern I’ve been working on off and on) to a publishable point, but I have no idea when it will be ready to go. I have several ideas for designs, but since I’m a one woman yarn factory, it’s really not my top priority. I was able to get the pattern published for the Garter Path Shawl, but Ruivo is a bit more complicated an I refuse to put a pattern out that is going to confuse or frustrate knitters. I love you all too much! Well, that came out a bit twee too. I guess I’m in a very saccharine-sweet mood today.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact page here, Ravelry PM, or Etsy convo.

Don’t forget to play today!

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