Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: February 2010 Page 1 of 2


I missed a step last week, and came tumbling down the stairs in the middle of the night. Nothing broken, but I broke the fall with both hands and my (bad) knee. Ugh. It’s been a week and the right wrist is still painful. Do you know how much you use your dominant hand’s wrist on a daily basis? Everything seems to aggravate it.

Tonight, I broke down and bought a matching set of stylish wrist braces. (not!) These are make in anti-microbial grey fleece that is supposed to be soft. Guess what? They itch like crazy. Definitely not the polwarth I’ve been knitting nor the merino/silk I’ve been spinning. Yeah. Those 2 activities aren’t helping my wrist any either. I’ve changed from picking to throwing. The minute twist/flick of the wrist when you pick gets painful quickly.

Back to the itchy wrist braces…I think I’m going to have to make some fingerless mitts as brace liners a la Knitsarina.

Creative Euphoria and GTD

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in this state of creative euphoria whenever I attend events like SOAR or Madrona Fiber Arts‘ Winter Retreat or CNCH. There is so much creative energy around me, both in and out of the classroom environment.  My imagination is limitless. There are endless projects to design and possibilities to explore. (*) If there were only enough hours in the day to do them all.

Unfortunately, the euphoria wears off. For me, it’s on or about day 10. The memories recede and the projects are less vibrant and clear in my mind.  And that’s too bad. I mourn that loss after each event. And even though I know it’s coming, I am still surprised when I wake up one morning and can’t remember that fabulous project that occupied my mind for so many hours just days earlier.

This year, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to apply a bit of my project management background to the creative side. I know. It sounds totally anachronistic to the creative process. But here’s what I’m thinking.

In David Allen‘s Getting Things Done, David introduced the concept of creating a list called “Someday/Maybe.” In this list, you place all the things that you might want to do someday. Maybe. It’s in this list so you don’t forget it. But it is not in your everyday task list to mock you for not doing it. You can go back and reference the list when you need to.

Since I usually come home with at least 20 (or more) projects of dramatically different types (spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, you name it!) that I want to explore. Each project has probably 3-5 variations that needs to be experimented on. There is no way that I can get through them all before the memory fades.

The Someday/Maybe list is perfect for these types of ideas. Jot the ideas down, with as much information as I have. Attach photos, yarns, and whatever other inspirations that I have gathered to propel me toward the finished project. File them away in the Someday/Maybe folder.

Periodically, peruse the Someday/Maybe folder for inspiration. Who knows, perhaps I’ll have another burst of creative euphoria as I look through them.

As I near day 10 of the post Madrona creative euphoria, I’m going to spend an hour or so to gather my notes, thoughts, and samples; write them down and save them for a rainy day.

Ask me in a year how well this worked for me.

* Those more observant might also have noticed that I tend to post more in this blog during the days after the retreats.

Tired Math

Never ever try to do math, even simple math, when you are tired.

Case in point. I measured; I swatched for yoke sweater. All good. 8 sts to 2″. Easy. Just plug that number there into the EPS worksheet. Yup. Plug it in. Okay, pull out the calculator and see how many stitches to cast on. Hmm. 289 sts. Odd number because I wanted a non-thinking seed stitch edging. Just plain old knit/purl all the way around. No need to do anything different at the end/beginning of each round. Easy peasy. I’m so clever.

That should have been my first clue. 289 stitches. I cast on using a needle 2 sizes larger because I’m heeding Janine‘s advice of creating more of a bell shape by using larger needle sizes near the hips and shift down to the correct needle size for gauge for the body.  No complicated math for determining K’ (dubbed K-prime — secondary K number) and then figuring out the decreases back down to my K number. I knitted a few rounds. All the while, thinking, dang! That’s a lot of stitches. I knit on. There appears to be quite a bit of extra fabric here. Hmm. I knit on. Finally, after 3-4 rows, I go to bed.

This morning. I took a look at it. There does seem to be a lot of extra fabric. I did a quick measurement. 3.5 sts/in. That doesn’t seem too far from my 4 sts/in of the original gauge. As a matter of fact, it should provide the ease I wanted around the hips. I plugged it into the calculator. 82.5″. What? I double check. Yup. 82.5″. How could I have gone so wrong?

I looked back at my notes. Yup. 8 sts/2 in. My brain figured out that this is 4 sts/in, but I plugged the darn 8 into the worksheet instead of 4.

Moral of this story? Don’t do math, especially simple math, when you are tired. I can’t even blame alcohol since I didn’t have any. Just plain old exhaustion. Maybe alcohol would have helped.

Okay. got to get back to casting on 145 sts. A much more sane number of stitches. Although 144 pleases me better (12 squared), but I still want the brainless seed stitch edging. But 145 is better than 143, because it’s divisible by 5. Yes, there’s a little bit of Monk in me.

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