For a while there I lost my knitting mojo and, from what I've read on other people's blogs, this seems to be a bit of an epidemic lately. I tried to analyse what it was all about as far as I was concerned and decided that there were several factors involved. These are:
(a) I've got several projects that are not far off finished but which give me about as much inspiration as the thought of taking a dip in the North Sea in the middle of December;
(b) I start something full of enthusiasm and then I experience that 'grass is always greener on the other side' syndrome when my head gets turned by something else that another knitter is working on or that I've seen in a book or whilst surfing the net, and;
(c) I've got into a bit of a rut in that I'm not stretching myself. Lately, I've not been adding to my skills but just knitting items that don't present any challenges to me.
To remedy this sad situation, I've decided to try to finish the items that are almost finished. There's one item that's really been bothering me though, which is nowhere near finished, so I've resolved at last to ditch it and use the yarn for something else. The item referred to is this one . . . . .
. . . . . and this is the reason why I'm going to ditch it.
This is Jagger from Jaeger 'Knits for Men' and a friend of ours, Bob, chose the pattern which I agreed to knit, not knowing that each diamond had to be worked separately so that the tension isn't affected. The knitting I don't mind at all but sewing up is on my list of least favourite things to do. I will knit something in its place though especially as Bob's going to help me clean the windows this week (another job I hate)!
I've also decided to challenge myself more so, on Friday, I ordered this and this from Heirloom Knitting. Yes, I seem to be okay with knitting lace and I enjoy it very much but, as far as some of the basic techniques for making shawls are concerned, e.g. provisional cast on, methods of casting off, attaching edging by knitting it on, etc, etc, I have little or no experience.
I was cheered up immensely on Saturday by the most unexpected arrival of a package from Rain containing these.
They're based on Knitty's Mrs Beetons but Rain has made several changes so that they're completely unique. I've already tried them on with my black jacket and they look fantastic. I then proceeded to do all sorts of contortions to try to photograph the result but only succeeded in dropping the camera which luckily still seems to work! I really like them and shall wear them lots. Thanks again, Rain!
I haven't got too much to show you on the knitting front although I have been knitting - LOTS! The reason I've not got much to show is that the main project I'm working on is a sort of secret project but I can show you a tiny bit of it (below) which, I'm afraid, wont really tell you a lot about the finished article.
I've also got to get on with the Fetching fingerless gloves which I'm knitting for my OSSP. I've got one done and they're a very quick knit so, hopefully, they should be finished very soon.
Recently, I received some tuition with more advanced wirework techniques. This is the state of part of our dining room table with some of the things I've been working on in various stages of completion.
It's been really interesting to learn new techniques including making my own chain and jump rings as well as making various shapes with my wire jig. The two items at the back are still not completely finished but the red necklace is a mixed media necklace; one side being composed of chain connected to beads and the other being crocheted wire with beads. So, there are no findings - everything was made from scratch just utilising wire - which makes me feel relatively accomplished. :-) The choker in front of the necklace is crocheted and is similar to one I did previously except this one is made of purple wire. The earrings at the right will probably seem familiar to some of you but they've actually been redone now that I'm better at the techniques and I'm much happier with the result.
I learned also to aim for the slightly unconventional in utilising items around the house for jewellery making such as the glass nuggets from my sideboard.
If you look carefully, you'll see that the central one has been turned into something which could be used as a bead by my crocheting around it with wire.
Finally, here's the start of a necklace that I'm making using the wire jig. This is only the central part and the wraps haven't been finished off properly yet but it will give you some idea of how it's going to look.
I've now made all of the shapes and just have to assemble the whole. Basically, it'll be composed of the zigzag wire shapes interspersed with different shapes and sizes of beads in purple tones and, hanging from the middle will be three zigzag wire shapes (one long and two shorter ones either side) with vertically hung beads.
As regards my eShop, it's still being worked on thanks to the help of several kind people. Thank goodness for the generosity of friends with big hearts!
To finish, here are a couple of photos taken at our last Maidstone Knitters' meeting where there were twelve of us including, as I mentioned in my previous post, Katie, (far end of table) from Knit Lincs.
We also met Susie (far end in photo below) who's doing a textiles degree and whose dissertation is focused on knitting.
She's trying to attend as many knitting groups as she can for her research and brought along a questionnaire for us to fill in so that she can gather information to add to what she already has. All of the information will eventually be analysed and it'll be really interesting to see what conclusions she reaches!
EDIT: On Saturday, I had to borrow Chris's tool sharpening stone to use as an anvil so that I could harden my wire shapes with a hammer. He did try to buy an anvil for me on Sunday from B&Q but they didn't stock them! Does anyone know if it's possible to get an anvil from any of the other DIY chains?