Mar 19, 2008

Hello Mojo? How Do You Get Your Fiber Groove Back...

Lately I've found myself thinking more than once, "What would happen if I just. stopped. knitting." It hasn't been a nagging thought really; not a premonition exactly. More of a teaser thought...something for my brain to chew on to see how my psyche would handle it. Have you ever had that or something like it?

I found that each time it came across my consciousness, I was in the middle of either frogging a project, digging up my stash for something inspiring, or completing a row on something that I had no inclination to move forward with. Yep - the knitting blahs hit me. If you've read a few posts back, you'll see that I tried to remedy this feeling in the usual way.

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Palindrome Reversible Cable Scarf by Kristin B.
See a great tip on avoiding a flaring cable BO edge here

I admit - new fiber does a knitter good. My knitting mojo was definitely slipping away, and though buying yarn and knitting it up immediately didn't cure me, it certainly put me back on a more optimistic path.

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3AM Cable Hat by SmarieK
Patons Classic Merino 100% Wool in Dark Grey Mix
Knit Picks Options US Size 7 (4.5mm), knit using Magic Loop

Del posted a while back a rather hilarious earnest plea to her knitting mojo - begging it not to be gone for good. Thankfully for all of us inspired by her great projects - it returned! I know that feeling though, that anxiety that this might just be your last stitch - even if it's just for a while.

We're not alone. On the current Stash & Burn Podcast, Nicole and Jenny discuss the conundrum of knitting burnout; they talk about how we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by all that we could be knitting and all that we want to knit. And of course we all know that spending time on Ravelry in the coveting and planning stages can seriously impact how much you actually do knit. But who can resist??

Now, when I use the term mojo, I should be quite clear. I'm not talking about some earth-shattering inspiration or something that only a long time knitter can claim. I just mean that groove. That feeling that you can pick up a yarn, find a project, cast on, and plow forward and knit and knit and knit until....It's that little spark you get when a new pattern is posted on Ravelry. That heartbeat skip you feel when your hand runs across a fiber you have yet to try. The tickle in your brain when you come to a point in a pattern and think "What if I do it this way instead." That feeling of comfort at the end of a row that confirms that this is precisely what you should be doing at that moment. That mmm mmm MMM. Know what I mean?

Cotton Cozy Swatch
Swatching for Cozy

What do you do when that feeling is gone or slipping away? Do you woo it back? Do you tempt it with new fiber goodies and promises of simpler knits (More scarves! All garter stitch, all the time!). Or, do you just let it go and let it's absence drive you into the waiting arms of your other crafty loves?

If you've been through some version of knitting blahs or even burnout - how did you know? What was the first sign that something was "off" ?

Please share your stories with us! With any luck, this discussion might lead someone in our communKnitty back to their mojo or at least give them hope that it will return --in due time of course. Pull up to the Round Table and tell us...When your mojo has done up and left you,

How Do You Get Your Fiber Groove Back?

Mar 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Mizan!

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She's 5 already, can you believe it?
And we love her now more than ever - it's great how that works :)

Today at a glance:

*Pancake breakfast (her favorite, can you tell?)

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*A modeling casting for Osh Kosh
(fingers crossed she gets the job, college is 'spensive!)

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*Flying kites for the first time on the beach
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*Sand & Surf

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*Cake time!

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I will not get on a soapbox here, but birthdays are my absolute FAVORITE excuse for celebration, and I've discovered (much to hubby's delight) that they are just as fun to celebrate with minimal expense for a small but loving group of four. I hope the girls will look back on these good old days and remember these more intimate birthday parties with as much fondness as the big bash bonanzas ('cuz I'm a fan of that type too). I know I'll cherish these low-key ones especially though because it feels really good to take one whole day to remind this little darling how thrilled we are that she's been with us one more year.

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Happy Birthday Meezy Bear

Mar 7, 2008

Let's Do the Numbers...

204 days ago I set myself a goal.

365 days without buying any new yarn.

3 days ago I found myself completely unable to pick up my knitting needles (I really thought I might be coming down with something...turns out I was - I'm calling it the Knitting Blahs)

3 people told me the feeling would pass and that I should hold strong.

2 websites and 1 email foretold a sale on Patons Classic Merino Wool.

1 knitter (this one) happens to be completely in love with said Wool.

4 hours passed with said wool sitting in "pending" status in my online shopping cart while I debated the merits of sticking to a goal vs the psychological damage of forced deprivation.

60 minutes of no online activity means that your shopping cart status "times out" (who knew?)

1 trip down south to have lunch with 9 of my former colleagues meant that I had a

90 minute commute back home which took me right in the direction of the
1 store near me where the aforementioned wool was being given away (okay, not really - but we're talking CHEAP here people)

With 10 minutes of color selection and 1 very simple transaction...

8 new balls of Patons Classic Wool in (the most delicious) Chocolate Brown and Charcoal Grey followed me home.

So my counter for Number of Days Since I Last Bought Yarn resets to 0.

And you know what? I'm okay with that.

Palindrome Cabled Scarf WIP 007

The Palindrom Reversible Cables Scarf
Click the photo to be whisked off to the pattern.

Mar 4, 2008

To Her...With Love

I'm going to do another Round Table discussion soon on our Knitting Mojo, and what we do to get it back when we feel we've lost it. But first, I'll give you a look into how I kept mine from slipping away completely. When I couldn't think of who to knit for next, or what to knit, or what to knit with - I found that my worry slipped away when I turned my focus to knitting something new, something planned, something lovely, something for someone else....

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Last week, I finished four squares to contribute to the Briar Rose Charity Knit for The Hope Lodge, an afghan knit a long for a blanket that will be given as a prize to one lucky donator. The Hope Lodge is a cancer treatment facility that just opened in Michigan, and this is a cause that is very near to the heart of Chris, owner and creative genius behind Briar Rose Fibers

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Briar Rose Sonoma, knit on US Size 9

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I know what knitters can do when we act like the caring community we are, so if you'd like a chance to win a gorgeous afghan, the button below will take you to the right place for donation. Additionally, if you just love great yarn in AMAZING colors and textures, head over to Briar Rose and check out the goodies there. You'll be glad you did!

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