March Check-In: Focus

This month, my plans caught up to me. I felt scattered in too many directions. So I stopped trying to do so many things at once, and focused. That made for an awfully productive month in the end.

Knitting

The first week or so of March, I focused on knitting goals. The first was a hat I made for my Mum’s birthday. I chose the Cottage Garden pattern by Jennifer Donze from Milarrochy Heids and made up my own colorway.

My first thought was to follow the original “Clematis” colorway, just switching grey for the warm off-white (since I used up the latter on N’s Breiwick), and swapping the bright red for purple (since my mum loves red). Trouble is, I knit up one row of flowers, and it looked awful.

I was considering giving up and frogging, but realized that the problem wasn’t wrong colors; it was not enough colors! Because if there’s one thing my mom loves more than red, it’s all the colors.

After that it knit up very quickly and was lots of fun. Mum received it in time and I think she really likes it.

The other knitting focus from the beginning of the month was a new sweater. I took quite some time to swatch thoroughly and Get It Right. But that deserves a few posts of its own. Suffice it to say for now that this was never going to be done in March. Or April. But getting it set up was important, as it’s rather a cruise control project. (Meaning my brain is on cruise control. Don’t literally knit while you’re using cruise control and driving the car. You know you’ve thought about it.) I’ll leave you with a sneak peek.

Sewing

During the middle of the month, I knuckled down on Jared’s kamiik. He said at one point that he had hoped to maybe have them for his trip that he left for on the 22nd. At the time that did not seem likely, but it planted a seed in my mind. It took some pizza dinners and late nights, but in the end it happened. And oh my am I happy they are done!

This might make you scream, but the first time he wore them, he brought them back like this.

There is a trick to putting them on, and if you just yank on them, well. Not a good idea, especially if your leg skin is very soft, as his are. Thankfully this was fixed in an hour, and kicked off the next stage in my sewing: MENDING!

I made myself a mending basket several months ago, and it’s been mostly a place for holey garments to go to die. The kamiik have been my most recent excuse for ignoring the pile. But now the kamiik are done, and I officially have more socks in the mending pile than in my sock drawer, so it’s time to get busy.

I boned up on my technique with Tom of Holland‘s recent article in the sock issue of PLY magazine, and have been exercising my Swiss darn (duplicate stitch) and sock darn.

Not very exciting, as I’m too timid to choose a really contrasty color. But it is exciting to have my socks back.

Spinning

It has been the great catch up month! During lulls in sewing and after the kamiik were done, I’ve been beavering away at 51 Yarns.

I posted extensively about my Long and Down spins. I spun them all as 3 ply DK-worsted weight, hoping to compare them all as sweater yarns. The perhaps unsurprising conclusion is, I think they’d all make great sweater yarns! At least, when spun to that purpose. But the only way to test this new hypothesis is to spin, knit, and wear sweaters from them. Longer-term project, that.

I’ve started spinning the Icelandic samples; 2 out of 3 are done, but I’ve still got the finishing and swatching to do. I consider those separate because, although I still hope to see a sweater spin out of Icelandic one day, it will be singles rather than 3-ply. Stay tuned. Here’s a look pre-finishing: thel on the left, tog on the right.

The last ten days of this month has also been very different because Jared has been out of town. This is the longest I’ve been totally on my own with any of our kids, and it’s been quite a thing.

I think it was inevitable, with how planned my crafting has been this year, but the strain of parenting on my own pushed me over an invisible edge this week. I almost heard an audible snap in my brain: TOO MUCH PLAN! So I whipped a pretty thing out of my stash and spun something quick and simple and without any sampling or anything.

It was two oz of puni-style rolags which were part of Club Mom back in January. I took the four little fiber sausages:

Stretched them out into fiber slugs:

And stretched the slugs into fiber noodles.

Then I made beautiful singles. It was a chance to work on technique with slightly thicker singles, in a context where I wouldn’t mind a bit of thick and thin. I have some work to do to get them thicker; that’s a task for my next 51 Yarns sample. But oh my these lovely singles scratched an itch!

Other

Focus on crafting always means other areas suffer a bit. My FlyLady-style housework has become less of a focus, though the morning and evening routines have become ingrained, which I’m super thankful for during these solo-parenting days. Cooking is definitely on the back-burner, so to speak, and exercise is starting to take a hit as well. It’s getting warmer outside, time to drag the kiddos to the playground. We all need to move more in April. But I’m not making any plans till Jared gets back tomorrow. My only goal until then is to make sure everyone is alive.

What I’ve been doing more of is reading. There have been some important new books in my life, and I’ve got to follow that journey for a while. 

April is also our big birthday month. So I expect less productivity while we take time to celebrate. Bring on the cake!

Can you believe this little punk is turning 1 in April?!


2 thoughts on “March Check-In: Focus

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