Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fun Fur?!?!?

Fun Fur???!!?!?!

Did I scare you away?

Never in a zillion quadrillion years would I ever expect to knit with fun fur . Three or four years ago, when scarves made of this stuff were all the rage, I knit a scarf on request from my MIL. As soon as this project was done I threw the scraps out and never looked back. Novelty yarns have never been a draw for me.

You know how saying "never" never works out for me? (As in I'm now on my second triangular shawl after saying never again?) Well, last winter one of my favorite bloggers, Maryse of bag 'n' trash/monster yarn, designed a cute little fun fur xmas tree and I fell in love. Kitschy yarn and kitschy Christmas decor; it's like two wrongs making the most perfect right.

I didn't find the exact color Maryse used, but I'm not too concerned. If it comes out horrific, I'll just break down and find the exact green Maryse used online. I hope to start this project in the upcoming week, when I need a break from my current WIP, which I have yet to even mention!

Before I do, please meet Gretchen:


Gretchen aka Happy 9th Anniversary!

Have any of you seen these at Bath and Body Works? They are the cutest little buggers ever. I don't get out to the stores often, by choice, but we couldn't help noticing these a couple of weekends ago when we were in the store stocking up on my most favoritest foaming hand soap (if you dilute the soap it lasts forever!)

I did not buy her then and there, as I am usually very successful in dampening my inner pack rat. I'm just one of those people where my things own me, so I really try to keep the owning of things down to the bare minimum, like say clothes, furniture, classic fiction, and yarn. Cute little stuffed animals are just more stuff.

So what does hubby do? He surprised me with her on our anniversary. Well, what knitter could refuse a cute fleecy sheep? Not this one. And because he really loves me, the rest of my anniversary gift is cash to spend at Rhinebeck! This leads me to my final musing.

18 months ago my interest in knitting, as well as my actual knitting, went hardcore. I fell headlong into the knitblogosphere; my interests were pulled every which way. In my rapture I found my desires, my yarn choices, and my projects both metaphorically and tangibly scattered. My skills improved exponentially, but my focus remained erratic. I was fueled by nervous excitement, rather than meditative joy.

By the time this fall rolled around, my mindset couldn't be different. At the time I finished up the Sunshine and Shadows shawl in July, my frenetic multi-project knitting basket just began to feel unproductive. I was moved to streamline my projects and my knitting focus. I vowed internally to devote myself to one project at a time (mostly). I no longer want to have one of everything (i.e, one sweater, one sock, one afghan, one shawl/scarf) in play. When I feel like starting a new project, instead of casting on something willy nilly, I am trying to divert this nervous energy towards more productive avenues such as the investigative legwork needed for the next project in my queue.

If anything, this is the biggest change I've experienced over the past year. I have always been an impulsive hobbyist (actually impulsive in general), unable to muster the interest or the discipline to plan things out. It feels as if I am slowly sloughing off the youthful chrysalis of impetuosity.

But then again, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. As with anything, this new project monogamy goal is just an outline, an operational guideline. Part of me fully expects to revert to my old ways, but thus far, I have slowly cleared out my knitting basket and have been successful in not casting on any of the scrumptious sock yarn in my stash "just because." I feel liberated; foot loose and fancy free.

My current focus is on the Seraphim shawl (rav link) by Miriam Felton, aka MimKnits. The first half of the shawl is nonstop stockinette. I'm about 6 rows from starting the first chart.


Seraphim Shawl WIP

I don't have either the photographic or editing skills to fully capture the electric "peacock" green of this ShiBui Knits sock yarn. The dye is so vivid, it invigorates me as I knit.

Sunday night I employed the spit felting technique as I cast on the second of five balls of yarn I expect to use on the shawl. I have sadly forgotten which knitblogger I picked this handy tip from, but I am sold. I used it first on my last multi yarn ball project, the Shetland Triangle, and did that old happy dance in my head when I saw how easily and well it worked.

The process, for those interested, is to split the plies at each yarn end. I used a heavy duty sewing needle, since this sock yarn is so thin. I split about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. This will give you two pieces of yarn looking like the letter "Y."

Overlap the plies of each yarn end, merging the two "V" sections, and place in the palm of your hand. The next step is to douse the merged strand in your spit. Using either your two palms or one palm and a finger or three, roll the yarn back and forth for about 30 seconds. The important thing about the felting is that you have to make sure the rubbing of the yarn generates heat; the heat brings on the felting.

Once done you now have a sturdy join that is just a wee bit thicker than the original yarn. No more weaving ends in!! How fabulous is that?

2 comments:

Knitting Kris said...

You made me choke with the fun fur bit! :) It was actually funny, because I did one scarf with that stuff, and like you, abandoned it for good!
I need to be more deliberate in my knitting as well. I'm still weeding through the UFO's. But when something is finished, it's a nice sense of well-being, and there's anticipation of the next project too!

Nell said...

Gretchen is adorable! And that's not a TON of clutter. Good for you to think about knitting deliberately. It's nice to have projects that you love not that you just had to knit.

 

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