Readers, I’ve been struggling with a loss of crafting mojo. A few things have happened to make me feel this way.
disorder (or, lack of planning)
I all but finished the sweater I’ve been knitting and suddenly decided that I don’t like it. I spent a few days feeling down about this, but finally came to the conclusion that I was likely knitting this sweater so that I would have something to knit, not necessarily because I was excited about it. Knitting is such a routinized part of my everyday that I can find myself knitting away at something for a long time without realizing that I don’t particularly care for what will be the finished object.
Do any of you ever do this; get so caught up in the routine of your hobbies that you fail to realize that you don’t really want the FO???
So, I’m stepping back and reminding myself that I need to start a project because of the excitement and desire that I have for it (and that if I just want to knit, I should cast on for some basic socks or somesuch project). I’ve been going through my knitting library of books and magazines, oogling at all of the pretty designs that so many talented designers have created and I think I might cast on for a few projects just to return to a place of excitement. I also think I’ll bring out some projects from hibernation that I’m excited about.
For example, I really want to make more progress on my Aesa pullover. As for my Scandinavian, I’ve been thinking of ripping it out and making it a sweater instead of a wrap. I think that would be a lot of work, but I think it would be awesome.
good intentions and that path to hell
Oh geez… Readers, it is with utter humiliation and self-loathing that I admit that I have ruined some of my favorite handknit sweaters.
Last Friday when I arrived home from the Day Job, I went on a cleaning bonanza. Having moved the chicks out of the house and into the coop, I became obsessed with deep cleaning the entire house and I went a little overboard. Specifically, I decided to machine wash a load of handknits that were (over)due for a wash. Unfortunately, I didn’t check the settings on the machine – - and rather than being set for gentle and cold water (which has proven to be great for the most wooliest of woolies), the machine was set for hot and deep clean. Oops!
(The above photo doesn’t really indicate how toddler-sized these sweaters now are…. I should have added an adult sized sweater for comparison).
It was actually quite a big load of handknits that I laundered, and all of the superwash items came through unaltered, but four of my most favorite sweaters are now small enough to fit a toddler and two other sweaters are still able to fit over my person, though they have significantly shortened in length. For those latter sweaters, I still have some of the yarn leftover and am wondering if I could just pick up the stitches along the bottom and knit down to add length.
I have a friend with a four month old baby and will see if she would like my small felted sweaters, and I would feel much less sad about this if these, my favorite sweaters, still had the opportunity to be worn again.
Even still, considering all of the time and mental effort it took to knit these sweaters, I feel very emotionally attached to them. I know that sounds silly. And, of course, the good news is that I love to knit and, if I wanted to, I could knit these sweaters again. Still, it’s a bummer.
demoralization, the perfect incubator for stagnation
As for my sewing, I am STILL working on this dress, and by “working on this dress” I mean that the pieces have been sitting on my sewing table and I have not made any progress. For some reason, I feel very intimidated by this project. Because I am using two very fine and slippery fabrics (and sewing them together to treat them as a single fabric), it all just seems very overwhelming.
Frankly, I wish I were working on an easy knit dress or whipping up another pair of Trousers, or some kind of Tried and True (TNT) project to reclaim my sewing mojo.
On the Bright Side:
Here Chick, Chick, Chick!
The chicks are doing GREAT in their coop. I successfully installed a flap on the northerly window using construction adhesive, industrial strength velcro, and some of the linoleum we got for super cheap. I realize that in my last post, I wasn’t very clear about the ventilation vs. draft components of the coop. The windows on the east and north side are mainly to help keep the coop cool during the summer, so that some breeze can enter into the coop and help keep everything from getting too hot (since we have very hot summers). Those windows also let light into the coop. The main sources of ventilation (for all year round) are found at the top near the roof and also the big human sized door at the south end. Keeping that door open all day, even when it’s cold out, provides for ventilation but doesn’t create drafts of freezing air that blow right onto the chickens.
Anyway, since they’ve been moved in, we’ve had several nighttime temperatures dip below freezing and the little ladies seem to handle it just fine. I give them slightly warmish water in the evening and then replace it (when the water freezes a little overnight) with another batch of warm water in the morning. I’ve been wondering if I should add the heating mat that I use for seed starting to keep the water from freezing, but it only freezes at night and I don’t think the chicks drink very much at night.
We still let the chickens mostly free range in the backyard during the day and then put them in their coop at night. I’m working on “training” the chickens to go into the coop on their own (currently by means of luring them with treats) and that is a work-in-progress.
They are also freely ranging around Kiko and they include her in their chasing games, and whenever they rush at Kiko (in their silly chickeny way) Kiko runs as fast as she can away from them. It is very funny, though I often find myself consoling Kiko after the chicks make her look like a cowardly lion. Arguably, Kiko is a tad on the large size for a kitty (currently weighing in at 13 pounds) and the chicks are just two or three pounds. In the photo above, Kiko is more interested in a piece of grass than in that good looking leg that one of the Barred Rocks is flaunting.
They are 9 weeks old this week and their combs are becoming more fully developed! Everyone keeps asking me if we’re getting eggs from them yet and I try to explain that egg laying is part of their sexual maturity and they’re still several months away from that. I’ve been finding myself doing a lot of education on the subject of chickens – - for example, I’ve been surprised by how many university-educated adults thought that it was necessary to have a rooster to get eggs.
More Bright Side:
On Sunday, Josh and I celebrated the 99th month of our partnership. In celebration of those wonderful 99 months, we bicycled from the town of Kuna to the town of Melba on our road bicycles and then procured some delicious Mexican food in Kuna. Below is the Melba Town Hall, where we enjoyed a banana before riding back to Kuna for some mole and enchiladas. Mmmm, mole….