Years ago I heard someone say that they had to do something about their home because it was suffering from Chaos. That sounded about right to me, but it really resonated when they said it was actually CHAOS, an acronym for Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.
That’s where my house is today. In any contest between people and things, I come down on the side of people every time, and so over the last few months the limited time and energy I’ve had has gone to supporting people – and I’ve given the house a lick and a promise so many times that you’d be an idiot to actually lick any part of it. I spent yesterday at my desk, catching up on a million things that were burning my work life to the ground, and today I’m trying to find the house, one room at a time. Part of that is the knitting that’s piled up around here in really weird little piles of hopes and dreams. Some finished, some unfinished, some knitting that needs fixing, some knitting that’s just yarn, there’s even a nest of circular needles arranged atop the piano like I’m the strangest of all possible birds.
Do you know that thing, where you’re going to go over to someone’s house and they say “Oh my goodness” (or something like that) “I suppose it’s ok to come, but I’m warning you, the house is trashed” and you get there, and their house looks better than your house does when you’ve just cleaned it top to bottom – you know that thing? This is not that thing. This is actual disaster. Dust bison roaming the living room, if they could roam around the stuff I’ve placed in their way. There is even a dresser that came from Amanda’s house to mine four weeks ago, standing with the drawers out and stacked by the chesterfield, right in the middle of the living room. (Well, it’s sort of off to the side, obstructing access to what used to be the dining room, before I started keeping yarn, mail, camping crap and laundry in it. People, we are talking trashed. We are not talking about a failure to dust here. There is some heavy lifting here before I could get down to dust and be left with just that, so today I’m working to get it down to a level where I can consider opening the door instead of just burning the thing to the ground and moving into a tent in the park. (Note to self: move tent from dining room before burning house down.)
Still, atop all of that there float a few finished objects, mostly simple things that I’ve completed over the last few weeks when my brain was mush and my time limited. First up – I finished my Peace of Wild Things shawl. This was my “just before the rally” knitting, a simple chart, big needles, worked a few rows here and there and still finished anyway. (It was a fast one.)
The pattern’s linked above, and the yarn was a single ball of Berrroco Ultra Wool Fine – it’s a good yarn, cheap and cheerful, only $12 a ball at WEBS (though my ball was swag from Berroco, sent to be a treat at a retreat.) It took almost the whole ball, with maybe 20 metres left at the end, but that’s an economical knit anyway you want to slice it.
Even with the pattern, that’s a completely reasonable Christmas gift, as long as you don’t add in the time – and I don’t. I put knitting in my entertainment budget, so if you figure that took maybe 10 hours? (Maybe a bit more, I didn’t count.) It’s …. about $2 an hour of entertainment, with the pattern. You can’t beat that – and into the Long Range Planning box it went.
Next up – I was casting about the house for something simple, but entertaining that I could putter away at without really needing a brain or to keep good track of a pattern, and I remembered that I had the pattern and yarn for Goldstream in the stash. I was a member of the Gauge Dye Works club a few years ago (am now, too, for the record) and this fetching little number arrived in the mail, and I was enchanted from the get-go.
It’s a neat concept, the club – yarn dyed specifically to go with patterns – they work together, and I loved the idea here- you knit back and forth in garter stitch, following the rules for a half-pi shawl, but every time you get to a bit of yellow, you make a little short row leaf. That’s it. They show up randomly. This, my friends, hit my brain in the exact same place as a self striping yarn does.
I was enchanted entirely – and enticed to knit a little bit further each time just to get to another hit of yellow. The yarn’s Gauge Dye Works MCN (Merino, cashmere, nylon) so a little hit of soft and cozy didn’t hurt either. I trucked this around everywhere – finally finishing up at the cottage. (I was knitting it while Elliot played at digging – it might have gotten a little involved, but cleaned up fine.)
Another lovely thing, and off it goes to the Long Range Planning box as well.
Pattern: Goldstream, by Andrea Rangel, Yarn: Gauge Dye Works MCN, Goldstream. As an aside, if you click on that yarn link, you will see that for once, even though it has been two years since that yarn landed at my house, it is inexplicably and suddenly available anyway. (It is either a miraculous co-incidence, or the Catherine or Andrea spotted it on my instagram. Amazing, either way.)
We won’t discuss the state of my August Self-Imposed Sock Club Socks, they’re not done, but almost. Can I distract you with a question?
How, I ask you – how, is it possible that after this long photographing knits and posing them all over the yard, and local parks, trying a million ways to figure out how to stretch a shawl out entire to show it off, how is it possible that it only just now occurred to me to use the clothes line? I’m putting everything there from now on.
(PS. Two days in a row!)