Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Finished Cardi and Other Creative Pursuits

This week, thus far, has had the feeling of continually playing catch-up. I'm sure it's because we're getting back into school - the home stretch! - and yet we still have our family here tempting us for a few more days of playing hooky. :) Tomorrow we will, but it has an educational twist: a visit to the FL Aquarium in Tampa. So, it's a field trip and we'll call it a day. :)

I finished my cardigan on Sunday night - staying up until 12:45 a.m., Monday, in order to do it, but now it's done! Yay!... Just in time for warmer weather! lol! Really, though, I used to bemoan the fact that I lived in MN all those years and then moved to FL and learned how to knit. Now I realize that I am such a cold-natured person that it's quite perfect. I wear cardigans a great deal of the year and sweaters keep me comfy in the winter months, often without a jacket. So, now I just appreciate the fact that I can enjoy and use knitted goods even in Florida. At least I didn't move here and become a coat designer!

The cardigan turned out nicely. I knit it in a Bernat Softee Chunky, as I'm such a tight knitter, even though the pattern called for worsted. Some day, perhaps, I will be able to find a nice, affordable, natural yarn in which to knit another one, but the acrylic was the only thing that fit the budget right after Christmas and now I can just throw it in the wash, right?

The original pattern that I found didn't have instructions for buttonholes (I am all about needin' instructions!), but I didn't think I'd need buttons. As it turns out though, I could have used just one at the top, because the neckline seems a bit wide and one shoulder tends to fall off with too much movement. Given that I do tend to move during the course of a day :), I've used a pin at the top. Laura Chau, the designer of this sweater, has a newer pattern up here. She's included options for buttons and waist shaping - both of which I would love to try. Additionally, she has provided instructions for adjusting the pattern if you - like me - have a gauge that is way off. So, I may get to try this in worsted sometime after all. I think it would provide for a nicer drape. The chunky is cozy, but the worsted would be a bit more elegant. Also, I love a boat-neck neckline and may just knit it as a pullover one of these days too. Ahhh... my knitting queue grows ever longer.

In other creative news, I continue to work on a project that I am enjoying immensely, but find to be rather slow-going. I don't want to show the progress yet, preferring to do a "reveal" of sorts when it is all done. Don't get me wrong; it's not huge or anything. It's just time consuming and given that I can only seem to work on it in 1 hour snatches early in the mornings, it's taking quite a while. I'm not even working in my sketchbook at this time; there are just too many things going on and I literally move from school to chores to project to knitting to chores to school and round about again.

While I long for longer stretches of time to work, I also wouldn't trade anything I am doing right now. I still love teaching and spending every day with my children. The time is all too fleeting. I see it every day in my growing girls and know there will be a season in which I will have hours to do as I please - whether in this lifetime or the next. So, I am content and feel full. Full, full, full to the brim with ideas and creative pursuits! That in and of itself fills me with gratitude and makes life worth living.

Craftcast, by the way, has had a couple of wonderful, inspiring podcasts the last couple of episodes. Her talks with Seth Savarick and Dayle Doroshow were wonderful.
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