Where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing

Is it too early in my blogging history to have writer’s block?

I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few weeks trying to think of something to write about, and I’ve been learning that you just can’t force it when you’re not in the mood. I tried to get myself excited about mushroom barley soup, for example, because mushrooms were on sale and I convinced myself that it was possible to romanticize damp and mushy transitional weather and a hearty bowl of soup. And even though many would agree that this most definitely is the perfect time of year for soup, mine ended up looking unappetizingly grey and tasting only so-so (to be fair, it did taste much better on the second day), so I scrapped my plan. I haven’t yet given up on the idea of making a kick ass mushroom soup, but my enthusiasm for this project has died down, to put it mildly.

Part of the problem is that I haven’t eaten much of anything worthy of note lately. I’ve made my own version this salad a couple of times, which has been nice, but, otherwise, I’ve been phoning it in. Grilled cheese for lunch. Eggs and toast for breakfast and dinner in the same day. Boring pasta. Nothing too bad, but definitely nothing to get excited about. I know I’m not the only one who experiences food fatigue like this… when the idea of trying something new or even reverting back to old favorites feels like entirely too much work. This is food fatigue of the sort where you don’t really care what you eat, as long as it’s mind-numbingly easy or someone else makes it for you. The sort of food fatigue where you would totally order a pizza every night of the week if you could convince yourself there would be no consequences to doing so.

But!

It hasn’t been all boredom and repeats in my house. Oh, no! I may not be doing much cooking and baking, but I have been doing a lot of knitting.

I learned how to knit very recently, in November, as a way to distract myself from worrying about my PhD defense. Well, no, that’s not quite true… when I was young, my Grandmother did her best to try to teach me. I managed to master garter stitch, but knitting soon lost its appeal when I couldn’t figure out how to finish a project all by myself. I’m not sure what, exactly, compelled me to pick it up again as an adult, but it was probably a confluence of things: a chance encounter with Jane Austen Knits, which made me both laugh (a whole magazine devoted to knitting garments that Jane Austen characters would have worn!) and daydream for far too long about what it would be like to wear Regency-era clothing; a friend of Keith’s who had been inviting me to knit with her for years; seeing another friend post a picture of something they knit and asking myself, “I wonder if I can do that.” So, I gave it a shot.

In the last week, I’ve started multiple projects that will eventually make their way to other people. My sister’s friend is expecting a baby, so I’ve been commissioned to make a few things. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

Garter stitch baby blanket

A baby blanket! Well, the start of one. I’m using this pattern and, so far, it’s very, very easy. Nice, repetitive, easy knitting, perfect for working on while watching TV.

I’ve also started making these baby socks:

Baby sock

These are my second attempt at knitting with double pointed needles (that is, short needles with points at each end that are used for knitting small circular objects). The first time I used DPNs, my hands cramped up, I dropped stitched, I poked myself constantly, and, finally, I vowed to never, ever knit with them again. These socks are very small, though, and the only way to really knit such small items are with this type of needle. So far (and thankfully!) it’s been going well. I may even be… ahem… enjoying using them…

I’ve also begun knitting this hat for Keith’s dad:

Dad hat

For some reason (probably because most knitters are women), it’s hard to find non-lame knitting patterns for dudes. I definitely like this hat pattern, though, and I’m really excited to see how it turns out.

Lest you think that all of my knitting is for other people, let me assure you that I’ve just finished knitting myself a lace shawl, and, damn, am I ever proud of myself:

Lace shawl

Looks impressive, right? Right!? Well, it may surprise you to learn this was a very quick and easy knit. I promise I’m not being modest, either. The moves (otherwise known as “stitches”) are all things that a beginner can learn how to do really easily, and the pattern repeats are short and easy to follow. Best of all, it works up in a really short amount of time. I think it took me 8 days to finish.

And, with that, I’ll end my dispatch from the barren kitchen. I feel as though my food fatigue is starting to lift, so expect to see me here again soon!

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3 thoughts on “Where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing

  1. Wow that lace scarf is gorgeous! Put it in my queue on Ravelry! It looks so hard, but I think I’m going to give it a try (I’ve only been knitting since January)! I’m just wondering what needle do you use for this shawl? I can’t seem to find it online!
    (And I will have to buy the needle before downloading, of I’ll forget and start something else;) )

  2. Thanks! I’m really, really happy with it. 🙂

    In answer to your question, I used a US 6/4mm 40-inch lace tip circular, though I definitely think it can be made using a circ with a shorter cable (definitely 32-inch, maybe even 24-inch). I’d recommend using a lace tip needle, or just any brand that has pointy tips, because p2tog tbl is basically impossible to do with blunt tipped needles (believe me, I tried). If you’re wondering about brands, I used Addi Lace because it’s what I could get at my local yarn store. I’ve been reading that they’re not considered particularly pointy for lace tips, but I thought they were just fine for this project.

  3. Pingback: I Made That! | Self Preservation

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