Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ADD Knitting. Again.

So a friend told me the other day that knitting is recommended for people with ADD. It helps them concentrate by keeping part of the brain busy. Interesting, no?

I don't know if I have ADD as it is conventionally considered, but I do show ADD tendencies in my knitting. I started 2 new projects lately, because I guess I did not have enough going on (!). On the plus side, I finished a big one (the clapotis shawl), and I'm close to being done on a little one (the Fetching mitts). Not so bad, hm?

Long story about Clapotis . I had 3 skeins of this yarn, the Kraemer Silk & Silver, hand dyed at Woolbearers. I really, really thought that 2.5 would be more than enough. I was sure of it. Accordingly, I started using some the yarn for Branching Out, a lacy scarf that I am doing as part of a KAL (knit-along) with a group on Ravelry. I just knew that this yarn would be perfect for the pattern, and, like I said, I was sure that I would have plently left over from the Clap.

Tempting the Knitting Gods is never a good idea.

So. There I was, cruising along on the clapotis, and working on my Branching Out when I felt like it. Then ... the partial skein I was using for Branching Out ran out. Hm. I put it aside, and decided to work harder on the Clap so I could and get the rest of the leftovers for the little scarf. Unfortunately, as I watched my ball of yarn shrink more and more rapidly, it was becoming apparent there would be little or no yarn left over from the Clap. Then the Clap started casting its greedy, cannibalistic eyes on Branching Out. I had to face facts and do some frogging. And so my little scarf bravely and quietly gave up its yarn for the greater good (i.e., finishing the Clap). And this is all that I had left of the 3 skeins of fingering weight yarn (over 1200 yards, mind you!), when all was said and done:
Such a sad little ball, about one and a half inches in diameter. Barely big enough to call a ball, really.

After I cast off, the clapotis finis measured 22 inches by 74. I figured it would grow some upon blocking, which was what I wanted. But I had no idea what a monster it would turn into! Here you can see it in all its 25.5 by 93 inch glory, blocking on the playroom floor:
(9 year-old added to help give perspective. As you can see, the Thing is too big for the beach towel I lay down underneath it.) Anyway, I know it is HUGE, but I love it anyway. It has plenty of length to help me keep it wrapped around myself. I can even tie it in front. I made it to wear with a very pretty brown summer dress I have, and I think it will be a great way to glam that dress up for the wedding this summer in Maine.

Meanwhile, I was committed to the Branching Out KAL, so I had to "reboot" that with a different yarn. I settled on the Zen String Serendipity Sport I had originally planned on using for this pattern:
Branching out
Here it is, with about 18 inches done, so far. It's all right. The pattern is somewhat lost in this busy yarn, but it is better IRL than this picture shows. Hopefully blocking will help as well. I regret the loss of the Kraemer yarn for it, though, because it had looked so nice.

Yet more evidence that I must be completely insane: I started the Great American Afghan. Actually, I think there is a method to my madness, in this case. The afghan is made up entirely of 12 inch squares with different stitches and colors for each square. I thought it sounded perfect for an ADD knitter: there is enough variety to keep me engaged, the squares are small enough to be portable, and the needle and yarn sizes are large enough (worsted) to make progress visible and rewarding. So far I have nearly 2 squares done:
GAA #25
I am not sure that the top one (yes, the one blocking between the toothpaste and the hair gel on the bathroom counter--sorry!) will work with the rest of it. The yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, in Safari) may be just a little too crazy. An aside: I bought that yarn at purlsoho in NY. I wasted a half hour on the subway and 15 minutes walking in the wrong direction on Soho streets getting to that shop, so, by golly, I was going to buy something there and I thought this was pretty. But I will say that purlsoho isn't half the store that my favorite LYS, Woolbearers is. As Dorothy says, there's no place like home.

Anyway. I loved the stitch for that square, and it is not quite as lost in the yarn as it seems in this picture, but I know a solid yarn would have been better. I may do it again in a solid. There are a few squares in the pattern that I really don't care for, so I plan to skip them and do second squares of the ones I like best.

The second square (the one 3/4 done) uses Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Merlot Heather. This yarn is wonderful. I can't believe how soft it is! Because it is so reasonably priced, I think I will do most of the afghan in earthy shades of Swish, with a few other yarns thrown in for contrast. At least, that's my plan at this point in time. We'll see how it goes.

I made some progress on some long-languishing socks while I was riding trains in NY, because that was the only project I had that would fit in my purse and did not require I bring a chart or pattern along. And my Fetching Mitts are almost done, thanks to the car rides to and from NY.

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