I've had a lot of life-busyness happening since my last post, so I haven't had much time to knit. But I have made a bit on progress on the tam, as you can see. My only complaint about working with many colors is that picking up dropped stitches is SO much more fiddly than it would otherwise be. The "carried-along" yarn on the wrong side sometimes masquerades as the yarn you need to pull through, which gets confusing. Plus, the needle size is a 3, which puts a bit more strain on the fingers and eyes. I've dropped 2 stitches so far, and have been placing a stitch marker on the dropped stitch and fixing it when I knit back around to that spot. No big deal, and I am not really complaining about it, as I consider this project a learning experience.
Hope all your cool projects are making you happy!
I am trying my hand at knitting the gorgeous "December Lights Tam" from Interweave Knits Holiday 2007 Gifts magazine. This is my first attempt at using multiple colors, and so far it's not difficult at all. Of course, I haven't gotten past the sideband yet, but I've already used 5 colors out of 8, so I feel that it's do-able. I am using sock-weight wool by Grignasco, Reynolds Soft Sea Wool, Wash Day Wool by Reynolds Kids, and Jo Sharp Alpaca. One of the biggest challenges was finding all the colors I wanted to use in the same weight.
A huge help for me in improving my knitting has been Debbie Stoller's Stitch and Bitch. If you haven't checked it out, or have been put off by the title, you need to take a look at it. Her instructions and tips make knitting seem so much easier than it looks, and she puts a fun twist on a traditional domestic art.
I just love my collection of vintage tins, and I do use them for storing tea, candy, cookie cutters, catnip, etc... The graphics are so great, and the colors are yummy and inspirational. I found the set of green canisters with the gardening woman at the Ann Arbor Antiques Market (one of the best antique shows around if you've never been) and found a matching bread box on a separate trip. That particular green color (fiesta green?) is all over my kitchen. Just felt like sharing.
It's not a resolution, really more of a habit I am trying to instill, but I am trying to keep the bedroom neat and the bed made. It's been a challenge, because we haven't had a real comforter or quilt on the bed in a while. I have been holding off buying/making one because the style of the bed is so strong, being a Harvey Ellis-style Stickley frame with inlays, that I wanted something that would not work against the style. I recently pulled this yo-yo quilt out of my blanket chest, and was really happy with how it looked. My husband even likes it! It's a vintage one that was unfinished when my mother-in-law gave it to me, and Johanna finished it beautifully. I didn't use it for the longest time, because it's so fragile, but I am committed to keeping it nice on a well-made bed every morning. I have to say, it puts my mind into the right place every morning when I straighten up the covers.
If you, like me, have "neatness issues", I have a couple of inspirational suggestions. Check out Flylady for a primer on becoming neat and organized. She uses baby steps to get the organizationally-challenged on the right track, and you can sign up for email reminders. The other thing that has really motivated me is watching episodes of How Clean Is Your House on BBC America. My home isn't anywhere close to the hovels some of these folks live in (setting the studio aside, of course) but it's a great show to watch to get enthused about creating sparkly surfaces.