Sunday, February 10, 2013

Don't Over-Think This

I'm working on two scarves now. First, of course, is the GOTR Kal-Haven Trail scarf. I'm making steady process, and the scarf is soft and lovely. It's almost half finished, although this photo shows just a snippet:

And yes, you still have a chance to win this scarf for yourself. Donate to Jess or her daughter's Girls on the Run site; you'll get an entry for each $5 you donate. See this blog entry for more details; here are the links for donating online:

Jessica's donation page
Jessica's daughter's donation page

I've also started a Sky Scarf, which I'm calling the Mostly Michigan Mostly 2013 Sky Scarf. This is based on Lea Redmond's Sky Scarf, an experiment in conceptual knitting. It's a pretty basic pattern: every day, you look at the sky, and then knit two rows on the scarf to reflect what you see.

Since I'm knitting the Michigan sky (mostly), I decided to use Michigan yarn. Shepherd's Wool (Fingering Weight) is spun by Stonehedge Fiber Mill, in East Jordan, Michigan. I'll be using these colors, held together in different combinations:

Since Redmond's pattern is fairly generic, I started with one skein of the Shepherd's Wool, and knitted a couple of swatches, figuring out how to proceed. For this first swatch, I  used several different needle sizes and tried several different stitch patterns. Based on how this turned out, I'm going to knit a seed stitch pattern, with two strands of yarn, using a size 7 needle:

Once I settled on these details, I did another swatch in seed stitch, to get a feel for how much yarn I would need, and to see how I would manage carrying the unused strands along the edge.

This swatch convinced me that I should carry no more than 3 strands, which means I'll work with just 5 strands (i.e., knit with 2 and carry 3). Tentatively, these are:
  • blue + blue = blue sky
  • blue + white, or blue + light grey = blue sky with clouds
  • white + light grey = sky with no real color (e.g. on hazy summer days)
  • dark grey + white = cloudy / foggy / light rain / snow
  • dark grey + light grey = dark clouds / rain / thunderstorms
 If you read yesterday's blog post, you'll know that the sky can change dramatically within thirty or forty minutes - so describing the sky each day won't be an exact science. My plan is to start with the sky around noon, and then work from that to choose something representative for the day. If I'm not home, I'll make note of the sky, and knit it when I return (hence the "mostly Michigan" in the project name).

Today was Day 1 (of 365). The sky when I came home from church was grey. No clouds, no blue, just plain old grey. I opted for the dark grey / white combination, although that didn't seem quite right. Jim cautioned me, "Don't over-think this. Just go with the plan you've laid out."

I told him that his job, for the next year, is to remind me, as often as is necessary, "Don't over-think this!"

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