Project: Sweater Heaven!

So – the new job is now four weeks old, and things are going well.

Reasonably well, in any case.  I managed to distinguish myself on a two-day training course in Rotterdam by having a severe stomach upset the day after we all went out for dinner and beers.  So clearly, I now have a reputation as the Girl Who Had The Hangover.  (Note: this is an unfairness.  I’m not going to say that the beer was helpful, in this scenario, but that was *not* a hangover).  Still – could be worse – I was very nearly The Girl Who Threw Up All Over The Hotel Lobby, which would have been infinitely worse.

No – the biggest problem with my current job is that it is always FREEZING COLD at my desk.  I sit right next to hte downdraft from the air conditioning system, which means I have a gentle, cold breeze blowing onto my hands and upper body all day – and swirling round my legs and feet, too.  I can see that I will be wearing autumn styles all year round, which can only mean one thing – lots of opportunities to wear lovely, lovely handknits!

A few years ago, I was reliably churning out a sweater a month.  Admittedly, some were pretty simple- and others used larger gauges than I really enjoy wearing now – but mostly, I stopped knitting sweaters because I had enough of the things.  Since then, a few have worn out (but not many!); a few have fallen out of favour and been given away.  Others are just not what I need for a chilly office environment.  Here’s my list of requirements:

  • Style.  What is style?  I don’t know, but I recognise it when I find it!  I like my clothes (for the office, at least) to have a certain stylishness without being too very quirky.  I’m currently enjoying Peruvian Connection’s aesthetic (if not their prices), as they seem individual and classic at the same time.  Anthropologie sometimes get it bang-on, too as do White Stuff and Fat Face.
  • Warmth.  The whole point of this is that I’m feeling cold a lot of the time.  In particular, I need coverage on my front, between my navel and my throat.  This means that the open cardigan designs and the U-necked vests I have loved for so long don’t actually help me all that much – one of the main reasons I need to knit some more garments.  Garments need to either cover my upper chest (cowl necks, turtlenecks etc) or they need to support wearing other garments that do (toppers for turtlenecks).  Extra points for garments that involve special warmth in that area – stranded or cabled yokes spring immediately to mind.
  • Flexibility.  I want to be able to wear any given garment as part of lots of different outfits.
  • Stashbusting.  I really need to go and mark out sweater quantities in my stash – either single yarns or groups of yarns.

So, what am I thinking of knitting?

  • Another Gathered Pullover, using the handspun wool/alpaca blend mentioned here.  There’s more than enough for this and another sweater!  (This qualifies as a sweater that I can wear over other neck-warming garments, for those that were wondering).
  • A stranded-yoke sweaterdress-tunic type of thing.  I have a bunch of cabled embroidery wools that I worked up on the wheel, years ago.  I think I should have enough for a long length garment with lots of interest around the neck.  If I work it top down, I can just knit until I run out of the main colour…
  • Something with a cowl neck.  Possibly another tunic.
  • An Owls sweater
  • Maybe Rogue??  This one has been on the wishlist for years…

Actually, I don’t think I have all that many sweater quantities of yarn remaining.  Lots and lots of yarn, sure – but sweater quantities??  I seem to have picked up a little bit, here and there.  Souvenirs.  Enough for a pair of socks, or a shawl.

I might have to get spinning.

(Also, if you have any awesome ideas for sweaters that fit my wishlist – comment away!!)

All change at Yarnscape

::blows dust off of blog::

Errrmm…  Hi guys!  Is there anyone still out there?!

::looks around hesitantly::

well…  this has been a most interesting year and a bit, in which I’ve done an incredible amount of work (though of course never enough), met some fantastic people, travelled over large swathes of the country, and discovered some interesting truths about myself and self employment (hint: it’s not so much fun as it sounds).

To cut a long story short, I’m currently writing this from the desk assigned to me by my new employer.  Yep: I’ve gone back to the world of corporate insanity (and a regular paycheck), as of two weeks ago.  To my great sadness, I found that I wasn’t physically able to keep up with the demands of dyeing yarn full time, and probably not psychologically up to the task, either.  For me, self employment meant never, ever actually being off duty.  Combine that with the total uncertainty of how much money I will actually make – and when – and I’ve spent a lot of the last year hiding from myself, my life and the things I really enjoyed doing.

This last weekend was the first in a long, long time that I’ve actually spent two days not even thinking that I should, probably, do some work at some point.

So, what does this mean for Yarnscape?

Firstly, I will of course be seeing the current club out to its conclusion.  Secondly, though, I will be having a good long hiatus from dyework for a while.  I don’t know when, or if, I will continue trading – but I do know that I won’t start up again until I feel like I want to.  Yarnscape will return to being a paying hobby, not a second job.  I neither want nor need a second job – I need free time, creativity and enjoyment.

This is an incredibly bittersweet post to write – on the one hand, it means the end (at least for now) of a dream.  I thought that running Yarnscape full time would be incredibly liberating, but it turned out to be exactly the opposite.  And finding out that my body could not keep up with my hopes and dreams has been a nasty blow, too.  On the other hand, it is amazingly wonderful to get this post written.  It’s taken me a long time to do it. Partly because I didn’t know how to – and partly because writing about it makes it real, makes it public, and makes it final. It’s hard not to feel like a failure in these circumstances. I know I’m not a failure – my business was gaining momentum, profitable in its first year, and starting to make a real impact. But I still feel like I’ve let the whole thing down.

And going back to work!  Wow.  Well, I’m not going to deny that a regular paycheck will be a very, very nice thing to have.  And, as previously mentioned, I know that I will have more spare time as a result, not less.  You can definitely expect to see me around here more regularly – more spare time means more time to actually knit, spin and weave, as well as blog about it, and I won’t feel limited to only working on Yarnscape-relevant projects any more. Perhaps most importantly, though, I think I will be happier than I have been in a long time.  Employment is, in many ways, the easy option in our society.  It must be, or we would all be self-employed!  And I think this last year and a bit has helped me work ‘the dream’ out of my system, at least for a while.

Several people have contacted me, asking if I’m OK because I’ve been so quiet (thank you!!  You know who you are!), and the answer is – Yes.  Yes, I am OK – probably more OK than I’ve been for years.  Long may it last.

© Copyright yarninmypocket - Designed by Pexeto