Something New?

(...from last week...)

As I've been working on my Must Have Cardigan, I've been toying with what I want to start "next" in terms of a sweater. For some reason, a sweater called Sheldon from an old Rowan magazine has been in my head lately. Finally, unable to shake the memory of the sweater, I scouted around until I found the magazine, and I again fell in love with the pattern. It's a two-color fair isle design with a large-scale set of mythical creatures (sort of like unicorns, but not) on the front, back, and even sleeves. I love the design, and I spent a good bit of time this week pulling out various yarns from stash to see if I have something that makes sense to use and that will get gauge. I've got a couple of options – some Woolpak I think is perfect for the lighter color. It's the darker color that has me a bit stumped, though I have a navy Montera, an olive Cascade, and maybe a mulberry (if I rip out my Rowan Fir sweater that never got finished but is too big now) that could potentially work. The mulberry is Rowan DK Tweed (which is a worsted), and the pattern calls for Rowan Magpie Tweed, which is, I think, a slightly heavier weight. Still, I may swatch it and see in the fair isle how it works up.

Somewhere during the week, as I kept mulling over the colors, the enchantment of Sheldon waned a little, and the buzz in my brain quieted down. I started to worry, specifically, about the sweater being bulky and oversized. I think partly it's my reaction to it being a pullover because I've been very "cardigan-only" in terms of my knitting because I want to knit pieces that will get a lot of use. Sheldon is not a drop-shoulder, but it is still a bulky-looking sweater. Do I really want that? I'm not sure. I'm not a big, oversized sweater wearer anymore. I once was, but not now. Do I really want a sweater like that? Not really. But I do really want that fair isle pattern. So, I'm torn. Maybe it will go on the back burner of my brain again. (How long can projects stay in our brains on the back burner, I wonder? Some, like Sheldon and Wattletop and Anjuli have been on my mental to do list for years now.)

As my mind pulled back a bit from Sheldon, I returned (like clockwork or some bad labyrinth) to the idea of working on my Jo Sharp Anjuli and got momentarily excited about it. I'd love to finish that, I thought. But when I pulled it all out, I found myself not 100% sure that I love the colors.More importantly, I had to shift my thinking away from the idea of "finishing" Anjuli to realize that I'd be starting Anjuli, which makes the project take on a whole new cast. While I actually have finished one of the fronts and over half of the sleeves, to work on Anjuli means taking all that out and starting over. My Anjuli is too big for me at this point. I'd have to begin again in a smaller size if I want to make it. I stuffed it all back in its basket and pushed it back on the shelf where it's sat for several years now. To the back burner, I think.

Then, yesterday, really feeling overwhelmed given that my initial ideas, which seemed so clear, weren't panning out, I shifted gears and starting toying with the idea, again, of a Koigu "Bliss" cardigan I've been wanting to make (for a year or so) in several shades of Koigu (subtly transitioning them, a la Charlotte's Web). I found the Rowan pattern and then pulled out bags and bags of Koigu, but, frustratingly, I never put my hands on the right bag of Koigu. I didn't find the bag of "pinks" I'd put aside in preparation for this sweater. I searched. I rummaged. I pushed and pulled and prodded and shuffled and hunted. I found other Koigu, but I didn't find "the" Koigu I was looking for. Bummer. In my head, that sweater is still a real possibility – but I have to find the yarn first before I can tackle really laying out how the colors would work and how they would transition. (It's hard to believe, but the sweater only calls for 8 50gm balls. That's the same as 4 pair of socks. Seems crazy, doesn't it?)

In the absence of the Koigu, I spent time pondering my Philosopher's Wool. Like the Anjuli, the Philosopher's Wool is one I have to "take out." I was making a 55" when I started it. I've almost finished a sleeve, and I've got maybe 10 inches done on the body (worked in the round). I need something smaller, so I have to take the whole thing out. It's a daunting thought. I do love the colors still though. Of everything I pulled out this weekend, the colors in it still speak to me – strongly. It's a sweater I want – someday. I'm just not sure it's what I want to work on right now.

No big decisions made. Things have been busy, and the house has felt a bit like a sick ward with M and the boys all down with different things and me wandering exhaustedly through the days, chugging down vitamins whenever I'd think about them in passing through the kitchen as I try to ignore the niggling scratching and growing cough in the back of my throat and the burning behind my eyes. I think when things get crazy, my mind kicks into "start something new" gear. It's a totally irrational response, I know. I need, instead, to hunker into "finish it" mode and clear things out of my head. To some degree, I'm trying to do that. I'm working on the Must Have while I let my mind play with the possibilities of what's next. As I put it to M, what I realize is that I might only make one sweater this year. What do I really want it to be?

The other thing I've been doing as I deal with the craziness is gnoshing on Cheezit brand Party Mix. The kids love it, and though I generally am really disciplined about not eating their snacks, I took one bite of the party mix a while back, and it's been all downhill since then. Seriously, addictive. Seriously, not fun to look at the scale and know Party Mix has been my downfall.

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