Back to ZEN

I’m finally there. This past year has been a weird year in which three or four different things were moving along in a parallel and are now finally all coming together.

When I plan something I usually just jump in headfirst and I’ll come to things like problem solving when I get to the problem. This has served me very well because the biggest issues are avoided because I’ve already thought about them, and the smaller issues are just tiny hurdles you have to jump over when you get there. It’s not very usefull to let such small matters paralyze you from moving forward (just my opinion). But now we’re reaching a bigger hurdle and I’ve been focussing on this part for the better part of this year.

The three things are the shop, the house and my second pregnancy.

The shop is actually the easiest one. The first year was all about making a name and expanding a LOT. There’s a lot of ideas in my head and I have a very restricted space, but in the end I’m sure it will all work out 🙂 There’s a lot of trial and error, but it keeps me busy and focussed and it’s exactly what I needed in my life 🙂 Before the shop I was looking into a lot of different things, and the shop is the glue that binds all of these different endeavors and ideas and knowledge together. In a way, it’s like I’ve always had a shop my entire life. I don’t even know what I used to do before the shop.

The second one is the house. When we moved in here Ma’iq was only 4 months old. If you’ve never lived with a 4 month old baby you might not be aware of how much a baby naps. Which is quite a lot. And when you move into a new house there’s a lot of remoddeling and a lot of moving things around. So back then we just moved most of our stuff into storage and did tiny adjustments here and there when the baby was asleep. He also didn’t go do daycare because I was a SAHM. This basically meant that we couldn’t do any realy work on the house and everything kind of stayed the way it was. When he started to go to daycare (shortly after his 1st birthday, and only because I wanted to open a shop) there was a lot of work to be done in the shop, so the house, again, didn’t have the big priortiy.

So here’s where the pregnancy comes in. Before I used to work 7 – 6 days a week. I had to reduce my days because it was getting very hard to manage while being pregnant (and lousily pregnant at that.. the first 5 months were really not that comfortable). Working in an office is easier because you’re not the only one manning  a shop and you can go to the bathroom for a few minutes until you feel better. I’ve had to reduce my days and then I found myself at home with too much time and decided to at least really organize my stuff. I remembered what I had read in Marie Kondo’s book and now it really hit me. I’ve thrown out most of the stuff we had in storage. There’s only a few boxes left and I’m probably going to throw those out as well. It’s so incredibly liberating.

I’ve been focussing on getting the baby things ready and now I finally feel like my clutter is organized. I finally have my own space (even though I share it with the washer, it’s a space with a door and I can leave my stuff and get back to it without it having to be moved. Which has resulted in the following:

It’s been a while since I last touched this thing and I’ve been feeling guilty ever since. I noticed that there’s something extremely zen about knotting rugs. There’s no design choices, there’s no thinking, caluclating or writing down. Any of it. It’s just me and the knots.

I’m a little inconsistent with the cutting, but that’s really not an issue. When it’s done I can have it “sheared” by a professional and then it’ll be nice and straight. The only thing to watch out for is cutting the knots too short.

The new knots are placed on top of the old layer and they stick out a bit. It’s generally okay, because you have to cut the ends anyway, but you do have to be mindful that you don’t make them too long. You may end up using all the color before you’re done with the rug. (It’s not really a huge concern of mine, but I am a little worried I guess.)

It’s really awesome that there’s already a bit of pattern. It’s a bit hard to see in the middle section, but this part (on the right) and another part on the left are clearly visible. (it’s a huge leaf so..)

While looking for posts about this topic (on my blog) I noticed I never posted a picture of what it’s going to look like. Or maybe I did but I couldn’t find it. So here’s the thing, because I’ve gotten a few questions about it:

there’s (I’m translating the red text here): 750 layers, 500 knots and 115 colors (you can see a few of them on the bottom of the picture). If you look at the bottom right of the image you can see the leaves that are becoming visible on the picture before the previous one. So now you know how far I am. Layer 12 of 750. This is going to take a good while.

However, the same things that goes for knitting socks also applies here: if you don’t touch it, you won’t see any progress (well.. duhh). I finished my new room last week and I’ve managed to do at least 1 row of 500 knots (that’s thick and thin weft included!), per day. So at this rate I would be able to finish it in say, 2.5 years 😛 And that’s okay, because rugs aren’t made in one day. Some days I do better, some days I do a little less, and bit by bit, the rug will get finished 🙂 I honestly can’t WAIT for the tiny bit of pink dress that I’m going to be reaching within the coming 5 rows 😀

I’m not sure if I’ve meantioned this before, but my parents bought me this kit a few years ago for my 29th birthday. Below you can see the whole kit with yarns and the main image). The pattern looks like the picture above. There are 500 knots but there’s a few warp threads extra on either side. You’re supposed to frame it so there’s extra on all sides so you can secure it behind the frame. So the way it’s done is by layer, by color and then the amount of knots per colour. So for example there’s layer number 1. Obviously not all colors will be used in every layer, so layer 1 starts with colour number 5. Behind this colour number there will be a few numbers between 1 and 500. Starting from left to right you’ll know where you have to place the knots. When you do this for all the colors in a layer you move onto the thick weft and then the thin weft.

The package came complete with all the yarn you’ll need for this rug and the warped frame.

The loom has a steel frame and as you can see the warp can be stretched taught, but also made loose. The reason is that the height of the frame is not the same as the height of the project. So halfway you’ll need to unscrew the bolts and beat the rug ‘down’, so it moves to the backside and the warp on the backside is added to the front. Once you’re done knotting you can reuse the loom for your next project 🙂

So this is the table I placed it on. I have a nice big window on my left and 3 good lamps so I don’t have to squint.

Behind me is my stash, organized and, well.. stashed. I haven’t had the time to take pictures so I can upload my ravelry stash page, but that’s the next step. For now each box represents a differen type of yarn, sorted by quality and weight and whatnot. But before getting to this point I was here first:

and here…

I know it looks the same, but these are HUGE bags of different types of yarns and projects etc. The first thing I did was give them a good rest in the freezer for a week. Not that there’s anything in there (that I found), but just as a precaution, because why not. There’s a third somewhere, but you get the picture 😛 It took a good few days to sort it through (and to cake some half caked/ half frogged things), but I’m really glad I did. Apparently it’s true what they say about the connection between a clear house and a clear mind. So nice.

So last time I mentioned something about sock madness and how I was going to join and the big plans I had. Apparently either I’m a quitter, too pregnant or something else, because I quit before even finishing the qualifier sock. So many twisted stitches. The moment I realized I was no longer having FUN I stopped immediately. There’s waayy too many things I like to spend time on things that don’t “Spark Joy” (thank you for that phrase Marie Kondo!).

It’s very funny because I’ve become very harsh with objects and items in my care. Some of them simply don’t spark joy, they just are. And that’s no longer good enough. I frogged this one, and I feel no shame whatsoever.

Onto the next adventure!

I started these socks after giving up on the sock madness socks. I felt disappointed in myself because I took it a bit too personally. I have issues with my wrists and I don’t take risks with them. If something hurts I stop immediately. I only have these two hands and they’re supposed to last me a lifetime, so yeah.. Paranoid much.. yes.

These socks are not just an experiment with afterthought heels (which is actually the real reason why I don’t knit toe-up socks that much. I don’t know when to start the gussed and ALWAYS knit them too short. So the idea for the Sock Ruler popped into my head. I needed a tool and I needed it to be usefull in many situations rather than just a measuring tape and some memorized numbers. So the sock ruler can be used for afterthought heels as well, but I’m still not really sure about toe-up with gusset increases. But I need to (wo-)man up and just figure it out at some point.

But because I’m not there yet, I decided to just test them out with toe-up, afterthought heel socks. I’m very pleased because the socks fit perfectly 🙂

I liked them so much I cast on for a new pair of jaywalkers for myself. This one is already done, but I left it in the shop and I forget to take a picture. The yarn is socksanity (both) in Ares (DH socks) and Anhur (my socks). The pink yarn, if memory serves me correctly is named “Izanami”.

See I was going to knit the Changing Light shawl, but the colors I chose were too similar. Right now it’s in the naughty corner, but at some point I’m going to have to reknit this. 😛

For now I abandoned a lot of projects in favor of this one. The Honeybee shawl. I love stone washed, and I love simple, repetitive patterns (I can’t brain). So this proejct is exactly what I like to do when I just want to hangout and Netflix. I have a lot more of these, but I’m not counting. I need at least 49 and then I can move onto the other colors 🙂

I’m going to leave you with the discovery of last month.. the belly button. Ma’iq is good friends with Bam and Zuzu (but mainly Bam) and he’s always ready to give them something nice to eat, or to pet them or to have them stiff his hands 🙂 Happy knitting/ crocheting/ or other hand and yarn related stuffs 🙂