Saturday, February 16, 2013

You Can Never Have Too Many

Do you ever find yourself making the same kind of project? Following the same kind of recipe over and over again? Collecting the same kind of books? Watching the same TV show constantly? Singing the same song repeatedly over and over again till you're sick of it but can't stop? Lately I've been making a lot of soup, and I've been knitting a lot of shawls. To the point that my mother is sick of soup and my father told me I needed to start knitting something else soon.

I don't only make soup and shawls, it just seems that way because I've been doing it a lot lately. I only just learned how to make soup. It sounds odd, but for years it always eluded me. Even worse, the concept of making homemade soup scared me. I don't know why. There was just something about it I couldn't wrap my head around. Everybody looked at me funny and said it was so easy but I balked at the idea. I could help others make soup but when it came time to make my own, my brain replied in a robotic voice "Does not compute."

 Now, I've got nothing against soup, in fact, it's one of those foods that for me falls under the category of "Comfort Food". For some reason I couldn't make my brain understand the process. Until the hurricane. Days without heat or power, using a gas stove that was years older that me, and what had started out as a meal for a few days suddenly had to be stretched until we had power back. My grandmother lived through the depression with nine siblings and swore she'd never eaten as much soup as she did when Sandy hit. We ate soup for ten days straight until the power came back on. And on the eleventh day, I made pasta and we put aside the idea of soup for several weeks.

The most bizarre thing happened though. Soup finally clicked and my brain did a face-palm and cried "It's so simple!" I finally understood soup. Next thing I knew I was looking up soup recipes and trying new things. And when I couldn't find a recipe to my satisfaction, I was creating my own. First it was the sweet potato soup. Now my brain is trying to shape something with chicken, lemon, coconut milk, and rice/orzo/gnocci/tortellini. At the same time, I'm trying to make sure I'm not making only soup. My mother is officially out of patience for soup. Dad has lasted much longer but I think my sudden love affair with soup is starting to get even to him.

In the mean time, I've made four shawls. I've only just caught the shawl bug and I have to say I love them. Lace, garter stitch, or just stockinette with ruffles, leaves, flowers, straight edges, or fancy edging: I love them all. They're fun and simple to knit. And I love to watch them go from three, eight, or ten stitches or whatever to hundreds. They have shape, even though all of mine have been triangles so far, but I'm working on that. They're warm and they don't use as much yarn as a sweater. Plus I've never made a sweater. Soon though....maybe...

I've only blocked the Lonely Tree Shawl in blue. I just bound off the purple one on Sunday, but it's big so I'm trying to find time and space. There's also the Milk Run Shawl and 22 Little Clouds Shawlette that I've finished recently and while they don't really need blocking like a lace shawl, they could use a wash and some gentle shaping. Again, time and space requirements are making it a bit difficult, but one of these days I'll break down and do it.

To placate Dad, because it was in my queue, and because my winter coat could really use one, I've cast on a Coat Scarf. I've got a lovely dark purple yarn that I'm excited to knit up. I have to find buttons that go with it and learn how to do button holes but I think I'm up for the challenge.

Has anybody else felt like they're on repeat and enjoyed lately? I can't be the only one right? What's on your needles? Any shawl suggestions? :)

As a reminder, if you'd like to talk with me directly about anything, you can send me a message here, or through email at teacupsandradios(at)gmail(dot)com .

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