Monday, June 19, 2006

Lost Lace Found

While trying to find places to put my newest stash acquisitions from the Silent Auction, I found my first and only (so far) lace knitting!

Knitted lace scarf in progress.

It’s whereabouts had been unknown for about a year (due to two long distance moves.) To be honest, I’d pretty much forgotten all about it.

The pattern is "miniature leaf pattern," from Patterns for North Ronaldsay Yarn by Elizabeth Lovick of Northern Lace. The yarn is my handspun, from Samoyed fiber sent to me by my friend Ann in the UK. This is the first dog fiber I’ve ever worked with and it as soft as bunny angora. It was a dream to spin, but a challenge to knit!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a clue as to where I left off in the pattern. I tried to keep track of which row I was on, but you know how that goes. The best laid plans mice and cats and all that. Well, it’s too hot to think about it anyway.

Sadly, all of this points to some rather glaring discrepancies between my self image and the real me. I like to think of myself as being organized, neat, and efficient. In fact, I continually tell myself that this is the “real” me, and that once I simplify my life I really will be like that.

This self imagined me has all my books and magazines shelved and arranged according to subject; neatly labeled boxes for my fleeces, rovings, and yarns (all catalogued with samples of course); my weaving caddy neatly arranged with my tools organized in their own drawers; my knitting needles and crochet hooks displayed in beautiful handcrafted pottery and baskets; and all of my fiber and textile magazine articles organized in a data base on my computer, ready for me to find with the type of a keyword and the click of the mouse.

The real me uses the pile system of organization. I have a pile for knitting, a pile for spinning, two piles for weaving, a pile for sewing, a pile for web design, and a pile of things I need to file. When DH begins to comment on the mess, I simply straighten up the piles and rearrange them so that they look like I’ve actually done something with them.

The self imagined me has complete records of all my finished weaving, knitting, dyeing, and spinning projects with samples attached. In my self imagined world these are all neatly organized on their own bookshelf. The self imagined me also has a filing cabinet, where paper instructions and projects are systematically filed so that I can find them whenever I want.

The real me has four notebooks of various designs and project plans. When inspiration strikes, I grab the nearest one and start putting ideas down in it. Unfortunately, these don’t usually find their way back to their appointed pile, so I often don’t have a clue to their whereabouts. And the reason I have 4 notebooks is not because each one is dedicated to it’s own subject matter, but because I keep having to start new ones because I can’t find the old.

Somehow the 2nd law of thermodynamics always comes into play here. No matter how well I organize my messes, and no matter how well intentioned I am to keep things orderly, sooner or later (usually sooner) things deteriorate into chaos. Oh, I can make excuses (I moved two times in the past year. I’m in a hurry right now, I’ll put it back later. This is how I organize things, if I straighten it up I’ll never be able to find anything again. If only I had more boxes I could keep it neat. If only I had more shelves I could keep things orderly. If only I had a bigger room, then I would………)

For now, I’m just happy to have found this UFO. So after admiring it I’ll carefully put it back in it’s knitting bag. But this time I’ll put it where I can find it again.


m said...

Leigh, we are so alike.
I'm very good at "cosmetic" tidying too.

Valerie said...


The "real" me salutes the "real" you...and we have the same alter ego too!

Nice lace knitting, and nice spinning of the Samoyed!

Peg said...


I'm a tiny bit better organized than you but chaos is always lurking close by! When I start a new weaving project, everything is organized and picked up, and, then, over the weeks of weaving, things become more chaotic until the end when chaos is all over the place. Then it gives me great pleasure to pick everything up, put the stuff away, sweep the floor, clean the loom, etc. And things look lovely until the next weaving gets going.......
As for all the other stuff, it is all the time it seems to take to put things away that destroys my organizing system!
I have thought about indexing my books and magazines on the computer. A wonderful idea, but I'd rather be weaving (knitting, spinning, dyeing,sewing............)

Mary Nichols said...

Hey Leigh,
I've knitted this pattern before and I can tell from your photo where you probably are in the lace pattern. It appears you just finished a row of: *yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, repeat from* or something like that.
I'll bet my piles are bigger than yours. I keep buying new tote bags because I keep filling them up with stuff that I never get around to going through.

erica said...

Your lace knitting is beautiful! I'm so impressed, handspun dog hair. It looks so amazing and fuzzy in the best way.

I have so many ways of organizing that I always have to think "what was my way of organizing this time." It would drive the next person crazy and sometimes does me too. I'm so glad to read that others are like me. :)

Annie said...

Don't forget to give your self imaged self a 48 hour day (at least!) She'll need it. But also don't forget that would be very tiring....
And somehow you real self sounds familiar!
Annie (from the Netherlands)

jackie said...

I live among piles that I keep hoping the cleaning fairy will take care of. I too have good intentions that often go awry ]. The funny part is that I am always referring back to my project sheets that I did manage to fill out and put in the right place. You would think that such usefulness would be repeated....But, alas, no.

Debirah said...

I had a good laugh as I recognized some of my self talk. In order to maintain a semblance of order in the universe I'm constantly getting rid of things that I don't need but a vacuum must be filled... by looms, spinning wheels, yarns etc. :-)