One thing that intrigues me about fiber artistry is that there’s always something new to learn.

I don’t update this that much because really, I haven’t had much to say. I don’t have an audience, and no one reads this but me. I have a kind of digital-era diary but with old-school intent. But I like to keep it, and go back and read it, for the same reason I had actual paper journals in high school. I like to see where I’ve been, what I was thinking, who I loved, what I’ve seen. (And I like to drop random references that make me smile at my own cleverness. Is writing an exercise in mild hubris for everyone, or just me?)

It’s actually more helpful now, though, because it’s not just bitching about school or parents or unrequited love. I’m actually making progress in my skill, so it’s even more ego-strokey than I previously thought. I still shake my head a bit at the notion that I would never switch to Continental knitting because it was much more convenient to just drop and pick up the yarn with my right hand constantly. (As opposed to just leaving the yarn tensioned on my left hand, which I do now.) I’m also a little disappointed in myself that I never followed up on my idea to yarnbomb on a regular basis. I guess I’ve realized that I’d much rather spend my knitting time working on things that aren’t going to be rained on or cut up. (Or maybe I’ve just moved away from acquiring ugly-ass yarn.)

It’s also useful seeing just what I’ve learned. For example, I rhapsodized about a pattern utilizing color and pattern shifts, and lamented that I would probably not be able to afford the yarn, so I bought some KnitPicks Chroma. Now, of course, I realize that an unplied yarn is not a good yarn for socks, and that a yarn described as “sock” should be more closely examined if one does intend to use it for footwear. (I say this knowing full well that 100% merino is also not the best choice for socks, however I am currently making a pair out of just that. But I knew going into it, and I’ve also got some Kid Seta to carry along on the sole to give it durability.) Additionally, since I’ve gotten into the dyeing thing, I realize that I could probably reproduce that same effect myself. (Twisted Fiber Arts Self-Striping, for the record.)

One thing that hasn’t seemed to change is my obsession with using up every last scrap of yarn. I recently managed to do the same with a pair of afterthought heel anklets made out of Aslan Trends Santa Fe (a discontinued yarn I bought at Tuesday Morning). I had originally bought 2 skeins of a pretty tonal red and used them to make a pair of gift socks. Why I finished them off with about 1/4 of each ball left, I do not know, but I saved them to use as the toes, heels, and possibly cuffs, on another pair of socks.

There are 2 Tuesday Mornings near me, and I had about milked them dry of any decent yarns. Still, I haunted them and picked through their meager offerings, hoping to find more Santa Fe in a contrasting color. Then I got bit by the dyeing bug, and whether a new skein arrived or I just happened to notice it because the glorious rainbow of possibility had just become visible to me, I couldn’t tell. But I found a tangled and generally ratty-looking orphaned skein of Santa Fe underneath a pile of novelty crap. It was off-white.

I dyed it a subtly tonal purple and found a lace pattern to give it a little more stretch. I didn’t end up having enough red to use for the cuffs – I barely had enough to finish the heels as it was. I think after grafting and weaving, I had about 4 inches worth of red left. And with some finagling, I could manage to stretch the socks over my feet. But they weren’t very comfortable, and the pattern was stretched to a point where it looked almost as if I were hurting it. So I broke my “I’m only making socks for me this year” vow and gave them to my mom, whose feet are about 3 sizes smaller than mine. Given that she has perpetually-cold feet and hardwood floors, I felt as though they went to a good home.