Thursday, March 20, 2014

Then again maybe not

The GCKAL 2014 has been cancelled.

I sort of had an inkling this was coming - the designer mentioned in a discussion thread that she was having trouble finding a tech editor, and that her professional life was keeping her too busy to let her pursue her design work in a way that she actually enjoyed.

It's too bad, but I certainly don't hold any ill will against her - after all, designing is her hobby, and hobbies are supposed to be for our enjoyment. If she's found she would rather put her time to other pursuits, then that's what she should do.

Graciously, she has stated that the patterns created for the GCKAL 2014 will be made available in their current, un-tech edited versions for free, so that those who had intended to participate can still do so.

Honestly? A small part of me is a bit relieved. I took a peek at a calendar today, and whoa moly, there are only three weeks left in the semester before the final exam period. This is crunch time - for both me and my students! It's probably just as well that I'm not going to be feeling pressured to crank away on that when I should be doing other things related to my actual paying job.

Last night I finished the bindoff on a project that I'll show off once it's blocked. In the meantime, I feel the urge to start something new. I can clearly hear the siren call of a new sweater.

Maybe I should finish off one of these other projects first. Especially since four of the ongoing things here are sweaters.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rebel girl

The past couple of years, designer Liz Abinante has run what she calls The Great Cowl KAL. It's a sort of knitalong challenge - the first pattern is free, and if a knitter completes it within the allotted timeframe, the next pattern in the sequence is free too. If the knitter then completes that pattern within the allotted timeframe, then the next pattern is free. And so on and so forth.

Sounds like my idea of a good time, doesn't it? Yeah it does.

Except, I found out about TGCKAL 2012 too late, and I forgot to keep an eye out for TGCKAL 2013 and only remembered after it had started. Whoops. I solved my memory issues by joining Liz's group on Ravelry, and sure enough, information for TGCKAL 2014 started appearing in January. Yay!

She's already shared information about how many cowls (three, plus a bonus shawl pattern for those who complete the whole shebang) and what the yarn and yardage requirements are, which means I've been poking around in my not-so-mini-anymore stash, and I've pretty well settled on what I'm going to use for two of the three cowls. The event is slated to begin on 22 March, and I am excited. I haven't wound my yarn up yet - seems a bit early for that - but I think I've got it figured. For one cowl - the one requiring aran weight yarn - I'm going to use some of the Knit Picks Swish Tonal left over from my Bluejeans cardigan. For the other two, I plan to dip into my Tosh DK holdings - I'm trying to pick a couple of greyish skeins that look good together for the two-colour cowl, and I figure I can grab whichever one strikes my fancy for the other single-skein cowl.

Now, I know that some folks subscribe to a no grey in March rule. The reasoning is that March is sort of the dreariest part of winter in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Canada, and everyone is so done with not having any colour around, which makes grey particularly unappealing. I understand, but at the same time I don't understand. Maybe it's the difference between winter in the East and winter in the West? I grew up in Alberta, and live in Alberta now, and I spent some time in Montreal, where I experienced Eastern Winter three times - though, lucky me, we didn't have any real ice storms while I was in Montreal. Yes, the world is not particularly colourful in March on either side of the country, and the drudgery of waiting for spring is starting to wear on a person by that time.

But here's my experience: I don't associate March with upcoming Spring. I don't even really think of spring happening in April - in my mind, May is when things start to get warmer. This could just be me, or it might be an Alberta thing - we don't seem to have much of a spring season here, at least not that I've noticed - especially not in Calgary. Winter sort of bums around through April, and maybe even into May, and then one day we wake up and it's summer. Perhaps rainy summer, but summer nonetheless. My first April in Montreal was shocking to me, because there was an actual seasonal transition. It was too warm to be winter, but too cold to be summer.

It's entirely possible that I just habitually fail to notice whatever spring we get.

Either way, I'm breaking that No grey in March rule that others swear by. Grey in March doesn't bug me.

Because in March? Spring's a looooong ways away still.