Okay, now is a VERY bad time for me to be desiring to try so damn many things out, and yet all of these wonderful and awesome ideas smite me all at once. It's not even karmic, really, so mucn as the Universe going "Hey, I notice life seems to be going good for you... here's a whole BUNCH of shit to try!"
Which is why everything I am dying to do is now on the same 2 weekends coming up in the spring, I am sure.
Sketch-A-Day February was a complete bust, mostly because I completely forgot to do it. The schedule change, the house change, all the junk going on at work.... I can make as many excuses as I want but in the end I just plain forgot. Not only that, I forgot to do something I LOVE to do. So there goes the shortest month of the year for goal-setting and whatnot; with it goes my faith in the ability to do long-term projects (I missed the Sketchbook Project and Project 365 for a while, and NaNoWriMo has been fleeting. Alas.)
Willing to acknowledge my suckitude in these matters and move on, I stumbled across something via Pinterest that seemed nifty, but ultimately doomed to failure so I initially ignored it as a potential project. That is the absolutely awesome Sky Scarf idea. What the hell's a sky scarf? you ask. Well, see, I would hope by now you guys know I'm about to go in to a thorough explanation but way to be pushy.
A Sky Scarf is where one makes an interactive scarf 365 rows long based on the color of the sky. Now, I know some of you caught that row number and have now realized the concept... you do this for a year. You lean out your window, look up, note if it's brilliant blue, or light blue, or dark and overcast, and then you knit a row to correspond to it. That way when you're done you have a record of every day for the past year, and you have a scarf that will look lovely to boot.
The initial scarf I saw shown was knit up in my favorite fiber of all time, alpaca. Sadly, I couldn't find anything in alpaca to snag, so I turned to an uber-fluffy mix of kid mohair and silk that will look utterly awesome once knitted. It also assures that I've got to hand-wash the bastard if anything ever happens to it, but hey, that's the price we pay for making awesome things.
I intend to go just a weeee bit bigger on the gauge than they originally stated - size 4 needles just don't seem like they're thick enough around to do this thing justice. So I will probably go size 6-8. We'll see. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll knit it up on size 8's and go "Oh, THAT'S why they said size 4". Because, you know, that happens to me a lot when I like to think I know better.
The geek in me is already seeing a ton of practical applications. For instance, if you did one of these over several years (and really, knitting one row of 30 stitched a day doesn't eat that much time, so in theory you aren't really signing yourself up for a big timesuck) you might begin to note patterns. Things like when most of the clouds occurred, if there seemed to be fewer and fewer cloudy days... it's like a mini weather/climate tracking project. The metadata you could get off of these things is HUGE. I cheese simply to think about it.
And then the smartass in me goes "Wow, the people in the Pacific NW are going to need, like, 5 skeins of dark grey and half a skein of light blue."
A few other awesome ideas I've seen based on this initial idea are knitting what the front yard looks like (flowers vs. grass vs. leaves vs. snow? Kinda cool) and one woman who looks out her window at the mountains in the morning, and whatever color they are -be it red, brown, yellow, or grey depending on how the light hits them- she knits that row up. I thought tht was damned clever and a nice way to capture the storytelling aspect of the idea. It's got me thinking about other applications of things. Like perhaps a piece of artwork with one dab of paint for each day documenting an entire year. Artistes go crazy for that kind of shit. I should know.
Anyway, my yarn will arrive in a week I believe, and at that point I can start the knittening and hopefully it's a forgiving project if I forget a day or two. It'll be interesting to see if my brain remembers days as sunnier or cloudier than they were in retrospect when I go to catch up. Let's face it, I WILL be playing catch up.
In the meantime I'll just have to content myself with the Ravelry group and the Flickr pool for this lovely idea.
If you are interested in participating, the pattern/idea/ready-made it are all right here, just clicky!
The other idea, this one trumpeted by my buddy Heather Zoppetti (she of the awesomeness in all things fiber and knitting), was the No Pants Summer. This was something proposed back in 2011 that she had seen previously, but then decided would be super awesome to attempt. I only even became aware of the idea because of her blog post a few days ago, and now she has MY brain on fire with the thought of things.
Now, me and skirts and/or dresses have a sort of acquaintanceship currently. For years I refused to wear them because I didn't want to look feminine, or weak. I hated the idea of looking "girly" with a passion, and I just felt safer wearing jeans. I even wore jeans in 90 degree heat, much to the consternation of my mother and a few of my friends. I'd often wondered if there was a reason for it, and if it might correspond to my sudden raging moods that came on at times. Time was I could get furious at the drop of a pin, which didn't make much sense.
Last year I started to take meds to help balance out my system after we discovered I had a little something called PCOS, and the change has actually been odd and amazing. Now that I am producing the proper amount of estrogen for my system I have discovered that I want to wear makeup, I really like pink, and I can no longer listen to thrash metal or other forms of very loud and angry music like I once did.
Dear God, you say, way to just set back feminism and bolster sexism right there!
Well, you know, your mileage may very with this stuff, but I'm telling you this is what happened. I became, as I started to joke with my husband "a REAL girl", with all the appropriate emotions and desires thereof. And that included the desire to wear skirts and dresses.
So THAT long story was so I could go back to the No Pants Summer. You see, I'm still very nervous when wearing skirts or dresses. That feeling of appearing weak creeps back in to my head. Yet whenever I wear a dress and pull it off, I can't help but smile. Partially because i looked good, but also partially because Nothing Untoward Happened To Me While Thus Arrayed. I'm not sure what exactly I'm expecting, possibly some giant perv to come up and stare at my knees, but there's this nagging thing in my head that tells me I am somehow asking for trouble by hopping in to a skirt.
Do you guys remember how I decided this was the year of working outside my comfort zone? This fits squarely in to that. I don't know if I can do an entire summer, but I figure I could maybe do something like No Pants Week. Maybe No Pants June. The idea is just so neat, and another thing to take from it was my friend's idea that it would be an awesome time to learn how to sew those skirts and dresses to wear during that time.
I have this utterly awesome Hello Kitty sewing machine sitting out in the cold garage right now that is begging to be used, and I can think of no easier way to get started than to whip myself up a really basic A-line skirt with some sort of elastic-type waist. We can get fancy from there. But I have always felt odd that I didn't know how to sew, especially when I utterly hate so many of the fashions out there. Being able to figure out what will flatter me, what fabrics flow the way I want, and how to make something when it's out of season/destroys itself in my dryer would be an incredibly useful thing. So I'm going to see about sewing a few things up and wearing them for the week. Even at work. Actually, ESPECIALLY at work, because that would leave me with several professional things to wear.
I'm setting the goal now of sewing myself 3 skirts. Maybe a dress, if I'm feeling really ambitious and organized. But for now, 3 skirts and I think I already have enough that they'll take care of themselves once I choose the week.
Hell, I just realized this gives me an excuse to finish my Tunisian Honeycomb Stitch skirt I've been working on forever now!
Only downside... to figure out if this extends to when I'm sleeping, walking around the house, walking the dog.... ugh. Rules.
Anyway, I'll let you guys know when it goes down. Maybe even take pictures.
I'm just hoping no other really awesome ideas come my way, because I don't think I'll be able to handle it right now!