My knitting mojo has been in... a bit of a slump lately, to say the least. There are a lot of reasons for this: my job, other hobbies, the feeling of creeping dread every time I discovered another moth-eaten skein in my stash... For one reason or another, I just didn't have the opportunity or the inclination to pick up a set of needles for several months.
At Fibre East last year, I picked up some Excelana yarn from the John Arbon booth on offer. I was thrilled; I couldn't resist - I had admired this yarn every time I had seen another person in my knitting group working on it and I had always wanted a sweater out of it. It's a lovely "woolly" yarn with just the right amount of fuzz and just the right amount of sheen.
So naturally, when I had the opportunity to pick up a sweater quantity of this yarn, I jumped at it. And when I got home, other things came up, and it just sat. The yarn sat, lonely in its bag, my initial excitement depleted.
Months went by. Every once in a while, I would see the bag of yarn lying in the corner, and feel a twinge of guilt. I had my excuses: I'm too busy, I'm too tired, I'm doing something else. One day I finally decided to pick out a pattern, pick up some needles, and just work a swatch.
I looked at it. I ran it through my fingers. I remembered what I loved about knitting, and why I had been so excited about this yarn.
A swatch is a start, and it was enough to get the ball rolling. I was so impressed by the hand of my swatch after it was blocked that I was inspired to cast on right away. (Blocking can do magical things sometimes - it can be a subtle difference, but it just made the fabric lay nicely flatter and feel more cohesive and finished)
It's a simple pattern, a striped stockinette cardigan - but it's just the pace I feel like going right now.