A while ago, I hinted at a confession that I needed to make. Well, this post is that confession.
This little bit of the internet is my main blog but I have another one...two...okay, three if you include the one I maintain as part of my sporting responsibilities.
I have three knitting blogs. This is to keep information on my general knitting exploits separate to two specific knitting projects that I am working on - so if things are quiet here, it may be that I am working on one of my knitting projects. I have added links to my two knitting projects on this blog so you can check up on progress (and harass me for updates, if necessary).
In fairness, progress across all three knitting areas of my life is slow at the moment.
In part this is because my time between Spring and Autumn is at a real premium due to my sport. On top of a full time job and a pretty full individual sport schedule, I am halfway through a three year Club captaincy. This requires me to organise and run 4 individual events, 12-14 team matches each year plus the Club's annual Championship.
Also, I knit very slowly. I named this blog 'Rare Knits' - not because I think that my knitting is any good - it is just after a joky discussion with someone I was making a present for. They chuckled at my slow progress and suggested that they would need to treasure it on receipt as it might become valuable after my death (as a very rare O[my surname] produced item).
So everything I have produced since, has gone out with an O.R.K. label attached - that specifies how long it took to produce, where I knitted it and how to care for it (to increase the chance of it surviving until after my demise)!
So what are my O.R.K. Knitting Projects?
I loved the idea of Robynn's Purlescence Storytellers competition and I really wanted to put an entry in for Alice in Wonderland. However, I hadn't done anything that creative since leaving college.
It happened to be a week before the Puss in Boots deadline. So I thought: pull your finger out, dry run! There followed a week of manic typing, cutting, sticking, sample knitting (roped in Mel for an evening of this!) and staying up far too late, generally having a huge amount of fun. My house looked like a whirlwind had hit it.
Occasionally my brother (who was staying with me at the time) would pop his head around the door, look at me up to my armpits in paper and glue, shake his head, laugh, pour me another glass of red wine and retreat to the front room to watch TV.
I decided to submit my entry under a pen name, just on the basis that I didn't know whether it was any good or not and then I could watch what happened to it from afar, without any embarassment! Yup, really...so, if you stick the name 'Katherine Laarzen' (well, 'Kat' for short) into Altavista's Babelfish, it should translate from the Dutch as 'Cat Boots'.
To my surprise and great delight, my Kat Laarzen entry won...which actually put me in a real quandry, as I had geared up to put in my 'proper entry' for Alice in Wonderland the following month and wasn't sure that it would be appropriate if I had already won Puss in Boots.
I'd even ordered a copy of the book from Amazon, drawn some 'after Tenniel' illustrations for my story (Mel's five year old daughter posed as my model) plus I had popped into the V&A museum to photograph and draw some of their victorian dresses - I just could not bear not to submit my entry!
I thought that it was only fair to let Robynn know that Kat and I were one and the same person. So we discussed it and again...
...my house took on its post whirlwind persona, my brother holed himself up in the front room and kept my wine glass topped up...
...and typically, my 'real entry' didn't do as well as my dry run entry - I probably tried too hard!
You know what though? I had the most amazing time creating my entry and despite not winning, I would still like to explore and develop my Alice ideas, once I have finished work on some of my Puss in Boots ones. So I have set up a placeholder blog for it. It may be some time before I get to it - but I will get to it. Definitely.
In terms of progress on my Puss in Boots designs, you will need to read Kat's 'Laarzen Knits' blog! Oddly, I do sort of think of Kat as a separate person (goodness knows what that says about my psyche).
It was part of my entry brief to myself to give myself something new to learn and experiment with for each design . I started out by working on the Puss in Boots Castle Couture hat, as I had not really used circular needles in a project before.
Now I am working on the Castle Couture summer wrap. My personal design challenge for this piece was how to achieve (either actually or visually) directional knitting...this has evolved to help me meet two of my other, general personal knitting objectives this year: lace and beading.
I will post more about my yarn quandry and stitch / swatching progress on Kat's blog shortly.
Well, good - glad that's out in the open - less blog creeping about!