Friday, 5 June 2020

Feeling Good About the Knitting

You know that part of yesterdays post where i said it left me with more energy?  Ha.  I napped.  I had a short nap in the morning, then one late in the afternoon and napped again after supper, when I went to bed where I fell  asleep so fast that I don't even remember the book beyond what was read before I sat down on my bed.  (audiobook)  The trick of it was that after my seriously fun day, I only slept about three hours that night so yesterday was catchup sleep.  We all know that catch up sleep is not at all as good as our regular routine sleep.  I guess I played catch up sleep all day long.

I did get some knitting done though and I am very pleased to report 

that I am just about to begin the front shoulders.  The really interesting thing about knitting Lipstick is that you don't have to knit very long to get to the correct arm length.  You measure it along the edge of your work and for even the largest size, you only knit so it is long enough for your upper arm.  In the case of this sweater, five and a half inches.  Your underarm will have plenty of space as you go along on the body and not only will it fit, it will fit well.  It is such a good construction for so many kinds of bodies.

I do hope to get both fronts completed today.  I would love to see some substantial knitting done by the time the weekend is over.  There really isn't any reason for this, other than how much I am enjoying this yarn and this pattern.  What a great feeling it is to feel good about where pattern and yarn are, and with gauge.  It is just fun and a relief.

I wore my chunky Leisl yesterday and oh my.  

I had forgotten how snuggly and cozy it is.  It makes me all the more eager to knit what I have planned for Olga. (It's up next!) I am going to knit it in the same yarn in a rich deep olive.   It just feels so cozy to wear!

Anyway, that is it for today.  Lots of good things on my mind.  Keeps the sorrows not at bay, so much as in proprtion.  There are bad people, there are people who do bad things, there are good people and people who do good things.  Work to correct the bad, focus on where the good needs to be.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

The problem of the shawl

Well, this is interesting.  After many years, there are some very different things on the blog platform.  That is ok, because I hope that means it remains a valid supported thing.  I couldn't do without the blog.  Onwards.

This morning, I picked up the shawl to work on.  I took a photo but quickly realized that this kind of shawl has a display problem.  I can only show you from its earliest inception

To its latest.  It looks the same.  It only looks larger than it was in the last picture because I have shown all the photos of it together.  

I know it is growing.  I am midway through ball number two and I know that it is growing against the length of my needle so I am good with that.  But it doesn't do a whole lot for photography.  It remains plain, through a great deal of knitting.  It only get exciting for a moment at the midpoint and then again, when the edging and borders start.  I am looking forward to that.  

I have also comitted myself to making a shawl of a good size, even if that means I have to order more of the cream yarn, even if it means a lot more cream yarn.  A too small square shawl just isn't good and I really really do want this to be square.

I am going to knit on Amy's sweater today.  I didn't get to it at all yesterday.  The entire day did not go the way I thought it would, but that is okay.  What I did do was fun and interesting and it leaves me to move forward today with a lot of energy.

I am going digging in the sweater chest today.  It is chilly and promises to be wet and not a lot warmer as the day goes on.  A good warm sweater is needed.  I am pulling on the warm socks too.  It is just one of those days.  

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Difficult Things

The last days have been difficult in so many ways.  My knitting seemed to reflect everything else.

After the weekend plus Monday of good work on Amy's sweater, and after measuring and calculating and closing my eyes to the facts, I knew that this pretty piece of knitting, was not going to work to get what I wanted.

If you look hard at one shoulder, you can just see the needle cable, sitting there after I had picked up stitches for first front.  As much as it was difficult to bear, I had to accept that the neckline was too wide and the shoulder saddles were not nearly long enough for the dropped shoulder I wanted, nor were they short enough for a fitted shoulder.  They were smack dab in the middle of "looks too big".  Looks too big is a critical flaw no matter what else you do, and I knew that I had to rip it all back.

My concerns for how to make sure the dropped shoulder was at the right place made me decide to leave the saddle shoulder plan behind and to use the Joji Locatelli's Lipstick pattern to get that critical width right.

My yarn and needle and the gauge I liked are just slightly smaller than Lipstick is written for but that is not a deal breaker.  I sat down and did the math, and I cast on and knit all morning, and then

just as I finished the lovely twisted rib part of the shoulder, I realized that I had a smaller yarn and smaller needles and I had picked a smaller size to knit to get the right fit.  This is completely opposite from what needed to happen for this sweater.  I needed to knit a larger size to get the right size.  Dummkopf  

After a good lunch, I ripped that all out and started yet again.  I redid the math, picked the correct size and I knit my heart out.  I knit and by tea time the back shoulder was complete.  I stopped for a good long while to decide if I still wanted the lace panel in the back or if I wanted the sweater to be a full on Lipstick.  

I took out my copy of Twisted Stitch Knitting by Maria Erlbacher.  I debated changing the lace panel to a twisted panel, more in line with the shoulders twisted rib.  I do love knitting twisted stitches.  I couldn't find what I was looking for there (not that I knew what I was looking for) so I pulled out Omas Strickgeheimnisse, by Betta Krön Erika Eichenseer, Erika Grill.  This is a lovely book of particularly striking stitches, few of which are in any of the other stitch dictionaries I have.  I do consider this book as required for a good knitter's library.  It comes with a booklet of translations for the symbols used even if all the text is German.  You will be fine but I digress.  I did find a few things that did exactly what I wanted, twisted stitches, a little bit of lace, pretty but not heavy, but they would have required too many stitches for the panel width I hoped for.  

This morning finds me here, with the Tabouli lace panel well established and moving along just fine.  I feel completely confident that this sweater is now going to be exactly what I wanted for Amy.  I have just a few more rows to knit before I put the back section on hold while knitting the fronts, but I feel pretty good about where it is all headed.     

Now about these last few days:   When I was in my teen years, the American Vietnam war was raging.  Protests and marches were everywhere and all the time.  I saw how, even in Canada, which did  not officially participate in the war, we were all affected by the things that were going on in our neighbours to the south.  You cannot live next to a giant nation, so heavily populated without feeling something or without being affected by it in a thousand different ways.  

The last few days have been hard to bear, hard to watch, and it just breaks my heart.  This is so much worse than that useless war and tears the very fabirc of who and what they are as a nation.  I worry.  I don't worry for me, but I have these grandchildren whom I love with everything I am and I do not want them to have to live next to a giant at war with itself.  I want that giant to begin to learn how to be better at people and to care less about things.  I need that giant to do this.  I need my own nation to do that.

There is so much...but this place, this blog, is my place to say things.  This blog is not about to become full on political, but it will be a place where I will take a stand when I need to take a stand.  I want everyone to know that I stand on the side of laws where authority cannot murder and rules and regulations apply equally to every person in the country, no matter their office or creed or race.  I stand on the side of civil disobedience, where the law is meant only to oppress.  I stand on the side of doing what needs to be done systemically to stop that oppression.  

The focus is small here at Needles and Things, worlds have fallen apart before and the blog begun so long ago as a placeholder, shouting out that I am and I exist in this world, remains as always, a tool to help me make my way.