Wednesday, 31 March 2010


If it isn't painfully obvious to those of you who know me online only, it certainly is clear to people who meet me:  I am no fashionista.  High fashion couture leaves me cold.  It long moved past clothing to art and I'd rather have art I can see in peace and contemplation. Couture not spoken here.

That said I love fine things and I appreciate beauty.  Beautiful yarns.

Long vistas and cloudy skies. 

Deep rich heart wrenching colours. 

Small  dainty flowers.   

And I particularly love how when you least expect it, you will find beauty.  

I knit with friends at a small cafe, Cafe Haven,  run by a young local couple.  They serve good coffee, delicious food and always seem to find something interesting to offer.

Today they had a display of my kind of couture:

A bouquet of wonders by Jacek Chocolate Couture.  The ultimate Easter 'flower'. You  really ought to sniff the scent of this bouquet.  I truly wish you could.   

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Old Things and New Things

I'd be an idiot to deny I have been restless.  There are not enough hours to knit and yet I can't sit still to sit and knit.  I feel like there are a thousand more things that I meant to knit through winter and didn't.  I feel like there are a hundred new things that I want to begin and yet... I lack focus and am blown wily nilly by every little breeze that comes by.

It is spring and the fresh winds that do this to me.  I am anxious for green.  The pussy willows are out.  The geese have arrived to frozen ponds, and I have heard reports of robins in the city.  Spring is all around me and I can't wait, yet I must.

It is a good time to catch up on the little details that eluded me all winter.  Things like blocking.  Do you have a blocking pile?  I do and I am working my way through it.  Two down.  One biggie to go.

Blocked and finished, my travel project, the Aestlight Shawl.  

The Multnomah Shawl, in the wonder that is Zauberball.  What a marvelous yarn to knit garter stitch with.  Unexpected depths.

There is still one more to block.  This one has been waiting all winter for me to block it.  Today is the day.  I am determined.

There was sock knitting too.  I finished the first of the Earl Grey socks.  Turned out very nice, but the toe?  I knit the toe 3 times.  For some reason, sense abandoned me.  I was incapable of believing what my tape measure said.  7 is not 9 and a half.  Neither is 8.   Sigh.   On to the second sock of the pair.

I should knit on sweaters, but I am just a little sick of them.

I want to knit something fresh, crisp and new.  Something that has no hint of winter. Maybe a shawl.  Maybe a scarf.  Made from an interesting yarn.  With just a hint of a challenge and awakening.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Finishing the Gansey

I spent the weekend finishing Mr. Needles Gansey.  All that needed finishing was the collar, so it shouldn't have been too big of a deal.  And yet...

One of the problems that appeared at the end of the gansey process was that the neck opening was pretty wide.  Mr. Needles prefers a much closer fitting collar.  Next time I make a gansey, I'm going to put more than a third of the stitches to each of the shoulders.  It won't be too many more, 6 or 8 in total, but the neckline will be narrower than the third/third/third fitting system says.

I needed to make the saddles longer.  That was a little bit of a problem.  No matter how you do it, when you pick up stitches and go in the opposite direction, you end up half a stitch off.  It is the nature of the beast.  When picking up stitches in a ribbing, being half off, is a little bit of a problem.  

My solution to the half off was to do two rows of garter stitch at the pick up edge, and then continue to knit the saddle pattern. The half off stitch disappears in the ridges of garter.  The finishing is not as clear and crisp as I would like, but I suspect this is a problem with the knitter, not the technique.  

Because I knew the saddle extensions were going to be a short span, there was no room for the cable twist, so the saddle at the collar is just wide ribs.   The wide ribs add a little more ease at the neck, but even more happened as I knit the saddle.  By knitting the saddle effect the way I did, wee gussets formed under the saddle stitches as a natural part of knitting in the round. I couldn't have asked for it to work out better.  I am very pleased.

I may need to do one more thing to make it right for the end user.  The back and front are exactly the same.  Elizabeth Zimmermann's  Knitting Workshop recommends adding a few short rows to the back of the neck so the back neck is a little higher than the front of the neck.    

I didn't.  I probably should have.

Back to the drawing board.  But only for an hour.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The Question of Tiny Little Squares

I swatched yesterday to see if it would work.  Ignore the crappy sample.  I ought to have knitted it in the round as I would if I was knitting the sweater.  Only the really really deep navy lace showed through and the navy is not one of my colours.  The soft green is fine and it is twice as dark as any of my chosen colours.  Stranding lace wieght at this gauge works.
The pattern seems to be mute on the subject, and stranding wee tiny threadlike lace weight could drive one batty.  Do you think it might be intarsia?  

I think the obsession to get the swatching done for a little tiny squares sweater is over for a while.  I need to get one more soft colour of  Misti Alpaca Lace weight to pull it all together before I can knit it anyway.  I'm off to work to see if I can sweet talk my boss into letting me see the yarn catalog from Misti (if there is one) to find the perfect tone to go with the delicate soft things I already have.

To console myself, I knitted a sock, the Earl Grey Sock.
It is a little hard to see the cabling and twisted stitches, which is a good thing, but the photo does show the colours off marvelously.  The yarn is Footloose from Diamond Yarns, one of those nice scrunchie bouncy yarns that just is a pleasure to work with.  

I'll finish these socks and then it will be time to get back to the big purple thing.  Spring is coming and it is time to be moving ahead. That little lace mission could take till next winter.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


You know how every once in a while, a person decides to go out on a limb? I think I am there. May already be too late. 

Vogue Knitting Spring 2010.  Fourth row down, Third project.  

Ethereal white sweater with checks of soft colour.  Nice, right?  
I. Want. To. Knit. This.

With its delicate simplicity it has captured my imagination.  I knoiw I am capable.  Technically, it is very simple.  Stockinette.  Raglan.  Piece of cake.  I have the needles. I'll develop the patience.

What I cannot do is afford the mohair.  Kid Silk Haze, though it is a fantastic yarn, with decent yardage for the price, becomes something else entirely when you need sweater quantities.  With Kidsilk Haze, I would need 7 balls of the pearl. Projected price:  $140.00.  I would need 4 delicate colours, 2 balls of each.  $160.00  Total estimated cost in Kid Silk Haze:  A stunning $300.00.  Not happening.   

I know that part of why this sweater works is the haze of the mohair.  The haze covers the colour work.  There aren't any significantly less expensive mohair yarn options that I would choose to work with so  I'm going to try it with a simple lace yarn.  

This is a partial swatch, to see if I liked enjoyed plain knitting with a very light yarn.  Seeing if I could develop a good rythm for those many miles of stockinette is part of the adventure.  Not too bad.

The swatch is going to continue but I am changing to the proper colour palette.  I want to see if the checked pattern will work.  Will the soft colours I have chosen show too much behind the delicate strands of lace weight yarn?  Will the colours work together? Will I still feel like doing this after I knit a significant swatch?  Will I have to toss aside the pattern, keep idea and knit a much smaller gauge to achieve this pretty effect? 

The yarns are assembled.  The swatch is well on its way.  It may or may not work, but I don't care.  I want to try and see where it leads.  

It will lead to a sweater, or to some really lovely yarn for the burgeoning lace stash.  Either way I win.  The only unrecoverable cost is a little time spent pursuing a dream.  

I can live with it, but there is still part of me that knows this is nuts.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The bind off has begun on the Multnomah Shawl.  I just didn't have the gumption to finish it last night.  

I did something fun yesterday after knitting.  I stopped at the dollar store to find some push pins for my wall o' swatches  and found some plastic shoe storage boxes.

I picked up a few.  You never know when you need a nice plastic sotrage thingy.  And at a buck per, I couldn't lose.  

My lace stash was the last remaining stash I had to go through and these boxes are perfect for it.  I organized all the lace into classes.  Fancies, light airy fluffy, Fleece Artist, and regular lace.  

Feels good to know it has all been sorted and aired.  I love knowing that my stash is healthy and in good condition.  I love seeing and feeling and touching all the skeins and I adore playing with it.  That is half the fun.  

I think an Icarus is on the menu for tonight.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The consolation of socks

I think I am ready to put aside sweaters for a while.  

I knit on the (darn) purple sweater yesterday till my fingers bled, but I could not get the sleeve right.  Its miles too large and yet I am doing exactly what the pattern asks for.  A few people on ravelry note that the space is generous, but this is ridiculous.  It currently could fit my thigh.  And that is saying something.  

I just can't face redoing it again (twice already), so I am going to set it aside for a week or so.  Maybe more.  Maybe less.  I just cannot look at it right now.  

I knit on the shawlette for a while.  A long time really.  I have only 2 repeats left.  I want to keep that for group knitting so I decided to start on a sock.

It doesn't look like much, but I am pretty excited.  I decided early this year that one of my next knitting goals should be learning to get over my fear of patterns.  

I have no problem following patterns in lace shawls.  It doesn't feel like patterns to me in a shawl. But I have a thing about sock patterns.  They intimidate me a little.  I've never knit one of the online standard patterns.  

On the top of the yarn pile was a nice sock yarn, Footloose from Diamond yarns, in a nice mottled grey brown.  Very manly.  Mr. Needles could use some socks.  So I picked a nice easy thing to ease myself into the concept of following a pattern for socks. It is a little busy to show a subtle pattern like this, but the busy yarn will hide any flaws.  

The pattern is the Earl Grey sock pattern from Stephanie Pearl Mcphee.  It suits somehow, that after following her sock recipe to learn how to knit socks, the first 'pattern' I knit should be one of hers.  

After failing to read the pattern thoroughly enough to note that the cables roots begin in the ribbing, I feel confident that I will follow the pattern about as well as I usually do.  Still, it will be a sock when it is done.  

Monday, 22 March 2010

Something else to knit

Mr. Needles was unavailable to try on his sweater.  I could not check if my final knitting on his sweater is long enough.  

I didn't pick up the purple sweater.  Just was not in the mood, though it is on the menu for today.  I spent my time on something else.

I knit on my pretty little Multnomah. There is no way this photo does it justice.  The pattern is delightful (as are all feather and fan patterns) and the warm natural shades of the yarn are just the prettiest thing.  

I'm working it with Zauberball.  This is my first exprience working with this delightful yarn.  Well other than the Lace Zauberball in those many bright shades that is.  Its an impressive yarn.  I don't know why exactly, but it is.  It just pleases me to work with it. 

Sometimes the challenge and the joy of knitting comes from the pattern, sometimes from the yarn.  This time it is both.   

Friday, 19 March 2010

It works

Still have the neck to go, but it fits!  I might shorten the sleeves after blocking but it would only be 10 rows of knitting on either sleeve.  

Isn't it great when the day starts or ends with a victory?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Pete and Repeat

You remember the old joke about Pete and Repeat?  

"Pete and Repeat were on a boat.  Pete fell out so who was left?"

The answer of course is Repeat.  Kids are compelled to repeat it and so begins the giggling and laughter, till the other guy figures it out or remembers the joke from his childhood.  

I haven't thought of that in a long long time.  Here I sit, beginning to work on the second sleeve and I can't help wondering if the second sleeve is the universes little joke.

Smart knitters would have marked the first sleeve at each decrease, and would have written down how many stitches one had at the start and how many one had at the end.  Smart knitters take notes.  

I am not a smart knitter.  I tried it once, but as I recall, it hurt, so I stopped doing it.  

I'm did some forensic work last night at knitting and I think I know what to do, but I fear that the joke will be on me.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Fixing things

I have been knitting on the last saddle of the Gansey as much as I can. It isn't a lot because the Gansey is not a portable project, it's not a unthinking knitting project.  It asks for focus.  It demands that I count rows.  So when the saddle was complete and I saw this

Sigh. It wouldn't be nearly so hard to take if this phot was of the first mistake.  No, this photo is of the mistake made during the repair.  Knitting seems to causing a lot of grief lately.  Maybe it is spring rather than knitting? I set it aside for a couple of days.

I fixed the error last evening, but not perfectly.

It will be OK after blocking.  On to the sleeve.  I am going to knit my heart out Thursday and I hope to finish this second sleeve.  If I really work at it, I'd like to have all the ends woven in too.  Friday is the last of the gansey classes and my goal is to be able to sit and knit the collar during class.  At the end of class I'd like to be able to hold up a completely finished project.  

In between the little cable mishap on the gansey I have been doing the simpler knitting on the purple Sandi sweater.  I took out the problem side panel and knit them separately.  Both side panels are now complete.  It remains only to sew in the side panels and another sweater is ready for sleeves.  

I'm sitting here just a little flummoxed.  If I get the gansey sleeve done for Friday, and knit on the Sandi sleeves Sunday and Monday...  

Oh my.  3 sweaters in one winter. Blows me away.  

Fear not.  There still is significant finishing after the sleeves on the Sandi. I think I'm going to step even farther away from the pattern and will add a hood.  Then the pattern calls for an i-cord around all the edges. Plenty of details to mess with yet.  

I'm not entirely sure of what I will do next.  There is plenty of knitting going on, but should there be another sweater?  I think so, but I'm not sure if I will still feel like it next week.

Maybe its time for a simple pair of socks.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

As a fiftyish woman, one of the things I get to enjoy is waking up at odd hours and finding myself unable to get back to sleep.

I could stay in bed and worry about it, but I usually get up and do something.  This is where knitting saves the day. I knit a lot last night. Most of the night in fact. I crawled back to bed at 4:40, and slept till 8 a.m. 

My plans for the day are going to have to be abbreviated.  Its errand morning and knitting afternoon.  I planned to be on my way to town by now, to wash the car, change its oil, go to the drugstore, look for a couple nice summery t-shirts, have lunch and knit with friends, and then wind up the day with groceries. There were a few other pit stops to make but I can't remember them now.    

I'll have to drop a few of those stops, but I'm darn sure I'm not cutting out knitting.  

One of the things to fall this morning is a good and proper post.  The inspiring post I was planning to write will have to wait and all you get today is drivel.  

Would you accept my apologies if I bring you some Smarties? Junior Mints?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Tale of Two Icarus

I'm working on two Icarus shawls at the same time.  That must be an odditiy among knitters, but it just kind of happened.  

I've had the Best of Interweave Knits for quite a while. It is one af very few books that I bought for just one pattern.  It contains the beauteous thing that is the Forest Path Stole  (scroll down and see the modeled version to get a real feel for it from October 1 post).  On the cover was a shawl everyone and his mother has knit, the Icarus shawl.  

When I bought the book, I thought meh.  All I really wanted was the stole.  I really thought that was the only thing I would ever knit from the book.  Along came a cobweb skein of cotton candy pink Merino Lace and Icarus became much more than meh.

For some reason, the Icarus became the subject of desire, nay even obsession.  I began the shawl just before summer, knit a couple of days and then it sat, lost and forlorn, till the Olympics.  

Considering all the things I finished in my Olympic challenge, and where I was when I began working on it in those heady days of February, I did well.  

I love everything about the delicate beauty of this shawl.  I love the tiny lace needles I am knitting the shawl with.  I love how delicate and fine the yarn is. I love the idea of wee pearl beads, or pink beads or the glassy pink lined beads.   I am tickled to be having the internal debate about which beads will go best on this shawl.   This soft and dainty pink is every little girls fairy tale come true.

One Icarus was enough.  Till I got the Zauberball Lace Ball.  

The Zauberball Lace Ball is fantastically, magically coloured, with every colour of the rainbow showing up sometime or other.  Lovely as the strong colours are, they pose a challenge when it comes to pattern.  

Lace shows up well but no matter how fine the lace, this shawl will have a casual cachet.  The strong vibrant colours mean it isn't going everywhere.  Date dressy, yes.  Game day dressy, sure.  Shopping for groceries in your jeans dressy, heck yeah, but not black tie dinner dressy.  The power of its tones shouts pick a lace that shows up the colour.  

I looked at so many different patterns.  Beyond the Revontuli shawl, there was little that drew me till I saw a shawl very similar to an Icarus.  It had the same long columns but was edged in a completely different lace.  I only saw it once but I knew that was the look I wanted.  

I debated while the games were on.  Two Icarus?  No.  I would try to find the other pattern. I looked.  I checked. I wasted many an hour.  I never did find it.  Icarus sort of decided itself.  I was meant to knit two.

The Zauberball lace is distinctly different to work on.  It has a completely different feel.  It's a single.  It's a little toothy. It doesn't even know the meaning of fairy tale delicate.  It has a heft and a depth beyond the richness of  its crayon brights.  To top it off, I am knitting this version in garter stitch.    (please forgive the fuzzy photo)

So here I am am, with a fairy princess shawl and a tomboy shawl and I. Am. Loving. It. 

I only have one question left.  Is the plural of Icarus, Icarii?  Icarusses?  

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Pennies from Heaven

I have been buying lace again.  I admit it.  Lace is my weakness. Beyond all the yarns on the market,  lace is where I have the least resistance.  It takes up little room, there is extreme yardage and when I have no money I can still knit for a very, very long time with my accumulated lace stash.  To say nothing of the cost of lace yarns.

You can spend big bucks on lace weights  You can get the most exclusive of fibres, if you pay the price.  But you don't have to.  There are many many good lace yarns to be had for about 20 dollars for a 1100 or 1200 metres.  There are tons more for about 10 dollars for 400 to 450 metres.  But you still have to watch your prices carefully.  Places that used to be inexpensive are verging on not so cheap.

Some recent aquistions.

I just got some laceweight from Knitpicks.  It is a nice lace, Shimmer, an Alpaca and silk blend, the green handpainted Bayou of the pictured yarns.  Coveted the colours for a long, long time. Was weak and could not resist.

I picked the gorgeous teal up at the store a few weeks prior.  It is Diamond Yarns Super Alpaca Lace, a pure alpaca, feels like butter.
Was also weak. Have 3 so I could do a nice huge shawl. With beads.  (Already have beads. Bought lace for stash beads, a first in bead stash history.)

When I first bought from Knitpicks, Shimmer was cheap, under 4 dollars a skein.  It is now $6.49 US.  With shipping, exchange (even with our almost at par dollar) it rounds up to about 8 dollars.  Not so cheap. Top this off with a wait of almost 4 weeks to clear customs, was it worth it?  Sure, but it was a colour I wanted that is exclusively theirs.

The Super Alpaca Lace was $8.50.  Shelf price. Without taking into account my employee discount. No wait time, almost no coveting time.  Just sheer delightful greed for a yarn.  Felt good.

My point?  The discount houses are not so discount anymore. Greed aside, at the current prices, with shipping, you cannot always get the best buy onlne.  The best buy is often your local yarn store.  When you take into consideration all the other little things that a yarn store will help you with, your LYS will always be your best buy.

The other interesting thing about lace is some of the interesting new lines.
Noro Sekku, $10.99 a skein at the store up to $14.00 online, plus shipping. Just sayin'.  You just have to see the colours.  And the range of colours in each skein?  Unbelievable.

And the stunning colours of Zauberball lace.  About 20 dollars.  Severely in love with this yarn.  Started it 3 times on Tuesday.  Ripped back each time.  The yarn is perfect.  The knitter is flawed.

All these bright marvelous things serve to make the soft cotton candy pink of my ongoing Icarus  even more delicate and fine.

And ecstasy of lace and some pretty good prices too.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Breaking up is hard to do.

Sweater, I am so over you.  I am thinking of breaking up with you.  Or at the very least, I am going to rip you out, knit you in pieces and sew your sides in. 

Not that I am bitter.  At least it would allow the monkeying around I have to do to get the fit right, be less painful.

I was so fed up with that sweater that I began a project that has been put off for a very long time.  My Summer Chevron, 

though it looked great on top, needed some work.  The centre yarn overs, upon which its diagonal fit is based needed to be knit open, but I knit them closed.  It looks OK in the photo, but without constant tugging, front and back, it was unwearable.

For a very long time, I knew I was going to try to repair it by dropping stitches and fixing the errors and if that didn't work, I would rip it out and reknit. 

You can see how well that went.


At least I knew this one was a crap shoot.  Its nice yarn, and if it doesn't become the Summer Chevron again, there is plenty around to make a different sweater.   

I started a shawl with a bright cheery Zauberball lace, but after ripping that out 3 times, I put that away too.  

Ballband dishcloths are looking really good right about now.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


I really thought that I would get one underarm fusset (not a misspelling) done yesterday.  I knit all day.  I knit with only enough breaks for the health and safety of my hands.  

I knit through lunch, and with more coffee, I knit right to 6 p.m.  but all there is to show for it is a measly partial side gusset.  

It gives detailed notes for making it longer for taller people, but it doesn't say anything about shortening.  The sweater is designed to be 27 inches long, much too long for me.  I have to wing it to do the gussets.  Had I not had to rip back twice, there would be a sleeve with all the days knitting. Dadgummit.  

While I am enjoying the knitting (ish), I wonder about the construction.  It is interesting and it does result in a really nice sweater, but it just seems needlessly fussy.  You knit 4 panels.  Then you sew 2 of them together.  Why not just knit them together using a double decrease at the centre.  

The side gussets are knit in, but you are forced to do a lot of flopping and flipping of the rest of the sweater.  Why not knit these flat and sew them in?  

And then there is a wee gusset to be knit to fill in a little corner between the front panels and the sides.  Why not just knit the short rows for the sleeves as if it was a modified drop shoulder sleeve?  (Which it is.)

There seems to be 2 methods of construction going on here and while it does some interesting things, its a little confusing and somewhat fussy in the details.  

I'll get to the sleeve today.  


Monday, 8 March 2010

Funky Town

The scarf like parts are complete and I am about to start working on the underarms of this sweater.  I'm getting a sense of what this one is going to look like.  

Just a little funky, yes?  

Its not going to be a high fashion garment.  I'm not sure that the original looks like a high fashion garment.  What it does look like is something just a little funky and right to wear around the house. 

It will be perfect for an all around the house sweater, perfect for a van sweater, perfect for a working around the yard sweater.  It will be just right for when Mr. Needles and I, coffee cup in hand, 
take our Sunday morning constitutionals around the yard.  For these kinds of things, stylish is not the point.

Funky is as funky does, and around here, funky is as good as it gets.  This kind of sweater  is going to be just right.   

Friday, 5 March 2010

Things my Daddy never told me.

Did you Know?

Adult moose look slightly naked without their antlers.

Its a sleeve!

Its a sleeve. Which means I have only one more sleeve to go, plus a little neck finishing. The only finishing will be sewing in about 6 ends and snipping off all the joins between yarns. Sadly this wasn't the sort of yarn that you can graft, but each join between skeins was woven behind the new stitches.

Of all the interesting things about this way of making a sweater, this is the best part. When you are done you are done. I won't be able to knit the collar till the following class, but it is nice to be this close to done.

It means I get to start another.

Oh wait you say, I already have started another.

What, you thought there would only be one?

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Vogue Knitting

I'm really conflicted about Vogue Knitting Magazine.

Like the ordinary magazine, Vogue Knittings role, their niche is to be an informer of high fashion. In my entire life, I doubt if I have purchased the ordinary fashion magazine but twice. Fashion maven, I ain't.

Its not that I don't like to be fashionable, but to me fashion is things you don't wear with jeans and a t shirt. Fashion is not what you wear with your stretchy pants. Fashion is not what you wear in the quiet of your house on a Saturday morning while sipping coffee.

I buy Vogue Knitting for the articles, (Oh shush) because nobody has a finer history of articles on the how to of knitting. It was full of interesting things, but only rarely was there something I might knit and wear. It is the magazine I hit and miss. It is the first magazine I will leave behind.

Except for the spring issues. I am enamoured of their spring issues. For the last 2 years. The spring issues are just fantastic.

This year, there still is the edge of knitting fashion, but it is approachable this spring. It is doable, it is things that people could and would wear at ordinary places in the regular world.

There is a mohair sweater that makes me dream about caring to wear mohair (the little checked cardigan), there is a pretty airy blue top with a little flare. I could go on. But what really catches me is the scarves and shawls.

Cover shawl? Check. Want it.

Beachy shawl? Want it.

Scarves in the scarf section? Picked the yarn.

I'm not sure if it is that Vogue has a lighter attitude in the spring or if it is that I do. Whatever it is, it pleases me.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Found while digging

I did exactly as I said yesterday. I dug through the not wool stash.

It isn't often that I forget a yarn in my stash. I know each and every skein and I know which pattern I bought it for. For the few things I don't have a pattern in mind already, the yarns were purchased with at least an idea of what they would become. Yarn has always been purchased in sweater quantities, shawl quantities or scarf quantities. I knew the number of balls of linen I had in that soft eggplant (3, 1 short of what I need), I knew I had a skein of natural linen (1, 1 more than I need). I knew all the many colours of cotton and I knew about the bamboo tape recovered from a frogged sweater that will be a Clapotis

What I had completely forgotten about was this. I was appalled that I had forgotten it.
The multi colour yarn is Rozetti Always Surprise, a wool and acrylic blend. I have used this once before to make a Baby Surprise Jacket. The solid is the same blend, a yarn called Tempo. Is a nice heathery thing in a richer purple than the fuchsia shown here.

I picked them up last year with a project in mind, the Sandy Cardigan from Big Girl Knits. It uses multi coloured yarn, knit on the bias to form panels for front and back. It uses the marvelous colours of Noro Kureyon to give shape and interest.

I bought these two yarns, because I wanted to understand the shaping of the sweater. Its series of small panels and side panel shaping seemed interesting. I wanted to do it without spending the huge amounts of money a Noro sweater would need.

And I needed a schlep around the house sweater, a camping sweater, a sweater that I can take anywhere and wash easily and not worry too much about taking care of.

So there it was. Yarn at hand. Project need. Time. I picked up and knit.

The first part equals to knitting 4 short scarves. Kind of fun. Great knitting while visiting.

While I knit, I wondered if this is what happens when a stash is large enough. I like knowing what I have. It provides a frame work to how I spend my time. It is comfort. It is a security blanket.

Forgetting some of it, absolutely, completely forgetting I have a yarn, must then mean I have reached maximum security and comfort. Reason says that stash accumulation is now complete and it is time for stash maintenance.

And if I say that to myself often enough, I'll believe it.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Clean and Blue

Instead of working diligently on a one of my planned projects, I sat and knit a scarf with a lofty, softly spun powder blue yarn I had been given. Think Malabrigo soft only not Malabrigo. It might have been my way of reminding myself not to impose limits that don't work with who I am. There are enough places in life where limits and rules must be observed. As GD says, this is supposed to be fun (though fun usually includes finishing and wearing. Piles of ongoing is stress)

Resolution be darned, I had a marvelous time knitting a scarf with soft yarn on big needles.

I also spent a little time sorting and ordering the stash. If you are not knitting, this is the next best thing surely. Playing around, looking at, and admiring ones stash is a sport all by itself.

A healthy stash needs to be checked and aired out. Its kind of like cleaning closets. You have to do it to feel your house is really clean and in good order.

I'm going to do a little more of that this morning. I could speak much more on how I feel about my stash, but really, its is time to go dig in my stash. Who knows what secrets lurk within?

So long as it isn't moths, I'll be happy.

Monday, 1 March 2010

My personal Olympic quest

I had victories in my personal Olympic quest. There are projects done and reason and responsibility reigns in the WIP basket.

A second pair of socks completed.
A long time WIP not complete but very very well on its way. This is yarn my son brought back from Ukraine last summer. I wasn't sure what to do with it. It has been started several times, but this time its feels right. Expect completion soon. Easy knitting.
And not a long time WIP, but a fun thing.

There was other WIP knitting. I knit a fair bit on an Icarus that I have had ongoing since summer. No photos. It is on a really short needles, so I'll save it for a day when I really really need photos. I knit a bit on scarves from the basket, but those that didn't make it to commentary here, have been ripped back.

There was knitting on sweaters. The red is complete, and the Ocean of Brown gansey is as done as I can make it for the class.

I spent a lot of time thinking over the last two weeks. I spent almost as much time pondering why I start things, as I did thinking about the next big thing. A lot of things are started because I was upset with what I was working on or I was upset at something completely unrelated to knitting, but it usually was begun in a time of strife. That was a little bit of a revelation. I thought it was due to boredom.

There will never be a day where the spur of the moment project doesn't happen and isn't wanted, but there will be a little more planning involved to the things I choose to knit and when I choose to knit them.


I have knitting plans and I mean to carry them through. I have a couple of projects for kids to do up before the end of March. I have another sweater to start. The blue Susie Hoodie calls for spring wear. These are always accompanied by socks, specifically two pair of alpaca from various suppliers.

It won't be a free for all, but I am really looking forward to starting new things.