Thursday, 30 September 2010

Busy day

I am sitting here at 4:55 a.m. local Edmonton time, and I feel like I already did a whole days tasks.  

In these early hours, the TV is my friend.  It keeps me company and makes some noise so that I don't hear house noises.  If I heard the usual house noises, I'd worry that squirrels had invaded again, and you know, there are just some things you don't need twice in a lifetime.

This morning, promptly at 4 a.m., my tv signal disappeared.  (I have satellite tv) The screen kept reading that I needed to subscribe before I could watch this channel.  Sigh.  I already do.  

You can get through to technical support easily at this time of the morning.  He told me to go to a menu, hit 6, then 4, and tell him some numbers.  I did.  Then he told me to unplug the reciever.  I laughed.  No no says he, just pull the plug on the back of the reciever.  I laughed again.  He has obviously not seen how I have these things connected.  And how it is jammed in here.  If I move one thing, the whole shebang might fall out.  Even worse, if I unplug anything, it might all unplug.  

As these various scenarios whirled through my mind, I began to wonder about electronics.  Everything has a plug, sometimes 2.  The 6 inch tall, 2 inch wide sat box has 3 and a couple ports I don't use. Everything must be wired, hard wired, coaxed and otherwise connected.  I'm pretty sure that behind all the sleek units, the massive tvs, the elegant fronts of even the fanciest media centres is an absolute hornets nest of wiring and cables.  My mere humble bookshelves can hardly contain these wiring 'secrets' at the back of the shelf.  I have visions that in some distant future when humanity us looking at us as an archeological record, they are going to find these massive tangles featuring prominently in every home and wonder...

His suggestion worked.  The signal is restored.  But I had to play with cables for a while, before they all went back into the same space they occupied before and stopped pushing things off the shelf.

Its been a long morning.  And it isn't even 6 o'clock.  It can only go up from here.  I'm going to go knit now till I have to get ready for work. Garter stitch is looking really good.  Simple. Reliable.  Calm. 

No plugs.     

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

New Knittys

I love it when new Knittys come out.  So much good stuff.

I remember the first issue I found came across.  It is the one with the lovely Ice Queen on the cover.  I have been a devoted fan and ardent admirer ever since.

This issue has some fantastic sweaters.  Vines first caught my eye. Then I caught the glory of Lia.  Then I was captivated by the impressive vintage looks of Beatnik   

I wish there was time to knit them all, right now.  I wish they would all look good on me!   Well, they all might, it is just going to take a little tweaking.  But then, everything takes a little tweaking. I'll get over it.  

If you have not seen it there is a bevy of wonderful socks, mittens and a really fantastic collection of scarves and neck warmers, just right for knitting for your Christmas gift giving list.  

This is Knitty's 8th year of publication.  Congratulations to Amy and Jillian and the gaggle of talented people who give us this wonderful publication.  Proof positive that the online format works.  

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

5 little rows

Today I must knit 5 little rows.  I will knit much, much more than 5 little rows, but it is these 5 little rows that mark moving forward.

In 5 little rows I will be able to cast off for the underarm.  

From here on, knitting will speed up!  Yay.

There will be stitches taken out for the sleeves, 14 per sleeve, I believe.  They will be replaced by a group of just 6 steeking stitches.        These stitches, with their alternating colours, are speedy to work.  Zoom, Zoom.

I am diverging from the pattern for the neck.  The book shows a deep v neck, but Mr. Needles purpose and way of wearing vests, usually means he prefers them to be round necks.  There will be a zipper in this vest too, so it just will be better with a rounded neckline. Sadly, this means there will be no further decreasing of stitch counts until right close to the cast off, but you can't have everything.   

Colourwork is not so fast as other plain knitting.  It is not even remotely as fast as lace.  But it is entertaining.  It is fun.  It is challenging.  It is fulfilling. I love every minute of knitting these warm rich earthy hues.  I love knitting with this simple undemanding yarn.   I love this simple pattern (which I am sort of not following).  

There is a lot of knitting left, corrugated ribbing all over the place and a rather large pocket, but a few more weeks, a few more rows...  I can see the end of it.  Much as I am enjoying this, seeing the end of it is a nice place to be.  

Monday, 27 September 2010

I think they read the note.  It was all smiles at the wedding and grandma smiled the biggest of all!  I am pleased. They understand the project. I didn't even make the 10 p.m. dinner though.  Friday was just too long a day.

I wish I could say that I knit a lot this weekend.  I did  knit but not a lot. I was dreaming farm dreams.

Mr. Needles and I took the farm "tractor" over to our farm and took a tour.  The crop that was on it has been swathed but not combined but we drove between the rows so as not to disturb anything  and took a grand tour.  

We discussed where to put the garden, and where we will eventually put the yard.  We checked out the quality of the land, and the best sites for building.  Sadly, the best places are far from the road, and mean a really long drive.  More to think about on that.  No rush.  On our return home, I dreamed of floorplans and buildings and green homes and sensible heating for a cold climate.  Whatever we do, we hope to do it nice but not pricey so that we can also build a nice but not pricey cabin at our island paradise.  

But I shall dream. " Just because you are able to justify your current goals, though, doesn't make them aren't a good judge of practicality today   "
My horoscope is backing that up. Maybe I should stick to the practical and do some laundry.  

Friday, 24 September 2010

Long days

It is going to be a long day.  First off this morning is my eye test, then to work, then to party at the wedding.

There won't be time to come home to change clothes after work,so I am going to have to take something along that I can change into or wear something I can work in that will be right for a wedding.  


I have a black skirt.  

I gotta go do laundry.  Oyyy.  

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Looking for inspiration

I am so out of the loop.  It has been a very busy week so far, I have not read any blogs, barely checked Ravelry and have completely ignored my email.  

Well It feels that way though it isn't true.

What is true is that my father in law, who is 89, is staying with us this week between wedding and reception.  I am pretending that I clean and operate a regular normal household.  He knows something is up because no way could someone spend this much time doing what he calls a pasttime.  Which made me think hard again about how I feel about knitting and where it fits in my world.  

A few years ago, when someone asked what I did, I would say I was an executive secretary or accounting supervisor or guy who does stuff.  In the way of small business, even though it no longer was, I was all 3.  It just depended on the day and where the work demanded my attention. Mostly I was a guy who did stuff.  My definition of myself was through my work.  

At the end of that job, I no longer had a definition of myself beyond the work world.  What a sad place to be.  

I think I am more specific now.  I hold onto a definition of myself, a view of the me I want to be.  I would never define what I do by the narrow confines of where I work. If people ask me where I work, I tell them at a yarn store, but if they ask me what I do, I tell them I knit.  What I am is a knitter and needleperson.  My work no longer defines me, it just pays the bills to get me where I want to be. 

Which is knitting.  Which is what I am going to go do now.  I'll pretend I keep a tidy house a little later after my father in law gets up!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

First off thank you for helping me feel better about my decision to keep knitting.  As my dear sister says, "Sometimes, wisdom takes years. " Too true.  And I admit, too , to having the same kind of contrary nature, Sandra.  It did make me want to knit more overtly, to be bolder about it, rather than just sitting at my table and knitting away.

The funny thing was, had I quit I would have confirmed their opinion, rather than carrying it through so they could see why I was doing it.  Ah well.  I shall let it go and put it to rest.  However there is an Edmonton reception this weekend for the same wedding party and the same people will be there.  This time I am knitting socks.  Bright garish and for me.  We shall see what comes.  This time if they ask, I shall not stop.

Well, OK, I probably would because I am a big chicken. I can say I won't here, in this far off and quiet place and can less easily put it to practice without feeling bad.  A hat for a charity?  Surely an acceptable compromise.  Socks for charity?

Meanwhile, back with regular knitting, I'm thrilled with the way the vest is moving along  Almost done the first chart and I'm completely comfortable with the colours.  

It is like working with heather in my hands, the magic kind.  There may be a problem with dominant/ recessive yarns, but I can't see evidence of it yet.  When I do, it may be too late.  I have decided not to worry.

That is the good thing about knitting, the comforting thing about knitting.  I do the knitting for me, even when the result will be for someone else. If I did not want to do it, I would buy them a gift.  The only one judging my knitting is me, the only critic is me.  And I am gradually learning not to judge so harshly, gradually learning to accept that some errors can be ignored and some must be redone.

Slowly and surely I am learning when I should pay attention to whatever judgements I may put on myself and when I ought to kick that judging me in the patootie.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


It was the blue, it was the blue.

The one thing I didn't say yesterday was that the weather was most definitely fall, no pretensions of late summer.  I wore the blue sweater and was very glad of it.  I even considered wearing the Freyja for its warmth.  

I knit another Bride's Memory Bag, this time in a pure environmentally smart Eco Silk from Diamond Yarns.  It turned out really nicely, though without beads  (It was hard to match the colour of natural silk.).  The bag could have used a good blocking at the end, it had a wee biasing problem, but there was no time.  I added a note to the card about the bag, and gave it to the couple.

The bride's family are a strongly traditional family.  There were bits of their traditions scattered through the day.  It was mostly nice, but all the things that are not good about adhering to traditions were there too. 

There were knitters in the crowd among the Bride's family members, I am certain. Her grandmother came over to introduce herself, in a funny way. She did not say a thing, did not ask, but my heavens, if looks could kill (maybe mortally wound is the more appropriate level) My knitting was disapproved of. It was intense. Had she asked about it and still requested I stop, I would have. I admit that I would have been bereft, though. Through the evening I heard a comment or two in passing and one of the bride's cousins asked me about the bag as I was finishing.  I was happy to explain it, (she thought it sweet) but other than one person, no one asked.  

When I took it to put it with the other gifts, along with the card and our gift, the bride happened to be standing near.  Frowned upon again and consigned as ' some old socks'.  Sigh. I hope she at least reads what I wrote about the wee bag in the card.    

I like traditional things.  I like old things and old ways.  But without adding new, without adding something of ourselves, traditions are just an empty shell.  The good kind of traditions are a living growing things.  

The Bride's bag is a new tradition. It is mine, to my nieces and nephews.  It is meant to wish them well, to be a reminder when they see it tucked away in a drawer years from now, of all the joy people felt as they came together.  I don't mind their not understanding the why of this small personal tradition.  As far as traditions go it has only been around a few years.  

What I would mind is if they don't accept the different,  don't read the card, don't quest for understanding, don't ask.  I mind about that a lot.

Under circumstances where you felt your knitting was disapproved of by some, but under the veil of 'civility' (the false kind, in my view) but no one asked why, or requested you to stop, would you have stopped?

Monday, 20 September 2010

Waterton Weekend

This is Parks Canadas homepage for Waterton National ParkI'm sure I have never seen anything that displays the Canadian way of understating the magnificent so clearly as does this webpage.

The real Waterton is a whole lot more impressive.

How about this one?  Or the images page.  
These tell much more about the place, and the air and sky there, than the Parks Canada website. Where are my photos you ask?  Aha.  Well.  my camera stayed at home like a good camera should not.   

Still it wasn't the scenery that really struck home this visit.  The scenery was grand, but it was socked in most of the time.  Misty veils hung low on the mountains and when you could see high, you still could not see far.

No. What is really impressive about Waterton at this time of year is the quiet.  There was an overwhelming sense of being at the edge of utter silence, not in a heavy way, just in the way a great land lays itself down to sleep, just in the way mother nature wafts her gentle hand across the landscape, gently and softly tucking things in before the serious weather of winter.  A great quiet settles in the nooks and crannies of a place and slowly muffles evidence of grand personal exploits, extreme climbing and long hikes.  The great quiet soaks into the senses almost before you realize it is there.  

Busy winters and skiing are not the face of Waterton and there is something comforting in knowing that there is one park where a mountain winters gentle silence is honoured and allowed to stand, respected for what it is.  

We stayed at the Waterton Lakes Lodge  and I just cannot say enough about this really fine hotel.  Short staffed as everyone is at this time of year, the people did a wonderful job.  The young ladies and gents staffing the hotel and Vimys Lounge and Grill were wonderful.  They served us in the morning, they served us at lunch and served the wedding banquet in the evening too.  Long long hours but every one of those hours and all the people met with smiles. And though I did not meet her or him, whoever the chef was...I would follow you anywhere.  

All that quiet, all that peace, all the great food, on top of comfy snuggly rooms, makes me long to return.    

Friday, 17 September 2010

My Options are Open

We are off to a nephews wedding this weekend.  Plain black uncrushable travel skirt and black top are the basis of my going out wardrobe.  OK, they are my only going out wardrobe. The variation is no sleeves or long sleeves on the top.  It's OK, though.  I don't go out a lot.  

As I was thinking about packing, I realized I had a whole lot of options to wear with this basic uniform.
Spiffy new sweater is a top candidate.  It really does look dressy and casual at the same time. Unless it warms up a lot, this is probably what I am wearing.  (The likelihood of warming is small.  It snowed at higher elevations yesterday and this wedding is at a very high elevation) A no sleeve option works with this sweater, but it's nice to know if it is cold, it works fine with long black sleeves too.

Elegant flax and silk Bitterroot shawl.  I'd have to have the long sleeves for this one but it is so pretty.

Elegant little Silk and Wool (or was it Fleece Artists Woolie Silk?). This also has a long sleeves requirement.

Soft cuddly elegant green Yards of Heaven.  Great over a jacket.  I wore this to the Kiev wedding with a black jacket.

Scrumptious green silk Topsy Turvyd.  I have been waiting for an occasion to wear this.  The silk is just too delicate to wear at work.  I'd probably wear the black jacket with this one to show it off just right.  

Drapey Shoalwater Shawl in bouncy Ella Rae Merino laceweight.  Also going to need long sleeves with this one but with this, I'd feel swathed in yarn, veiled.  It might be a good choice if I feel the need to hide.

The point is, I have choices.  Lots of choices. This pleases me to no end. They are all elegant and wearing them make me feel special.  They are not my usual, just this side of jeans style at all and yet they all are still very much me. They are designed by others, but are interpreted by me, in yarns chosen by me.  They are my armour as I surf the world of people who just don't get knitting.

Now I have got to get hopping.  There is a brides gift bag to be getting ready for and somewhere in the bead and yarn stash I have some white silk and some perfectly right beads.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Brave New Knits

A friend of mine alerted me to this new book, Brave New Knits.  Wow.  

Just wow.  What a nice book.  Interesting projects of all sorts from the best and brightest knitters from blogosphere.  Projects from some well established designers, some new young designers, some from emerging artists. 

Really good book.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Of confessions

I only knit on the lovely blue yarn yesterday.  That is all that wanted to run through my hands.  If that is the way of it, this shawl is going to be completed lightning fast.

What I need to write about today is Yarn Harlots post for today.  I am disturbed.  

What I am disturbed about is that everyone reading her blog will feel it is cool and trendy and hot to be the sort of knitter who will knit at stop lights and knit in sluggish and stuck traffic.  There will be an huge portion of the knitting population who is going to feel my opinion is a wet blanket on their fun.


I used to work for a firm that did accident reconstructions and while I was very insulated from trauma photos, I sometimes saw them.  I remember the very first one, the first time I came across a person who died because she momentarily forgot to pay attention.  I remember her name. I remember what colour her t-shirt was, how her jeans were worn at the knees, the colour of the sky the day she died. I remember how she looked so oddly peaceful lying there on the roadway.  

I remember the others too. There is a long list of things these people are doing when their 'accidents' happened.  It is such a mundane list:  changing radio stations, flipping through cds, scolding the kids, answering the phone, telling jokes to friends.  The list is populated with small things that we all do each day in our cars.

The one stunning thing they all had in common, was that not one of them meant to die when they got in their vehicle that day.  Not one of the people who may or may not have contributed to their deaths meant to harm them either.  

Not one knitter who sits behind the wheel and knits at a light, or who knits when the traffic is sluggish will mean to hurt anyone.  But they might.

If you are in the drivers seat, be there.  Be engaged in what you are doing.  Your socks will thank you.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Feed a craving

I've knit and knit and knit over the last day or so.  I will be knitting through the long day again.  Mr. Needles will be working late tonight so I won't even have to break for dinner.  

It took till 9 p.m. till my hands could stop. Up to then they simply could not sit still.  They twitched and itched and danced until it drove me mad.  

I knit on Mr. Needles vest.  I knit till I could not think.  So I parked it for a while, and knit on the garter stitch blanket.  I knit till I had new balls of yarn worked in, and then that was enough of that.  

I knit again on the vest for a bit.  It wasn't pretty.  I tried to distract myself with the internet.  I t wasn't any good. My hands just wanted to knit.  

I picked up some rag looking type sock yarn and began to knit a leg of a mini sock monkey  I got to the point where I am going to have to be stuffing as I knit, but I really wasn't in the mood to knit around stuffing, so I set that aside.

I cleaned some, in one of the deep corners of this house.  EWWWW.  All my hands really wanted to do was knit, but I knew that there was no way I could go back to the vest and not suffer ripping back.  So, I followed the need of my fingers and started another project.  

Tuscany from No Sheep for You.  The yarn is Tika from the Mirasol collection and the colour is the brightest of blues.  Almost turquoise, but not.  Almost marine, but not.  There are many things it isn't but to pin down this blue to a name, or a single word...impossible.  Fantastic, maybe.  Electric, perhaps, but neither of these words cover everything that this blue is.  

So here I sit with a dozen undone things in the closet and in baskets round the room, and I have yet another, check that, two more on the go.  I really did not need that.

And yet I did.  Feed a craving, so they say. I did not know I needed it. My hands are finally quiet, my fingers no longer are twitchy.    



Monday, 13 September 2010

Have you ever wondered?

Every once in a while I wonder about the state of human communication.  People talk.  People have always talked, and on occasion I worry about the state of modern communication and our kids and young people.

Everything is in quick sound bites, everything is in short texts and quips and written bits and ethereal bytes on big websites.  The detritus, the asides, the unimportant bits of human communication is there for all to see, on facebook and My Space and blogs.

Is this where human communication is going?  Is this all there will soon be? A 10 word comment and a 'like'?

And then I read and participated in something silly on Ravelry and realized that if anyone saw me, with this huge goofy grin on my face, sitting here all alone in my wee yellow study, they would think I was nuts, but they would ask what was so funny. Invariably.  Without fail.  They would need to know.  

Human communication will be just fine.  Facebook and blogs give a voice to those who have no one to hear them for a minute or a hour or a week or ever.  It is a place to speak, a format to be heard and continued human curiosity and a goofy grin at the small and silly bits of our days will keep others asking why. 

These thoughts could border on profound if I was a really good writer and a better thinker, but all I was really aiming for was how to give myself an excuse for sitting here, all alone with that really big goofy grin on my face.   

Friday, 10 September 2010

When all the knitting is on a garter stitch blankie

When all the knitting is on a garter stitch blankie, there just isn't a lot of exciting knitting photos.  And a bark brown and licorice garter stitch blankie is about as thrilling as an empty ice cream bucket on a hot summers day.

It is a darn good thing that fall is the season of books.  It is just not possible for any small knitting store to carry all the hot new books for fall.  And in a way, the new books are not the coolest thing out in knitting book land.  Not always anyway.

Because of various things going on at the store, we have a host of the very best knitting books, the time tested, published and republished books on hand and I have been making sure I have them in my own personal library.  One of my purchases has been Poems of Color, Knitting in the Bohus Tradition by Wendy Keele.  (If you can't get the book from us consider this excellent online source)

Sometimes a book makes it hard to breathe.  The pictures of all those sweaters...all the beautiful delicate patterning, the things that are breathtaking even in black and white.  I wonder if I will ever get around to reading the book?  I do want to knit the book. I mean how could I ever decide on one?  I really do want to knit one of those fantastic detailed intricate delicate knits of the thousand stitches someday.  

These were not just knitting, these were and are art, wearable masterpieces of art.

And one day I will be a good enough knitter to do it. Just not yet.  But one day...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

An ongoing love affair.

We have had the Churchmouse Yarns and Teas patterns at the store for a while now, and I tell you, they are darn hard to keep in stock.  Some of them are impossible to keep in stock.  Very very good patterns.  Simple to knit, yet the designs have lovely down to a fine art.

I've knit only 1 of them.  The linen stitch scarf was tried and failed by me.  What seems to be simple takes a surprising amount of concentration to keep on track.  I think, though If I try it again, I would do it in the round, so that I only have one row to do, and just need to alternate the slipped stitch.  Or something like that.  Seriously lace knitting is easier for me.  But everyone, and I do mean everyone else loves it.  

The linen stitch scarf pattern and idea took Edmonton by storm this summer.  You would not believe how many of these were knit locally.  The fascination still continues.

The Turkish Bed Socks are almost impossible to keep in stock.  Interesting but simple technique makes for a speedy fun knit.  Many many pairs will be gifted for Christmas here. I would love to do them, but it is impossible to keep these in stock.

And these elegant little wristwarmer/gauntlet things.  I really love these.  I don't know if it is the buttons, or the welt, or just the picture, but I want these.  They are quite perfect.  They have not struck the popular imagination quite so much as the other 2, but oh my when you knit one, you will knit a hundred.  This has been confirmed by the lucky ones who 'stole' the pattern right out of my itchy fingers.  

I will wait for those to be restocked.  I could download, but I'd rather wait for the real thing.  you just have to see these to know what I mean.  Even the printing is elegant.  

While I wait, I have picked up a couple of others.  I am going to try to adapt the felted beret to use up the Cascade 220 that I have.  It is designed for a Shetland DK weight, but it is a place to start.  I also picked up this elegant wee beaded scarf, a direct result of the recent voyage into the mohair and lace section of the stash.   I need simple elegant ways to use it up in tandem with the bead stash.  

So much to knit, so little time.  I would never have invented a 32 hour day for work things or so I could fit in all the housekeeping, but for knitting, I am working on it.  The big problem is how to get the earths rotation to cooperate with my nefarious plan...
(insert evil genius or looney bin laughter as you see fit)  

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

After the next

My hands didn't want to work yesterday.  I don't have arthritis, or at least not the kind that hurts and aches, but sometimes, my hands just feel stupid and don't want to cooperate.  I'm a little concerned, because this is the second time in as many weeks.  Perhaps a little later today they will settle down.  I'm sure hoping so.

Yesterday I tackled a heinous job of going through some old boxes that needed to be gone through and sorted and ordered.  I'm done the sorting, but not the ordering.  Just not enough hours in the day.

As I mentioned yesterday, the yarn for the next project is going to come from the yarn cabinet.  It is sitting there, cheering me on, waiting impatiently for the vest to be done.  

There are 7 or 8 skeins of Yakima Heather Cascade 220, oddly enough, the same warm heathery forest floor green colour as I am using for Mr. Needle's vest,  for an Elysium.  That is the plan anyway (you know how that goes!).

There is a delicious red Tupa, a silk and merino from the Mirasol Collection.  It will be for my long delayed Agatha, a lovely shawl designed by a friend and local to Edmonton designer.  It can be purchased through Ravelry.  It is the right sort of yarn to show off the marvelous shaping Agatha has within its patterns.  

There is a selection of Briggs and Little Regal, a red, a white and I have no idea what they will be for.  I just know they will make something good and warm.  There is a sport weight yarn in a rich olive green that I plan to knit with something I just don't normally knit with to make some twining cables,  some worsted yarn in a deep intense inky blueberry and dk wieght in a warm rusty red.  Sigh, there is a lot of good stuff in that cabinet.  

There is also some seriously fine Woobu from Blue Moon Fibre Atrs,  and this is the yarn I am thinking of this lieu of knitting.  

I had thought that I might knit a Goodale, or for those of you without Rav links, a Goodale.  I still might but now I am less sure of it.  I'm not sure why, but this yarn, this lovely wool and bamboo blend, is causing me some trouble.  I have 3 skeins of a soft gray, plenty for a simple short sleeved sweater, but I also have a skein of it in a stunning multi colour called Fire on the Mountain.  Every colour under the sun is in it and it looks stunning with the soft gray. I'd like to use them together and Goodale won't allow for that. 

It isn't often that this happens.  I usually see the sweater in a yarn right away.  Usually, I don't buy a yarn without knowing what it will be, but not in this one.  This yarn sells out too fast for me to think about.  It shows up one day, and is sold out the next.  I bought this purely on impulse.  

I've looked at so many patterns, and just have not seen one that it wants to be.  Perhaps it is a good thing that I have those duck feet to knit, the other felted slippers, the sweater, the 2 blankets and a vest all of which I want to finish this fall.  No rush for a decision at all.             

Monday, 6 September 2010

Fantastic Long Weekends

I knit my heart on the weekend.  I knit and knit and knit till I just could not knit anymore.  I knit till my hands gave out or my brains gave out.  IN truth, it is hard to tell which.  You could ask Mr. Needles. And yet, it wasn't nearly enough knitting to fill up the inside me, the one who wants to knit entire days away, the one who just wants to crawl inside colour work just to see if the colours are as pleasing from the inside out. 

Colour work is like a tiny little craving.  Feed it a little and you need more. 

I could use a little more, but I know that if I keep knitting, I am going to make all kinds of mistakes.  Pull back before I screw up is my new motto.  I'm not normally this controlled.

So then what?  When you have ample time to knit but cannot allow yourself to knit on what you like, you have to have another project. So I cast on for something very simple.  Son 3 asked for a blanket with no holes.  I had grand ideas of making all sorts of fancy colour work blankets.  Then, I thought I would do a simpler kind of colour work blanket.  As I was knitting the vest, I decided to knit what I had time for.  

I present to you Scotts Very Simple Garter Stitch Blankie.

I knit on this after I had enough of the vest.  It isn't large yet but it will be. There are 10 balls of Berocco Comfort Chunky Licorice and 10 balls of Hummus. Plenty of yarn for a nice big blanket. 

And when I am done, when I am very done with the knitting and my hands give out, then what?  

It will soon be time for the quarterly stash inspection, so I started that.  OK, I finished that.  It was a nice afternoon. I even sorted the lace.  And the mohair.  (Yes it is separate.  Its just a little shoe box of mohair and fuzzy cashmere though.  Not much.  Really.)  

I didn't do the yarn cabinet. As soon as this vest is done, yarn will be coming out from there to knit another fall sweater.  It will get all stirred up then and that will suffice.  I did not get to the cottons beside the desk either.  Ah well.   

It seems like a lot of day is left.  I hate the thought of just sitting here watching TV.  I'm not sure I can handle it just sitting.  

Maybe it is time to set up the knitting machine?  There is a blanket project I want to knit on it.  I have been stockpiling Lion Brand Fishermans Wool for a nice big blanket for my bed.  I'm going to felt it a little for the ultimate in warmth and snuggly goodness. But no, I am not going to let myself do it.  I feel like there is time, but I don't know, maybe I am getting smarter in my old age. NO.  Not for you today.

Knitting colour work fills me with energy.  It feels like I have the enrgy and the time to do a thousand things and I want to finish them all.  Colour work is stimulating, invigorating, vital, fresh.  

I've been knitting and buzzing around here since 4 a.m..   It is time to settle and slow down so I am ready to sleep.  Morning comes soon enough.  I'll save the rest of my for then. 

Holiday Monday

I wasn't going to post this morning.  It is a holiday and I give myself a day off on holidays, but gosh darn it, this is an old project, now blocked.  Surely that qualifies for a holiday Monday post.

Finally, my blocked Bitterroot.  Sigh.  It is everything I wanted it to be.  The feel of the linen, 

the drape, the cool against my skin, 

the rich weight of it.  Sigh.  It is an incredible thing.  

Friday, 3 September 2010

Dreaming Mode

After a really nice visit with a good friend, I went straight to bed.  Nary a single stitch was knit yesterday.  I think.  Things get sort of hazy and I can't remember well when I don't get to knit.  I did think about knitting though.  I'm sure this counts.  

What I was thinking about was how very much I like the way my Freya feels when I wear it.  It is destined to become my everything sweater, my go to for every occasion, my somewhere between dressy and casual sweater.  It is warm but not heavy, snuggly but not cloyingly so.  Does it sound like I love it?

So how to recreate that feel, that je ne sais quoi? I bought the last of the Eco DK from the store and I don't know if it will be restocked.

I do have the unspun 6 strand Prairie Wool from Custom Woolen Mills (available at RCY right now during sweater season).  I'm kind of wondering if 2 or 3 strands of this might give the same lofty yet light feel.  I sense an experiment coming on.  If you could do a sweater out of a couple of these wheels?  Cost effective!

Anyway, that won't be tried tilll at least the weekend.  No point getting my self off in another direction when I really want to see this vest knit up it will take over my every waking thought once I have it in my hands again.

Till then, I shall dream wild and crazy knitting dreams, I shall think of way to recreate a feel and I will knit on socks and simple things that take absolutely no thinking whatsoever.   

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Bawk, bawk, bawk bawk....

I work today.  I have a friend coming to dinner this evening.  Aaaaaack.  I feel as if I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off, to quote the very old farmy saying.  

Whenever I feel like this I recall fondly a radio show from the late 60's.  I give you  Chickenman.  Best listened to rather than watched.  It was radio.  You really ought to re-live it the way it was meant to be.

We got my brother the t-shirt.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Cascade 220

The vest is working up nicely.  Like all colourwork, it seems to almost knit itself.  Between 9 and 11 in the morning yesterday, I knit a good inch. Which is fine except I had planned to do a solid morning of housework, and I am sure that I only knit for a very very short time.  Note to self:  don't pick up the colourwork unless you actually have time. Its hypnotic.

I am not touching it this morning.  I'd probably end up late for work!

This morning, my task is to tidy my study, clean a bathroom or two, deal with the things I did not do yesterday morning.  The first thing I did was to put away the yarn that was taken out of the closet as I tried to find the right colours of Cascade 220 for the vest.  

You know, before this vest adventure, I did not have much Cascade 220.  I had   5 or 6 skeins of a rich ruby red, and a sweater quantity of green. There were odds and ends from hats at Christmas a few years ago, but that was it. Now the Cascade 220 inventory includes 3 skeins of each of 2 different rusts, 3 or 4 different grays, 2 different greens, plain brown and black. 3 skeins of each. It is a ot of yarn.  I also have some part balls of bright strong accent colours bought for practising colourwork knitting as I learned.  Sigh.  Now what?  

There is no other yarn in the stash that I have in such overall quantities without a specific purpose.  This might be one of those burning questions that never gets an answer, but the yarn is Cascade 220.  Useful for everything.

With those duck feet slippers in mind, this household is about to go into slipper production. Somewhere around here I have a felted clog pattern, there is a good little sock type slipper pattern I can get at the store and I could knit multiples of the little felted slippers everyone was  knitting last Christmas.

Thankfully, slippers are fast knitting.  Small projects. Double stranded yarn.  Fairly large needles. Speedy knitting.   First the vest.  Then a dozen other things, and well you know...

I have several months before I have to begin my Christmas knitting. Christmas is ages away. Sure it is.