Monday, 31 December 2012

Late Breaking Update

While tossing through the WIP bin I came across the Pretty Thing I was working on before Christmas.  

It was supposed to be a gift, but I had some misgiving about the last part of the chart. It did not look like the first part of the chart so I assumed I had done it wrong.  I was going to rip back (again) and re-knit (again).  

I had coffee the other day with a friend and she laughing pulled out an absolutely gorgeous version of it.  Looked just like mine.  And since she wouldn't make foolish mistakes, I realized mine must be OK.

As I tidied up the bins, it came to hand and I looked into the bag.  I had one half a row and the bind off to do.  I smacked myself on the back of my head and did them.  Silly Me.  Giving up when I was almost done.  No more of that in 2013.

Its really quite fine, you know.  Quite fine. Fits me perfectly.  I couldn't have given it away under any circumstances!   I may have to go after some of the red cashmere my friend was telling me about.  

Wrapping it Up

I suppose it is the time of year when one must do a bit of a roundup of everything that was and focus on what will be, or dream of it at the very least.  

What was is pretty obvious.  Much knitting, a grandbaby, some garden stuff, a daughter.  It was a very big, big year her at Chez Needles.  May 2013 be just as good.

As you all can see by the sparse posts this past week, I am taking a bit of a holiday.  Not from knitting, but from everything else.  I'm doing lots and lots of knitting.  

In the deep parts of my head, there were yarns that I wanted to use this year and it occurred to me that I was hanging on to them for no good reason.  I had long worked out what I wanted to do with them, so it was time to use them.  

And you know what the best part of using them is.  Falling in love all over again.  How could I not?

I decided to pull out my Noro Kureyon.  I had split some bags with a friend and they decorated my shelf in the nicest way, but it was time to use them.  I can always use another addition to my sweater wardrobe.  This time between Christmas and New Years seemed the perfect time to get a serious amount of knitting done.

I started on Thursday.

I did more on Friday and Saturday

And by Sunday I was here.  By Sunday, my hands were tired so I slowed the pace on Sunday.

I'm not really sure if you can see what I am doing here.  The top is ribbed and the bottom, stockinette.  I'm about 2 inches into the stockinette.  I still have a long long way to go.  I'm going to be cutting it close on yarn, but then, isn't that my usual fear at this point in any sweater.  I do have the most marvelous fallback position though.

The 'skirt' of the sweater needs to be quite long.  I would like to have sleeves that are at least 3/4 length, but I suspect that I will have to give them up to keep the length of skirt it needs. I can live with short sleeves, I suppose but my bigger and better option is that I could, if needed, do a black border on all of it.  Button bands, sleeve ends, and bottom welt could all be a solid black.   I figure those things will give me at least 2 extra balls of yarn to work with and at least 3 more inches of length.  

I'm going to knit the start of the sleeves in a little bit, but only to the best short sleeve length, and then put them on holders. Then I'll see what I can get out of the rest of yarn I have for length.  If there is enough, I'll come back and finish the sleeves longer and if not, they will get a nice black yarn welt.  

I don't mind knitting without a pattern but I am most decidedly uncomfortable knitting without a safety net or sound fallback position.  And that is the state of my knitting.

I'm not sure if that is everything I have to say about the year that was, but it is everything I have to say about it today.  It was a pretty good year.  Life has been kind.  

Can't beat that as a year end wrap up.    

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Another one almost done

I doubt that I am going to get another project done before the end of the year, so I've updated my yearly total for the last time.  Its right about the same number of metres as each of the last two years that I have been tracking.  Right about 21 - 22,000 metres of knitting.  It's kind of a comfortable number and yet.

There were so many times this year where it felt like I had not knit at all, where it feels like there were huge chunks of time where I ought to have been knitting, but could not.

Guess not.  Which I find rather funny.

I'm off now to meet one of my favourite people, and we are going to catch up and chat and have a generally lovely time.  She has red cashmere and has promised to tell me about it.  

Friday, 21 December 2012


There is always this sense of unreality as it gets so close to the big day, knowing full well, I am not ready.  I still have one stop at the stores, but that will have to happen at lunch, then wrapping, then cleaning, and baking, and early prep of the Christmas meal.

That last is actually the one thing I love these extra days for.  I can prep and then have all the dishes done, table set, and everything spotless and sit around and just visit on Christmas Eve.  Well that is my plan and with a little luck...

I'm working on the last little sweater.  Its really cute and I ought to have it done by tomorrow morning.  It is just zipping along.  I love little things.

I have to admit I wasn't very sure about my colour choices. Not that I had any choice.  The only other colour they had that worked at all was a gold and I just don't see this little gent as a gold kind of guy.  Few 4 year old boys are in my estimation.  These are Berroco Vintage colours 5175 and 5179.   

At first, the colours look wrong.  There was so much green it was swamping the soft brown olive tones of the brown.  I stood back and decided to persevere and kept knitting.  Now that there is more brown there is a better balance.  It looks just fine.

Just a little more knitting, just a little more time.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The view out the window.

This job has one perk that I am really going to miss when it is done and that is, its east facing window.  

I've spent endless hours watching the sun rises and this pleases me more than I can say.  Its been a pleasure watching the sun crest from behind the building across the way, out of my view, somewhere off to the northeast.  

Its was a pleasure being blinded by the brilliant morning sun of early fall and late spring when it rises almost in front of me.  It crests the building across the way, and floods my desk with warmth and light, like a little blessing from on high.  I could stop that blinding bit by closing blinds, but it only last a little while, and I would sooner treasure the experience than miss it.  

It is a pleasure even now, in the darkest heart of our year, on what is almost the longest night of the year, watching the sun creep sluggishly from behind the horizon.  

I've been trying for weeks to take a picture of it, but it hides southeast of me, almost out of view from where I sit.  It hides its brilliance in the tree branches that block its solsticial rays, sneaking me but glimpses of it.  It defeats my little camera and photographic skills.

Shards of light shine are only here for a moment before they are gone.  It's okay, though.  Come Saturday morning, the whole magical arc, begins its long slow slip back to the north.  I'm looking forward to watching it wend its way again. 


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Planning at the last minute.

Wow, this planning at the last minute thing is really working out!

Hat.  Done.

Oh, I know it needs a good wash so that the yarn can do its blooming thing and I know it needs a good shaping.  Those will come and will be aided by the power of my dehumidifier.  Who would have thought there was a good use for it in winter.

On to one final sweater.  Its already cast on and there is a little bit of the ribbing done.  I ought to get nicely into the body at lunch time, and then it is just a matter of knitting and knitting away till it is done.  It will be the same general sweater as the first little green sweater, your basic with a pouch, no hood.  No huge challenges but that is good.  

I also wanted to say Happy Anniversary to my Sweet Things mom and dad.  It is the first anniversary they have had where the anniversary did not involve flying half way across the planet!  

It has also been one year since my daughter1 arrived in Canada. We are so blessed.Congratulations Son1 and Daughter1!  What a year it has been.  

Sweet Thing is sending mommy and daddy a wave too!  (Perfectly still but that wee hand ?  Man can it move!)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

I'm over that now.

I think I am over the chunky scarf thing.  
Not too shabby production for late Sunday till early this morning knitting.  Each one is one complete skein of Magnum, and is long enough to twist around your neck twice or your neck once and over your head.  Its just the right amount of snug for the head bit to stay whilst keeping the neck bit perfectly loose and comfortable.  And warm.  Just a few minutes and you are nice and cozy wearing these.  

I still have a few things I have to knit before Christmas can come.  Well you know what I mean.  I think it is doable though. 

I need to knit a toque for one person who I hope is coming to Christmas at our house.  I dug out the remains of Mr. Needles sweater from last year.  It's some Briggs and Little Regal and there is plenty for a nice knit 1 purl one ribby hat, where the brim can be rolled up far enough to give your ears double protection.   And if there isn't I have two balls.   

I'll be knitting on that at lunch and I hope to finish it up before I go to bed.  Then there is just one small sweater to knit, and that is eminently do-able before Christmas.  

Chunky scarves were a little unexpected but sure take the crunch time right out of the knitting.

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Awsome Power of Wathching Y'all

I am subject to populist influences as much as the next guy.

So I swear by all that is, this is not my fault, but I am not going to lay any blame. It's Christmas and that wouldn't be neighbourly.

The basic pattern is Marian and the yarn is the just slightly smaller so I cast on more stitches, Cascade Magnum.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Pretty Thing

Morning found me working again on Pretty Thing.  

I have to admit that I wasn't sure this would look right in such a light laceweight yarn.  Much of the beauty of Pretty Thing comes from the twisted texture game that is going on.  I wasn't sure that would translate well to such fine stuff, and that the gently fuzzy yarn would hide it all.  

But no.  It's really quite lovely.

I am really quite enamoured of this cloud of the softest blue flowing off the end of my needles.

Now that the pattern is in my head and I understand the plan of it, it won't take but an good evening to finish.  After that, there is going to have to be some massive work on a pretty green thing.  I finally have some new needles and it is time for Sweet Things momma to get a new sweater.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

I made it to a Knit Night

This shouldn't be something big or something of note, but it has become that.  With everything else that is going on, it has been a long time since I was a regular.  And I dislike that.

I knit on the Icelandic Overblouse sweater.  The garter stitch is perfect for a knit night and the Icelandic Overblouse, even at the increase stage, is so basic.  The perfect pairing of knit and talking with some very good friends.  

It was lovely.  Good coffee too.  

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Breaking out the old stuff

It isn't often that I get to say that with knitting, but on  occasion, I have knit things that do not get a lot of wear.  When they finally fit with something, no one is more thrilled than me.  Its like a whole new wardrobe without any work at all.

Not that this is amounts to a whole new wardrobe but it is something I knit quite a while ago and have seldom worn.  

I knit a simple ribbed scarf from a skein of the original Cotton and Silk from Misti Alpaca, pictured at the bottom here.  Its the warm purple.

This is probably the only photo of it.  This is from 2009.  None of the other yarns pictured here have been knit, though I have picked up more of the gorgeous red B&L Regal.

Back to the dusty eggplant. I knit the simplest ribbed scarf from this yarn, and really liked the feel of it.  However it was so softly spun that the yarn was fuzzing badly before I was done knitting it.  I'm not so sure that it would have worked for a garment.  Would have felt very nice though.  Scrumptious even.  The next iteration of this Misti yarn was very different.  

I never wore it.  Well, hardly ever.  I wore it once or twice that first summer and found it just too warm to have on my neck in summer.  I didn't really have anything to wear it with for winter.  

Well now I do and the weight and warmth of it are perfect.  I think I have worn it
3 or 4 times since I dug it from the drawer, each time with my Undercurrent sweater.  It is the perfect colour to complement the soft purples found in it.  
It fills in the neckline when I don't have anything high collarish, and keeps my back extra warm when the furnace here blows down the back of my neck.  

It adds such a different dimension to a wardrobe that is mostly black or navy with a spot here and there of colour.  It's neutral but so much more.  

So, my advice to you is dig out your old favourites and see what else they can be!  Also, knit an Undercurrent in a very multi yarn.  Best decision ever.  I love this sweater.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

It's the Yarn Harlot's Fault.

I'm done my Christmas shopping!  There are 3 things to pick up but that is just a matter of stopping at one store.  Hardly shopping at all.

But that still leaves 'things'.  Like this.  

I reworked the problem on the neckline( pulled tight to put in my bag.) and have only one row left before a nice super stretchy bind off.  I am forgoing the hood.  It isn't my fault.  No.  

Its the Yarn Harlot's fault.**

The deep dark stash holds 3 balls of such stuff, 3 balls of blue.  You will note that I am already prepared with needles and since I bought the pattern when it was new, I am set.  Lunch time here we come.  

I bought the pattern ages ago to knit Pretty Thing out of some Louisa Harding Kimono Angora.  At the time I did not own any short circs, and I was new to Bamboo dpns.  I had a horrid time keeping things in order and eventually frogged it.  I've fixed the needle shortage issue and now have circs in all sorts of short sizes.  I just haven't gotten around to knitting up the angora yet.  It might be the perfect thing to do between Christmas and New Years.

I think if I took a good look at the stash, there would be 2 balls of Kimono Angora.  Different colours if I recall right.  Maybe 2 things between Christmas and New Years.  

For now I will concentrate on this soft blue cashmere.  One small thing.  A nice evening of work.

I hope.

**Just in case, because weirder things have happened, Thanks for the reminder Stephanie!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Here it is Monday again

You know how when you go to sleep Saturday night, the last thing you think is 'Thank heavens there is another day to sleep in' and you wish there were more?  

Me too.  

It just feels as if there is never enough time.  It was made worse because I forgot to stop and drop off a Christmas tree at Son1's on Saturday so I had to drive back into town on Sunday morning to do so.  Had I not had to do this, I would have finished this:

It is the perfect sweater for a little boy, or rather, it will be soon.  Just the last few decreases to do and a quick little hood and voila, 1 Knitted present done.  

I might drop a few rows and change the neckline slightly.  I think I stopped the slope of the neckline too soon and now I have some awkward stitches that I am not quite sure what to do with.  That means I have to change the start of the hood slightly, but it isn't a big deal.  

I could work on cute rewarding little bits of knitting for sweet kids for a very long time before I get tired.  

The other sad news is that I have to redo the feet on Sweet Things wee overalls.  Somehwere along the line, her slender ankles have chubbied right up as babies feet will.  I thought it would take longer!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Just fooling around.

I'm posting from my playbook as a test.  This little thing has a camera and I want to see how good it is in comparison to my usual camera.

I have come to a horrifying realization.

Somewhere back in the mists of time I made a Northampton neckerchief.  It isn't as big as I would like it to be, but then I have never really blocked it.  I steamed it once to make the lace lay straight, but I am pretty sure that when I wash it, it will grow to be exactly the size I want. Still, I wear it a lot, as a square over my shoulders, pinned at the front, capturing the look of an old fashioned sailor collar.

I have never worked the ends in either.  I think I remember this every time I wear it.  I wear it a lot.  This horrifies me somewhat, that I walk around the office with these strings hanging down my back.

I am also sure that I have noted that I have not worked these ends in before on the blog.  I think it probably was last time I wore this little kerchief to work with the strings hanging down my back.

When I tuck things away, I tuck in ends so it all looks pretty and then promptly forget about ends down my back.

 You may laugh. I accept this as my due for such silliness.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

What pleases me (and what doesn't)

I had to leave work yesterday to pick up Mr. Needles and take him to a doctors appointment.  Just the way things worked out, I drove home in the worst whiteout conditions I have ever seen.  If I could have found a place to pull off, I would have but it was so bad you couldn't see the side of the road.  It reminded me about reading about how long ago, they used to string a rope between house and barn, so they had something to follow if a big blizzard came up.  We think this never really happens, but yesterday?  Yesterday was a rope to the barn sort of day. 

I got home, made lunch and hunkered down.  I had a nap and knit and felt really awful because the poor person who was covering my desk over lunch, was left covering it the rest of the day.  Without lunch!

It did give me the chance to sit down and play with my current sweater knitting.  Not the green sweater, which I really would like to be working on - I haven't had time to go get another needle, nor even time to find the right sort of glue to fix what I have - but on my version of EZ's garter stitch Icelandic overblouse.

There are lots of things to love about this sweater.  It is simplicity itself.  It is colour gradients.  It is knit to fit.  But most of all, this.

This picture posted sideways.  It is much more striking if the orientation is correct.

These little dots of black.  Totally my favourite part of this.  Enough of a thrill that I am working furiously to get where I can make that happen again in the next colour.  Its a small thing I know, but it doesn't take much to make me happy.

See how pretty these wee dots look marching across the sweater?  Its very fulfilling.

I've just begun the sleeve increases.  its kind of interesting watching that happen.  I'd post a picture of it, but honestly, it is sideways too and would make you seasick.

(The other thing that would make me happy?  Photos that uploaded in their correct orientation.  You would think somebody out there in the great land of computer wizardry that is Blogger, would fix this.  But no.  Blogger is sure this is something we are doing, but all I do is copy the file from the camera to my photo file, no camera software, nothing.  It is right till Blogger gets hold of it)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Whine, whine, whine, whine, WHINE

Don't say I didn't warn you.

You will have noticed that there isn't any sign of Christmas knitting on this blog.  Mr. Needles adventures in knee problems have stalled any hope of that.

It isn't that I did not have some dreams.  I did.  I have yarn for them.  I wanted to knit our Christmas guests little guy Alex, a sweater.  He is only 3 so it wouldn't take long.  It was going to be a nice quick gansey in some utterly edible Fennel 5175 from Berroco's Vintage line.  Its just a perfect yummy looking thing and perfect for this sweet little boy.  This sweater might happen.  

I also had planned a Taiga Cowichan in cream and the softest prettiest blue green ocean froth colour  Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky.  I was originally planning to make 2, the second in navy and crisp appley green, but I thought that might be weird.  More skeins arrived in the mail so the appley green will be another sweater, also planned originally to be knit before Christmas.

And there were supposed to be a family of socks for son1, daughter1 and sweet thing.  

With Mr. Needles surgery events followups and doctors appointments, blood work, and trips to the far side of the back of beyond to pick stuff up, I doubt any of it will happen.  

At this point, it is going to be a big deal to fit the turkey in.  For one thing there has to be time to shop for one.  Sigh

If anybody has a 36 hour day, that is what I want for Christmas.  


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

One thing and another.

You know how I love delicate and the longer I live, the more enamoured I am with very simple things.  There is a project I have long wanted to do for its delicate simplicity.  

The project is a Churchmouse pattern.  .....

You have no way of knowing this, but a significant amount of time has passed as I whiled time away at the Churchmouse website.  Its a dangerous place.  They have new patterns.   They have yarn.  They have tea.  Sigh.  ...

OK, that is enough of this.  Focus.  I have puttered away 20 minutes looking at pretty things.  Not that that is unusual mind, but it doesn't normally happen while I am trying to write. (I was even distracted as I was editing just before publishing!  Its a lovely, lovely website)

This lovely Beaded Mohair Scarf  pattern has always spoken to me.  Utter simplicity.  Delicate beauty.  I have the yarn.  

Or I thought I did.  I bought 2 skeins of Punta which I thought were Punta colour HP71.  One isn't  

as you can see.  I think my remembery failed me when I bought the second skein. Sadly one skein isn't enough to do the little bit wider scarf I wanted, so I decided two row striping and damned the torpedos.

Using two very multi coloured yarns is often the path to complete annihilation (to continue the topredo analogy), but not so this time.  The 'torpedos' look pretty striking.  

My monitor isn't showing off the green as rich as it really is and it is beefing up the yellow gold, but up close, there are rich greens and rusty rosy colours that dominate.  Its really lovely.  

You can see the striping but just when you realize it is striped, you realize that it almost isn't.  Its harder to appreciate here, but there is enough of the yellow rusty golds in HP72 and enough of the greens in HP 71 that it works in the most magical of ways.  

Sadly, the beautiful Beaded Mohair Scarf is not what this yarn was destined to be.  The construction of the pattern is such that you start with a yarn over on every row (I think).  This doesn't work very well when you are two rowing yarns together.  I'll save my visions of delicate beaded beauty for another yarn.

So, what is this magical thing to be?  Just a nice wide stole to which I will attach some very fine light shell buttons and will proceed to wear the completed stole in the many ways that the gorgeous Wisp (Knitty, summer 07) is worn.  

So, back to winging it. Back to two rowing it. There seems to be a lot of the two rowing it lately.  It seems to work out so marvelously well.  And in the back of my mind, you know what I am thinking?  I am thinking that I have this lovely dark rich forest green Mission Falls 1824 Wool that would make a really great sweater to wear with this.  

Its never just one thing you see.  There is always the next thing on the horizon.  

Monday, 3 December 2012

I'm running behind.

There will be an update later in the day.  It is drive hubby to his appointments day here at Chez Needles.  But somewhere I will find time to post.  

Lost to tell!  Yummy lots.

Friday, 30 November 2012

What else?

So what are these other things you say?  

Well a while ago a friend gave me some yummy Berroco Flicker and though it took a while to decide what I will do with it, I eventually decided that there might be enough for a vest, with a little help, help from the very similarly designed Berroco Voyage.  Voyage is just the tiniest bit heavier than Flicker and doesn't have the lovely slipperiness of Flicker.  I'm not sure why but they really are quite different creatures to work with.  The weight difference doesn't seem to be an issue because I am knitting to the same gauge and the Voyage is only on the outer edges.

The last time you saw it it looked like this.  

At the time, I was working the edging in one fell swoop.  I also had about a half a ball of the gray unused.  I wasn't marking corners, just getting a little cocky, I guess, and they were awful.  Truly awful.  I don't think there was a single solitary increase that was done in the same point on the corner.  One set was about 4 stitches away from the closest of the rest of them.  Ugly and I know me better than this.  If I want a point, use a marker.  I can do the fancy lace stuff, mostly without markers, but a simple stack of increases.  Nope.  Zip.  Nada.  

It had to come out.  I decided that since this is a project that is going to come as close as I will ever be to using up all the yarn for it, I was going to use that last bit of gray and knit it just slightly longer.  Next I decided to knit the bottom trim only on the bottom and do the neck edging last.  And next, I changed how I was going to finish it.  I originally intended to do a nice proper hem to accentuate the smooth elegance of the yarns, 

but I really wanted the length.  

I've opted to knit as much as I could and finish the edge with a 3 row reverse stockinette section to stop the hem from rolling and then a 4 row stockinette part to roll.  It seems counter intuitive but it gives me the maximum length and just a hint of a roll, enough that it looks finished and trim and neat.  

I am going to have to go back and rework the garter stitch edging I have on the armholes, but that is not a problem.  The garter stitch was only a stop gap, till I saw if I had enough yarn to do the originals plans hem thing on them.

The bottom is fully bound off now, and I am going to re work the last bit of the sleeves, and then the button band, which is going to be as wide as I can possibly make it.  I'm thinking trim as narrow as the sleeve edging around the neck and on the 'button' fronts as wide as I can go.  This will of course mean I am going to be playing with it a bit, but that is just fine with me.  

This one is substantially done, and from here on in, its just fun!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Getting Night terrors

I was one of those kids who had night terrors.  My dad always tries to figure out what happened that I had them, but I think it is just the way some of us are wired.  
As an adult, I have occasionally had them.  Wake up to an absolutely dark room and can't breathe, can't move and can barely function for fear.  Oh my yes.

But as a knitter?  Maybe not night terrors but before I started this grand knitting adventure, nobody told me there would be so many things fraught with worry and on occasion, abject terror.  

I had taken back the stitches on the olive green sweater I am making for daughter 1, and was re-orienting the stitches before starting knitting again, when all of a sudden I felt something snap and felt an incredible ease come into the needle.     

There was the instant blue haze of terror, and about 3 seconds later, I knew what it was and knew the yarn wasn't going anywhere. Imagine if it was silk! All those stitches would have been undone.  This is one of the reasons I love wool.

The tip had broken off of my only set of metal 3.25 mm needles long enough to make a sweater.  I might have one more shortie and one in wood in that size, but those are both busy at the moment.    

I usually have a replacement, or alternative, but not this time.  I am going to have to buy a needle. That just doesn't happen often anymore.  There is always a needle around with the interchangeables, but this tip falls outside the range of the interchangeables.   Its going to take a couple days to get to the yarn store to find one.

I am going to get some suitable epoxy because I think this one can be usable again, but it has shown me that there to really be comfortable, I need want another needle in that size. Its going to take another day or so to get the repair organized.   I am already hating the wait.

It almost put a kink in my knitting for my lunch hour, but luckily I had a project along that needed some pulling back to get rid of the most atrocious set of corners on the planet.  I did it and started knitting on it.  I'll show you that tomorrow when there is a little more to see.

Maybe not night terrors, but it could be if not for one important thing.  WIPs  And people ask me why I have so many.  Well, here you go. Reason number 1,032.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

If this is Wednesday...

Right.  Wednesday.  Only halfway to Friday and I am really looking forward to Friday.  The last two weekends were knitting lite, so this weekend...

I'm going to have to set up the Christmas trees.  And there is a Christmas party to go to.  Sigh. It will be another week or two till the knitting actually gets back into the mainstream of the day to day world of Chez Needles.  Thank goodness for waking up at 4 in the mornings.  If not for that there would be no knitting at all.

One of the results of all this kerfuffle is that I am having a hard time settling.  It was there before hand and it is so much worse now.  Yesterday morning, I looked at the green sweater for daughter 1 (who shall be so because she is married to son 1 and daughter in law is such a difficult thing to type all the time), but I just couldn't.  I looked at the lace and I just couldn't.  I looked at the pile of stuff and dug.  And I could.

What I dug out was the Icelandic Overblouse I have been working on.  Garter stitch.  Perfect.  Leftover Cascade 220 with no particular role in the stash and no project in mind, leftover from assembling Mr. Needles fair isle vest from a couple years ago.  I'm knitting it similar to what is in the book, but in a colour gradient.  Its the 2nd sweater in the newletter I have linked to.  

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had only a little left of the black to knit before I needed to switch to the first gray, the darker one.  After yesterday and this morning, I am well on my way to the 2nd gray and may even have pictures for tomorrow.  I thought about taking one today, but you really can't see anything.  It's just a pile of black so far, and a pile of black picture is more or less useless if you are trying to show off the knitting.

I  talked about the colours I am using, a black and 2 different grays.  I may add a small bit of white, if I need to.  I only have 1 ball of the 2nd gray and you know me and my fears about running out of yarn.  When it is half used, by weight, I will switch to the white.  Or I might go back to use up the rest of the black.  

I had hoped to use up every scrap of the grays and the black yarn but even a garter stitch sweater isn't going to take as much yarn as I have.  There will be bits and pieces left, to say nothing of the skein of white I 'needed' (even though I might not need it).    

Thus is how a stash of oddments grows ad my stash of oddments is getting fair sized.  I will have to hope to use a lot of it up as Miss Sweet Thing grows (and perhaps has siblings) and loses mittens and hats on a regular basis.  

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Now where was I?

Photos today.  Let us see if I can remember what I wanted to say.............Nope.

I'll think up something fresh.  

This was late evening on Saturday.  The first of the feet was finished and yet, I am not so sure it is right.  It looks awfully small.  

This way it looks about right, and there is no reason to worry that it is going to be too small, and yet I worry.  I'm not going to put away the yarn till Sweet Thing has tried it on and pronounced it good for a while.  Later this week perhaps.  

The whole little set of overalls looks like this.  

I am very very pleased with it.  It is awfully cute.  Especially with both feet now complete.  

I'm going to finish it with snaps.  Snaps is a better option at all times for baby clothes, but particularly where you might have to move them as she squiggles her way taller.  I hope she gets a lot of mileage out of this little pair of overalls.  

I have to say the yarn is yummy.  Very yummy in fact.  I'll be interested to see how it performs.  Once I sorted out the body and the awful pooling thing, as you can see, it worked out nicely. I switched strands every round all the way down to the top of the ribbed feet.  

The original pattern, Pepita, is just as cute as a button but is knit on 2 mm needles with yarn that is finer than this.  I really wasn't going to enjoy knitting on 2mm needles so I adjusted everything to a slightly larger gauge.  It is really quite the cutest thing.  

Next up for Sweet Thing?  Das Monster.  This one is daddy's favourite.  One for mommy, one for daddy.  After that it will be one just for Sweet Thing, a wee toy. I don't know which one yet, but something cute and cuddly with noise things inside, just for fun.

And since we haven't had one for a bit, baby!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Hmm.  I meant to post about the thing I finished this weekend.   I have some really good photos and I had stuff to say about the pattern.  It was going to be a great post a post for the ages. (not really)  But I forgot my camera at home.  It is not good at all without the photos.  I'll probably forget what I was going to say by tomorrow.

So I will post this instead which I saw on tv this morning.

Which reminds me of my favourite Christmas video of all time,

It is that time of year.  

There are a couple of really great magasines out there masquerading as 'gift issues'  of our favourite magasines. My favourite?

It is the IK 2006 Gifts  issue.  It seems to be available as digital download and on a cd sale in a package with a lot of other gift issues at the Interweave store.  I love how a lot of the old magasines are being 'reprinted' as digital download issues.  Get your old favourites here!  And I do.  Well worth the bucks. The best issue ever.

I bought it because it has the prettiest knitted teddie bear in it that I have ever seen but there are at least 5 things in it I want to make.  Brioche gaiter, now called cowl?  In here.  Sweet little sweater and booties for Sweet Thing?  In here.  The lace that I currently obsess over?  In here.

Which is how I was reminded of it.  I don't have a good memory, I have a good remindery.

Friday, 23 November 2012

5 Needles, 2 strings, and a whole lot of waste yarn.

I am so there.

There are two sets of held stitches, one set for the other leg and one set for the stitches that will be grafted at the crotch.  It won't take long now to finish this.  Sort of like knitting a pair of short socks.  The legs are about the size of a pair of socks right now but as you work you narrow down till you make teeny tiny baby socks.  

I don't know if I mentioned it yet, but I love this yarn.  There will be more.  

That is all I have for today, except to say that its kind of a zoo today at Chez needles, and I expect that will continue for a bit.  But soon, very very soon, I hope that my days are not complicated by all this driving and there will be more time to knit.  I'm starting to get twitchy.  Need a whole lot more knitting.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Only Thursday

It feels like it should be Friday.  Inside my head it is Friday, my cars gas consumption says it is Friday, therefore it must be Friday.  Only its not.  This is a really really big shame.  (Now if I were an American, being Thursday would be great, but I am not and we already had Thanksgiving)

Once again, the only knitting in my day was in the early morning and the very last threads of the day.  This other stuff is clearly turning my schedule upside down.  It will be done soon and life should get back to its steady, boring, but for knitting pace.  Crazy, when there is so much I want to do.

Mostly I am knitting on the wee overall.  I'm close to starting the gusset that goes between the legs.  It is starting to look like a real pair of overalls.

But in those tiny moments between, I am starting stuff.  It's completely crazy, and it has got to stop, but I keep starting lacy things.  

I've restarted Bridgewater, the lovely Brooklyn Tweed Shawl designed for Classic Elite Yarns.  As some of you know, it starts with one stitch, increasing and knitting every row.  I think I have 11, or 15 stitches right now, so you know, it hasn't been that many minutes spent on it.  I don't have the burning ache for it before I got the yarn from wheatfran on Ravelry, because I know it will happen. Still, I started it because it is always on my mind. 

I also started this wrap.  I do not know why I started this wrap, but I did.  I think it was sitting to close to me.  Maybe it was just excessive exposure to the yarn, but I am fascinated by it.  I have it in what I call a burgundy, but according to the colour charts, isn't .  Colour 211.  It is stunning.  I think it will look absolutely gorgeous in this pattern with its understated but very sophisticated star design.  I am loving knitting it, even though I made a mistake on the very first pattern row, and have to start all over.  

I'm mulling beads.  If I put a bead on the knit just after the first yarn over in the cluster, it should sit about right.  I already have the beads.  Clear silver lined ones.  Just a touch more to really emphasize the twinkle of the steel.  

Do I sound obsessed?  I might be.  No, I totally am.  I don't know if it is the yarn or the pattern, or the combination.  

I have to get hold of myself though.  I'm a grandmother.  I ought to be a responsible adult.  sigh.  In front of the power of a really great yarn and a simple, delicate starry lace pattern and knitting, I am not.  

Marshmallow.  Just a marshmallow. 


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I made some time to knit this morning, and can tell you that I am one full round past all previous screwups.  

There no longer is any yarn to work off the outside of the second ball.  Though there is a little on the 1st ball, that was before colour blending.  I anticipate completely fresh yarn soon.  

I really like how this is working up.  

I'm following the pattern, more or less.  You know how it is.  Once you understand a thing, you tweek it to be perfect.  

With just a little luck, my tweeking is behind me on this design and it will be clear sailing down and over the bum, and on through the legs, ending in a nice wee pair of baby socks.  

I'm looking forward to the cuteness of it.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Short Today

All I have for you today is a quick note that along with the various things happening right now daughter in law tried on her sweater.  The depth of the sleeve/ yoke line is right but I think there are too many stitches.  Too many in the sleeves and too many in the back in particular.  The front is OK, but then she is a nursing mum so everything is just a little more busty up front.   

I'm going to pop it back a few increases, 2 increase rows, I think, and then just knit straight before I join.  If 2 ends up being too many, I do have the option to add a few stitches under the arms to get the front and back sleeves right.  I might even drop one more increase on the sleeves.  We shall see.

Anyway, lots of things going on, but none of them knitterly.  Too darn tired to knit.  How can this possibly be?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Adventures in Knitting

I've been focusing on knitting the little Pepita overalls for Sweet Thing.  I need mommy to try on her green sweater before I continue with it.  Meanwhile, Pepita is taking me down the garden path.  

I was done about 2/3 of the body, and could take some good measurements.  It was 12 inches wide!  12 inches on the front and 12 on the back.  EEEEek.  Much too large.  12 inches is good for a 3 year old but not an itty bitty wiggly baby like sweet thing.  She would wiggle her way right out of it in no time flat.  (I have never seen such a wiggly kid!)

So what you see above is me ready to rip it back.  I went back to the ribbed portions and joined in the round again and knit and knit and knit.

And then I noticed this.

The difference in circumference means I have somehow found the perfect size not to knit this yarn.  So, I ripped back.

I pulled out the second ball and started knitting.  Knit another inch, realized I could not have started on a worse place.  The colours were matching so closely,  that you could not have matched them better if you tired.  Not in a million years.  I was still getting nice stripes only broader and worse.

So I ripped back.  

I was very very careful to start where the colours were quite different and it was finally knitting up nicely.

It was a busy weekend, dealing with a little emergency or two but everything came through fine and I managed to keep the knitting going.  I added some increases right about her diaper line.  That way when she needs room, she will have it, and the rest will still fit her nicely.  I'm cruising along and am showing it to Son 2, 

and realized that I increased for her diaper on the front, not the back.  

So I ripped again.

Enough stitches have been made on this wee thing, that I should have completed it, but here I sit, only half done the body, not all that far from where I started on Friday.  What would you do in this situation?

Me?  I cast on another shawl.  But its ok.  I didn't make any mistakes.  Its just garter stitch and 1 increase per row for a long time.  I'm only knitting on it at home when stuff goes wrong.  It's like backing up your computer or something.  

That is my story and I am sticking to it.   

Friday, 16 November 2012

Because I haven't talked Socks...

I haven't talked socks for a while now have I?  Maybe it is time.

I have just two socks on the go right now.  I am not sure how this happened.  I might be worried, but I am ok with it because I have enough socks in my sock drawer at the moment and there have already been a fair number of socks made this year.  It isn't for a want of sock yarn, that is for sure.

These are the 2.  The bright stripey one was started when Sweet Thing was being born.  Birth and new socks seemed to go together.  The black ones..yes.  I know. Black.  I said it wouldn't happen again, but I seem to have lied.  I was so thrilled when I found out about Sweet Thing I thought her dad might need a pair of socks and since he only wears black socks...

I am ribbing them all the way up on the top of the foot and plan to do it for the cuff too.  

 I had hoped to use that to avoid any weirdness that happens so easily with black socks when you can't properly see the things.  As you can see, I haven't.  I think I am going to drop down and fix it because it is bugging me a lot.

I love the squishy goodness that little bit of ribbing provides, and now I am wondering why this one isn't also ribbed.

I have contemplated dropping down and ribbing it, and I might yet.  I'm undecided.  See, then mama could have these.  Is it faster to rip back and reknit?  I hate to do that because these were knit at her birth and that means something to me.  It isn't that many stitches and with a crochet hook, wouldn't take all that long.  Neither would reknitting.  Sigh.

If I did put ribs in them and make them for mama rather than me, I would follow that up by making Sweet Thing a pair using the remainders of both black and colours and they could be ribbed too.  All in the family socks.

I am trying to resist the impulse to do this for Christmas.  

Resistance is futile.  

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Good Morning!!

I had a lovely post planned for today and then I saw that the new Twist Collective is out.  

You must go there.  


Because there is this, which I think is just simply marvelous.  A shawl can be so much more than just lace.  And this, which are just the sweetest little things that make me want to knit mittens and hats when I am not a frequent knitter of mittens and hats.  And this which looks even better when you go to the pattern page.

I'll stop now, but really, you deserve to go there.  

As for me, well, things are looking like this:

 Starting to look like a sweater.  Another inch and it will be ready for a try on. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Good morning, Good morning

Its going to be a busy morning here so this has to be quick.

Right along with everything else I have been knitting, I have been doodling with yarns left lying about from various trips through the stash.  Some of them you have seen and some you have not.

I don't think I showed this one, most of us have seen this yarn out and about.  Patons Silk Bamboo.  It is a lovely thing, truly lovely with one great big negative.    It is so heavy!

I had two balls of this, bought long ago, just to try it out.  I bought this before I started knitting, I think, certainly before I started knitting lace, which is the only possible thing I would do with it because of its heaviness.  It would be perfect for a small shawl, such as 198 yds of Heaven.  

I was looking for a little something else.  Something even simpler to knit.  I have been looking through all my lace books the last while and it struck me how very pretty row on row of fagotting is.  Lacy without being lacy.  Drapey.  Very low demands on ones time or brain.  

So I started with an ssk variation of fagotting, and knit that till I knew what I was doing.  After a bit, I realized I did not want a whole long scarf of this.  Scarves at this weight of yarn are always too heavy at the back of the neck to wear as jewlery.  Aha.  The obvious solution was to narrow it up, a sort of seaman's scarf variation to fit tidily where fit is needed under a collar, and to frill out right where it needs to frill out, at the neck.

Here you go.  10 minutes here, 10 minutes there over about a week, knit with the stunningly pointy set of Monkey Puzzle needles I have (5 mm)  and here you have it.  

Flirty (OK that might be pushing it), flouffy, but not so lacy, girly that there are only certain places it can go.  Eminently wearable!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Busy weekends.

I had a little friend helping me with stuff on the weekend.  Well, helping it might overstate the case, but lets just say that when Sweet Thing is big enough to get into things...those corners have already been sorted and ordered.  

My little helper, aka, Toby, who belongs to Son3.  It isn't that he was bad, it is more that he looked at everything and oh how I mean everything.  If it was get-into-it-able, he got in.

He did take breaks while I knit.  He would curl up into the smallest little corners, 
 Like the spot there between, side table, chair and knitting bag.  Or this.

Across the way, surrounded by baskets of Works in progress.  Baskets and baskets (I need to work on that again.)

Also making an appearance on the weekend, were Sweet Thing and her folks.  In a grandpa and grannie cheering move, she honoured us with her wakefulness. And we played.  It was great.

Her mommy and I played in the stash while she was sleeping.  Mommy found some yarn that she really liked, and we sorted her out with the right needles, and then we talked knitting.  She is very interested in cables and loves how they look.    She did not know how to make them so we knit a swatch and sorted that out, what happens if you put them to the back, what happens if you put them to the front and how two simple cables can combine to make the look of something dramatic and flamboyant.  We spent some time with Alice Starmore and Barbara Walker and some lesser known talent, finally settling on an intermediate book of patterns with really good information on the chart symbols. We worked a little on understanding chart reading too.

I have to say, this is one amazing young woman.  She isn't a knitter.  YET.  She sure could be.  I am not sure if it is innate talent or if it just the way she has learned to approach knitting but she is intuitive.  Just the suggestion seemed to take her to understanding.  Its is so inspiring watching that.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

After all was said and done, and Sweet Thing left for the evening, I closed the door on the study, put puppy down to sleep and slept the sleep of the well entertained.  In the morning, even with my weekend coffee, it was not looking nearly so cheery.

 We went through every box that was not lace and that was not cotton.  We didn't go through nor take out all the things on the shelf above this.  (I didn't want to overwhelm her)  But we did a thorough dig and it looked it.  There were several boxes devoted to scarf yarns and quantities and that is what we spent most of our time on.  Once those boxes were stirred, it was time for a good resort and re-order, as well as putting away the hanks and skeins that have been purchased over the past while.  That took half the day but order was restored and sanity reigned

and the closet doors were ready to close.

I knit the rest of the day.  Lots of bits, but mostly on the young mums sweater.  It looks like this now.

Not a lot different from the last time you saw it, but it did include a complete re-do back to the ribbing.  The knitting was just too tight.  You know how it is when your hands don't feel it's right?  You never feel like working on it.  I took a good long look at it and decided to fix it and do it right. It looks much better now and feels like it has some give and drape, which is important for a pattern requiring drape and give.  Funny how that works together.

I must comment about the wool.  The yarn is a now discontinued sportweight from Elann, Highland Sport, if I recall it correctly.  It shows the difference between good wool that is lowly processed and highly processed wool that is not the best quality.  It isn't bad and will be fine once washed and blocked and worn, but right now?  My thumbs are buzzing.  The nerves of my fingertips are way overstimulated by the yarn rubbing over them as I work.

So a caveat to my words of last week on being an earthy loving yarn person.  Earthy, yes, but not poor quality.  Its kind of sad how the earthy yarns get set aside by people assuming they will be coarse.  Too sad.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Smooshy Goodness

Somewhere between these two pictures, is the true colour of Smooshy Aqua jet.

Too dark

Too pale.

But they yarn itself, in life is just right.  Perfectly little girl climbing a tree overalls.  

I have never used Smooshy before.  I'm generally so busy with earthy crunchy lowly processed yarns that I don't seem to search out these soft yarns.  I just don't get there without help.  

So I have a friend who helps.  A lot.  She leads me to deliciousness in a different way yarns like Madelinetosh and Brooklyn Tweed and most recently Quince and Co.  

I enjoy the trip to these things just as much as I enjoy Einband, Tove, Briggs and Little and my much beloved Mulespun from Custom Woolen Mills.  

I've still only found 1 yarn that I won't ever work with (The slipper stuff from Phentex) and I am not looking for more.  But show me yarns that are different than that one yarn...

I love yarn.  I think I always have.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The last few days

Its been a little sluggish over here at Chez Needles.  Our weather has been swingy and my hands are not enjoying it at all.  Still a little knitting each day makes the day immeasurably better.

I drove home with Mr. Needles last night, leaving my car in town.  The roads were atrocious.  It means that I am sitting here at my desk at work much earlier than the usual time.  It also means that instead of taking the measured approach to getting ready to leave, I stuffed.  

This is all the knitting related stuff that came to work with me today.  Silly really.  No matter how slow it is, I am not going to need 5 projects to work on.  

Yes 5.  there is a baby sweater at the back looking soft green-blue, two pairs of socks in a bag at the front, a large bag with something soft pink in it and, tucked almost under everything else, is what I really would like to start today.  

Dream in Colour Smooshy.  A cute little knitting pattern (that is going to have to be adjusted for a flouffier yarn, Darn it all) And Sweet Thing's overalls are on their way.  

Well, they would be, if it wasn't 8:00 a.m. and time to get to work for an employer.  Sigh, lunchtime you are so far away.  Sigh.