Thursday, 31 January 2013

I could have cried.

The one thing, the absolute single thing about knitting this shawl is making the texture pattern right.  That little texture pattern is what makes the shawl fun to knit and makes the whole project so much more than ordinary.  

Yet it is irritating.  I watched so darn carefully and yet, last night when I was showing it to the ladies at knitting, what do I spy?

 A section of columns.  Sigh.  Could have cried.  Tried not to.  The debate is on. Do I drop or pull back and fix it?  Will anyone but me see this partial row error?  Will it be the only thing I see.

It is in a cream section just after the last row with the little intarsia point element. If I did not want to drop down, I suppose I could pull back the first row of the cream, afterthought style, and fix the row and then graft it all back in order.  But man that would be a pain too.

I am going to think about it today.  I'll keep knitting and see if it bothers me.
So here you go, the post noticing the error yellow rows.

It is such a simple thing and yet, it just tickles my fancy. 

Christine had an idea in yesterdays comments about felting the squares together using a big mattress and the fancy clover tool.  That may actually work.  It goes faster than you think and I do have a foam mattress that will, I dearly hope, be getting replaced next summer.  All I need is a Clover tool and some needles.  Well worth thinking about.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


OK, I've thawed a bit.  Either that or I am getting used to the very cold.  Its probably the second.  That would be the Canadian way.

When I last talked to you about knitting, I was talking a bit about the colours of the stripe on a Hudsons Bay Company Point Blanket.  One of the ladies I knit with left a Rav message for me and offered to bring her blanket so I could decide.  I trust her word.  She says not black, but not royal blue.  So, I'm going to go with the navy.  It takes so little of each of the colours that what I use here, won't be missed at all on Leftie.

The St. Denis colours really are perfect for this shawl.  Each one comes up so very very right.  Just the perfect HBC colours.

I could be inspired to knit a sweater like this.  The texture pattern would make a really great sweater.  Something belted, like the coats made out of the Point blankets were, fairly long below the waist, with the stripes at the bottom, and at the end of each sleeves.  A nice wide cape like hood too.  Probably ought to be a little heavier yarn, though to keep the look authentic.  I don't know if Nordique is heavy enough.  This may be a job for Briggs and Little!

Wouldn't that be something though?

For Sandra, don't think I haven't thought about it.  The batts I have are thick, much much thicker than what grandma and Auntie Lorraine used to use from their hand cards.  Theirs were thing and they used 3 layers forming a solid covering of wool.  These are thick and more than one would be much too much.  But felted, inside a duvet.  I can see it, but how do I get a nice stable something to felt it?  I have thought about rollers, the old fashioned laundry kind and thought they might work, but they cost a fair penny if you can find some. I've even debated doing it the really old fashioned by the foot method.   If I had a party of people and supplied beer and wine?  hahaha Yeah.  Me either.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Let me think.



It's not working.  

It is seriously cold here this morning and I can't seem to get started.  I've done precious little knitting and without a doubt, that is a problem.  My hands are a little achy and I just wanted to snuggle in my warm and toasty bed under my nice wool blanket this morning.  The only thing that would be nicer, would be if I was also snuggling under my nice warm wool filled quilt. (Now there is a project that is sorely overdue)  That would be ever so much nicer.  And warmer.

I have tons of fibre that needs to be combed and spun into delicious yarn.  It speaks to me.  I'm getting just a little worried that it is going to speak to mrdr, and he is going to tire the noise coming from piles of great huge coffin like storage containers it all sits in.  It needs to be put into some sort of order so that I could knit sweaters and shawls with it. Or nice woolly blankets.  I sometimes wonder if you could full it all without any further ado into a nice warn thick felt that I could just toss over me.  Or make slippers out of.

I think that is all I am thinking of today.  Blankets.  Warm covers under which to hide.  Maybe gloves.  Layers.  Wool.

I'm thinking of staying warm today.  And if my hands ever warm up, I'll be knitting.  That way I will have another layer to wear before I get home.  The heck with work.  Its too cold to work.  I'm going to knit just to stay warm.

Monday, 28 January 2013

It took a while but

I'm through the texture portion of the shawl.  About 2/3 of the way through I finally got it.  The pattern is columns of 3 stockinette stitches and one purl, in alternating rows.  You don't have to remember which stitch you are supposed to start with, so long as what you are doing makes a purl stitch to cap the column of three stockinette stitches on the right side of the work.  That thought made it so much less fussy and I am a bit disapointed that I did not see that earlier.  That is what happens when I get to wedded to the idea of the written word in patterns and forget to understand just what the stitches I am making are doing.     

From here on it is all garter stitch and colourplay.  I came across something interesting as I was goofing around looking up Point Blanket information.  Some sites say that indigo was the last colour used and some say black.  I suspect it was both.  

What it makes me wonder about though is, is my yarn dark enough?  You can see the blue I choose in the picture, a classic royal blue, the colour of dry indigo dye perhaps, but not the colour that indigo is, once a fibre is dyed with it.  I may have to dip into the stash of navy that I ordered for the Leftie shawl, navy being our modern replacement for real indigo.  I do have lots of navy and I do like the blue I have, so there is something in favour of both of them.  I think I am going to have to wait and see how it plays out.  

Though the knitting is down to the very few last rows, 2 ridges or 4 rows in each colour and the same of the background colour in between plus a slightly thicker bind off section, these last rows are long and are taking a lot of time.

There is only 1 downside to this shawl.  The point marks, which are done intarsia style have produced a fair number of ends that need weaving in.  Its not that I will mind, but rather that I mind,  you know?  An otherwise gorgeous simple project, with a dozen weavy ends.  I debated about not doing them, but I kind of like the historical significance.  No one will ever ask about them, I am sure, but them most people won't get the association to the Hudson's Bay Company of Canada.

It does keep it historically correct so I suppose I shall focus on appreciating that in the hours it takes to weave the darn things in.

And when these are done, It will be blocking season.  Big blocking adventures.  I am swamped with finished things waiting to be blocked.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Stretchy wool

I am having just the grandest time working on this shawl.  I absolutely love Boreale yarn.  Just a shame to see it go.  Ah well.

Each stitch you work with this yarn you are aware of one primary thing.  This yarn has a life of its own.  It has the most amazing stretch and then it goes back exactly how it is supposed to be.  It has manners and doesn't stretch till you call on that capability.

I can see why users love it for colour work.  Its grabby in just the right way, without being clingy.  It holds its place and doesn't demand attention every moment.  Its sits and waits.

I'm almost to the end of the first ball.  I'll work most of the second, and then will see how I feel about the size.  This shawl has an infinite number of possibilities for size so I will play till I get just the right width and then will work the points (the registration marks that indicated the size of the blanket) and the edging in those so familiar colours.  

I will wear it in memory of the time I broke into Fort Carlton. With the bus driver and some other kids.  There are some things from your youth that just make you blush and laugh at the memory even all these years later.    

Here is a link to an interesting site with information about Point blankets.  Enjoy.

Thursday, 24 January 2013



That kind of says it all about my knitting day yesterday.  My troubles were looking like they were here to stay...unless I ripped it out.  

Somewhere back at the start of the day, I knit-purled a knit row or I purled where I ought to have knit or I knit where I ought to have purled.  I do not know, but all of a sudden, instead of this lovely and very simple texture I had columns.  Pretty ones mind, but columns where columns were just not meant to be.  Columns that were outstanding in my field of lovely not columns.  

I had to rip back about an inch and a half.  I'll reknit it today.  I'm sure it won't take long.  Just a day.  

Oh well.  I believe in yesterday, but I believe in tomorrow too.

PS:  For reader Ann,  its ST. Denis Boreale.  Delightful, yummy, sound wool.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

We are back!

As I went to sleep last night that was my last thought.  Yes.  We are back.  

I knit at lunch yesterday, and then a little at the end of the day and again in the evening.  I'm very pleased so far.  

The needle is a 32 inch one, and I am pretty happy to see that it is almost as wide as the tips.  Good work for the day.  

I love knitting with this yarn.  I have a fair bit in stock now, but this is the first that I have actually worked with it.  I will be very sorry when it is gone.  It has the lovliest wooliest hand.  Yes I know it is spun worsted, but it has an unexpected loft to it that you cannot see in its well heeled balls from the warehouse.  It is just so much more than I expected.  (The yarn is St. Denis Boreale)

 I am content and cannot wait to get this goodness wrapped around me.  

I am also liking the pattern a lot.  I like the pattern, but I like knitting it even more than I supposed.  Sometimes I worry that a texture pattern will not perform but this is almost better.  It's just a pleasing little do this on every right side row and then do this or this, but whatever, the job is to make your center increases into purled stitches on the next row.  Easy Peasy.  Ish.

This is easy knitting but it isn't park your brain here knitting.  I like that.  The doctor couldn't have ordered anything better right now.  

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Resumption of Normal?

Why yes I do believe so.  There seems to be no lingering after effects but for a bit of a cough, and some lingering tiredness, which a few more nights of good sleep ought to take care of.  This morning I felt like knitting.  

I picked up the sleeve, which I had not quite made it to yesterday, and pulled it back.  

I did a little math, and prepared to set up for re-working the sleeve.  And then realized that my arms were shaking with the effort to hold that fairly large piece of knitting up to work on it.  

I put it all back in its very large project bag.  Sigh.  I'm not quite ready for the sleeves it seems.  

My hands were itchy.  I looked at the shawl, I swear by all that is holy, my hands were reaching for the Bridgewater, but they accidentally touched a different bag and before you know it...

this happened.  And I am going to keep making it happen till the Point texture pattern gets into my head or till the shawl is done.  

I really wanted to get one thing done, sweater or shawl, before I let me be tempted with something new, but it will all get done sometime and right now, I just needed a little something different.

The black socks were pretty good, but this depth of lassitude required bigger guns. And Point is, after all, much bigger guns. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

I knit.

I knit.  Or rather I Knit!

I wasn't ready to knit on Saturday but later in the day on Sunday I was feeling pretty good and slipped down to my study to knit.  

I tried that pretty shawl I am working on.  Didn't feel right.  

I looked at the sweater.  Didn't feel like knitting quite that much.  

I looked at the socks.  The black sock was on top  

and that is what I knit on.  But not too long.  I only had steam for about 20 minutes.  Then it was time for a nap.  That is the thing you see.  About every 10 minutes, it feels like I need a nap!  I did read a little yesterday too, and that wasn't something I had the energy to do either.  

I'm feeling much improved even over yesterday  so I hope do do more of both today.  

I'm going to crack that Maisie Dobbs book I have waiting and I'm going to tackle that sleeve re-do.

Big things are happening here.  Its almost normal!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Not a cold

I'm sure that it isn't a cold now. When I think on it, the not being able to knit should have been a sign.  Its a good thing for you that the weekend is here and you won't have to listen to me whine.  Can I tell you a secret?  All I really want is my mummy.

Still, there was some knitting content in the last few days.  Somewhere in the blur that was yesterday or the day before, I stopped to look at Elann's website.  

Elann is one of my all time favourite discount houses, but like anything you have to be very careful and know your prices and avaiability of goods to know if you really got a deal.  The Whats new page held something special the other day.

There were a couple of copies of Janel Laidmans Enchanted Sole.

I don't really do a lot of fancy socks and don't have many sock books in my sock library.  You just don't need many to do plain socks.

But Enchanted Sole, like anything from Janel Laidman's needles is far from ordinary      

and more.

The book is a thing of beauty and shortly one copy will be mine.  A little enchantment is just what I need right now.

 And if any of you know the flu fairy, just send her my way.  

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Fog alert

Fog alert is still high and my brain is stuffed with nonsense.  

The only thing I did last night when I got home was  have a grilled cheese sandwich and some chicken soup and crawled to be. 

I am living the high life, I tell you.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Where was I?

I am a little foggy today.  I seem to have the cold Sweet Thing had last week.  That is what happens when you kiss and play with a germy baby, but I think I can take it.  Maybe.  I let you know after today.  If I make it through today I can make it through anything.

I didn't knit yesterday.  Not one single stitch.  I slept all day.  I knew I wasn't fit to be on the roads yesterday morning so I begged off work and just slept.  I wish I could say it did more good than it did.  

But right now I have to get to work and do all the things I didn't get done yesterday.  

On the bright side, there was a box at the door when Mr. Needles came home yesterday.  My copy of Downton Abbey season 2 arrived.   Things are looking up!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Miles of comfort.

My knitting right now isn't very exciting.  The sweater might be if I felt like knitting it right now, but it is still on a time out.  It broke my heart with its sleeve problem.  I'm sure I will fall in love with it again.  It is awfully pretty and so much of it is done.

So I am working on the Bridgewater shawl, which is garter stitch.  Garter stitch, garter stitch and more comforting garter stitch.

This picture has decided to go waterfall, but you can still see that it becoming large.  Not overly so.  I still have a long way to go before I am at the proscribed 205 stitches, but it is already longer than the 32 inch needles.

Because I am knitting a lot of rows of garter stitch, I decided that I would mark it into groups of 20.  There isn't much point in knitting more than one must.  Well, unless I decide that the quantity of yarn means this shawl should be larger.  I haven't quite decided that yet, but I might go larger by 2 of the lace pattern repeats on the lace border.  Or maybe one.   I like garter stitch, and garter stitch is so comfortable, but I am not crazy.

Or maybe I am.  

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Big Bag Full of Yum

My birthday yarn arrived on Friday.  What a lovely way to start the weekend.  

A great big bag full of yummy colours, shown here in a pile of 1 of each.  

The really cool thing is, that without having any but a little bit of yarn to go by, I managed to pick exactly the right colours for what I have planned. The primary red, yellow, green and blue in the base of creamy goodness are exactly Point Blanket colours, perfect for the Point shawl.  

And the more brilliant green, blue, orange-red and yellow with a little help from the remainders of the red in a ground of navy, are exactly the right colours for the Leftie shawl.  

I had to empty out a pretty basket to bask in their prettiness all weekend.  But I did not knit them.  I tried to be virtuous and stuck with the things I have.

Which did not go so well.  I tried on the sweater and the sleeve is awful.  Much too large.  Back to my scrap of paper that stand as my notes, my gauge was taken in the ribbed section.  Sigh.  I am supposed to rib my sleeve.  So I tucked that back into the bag.

I worked on my Bridgewater shawl.  I had dropped a stitch the other day and it was way down, way, way down.  I caught it with a pin as soon as I saw it, but knew it was going to be a bugger to reknit, since so many rows, 18 rows, had been knit without the benefit of that stitch being there.  I did fix it by dropping a stitch on either side and knitting all 3 back up, but it kind of soured me on knitting on it.  I ended up switching to a sock.  

Where I had excellent results!

1 pair ready for the bucket.  I dug out my other ongoing pairs and that is what I worked on on the weekend.  

I dug through the sock stash trying to sort out a few sock yarns I want to knit with this year.  Mr. Needles gets heavy rotation here early in the year, so there is a lot of rather manly looking yarn, but there are a few bright fun things to play with too.  

I didn't quite get to blocking.  To get to blocking, I'd have to get to the blocking tiles in the laundry room and they are currently buried behind a few Christmas boxes, the big ones.

Its really a bummer when your helper and lifter to the high shelves guy is hobbled. Soon enough done and the blocking will happen then.  For now I am going to concentrate on finishing the sweater, even if I have to rip the sleeve again, and the shawl, because I love them too.  I am going to roar through these so that I can knit with my pretty bag full of YUM yarn.  

Oh yes, that bag full of yum came to me from St. Denis Yarns, priced right now at a supremely good price to help clear out Veronique's stock as she moves on to be part of the Brooklyn Tweed in house design team.

Friday, 11 January 2013

If there was a way.

If there was a way to go back to bed this morning, I would.  Because I woke up Miss Grumpy Pants and on getting to work, my grumpy has not improved.  Why I thought wading back into a toxic atmosphere was something I needed to do was quite beyond me.   Plus, with all the extra volume of reading, I have had a headache since last Thursday.  Or maybe my headache is just making me interpret this world as one giant toxic place.  Yes, I do believe that is probable, indeed, most likely.   Okay, fine.  Its me, it's all me, hoisting my own petard.  But what is it here that makes it so?  It always seems to be here.  Well, I do know the answer and it isn't just me.

Okay enough of that.  On to much better and brighter things.  

Knitting has brought me some very dear friends.  Today is one of my most favourite knitter's birthday. Flood her blog with Birthday wishes!!!!

She introduced me to Icelandic yarn and she is the one that brought back that lovely red Einband for me from Iceland.

Which reminds me that I really ought to block that shawl.  I would so love to be wearing it.  Well, I guess that takes care of my weekend.  You know what I am going to be doing.  I shall be blocking, blocking, blocking.  

See I knew that if I thought about good people and good yarn and knitting, I would feel better. 

Would you look at that.  There is a way after all.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Things part of This Blog

It is January and January means NaJuReMoNoMo, National Just Read More Novels Month.  I have a long list that I wanted to read and I had hoped to really up my personal total this year.  

I had a nice list of books at the start.  

Hungers Bride - P Anderson but only the Sor Juana part. That is a book in itself.

The Historian - E Kostova, long held, still not read.

A Complicated Kindness - M Toews same same.

Secret Daughter - S Gowda, found hiding on the bookcase. Must read.

The Ship - CS Forester, bought for the inscriptions, Picard, Liverpool Eng, June 1943 and then to HD Davidson 4th RCNVR, HMCS Chambly.

Howards End - EM Forester, which I did not get to last year.

These all came off the bookshelf that is just behind where I sit to knit and though I am working on it, it isn't going so well.

I started with the Ship.  I thought I could plow through it, but there has been so much reading at work, that I'm finding it impossible to read at the end of the day. It is a lovely book though.  A study of the character of each man during a single day's battle in the Mediterranean in World War II.  It is small and intimate and grand in scale in one small novel. I am honoured to give this novel a home in my library, considering the hands who owned it, more or less lived it. I have only a very little to go.

I decided that audio books would be my knitting reading.  I started Anna Karenina and though I like the reader, I confess, I get a little fed up with the story.  Maybe another time.  I was having a lot more fun with Don Quixote, but alas, I started that in November so it can't qualify for this January challenge.  I am going to have to do a little searching through the long list at Librivox to find something else audio and free.  Good thing the list is very very long!

I downloaded a detective novel yesterday, a writer whose detective knits.  Miss Silver is a retired governess, which I would suppose would give all the understanding of human nature a good detective requires.  Or something like that.  Anyway a good British mystery with a knitter?  I am in.

But I left that at home on my Playbook. I won't be starting it today.  Sigh.

I tossed another of the novels on my list in my bag as I left.  Secret Daughter by Shilpi Gowda.  I suspect this is where you will find me at lunch time for the next while.

Such is the state of my reading list right now.  I am a little dissatisfied with that state and I ought to stop being such a pansy about it.  I think I am waiting for the story, any story, to capture me and sweep me off my feet.

But that could be under the very next cover.  'Adventure is out there'*.  That is what I like about reading.  You never know where you are about to go without ever leaving your best chair.

* UP, 2009 Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Hitting the Books

Okay, where was I?

Ah yes.  Sweater.  I did the beginning of a sleeve on Monday evening.  It seemed to take forever and it just never seemed to move forward.  The farther down it got, the less please I was.  

I stopped and had a good look at it.  It was wrong.  The knitting, particularly on the first inch, was so tight!  I hate it when stitches look like they are crammed in a corner and are all silently screaming, 'Release me, I can't breathe'.  

I pushed it back and was thoroughly disgusted with myself and my work and I had a little time out.  I came back to it late yesterday evening.  I debated what to do.  I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong other than gauge but it just looked like something else was wrong too. It was all ruffly and looked odd fitting. Because so little knitting, only 2 inches or so, had been done, the easy choice was to rip it all back. No problem.  Done.

I still had an unsettling feeling like I was missing something.  It is a long time since I did a top down sleeve this way.  I've done many of the simultaneous ones, but I think I'd have to go back to my interpretation of Holly Yeoh's  Jaimie sweater

 to find sleeves knit the non-simultaneous way.  Looking through the cavalcade of sweaters, this appears to be the only one I knit this way.

It seemed it was time to hit the books.  I had to dig for a while because the book case is tremendously crowded.  So many good things, and some of them, if less read, get sort of pushed to the back or tucked tightly between others.  Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top Down, the masterwork of all KFTD books.  If there was a first before hers, I don't know about it.  All the others since, begin with her techniques as base.  This one is still the class of the field.  

Hitting the books was invaluable.  I knit almost all of the sleeve cap last night and met the underarm stitches this morning.  No I did not knit all night.  I went to bed.  Had a good sleep.  Got up, had a shower, then knit! ;)

I am pleased. It's not perfect, but it is so much better than the first go round.   

 It would be so nice if I had enough yarn to do long sleeves on this sweater.  As you can see, I decided to to the sleeves in stockinette.  That way, if I do have extra yarn after I get the length I want, I can pick it up and add to them without any fuss.  

It's coming along nicely.  I won't win any speed awards with this one, but it is only January 9th.  I'm making good progress.  

One foot in front of the other, skein upon skein, with a little help from the masters.


Since Yahoo mail doesn't seem to be working right now, Yes Brenda, more or less to the letter.  I don't do the 1/3rd thing at the top of the sleeves.  I find that at this weight of yarn, that is too broad a top.  I do about the same number of stitches across the top of the sleeve as I do across the underarm.  Its usually a large number since my girth has to increase directly under the arm.  But otherwise I do follow her technique.  I don't think I worked with it enough yet to really gauge how I like it.  In general I remain a simultaneous sleeve knitter.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Late today

but I will be back tomorrow.  Sweet Thing had a doctors visit and daddy couldn't be there.  Grannie's job is driving when daddy can't.  

We made time for coffee too.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Isn't there supposed to be another day?

As usual, after a lovely long spate of days off, the first weekend after it feels as if it is missing a couple of days.  The alarm sends quivers and not the good kind through the part of my brain that stayed on vacation.  Its time to wake up and move on.

Even though the weekend was busy with family, I did get some good knitting time in.  

I finished a small project I was doing with the ladies at the store.  There is a pattern called the 'Scrunchable scarf and I had a ball of Schoppel-Wolle In-Silk, a pure silk that you have to see to believe.  It is just the most unusual thing.  As a yarn, it looks a little flat.  Not flat as in not round, but flat like wall paint with absolutely no gloss, and about as exciting.  Once you start knitting it though, it becomes something much more.  I can see In silk in a sweater.  Something not too fancy and warm, with a wide ribbed collar and wide ribs on the bottom.  I had one lone skein of pink from a project that was supposed to be for my mother in law but never happened.  The Scruncable pattern worked really well with the flat chracter of the yarn, giving it some texture and flash in what ended up being a rather nice cowl.  

It doesn't look like much laying flat but it looks kind of neat on.  The seam is sewn offset so that one edge has the excess above and the other below.  When you wear it, turned just slightly to the side, you get a genteel collar and a part that hangs down and covers that space between coat and chin just so.  It really is the perfect little finishing for this.  

Most of the knitting this weekend was on my on-going sweater.  

You can see that I have a fair bit of the skirt section done.  The ribbed part goes right to my waist and I want it to be fairly long.  There are at least 2 'fair bits' to go.  And sleeves.  The sleeves are going to be knit shortly.  I'll knit them using the smallest amount of yarn I can to get the right look and then will just knit that skirt till the yarn is gone.  If I run short, as I said, I have a plan.

Excuse the funky photos.  I'm trying to get them to lay the right way.  My fix isn't really working.  Still, it is time to get to work.  I'll play another day.

Friday, 4 January 2013

I did something yesterday that I wanted to do for a very long time.  I ordered some yarn for two very specific shawls from St. Denis.  I wanted to do this because St Denis will be gone before you know it and besides, the price just simply cannot be beat for this quality of yarn.  Some of my other long desired yarns will be around a lot longer.

A friend showed me the Point Shawl some time ago.  Point is a knitted adaptation of Hudson Bay Company Point blankets.  It is textural and plain and I love it dearly.  You need strong colours to punch the traditional stripes.  (I also have a kind of fascnation for this Hudson Bay Point blanket adaptation.  But we will talk about that later)  I think the Boreale will be the perfect yarn for the shawl.  

I also ordered yarn for the shawl, Leftie .  It is meant to be used with leftover bits of yarn and one main colour.  Some of the models on Ravelry are just stunning.

Like this one,  with its tweedy yummy goodness.  Be still my heart.  Or this one with  its strong contrasts and dark background.  Oh my.  You can see where I got my inspiration.

I did get a little extra of a few colours, because there will be yarn left from both of these adventures.  A little extra plain stuff to do some pretty little colourwork is going to be  great down the road.

Yup, here I am, with the stash for a cast of thousands, and dozens of projects under my belt and I still have so many things I want to do.  (Long may it continue.)

None of these are going to happen in an instant, though I did buy both patterns, which normally means starting is imminent, this time I know it is going to sit and be part of the grand stash for a while.  That too is good.  They will be carefully watched over and much admired and aspired to.

Today is my birthday and stunningly, I am still here, blogging more or less daily after all these years, still doing pretty much the same of everything  and I still don't have any Signature needles.  Maybe this year.  So far I have been too busy collecting yarn

"To be a book-collector is to combine the worst characteristics of a dope fiend with those of a miser."  (Robertson Davies, from The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks)

Ach Robertson, it's a good thing I am not a book collector.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

In between times

I finally was able to pick up my sweater and get back to working on it.  The couple days break from its volume was the best possible way to rest my hands.  

Its kind of a fussy thing, because of how I am knitting it.  

There are always 3 balls of yarn to work from.  I wanted substantial stretches of colour on all the parts but I did not want to have to sew it together.  If you aren't working the parts at the same time, you have to put a lot more work into tracking shaping increases and decreases.  It might be different with a pattern but nobody knits a pattern for me.  Its just easiser.  Fussier this way, but easier.  

Its looking marvelous.  This is from this morning.  I'm just a couple inches into the 'skirt' of the thing.  

There still is a very long way to go, but it looks really great and I am pleased.

In between though, when I can't knit heavy stuff and when my hands rebel at even the lightest laces, I kept myself busy winding.  I have a substantial amount of yarns in hanks (versus skeins) and I prefer to keep it wound and ready at hand.  The state of my stash is such that keeping it tidy and well packed is important and yarn cakes are a lot easier to keep stored nicely.  

 This was the stack I worked on the last few days.

 Some grey and white Briggs and Little Sport.  I think I have it for a top, and I may or may not use it for that.  I'm not sure the gray is what I want.  If not the grey, then perhaps this?

I think I have 7 skeins of this.  I know how it happened, but the last 3 skeins were supposed to be denim, not Blue Jeans, which is what this is.  (This is Durasport)  I wanted this for a shawl, but I have found out that I don't need 3 skeins, just 2, so this lovely soft colour could go with the white and the soft greay could be something completley different.

I had hoped to get more of this, which is Durasport but the discontinued colour of Denim.  Oh Denim, I loved you well.
This Denim will do very well for the shawl, and I do have 2 so it looks like I am set.

There is only 1 problem with winding as a way to stay with the yarn when you can't knit.  You get to thinking of other things you would love to make.

I ended up pulling this out

 Some wonderful blue green marine coloured sock yarn.  I have 2 more balls of this and it is destined for a shawl.  I could buy dozens of patterns for it, but I have so many lovely books with great things in them.  Time to use those up too.  I had a very hard time keeping my fingers from starting this immediately.  Sense reigned when my hands wouldn't cooperate and I managed to leave it at home yesterday.

Having something interesting in the wings is a ploy I use to trick me.  It is enough to keep me entertained and motivated to complete what is at hand.

It doesn't always work.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

And On We Go

My hands are tired.  It was time to come back and get a break from all the knitting. (hah)

I knit so much those last few days that they need the break I get while working!  My sweater is the leading cause of it.  Kureyon is a rather dense yarn.  Just like my old favourite Custom Woolen Mills Mulspinner 2 ply, Kureyon is mulespun, giving it a texture akin to handspun.  That slightly thick and thin, slightly dense yet lofty quality makes working with it a joy and a challenge.  You never doubt that you have a warm sweater underway with it.  You never question that what comes from this brilliantly coloured depths is going to keep you warm.

I did a fair bit of respite knitting on my newly restarted Bridgewater Shawl.  A whole, large center of a substantial square shawl could feel endless unless you are diligent, so I am diligently working at it, getting closer every time I sit with it, to that magical 200 number before I can start decreasing.  The thing about add one stitch per row center shawls, means the increase section is a 'see it soon enough, but the more you knit the faster it runs away' proposition.  The rows go slower the closer you get.  I expect it will take a good healthy week yet till I start the decreases.  I expect the decreases to feel fast.

And there is a sock accompanying me today.  I haven't carried socks for a while, and though my sock drawer is still in good shape, Mr. Needles is starting to look a little shabby.  He never had that many, and with the loss of his very first pair of socks (unrecoverable sole), he is a tad short of good socks.  There will have to be some serious attention given to his feet.

I also have 2 pairs I am working on for some of my kids.  A pair in black for Son1, who deserves a pair after bringing me such a lovely grandbaby, and his sweet wife, the pair that I began as she brought her daughter into the world, and a pair for Sweet Thing herself, who is growing like a weed.  She is 3 months old!  

The other thing about coming back after a break such as this, is that solstice is far behind.  The sky is in its high pink dudgeon, about to break free from its confines behind the horizon to burst the world into day.  I know it is winter and some might bemoan this but it brings the light earlier and earlier each day.  Winter just can't be all bad no matter how cold it gets when it does this job so well.

Anyway, I am back, the coffee is ready and it is time for me to start my day.


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

First Morning

I woke this morning thinking how warm and cozy I was and how lucky I am and how I am blessed with family and friends. What a lovely way to wake. So I snuggled in and put some of my Christmas gifts into the dvd and stayed cozy for a while. 

Then I got up to make some coffee and do the dishes, just ordinary daily tasks and chores. 

Surely there is something profound in this sublime and yet utterly ordinary start to a new year?

I am giving my hands a bit of a break this morning.  I have been knitting so much with heavy yarns these last few days, they are done.  I will be sticking to nothing more than lace  or sock yarn for a few days and working slowly at that.  

But then isn't sock knitting the perfect thing for a day that started so well?  Perfectly ordinary and yet utterly sublime.

"two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,"

(Pablo Neruda, Ode to my Socks)