Thursday, 28 February 2013

A little late but

Finally, we have a camera back in the bag where it belongs.  

I am so pleased with the way this turned out. This is a preblocking photo and that wee bit of a flare at the bottom is gone now that the colour work is all nice and flat.  I am so tickled at the way this turned out.  Its a little big for sweet thing, though she is rapidly growing but her mom and I figure we will run a tie through the back and gather up till it fits her just so.  I still have to sort out what else I am going to knit from this yarn.  I do have a ball of white and the very vast majority of the pink remaining.  

My first thought is a cute little overall with the same pink flowers on the bib and perhaps even down the straps.  Maybe one on the backside too?  But then, reason reasserts itself.  Yes it would be cute, but that is white yarn you have there and white pants for a babe who will be crawling sometime over the next 6 months?  Stupid idea.  I might do a little dress, something simple that will compliment the sweater.  Little cap sleeves.  Maybe a pocket to hold little girl dreams?  Not so practical, but it would sure look cute!

I also have pictures of one of my finished and blocked shawls.  I have worn it several times already and I can tell it is going to be a favourite of mine.  Its nice cozy wool with nothing fancy going on, yet it makes a statement all the same.

The Point shawl by Meghan Jackson done in St. Denis Boreale.  It really was the perfect yarn for it.  That part that looks blue is as close as I could come to the real deep dark indigo blue of an original HBC Point blanket.  I feel very Canadian when I wear it.  That stripe sequence is instantly familiar to people and it seems to make them smile when they see it.  I like that.

I do have another shawl blocking, but it is one with the very fancy edge and I can only do a small section at a time.  I have a lot of pins, or rather, I thought I did, but not enough for the fancy edge of this small one, certainly not enough for the River Valley Shawl. And Lillia Hyrna awaits blocking too.  By the weekend, the small fall couloured Mizzle will be done, and then that might as well get in line for blocking too.

So much to block, so little time but then, I am not in a rush at all.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Testing Testing and a Few Books on the Side

I seem to be stuck in a test pattern in which I tell you I have forgotten my camera at home.  As it was yesterday, it is true again today.  However,

Today, I introduce you to my very own crap-cam!  Dave Barry, guy extraordinaire, has had one for years and though I wish to pay homage to him, I do not want to plagarise.  Consider mine d-crapcam.

Dcrapcam photos have been taken with my Playbook camera. Please forgive the quality. I think the lens is dirty.

I have been remiss in showing you my purchase for the month of February.  I have bought little wool (Mr. Needles is laughing at my definition of little, or maybe crying.  Hard to say.) but spent my budget on books that have long been desired for my bookshelf of lace knitting.

Barbars Abbey's Knitting Lace.  Of all of them, this one is the most conservative book buy,  conservative in that it is the least challenging.  If you want a good solid lace book this is it, though because it was published some time ago, it is very wordy.  Excellent illustrations mean you won't have a problem learning its magic.  I bought it because of its collection of lace edgings.  It has some that are unique even in my growing collection.  

The second is a collection of Niebling lace designs.  It is my first, and for a first, what a good choice.  You could go just a little crazy trying to figure out which to purchase, and I am delighted that this one is sound and quite simply filled with things I will knit with the many assorted balls of crochet thread I have.  It is white knitting  heaven. This was purchased from my very favourite place, the Needle Arts Book Shop a small online Canadian shop that give the most wonderful service.  She has a lovely selection of books.  Right now, with every Niebling book you buy, you also get a copy of the Lyra pattern, so it is very very good value for your buck.  

Heirloom Knitting.  What can be said about this book that has not already been said?  It is marvelous.  Insrtuctive of technique, history, patterns, and more.  It has a whole sections about mistakes and how to deal with them, how to avoid them.  Very few books provide that kind of advice and no matter how many times, I read it, I have no doubt I will need to read that part more.  I have just barely scratched the surface of what it holds.  I can see it being my close companion for a good long while.

And, my pièce de ré·sis·tance, a book I heard about, I don't know,  probably the second day I held knitting needles in my hand, the almost legendary Þríhyrnur og langsjöl

Three Cornered and Long Shawls.  Because no lace knitters library could be complete without it.  These designs speak to me in the ways that I value the most.  They are from a culture that arose, clinging stubbornly to life, rejoicing in what they had, with a history of the first parliament in 930 and a vast storytelling tradtion that is a thousand years old and that has fascinated me since the first years I could read.  I will forever thank my friend Frazzledknitter for renewing my aquaintance with Iceland and for introducing me to Einband.  My world of lace yarns would be incomplete without it.

I'll have to be pretty careful with the yarn budget in March again.  This treasure trove did not come cheap.  That's ok, though.  I'll just be in the corner somewhere with my nose in a good book instead.  It won't be as it was when I was a child.  

Just a little difference but it means the world to me.  This time I will have needles in my hands.  

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Camera in a Far Off Place.

And that far off place is my home.  But I do have something exciting to tell!  Well I was pretty excited by it.

I get the thousands of emails from Interweave.  Sometimes the sheer volume and repetition is irritating, but occasionally there are rare gems.  One such rare gem is a newly released video by Anna Zilboorg.  Here is a little video clip  demo of the workshop video, or rather an chat with her about the video.

I'll tell you a little secret.  I don't really like classes.  I'm not much for workshops in a classroom situation.  I always seem to go to slow to catch what the teacher is trying to teach, or sometimes I go to fast.  I feel bumbly and out of step.  It isn't that I have not gotten something out of the classes I have taken.  I have, but as often as not, it is the little things, the incidentals comments, the bits between that make a class worthwhile. 

I much prefer to stumble along all by myself when I am ready to learn, so video workshops, video clips are just up my alley.  I can go back and refer to them whenever I need to. I can make it be my pace.  Fast when I learned quickly and slow when I am am just not getting it. Those days when my hands are tired of knitting but my mind craves the stimulation of knitting or learning?  I pop in one of my collection of knitting and spinning videos.  Well to be honest, till now I have only ever had spinning videos.  This video with Anna Zilboorg is my first knitting video.  

The video is Knit Free-Sole Socks.  I debated about it.  A sock video?  Really? Me, the plain sock knitter?  The knitter who really seriously loves knitting that tube?  Who is this knitter?  I don't know, but this knitter is thinking very hard about knitting different kinds of socks.  Fancy socks.  Socks with stuff knitted into them, cables, colourwork and maybe even lace.  And this 'new' knitter who has knit and worn socks for a while now, knows that she is not amused when her socks get holes in that one special place under the foot.  She also figured out that she really, really doesn't care for darning.  

 But the video?  Would I get my money's worht out of it?  EZ talks about knitting replaceable sole socks, I have read about it elsewhere, and the theory just can't be that different from some of the other things I learned along my knitting path, and yet something told me, just buy it. That little voice in my head repeated that over and over again. So I did.

Whammo.  First off, a completely new cast on, one that is just so darn sensible that I instantly knew Anna Zilboorg was a kindred spirit.

Then I realized she knits just like I do.  Not that that matters, it is all knitting, but oh my, she knits just like I do, right down to the way she holds her yarn when she purls and where it is placed when she knits.

Some of the video confirms what I already had sorted out my head about how you would go about knitting socks that could easily be re-soled, but there are a lot of little things I wouldn't have thought of until I had to work through them as I knit a sole through it. I like all these bits.  It will save me hours later and it will give me a much better project the first time out.  Plus, she is doing it all toe up.  My kind of knitting!

If I plan to knit socks like these, or these  or even these, I don't want to think about knitting them only to have them wear out and not wearing these things of beauty would be such a waste.

So, if I am going to have some sock adventures, yes. This video.  Need.  Recommend.

Your mileage may vary, but I have really enjoyed it so far.  On the weekend, I might squeak in a few hours to knit along to it and do up a mini sock to set the technique into my hands memory.  And then who knows where I will go.

As ever, there are things I must do first.  Paulette's scarf, socks for Sweet Thing, a new pair of knitted pants to go with her pretty sweater.  All kinds of things but on the horizon, there is the want for socks that are more than just plain, more than just monkeys.

I knew the moment I first really picked up my needles, that knitting would take me places.  The surprise it that the path is endless.  There is always something more to learn.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Early Bird.

Am blogging from portable device.  Am lazy.  Not using full sentences.  Might not be using real words.    Coffee will be part of solution. 

More later.  OK, it is much later.

That is the way my day started.  At 3 a.m.  Mr Needles is off to his golf week in sunny Palm Springs, and I got up to make him coffee.  There was not enough coffee to make me coherent. I hope there is enough to get me through the work day.

I did finish a few things this weekend.  I took pictures, but my camera is at home. Without photos, talking about the projects is well, it leaves me blank for tomorrow and since I have already been blank...

I will talk about something new I started.  It's a tester project of sorts, and it is completely possible that I will be batty before the project is done.

My dining table is in desperate need of some new table linens.  My last large tablecloth has shrunk and now fits the table, leaf out about as nicely as I could ask for.  The small tablecloth, which used to fit the leaf out table, has also shrunk and wouldn't fit a fly.  I have several sets of place mats, but the are old or stained or simply in an awful state of repair.

I have a bunch of cotton, simple dishcloth type cotton, in a very pretty cream with spots of hunter green, rust and gold in it, that I bought for table linens.  I thought I would be weaving them, but so far, well, the loom is narrower than I want for table linens.

I thought I might try one place mat in a linen stitch knit and then shrink it down and see what happens.  I'm doing it the way my friend talked about, in the round with the stitches between the 2 ends done in ribbing.  I worked on it in the very few spare hours I had yesterday, and it looks great, though, like all linen stitch, it is slow.

The real question is, if it works, will I like it enough to knit 7 or 9 more so my whole table is done.  Will I want to knit a runner to compliment it?  Will all that linen stitch drive me nuts.  Or should I just pull out the knitting machine, and do stockinette centers and border them with a hand knit easy lace?  Or should I do both.

These are the questions of the day.   I have 8 of the large cotton skeins, yes the really big ones, so I am fairly certain, I am not going to run out of yarn.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Pondering the green

OK, so here you have it.  Though I have thought of a few more hiding in the glass cabinet (it is stuffed) this is the bulk of the greens that I have in my stash and these are the yarns that my friend will choose from.  

Some are only small quantities, such as the Mini Moochi.  There isn't enough there to do what she wants by itself, but if you did the biggest part on one of the plain greens just above it in the picture, or the teal blue green just to the side, and used the multi Mini Moochi to trim it?  Smashing.

There is a rich green teal copper multi of Socks That Rock there.  I have a couple balls about that size, so there should be plenty for whatever she would like.  Same goes for the BFL 2/8 Fleece Artist multi on the other side.  Lots if that is what she chooses.  The chunky Big Delight is right at the edge of the picture, though it has less green in it than I had hoped. Still, It would make a lovely hooded scarf I I used the same stitch that is used on the honeycomb cowl.

If I was choosing for her, I would use that large cake of BFL 2/8 at the top of the picture, or the dark green smaller cone to the other side.  Both of these, done in a small scale lace pattern, would be warm for winter, but stunning.  I have lots of both, so I could make it wide enough that she could use it as stole for fancy events, or go scarf like, with buttons up the back to make it hood (think Wisp).  The BFL is a much finer yarn, softer and more delicate than the other green with better drape.  It would lay so fine and delicate on her dark hair.  The other green is a little sturdier, a little less soft but would still do an admirable job.  Its not that it wouldn't drape, it just that it is a more substantial yarn and that little difference in weight makes for a very subtle difference.

The large cone of pale green is the yarn I used for that lovely and very large Fir Cone Shetland style shawl that was for my daughter's grandmother in Ukraine.  There is enough for almost another shawl, certainly for what my friend is looking for.  It takes a lot of washing to get all the oil used for weaving out of it, but it is oh so very worth it in the end.  And yes, Grandma really likes it.  

Hiding all about the picture are all sorts of yummy things.  Some Misti Alpaca Baby Suri Silk, some fine sock yarn, some serviceable DK, a little seafoamy coloured easy care yarn.  Just a little bit of everything for every green moment life could bring.

What is distressingly absent is the yarn I ordered and was waiting for last week.  When it arrived, one of the two had almost no greens in it, just a teal, a nice teal, to be sure, but most of it was brown, and the other  seemed to have a rather disheartening shade gray as its strongest colour.  So it goes when you buy online. It is very nice yarn though and with 600 metres of each, there is sure to be something nice that will come of them.  

I have a chunky forest green still hiding in the stash that I forgot to pull a skein from, and some Mission Falls 1824 Wool in the deepest almost black green you can imagine to add to this.  There is a Blue Green Madelinetosh, but that yarn is a little special to me (as are some of these others) but one of those will go in there too.  If you put your stash at the disposal of others and are giving them their choice from all that you have, it really should be all the green that you have.  I have so much, so many lovely things, and if half the fun of it is knitting it, surely the other half is giving it to someone who will appreciate is so much as I know my friend will.

This feels like an adventure, waiting to see what she will pick.  I can't wait!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Good morning To Me!

Now if only I can stay awake.  It is one of those 'there isn't enough coffee in the world' days.  

I committed a major faux pas yesterday and I really disappointed someone.

My friend Paulette, a lovely lady did me a favour, and in trade, I am going to knit her something.  She said she wanted a scarf, the sort you could make into a hood.  In further conversation she also said she loves flowers.  I'm starting to think she might like something a little lacier than I first thought.

I have an idea of what I would like to make for her.  I think she would like it, and I know I have a yarn that would work absolutely perfectly, but I gave her the chance to pick her yarn from my vast collection of greens. Her yarn choice will influence the pattern choice a little I think.   

In the stash dive of last weekend, one of my goals was to pull out all my lovely greens.  I have a sample of most of them pulled and my faux pas of yesterday was that they did not make it to my car so she could choose at knitting last night.  

She was really disappointed and I am sorry for that.  Its a bit of a bummer for me too, because by the time this weekend comes, the stuff I am working on will be done, and my fingers are itchy for something pretty and new.  I was also looking forward to knitting on this while Mr. Needles is off golfing next week, no dinners to cook, no dishes, ok, less dishes, just less than usual fuss and bother.  I was kind of looking forward to a new project to go along with it.  

Anyway, tomorrow, when I am really organized, I will put up some pictures of all the green in my stash. Well, almost all.  I just realized I forgot two different ones that I wanted to grab from the cabinet.  So much yarn, so little time. 

PS, all the pretty colourwork is done.  It worked out really nicely.  The under hem is done, so all I need now are some sleeves and a little finishing. And that lovely Noro small shawl.  Working it, just zipping along.  Ought to be done by the weekend too.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

My Precious

Some days I just amaze myself.  All the things I did not think about when I began this project... 

I was sitting knitting yesterday, making all sorts of headway down the little white sweater, looking forward to seeing the colour work, when it occurred to me, this project is not done in the round.

There are no seams to be sure, but it isn't in the round.  To top that, the yarns are not wool.  The yarns are bamboo and nylon.  Oh dear. Stranded colourwork back and forth in yarn that is not wool.  If that doesn't sound like a recipe for disaster, I don't know what does.  

On the plus side, my hands are very very familiar with yarns without the stretch and bounce of wool.  That comes from a youth spent crocheting doilies.  Plus number two, I have worked colourwork with bamboo yarn before.  That was much more challenging because the two yarns were very different.  Even so, the mittens turned out rather nicely, if I do say so myself.  

I did think about working in the round for the colourwork rows, but it would mean some pretty heavy sewing in of the ends on what is a very lightweight sweater with a supremely tidy edging.  I didn't think the added bulk would be easy to hide so I just bit the bullet, and accepted the back and forth of it.  

That is where I found myself this morning, with only one row of the flower buds left to knit.  I am very very pleased.  I have managed against all odd to keep the tension just about right, maybe the teensiest bit loose, if anything, but there isn't any puckering and all the stitches lay ever so nicely.  The knit side is always easy, but I was very concerned about doing so on the purl side.  I can knit with my right hand (western style) but not purl.  I wasn't sure I would be able to manage the yarns both in my right hand.  I feared they would twist and my colour dominance would be right out the window.

In the end, I went slowly and worked lightly.  I dropped the yarn I wasn't working with and picked it up again when I needed to for the purl rows.  All I had to remember was the coloured yarn had to come from under the white.  Not tricky, hardly fiddly, just slow and careful work.  It was like handling Sweet Thing when she was first born.  I did everything so so very carefully with her.  It was fine. I was even able to go at a reasonable speed.

As I was working that last flower bud row, I was thinking about the leaf bits.  My inspiration sweater didn't have leaf bits (I don't think) , but this little pattern does, and the leaf bits are on lines that are completely separate from the buds.  I thought about multi coloured sock yarns, but the green toned yarn I have would look so coarse and dark up against these lovely soft tones. I knew I had a nice green baby wool in the stash somewhere, but I didn't think adding a pure wool would do me any favours.  I sat back, just the tiniest bit peeved.  And then I noticed a box of yarns that I pulled out while doing the stash dive.  

I have some pretty clear blue Baby Bamboo and a coordinating blue and green Snuggly Smiley Stripes from Sirdar ( the colour is called Giggly Green).  It is a DK weight yarn, just a bit heavier than my sock weight, but I wondered if I could swing it for such a few rows.  A short quick debate, said yup, you can do green leaves with a bit of blue and the weight wasn't an issue. I would just have to knit a little more firmly with it and it would be fine.  I went to grab the box and it was as if I was a prospector hitting the mother lode.

For there, all alone and completely forgotten was a ball of Baby Bamboo in the perfect spring like solid green. I had forgotten about that lone green.

There.  See?  Isn't that just the perfect compliment to the soft rosy peachy colours in the flower buds?  I have just one more row to go of the green and the colourwork is done.  After all is said and done, I might do a french knot as a center for each flower, probably in the green.  I'll do a little bit of a test to see how that looks before I decide, but that will wait till the very last.

Once I knit a couple rows of the white, I'll really be able to see if it all worked as I hoped.  And then just a wee bit more white to the hem,  some sleeve knitting and done.

Dainty.  Pretty.  Girly.  Just right for my wee Sweet Thing. My Sweet Thing.  Her Mom and Dad's Precious.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

And Back to Work We Go

I'd really rather be playing in the stash.  Just sayin'

I sort of wasted yesterday as far as stash digging is concerned.  I lost the will without Downton.  Obviously a 4th season of Downton Abbey is required to make an entire 3 day weekend stash dive possible.  

The upside to that is it left me with more knitting time.

I re-knit the pretty little start of the sweater and just kept going.  It will eventually have sleeves, but for now I will just keep knitting the bottom.  

I have a very definite inspiration for what I plan for this cute little sweater (I hope it will be a cute little sweater).  A very long time ago, the Yarn Harlot's friend, Ken, was knitting a sweater for a little girl.  At the bottom was a little stranded pattern of flowers.  Rather than doing a couple of different colours, he was using a multi-coloured yarn.  It was so very pretty and it has stayed in my mind. 

I've been planning for months just which of the pretty yarns I would use and I have been planning more specifically, for a summer sweater for Sweet Thing.  I had a couple of skeins of Kertzer On Your Toes sock yarn in white on hand  and I have a skein of Wendy Happy in pretty bright and soft pinks for the flowery bits.  I think I have settled on a pattern too.  It is in an older Ukrainian Knitting and crochet magazine that my dear daughter sent me long before she came to Canada.    I love the idea that this sweater has a little of the old world and a little of the new.  I will have plenty of yarn left over from both the white and the multi, so there may be a little something for under it too.  I'm thinking perhaps a pair of the "Blu" type pants or if there is enough, an overall.  I would have to use both skiens of yarn though and I haven't quite figured out how I would want to do that to make it look really good, but there is time.  

Still it is another new project but surely if I made it through half the blocking pile, I deserve the treat.  

More blocking for this evening, but I am into the more challenging shawls now.  One because of its size and two because of the complexity of the edging.  The size issue is going to get resolved first.  I'm pretty set on that.

Monday, 18 February 2013

And Monday morning

Today feels as if I am playing hooky.  I always feel that on family day.  So...

What does Monday morning find?  Well that closet from yesterday morning was only 1 stack done.  Yesterday was all about getting the rest of it done.  It got worse.

There were still a few containers to dig through when I took these pictures so it got worse from here.

Then there was a little of this:

 It is right at the stage where I realized that as nice as it was, I was going to have to rip it out because I was forgetting the buttonholes.
 What I was really doing was avoiding the fact that there still is a little bit of stash tidying and digging to do.  The top shelf is all full bags, and two tidy boxes so it won't take long, but then, there is the last kick at the can so to speak,  the glass cabinet, and the last bit of lace boxes are on the list two.  

Nothing takes as long as the closet though.  That really is the part that takes the most time.  So many balls of pretty yarn, so many containers!  

Lest anybody wonder at my sanity doing these deep digs, and documenting them, it does a lot of things for me. 

It keeps me well acquainted with what I have on hand.  It reminds me how very very nice some of these yarns are, no, make that all of these yarns.  It is a way to put project and yarn together as new projects keep popping up on the radar.  I touch every skein except the ones in the bags, and there are almost always a few skeins of those loose too, so I still get a sense of that yarn.  I play colour games.  I think of almost nothing at all.  It is the most relaxing thing to do.  In this deep middle of winter, tossing the stash feels good. 

But besides all of these things, at its most fundamental, digging through the stash is a task I do for safety.  I do it to make sure that my stash is bug free and to clean in the corners of the closet and to dust the shelves. 

Digging through the stash is a lot more fun to do than to read about.  I'm very sure of that. So thanks for hanging in as I posted my notes and pictures.   

Off I go, coffee in hand, duster in the other.  See you tomorrow. 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

And Sunday Morning

brought this:

And a little of this:

and then there was some of this:

There was also a whole bunch of this:

It is a good morning.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Saturday morning and...

one done.

and another.

I have absolutely no idea of why these socks were still here at the bottom of the WIP bin.  They were originally going to be socks for one of my sisters.  I realized quickly that as sock newbie people, this was not a good choice of yarn. This Alberta local alpaca growers yarn is a pretty choice, yes, but not a good choice.  It is handwash.  The sister sock projects were monkey socks and these stayed in the bottom of the bin.

So I popped some heels in them, and they are now snug and cozy on my feet.  I shall get over it the handwash part because my toes are warm and cozy.

Friday, 15 February 2013


If you looked at Mizzle today and then at yesterdays picture, you would be pretty sure that I did not knit at all.  Oh, but I did.  

Over and over again.  And again.  I wish I was kidding, but I am not.  Sigh.  Establishing the ribbing is something I needed to do with no one near me and nothing distracting me.  No TV, no radio, no nothing.  

I think I have it now, though I did set it aside there for a while and knit on a sock, so I have an inch on the sock too.  I went back to the shawl because it seems like that is all I have been doing lately, setting things aside.  I got a little bucky and decided, that nope.  This was not going to be yet another work in progress, sitting there taunting me.  

They do you know.  The pile of WIPs (now 14 ongoing projects) and the pile of things to block and the things to repair have become a physical wall between me and the bookcase and I could barely get to the TV to turn it off.  Not hoarder-ish, but oh my it is cluttered. 

There is also several layers of yarn taken out for what will be knit next, only it hasn't been knit next, it has just continued to sit there saying hey, what about me, what about me.  Its next ain't going to happen anytime soon.

So far as I know, no one is coming to visit this weekend. That means I have 3 lovely days to get this stuff out of the way and get things sorted and ordered and into place once again.  

Maybe it is time to do a little hard thinking on the size and quality of the WIPs too.  I don't think there are any there I don't want to finish, but you never know.  In the cold hard light of day?  We shall see.  


Thursday, 14 February 2013


The pattern I am making with the very pretty Noro is one called Mizzle.  It's a pretty little thing.  

But I have a bone to pick with it.

What is with all the Row number crap.  Oh I know the answer to this, but not everybody knits by stroking off line by line by line as one knits and by only setting it up for knitters who do, you have buggered me*.

So I am resolving it myself with another eyelet row.  Man I hope it works out.


*It should be noted that the pattern is fine.  This knitter is personally responsible for all errors and omissions.  But she is fragile right now due to garter stitch errors on previous projects and just prefers not to admit it to herself.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I sure wish I could have 2.

I love this yarn.  I dug through the shelves for a second, but I was not in luck.  The light here in my office turns everything yellow, when it is really much richer, like fall on the eastern seaboard, like forests of maple and oak.  I'm just getting to a really deep rich red, almost a blood red colour.  I don't think there is a lot of that, but it is fire to the rest of these colours rain.  

I have been contemplating Noro and the choices that are made with colours as they are dying them.  You know how everybody says that in every ball of Noro there is one colour you just don't like?  Well, yes, this is true for me, but the more I work with Noro, the more I see these pale unexciting colours as relief and rest.  I wonder if that is their purpose?  That after all the rush and splendor of rich elegant colour combinations, these less vibrant, generally boring sections are a place where the eye can rest?

Is that Mr. Noro's purpose for them?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The only thing wrong

The only thing wrong with posting all the interesting goings on of the weekend yesterday is that I have left myself nothing to talk about today.  Well more or less.  As most of you already know, I will talk anyway, even if I don't have anything to say.

I discovered a hole in yet another pair of socks the other day when I was folding my laundry.  That struck me as very very sad, because though the year's crop of yarns are choosen, and though there are sets of needles awaiting them, the only socks I have on the go right now are a pair of socks for my daughter in law, the ones I was knitting at Sweet Things birth, and a pair of socks for her papa.  I had one pair of socks in the bin of blanks but a friend had cold toes and they are on their way to Falls Church.  

Its   kind of hard to believe that the bin is empty.  There always seemed to be socks in it.  I think in a fit of laundry that didn't happen, the last remaining blanks were pressed into service.  That is the cool thing about sock blanks.  If you have need, they can be put into service immediately without a heel.  Some mornings I must have just had more need.

Though I am having a very good time with this last little scarfy shawly thing, and though the lace is calling my name loudly and strongly, there might be a turn at some serious sock knitting before too long.  I'm going to let that feeling percolate a little.  At least until the shawl is done.  Then we shall see.

Then we shall see.  

(See always something to say)

Monday, 11 February 2013

An Average Sort of Weekend in the House of a Knitter

I did all sorts of things this weekend, but mostly, I worked on my Bridgewater shawl. 

As you can see, I have corners!  Corners means it is now getting smaller.  As you can also see, by the pins and markers, I have dropped stitches.  Apparently you should not knit when you are dopey and doze off every second stitch.  I am going to see if I can pick them up and restore them to their rightful place and if not, re-knit.  After I realized just how many there were in this one corner, I put it aside.  I hope it doesn't stay there for long.  I feel really good about this shawl.

So what to knit after your job for the weekend is on mandatory time out?  

Well, first you crochet.  

The ever so intriguing Crocodile stitch.  A very lovely crafty friend who comes to knit group did me a big favour, and to repay her, I am going to make her something.  I asked her about colours, and what kind of project she would like (she doesn't knit and sticks to simple crochet). She said a scarf with a hood.  She mentioned one that another crocheter in our group made using the crocodile stitch as design feature on the hood.  It was really lovely.  

I've kind of been playing it over in my head, and I think I am going to do the crocodile stitch and then knit the hood and the rest of the scarf.  Now that I know the crocodile stitch well, I think the softness of a knitted fabric would be a real addition to the over the top texture of the crocs.   

The yarn is Drops Big Delight.  I could really like this yarn.  Its is just so amazingly soft.  One of the criteria for yarn selection is 'not itchy' and I really do want to make it something she can love having around her neck.  I am a little concerned about this yarn for close to the neck wear for her.  Though I don't find it itchy at all, she might.  I have a couple other yarns that might work coming in a few days.  Once I get all the yarns together, I will choose and with luck will get something that will show off these interesting scales to their best advantage.  

That left a fair bit of knitting weekend left with nothing to do.  I read and studied patterns, I looked at lace galore.  I sorted my Ravelry favourites, adding the more traditional category of warm shawl to my small shawl category and just shawls.  All the lacy lovelies were being buried under the many other kinds of shawls being knit right now.  So many lovely things, so little time.

Then I knit on the green mohair scarf and was kind of getting depressed.  The yarn balls were not getting smaller.  I could take pictures of them and you would agree with me.  They just sit there, about a third of an inch thick, intransigent and ever unchanging.  It occurred to me that everything I could think of was at pretty much the same place, that very merry middle of a place where none of the balls ever change size no matter how much you knit.  I had hit the Yarn Harlot's black hole of knitting on every single project I have.  All 13.  

It then occurred to me that there was a whole wonderful evening of Dowton Abbey, and well, gosh, darn it all, you just have to knit while watching Downton Abbey.  

So I started something new. Number 14. I had a really great time.  I would have had a great time even without Downton Abbey.

 The yarn is Noro Taiyo sock, the perfect thing for a mid winter need something new to knit.  Aren't those colours lovely?  And you can see where else this ball of yarn is planning to take me, all lush green and gold and orangey reds.  The pattern is Mizzle from Patricia Martin.

I had such a good time, I don't even care that I have to rip it all back and restart.  Note how each of the ridge and yarn over sections look different?  Yeah, but it just didn't matter.  It felt so good to knit in bright colours.  (Maybe it's time to work on the sweater again.)  The re-knit is done.  Still  love it.  I think this is going to be a zippy little thing.

And that was my weekend.  Kind of scattered, kind of a lot done, but nothing solid and nothing new done, just a lot of knitting, just an average weekend in the house of a knitter.

Friday, 8 February 2013

A Perfect Sky.

I love this time of year, where the long dark is starting to give way to morning sunlight again.  It isn't something the dark likes to yeild.  It would hold it if it could, but the sun always wins the age old battle that takes us to spring.    

Right now the sky in front of me is the colour of warm peaches and most delicate shade of lavender, and secedes into the gray of a cloud, before the sky breaks clear and strong in that particular blue of morning skies.  

I don't know if the day will be cloudy or sunny, or if it will be a good day or a bad day.  It doesn't matter, because I have this.  

And that is enough.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Modus Operandi

My dear friend, Christine left a comment that made me think about my modus operandi.

She said  "I cannot comprehend a "blocking pile". I am always so excited to finally finish something that I have to force myself to even take enough time for a pre-blocking photo. It's in the bath about 2 minutes after bind off, no matter what time of day I finished it"  

The blocking pile.  Ah yes.  

I think it has a little to do with what goes on in my head as that last stitch falls off the needles.  I caught myself the other day, standing up, with my arms raised above my head in victory, as if I was a calf roper in a rodeo.  I have a funny feeling that if I am alone in my study, I do this almost every time.  I may have even talked about it before, but for me, the moment that stitch falls, I am done.

I am free to start all those other things that I have been thinking of as I finished the current one.  Free to play with new yarn.

Pre-blocking photos are as good as it gets around here.  This blog is never going to be noted for beautifully photographed, elegantly blocked stupendously fine looking items.  I keep forgetting to take them.  

I tried being artful a couple of times, trying to get just the right sort of light and graceful draping to show the project to its best advantage.  

and these.

They were special projects with a great deal of meaning in them.  One, a part of a series to friends all over the US, and one for my daughter in laws mom.  

There may be a few other things that really look great, but if you look at my page for long, you will find many more almost completed things, things without buttons, without ends woven in and on it goes.  (Now that I have looked at it, I can see an unwoven end in one of the other pictures of these mittens!  Not done either, hahaha)

I have 1 scarf that I have worn many times, and each time I wear it, I laugh and realize, nope those ends did not weave them in by themselves.  I can go around work all day before I realize that there are stragglers down my back.  And, come to think of it, that shawl has never been blocked either.  

On occasion, the blocking pile threatens to overwhelm.  Its getting that way now.  It won't stay on one pile and is threatening to be 2.  There is only room for 1.  (Actually there is room for none, and it makes my whole study seem untidy.)
This is the current pile, from left to right along the arm of the chair, a pretty little shawl that I practised the edging from the River Valley Shawl on, a gorgeous Holden shawl in a most lustrous linen, my Point Shawl, the absolutely fabulous Lilia Hyrna, and my River Valley shawl in the rich garnet red on the other arm.  On the seat is the vest I made in Berroco Flicker and Voyage.  

These are all such stunning things and yes I do want to wear them.  Its just that I think I don't enjoy blocking so much as I do knitting.  I suspect that is the root of the thing.  

I need to change my focus and think about the wearing.  I do enjoy the wearing and I am getting just a little tired of what I have.  I have a weekend free, no company, no kids, No grandbaby, darn it,  just us, me and hubby doing not much of anything.  I know that it time to play in the stash, and clean my study, so maybe a good morning blocking all these pretty things will be a good way to start my day off.  Heaven knows it has been percolating long enough.

No more procrastination.  That is my motto.  For this week at least.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Busy Day

Its going to be a day of errands and this and that, all of it important but picky.  

I have to fix my shoe.  Only about 3 months old, very pricey and already having problems.  Harumph.

Then it is time to get my head into gardening mode.  You get a discount if you order before Feb 15 from my favourite seed house.

Appointments to cancel, people I must call, stuff I must pick up.  These are the daily chores of life, the grind, the makes me feel rushy rushy when you add it on top of a regular work day.  And for a change, my work is very busy right now.  (Don't worry, very busy here is snails pace for most.)

Thank heavens I have knitting.  Without knitting to settle into at the end of the day, where would I be?  

I thought that once done with Point, I would get back to the Noro sweater.  The sweater remains untouched.  I don't quite understand why.  My hands just are not interested.

I had been working on my Bridgewater Shawl, which is moving along nicely, though that center garter stitch square is a bit of a pill, and it does take some true diligence to keep it moving along.  |There is always the knowledge that at the end of the haul of the center, there is the delightful lace around the edges of it.  This is what I have been working on for the last few days.  Not a picture friendly project though.  Sort of looks the same on row 25 and row 205.

But yesterday, I picked up the another thing that ended up thrown into my bag. It was a spur of the moment toss.  I really didn't think that I'd end up working on it, but here I am.  It was my knitting last evening and my knitting this morning.  

I started this in the fall, and stopped, I know not why.  It really is a simple thing just stockinette with a yo, k2 tog edging, done is some yarn that I wasn't sure of but now am very happy to work with (Punta Kid Mohair handpaint).  It is much softer and more lustrous than I generally think a nylon and mohair yarn will be.  The kid mohair isn't at all scritchy, just soft and slippery lustrous so it has to be the good stuff from young animals.

Of course I hate the very big needles it is on.  Broomsticks, people, broomsticks. Well, not really, but they are 8 mm, well outside of my comfort zone.

I'm not sure if I feel like knitting this because I can see the end or what it is.  It isn't that I want to wear it in any special way.  I have a whole pile of shawls waiting for blocking that I feel no big rush to wear and I can't say as this is any different.  

I do know that I have been thinking a lot of my WIPs pile.  There are some things in there I really would like to get done. While I hardly class this as a WIP (too recent) I would like to finish up the last two really long languishing things, both shawls/wraps, in that basket.  Maybe that is why I feel the need to pick this up right now.  

Perhaps I am just not that into new.  Might I be turning into one of those knitters who does one thing at a time?  Scary thought.

Anyway off to my busy day.  The glue on the shoe ought to be dry enough to put the sides together, and all the other stuff will be open.  Plus there is work.  Busy busy busy.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

LBD Fangirl?

I know I have spoken of it before, of my love for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  It is a little embarrassing in a way.  How many women my age go all fan girl over an internet media effort by people young enough to be their children?  
And if you aren't there, my question to you is why aren't you?  You are missing the best, just the best, most delicious online event there will ever be.  

Pride and Prejudice has been adapted dozens of times, but not like this.  Not this real time, not this immediate, not with this absolute pulling at the heartstrings storytelling.  I have loved reading the books.  I heart the mini series and movies (well except for Kiera Knightley, the poorest casting in any movie ever) but this?  

I have fallen so hard for a story before.  In a lifetime of reading and movie watching, nothing compares.  

Each Monday, I wait with bated breath and then I watch it over and over, trying to catch every little nuance. The days between,  I check out websites and articles and whatever I can find about the series. I read twitter, I check Tumblr. Wait.  What is Tumblr? And Pintrest?  What is Pintrest for? I get the tweets, but the rest is all new to me. 

Thursday morning, I start checking the Youtube channel in the morning for the next episode.   I wait with bated breath. I wait for those 5 minutes in agony.

It is all really quite ridiculous.  Fangirl?  Oh yes, I have it bad.  I know how it ends, but the joy, the absolute thrill of all this is the journey they take you on to get you there.

Bernie Su, Ashely Clements et al.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for the fun.

Monday, 4 February 2013

And the socks go to...

A very long time ago, some friends led me to knitting.  I talked most significantly about it here.  These people are still a very big part of my life.  

The other day, I was idly chatting with one of them on Facebook, and she mentioned he toes were cold.  They have had weird weather, just like us, with unseasonably wrm followed sometimes in the same day by cold, cold, cold. She said hey I should knit her a pair.  So I did.  Sort of.  That is, after all,  why I have a bucket of socks without heels.  
The socks are on the way.  They are not really long tops but the fit is really nice and they are good sturdy wash and wear socks.  Sadly, they are not black, her favourite colour, but I suspect these will be worn at home with jammies and a good book or a movie and popcorn.  Here is hoping they fit her feet perfectly.

I also did a fair bit of knitting on my point shawl.  In fact, I finished it.  

Going with the navy was the right thing to do.  I love how it looks.  

I am still a little unsatisfied with the stitches that are wrong, but I don't have to make that decision final till I weave in the ends.  And there are a lot of ends to weave.  

And there is the same amount on the other side, plus a few joins and knots in the body of the shawl.  Its going to take a few days to get that done.  Till then, I have put it on the blocking pile.  

Yes I  have one of those again.  5 shawls, some of them very substantial.  Sigh.  One day I will get my act together.  Just not today.  

Today I am back to knitting on my pretty Bridgewater.  It was a lovely break and I am back and feel fresh and am enjoying working on this large garter stitch body.    And my pretty sweater is up for evening knitting so I am back on track.  

Back on track and right where I want to be.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Instead of knitting

Instead of knitting, I once again, find myself contemplating knitting.  This does not get one very far ahead with ones WIP pile, but it does enormous good for the soul.

As you know, I have a lovely stash of Sandnes Garn Tove  - all the almost non colours, the ones most like natural sheep colours.  These are my most treasured yarns of all.  I know that eventually I must use it up.  It would be foolish not to consider knitting with it ever, but the challenge of finding worthwhile projects is almost too much.

I know one design that I would consider 'Toveable'.  All the Shades of Truth  is the first.  As much as I like laces, I love this type of colour play and gareter stitch  even more.  This one is probably going to be the very first stole I make.  

Unless I fall into making the long loved, much desired Forest Path Stole.  You never know.  That may just happen.  Oops, a small digression.  Do forgive.

Anyway, this morning I was contemplating the very precious Loft yarn I have in my posession.  It suits my mood for yummy homey feeling yarns.  I was looking at projects and came across this.  Quill, not the plain one, the multi colour one.  Such soft tones, such lyrical colours.  Oh how I want this.  Tovable.  Possibly.  Quite possibly.  

It needs a fair number of colours to get that soft gradation.  I think I am short one colour.  I will have to do some colour play and perhaps swatching to see if the Tove colours really are right for it.  There is some ability in the design for making changes to the colour flow.  But will my porecious |Tove deliver the very soft shadings?  

Such are the things my mind is occupied with as I finish up the very pleasing Point shawl.  No I am not going to fix those errors.  I will just live with it, and I will never point it out to anyone (except knitters).  No one else will ever know.  

PS:  National Sweater Day,  Turn down your heat, wear a sweater, save us all.