Friday, 31 May 2013

And when your hands are tired of knitting

You crochet! 
 Not perfectly, but it will be close enough.  This is probably the only time I will ever see the bottom of this basket.

And then you crochet more...

You kind of go crazy till your hands can't crochet any more either.  

This gives you some idea of the scale of it and the eventual use for it.  You can never have too many baskets for works in progress or for yarn.  The farther I go on this, the more I like it.  Much more than a simple companion ot the little box I did a few weeks ago.

The basket pattern is from Purl Soho , just s simple little Crocheted Stash Basket/Bag.  It is part of the Savvy Girls 100th episode Crochet ALong. (CAL)  The yarn is 100% cotton Amazon DK held double.  I think I will have enough to do another little bag if I single strand it.  Half size.  Fine for a sock project. 

The mornings work was on the summer top, which is going to look fine.  Really fine if I am lucky.  I knit all morning and did the bag in just a few hours this afternoon. 

All this hand work means that it rained today and the garden still isn't in.  The soil is going to need to be worked up again. That means waiting for Mr. Needles.  It is going to be a long weekend.  Maybe even next week.  And so it goes.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

A serious question. Sort of.

The weather is playing with my mind and at this rate that garden won't need water till July.  Every little puffy gray thing that passes overhead pours like there is no tomorrow.  Not that there is for clouds I suppose.  

For some reason (it might have been all those garter stitch ridges) I picked up the spring sweater I am working on.  When we last left that sweater, I was struggling to knit sleeves.  The catchy grabby yarn and I were not enjoying each others company.  I decided to try the top on and see how it looked with the length of sleeve I had.  And voila. It looked great.  I did a few rows of reverse stockinette and bound off.  The other sleeve was completed in short order.

I'm back to knitting the body with its long sloping neckline.  I think its going to start going at a slightly sharper angle after 2 more increases.  I'd like it to be wide on the fronts to wrap over and close off center, somewhere not too far below my bust line.  I'm happy with the deep slope of the neckline, but there isn't a whole lot of room between bust and waist here.  The slope has to move quick to make it there on time lest it be closing on my hips!

I'm back to liking the fabric.  Its kind of funny how awful it was in the small circumference, but on the wide open, the knits and purls just sing along.  

I am thinking of making a camisole like top for this.  It has to be in white, and I am eyeing 6 skeins of precious 1824 Cotton, that nice wobbly looking cotton from the now defunct Mission Falls.  I don't have enough to make a whole top, so here is the question I ask of you.

Is it terminally geeky and  bad like a dickie, to knit the front of a camisole and sew it into the sweater? Fess up.  Would you love yourself less if you did it?  

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

While waiting for a Waterman

I was going to have help with the garden today and while waiting, I kept busy knitting on the Icelandic Overblouse.

I am deep into overblouse territory, even if I have given myself permission to start as many new things as I need to.  Is it possible that I haven't felt like buying yarn?  naaaaaaahhhh  Does it mean I feel like knitting wool?  So it seems.  It is chilly.  Or at least, not warm.

I did spend a fair bit of time with the overblouse.  It is garter stitch.  There are only two places where I have to do something.  There is a lot of time to think.  And I am.

About garter stitch. And how from the change to the lighter gray, I have to knit 40 ridges and will bind off on the 41st ridge.  And how on the way through those 40 ridges I will be adding 4 stitches every ridge.  I calculated that from where I was with my already long rows,  I would be adding 120 more stitches...


I tried to stop thinking after that.

Edited to add a link for anyone who wants it:

Knit Lab 2013

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

While waiting and in between

Last Friday I believe I mentioned how chilly it was.  It remained that way and rained and spit just enough, hence the gardening.  While I waited for the sun to shine again, I knit.

I worked on the Icelandic Overblouse from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knit One, Knit All.  I hope I like wearing it as much as I like knitting it.  

I've just stared the sleeve increases, part of this magic in the pattern. It does't look like much yet, but in a few more rows, that corner will force itself into existence, and turn to go the other way.  

I love that about this sweater.  It's like turning a sock heal and just keeping on going.  It isn't like a heel technically, but it just brings me that same joy.

Interesting change of direction, little spot just after a colour change.  It is very pleasing indeed.  My kind of knitting.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Modus Operandi for a New Age

A lovely little rain on the weekend means I get to spend my day gardening.  If I am lucky, I will have some gumption left at the end of the day to do a little knitting.  I expect slow going because Mr. Needles is away this week.  So no water man, and the water is going to be my biggest challenge.  

I have come up with a whole new modus operandi and for a very good reason.  I have booked to go to KnitLab in the fall with a friend, and I am really looking forward to it.  The class list is fantastic and I am looking forward to the market.  It is a newer event but it sounded like the market was pretty good last year.  Even if the market was awful, there are some fantastic shops in the general area.  A Verb for Keeping Warm is a destination of its very own, and I can think of a few others just off the top of my head.  The Bay area is rife with knitters.  I need to save my pennies for travel buying.  

I have some really nice stuff here in the deep stash  So many lovely things just crying to be knit and played with.  What I no longer have is a lot of room for new acqusitions.  My new modus operandi will take care of these concerns and it will take care of saving pennies for travel buying.  

My new operational procedure is thus:  If I feel the urge to buy yarn, I give myself permission to start something new.  Right there, start something new.  No guilt that there are a hundred things sitting in my WIP basket.  No guilt that I haven't finished anything in a coons age or that I already have 14 projects on the go and a 15th waiting to be added to Ravelry.  Just the absolute freedom to knit with the lovely stuff I have.  Who knows.  I may give myself  permission to break into the Tove stash.  

I started a little scarf last week that led me to this.  I had picked up my snoozing Daybreak in the inimitable Fresco from Classic Elite, but my head couldn't wrap itself around the increases and what I was doing versus what the pattern was doing.  I needed to think about it and my head was not ready for deep thought.  I tried a couple other things, but nothing was working.

One of my knitting compadres was having a wonderful time knitting Montego Bay scarves.  So pretty and light and summery.  I knew that I had the pattern.  It was in the very first knitting magazine I ever bought and I thought, you know, I have the yarn.  I could whip one of these up for a little fun.  So I did.  

It looks a little like a rats nest of knitting here, but it really is pretty.  Its is a single skein of HandMaiden Sea Silk in colours that remind me of rose gardens.  I have no idea what this colours proper name is, but for me is is always that.  Rose Garden.  The scarf will be another in the store of things to pretty up my very plain wardrobe.

It felt so refreshing to start something, so clean and new.  I was utterly content and that led me to thinking about how to deal with my regular scheduled trouble with 'needing' new yarn.  I know I need to save up some funds.  I am currently looking for work.  I now have the time to take this trip but funding is tight.  No matter how many projects I end up with, no matter how many things I never fully commit to, no matter how many sweaters and shawls and socks end up in bags on the floor round my feet, it is OK.  I can start something new each time I get the urge to purchase yarn.  It isn't irresponsible.  It is needed and it is OK.  

I see only one problem.  Needles.  I am going to run out of needles.

Friday, 24 May 2013

A Canadian morning

Its May, late, but still May.  

I have my socks on, a sweater and a turtleneck.  Pants too of course but it wouldn't be far wrong to say I am seriously thinking about putting on some long johns.  It's chilly but far far from furnace weather.  The problem is that in spring, the upstairs warms, and the basement stays cold.  This is really great on the hot hot days of summer, but in spring and fall?  Not so much.  She is chilly here in the study.  Deeply chilly.  

With the weather changing to a few days of showers - I fondly hope - my hands haven't been working up to snuff.  Or maybe it was the sweater sleeves.  I worked a little on the Domino sweater sleeves and hated every single moment of it.  These sleeves are going to be as short as will look decent.  I even tried switching to dpns but the yarn just doesn`t like to slip through itself at all.   It is better but still not great.  

Most of my knitting yesterday was sock knitting, that safe place when all else is crap.

What a good pick this is for this yarn. It just takes these long colour runs and turns them into interesting texture sections.  I am very pleased with it,

I can`t usually knit it in public, though I do try.  I usually find that I do OK for a round or two and then fall apart and purls become knits and good knits go bad.  But yesterday, I accomplished tons and that feels really good.

I am going to go back to knitting on recalcitrant sleeves and if that isn`t working, I am going to work with wool.  Surely this chilly bit of weather is wool weather.

We are a wool weather nation.  And that is a good thing.  ;)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


I blocked.  But grudgingly.  

Mostly I knit and took out knots in the skein of yarn I was working with.  It all turned out well in the end, but note to self:  Next time you wind a ball of slippery stuff like this, Just do it by hand.  Way less headaches.

The knitting was grand though.

I have had years to sort this one out and I am pleased.  I managed to plan it and knit it without a pattern.  The fallback pattern was the Little Arrowhead Shawl by Pam Allen.  I am delighted to say that I will still knit Little Arrowhead, but out of some other yarn.

I knew that working with such a multi coloured yarn can be really difficult.  The pattern couldn't be anything busy.  The yarn takes care of that.  Knitting something with a lot of fancy stitches would  be lost in that garden of colour.  I chose a simple little bead pattern and for a second motif, knit a variation on it by repeating the middle rows several times.  

The search for the last stitch pattern took days.  From the minute I knit the first bead repeat, I was hitting the books.  I have a pretty good collection of edging motifs, but most of them are knit from the side.  I needed something that flowed from the rest of the stitches.  The one I choose is adapted and lengthened from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia.  

It will never win prizes for stunning design, but it pleases me.  The colours and stitches remind of my mother in law's favourite Sweet Peas.  Summery.  Fresh.  Simple.  Pretty.  And just a little old fashioned.  

It isn't blocked yet but I have an excuse.  My pins were busy.  


This is the time of year when I open the windows wide and awake to the sound of bird noise.  I wake with the birds.  That is my alarm clock these days.  I have a funny feeling that this is the way humanity was meant to rise, not to the sound of some mechanical or technological wonder bleating in your ear.  I will count this time as a blessing.

There is a thread on the Edmonton Knitters Board called Blockapalooza.  Our founding moderator started it because she had things from December that remained unblocked.  I feel mildly shamed by this.  Most of the things on my blocking pile are older than that.  My excuse is that blocking things takes a lot of room.  

Yeah that is it.  I don't have enough room.  You know that this is an outright fib, right? I usually block on a pool table.  Plenty of room.

It is much more that blocking just isn't something I enjoy a whole bunch and once there is one thing that needs blocking, a bunch pile up.  It is also a function of last falls finishing spree.  I liked the finishing, but just never got these big shawls pinned out.  Lets see if I can sort out the real reasons my blocking pile remains.  (Gee whiz, I hope it isn't the same reasons as why my dishes aren't done.  That would be a real tragedy.)

Shawl one - The Icelandic Lilia Hyrna shawl.  I love this shawl.  I am wearing it right now to fend off the early morning chill.  Shawls are so handy in these waking with the birds hours.  I love this shawl, but it is big.  Really big.  I knit it slightly larger to compensate for my error placing the colour change.  It looks lovely but it is big.  Everything I have ever read about Einband says 'grows a lot on blocking' so this is only going to get bigger.  I am chicken.  That is what comes to mind when I think of why this lovely shawl has not been blocked yet.  

The other large shawl waiting is the spectacular River Valley shawl.  It will remain a something special because the desinger doesn't want to release the pattern.  It is one of my first big lace projects and will forever be the greatest learning experience of my life.  I did not knit on it because it has a magnificent edge. I worried about knitting it.  I don't feel 100 % confident that I can block it as it deserves.   

Then there was a little experimental piece, on which I worked out the complex challenge that was knitting the border of the River Valley Shawl.  It is going to be a challenge to block because there is a lot of border somehow for how much shawl there is.  After the last time I fondled and refolded all the shawls on the blocking pile, I think I realize that this is unique to it but is not the case with the River Valley Shawl. This one could be the source of my worry about blocking the big one.

Mizzle Me was almost blocked three times, but I wanted to get the scale of the half round better.  It stretches more one way than the other and it just didn't look right when I did it freehand.  I just needed to get a good piece of string or a ruler or yardstick.  It just needed 10 minutes, a walk down the hall to get the ruler, and some water. Schmuck.  No excuse for still having this one undone.  Shame on me.

Clapotis.  OK, that isn't really on the blocking pile. That one needs the end re-knit.  I might do that today.  Maybe.

OK.  No real reason for not getting to these things other than fear and doubt.  I hate that.  I think it is time to get past that.  Today is blocking day.

I will probably finish up the last stitches on another shawl today too. Its is a pretty summery thing that I am calling Sweet Peas.  Its soft blend of pastel goodness reminds me of the wash of colours in the flowers of my mother in laws favourite flower.  It would be nice to wear something new with my desperately plain summer wardrobe. 

If I can block these things, then I can put away the blocking stuff, and move on to the quilting...which is also piling up round these parts and which I have to finish so my tuches is cozy when it is cold.  That has been waiting long enough too.

Get it done.  That is my motto today. But first I need coffee. Lots of coffee.

PS. In case you don't go back, Brenda commented ' i don't find it funny at all. I think of it as being bilingual. I do it all the time.'  
Brilliant Brenda! I am so going to use that.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Needle Choices

I have been listening to the Knitmore Girls podcasts lately.  Good Stuff.  I'm with Gigi.  You can't have too many sock needles sets and you can't have too many socks on the go.

I have a lot of needles.  Yet still, on occasion, I don't have the ones I need, or maybe that should be, the ones that I want.  Yesterday, I spent a lot of time searching for my 3.75 mm 16 inch circs.  I know I have them, but at this moment, they are not to hand.

I did use the short cable from my addi needles.  That makes a set of needles just the tiniest bit longer than a 16 inch circ. OK, the needle, once assembled is't much longer, but the tips are.  Just the smallest bit longer than the needles on a short circ.  Circ being circular needle of course.

That tiny bit of extra needle makes the addi lace short tip set my not preferred needles for knitting small diameters.  I love that short tip for everything else, but not for this. Short circles need short handed tips.  

I thought about using dpns, I would love to use dpns for this part, but all I have in that size are bamboo and birch.  This is not a yarn for wood needles.  I'm just about at my grabby limit from the yarn alone.  This yarn would probably become one with the needle in a very bad way.  Sigh.  

I'll use the 4 mm 16 inch circ instead.  And just so you know, the sleeves are well under way.

If you think it is strange that I speak milimetres and inches to refer the same thing...yes.  Me too.  Yet I can't for the life of me seem to change it.  Needles in length are inches.  Needles in diameter are milimetres.  It is what  my brain remembers.  

I don't know how much knitting I will get in today.  The weekends knit-a-paloozza did get a little hard on my hands, so a day of light knitting is probably good for them.  Still in my heart, I would rather be knitting. With whatever needles I can get my hands on.  

Monday, 20 May 2013

I'd rather misbehave

That is my usual modus operandi, isn't it?  And I like it.

So, I thought I was wanting to knit the lovley Bamboo Tape, but the yarns had other ideas.  Bamboo Tape stayed solidly on the shelf, while Domino kept falling off the shelf.  

I have been thinking about working with my boucle yarns.  They are not my usual thing at all.  They strike me as more a novelty, and yet I have some in my stash.  They are not winter boucles, but rather summery things.  Cotton, bamboo, a little acrylic.  Lighter weight more summery things.  Certainly not enough for a Canadian winter.

So, when the Domino kept falling off the shelf...Well, sometimes you go with what is in front of you.  Either that or I am a little afraid that I will ruin the Bamboo Tape if I have to rip it back again.  I already know there is no way, Domino could ever be ripped back.

That is sort of how it started.

No ends.  I pulled from the center and couldn't find the end, but I soon had a clump of yarn that pulled round and round through the centre of the ball.  Eventually, I found the outside end, but I still I hadn't resloved the round and round through the centre of the ball.  

I took a different ball, and started to knit.  I debated leaving the messy ball for the bitter end, but I needed to give my hands a rest.  It took an hour till I had it sorted.  Not even mohair has this kind of cling.

I have a feeling that this yarn struck most people as a 'not on your life yarn' but it really isn't.  It isn't harsh to work with like really cheap wool is or like your basic Walmart acrylic is.  And it is miles and miles above your basic Phentex slipper stuff.  What it isn't is soft.  Not at all soft.  

The resultant fabric is fine though.  While the yarn itself has a little bit of a harsh feel, scratchy almost, but knit up, its textural but squooshy and I do like squooshy as a yarn quality.

 I've managed to get down to just below the armscye.  I'm finishing this ball, and then will knit the sleeves.  Once that is done, I'll keep knitting till I hate it some much that I want to shoot it into a corner, and will knit one last ball so that it isn't too short.  Unless I run out of yarn, somewhere in that process.

I kind of like the way the colours are working out.

No pattern, but I am aiming for a cross over top, which will be paired with a crisp white something or other.  Inside my head, it looks nice.  Let's see if I can bring that picture to reality outside my head.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Craving Something New in a WIP World.

The girls and I were talking sweaters and yarn a few weeks ago...It is so unbelievably nice to say the girls after decades of only having boys to converse with at family night... and the the Adrift sweater came up.  

I knit one, rather successfully, for my DIL1 (Daughter in law, married to son1)

I paid no attention to gauge, but only to dimension and knit to fit.  It drapes nicely, though we have it sort of laid flat here for the picture.  

I am contemplating something very similar for the girl who will, I hope soon be DIL3 (wife to son3).  I don't want to rush sweater knitting, but she said she is very much a big shawl sort of person, and really likes the draped sweaters.  She wants me to teach her to knit, and perhaps in the winter, I will.  

But it made me want an Adrift of my own.  The yarn that came to mind was the Rowan Bamboo Tape. My poor beleaguered Bamboo Tape has led the most shocking life.  It is gorgeous but can't seem to find anything that suits it and ends up getting ripped back and put away again.  Yet I love it.  I love the fabric it makes, I love the drape, the soft smoothness of it, the colour, just everything about it.  Once that combination landed in my head, my hands wanted to knit it.  

And I might but I have to finish something first. One of the sweaters for sure.  The work in progress basket won't fit a darn thing more, not even if I pack and shove it in there.  My deal for WIPs is that it has to fit in the basket and it just can't right now.

So here I sit, with fingers wanting to knit something new but I can't.  It is making for some marvelous progress on the Overblouse.  Can't fault the whole process for that, I suppose.  

Still, it's just like when you crave ice cream and you can't get to the store till next week.  All you think about is ice cream.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Paulette's shawl is delivered!  As much as I enjoyed the project, the stitches and the yarn, nothing, nothing beat the smile on her face!

 Two coordinating colours of BFL 2/8 from Fleece Artist, one of the nicest yarns ever,
 knit into a wide scarf that could be worn as a hood, but with buttons to allow it to be used as a shawl for those days when you need a pretty shawl,
 and some interesting Estonian stitches
made her so happy.

I'm only sorry it got involved in my little loss of winter mojo and took so long.  Otherwise just pleased as punch for the favour she did me and for the knitting to return the favour.

Paulette is one of the most amazing women.  She crochets.  She weaves.  She does rug hooking.  She embroiders so beautifully that it makes me want to cry.  Bust she doesn't knit, or at least I haven't seen her knitting yet so it was just such a pleasure that in return for a pattern, I knit her this.

A fair trade.  Perfect.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Besides the Pink

Beside all the pretty dainty pink that seems to be showing up around here, I am also working on that plainest of plain things, a garter stitch sweater.  In Black.

It is the Icelandic Overblouse from Knit One Knit All.  This overblouse is plain.  Plain. Plain. Plain.  That it is garter stitch should tell all about the heart of it.  But, just like all of Elizabeth Zimmermann's garter stitch wonders, it is the construction of the thing that is interesting.  

It is the bottom edge I wanted to show you.  She has you knit 6 ridges and then knit short, then pick up along the edge and eventually knit across the end to arrive back at the beginning number of stitches. I'll point it out better after it is blocked.  It is such an interesting way of making a soft corner.  Unfussy.  It forms a very nice rounded bottom corner.  

 It bubbles up a little, as does the first part of the sweater, but I am pretty sure this is going to block out.  It occurred to me, as I knit the first, that what you have here is, more or less a construction like a heel turn.  Or rather part of one.

I knit part one exactly like the book. The second, I went my own way and knit it up like a heel turn.  It was a bit of an accident, since I didn't reread the book to be sure, but the sock impression stuck so clearly in my mind, that I was certain I didn't need to read the book again.  It works fine.  It is close enough in construction that no one but me (and now you) will know the difference between sides.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

As you can see,

I didn't make it back yesterday.  Some things kept me very busy.

Miss Crab Crawly and 

Miss Gotta Get Down.  I hit the wrong button and turned the video off while she was getting up and I couldn't get her to do it again.  It seems she had better things to do. By yesterday evening, she was getting up easily and down with style and grace.  I am inordinately charmed by these things.  

Between grandma and mommy we invented a new protocol for getting baby to sleep.  First Grandma talks and tells stories, and gently rocks and bores baby to death, and then mommy swoops in and saves her and in minutes of mommy's tender rocking, Sweet Thing is fast asleep.  Which meant Grandma could sit and knit while she watched to make sure our wiggly miss didn't fall out of bed.  

I have another section of Wingspan done and that was about it for knitting time.  I really love this little ball of Noro.  The colours are, as I thought it would be, just the most amazing thing.  It is sun bleached.  It is driftwood.  It is kick back and casual, and it shows up so much better for the rich dark border. 

That was the best decision I could have made for it, this rich dark border.  It's a little like putting just the right amount of eye makeup on to really show off pretty eyes, or painting your window frames a colour when your house is otherwise all white. 

There is the prettiest sky out there this morning and it reminds me that I have dozens of things to do today.  And just a day to get them all done in.  Some of them are knitting!  

Monday, 13 May 2013

And very full heart

I'll. Be posting a week bit later today. Just give me a minute.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Should I or shouldn't I?

Sometimes there are things that work and sometimes they don't.   The problem is that technically, this works.  The problem is that it still might not mean it should work.

Sigh.  Questions, always questions.

I have loved Tempest, desinged by Ann Weaver, from  I have worked at finding the right yarns.  I have played with different combinations, and different gauges as I worked through my stash, but could never decide.  

This is my latest sample.  The solid colour yarn is Filati Fine from Elann.  It is nice stuff, 45 % acrylic, 35% wool and 25% nylon.  Definitely a blend.  But a nice feeling one.

The multi colour is Fleece Aritst 2/8 BFL.  Not a blend but one of the finest yarns on the market.  Pure lovely soft Blue Faced Leicester. 100% wool.  A yarn to sigh over, and I do.  

Technically the colours work.  If you are trying to see if you have a good combination, take all the colour out of it and see.  I did and the tones are ok.  I think I like it.  But I liked the last sample I did for this sweater too yet I did not knit it.  I was just never sure.

My question here is, do you mix these two  very different yarns?  I am going to wash and block my sample.  Maybe that will help answer my question.  

Friday, 10 May 2013

What else I was working on

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Needles did bring a basket of yarn up to me.  Once I completed Paulette's shawl/scarf/wrap, I did have some other yarn to play with.  So I did.

I knit a swatch out of one yarn, for later, but most of the time, I played with this.  I think I have spoken of it before.  

This is going to be a little drop waisted dress with a rufflly bottom for Sweet Thing.  The yarn is (shouting to the high heavens) just the best thing, Cascade Pima Tencel.  Honestly, just the nicest blend of fibres.  If you don't like working with cotton, consider this.  The tencel gives is that little slip you did not know you needed.  

This knitting is the easy part.  I am not looking forward to the ruffly stuff, not because it is ruffle yarn, but rather, that I expect to have issues till my hands feel comfortable working with it.  The top is just a generic little raglan sleeved thing, a shape that just works for kids, no matter what you are making.

The other thing I had upsairs with me at the beginning of the week was some yummy Ruca, a sugar cane yarn from Aurucania.  I've had this yummy bubblegum coloured concoction for a while now, but every spring, it shouts to break out of the stash.  This year it did.  

I actually started playing with it last week and once set, things moved along swiftly.  

I'm just doing a little bead pattern, or leaf pattern depending on what culture your instructions are from.  Long soft rows of wonderfully draping shawl lying across your shoulders.  

I'm just nearing the end of the first skein of yarn, and have just switched the pattern.  Sort of.  By repeating the middle rows, you elongate the shape, an easy, pleasing looking bigger leaf.  

I buggered the edges so I have to go back and redo about 4 rows but its fun knitting, sorting out what I am going to do and when it works, following it, and when it doesn't fixing it.  

You may also have noticed that it is very girly around here.  I am going with girly pinky and I figured it is my turn.  I mothered three sons, and other than the parachute pants phase with its neon brights, life has been mostly denim, denim and more denim. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is a lifetime of pent up girly stuff that seems to be leaking out and it is all leaking out here.

I can't wait till she is old enough for dolly's  

and doll houses.  I have been waiting a lifetime to make dollhouse things for play.

Sigh.  I am so blessed, and I am wrapped in a pink and ruffly world.  In truth I hope that she is a well rounded child, one where ruffles are the perfect thing for the smart looking soccer/skating/riding person.  That is what I really hope for.  But in the way of the world, give me ruffles till she chooses her own.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Blogging from the Deep Archives.

I am posting to you today from the super secret Deep Archives.  Well, next to it anyhow, because Deep Archives usually refers to my deep stash.  It feels good to be home.  

Sadly almost all of the knitting I did this week is upstairs and the camera and I are downstairs.  We have coffee though so that is a little bit of consolation.  It isn't a pot of coffee so we are pretty sure we will be trekking up sometime later and will take some photos of the weeks work then.  I did make it down yesterday evening, so what you get today is the most recent knitting I have.  Or should I say crochet?

I'm still busy making beads.  

I have one more large one and then a ring to do before I make a something to put them on.  It has to be sturdy yet nice, since these are a baby toy masquerading as a necklace mommy can wear while traveling and nursing. 

I did play with some other knitting too.  A while ago, I picked up some very pretty colours of Taiyo the newest sock yarn from Noro.  
Like a lot of Noro sock anything, it is made for projects like Wingspan.  I started one in August last year with it and then realized that it could be something so much more.  

So, when I finally got to my study yesterday, and found all my knitting was upstairs, I gave myself permission to start it again.  It did help that I finally bought some yarn that would work for the edging. You could take a wild guess of what the yarn is, but I will tell you.  It is Tove, the yarn that is good for everything or that I like to use for everything. 

It's a little hard to tell if I have the right scale to the black yet but I am not too worried about it.  I can play with it a little as I go.  It is only yarn, and if it isn't right, I can always rip back or add another row at the end.  No biggie.  

I am looking forward to more of this one.  Maybe even enough to block it!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Done and done

It is most amazing that when you are stuck in one small place, you can accomplish an unbelievable amount of knitting.   I have finished Paulette's shawl.  

My goal for today is to block it.  If I am lucky,  photos a little later in the morning.  Keep your fingers crossed that there are no glaring problems. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

We have some knitting!

I have my knitting now.  I sent hubby down for one project and he brought a basket.  It wasn't my WIP basket, more like a basket of stuff I am not sure what to do with.  Some of it is yarn, some projects, some yarn for completed projects.  Enough though, that I can do stuff today.  

I had started a small project last Friday.  I just needed to work with something completely new and fresh.  Sometimes you have to do that.  I tried starting 4 times and rpped.  Then on the 5th found something that worked.  

Yesterday I had hoped to go whole heartedly on finishing Paulette's shawl.  I have that today, so I'm going to make some coffee and sit and knit and hope that I can get enough done that I can block it sometime tomorrow afternoon.  Cross your fingers for me.  I need all the help I can get.

And maybe tomorrow, I'll make it down to the study.  There will be pictures when I get down to the study.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Laid Up

I always thought that being laid up would be great for knitting.  I suppose it would be if I could get to some knitting.  My occasional sciatica decided today would be an occasion and I find myself unable to get to my study, for the knitting I need to do today.  Sigh.  I will hope for better after lunch.  

Right now, I am just going to go to stay in one spot and work at finding a way to be so that it isn't irritated.  Its a bigger job than I thought. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Before we go all girly girl

We have to make some things.  Still for my wee Sweet Thing, and still hand made, still fibre, but definitely different than anything you have seen on this blog before.

Today, we are making teething beads, aka nursing beads, aka chew beads and a bunch of other names.  It isn't really a pattern, indeed, finding 'how to' came via a website that I can't find again.  And they don't seem to be making many waves here in the western hemisphere.  In the East, it is a whole other kettle of fish.  They are very popular.  

We start with basic wooden beads.  We are using a couple of sizes for fun but you don't have to.

Then we are going into the very very large stash of embroidery thread.  DMC we love you.

Get out your medium fine crochet hooks, and away you go.  I'm using a full 6 strands of floss and a 1.5 mm hook.  I tend to crochet loosely, so keep that in mind.

You start with a slip knot or any way to form a circle that you prefer and a number of stitches dependant on your bead size. For these 25 mm beads, I am starting with 8 stitches.  The next round you crochet two single in each stitch. Next round, crochet two singles in one stitch, then crochet one single in one, and repeat around.  Then you crochet evenly till you are about 3/4 of the way up the ball.  Then you decrease using the same decrease rate as you increased, down to 8 stitches and done.  

Once you have all your beads done, you string them up on something nice and sturdy.  I have seen them crocheted chains, on  ribbon,  anything that is baby friendly and safe to chew on.  

You could make the colours be anything you want them to be.  There are no rules.  I am using stripes because they are easy and fun.  You could make this be a necklace that matches a mom's clothing or is just for kid fun as this one is.  You can make these be playground or high fashion.  Either way, they will be loved by babies. 

Or at least by my Sweet Thing.  She is doing a fine job on this coaster. 
She'll chew on anything!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Stuff and Nonsense.

Yesterday was errand day. I had a few things to pick up at the fabric store to get ready for the upcoming sewing marathon and some other things to do.  I got done faster than I thought, so I had time to stop at the yarn store.  I know.  Shakes head at self.  Tries to convince self that it is stuff that I really needed.

I did buy one thing that I really needed.  Pink cotton.  It has to go with the lone ball of ruffle yarn I will ever have. 
I like ruffle yarn well enough.  Like everything, it has its place and it has its community of ruffle scarf knitters who absolutely love it.  I'm just not a member of that community. (Nor would I have been a member of the fuzzy eyelash yarn scarf community)  But that doesn't mean that I don't think about how I would use them.  It is yarn, and I do think about yarn.  

This ruffly blue pink and white behemoth ball of ruffle yarn called to me one day while I was wondering through the yarn store, and said 'tutu'.  Ruffly, fluffy, girly goodness.  Don't you think that would make the most brilliant skirt?  Long drop waisted bodice with a ruffly bottom skirt?  The perfect summer dress for a little girly girl. Or a not girly girl, just a little girl who needs a dress.  Ever since my Sweet Thing has appeared on the scene, I am seeing the most amazing things in the most unusual yarns.  So I needed the pink cotton to fulfill my imagination.

I also had to pick up some stuff I special ordered.  River City has a yarn line of the most sinful kind, Eden.  I knit a really lovely Multnomah a couple winters ago for a lady I worked with who was always cold, and oddly enough, this last office I worked in has another lady who is also always chilly. I had been wanted some Eden to make her a special something too.  I tried to get some a few times, when I knew they had stock, but each time, I would miss out on the blue.  The blue, called Nightfall, is really in demand.  Blue is a colour that everybody loves, not the pastel blue mind, but this rich royal to midnight and everything in between. I don't like to do it, but I ended up special requesting the blue. 
The picture is pretty good, but really, it cannot begin to capture its range and depth.  

And then I had to stop and check out a new display of Noro.  I was enjoying the viewing in a kind of remote 'not going to buy you' way, right up till I noticed a small bowl of Taiyo, tucked behind the other baskets.  
I thought I was safe.  I have some Taiyo.  I really don't 'need' any more.  But it was lace, Taiyo lace.  840 m of Taiyo summery goodness.  A Noro sucker punch.  It hit right in my weak spot.  Lace.  Sigh.  

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Icelandic in spirit if not in yarn.

I knit on something just a little different yesterday.

 This is the Icelandic Overblouse from Knit One, Knit All, a collection of posthumously published EZ patterns.

Its a very interesting knit in a lot of ways.  Its garter.  Time for some garter I say.  Its more or less a square but not really.  You can make it fit you with some very simple shaping.  It uses her innovative shaping to magically make sleeves. All good.

It is knit in two pieces though, and that is how I am doing it.  I didn't want to change that until I had knit it at least once and really understood what was going on.

That is the only sorry part of this.  I am almost at the end of the first piece, and though it feels like I ought to be done, I still have to knit the back.  Sigh.

I have had to come to some hard decisions.  I am knitting this out of what I have on hand, which means I only have 1 ball of the lightest of the grays.  I wasn't sure how it was going to play out, and changed to that last gray when the scale seemed right.  Sadly, right means I only have enough to knit the light gray on the front piece.  I have plenty of the second gray to knit the back in two colours and I think it will be fine.  Even if it wouldn't be fine, it is what it will be.  

I have to say that as before, one of the best parts of yesterdays knitting was tiny little blips.

These little blips of darker in the light gray just fill me with joy.  Silly but delightful little bits of pleasure.