Sunday, 30 June 2013

Gently working away

I'm gently working away on my little Granita shawl.  I am just so happy with this combination.  As I was setting it aside I mused that some of my very precious St Denis Boreale would also do very well in this shawl.  I know it is designed for thse round roly poly sock yarns, but I don't think anything could show it off better than Loft or perhaps Boreale.  There is just something about the way these relatively simple yarns work that shows off a pattern par excllence.

And that is it for today.  We are off to pick up our wee Sweet Thing and her Momma.  Back from Kiev today.  

And we are so darn glad, but for the sorrow of Grannie and Great Grandma in Kiev.  We are ever mindful of how much they miss her.

Friday, 28 June 2013

In Them Thar Hills

There be lace in them thar hills...

I have no idea why this lovely yarn makes my inner Gabby Hayes.  Maybe it the colour, that rich purply red called Long Johns and the toasty Nest.

These colours remind me of cowboys and barns and summer days playing in the hay loft swinging on the big sling that they used a long time ago to bring the hay up to the loft. Till Dad caught us at it, and put it up way high so little girls couldn't reach it and hurt themselves.  Still there were bales to climb and kittens to play with.

I have come to love the pattern too.  I just had to find the right minute to focus on it, to sort out its quirks and then all was fine.  Decreases always face to the center and the yarn overs are outside.  No more confusion.  A little time to get to know it was all it took.

And a good friend gave me this yarn.  Three things that make this one special.

Also in the comments, Hey little sis!  I see you!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Technology and me

There is a point in life where the rush of technology makes you feel tired.  Not old, just tired and, well, old.  For some of us, the whole point was to never have a cell phone because... well, you know, who really wants the burden?  And then life changes and every one around you says no mom, you need to have a cell phone.  Sigh.  So I do.

And then when you are cruising along quite happily in your old technology, hard disk kind of way, and you decide to get a Netflix account because your new dvd player supports that kind of thing, only the signal from your router isn't strong enough to receive a nice clean signal?  So then your kids bring you one of these 

because it receives the signal better, and you have to learn that the arrow pointing up is down and the one pointing left moves you right...

Yeah.  It is all making me feel old and tired right now.  Not that all technology is bad.  Technology has a place.  

Because technology can take you to places like this.  Via Ravelry this morning. Isn't that just the perfect page to look at in the morning (or afternoon or evening)?

Sometimes the perfect things come to you via technology like pictures of Grandmas and babies.

 Grandma Ludmila and Great Grandma and wee Sweet Thing in Kiev
Great Grandma Kiev
 Great Grandma small town Saskatchewan
Great Grandma big town Saskatchewan

Obviously, you can have really deep conversations with great grandmas.  

There was actually knitting going on.  It felt good, but I might have done a little much.  

This morning, my hand hurts a little again, but I have Ravelry and technology to keep my head in knitting and babies and wonderful people in my heart.  

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

And little bit of knitting.

I tried.  I really tried to get through the lace.  My brain just did not want to cooperate.  I'm going to have to work a sample of it up for practice.   Loft is such a soft thing that I worry about ruining it if I have to rip back too much.  

I took another bag of stuff I took out ages ago to knit.  I found 2 balls of Silk Dream cuddled next to some Manos Silk Blend last time I did a serious dig through the scarf yarn box.  They were meant to be together.  The rich burgundy gloss of Silk Dream and the rose grape burgundy of the Silk Blend might not be everybody's idea of perfect, but it works for me.
Insert photo here.  (Pretend you see it for a bit.  Will fix later)

Yup.  Here in my mono colored world, this works.  I took. Color theory class at the yarn stores a while ago.  I always thought I had a pretty good sense of what works and I do so long as it is monochromatic.  Colours were hard.  

I suspect it is a thing you get better at with practice. Down the road perhaps again.  For right now, I need things that just keep my mind busy without pushing it too hard.

I also need to knit and this latest little thing is just about right.

Edited to add:. I did not even try to do that title thing. Seriously thought it was an original title.  Haha.  But it works.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Just a little bit of knitting Part Duex

This title could become my running theme.  In fact, now that I think of it, wouldn't that be a great blog title?

I did some knitting yesterday, but not on the little shawl.  I did manage to get in some sock knitting yesterday.  There was doctoring to do, so as I waited, I knit on what was in my bag.  That ended up being enough for one day.  Here is hoping my hand heels soon.

I did try working on Granita. As I said yesterday, I was just up to the lace.  The first row went perfectly fine.  It is just a little lace, and it is a pretty simple lace with only a few rows and a very simple repeat.  Easy Peasy?

Not so much.  Somehow my vastly overrated (by me) pattern reading skills struck again.  This little puppy is a patterning on both the knit and purl sides lace patterning.  Peasy my patootie.  

I am very sure I will learn it, and am very sure that I will come to enjoy it, but it does mean I have to change my knitting style.  I have adapted my continental combination style so that I can knit my way no matter what I am doing.  In effect I translate patterns from the general knitting language to my knitting language as I go.  I know what stitches have to do to perfectly match the pattern.  I know what I have to do when a pattern says knit 2 together.  It translates to ssk in my knitting language.  

But not this. I don't speak this two sided language yet. I just have not done purl side decreases in lace using my style of knitting and pattern reading.  When you get right down to it, the only patterning on both sides pattern I have ever worked on was that lovely little Watershed design from Amy Swenson.  
It took me a while to sort that out and it took forever to fix and error a few rows below in the lace.  But I eventually got it. (I ended up frogging this, sadly.  I had to adapt the top for size and it made it sit oddly.  I don't have enough yarn for the adaptation I want to make it a comfortable vest, so, frogged.  It was a lovely thing though, and it does look wonderful on the dress form.  Sigh)

I know I will get used to this relatively simple little lace.  I do want to be able to climb inside it and come to understand it and do it without even thinking too much about it as I have with other knitting challenges. I want to make some Shetland shawls someday soon and some of that traditions patterns are very complex, long by row, long by repeat, and long by technical challenges.  This is going to be a fine project to practice two sided patterning on.  

Still, these first few rows are standing there, staring me in the face.  The last row is tinked back, and I am ready for it, knitting just a little differently so I don't have to translate anything.  But very soon, I will understand it in both the knitting languages.  

But only for the lace rows.  I'm going to knit my way for all the stockinette sections.  It's just plain faster and easier.  

So Granita.  A simple little thing, a good choice if you are bored easily.  Just enough bite to push your skills.  Small enough bite that it won't make you want to run home to mamma.  

I hope.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Just a little bit of knitting.

With my hand still buggered by the carpal tunnel thing, there was not a lot of knitting that happened around here.  Sad because I really needed to knit.  I couldn't even do a whole lot of house work.  Everything was hard.  Our dinner choices were based on what I could or could not make.  If it had to be cut - not happening.  It was a long long weekend.  

I did knit the tiniest amount just to take the edge off.  Not too much though, just a wee row at a time.  Because I did not want to change gauge in things ongoing, I started something new.

It is knit with Loft from Brooklyn Tweed.    This lovely light yarn has been lingering in my stash a while.  It was a gift from a very good friend and I have been hankering to knit with it for a while.  I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted from it, but it took a long time to sort out a specific pattern.  

I had two skeins of the rich burgundy-plum and one of the soft toasted taupe.  That is rather a lot of yarn.  Loft is 275 yards per hank, and I wanted to use up all the yarn.  That seems to be a running theme with me lately.

Meandering through patterns for shawls is always fun, and consumed many hours.  I had to take a bunch out of the running because of yarn quantities, but I was very pleased with what was left.     There were enough designs on the 'left' pile that it still was a difficult choice.

What I came up with is a newer pattern from the hands of Chrissy Prange of LeftsideKnits named Granita.  The 2 to 1 yarn use ratio and the fact that it would be easily customizable to use up every scrap of this very special to me yarn made it the perfect thing.  

I'm just about to start on the very first lace section and I am already in love with this yarn.  I am pretty sure that I already love the pattern.  

Sounds just about right?  It is.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Found and Pretty, The Tale of a Good Day

See it right there in the corner?  Top of the pile.  All I had to do was move a couple of things that have been in the way the last week or so.  Now I can clear up the needle mess on the desk and maybe even find order in the study!

In the meantime, I played in yearn pile yesterday. (I typed yearn instead of yarn.  I'm keeping it)  I did some other less savoury things, but mostly I played in yarn.  Come along.

I have managed to accumulate a few more delicious yarns on my desktop over the last few months.  I do want to knit with them, but just having them sit here and bug me?  Not profitable to a sound knitting life. Time to put them away.  

Put away now, but this rash of putting away allowed me to play in the laceweight yarns.  

Some other pretty things I played with as I found room.

Some very pretty things, indeed.  Oh that there were hours enough to knit them all today.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Somewhere along the line

Somewhere along the line, I developed a very painful carpal tunnel injury.  Bummer.

I am pretty sure that knitting is not the primary source of it.  I could knit for days and all my hands get is tired.  I think it was a computer based injury.  It is my mousing hand and there is something in the set up of my laptop, that my hand does not like.  

So, the search is on for the hand brace that will help fix it, and once I have that I should be able to knit a little.  I really need to knit right now and I really need to knit things where I don't have to think.  

Thinking is not always a good thing in knitting.  Sometimes knitting is about blocking out the rest of the world, and not letting anything into my safe place.  Sometimes knitting is about thinking and letting the bad stuff in because when you knit you can better vanquish the stuff you don't want to let in, and you can sort it into its proper place.  

Knitting is as it has always been.  A place of refuge, a place of consolation, a place where I can sort everything into its proper perspective.  Knitting is also where I make my biggest messes and I still have stuff allover my floor and where I still have not found my Addi Needle case.  Bummer.

On the upside, if I have really put the case somewhere easy to 'find', a stash and shelf dive ought to fix that, and I have a couple days with nothing more required of me than sitting here at home.  

Some good, some bad, everything as usual or it will be soon enough.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Just a little bit of knitting yesterday, continuing on the strongly coloured Daybreak.  Much too busy otherwise.  Today is going to be almost the same just more driving.

If I get the chance to update here through the day, I will.  

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What I picked up and worked on

In my study, as I have often said, there is a large basket of WIPs.  This morning, all of those WIPs are on the floor. I wish they weren't but my goodness, it is a mess in here.

I was looking for my Addi Needle Kit.  I really was trying to clean up the needle tangle that is residing on my desk, and realized that the case these nedles go into is not easily located.  It usually resides somewhere in among the WIPs. So I dumped them out and as I was doing so, I decided to organize them all too.  Still no needle case to be found.  Sigh.  I have a bad feeling that I put it somewhere where I could 'find' it.

Anyway, I am in need of a project this morning as I wait to call my daughter in law in Kiev this morning and I picked up this.

 It is not hard to become all twitterpated over this shawl.  The colours are just so much fun!  They are bright and hot and insistent. How did I manage to leave it alone for so long?  Sure it had problems, but this is a lot of fun to knit.

It is partly the stripes and mostly the colours, those rich vibrant colours that just should not go together, but that do.

Even the back is pretty. It is simple knitting with only 1 pattern row in 4, and that row falls on the first row of the multi-colour.  Other than that, the only thing to remember is to increase at the edges each row.  Makes for a wonderful knit when you aren't getting a chance to breathe.

What with one thing and another, Chez Needles is under a little bit of stress right now.  The only knitting that is routinely happening is sock knitting, but this one is going into the bag today.  It feels right for today. And that is good enough to be going on with.

Monday, 17 June 2013

I got nuthin'

I did knit this weekend.  I knit a fair bit, but none of it is particularly noteworthy.

I knit on socks.  I knit on other socks.  I did not even begin to contemplate green things.  

I have started the second of the pair from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.  But it looks a lot like the first pair, so no new photos, just one old one.

The second sock is into the third repeat of the patterning so it is well on the way.  

I do want to make these socks as long as possible.  I'd like to knit this pair and use every yard of yarn, so once again, I knit these socks well up the cuff, and then put it on a holder.  I will knit this sock to the same point and then will have a serious look at the yarn left.  I will weight it, divide it in half and then will knit till it is gone.  

I don't think I will get too far on them today though.  It was wet for the last week, but today the sun is out and there are lawns to mow.  Maybe tonight?  


Friday, 14 June 2013

With the finishing of things

With the finishing of things this week, it means I have only 12 things in my works in progress pile.  hehehe

I did start a new project, in a project that I already had on my needles sort of way.  Before Christmas, I started a Still Light Tunic for my daughter in law.  I was using a stash yarn, a sportweight wool from Elann. It was OK and she loved the colour and the sweater was moving along wonderfully.

And then the needles broke.  Somehow or other, it took a couple weeks to get another needle and I completely lost my mojo on the project. It sat unloved till now.

And then somewhere in there, I found enough of my most favourite green in the world, 7238 in Drops Alpaca, which is the yarn the sweater is designed for. I started from scrap.

 It looks sadly dimmed here when in truth it is a warm golden green, not lime, not apple, but heathered with hints of both inside a heart of something deep and warm.  It is bright and cheery and what my fingers need to knit right now.

There.  That is better  A little more true to what it really is.  More yellow perhaps.

There are two other green yarns sitting on my desk at the same time. I don't know what they will be for.  
Well, one has a project assigned.  This one is for another of those sweet little footed baby overalls.  A nephew's little girl will love it.  

The other is just to look at.  Its a little powerful for a green to contemplate, but when this is worked up, it is truly stunning.  A tuch something (cloth in German) or other, a pretty little neck scarflette. Hey wait a second.  Maybe I do know what this will be!

Green is good.  Green is fresh and crisp and brings to mind thoughts of renewal and awakening.  Greens are no small matter and are always good.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


Impossibly cute! And getting cuter with every row.

I've added a couple more rows of ruffle, and just want to say that anybody who calls this stuff a quick easy knit or crochet, is nuts.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Icelandic Overblouse

and voila, a finished sweater.  I am not blocking this one at all and will let it be what it wants to be.  I am in fact wearing it as I write.

I started this sweater with a few very specific goals.  

First, to knit from stash.  I had a huge tub of miscellaneous Cascade 220, assembled as I was trying to sort out colours for Mr. needles vest.  A whole huge tub full and not a single plan for any of it.  I don't like that feeling, that yarn that really doesn't have a plan feeling.  I wanted the sweater to be only from stash, and I accomplished that, thanks to a reclaimed project but I accomplished that.  

Second, I wanted to knit something from the books and magasines I have in my library.  Mission acomplished.  The Icelandic Overblouse is from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knit One Knit All.  

I wanted something I didn't have to think a lot about.  Garter stitch, anyone?

I wanted something causal, just for home.  Something that I could throw on in the early mornings to take the chill off.  Something I could put on over other sweaters and shirts and jammies, that I could answer the door in if I had to.  I got that.  

Its casual and just this side of sloppy large.  It could  have been knit a inch or two smaller and it still would have been fine.  It looks great, much better than I hoped for and it is comfortable.  Every other sweater that I knit was for work, or for when I was out, but this one?  This is a just for me snuggley sweater.  It is the return of the 80's but in this case I might be ahead of a fashion trend rather than way behind.  It is the sweatshirt of sweaters.  It is the macaroni and cheese of sweaters. It is the cats meow. 

And I love it already.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The finishing pile

We all know I have a pile of shawls to block.  What you may not know, is that hidden in the dark parts, the corners, the behinds of the shelves in this small study, there is a whole other layer of stuff. It is an amalgam of things I don't know what to do with.

Things like an item purchased to be a goofy Christmas gift, that got left behind in the melee of Christmas.  Its been there for several years.  Then there is the a little paper cutter.  It is the second of 2 and I don't even know why I have one of them.  

And there there are a few knitted things that never were quite finished.  Experimental things, things that were close to working out, but that really didn't quite make it.  

When I was cleaning shelves the other day, I discovered an old unfinished thing.  I knit extremely large slippers a long time ago, long before I realized that I had enough miscellaneous Cascade 220 to clothe the world.  It was meant to be felted so it was knit double stranded too. The felting took too long in my machine and the pair was never finished.  All that was there was one very large single sock like foot.

When I sat down yesterday evening to knit on the Icelandic Overblouse, the first thing I did was to count the ridges.  I had 37 completed ridges and was halfway through the 38th.  I was over the moon with joy at this.  I only needed 41 to be at the neck edge!  So I knit and in very short order was there.  Then it was the simple matter of knitting 4 ridge shoulder sections and the Icelandic Overblouse would be done. 

I made it through one shoulder just fine...and ran out of yarn.  I did have a couple feet left, but I was never going to get a shoulder from that couple feet.  And that was when I pulled apart the slipper, the very large, gray slipper which had been meant for felting.  I am really really really glad that I leave some things undone for a long time.  Tickled in fact.  

I had enough for my shoulder, enough for seaming, enough for a  pair of nice winter gloves.  

Shoulder Seam.  Almost verklempt.  

I still have the very long side seams and the sleeve undersides to complete, but this sweater is almost done.  My first sweater of the year.  First for me at any rate.

I wouldn't be in this position if I wasn't a perennial slacker and lazy bones, who tucks stuff behind books and forgets it ever existed.  No, if I wasn't this sort of person, if I tidied up everything after every project, I would be sitting here, waiting for yarn to arrive or I would be out searching for yarn.

Because I am a a lazybones, I am just a person waiting for side seams to be sewn.  And that is going to happen this week.  The forecast is for chilly and this is Canada, where a thick winter sweater is an all season garment.

Who knew there would be something golden about a pile of unfinished stuff?

Monday, 10 June 2013

And so it goes.

Turns out the surgeon says Mr Needles knee did not need cleaning.  The infection is not there.  It is however somewhere else.  So they are doing a few more tests.  I think they have a good idea of where it is hiding this time, and maybe even have a line on the source of all the infections. So good and bad.  But that is how it usually goes, isn't it.

Even with knitting.  The weekend saw me working on Sweet Things little Tutu.  I have bought and own only 1 ball of ruffle yarn.  I have tried to knit with it.  It won.  I did not.  Defeated.  By a pink and blue and white ruffle.  I am going to try something else today, a change of strategies, so to speak, and technique to accommodate the nature of this project.  I mean to win with this yarn yet.

It is a great day for knitting wool, so I am going to see if I can't finish all the knitting on the Icelandic  Overblouse.  It would be a great day to wear one.    

Yes indeed, yarn therapy is good, but so is simple time to knit.  I ought to be out mowing lawns and weeding gardens and getting the last few trees planted.  The heavens have gifted me with yet another wet dreary day.  The farm shall be checked a little later, just in case work could be done there, but here at home, the only thing I am doing is hunkering down...

With wool.  Lots and lots of wool. 3 layers and counting.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Much better

As things always do, it looks much better in the morning light.  The knee has been cleaned out and Mr. Needles is feeling much better than the other times.  I suspect it is because we caught it so much earlier in the process.  Still, it will be a couple of days till he is home and there will be half a summer of getting strong again.

The events of yesterday did have one good thing about them.  I got a chance to slip into the west side location of RCY, my favourite of our local yarn stores.  

Oh my goodness.  What a deliciously dangerous place!  

They had the new Rowan sock yarn, Fine Art.  It is quite simply, lovely.  The colours are marvelously rich and it is so smooth and soft and yet you can feel the hearty character it hides behind its beautiful outside.  

And then they had a huge range of colours of Rumple by Handmaiden.  The ladies at the store are very fond of Rumple.  One of their flagship patterns, Robbi`s Red Neckerchief, was designed for Rumple, and has proven so popular that they now regularly stock the yarn in a wonderful range of colours.  The soft pinky coral just about stole my heart.  Pure silk delight.

As if these things weren`t enough,  they had a huge bowlful of the many shades of Manos Del Uruguay`s new fingering weight, Alegria.    

I fell for some of it in the Malvin colourway.  I should say that these colours are much much richer and deeper than the pale versions on your monitors. Deep, rich and oh so very very good.  

And then,oh, be still my beating heart.  I have spoken about RCY`s in store yarn line, Epic, their serviceable sturdy basic and the rich colours of Eden, their flagship handdye.  They have introduced a new weight to their line up, Adam and Eve.  

Adam and Eve is lucious.  Baby sister to Eden, a sportweight knitting to a gauge of 26 stitches in 4 inches on a 3 mm needle, it is the same wonderful blend.  As the label says, 81 % Merino, 9 % Cashmere, 10 % nylon, 100 % Temptation.  I`d say they have the temptation part down pat.

I came home with 3 skeins of of the warmest richest gray.  A really spectacular yarn.  Sometimes when you buy a handdyed yarn based on what you see on the internet, you end up with less, or very different than what you expect.  Not with these.  With these, trust me, what you get is so much more.  The colours are just plain better than they could possibly be on a screen.

And finally, I managed to find another ball of Kimona Angora. 

I have a recent thing for Angora.  I keep seeing this, the Inspira Cowl, and I   have an urge to knit it.  In Angora.  I do not know why, but oh I have the urge.  I have plenty of Angora, yet still, the quest for the perfect mix of colours goes on.  This Kimona Angora is the perfect bright companion to the darkest of my grays and with two balls, I can begin my quest to the perfect Inspira.    

If I don`t pop up over the next few days, you know what is going on.  I`m busy keeping home up, busy keeping garden up, busy keeping up with the sore guy, busy with delicious yarns.  

It`s good to be busy, right?

Friday, 7 June 2013

ISO: Mulligan required. Please fax.

Today as I was getting back to my car, I saw a penny on the ground.  I bent to pick it up and realized it wasn't a penny.  It was just a wad of gum.  And that is the perfect metaphor for my day.  

I need a mulligan, that golfing do-over that causal golfers get when they have hit a shot that sucks.  This day sucked and I want my mulligan.

Mr Needles is back in the hospital with another infection in his knee.  As we speak, while I sit here and cry into my glass of Jamaican Ginger Beer, Mr. Needles is getting his knee joint opened up and cleaned out.  According to the doctors, it isn't a real surgery, they are just cleaning it out, and yet, for Mr. Needles, each one of the previous two surgeries, have been very very hard.  The first was hard, but he came back to almost full strength in about 8 weeks.  First surgery in November and golfing at the end of February/ first week of March.  

The second was a lot harder to get back from.  His surgery happened about 4 days earlier in November and he was barely able to go golfing with his buddies in February. He did go, but he took it easy at the end of the long courses and took one entire day off to rest.  He lost so much muscle mass last time, and lost it so quickly.  His buttock muscles almost disappeared and nothing in his closet fit for a very long time.  His poor legs.  Sigh.  His leg took twice as long to regain any real strength and he never quite made it back to his pre surgery self. After the first surgery, summer was his season of getting stronger.  

That isn't going to happen this year.  Neither is our camping vacation, or the fishing trip with his dad or chasing after Sweet Thing as she takes her first steps in the grass.  

I have no idea how I am going to manage the garden and the yard here.  It's so blessedly hilly and the self propelled lawnmower is heavy and awkward to handle on some of the steep patches of grass here.

It is getting late and I haven't had anything to eat yet today, but for some tea and a cheese bun this morning. Low blood sugar just exacerbates everything.

A pity party never really accomplishes anything.  It just saps energy and makes the sorrow of the day seem worse.  It is indulgent and such a waste, particularly when I am not the guy who is hurting.  

Pity parties are always best short and put to bed early.  And that is what I am going to do.

He will be fine.(Crossing eyes, crossing fingers, crossing toes),  the doctors are very confident and they are very very good. I trust them. He is surrounded by nurses who remember him from last time, and we are all used to the way this is going to pan out.  We are even getting really used to the drive and parking lot drill.  (We are also thrilled that the elevators have been repaired at the hospital. Tickled pink by that.)  We just have to be patient and let it pan out.  But if you have a few minutes for a wee kind thought, I am sure such good thought would not go astray.

Round Three

Sigh.  No.  Not my round three, but I tell you,this round three sure does make me cranky.

I lost the bag containing the Daybreak shawl yesterday.  I was pretty sure I had taken it upstairs in the afternoon, when I was going outside to knit in the fresh air.  

I looked on the deck, I looked in the kitchen, I looked all over the livingroom.  I looked in my bedroom and the bathrooms.  Could not find it.  I even looked in the laundry room.  It was not to be found.  I was a little disappointed at that.  I really felt like knitting on it.

So I picked up a the pretty little tutu dress for my Sweet Thing.  Did I mention how much I enjoy knitting with Cascade Pima Tencel?  I highly recommend it.  It is a very different knitting experience than working with your average cotton based yarn.  Yummy in many ways.  

I had a lovely time working with it.  Only a little more time and it will be time to start the ruffly bit. I was looking forward to it again today.  I was still mystified by my missing project, but I was sure it would show up.

I came down to my study after having coffee with Mr. Needles this morning, and guess what?  It showed up. Right there on my desk.  Beside my computer.  Under one magasine.  Nothing else around it.

Obviously cranky started yesterday and I was busy being cranky rather than disseminating the lumps and bumps on the desk in my study.  I was so sure I took it upstairs that it never even registered when I was down here.  More the fool me and I feel sheepish even with no one looking.  Sheepish even if I was sitting in the wooliest place in the house.

Sheepish. Maybe that is my natural state?

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I mentioned a week or so ago, that I was thinking of picking up y Daybreak to work on or a while.  At that time, I could not find the pattern.  Funny the things you find when cleaning off your shelves!

Pattern in hand, I picked up the scarf again and started to work on it.
I read the whole pattern over and that is when it hit me.  I couldn't just pick up and re-work the striped section as I planned.  There was a fatal flaw in the plain section, a fatal flaw, that comes only from not reading the pattern well enough, and just forging ahead doing it anyway.

Still, it is a nice yarn to work with so it could be worse.  

Knitting is so often a revelation to me.  I can see my little quirks and flaws reflected as if it was a mirror.  Forging ahead, pretty sure that I know what I am doing, coming close but never really right on?  True of me all the time.  

It sure does explain my cooking. In cooking you don't get to pull it back as you do in knitting.  Pity.  

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Flash of Inspiration

I have a sad story to tell.  My 1300 metres of lovely alpaca is still without a pattern.  I spent almost the whole afternoon going through pages and pages of patterns.  Time to hit the books.  My books that is.  I am sure that somewhere among them or somewhere among my trove of magasines, there is the perfect project for this lovely yarn.  If not I guess I will just have to create the perfect thing.

I don't buy many magasines any more.  I already had to move a few stacks of book out so that I had room for yarny things.  Not knitting books, but other books.  I also had to cull the vast store of a lifetime of schlock novels.  (I have my favourites still, but I am pretty picky and even the schlock has to have a good story behind it to carry its schlockiness.  I recycled boxes and boxes of of those.) No new magasines = more yarny things and I would rather have the yarn.

If I do buy a mag, I buy it digitally.  And though I love having access, I miss not having paper sometimes.  The odd special thing pops in when I am weak.  I was weak today.  I was getting groceries in an unfamiliar store and came across the new Noro Magasine.  Confession:  I should have bought it at my yarn store, but... but... I was weak.  Mea Culpa, ladies. I am sorry, but I could not help it.   Powerless in front of the force of the Noro.

I have no idea how long this issue has been out but Oh.  My .  Goodness.

There are a couple of interesting dresses.  There are some very pretty shawls.  There is a symphony of corals and oranges and reds in a delightful collection of things. Holly Yeoh, one of my favourite designers,  has a really great sweater with a lovely little angled pattern in this section.) There is pattern play with crochet and some baby things too.  Very, very nice.

What hits it right out of the ballpark, what sends the issue soaring to the skies,  is 'String Theory', a section of innovative shaping, innovative colour blocking, innovative changes of directions of all kinds.

There are at least 3 that my fingers are aching to knit.  There are at least 2 sweaters that I will knit for me  and that is a rare thing for someone who doesn't fit the size range in any magasine anywhere. For everybody else, just knit the whole section so that I can just admire the glory of them all, OK?

Heck even if you don't knit them out of Noro, the tops will still be interesting knits.  This is the nicest on paper inspiration I have had in a good long while.

So if you are feeling the sluggishness of summer and if you usually go light on the knitting front  while lounging at the cabin or on the beach, well, just don't.  Get thee some Noro.  Get thee to a yarn store and pick up this magasine.  Or be horrid and get it from the grocery store like I did.  Just get it.  You are missing out if you don't.

And yes, it is new.  As I write this, the patterns are not even all loaded into Ravelry.  Here is the Noro Magazine Link for your viewing pleasure! Click on the arrows and see them all.

Time well wasted.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

On a roll here.

I don't know where my head was today, but I plumb forgot to post!

And I do have stuff to post today.  

When I was digging in all my pretty yarns and cleaning shelves in my study, I pulled out a couple of skeins of Cloud Cotton, my ultimate in worsted weight cotton yarns. Great for babies.  Great for me.  Great for blankies.  Great for you name it!

I had a bright lime green and a cream tucked in with a bunch of dishcloth type cottons.  I knew it would never be dishcloths.  It really is too nice of a yarn for that, but I never knew what I was going to do with them.  I'm not even sure how I ended up with them.  I think they followed me home.

Anyway, this happened.  

It makes a very different basket than the doubled Amazon DK did.  Cloud Cotton is a soft cotton, not verging into softly spun territory,  but it is surely a soft cotton in comparison with tightly spun, highly gassed cottons.  It makes a great basket, but it isn't going to be the sort of thing that will stand on its own.  It might be better to call this one a bag. 

I love how it looks though.  I love that crisp green between those soft creamy openings.  All kinds of pretty.  The bottom of the bag is stunning.  

OK, maybe stunning isn't the right word.  Fun?  Spiraly?  Well, I had a lot of fun making it that is for sure.  I think my basket kick is over though.  Maybe.  I do have other yarns that might make great baskets so you never know.

I also kept that marvelous skein of Alpaca out.   

I have spent many hours thinking about that.  It might just have called loudly enough that I need to work with it.  So today, I am busy checking out patterns and am working on finding just the right thing.  

There is knitting, never doubt that.  Its just that where I am now on both my sweaters are not the interesting parts.  Its the long garter and the long stockinette. Just not that interesting right now.  One of them soon will be though.  I have high hopes of a finished object in a day or so.  

That is me.  Always optimistic. Always hopeful.  Never quite believing till it is actually complete.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Garden. Check

We did finally get the garden in, but just to let you know the weather did not let itself down, it did rain in the morning.  We came prepared for tricky weather and had coffee in the car till the shower moved on by.  Just the bedding plants to do this week.  And a few trees to put in.  Son2 came and helped, and without him, I doubt we would be done before the end of July!  What a great guy though.  He gave up a day of his holidays to help us get it all done.

I had a few little aches (if you can hear my peanut gallery laughing, you will translate that correctly) and so I took it easy.  I finished the little bag (see the post from yesterday!), and all day Sunday I took it easy.  Easy doesn't mean what most people think it means.  Easy means I did this.

 by which I mean I went through the yarns and cleaned the shelf and closet.  While I did this, I made sure to stir things up.
I reacquaint myself with all my delicious yarns. That is why this is an easy job.  It isn't hard to remember this.  Sigh.

And this.  It's an alpaca lace from a small mill in Saskatchewan.  Stunning stuff.

Hard not to love it.  I wish you could feel it.  I would knit it immediately if I could figure out what is going to show off its beauty best. This is a problem with a lot of my stash.  What will do it justice?

This cleaning thing also means I got to play in the sweater yarn stash.   And the miscellaneous stash. And the sock stash, which isn't stash at all, but an everyday necessity.

What a great way to spend a weekend.  Playing in the dirt and playing in the stash. It doesn't get better than that.   

Sunday, 2 June 2013

There you go.

My interpretation of Purl Soho's Crocheted Stash Bag/Basket  If I sat down and added up hours, I would say about 4-5 hours to get it done in one sitting and big enough for an average sweaters worth of yarn.  It would make a nice gift basket if you wanted something handmade quick.  

A nice diversion from sweaters.  Now back to our regularly scheduled knitting.