Friday, 27 June 2014

I bought a sweater yesterday

I bought a sweater yesterday.  Its ok though. It is the kind you self assemble.

I wandered in to the yarn store on my lunch hour.  It just felt like that kind of day.  I stopped as I always do, by their stock of Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.  I  have always loved Rowan's Pure Wool line.
It just is such a sound yarn, such a round yarn.  I have been looking for the right project to use it for.

I wandered towards the back of the store and came across a new to me Noro.

Sitting here this morning I have no idea what it is!  I had to take the ball in to the office and I left it behind at home time. But the colours.  Oh my.  There is a richer than sin royal blue, and turquoise and even some deep purple.  I will put up a picture if I can.

OK, late in the day but I have found out what it is!  Karuta.  Absolutely splendid colours.

The colours, the vibrant richness of it were the spark.  Before you can say why a woollen sweater, I had the yarn assembled for a Shalom, yet another Shalom.  I really like knitting that sweater and I love the creative possibilities it gives  you for using fantastic the colours of Noro.   

And I could use a blue sweater.  No better reason than that.

I also forgot to mention to the Noroa aficionado among us, Noro has a new solid colour line that is Silk Garden but solid colours.  I can't wait!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The New Knitty

First Fall already, to which my knee jerk reaction is no, but you know, if you are knitting a sweater, it isn't out of line.

I'm not wanting to talk sweaters today but socks.  There is a most intriguing sock.  I don't normally look at patterns for socks, but this caught my eye.  

Plus there is a whole book with this new and unusual architecture.  Soleful Socks.

You can get it from all over.  Interesting times we live in.  for knitting at least.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Silky Wool

The Silky Wool.  Ah yes.

I love Silky Wool.  The colours are so vibrant and it is so soft.  I have heard a myriad of stories about it.  Some, that it stretches too much, some that it just doesn't wear.  Me?  I.  Do.  Not.  Care.

I just love Silky Wool. I kinda have a collection.  

I have a copy of New England Knits, and a friend who went through a Northampton Neckerchief phase.  I went with her. 

I made one

and for a couple of weeks played colour games with the pattern and well, ended up with a collection of Silky Wool.  I do have a lovely purple in quantity to make a sweater and it will probably used by Christmas this year for my second daughter in law for a sweater.  

According to some, the yarn has flaws, but I think the job for us is to pick a pattern to suit a yarn.  It is a soft yarn.  It is thin and might not hold up to very detailed patterns.  Picking the right pattern for it is going to be important.  I am leaning to Adrift or perhaps Ecuador.  Both of these have the right kind of soft drape that will only be enhanced by a soft wonderful yarn

So.  Yes there is the Silky Wool.  And lots and lots to think about and even more to knit.  And this is a wonderful thing.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The properly equipped toolbox

The properly equipped toolbox.

For my Auntie Doris.  Why yes of course, because it is everywhere!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Tired, but in a good way

While I stayed home last week and putzed about, my boys. the men that they have become, finished pretty much everything at the house.  The bin is filled, the yard is cleared of large stuff that no one wants.  My job was cleaning after the fact.  Everything is scrubbed and washed and wiped down.  It is done and a more worn out troop, you could not find.  We are too tired to even be happy about it but inside, we are jumping for joy.

Somewhere among the last days, I did have time to finish the hat for my Big Fella.

Well, maybe finish.  I think I want to go back and knit it just a smidgen longer.  I followed the dimensions from the Sockhead Hat, even though I used the stitch count from Barley.  I wanted that more slouchy look.  When I was working on it, the hat was long enough and I bound off.  Now that it is done, the stockinette part is an inch short. Go figure.  I think I will make the ribbing longer too.

So...I will snip off the ribbing and will knit that extra inch of stockinette and will then make my ribbing long enough so that you can fold it back over your ears for double warmth where you most need it.  I have the yarn, and this is a little boy hat. He needs the warmth for playing outside and walking to school.

I love the way this hat sits and looks and is.  Just about the perfect slouchy hat.  I like it so well that there might be one in for grandma in the future too and I know just which yarn.  STR, blue and yellow, a wonderful mix!

Friday, 20 June 2014

I should have been knitting

With the biggest part of the work I can do at the house done, other than cleaning, that is, I have been home recovering these last two evenings.  It has been lovely.  I really thought I would take the opportunity to knit my lovely new yarn or finish my hat for my special young man, but I never quite make it there.

I've been dealing with some of the last remaining boxes in my big back room.  After a couple of days of sorting, the boxes under the daybed are filled.  One contains bedding for the daybed.  The other contains my sewing fabric.  

Well I hope it contains my sewing fabric.  All of it.  There are a couple boxes marked linens though.  I have no idea what they contain.  

There is also one marked Linen from Ukraine and I know exactly what is in that and I can't wait to get to it and find a way to use it!  I have lovely windows in my living room and dining area with some nice blinds but they feel a little bare.  I was thinking that if there is enough fabric, and if it is drapey enough once I mangle it to soften it, I would use one length as a narrow panel at either side of each window.  I might do a little embroidery.  We shall see.  It would look great if it worked and I would love that as a way to connect to a place I now hold really dear to my heart.

Just a few more boxes and the big back room is clear of boxes.  Just one closet away from being truly organized.  But that is another story. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Going to lunch at the yarn store

Yesterday I went for lunch at the yarn store.  

No I did not have food at the yarn store, but it surely was time to feed my soul.  

I love just wandering among the skeins and colours.  I am transported to a place where there is nothing but harmony and splendor and the joy of losing yourself for just a while.

It doesn't look like much here.  
Better.  Maybe you begin to see a little of what I see in it.

It is that combination of silvery taupe sometimes found on old fences or on ancient farmyards where long abandoned buildings stand in groups like old men watching what might come down the road. Silvery taupe will share space with the soft colours of wet bark and earth and places where things grow.  As I grow older, I am so drawn to these colours of earth.  

It will be a cowl of some sort I think or perhaps a long scarf that you could wrap around your neck and snuggle into on the next cold wet day.

Some days all you really need is food for the soul.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Ready or not

My house goes up for sale today and I am so glad.  Pray for a very quick sale.

I don't want the sale so much to close that chapter or anything but the stress of it all is just dreadful.  One of my boys says it makes him feel like he is responsible for ripping up home and throwing it away.  

I have to sell fast so that he gets some relief.  So we all get some relief.

But the upside is that this next step is a lot more fun.  Buying is stressful but it is a lot more fun than getting ready to sell. So it is all good.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sunrise, Sunset

There have been many many days the last few weeks, where going home at night means 10:00 p.m. and a long drive around the south end of the city.  There have been a lot of evenings devoted to getting the house ready for sale.  

The long evening drives have afforded some spectacular sunsets.  It's been cloudy and those evenings where the clouds were broken with the sun streaking through have been just breathtaking. Pink light shooting up and down, rich salmon sweeping into orange and brilliant flame.

I have no pictures though.  It's a major highway and there are no pullouts where there is a chance to stop and admire the sunsets.  That might be a flaw in modern highway design.

They remind me of a couple of truly brilliant sunsets that Brian captured.
 Puerto Vallarta where sunsets are a 10 minute event but still something to capture and remember.
 The long slow brilliance of a northern sunset in the fall.
 October majesty.
 And the long view, typically prairie.

He was a wonderful photographer. 

My home is generally oriented east and very soon, I hope to enjoy sitting on my pretty little deck with some early morning coffee, snuggled in wool, watching sunrise.  And in the evening, all I have to do is sit on my sofa and turn to watch sunsets out of a perfectly placed western window. 

Just about perfect.

Monday, 16 June 2014


I suppose it is progress of a kind.  

I am almost to the end of the first ball of yarn and for all intents and purposes, the hat is long enough for a child's hat.  

I suppose I really ought to go read the pattern.  Yeah there is always that isn't there.  Read the pattern.  

I am using a different pattern than for my wee prince's hat but that was only done because I was using a very different weight yarn.  The two hats finish off the tops very differently.  One uses a graduated series of decreases and the other grows wider and then finished up with a set of dramatic quick decreases.  I haven't decided which of these two topping off methods I will use.  

Or maybe none.  Maybe I will do my own thing. That will be tomorrow's thing to think about.  

Friday, 13 June 2014


Sorry for being AWOL yesterday.  Just plain old had too much to do.  OK, mostly what I did do was sleep in and it was lovely and a marvellous cure for feeling tired.  It was needed.

I also made a blanket decision that I was not going to the house yesterday.  There just wasn't enough for me to do there.  My skills will be called into service on the weekend, when they are ready for some actual cleaning and washing of things.  I took the opportunity to make an actual meal for myself.  I sat and watched TV for a bit.  I washed some clothes.  I knit a little.  The little blue hat is coming along nicely.

Anyway after knitting a little, I found I just couldn't sit still.  It was almost time for bed but I felt like I had wasted my evening. Dinner and rest was, apparently not enough.  What is up with that?

I went to the big back room and built the one last thing that needed building from the great furniture build of 2014, an under the daybed drawer.  And then, in a whirlwind of efficiency, I emptied the bags of pillows and I tucked the bedding into the now completed drawers. I picked up all the bits of cardboard, the instruction sheets, the little bits of tape that was stuck on the floor, all the detritus of building furniture and being unorganised and moved a few things around and...


One corner of the room done!  It isn't everything.  The bookcases are not ordered and tidy and there are still boxes of things that need to be put into those lovely under the daybed drawers, but it feels settled and right.

Home.  I am almost home.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I am tired

So very tired.  there is tired on my tired and my son and I pulled rank and rested today.  He has issues from a motorcycle accident and I creak just because.  This weather is making life hard.

But my hands are not tired tonight and I ought to knit but I just barely have enough energy to sit here for a bit.  I have exhaustion on my exhaustion.

I could write a hundred thousand things today, but really that is not what you need to hear and as much as my own misery is comfortable for me, I am not sure my misery is good for you and I know it isn't good for me.

So I am going to think about pink and coral skies, twilight and sunset and wide open spaces and hearts that fly in the heavens and souls that walk with God.

It isn't perfect.  It isn't what I would have choosen.  It isn't what I planned.  but it is.  And I have two ways to go with it.  Forward, finding the good I can in it or buried in the sorrows of the day.  I choose the first.  Its just better. Even if I am really tired.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Deep in the yarn closet

Deep in the yarn closet, there are all sorts of treats and I keep asking myself what I will knit first when everything is settled.  

I can't even get into that room right now.  When I had company, a few miscellaneous baskets of stuff were pushed up against that door and it has stayed that way.  I haven't had a moment to think outside knitting my wee hats.  

By the time I get there, it is going to be time to start to knit for winter.  Well fall anyway. I have always had an ongoing like affair with some pattern or other. Right now, the hit de jour is Hitofude.  I like the open little flow of it and I think it would work even on my hippy body.     BUT and it is a big but, the yarns I have that might work well for it are not the yarns I want to knit.  

I want to be working with some of that lovely lovely Madelinetosh that I bought while trying to find the right soft purple for my daughter in law.  There is a lovely opal gray with shots of greens and purple burgundy.  There is a stunning Baroque Violet, blue and dozens of purples.  It is not the right weight so the choice is going to have to be right yarn or right pattern.  

I will start a sweater, or at least work on one of the ones I already have started.  There is a very pretty red that might just make me feel wonderful.

If not, just to take the edge off, I do have a marvellous shawl that I am ready and waiting to knit.  It's a little reindeer colourwork shawl and it is absolutely splendid.

Umm, note to self:  when you are talking about things on the blog, don't go looking at your favourite shawls list.  It takes up waaaaay to much of your time and really, this week, you don''t have time.  But next week?  Yes, time.  You are mine.  And you and I will go deep into the yarn closet.

Hats and more


 I kept telling them that it was on backwards.
And this was was a hit with everybody.  His big brother put it on his head and asked for a blue one with some orange.

When you are asked by the sweetest pair of big brown eyes, this side of Lake Winnipeg, you knit it.  

It just so happened that I have the right kind of blue in the big basket up front.  I don't have the orange and I am not sure what I can do about it.  I might go with some white, but I might just do some bands of moss stitch or some other texture pattern to give it a little oomph. 

Slouchy hat for a bigger boy is under way.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The benefits of Ravelry

I still meet a lot of people who don't know Ravelry, or who went there once and didn't find much.  If they say that, I would posit that they didn't look.  There are a lot of people who don't use it fully, who only go there for patterns, who only check out yarns.  A lot of people pick their one or two things they find it useful for and that is as far as it goes. 

I put me in the middle.  I don't use all the bells and whistles but I do appreciate the ways I do use it. One of the most important things it does for me, is track my projects.

When I start a project, one of the first things I do, ranking right up there with finding the right needles, is load the project to Ravelry.
I pop in the yarn from my stash, I list a needles size (I used to not do this till one time, it was information I could really have used), if I have them, I put up a first picture.  I try to keep the projects I have worked on up to date.  It is a sort of Saturday reckoning and it kind of directs me to the things I really want to work on for the weekend.

And some days, when everything is just too darn much, I find comfort not just the wool I wear, but the memories of wool already knit.  I can look at a long list of things that turned out and whatever the days troubles are, and find a peaceful list on which to rest my weary eyes.    

Sometimes that list of completed things is part of preparing for knitting the next thing.  What would I do differently?  What worked really really well?  What is it about that one, that made me so comfortable wearing it? Looking at past project helps me make the next one better.

My projects become part of the greater whole.  I don't think a very valuable part of that whole.  I don't have pictures of me in my sweaters. I have a long tradition of taking pictures of them in the raw stage after the knitting is done and before the blocking.  I have tried to improve that but it just is the way it is.

I love Ravelry.  I love how it lets you do the things that you want to use it for, and in a way that you want to use it. Nobody is shoving anything in your face. Not like some other sites, that shall remain unnamed.  

This is my little shoutout.  It my own little Ravelry appreciation day.  Thanks, Casey and Jess.  

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Convoluted reasoning.

My hands didn't want to work tonight, so I played around with some other things.  Its rather unfortunate, since the wee hat is almost done, but not done enough.  

Aviatrix is such a sweet little hat and this yarn really works wonderfully for it.  but that is not the really sweet thing about Aviatrix.  

It is a class in wraps and how to knit them, and each time I knit one, my wrapping and knitting wraps skills improve dramatically.

I am almost looking forward to the next thing I knit that uses short rows.  Almost.  It will probably still be something garter stitch, though.  You know, so I can avoid any stress from stuff like short rows.  That might not make any sense at all to you but in its convoluted way, it is perfectly clear to me.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Seasonal Wear

I have been wearing a lot of knit wear to work.  In the early spring, I was going for layers and layers on layers.  I was cold all the time and I appreciated the fibre so much.

Now that the weather has become more spring like - actual cumulo nimbus clouds - I find myself loathe to stop wearing knitted things.  They are as they have been for a good number of years now, the pretty in my wardrobe.

Now that it is hot, I find myself reaching for the same couple of scarves and shawls.

This one, this creation from some patterns in books, is one of my favourites, courtesy the yarn.  Ruca is a sugarcane yarn.  An almost rayon fibre with all the drape and flow and cool against the skin properties of regular rayon.  

And this one show up often too.
This is my version of the Holden Shawlette, in Drops Lin, a pure linen.  Linen is the perfect fibre for warm weather wear.

And then there is this one one of my all time favourite designs in one of my personal favourite yarns.

This one is Bitterroot in flaxen.  

These all cling to my neck and back and just flow over me.  I love that in a shawl.  

I know a lot of people don't knit with non wool or animal fibre yarns, and you know what?  They really should try it.  It is just the loveliest thing you can imagine to wear.

More than one hat

A little fella needs more than one hat.  So grandma is making more than one.

This is the start of an Aviatrix.  Its a fantastic pattern and I love this yarn I am using.  It's perfect for the pattern.  Just the right amount of give and stretch for a not so warm summer hat.  

I got the yarn in a bag buying spree when Elann had a bunch of yarns from a South African yarn company called Elle.  Its is a cotton and wool blend and is the most wonderful colour.  It is the colour of certain kinds of clay that ceramicists use before it is baked, and the colour of a good honest mud in certain parts of the world.  That lovely slate greeny gray.  I love it.

This isn't the last hat this week.  There will be one hat for my Wee Fella in the cotton to match his sweater and then one that it pure play.  I think I am going to recreate a hat from my kids infancy.They had a hat, that was really just in the shape of a stubby T, with the bottom leg, sewn to the 2 corners of the longer cross piece.  Where most times the side is seamed up, the sides are left open.  It was the best hat ever, for days when my wee people needed something but it was too hot for anything much.  And I have the perfect yarn for it.  A nice mid colour indigo dyed denim, exactly the colour of worn jeans.  Perfect for an all together great summer hat. Worn jeans but in a hat.

Wee hats are fun and who says knitting for boy babies isn't fun?  Not me (and if I did, I was so wrong). 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Too Cute!

Hat one done!

Almost too cute for words and quite impossibly fun.  There will be more.