Thursday, 31 July 2014

White Knitting

Having the bookcase in my bedroom is kind of nice.  There is a place to put the books that  have been living on the top of my bed.  

One of those books that was living on the top of my bed, is Knitted Lace Designs of Herbert Neibling. Doilies and tablecloths from the flowering of art lace knitting that happened in Germany in the early part of the last century.  This is a someday adventure for me but I do have a little roll of what people used to call white knitting.

Neat, isn't it?  Craptastic knitting though, and it would have needed to be starched to really see how nice it could be.  

I was thinking about this long length, about 3 feet worth, of knitting...that I don't need any more.  It was meant for the bottom of a blind for the bedroom I planned to decorate with all kinds of handmade things.

That bedroom is up for sale, and that blind will forever be virtual.  it might become pillow trim, or a section of it might be a trim under glass in a frame.  I don't know yet.  This is the first thing I have knitted that outlived its original purpose.  And I am ok with that, but only because that means I don't need to knit another 3 feet of trim!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Too Hot to Knit

I have to apologize to the world.  I really did think it couldn't ever get too hot to knit.  My house had a basement that stayed cold in summer.  There was always a place to escape from the heat.  But it really can be too hot to knit.

I work in a space that is not air conditioned.  We have fans and it has been pretty decent till yesterday.  Yesterday, the fans were not enough.  You could feel the air get heavy as you climbed the stairs.  The last couple hours, were just unbearable.  

And then I came home.  

My fans here have been doing a great job.  Until yesterday.  Yesterday, it was just plain old too hot to breathe in my house and having the air move did not seem to make a difference. The combination of all day in stuffy hot spaces, meant that I came home, had some salsa and chips and that was pretty much it.  For the first time, I had to have the fan blowing on me full time, in order to sleep.  

I thought about an air conditioner.  Just a small one.  Just to take the edge off, but the truth is that spending a couple hundred dollars for two or three days of need seems a little silly.  

The heat should break by the weekend and all will be well again.  

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Honey, I'm Home.

I love how lines from certain movies creep into my daily life, into my thoughts and the way I frame the world.

Mr. Needles used to come in the door at 6 o'clock and call out, 'Honey I am home" and pretend to toss his hat on the hat stand just like the dad in Pleasantville.  It was a huge joke and just one of the silly parts of our day.

I love 'bouquet of sharpened pencils' from You've Got Mail.  It just seems the perfect way to describe certain things.

Today, I bring you a bouquet of yarn.

 These are mini skeins from AlterKnit Universe.  There are 3 groups 50 gram packs here and plenty to do a colourwork hat or some mittens or gloves.   Or a cowl.  

Yarn.  My happy place.  In some ways, my home.

Monday, 28 July 2014

A weekends work

I had a bunch of little things planned for the weekend to help make my home work just that much better.  I failed badly at the first thing I tried, and spent the whole of Saturday afternoon working on my red sweater instead.  I got too enthusiastic I guess and I ended up having to take out inches of knitting.  Saturday was not easy on the ego.

I debated sitting mired in misery on Sunday, but I couldn't face the thought of wasting the whole weekend.  I forced myself to get out and do something instead. Sunday morning, I joined some ladies to knit and then met a friend for tea at a Sunday farmers market.  I will do both of these again.  What a lovely Sunday combination. What nice air conditioning! 

Tea and conversation with a good friend always soothes a damaged ego and I braved a little more work on my house.  I built a big heavy duty storage shelf and managed to free up a bookcase I was using for video equipment.  More bookcases for books!

My ego is somewhat restored even if I have to reknit 3 inches on the red sweater.  Win some, and some will wait for another day.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Friday was missing

Well, not really, but it is late.

I woke this morning and just wasn't ready to write and really could not face thinking enough to write.  These days  of summer are so filled with memories that they overwhelm me.  It was also cold and wet and windy and my bed was snug and cozy and oh so very comfy.  I voted for snug and an extra hour of sleep.

Tonight after work, I went to watch the last day of swimming lessons for my older grandson.  He came to sit beside me under my umbrella after he had had his quick shower so all he had to do was jump in the pool.  He had on his brand new orange, with gold lenses, swimming goggles.  It was kind of windy so I told him to snuggle beside me and I would hold Brian's golf umbrella down so he could take shelter under it from the stiff breeze and the rain. 

He looked me straight eye to eye, goggles and all, and said in his oh so serious way, "You really miss Brian, don't you?"  

There is no way to answer such sweet honesty other than with simplicity and truth.  I said "yes, I do".  

And he looked away for a moment and then back at me, with his big orange covered eyes, and said, "Well, you just have to remember that when you die, he will be waiting for you and you will be together."  He smiled the most beatific smile and then the call came, and he ran off to jump in the water.  

It is hard to feel anything but lucky with that little boy in my life. I just hope that in a few dozen years when he is grown and I am gone, he will know just how much sweetness and joy he added to my life with this sweet and thoughtful caring chat.  I hope he knows how very much he was loved.

Friday isn't missing anymore and it really was the most perfect sort of day.  

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Murphy's Laws of Knitting

I came across this on Ravelry, and really, it is just too good not to pass on.  Created by the inimitable Skeincharmer on Ravely in 2006 on her live journal page.

First Law of Projects 
Whenever you set out to knit something, something else must be knitted first. 
Addendum 1: If you pretty much prefer your current project, you will be obliged to cast on the new one. 
Addendum 2: If you pretty much prefer to cast on the new project, it will turn out you aren’t equipped for it (don’t have the required yarn, or not enough of it, or in unwanted color; or miss the recommended needles; or your size isn’t included in the pattern; etc. etc.).
Second Law of Projects 
As soon as you’re knitting what you wanted to be knitting, you want to be knitting something else.
Scott’s First Law 
No matter what detail goes wrong, it will probably look right. 
Justification: And besides, muggles won’t notice anyway.
Finagle’s Third Law 
In any pattern, the section most obviously correct, beyond all need for checking, either contains the error or significant omission, or is taken from a totally unrelated 
Corollary 1: No one whom you ask for help will see that. 
Corollary 2: Everyone who stops by with unsought advice or their own irrelevant question will see it immediately.
Finagle’s Fourth Law 
Once a WIP is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.
Finagle’s Laws of Patterns 
I. The patterns you have are not what you want. 
II. The patterns you want are not what you need. 
III. The patterns you need are not what you can obtain. 
IV. The patterns you can obtain cost more than you want to pay. 
Ditto for yarns.
Klipstein’s Laws relating to knitting 
I. Any yarn cut to length will be too short. 
II. Tolerances will accumulate unidirectionally toward maximum difficulty of assembly. 
III. If a project requires n skeins, there will be n-1 skeins available. 
Addendum: If a shortage will be revealed during work in progress, the yarn will occur to be discontinued. 
Corollary: If you were lucky to buy n skeins, then at least one will be of different dyelot (or even of different colorway) which was obscure in unnatural light at the LYS. 
IV. An error made on first rows of the largest detail will be discovered only after blocking.
Universal Laws for naive knitters 
I. In any pattern, any error that can creep in, will. 
II. It will be in the direction that will do the most damage to the FO. 
IV. The probability of a dimension or value being omitted from a schematic is directionaly proportional to its importance. 
Example: One shouldn’t hibernate projects for years. There is a pattern, a gauge swatch, extensive recalculations and one sleeve. Nice! But no trace of needle size. 
VI. Parts that must not and cannot be assembled improperly will be.
Stockmayer’s Theorem 
If an item looks easy, it’s tough. If it looks though, it’s damn near impossible.
Golub’s Second Law of Craftdom 
A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; if carefully planned, it will take only twice as long.
Cheops’s Law 
Nothing ever gets knitted on schedule or within budget. 
Addendum: Or with expected outcome.
Allen’s Axiom 
When all else fails, follow the pattern.
Johnson’s Third Law 
If you miss one issue of a magazine, it will contain the pattern you would like to cast on right now. 
Corollary: All of your knitter friends either missed it, lost it, or threw it out.
Richard’s Complementary Laws of Possession
  1. If you keep a yarn or pattern long enough, you will have ample justification for throwing it away.
  2. If you throw anything away, you will need it as soon as it is no longer accessible.
Ettore’s Observation 
Others always knit faster.
Second Law of Revision 
The more innocuous a modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more parts will have to be reknitted.
Miksch’s Law 
If a skein has one end, then it has another end.
Shaw’s Principle 
Write a pattern that even a fool can follow, and only fools will want to knit it.
Sleeve Scheduling “90/90” Rule 
The first 90 percent of a sleeve takes 10 percent of the time. The last 10 percent takes the other 90 percent.
Meskimen’s Law of Time 
There is never enough time to knit it right, but there is always enough time to knit it over.
Explanation of the Epstein-Heisenberg Principle for knitters 
In any project, only two of the three parameters can be defined at any given time. Those parameters are the yarn, the stitch pattern, and the silhouette:
  1. If the yarn and stitch pattern are chosen, then they won’t work for the silhouette you want (or fit the shape of your size).
  2. If the yarn and silhouette are determined, then the stitch pattern won’t show.
  3. If the silhouette and stitch pattern will be exactly as written in the pattern, then the yarn isn’t available anymore.
Extended Interpretation of Epstein-Heisenberg Principle 
If, by any means, the yarn, the silhouette and the stitch pattern are happily married into an exact garment you wanted, your life situation will change so you won’t be able to wear it for a long time. (Or ever.)
Law of Yarn Relativity 
If your yarn supply is restricted with no opportunity to buy an extra skein, so you had to replace a neck shaping (for bottom-up garment) or bottom treatment (for top-down garment), or to use another yarn for seaming, then the garment will unexpectedly stretch out after the first washing.
Law of Self-striping Anisotropy 
Any two skeins of any self-striping yarn with directional stripes are always wound in the opposite directions. 
(If you ever knitted from such a yarn and all skeins were wound in the same direction, then remember: If Murphy’s Law can go wrong it will.)
Law of Long-Tail Cast-On 
The required number of stitches can be casted on from either first or third attempt.
Theory of Single PITA 
To get the maximum satisfaction from knitting, the process should involve no more than a single PITA. It could be a novelty yarn, or uber-complicated fashion, or intricate chart requiring your full attention, or whatever -- but just one thing. Unfortunately, most projects presuppose at least two PITAs.
Law of Leftovers 
Any leftovers are enough for 3 socks or 1.5 gloves.
Law of Twoness 
Any mates will be knitted three times in sum.
Law of Knots 
In any amount of any yarn, despite the price, at least one skein always has at least one knot or break. 
Corollary: The front always ends up with more knots than any other detail 
Addendum: On cardigan fronts, a skein always ends at the front opening edge.
Rule of Swift and Ballwinder 
The yarn tangles and/or the skein collapses the moment you blink.
Law of UFOs 
Each crafter has a blur on her/his honour (aka languished project at the back of their closet).
Law of Machine Knitting Bind-Off 
The side of latch-tool bind-off which is intended to be private always looks better than the side intended to be facing.
Law of Charting 
If you chart full-sized details and all contours and shaping lines match perfectly, then the number of stitches or rows along at least one distance is miscalculated.
Law of Calculation 
If your stitch pattern has inconvenient width and/or height and your shaping eliminates or appends whole repeat(s), then the measurements were taken wrong.
Law of World’s Harmony 
Any garment you’ve knitted for yourself, fits and flatters anyone else better. 
Corollary: Any garment you’ve knitted on commission, fits and flatters you perfectly. 
Corollary on corollary: And regardless of size, sex and style.

Bravo Skeincharmer!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

And on we go to Red

I've been working on my red sweater most often right now.  I love how it is coming along.

Or maybe I just like that it is top down.

I am almost to where the underarm stitches will be added and I have some serious plans for this part of the work.  There is a fit trick I have wanted to try and this sweater is going to use it.

The trick is that some of the front stitches will move to the back.  That is it.  Simple huh?   But what it does is make the front fit a little more closely while putting the stitches to the back where my body needs them.  If you were a busty person, who carried their weight front above the hip, you might want to try doing the exact opposite and take some stitches from the back and move them to the front.  Although now that I think of it, maybe this is what I need to do. I can't remember!

Aw heck, if you go the Julie's blog, and search her archives, its there.  She was the first one who really talked in detail about it.  Some detailed notes on making fit work for you hide somewhere on her blog.  I can't even remember the sweater it was about but it was a wonderful knit and watching the process was exciting.  

Julie's blog.  Best fit stuff on the net.  Down low and personal and doing it right and not afraid to say when it is wrong.  That is Julie.  Fantastic. Just going to have to spend some time rereading and this is a very good thing!

Blues and Greens

It ended up being a not posting sort of day.  And not for want of trying.  My work phone is ringing off and on all night long for the last couple nights and I can't sleep.  I think the summer drunks and partiers are trying to call cabs and are getting me instead.  2 o'clock, 4 oclock, one o'clock, Three.  Pick a time and it is going off.  Tonight, I leave it at the office and I don't care what my boss says.

I had fun last night.  My daughter in law is very pregnant and is due at the beginning of September and she has decided that it is time to make a blanket for the new little one.    

She wants colours of water and ocean, something of the sea she thought or beaches but not sand.  I dug out my favourite colours and I think we are good to go.  

I love this combination of turquoise blue and bright green. (the green is much brighter than shown here)  It is just the most striking thing and it makes my heart sing.  

Sadly, I only have 6 balls of the combination of blue and green in my stash.  But I had a couple of these too.
They are a sturdier sort of green, darker, richer, and the blues are deeper and more the colours in the depths of a turquoise sea, but I think it will look great together.  Momma does too.

2 balls at 429 metres of the Crazy Zauberballe plus 6 times 165 metres is  about 1800 metres of yarn.  Just right for a nice baby blanket!  Grandma's stash is ready to be put to work for her sweet new little one.  I can't wait!

Good to go.

Monday, 21 July 2014

It is going to be an evening post kind of day.

Friday, 18 July 2014

I love Thursday

For some reason, Thursday has always been the day nobody needs me to do, to be somewhere.  Thursday is the day where I just get to be home and do nothing and I love to do nothing.  It is the day where I love to sit and knit and plan my knitting weekend.

I picked up that pretty candy apple coloured shawl and worked on that last evening.  Not a lot of rows of knitting, really, considering the hours that a Thursday night ought to have in it, but there were other things to do. I spent time writing a letter to a friend, and talked quite a lot with my realtor and then my kids.  There wasn't a whole lot of time left.  

I also cooked last night.  I was particularly thrilled that for the very first time, when I cooked myself some supper, my smoke alarms did not go off.  My little house and its high vaulted ceilings mean the steam from cooking hangs at the top of the vault.  Every gosh darn time till yesterday, I forget to turn on the fan before I begin and the alarms go off, and I am forced to open the doors to fan the air and get things moving.  The entire neighbourhood knows when I am coooking.  

Anyway, last night I got it right.  It was cool and cloudy here and I made soup.  I love soup, thick and rich and warms you right to the center of your soul.  

Little red lentils and rice with chicken in large rich chunks.  It was wonderful and will be again.  I made a very big pot.

I have some big decisions to make this weekend, and life is a little stressful, but overall it is settling down.  I am holding to that thought to get me through.  That and my big pot of hearty chicken soup with a little knitting.  These things will carry me through.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

I woke at 6:30 which is late.  It is barely enough time to stop to type here.  But I slept late because I got to bed late, and I am well pleased about it.

I finally made it to knitting.  I almost had nothing to knit in my bag, but I made it and knit a little and gabbed a lot.  It was wonderful.  

I was working on this.

which is the knitting deepest in my bag, a nice simple knit that just grows slowly and is knitting up into the most interesting fabric.  I have got to work on this more.

It was just a reminder, a little taste test of all the lovely long list of lace weights in the depth of my stash.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

I went to watch my big guy swim

One of the best parts of being grandma, surely has to be getting to go watch my little kids swim.  2 weeks of lessons for moms and dads gets to be looooong, but 2 weeks of lessons for grandmas?  Just about right to get there twice.

So that is what I was up to last night.  Not any real knitting because when I came home I had to loose my temper with a few people who want to try to help, but while I appreciate that help and concern, they ought to be asking first why something was the way it was.  You don't just go in and fix someone elses place without asking.  
This is the only house I have ever sold in my life, and its much more stressful than I ever imagined.  

But mostly what I will remember from yesterday is going to be my big guys shiny proud face after he blew the best bubbles and kicked and swum out to the instructor.  He is not a guy who gives half.  He goes full bore and pours all his heart and soul into what he tries.  Most little kids are like that and sadly lose it as they grow up.  I love that I get the chance to see it all happen for another generation.

Some good, some bad, but mostly, just getting by.  There needed to be more knitting in it but otherwise, Tuesday, about usual.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Running this morning.  Against the wind or not, I am running!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Red Hot

It was a truly hot weekend and we have more in sight.  It wasn't great knitting weather, mostly because the heat sapped the will to do anything right out of me.

Still I sat out early in the morning sun, when the cool breezes were slipping across the deck, on Saturday morning and started with this.

 It looks a little odd, perhaps a little insect like in its early stages.  Large hunk o' knitting here and another there, connected by small isthmus of knitting.  Bridges of knitting joining islands.
This time, I started with Barbra Walker's top down simultaneous set in sleeve.  I can see a place for all the other ways of starting a top down sleeve, but I think this one is my number one.  It's fussier to work than the contiguous start, but I think, overall, it is the one that gives rock solid performance and wear and shaping every single time.  

There was knitting this weekend, but an awful lot of time was wasted because it was just too hot to move. Still, I am pleased at how far this has come along.

Friday, 11 July 2014


I love my little red shawl that I am working on.  I really do but it irritates me every time I work on it.  I don't think it is the shawl though.

I think I'm really in sweater mode.  In fact, I think I am really in red sweater mode.  I would knit on that red sweater, but I don't like the way it is going.  

I think I am going to rip what I have done, back and I am going to start again.  I started it bottom up in the round with a cabled edging.  It is a while since I knit a bottom up sweater and I thought it would be fun, but it just doesn't inspire me.  I just don't see how it will look, which is odd, but I am failing to visualize it.  

I also think I am going to go up a needle size or two.  I am using the same needles I used with this yarn before, but I think I am just knitting tighter than I was a few years ago.  I have noticed that a little bit, but it hasn't seemed to get in the way of what I was doing before and what I knew that a yarn I worked with before needed.

Anyway red sweater? History, and begin again.  Ripping and taking apart to rebuild.  I'm kind of looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A fashion shift

When I was young, clothes were going from fitted to loose, unstructured and comfortable.  Or at least my interpretation of it. A sort of hippy to the loose looks of the 80's to the point in my life where I just wore what was comfortable.

There has been such a well defined silhouette for the last 15 - 20 years and that has been interesting to watch too.  Me?  I still wear what I feel comfortable in though I have thought about shaping more as I have learned to knit.

There are so many interesting things now, though, loose flowing draping things and I love the look.  

One of my favourite designers, Joji Locatelli is one of the people to watch, who just keeps hitting the right marks as this shift goes forward.  

And then there is this wonder from Churchmouse Yarn and Tea,

River City Yarns is just wrapping up a knit along of this pattern and you should see the results!  It really does look wonderful on every body!

I just keep looking and thinking, me want.  In lieu of time and brain power to knit the big things, I am looking forward to when all this summers moves and changes are done and am lining up the things I want to do.  Its a good thing I don't do a formal Ravelry queue.  The number of projects that I want to start right now is overwhelming.  As the days of low knitting pile up, the want to knit it pile grows and grows and grows. 

I only hope this fashion shift isn't over before I get there because I am going to need 15 - 20 years to get caught up.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A knitting dream

I am going to work today for a while.  I hope it ends up being a more fun day than yesterday. 

I dreamed about knitting last night.   

I didn't dream of projects, just of actually sitting watching the stitches come off my needles and form, flowing line and rows of fabric.  It wasn't about colour, it was just about the amazing transformation of states of string.  It was about making one step and completing it.  I think that it what I was trying to tell myself.  That one steps completes and another one happens in the flow of things.  I lost sight of that for a few hours yesterday and I think I got it back now but it was the most lovely experience, the most relaxing dream I think I have ever had.  

I hope to actually do it in quantity soon.  Just relaxing restful wonderful knitting.

Monday, 7 July 2014

"Thinking about knitting

Thinking  about knitting, but not actually doing a lot of knitting.  I think life has to have some kind of stability do do a lot of knitting.  For me it also has to have routine and I don't feel like I have that yet.

We did a bunch of house stuff on Friday and Saturday and Sunday I spent flat on my back sick as a dog.  Not a lot of knitting, but I feel good things will happen this week.

Now isn't that just the prettiest little thing?  The more I knit, the more I love this colourway.  Candy apples and fair grounds and , and, and... just a whole lot of yum.

And you can get some too.  River City Yarns Online!

Friday, 4 July 2014

It's Friday right?

That is how I feel this morning.  It just doesn't feel like it could be real and yet I am really really ready for a Friday.

I knit quite a lot on my pretty little shawl.  I love the ways the colours are working out.  No pictures yet, but for sure on Monday.

I wish it could be a weekend of just knitting but I have a feeling that the weekend will be more looking at houses.  The reality of moving is catching up.  There are still corners to sort out though none of it is coming here.  Well except a couple of things.  My big storage box.  The two tables. 

My hope for the weekend is just to feel rested at the end of it. That isn't too much of a thing to ask is it?  In summer?  Ought to be doable.

Thursday, 3 July 2014


I love Thursdays.

It isn't any different than any other day, really, but for some reason or other Thursdays are the day no one needs me and no one is looking for me and I don't generally go to a knit group.  All I have to do on Thursdays is knit.  

I love Thursdays

I also love my knit group.  It was small and lovely and quiet and cool and air conditioned at Paulette's very lovely home.  I had such a nice time.  

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A little bit of knitting

I didn't get as much of anything done on the weekend, but then, I did do more of everything around here than I ever have before.  that happens when you don't have to run over to the other place all the time.  

I finished the blue hat for my Big Guy.  An inch longer and a little more ribbing.  2 inches more knitting sure makes a difference.

Then I knit on the red sweater I started so long ago.  I am still not sure what I am doing with it, and yet  I keep knitting on it.  I am seriously thinking of starting over from the top though.  Bottom up feels so aimless somehow.

Then I did a little something just for fun.  I started a Bracket Form,
another simple but interesting small shawl, by Meghan Jackson I love that long sweep and swirl.  It is so much more rewarding than a plain progressions of eyelets.

I started using a 4 mm needle and I am using a couple skeins of Adam and Eve from River City Yarns in the colourway Poppy.  The merino, cashmere and nylon blend is just splendid, a perfect match to their other premium house blend, Eden. The yarn was perfect. The needle, not so much.

One hot mess.  What should show up is the graceful drape of holes lowing out over the fabric, but all that you can see is mess.  

I started over with a 3.5 mm needle.
 Much much better.  I worked on it most of the afternoon, yesterday and it just keeps  getting better. 

I love it when that happens with a pattern.