Monday, 29 February 2016

Of Aladdin and Innovations.

My friend, frazzledknitter and I were talking about heels this last week.  She loves checking out second hand booklets for interesting knitting books.  She sent me a note the other day, wondering if I had seen this heel before.

Aladdin Heel  (Go all the way to the bottom of the page.)

I had a really strong sense of deja vu.  The picture was so familiar and yet, where would I have seen it before?  I do have a few booklets from my mother in law, but I usually go for old books.  I have some very interesting vintage knitting pattern books but none from this continent.  My favourite is an vintage English pattern book, that my daughter in law found in a market in Kiev. But booklets, not many and I am certain that my mother in law had baby booklets, sweater booklets, and a mitten booklet but so far as I know she never knit socks.  She certainly never spoke of knitting socks.  I wonder if frazzledknitter loaned it to me to look at, and I kept it!  Eeep.

Today while going through my piles of magasines, I came across it.  Yes I do have a booklet where this is in.

 Interesting the things you find when digging in boxes that you don't get into much.  Maybe this means I still have too much stuff.  Not yarn though.  I never really forget the yarn.

As you can see from the instructions at the bottom of the page I linked above and from this detail, the heel is knit and then, the sides are sewn to the gussets.  It's really an interesting construction and I am going to have to try some of these alternate constructions a go soon.

There is another interesting sock construction in here called the Innovation construction.

It's whole sole is constructed separately and then sewn to the sock.  There are a whole bunch of patterns using this construction.

This one gets really close to the construction I learnt of in Anna Zilbourg's Knitting Free Sole Socks video that Interweave put out a few years ago.  There is no sewing in Anna's construction technique, but the sole is very reminiscent of  this one.  I have that video class and though I have watched it all and knit a sample sock, I haven't used the construction in my own sock knitting.  

So there you go. Three kinds of sock constructions to play with.


A finished thing!

I finished my Pat on the Back shawl on Sunday.  That is what I am calling the pretty blue thing I have been knitting on. 

No photos till later today.  Right now, I am sitting here in my jammies and I am still debating coffee.  
I haven't been sleeping well lately.  The last two weeks have had long periods of awake in the middle of the night.  It isn't a problem.  I long ago decided that if you wake in the night, you can worry about being awake or you can do something.  I do something.  But, that wakeful period means I am sleeping later than usual and that bugs me.  It means the day is half done before I  even think about making coffee.

So, first up, coffee.  Then clothing, then I will sort out the rest of the day.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A short break

I didn't knit much yesterday.  A few rows on the bright blue pretty shawl, pictured here from last week, or was it two weeks ago...

It looks a lot like this, but longer.  It's colours make my heart sing, though and that is good.

I got the wrap to the point where I have to choose the next stitch pattern.  It will be another more open pattern with lots of reverse stockinette to help the wrap shape  and drape over my shoulders when I wear it.  I have it narrowed down to two designs, but I really haven't time to think about which of the two it will be today.  Probably not tomorrow either.

So I am going to give myself a little bit of a break.  I will see you all Monday next week.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Knitting Away

I am here, busy knitting away on my wrap and it strikes me that there are some things about making a big warm wrap at this time of year.

It's big.  Right now, it is the size of a pretty decent lapghan, if a wee bit narrow.  

It's warm.  I am so looking forward to using it to snuggle in when I am reading or watching tv after a good days work.

If it was a sweater, I would be almost done.

It's like knitting stripes.  One pattern each section means that I understand pattern repeats quickly, so on each row, for each row, I find myself saying in my head 'Now it's this, then it's that'.  Always a little litany to accompany the knitting.

I absolutely adore this kind of knitting.  There is something happening each row, and even the rows where there isn't a lot of movement, there is the thrill of the little twisted stitches and those twisted stitches are so suited to my usual style of knitting.  

It is just the most fun you can have in knitting.

Monday, 22 February 2016

A Thing More Valuable Than Gold.

 I have a favourite pair of socks, socks that I made years ago and just absolutely love.  They have the nicest fit and feel of  any sock I ever made.

They were sturdy and warm, out of Drops Big Fabel, a worsted weight utterly washable and machine dryable sock yarn.  This is a rare thing.  This photo is from 2009.  The socks were knit sometime in 2008, but I can't find any original pictures of them.  I didn't list everything on Ravelry way back when, certainly not socks.  These socks have been much loved.

Last winter, the heels started  showing a lot of wear.  Not bad after 6 years.  Not bad at all.  I kept wearing them and debated repair, but just never got around to it.  I hated to lose them though.

Last November, I was at the fabric store picking up some thread or needles and was standing in line near the till, when I realized I was by the slipper soles.  I had heard tell of Fabricland having them, but had never seen them there before.  I seized a pair and before I could think, found myself at home, with a pair of slipper soles.  

My feet were cold.  Most of my matching socks were dirty and here was a sole without a top and I needed slippers.  So, I fixed that.

 I have been wearing these all winter and all I can think of is why didn't I do this before?  Why did I never make these before?

They are warm, and cozy and I did not have to give up or toss out a pair of socks that I dearly loved.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Make something out of nothing?  Sort of.  I did buy the soles.  I won't have to again, though. I have these as a pattern now.  

My feet are warm and that is something more valuable than gold in winter in Canada.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Lovely Little Things

I am going through random boxes on my bookshelf this morning and was reminded of Brian's sweetness and how much I miss that.

Like most men, Mr Needles was utterly uninterested in my handcrafts.  Yarn?  Wool?  He really did not care.  At the same time, he was observant and curious.  He liked Macgyvering things when he had to but he often found that what he needed was already on the market, often in the garage, and just needed to be looked at from a different viewpoint to make it be exactly what he was looking for.

Occasionally, I complained talked about how I wished for a really good light to work by in the evenings, a solution with a strong light that wasn't intrusive, while he watched TV.  We tried several different kinds of things to try to resolve it over the years.  Most of these are long gone now but today I came across one of his most innovative ideas.

Preparing for hunting in the fall was always the highlight of his shopping season.  Christmas shopping is for mere mortals but for hunting and fishing?  That was worth some time and effort.  There was always great stuff to be found.  

One fall, he came home with a little headlamp.  He wanted it because sometimes, a hunter ended up needing to field dress an animal in less than great light.  It had a camouflage headband that was soft and stretchy.  I was looking at it because it was kind of neat.  It had three lights and was incredibly bright.  He said, you can keep it to try in front of the tv.  He had gotten one for me as well as one for himself.  Which was so sweet of him.

It was a bright strong direct light that was focused right at my hands as I worked.  It did not work well for TV watching though, because every time I looked up, the light was glaring off the TV, or right in his face if I glanced at him.  After blinding him a couple times the first evening, I did not use it there at all but I did use it for camping.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped using it because those three little very bright lights sucked up batteries like nobody's business.    

This morning, tucked into a box of things, I came across the headband.  I saw the light around here a while ago, in a box with assorted things.  I will find it and put the two together again, but I won't be using it any time soon. (Batteries.)  It's really just a memento of the sweet little things he used to think of and do.  

One of a host of lovely little memories that fill the corners of my heart. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Happy Circumstance.

I had one of those long days yesterday doing stuff and along about 4 p.m., I was ready to simply sit and knit.

Not that I had not done some bits of knitting earlier in the day.  I did.  In fact, I knit most of the morning on the pretty blue shawl.  I have no idea why I felt that the working part of my day was long. Please note:  The working part of my day as in the part of the day when I am not knitting. 

When I sat down, I decided that I had enough of the shawl and was ready to work on something different.  I picked up my twisted Stitch Wrap.  That surely is different and I really did want to keep active on it.  I kind of have a deadline for it. but not really a big deadline, just one I would kind of like to keep.  I am doing this wrap as part of the Knit Girllls  Craft All the Things which finishes up at the end of March.  I would really like to get a project in to one of these "Along" things done in the set out time.    

I had not picked up this project for a couple weeks.  There was an error.  I had skipped a row and I needed to go back about three rows.  Three rows in this project has come to mean tink back one more stitch by stitch so you can be certain that all the stitches are in the right places.  All these little twists make me feel less than confident and the price I am willing to pay is one lone round.  Fair trade.

And voila.  

 It's not blocked yet so there are places where the stitches look a little bit funky, but that is how we roll here. Funky is good.  

This lovely wide panel is called Doppelherz mit Fenster or Double Heart with Windows.  Doppelherz mit Fenster.*  I can see a few places where some of the crossed stitches are wrong, but I am not going to worry too much.  There is a big part of me that wonders why the panels were designed to cross in one direction, when either way works.  If this was a sweater, I might make alternating columns cross stitches in alternate directions. 

The next pattern is going to be much less intricate, more repetitive.  It will be a small pattern more like the first design but a narrow band, like the third.  Or perhaps something completely different.  From a design standpoint, it would be interesting if the next panel was turned, so that a larger pattern, of only two or three repeats in width, runs vertically at this midpoint followed by a nice open horizontal design such as this last.  Lots to think about.

Anyway, this is what it looks like just at the end of panel 4.  It is about half done by my best guess.  If I hold it, arms open wide, it reaches to my far shoulder.

I am sitting here admiring this picture and I just realized something very interesting.  The end panels have a lot of twisted stitches and are more firmly knit. Right about where it hits my shoulders, the pattern is less twisted stitches and more open soft reverse stockinette.

That more open pattern should drape better over my shoulders.  I know that when I chose the second panel, I did think about putting really detailed stuff on the ends but that was more so that I could admire my work.  It never crossed my mind when I picked out that fourth pattern, to think about drape.  

Happy circumstance maybe?  Time will tell when it is worn.    

*I like saying that.  Doppelherz mit Fenster. Doppelherz mit Fenster.  When I say it in my head it takes me back to my childhood, sitting under the table/quilting frame at Grandma's house, and all the moms quilting and chattering in away German.   Doppelherz mit Fenster.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


There was a time when I read constantly.  Much more than I ever did any handwork.  In part, it may have been because the handwork I was doing wasn't clothing and usually meant blankets or lace or stuffie toys.  These were the extra's of life.  But reading was an always.  There were family in jokes about my reading.  My whole family knows 'just one more chapter' and expected that my light would be on late into the night.  

When my own kids were small, the pace and volume of my reading stayed high.  Reading was how I coped with having my spouse away working.  

When I was working, I read.  A lot.  More even than when my kids were little.  I had teenagers and a good income.  I bought books (many many used books, many new) and I read.  I started reading mostly classic novels and literature.  Why did these books last so long?  Why did they remain teachable or relevant?

And then I found knitting.  It didn't slow my reading but it did change the focus of it.  From novels to books about fibers and animals and how things were made. From novels to blogs and online reading. 

But always reading.

And then Brian had his first knee surgery, and his second.  I knit more to hide from those experiences.  And then he became ill for the last time and reading's job was to keep my mind filled while he slept or when I was preparing to sleep, or when I wasn't worried about everything to come. 

After Brian died, I tried reading but I couldn't settle.  I couldn't focus.  I had sort of given up on being a capital R Reader. I thought that maybe I had become just a reader, like ordinary folk.

I read a couple books a year.  I wafted my way through them here and there, but few things caught my imagination, not even history.  Not even re-reading some of my old friends. That helped but mostly, I skipped my way through a lot of things.  I worked at it.  I tried really hard but I struggled. It felt good, but never quite natural as it used to.  

Till this year.  I do a thing in January called NaJuReMoNoMo (see item at the bottom of the blog).  Last year I didn't even complete one book.  I think the most I ever read in all the years was 5 and then did not read another novel for months. This year, I only read 3, but was 3/4 through the 4th when the January unexpectedly ended. I was so immersed in the story I was reading, I had forgotten the days.  

This year, instead of putting down the books at the end of the month, I kept reading. I finished reading A Lesson in Secrets.  Then I worked my way through a book of short stories by Agatha Christie.  Then I started to read a Miss Silver.  In between all of this, I finished the first part of  the Sphere Illustrated History of Britain (derived from the Oxford Illustrated History of Britain) and am halfway through the second volume.  In terms of timeline, I went from pre-history to the Restoration.  

And then I watched North and South (not the American one) on Netflix and I decided it was time to read Elizabeth Gaskell's novel of the same name.  Because I could and because a nice cheap copy of all her work presented itself, that is what I bought.  All her published work. And in the space of just a few days and only reading at bedtime, I am two thirds of the way through North and South.

I am captured in a way I haven't been in years and I am so delighted.  I can't wait to sit down and read.  I am still knitting a lot and still watching a lot of movies, but each night, I look at the clock and wonder if it is too early to crawl to bed to read.  More often than not the answer is no.

I like that.  I'm still a READER.   It just went missing for a little while.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Lace Fichu

I love crochet.  I do.  I crocheted for many many more years - since 1972,  than I knit -since 2007.  35 years longer. That I don't crochet much isn't for a lack of love of the form, but rather that I did it for 35 years.  

I do have crochet cotton hanging around.  I think my oldest cottons are from way back, when I was pregnant with my youngest son.  It was March and as usual, March in Saskatchewan is not really spring.  It's much more like winter, but my heart was ready for spring.  I wanted to be outside, to make things grow, to play in the dirt.  Stuck inside, in very short order, in the space of one short month,while waiting for the sun to win the battle against the cold, I crocheted a dozen or so doilies.  The thread leftovers have been used piecemeal over the years, though some remains. I have been given some threads over the years from my mother in law and others mothers who could no longer do fine work and I have purchased a little where the colours were particularly striking.

Anyway, this morning, I was sitting in my study, and I pulled out a box of cotton threads. 

I love these cottons. The blue is quite strikingly not pastel, but rather a dusty blue, but not so grayed as to be dark or sad.  Just a nice sincere blue.  From the moment I was given this cotton, I knew just what I wanted to do with it.  A lace fichu.  When I first joined Ravelry, I saw this lovely pattern and wanted it.

Just after Christmas, I put serious thought into making it.  I cheerily went along to Ravelry and to get the pattern, was no longer available.

Which really saddened me and set off a round of January purchases of patterns that I know I will make one day.  I don't usually do that.  Tastes can change and styles, but these were wraps and scarves and lovely things I have yarn for and want to do for the colour arrangement or techniques or just the general loveliness of them,  just like this little lace fichu.   Which I no longer had a pattern for. This is just not going to happen again.

As I was going through the things on my shelves yesterday, cleaning and dusting and tidying, I pulled out a file folder of patterns.  I don't print many patterns, much preferring to go digital and when I do print, I don't save.  I couldn't recall what was in it. Most things are in my Rav library and I just open the pdf if I need to look at it again. What could be in there that I needed to save?  

Well for one thing, the Lace Fichu pattern! Two copies of it! I obviously really wanted to make sure I had this pattern.

I am not going to start this little Lace Fichu right now.  I already am close to being buried in projects and works in progress and life is a little busy right now.  I don't need another thing to work on.  Even if I want it.

But  I am posting this post so I recall exactly where the pattern is when I do wish to start.  It's in the blue folder.  With the books.   The knitting books.    

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A Pat on the Back

There is the one thing I absolutely adore about buying yarn in a well stocked store.  There is just nothing like walking in, and wandering around and touching and feeling and sight seeing your way through it. And the inspiration.  Oh my.

River City has always been that store for me.  They welcomed me the first time I walked in and it feels a little like going home.  I love other yarn stores, but RCY is my home. And going back home when you need a pat on the back is a perfectly normal thing to do.  

I came away from that home feeling 100% and had some lovely stuff sitting at my side.

 Noro Taiyo Sock in colourway S3 and Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts BFL in the colourway, Under the Sea.  Are they just a lovely pair?

And they are having a wonderful time together,  almost as much fun as I am having knitting them.

My friend FrazzeledKnitter has made several shawls with this pattern, the Shaelyn Shawl.  It's one of her favourites for Noro Sock yarns and I agree.  Hers are all quite stunning.

I wanted something a little bigger than just a neck piece.  They end up worn mostly at my neck, but I like to have shawls go a little farther down my back that 400 metres of yarn gives you, so after finding the lovely Noro, I went searching for something to use alongside it. That is when I found the Ancient Arts Yarn.  

They are just the perfect match for each other.  Under the Sea catches hints of deep blues in it's heart of turquoise and the Noro goes to richer deeper depths of purples and deep dark ocean blues.  I am doing the lace sections in the plain yarn and the plain sections in the Noro.  It seemed to show off the best of each of the yarns. 

It took me a little to get the pattern, not that it is difficult at all.  No, the problem lies most firmly with the knitter. I kept counting the number of rows in the plain sections wrong, but I stuck with it and I am through the learning and now I can put this lovely project into the easy to knit pile.  

It a nice break from socks.  They weren't holding my attention well enough.  This will. Oh it most certainly will.


Friday, 12 February 2016


I was busy knitting on the Agnes sweater yesterday and was almost to the point where the fronts were joined when I realized something.

The shoulder pieces are much too narrow.  Plus one side is short 4 stitches. 4 stitches is more than half an inch and I don't think you can hide that.  Sigh  

I am going to knitthe tiniest bit more so that I can assess the neckline for depth and see if I like it and then I am going to rip back both front sections and redo.  

Yup.  It's all worth it.  I don't like the neck depth either.  Gonna go back to doing my own thing.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Lace Inspirations

What with the sweater I have been knitting, and that it is made from a double strand of lace weight yarns, and because I had to go digging in the lace weights to find the black to extend the original yarn, I have been thinking a lot about the lace weight yarns in my stash.

I have a lot of lace wight yarns.  I love it that I do.  I know that for other people, too much yarn is a mental burden and can make them anxious.  Not for me.  These boxes and boxes of yarn are comforting.  They are my wall against the world.  I love that I have boxes of just laceweight.  So far, though, I have not knit a lot of lace.  Only a few lace shawls have made it through the wall of sweaters and the last couple of years small things.  So far, I have principally been a lace buyer.  And I am very, very good at that.

I think part of my love of lace is because I am not a delicate person.  I am more of a clumpy person, a short, densely boned, big headed person.  I am a short sturdy pit pony kind of person. I am no where near this.  

But I love delicate things.  If I never knit up all the lace yarn, I still enjoy it.  I love taking a hank and opening it up and wrapping it around my wrist.  I love feeling the fine strands through my fingers,  I love the look of it against my skin.

I love its colour.  

I love the texture.

I love the endless variation.

And it is truly endless.  Or at least that is what my stash tells me.

I have laces in all kinds of wools, and silks, and flax and blends.  Delicate mohair and silk.  Flax and linen.  Cotton and linen.  Alpaca.  Cashmere.

My laces are an endless inspiration to me and I do mean to knit it up.  All of it. Every lovely meter.  Every colour.  Every single delicate skein.  It's going to take a while.  

Whether I will be given the time to knit it up is yet to be determined.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

No Three Years

Not Three years but it did take a very very long time.  

And then I got to knit.  I am quite in love.

I am not sure which of these two photos I like best so you get both!  the first was taken with a flash and the second without.  Colours can sometimes change dramatically.

The first shows off the way the two strands of yarn look together most wonderfully, and this second is a bit more the true of the depth of the red, though the photo makes it lean toward orange.  In life it is a real deep deep cherry red.  It really does look just like the yarn the Brooklyn Tweed pattern uses.

I am really enjoying knitting this.  What with one thing and another, I am really busy and the easy stockinette is a pleasure at the end of a day.  And the dainty alpaca is ever a delight.

Good knitting.  Good pattern.  Crossing my fingers for a good result.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Three years.

I have been winding yarn for years.  

Years and years.  

But there are 1400 metres in this Centolavaggi hank and it will be plenty to solve my double stranding issue.  By my best guess I would have been about 600 metres single, short if I tried to double the original yarn.  Plus this yarn is a pure clear black, where the original yarn is a heathered black.  I needed to have enough to do it all. 

I will be here for a while longer.

Just to knit.

I did not do nearly as much knitting as I wanted to do this weekend and yet, I played with wool all weekend.  Sort of.  I am digging in my closets right now, doing a semi monthly cleaning which means all the boxes come out of the closet.  No digging in the boxes, just moving and dusting and vacuuming, but it still is a big job.

Because of tiredness, I opted for simple knitting.  Simple knitting is going to mean socks or at the very least easy stockinette.  I opted for stockinette.

It doesn't look like much right now, but this is the proto Agnes sweater, from Brooklyn Tweed.

Its really just a simple t shirt styled garment so knitting is simple.  Just some basic shaping and a lot of stockinette.  I am just about to start the black section for the back and once the back is to the base of the sleeves, I will be knitting the front to the base of the sleeves before continuing on the long swath of body.  

It's not as interesting as knitting the wrap. This isn't a super stimulating pattern, but sometimes you need stimulating and all encompassing and sometimes you just need to knit.

I guess that is what I needed.  Just to knit.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Funny Things

Scarves are funny things.  You knit and you  knit and you work and work and it starts to feel endless, and then all of a sudden you realize how long it is, and that you are probably done.

One orange scarf.  Done.

No fringe at the end.  i don't think he will miss it, but I am going to call him and check.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A little bit something else

I had the nicest day yesterday, popping out to visit a friend.  I could have sat all day visiting and knitting. I did some errands and then came home and knit some more on the orange scarf. BUT

An orange ribbed scarf is just an orange ribbed scarf and in order not to get sick of just an orange ribbed scarf, about supper time, I stopped to do a little something else.

It's been a while since I worked on it.  I most certainly did not get the project done for Christmas.  Maybe this year. 

I will have just enough thread to complete this first towel.  I have three planned for my practice set so I either have to change blues or I am going to have to go out and buy thread for the first time in decades.  Seriously, at least 20 years.  I used to stay current with all the DMC threads and had ready replacements when a colour was getting low.  

I haven't done this kind of outline work or any work on tea towels, much less flour sack tea towels, since I was a very small child.  They were great pieces to learn to embroider on. It was just the right kind of a challenge to learn the fine art of motor control and how to manage basic stitches.  

Tea towels have kind of become an afterthought in the modern kitchen, used to do any of several jobs, hot pad, pot holder, occasional wiper of dishes.  The days of needing a lot of dish towels are gone.  Gone too is the companionship that dishes used to mean. One to wash, one to dry.  My sisters and I used to have our best chats while doing them. We dawdled and dreamed and imagined.  We also used to fight so it isn't a complete loss.  I don't miss doing dishes by hand, not at all, but I have always missed the companionship of doing a simple basic chore with someone you liked spending time with. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A new Commission

I don't get asked to knit a lot of things and when I do, the only people I really pay attention to are my family. They don't ask for much.  So when they do, I really do want to get it there and have it be something that they like.

Isaac asked me for a scarf the other day. An orange scarf, because that is his favourite colour.  Well, that and blue.  He said he never had a scarf before, so I guess I had better make him one.

I went out to source out yarn.  the stash doesn't have a lot of orange in it.  A little rust but very little orange. I picked up some Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.  

 I really do like this Rowan line.  It is supremely washable and wearable.  Torture tested by me and it's pretty impressive.

Still, as I was working, I worried and wondered.  This is Isaac who really doesn't like to be too warm and who has been given, quite sadly, a 'wool is scratchy' thing.  I am working on him, by showing him how much of his clothing is knitted fabric and how comfortable it is to wear, but still.  I want him to wear this.  And then there is the other thing.

I kept looking across the room to the bag holding his Uncle's afghan.  That blanket has orange in it and it is  a very long way from done.  I am on the first section of orange and could substitute yarn in it easily.  The blanket is being made in Berroco Comfort Chunky.  Isaac has a blanket made of that yarn at home and he pointed out to me, that orange just like that would be great.

And third, the blanket might be in Comfort Chunky but the orange sections are being made in Comfort doubled and it isn't perfect.  I avoid the project because the orange doubled is too thick and has to be knit very firmly.

I sat there with about a foot done, and well, gave up, listened to my heart and am now a couple feet into a nice orange scarf.

 In Berocco Comfort.

There will be a place for the Rowan I am sure.  It's such a great yarn and there will be something that needs orange.

I aim to please, but mostly I am to please me, and this does.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Wild Rides and Adventurous Things

I seem to work on my wrap project on weekends.  I don't know why because I don't really do anything different on weekends than I do any other day of the week, but weekends seem to suit this project.  

I love where it is right now.  It is starting to be massive and wonderfully warm to work under.  Because it is in a tube, I keep thinking how nice this would look in a sweater, but nope a wrap it will be.  I want to see a long swath of patterns, a sampler type of work. That has been on my wish list since I got my first Barbara Walker Treasury.

I am working on my 4th pattern right now, the utterly charming Doppelherz mit Fenster or Double Heart with Window.   

I am only 2/3rds of the way through the first pattern repeat and in order to really see the double heart, I think there is going to have to be at least 3 repeats, possibly 5.  The pattern works up wonderfully fast, that sea of purls setting off this very striking design.

I don't think I showed pattern 3 off.  I did a small panel of a pattern called Band Stitch Number 2.  This pattern band is a bare 4 inches in height. If that.

It's a little hard to see here, but once everything is blocked it will show up wonderfully.  It is a simple column bordered by twisted stitches with a band of twisted stitches marching across to the other side.  I did not choose to knit this small band so much as need to knit it.

I had tried to make my third pattern be wider pattern called Chain in Pieces.  I did a round of it, and was off the place where I ought to have ended up.  So I tried it again.  And again.  Each time a different number off.  Once way over.  I kept making errors in that first round of counting and it was driving me batty.  I did make it to 3 rows of the pattern once and realized I was off on one of the repeats about halfway through, and that was when I cried 'Uncle'. The pattern clearly was not meant to be. Not yet anyway.

That was when the band stitch popped up.  It looked simple.  It was a very short repeat.  I still had to start it twice.  Lovely as it looks though when it is blocked out, by the time I made it to the end of the chart, I was ready to move on. It is cute but it did not pose nearly the challenge that the previous two patterns had, hence the short stretch.  Doppelherz mit Fenster is much more interesting and I am much more absorbed in it while working on it.

And that is what I love about this project.  When I am working on it, I am utterly engaged.  There are learning curves to working this style that go far beyond the immediacy of knowing how to make the stitch. Even with the challenges, once you are fully engaged in working it, it flows so smoothly, progressing so staidly.  It is a tricky thing though.   

It might feel staid when you look back on your work.  It might be a rather sedate looking style of knitting.  It might be a very traditional form. It might look like a rather priggish, stiff kind of thing in a completed garment, but in my heart I will always know something very different went on.  

It is the wildest adventure ride I have ever been on, and it is the most satisfying thing. 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Good to Go. Sort of.

It was a very quiet weekend though it did have it's excitement.  Knitting excitement.  More knitting excitement than I really wanted.

Friday evening, I had Isaac try on the top of his sweater.  It fits perfectly, but in its current state, he would never wear it.

Everything is perfect except for the sleeves.  The sleeves are a problem.  If I was knitting this for me, I would do exactly this, but then, for me, I knit to fit.  For Isaac, a 7 year old boy, I am knitting to fit for a long time.  Or a while depending on how fast he grows. Right now, the shoulders stick out kind of funny and I don't think it will resolve itself once the sleeves are finished.  It's just going to be a problem.

Because this sweater is knit from the top down and the sleeves are knit simultaneously, I have to rip it all back, back to the saddles on the shoulders.  Those are exactly right.

So good to go.  Sort of.  And that was my weekend.