Thursday, 31 March 2016

Alrighty then

So, knitting is complete on the wrap, but what the heck am I going to do now?

I have a knitting retreat coming up this weekend and I want something that is knittable along with conversation yet socks seems so wrong somehow.  I am debating taking my spinning wheel, but to be honest my head isn't in it right now.  Once everything is settled perhaps, but not just yet.

Today, I think I will wind up the yarn for Pole for my daughter in law.  I want to get a good start on that and there is a good chunk of knitting to do on that that is pretty basic and simple.  

I have yarn set aside for a nice garter stitch thing, some truly lovely stuff a friend gave me from Shilasdair Yarn.

I have some new stuff from Custom Woollen Mills that I just love the colour of.  Its grey but soft and heathered and there is enough for an vest, which is perfect wear for this house.

I have some bright yellow Colour Adventure Yarn.  I have no idea what weight it is and no idea what I will do with it, but I love it just the same.

I have a taste of some Pima Cotton Silk left over from another projects.  It is just enough to make a top for a little dress for Cassie.  I have some very nice fabric that began life as a curtain that will coordinate with it perfectly.  

We shall see if my brain can decide before tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Crying Uncle

It's done.  I cannot knit on it anymore.

My left hand is killing me as it is the hand that seems to bear all the weight as I work.  There isn't that much weight really.  The vast majority of it is left flipped over my shoulder, but in it's tubular form, there is always some stress on the knitting as you go round and round till the tube is a tight twist.  That pull as it twists is what is causing the strain.  That is what makes sense to me anyway.

But my hand is killing me.  

The last panel isn't quite so long as I thought, but at the same time, when I take the wrap in it's unfinished form, it is plenty long for the way I want to wear it.  

Take those two things together and I am going to cry Uncle and call it good.  

The whole point of doing this wrap was to learn a new technique and I have done that. It isn't something that I will ever forget the intricacies of, nor will I forget the joy of those twisted patterns.  And, when Cassie climbed into it the other day, well, up sprang a whole new way to wear this project! It will stay a tube for a bit because that was just too charming.

I need socks.  Simple plain vanilla socks. It's my knitting and that is what I am going to do.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Giant Cowls and Little People

My granddaughter and I came down to my room to do a little work yesterday when my wee powerhouse Marcus was having a nap.  I was knitting, she was playing a letter game on my tablet.  It's chilly down here during the day.  The sun shines in brightly upstairs and the furnace doesn't run at all during the day, so wool is de rigueur for afternoon sits in the basement.  

Cassie wormed her way around on my bed.  She snuggled under blankets, but you know how it is when you are three. Falling asleep should be avoided.  She kept worming her way out.

I had this long end of the wrap that kept falling off the bed. so I tucked her feet into the tube.  She really liked it and pretty soon, there was much wriggling to snuggle deeper into it.  Pretty soon, the knitting was happening almost at her toes!  But she was warm and content and very quiet.  I looked over and this.

  She only slept for about 10 minutes, all tucked and snuggly in the tube that is my knitting.  As we were heading upstairs to get her little brother out of bed, Cassie said, 'Grandma, we were really fun', which is her little girl between, two languages way, of saying she had lots and lots of fun. 

Makes me wonder if what I really ought to be knitting is just a giant cowl for little people.  

Monday, 28 March 2016


Easter came and went and I hardly saw it.  I was so focused on getting the last things done at my house that I forgot it most of the time.  By the end of the weekend, those tasks were done and a fair bit of knitting happened.

 I'm pretty pleased with this panel.  It turned out well and has wonderful texture and density that is never found in a cabled knit.  Perfect except for that one thing.  And nope.  Not going to fix it just yet.  Maybe someday down the road.

I am now on the final panel.  It was a bit  of a challenge to find a design that was complimentary to the first panel.  I think my choice is working though.

This final pattern is Zentimeterband or Centimeter Tape, or design number 89.  It has much more structure than the very first pattern on the far end, but it is a good match to lighten the very heavy cabled look panel right beside it.  It is also a 5 stitch repeat and it is as easy as pie with a purchased crust.

My goal has always been to finish this before the end of March to meet the Knit Girllls Craft All the Things challenge.  I should make it by the skin of my teeth.  The sampler part will certainly be done.  I am going to do a simple garter border, for speed, and it is going to be narrow just to be done.  My original plan was to knit a fairly wide border but in a lot of ways this really doesn't need it.  I thought that it would need something substantial to anchor it, but the wrap is very showy.  Much more so than I thought it would be.  When you see the whole mass of it, its length and width, I think you will agree it is pretty good as is.  There is about 6 inches of this last panel left to knit and as lovely as this has been, I am ready for it to be complete. 

Time for a new challenge.  Next up, the plain and simple knitting of Pole by Joji Locatelli.  There is also a sweater for Issac to knit in my favourite thing ever, the denim yarn.  I hope both of these will be speedy knits.  For summer wearing.  Maybe.  You know how it is.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

That's better

See?  Much better.

Well it sure is to knit anyway.

It has it's own thing to be aware of.  There are places where 4 knit stitches in a row meet, and some of them are crossed and some are not.  Thing is, though, you can easily see where you are and that tells you what you should be doing. I am having a much better time with this.

At the same time, I have to be far more careful with how long I work it.  The places here 2 stitches are being moved are much harder on my hands and on my left wrist than the rest of  the work, so I need to take more frequent breaks to rest things.  

For all that, it still is a much faster knit.  I hope to get it done today.  Fingers crossed please.  And Thank you. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

And Again

More Backwards.


Really Big Sigh.

I did a couple rounds and found myself with half a round right and half a round with exacty the same error as before.  I just couldn't look at that pattern again, so I pulled everything I had knit of it out and picked a new pattern.  

Number 56.  Vierfacher Zopf.  Quadruple Braid.  It may have it own intricacies, but at least I can read the thing when it is already knit.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


My grandson Marcus occasionally does this backwards walking that is very very cute. He is such a short little fellow and he does it without looking back to see where he is going.  He trusts the world to keep him safe.

My knitting is a little like that today.  Backwards.  I just spent the last hour taking apart a row to sort out a problem, and then I took apart another row and found it.  It was so incredibly silly an error and the error was made 3 different ways across each row, but ended in the same result each time.  And, that result looked close enough to what the pattern showed I should be doing that I did not catch it.

None of this sounds like that much of a thing unless you know that there are 14 repeats of the pattern across the row of stitches, which means I made errors in each of 14 patterns without even a blink of an eye.

Unlike Marcus who walks forward with his eyes open, I knit forward with my eyes closed.

Just sayin'.


Monday, 21 March 2016

There is going to have to be a lot of knitting

There is going to have to be a lot of knitting to get this project done.  I busted my buns this weekend, well, only really on Sunday, and was very pleased with how far I got.

When we last saw it, the wrap was in the second part of the  6th pattern.

I moved well beyond that now.  Pattern 6 is complete.

I loved that pattern.  It was such a lovely thing to knit, even if I messed up the centre design.  I do think it works out rather well and looks very right as it is.  A good decision.

Also completed was pattern 7, a simple Band stitch pattern, similar in feel to the other band stitch, but different enough in construction that it gives another dimension to it.

As with the first time, this pattern drove me batty for no particular reason other than it did.  Just like the first time.  It may have something to do with the linear nature.  As you are working it, it is very easy to get confused between twisted stitch pairs and which one is supposed to be manipulated.  There needs to a lot of the pattern there before you can read the work well enough to see where you are.  This is very different than all the other stitch patterns and it is the reason the first band stitch pattern section was so small.  It is also the reason this section might be even smaller.

But things are looking up.  I have moved on to the second last pattern, Double Fish bones.

It doesn't look like much yet, but it is a much more fun to work thing than the band stitch, I tell you!
I am going to have to finish this pattern today if I am to make my goal of having this wrap completed by March 31.  And the last one tomorrow.  Before I start the edging.  Which I have no idea of how I am going to do it yet.

Flying by the seat of our pants. 

Friday, 18 March 2016

You might be tired of it but...

Not me. 

I am through the slower more difficult rows of this design.  It feels almost like speed knitting, these rows with so much less detail and so many fewer stitches to manipulate. 

I have to say though, I am ready for this pattern to be done.  It's like a shawl that goes on just a little too long, like a like stockinette that never ends.  It isn't though because it really does fair zip along, but I am looking forward to something new.  I think that today will be the day the search for a new pattern begins.  It needs to be something fairly detailed, that will mirror the complexity of the narrow panel on the other side.

I am so determined to complete this project by the end of the month.  There still is a lot to do. I will need at least a week for a border treatment.  Work, work, work.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The challenging bits

Knitting these twisted stitches feels very natural to me.  It just zings along and does what it is supposed to do.  That doesn't mean there aren't challenges.

The row I am on right now is challenging.  I wish I could get a better photo of it, but I am limited till I get my computer connected properly and I can use my camera.  Even then, I am not certain that you could see what is going on.

This is the one row in this pattern, indeed in any of the window motifs in this whole sampler, where almost every stitch in the row is moved or manipulated. 

It remains fairly easy to tell what you have to do with each stitch, but the sheer volume of things to do, stitches to move and swith places...yowza.

Soldiering on.  To the end of the row and beyond.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Accidents have their place.

I am now in the part of a move where everything, more or less is moved, but I can't find anything.  Like my hair brush.  And I also have to find time to put the things I need in the table that is going to function as my bed side table, like my glass cleaning cloth.  Contrary to popular opinion, I really don't like dirty eye glasses.  Its just that I hate not having things to hand when I need them.  Such are the tribulations of a move.

I did get a lot of knitting done yesterday. 
The accidental window is complete and I have moved well into the regular motif again.  I am starting to think the accident may have been a bit of grace.  This motif is fairly long and 3 repeats would be quite long.  This way, it is going to be just about right to match the length of the other panels across the back of the piece. 

I am also really looking forward to the next pattern panel.  If I follow along and make similar complimentary panel lengths, the next panel will be quite short and will be a small easily remembered repeatable piece.

I am still going to have to bust my buns to get it finished on time.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Not Knitting? Eeeeep

I knit absolutely zero yesterday.  I haven't knit any real amount since last week..  I suppose that this should be usual when you are moving, but I always dream that I knit through it all. 

I am starting to get a little worried.  There is a bit of a deadline on the big wrap.  I am knitting it for a Knit Girllls challenge and I really would like to finish it in the time allotted. That time is done at the end of March.

We shall see.

Still, I am pretty pleased with yesterday's work.  I got the rest of the yarn settled.

In a perfect world, this room would have a wool room and would be larger, but you can't have everything.  The wool is really quite perfect for this corner.  I had my bed there the last few days, but I just had to move it. 

That corner is the cold corner.  I don't know why.  My dear Mr. Needles tried to resolve the issue a few times over the years, but it still is the cold corner.  He looked at the wall from the outside.  He looked at it from inside and everything is where it is supposed to be.  The corner remains cold.   

It sounds a little silly, but that massive volume of wool, sitting in a chilly corner makes my room feel warmer.  I doubt that is changes things at all, really.  It isn't fitting close to the wall with its sloped sided bins.  It's all bagged and binned and tidy.  That wall of wool in my field of vision makes me feel warmer and so the room is warmer. 

The other thing is, that with all the wool in its allotted place, I feel much more settled.  There are some boxes to empty, some pictures to hang, a few odds and ends to take to storage, but it's starting to feel like my own little zone again, my hidey hole from the modern world, where only wool and I exist.

Monday, 14 March 2016

The move is complete!

I am tired, really tired, but things are mostly where they are supposed to be and I can more or less get around in my room. There is a little work, a closet and some cabinets to pack and move but I can do that pretty much on my own and it all goes to storage. I am done.  Let them knitting resume!

I was sitting knitting last night when it hit me.  I am doing it wrong.  I was devastated.

 I ought to be knitting a section of a little rope like twists inside the expanding outer lines of design, but I am not.  I appear to be kintting a fenster, a window. 

I debated pulling it out to where I went wrong, but I decided to keep it.  I will knit a second correct motif after this little fenster is done and no one but me will be the wiser.  It will look like it is meant to be. 

Unless you guys tell, of course.

Friday, 11 March 2016

The day before we are done

Today is the day before we are done.  Or the day before I hope we are done.  I don't think I like moving so well now as I did when I was younger.  I just want to be settled and sorting out a routine in a new place.

I did not knit at all yesterday but wanted to write a bit about a lovely book I just finished.  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson.

What a lovely story.  Its about an old Major who fall is love and comes to find that he can let go of many things in order to be happy.

that is exactly how I feel.  I can let go of many things and no matter, I will be happy.  Happy is from inside and is a choice that we either allow to flourish or tangle up inside ourselves till the ends are lost in the mess.  I will let my happy out. 

It's a lovely book, not big, not splashy, but small and warm, the kind that creeps into your memory to sit and give you pleasure.  there should be more of this kind of books.  There should be more of this kind of thing in life.

I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


The one word I never apply to my knitting is the word reasonable.  There is nothing reasonable about the way I knity.  Rather it consumes me.  And my day and everything else. 

Till today.  I knit a reasonable amount on this. 

My hope was to be able to knit just a wee bit more when I got home last night but that did not happen.  I did not get home from packing up a little more till very late so it was straight to bed for me. 

I spent my day packing up the kitchen, well, the pantry at least, and going through all the other rooms to catch the last bits and pieces.  Even though the last year has been very much about going through bits and pieces, there still are so many little bits of things not sorted not done... Life does not seem to happen in big chunks most of the time.  It seems to happen in little bits and pieces and the leftovers wait for you to deal with them and box away into neat little compartments.  I wasn't boxed if you see what I mean. Maybe no one ever is.

At any rate, I did get a little knitting done yesterday morning before I went out to knit.  This was not at a point where I could just zip along sans book, so I had to work on something else.  And that something else is starting to look most advanced.  But more about that tomorrow.  Spread out the blog fodder, I say. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Joy is...

Joy is this.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Sort of.

Well then.  Here I am.  Settled.  Sort of.

Half of my furniture is still not here and will await the moving van, but the yarn, my books (some of them), all my knitting library, (No, that isn't all of it), my bed and my clothes are here.  Half of my computer set up (my tablet) is here and I am more or less settled.  Everything else awaits the moving van, whence it shall go into storage for the next time I have more of a space just for me.  

Still, this is a pretty good space.  It was formerly my study and now will be that again, but also a bedroom.  And oh yeah, for the very first time, the stash is living outside this room. In former days the rule was I could only have yarn so long as it fit in the room.  It did, but the spinning had to be in the family room.

There is lots to do yet at my wee house so posting and knitting may be a little  sluggish again this week.  I am thrilled though.  I am, once again, right near the yarn that I am using for the twisted stitch Wrap.  I used up every possible inch that I had but the yarn boxes were moved several weeks ago and  it was all so far away.  Now it is just outside the corner.  There will be twisted knitting on it.  I am so excited.  

So I am settled.  Sort of.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Some things Change

and some things stay the same.

I have not been working for almost a year now and though I have had a reasonable amount of interviews and though they go pretty well, I am still unemployed.  I have a very good resume, but I am a 58 year old person with white hair who can't wear makeup due to allergies and have a body shape that is not the norm.  If an employer is looking to hire, they are going to choose a person who will cost them statistically less on their benefit plans than me.  

I am also a 58 year old person who isn't going to sacrifice everything for a job, or an employer which is why I quit that miserable job last year.  Oil had already tanked and in Alberta, that means immediate slowdown. I quit that job knowing positions would be much more scarce, knowing that I am at the far edge of employability but I do not and never will regret quitting.  Not at all.  Quitting that job made life worth living again.

But, when you are not working there are things you have to do and one of them is to cut your living expenses.  So I am.  I am moving from my lovely sunny, bright wee house to live back at my house on the other side of the city.  I will rent this house out. (Keep your fingers crossed that renters will come forward fast.)  I have been fighting this inevitability all fall hoping to find a job that would keep me here, but c'est la vie.    

On the upside, there are lots of things I can contribute to the life of the household I will be joining in a very active and positive way.  It means that I will be able to play with 2 of my grandkids much more often.  I will be a little farther away from my other two sweethearts, but I have a car and will travel to see them lots. It might mean overnights at their house, so I will get to see my other kiddies in a different and new way too.  

In a lot of ways, it will stop me from slowly slipping into a hermits life.  I want to do the things that I always planned to do, but that I never seem to find the gumption to do living alone. I have come to think that we do things to escape the busy and the routine of our day to day lives, but I don't have any busy or routine to escape from.  I don't want days when it is almost too quiet to bear, when I go to bed rather than have to be alone. I did not choose to be widowed and to have life change so drastically as it did, but it did that anyway and to waste what I have that Brian did not get to have, well, that would be a crime.     

I will write when I can. After all these years of writing almost every week day, it is part of what sustains me.  I am a writer as much as I am a knitter, as much as I am a reader.   Once I am settled again, a new routine will set in and posting should go back to normal.  Or maybe better!

Anyway, that is the big news here.  Big news, not bad news.  I am sorry that it must be, but I look forward to the changes it will bring.