Friday, 29 April 2016

Moving ALONG

I went to my knit group yesterday with my head pretty much done with the sweater.  I had worked on that most of the day and I was looking for something different.

I picked up the Holey Square Shawl and another ongoing pair of socks and threw them in my bag.   When I sat down to knit, all that was in my bag was the sweater.  I was kind of disappointed in that.  So I worked on the sweater.  It moved along nicely, but today?  No sweater.  I am just going to work on something I really want to do.

Holey square shawl?  Maybe.  Socks?  Maybe.  Or maybe start something new.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

More good plain knitting

As I was starting and restarting and starting the sweater for Isaac, I kept forgetting things I knew about him and what would work for him.  i got this picture in my head of what it should be without remembering the most important thing about the sweater.  And that is, the boy who would wear it.  It is why I couldn't seem to get it right and why there were so many false starts, but I really do have it now.

Boys, like men, are not into fussy.  I know this from the raising of three of them.  I particularly recall a shopping trip with one of them, where we walked into a Work Wearhouse store and walked out about 10 minutes later with his whole wardrobe ready for school: 3 t-shirts, all the same colour, a pack of tube socks and two pair of jeans.  We would have been faster if he hadn't tried on the jeans.   Isaac is very like this.  Fuss is not something he is into.  Superheros, yes, but not fuss.

So this sweater needs to be unfussy.  It also needs to be something grandma doesn't get bored doing.  It won't for two good reasons.  It is small and therefore is a quick knit, and there are little cable things going on to keep me entertained.

It is moving along speedily and I feel really good about it.  

I am not going to do initials on the faux seam under the arms, but will do a cable.  I have more stitches happening at the undersleeve, and I haven't yet decided if it will be the same cable or a different one.  On the sleeves, it is a 2 stitch rope (using 4 stitches with a purl stitch on each side.  Under the arms, I have 8 stitches and 2 purl stitches running alongside. I have the option to do something fancy or I could make a wider single rope.  I have one more row to knit before I have to make that decision.

Whatever it will be, it will be simple.  Once that decision is made, the next big thing is what kind of pockets.  I am leaning to a hoodie style pocket, picked up from the bottom, just before the bottom ribbing and grafted at the top, once the whole body is knit.  I am not sure how others would construct that kind of pocket.  I ought to do a little research, I suppose.  A straight slit pocket is possible too, but feels plain, and far too small for all the things a boy might need in his pockets.

One thing is for sure.  I am entertained with all the planning.

My kiddies are landed and getting settled with Babushka in Kyiv (Kiev).  They are probably just at their dinner right now, after a full day of play. Next up, to be sure, is an early night to catch up on their sleep and if they don't need to catch up on sleep, mamma sure does. The flight was much harder on mamma this time.  Delays and fractious kiddies took their toll.  But the main thing is, that they arrived and the rest is nothing that a couple days sleep and a hug from momma and grandma can't fix.



Wednesday, 27 April 2016

So what next.

My kiddies are off and I fully admit to feeling like I need Carter's little liver pills to get rid of the logy, sluggish feeling.  I will work hard to stay positive.

I went back to my comfort zone.

They are socks for Marcus, I think.  I started them for Cassie, but I think she will need a few more stitches than these.  I have some yarn that I bought with her and mommie in mind so I will make hers out of that skein. 

Plain lovely tubey socks.  Just the thing for sluggish days and sad grandmas.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My little grandkiddies leave today to go visit their other grandma.  I will miss them whole bunches but I am so glad they get to see her too.  Imagine a grandma who doesn't get to see her sweeties very often.  Now that is sad.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Spotty knitting

Not spotted knitting.  If it had only been spotted knitting, it would be better.  As it was there was only bits of time here and there to get some knitting in.

At the same time, I am pleased with my progress.

I did a bunch on Isaac's sweater when I went out Sunday morning.  I am still not 100% sure about this one.  I may have left too many stitches out of the center for the fronts.  I took double what I should have under optimal conditions, but at the same time, there are several ways to compensate for this.  I won't be restarting it again. 

This morning is the last full day that my wee people are going to be home before flying off to Babushka Ludmila's.  I will miss them a bunch, but at the same time, there is a renovation that we have to do while they are gone, and that will likely keep us busy for a while.  There is also knitting this sweater and my daughter in law Amy's sweater that I would dearly love to complete before summer is done.  There is also a yard to get into shape.  Olga did a lot while it was warm, but there are beds to redo, and lawns that need work too.  Lots to keep us going.

So many things to do, 2 months will feel like no time at all.  And forever.  All at the very same time.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Just crusing along.

I was knitting along on my lace yesterday, and it seemed to be going well.  I was on the two simplest rows and it was all good.

And then I saw it.  One of the decrease sections had gone off the needles and was slipping most sloppily away.  I think a join of two balls has come apart and isn't holding. 

I feel sick.

I know I can fix this.  I have done it before.  Fixing lace isn't difficult on a pattern like this, but it does take time and patience.  I don't have that today. 


Thursday, 21 April 2016

There is some knitting

It's been a busy week, here.  Mommy is preparing for her trip overseas and is busy doing some shopping for special requests for her mom and grandma. This means there is a little more babysitting for me, but I am glad to do it.  My quiet time will come when my kiddies are off visiting their other grandma.

There is knitting, but precious little time for lace.

Sock knitting works so there is lots of sock work.  These are a combination of a dark grey Kroy and a single ball of a Kroy which was very similar to my favourite pair of socks ever.

I am doing something similar with these and am slipping the dark colour in as the colour changes.  It means I can get a pair of socks out of a single ball of something I like and can make it far more dramatic with the addition of a dark for the toes, heels, cuffs and accents.

I don't remember if I did this striking red, tan and black pair before my monster sock binge of a couple of years ago or not, but I do know that I really enjoyed doing those. Always something to do.  The same goes here.  There is always something to do, something to watch for.  maybe one say soon, I will be doing patterned socks!

Time to get a move on for today. I hear the stirring of busy feet.  That means I have just a wee bit before the kiddies are wanting out of their room.

These people are busy playing king of the mountain (they climb the stairs in the garden) and Paw Patrol (kids show) where grandma's job is to call out the cry to go to the lookout and decide what job they have to do.  No job is too big, No pup is to small. After all.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

All sorts of places

The Mary Maxim catalogue came today.  The old bastion of crafting in the wilderness has been a staple of my life in so many ways and for so many years and they are still making the things people want.

This newest catalogue has the loveliest afghan on the cover, the Dreamer Afghan.  Go ahead, take a look.  Make it big.

Now isn't that just the loveliest thing?  I am a sucker for the green and blue combination, and the way it morphs into the red/ burgundy is really quite striking.  It's lovely in a stained glass window sort of way. 

But I am not going to succumb.  The last thing I need is another afghan.

Besides, I don't really know where  my crochet hooks are.  There is safety in ignorance.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Just Movin' Along

A hot and lovely day yesterday has left me with the urge to sort some irritating stuff out.  I spent much of the day getting a shelf up and reorganizing my computer and all my audio visual things here.  They were threatening to overwhelm me.  I mean, there were two boxes just with cords and I still didn't know where all the cords were for.  Its really silly, but they are now, most tidy in one much smaller box. I couldn't even go to bed last night until that stuff was sorted, since the sorting happened on my bed.

Today I have been focusing on getting to my drawers.  With only a small room for all my junk  treasures, space is at a premium and I need every square inch of space I have.  The problem is, that when the drawer unit was tucked into the closet with my desk, I didn't see that the drawers couldn't open because of the doors.  Had I seen that, I would have made the change before all the computer stuff was set up.  

The boys, who did the physical lifting for my move, said no way could they do anything to get the drawers so they could open, short of removing the closet doors.  The son who installed said closet doors, said over his dead body, so there I sat for a whole month, with every pen, paper, staple stamps, etc way up on a shelf in a mish mash of boxes.  I hate that kind of thing particularly when I have the room and empty drawers.  So, as usual, the only thing to do was to make it work.

 As you can see, the drawers will open easily now.  Critical flaw in the original set up?  The computer cables came up at the side of the desk, taking up that infinitesimal amount of space that I required to wedge the drawer unit between desk leg and closet door.  

I am woman.  Hear me roar.  *

*I would shout that but it took me an entire morning before I saw the trouble.

Note to self:  Everything goes so much easier when you understand the source.  

Monday, 18 April 2016

Where did restful weekends go?

Weekends seem to be such a busy time lately.  I keep waiting for peaceful quiet days of knitting.  Those long far too quiet Friday nights are far, far in my past.

I babysat my other set of grandkiddies this weekend.  What a treat for me!  There was time to knit, but only on small things, and on things I knit ovewr and over.

Most of my time was spent on my grandsons sweater.  Its for Issac, my oldest.  I started it before and wasn't happy with it, so I pulled it all out and I started it again.  And again.  And again.  Fourth times the charm, right?

I think I am finally on the right path.

 Each time, I got this far previously, it started feeling wrong.  This time, it feels right, I think.  I hope. 

Cardigan.  Raglan sleeves. Mostly plain stockinette.  Sounds about right for an 8 year old boy who is also somehow on the cusp of manhood. 

Kid knitting.  The stuff of life.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Lace, lace, lace

I've been working on the Bridgewater Shawl pretty steady and I am pleased to say I am half way through the lace chart. 

It doesn't look like much to an unschooled eye, but like all lace the magic is in the blocking.  It will come true then.

It's my morning knitting and my sitting in the evening knitting.  There may be a day down the road when I try lace when I am with the kids but today is not that day.  Nor is tomorrow.  But one day.

I have just moved to ball number three so I will have lots of yarn to make it larger, as I have always planned.  The lace grows at the perfectly countable rate of 8 stitches per lace pattern so the border will be easy to  place after more repeats of the chart.

At the same time, even now, there are a great number of stitches to get round the shawl.  It takes a fair bit of commitment to get round each row.  I expect there may be a lull in my knitting of this, but I hope not for too long.  I really am looking forward to it's completion.

It's an odd place to be.  This place between want for the shawl and the struggle for completion.  I love it, but I dislike it at the same time.  Chin up though.  Lace knitting moves fast and is fun to watch rows as they change so subtly.  As long as I keep the tedium of almost 700 stitches out of my thoughts, I should be fine.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Pattern looking day

I have lots to knit and many other things to think about but today, rather than early morning knitting, I am cruising patterns on Ravelry.  I don't need to do this.  I usually just get into trouble doing it. 

Living dangerously while laying in bed!  That's me. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

All the Other Things

I don't  want to bore you with one shawl all the time and I don't  want  to bore me.  I keep a number of things with me to work on regularly.  And there is always something for the days when you screw up and have only begun to sit and chat with your knit group. 

This is something I don't  think I've  shown since I cast it on.

 It's  a Holey Square Shawl.  For a free pattern you get a lot of bang for your buck.  It's  exactly right for those laces that hide the patterns of finely knit lace.  For these challenging laces, this way of knitting holes makes sense. 

I don't  knit a lot on this one but I was very glad to have it today.  I messed up a spot on my Bridgewater and pulled this out.  A place for everything and everything in it's  place.

And right behind the lace is my new pride and joy. 
 My new knitting bag.  It is a Thermos brand and is once again is meant as a cooler bag for cans. 
My first bags were beer can coolers so this stay dry no matter where you take it bag is just right.  And classier than I ever dreamed of back in the day!
 Here is a shot to give you an idea of it's  size.  Great for sweaters and big bulky knitting. 
A big open bag.  Suits me fine and exactly what I need right now.

We also have Socks

We also have socks!

I'm am a little surprised at this.  I had only a half a sock 2 yesterday morning but some really well behaved kids, made knitting go smoothly and very well.  The whole morning was lovely. 

Just as the kids were starting to eat lunch, I finished the bind off, and voila.  Pair of socks.

So two very good knitting days in a row. 

Will wonders never cease.

Monday, 11 April 2016

We have lace!

We have lace!

What a lovely thing it is to sit and knit this.

Friday, 8 April 2016


It is Friday again and all I can think of is where the heck did the week go? I have been moved here 3 weeks and while I am settled, sort of, there still is a lot to do.  It gets a little better everyday but little is the operative word.

I haven't knit much these last few weeks.  I am starting to crave completion and finishing. Resolution.  Perhaps that is the more accurate description of what I feel I need. 

To that end, I am going to focus on lace and getting my pretty little Bridgewater done. I started it so long ago, and I have a hankering for it.  What I really am looking forward to is the lace.  It has such a lovely border pattern and such a pretty edging. 

Right now all I have is a garter square but as you can see, I am well along on the small end of the work.  Each time I pick it up it moves faster.  

I know where the book for the pattern is, hiding on a mildly inaccessible shelf, but next week, I hope to get to a reorganization of the shelves, and when I do, the lace will begin.

Each small stitch making part of the whole, moving along.  Just like days.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

You might not remember but

I sure do.

Remember this?

These are the heart wrenching photos of the damage I did to my Victoria spinning wheel when I tripped on her in the dark last fall.  I've been putzing about getting her fixed.  I did take her to my LYS, but those ladies are so busy running that I am sure it slipped their minds.  I didn't buy it from them and in a lot of ways, it was pretty ballsy of me to ask them to sort it out.  My bad.  

I really do want the wheel repaired.  I hate that is just sitting useless, so I sent out an email to my supplier at Shuttleworks and I got the answer back today.  Way way less cost to repair than I thought.  I am just pleased as punch! And, I remembered to ask for a couple of replacement whorls for the high speed flyer so that it can be used on both of my wheels.  This is a real bonus and something I am really really looking forward to.

It still will take a couple weeks to get things sorted, but in the meantime, I can dream of a road trip in the not to far off future.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Goffing around with stripes.

Every once in a while, Ok, maybe a lot of the time, I just feel like goofing around with yarns.  I start with an idea of what it will be but I don't have a real clear idea of how I will get there.  This past weekend, I could have knit on a hundred and one things, but my hands wanted to play.

 So they did.

I just started knitting and stripes happened, and then different stripes happened, and I am thinking different stripes will happen again.  The stripes aren't really what interests me on this shawl.  On this one, it is the yarn.

The last time I went to Custom Woollen Mills with FrazzledKnitter, I picked up some of their new sock yarn, a fine two ply blended with nylon.  Previously, all their yarns were pure natural fibres and the new yarn felt really nice.

And it is.  I am not sure why it has taken me so long to work with!  It's really quite pleasing.

It is a simple yarn, as was their original sock yarn.  A basic, sound yarn, with all the magnificent qualities of mulespun yarns. And the added softness and toughness of nylon.  It's the softness that makes this such a different and delightful experience.

It keeps the earthy homey texture but softens up just the right amount that it will make a great wearable. 

I can see this yarn being really great for good warm socks, but also for hats and mittens, and scarves.  I already know that I would and will make a sweater out of this yarn but then I am a rather tough nut when it comes to yarns.

It's a little like the difference between ordinary paper and the heavy glossy clay filled paper that is sometimes used for magasines.  This is ordinary paper, with just enough gloss to make it yummy.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Next to Next

It feels so fast after I moved that the retreat weekend came up, but it really wasn't.  It just feels that way and when a thing feels that way, there is only one person who can change how it feels.  Me.  Overwhelmed is something that lives in my head and I fully intend to get it out of there.

I am going to do that by knitting more and knitting more regularly.  To that end, I took along a dozen things to work on for the retreat.  I hoped to finish my Bridgewater Shawls center, but It wasn't what felt restful in my hands.  I started something new.  I would even show it to you but it is still in my car. 


I think I will tell you about my other next up project.  

Years ago, I was given much of my mother in law's stash.  Some went to her friends to knit and crochet prayer shawls for people in their community, but there were quite a number of things that came to me.  

My niece who was closest to Grandma, just had a wee little girl, such a sweet little thing who looks a little like her great grandma who is also my aunt.  Ok, that may warp your mind. My niece through my husband's family, happened to marry the grandson of one of my aunts.  That she looks like her pappa's grandmother, who just happens to be my aunt is only natural.  It just sounds weird.  

Because my niece no longer has her special grandma to make her something for her little one, I will.  Sort of Grandma through my hands.  I am going to use a pattern that I know her Grandmother enjoyed.  It was made for my oldest many many years ago and I saw it being made for other babies along the way. I would dearly love to show it to you, but I can't seem to convert the pdf file of the pattern cover to a format that I can insert here.  Sigh.

Wishing I had saved a copy differently.  

I guess the surprise will also be yours!