Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Mundane Things

A couple weeks ago, when I was in the throes of settling in, I realized that I needed to get stuff off the floor in a big way. 

One of the really tough things, living in a room this small is what to do with the dirty clothes.  There is no space for a proper laundry hamper and many small loads, like at the wee housie are not really an option. For one thing, there is a family here, also washing clothes, and the other, this laundry pair is huge.

It seemed to me that it might be time for a laundry bag. There is a place to hang it, that doesn't get in the way, and it kind of squishes behind the door without impeding opening. I pulled out my box 'o cotton dish cloth like yarn, and away I went.

Because it is a laundry bag, I don't care what it looks like.  I only care that it be sturdy and not take a year to make.  I had one skein of a chunky blue Sprout left from a blanket project and cast on.  Or chained as the case may be.  I started with a single chain, and then worked on both sides of that foundation chain to start. At each end of the chain I worked 3 stitches in one, to give me a nice turn, and after that, I worked in rows up the bag to make a reasonably sized bag about the size of a pillow case.  When the first yarn ran out, I pulled out a couple skiens of multi coloured Cloud Cotton.  About the time I realized it was long enough, I ran out of yarn. So back to the stash and I pulled out some leftover Chunky Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton Chunky. A couple of rows of singles for a nice sturdy top, and done.

One ugly as sin laundry bag that is doing a really fine job keeping my room in order. Which I wouldn't have told you about at all, except yesterday was not a day ofr knitting.  It was a day of errands and decisions and getting other things done.  

Today is a day of spinning.  Maybe knitting too.  We shall see how much change I can find.

Monday, 30 May 2016

My area had a nice healthy thunder storm go through yesterday evening.  The tower sending us our internet signal was damaged by a lightning strike and it took the better part of a day to get it back up and running.  I will be fine once I get over missing the internet all day.

Not that I am addicted mind...

On the upside, there has been much work on Isaac's sweater and it is really starting to come together.

Completed pockets.  And yes, the second was just as much fun as the first.  I am going to close off the side edges of the pocket with a three needle type bind off and may very well mimic one as I attache the zipper to finish off that edge.  (Still working out how to do a 3 needle bind off when you are not binding off anything)


 One sleeve nearing completion.  I have to call and have my son measure Isaac from his armpit to his wrist so I know how long I need to go.

It's looking very nice.  Now I just have to go dig out the zipper I know I have somewhere.


Friday, 27 May 2016

A To Do List

When I woke this morning, I heard it raining.  The birds are singing now and there are no other sounds.  It's very quiet.  I have missed this deep quiet the last few years. 

So here is today's run down of things to do:

1.  I don't have to go anywhere.
2. House is officially done as of noon today.
3. I have all kinds of fibre to think about for Tuesday spinning. 
 A beautiful Polworth, 
 a Fleece Artist braid,
 A lovely Top Knot,
 Pure vibrant silk,
 the most delicious Malabrigo roving,
Two lovely braids of luscious hand dyed goodness from Colour Adventure.

Sorry.  I forgot where I was for a moment.

4.  Good things to knit 
              - Isaac's sweater
              - His mom's sweater
              - Bridgewater?

Such a lovely list.  

And if luck follows today, there will be a couple of new to me movies arriving on my doorstep.  The lookout is for a great weekend!


Thursday, 26 May 2016

It's a...

Since I seem to be in the mood for knitting everything but what I ought to be finishing, I started yet another new project.

This is the last project for others I will be doing for a while, but I have been looking forward to knitting this. I have been planning it for a couple of years.

It sure doesn't look like anything much, but this is a pretty good section of a sweater.  What you see, is half of the back of a most interesting sweater design by Joji Locatelli.  This is Pole and I am knitting it out of some truly lovely Madelinetosh in the colourway Curiosity.

I searched for this colourway for a long time.  It didn't take that long, but it did take several tries to find the right colour.  I have 2 other sweater quantities of Madelinetosh that were the wrong colour.  (Send the yarn back?  Not on your life) till I found this utterly perfect cross between lavender and gray. This is the sweater for my daughter in law Amy and it needed to be the perfect colour for her.

The pattern is her pick of pattern.  She fell in love with the sweep of collar and the way the sweater flows across the back of the this Locatelli design.  

It's lovely to work with yarn and an interesting, innovative pattern and it seems to be working up quickly.  All good things.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Sounds of Silence

I don't watch a lot of tv shows.  Here at the house there isn't any feed, except for the lone channel, CBC which tries to make sure that all Canadians get some kind of signal in these digital world days.  The days of over the air tv are almost gone.  I don't see shows like Dancing with the Stars in real time.  I see things like it when someone likes it on their facebook feeds.  So when something comes up from a show that is significant, and moves me, I go searching. The music and dance by this years winning team moved me incerdibly, but it was the song that held the power for me.  I went searching.

It may have been written out of 21 year old angst, but then, as now, this simple song had such power.

So yeah.  Here I am lover of Bach, and Mozart and opera and Pink, loving this cover by Disturbed, of the Sounds of Silence.  Withstanding my test of time, and getting so much better with age.

But then, aren't we all.

Monday, 23 May 2016


I took a little trip in the stash and came up with a little something different.  My hands were itchy for something different.

It's just a little summer top for Cassie and there still is the sleeve bands and neckband to knit, but cute yes?

Front above and back below.   No pattern but based on her favourite purple striped shirt.  Knit on 3.5 mm needles of Phildar Bamboo and Cotton Bamboo.

Friday, 20 May 2016


Do you see it?  I didn't at first.  Not till I was laying it all out for the pockets yesterday.  Can't believe how I missed that when I put this picture up.

 And see this?  Yet another variation.

Sigh.  At first when I saw this, I thought maybe I grabbed the wrong colour of yarn.  I had 3 bags of dark denim, 3 bags of medium denim and 3 bags of sparkly denim. But no.  The 3 bags of medium denim are still in the container.  I checked.

The darkest of the blues pictured was from the first bag, which is where all the yarn for Carter's sweater came from.  The lighter is from a different bag, same dyelot. What is really interesting is that the pocket is from another new ball, from the same bag and has a distinctly different colour, though not quite so strikingly different as that first change.

I've been debating about this all day and I think that I am going to keep on and see what happens when I wash it and get it ready for blocking. I might need to do a slight acid wash after the fact?  

Thursday, 19 May 2016

So. Much. Fun.

There used to be a song that played on the radio.  I think I even saw Peggy Lee sing it on Ed Sullivan.

 I used to wonder if that song had kind of infected me somehow.  When everyone around me was having the time of their lives, that song would play through my mind, and I would find myself wondering, "Is that it?  Is that all there is" to all the usual things everyone else seemed to find so much fun in.  Sports.  Parties.  Dances.  Shopping.  Peggy Lee played in my head, and I would wonder what was wrong with me.  These were childhoods secret fears, and it took years to find the things that filled my soul overflowing with fun. **

Now this.  Is.  Fun.

Pockets.  Simple pockets.  They were so fast to knit and fun to figure out how high, how much slope I needed for the perfect boy pocket.  It was just fun. Deeply rewarding, richly satisfying fun.

I am not so foolish as to tell non knitter's how much fun.  They would never understand it, but I feel pretty safe admitting it here, shouting it out to the world.  When you have to figure out something, and at the end, it is so very perfect as this pocket.  It's the most fun thing.

Part of what made it so much fun was sorting out the join at the top of the sweater.  The pockets were picked up at the bottom and then were knit to the top.  My original plan was to graft the remaining live stitches to the sweater front, but that proved to be awkward and not a lot of fun at all.   So I decided to pick up stitches and do a three needle type bind off.

It made the most delightful little detail.  I am now busy debating the merits of sorting out a 3 needle bind off join for the pocket sides.

Fun.  My kind.

** To be clear, I never felt that last part of the song. Mr. Needles and my family was and remains, an adventure every step of the way.  

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Spinning Tuesday

I went spinning again yesterday.  I have my green fibre all used up and I am looking forward to plying it.  But not yet.

First I have some video to watch.  I have The Judith Mckenzie video, the Gentle Art of Plying. 
If you have ever seen Judith live, you know she has a lovely calmness about her, that will take away all your worries and stress about plying.   

I hope. 

I am going to have a little bit of a leap of faith to make.  This is going to be a 3 ply, and I am a little tense about making it all work. I have to remember to go slowly and take my time.  It's the only way my severely unskilled hands will end up with the yarn I hope to have at the end of it all.  
 But not today.  Today is for videos and preparing.  That is what today is for.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Trying soimething a little different

As I was working on socks this weekend, I realized I was looking for something just a little different.
I was at about 2/3rds the length of my foot, which is about where you start a heel flap for a toe up heel flap so I thought why not do that. It's been a while, but it seemed like a good idea.

My brain wasn't done with play.

I turned the heel and was ready to pick up stitches, when I thought that I could do something different. So I did.

My friend, Frazzledknitter, told me about a heel she had come across on a link to a bunch of free   vintage patterns, the Beehive Aladdin Heel . It's an easily replaceable heel, which is really interesting.  My heels always wear out first and this heel variation isn't hard at all.  Basically, you sew the gussets that were made on cast on stitches rather than picking up stitches along the heel.  The link shows you insert a line of other thread across the back of the heel, too to make it easier to pull out the stitches down the road, but it is easy enough to simply cut and weave back at that point.

So that is what I did.

It looks a little odd, but it seems like it is going to work fine.  I have a good feeling about this.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Friday review

I was looking through everything I worked on this week and was wondering what I hadn't mentioned.   The sweater!

I am still working along on the sweater for Isaac. 

You can just see the little cable that marks the faux side seam and you can see that I am getting close to the length.  Or at least close to the length I am going for. 

This is probably the last sweater I knit for him for a while, so I want it to fit for a bit.  I am hoping for a 10 ish sized sweater and a little longer than average.  He is truly at the point where they grow taller without getting a whole lot broader.

It's kind of at the point where I should try it against another shirt of his to check the size.   That might be my mission this week.  To measure it.  Or have him try it on.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A Tale of Two Toes

The other thing I did the other day was finish up two first socks which meant that there was only one sock ready to knit at the drop of a hat.  This is almost an unbearable stress.

Socks have always been my go to, tag along project, my  don't feel like doing anything else and I have time to knit project, my everything I worked on today has a problem projects.  I need more socks on the needles.  Clearly.  Besides, one sock of each of two different pair, does not a wearable pair make, not when one is sized for a twenty year old with slender feet and my feet are very much older, wider and stumpier.

Yesterday at while waiting for an appointment, I started the first of two toes. Today, I finished it and did the other.

As you can see, this is a dark tale. 

I needed something light.  Plus, I had all these needles open, waiting to be used.

So, I took care of that and pulled up the box of sock yarns. And then I knit.

 It's Arne and Carlos Regia Design Line which I picked up in Vernon at Twist of Yarn last summer.  I was having so much fun, that I had to force myself to stop. 

A striped yarn has an awful powerful spell.  A knitter must stay aware to the danger of knitting a whole sock just to watch the yarn.

And that is the tale of two toes.  Well three, if you are counting.


I had such a wonderful day yesterday. Spinning and knitting and talking fibre all day.  Perfect.

I am really pleased with my spinning too. In the morning, while spinning with a friend, I picked up a project that was midway to completion.

My default spinning seems to be quite fine, and I started this project to see if I could force myself to spin thicker.  My goal is for a loftier 2 or 3 ply.  My spinning yesterday is not too far off what I did on starting this project over 2 years ago and that pleases me.  A lot.

I knit in the afternoon on a couple different things, but before bedtime, I had the urge to go back to spinning.

I didn't want to do the greens so I pulled out what I had been working on on my larger wheel last summer.  I haven't sorted out the right chair for the larger wheel yet, and haven't found a place where I can keep it and work on it, where the kids won't play with it, so I thought that I would give the small wheel, my repaired Victoria a try and see if I could get the same result on it.

So far so fair

It's reasonably consistent with the other bobbin.  I have about a third of this half braid left for this bobbin and I am really looking forward to plying it to see what it turns out like.

It was the most rewarding lovely whole day. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Awash in cute.

The other day, I spent the afternoon going though the bins to find a couple things that I needed for my next projects.  I was in search of spinning fibre and some baby yarn.

With my wheel repaired, I plan to start spinning more regularly with a friend.  We did that a few years ago, at least once a week, and my work improved dramatically.  I hope for the same this time round and I plan to do everything I can to make this a regular part of my week.

And then, once the search was done, I pulled up the pattern and my crochet hook and zipped up this sweet little thing.

It's from an old booklet Dorothy gave me many years ago, the Doreen Baby Book volume 92, pattern 206.  It was a booklet from her collection that she thought I would use more then she did.  I did make another for the boys when they were small, but not this pattern.  Dorothy made this one for me.

I had to do a little modifying.  My yarn is a 4 ply fingering and I could not match the gauge Dorothy got.  My first attempt would have fit a giant baby or a 2year old.  This is really a newborn design, so I had to make it smaller to fit.

The thing about working up baby things is you spend half the time sitting looking how cute it is.  I sure did. 

There is a special button I have to dig out and I need some pink ribbon and we are done. A finished object in one day and cute to boot.  Not too bad.

Monday, 9 May 2016

It will be a while.

At Christmas, my nephew jokingly asked what he had to do to get a pair of socks.  Catch me on the wrong day and I say no without thinking about it.  It's just natural.

Catch me on the right day and I will knit you a pair of socks, so long as you don't mind waiting.  He asked and it was the right day.  But it is going to be a while.

His feet aren't that large, only a size 10, but the thing is, I am used to knitting stubby short socks for my stubby short feet. 

It's going to be a while.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Road Trip

I went with my good friend, Frazzled Knitter, On a road trip yesterday. 

It started with my wheel repair.  I thought we could pick up the parts at the shop, but Louet shipped directly to me.  We did not need to go, but once the idea of a road trip is launched, a road trip just seems like a must do.

We stopped only at Shuttleworks, this time.  The owners are retiring and closing shop and we wanted to go once more before it was gone.  Such a great place.  They had a very large warehouse and it was hard to imagine it with lower than stuffed stock levels.  They still have all kinds of wonderful things, just not the complete selection that they used to carry.  But...I picked up some great things.

Brown Sheep fingering.  Plenty for a sweater.  This is actually such a wonderful, muddy, goldy green.  Really stunning.

 A brilliant violet cone of Harrisville Shetland in all its heathered goodness.

and another of a lovely heathered lilac.

 And a second cone of Brown Sheep fingering.  Full one pound cone.

 I missed this book when I was browsing the book cases, but my friend found it and thought I might be interested.  I fair grabbed it out of her hand in a most unseemly fashion.  I have loved this wee book forever but it is rare to find on book shelves.  Dainty tiny angels.  Sigh.

And this.  My collection of the best stitch directories is now complete.  It's just a really great
find and also, a little harder to come by in Canada.  I can't read a word of it, it is entirely in German, except for the sheet with English translations for the symbols so there shouldn't be any trouble using it and I am just thrilled to have it.

I also picked up a cone of Zephyr Wool Silk laceweight in a brilliant yellow.  I have a soft yellow around here somewhere, but this stronger yellow is much more me. 

And you can see a pair of cotton/linen cones of yarn one a dark Navy and the other a blue.  I have one cone of one of these colours already and had always wished I had a little more. I don't know which blue it is though, so I came home with both.  Better safe than sorry.  The other will be used for something wonderful, I am sure. It should work up at a wonderfully fine laceweight. 

We traveled in a leisurely fashion and stopped at the most amazing bistro in Okotoks for lunch, the 1882 Bistro.  Seriously.  Great. Soup.  Full Stop.  And a salmon quiche that is beyond divine. 

It was a wonderful day, but for the lack of rain.  And that too will come, in due course, I hope.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Cool stuff about continental combined knitting

As I learned more about knitting, one of the best things that happened was that I learned how to knit like everybody else, but I do it my way.  It struck me today, how much of a joy this is.  It's  rebellious me sticking it to the world that said I wasn't doing it right.

My quick and easy scoop a purl means that the stitches on my sock ribbing would be twisted if I knit like most people.  So I purl through the back loops.  And I like it. Most people don't like that move, but for me a double or even a triple just is not a problem.  Well maybe a triple is work, but the move is so easy and natural that the back loop purl rounds are slightly faster that the knit rounds.

Just one of the things I love when I knit socks.   

And here they are, ready for heels.

Not much knitting

but I am getting things settled and done.

I did knit a little on socks and by the end of today, I do expect to have a pair complete.  Or complete sans heels.

I have 3 or 4 pairs now that are complete sans heels. 

Off the top of my head, they are the Geek socks
and the pair I just completed.

as well as the pair for Marcus.  I am pretty sure there is another pair but I can't think which one it is.

I'm not quite where I like to be before I do a heel day, though, so I am going to have to knit another pair or two before I am ready for that.  I have a couple more pair in the WIP bin, and I am going to work on that before I start any more.


Heel day is best left for a nice damp day when it is cool.  Pop in a good movie and a cup of coffee and it will be heels away.  Today is not that day, though. 

Today is hot.  Sitting with a cup of coffee in a leisurely way feels wrong somehow.  Fort Mac is on fire and ease here just feels wrong. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

That didn't go like I thought

Well.  What a day.  Big things happened.  Unexpected things.  Big unexpected things.

Before I started work for the day I tossed the bag with the blob.  I debated tossing the whole thing out as I prepared to move, but that felt like it would be so wasteful.  As it was, it just needed a good shake out and dusting.  I was going to tuck it back in the corner but the needles were sticking out so I gave them a couple of quick flips and twists.  And then it was done.

The blob.  It was done.  Ready to felt.

It was so unbelievable that I found myself just a touch giddy and lightheaded.  Which led to throwing it into the wash with a load of jeans.  It felted wonderfully. In one wash,  much better than in my small machine at my wee house. Apparently with big projects, big machines matter for felting.

Once it was dry I pinned the seams together to see how it looked.  Well....

You can't have everything.   Everything is pretty good and should work but for the sleeves.  The sleeves have a serious Romulan shoulder thing happening.  Still, I am so pumped that I think I can fix it.

And the spinning wheel was repaired.  All by myself. It runs so smoothly, as if it had never been broken at all.

Its been a heck of a day.  A heck of a day.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Going through stuff

One of the things that happens when you move is that you often have to change how you store things.

Such is what is happening with my works in progress boxes.  There just isn't room for two cube storage type footstools.  There really isn't.  They were in my way every single time I did anything in here.

So I have been assessing the best way to keep them.  I don't have nearly so many as I used to, but when I have a WIP I keep all the yarn for the project together with it.  It makes it easier to NOT avoid a project but it does mean there is a fair bit of stuff to put in the bin.  I resolved that over the weekend.  A nice new  bin, fits an odd but really easy to get to space at the end of my bed.  It's a small crack of space, only about 8 inches wide, but this long shallow bin fits perfectly.

And further, if required, I could toss this bin the other way and stick another of the same size in that spot!

You also see the box with the spinning wheel repair parts in the picture.  That is getting addressed today.  Wheel repair, here I come!

I also took some time to repair my needle case.

Forgive the fuzzy tip photo.  The regular needles are in cut down to fit the case, ziplocs, and after all these years, they are still working marvelously and are in great shape.  The little pouches from Knitpicks, not so much. The closures were long gone and it was time to change out the storage.

The needles are now in ziplocs, just like the rest of the needles.

And then, I think because I was digging anyway, I worked on a couple different things.  More about that tomorrow!