Wednesday, 31 August 2016

All Heels, All the time.

Once again, I accomplish little and yet so much. It all depends on your point of view.

I finished three heels today, which sounds as if life must be pretty dull, but seriously, I am running after the cheeriest most inquisitive 2 year old on the planet.  Heels are all I can cope with!

These are the 2 gift socks I have been working on.  Almost ready to go.  I just have ends to weave in and heel grafts to do.  While I might not mind a 3 needle heel bind off, others probably will.  They will get smooth grafts.

The really neat thing about that pretty blue and gray pair is that the remainder, after this pair and the pair for Cassie, came down to just the smallest bit, not even enough for a single heel.   

That's yarn use at it's best.  The bit will go into the bin for monster socks down the way.


I struggle somewhat to find a writing routine right now.  Mornings are difficult because they vary as the kids vary their wakeup schedule.  That is one of the principle things I do.  Get up early.  But it is difficult to write when small people are waking and needing breakfast.

Tuesdays have been a skipped day lately, and that's sad, because Tuesday is some of my most exciting times.  Tuesday morning is my spinning morning.  I meet with a friend and we just spin.  My work will never be perfect, but it is getting to be very solid.

In the afternoon, I knit a heel, and started a second and that is about it from me today.  With some luck, the kids will cooperate and there will be a completed pair shortly.  The heel-appaloza continues apace.  

All heels, all the time.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Weeks end

This weekend marks a big moment in my family. 

My big brother, my only brother turned 60.

This photo is stolen shamelessly from my sister.  Happy Birthday, Lionel!  I haven't knit him anything yet.  I really ought to make him some socks or something.  He is pretty knittable for a brother.  He is a huge support for me. 

There should have been a lot more knitting done.  There should have been at least one project done, but I think a very big part of why these things aren't done is that my knitting life is filled with should haves.  Had I followed through on my plans, I would have completed the should haves and would be knitting a new sweater for myself or something else exciting.

Instead, I watched movies, and knit desultorily.

I finished one set of heels and worked on this.

This should have been finished.  I am on the last section, and then have only the finishing bit of black to do to turn a plain Wingspan into a masterful stained glass effect one.  Maybe not masterful.  It is me knitting after all, and I only rate garden variety knitter.  It does have the effect of a masterwork though, which is as good as I can get.  It has turned out very very well.  The soft shades that remind me so much of beach like days, are framed and captured for all time. 

Tomorrow perhaps.  There is always tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A parade of heels

The parade of heels continues. 

I finished set one this morning. ( I wasn't child minding today so there was lots of time!)

I am really pleased with these.  There were times knitting the pattern, where it got frustrating, but that was a matter of the gradient yarn being a little too close to the dark gray plain colour.  Still, it was a good lesson to learn.  Watch your colour choices.  Think it through.

Up next was this pair.

I decided to go with plain stockinette this time.  You can also see quite clearly that I did not graft the heel, but am using a three needle bind off.  The first pair also uses this join.  Few people do this because they feel they are going to feel a lump.  I don't.  Ever. 

I have been doing ridges and layers and things as I knit the patches for my large hole sock repair and not once, have I ever felt the edges or the three needle bind off that I have used.  I have tough feet, I guess.  With no sense of rthym, but that is a different story. 

One fun fact of knitting this heel.  The yarn is doubled but the match is so good you can't see it at all. The very first round had about 6 inches of the darkest colour, but then morphed into blend perfectly with the rest.  Pure chance which makes it really cool.  I have tied the two ends  of the ball of yarn together so that can continue for sock two.

But there was other knitting today too.  I made time to get out and go knit with friends tonight and gosh darn it, that was enough heels for one day.  I pulled out another take it anywhere no stress project.

 I used to have a large jar of nice yarns back in the day of the bright yellow study and one day, I noticed that I had a bunch of things that just worked together.  Two fluffy angora things, one chunky, and a bunch of fingering weight pretty things.  Only 1 was a new yarn.  All the others had been knit in some way or other before.  Some yarns have successful projects on my Ravelry page and others were complete failures with the yarn recovered.  Grays and taupes and blues and one creamy white.  I wasn't sure about the white, but now that I have more than one line of it, I like it.  It keeps it from being too grim and dark. 

Everyone who sees it asks me what I am making and honestly, I have no idea.  The project is based on a gorgeous wrap they used to have at the yarn store using a real mix of gorgeous yarns.  It was huge, done on larger needles and was a wrap that just enveloped the wearer.  The original design was an Estelle Yarns pattern which is sadly, no longer available.    Basically, you knit every row and cut the yarn on every row to form a long fringe.  Garter stitch optional.  Or at least that is what I recall.  I am not really a fringe person, but when the pattern demands it...

I have it almost wide enough for a good scarf, but I am not ready to stop knitting it.  I also have a ton of yarn left, so I am kind of thinking of knitting a second and joining them to form a small cowl sized poncho like thing.  Not the giant all encompassing standard poncho but something that always keeps it's shawl like roots firmly in the forefront.   I wouldn't do the fringe on the second piece giving me a nice clean edge to join to the first.

I knit and watched a movie or two and then I knit with friends.  And that was my day and it was good. 


A darn good cowl.

I finished my quick cowl the other day and put it to immediate use.

Even with a sweater, that little extra something really helps take the chill off.  I have it on again this morning.  I can see it becoming part of my everyday.  It isn't long enough to double, but it is just right to tuck into the neck of a jacket without getting too thick over your chest, like some scarves do.

I did work on heels yesterday.  I thought about all those worn ones in my drawer too.  With the worn heels in mind and a rather large skein of black yarn left to work with, i decided to double up the yarn and knit a really sturdy tightly knit heel, in the hopes that I will get a longer life out of it.

I've also had better luck for a longer heel life with a garter stitch heel, so that came into play as well.  A good sturdy garter stitch heel.  Lookin good.   The floor here and in my next abode are not carpet so that should help a great deal, but no point in taking a chance.  Good sturdy heels are my best hope.

That is for me today.  More heels are in the immediate forecast, and from the chill coming in the window, I would say this is a good thing.

~YA/ r;elt.t.`y/ +OD`yr;n/ g=o=o=od/ C=owk\e;

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

It sure is dark out there

The last couple of days have been rainy and wet here, and nights are seriously chilly.  It no longer seems like it is getting close to sweater weather.  It is sweater weather.

And 4 o'clock in the morning is still darkest night.  It doesn't pretend to be light, or even let you think it might be close to morning.  4 o'clock is still the middle of the night.  6 a.m. is now thinking about morning.  As I write, it is still not light enough to tell what kind of day it will be and sunrise is a good half hour away.

It is also sock weather.  It is time to take a serious look at all those socks I have been knitting and make heels and toes. 

Some of the new socks do have heels of various kinds and are ready to be pressed into service, but

there are 4 new pairs for me, plus two pairs of gift socks that need heels.  It is time to get that done.

But it is also time to go through the drawer to assess the heels on the existing stock of socks for wear.  I knew that in the spring, but summer makes it oh so easy to forget all the little things.  Or, if not to forget them to put them way far down the scale of things you need to do today.  I put socks on when I went out yesterday for the very first time in several months and it took a couple of tries before I had an entirely unholey pair to put on.

Cool fall nights and the definite crisp in the air make it ever so plain that these tasks, so easily put off, should not have been. Since finishing the last socks, I have been oddly at loose ends, but that is over now.  Heels. 

I have a goal.  It is a very good thing.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

It's been a while

I ordered from Knitpicks a while ago, June actually and finally got the item now.  The long delay had nothing to do with anything Knitpicks did.  It is just one of those things that slipped by me. Midway through shipping, I realized it was going to my Spruce Grove address, so Knitpicks had their brokers pull it back and returned for readdressing. My bad and Knitpciks saved me!

Knitpicks has a new silk yarn and I decided I wanted to try it out.  Silk is hard to find regularly around here. It was a great idea.

 The silk is truly lovely.  It is soft and the colours are so very nice.  It is a much softer gray than my monitor shows.  They call it Peaceful and it really does have that air.  The blue is called Luminence, a light cool delicate blue. 

I also purchased a bag of each of the two colours of Pallette that I already have in bag quantities. This gives me enough yarn to make sweaters, if I so choose.  The one bag I already have wasn't quite enough to do it right.

I don't buy often from sources outside of Canada anymore.  I dream about it but the exchange rate and size of my stash talk me down almost every time.  If I really need something, I check my close to home vendors first but as I said silk is scarce.  These are very pleasing colours and it feels like a delicious yarn.  I am looking forward to working with it.

Sometime.  (See previous mention of large stash.)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Or not

Like always, I make plans and then they fall apart right about where I start.

I picked up Isaac's sweater and rooted around till I found the zipper I was planning to use.  It was too short.  After rooting around for the zipper (where did I stuff that little thing) my whole room was pretty much ripped apart.  I took the zipper search as a sign that it was time to deal with that.

A couple trips to town later, I am done and it is working so much better here in my very small space.

What knitting time I did  have was put to good use.  I might not have socks but I do have all sorts of other ongoing little projects.

I came across this little thing.

When I picked this up, I was only an inch into the medium gray and now I am done that and am several inches into the light gray and not at all far from done.

The yarn is some leftover Illimani Royal Alpaca.  It is sinfully delicious to work with and wonderful to wear.  My 3 little bits didn't look like much but it seemed wrong not to use them up.  It is knit in a simple mistake rib stitch and when complete will be a short man scarf or will be a nice cowl, just long enough to wrap around your neck twice.

Somewhere today, I should be able to find enough knitting time to finish this, and a finished project after a good weekends work is always a win.

The plan didn't work out but I got a lot done.  I am good with that.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Just takin' the day off.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

It's starting,

It's starting I think. You can feel it in the air.  The wind seems to whisper that there is change coming and the air overnight has a crispness and sharpness to it not felt for many months.  As an early riser, I can tell you that first thing in the morning, you need a sweater and my nightly bed wear includes a stylish pair of socks. That I say bed wear at all, is proof that it's chilly in the early morning.

Mid August marks the return of sweater weather with a vengeance.

This weekend, I am going to be all alone.  My wee ones and their folks are heading out for a weekend away so it is going to be quiet.  I intend to get that zipper in Isaac's sweater and finish up the buttonband so I can get that off to him.  I was looking at it's denim cotton goodness again, and my hands are eager to work with it.

In a perfect world, I would also be able to finish his moms sweater too, but realistically, knitting 2/3 of a sweater doesn't happen in just 2 days. 

Plus, this is the day that the new water well is being installed.  You cannot imagine how happy I am with this. We won't have water till tomorrow, that is if all goes ok with the well install, if water is hit and is a strong enough supply...and on and on. 

Wish me luck on the well, and luck on the sweater.  Two tough chores for one weekend.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

If I post late

enough, it counts for tomorrow, right?

I wanted to show you my spinning today.  Not fancy.  Just simple natural coloured Shetland for my Shetland shawl gradient dreams.

and yes, I do have gradient shawl dreams.  I have had them far longer than gradient shawls have been popular.  It just seemed to me to be a lovely way to blend the soft natural colours in a traditional shawl of some kind.  I have a very large collection of fibre to support that dream.  And someday it might even be spun!

I'm getting to a place where I am going to have to either ply a bunch of things to free up bobbins or at the very least, wind off the bobbins on to some of the many cardboard spools I have.  I've have one project that is currently taking up 3 bobbins in it's pre-plied state.

But one step at a time.  I have this bobbin done, I am pleased with its more or less consistent weight and twist and for right now, that is enough.

Monday, 15 August 2016

It's that time of year again.

It's the time of year when the fall knitting magazines are out.  It is my favourite time of year.  Knitty has been out a few weeks and Twist Collective is just out.  I have seen a copy of the fall Vogue and wow.  Interweave must be out there too.  I just haven't seen it yet.  These are the riches of a world where knitting is a wonderful thing.

To say I spent time dreaming this weekend is not wrong.  I did.  Much ruminating about the next knit for me, and some feeling guilty that I haven't finished Isaac's sweater or his mom's sweater. 

 I did knit though.  Lots.  I knit on Onerva and pondered the pattern as decreases rather than increases.  I knit, but I think I have to rip it back.  There is something I am doing wrong, but I am not sure what that is.

I sorted out my pickup after Marcus helped me knit on my wingspan shawl and have that back in order.  I must say, I really enjoy knitting this one. It's simple garter stitch but not something you can knit blindly.  Every row there is something to think about, but that something repeats so it never becomes too much. 

But mostly, between these and looking and dreaming and hoping I was doing stuff right, I finished socks.

 I love these second pair of Geek Socks.  They really are fun to knit but I might be over it.  It could be a very good thing that I only had two nice clear striping yarns for these socks.

I came across a rarity in the yarn too: a knot.  Two in fact.  There was an obvious oops on the production line.  It flipped out the pattern change in the greens, and then again in the peach.  It left a section of incomplete colour runs, and short runs.  It interrupts the flow of things but it does not compromise the socks itself.  So it stayed, but it was a rarity.  I have seldom come across a knot in a skein of sock yarn.  Not sure why that is, but there it is.

If I had been knitting these for someone else, I would have sorted it out better, but these are mine and it isn't going to matter.  I have almost enough socks to be getting on with. Time to knit more complicated patterns?

Perhaps.  I leave socks to be something spontaneous.  Oh wait!  All of my choices are sort of spontaneous.  Time will tell.

Friday, 12 August 2016

I picked the Onerva shawl up last night and sorted out the little problem it had.  Then I wound up the next ball and knit two rows and then was going to start the decrease sections when I realized, I am going to have to figure this all out on my own.  No one has done this shawl as a square other than me.

So, I have to chart it up and maybe make a sample to be sure that it knits to match the first half. And that is where you will find me this weekend.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Super Grandma

I have been working a lot on socks the last while.  They are just about the only thing that I can work on while babysitting.

You have seen Cassie's socks in progress somewhere in the last few weeks but Marcus's were done much earlier in spring.  I knit his up but left the heel because I wanted the socks to fit as long as possible.  Let's face it.  A little boy isn't going to wear socks in summer and his feet could grow a lot before fall.  Afterthought heels were the best solution for Marcus.

Late the other night, I snipped a stitch in the midde of the sock tube, pulled one strand of yarn back on either side.picked up all the live stitches that resulted and here we are.  One tiny split wide open tube, ready for a heel.

And here we have it.  Socks for the pair of my sweeties.  Both of these have been torture tested by the giftees.

Cassie wore her almost the whole day with the ends tucked in and I had to get daddies help to get the socks off Marcus' feet after trying them on for size and for heel placement.  He likes them that much.

The bright orange are Supersocke Neon Color and are Marcus' and the lovely purple turquoise and grey socks are Cassie's of some Meilenwiet I think.

I have some ends to weave in and I want to put that rubbery stuff on the bottom of the soles so they don't slip too much on the newly smooth floors (renovations of flooring). Cassie has advised me though, that she needs to be able to spin because these nice socks make her feel like a ballerina.

Not 100 percent sure how I will do that, but some days, in her eyes, when I am not naughty grandma, I am super grandma.  Personally, I think I am somewhere between, but I suppose if I think on it, I will know just what to do.

3 years ago and yesterday

It was 3 years ago and yesterday my world changed.  How can a thing be so long ago and so immediate at the same time?

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Debeached? Unbeached? Life is a...?

I completely missed posting this morning.  I did write a post but somewhere between completion and publishing, I think I fell asleep. 

So, until I find it, I will show you my lovely Wingspan. 

This is how it looks right at this moment.  My lovely little shawl, which I too think is so reminiscent of a beach, has been debeached. Completely separate from the needle.

My sweet Marcus, was found sitting in my chair with everything in his hands.  I held in my little screech and said  quite calmly 'Marcus, whatcha doin?'  And he said so earnestly,  'Hep you, Gramma'. 

His little hands and arms did look as I am sure knitting looks to little kids who are not quite 2.  I asked him if he was done, and if I could find him a show to watch on tv till his mommy and daddy came back in from visiting with friends from Ukraine.   He was good with that and he helped me put it carefully back in my bag.  We moved slowly and it doesn't look as if any stitches have even been dropped in our careful and oddly gentle handling of the yarn.  Oddly gentle for a 2 year old. 

It's back in the bag now, where grandma should have put it in the first place.

He is the most inquisitive child and he moves fast.  I know better than to keep my things out for him to help with. All my fault. I know life with this little boy.

This was him when I got home today.  His pappa went to the back door to unlock it, and went straight back to watch Marcus with the markers.  Less than 30 seconds and Marcus looks like he has a full body tattoo.  That is life with Marcus. I gave him a smiley face on his shoulder.  No way could it have made any difference!

Moral of the day:  If you don't want to be debeached, grandma, don't leave it out!

Monday, 8 August 2016


It was a lovely quiet weekend.  No disasters!

I knit and it was lovely.

I restarted an old project, a Wingspan shawl.  I liked what was happening with yarn and pattern, but the original did not have the black between.  The lines of black make everything else pop. 

As you can see, I am well into the third of the wedges.  You can also see that the top has no black.  I will be doing black across the tops of the wedges after the fact.  It felt like a simpler thing than intarsia, but now I am not so sure.  Intarsia edging may have been the smarter, easier and wiser choice.  Oh well. 

I also completed another couple of things, but these I will save for another day.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

If you galivant

you have to expect results. 

All my back and forth travel has, indeed resulted in at least one stop at the yarn store. 

I always wanted to try Opal.  This one will also do a striping thing, but I think I have other ideas.

I had to have this one.  That black playing off those bright colours?  Totally me.

Again, the play of dark and bright.  I love this.

Future socks.  Just about my favourite thing.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

And then.

When all the world is falling around you, really the only thing you can do, is sit back and wait for the fall to hit bottom.  So, after a horrid couple of days, and that really good hard rootbeer, we are doing better.  We found a company to dig a new well and he got the job because he was lovely enough to bring a thousand gallon tank and pump to the house for us to use till he gets here next week.  We think he is the loveliest man ever.  It will cost an arm, but not an arm and a leg, bu, we will have water.  And baths, and clean laundry. 

Until then, I hope you will like this little thing.

When I wrote the post yesterday, I had forgotten that through the worst of it all, I finished this too.  It was simple seams and armhole bands, so not a lot of work, but it felt like work that needed a lot of thinking.  It wasn't and once Cassie saw it, she wanted to wear it.  That made finishing a breeze.  She wore it all day today and she says she feels beautiful.

She is of course.  The top is alright too, but nothing can overshadow that shining little sweet, silly gentle kind heart. 

Monday, 1 August 2016

All The Things

I am stealing a line from Ali Brosh and her most interesting book, but it best describes my weekend. 

It was going nicely if a little eccentrically, till it got better.  I managed to knit on all these things

on Friday and Saturday.  I know.  Maybe a little crazy but I could not settle.

I actually completed one thing by Monday night.

  This pair goes to my niece Micki.  I just need her shoe size and the heels will go in and I can send her brothers socks to him and these to her.  I didn't think it right to leave Micki out of having socks.  Her mom has some.  Her brother will, so she is getting some too.

And lots left to make Cassie a pair from the leftovers.  She has been asking for socks like this every time this yarn went upstairs. 

And like I said, after that, my weekend went bad.  Really bad.

If I tell you that one of the better things that happened was that the cat was locked in my room by accident and peed on my bed, you will understand just how much worse it got. 

Our well has to be replaced.  As in we haven't had water in the house since Saturday. 

Did I mention that the cat peed on my bed?  Yeah. 

And that was my weekend,  my summer long weekend.

Also, I am drinking hard Rootbeer and I don't even care if it shows.