Friday, 30 September 2016

Wondering what happened to Thursday?

Me too.  i have no idea where it went but it sure did go.  ah well.

I did the final bind off on Isaac's sweater yesterday.  All the knitting is done.  Only ends to weave in and the zipper facing to be sewn to it's final resting place.

It's going to look great!  And it will fit him for sure.  In fact, I hope it isn't too large.  I know he likes it a little large so I am hoping it is exactly what he likes in a sweater.

Hmm.  It also appears that I have to sew the side seams on the pockets too.   

I think I will see him this weekend, so there is a little pressure to get it all done.  

Then just one more must knit till I am free to knit for me, and to knit more than socks.

There was also a little sock knitting.  This was completed.

And for my commenter yesterday, the yarn is Paton's Kroy and the needles are 2.25, which is a little tighter than I generally use, but the only reason I don't use it regularly is that 2.25 mm needles are harder than average to get in the shorter length I prefer (6 inches).  The needles are Susan Bates, and while they are good 8 inch needles, they don't stand up to the test I put them to.  They are all bent out of straight after just one firmly knit sock. 

It should also be noted that I added four stitches to the pattern, hiding it in each purl colum between pattern stitches.  I deviated from the pattern and knit a ribbed top of cuff and a heel flap heel rather than the short row heel as given.  Just to be ornery.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Nuts to me.

I was spinning yesterday and decided to go to the knitting circle in the afternoon.  How nice it was to visit with everybody again.  But I realized before I went, that I only had one pair of socks to work on and it was not in a good place for group knitting.

Off I went to pickup a bit of yarn and some needles.  I started my Christmas shopping too, so it was an all round good stop.

And then, over a bite to eat, I had to pick a pattern.  I went with Nutkin. 

Nutkin is a really nice textural pattern, one of the most knit sock patterns on Ravelry.  And I am pretty pleased with my version too.

It's a shorter than average sock for the pattern, but that is what works for me.  I've switched lots up on it.  Ribbed cuff instead of a fussy one.  Heel flap heel.  Still for all its differences, it is the heart of a Nutkin.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Some days there isn't a lot to say, other than there is knitting and that there is also not knitting. 
there was a fair bit of knitting yesterday, but most of it isn't quite where I can show it off.  Later this week perhaps.   

For now, there are socks.  Pretty blue socks that move along so fast it hardly seems I am knitting them at all. 

It feels as if there was not more than a half an hour spent on these.  I know it was more, but it just feels like less. Relativity in action.  B)

Monday, 26 September 2016

The most amazing day

Yesterday was the most amazing day.  A completely unexpected amazing day

I stayed at Mundare on Saturday night and did not get home till mid morning.  When I got home, I was told it's going to be busy today and we are glad you are here.  I more or less, kept the kids out of the way of the big stuff, while making sure Cassie saw the interesting stuff going on.  Mommy had a photo shoot and we were awash in beautiful costume.

 Just a few shots as they dressed and prepped, and a few closeups of the amazing dress.

I took a few closeups but nothing could adequately express the beauty, the feel of the work in these garments. 

These are each hand made and all are antique.  They are part of the collection of two of the ladies who organized the day and the project behind this most amazing photo shoot.  The collections goal is to have an example of the traditional costume of each area of the Ukraine. 

The most spectacular work was not the very ornate, flowery, beaded wonders, though they were spectacular.  The most amazing were the detailed work on the white on white dresses and the very small densely worked details of this simple costume. 

It looks very simple, doesn't it? 

But look at this detail shot. 


Thursday, 22 September 2016

And that sweater?

Today is supposed to be delivery day for the sweater.  I'm not there yet.  I am there tomorrow and the sweater has problems.  I have to redo the three needle bind offs and pick up a different number of stitches so the zipper sits smoothly in the whole.  It is a little crinkly looking right now.  Soon mended though.  Time for that this afternoon.

For now, I have socks. Well, a sock but the second is my daytime knitting with the kids.

 Isn't that a nice one?  I am so pleased with this colourway that I might go back and pick up exactly the same skein just to knit it again!

I knit this toe up with a more usual toe up toe. (It's a lot of toe ups in a single sentence) It also uses Maia's Toe Up Gusseted Heel  which explains how to make a gusseted heel by winging it when all you knew was a topdown heel. It's some great instructions if putting a heel flap on the bottom isn't something your mind wraps around easily.  It also is really good instructions for getting the fit just right. 

This is a really nice pattern, Prism, for when you just want a little something more than vanilla. 

So socks seem to keep happening when nothing else does.  There is almost always knitting.  Almost.  I wish there was more.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The knitter and the very good day

Yesterday was a good day.  It was the kind of day that you just don't get too often, or maybe it is that you really don't notice it.  It was great actually, not in huge big ways, but in the warm fuzzies that fill your life with comfort and strength and a sense that you will make it.  Where and what it is, is not known yet of course, but suffice it to say it was a really good day.

And then I looked at my knitting. 

I have to back up a little.  I started the day with spinning as I usually do on Tuesdays.  Someday I will even show you.  We started a little later than usual, though I left home at the same time.  I decided that I would do a little sock knitting before my spinning partners arrived. 

I picked up the knitting and worked a bit on the heel.  Then I noticed an error on the lace.   I would have to go back.  I worked back the half dozen or so rows to before the error.  Once I did that, I found a second error.  I had forgotten to restart the lace after the heel turn.

 And I knit merrily on a few rows more.

And then it hit me. 

This is a top down sock.  I had just started putting lace on the bottom of the foot.  Sigh. 

I took it out and threw the whole thing down in disgust.  I started spinning.  My partner came and things improved.  We talked about spinning and fibre and the upcoming fall sale by the Edmonton Weavers guild.  I'm thinking I ought to go just to see the samples and how things work up and to talk to weavers.  Weaving is a bug that has bitten hard, but not one that will happen right now.  There is just no room and no time.

The day got better after a very successful appointment in which I was pleased and relieved.  Suffice it to say, that the small things I wish to do in my life can happen.  On the my next appointment.

Things were running late and for the very first time, I had time to knit.  The sock is now long enough to measure for fit.  I didn't mind the delay at all.  It was rather nice.  And then I got the very encouraging news that I am pretty darn normal and that all the little things of the past couple years have been weathered and resolved or otherwise managed. 

It all wound up being a very encouraging sort of day. 

The wee ones above my room are making noise and are moving about.  For all the stresses and strains of living with one of my kids and his family, as I do right now, listening to the little ones start the day is one of the nicest things. 

It is an encouraging start to another very good sort of day.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Just one more day

I worked on the sweater this weekend, to the exclusion of everything else. 

Things moved along smoothly enough, I think, though at this point, it is a little hard to tell if I have it right.  If it isn't right, it is a matter of gauge.  I put stitches on the zipper to match the gauge of the knitting so that when the zipper is knitted in, it all matches smoothly.  However, at first glance, the one side of the zipper that is installed isn't quite as perfect as I would like.   

I have a little bit of work to do before I can see if I have it right and the shortcomings I see are just construction issues that will be fixed once the sweater is done.  Time will tell all.

I really need just one more day.  One good long day and it would be done.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

If you give a mouse a cookie

There is a children's story called if you give a mouse a cookie, which, if you know it, you already know where this post is going.  But it is a truth, universally acknowledged among knitters, that, if you leave a ball of brightly coloured sock yarn sitting around, you will end up with socks.

 I have bright but when I started knitting with it, I found something unexpectedly spectacular, far beyond the simplicity of bright.

 This is the instep of the sock, using Jaya Srikrishnan's Prism pattern. It's a nice little slip stitch thing.  Pure and simple.  I will show you the back side so you can see the difference between plain vanilla and Prism.  

It is very reminiscent of the kind of colours you get on the very complex colourwork of Turkish socks.  Either way, I win.

I took a bit of a stop at my local Micheal's this evening.  I really just went for the embroidery floss, but I haven't been at that store for a long time.  I wandered through the yarn aisles too and came home with some of the very nice Lion Brand Sock Ease and a couple balls of Kroy in a colourway I did not have.

I put this in a bag that I cannot see through...

because if you leave a ball of sock yarn in plain sight, will end up with socks.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What sweater?

I am an olympic level champion procrastinator. 

It takes me absolutely no effort at all to find something else absorbing in order to avoid working on the sweater.  In this case it is particularly goofy, because I already did the pickup for the stitches for the button band and all I have to do right now is knit for 8 or 10 rows.  It is silly to be avoiding it but the evidence quite clearly shows, that is what I am doing.

I did talk about starting another sock to knit while I was upstairs.  And I did.  I picked something that would be fun and lacy and where there was something new to learn.

I started the Brussels Lace Socks from Stephanie Van Der Linden's Around the World in Knitted Socks.  The pattern begins with a folded over cuff and I haven't done one of those yet.  Fiddly, if I might say, but very nice once it is complete.  We shall see how it goes in the wearing.  I need a good stretchy cuff and I do hope that this works out. 

And then I just kept knitting.  It is s simple little chart, and because it is a sock, the knitting and the chart rows move along swiftly.  It is entirely possible that, after years, since 2007, of knitting plain vanilla socks, I have been bitten by whatever bug it is that drives people to knit patterned socks.

I have knitted my way through 4 plus hours of 'The Code' (out of Australia and pretty darn good.) and gone through the first repeat of the chart.  There are two repeats on the calf portion of the sock, so I guess I would now be about one quarter of the way through this project.  Thing is, my spirit is very, very willing to keep working but my hands are giving up.

I had a good talk with myself about knitting to long and injuring myself.  I might not get to knit at all tomorrow, and that would be rest enough, right?  but I am expecting a fairly quiet day.  Cassie has just started preschool so it is just Marcus and myself tomorrow morning.  Marcus gets in a lot less trouble without his big sister helping.   The afternoon is nap time, so that isn't a problem.  There could be a lot of knitting time. 

It is also late.  I get up early.  There is that.  School mornings are always a little rushed so keeping routine is very important in the excitement of school for my sweet thing. 

I must quit knitting.  The stopping place is right.  It is late.  My hands need a break.  I have every reason to put my work aside and go to bed. 

But oh how I want...

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


I think I am ok with all the sock knitting I have been doing lately.  I ought to be working on the sweater, and though I have started it, it is not without it trauma drama.  Maybe tomorrow I will talk about that.

But today was spinning day and sitting at son 2's new house waiting for the furnace repair guy.  How lovely it was to sit in such a bright and sunny kitchen.  Or it was once the furnace was fixed.  And my spinning company, Frazzledknitter, brought some muffins and there was tea and good conversation.

When I got home, there was my granddaughter, who had her first day of preschool, and was so excited to talk about it, so I didn't get a chance to sit down and knit till much later in the evening.  All I had energy for was socks. 

So it was a good thing that I had a pair of socks that were oh so close to completion. 

Such a bright and cheery pair were the perfect answer to a period of sluggish knitting.  It was a great little pattern.  Just enough pep to keep you going on and on.  

It is a simple little knit and purl pattern, that recurs exactly often enough to keep you wanting to knit just a little more, and then just a little more.  Good for what ails you.

I have three sets of sock needles that are now empty.  I feel an incredible urge to cast on a bunch just to scratch the itch.  I won't though.  I can be firm with myself right?  I can be strong against the power if interesting sock patterns, right?  I'm not a slave to socks, am I?

We shall see.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Something in the air

The Fall air must be funny.  It is making me do all kinds of things I don't normally do.  Knitting a sock pattern

obsessing over finishing a sweater rather than being totally comfortable with it sitting in the WIP bin for a year (OK, this is valid.  He is growing like a weed.)

And this.

I bought not just one knitting magazine, but 2. 

I haven't bought knitting magazines on paper for several years.  If I did buy them, I was buying a digital copy and there was something I really really wanted in them.  Heck, I don't buy regular magazines of any kind.  They are all just too expensive and they are, in essence a throw away item.  Now, a book on the other hand...

But these magazines just looked so fresh and...

So they came home with me, and I really really enjoyed the reads and the ads and the thumbing through paper.  But as much as I like it, these are pretty much throw away things and before long, they will be in the bin.  I will pull any patterns that I am positive I will want to knit.  The next batch of magazines I buy will be digital.  It makes so much more sense.

But just for this moment in time, I am really enjoying the paper.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Binding off

I bound off a shawl today.  It was magic. I love that part.  It doesn't matter if it is a shawl or a sweater or a pair of socks.  I just love the cast off.

When you cast off stitches, it is the final proof that you did something.  That you completed a task that you set yourself and nobody but you did that.  In that moment, all the things that you ever felt that you failed at, or weren't good enough to do become invisible and fall by the way side.  Nobody did this but you.  No one did it in exactly the same way as you, or worked with the same yarns, or knit in the same flaws. 

It is yours and despite its quirks and flaws (or not) it is a finished thing, utterly unique and yet  part of a greater whole.  It is one of a group of many other shawls made using the same pattern.  It touches the thoughts and minds of knitters from all over the world as they interpreted this same design and connects you to your people:  knitters.

No one can take this away from you.

Right.  I did say that I was going to finish that sweater, didn't I?

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Quiet now

This late posting comes to you via Mr. Marcus, who is two today.  It was a very busy morning opening presents and listening to a small boy squeal in delight at his Peppa the Pig figures.  They are off this morning for preschool orientation for Mr. Marcus' big sister.  Honestly, it was hard to tell who was more excited today.

And then there was knitting.  As in none.  It has been two days since I picked up needles and knit.  And with everything I am, I can feel it.  It's funny how this isn't an addiction (it isn't) and yet, the days seem just incomplete somehow if I didn't make time to knit a little.  My day feels like a cake without icing.  Like poutine without the cheese.  It feels as if some vital ingredient is missing.  It tastes ok, but it isn't anything to write home about.

I have been thinking of knitting, though.  A lot.  I've been looking at patterns and deciding what to knit next, and do I want a cozy warm fair isle vest of do I want a soft blue pullover?  Lots of questions, many answers, and nary a decision in the mix.

Today is a quiet day for me.  I don't have kiddies to watch, so I am going to attack Isaac's sweater and get the zipper in before I lose my nerve. 

That is the plan, no putting it aside.  If I wait longer he will grow out of it before I get it to him.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The things you never thought of.

I am a pretty ordinary person, not generally given to grandiosity.  I never thought I would be one of those people who wore shawls.  I just couldn't see me putting up with the fuss.

And yet, having become a knitter, I adore shawl making and even more, shawl wearing.

Big shawls. Little shawls.  Light lacy things of fine yarn.  Plain heavy warm ones.  I adore the feel of that little bit of warmth over the top of my back.

 Shawls are instant warmth and it is a wonder we ever stopped wearing them.  Sweaters are fine, but lots of times, a shawl is the real answer to being warm.

In case you wondered, I am airing shawls today and generally making them ready for winter and heavy winter rotation.  I love this time of year.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Something Not different

I had the biggest urge to knit on Saturday morning. Huge.  Giant.  But I did not have the brainpower to do anything serious.

I dug in the boxes and out popped the new sock yarn skeins.  New, as in they haven't made it into the sock stash container.  I pulled out a random ball and went searching for a pattern.

Yes.  I did.  Went searching for a pattern.  That seems to be a regular thing lately.  I want to knit socks, but if I start a new pair, there is always this niggling thought that maybe it is time to knit sock patterns. By then it was time to go watch the kiddies for the morning.  I spent another couple of hours searching when I came back down to my knitterly den.

I thought very seriously about Skew socks, but...I don't recall why I ruled them out.  I think it may have been a gauge thing.  They are so innovative that gauge would be crucial and I just didn't feel like doing that work.  Lazy am I.  What I really needed was a pattern 'lite.'

I eventually ended up with the Swirl Socks.

It's amazing.  These have just the right touch of that special sock something that makes you unable to stop knitting no matter how exhausted your hands are.  It's like knitting stripes only more so.  Like stripes on steroids.  You cannot stop knitting and when you do stop, you cannot sleep because your brain is still busy working.  It's counting and purling and...

Well, you know.  I finished 3/4 of the first sock late on Saturday.  Then I finished it and started the second sock in bits and pieces of time on Sunday.

    They are bright and cute and all the things needed to banish a wee case of the heel and toe blues.

I have heels to do on two pairs of socks, and then there is going to be a number of days doing repairs on socks. 

Only then will the sock drawer be fit for winter.  Till then, a whole new pair, heels worked in, are almost ready.  And that bright Fluoromania colour is going to lift my spirits through the darkest of winter nights. 

Friday, 2 September 2016


I don't think I knit at all yesterday.  I was gallivanting. 

My second son took possession of his house yesterday and I am so excited for him.  And me!  It will be my next move and will be my last with a little luck.  Or at least, the last for many years.

Plus, there is a garden.  I will have a real garden, not huge but a garden.  And manageable flower beds that are well filled and maintained.  The only thing it lacks is that it faces north and south with only one bedroom window east.  I won't have my morning light pouring in, but that's ok.  The trade off is that the living room ceiling has a light.  And fan, but the light is so much a bonus to me.  No more feeling like I am working in the dark.  The living room will be more or less my territory  and it will be a fine stdio/study/library. 

And closets!  Tons of closets.  Darn.  I hear little people.  I must get a move on.  The short people are hungry.