Monday, 31 October 2016

It's Back

There was a time not so long ago, this morning for instance, when I thought my sweater knitting mojo had up and left me.  I've been feeling that way for many many months, as far back as moving to my wee house.

It was surely a symptom of everything else that was going on in my life, and was absolutely part of the grieving.  Sure I knit sweaters during the last few years, and I did enjoy them, but I never just sat down and went a completely different direction and was utterly thrilled to do it.  That happened today.

It all started with the vest I have been working on.  I was having a miserable time putting sleeves on the thing.  I did pull it back, and I was meaning to redo them, but I just didn't have the heart for it.  The first thing I did was to sew up side seams.  And then I tried it on.  It changed from bad to yeah, I can do this. And suddenly I had nothing to knit and a lot of yarn .

I wondered what else I could do with the yarn.  I have been thinking about contiguous sleeve again.  It's quite a while since I did some of those,.  I looked at the list of sweaters by yarn weight, and I saw the perfect thing.


It's really the perfect thing.  Almost before I knew it, I was knitting.  I finished the collar and everything just moved so fast.

  Because I have 2 gray yarns to make this, and because this isn't the right sweater for stripes (my opinion.  YMMV), I am going  to switch colours at the end of the garter stitch section.  I will probably add in a bit of the light gray in the hem garter stitch.  If I have some, that is, but otherwise 2 grays and simple colour blocks. 

It's moving along marvelously, and first fit will tell if I am doing alright.  But whatever.  It feels good and wonderful and filled with mojo.

It's a Garbled World.

My keyboard is garbled this morning.  Which means I have been working on posting but nothing is happening except for bzurblgerp. 


Or maybe it's just being interfered with by the knitting gods.  They have been wreaking havoc here.  I redid the top sections of the vest and while it's better, it still isn't a garment I would wear.  I have a plan to turn it into a sweater but it's not cooperating with me. 

This is sleeve two.  It's about to be sleeve three.  I have no doubt, there will be a sleeve 4.  Thankfully, this yarn is asturdy prairie yarn (Custom Woolen Mills Mulespinner 2 ply) so it can handle it. 

I will persevere.  One way or another, it will end up as something decent.  And if not...well, there are some garments that end up good enough for home.  And nowhere else. 

Friday, 28 October 2016

It's Friday Again

My mom always said that the older you got, the faster time moved.  It is oh so true.  This parade of Fridays happen, even though my head is on Wednesday.

My goal for this week was to get started on a heavy winter sweater for me.  As I mentioned before, the plan is to make the Rams Horn Cardigan from Meg Swansen's Knitting.  Being Friday, you can see how perilously close I am to missing the goal entirely.

Can I just say, I hate swatching in the round?  I wanted in the round because that is the way I intend to knit the sweater but getting started can be a real bugger if everything doesn't go just right.  I wanted to leave a nice section I could cut open once the swatch was complete.  I cannot tell you how many times I found myself knitting with the strand joining the two sides rather than the yarn coming from the ball.  I stopped counting at 8.  I finally decided to just knit the blessed thing together and let whatever would happen, happen.

You can just see the shapes of the design start to form.  I put the line of garter in because I am going to go down one needle size.  I started on 5 mm needles but the gauge seems a little loosey goosey to me. I want to wash this swatch to be really certain of which fabric I prefer.  I want it closely knit for warmth but I do not want to be wearing iron.  If I wanted iron, I could buy a coat.  Eeewwwww

When I wound up yarn the other day, I also wound up the very pretty skein my sister brought me back from her trip to Britain.  It seemed like the perfect sort of yarn for a Hitchkiker.  The simple garter stitch would really show off the pretty, spotted nature of the this skein of yarn from I Knit or Dye.

This is going to be my easy knitting for a bit.  I do still love my socks for in between easy knitting, but I cannot find the simple pair  that I have on the go and what with gauge games and lace socks and colour work,  I really need simple.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Nothing important

I wasn't doing anything today other than watching Mr. Marcus and knitting.  I didn't want to do anything too involved.  I debated getting my winder and swift set up to wind the yarn for my next project, but, I will save that for another day.

I picked up this long time project and worked on it for a bit.

Sorry about the fuzzy photo.  I couldn't seem to make it right with the celing light.  All the photos had the fuzzy bit.

I am near the winding down stage.  3 yarns are almost gone and the rest I have lots left to work with, too much in fact.  There were some near full skiens here so I really should have been paying attention to my yarn usage a little better.  Oh well.  It is what it is.

I have enough to do each yarn at least once more, so I anticipate another 3 -4 inches in width.  It is going to make a nice wide scarf or cowl or a combination of both, I think.  If I had more of each of the smaller quantity yarns, it would have made a lovely ruanna. 

It will be downright yummy with all the angora and fuzzy goodness in it and I am content with that.


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I like Mail.

I like mail.  It brings me good stuff like this.

And I think this second batch of light gray is going to work with the original.

  And after I turn the latest disaster sweater into good knitting, I should have enough of the light when combined with the darker gray, to make another sweater! 

A good warm sweater and lots to look forward to!

Monday, 24 October 2016


I picked up another on the go sock today.  I knit my heart out.  I might still be knitting

if it wasn't that today's sock is a whole different size than the sock from earlier.

Straight up gauge games.  Sigh.

It did seem a little small but then so did the first.  I hate when this happens.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Three Fer

You will be surprised when this blog tells you that this weekend was a three fer.  Three completed projects in one weekend.

1 sweater, of which there is no decent photo.  It is this because, in general, this project was an ughhhhh.  I sort of knew it.  A deep armscyce and a larger, older chest is never a good mix.  I do love the yarn and the button sides will be fine, so I am going to pop it back, and knit an upper section that works better for me.  It's a nice pattern, but we were not fated to be.

In my disappointment, I picked up a sock and early this morning, I finished that.  I am just pleased as punch about this.  It is one of the nicest yarn colour ways ever.

  Jawoll Color, colour 902.0043.  The pattern is Prism by Jaya Shrikrishnan.  It's such a pleasing blend of pattern and yarn.  All together, a very rewarding knit.

You can also see that I did my first learnt toe cast on, which is cast on and knit across and then knit down the backside picking up and knitting as you go.  The heel is Maia Spins Gusseted Toe Up heel.

And then, with a few hours left, I put another older project out of its misery.  I had decided what to do with my Onerva shawl and just needed to clean it up and finish it.

I wanted to knit a full square but I couldn't quite sort out my problem with the decreases.  I just don't have the mental energy to think about that right now, and I really wanted to get it out of the WIP pile.  So I ripped back to the midpoint, and knit some garter stitch rows and we are good.  It is done.  the yarn is going to have a ton of growth on blocking and the size is going to be just right when it is done.  Blocking is going to have to wait though.  It's just too much effort of put it out with kiddies around.

It was  three fer.  They didn't all go perfectly, but that has never stopped me before.

Well actually, it has, but I am working on that.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

When I get to knitting

Things actually happen.  Projects actually get completed.  One of the wonders of the world.  When you go and do stuff, stuff actually gets done.

 I'm on the bottom of the  vest, about at the waist.  It doesn't look like it, but the armscyce is long and lower than average.  It is what gives the vest its very laid back and modern look.

I hope.

Update:  Marcus was helping today.  I didn't quite get it all cleaned up before I published!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Back to Work

Back to knitting on my sweater.  It's easy to make good progress when there are so few stitches.
The back is under it.

I quite simply love working with this yarn.  It's mule spun, so it has an entirely different hand than other yarns.  It is said it is more like knitting with a handspun, but I couldn't say.  I haven't knit with enough handspun to be able to really say.

What it does remind me of is knitting with Noro Kureyon.  There is that same full feel, as if you are holding something really substantial.  It feels warm even as each individual stitch is formed. You know that warm is this yarns native state.  It is a simple old fashioned strength to it that has a place in this modern world.

And a funny thing.  When I posted yesterday about the book, I did not expect to find out what happened to it.  It must have been missing for a while, but my spinning friend purchased it at a library sale of discarded books a couple years ago.  Which delights me, except for my strong feeling1 that libraries ought to collect books and keep them.

Monday, 17 October 2016

A Library Addition

Hard Copy!

With my early arrival to fair Saskatoon,  There was plenty of time for a nice long stop at my favourite local yarn store.  No one was waiting on me.  No time pressure at all.  That was a rare gift I gave myself and I had a wonderful time.

The first thing I spotted that I knew I would be going home with was a book. Meg Swansen's  Knitting.  I came across this book at my local library years ago, but somewhere in the last 8 years, it was taken from the library.  Sad that this happens to books, but some people don't like to share.

I looked for a used copy but for a long time, all I could find was used copies for a very big price.  This copy is new and while not quite pristine (It was in the shop for a long time), it is lovely and all mine.

This was the inspiration for my first colour work sweater, a tiny baby sweater.  I think I have some posts on this blog about it, but I don't have any project post on it on Ravelry so I can't show you, but I used the colours from Meg's lovely cover sweater to pick and choose the colours for my wee sweater and did the corrugated ribbing as she does hers, with a few rows of all knitted stitches at the transitions. 

Over the years, I would go on Ravelry and look at projects knitted from it, and dream about the lovely designs, and plan how I would used the calm Lupine patterning and the vibrant Phoenix.  I dreamed about the lovely belted Saddle Sleeve Jacket.

I took the book, and then sat and we planned out a sweater from it.  I still need a good warm sweater to replace my fluffing out down coat, and even though my last try was the ultimate disaster of Romulan shoulders, I am undaunted. 

I will do a sensible Rams Horn Cardigan with it's soft variations of grays.  I won't make the shoulders quite so deep a sleeve, but otherwise, this completely patterned design will be followed other than doing what I need to do to make it fit nicely.  Its double stranded worsted weight nature should be perfect for winter when worn with my  vest (which will cut wind) for all but the very coldest of days. 

I still have to finish the sweater from Thanksgiving weekend, but then this!  It's all me time!

Or it will be soon.  I still have to work on Pole for my daughter in law, but that is such lovely easy knitting, that once I get to it, it won't be a long knit.

So on to exciting times.  Colourwork and a book that I have long admired.

Friday, 14 October 2016


I did leave home yesterday. The weather reports just looked bad, and trying to outrun the storm seemed like a good idea.  I do not like freezing rain.  There are 2 major stops along the way and if I got tired, I would stop.  So I stopped at Lloydminster and checked the weather.  Storm was upgraded to a watch.  I kept driving.  I stopped at North Battleford.  An alert on there too.  I kept driving.

I called my brother to find a place to stay in Saskatoon.  He didn't answer.  When I talked with him this morning, he said he crashed early last night and never checked his phone when he crawled to bed. It was too late to call my sisters or my mom and dad, so I did what I was originally going to do (if I had stopped along the way) and found a nice hotel with a comfy bed and complimentary coffee.

I am going to take myself out for breakfast and then will pop over to my local yarn store, Prairie Lily Knitting to play with yarn. There is another shop here in the city, that I haven't been to and I might stop there too.  Then tea and shopping at the best bookstore on  the prairies, McNally Robionson.

I am on vacation and I intend to indulge.

In the meantime...

Wee mittens for my little boys!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Wherein I Spin

 I have been meeting a friend to spin once a week since I moved back to my big house.  It is one of the mainstays of my week. 

It means there is actual spinning production, though it seems that it has not increased the amount of finished yarn I produce. 

I have come to realize that I have a little thing about plying, it seems and the more I watch other spinners and talk and listen and read, the more I come to understand just what the heck my trouble is.  One day soon, I will have enough fibre spun up to see if the things I have been thinking about will change plying where my biggest difficulties lie, in my head.

Isn't that the way though.

In the meantime, I have singles.

 Not evenly loaded on the bobbin.  Sigh.  I sorely need a needle nosed pliers in my spinning kit. I love the sliding flyer hooks, but you do have to squeeze them firmly once in a while, to give them a little tension on the flyer.   It is several months since I did that, and it really is starting to show up as the yarn winds on.  No matter.  One of my solutions to my plying thing is going to be rewinding bobbins before plying.  That will give me a chance to even it up some. 

But, I am pretty pleased with my singles spinning.  This bobbin isn't nearly as pretty as the first, but I am becoming more even the more hours I clock on my wheel.

I took some pictures of the loveliness happening on the other wheel.  My one still photo was horridly fuzzy so I give to you the very lovely, but almost surreal pictures.

Everything looks still, but for the flyer and the yarn itself.  the yarn looks almost as if it was drawn on by an animators hand.  Mildly surreal in a still photo.  You don't see the lovely work in detail, but you get a really really great look at the colours of this braid.

There is some knitting to do today, and then, if the weather report this morning is anything to go by, some packing and possibly some driving.  The weather is supposed to get bad again as rain and snow are in the forecast.  The snow is doable, but I am not a fan of driving in freezing rain.  Leaving early might be a smart move. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Pretty Pretty

I finished the back of the sweater yesterday and was left with an entire evening where if I could have knit more, I would have.  My hands gave out, long before my desire to knit did yesterday.  I was left, digging through my current projects, looking at books and oh so pretty pictures, and not a whole lot else. 

This morning I got up and I was so ready to knit, much readier to knit than to write, much readier to knit than to shower.  I sat myself down to work it out of my system.

If you have to work the need to knit out of your stem before you start your day, the sensible thing to do is to pick up socks.  There are 3 pairs in the works here, and all of them are pretty.  This morning demanded pretty but not requiring brains.  I picked up these. 

Slip stitch is easy to tell if you have messed up a row, and there is only one possible thing you can do wrong.  This was the pair that struck my fancy today.  The longer I work with this yarn, the more I like it.  It is such a stimulating pattern and I still think about going back to get another skein. 

It's time to get my day underway.  I am spinning today with a friend and it is a school morning here for my granddaughter.  Plenty to do in a short few hours and pretty knitting to get me started.   

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Not Quite a Sweater

It's not quite a sweater yet, but it is coming along.

What with one thing and another, the weekend, where I pretended I was away, did not have nearly as much knitting time as I hoped.  It was suggested that since I was here, I ought to cook a turkey for those who could make it at short notice.  So I did.  It took a healthy day out of my knitting time though, but still, I am pleased with the way it is coming along.

The pattern is  the Linnea Tunic , a nice button sided garment with a very relaxed sort of look.  I want the tunic length to wear with a new pair of pants that I have that simply demands the longer length.

I am not 100% sure this is going to look good on me, or even look reasonably decent (which is kind of what I shoot for in the first place).  It is entirely possible that it will accent my hips, but I hope not. My solution is to knit it as if it was a regular sweater, even as it maintains the general shape of the original.  While I do plan to have buttons at the sides for decoration, I am planning to sew the sides at least to my waist for ease of wearing.

In a lot of ways, my Linnea is going to be an inspired by.  My gauge is very different.  14 stitches on 4 inches rather than the original, and the bottom of necessity, will have increases across the back hip line and will have a modified a-line shape on the sides.

It's early days, and I need to order 2 more skeins of yarn, at least, but here is hoping for a new wearable garment soon!

Updated:  Yarn ordered.  Good to go.

Friday, 7 October 2016


I had travel plans for the weekend.  It didn't work out.  

 Yeah.  It happens.  It is October.

 I would still drive but my mum called and said to wait till next weekend.  My mom still cleans 2 condos and this snow is going to give her a load of extra cleaning.  So when she says she isn't wanting me to come this weekend it isn't personal, it is that she is going to be pooped and won't get to have a good visit. And I would really like a good visit with mom.  

Plus whatever cooking plans she has are that much harder to make happen when you don't feel good about driving on icy roads an aren't comfortable going out to get groceries.  And my mom is all about the cooking.

So, in order not to upset the weekend plans of family upstairs, I'm going to keep myself busy and knit me a quick sweater.  The debate is raging over which sweater and which yarn, but that is part of the fun. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016


When my granddaughter, Cassie came home from school yesterday, she told me that her fingers were chilly.  She said it very directly and seriously and in the way that seemed to be saying, Grandma, can you fix this?

Of course I can.

I'm halfway done almost before she was finished asking.

Tiny mittens.  Left over sock yarn.  Best instant gratification project ever.

And then there is Marcus and Carter and Isaac...and then they need heavier ones for the deep cold of winter...

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Stash

What with the small acquisition yesterday, I realized just how long it is since I did any real maintenance on my stash recorded at Ravelry. 

I do like having it there.  It's really handy for dreaming and planning future knits.  It is the first yarn store you go to every day and it is the one you should shop at first. 

But if you don't maintain that record, then how will you know, and how will you track and record it?  Everybody has their way, of course.  Mine just happens to be Raveley.  It's been just over three years since I did any real work on it.  It was a round to it sort of project .  I wanted to take photos this time too, so that I don't have to search for colours when I am looking on Ravelry too. 
It's a big job and there is going to be a reckoning. 

It will be a while,till I get there.  One more move to go and then peace and tranquility?  Maybe.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

A major new road opened today in Edmonton.  The Anthony Henday Drive rings the city.  Construction began in the 90s, though some roads were there even earlier, with the major push in the last 10 years.  It is high time.  I took a drive right round the city.  In heavy traffic!  I wasn't the only one just out on a lovely day on a Sunday afternoon cruise on the Henday.

While I was out I took a minor detour and picked up some lovely stuff.  A local Raveler was selling stash she isn't 100% in love with and I came away with some lovely things.  For no good reason, but hey.  What the heck.

 Some stunning Three Irish Girls Merino and Silk.  This is going to be a vest.  It is a little short on the gray but I have something that will, I think, work to beef up the metres fairly seamlessly.  Failing that, I will see if I can source another or will make do, and turn the colours around from my original vision.

And here we have another vest.  Again, it's three of the more simply coloured skeins and two of another and a single of a third just to make up yardage.  But again, I think it will work together and look great.

A sunny October afternoon is good for stuff like this.  Dreams and schemes and feeling good!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Isaac's sweater

This blogger delivered a sweater today.  A seriously fine sweater that fits just right.  

Just long enough for a year or twos growth and exactly right in the sleeves.  

It everything I was looking for from this project and everything I hope he was looking for in a sweater.

And his mom really liked it too.  Which means I really have to get my buns in gear and finish hers!