Wednesday, 30 November 2016

In Between

In between all the other little bits the last few weeks, I knit myself a pair of mittens.

It all started with Cassie's school mittens.

Making her a pair of mittens  means I have to make a pair for Marcus.

  Which reminded me that when we cleaned my car last spring, there was only one good pair of mittens in it,.  Since I always carry several extra pair, or rather I prefer to carry a couple extra emergency pairs, I realized that it was time to make some for me too. 

I think this mitten thing is replacing the socks for a bit.  That's ok.  It good knitting..  I also think that I have 2 other grandchildren that I would like to knit some sturdy boys in the snow mittens for.  And I might make Cassie a better, warmer pair than her first ones too.

And I do have a lot of that Red Drops Big Fable...

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Because it was a slower day

I had a full day planned with my kiddies, but it turned out, to be far less busy than I thought.  Marcus had a good nap and Cassie and I had a good talk about her need for another sweater.  Sadly, her last year sweater is too small for this big little girl. 

She just wants a pretty sweater.  Grandma wants one that is fun.  Mama wanted a red one but Grandma had a strong urge to knit some pretty fuschia and a skein of Socks That Rock Sherbet. 

Cassie's only specific request was that she wanted buttons.  She is just learning to do them on her own and she is determined to master the technique.  She will have buttons of course.  Something that will make her feel accomplished.  Maybe  be yellow buttons.  Just simple yellow buttons.

And Grandma will get to have some fun.  Mama may have to wait for a red one.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Well Begun

Well  begun is half done is an old saying that always comes to mind when I start a big project. Sometimes starting is the biggest battle I have with myself.

I started the Rams Head Cardigan.  It's not a huge swath of knitting yet, but it will be.

It doesn't look like much yet, but a huge amount of work is done.

The first thing is the long cast on.  For my hips, it's a lot of knitting.  The lining or underside of the hem is done.  8 rows and it will be easy enough to pick up and knit farther if I must.  I think the inch and a bit should be OK though.

Next, the stitches must be divided for fronts and backs.  Check. 

And finally, the biggie that always takes the longest, getting the patterning to fit my number of stitches.  I am going to use a trick Meg Swansen talks about for under arms.  I am making a side panel for the decreases so that I don't have to  worry about the panel being goofed up by off count stitches.

 And then I knit 4 rows of the pattern.  I have done just enough to start feeling a wee bit confident about the whole thing.  I still have markers at every pattern repeat, but I am getting a feel for the rhythm of the whole thing.

For me, this last is the key.  Once I understand that, I know the music I need to play and the knitting becomes a part of the greater whole .  It is when the full force of knitting power and the way it changed me is most evident.

I become one with the yarn. 

It might sound silly, if you weren't a knitter, but it is what it is.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

How you know it's a great sweater.

Even though I am not finished with the buttons on my Argo sweater, it sees frquent use.  Daily use, even if it is just for those first chilly minutes when I crawl out of bed.  Most mornings, I wear it upstairs till my coffee has warmed me up.

On days when things are not rushed, aka days when it isn't a school day or dance class day, I get to play and be silly with the little kiddies.  Usually, by the time my coffee is poured, they have finished their breakfasts but aren't yet dressed.  And they often want to snuggle in Grandmas sweater on Grandmas lap. 

 They climb aboard my lap and I take both sides and wrap them with the sides of my sweater, and close it up and hug them tight.  This is the best part of my day. 

And that is how I know Argo is a great sweater.  It opens up and wraps up around those I hold dear with plenty of room for more. 

Here is hoping the new one is half so grand.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Rams Horn

 I ought to be starting my version of the Rams Horn Cardigan

I have to confess that I'm just a little hesitant.  In fact so hesitant, that I knit an entire sweater avoiding it.  I know me.  I know how good I am at avoiding and on examination, the speed on my Argo, as good as it was all by itself, was fueled, pumped and pushed by the desire to hide from this one.  But I do need this heavily double stranded sweater to use as outer wear.  It's been ok till now, but...

 I think the biggest thing is that it is bottom up.  It's an awfully long time since I have done a bottom up steeked garment, and even longer since I did one for myself.  I know it's nothing to fear, but there is just that little bit of hesitancy  that I dont usually have. 

On the upside, the sweater starts with a folded hem, so there is a really nice base before you start the colour work.   There are all kinds of things that will be done to make this my sweater, but touches like this, which are so beneficial are not going to be changed. 

 I have the needles pulled, I have the yarn wound, and the pattern is out and waiting.  Just need to cast on.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Perfect Pair

And there we have it. 

There were several different tries.  Somewhere in a bag is yet another too small mitten.  This time, with this yarn that I have tons of,  I kept the too small first go to to make sure that the  next mittens would fit.  And there we have it. A perfect pair. 

He asked for a hat.  I'm thinking about it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Wee mittens

My wee Marcus needs mittens.

I have tried several times and each time, the product is too small.  Or wee Marcus is going to have big hands.  He is just wee and wiggly so big hands just seems wrong. 

I am thinking of trying a  sport weight yarn and if that doesn't work, I am going up to a nice washable worsted.  Sigh. 

Marcus and I both need gloves.  Maybe we could make them match.

Monday, 21 November 2016


That went about how I planned.  NOT.

I didn't knit a stitch yesterday and only a very little on Saturday.  I do get what the frizzeled worn out feeling is about though.  My throat is scratchy and sore.  I'm sick.  It's no consolation of course but it is explanation.

I did dig into my yarn boxes and have done a bit of looking for my next project.  Colourwork is next up.  I have a coat like garment to knit and I want a new pair of mitts.

One of the knitters I knit with loves mittens.  I see her popping out new pairs so effortlessly.  I would like that, but I get bogged down in the effortless part.  Mittens mean following a pattern for me.  Still I need some and I think I ought to knit rather than buy. 

It's warmer that way.  Time to pull out the good book.

Friday, 18 November 2016


I intend to spend my weekend quietly knitting and watching movies.  This is what I intend though it isn't what will probably happen.

My weekend is probably going to end up with chores and errands and babysitting kiddies.  While that is ok, I really could use some serious sitting in my room and knitting.

Thursday, 17 November 2016


I decided to go out to the evening knitting group here.  I am so glad I did.   I needed knitting and something to carry it in.  I dug under the pile. 

I found all of the missing knitting. I hadn't been able to find this one bag of yarn, since I came back from my mom's.  Found.  And in a way I am not surprised.

It was the only plain sock knitting I have on the go right now and losing just irritated me.  Found in my big old work bag with all the other things I might possibly need to knit while I was gone. 

I also found the little mitten I had started for Marcus. 

It's from the yarn I made his socks out of.  It just seemed fun to give him mittens from the remains.  I am really happy to see this again.

I found something else too. 

In my last job, I worked with one of the nicest gentlemen I ever met.  Just a gem.  Another lady he knew  came to work in scheduling and I formed a really nice relationship with her.  We tried to keep in touch after we both left the company but life, moves, cell number changes got in the way.  And we lost contact a year ago.  

I walked into the library where the knitters meet and walked past the first sitting area.  I casually glanced at the people sitting there, and walked a few steps further.  And turned right around and dropped my bags and gave this lovely lovely lady a giant hug.  Friend.  Found.  

The knitting is nice to find again, but finding a friend is priceless. found is a good way to end a day.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Not knitting?

As usual, after a big thing is completed, I seem to hit a lull.  I knit a little on my Hitchiker, but that is it.  I would probably do socks current sock bag seems to be lost.  There are others of course, but the influx of Christmas gifts bought early means piles.  In my very small room here, piles means some things are inaccessible.  So not a lot of knitting.

I did bring in all my spinning stuff from the car.  It needed a good going through and possibly a restocking of fibre.  I seem to be working through things in the most pleasing way.

 This is, more or less what I've accomplished in the last while.  It looks rather dull in terms of colour, doesn't it? The reality is a little different.

What appears blackish is, on closer inspection, a rather gorgeous burgundy.   A third of the Top Knot was this middle colour.  About a third has an even darker colour, and the last bit is a more bright burgundy.  Longer ago, I would have simply spun it.  Now, I pulled it apart and I hope for a bit of a gradient effect.  

 Rather than being the dull funky brownish thing at the top of the first picture, this skein is a lovely heathered greenish colour.  It looks considerably more green than in the photo, and I quite like it.  This is, IIRC the oldest fibre in my stash.  One more good spinning day and I will have two nice full bobbins ready for plying.

I'm not going to show you the bright stuff.  That was just a punch of colour to break things up. 

And this last.

 Just a good old fashioned Shetland in a soft natural brown.  My dreams of spinning have always been about spinning fine and knitting a complete shawl in all the colours I could find, of Shetland wool. I have another full bobbin of this waiting to be plied too.

It may take a day or so to get my knitting sorted.  Or, indeed dug out.  Until then I will look at these very pleasing pictures of some decently spun yarn made by me.  That may be more tooting my horn than I usually do, but I am pretty pleased with how spinning is coming along.

Yes several bobbins are not loaded smoothly.  I have a sliding hook on the flyer that needs to be tightened.  My little plyers, which I have been meaning to put in my spinning toolkit for weeks,  is, as of this morning, when I thought it went into my purse,  most likely buried under Christmas.  Sigh.  Anyway,for all the days I don't post, this is what I am up to.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

And There We are. Sweater.

And there we have it.  Sweater complete!

I am so happy with this one.  It just turned out perfect. It is warm. It's likely the mule spun character of the yarn that lends itself to feel like this, but whatever else people may feel about this yarn, they cannot deny, they won't be cold in it.  The biggest bonus for me is that it is local to me.  Or at least as close as can be.  I love that.  It is as environmentally friendly as can be, a very low carbon footprint. 

For all that it has a very low carbon footprint, the sweater looks  surprisingly sophisticated.  Not sophisticated like modern opera sophisticated, but outdoorsy sophisticated, kind of like LL Bean sophisticated.  It has a very sure sense of style.  Country style but great for the city too.  Style for people with a close attachment to the outdoors.

 In a way, that used to be me.  Well more Brian really, but he would have appreciated this sweater.   As you can see, there are no buttons on it yet.  I have to put a backing on the button bands.  The buttons I have chosen for this sweater are a little heavy but the are undeniably right.  I am going to use buttons that I bought long ago, for him. 

It just feels like the right place to use them.  It certainly is the right kind of yarn for them.  Sturdy.  Something that will last. 

I started this sweater on Halloween and here we are.  Finished.  It's  what happens when I am inspired completely by something wonderful and this sure is.  Wonderful.

Monday, 14 November 2016


It was an epic knitting weekend.  Saturday, sleeve one which was started late Friday, was completed.  Sunday the colour block at the bottom of the sweater (otherwise known as the hem ) was completed.

That's when I love knitting best.  When all the things you do mean you have something that is perfect length, perfect fit, perfect you.  Or as close to it as I will ever get.  At that point it got pretty exciting, because a full try on could be done.  And it was marvelous.

Even so, I had to really push to get the second sleeve completed.  Really push.

But the second sleeve is done.  All that remains is the button bands.

Which a smarter person than I would have just worked into the fronts.  Oh well, it gives me the chance to follow the pattern.  I am really pleased with this sweater. Really pleased.

I stopped the shoulder 'seams' just at the right time.  I changed the colour and stitch at just the right time.  I switched to garter stitch at exactly the right place on the bottom of the sweater.  AND IT FITS! Really well!

Its a good warm and yet moderately stylish colour blocked sweater, and I love it.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Better Than Us

I don't think I have ever said it better than this.

November 11, 2011

And from someone who said it ever so much better than I,

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
  At the going down of the sun and in the morning
  We will remember them."

For the Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon

Thursday, 10 November 2016


I didn't get as much done on my sweater as I hoped.  I'm just really good at not doing, you know, stuff. But it is being worked on right now. 

 Isn't that just a lovely gray?

I had to wind up another ball to work the second strand from.  That first ball went much farther than I thought it would.  It stayed large and stayed large and then, just when I thought it would never end, there it was, ending.  It completely snuck up on me.  But another was wound and I'm back in the game.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Working it

There is a bunch of knitting going on here.  Serious knitting on the sweater.

I am just down to the waist and before the day is ended, I hope to have a healthy chunk of the the body of the garment completed.  In my dreams, I want to have the bottom more or less done, but i think my hands are going to quit before then.

It is moving along nicely and I am really looking forward to the next fit session.  The last one, told me it will be a very good sweater, but this next one will confirm it.

I love knitting top down and I really do like this contiguous shoulder.  It is just so easy to make it fit well.

Anyway that is what is up to here.,  In the grand scheme of things, not a great or auspicious day, but I will knit.  

Sunday, 6 November 2016


This weekend was not a knitting weekend.  I had time to knit but I could not come up with the mental energy.  Sometimes life here is exhausting.  And mental.  And  isn't a lot I can do to change it.  Only time can change things. 

Still there was some desultory knitting.  A bit.

I worked on my still very small hitchhiker scarf/shawl.

 I love the thinking behind this pattern.  It is just so smart.  It's intuitive to knit but it has a lot of little things that means it hits all the right buttons.  The ends of the rows are clever.  It's easy to see what made Martina Behm an instant knitting celebrity.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

It Fits!

It Fits.  It Fits. It Fits.

OK So now we have the long path of a stockinette body and sleeves. 

I am very pleased with the way the double stranding is going too.

 It is making a nice, lofty winsome experience.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A Few Things

I continued to knit on m for my Roughrider sweater.  Forgive the name, but the pattern is called Argo and I really cannot call it after a name so unrelated to me.  Not Toronto Argonauts but Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Therefore...

I love the way it looks and I sincerely hope that when I try it on, just a few minutes from now, that I remain as pleased with how it looks.

You can see my major change from the pattern.  The pattern has the sleeves entirley in stockinette stitch, but I kind of like the way it looks with garter stitch tops.  It was also the easiest way to manage the colour shift.  At the end of the garter, the colur changes.  Easy peasy.

I did have one problem though.

 This darker gray is a single.  which kind of stunned me for a few minutes.  Once I started thinking about it, I realized I bought the dark gray to use with some red, navy, green and white singles that I have for a colour work something or other. When I started knitting this sweater, I forgot that, and it changed into a 2 ply in my mind. 

I thought about ordering another cone in a 2 ply, but when it came down to it, I am in a sweater knitting mood, and I want to stay in that sweater knitting mood.  I am going to hold two strands together for the rest of the garment. 

So far so fair.  As ever, when I am working with Custom Woolen Mills Mule Spinner 2 ply or any of their yarns, I wonder why I don't knit with them more.  It is just that good.*

*If you like Kureyon, you will like this.  It has that same hand but at a much lower, albeit, less showy price.