Wednesday, 20 September 2017

I'm a little Teapot short and stout,

I'm a little Teapot short and stout,



in need of a coat 
for when I come out.

This is one of three actively in use teapots I ended up with.  I say ended up with because this was a pot of  no real choices.  It was at the store when I needed a teapot at work.  I have tried to leave it behind and to give it away, but as you see, it remains.  Now it is just one of the gang and not my favourite.  BUT, it is the teapot that is clean this morning, so it is the teapot that will try on the tea cozy.


So, there you have it.


 I want it to sidle up tight to the table top, so I have another cable repeat to do, possibly two.  Might even be three cable repeats, because after my first attempt at a tea cozy was too short and failed to keep my tea warm, I have learned to make sure it is long enough.  I don't want the decrease rows to pull the cozy up either, so longer is better.

It looks to me as if the tea cozy will be ready in time for afternoon tea.  I may have to make some tea biscuits or scones to celebrate the occasion.

 

Monday, 18 September 2017

Other Woolly Work

I knit earlier in the morning, but the bulk of the days work was other woolly pursuits.

Today, I worked on a wool throw project that was planned long before the curtains and is really needed now that the nights are getting colder.  My plan is to use my very large stash of  quilt batts to make a throw to cover my bed for really chilly nights.  I don't want to drown in it.  I just want it to cover the top of the bed with me in it.  I am hoping for about 48 inches wide  and about as long as my bed is.  

For this project, I pulled out 5 wool batts (each batt is about 50 inches long and about 20 inches wide.) and sewed them together.  Nothing fancy, just simple tacking to hold them together until everything is sandwiched inside the duvet.  The edges of the batts are thinner than the centers to make layering them possible.


I have a duvet set from Ikea that coordinates with my dandelion curtains and that is what I will use for the cover of this throw.  This one.   Here are the puffy, pouffy batts all tacked together and the light floral duvet cover just before sandwiching.


I tacked the batts to one side of the fabric in a few places.  I was a little worried about their stability. The only thing holding them together, other than my very large basting, is wool's natural ability to hang on to itself when carded.  I wouldn't call them fragile exactly, but they aren't exactly sturdy either.  I didn't want to tear holes anywhere, and I didn't want the batts to separate.

That all sounds like it should take hardly any time at all, but when I looked up, it was 4:30 and time to make dinner.

After dinner, I used the roll trick to get the duvet cover on. Worked like a charm, and my batts stayed exactly in place.



And here we are with the complete looking duvet.  But there is much more work ahead.

There is an edge that needs to be cut off and sewn up by hand.  The duvet said it was a 'full/queen' but to me, it looks like it errs on the large side.  I wasn't sure how my batts would fit, or how easy it would be to get it all together, so I left it to do later, rather than sewing on the machine before tucking the batts inside. And then,


this lovely, light pouffy throw will never survive being used as is.  The wool would be lumpy in no time, so just like quilts of old, it awaits tying.  I will get it set up tomorrow morning, and it will probably need Wednesday and possibly even the day after that to get it all done.  I have a feeling that it will need tying every 6 inches in all directions to stay put.  That is a fair bit of quilting.

No matter how long it takes, it will be much quicker than doing all the shapes and fans of my pretty blue quilt.  That pretty blue quilt awaits many more hours of stitching. It may take forever.  This cover cannot wait that long.

My feet are cold and October and points winter are not that far away.

Hitting the Books?



The tea cozy remains in it's partially finished state.  Like most in between projects, it diverted me, but did not fulfill me in the same way this shawl does.  

I spent Friday and Saturday visiting and playing with grandkids.  Sunday I came home and watched the Singapore Grand Prix and all of season 4  of Endeavour again (PVR - video comes out in October, I think) and while I watched, I knit.  If you are looking for a sport to knit too, there is nothing better than Grand Prix.  Baseball is ok, but Grand Prix is the bomb. And Endeavour?  What can I say but once again, the finest TV is British made TV.

I knit and knit and knit, and I am now on the last of the colour changes.

  
I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the gradient.  And the purple?  Perfection.

I thought it would be interesting to show you how much yarn I used for a border colour.  This grey is what I used as CC2.  Its colour 12, Medium Grey.


As you can see, not a lot, about 1/4 of the generous skein of Briggs and Little Sport.  Each colour will use about the same amount, so I am going to have plenty left over for something for me!

Soon, I have to sit down and decide if I like the size of it now, or if a larger edging is needed.  I am looking for a shawl of size.  Even a large square shawl can feel small, if it isn't large enough to wrap it over your chest and keep it closed nicely.  It's why these shawls from a photo in the Shetland museum archive are so very large.  

This afternoon, I want to pin out one side to check what I have so far for size and then I will plan out the edge.  If, by knitting a larger center, I got where I wanted to be, I'll go with the pattern as written.  If I need a little more size, I'll hit the books in search of just the right thing.

This shawl is meant for warmth as well as looks and so far, I am winning at both. Captivating knitting. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Finding the right stuff!

I had to put a few stash bins back in the closet today  and while I did that, I dug for the right yarns for my two small projects.  And guess what?  I found two that will work just fine.

I have a stash of a yarn called Store Yarn.  It's a soft grey bulky pure wool.  



I made a vest out of the same yarn in red, and it was quite pilly. No emotional attachment at all!  It will be fine for a tea cozy.  I won't felt it, opting instead for cables on the cozy.  It's working out quite well.


Just a nice big over sized cosy that looks rather more like a hat than anything else.  I did debate using a pattern, but I don't think this cozy requires a pattern.  I plan to make the decreases quick, one row decreasing the center stitches of the knits, then the purls and then the last two of the knits.  After that I think it will simply be cinched together.  There may be knitting and reknitting, but I am okay with playing with the decreases to get things how I want them to look.

It's being knit fairly tightly on 5 mm needles and is just exactly right.  It's a wee bit hard on my hands, but that tight knit means it won't pill as easily.  Before the end of my knitting day, I made it to cable row number six, so about half done the project after day one.

Yarn two was harder to choose.  The grey would also be perfect for a nice tightly knit cabled hat for my neighbour but I wanted something superwash if possible or at least harder to felt. they grey is a little coarser too and if she is sensitive, it may bother her.  Plus this stuff felts really easily.   

My lovely neighbour is a plain sort of person. She loves her garden as I love yarn.  I came up with this.  


It's a kit Fiona Ellis did for the River City Yarns the first time she came to Edmonton.  There is yarn in the kit for the two mittens with the different tops, making a really striking pair.  


I think this is the perfect yarn for her.  It is soft to wear against skin and is really washable. She wanted an ear flap hat and this yarn would look lovely with a simple colour work design.  For a sturdy hat, it should have a lining, I think and I have just the right thing.  

I have several colours of Mission Falls 136, a DK variation of the 1824 Wool, left from a baby sweater I knit a few years ago for a niece.  The two yarns would pair really well and the smaller, and probably less tightly knit 136, would be just the right size for a lining which needs to be slightly smaller.  I am hoping that the 2 layers of yarn, will make for a good, warm hat.  

But this second project is down the road.  Not far down the road but it's not quite hat weather yet.  

One new thing a day.    It's enough for me to be getting on with. Letting go of yarn is a hard thing for me.  I know it sounds silly.  It is silly!  But it's okay.  Two nice yarns.  One for me, and one for a valued friend and neighbour.

The Problem With Store in the Stash

I have a need for a couple small things.

Number one:  I need to make a hat for my neighbour to wear while shoveling snow.  She has been giving us her excess garden produce all summer and I am grateful.  She didn't think she would wear a pair of socks, which I could have given her at the drop of a hat, but asked for an actual hat instead.  I've been pondering what hat and what yarn for several weeks now and am struggling.  A hat for snow shoveling is not a fancy slouchy hat.  It's a work hat.  So I need to make a closely fitting hat that will stay where it is put and will be warm.  To me, that means something ribbed from a good sturdy warm yarn.  A basic toque pattern or a watch cap is the right kind of pattern,  but I'm a bit stuck on the yarn.  

Number two is a tea cozy.  I cannot find the very large and thick tea cozy I made at me wee house.  


It was lightly felted and kept my tea wonderfully warm.  It also took up half a drawer when it was not in use.  It was the no spout kind of cozy, sitting right over pot, spout and handle, holding all the heat in.  It may be less pretty than a tea cozy search from Ravelry  show many tea cozies to be, but this style is a much better insulator for the tea pot.  If you put one of these over your teapot and your teapot is sitting on a felted hot pad, you have tea that will stay warm for hours.  

I refer to my tea cozy in the past tense because it is missing.  When I unpacked here, it wasn't in the box with all the dish towels and dish cloths where it ought to have been.  I need a new cozy and it doesn't need to be fancy, just effective.

The problem with both of these projects so far as the stash is concerned, is that my stash is a sweater stash.  Everything I buy, bought, see, begins with a picture in my head of what kind of sweater it would be.  I don't have a large stash of worsted weight or heavier yarns in single skeins that would be right for this kind of project.  

I do have many yarns bought early on in my yarn career, where there will be plenty of yarn left over, but the ones I have used, I'm sort of hanging on to because there is enough for a vest.  Or sometimes a second sweater.  

The fact is there is plenty of yarn and more yarn choices that would be great for both of these small projects, but I am struggling with letting go of the idea that it all needs to be a sweater.  

The problem in the yarn store sized stash is not in the stash, but in my head, you see.  It would be easy to choose from if it was just any old yarn.  This yarn stash is curated by love and admiration of colour, of fibre, of the way a yarn feels in my hand. Is it possible to be emotionally connected to the stash?  This yarn stash is precious.  

My precious.



The problem of the stash is that I am yarn Gollum.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Store in the Stash.

Good Morning!

Do you ever wake and feel like you just can't wait to face the day.  I would do that today, but I'm cold and I would really rather crawl back to bed till I warm up. A bit more sleep would probably happen too.  I'm eager for the day, but bed was wonderfully comfy and cozy.

I worked on the shawl several hours last night, more than I thought I would but less than I wanted. Still I am very pleased with the progress and


pleased with the way it is working out. Different camera and you can see the purple!  It looks absolutely fabulous with all the grey.  

In order to shake off the sluggish morning, I started with the big cup this morning.  


And I am going to eat a sensible breakfast before I start my day.  Then, I'm going to knit a while to wake up.  

I might start another sweater today.  Or at least swatch for it.  For all that I love my Granito, and for all that I love, love, love this shawl and want to finish up my Bridgewater to send to my grandchildren's other grandmother in Kyiv, I have itchy fingers. 

I'm inspired.  Going through yarn, finding the purple, was so much fun.  I wasn't putting away or cleaning, or making sure it was safe.  I was just playing, assessing the merits of each kind of yarn. Digging in the yarn fills my imagination.  Each time I do it, I remember all the good stuff there waiting for me in my own little store in my stash.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Purple Punch

In case you were wondering why no shawl work was done, I had company this weekend.  My wee Marcus isn't so wee anymore.  He is three and Great Grandpa and Grandma just happened to come up to his birthday party!  It was a lovely weekend and I have to thank my brother for bringing them up a hundred thousand times and more.

When last you saw the shawl, I was midway through the second grey.



I blew past this and the third grey in fine order and then I had a problem.

It was time to come up with colour four.  Colour four was going to be rose or white, depending on which looked better with this soft progression of greys.  As I was digging in the yarn, I came across a little something else and went an entirely different direction.


This deep purple has been hiding in my stash for a very long time.  It was one of my first purchases from Red Bird Knits so very very long ago, when she still had a small but very lovely online yarn store.  It was a coned yarn from Jaggerspuns Heather line in amethyst.  It is a worsted spun rather than the woollen spun as the Brigg's and Little Sport is, but I know this yarn.  It poofs up quite nicely once it is washed and I think it will be just fine.  I started a project with it once but it wasn't right and I forgged it.  This pretty stuff has been waiting to find its purpose ever since.

I think it found its purpose.


It's a little difficult to see just how right this rich deep colour is for these greys.  It is just the right punch without the harshness of black or the starkness of white. It is punch without faded glory of the rose I thought I would use.

I had hoped to get just to the start of the second ridge of purple so you could see it in contrast to the very light main colour, sheeps grey.  Evening is catching up with me and I started making mistakes in the lace.  Time to put the project down.

This is such a wonderful knit though.  It's the kind of pattern and yarn combination that are hard to put down even when sense tells me too.  If you are thinking you would like a very traditional warm hap (shawl) of your very own, do consider this lovely pattern. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The things I did today

So it is time to hunker down.  The season is about to cool, no matter how much we don't want it to.  Days are shorter and the even the hottest days, are blessed by cool night.  Across the prairies, harvest is begun. It is a little later locally, but c'est la vie.   If I have to hunker down, I need to fix a couple of things.

First up, My Argo sweater.  I love this sweater.

I wore it all last winter without buttons and really did not want to go through the cold again without.  If you recall, buttons went on a few weeks ago.

The other problem that is not so evident in the picture is how short the sleeves were.  They were perfectly 3/4 length but I am wearing the sweater outside all winter with a vest as a windbreaker.  I really needed full length sleeves.

Friday, while digging for something very different , I found the two cones of yarn the sweater was made in.  I pulled it out and I fixed the sleeves today.


I removed the cuffs and knit about 4 more inches of the darker gray.  I was worried I would run out, but had plenty.


I used the yarn from the original cuffs and reknit the cuffs.  I did think about grafting, but that seemed like a lot of extra work for no payoff.  Knitting was quicker.

The only trouble is that I only realized how very much tighter my knitting was, on wooden 5 mm dpn's versus the short metal circulars for the original part of the sleeve, after the second cuff was well under way.  I called it good.  No one will notice but me.  Maybe another knitter, but the ones I know, who would comment would probably agree with my decision.  They might not do it that way, but they would fully support my choice.

I love knitters.

And that was pretty much all the things I did today.


Friday, 8 September 2017

Before I Hunker Down

When ordering from a source online, the trick is to make your package as full as possible without raising your cost of shipping.  There is no point in getting a package filled with shipping material when yarn will do.

I was pretty close on this one.  There was only a very little bit of paper packing material.  It irritates me that I didn't order just a tiny bit more.  Which is really just the silliest thing ever, because I did order a fair bit. 

You saw the pretty coned yarns yesterday, but most of my order was weaving supplies.  Tools to make the next warp easier.  It's pretty certain that warping is something I will generally do alone, so having the right tools counts.  Even with my bookshelf and clamp solution, I decided to order a warping board.  With finer yarns, I would like to do a better job and the warping board will make it so much easier. The raddle, which is the thing with what looks like nails, is a must if you are trying to warp alone. All the other bundles are lease sticks and warp sticks.  Repair heddles and a stock of regular heddles, to add more to my loom before my next project, complete my weaving tool needs.  


I also ordered some cotton to make a first set of dishtowels.  And maybe a second set.  I have no idea how much yarn it will take, but having some in stock is not a bad idea at all.  I already had a few cones for things I planned for my wee house, and these add nicely to it.




The colours of my home!  

I also ordered a book of weaving drafts.  


I know you can get tons online from many sources, but just like a stitch dictionary, a good draft collection on the shelf will always stand you in good stead.  This book was originally printed in 1944 and remains the class of the field by all accounts.  There are lots of interesting 4 shaft drafts in it, probably more than I will ever need.  

And then filler.  Filler is the best part.  

This is my very special stash of Jamieson's Ultra.  Each little ball is 25 grams and 194 metres of loveliness.  I played with this a little bit in a class I took on my San Francisco adventure a few years ago, in an Estonian Lace class with Nancy Bush and have wanted some for a project ever since. 


It's soft and squishy and has all the character that I love in a yarn.    It holds to itself and has substance, yet for all that, it is airy and light in an entirely different way than Isager Spinni Wool 1 or Einband.



I have a lot of lace weight in my stash already.  Most of it is your basic commercial quality lace weight yarn.  They vary only slightly in quality though some are finer blends than others.  They were mostly purchased for colours rather than specific projects.  I really do look forward to using it all but these three yarns, Spinni Wool 1, Einband and Ultra have been my coveted yarns for a long while now.  They are my desert island yarns, my ice cream, my fine chocolate treats, my bucket list yarns to make one truly splendid thing out of.  Well except for Einband.  Einband is going to be several lovely projects. 

This last few months have been a lot of fun for me.  Choosing a loom and accessories, thinking about once in a lifetime yarns, dreaming of projects with it.  It was fun to plan it and budget for it, and it was such a pleasure to receive. 

Fall is here now and it is time to hunker down and knit and spin and weave.        









Another Colour Conundrum

Some time ago, I think on the last visit to the much missed Shuttleworks, I picked up a couple of cones of Harrisville Shetland.  They were the only cones on the shelf.  I took them because in this part of the country, Harrisville is a pretty rare thing.


I give you Lilac and Violet.   They are both lovely colours.  Stunning really.  The range of colours in the heathers of Harrisville yarns is amazing but these two lone cones just don't quite work together.  They needed something more.      

I had to order a couple things from Camilla Valley Farms for the loom, number one being repair heddles so I could sort out the irregularities as I warped the loom.  They carry the Harrisville Shetland and a couple of cones of yarn seemed in order to sort out my problem.  I hate unresolved yarn problems.


Without a colour card, going only by what I see on my monitor, colour can sometimes be a guessing game.  I ordered two colours.  


Periwinkle was a real guess.  I hoped it would be the right colour to bring the others together but no way to know till they were in the same light.


The Midnight was a safe choice.  It would go with either of the yarns alone and the depth of it's rich navy tone ought to overpower the others to allow them to work together.  That deep rich tone would be in charge.   

The problem is this.



These are the original configurations I thought of when I ordered the second set of cones.  I love both of them. It's just a shame you can't see them in real life.

But then there is this.


I never thought of not using the Lilac and yet the way these look together...I love it.  I have been thinking of these yarns for a shawl like the Color Affection  or some of the host of new shawls that use the play of colours for some rewarding results.  There are a few longtime favourites too.

However, as I was pondering and arranging yarns, after I already put my camera away, I saw this.


Maybe I need to use all four together and knit a gradient sweater?   It's a good kind of conundrum to have.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Strong Colour or Soft Colour?

It's just after 8.  I already completed 2 loads of laundry and a third is in the machine.  I emptied and loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen.  I've had my usual 2 cups of coffee.  I also knit for slightly more than 2 hours.  I got an early start today so that I could do the undercoat to prepare to paint in the most recently completed room downstairs.  Only trouble?  The landlord isn't quite finished his part yet.  Oh well.

So, on to the morning knitting.


When I took this earlier this morning, I had just completed the third round of the second lace repeat.   Since then, I have finished the entire second lace repeat and can I just say, I am so pleased, so completely and utterly pleased with my colour choices so far.  I have one more colour choice and lace repeat to go, and then it gets a little interesting.  Next is a fourth complimentary colour interspersed with some main colour. 
  
I intend to play a bit with colour and see what I like because  I'm uncertain if that main colour is going to be a pure white or if I will go with the a rose or one of the other colours I have in my stash.  Knitting will tell.  The plan is to knit a lace repeat and then go back and forth to complete a partial repeat in the colour.  Think of it as an attached swatch.  I want to see what a good sized section of each colour looks like against the rest of the work.  I don't want it to dominate the lovely gradient but rather to compliment it.  I'm a little concerned that the pure white is too stark and that the rose is too soft.  I worry that sections of the rose colour would look at odds with everything else that is going on.  

But it seems I will have plenty of time to play my games today.  And so it goes.



Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Reading

When I was a kid, I discovered reading.  I was the one who read to the end of Dick and Jane even when the teacher said we weren't supposed to go past the end of the first part.   By the time I was in grade three, I was allowed to help in the library and I even went over to the high school library a few times to get more books to read.  I very fondly recall getting a set of the first three Nancy Drew books for Christmas.  That was the best Christmas ever.  Remember those reading comprehension tests in school?  My favourite part of English.  

As an adult I continued to read.  And read.  And read.  It was what I did when kids and adulting did not require my time.  Slowly though, through middle age, the stress of work stole my reading time away, and by the time I discovered knitting, I didn't even have a library card anymore.  I still read 2 or three books a month, but it was so much less than the dozen or more that was normal for me for most of my life.

When I found knitting, I discovered that I did not know how to read at all and that whatever comprehension skill I may have once had, had flown the coop.  Don't even ask about my current memory skills asspciated with reading.   It's all different in knitting.

  
I have all the stitches picked up around the shawl and am working a small transition zone, before I start the lace pattern.  It's pretty simple and every second round is a purl row.  But I forgot to purl on row 4.  I didn't realize that until I had completed row 5 where row 4 ought to have been.   

It's a lot of stitches.  A lot.  There will be more, I know but I have to admit I was a little disheartened.  But only for a bit.  I am just going to have to keep reminding myself to read carefully, one row at a time. 

Slow, small, careful moves and even more careful reading, make for a steady knit and a speedy project.     


Monday, 4 September 2017

Just the Facts , Ma'am

And done...  Fact.  There are 2 stitches left on the needles and these are left to begin the pickup round.

Late in the game I realized I did one thing wrong.  It asks you to knit through the back loop of the increased stitch in each row and I forgot.  It's not a deal breaker, but I am a little miffed at myself.  I should have read more carefully.   It's consistent though and will be fine.

 

I am thinking about blocking this before I pick up the edge stitches.  I am just a little worried about making sure the tension on the edge stitches and pickup is even all around.  On the lovely green shawl I gave Olga's grandmother, the stitch count was right, but it blocked much larger one way than the other.  I want to do better on this one.  It helps that this one is a garter stitch center, but still.

The lace border is a variation on a feather and fan pattern.  I love how this works up.  It is pretty intuitive and once everything is set up, the lace is quickly memorised and moves along nicely.  It isn't something you can go to sleep and knit.  You have to pay attention that centers of peaks and valley remain the same, and that you don't miss yarn overs, but it's one of my favourite patterns to knit.

Plus, this is the part where the colours start to change.  The pattern goes from dark colours to light in the center, and I think I am going to stick with that.  I am debating making each colour section a few rows longer, but we shall see how much yarn is used up after a couple of rounds.

I met my yarn goal for the center.  I have about a third of the second ball of yarn left and that is about where I wanted to be.  This center colour is also used on the edging and  with this amount of yarn left over, if the shawl is not to the size I want, I have lots left to choose a different wider edging. There are lots of pretty Shetland type edgings in my library.

So onward.  I'm so looking forward to getting the lace under way.

Fact.

It is just past noon and I am having my first cup of coffee.  The little people were here for another sleepover at Grandma's.  Momma is having her birthday!  

I poured a cup at 4:30 a.m. when the little people woke up with bad dreams for one and losing his sister for the other.  We tried to go back to sleep, but Cassie kept worrying she would have more bad dreams.  As long as Marcus could hear Cassie talking, he wouldn't fall asleep either.  After a couple people fell out of grandma's twin size bed, grandma gave up, put on some kids shows and poured that coffee.  Once the kids realized that grandma was in the kitchen, the thought they had better see if the coloured cherrios (Fruit Loops) were open for business.  So we took bowls without milk and munched on coloured cherrios in the living room.

Grandma's coffee stayed in her bedroom.  Rookie mistake.

I remembered it about an hour later after a few events, a diaper change and one little tiff between kiddies,  about as long as it took for the coffee to get cold and poured myself another cup.  It's ok.  I didn't drink that one either.  

But daddy came and took my wee kiddies home to celebrate momma's birthday.  And I have the rest of the day to knit and drink my coffee.  

Before the kids arrived, I had a wonderful session knitting.  I am at 110 stitches and it is really starting to go fast.  No matter how long the first part took, even on a very fast shawl as this is,  the second moves along at break neck pace.  I will be done by evening.  

Not a plan.  Not a guess.  Not just a hope.  Fact.    

Exactly one week ago since I started this shawl and I am flying!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Turning a Corner

After just 1 week of moderate knitting, I am halfway on the center of this shawl.


I am near the end of the first ball of yarn.  There wasn't enough to get through 18 long rows to take it to where a third lace border repeat could be added, and I did not want to end up short of yarn for the last round of lace.  By the time I get to that place, the rows will be long, long and as narrow as the edging is, it would destroy the look if I had to find another skein that did not match so well as these three skeins do.  So this is the perfect place to start decreasing.  

Even though I have only decreased 7 stitches so far, I can feel the difference in how long the rows are.  A lot of that is in my mind, but hey.  You take it where you can.

I seldom take only 1 photo of a thing.  I always count on me moving and making things blurry.  This time, I had two good shots.  Even though they were taken in the same chair, at the same angle, seconds apart, the difference in colour was really interesting.



This second reads much warmer on my computer, particularly in the photo viewer.  It has the much softer brown tones of this particular shade.  The first, on the photo viewer is very grey.  On blogger, they both read a little more to the brown side of things and are much more similar.  Interesting how digital does not mean bound in stone.

But I have turned a huge corner on this shawl, and I should get some good knitting done today and Monday.  With a little luck, the border is not that far away.

Overly optimistic?  Maybe, but why not?    

Friday, 1 September 2017

Looking Forward to Briggs and Little.

On Wednesday, Lovey and Chase had a sleepover at my house.  



Their owners stayed over too, because Lovey and Chase couldn't possibly be without their owners overnight.  Today, grandma duties take me over to their house, so this grandma plans on getting lots of knitting time in.

I haven't worked on the shawl for a day and a half, and I am really looking forward to it.  I love the lofty goodness of Briggs and Little.  If the world only had one yarn...

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Getting the Mail

When I was small, getting a card in the mail from someone was a pretty serious pleasure.   As I got older, mail became a place to get the bills. The charm of getting the mail was gone.  Till I took up knitting.

Since I took up knitting, mail is a lot more fun.  Since I moved to a very small town outside of the city mail is even more fun (the post office is two blocks away instead of being way out of my daily path, and 20 minutes away from home).  Today it was really big fun.

A friend that I met through the yarn store introduced me to Isager Yarns.  She showed me a yarn she had just bought and I was pretty sure I needed some.  Later, she showed me her finished project and I knew I had to have some of the yarn and the pattern book it had come from.  For years, Isager Spinni Wool 1 was what I always promised myself would be my someday yarn.  I promised myself that when I sold the house, I would have some.  

I had also watched the book, A Fine Line by Grace Anna Farrow which is where the pattern for my friend's finished project came from.  I watched as it disappeared from the radar when the print run sold out.  At that time, you couldn't buy the patterns individually as I recall and I was heartbroken.  I still checked out the shawls from the book on Ravelry, to dream.  They are such lovely things.  And then one day, magic.  The book was available as an ebook, and I bought it right away. 

I stalked the yarn at Jimmy Beans for a very long time, but it looks like Jimmy Beans doesn't have The Isager Wool 1 anymore.  Or at least it did not the day I went shopping.  I went straight to the source.  Which is, more or less, in the US.  And got everything I wanted and perhaps, a little more.

    
I love getting my mail.

I still am not 100% sure which shawl I am going to knit with this.  Some of the shawls use more than one skein of a colour, so I may have to order a bit more once I decide. I debated for a very long time, and couldn't settle projects, so I decided to order for the range of colours.  That was a much easier choice.  I love each and every one of them. Possibly together and possibly not!  But no contest.  Off the deep end in love with the colours.  

I'm off the deep end in love with the yarn itself too.  It is a sticky grabby yarn.  This yarn is not going to run unless you want it to.  If you drop a stitch it is going to be right there waiting for you to pick up when you get back to it.  It would be what some people call rough feeling in the skein, but I say, you go right on ahead, thinking it is too rough.  That means there will be more for me.  It is substantial.  When I say that, I don't mean bulky.  More that when you squeeze the yarn in the skein, you can feel it's presence.  Yet, I know from my friends project that when you knit it and it is washed and blocked, it is lighter than air, and a thing of such delicate beauty that it is hard to imagine.  

I am very sure that many other wonderful projects have been knitted in this yarn besides the ones in A Fine Line, but to me, the yarn and book were to each other, the ultimate that could ever be found in a knitter's craft.  

Simple shapes, ethereal yarn and a thing of great beauty.   I love getting the mail.




Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Deja Vu

The shawl is what I am working on, but there is almost always a little something else.  The shawl looks like a slightly larger triangle than its debut post on the blog.  It's garter stitch and at this point, is not really all that interesting.  Don't get me wrong, it is fun to knit, but a triangle is a triangle.  It will soon be on its way to being a square though.  I am close to the end of the first skein.  

That little something else might give you a sense of deja vu, but that is ok. 

Cassie's

It is that you have seen Cassie's socks, which are similar.  

Marcus'

It is in fact, a completely different.  These are socks for Marcus.  His foot takes 11 stitches and is a different length than Cassie's and with the different cuff, I am hoping mom can tell them apart.

We measured against Marcus' foot length the last time I babysat him and the first sock was complete shortly after that.  It's always funny because as much as Marcus is interested in what I am doing, and always want to help with my yarn, he really doesn't want to get too close to all those needles when I want to measure things.

He's is not quite three.  I can still trick him into it.

And that is it for today.  I have a bit of tidying to do so I am ready for a sleepover at Grandma's house (mommy and daddy are going to see Guns and Roses) and I have to catch up with my laundry.

Which only feels like deja vu, but is more of a do over.    

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Making Things With Bits and Ends

Ah yes.  I mentioned a finished thing yesterday.  And indeed I did finish.  But the whole project was deserving of its own post.

Since earlier this summer, when yarn kept falling out the the box of ends, I have been knitting Monstersocks, so called because they are cobbled together from other sock yarns left over after sock knitting.  I just wanted to knit up the yarn so that the box could stay closed, but it was so much fun to do and to watch happen, that in the end, it became one of the most enjoyable things I knit so far this year.

I posted about each of these before, but as a group, they are spectacular.


The first win, out of a range of yarns with blue and oranges in them, striped with a plain black.  These are a little short and are absolutely going to need heels unless I give them to someone with very small feet.


And the greys, which have been the most exciting pair.  They were unexpected.  I thought all the grey and relatively dull colours would be a good sock, but nothing to write home about.  That yellow, so dull in comparison to many colours, popped among all the grey and made magic.


And then, the most recent finished object, the magical red socks, where I used up all the yarn.  Well on the first sock anyway. On the second, I had small bits left over of 2 colours, plus enough for heels. The second sock is the darker of the two.  It seemed as if all the balls of red were heading off to their grey sections or brownish sections.  Still the strong pop of that yellow keeps them a very very pleasing pair.  I did run out of yellow 2 rounds from the ribbing, so the red did a little pinch hitting.

I think that is it for me for Monstersocks for this year.  I do have another set of mostly blues that I could do, but the urge is gone and there is room again in the bits and ends box.  I have a few pairs on the go that I would like to finish up before starting more socks of any kind.  

Plus there are mittens to knit for Carter and Isaac and that ought to keep my urge to knit with small yarns satisfied for a while. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

End of Summer Things

In every way, it is the end of summer.  Gardens are almost done, kids are back to school this week, the days might be hot but it gets plenty chilly at night.    

I was looking at projects on the weekend.  I finished a thing and then couldn't decide what to work on.  The little red sweater that I knit for a family event was not needed because in the end, I did not go.  No rush to finish it's sleeves and knit it longer now.  The gray sweater?  I've been a little too faithful to it.  I fear I am a bit bored with only that texture in my hands.  I went through the vast pile of WIPs and didn't feel like any of them.  Of course that means only one thing.

I started something new!

A few months ago, I piggy backed a bunch of Brigg's and Little Sport onto a friends order. 



It did not get tucked away in the last stash dive.  I did not want to tuck it away because I meant to knit it right away.  And right away is now.

I bought it with a project very much in mind.  I may have bought it with 2 projects in mind, actually.  it's a lot of yarn.  One project, will be out of the leftovers of the first and will be for me.  The main project is for Olga's grandmother.    

Olga's grandmother is a woman who understands a shawl in a way that is hard to imagine for me.  She was born in a place and a time when shawls were worn regularly particularly by older women.  I knit one for her a few years ago, and she loved it.  Sadly it has been worn and worn and is getting a little ratty and moth eaten.  That happens when you wear something almost everyday.  This is such a honour, to have something you knit be worn out because it was worn so well and enjoyed so much.

I have known about the need for another for a few months and took some time to think about what I would enjoy knitting and what she would enjoy wearing.  I wanted the shawl to be square again, and the Brigg's and Little Sport was a given because it is so lovely warm and it is a purely Canadian yarn from sheep to mill to me.  It also has this marvelous range of gradient heathered greys.  How could I not?

Pattern was a little more difficult.  Originally, I thought about one of the lovely Icleandic patterns from the iconic Þríhyrnur og langsjöl / Three-cornered and long shawls by Sigridur Halldorsdottir.    I hemmed and I hawed, but couldn't settle.  One of the problems is that I would have needed all the gradient browns to do the ones I like, the way I wanted and gosh darn it, even I have to cry 'uncle' sometimes.  

The pattern I decided on is Hansel by Gudrun Johnston .  I love the way she sets the colours in her border and while gradient is more what I am interested in for this project, it will look wonderful with the in and out flow of dark to light.






I am using the Sheep's Gray, the lightest grey for the centre and keeping the darker greys for the lace border.  It hardly seems like I started, though I did a fair bit of knitting on it over the weekend.  I have all day today and really nothing other than spinning, going on till Wednesday, when my wee kiddies are coming to me.

And closing off on that point,  kiddies!  Because I love them so.



My Superheros each and everyone of them.