Friday, 24 November 2017

So Life

Life has a funny way of doing it's own thing, completely disregarding your plans.  I was planning to take myself out to dinner this evening.  It is my wedding anniversary, and I still like to mark the day we always did, by going out .  I planned to do all my Christmas prep on the three big projects.  I had coordinated my helper and purchased all the supplies.  And then I was going to an event at Bremner House.  It's a local historical site and it was going to be a first for me. I've been avoiding doing much of anything and I'm starting to see how much it is a purposeful act. Time for that to stop and I was looking forward to step one.  But life got in the way.

Not in a happy way either.  My daughter in law Amy's grandmother is seriously ill.  So I am standing in as Grandma at Miss Amy's Dayhome.  She only had two kids today, one a before and after school care and the other, a cute little 3 year old.  So it's me and Carter plus one.  Scott could not make the trip because of work, so he will be home.  It's a working weekend for him too so I will be  with Carter tomorrow and Sunday too, so no event for me.  Unless Carter will cooperate and he comes with me.  I have to talk to his dad and see what dad thinks.

I have knitting with me.  I finished the hat badly and so it is with me to redo.  I knit it too it long so the inside was pushing the outside in an odd way.  I took off 5 rows and am doing decreases faster and, with luck, it will be right. 

I have some socks to work on too, but they will be evening knitting.  Until then , think of me, chasing three year olds around and having a a good, if tiring time.

Other things can wait.  I  pray that Amy's family find peace and ease as they try to adapt to life's new challenges and the sorrow that will come their way.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Feeling Pretty Pumped.

It doesn't look like much to an unschooled eye.

Just an amorphous blob with some weird bunchy bits.  To my eye it is really pretty grand.  I am pleased with the way the colourwork turned out.  The two different yarns worked together just as I hoped.  And the colours inside are exactly what I was aiming for.

Isn't that grand?!! 

 And this view, with the outside tucked in so I can check where I need to start decreases.  Once I get through this next gray section,  I think on the second row, possibly the third, of the next blue green section, decreases will begin.  The trick on a hat lining is to be just a smidgen shorter than the outer hat.  I suppose you could wear it inside out if you wished but then 

why would you?  And I still have plenty of yarn left for another hat using the Gradient and the Felicity and plenty of the Mule Spinner too.  From the Mule Spinner I can easily get mittens and another hat.  

I'm kind of wondering if I shouldn't be making one for me.  I do need mittens for the car, and a hat might be worthwhile too.  My drive is farther now, through quite a bit of open country and common sense says a car hat and maybe two, for emergencies might be just the ticket.  The other thing is, my large head is being used for trying on this hat. Normally I hate the way I look in hats, but I think I could wear one of these.  

Getting to this point on an earflap hat is such fun.  All along, you have to guess a bit.  Is the hat too large?  Too long?  It feels that way on the outer hat and it is so easy to doubt the process, but that outer hat has to be large enough to fit smoothly over the inner hat, which should fit reasonably snug.   On a hat like the ribbed one I completed last week, fit doesn't matter so much.  The stretchy rib carries the fit, but on a smooth hat with no ribbing, you have to be a little closer.  It is so much fun to know that the decisions you made will work out just fine.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

More Colourwork!

Not quite done the colourwork.  I think I have 4 rows to go.  I could have finished it, but though I am knitting a fair bit, in every way, I am letting my hand dictate how long.  It is so much better, but I don't want to injure it again because I am not listening to it.

I love the way this is working out.  The Mule Spinner is adding just the right lofty oomph to beef up the Felcitys warm factor.  It poufs out quite perfectly against the much more subdued dark gray.

In a weird way, the colourwork knitting might be very good for my hand.  The motions are not nearly as repetitive as plain knitting.  I vary positions of fingers and hand far more often as I move around.

Which brought to mind another sweater I started and then put down.

I bought the book and yarn for the Rams Horn Cardigan a while ago at Prairie Lily Knitting in Saskatoon.  I started but it was slow going.  I put it into hibernation as I prepared to move and get settled here.  It's been on needles since October last year!  I never meant it to sit that long.


and knitting.  One of the reasons it sat was a fear of knitting bottom up.  I've done this before.  I have no idea why it is making me feel so hesitant right now, but it surely is.  I debated restarting from the top down, but you know what.  I think I will stick with what I have.  Knitting from the bottom up isn't scary and I really hate when I let a really silly fear stop me doing something I really want to do. Fear is a response that has uses to keep you safe, but safe from knitting?  Never.  All knitting is safe.  I might be in danger of a sweater.  Shocking!

So, when this hat is done, I am going to put some serious effort in on this sweater. But first, before Christmas, I have a one other sweater to complete.  So you know, first after Christmas.  Or something like that.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A hat is a hat that

is still being knit on.

I was babysitting yesterday and didn't knit when I got home.  I probably should have to get all the knitting completed that I really want done before the holidays but, oh well.  It will come in time.

I love colourwork.  Once you get everything set up and the first few rows done, it flows along in the most wonderful way.  It feels like you barely started a round when the round is complete and you need to learn a new one.

It is a different motif than the one I used last time, from the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat.  This motif fits my stitch count perfectly at 16 stitches per motif, and is from 150 Scandinavian Motifs.

It is a snowflake motif, but is a more rounded flake, rather than a pointy star motif.  Today is spinning day, but I am going to come home straight away after to knit, I think.  I am not sure I am ready for the company of knitters, when following a pattern that needs thinking like this.  And if I do come home and knit the afternoon away, I should be done the colourwork by days end.

I also plan to take some spinning photos today.  I have been meaning to do it for weeks, but I usually forget my camera.  My phone camera has never been the same since the great banana incident of 2016 and I generally don't take my tablet along with me.  Though I might today.  It is usually responsible for the photos these days. Time to talk spinning with pictures!

So, spinning which is always great and lyrical knitting.  You can;t get better than that.

Monday, 20 November 2017

When you finish a hat

You start the next one.

Boy that does not show up very well and I have no time to sort it out.  I did this yesterday and I was a bit concerned that I had knit too much.  My hand was pretty tired and as evening wore on, sore, but this morning, all is well. I won't be doing that much in one sitting again.  Not for a while.

This hat is being knit top down, which is the most sensible way to knit a hat.  You can try it on and know when you have the right number of increases and you know easily if it is long enough.  It's also way easier to know where you need to put the earflaps.  Because this hat is going to be a lot like the hat I knit for my neighbour before the weather went south.

Earflaps are a must and it's going to be lined. 

The yarn is the same Three Irish Girls Felicity that the previously finished ribbed watch cap was knit out of,  and the colourwork on the outside will be in a light gray Mule Spinner from Custom Woollen Mills.  I debated about the inside. 

I love The Mule Spinner and can wear it next to my skin, but a lot of people can't.  Inside, I needed to find a different yarn in place of it. So to go back to my neighbours hat might be just the thing.  I have enough of the Gradient from Schoppel Woolle to do the entire inside.  I've used most of the green sections, but there is a nice turquoise and plenty of the red and creamy white sections left.    I would like the hat to look cohesive inside and out so I am really hoping there is enough gray left to do a few random stripes to keep a connection with the outer hat. It's going to be tight.  Keep your fingers crossed.


Friday, 17 November 2017

Digging for yarn

And done!

 I'm very pleased with this.  It's a pattern I will use again.

I have another hat that I would like to do.  I want this one to be a little more substantial than the other.  The other will probably be for my dad.  He doesn't shovel snow anymore.  My brother has a large driveway and does snow shoveling duties as needs must. This should be a hat for when needs must.

I would like it to turn out like the lovely hat I did for my neighbour, but I don't have any yarn left for it.  I've been thinking through stuff that I could use all day yesterday as I cut and knit and used up all the little corners of my day.  Zip nada.

Because I want to make it like my neighbours hat, I need two yarns.  The outer is pretty easy.  I have some of the Felicity from this last hat left, but there is also a full skein of  Briggs and Little Regal in a soft heathered blue that would work and be wonderfully warm, and there is a red Drops Big Fabel, now sadly discontinued, that would make a fun and funky hat for him.  That it is discontinued is the biggest holdback.  Drops Big Fabel makes seriously fine superwash socks and I would sort of like to save it for that.

I know that if I just take a little more time, there will be other yarn that jumps up and shouts me, me me.

So a quick dig in the yarn this morning.  This afternoon, I am off visiting Carter and Isaac and their mom and dad.  Grandma has to get their wish list!  

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Actual Knitting

There has been significant actual knitting here. 

I am so thrilled to report that I can still move my hand and that only the one finger with something different than carpal tunnel issues is more tense than usual. It isn't unexpected, though I had hoped for a bit better.   To be safe, I am not going to do quite so much knitting today as yesterday.

And the knitting is...a hat.

When I started yesterday, the hats folded back brim was only a row of two below the hat proper. 
Up to then, I was working in tiny dribs and drabs picking up and working on ever so slightly over the course of 4 days. To get this ribbed knit to the point where the folded brim and hat was done to an equal level, was great work.

 Yesterdays knitting was like an explosion.  I zipped.  I zoomed.  I cruised along about 10 minutes at a time, stretch, then knit a bit.  I never knit more than 20 minutes at a sitting and then broke to do other stuff for a while and rest my hand.  But I always went back to it. There has been serious progress.  I am well on my way through the decreases.

The pattern is Two by Two by Anne Gagnon.  I choose it because I really love the tidy way the decrease lines slip under the ribs.  A good solid watch cap style toque.  The yarn is Three Irish Girls Felicity Worsted weight, a silk and wool blend that is lovely to knit.  I am not so sure of the colour name.  Whatever it is, it is a wonderfully soft variegation of tones of grey.

It's going to be a pleasing hat project destined to go in the gifting box.  Some soul, who needs it, or not will have a warm head this winter.

This isn't the kind of hat that will withstand winters storms and gales.  It isn't thick.  This is the kind of hat you could wear around a chilly house to feel warm.  This is the kind of a hat you could wear on a nice winter day.  It's the kind of hat a person who is always hot could wear out walking their pup. 

It could also be a tea cozy.  YMMV

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Day One

I am going to try using my hand in a more normal way today but with lots of stretches and in a little bit at a time sort of way.  But I am going to aim for a more normal amount of hand use.  If I am sitting there, I want to have something in my hands to do. There is always knitting and still a lot of work to do on my embroidery project and today is going to be the start of my big sew. And there is a big pot of veggie stew to make for dinner.  Because, yes, this hand thing has even impeded my ability to cut things up to cook.

But first, let me show you what I did the other day.  It was like falling in love all over again.  I wound some special yarn and it was breathtaking.  

This is my Kauni EK for my Dancing Reindeer Shawl.   I wanted to do this so I could see where my colour use is at.  I would really like my deer to use the darker green as it did in the original shawl.  I also wanted to wind off so that I could pick the right colour when it is time to start the second ball, should I break into the second ball or, indeed, even a third.  And to make sure that the colour sequences would follow in an orderly manner.  That might not matter, but then again, it can throw a huge curve into the looks of a finished project.  I have been fascinated by this shawl for so long that I have a pretty specific goal in mind.  

In anycase, this shawl is one step closer.  I have a couple small things I would like to finish first before I begin it.  The WIP bins are no longer containing what they ought to contain and I have a couple small things I would like to finish up for possible seasonal giving. I am trying pretty hard to have a very on hand sort of holiday after all.  

But it is nice to dream of the next things. And there are always next things!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Must have.

There are two books that I would dearly love to add to my knitting library that are out this year.  

One of them is Alterknits, a stitch dictionary that brings designs from graphic arts to knitting and the other, the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible.

I could only add one right now and I had a very very hard time choosing.

 In the end, I went with this one and I am so glad I did.

It has motifs for everything.  Edgings that are flared and some that are not.

Stitch patterns that writers used to call insertions because they could be inserted easily and anywhere,

And so many, many pages of truly stunning stitch motifs, incorporating, cables and lace and texture

Sometimes all at the same time!

There is even a range of motifs meant for yokes and round collars.

This book is stunning and you deserve it for Christmas.  If not before.

This is on my must have list of books for a knitters library.

Monday, 13 November 2017

What do we have this morning

I watch Formula One racing.  It used to be a Sunday morning thing when I was a kid.  CBC had sports on and it was way, way better than all the religion programs that other channels had.  I had gone to church and that was enough of that.  So I watched Formula One.

This summer, I caught a race in July, and then missed a few in a row, and then made sure I caught each race since the beginning of September.   It is a hoot and I am really going to miss it when the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is done in a couple weeks.  Next year, I'm going to catch them all. 

Sunday while sitting and watching the race, my back was chilly, though the house was plenty warm.  So I threw on a wrap I had finished knitting early last spring. I had it out from the day before when Keith was bugging me that I should knit myself a blanket that has sleeves thing like they always advertise at Christmas.  I joked that I already had one, and he didn't believe me, so I pulled this wrap out.  In it's current tube shape, it does look a little like one. 

This is one of my favourite pictures ever.  Cassie is napping in it while I am knitting the other end.   Anyway, it was my turn to wear it.  It was lovely and warm and I watched the race and thought about the wrap in an offhand kind of way.

I finished the wrap more because I lost interest in it than anything else.  I wanted to knit a sampler of twisted stitches and that was a ton of fun, but by the end, it was becoming tedious. It was supposed to be a generous wrap that I could make pockets on the end and wear when I am sitting and reading.  When I called it done, I knew that it wasn't quite long enough to be the kind of rectangular wrap that sits nicely on shoulders and stays put and it definitely wasn't long enough to make pockets on the ends. In order for it to be worn right now, it requires a pin, even to use in a casual way like I was wearing it then.  It is close, but it needs another 9 to 12 inches of length for wrap perfection plus pockets on either end.  I really have no desire to do that.  It has sat in my sweater chest for months, stuck in idon'tknowwhattodowithyou land.

As I am sitting there, with my hands occupied by absolutely nothing and only part of my brain occupied by the race, it suddenly came to me.  I knew what this wrap needed to be!  A shrug.  It has plenty of width.  Unblocked it is 20 inches wide so I expect 22 inches if I opened it up and blocked it flat. It is just short enough to that it goes wrist to wrist so it is perfect length for a shrug.  And bonus, the garter stitch section that I knit as a steeking section makes keeping the tube needed for it, that bit wider and very stretchy right where it needs it. 

In the blink of an eye, it was well on its way to becoming a shrug.  I cut from the center of the garter section and left tails on either side of the twisted stitch sections.  Nice nest of tails from the garter stitch section 

and even nestier mess with the live stitches on the garter stitch section that will go over my shoulders and the stitches picked up around the edges to finish it.

My plan is to knit a soft generous 2 x 2 ribbing around the opening that will fold back on itself and be sewn or bound off to the body of the shrug to contain all those messy ends.  I hope that the ribbing will flare nicely against my neck, around my shoulders and across my back, when I wear it. 

If my hands cooperate.  My hands are doing better, but it remains on the radar all the time.  I am stretching about every 15 minutes when I do work and I haven't knit more than a few rounds on anything without taking a break.  I'm sleeping with the brace on and I am trying to keep my hands and wrists warm, hoping that the warmth will keep the tendons and nerves more inclined to work without inflammation.

I am going to try to start this ribbing today, but there is also some serious sewing to do, and now that my cutting table is set up, I am going to focus on that more than the knitting.  It ought to be a little easier on the hands.  The motions are not nearly so repetitive as knittings moves are.

Anyway, plenty to be doing to day.  Time to get moving on it.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Sorting Troubles Out.

I am having to face up to it.  With my hand having trouble, there is just no possible way that I will get the Bridgewater Shawl finished by the end of the month when Olga will send her package to Ukraine.  But what the heck was I going to do if not that. 

This past week, digging for stuff to wear to keep the chill off the back of my neck was a revelation.  I pulled out my Wingspan and realized that when I blocked Olga's Grandmother's shawl, I should block this too.  I am so happy with its strong graphic edges. 

Very me and finished for months, but never worn. 

I think it was that I was thinking of her Grandmother, and thinking of things unblocked that had to be in the box, all surrounded by my worry about my hands knitting time and ability right now, and being done on time, and it all just piled up and I remembered.

I present my long completed but not yet blocked Onerva.

I finished this last winter and never got round to blocking it.  It is brand spanking new, finished and then tucked away till this moment, quite perfect for gifting. 

I originally started this for Olga's grandmother, but at the time my stockinette was iffy.  I had not sorted out how to balance my rows nicely and the wrong side didn't look nice enough to send.  I am much more confident now and because I did the knitting my style rather than knitting it the usual continental way, it turned out very nicely.  I finished it because it was such a lovely engaging knit.  Striking without being difficult.  I was always counting it, always caught the count running in my head, perfectly on track with where I was on the needle, long after I needed the count to track the work, just subliminally counting inside my mind.  That is when knitting is at its very best, when everything you are is there and active and engaged and when that other layer underneath, where your inner self lives, is also there and engaged too.

I will definitely knit another of these just for myself.  Perhaps by that time I will have sorted out what I need to do to turn it into a large square shawl.  Time enough and no rush.

This shawl is so pretty and soft.  A very pleasing combination of yarn and pattern and its  medium size should be perfectly right for how Olga's mom will most likely wear it, tucked at her collar but large enough to pull over her head if the weather gets bad. 

So, with this project sorted and nearly ready to send, I have two things to block and two things to knit I can comfortably say, I will have everything ready for when it needs to be ready. 

Or not.  Mileage can vary and in knitting, as in life, you have to be prepared for anything.

On today of all days, I am thankful and grateful that I have the luxury to worry about stuff like this.


11 month, 11th day, 11th hour.  

We will remember them.  

I will remember them. 

Friday, 10 November 2017

Knitting and Redwork, Redwork and Knitting

I think I did too much yesterday.  Or the weather changed or something.  My hand did not wish to participate in anything.  How fragile it is.

I did play with embroidery just a bit.  I picked a smaller thinner hoop that I have on hand to make the process easier and I played around with the birds a bit.

I still have had no good transfer image on to the linen.  It went fine to cotton, so now I am wondering if linen simply is not a good medium to transfer to.  I will do research later. And I have a pen coming to see if that works better.

Meantime, I purchased a roll of tear away stabiliser a while ago for some projects I want to do this winter, and since I have lots on hand, I thought I might try to see if it would work to hold the image which I could then tear away, revealing my completed work on the towel. 

The image show up a lot better than straight onto the linen, but it changes how I have to stitch.  Instead of the smooth outline I am used to I have had to turn to a more point and poke method, to be sure I am getting the stitch onto the fabric below.  But, it is working, though it is a little hard to tell how well.  Still it is okay and I will continue till the pen comes, when I will try that.

But doing this small bit pushed the outer limit of what my hand would do, so nothing for me today.  No printing, no gripping anything.  I can't even use a pencil without stressing the finger at issue.  Thankfully, everything else is fine and only this one stubborn pain remains.  And I think my next visit to the doctor we shall have it looked at.

I did knit, but only managed to get a side and a half of the plain purl round done.  At this rate, it isn't going to make the shipping date.  I may have one other option and I'm going to check into that on Saturday.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

A bit of Redwork

Each day My hand is able to do just a little bit more.  It is so easy to overdo it and there so many ways that I can overdo it. 

I am trying to prep for Christmas, and get a few gifts ready before I do the kids things.  That is going to be lots of fun but after that, it is going to be all about the baking.  I plan to do a lot of baking this year.  Maybe.  You know how that goes.  Intent is the smallest part of a thing.

I did knit yesterday.  I did the first row of lace patterning and it went so well.  I took a break and started putzing with a little something else.  I did the hems on these towels for my kids families a few weeks ago, and have been slowly working on the embroidery work I wanted to do on them. 

First birdie is done.  There will be another birdie facing this one, and between them, there will be balloons rising up.

I am doing these towels all in red thread, an embroidery variation called redwork, which more typically looks like this  and adorned quilts and housewares like dresser scarves and antimaccasars.  It is a colourwork technique that has a lot of impact and remains interesting to work.

It's sort of like how black and white photography still has a lot of impact.  Taking all the colour out makes something else, something different stand out.  My problem here that resulted in my choice of going with one colour, was that how on earth would I choose colours to work together without turning things into a scattered mess.  There is a bit of a tale I want to tell here, a tale if you will, of this family.  I didn't want it to be about how grandma made the birds wings yellow or blue or anything.  I want one cohesive story to read from a dish towel.

The need to make this simple thing something more than a pattern to follow comes from reading all those embroidery books I have been reading lately.  Others may have approached their hand work as an art form, but I don't think I ever did.  I am sure I am not changing this to an art form, not like Karen Ruane or some of the seriously talented  media artists I have been exposed to, through her pages.  It's more a personal expression of something I know well, that is known intimately by me. 

It is completely possible that I have gone over the edge.  But what else could you expect when I haven't done any real knitting for weeks.   

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


Yesterday was a spinning day, but with hand troubles on both sides, we decided to rest for a week.  My hand is feeling a lot better.  Wearing a brace at the computer and watching my computing time is helping but I think the biggest help is wearing the brace at night.  I massage my arm to loosen the tendons and do stretches every hour and it all seems to be helping.

I decided to work on the lace again yesterday.  I had dropped the side to reknit and tried to sort that out but a few more dropped stitches along the way, and I pulled out the whole darn thing. 

Seriously, the lace is a lovely thing and very intuitive to knit.  It won't take any longer to knit the whole thing that to try and sort out it's failings.  It just looks ugly.  I am 1 side from restarting the lace design and I do hope to accomplish a nice bit of knitting today.

In carefully timed sets scattered through the day of course.

The other thing I want to say for posterity is that I have always felt my life was out of balance.  I seem unable to not fall into something without it becoming my entire life.  I have always felt this was something I needed to work on.  These past weeks, I have been reading, cooking, doing laundry, washing sweaters, sewing, going walking, running errands along with a bit of knitting.  It is as balanced a life as I have ever lived. 

And it is as boring as all get out.  I am looking forward to a full day of knitting in the not too far off future.  I can't wait. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Shawl Weather

I spoke about the chill on the back of my neck the other day.  And you know what? I have a whole heap of the perfect solution.  I have been wearing one, and occasionally two every day since our weather turned from fall to Alberta winter.

Forgive the fuzzy pictures.  The originals are, I think, on my laptop.

My mom always asks what I do with them all.    I'm not sure what others do.  Many people just enjoy knitting them but never really wear them.  I wore them.  All the time.

Back when I started knitting and worked in an office, I had a pretty plain wardrobe.  Dark pants or skirts, plain blouses, simple tops, one of several jackets or  a plain lightweight cardigan.  For many years I had a large collection of pendants and necklaces and satin scarves to offset the basic uniform like wardrobe I wore.  A cog in the wheel wardrobe for a cog in somebody else's wheel.    

When I started knitting small shawls,  I started wearing them.  It was like jewelery.  No.  It was better than jewelery.  My office was set up directly under a HVAC  vent, near an main back entrance, and I was always chilly.  It gave me such pleasure to wear something I had handmade and I was thrilled to be warmer.  

It came to be like thumbing my nose at anything and anybody I felt trapped by.  It was a statement that I am, I exist, that I was a thinking vibrant person who stood on my own, that I did not need anyone else to talk for me.  This small statement, became a reminder, a prayer and a litany to recite, that I was so much more.  Those small shawls and scarves of my early days knitting and wearing them every day, were a salvation of sorts.  

I wore them working at the yarn store too.  Everyday, something knitted.  And then, while life was sorting itself out to now, I didn't wear them much anymore.  I did not need them in the same way and I was always swathed in sweaters and usually, that was enough.  I only very rarely wore them when I babysat.   With the change in houses, and furniture, and situations, the shawls and scarves, for the first time in a while, have a pretty pragmatic, rational purpose.  I feel chilly.   

They are in a underbed storage  container, but since the cold arrived, I have been digging for interesting stuff in there daily.  They come out, but never seem to go back.  To me that is a sign of a less than perfect solution. Or laziness.  ;)  Still, it is what I have right now.  I am looking at options for easier tossing them at the end of a day. 

Just fyi, I am wearing the green silk one today.  Silk.  Just for hanging around at home.  Because I can.

I am leaning to keeping underbed storage long term, but I envision a cascade of them where I walk everyday, where air moves and stirs all the time, where they are out in a bright lit room as a place to put them while they are in such frequent use.  

Command hooks, this may be your time to shine.     

 It's only been cold for a couple weeks.  I have all winter to sort this out! 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Happy Accident?

When I knit my 3 a.m. sweater last spring, I had a blast. 

I knew that I wouldn't need it right away, being summer was coming, so there was no pressure of time for it at all.  It was stripes and I just had the best time knitting it. 

But, it is fall and it is time to wear it.  There were things left to do.  Saturday morning, I added buttons from the button box. 

Nothing Fancy, that is for sure.  Just ordinary buttons from the button box.  I'm pretty pleased with them.  They really do suit the sweater with their strong colour changes, and that they are not all exactly the same.  The swath of dark moves around on the edge, but it works with a yarn where the colours move and change as Noro does. 

And then it was time to look at solutions to an oops. 

Apparently I like knitting short rows.  A lot.  I was having such a good time, that I didn't stop knitting short rows when I ought to have, and instead of being sensible, and pulling them back, I just kept on knitting.  I actually remember telling myself, 'Achhh, what the heck.  It will be fine...'  Those excess rows make the collar stand a bit oddly on the back of my neck, rather than laying flat across my back and on my shoulders and create a bit of a hump when I do roll the collar down.  This bothered me at first because I had so much fun knitting it, and I am really pleased with everything else about the sweater, right up to and including my choice to knit full sleeves (Note to self:  Knit more long sleeves).

Some time ago, Susan from the Rainey Sisters blog  (You must go check out the post from today, her Snowfall hat patternAnd Mittens!  They are just adorable!)  had a sweater that had this problem and she did a great post on how she fixed it

She was creating a short row, where I need to take some out, but maybe? 

I don't want to cut the fabric yet, but decided to try taking out the excess fabric by simply sewing, to see if it would help.  It's possible that I need to take excess out on the shoulders rather than on the back of the neck so I wanted to try it first.

I sewed a mattress stitch to pull the excess out of the good side of the sweater.  The white stitches are just a path that i did not want to go beyond.  A map if you will.  The mattress stitch is the long floats of coordinating yarn ;aying on the surface.  When I pulled tight, it left me with this little pouch of fabric on the inside 

and this on the outside.

Not perfect by any means but this is just a test to see it it helps the way the collar lays. I've left long strands of yarn to pull it out with when I decide what to do.

All of this is exacerbated by living in new digs.  In the spring, when I was knitting this, I still had my big chairs with library perfect high backs.  I was here much of the winter, and never noticed the airflow from the half up/half down entrance we have.  My new furniture has a much more average height back and I am much more aware of the way air moves just behind the sofa.  You would think this wouldn't matter, but I find that the back of my neck always seems to be chilly.  If the back of my neck is chilly, no matter what I do, I feel chilly. 

But... The thing is, thinking about it all, yesterday, I started to wonder if a standing collar on a sweater might be a good thing, not a bad thing. An extra layer in an area I feel chill on?  I am debating if spring time folly is falls happy accident.  And that is my pondering for the day. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Today's work

I slept in this morning.  Till 9:30, which almost never happens.  I did wake at 4:30 which is much closer to my normal 5 - 5:30.   It was chilly.  I put on the Knit Girllls, crawled back under my covers and dozed off just as the were getting to spinning.  I do recall some lovely spinning, but I have no idea if there was more.  And then I slept.

My hand felt really good this morning, so I thought I would check it out and see how it did.  

I picked up my Granito sweater.

My goodness, it is time for a new picture of this.  I moved stitches around to get them onto another long needle so I could try it on and see what I have so far,  and then knit all the stitches back onto the shorter needle I have been working on.  I also checked my stitch count to see what more I need and to see how much more knitting I need to do to call it long enough.  I can say with confidence, it fits really nicely and it needs a lot more length.  A lot.

After I did this, even though my hand felt pretty good, I decide not to push it.  I did decide that it felt good enough to do something that I have planned for a while.

My project page on Ravelry is not one of those lovely looking pages.  The photos are almost always just after the knitting is finished, with only very rare pictures of sweaters that look really attractive.  I do honestly wish it was prettier, but I am not a photographer.  I am a knitter alone with no one to take photos of me.  To make my page better in the future, I decided to make some blocking forms for certain small things like socks and mittens.    

The blocking forms started with socks.  I did have some a while ago, but gave them away before my first move.  The small form was too small for my socks,  I no longer needed the too large one, for Mr. Needles socks.   Still I felt that socks are a place where I wanted to do better with pictures,  particularly now that I seem to be doing a fair number of patterns rather than my favourite plain socks.  The very pretty Nutkin socks would have shown up so much nicer for blog photos on a blocker. 

Some time ago my friend, frazzledknitter, made some interesting blockers for mittens using ordinary plastic placemats and I was inspired.

Foot blockers that will fit my socks and mitten blockers with two kinds of thumbs and in two sizes, because I had  a placemat left over! 

And that was just about enough testing of my hand today.  Cutting doesn't seem like much but the active motions are not that different than the motions I use in knitting.  It doesn't seem like much, but there is nothing I want to avoid more than re-injury.  Nothing.

So, sign me off as slightly less batty than yesterday.  I will have to take care for a while still, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!

Friday, 3 November 2017

That difficult yarn

Every stash has yarns you adore, purchased because you love them, but that you have absolutely no idea what to do with.  For a very long time, I managed to avoid this but over the years a few crept in and no matter how much I love them, I am at a loss of what to do with them.

Case in point (pretty sure I have mentioned these yarns before) .

I love, love, love this colourway of Kureopatora.  It just punches sadness in the face and chases it away. I bought it on a day that I felt happy and it just said everything I felt that day.  At the time, it didn't matter how I would use it, it only mattered that it said happy.   

I bought this at exactly the same time.  I think I even saw the yellow first.  It said happy to me as well, but felt I should leave it.  It was a pricey happy in comparison to the Kureopatora, yet right before my purchases went on the counter, I closed my eyes and put it up there too because...

This.  It was, after all, a pretty good day.

They speak to me individually, but together, they are a dance of joy for the dullest day together.  I do want to use them together, but I am just not certain how.  

At the time I thought perhaps a sweater for Cassie.  She is small and can carry all the colour.  Plus, in  stripes of solid yellow and strong colours, they would work, and would defeat winter on her tiny frame.  BUT I am not sure I can let it go.  I might want it for me.  I am leaning a little towards a Daybreak shawl, But I am not sure that  the lovely yellow is the best colour to show off the happy of the Kureopatora.  In a small sweater, yes, but I'm not so sure it would work in a large swath of a shawl like Daybreak, which depends on the linear nature of the slipped stitches off set by the colour and the arch of the finished project.  The yellow really is an extension of the yellow in the Kureopatora, rather than setting it off.  

I think that is the reason I am having trouble choosing something for this yarn.  Do I offset or do I extend?  And depending what I do, do I let the yarn go, or do I keep it just for me?

I did find a yellow Cascade 220 that would work perfectly with the Kureopatora as the yoke of a sweater for myself, but I had to go home and think about it.  It would make me happy, but would that too similar yellow make it all be just too bright and strong?  Would I lose the happy in this yarn, diluted by too much strong colour, just like how too much of any happiness can be lost if that is all you have.  Would it end up that I loved it as balls of yarn, but not as a finished sweater for me? 

It is entirely possible that these two lovely skeins ought to remain as decor, sitting on my dresser in a lovely glass jar, in front of my dandelion curtains in my yellow bedroom.  Maybe that is the happiness I need from them.  I am not sure of that yet either.

The search goes on.  Strong colours, happy colours, can sometimes be difficult colours.