Thursday, 28 September 2023

Small Things

And this is how far I made it yesterday.  

It looks paltry in comparison to my amount of knitting before and I might be disappointed but I know how much went into the making it this far.  I am very pleased with it.  Small diameter things are much harder on my hands than a nice soft sweater. I am practising relaxing and knitting very slowly. My hands are doing fine, but they don't seem to have a lot of stamina.

I have a few rows more on the thumb gusset to do and once those are done, there are really only a few rows, maybe ten or so planned for the hand part so not too much more.  Sometimes these little projects are the nicest thing.  Quick, simple, and really useful to me.

Today's task is to hit the sewing room.  Today, as much as I need the long johns, I have a pile of work to do on existing things, some remodeling, some repair.  I want to get those things out of my head so I have free brain space to play again.

Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Something New

I was watching Annijuuti Knits on Youtube and she vlogged about a challenge she is following among Finnish Youtubers where you cast on one new thing each day for a week.  It was interesting watching her choices and reasoning behind all seven of her new projects.  

It made me think about starting something new for no reason.  I was swept along with her enthusiasm and I was feeling a bit jealous.  Five year old innner me felt she got to start new things.  Why couldn't I?   More adultier me did not really want to start something new.  I finally feel like I am making progress on the Mid Knit Cravings Pesto and Kelp sweater and Carter's blanket is moving along nicely too.  I have more than enough WIPs on the go to feed every sort of knitting mood.  I do not need more WIPs.  And yet...

  I decided to deal with the urge by casting on a small project that I do need and not just a pair of socks. 

For the last several years, I have been wearing wrist warmers to bed at night.  They really help keep my hands working well.  They cannot make the emerging arthritic joints go away completely, but they really do help them feel less stiff and spongy.  My last pair

 was a really successful project and I have worn them almost every night since February of 2022.  I always meant to make a pair with longer cuffs so that more of my forearm would be covered.  I wanted them longer over my knuckles too.    Casting on wrist warmers isn't a want, it is an almost urgent need as fall has us more firmly in her grasp.

By the time I talked myself into casting on, it seemed reasonable.  I had the yarn in my WIPs bin. It seems it never was put away.  (So much for my ability to clean out my WIPs bin.)  My favourite pair of dpns were free.  What's to stop me. 

And away I went.

I am just about to make a two row red stripe before I knit more of the charcoal and white marl.  The hand will once again be full red and it will be finished off to match the cuff.  

It isn't a fancy sort of piece.  It is a workman like piece and it reminds me fondly of knitting sock monkeys and Sock Monkey Cabin Blankets.  Which reminds me of the Sock Monkey Cabin Blanket that is on my 10 mm needles and needs to be completed, which reminds me of Carter's blanket and one for his cousin Jane and Marcus' blanket and something for Cassie too.  

I gotta go knit now.

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

A Matter of Expectation

One of the most interesting things about knitting is how no matter how long you have been doing it, there is still so much to learn.  I cannot think of anything in my life that demonstrates so clearly how you can read the words and have them right, you can do each process of a thing and understand it and still be so wrong.  Context is everything.

The black hole of my never ending sweater knitting magically resolved itself one morning. It wasn't just long enough, it was one row past what I was looking for.  No matter, one row extra was perfect.  I started working on the interesting hem of the sweater.  

And stopped.  No matter what I did, it didn't make sense.  I followed the directions exactly but it really made no sense.  Right from the bit where you cast on stitches to the way you attached them to bind off the body of the sweater, it made no sense.  I read it and knit it over and over again.  After try number 4, I put it down and worked on the blanket and played in stash.  Knitting gods 1, Me 0.  

I searched answers on Ravelry and Reddit.  There wasn't any mention of trouble with what I was having trouble with.  I read over the pattern again.  I had obviously missed some small but critical instruction.  I looked at every picture I could find.  Zip, nada.  I left it alone all of Saturday. I ignored it.

And Sunday, I picked up the pdf of the pattern and was looking at my favourite little detail of the design when it hit me.  I was thinking in the wrong direction.   I know.  It makes no sense when you write it out, but suddenly, I knew the problem I was having and I knew what to do, to do it right.

When you knit in the round, you are pretty much working in the same direction all the time.  I was trying to do this part, expecting it to keep the knitting flowing in that same direction.  It doesn't.  It works back in the other direction.  

It was such an aha moment, understanding the one thing I had wrong.  I had forgotten to leave my expectation at the door and was trying to make it be something it could not be. 

With the newfound clarity, I made quick work of getting it set up and making progress.   

I cast on 4 extra stitches than the pattern calls for.  I didn't really plan for this but it feels right.  Instead of being 4 inches, my hem finish will be about 4 3/4 inches.  I dearly hope that the yarn will  holds out.  

If it doesn't, I will just have to order another skein of yarn or change the sleeve hem finish.  Wish me l luck.

With each thing I knit, I learn something.  Sometimes it is about the yarn or fibre. sometimes, it is about a little trick of the stitches.  Sometimes I gain a small understanding of things about myself, and sometimes, oh those notable times, I learn something big about the nature of the world and life itself.  Leave your expectations at the door.  Things often work better that way.