Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Good Mail

I've really been careful with yarn purchases lately.  (Mr. Needles, back of the class and quit laughing).  OK, I have not been careful, but I have really really cut back.  I would have met my August amount if you only counted yarn, and if I had not had that little encounter with Cascade 220 colour 2448 .  That threw me right off.

Still, other than the Cascade, all the yarn I purchased this month was to finish something.  Well and there was that one skein of blue laceweight. And that Japanese Stitch Dictionary.  (Did I ever mention how I think that Mr. Needles is a pretty great guy?)

Oh well.  No matter how careful I was, the end result is that I am getting the nicest mail.  Here is the result of a couple days mail. 
There on the bottom is an almost chunky looking worsted weight,  Naturally Alpine.  Its an OK yarn, a little coarser than I hoped, but it will be fine for outside wear sweaters and things that are not intended for against your skin wear. There are 2 colours on the pile, a dark green and a really fantastic charcoal.  

To the right in the picture, is a couple of plates of Plotulopi, a deep rich green and a heathery garnet/ copper/ rust confection.  I'm not sure which way these two colours will be used, but they are the additional colours I need to knit something really great with the Plotulopi I ordered from Iceland earlier this year.  

Then up at the top are 3 skeins of the creamiest softest buttermilk whites of Einband you have ever seen.  Desert island, here I come.

And right there, up on top, the crowning achievement, is the single ball of black I needed to finish Lilia Hyrna.  Crowning achievement because I did not forget to order it.  

All these lovely things are sitting here on my desk and oh, how I do love to look at them, to reach out and touch them as I knit or goof off on Ravelry.  As much as I love them, I am being swamped by them.  I am going to have to do a good stash tidy.  No getting away from it.  

I intend to have a really really good time.    

Sweater weather

Whether you want it to be or not, fall is here.  The kids are back in school (or are about to head back), there are trees all over the place that have leaves that look as if they are thinking about turning.  The fire weed has turned from rich green to crimson.  

The glorious display of Ligularia are all but done blooming.  This was at their height.  Yes, once again, I am sitting here pulling all my knitting back and redoing what I did yesterday. I thought I had too few, but I had too many.   So, today, you get Mr. Needles late summer yard shots.  

We had the best showing of day lilies ever. Dozens of blooms a day.  
A self seeding wonder from a long time ago.  I haven't had belleflowers in this spot for at least 6 years.  Magical things happen when you have lots and lots of rain.
The ferns that almost ate the deck.  It took years to get them established and now they consume territory like nobody's business.  No wonder ferns have been around for millennia.    
The hollyhocks, also a self seeder, grew to be 8 feet tall and more and are just now blooming the last few blossoms.
The monkshood was a mass of soft blue and whites hoods, with one lone stalk going back to the original bright blue violet.  All but the buds at the very tips are now done.  It looks empty without them out my kitchen window.  
  The campfires have been camped, 
The blue skies have been spied, 
The green paths have been walked, 
The hazelnuts have by now all been gathered by busy squirrels,
And the garden has been gathered by us.  Well, there are just the potatoes left and those shall be done in a week or two.  It is just a little early yet. And if that corn ever makes anything...

I'm a little sad for summer to be done, for the green leaving us so soon. There is a quality to the air of fall, an quality that speaks of the fullness of the season, that speaks of harvest and settling in surrounded by all the bounty of the earth, that makes it all worth while. Even the nicest most summer like fall days have their share of crisp in the morning.  

It is the time of year when a sweater needs to be close to hand, and its time to get back to mine.  Sleeves and lace today.  Sleeves and lace.  

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

An Old Fashioned Kerchief

I did manage to find a few minutes to knit.  I've added the last of Northampton's 3 colours.

Pretty, yes?  A friend at River City had the book and started picking 3 colour combinations and I joined in and started to play. And here I am with a copy of the book, a small stash of individual skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and 3 future scarfs!  Northampton was not originally designed for this yarn, but oh, how it should have been.  It looks fantastic.  

I worried that I would run short of yarn in each section, but it is going to be plenty big by just knitting till a colour is gone and not worrying about perfect stitch counts in each section.  I am almost to the correct number for the end of section 3 before the lace begins and if I run short on the dark gray, I do have one spare gray skein to finish with.  I should note that I am replacing beads with a yarn over k2tog row.  Beads would be cold and not needed if the goal is to be warm.

Northampton is a traditional square scarf, the kind elegant women wore in the 60's with large sunglasses when riding in classic convertibles, not that many women rode in classic convertibles while wearing large sunglasses,  many women did wear large kerchiefs in inclement weather. Kerchiefs are still worn many places in the world as traditional head coverings , particularly by elderly women, sitting in the sun, while knitting.  

A good head scarf is much more usable by me than a hat.  I know I look stupid in hats.  A scarf lays a little more softly around my face and flows down and around my neck and can be tucked firmly into my coat lapels and under the collar all around (for that elegant 60's look, dontcha know) 

I would like to dream that I leave the picture of the elegant 60's woman in peoples mind as I walk by, but I'm pretty sure that the old woman sitting in the sun is much more to type.  It is what it is. Sigh.  

Oh to dream.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Late August

I have always liked late August.  Well, maybe not when late August meant returning to school, but I love how August signals the return of sweater weather.  The air changes.  The trees add a more pungent scent as leaves start to turn and fall.  The plants in the undergrowth lie back and go to sleep. Fall is my favourite season.  

There was a lot of knitting done on the weekend but it wasn't sweater knitting.  We had a family campout and knitting was a nice simple neckerchief, the Northampton Neckerchief from New England Knits.  A different sort of cast on, and then just miles and miles of stockinette before a tiny lace bottom bit before an interesting bind off.  It was the perfect campout knitting.

New England Knits a nice book. It was only12 dollars on the last Interweave hurt book sale and for that small amount, the one pattern that I know I will knit is ok, but I have to hope that I will find at least one more likely to knit to make it really worth while.  Thankfully, the gamble worked with this book and there are several other possibilities.  

I'd take photos of the neckerchief, but the camera is in my bag and the bag is in the van.  I'm feeling just a little dopey and lazy but I know sitting here and finishing the scarf and working on Cerisara is just not on the days menu.

The weather promises to be warm today and there is a lot of garden work to do.  The last pea picking, pulling the beans which are finished, hoeing the trees for one more time.  All these are due to be done today.  

Still, I hope that some knitting will happen somewhere in the day.  Surely there is a corner of time that will pop up just waiting for knitting to happen in it.  

Friday, 26 August 2011

Dear Cascade 220 Heathers 2448

Dear Cascade 220 Heathers 2448

I can link to you here and you look fine, sitting there at the end of the second row of colours.  But you look a little pale a little too teal.  

I can add a picture taken this morning 

but you look a little gray and weak.  If I didn't know better, I'd worry that you need dying.

How can I explain the intensity of you, the purple garnet violet-ness of you?  How can I tell people about those tiniest flashes of dark turquoise that aren't hardly there?  How can I explain that the blue of you really just is the bare bones?

I guess the only way I can explain my sudden deep desire to have you, to pet you, is the knit you.  I don't see that as a bad thing, but do you have to speak so loudly?  You are the new kid here.  Wait your turn.  The other yarn is starting to get just a little miffed.

Thank you

PS.  If anybody around the city needs some good fall yarn, you cannot go wrong with Cascade 220.  I have it on good authority that River City has their fall shipment in and they have all of the heathers and a heap of the plain too. I am not so sure if the ladies have it all ready to go on the sale floor.  I am reporting as an interested observer only.  

I can tell you this now, because well I like you all, and I already have my share of 2448. Too bad for you.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

In the middle of ordinary

Who would have thought that I would find something so unusual in the middle of an ordinary week?

Here it is in all its unblocked glory.  Poor thing.  

I have to admit, though I wasn't sure at first, I really love the drama of this yarn.  I love how the thick parts are gushy and soft and how the thin parts, where it is tightly twisted, have sheen and crispness. I love how the stitches look in the thin sections, long and drapey and so comfortably relaxed.   

I might add a pewter button or two. The low sheen metallic finish will be just the right thing to compliment the richness of the silvery browns and grays in the yarn.  I'd like to wear it buttoned the way I have it pinned, but I am not sure that it will want to be worn that way.  

I  think this one is going to look great with jeans (or black pants) and a crisp white shirt with a collar. Off setting the drama and interesting texture with crisp simplicity feels right.  

I did not expect this when I started out this week.  I thought I would be working on hypnotic lace. I thought that there would be socks in between. Who knew there was such unexpected magic at the bottom of my very ordinary WIP basket? Who knew it would all be so completely right?   Who knew I needed a break from that lovely lace?

The vest, the yarn, the magic of finding it when I needed it.  All these are the perfect antidote to ordinary.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Digging in the WIP basket

My hissy fit lasted only until google let me finish my post for the day, and I did not carry said fit with me to knitting.  That would have been sad, to spoil a knitting day with a hissy.  This hussy leaves hissys at home where they can sit in silence and disappear from lack of attention!

But as I said, I did have to find something right for knitting.   I discovered some interesting things.  

There were several bags of yarn that had been tucked in the basket.  I think they must have been put there just to get them out of the way at some point.  I really thought I had kept things in order.  There were a couple things, barely begun that might get worked on and might just get undone and put away.  I'm not entirely sure just when they were started. Till now, I thought I had kept better track of that too.  

And then I found this.  

This is the yarn Mr. Needles brought home from Palm Springs last winter.  This one I remember.  Its lovely stuff.  I did cast on for a project. I only had 5 skeins of yarn, so you guessed it, the project is a simple vest. It was almost but not quite at the try on point.  I think I stopped because I wasn't sure it would look good on me. Silly of me.  

I took it past the underarm join and tried it on.  Looks fine. Actually better than fine.  Different but kind of quirky without being so far out that it couldn't be worn in a 'not a tie' kind of office environment.   

It's very soft and silky feeling.  The soy in this blend does its job well.  It is unexpectedly drapey and almost clingy.  For such a bulky creature, with all that drape, it is going to have to fit simply but closely to look its best. 

To get that close fit and best look, I have been trying it on as each ball was finished.  Last ball yesterday, it was looking really good but that last ball ended right where I would normally do an increase to give it proper fit and shape down the back. I added stitches and this last try on will tell me if the additions were too much.  I have a feeling that I went a little overboard.  But you never know.  It has been a surprise every step of the way. 

The thought of finishing today is almost a little sad.  Its gone so quickly, from not yet joined, to nearing the hem in just one day.  There has hardly been any time to savour it.  Savouring will have to wait till another day, because savouring or not, I. Am. Finishing. It.  Today.  

Trying on is my first task for this morning.  Or it will be, right after I make coffee.  Surely a day with a big finished project should start with some coffee?


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Working on it

I've been sitting here several hours hurriedly knitting this skein to the end so I can move on to sleeves.  It is just stockinette and the reverse stockinette of the front band.  Finally done that plain bit - the rest will be done after the sleeves are complete -  and about ready to start the sleeves.  
Now I have to do the hard part.  I have to go back to the pattern.  I'm sort of not looking forward to it.  I'm sure that the thing is clear to many many other knitters, but the note/pattern conundrum gives me a headache.  OK, it isn't really a headache, but it sure does not inspire confidence in my ability to read and interpret details.  It actually makes me wonder if I ever could read and interpret details.  I have a very bad feeling that I have always just winged it.

I think I know what the designer did to get the look of the original.   Following my instinct worked on the collar and fronts.  Here is hoping it works for the sleeves.

I've also been debating if I should take it to knitting this morning.  It is going to be a new way of working the pattern.  It is also lace.  Lace and me at public knitting usually is a very bad thing.

There are socks to knit.  There is a blanket that I started a week or two ago.  There is some ongoing lace.  There is a

Ok, dear Google.  You and I are having a little hissy fit. I have written a bunch more of this post several times now and I am tired and cranky.  Thanks for that.  Thanks.  You are not letting me move forward without adding a bunch of stuff that I really don't want to give you...and you are a assuming I have things I don't have. YOU are assuming I have a mobile.  I don't.  I like it that way.  YOU can try to SMS me all you want, but it isn't going to happen...

So, back to knitting.  I'm taking a sock.  A plain sock.    Harrumph.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Moving along 6 stitches at a time

I would be just a little farther along on this sweater had I not had to unravel back to the underarms.  I had cast on the number of stitches needed for the right width at the underarm for my body  - not what the pattern says - and had to go back and take out a few of those stitches. My first try fit fine but the pattern looked a little saggy. No way should this pattern look saggy.  It should just look crisp and lively. 

But, having to rip back and redo isn't a bad thing.  Not at all.  Its been really lovely.  This is a marvelous little lacey cable stitch.  I could knit this over and over and not get tired.  

One pattern row, then 3 rows where you count to five and do something different on the 6th.     Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm.  Over and over, back and front.  

Another interesting part is the knitting styles I am using.  I don't think I have done it on this scale before.  The front button bands are knit in reverse stockinette.  I really have a strong dislike for the stitch, but only because it shows off bad or uneven knitting so easily.  I've yet to see a sample in a magazine where reverse stockinette on a large scale, looked at all pleasing.  My knitting  tension isn't even when I knit traditional continental, so to combat this I am doing it my way.  The reverse stockinette portion is knit combined, scooping my yarn front and back. 

When I get to the lace, lazy knitter that I am, I do what is easiest in pattern work, and do what the rest of the world does.  I'm not nearly as excited by the prospect of all that purling the proper way.  It takes a lot more effort than scooping and is a little harder on my hands but even that has not been an issue here.  It is just 5 stitches at a time and the knit stitch in between is enough of a break that it just feels right.  

So every row, I am a little bit of the average knitter and a little bit of me. Completely mixed up

I have a couple inches more, 3 more repeats of the full pattern to be precise and then on to the sleeves.  There will be more length to knit on the body of the sweater, but I  want to get fuss of sleeves done first.  The small diameter of sleeves is always a challenge when you have to work around the full body of a sweater.  

I have had so many nice comments on the way it looks so far.  It isn't my doing it at all.  It is a great pattern and what just might be my very best matching of yarn to pattern.  I'm using Scheepjes Donna. It is an unassuming blend of wool and microfiber, but it is the construction that makes it something special.  If you are wandering round a yarn store, look for yarns that bounce back when you squeeze them, that feel full of movement and life, yarns like Mirasol Hacho and Lana Grossa Merino 2000 and Zara.  The stitch definition of patterns with a yarn made like this is quite simply, incomparable. 

I was kind of hoping for incomparable.  I was hoping for something that would look just a little dressier than the comfy cozy casual sweaters I have knit lately and if it keeps working up like this it will.   

Friday, 19 August 2011

Cherry Cerisara Amore

I probably should say something but

it speaks for itself.

The long view.

No I did not get up to knit the back collar section.  Au contraire. I got up so I could remember the dream.  You know how it is: you see the answer in your sleep and if you don't use it right now, it is gone by the time you are really awake?  The fact that I dreamed my way past the too wordy (for me) pattern, to what made sense should not be considered unusual.  I'm sure it happens all the time.  To knitters everywhere.  No what was unusual was that I got up at 3:30 a.m. to knit because I knew exactly what to do.    

4 a.m. would have been perfectly normal.

Even the inside of the pattern is enormously pleasing.

Yup.  Completely obsessed.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Blog forgotten

but only for a moment.

I had been planning on writing a wind up post for the lovely Folklore cardigan, a nice post about putting the remainders of the yarn away and my plans for said remainder yarn.  I made the yarn look nice and tidy and took photos and tucked it away, and sat down a promptly forgot to write about it.  

I sat down and started another sweater instead.  I had been thinking about it all day.  The yarn was sitting on my desk.  It is a rich deep red-violet, right out of the crayon box.  Perfect for fall and the warm colours of the approaching season.  The gauge swatch was swatched.  Needles chosen.  Starting was only awaiting finishing of the previous.

The new knit is Cerisara by Chic Knits.   It is...umm...well addictive.  Really the perfect thing for a waning summers day.  Its a DK weight yarn so it's not too heavy.  Its an innovative seamless knit with a modern shape that is styled like like an empire waist, but isn't.  (Emprie + short + large + hippy = very, very bad.).  Its top is this neat little lace stitch, only 6 stitches wide, shifting 3 stitches over  and back.  Easy.  Simple. Addictive.  The bottom of the sweater is just plain reverse stockinette...

Whoa.  I didn't notice that part when I was choosing the pattern.  I noticed it after I bought the pattern though. I think I already have a plan for making it the perfect 'I don't have to think hard but I am going to have a lot of fun' sweater.  

I could talk more about how much fun I am having...but I have to go knit.   

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Pretty, Pretty

Isn't this just the prettiest way to do an edging?

 Garter stitch finished off with a little bit of stockinette to roll forward in a nice smooth sweet little candy pop roll.  It is really just about the perfect thing.

One more edge to go, then a few buttons, and sewing down the steeked edges and weaving in ends.  Just an hour or so of sewing and touching up.  Next some blocking and it will be quite done.

Very satisfying.  Great yarn, great pattern.

Substantially complete

I used to have a job in the construction industry.  I dealt with the admin work, contracts, paperwork, stuff like that. There was a term used when the job was done, but there were a few little details to clear up.  They called that point in the project substantial completion.

I use it in knitting all the time.   
See?  Substantially complete.  And looking good, I might add.

Just a few details on the front need to be done, such as a band that needs steeking.  
Steeking stitches.  4  rows.  Very well sewn rows.

In the space between the photo and the words below it, I teetered on being so happy to be this far along and realizing I was a complete nincompoop.  Milliseconds, like riding the ferris wheel at the fairground. Right at the point where you are at the top and before you start coming down the front of the wheel.  Yup.  That is what few moments of glory were like.  Just like on a ferris wheel, my heart had its turn to go down.

I need to reknit the collar so it matches the bottom ribbing perfectly and I need to fix a small screw up in the first pattern repeat. Bugger.

It's going to be a problem getting the steeking sewing out.  I used a stitch on my machine that is designed for stretch sewing.  It does 2 stitches forward, one stitch back on the smallest of angles.  Its the perfect thing for securing those steeking stitches.  Or it would be if I did not need to take it out.

I really should have had some coffee before doing anything that required thinking.  I feel some sock knitting coming on.

Substantially complete.  Or not. 

Monday, 15 August 2011

To be or not to be Sensible.

I have to clean my car today.

A friend was traveling and brought me back goodies. The bumper sticker is going on my car today.  Part of me wishes my Julia's wheel was a solid thing, like the S10.  If it was, just for fun, I'd mount it there!  Too bad Julia looks just a little more traditional.  

My friend also brought me some of this.  
Its Berocco's new Flicker yarn, an unimaginably soft confection of 87% baby alpaca and 8% of acrylic carrier for 5% other fibres, which I assume is what the shiny stuff is.  

There is just the smallest most subtle bit of shiny stuff in here. Its just enough for a hint, the tiniest flicker of glisten and sheen.  It isn't 80's in your face metallic, it's  thoroughly modern.  It is a gentle metallic for a new age.

I know exactly what I am going to do with it too.  Lofty, warm, yummy soft.  This quite simply demands to be made into a snuggly fall shawl.  And if I am not careful and extremely sensible, this might just get cast on today.

PS.  This yarn is getting a very high rating from me.  Very high. Lofty.

Friday, 12 August 2011

I know a second post on a Friday

I'm just a wee bit dispirited.  My daughter in law once again did not get a visitor visa.  I can sort of understand it but I don't have to like it.  
They are not seeing any reason for her, as a visitor, to return to Ukraine, even though she has to go there to get her resident visa.  She doesn't own property, she doesn't have a huge bank account, she has no important job to go back to.  In fact the process for a permanent visa means that they see her as having an interest in not going back no matter that she needs to be in Kiev to pick up her papers.

I know that it is another case with the resident visa.  She is sponsored by her husband who has to show that he can support her.  That part is done.  We've been waiting for months to get to the next step and we have a date for her interview at the Embassy.  Then there are some medical checks and...well, then we shall see.  

I could say a hundred and one grumpy things, but the bottom line is, the paperwork is the paperwork and no one can make the process go faster than each individual person working those desks.  I am sure there must be an overwhelming amount of paper from an overwhelming number of people wanting to come to our country.  I'm glad as a Canadian that you have to be strong to withstand the wait to get here - weeds out the disinterested and the uncommitted, I hope -  but as a party waiting for my daughter in law, 

this sucks.  

World, please send my daughter home to her husband. 

Monkeys and the Big Questions

I did a ton of household chores yesterday but somewhere in there, I still found time to knit the better part of sock.  What a great way to spend a day.  Do an icky task, reward me with a little knitting.  Task.  Knitting.  Very good.

There have been very very few yarns where I did not 'see' the project as I was buying the yarn.  Every ounce of sweater yarn still brings forth  the picture that I had on buying it, every scarf yarn (3 skeins of whatever), every single laceweight.  I see the things I wanted them for.  Admittedly, the shawl yarns have pretty flexible pattern thing happening, but each yarn I originally bought for a shawl is still a shawl when I dig through the stash (even where I have enough of a particularly pleasing colour for a sweater) .  

The sock yarn is a little different.  I have always known they would be socks.  I don't think patterns with socks.  I just think socks.  Other than a few delicious hand painted specialty sock yarns, where I now know, that as nice as they are, they don't stand up to what my demands on socks are, none of the sock yarns will ever be anything other than socks. 

When I buy a sock yarn, I buy for colour.  I buy what pleases, so when all of a sudden, I am not enjoying knitting a sock yarn,  I don't quite understand it. It isn't that it is a sock. I always feel like knitting socks, even when I don't feel like knitting anything at all.  

The bag of yarns I found in the WIP basket is nice enough yarn, but it wasn't on my list of things to knit this year because I had fallen completely out of love with it.  The thrill was gone.  This just doesn't happen to me. As nice as these yarns are, they bored me to tears.  So much so, that I worked really hard to ignore them and buried them deep in the dark bottom of the great big basket.  

So when I needed a little something old to knit on to be sensible, I  pulled out these long neglected yarns out.  I felt like knitting a pattern so away I went with the only pattern I have ever really knit successfully, the monkey sock.  It was kind of grand.  

I'm still iffy about the colour of 2 of the yarns but the longer I knit on the first pair, the more that I see it isn't really the yarn at all.  Its that I picture them plain.  These yarns want, nay, need to be a patterned sock.  They desire to be lacy (ish), they crave texture and till now, I wasn't cooperating.

So, having figured this out, I am looking for a couple of nice, easy to knit, but very cooperative sock patterns.  I have a couple in mind.  If they don't work, there are always be monkeys, a whole herd of monkeys.  

That is if monkeys run in herds.  Prides? Flocks? Schools?  Murders?  

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Taking a Day Off

I'm taking the to get some chores done. I am knitting sensibly in between though.  What is the point of doing chores if you can't knit a little in there somewhere?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Knitting Doldrums

I have read about it everywhere this year, from Brooklyn Tweed to Frazzled Knitter.  I am surely going through it.  More correctly I am working my way through it.  I did finish those socks after all. That counts.  

I know that the doldrums come from what I have yet to do.  At the start of the year, my goal was to work on the overwhelming pile of works in progress.  They were eating the floor of my study and threatened to climb the walls (or send me there).  I cleared up a bunch of things and am pretty pleased with my progress so far, but what remains is a weight that is dragging me down.  

Two Icarus shawls, the River Valley shawl the Lehe shawl, my second go at something lovely from my Kiev yarn and the Watershed vest are still undone.  Don't get me wrong.  I have finished a lot.  The  backlog of socks has gone the way of the dodo.  I finished the great big Shetland shawl. I finished Mr. Needles long outstanding vest.  I finished or deleted a few things that weren't working out and the pile is down to just one big basket that fits rather tidily on a shelf.  (It's a high, deep shelf.  Don't be thinking bookshelf. )  

The number of new things has stayed just about right. The new things from this year waiting to be done are my gray sweater, which has one sleeve re-knit , the other soon to be.  Lilia Hyrna is waiting for another ball of black yarn but isn't going to take long to finish.  (I love knitting on it).  There is a blue top, still sitting out its sentence for misbehaviour, but once the gray sweater is done, that will be addressed, and a Clapotis that I work on at least once a week.  The only new project that has the potential for long term WIP-ness is a very sweet little Victorian Shoulder shawl and I might just change the lace to get past the things that bug me on it. 

I set myself the task of finishing as a goal because they were such a  weight and they are a weight still.  It isn't that I don't want to do them.  Oh no.  I do.  I just don't want to do them right now.   

Its just that 3 new shawls with lovely new yarn, and at least one more pair of socks and a dozen sweater patterns are calling my name.  Plus the yarn from the closet is shouting at me, knit..knit new, knit rust, knit blueberry, knit green.  

Sensible me, who knows I will just hate myself in the morning, really would rather just get some of these things done so they could be enjoyed and worn.  I just have to fight off the irresponsible me that got me into this mess in the first place.  
What I really need is a shot of fresh air.  Its a good thing that my beans and peas should be ready to pick today. I might just sneak a peek under some potatoes too.  A shot of dirt is good for the soul. My fingers will be busy till my head and heart are in a sensible place.  

But as soon as one more sensible thing is done, look out world.  I intend to fly. Well maybe two.  Sensible me is a pretty stern task master.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011


I did the socks,
then took the sweater out to play

(If you are like me, you can hear the music and know that these lines fit the tune)

And that what I did.  I finished up a most pleasing pair of socks. 

Garter stitch toe.  Just a little thing I am trying out for Mr. Needles feet (it sure works on mine).

Garter stitch short row heel.  Mr. Needles seems to prefer this heel.

And trying something just a little different, a garter rib calf.  There is just enough to keep my mind occupied and yet, is completely simple.  
It was the perfect get away from all my other knitting.

As soon as the last bit of work was done on the socks, I picked up the grey Folklore sweater, and ripped back a sleeve.  Sigh.  I really hoped I wouldn't have to but no way was it going to block enough to look nice.  So sleeve knitting recommenced and is well under way.  

Sleeve knitting on bigger needles than I used for the body of the sweater is already working.  The 4 inches already reknit is already showing the perfect width.

Note to self:  no matter how good it looks, sleeves must be done on one size or two sizes bigger needles, no matter that the sweaters are knit in the round. Whenever I knit sleeves on the same size needles, they are always more compact than the gauge on the body.  Must have something to do with all the small diameter socks. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

This was a very busy weekend here at Chez Needles.

On Saturday Mr. needles was playing and endless game of golf.  I listened to old music and knit.  It was very good.  

I had fun.  Each and every time I knit a pair of socks, I just have fun.  Good old fashioned fun.  I love knitting socks.

Sunday we tried something completely different.  
Fresh homemade sausages, ready to be packed and put away.  We had some for dinner last night.  Yummy.  

Friday, 5 August 2011

Knit One Knit All

I have been waiting for this book from the moment that I heard it was a possibility and the good people at Schoolhouse Press have not disappointed.

What a treasure trove.  

I admit it is the sweaters that draw me in.  

I love these Bavarian Sweaters.  

I would show a few more of the ones I love, but the rest of the photos loaded sideways and there were too many of them anyways.  Suffice it to say I could cast on for the Mitered Cardigan right now.  The Icelandic Overblouse is no slouch either and the Suspender Sweater has the most interesting shoulder shaping...

This really gets in the way of my plans, yanno.  But I like it.  A lot.

And the book rates a absolute must have.  You simply must.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

When Mojo Takes a Hike

I've been in a bit of knitting doldrums.  Knitting doldrums, as it is wont to do, spread to other things and I ended up with not a lot accomplished yesterday.

I have to redo the sleeves on my Folklore.  I really hate that, but I can no longer talk myself into accepting them as they are.  Just too tight, and blocking isn't going to take that away, no matter how much I wish it would.  

As I suspected, I am also going to run out of black before I get to the end of the chart on Lilia Hyrna.  I have half the chart left to go and only enough yarn for 1 row.  That will be saved for binding off.  Its going to have to sit for a bit while I decide if the black section looks balanced enough to just move on to the last red border.  

I had no urge, felt no rush, and just couldn't settle.

So I spent a very long time wandering about.  I spun (a bunch.  I am very happy with that). I spent a while looking at lovely yarns. I debated what to do next.  (I'm going to go back to charts to finish up the Lehe shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia. I think).  I looked at shawl patterns and new books and old magazines.  

Everybody has a different place they go when they lose their knitting mojo.  (It isn't lost, it really is just hiding out somewhere, taking a walk around the block, playing in the park...something like that)

When the mojo takes a walk in the park, I find comfort in socks.  Plain, simple, prosaic.  When I knit socks, mojo comes back and it comes back strong and everything feels fresh and clean. 

I've taken a bit of a break from sock knitting since May and I think it is time to get back to it.  One pair a month, to the end of the year.

Mojo found.  It came back with some other lost energy.  It picked up some bread baking mojo and some laundry mojo.  (Who knew there was laundry mojo!)  

It's a very good day.  Mojo wise that is.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

There has been knitting

There has been knitting happening.  Good stuff too.  Lilia Hyrna

These are shots from the purl side, so the colour changes look a little awkward but it is a really pleasing sort of knit. 

I made one small change to the wider red panel.  I was dithering about stitch counts and ended up with a few extra rows of red.  I didn't want to rip back so I decided to make it balanced and just kept on going.  I'm really hoping I don't regret it.

I am about halfway through the last black lace panel and , as usual, I am worrying about running low on yarn.  I really hoped there would be just enough black left to do the bind off with.  A punch of black at the end of the red would be the loveliest way to finish it.  I don't think that is going to happen though.  I will be lucky to get through the black lace panel.  

I have tons of the red lace left so there shouldn't be any problems with the last lace chart.  

I think I am really going to like this shawl. If it is half as nice to wear as it is to problem.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Ravelry Effect

I spoken of Ravelry often here.  Most people who knit have heard of Ravelry and even more delightful, the site is starting to win some serious technical awards because of the way it is constructed and its very very user friendly ways.  

It has become a nice little social network for many of us and it is a great way to meet other local knitters.  But there is always the Ravelry effect.  

One of our local knitters is in hospital on strict bed rest awaiting the birth of her wee one.  She has been moved to a hospital not far away.  I am going to a greenhouse this morning and thought I would get her some flowers.  The problem is that I know her as LilBean and only as LilBean.   

So here I sit, contemplating the delivery of flowers to the hospital saying these are for LilBean, the knitter.  I can see me saying intelligent things to try to explain how I know this person and I can see me explain why I would know her to see her and I can really see me trying to explain it's a knitting thing.   

Yeah.  I can see it now.  Wish me luck.  Here is hoping someone at knitting knows her last name.