Friday, 30 September 2011

Thinking about it

It has been quite some time since I finished the knitting on the Lichen Vest for Mr. Needles. July 6 according to Ravelry.  And ever since then, as is my wont to do, I have been thinking on it.

This vest needed a zipper.  It just had to be that way for it to be worn.  If he doesn't like how it looks, it will never be worn and my beautiful knitting would have been wasted.

I had seen the tutorial by Eunny Jang about making the zipper a knittable thing, but once it was knittable, just how do you put it into your garment?

If no ribbings were knit, its an easier thing, but I already had my front bands and collars.  My steeks were all stucked (Does steek have a past tense?) There wasn't any going back.  How do I get that nifty thing to work for me.  

I wanted to put the zipper right at the edge and all I could see was trouble.  So I thought on it.  And thought some more.  

While doing my chores today, I knocked the stack of finished but not blocked projects down.  I did that several times through the day and finally moved the stack to my study.  The strings sticking everywhere irked me. They irked me so much that I started to weave the ends in on Folklore.  I do not look a gift horse in the mouth.  Ends it was.  All the ends on all the projects that were on the stack of things needing blocking are now woven hidden and tucked. All the buttons are sewed on too.  And it was only 4 o'clock.

So I got daring and stopped thinking.  This happened.

   I marked the zipper to my gauge as shown in the video.  Then I started installing it.  I caught one stitch right at the edge, pulling a single strand of yarn from the front through to the back side, where 
I caught the loops on a needle.  
And here, if you look closely you can see the right side, the side without loops, the side with just a single strand of yarn laying tight and hiding along the last row of corrugated ribbing.  If you look carefully, you can see that most stitches are crossed by that single strand.  You can also see that every few stitches, I skipped one.  No one but you and me will ever notice that.

Once I was done getting loops set, I started knitting the live stitches held on the needle at the back side of the work.  
I knit enough rows to hide the steek stitches and then sewed it down on the backs of the picked up stitches for the corrugated ribbing.  
You can hardly see any sewing at all, front or backside.  It turned out so incredibly well. 

I still have one side of the zipper to do and the requisite facing for the steek and then a bit of facing on the collar and this one will be done and finished crisp and clean and neat.  

The perfect warm sweater for  crisp fall days outdoors.  Perfect for deep cold winter.  Just right. 

I am content.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

It wasn't a knitting sort of day

I've been going through the usual doldrums after I finish a big project.  I've been very sluggish.  Sluggish of head but light of heart.

Yesterday I spent the whole afternoon winding yarn.  I had a very very good time.  Sometimes winding yarn is just the nicest way to play with my yarn.

I know that a lot of people don't recommend that you wind your yarn till you are ready to use it.  The act of winding does put some pressure on the strand, so when I do a big wind, I make sure that the tension is easy and that the yarn doesn't get under much stress. A lot of the time, I wind off the swift and then rewind without any tension at all.  

First wind only, I think I wound close to 10,000 metres yesterday.  About a third of it was rewound a second time.  And that is just the skeins I can think of.  2 storage boxes are now fully wound.  I am thrilled to have these two particular boxes ready to go.  They are boxes of 'scarf' yarns, yarns that I have 2 or 3 skeins of meant for small projects, shawls, scarves, mittens, hats.  Pretty yarns for pretty things.

These boxes are often the boxes I look to when its time for travel projects.  And it is time for a travel project.  A nephews wedding is this coming weekend.  I am looking forward to it for the unadulterated knitting time.  And sleeping time.  I sleep a lot when we drive.  

Digging in the yarn, I came across two pretty skeins which are close to my heart.  
It is Alchemy Yarns Juniper in the San Francisco Sky colourway.  Blue and inky black and taupe and gray and blue and dusty gray blue and crisp puffs of white.  It is a pure merino but such fine quality merino that it feels like I am knitting with cashmere.  

For almost two years I worked with the two best co-workers a person ever had, Sweaterrae and Nikknits.  Such fun should be illegal or required for healthy living.  I'm never quite sure which!   Sweaterrae gave me this lovely stuff and I am knitting it to a pattern that Nikknits called her Dammit shawl (named after the frequency of the use of the word while knitting), Ysolda Teague's Damson.

It has an interesting shape and switches to stockinette for an interesting but not difficult to remember lace edging, the perfect combination for interesting knitting while traveling. 

The other knitting that will happen this weekend is a Bride's bag for my nephew and his lovely new wife.   As usual, it will be knit only on the day of the wedding and will I hope in a small way capture the good feelings and blessings of the day.  I found a skein of a very beautiful pure alpaca yarn, 100% locally grown, locally processed Alberta yarn, the perfect thing for a couple from Saskatchewan, choosing to start their life together here in Alberta.  

I have to get all my things in order today:  Clean out and gas up the car, check Mr. Needles choosen gear, press, launder, etc, get knitting packed, make sure to put wee granny apple green and turquoise baby jacket in suitcase...Yes, I will get to meet the wee fella to!

If there is time at the end of the day, I think I am going to wind a little more yarn.  There is some pretty green and gold and multi coloured Hacho yarn that is shouting pretty loudly to be knit with.  And some rich deep cranberry red Ultra Alpaca... No Mr. Needles, this is from the stash too.  

And that gorgeous new blue Cascade 220 and then some Harrisville and some...  

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


Before I understood the one small thing I did differently when I knit and how I had to adapt those few stitches I needed, can't was all there was in knitting.  Once I understood, can't simply disappeared.  

Once I got the idea that I can't out of my head, everything changed. There isn't anything I look at in knitting that I don't see as something I can do for myself.  Some of them will be harder and some of them will take a lot of thinking, but they are all something I can do.  Sweaters that are not knit to my size, sweaters that are not knit to my gauge, extraordinary lace.  Whatever it is in knitting that you think is too hard for you to do, that you aren't possibly skilled enough to do is there for you, just waiting for you to try. And every time you try, you learn something wonderful.

Next time you feel like you can't, change the word.  Say it out loud.  Change it to 'I haven't learned how yet' 

Big difference.  Huge.  Life changing.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A Simple Thing

When you finish a project from the WIP pile, surely you ought to be able to cast on anything you want without feeling like you are not following your plan.  

I did.  Cast on that is.

A nice faded jeans looking blue gray Briggs and Little for Mr Needles.  Guys are so easy to knit for.  Find some yarn and a simple idea.  Knit straight till the arms  Make neck and sleeves. Cast off. Easy.  

I cast this on because Ecuador isn't going to work out for the yarn I choose.  I am not tied to the pattern but I am tied to the yarn.  I love my Zauberball Chocolate.  Its just too pretty to use on a project I am not sure of, and Ecuadors wedges would defeat the marvelous soft blending of colours, which is the prime attraction of the yarn.  I must think on this some more.

I'll think while I knit on the simple guy thing.  I'll also be thinking about that WIP basket.  I might just pick another something out of there for a little spice as a break from the simple knitting of the sweater.

Monday, 26 September 2011

A tale of 2 underarms

Fooling around with patterns is required if I want things to fit properly and that is an interesting and continuing journey.

The Watershed and the Cerisara are great examples.

Cerisara, knit from the top down, was changed a lot at the underarms.  The directions for the size I knit for a good fit through my shoulders, said to cast on 13 stitches at the underarm.  I cast on 30.  BIG difference.  

I changed the number because though my shoulders might be relatively narrow, my chest is not.  I knew that if the numbers are not on the front and back of the knitting and I need them and don't want to play lace games, then the only place I have to pick them up is at the underarm.  As I found, it is a tricky thing.  My original cast on of 42, a number that was perfect for my gauge and the number of inches I wanted the sweater to be, led to saggy underarms.  My bodies depth could not support 42.  I had to opt for an open sweater - less inches than I wanted, but as an open garment, it seems to fit nicely.   On Cerisara, there are no increases in the lace section. I picked up all the stitches I needed for the 'skirt' fit after the stockinette section was begun.  

On the Watershed, I stuck with what the  pattern said. It is meant to be an open little coverup.  I didn't anticipate any fit issues so I set aside 12 stitches for the underarm.  I ran into the problem of having too many stitches to get rid of and not enough vertical room to do it in.  My measured length between shoulder and bust apex is an inch shorter than an average person and that inch is a lot of knitting space I didn't have.  Watershed turned out wider than ideal at the neckline.  In order to wear it so it looks nice, I have to fold the lacy collar over.  It still looks nice but it isn't the look I thought I would get.

The perfect place to have gotten rid of those stitches was at the underarm.  I could have avoided a too wide upper chest and collar, had I remembered the lessons learned in Cerisara and applied them.  In fact, I still might rip Watershed back and have the perfect sweater for the price of a days worth of work.

I took a class once.  I learned so much but it didn't answer every question.  I asked a question about underarm stitches and came away with the answer that more than 4 inches cast off is just never done - the fabric would sag.  I instinctively felt that something was missing.  It seemed too absolute.

I'm starting to understand the missing stuff.  On my body, more than 4 inches might be just the thing.  My bust and body depth will support more but there is a limit to it.

In a perfect world, I would know exactly what to do in a given situation, but with the vagaries of knitting and the impossibility of perfect worlds I suspect that it will be a lifetime full of lessons. And ripped back knitting.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Compendium redux

So you remember how I made that nice list of tasks yesterday?  

Zero.  Yup, not one single thing from the list got done.  

I'm working on upgrading some of my computer skills and I was almost done it for the day, when I got a call from my brother.  He was on the way by with a very good friend and said he was stopping for coffee.

We had a great visit and it was marvelous seeing him, but after he was on his way again, my whole day was turned on its axis, and I did not 
seem to accomplish anything.  

And then I went to town and met my husband and my youngest son for dinner.  It was his birthday (He is 27)  And that pretty much took care of my day.  

I did about an inch on my August sock.  
It was pretty great too, considering it is my favourite sock yarn blend of cotton wool and nylon and has nice strong stripes.  

It was really the perfect day, just not the day that was scheduled.  It's the way the world is supposed to work, that schedules get bumped for important stuff.  And these guys, both my brother and my son, are some of the people I would dump a pile of knitting stuff for in a heart beat.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A Compendium

I finished up the bit of knitting on the pretty green Watershed.  It will block today.  Several things will get blocking today.  OK, a lot of things will block today.
There is a significant amount of knitting getting completed here at Chez Needles these last few weeks.  Added to the things I finished earlier this summer, the blocking pile is a big pile.  With the arrival of sweater weather, it needs to get done.  I will block what I have room for and then finish tomorrow.

I also hope to put the zipper in Mr. Needles vest.  

And then I need to decide what to knit next for Mr. Needles.  I think I know what I am going to do, but I have not decided which yarn to use.  I have a navy Cascade 220 , one of my favourite yarns.  I have some good heathered denim Briggs and Little and then there is some rich green Mission Falls 1824. Since there will be no more Mission Falls, that is the one I am least likely to use at this time.  I want to knit just a plain, saddle shoulder sweater, the perfect plain simple garment that all men would wear.  Just typing it out helps.  I think I'm going with the Briggs and Little.  I haven't used any yet and a simple sweater will be a great way to get acquainted.  

I already cast on an Ecuador, sweater for myself.  If you click the link you can see another of designer Jojo Locatelli's designs, Pole.  Pole is the heavier weight first version of this style.  In Ecuador, it gets to its fullest, finest version of itself.  The heavy collar is gone replaced by an open free and floaty neckline. 

Oh and did I mention I finished a pair of socks yesterday?  Its hardly fair, but there was just an inch and some ribbing to go.  I started up another pair of those too.  Well two really, though I do have to rip one back to the toe.

It wasn't a big day of knitting.  It was just that the knitting was bits and pieces.  Good bits and pieces, though.  Really good.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I tried.

I tried. I even stayed home today instead of heading to knitting just so I could knit for the extra hour ( 1/2 hour each way).  I had a really really good time though I was not nearly such nice company as my group of knitters.
But no matter how much I busted my buns, I did not finish.  
Just a short strip of the the lace edging remains to be knit.

I can already tell that I am going to be really pleased.
Seriously, who wouldn't.  

And now for something completely different!

And yet, sort of the same now that I think of it.  After finishing Cerisara, I dug through the WIP basket.  I don't so much as make a decision to work on a thing as to pick up what the spirit moves me to work on.  

Just the other day I had assigned this to the ho hum, probably going to be tossed pile.  Yet, when it was time to move on to another project, I felt the lovely green wool and was inspired to see what I could do.

The wool is 770 m of Rennaissance, a now sadly discontinued yarn from Classic Elite.  I wish I had known this yarn before it was discontinued.  A stash could only be better for having some.  The pattern is the really sweet little Watershed from Amy Swenson of Indigirl Knits 

Like my version of Cerisara,  this is a little vest which is designed to be worn open. Its skims your back keeping the chill off without being all encompassing like a cardigan.  It's the perfect all season piece that everyone could use.  It's pretty without being fussy. 
It had been tossed into the bin because of an error.  I had tried to fix the error with no luck, so I knew I was going to have to rip back to before the error.  I did that, but then the most amazing thing happened.

I picked up all the stitches.  Considering that there were yarn overs on every row, I was beyond pleased.  Then I figured out which row of the lace I was on.  It was so natural, so easy to sort out.  Then I knit up all the yarn that was out of the ball.  I was back to where I was before I ripped, pristine and ready to conquer the world or at the very least, this project. 

In under an hour, I ripped back, picked up, figured it out and re-knit.  1 hour.  It sat for 10 months because it needed one hour of thoughtful work.  

The picture was taken Sunday evening.  I was about ready to split for the arms.  I did not spend much time on it yesterday, but even so I've rejoined and have begun the raglan decreases.  

My definition of fun includes finishing two projects in a week.  Two garments?  So much better.  But this?  This is so far above mere finishing.  This is something I never even thought about, never imagined.  

There is a dip in the WIP basket.  Be still my beating heart. 

Monday, 19 September 2011

Cheery Cherry Cerisara

If only the photos could convey the colour of this yarn.  It is stronger, more vibrant, more cherry than any photo I have yet to take.  This one makes me want to get dressed up and go out to dinner.  It turned out grand, didn't it?

It's currently pinned to my dress form so that the neck details block nicely.  

My favourite details.  
The lace wins hands down, but I am very pleased with the way the bands look too.  Can a rolled edge be crisp?  This is.

The pattern has a ribbed edge, but that struck me as a funny finish when a major element like the collar was rolled.  

I debated about doing a tubular bind off, but I don't think that would have had the heft a good hem needs. I thought about an edging like the sleeve bands, which provides good balance to stop the roll, but decided I didn't want a strong element making such a determined horizontal line across my backside.  This yarn needed a quieter finish, a less showy finish. A nice sewn hem provides the heft needed to keep it from rolling up, and gives it a nice clean finish.  

Its going to need a good body blocking once the collar section is done.  The stockinette and the hem need work but I don't want to disturb that delicious lace at all.  

I'm hoping the collar is dry this afternoon so I can do the rest this evening.  I'm ready to put this cheery cherry Cerisara  into use.

Pssssst, You will never guess what I picked up to work on.  I was shocked.  Most amazing. Tomorrow.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Bye Bye Birdie

I was sitting yesterday contemplating how much I was not enjoying knitting the sleeves on Cerisara.  Everything, right up to the sleeves has been idyllic.  

I was not knitting on Cerisara, but I was thinking about it.  I was knitting on a different sweater, a new sweater yet right there beside me was a perfectly lovely sweater I was avoiding.  A perfectly lovely sweater that I really can't wait to wear.  And yet, I could not make myself knit it.  It was starting to feel like dishes, like one of those things you have to do but that you really don't want to do.

I don't want to do that anymore with knitting.  I want to be able to figure out exactly what the problem is and sort it out before I put it down.  I do not want my knitting life be endless piles of things I stopped working on for years because I had a problem.   

So I sat there and calmly kept knitting on the new sweater.  Counterintuitive, you say?  Not really.  

What was bugging me?  I needed to pick it apart. The sleeves were tighter in this lace than I was comfortable with.  I could take the sleeves back to before the under arm join, and pull back the body and then put back the stitches I took out from the underarm cast on.  The trade off would be sleeves that fit my arm or a saggy, baggy under the arms sweater.

I did not really want either.  

Bye pretty little perpendicular join that made me feel so clever.  Bye pretty little sleeve cap.  Bye pretty lace.  

Check.  Done.   I've knit a nice sleeve edging that will carry the design feature of the rolling front edge and am moving on to the skirt of the sweater.  A few more increases there and then it will be pure simple lovely stockinette.  

I'm going to knit a plain garden variety long sleeved high necked pullover to wear with it for the days when I want cherry sleeves.  

I feel much better now.  I am enjoying knitting on Cerisara again. I am really looking forward to wearing it.  I have a swatch done for the next sweater.  I do not have yet another project in the WIP bin.  A very productive day.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Oh dear...


There are strange yellow things on the lawn!  

What should I do?  Aghhhhhhhhhhh

The really odd part is other than the lightest touch of frost, it has not frozen in the yard. It's late for a killing frost. Oh things are looking just a wee bit worn and tired, but the frost tender things are still standing.  The ligularia, the bleeding hearts, the lady's mantle, all of these still provide green freshness to the yard.  It will come to an end soon, just as sure as those golden leaves are falling.  

Oh sweater weather.  How I love thee.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


When the year began, I decided to work on clearing up some of the WIPS in my baskets.  I have done OK, but I have the hard part left.  The lace.  

These 3, (in order) the Lehe, Icarus 2 and the River Valley shawl will be finished.  There is so little on each of them to do.  Lehe needs just a few more repeats till it is time for the border, the Icarus is ready for the edging, and the River Valley shawl has been pulled back and just needs the last clue, the magnificent border to be completed.  It really isn't a lot of knitting.  

I am less sure of these.

The pink is the first Icarus.  It is stunning, but it is such fine yarn.  I am not entirely sure that I love this fine of a yarn with this simple of a pattern.  It is pretty boring knitting but you cannot ever stop thinking.  The columns must be perfect.  

The green is Watershed by Amy Swenson.  I love this pattern but there is a mistake.  I've tried repairing the mistake, but I am going to have to go back to before the error.  It lace patterning on both sides and 3 different charts for each row.  If I do it, I am going to pull back to where the back panel started and begin again.  But I am also very concerned that I will run out of yarn.  It is a short little thing and I hoped to have enough to go longer, but I'm not sure I have enough to go long enough to make it look right on me.  There isn't anyone who has any of the this yarn in this colour out there, and I am not about to call the entire continent looking for some.  I have to think a lot more about this before I do anything.  

I really hate the idea of ripping them back.  I don't really want to and yet...

There is one more from the yarn my son brought back from his first trip to Ukraine.  I will do it next, but it is going to have to wait till I have one more pair of socks done.    


6 days from cast on in a very busy week.  I am content with that.  It still needs blocking but otherwise, done!

It turned out well.  The little acid green buttons are perfect.  The solid blue is the perfect border (even if it should have been wider for the buttonholes)  The buttonholes are perfect! (even if they needed a few more stitches to work them easily.  

I'm going to have to pepper all but the speediest sweater projects with little things.  Simple scarves, baby things, plain unadorned socks.  It will insert a little gratification into the big things.

Now back to hypnotic lace.  

Monday, 12 September 2011

Baby 4

It feels like it has been taking forever to knit this jacket.  It isn't really, as there just have not been that many hours knitting this last week.

Still, I am ready for it to be done.  

This is where it was yesterday right around dinner time. As we speak, the last sleeve is a mere two rows, no excuse me, two ridges from being complete.  

If I was doing this again, there are things I would do differently.  

First off, I would leave the little solid edgings 2 stitches wider and 2 ridges deeper and maybe even a little more.  I've done 5 plus the slipped stitch (the stockinette looking stitch that borders it) and it was a little small for good buttonholes.  They are there, but it left me just a 2 stitch buttonhole.  The buttons are going to have to be tiny.

I would use a simpler buttonhole.  With 5 stitches a 1 row buttonhole is sort of a pain to knit.

I sure wouldn't 3 needle bind off the shoulders and then, after the fact,  decide to run that bind off down the sleeves again. And if I was going to do that again, I would leave the neckband finishing to the end, so that when I needed to undo the 3 needle bind off, it wouldn't be caught up in the neckband. Sigh.  The join between the 2 bind off sections is OK, but no more than OK.

I like the over all look of the sweater a lot.  The ridge on ridge colour change is perfect for these two strong colours. Two strong pencil crayon colours, my perennial favourites, the ones that were wore down to the nubs each year. They are the perfect thing for a sweet wee boy.

By the evening, I will be back to Cerisara, and I do dearly hope to have 1 sleeve completed shortly.  The baby sweater was a nice little escape from unthinking errors on Cerisara, but as nice as vacations and breaks are, I am looking forward to going back.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Baby Sweater Chapter 3

All baby sweater, all the time.  I do have a little bit of a time crunch with it, but crunch really isn't the way to look at it.  There is a family wedding in October and I ought to get to meet the young man then, or at least get to see his grandma and she can deliver it.

Since this is a winging it pattern, I can do what I wanted.  Since I like to follow some direction when I wing it, I am following the path of the estimable Yarn Harlot, and knitting for length till I am sick of it.  (Yarn Harlot mentions this in her sock knitting instructions in Knitting Rules) That is what I did.
I'm going to knit just a wee bit farther, and then I will begin the neckline, collar band, and shoulder.  It looks a little funny right now, the whole sweater laid out like that.

I'm also getting to dangerous territory.  Because I am winging it, I'm going to have to remember what I did on the first neckline so I can match the second neckline.

So....I'm going to have to get the other neck side done today.  I don't think this is wildly optimistic, but I could be wrong.  Still I do have the alternating rows of colours that will help keep me on track and should make this matchy matchy thing easier.

Not to go all matchy matchy, my deskside tape measure matches this green exactly.  Coordinates well with the wee sweater!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Darn it.

Excuse me while I take a wee break even from the break of knitting the wee baby sweater.  

I've some darning to do.  This sock looks in tough shape with that long slit down the centre of the heel and the dark stains on its sole.  The stains are from an old pair of shoes with a bad inner lining.  

Everything on the sole of this sock is great.  The fibre is perfectly sturdy but a couple of washes ago, this long, perfectly vertical split between stitches going up the fabric about an inch appeared.  It isn't the usual problem of wear.  

I like these wee low tennis type socks.  They were made from 1 - 50 gram ball of yarn.  It went right down to the last few inches but it was fun seeing that it could be done for my feet.  I am loathe to lose them.  

So repair it is, for a perfectly good pair of socks.  It will only take a few moments.  Then, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Knitting Baby Things Chapter 2

  Chapter 2 looks a whole lot like Chapter 1

I took it with me to knitting and it survived my non-knitting excursions too.  I ended up knitting this on 2.75mm needles rather than the 3's that seem usual with this weight of wool.  It wasn't a decison based on gauge, but rather needle availability.  

I couldn't find any 3mm but for a set of bamboo.  For this kind of smooth yarn and simple knitting, I just don't care for bamboo. I need metal for the speed and for the slip.  Bamboo is reserved for lace. So 2.75 because they were there.  It is the right needles though.  It feels dense and warm and snuggly.  Very baby. 

I hope to get to underarms today.  This is a deeply unrealistic wish though.  I don't knit near fast enough.  If I follow the 2/3 rule for underarms (thinking of the body in thirds is how traditional ganseys were constructed), I'd need to knit a minimum of 4 inches and realistically, it isn't going to happen.  Not even if all I did was make a pot of coffee and knit.  I know this and yet...

shoot for the moon, I say.  Here we go.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Baby Knits

One would think that a long weekend would mean a lot of knitting.  One would expect so.  I know I did.  But that isn't what happened.  Sort of.

I worked on a sleeve on the Cerisara.  My goodness, I enjoy knitting that lovely pattern.  I might just knit it forever.  I certainly will if I keep knitting the way I did this weekend.  

I knit about 6 inches after the sleeve cap and realized that I had dropped a stitch about 4 inches back. Not really a dropped stitch, but rather a missed yarn over right at the beginning of a round.  So down and back and fix it.  Then I knit about 3 inches and was sitting back admiring how it all looked when I noticed that right back at the point I first pulled back to, I knit an extra plain round.  That extra sticks out like a sore thumb and has to come out.   I almost completed the sleeve and yet...So it goes.  Sigh.

I like Cerisara a lot but there is a tiny part of me that is starting to recall exactly why I put things down for months on end.

It was easy to be distracted from knitting that wasn't working out.  A new great nephew was born.  Quinn made his grand entrance Saturday afternoon when dad was trying to finish his lawn sprinkler installation.  The sprinklers will wait.

I don't knit for each and every great niece or nephew that shows up.  I used to feel guilty when I didn't but you know what?  The year of 4 in 2 months cured me of that.  When I can, I do. When I can't, I don't worry.  This time, with a sweater that is knitting backwards as much as forwards, I can make time. With glee.

I played around with a few different ideas and came up with just a plain garter stitch sweater.  Plain with a twist.

I have a good supply of Baby Ull on hand, but the white ran out a couple projects ago.  I have no pink, and one lone pastel blue.  There is some yellow and lavender, bright turquoise and spring green.  

I've been waiting for a young man to need turquoise and green.  It is one of my favourite colour combinations.  And plain garter stitch shows off the striking contrast so well.

I'll use the plain turquoise for button bands and hem, but the body of the sweater will be one ridge garter stripes.  I'm very pleased with the way it looks so far.  

The next few days I'll play with this.  Quinn was a big baby so he will be able to wear the 6 months size in short order. I'll knit till this is done and then back at my sweater.    

There might be music in Cerisaras lace pattern, but it is hard to get past garter stitch for good old fashioned comfort knitting.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Other things found at the bottom of the basket

I found a little something else in the bottom of the basket that I had completely forgotten about.  

I had taken a class in tvandstickining, - twined knitting - and decided to knit the technique a little, to firm the method in my head.  

The 2 yarns were in the leftovers bin.  One is left from a nice pair of Big Fabel socks and the other, a Calorimetry head band.  They were the same size yarns which was all that mattered to me at the time.  

The way the colours worked out was magical.  Just so perfect.  As you can see, I was trying to turn it into a cozy for my Timmy's tea pot, but the unlike the socks, it wasn't abandoned.  It just got lost in the mire.  

I never did finish the cover for the lid so when I was cleaning, I took out the needles, ripped back the lid and put it all away.  All that was left was one slightly too large wrist warmer.  

It lay it on my desk as I merrily played away tidying yarn.  In the afternoon, I took a break and was knitting on the yellow socks.  I dropped a stitch and did not notice it till it was too far down to knit up easily, so I pulled the crochet hooks out.  

I keep my hooks in an Ikea's small glass vase.  Indeed, I keep all my non-circular needles and odd tools in a variety of these vases.  They are cheap and there is a size for everything.

The clear glass vases work well as storage containers, but the do leave something to be desired as a display. With all the tools they hold, it looks a little industrial, not at all befitting the genteel display of the blue and white china and tea sets and the library air of all my books.
As I was setting the hooks on the shelf, the thought crossed my mind that the tvandstickining piece and vase looked to be about the same size.  So I slipped it on.

It didn't start out to fit this vase, but it fits it as if it had been.  It gives the clear glass some form and shape and pulls it out of the background.  I love it!

I'm thinking about making covers for all the tool vases. Perhaps one of colourwork, one in lace, and one with a little cable something?   Or I could do a theme on the colours.  I know Cascade 220 has the crisp granny apple green and I am sure there is some lavender and turquoise in my stash that would work.  

(I have some green that would work too, but it isn't to the spare yarn stage.  I'm keeping it for some more Fuzzy Wuzzy mittens - there will be acid green mohair involved.)  

Anyway, I do have enough of the Big Fabel left to play it that way if I choose, but I kind of like the idea of different techniques.  And I know just the yarn too.  

Gems Sportweight.  Perfect lavender, just right green. A single colour on each vase.  Blues and white I already have.  It's in the stash somewhere.   

No rush.  I have to finish the sweater and at least one shawl before I go gallivanting on to any other project.  

Thursday, 1 September 2011

What was I thinking

Today started pretty much like I hoped it would.  Had breakfast, read the blogs, knit a little.  I finished the Northampton Neckerchief.  
It needs a good blocking but there is a growing stack of things needing ends sewn in and blocking.  I'll get to that soon enough.

After that, I tackled the WIP baskets and finally merged the last 2 into one big one. 
I also found this. 
This is the new yarn I showed you the other day, plus other bits and bags of yarn that needed putting away.  There sure was enough of it tucked hither and yon.  I swear, it creeps out of the closet on its own.  Yes, that is a huge overflowing laundry basket full of yarn that needs putting away.  

But most curiously, I discovered a project that I must have abandoned.  The needles had been pulled out, there was no notation of what size they had been, no note to self, no raison d'ĂȘtre. Zip. Zing. Nada.  If I pull out the needles from an ongoing project for something else, I always put a card in the bag so I can pick up where I left off.  

Nope this was just a knitting project that seemed abandoned.  Forgotten.  Left behind.  

 Now can somebody explain to me, just what the heck I was thinking, abandoning a perfectly decent pair of yellow socks with one sock complete but for the afterthought heel and the other one with only an inch or so of cuff left to knit on it?  

Sometimes I wonder about me.