Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Forgotten photos of finished things.

I finished my Damson  shawl in December.  I have worn it to work a few times and it has received rave reviews every time.  

But I never did get around to better photos of it.

It loses a lot in the photos.  The colour isn't as vital as it is in life.  In life the blues glow and the black and grays have inky depths.  

In life, the difference in texture between the garter stitch section and the stockinette lace is fantastic.  

And beyond it all, it is soft and completely lovely. It is a thing to sigh over.

I've completed section one of the sweet tomato heel.  I'm sure it will be smooth and nice after all is said and done, but I'll have to practice a little while on my short row technique first.  

Monday, 27 February 2012

Sweet Tomato Heel

I came across something just a little different the other day.  Cat Bordhi has been playing again!

There are some great videos out there too.

Very interesting.  

I might just have to knit a little faster on this sock
to try it out!

Side Note to Self:  Why oh why didn't you make a tag when you started this blog for 'Socks'...cause you are always talking socks.  Sigh.

After all

After last weeks busy knitting, this weekend was a little more laid back.  Not laid back really, but I didn't complete anything.

I had hoped too.

Sunday morning, I was down to 4 rows to bind off on the Lilia Hyrna shawl.  I made an error somewhere on the row, so I ripped it back and re-knit, and still had the error. Just before this row of patterning was a plain knit row and two plain purl rows, so the error, if it exists is somewhere about 5 rows below.  I set it down.  

Just didn't have the heart to go on right now.  Sometimes, when faced with the awful power of the number 2, or in my case the number 3, the best option is to set it down and think about it for a while.

I did think about taking apart the sweater that I need to finish for son2 but though I am ready for knitting on it again, I didn't have it in me to start the ripping back for it either.

I thought about knitting something new, but I slapped myself upside the head and told myself quite sternly that I really needed to finish something before I started another project, or that big WIP basket would be overflowing once again.

I could have knit on a sock, but ...I have no idea why I didn't do this.   I really have no idea.  Instead of knitting on a new sock, I choose to do a little of this.  

I knit some patches for some older socks that were way past darning.  There were 3 heels repaired in all.  In the same yarn.  I thought about doing a more matching repair, but if I ever want to use all my sock yarn bits for something more substantial, I'll need the bigger bits. I used a wee ball of something left over from one of Mr. Needles socks instead.  

It wasn't a weekend of massive knitting accomplishment but my fridge is clean and the kitchen is just a glance away from spit polish.  Two pairs of socks are back into service.  In the grand scheme of things, two pairs of socks, a clean kitchen and a clean fridge are nothing to sneeze at.  

Friday, 24 February 2012

And a Wee Bit More

I'm taking it to Friday with last weekends knitting!

As I mentioned, I did a good and deep dig in the yarn stash.  One of the things that struck me was how many lone balls of yarn I have.  I don't mean the sock yarn.  I mean the stuff that is 100 metres at all kinds of weights.  I have some very lovely yarns in this category and though some of them were bought for mittens or hats, many were given to me.  For many of them, 1 ball is all I will ever have.  Such is the land of the discontinued yarn.  I suppose I could search Ravelry for some, but really, there are so many other good things out there, that if find a pattern I just have to knit, I'd start with new yarn choices, or choices where I have plenty of yarn in the stash.  I wouldn't even consider these.  These loner balls are just going to have to be  small things.

When I get and idea, I'd like to use them up.

So as I said I was digging and came across some Chunky Misti Alpaca.  My fingers, it seems, much though they love working with simpler types of yarns, wanted to knit some buttery soft slippery yarns.  Out the 3 different loner balls came.

And turned into these...

First off, the basic unshaped tube Cowl.  It is really wonderful in this kind of yarn and it shows off the soft colours perfectly.

And a plain ribbed scarf, just perfect for filling in necklines of coats on cold winter days.  

I didn't finish the third, but there isn't any rush.

Since winter gave it a miss here this year, I will be waiting for next year to use them...

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I have to make this quick.

One of my sisters is coming to dinner and to stay the night.  

There was yet more knitting last weekend.  

I finished a pair of socks.  Finally one pair for the year.  Its is a darn good thing that I am not doing one a month this year.  Yaaaaaay, me.

I started another pair too.  

This is one of the Regia line, I forget the name, but it is the one that was knit into a scarf like thing ready to be what you wanted it to be.

Most of the fun of that type of thing is that they are usually dyed after they are knit into a tube or flat piece or, in this case a scarf.  You get interesting little variations of colours when you do that.

This one is not.  It is just a sock yarn, dyed, then knit for packaging reasons and Regia thought that it was the packaging that made it cool.  

Hah.  No. In this case, Regia didn't get the message.  It still is nice yarn and will make a fine pair of socks, but they won't have that cool factor I was hoping for.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Ah, more knitting

As I was saying, there was more knitting, though surely that eye popping turquoise is hard to beat.

I completed a cowl I had started from of the other ball of Wadaiko. Initially I was knitting this one row of that wonderfully matching Tove, and one row Wadaiko.  

That irritated me to no end.  I found the dragging of they yarn around and around tiring.  It probably didn't have anything to do with anything other than I am not really fond of things knits on big needles.  It was driving me batty.

I took it apart and just knit it out of the Wadaiko.  80 stitches. Big needles. Knit every stitch in the round till you have a nice tube.  

Instant Cowl.

Its good.  I kind of like it. Nice Noro colours.  A little Noro makes everything better.

Monday, 20 February 2012

NOT Shalom

It is finished, even the buttons, but I needed to think about something different this weekend.  And I did.

Friday night, after finishing Shalom, I went digging in the yarn stash. I had no idea what to knit.  I only knew I wasn't ready to commit to something from the WIP basket. Digging through yarn struck me as the perfect task.

I opened every box and fondled every skien.  Well at least one of every colour, but I went through everything.  I wasn't tremendously inspired by anything.  

I didn't finish the digging till noon Saturday and by then, inspiration did strike but it really wasn't my ordinary project and it wasn't just one thing.  

I will start with something that I showed you just after Christmas.  One of my boys, my youngest, gave me a few balls of yarn for Christmas.  You may remember this.  

See that brilliant turquoise Tove and the multi coloured Wadaiko?  As I was digging I rediscovered   

two balls of perfectly colour matched 2 ply from Custom Woolen Mills.  I finally knew what the bright skein of Wadaiko and the Tove would be.  A felted bag.

It is bright and eye popping and I love it.  

The perfect thing at the end of a couple of nice but staid projects.  Perfect for midwinter blahs.  

But there was much, much more knitting this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Inches and Sleeves

The last 2 days have been days of inches and finishing the bottom of Shalom.  This next day or so will be a days of sleeves.  Or not.

The main part is complete.  I just need to do a little finishing around the sleeves.

The pattern binds off the stitches that are left for the sleeve caps and do a good sturdy cast on for the underarm stitches.  It makes a nice open summery sleeve. 

The other popular option is to pick up the stitches for the sleeve caps (on holders, not bound off) and pick up stitches at the underarm and knit a ribbed section to form short little sleeves.  It might be a little closer to seasonal wear and has more of a finished look.  

I like both.  I have no idea which I will do but I am leaning towards the small sleeves.  I also know how lazy I am, and if lazy wins, I will just pick up stitches and make a nice finished garter edge and bind off.

I won't knit this evening.  There is time tomorrow.  And this weekend is the family day weekend so its nice and long.  And this time I have no where to go and nothing to do.  I might cook for the kids but otherwise lovely knitting, knitting and more knitting.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Again with the Shalom

Yes there is still dedicated knitting on Shalomy.  I know!  I'm schocked.  It's been 5 days and just one project has been worked on. What is my world coming to?  I would worry but I have seen my WIP basket.  

I am close to complete...I think. On my Shalom, that is.  I have to put it onto a longer needles to try it on again and make sure that it fits nicely around my hips.  I want to know that it is long enough (to short and I feel uncomfortable) to cover when I sit down as well.  If I was tired of it, this is where I would have to be diligent about keeping knitting it, but I am not at all tired or bored with it.  It has moved along too well for that. 

I haven't really talked about the yarn yet.  It is Cascade Eco Plus.  It is a good thing I have more in my stash because  I love this stuff.  It is a more processed looking yarn than the Briggs and Little, Lopi and the other earthy homespun yarns I like, but it doesn't have nearly the firm spun qualities of Cascade 220.  It is loftier and softer and knits to a slightly larger gauge. The very very large skeins (437 m) means almost no ends to work in and even then, felted joins work beautifully.  I think I love everything about it.

You might hope to come here and read the truth about the yarns that I use and the I knit.  I might be able to be reasonably balanced about the patterns I knit and the books I read, but I don't think it is possible for me to be anything other than pleased with the yarn I am working with.  

Yes, this is the blog where I never met a yarn I didn't like. I have the stash to prove it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Close but no cigar.

A sweater on the weekend?  Not quite, but I did fairly well.

Another few inches.  Shalom, in Rust Cascade Eco Plus.  

I understand why this pattern is so very popular with knitters.  The top part is rhythmic to knit.  Its purls and knits through the back loops are simple but make such a crisp lines that it is hard not to fall for this sweater over and over again.

I can also understand why, even knitters who don't feel comfortable winging it are winging it.  The basic instructions are so sound, so simple.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out how much more you need to make it fit you.  

Had I stayed home the whole weekend, I would have done it but I visited with friends. I drove to Lacombe.  I took my daughter in law to dinner.  Life is full.  

And very very good.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


I took a trip to that dangerous territory in Lacombe, better known as The Crafty Lady and I came home with just a few balls of yarn. 

Nothing huge but still special.  Noro Kureyon would be special even if I had a hundred skeins.   And once again, bought with a very very specific purpose in mind.  

It's sitting here with a skein of Cascade Eco.  I have a few of these and am not going through with the original project it was bought for, so what was once a smart idea is now 3 colours, 1 ball each of Eco. It isn't quite enough to do anything with.  

Except a project like a Shalom if you use some Noro for the ribbed section.  There are dozens of them on Ravelry and I. Want.  One.

So as soon as this sweater is done, I will knit another.  It's a Shalomy time of year.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Temp Work

What an interesting day. I slept late this morning which after not sleeping much this week, I surely deserved.  And so as you see, no blogging this morning. I was feeling a lot more than dog tired.  

And this evening I feel light as a bird!  As I might have mentioned, or maybe not, I have been working as a temp this fall doing accounts payable at an local Edmonton firm that did business around the world.  I had the opportunity to apply for my position full time and I did, but I asked them to take my name out of contention.

My previous office experience was as an office generalist.  In a small business, I did a little of everything and for a very long time all of everything.  This was strictly AP and I found out some things about AP that are just plain weird.

For instance, did you know that most people figure that if a cheque doesn't go out fast enough, it must be AP's fault. Wow.  There were a few times where yes, it was my fault, but there were only 3 that I can honestly say it was me and only me.  There were dozens of people touching, signing, sorting, adding, deleting and sometimes losing from each and every thing I did, after, between, and before I did my part.  But I  and AP were the end of the line.  In AP you get all the abuse from inside and outside your firm. If it doesn't happen on time, it is your fault.  AP has to have a very strong self image and a surety of the quality of their work.  I was unprepared for just how much.  I should have known better.  I do now.

AP also has no ability to control what happens to anything ever.  That was a real struggle, to know that no matter what I did there were walls that nobody and nothing I did would breach.  And that was for payments that were clean and pristine and didn't have any problems.  I have always thought that if you worked hard and did your best things would resolve and be done.  Not so in AP.  A mountain is a mountain and sometimes, nothing will move it out of your path, even when you know how to drill through the mountain.

I had a good long talk with my sister who works in AP for a huge international company and I felt so much better.  I did take a bit of a 'suck it up buttercup' approach to my last week and I felt a lot better about the whole thing.

I know I did right asking for my name to be taken out of contention because when they told me I was done, I was content. Not thrilled, mind.  It was a great place and they had wonderful people, but content.  My first thought was Monday I can go to the yarn store for a good browse!

As we were were making dinner this evening (OK Hubby did it all - nice man that he is) I had a second thought. That thought was gee I wonder if I can knit a sweater in 3 or 4 days.  That is all the time I might have.  I do have some other irons in the fire and who knows what might happen and where I might go.

So I am going to take the next few days to do just that.  Knit a sweater.  I'm not going overboard here.  I know I can knit a Leisl in 2 days, but 2 of those is enough.  I was thinking Shalom  A lot of people found it a quick knit.

I have some lovely rich gray  and turquoise from Custom Woolen Mills as well as some rich rust Cascade Eco Plus that might work nicely.  I have to think about which...

but not too long.  A sweater by the end of Monday. Hmmm. Do-able?  We shall see.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Why get one blog post from a project when you can get two?

Haha, you caught me, Sandra!  Yes quite wrong of me not to note the pattern.  

Sivia Harding's Victorian Shoulderette.  This was one of the first knitting patterns I favourited when I got to Ravelry.  I have loved it that long.  I don't know why but those small collar type shawlettes, pelerines might be a better name, have always appelaed to me.  

There is a lovely example in Victorian Lace Today - The Harebell Fichu  and another, the Lace Fichu  I have no doubt that I am heavily influenced by the Battenburg lace collars that were very popular in the 80's .  If I dug deep I think I bought one once, but never wore it because it looked stiff and odd.  But a knitted fichu?  Oh yes.  Very very me. 

Oh my, another one is the Opera Fichu, also from Victorian Lace Today.  A lot of the small shawls so very popular today would have been called fichus in times past.  Annis is a very pretty example from or the Fabulous Filigree Scarf from the book One Skein Wonders. 

Sorry about that.  I could go on. Really I could.  There are so many and they are so stunning.

OK, Back to the Victorian Shoulderette.  

I never knew what yarn I would make it out of, but I always knew I would make it.  Ideally, the yarn should have been just a little heavier, double stranded would have been perfect with Trauco but I was a little concerned about yarn quantity.  Still I am pleased with it and look forward to wearing it a lot.

See, a whole other post about the same wee project.  ;)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Picking up some older stuff

After finishing the big tie shawl, (Noon on Sunday) I knew I was going to have to knit something quick.  My fingers itched to knit.

I looked at new books, and pulled outsome lace but nothing struck me with a ' you must cast on this ___ now.' urgency.

I sat looking at the basket of WIPs on the shelf, the one with the green basket stuffed in it.  The first thing that crossed my mind is a project of shame.

It isn't because of what it is, or how long it has been a WIP.  I feel just a bit of shame, because I had no pictures of it at all till I was about 5 minutes from finishing it.  This hasn't happened since I started knitting.  I take usually take photos compulsively.  Pictures. More pictures.  Pictures of almost every row!

But not with this one.I started it the last time I had a good long visit with my mom and dad.  Good visiting knitting.  Lots of plain knitting.  

I think I had 1/4 of the outer edging to work on yet here. 

Now I don't have to be ashamed.  It can hold its head up among all the other projects now.

Blocked and ready for show!

Yes I know.  These days a weekend with 2 finished projects is almost unthinkable.  

After was finished, I sat there looking at that darn basket again...

More tomorrow.

PS.  Thank you for the nice comments on my wrap.  I love it too.  It is so nice when a plan works out!

Other things to knit

You would think, what with writing everyday, all the things I knit would show up on the blog.  Not so.

I was taking photos of my lovely new shawl and I was sitting being warm and cozy in it.  I had my feet up on my chair and I realized there was knitting that no one had ever seen.

A year or so ago, just before Christmas, I had this idea that I would knit everyone a pair of slippers.  There is a slipper pattern at RCY that is the simplest, most fantastic felted slipper pattern ever.

It is like a super sized sock, low fitting on the ankle and round in shape and oh so comfy.  It is so easy to customise, to add little embellishments. They are knit with a double strand of Lopi or a any Aran or heavy worsted weight yarn.  Lots of times, people would knit a strand of mohair with the other yarn just to add a little snuggly cushiness or a few strands of  novelty yarn at the ankles to make fantastical cuffs.  Once felted, they are perfect for embroidering or beading too. 

I thought I would try it.  I knit 2 pairs plus one slipper of the third pair and that is as far as I got.  I threw the first pair of slippers in the washer to felt them and after 2 good washes, they fit nicely.  But they weren't very felted.  I wore them till there was nothing left of the soles.  

The last pair was sitting in a wee tub on a shelf here for months and I pulled them out the other day when I was cleaning the study.  I felted them, but only one go round in the washer so they retain their newly knit look.  Another wash would felt them up nice and tight. Another was would also make them too small.

That, you see, was my quandry.  I was knitting on big needles, which I dislike,  with two strands of yarn (Thick yarn.  Dislike.) and the final product, given the size I knit them prefelting, was too small.  After 2 pair, that were too small, I was completely un-rewarded. Without the thrill of a finished product, I was bored.  

And that was the end of the great slipper project.  With every project I learn something.  With this one, I learned I am not a slipper knitter or wearer.  

I do socks.  It is more than enough.

The pattern is for sale for just enough to cover the printing costs, at River City Yarn in Edmonton, Alberta. The pattern is great. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Ahhh, that's better

There was knitting!  Lots and lots of lovely knitting.

And plenty of length on the sides to tie it with.
And not too long in the back
Ok, that was just to flash the way the gradients of colour worked.  Utterly unsophisticated, folksy perhaps, yet mathematically pleasing.  I love it.  I had really hoped to bind off in the cream, but there simply wasn't enough.  I would have been about 1/3 of the edge short.  It's OK with the charcoal and it is done.  

I was chilly while sewing in the few ends, so I tossed it on.  It has not been off me yet and may go to bed with me tonight.  This is one very cozy wrap.  

Which makes me wonder, why in heavens name did we stop wearing them?

Gratuitous 4th shot :p

Friday, 3 February 2012

There was knitting

Really there was.  Despite the weeks up and downs and goofy glasses, there has been knitting.

See the last half of this toe?  Yup.  there has been knitting.

Some days are going to be like that.  I've had only 1 lunch where I had a chance to sit and knit.  The quest for glasses is getting in the way.  

And there has not been a whole lot more at home either.  One of those weeks.  Last night would have been the night to knit a ton, but I called my sister and talked to her on the phone for 157 minutes.  (It seems my phone tracks the length of calls.  I've never noticed that before and I am never going to notice it again.)

So tonight being Friday, I plan to sit and knit and during this weekend, I will finish my shawl and move on to the sweater.  With only a few long rows it should be possible. 

And work on a sock.  And knit a little with some silk. And make a hat for wearing in the hot tub... 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

I'm right where I think I am, I just don't know when.

I'm sorry about not writing this morning.  Or was it last night.  Or maybe it should be the night before...No wonder I thought today was Tuesday!  I have no idea when I am.

There has been 0, that is a big fat 0 of knitting so far this week.  Well, there were 3 ridges of 16 stitches per row for the toe of a sock.  And no Knitting was finished in January.  

Well I am going to shoot for February.  Fabruary is going to be a bneer month, right?  (Obviously, there hasn't been any spell checking in January either)  Bebruary is going to be a better month. (Oh I give up)


I have to work on Son2's sweater next.  I want to get it done so that he can wear it when he needs to get just a little bit spiffy.  I'm going to swatch on size 5 needles and see what happens.  I think that will be a better feel for what seems to be my tighter knitting when I am knitting in the round or with a lot of weight.  

So here is to sweaters and finishing.  Those are my February goals.