Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I think it must be the time of year but I still feel dreadfully uncommitted to a single project.  I have never felt sluggish this long after finishing a major project.  It isn't that I don't want to knit.  Oh no.  I do.  It is that I start something and even when I really like it, it feels 'meh'.

I've been trying to get a baby sweater done, so I have worked on that.  I need to do a little thinking now to sort out how I am going to do the sleeve seams with an i-cord at the same time.  I'm pretty sure it can be done.  I just need to think it through a little.  

Then there is the pretty Daybreak scarf/small shawl.  I never really know what to call these but I sure do like making them.  I want to get it done before I sit down and work on the old lace project.   

And I have the second sock of the wee pair of baby socks to work on, only a partial toe complete there.  I thought they would pretty much knit themselves up but the got shunted aside last weekend in a flurry of finishing other shawls.

Problem is, I don't know what I wan to knit, but I know I don't want to knit these.

So far I am just persevering and knitting these things plus the black Overblouse.  Maybe when I finish one of them, I'll find just the right thing to light that old and comfortable obsessive, must knit it now feeling.  You know the one.  Its the feeling you have when a project finishes so fast that you are pretty sure you didn't knit that all alone and are sure that someone else is knitting on it while you sleep.  Yeah that feeling.  

I'm feeling a little bit of an urge for lace though.  Perhaps it is this unreasonable decision to finish an old lace project first that is throwing me off.  Hmm, I have to think about that a little bit.  

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Old Girl

The phrase 'the old girl',  is usually used in relation to horses or the irascible elderly neighbour around the corner.  My old girl is something different.

The oldest thing in my WIP basket is this dainty delicate ever so airy pink beginning of a shawl.  

If you look on its Ravelry page,  it says 1/2 done.  This is just not the case.  I must have been dreaming when I set it like that.  It may have had something to do with needing to keep this project and it went outside my clearly set rules at the time - if it is older than July and it isn't half done, frog it.  I did a large purge in late 2010 or early 2011.  It has since survived several attempts on its existence, surviving repeated cleaning of the WIP basket, when many other things were frogged, I know not how .  It must mean I love it. 

Either that or I have a ton of pink beads and I darn well better use some of them. 

It is the oldest WIP I have other than some hardanger embroidery pieces that I really would like to finish.  She is my old girl.

I took her out and was looking at her last night.  The yarn is the now discontinued Skacel Merino Lace.  This yarn is impossibly fine.  It is cobweb or lighter.  I'm sure it is out there, existing in a new form, somewhere.  Such a good basic lace is never really lost, it just morphs forms and put ups and names.  

I'm knitting it on 2.5 mm needles.  Why am I knitting it on 2.5 mm needles?  I have no idea, but when you find the me that decided to do that, please lock her up and toss away the key.  This is just nuts.  Fine lace on very fine needles will take forever.  If I was to start her again, I would at least go to 3.5 mm needles.  

I won't start again though. There is something beguiling about her, the old girl, knit at such a small gauge.  Such dainty stitches.  Such delicate columns eventually to end in a flutter of lace.   When  you lift up the whole project, it is so light, weightless on the needles.  

She will be knit to many more repeats than the pattern calls for, because of the fine gauge and the large quantity of yarn.  She isn't nearly half done, perhaps more like 1/4 complete, but with everything I am, this shawl is going to be completed.  

Do I love the old girl.  Why yes.  Yes I do.  Time I paid some attention to her. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Long Time Coming

Way back in 2009, spring, if I recall correctly, a couple ladies in the Edmonton Knitters Group thought it would be a great idea to do an Edmonton only knit along.  It would be a shawl, they thought, and it needed to be unique.  So one commissioned and one designed.

The River Valley Shawl is one of the loveliest things.  All of the completed ones I have seen are spectacular.  I'll show you a few, here and here.   I'm not generally a KAL person.  I just don't seem to do well when I have something looming over me.  This was different, I thought.  I could do it.  It wasn't a great big pressure, just we local knitters.  And familiar as I was with the designers work, I knew I wanted the pattern.  

The designer, ThatLoganChick, is a dear friend, though I don't often get to see her, and her things are so lovely.  She also did the really gorgeous Agatha Shawl   and one that I absolutely must knit, the Night Blooms Shawl.  She has also designed one specifically for those difficult but stunning handpainted sock yarns. Rhytidome is a textured shawl, that if  knit on a large needles with a finer yarn and blocked open, becomes this unexpected lacy thing.   (Hmm, I just had a thought.  That gorgeous skein I wound the other day might be right for Rhytidome!) 

I started the Edmonton Knitter's KAL just a little behind, but caught up by clue 5.  I was anticipating finishing with everyone else, zipping along as I was. And then I hit a snag.  Errors started cropping up in the ribbing.  I had fewer stitches than I was supposed to have, I'd rip back and then I'd have too many.  I couldn't tell what was going on in the lace flare or the shape in between.  And on and on.  My eyes were not skilled enough to find the errors I was making and my knitters heart not yet brave enough to rip back with utter abandon.  

So that lovely shawl went into a bag and sat till July of 2011.  I ripped back and readied it to knit and then it sat again. 

And now it is done.  40 months in the making, I give to you my River Valley Shawl.

Unblocked yet (I am assembling a pile of things that need blocking again, it seems.) but complete.  What a pretty pretty thing.  In size, it is just about perfect for winter wear at the office.  

This was the most intensive knit I have ever done.  Every step of the way you learned something new, and though, on occasion, your mind rebelled, in the end, you succumbed to her clear directions and well explained charts and created a masterpiece.

This was the second oldest thing in my work basket and it feels so good to get it ready for wear.  It might be the time to knit finish the other oldies up.  There were 4 shawls remaining at the end of my 2011 WIP-a-thon.  River Valley was one.  The others were a vintage June 2009 cobweb weight Icarus, (the one that caused the great bead explosion) and a second Icarus in a vibrant Zauberball lace, and finally, a 2010 Clapotis made of Wendy Happy.  

Long time coming all of them.  Maybe their time is now.

Friday, 26 October 2012

So here it is, Friday,

and I don't have a whole lot of anything to show.  There has been desultory knitting all week, on things that I am only partially committed to.  

That pretty little orange and red Daybreak?  Knit on it.  The Icelandic Overblouse?  Knit on it.  The green Still Light Tunic?  Knit on it.  Socks?  Knit on it.

Because of this knit a little on everything strategy, it feels like I have nothing accomplished.  I can console myself, that I finished one sock.  

I will complete the other sock this afternoon, and a pair of socks in a week isn't so bad at all.  Even if they are itty bitty, teeny weenie and are only 32 stitches around.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Gratuitous Baby shot of the week!

Thursday, 25 October 2012


Its been a while since I talked socks, hasn't it?  Well, that is about to change.

I happened to be digging in the sock yarn leftover box (I cannot call it a scrap box, because I knit my socks so short that there is always plenty left over.), for something to use as waste yarn and I came across the remains of the prettiest sock yarn I ever had.  

Right then and there, I decided that the remains of the prettiest sock yarn really ought to be knit into socks for the prettiest little girl in the world.**  

See?  Now doesn't that just look like the perfect socks for a wee sweet thing?  I started them with just the blue yarn, and ripped back to redo with a white toe.  The white offsetting the blue is what makes this yarn work so...umm...prettily.

All but the white toe was the work of a scant half hour this morning.  I did the white toe right at the end of the day at work.  I'll use the white again for the the last few rows of the cuff too.

It made me wonder about other sock yarns in the bin.  This yarn is particularly well suited because it is so softly multi coloured.  Tweedy really, rather than spotted or space dyed.  

I dug out the bin again and had another look.  Oops.  Right at the top there are a few yarns which did not perform well in my washer and dryer torture test.  They are pretty but if they can't pass me, they won't work for baby.

That still leaves a lot of choices, but there are a few yarns that won't work very well for small sized socks.  There are a couple of yarns with long stretches between colour changes.  Those won't work well, because a baby sock uses so little yarn that an entire sock might happen in one colour.

So what do I have left?  

There are a couple of nice yarns in here, some that will work particularly well, like the blue at the far left side.  That is such a blend of blue and white that it won't even pool on something this small.  There are a few yarns with short stretches of patterning, and some where on a baby sock it should stripe up in a really pleasing way.  I see yarns that I knit socks in for one of her great aunties and some from her moms socks so there is a little family connection other than me. 

I even have a plan for that dark gray 6 ply.  Can't you just see some baby ugg type booties out of that?  Of course that means I have to go yarn shopping to get a little something fuzzy for the shearling part of the boot, but can't you just see it?  

I love socks.  I might just love wee socks even more.

**All babies are the prettiest baby in the world.  Every single one of them tugs at my heart strings.  It is just that I love this one best.  She is my very own prettiest baby in the world.  Such is the way of things. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Other important stuff (aka The Lizzie Bennet post)

I don't know if I talked about it before, but one of the 'things' that I enjoy is reading, and though it came somewhat late in life, I do enjoy Jane Austen.  I usually have at least one month a year where I do an intensive Austen-a-thon.

For audio books, I use Librivox.  All the books are done and there are several readers available so you will find someone who suits the voice in your head.

I watch all the many tv and movie versions of the novels, and cry because each one misses something vital and important to my inner vision of the novels.  I have a 'best of' cast list for Pride and Prejudice that to my great surprise, has somebody from each cast in it.  I will say that the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice and the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility are the best of the lot.

Or they were till I came across Lizzie Bennet in the spring.  I heard about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries earlier this year but did not really watch till they were about 23 episodes in.  I do remember a very strong regret that I couldn't see the rest yet, and then promptly put it away and did not watch again till they were in mid 40th episode.  I won't be forgetting again.

In case you haven't seen it, do check it out.  It does take time to watch them all, but so does reading the book.  Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Sit back, get your knitting, your coffee, and enjoy all 4 hours.  (will be over 4 shortly).  They aren't done yet.  It's only midway.

These, spare, clean, short vingnettes capture everything I look for in the story. And more.  They are so very spare that they focus on what I think most of us felt before, even casual fans like me, something deep and absolutely vital to our understanding of the character, perhaps the core of why Elisabeth Bennet is, after all these years, the most vital character in English literature.

And once you have, go and read this absolutely bang on critique of what is special, illuminating, why this Lizzie Bennet is a breath of fresh air to stale adaptations.

Despair of Translators

What she says.  No Darcy yet.

Before you know it, you will be, like me, waiting for your 3-5 minute clip each Monday and Thursday, wishing in between, that Tuesday and Wednesday would go a little faster.

Its not so bad on the weekend.  On the weekend, you can, if you need a boost, watch all of the Lydia episodes, or watch all the Maria Lu episodes, or the question and answer shows, or even go back and spend a nice chunk of knitting time watching the whole thing again.  There are ways to stave off the madness.

But Tuesday and Wednesday?  They could be a whole lot shorter.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

When I fall in love

OK, that was cheesy, but its a great voice to wake up to, isn't it.  It does however describe how I feel about this colour combination.  

I was very very unsure about the orange.  It is such a strong contrast to the deep deep red.  It might not suit a lot of people, this strong almost jarring combination, but the more I look at it, the more I like it.  The orange is a little more pumpkin than in the picture, a deep very very ripe pumpkin just brought in from the field, with a haze of dust on it that works perfectly with the orange in the multi colour.  It looks as if it dipped under that first crash of red and just and just flows right into a the multi.

The red is in the multi too, though it is not quite such a perfect match.  It is a hint lighter, just the smallest touch of a little bit dustier but in exactly the same colour.   Still it is a 'close' not an 'exact'. The red looks perfectly wonderful with the multi and the orange looks perfectly wonderful with the multi.  

Close up and in this picture, it is just off enough that you question and hesitate.  Is this right?

When you look from a distance, you know.  You know that you are knitting up fire and heat and the raging passions of all consuming...


And that is when you realize that you have fallen in love.  Even with its imperfections and questions, you love it anyway. you see its imperfections and they don't matter one whit.  You love it just as it is.

I love it more and more each time I work on it.  What a wonderful place to be.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Casting on

I cast on a couple of things this weekend, just because I could.  The first was the Icelandic Overblouse from Knit One, Knit All by EZ.  I don't want to knit this because there is a particular love for the sweater, but rather because it is there.  

The sweater is a big casual looking thing.  I'll give it a little shaping to fit me nicely, but it isn't meant to be a close fitting garment.  This is a Saturday sweater, a lazy bones, an over your pajama bottom sweater, a there isn't enough coffee in me to think yet sweater.  Its garter stitch and I could use a little garter stitch right now.  But I don't have the burning desire to have this sweater.  

No, it's that I could use a sweater that I am not planning for work, that is for just weekends.  Most of all, though, I am knitting this sweater to use up this yarn.  

I have a whole box of Cascade 220.  I assembled it all while searching for the right combination of things for Mr. Needles colourwork vest.  It isn't that it is not a great yarn.  These yarns are a casualty of the search.  I did not pick them out with any purpose other than the vest.  A whole bin of things with absolutely no inherent purpose in my stash?    I really don't have the room and I would much prefer it knit up.  So a nice easy on the brain sort of knit feels like just the way to go.  I'll knit till the black is half used (reserving the rest for the other side.  Yes in pieces.  Whodda thunk it.), then use half the dark gray and finish with the light gray.  There is plenty of yarn, trust me.

Then sweet thing was out and her mom could use another sweater.  When you come across the sea these days, you don't get to bring trunks of your things.  Just two measly suitcases with whatever you can fit so long as you stay under a certain weight.  Its atrocious really.

Anyway sweet things mom needs a sweater and since she is lovely and slender, and looks good in all the things I could never wear, but would love to knit, I am knitting Vera Valimaki's Still Light Tunic for her.  

The yarn is a discontinued sportweight from Elann.  Its a little heavier than what most people seem to use, but technically, about the same as the called for Drops Alpaca.  I can see making a second for her in Drops Alpaca, which surely is one of my favourite things to work with.  For now, I have this in my stash. We'll knit it to fit her nice and close on top, with that elegant easy fit on the bottom.  And the pockets!  I love the pockets.  Small needles, raglan sleeves.  This is another kind of easy good.

So much to do, so much to knit!  I love that. 

Friday, 19 October 2012

And then.

I feel much more motivated, but I still have the same problem.  What to cast on next.  There are two batches of yarn that I sit looking at, at home, going back and forth between them.  (There are a few more but these are the two that speak to me the loudest)

One of them is some very plain black heathered gray and light heathered grey Cascade 220.  There isn't enough of any one of them to make something but together?  Should be.  

Then there are 6 skeins of Briggs and Little Sport that I anxiously waited for in the spring.  Such yummy stuff, Sheep's gray is what they call it, but it is a cross between gray and brown and tan, just the most wonderfully earthy sort of not really a colour.  I don't have any really solid pattern or style plans for this, just a hint of what I would like it to be.  I hate that.

I know the pattern for the Cascade.  I think I'm going to cast on for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Icelandic Overblouse.    There are all kinds of versions.  MrsDoodlepunks is most like in the book, but I think I'm going to aim for the one made by darkaknits.  I only have one skein of the lightest of the 3 colours.  I will definitely do this sort of look if I knit from the bottom up.  If I knit from the top down though, I would just knit till the lightest was done and move on.  

And see that is the kicker.  Bottom up?  Top down?  Not sure which. And garter stitch?  Generally a back and forth operation.  So in the round, garter stitch or is this knitter going to actually make a sweater knit flat?

Decisions, decisions.  

Oh yeah, and sometime soon I ought to cast on for the colourwork vest I have been planning forever and ever.  Its chilly in here.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Much better now!

Yesterday I felt very very blah.  I had no idea what to write and it shows.  Not the most inspiring thing I have ever written.  

And then, in one small moment in time, everything changes.  I started searching Ravelry in a way I never searched before, searching projects (down at the bottom of the search page, below the attributes search) using the tag colorwork.  Oh my.
Pages and pages of inspiration.

I stopped and looked at a few along the way and then, whammo.  My eye caught the pretty colours on this shawl.  Her version of the Color Affection Shawl.  A beautiful yarn choice, a stunning hot shawl pattern that is uniquely shaped, and she was not satisfied.  So she re-started, her way.  Isn't her way grand?  You can see the soul of the shawl pattern but everything else about it, everything about colour placement and choice is her own.  That was just exactly what I needed to read and hear.  What an absolutely gorgeous wrap.  

And then this morning, I was sitting and knitting on the wee baby surprise suit I am working on,
when I glanced to my table beside me.  I had a note there, about my very good friend whose daughter had a baby boy just 3 days after me wee sweet granddaughter was born.  In truth, though I am captivated by the knitting of all this garter stitch, I just am not in love with the colour.  The soft blue green is just not how I see my granddaughter.  (I see her in pink, and vibrant vibrant vibrant colours.  Eye popping colours, but mostly pink.  I am trying to get over it.)  It just wasn't bright enough for my little girl.  It isn't her mom or dad either.

But my  friend and her daughter?  Oh yes.  This is everything about them.  So, I decided to knit this one for them.  I'll do cream edgings and I might just do what one other knitter did, and do the edging in a stockinette stitch as at least one other bright knitter did, rather than garter stitch.  Very cute.  Very my friend and her new grandbaby.    

I have many other things I can knit for wee sweet thing.  For instance, this same project in the cream and a really really nice cantaloupe coloured skein of Pacific.  Perfectly wee sweet thing.  Or this yarn,
which a very good friend brought back from a trip to Los Angeles for me before wee sweet thing was born.  Two positively delicious skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy that I plan to use for cutest little footed overalls.  So sweet.  

I haven't settled on the next thing for me, though I might be ready to lean one way or the other, but it doesn't matter.  I feel inspired and refreshed and I owe it to random chance, a simple choice to look at things on Ravelry a different way and a very pretty rebel shawl.  

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Wibbly Wobbly

I'm running late today.  

There was an accident on the way to work and traffic was down to 1 lane where it should have been 3.  It took me 15 minutes to go a block.  Then I arrived at work and someone had taken the coffee from the kitchen.  

You see how this day is trending?  Yeah.

I am still in knitting's doldrums.  I am working on the Daybreak shawl, and it is going well.  I've just gotten to the part where I have to start colour 2.  Now that I am here, I might go back and take off the last two rows and start colour 2 just a wee bit earlier, since I want the red to be the yarn making the strong colour lines down the shawl.  I am postive it is my indecision making me feel so wibbly about this shawl after thinking about it for so long.

Wibbly.  That is my word of the day.  Wobbly.  Always a good supporting cast.

But it is knitting night and though I did not expect to be making it, the work was finished last night, and I will be able to. I will either like the shawl or not, in which case, I shall just take it apart and make a wee baby candy corn hat out of the orange and the yellow.  I have found a white that is a perfect weight match.  It even is fuzzy. These are the good in all of it.

Maybe the morning isn't a sign of the way the day is trending.  Maybe I won't have to put this day in the corner to think about it for a while.  Maybe, I just need a couple more cups of mild mood enhancing beverage and everything will be just fine.
Wibbly wobbly or not.  And some pretty music to settle in while waiting.

Samuel Barber, fast becoming one of my favourite composers.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Oh dear what can the matter be

I am afraid that is how I feel still.  Locked in the lavatory.  Well, locked in between project la la land, to be more precise.  

There is knitting, and while it is nice, I am not emotionally connected to it and there are no great lessons in it.  Yet.  (Now that I have said that, I expect a really ugly ripping back incident is about to befall me.)  

I think it is that all summer and through September there was something big I was waiting for.  She is here now and I love that, but there is no more knitting that I have to get done.  Nothing I feel pushed by, moved forward whether I want to or not, no internal deadlines of any kind.  It is truly an odd place for me.

So till the burning ambition returns, and it will, I'll show you some yarn that I wound.  This is some very very pretty Fantastic Knitting Country Silk that I picked up in Jasper at Stychen Tyme.  

I have gone through layers of love and indifference with this.  I bought it because it was 800 metres where the other skein in plain blues was only 4.  Eight is better for a nice large wrap.  I loved it at first and then wondered if the gold was going to be a problem.  I had thought there was only 1 spot of it but there are 2.  

I came back to like it, and now am completely in love with it.  This is probably the best example ever of how you can really tell the character of a yarn when you wind it up.

Now I just have to decide on a pattern.  Do I want this yarn to be a regular shawl, maybe a leaf pattern, or do I want it to be a long wide stole with overall patterning and pockets at the end?  

Or will I just start more new projects only to have them languish in the work in progress bin?  Only time will tell.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The pleasures of winding wool.

I'm really glad that much of the wool on the market comes in hanks that need winding into skeins before using.  If all wool sold was wound into balls and skeins before being sold, we would miss the pleasure of winding our own.

I spent a good deal of time this weekend starting new things.  I was unsettled and restless.  I finished the black sweater I have been working on.  The only garment in my pile of unfinished things is a vest that needs to have the button bands ripped back and redone.  I will do that shortly, but it just wasn't what I needed on the weekend.  I think it is still in the thinking-about-changes-I-want-to-make mode.  Nothing happens till the thinking about it is done. I worked rather desultorily on a Daybreak scarf, but that involved some ripping out too.

It seemed the perfect time to wind.  

Winding yarn is an exercise in frustration if you don't look for the joys in it.  Winding is a separate job in the grand scheme of things.  It is an opportunity to see yet another character of your yarn.  You can see how springy it is, does it cling to itself, how does it perform under tension, will it kink back on itself ?  All these things show up in one way or another when you wind.  

But the thing I most enjoy about winding yarn is that first moment when you take that hank you bought at the store and you pop open the ends and out falls a river of splendor.  Even ordinary old Cascade 220 has splendor at this stage, falling wantonly away from its tightly wound packaged form.  If the river of yarn has a scent or hides a little of the rinse after dying in it, it wafts up and you are instantly tied to something the makers and sellers never intended to tell you about the yarn.  

If your yarn is processed simply and lightly, when you open the skein, you smell sheep and farms and it reminds you of meadows and sunlight and soft breezes through your hair on a sunny summer day.

I did a little of that this weekend, and I am content.  I know what I am going to work on next.  I know what the next stitches will be.  My path is clear and I feel good.  

Good things come when you are lucky enough to wind your yarn. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ukraine Babushka is off today.  I'm really sad to see her go.  Its been such a blessing for my lovely daughter in law, o have her mom here. Ah well.  

I confess to still being antsy.  I finished the black sweater, just ends to weave and buttons to put on and a little bit of blocking and we are done.  It looks great and used much less yarn that I thought.  I had 14 balls, and used 11.  At 85 metres each that comes out to a paltry 935 metres used.  How am I ever going to go over last years total of yarn knit if it takes so little to knit me a sweater.  I mean, its not like I am small and dainty or anything.  But gee.  I'll never make more than 21 at this rate.

Next year all lace, all the time.  Maybe that will help.

I have to clean a fridge, sort through the carrots, process some tomatoes, do laundry and then Mr. Needles and I are hoping to get the deep freeze cleaned.  I'm not hopeful for the last part.  I think aiming for Tuesday night will be just as good.  We shall see.  

Anyway, I just wanted to say to the world, I will miss you Ludmila, that lovely sweet thing we share will miss you, my son will miss your steady hand, and most of all your sweet daughter will miss you.  We'll make sure she makes out OK, I promise.  

Fair winds and following seas, Ludmila, all the way home and beyond.

Friday, 12 October 2012


I know I have started a new project.  I know that having finished a couple things and no really clear idea of what I want to do next is a dangerous time for me.  Still a little stash diving couldn't hurt, could it?

This is just a pretty picture of the bottom of a box.  I didn't stop to fondle any of these.  Really.

This is what I was after.  Or to be technically correct, the Manos Silk Blend multi is what I was after.  The maroon Silk Dream just sort of fell out of the box.

This pink Schoppell-Wolle In Silk fell out of the box right onto some needles.  I've never quite known what to do with this since it did not work out for what I purchased it for.  Its being knit into a Scrunchable Scarf.  The texture will really show off this rather stiff feeling pure silk and give it the depth, texture and sink your fingers into it-ness that it needs.

While I was in there, I dug into the Cascade 220 box.  There isn't sweater quantities of any of it but the brown (how that happened, I do not know) but I was thinking that these two colours could be used together quite nicely.  I have a single ball of a lighter gray if there needs to be a little something else to throw in the mix.  

It seemed a good idea to take a good hard look at my Briggs and Little Sport.  (When is it ever not a good idea to look at Briggs and Little?)  When I bought it in the spring, I had a burning desire for a sweater out of it.  Burning desires once stoked by touching the yarn, must be fed, or  they die and you are left with miles of useless yarn.  I thought it best to pull it out and at least wind it into balls. I'd really hate to be 'left' with miles of this stuff.

And, well, really if you are winding one part of the box, you might as well wind up the rest, to say nothing of the very strong urge to knit the navy and white into a  nice striped sweater.  Wide stripes, white at the collar and ribbing edges.  Nice yes?

This colour called Blue Jeans is for a wool shawl.  A friend did Miralda's Shawl with this same yarn (different colour) and it is a work of art.  It is wool weather, so might as well get that out too.

And then, in a box that has nothing to do with superwash yarns, I found the last remaining balls of Mission Falls 136.  They obviously need re-assigning to the kiddie box.

Which reminded me that I needed to dig out the cream Pacific that I had for a wee thing, that my sweet thing could wear.

Which reminded me of the Smooshy that needs winding for Pepita.  Now that I know how big baby is likely to be at Christmas, I can work on it for sweet thing.

And then I dug out the cream and pink Baby Cashmerino.  I want to make some pink and white striped pants and some mittens, booties etc.,  to go with the pink sweater I made before she was born.  

A little stash diving was a lot of fun but now there is wool all over my study.  I'll have to spend the whole weekend addressing that.  

Darn.  (not)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

New project

I couldn't help myself.  I cast on last night for another wee shawlette.  But it is one I have been planning for ever and ever.

The yarn has been on my desk for months while I contemplated exactly how to do it.  The yarn is some Cherry Tree Hill Possum Sock yarn in yellow, orange, and pink verging to red.  I planned to use that one skein with some deep strong clear red Classic Elite Fresco to make Daybreak.    I have only 1 skein of the Possum Sock and that leaves me just a wee bit short of what I need to make the large size,   wee being about 60 yards short.

I figured that I had waited for inspiration long enough, so I cast on, even though I really have no idea how I want to do this.  That was, after all these months, the way I should have done it.

As someone remarked at knitting last night, there is a candy corn thing going on here, and that is not what I am hoping for.  I am very impressed with the way the orange and the multi Possum sock look together.  The yellow right up to the Possum Sock would probably be fine too.  Together?  Not so much.

So, I am probably going to pull back to the yellow and see if I like the way the yellow and the multi look and start knitting from there.  If I like it, I'll make the yellow longer to make sure I have compensated for the shortage of the multi and do a striping sequence to help blend the edges in even better.  If  the yellow isn't the right shade beside the multi, I'll start over with the orange.  The one thing I don't want is to have any interruption to my colour scheme where the yarn and pattern are going to show off their stripey souls.    

So the small new project is going to be stripes.  Seems to be a theme for me lately.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

It happens

Last night, my ball of yarn for the little shawlette I am working on now looked like this. It still had a lot of oomph in it.  Still one of the prettiest colourways ever.  Its a local dyers work, if I can find her online home, I will link for you.

I started worrying yesterday when I was midway through the glorious border I am knitting.  

I had reserved 1/3 of the yarn by weight.  I thought that it should be enough, but after yesterday rows, I doubt it.  The skein is getting perilously close to see through and I have 6 pattern rows and the bind off left to do.

Because I am double stranding, and because I have a stash worthy of a yarn store, 
I thought a while and realized I had an out.  I just needed to go stash diving.  Not too deep even.

I think if I strand one strand of this warm brown Classic Elite Silky Aplaca, I will get near enough to matching to tone of what I already have.  It does mean some work on the ball of course.  Since I wound the original skein double stranded, I have to un-double strand it and then re-skein it with the Silky Alpaca.  
I expect it too soften the colours a little, to mute them rather than turn them off.  I think the sample above shows how nicely this should work.  Can you tell which is the mix and which is the original?  

I say should work because it still is a plan and we all know how many slips there are between a plan and a finished project.  

Ooops.  Now how did that get in there ;P  We are just a little bit crazy in love with our young lady.  I promise not to flood you with photos.  It is pretty hard to resist, but I do promise.  This is a 'things' blog a knitting blog, not a grannie blog.  I am thinking of starting one though.  ;)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Way more knitting

Just the way the weekend fell, there seemed to be a lot of knitting time.  Seemed to be.  There really wasn't a lot of knitting.  

I did the big rip on the Lilia Hyrna Shawl, and completed it.  It wasn't just me though there was an error made rows below.  There were some chart issues too.  At first I thought I was just reading wrong, but no.  A chart issue.  

I haven't blocked it yet but as you can see, 

It looks pretty darn good.  For all that it is relatively simple it has such a pretty little edging. 

It is large and I anticipate some growth in the yarn when it is blocked.  

I blocked the Icicles Shawl that I knit and I gave it to Ludmila.  I am so pleased with it.

I will make this one again sometime.  Very very pretty.

I blocked my daughter in laws sweater too and gave that to her.  And grannies shawl (the Big Shetland)  had all her ends tucked in and was given to Ludmila to take to grannie.  It felt so good to give these things to their owners.  

Then after all that I finished knitting the body of the tweedy black thing I am working on.  I felt almost virtuous knitting on it when I wasn't really in the mood.  Feeling virtuous always makes me cranky, and I thought very seriously about knitting something new, but I needed faster gratification than that.  I dug out a WIP and  sorted out where I was on that and worked on it till long past bedtime.  It would be nice to pretend that it will be photo ready tomorrow morning, but not then.  Maybe Thursday.  

It was a weekend where there was much knitting, much visiting, much baby holding and oh my heavens, the eating... 

But that is done, and even though there wasn't a whole lot of knitting done, there was movement on many fronts.  This coming weekend, I hope for tons and tons and tons of knitting time.  Now it is time for my most favourite thing of all.  

The what is up next game!


Friday, 5 October 2012

The big rip

In the end, ripping out was the smart thing to do, and that is what I did. I hope I have it right this time because after what feels like very little knitting, I am almost back to where I was.  

This sticky grabby yarn knits fast.  You never have to fight the yarn to stay on the needle.  It always seems to have the decency to wait for whatever you are going to do with it.  

So when I ripped back it didn't surprise me to find that the error was a dropped stitch, nor did it surprise me (well maybe a little) that after all the mangling I did trying to find the error, that the stitch was sitting right there waiting for me to pop it back on.  

Anyway, if there is any justice in this universe, I will get this shawl done this weekend.  I'm not holding out for too much knitting time though.  I have a date with carrots and parsnips on Saturday, and I have the family coming for a thanksgiving dinner on Monday.  I also have to block the shawl, weave in the end I found on that lovely Shetland Shawl I finished many months ago, and block the Adrift sweater I knit for my daughter in law.  And in a perfect world, I would get the wee baby bunting bag done too.

It has been a momentous week in the households near and dear to Chez Needles and we are all very thankful for that.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A Big Cup kind of day.

Because there are some days where this isn't big enough

I move up to this.

 Its one of those soup mug things but this morning, if anything, it feels a little small for the coffee I am going to need to make the day.

I had no idea this baby thing would mess with my mind like this.  Yesterday was better, but still, I can't seem to stick to anything. (That is mess with my mind in that I look at everything for its baby potential, or its play value or what would make mommy and daddy's life a little easier right now.)

It isn't just baby things though.  I finished a sweater for my daughter in law that needs blocking and the lovely shawl needs blocking and there hasn't been time to do those. I knit on some socks.  There is a vest that needs a button band and it would be done.  I have knit on the black sweater and it is long enough to begin the bottom band.  And for all that variety and that finishing, I am bored to tears by those projects.  I really could use the finished products for work, though so I will tough it out.

I did bring something else to work for my lunchtime knitting to put a little oomph in my day.  I debated something new, but I voted for this instead.  It is so darn close to finishing.

This is my lovely Lilia Hyrna Shawl.  I do believe I put it down because of an error about 6 rows below.  Right now as is, I have 6 rows left.  I could cry.  I could really use this shawl for winter here at my sometimes chilly desk.  A shawl is as good as, and is often prettier than a sweater.  So, time to look, find the error for sure, decide if I can fix it by dropping down or if the fix is going to have to be ripping back 6 darn rows.

I am voting for dropping down some stitches and fixing the error.  The vote doesn't always go my way, though.

And that is why it is a big cup day.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


After that little break of babies and very good things, I seem to be just a wee bit un-directed, directionless.  My head feels as if it is one of those really bad 70's movies where everybody is participating in the making of the film but nobody is actually in charge.  I'm having a wee bit of difficulty finding focus.

I sat in my study early this morning and looked at all my ongoing things, and just thought 'well'.  Not 'well there you have it' or anything which marked an end or a beginning or even a very nice middle, just 'well'.  

And then I picked up my black sweater and just started knitting it.  It occurred to me that it was likely time to measure its length and count the stitches and see just how much more knitting I should do.

So then I knit and counted and did some math, and a little more knitting, and felt a little better about the way the morning was going.  Knitting centers me and puts my thought on a path that has, more or less, just one direction and builds upon the last stitch done, the last row done, building up inches.  Oh sure there might be small rip backs, but even though that seems like going backwards, you really are going forward.  You made that mistake and you aren't going to make it again, correct?  (usually)  See? You are moving forward.  Getting this first thing into its rightful place felt really really nice.  

I popped everything into my big old knitting bag and came to work.  Here is hoping that I'll hold on to my early morning focus and that it will spread into the rest of my day.  

Because after that lack of focus the last two days, even this quiet job has stuff that needs to be done.



Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Kept my hands busy, I did

I did indeed.  About a half of a usual sock (though I am going to go as long as possible with these).  I'm thinking of just knitting this tube on and on and when it is time, knit the other toe. With afterthought heels of course.   I'm debating if she will mind different toes.  If I give them away that is.  

I love this colourway.  Red Orange seceding into rust, to a narrow band of ragamuffin khaki, to pure olive brown green, to a wide band of green tweedy, to a solid and genteel band of green, to brilliant poppy orange and right back to blood red orange. It was the perfect thing to knit while waiting.  

When I left home this morning, (D'OH) I forgot to bring my sweater for knitting today.  So, its the sock or that pretty handbag I am working on ever so slowly.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Right on Time

Though it looks like I am late posting I am right on time.

And so is she.

Welcome to the world Cassandra Emily