Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A 2013 roundup

I usually find myself sitting here at this time of year, knitting something new and interesting.  This year, I am knitting on the one little before Christmas thing that did not get finished, the second of the handwarmers in the pink colourway. I guess they will go in the box for next year.  

Most of all I am knitting to keep from thinking.  

There are good things on my horizons.  Beginnings,  moving forward, making a new way in this world, but my heart is set in 2013 and so it will ever be. 

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

There are no choices but to move on, to move forward. Time does not stand still.  If it did, I would still be in those really great days between Brian's hospital stays and I would be sitting here, having coffee with him, and we would discuss the news and what we were going to do today even if the biggest thing in the day was how long a nap he was going to take. 

I look back with sorrow and longing, but at the very same time, I move forward, looking at the very good things that are happening for me and ever hopeful that they continue.  

Tomorrow I will knit something new, something fresh, something wonderful but today is for contemplating.  

Happy New Year.  It will be. I choose it to be.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to All!

My kids all come home today and we do our big family get together tonight.  They will show up at various times throughout the day, when they are done work and we will feed them  and drink them and gift them till they are giddy.

I don't know what the next year holds, where the next Christmas will be or what the heck I will be doing, but where ever and whatever it is, my kids will be there, and that is enough.  I used to think that Christmas had to stay the same and that it couldn't be better than when I was a child but then I had kids and it was different and it kept on being Christmas, just different.  And so it will after this.  My kids will be here and that is enough.

In every deep darkness, there is some happiness if you look for it.  It might not be what you expected, and it might not be what your heart of heart wants, but it will be there.  You just have to let it come in.

A quick note for Christine, cast on 40 stitches, and k1, p1 around till it is long enough then add 1 gusset stitch every other row, keeping in k1, p1 pattern, till there are 20 gusset stitches, cast on 3 stitches to complete the thumb circle and k1,p1 till the thumb is long enough, then pick up your work around and pick up and knit 3 in the 3 cast on stitches and k1,p1 till it is long enough.  Not a pattern, because my batteries were dead on all but this desktop computer and I wasn't knitting by it!  It is what you do when you can't get to Ravelry.

I think I will be taking a break over the holidays.  My mom and my brother and sisters will have the pain pleasure of my company and I will have internet connection only if my brother remembers the password to mom and dad's router.  Or if I go to Tim's for coffee.

I am planning on taking along a sweater to finish and will take along another that needs reworking so I will have plenty of good knitting while I am gone.  And if I am lucky, I will get to stop at the yarn store in Saskatoon too.  

If I do get connection I will post a quick note, and if I don't know that I will be thinking of you.  Thank you all so much for reading and being there.  

So to finish as I started, 

Merry Christmas to all
and to all a Good Night.

Monday, 23 December 2013

More Knitting?

Yes.  There is.  For Christmas too so as you see, and I am running out of time.  

If today does what it is supposed to do, I must bake buns, make meatballs, babysit, clean up my living room, wrap gifts, and knit 3 handwarmers. 

Well 2 and a half.  I have one done already.

I might knit the hand part longer on the first one yet.  Daughter1 tried it on and with her more normal ones versus my pudgy stubby hands, the fingers ought to be a bit longer.  

These will go with the cowls for gifts.  I still haven't decided which set to give to the young lady.  Which is how I end up needing two sets.

A busy day ahead, but all the town trips are done, and ready or not Christmas is here!

There is going to be knitting after Christmas, but it is going to be much more restful knitting.

Friday, 20 December 2013

So far behind

I have a bit of a confession to make.  I haven't been listening to any podcasts recently.  At all.  almost a month.

It just felt like I did not have time to catch them all.  I do though.  Tons of time.  That concerns me, so I am starting to put together a concerted effort to catch up.

I did the Savvy Girls Podcast yesterday.  I only missed two of theirs.  The Knitmore Girls?  5.  5 missed.  I plan on catching up today.

If you need me, that is where I will be.  Knitting and listening to podcasts and sipping lovely hot coffee.  Sounds like a lovely day to me.

Well, I am actually rolling pennies.  My sweet husband always threw his pennies and small change on his side table at night.  over the years, he would occasionally pick out the dimes and quarters and nickels, leaving only pennies.  He hadn't done that for a while so I have about 50 dollars in silver change and about 30 pounds of pennies.  Maybe 40.  The box is heavy.  It will be interesting to see how much money this weight of pennies is.

Why now?  I have decided that this collection should be split equally among us.  It should be something we all can enjoy.  So I think that I am going to buy the wine for Christmas dinner with it.  A nice wine.  Something really special that we otherwise wouldn't have. Or something ordinary that we always drank, and a bottle of icewine.  Or Asti Spumante.  It had historical connotations for us, an in joke that only I know.

So I will wrap my pennies, listen to podcasts and sip my coffee.  And then, when days tasks are done, I will knit.   

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Nothing much going on.

I am sitting here, with nothing particular to write about that is yarny.

The most yarny thing in my day is that I am moving yarn.  While part of this is playing in the stash, it is a lot of work.  I thought most of my stash was in large containers.  

I was wrong.

And then I have to move the containers.  See?  Hard work. Not playing in the stash at all.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Cat Bordhi Speaks

When I was in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by Cat Bordhi.  I came across some of the very quick notes that I made while listening.  There was so much more, but the more involved I became in listening, the more I did not write.

Here are a few snippets:

'Dream with no outcome in mind.'

'Learn how to trust meditation.'

'Spend time with ideas until they grow.'

'Honour your own sense of a thing.'

'The pauses are as important as the rest of the process.'

'Forks in the road are not always a choice.  Sometimes they are mobius.'

Some people might have taken these as just notes on a design process, but they really are notes for a more peaceful life.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013


It seems this is going to be an unexpected day.

When I awoke this morning, I grabbed a pod of what I thought was coffee, but was in fact milk, so now I am having a french vanilla latte.

I did not knit a stitch yesterday, but I played with my wool. All.  Day.  Long.  And by working on the wool storage all day long, I could finally make it back to the chair where my knitting resides.  

I finished up the second honey cowl and you know what?  Once the knitting was all done and you could lay it down and look at it, it is really lovely.  Unexpectedly so.  I thought it would all blend in, but enmasse, the brighter of the two green pops out and plays off the forest green (olive and teal on my monitor), as does the purple.  Purple you say?  Yeah, I never noticed it before either.  It is there, just to the bottom it show up best, almost lost as a variation on the brown.
 I am not sure you can really see it here, but what you can see is the way the colours popped out.  Unexpectedly nice.

I am not sure what happens when others finish a project and find it turned out so unexpectedly nice, but I feel pumped. Or maybe it was that I finished it before 9 a.m. and I still had plenty of knitting time in the day that made it happen, but then I sat down and started this.

I've been planning some version of this cowl since the moment I saw it on Ravelry.  It is the Inspira Cowl.  If you look through the projects on this one, you are sure to find something that will turn on your creative energy too.  It sure got me.

Though this cowl is designed for 2 different colour changing yarns, I saw it in angora.  I don't know why angora.  Perhaps an encounter with a ball of it when I saw the pattern, but somehow or other, it led me to owning an unseemly number of balls of angora.  Maybe it was that River City had a sudden influx of the lovely soft Schulana Angora Fashion in a whole bunch of knit me colours.  I was pulled into Angora heaven, by this pattern and there was no kicking and screaming involved.

I am of course, not knitting it in that.  Well the colour part is not the yarn I planned for it.  I came across a couple of balls of Kimono Angora in my stash when I was looking through the  scarf yarns and set it with the other angoras in my stash and it occurred to me that it would be perfect as the CC colour for an Inspira Cowl.    My first thought is always to go for the strong contrasts, so I am working a dark gray with it, but now that I think about it, there is a soft purple in the angora pile that would work as the contrast for a much softer colour combination. That selfsame soft purple is what I always thought was gray in among the pink and golds.  I do have another ball of the bright stuff so who knows where this might lead.

I am going to knit on this a while this morning.  I expect to be covered in downy soft and ever so clingy delights.  This one isn't unexpected, but it still is very very nice.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Frankie Brown

There was a fair bit of knitting this past weekend.  I finished the cowl and started another.  Not another brioche cowl, but another cowl.  I would show it to you but it is on the other side of the pile.  In the meantime, let me tell you what I have been up to in between the knitting and the pile.

I spent a little time looking at my pattern highlights on the main pattern page.  and then I ended up favouriting some stuff.  All the stuff belonged to one designer, Frankie Brown.

I don't know if you know about Frankie Brown.  If you aren't prepare to be amazed.

What I have been favoriting is her striking patterns for her Woodland Wreath.  That one pattern is the basic construction.  Each day after, through December, she will be adding another pattern for little bits and pieces to add to your wreath to turn it into a customized masterwork.  Flowers and leaves, and mushrooms and wee creatures of the forest.  All play a part in it so far.

The incredible thing is, that these stunning creations, these interesting little diversions from your regular knitting, the famous 10 stitch pattern,  the Pinwheel Purse, the fantastic amazing shawls.  All these are free.  Frankie asks for only one thing in return.

A donation to a cause dear to her heart, the Children's Liver Disease Foundation in Great Britain.  That is not too much to ask of us in return.

So, in this season of giving, how about making sure to give just a little to places we all know like this?  Tis the season to count our blessings.

Friday, 13 December 2013

A little Christmas present

I decided that I would buy myself a Christmas present.  Not one that I needed but one just for fun and just because.  I already had some things that could be seen to be Christmas presents for myself, like the chair I bought so that I no longer had to push with my toes to keep me from falling out of my computer chair (Brian's chair did not go low enough for me) or the moving dolly I bought because I am so darn tired of carrying boxes or waiting for the boys to move the heavy stuff for me (I have a couple more moves in me, I am sure so it just makes sense)

So what to get when I don't want more stuff and don't want to buy more yarn (not till after I move and settle somewhere new.  Well not unless there is a yarn emergency) and want something that is fun?

You buy yourself a book.  Sure you have to move it but a book is not 'stuff'.  A book is a passport to something wonderful. A book is captured memory.  A book is a close companion on the days when a close companion and a cup of tea are all that you need. Which probably explains how it is that I have eleventy billion boxes of books.

In my various gooffing off on Ravelry, I came across some things that were from the newly published 'Lace One Skein Wonders' by Judith Durant.  A new One Skein book?  Time to check it out!  I have all the other knitting One Skein books she has written and edited and each of them has enough things in it that I will knit and use, that this book seemed a natural fit.  I am so pleased.

It has socks and delicate little things for your wrists.  It has plenty of lovely scarves.  It has hats and tams, and full blown shawls and stoles and baby things and the cutest little baby dress you will ever see, and dainty little household accessories and things that are knitted and a few that are crocheted...big breath...but where it really shines in my eyes are the cowls.

Sure cowls are the hot thing right now, but these are lovely little things.  Dainty and not so dainty, long, short, very open laces, small wee laces, Mobius and not twisted, end to end and bound off together or knit circular.  You want a lace cowl, you will find one that you love in here.

It feels as if I have not bought a book for myself for a while.  Most of what I have bought lately is electronic, which works for me in many ways, but some books are meant to be paged through and contemplated upon and pondered over in a way I just can't with an electronic book. This is one of them.  All for the price of a mere 20 dollars.  It is a lot of fun for the bucks.  No, I don't really need it but it is lovely to have.  A Christmas treat.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hidden Riches

Nothing stays the same for long as we all know.  And so the blogger moves from things of sorrow to things of ...well not yet joy but things that please her.

Cowl one, finished though not blocked and ends not woven in.  I love the way this turned out.  I was not at all sure I liked the colours in this yarn.  They were so very different than what it looked like when I bought them (Oh the perils of purchasing online) and yet, in Brioche stitch, the colours look really very nice.  I am very pleased with the way it turned out.

Here is cowl two of these yarns I am indifferent to.

Up front, this yarn was much more pleasing, though still very different from the online colours.  The warm greens and browns felt nice.  In Brioche stitch though, the colours disappear.  It is almost too blended, too much the same.  Though my monitor shows strong pips of a warm blue green in this photo, up close and personal, it is a forest green and it blends so closely into the browns that you cannot see it is there unless you really look close.  Across the very well lit library space I was knitting at last evening, the two greens in this colourway were not visible at all. Still, it goes on and the knitting will not stop till the yarn is all used up.  Not everything is perfect.  Perhaps it is more a case of hidden riches.

So too in life.  Hidden riches. 

Not that I keep these guys hidden!  They are my riches.  They are my wealth.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Watching the news

You know how some things you watch on tv seem unimportant and far away?  

Well there are things going on right now that are coming into my home.  My Daughter1 is from Ukraine.  She left her country for her husband, not because she wanted to leave her nation.  Watching her go through this from afar, watching her anguish for her countrymen, for the peace and orderly life of her people is hard.

We are watching some live tv from Ukraine, a publicly supported station much like PBS, that does things on the ground, and on the cheap, but it is the most incredible coverage.  They are a force that the government does not control and has not been able to shut down and are doing a fantastic job of keeping people informed.

The situation in Ukraine is sad.  You have a president and ruling party that thinks they can do anything they want, defying the laws of the land.  They think they can put their people and their nation back in the box of oppression.  I don't think they know their people.  Whatever else this is abut, it is about this.  

The people are not going to go so quietly into the night, they are going to stand firm and see right happens.  They have not worked so hard to get where they are to go back.  My Daughter calls the Orange revolution kindergarten in comparison to this.

It has been brutal in some instances.  People she knows, people I know from their wedding have been beaten just for being there and recording the events, while doing their job as a journalist.

And that makes my heart hurt.  

In knitting, I have finished cowl 1 and have moved on to cowl 2.  It is brown and green and not nearly as exciting to knit.  The colours are there, but they are muted in comparison with the other.  Pictures tomorrow when there is enough to really see how it is going.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Brioche that actually gets finished!

I spent the day knitting on the Brioche project.  All of a sudden it is almost wide enough to be called complete. (The colours are absolutely true on my monitor.  Interesting stuff, yes?)

Even the longest middle eventually comes to the end.  It is about 8 inches wide and I have a little more than a  ball and a half of yarn left.  I am thinking of calling it wide enough and calling it a day and using the rest of the yarn to make some simple wristwarmers for the recipient.  

My question is, is it wide enough?  I have used 4 and a half balls of yarn and I love the way it looks now. It isn't going to drown the owner when it is doubled and close to the face.  No one will look swallowed by the knitting in this width.  In a wider cowl, you might.    I worry though that the young lady I am making it for will think it hopelessly odd because it is too narrow.  When you read Ravelry, most of them are 8 inches wide, but look much wider and I am the last person on earth to know what stylish young ladies are about.  

Anyway, I am going to knit a few more rows, and then cast off.  It will be what it will be, I suppose.  

The yarns colour placement is odd and yet, it never came close to pooling.  It looked like it would be headed there, but then completely changed spacing. I am very pleased with the way it looks in this Brioche knit.  It is an unusual combination of colours and if she doesn't like it, I still have the other yarn to fall back on.  its is brown and greens, a more traditional colour blend.   

Who knows if it is going to work the same, but I sure am happy to play a while and figure it out!

It will be Brioche again for this second colour.  Even though it seemed as if it would never grow, it knit up fairly quickly and was a lot of fun.  Brioche might be my technique of note for '14.

Monday, 9 December 2013

:Long Middles

It was a very busy weekend.  My special little guy turned 5.  His party was swimming and family and lots and lots of good things.  I think he had a wonderful day and so did grandma. His mom is still having trouble believing that her baby is 5!

I spent my knitting time this weekend knitting on that pretty green tunic.  It is actually starting to look like clothing and the shaping of this design is starting to really show up.

 You can't see it so clearly on this colour correct picture,  so let me try this.

You can just see how the shaping is happening on either side of that line of markers.  The pocket forms along here.  Its just kind of fascinating to watch it gently flow.  That gentle flow without a doubt is what attracted me to this pattern and I am so happy that my Daughter1 loves it too and wanted me to knit it for her.

And yes it is a real pleasure to knit for someone so tiny.  If there is anybody out there who knits small or medium and bemoans the middles of sweaters, quit whining. You do not know.  Trust me on this. 

I am in the middle on everything these days.  That Brioche eternity scarf is taking an eternity.  The Viajante is an awful lot of stitches now.  The eternity scarf is getting more of my time right now, but that is because it is probably needed under my Christmas tree.  

These are all projects in the middle, projects which need a lot more knitting till they are done.  And you know what?  I haven't been so pleased with all the things on my needles in a long time.  

I am as happy as a  piggy in a puddle in the very merry middle.  Which reminds me I have just a little bit of shopping to do!  Busy busy!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Did you know

Did you know that I have been knitting this brioche eternity scarf for three days and it has not gotten any wider than the first day I worked on it?  Brioche takes some gumption.

Friday, 6 December 2013


It is cold here this morning.  -30C or colder.  That is an ugly kind of cold and it is going to be a day where I hunker down and stay inside.  I think I am supposed to do something today.  I have no idea what it was, though.  I have been trying to remember and I am hitting a blank.  So if you are who I am supposed to be doing it with or for, please remind me. I hate when this happens.

Yesterday was an almost no knitting day.  But I had a lot of fun.  I went a did this (well mostly, I watched because this is their first tree.  I was happy to be part of it!)

and cheered this on
and played hide and seek and and games with my special guy.  I spent the afternoon with Daughter3 and we talked and talked and suddenly it was dinner time.  It was a great day. 

Unless I do have something I am supposed to do today, this is going to be a whole day of knitting.  We will pull out a few more Christmas decorations but mostly it will be knitting.  I have videos in the queue and knitting on the needles and all I need now is a cup of coffee.

Which is really a bummer.  I forgot to bring my cup down after morning coffee with Daughter1 and Sweet Thing.  Well, at least I keep all my knitting in one place.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Unfolding as it should

Wednesday was a very busy day with not a lot of knitting.  On the other hand, almost all my shopping is picked up from its various places and almost all my gifts are ready for wrapping.  There are a few things to do yet, but I am so very close to done.

We had a Christmas potluck last night at my friend Paulette's house.  This apartment is Paulette's first home of her very own and she really enjoys having company.  The ceilings are high and she has a light in the center of the living room ceiling, an old fashioned idea that really should make a comeback into modern architecture, so the light is bright and even and there are no dark corners.  It was such wonderful food.  Everybody brought a little something to compliment Paulette's chili and it turned out to be a really really nice evening.  Everybody was sensible when it came to main courses but that went right out the window when it came to cookies.  Every single one of us brought some kind of cookies!  It was a real cookie fest and it was lovely.   We were served a really great punch too in a very pretty punch bowl.  I haven't had a nice punch in so long.  It was wonderful and I think I am going to copy it for my Christmas too.

It made me think of how all the many ways that knitting gives me the path to move forward.

There is a large shawl from the prayer shawl ladies back home.  It is just a simple triangle done in a block pattern of 3 stitches. 3 corners, 3 stitches, a reminder and a prayer built into the very structure of the work.  I know the ladies who worked on this and I know the prayers that went into it and I am comforted by it.    

A good triangle shawl is really just the perfect thing.  I know that a lot of the shawls people make and wear right now are the longer, shallower, horseshoes and crescents, but a good triangle shawl sized right, hits all the right notes.  It covers your back and folds over your arms just enough that it stays put but never gets in the way.  A simple triangle is highly undersung. 

Then there is a lovely stole from my friend and travel companion from my San Francisco trip.  
 It is made from Rimu, a New Zealand product from  Zealana.  It is a unique 40% possum 60 percent wool.  If you get the chance to work with this, do.  I mean it really.  Do.  It looks a little flat in the skein but oh what loveliness when you wear it a while.  It blooms into the softest halo and just cozies right up to you to say, 'hey there, how goes it.  you ok?' and you wrap it just a little tighter around you and it just sighs and sits itself so close around your shoulders.  My friend made this thinking of me.  She knit this lovely warmth in high summer and I think of her sometimes sitting working on it in the heat.  It makes me smile and think of her and travels and good times and my heart is filled with peace.  

And other things too.  My travel friend gave me some lovely yarn to work with too, a local to her BC alpaca farm.  I know it is in the study somewhere but I can't find it this morning or I would show it to you.  I love it though.  It is that soft natural warm golden tan that looks good on you even when you feel you cannot wear browns.  I cannot wait to work with it.

And these treasures picked and and chosen with such care for me.
 This stunning Fleece Artist BFL 2/8, picked up at a shop in Halifax when a friend was on vacation there.  This one, though not yet knit, is one that I keep close by.  It is always in sight and those summer ocean blue greens connect me with places Mr. Needles loved to be.  In a perfect world, with all the choices in front of yourself, I think if given a do over, Mr. Needles would have happily been a beach bum and hippie.                      
 This is treasure for several reasons.  It to came from that east coast trip of my friends and is a colourway only for the one shop.  My friend got one for her and one for me with the idea that we would spin it together.  She has hers done and I am a little slow on mine.  I have seen it knit up and...want.  The turquoise and gold are so good together.
Then there is the harmony of blues and reds and a little of every colour in the universe that ever played out in our spectrum of light found in this bag of soft Polworth.  A friend gave me this as something to hold on to in the very early days of Mr. Needles diagnosis and I can only say that I have.  

And then there are the friends who I have never met like jessmadi who was willing to play a game in which I tried to 'sell' her my single Son2, using every power I had in my possession (ie, the stash) to get her to come to Canada and make a life with him and grandchildren for me.  Son2 is gonna kill me if he ever finds this out, of course, but having that silly game to play made some very dark days bearable.   And then how to thank the Savvy Girls and the Knitmore Girls who just were there to listen to and who will never really know how much it meant to have the podcasts to fill corners of the day to keep my mind moving.

And all the knitters that I knit with. There are dozens. Some are virtual on blogs and Ravelry and some are the ladies I see almost every week.  Some are you.  All they do is show up in their usual places, online, coffee shop or library and still they give an intangible gift.  They give me the gift of a place to go to and conversation and laughter and warmth and smiles and take me out of the corner where I sometimes hide and keep me moving forward. It is no small thing, this gift.  

Last night at dinner, surrounded by knitting friends in the warmth and comfort of Paulette's lovely home, I thought a lot about how lucky I am.  I lost the framework of my life when Mr. Needles died but the warmth and care of so many good people with such diverse backgrounds, from all over the place, these people who touch my life in so many ways, are keeping me going, helping rebuild a new way of being.  

I am thankful for each and every one of you.  It is richness beyond compare. You are my blessings and the universe is unfolding as it should.     

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Not a Honey Cowl

I was working yesterday in my study and I came across some yarn.  

Funny that.  All the yarn is in my study. 

Anyway I came across some yarn and rather than working on what I had planned for the day, I had the urge to try a honey cowl again.  I tried a honey last year at this time and was not successful.  Once again, not successful.  I do OK the first couple of rounds and then my tension gets tight and the cowl looks as if it is going to strangle itself as well as the wearer.  I worked on knitting more loosely, but it was never enough.  The little collar that the yarn in front of the slipped stitch makes, strangled and choked the life out of the thing.  

I give up.  No more honeys.  What to do with this interesting but oddly little yarn?  (The yarn is Bosco, an old Ornaghi Filati yarn)

It occurred to me that I could brioche it.  I did learn the stitch on my recent trip and it should work well with the odd colour sections found here.  The foundation knit rows from the Honey Cowl could be reused and the number of stitches would work well, plus I really hated to waste a perfectly good piece of knitting that was not twisted.

Brioche is such interesting knitting.  It is incredibly rhythmic.  It seems as if it should knit slower, because in order to knit one complete round, you have to work across the row twice, but because of the tempo and flow, it doesn't feel slower.  Much like a Two Row Scarf, you never notice how long you are knitting.  You just simply cannot stop knitting it. Very compelling.

I know that I stayed up way past my bedtime knitting this and I had to have a serious talk with myself about today's adventures before I could stop. 

This morning, even though I want to, I will not touch the brioche.  I will do the tasks of the day first.  There will be time for knitting with friends this evening, and that will be soon enough for me to enter Brioches thrall.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Big Needles

I love shiny metal neeldes.  I love the slip of them, I love the sheen of them - pretty pretty.  I love the tiny little clicks as you work.  But not in bigger sizes.  I don't like the feel of big needles in my hands.  It feels awkward and strange and...gosh darn it, I deeply dislike it.  I don't have very much yarn requiring anything more than a 6 mm needle because of how much I dislike great huge needles.  

And yet, I have to say, I did not mind yesterdays adventures in 8 mm needles so much at all.

I have been working off and on, on a mohair stole I started last year.    
 I was using the 8 mm needles from my Addi lace kit, and knit about half the stole on them.  

After that initial spurt of knitting, whenever I picked it up to work on it, it crossed my mind how much I hated the whole thing.  I liked the yarn and the fabric but could not make myself work on it.  I looked at it several times through summer knowing that what I needed most was simplicity but I just could not force myself to work on those needles.  

I pulled the bag with the stole in it, out about a month ago and kept it by my side.  I thought I could do a row or two at a time, as a knitting break from whatever the big project of the day was and I did, but I hated every single row.  Yesterday morning, needing a break from the fine green project, I picked it up, grit my teeth and started knitting it.  

I had enough.  It was the needles and nobody should hate the knitting just because of the needles.  This is supposed to be fun.

I went back into the study and dug around.  I thought surely there must be a pair of Susan Bates straights that would work.  Nope. 6 mm is as high as those nice short scarf needles go.  I sorted through books for a while because I could not get past my little bit grumpy at my knitting thing.

I had to move a jug full of needles to get to a stack of books.  It was filled with needles that did not have a home elsewhere, needles that I don't use often, specialty needles, needles with a surface I dislike.  My old Aero needles were there among the rest.  

I don't like these needles.  The points are stubby.  The yarn clings and drags and sticks.  They are the old fashioned straights.  But wait a minute. There was a really big set in there.  I grabbed a gauge to check the size and sure enough 8 mm, just what I had the stole on.  

It couldn't hurt to try these because nothing could have been less pleasure than working with the big metal needles.  I moved the stole over to the big plastic needles and you know what?  The next thing I knew it was 6 p.m. and there was very little left on the balls on the floor and I knew that I would be finishing the project shortly.   

Whumpffff.  Done.  

Two terrible pictures of a rather nice shawl.  I will get better pictures today with a helper and daylight.

I met my goal of using it all up.  
Just the smallest bit left.  Enough of the small ball for 1 row but not two.  I like it.  I like it a lot.  

The moral of this story is never toss out the old needles without knowing everything you can do on them.  Sticky needles are good for slippy yarns and that is that.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The wearing of the wool

Sometimes when I am sitting and not knitting, I am still thinking about knitting.  Well, OK, when I am not knitting, I am always thinking about knitting, but that is beside the point.  

This morning I was sitting looking at patterns at Ravelry, thinking about what I will knit right after Christmas.  

I have a hankering to knit these:

(note:  these are pattern photos, not my photos.  I didn't ask.  I know, I am bad.)

because, really, who wouldn't want something so lovely as these.  Sigh.  I have the yarn assembled and they will be mine.  The same colours too.  I don't usually do that and am a little embarrassed by it, but it had to be these combinations because they really are perfect.  Plus I already had the green yellow, with no idea what to do with it.  Yeah that is it.  The green one first, because...well, for no reason really, but it will be first.  Also, it will look great worn with its yellows and green in spring over a crisp white shirt.  Note to self:  Need new crisp white shirt.

And then after an hour or so of that and of scrolling through people's projects with these two patterns, I watched a little Poirot.  Then, between shows, I realized that I was petting the shawls that are on my shoulders this morning.  

Do you ever do that.  Wear something you have knit, and then find yourself stroking it through the day?  I do it a lot.  I love the feel of wool.  I love the way it feels sitting on my shoulders and I love the feel of it under my hands.  Be it sweater or shawl and sometimes even socks, like the ones I have on my feet this morning, 

I have knit some really nice wools, you know.  Really nice. 

What am I wearing this morning that pleases me?  
It is a good way to start a busy day.