Friday, 31 January 2014


I have duplicate stitch to do on a pair of Spidy socks.  I have my newly minted, purchased before Christmas dvd, Season 4 of Downton Abbey at hand.  I have no where to go today (that I know of yet) and a fresh supply of coffee.

It is going to be a good day.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Treat for the day.

The only really significant knitting thing is that today, I will be on the west side of the city and will have time to stop in and visit at my  west side LYS.  

It is a while since I have been there and though I have been at their south side store lately, seeing everything in a different space makes everything look different.  sometimes you find yarns that did not catch your attention before, standing front and center, looking just smashing!

I have a limited budget though, so I have to be very careful.  Still it will be nice to see and touch a bunch of different yarn and to sit and knit for a bit in that lovely atmosphere.

I have finished the knitting of the Spiderman socks and have only the duplicate stitch to do.  it commences tonight, and almost all of the cuffs of the first of my pretty mixed striped socks is almost done.  Sock two will then commence.  

This black addition to a really nice yarn, makes me want to knit Monstersocks, or at the very least play among those who take sock yarn mangling to new heights.  Go through the projects and you will see some masterful funky wild things and some, like my socks that are just meant to be.

We shall see if the day brings good things (within the budget).  If the world goes even close to my way, the answer to will it, is going to be yes.  May the sock knitting commence and may all the decisions of the day go my way.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

When you cannot sleep

When you cannot sleep, what do you do?  I do stuff.  I always have.  It just seems to me that if you lay in bed and worry about not sleeping, all you do is work yourself into a good sturdy case of anxiety and I get enough of that in the waking world.  I do stuff.

The other day, I woke at 2:30 a.m. and just could not fall back to sleep.  I read for a bit, but I was antsy.  I couldn't seem to sit still, so I folded my laundry.  To you causal non laundry folders, this means from last week. Hah.  I am a non laundry folder of Olympian proportions.  I had not folded or sorted my laundry since just before Christmas.  I had all the laundry baskets in my room full of un-sorted goods and I could no longer safely get to the door in the dark for my nightly trips down the hall.  So I, Queen of the laundry folding avoiders, folded my laundry. Then I tried to put away my things.  

I had to clean out my drawers. 

As previously mentioned, my sock drawer is getting pretty sparse.  All my favourites are getting holes in the heels and I am going to have to do some serious work to get back to having enough socks so I do not run out all the time.  As I was sorting socks, and pairing them up, I came across one of my favourite pairs, shown here under construction, 
with a huge hole in one heel.  

So I decided to un-pick the heel and reknit it. 
 I opted for a plane Jane afterthought heel.  I debated about re-knitting the garter stitch heel but 2:30 in the morning is no time to face the long graft you would have to do, so afterthought it was.  I cheated and did a three needle bind off.  2:30 in the morning makes it seem like the perfect decision.  I might as well try it and see of my usually sturdy feet will notice it.  
The heel of the other sock is thin but has no holes yet.  I am going to do some duplicate stitch and see if that will hold off the eventual hole.  Garter stitch duplicate isn't something I wanted to try at 2:30 in the morning either.

By this time I was totally energized.  The next one that came along I tried something a little different.
 While playing around with the Anna Zilbourg video last week, it struck me how very like a perpendicular join her technique is.  So I tried that for this sock.  I am very very pleased.  This is way more sensible than darning.  It gives you a much tidier finish and for finicky feet, you could pick up and knit right across the whole heel to put the join on the sides.
The pick up won't be felt at all and though I used a three needle type bind off at the join, a properly thinking person would graft it.

It was 2:30 in the morning and even after coffee, I never quite got past that early start time.  This one will probably be replaced with a good graft before I wear it but not right now.  

Right now, I am going to go make myself a cup of coffee, because even if it isn't 2:30 in the morning, it is time for a good cup of coffee.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pretty Socks

Sometimes when I am buying sock yarn, I buy a yarn because there is only enough for one sock.  Having only 1 skein forces you to use your wits.

That is what happened when I bought this yarn.
I loved the colours.  They are just so me.  That soft brown, the mottled grays.  Just perfect even if there was only one ball.  It would be perfect with some black.

And so it is.

 See?  Just perfect.
I really love how these are coming out.  I don't know if your monitor is really capturing it, but mine sure isn't.  The black is just the perfect foil and brings out the black undertones in each of the other colours.  All I am doing is adding a few rows of black when the colours change.  

Perfectly pleasing wouldn't you say? Sigh.  I am in love with these socks.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Just for fun

As usual for me lately, make a plan and that isn't the way things went. Things went OK though and I had a lot of fun.

I knit on the little red sock.  That needs to be done for this weekend.  It is upstairs right now so I can't show you, but it is long enough for his foot.  Not a lot of knitting left and soon enough, it will be time to start the duplicate stitch.

I did not knit on the green sweater, but that was OK.  What I did right after picking up the sweater was just fine with me.

A couple weeks ago, I knit a hot water bottle cosy.  If you recall, I started to use some Zara but there wasn't enough and I had to find other yarn.  In order to get to the green sweater, I had to pick up the Zara and that is where my fingers stopped.

To be specific, my finger stopped on the dark green and the pretty print.

When I originally purchased these yarns, I was thinking mittens or wristwarmers.   The colours were just perfect for two row stripes. (I must have been knitting two row scarves right about then, because the red and brown Zara were bought for the same thing.) One touch and I thought, 'This was so pretty and the yarn was fun to work with...I should play with a mitten.'  What needles size would be right?  I found some 3.5 mm needles right there by me on the table so away I went.

Almost before I knew it,     

this happened.  I didn't have a pattern.  I wasn't thinking of knitting a pattern really.  I just wanted to see if I enjoyed knitting mittens as much as I do socks.

I know a couple of ladies who love to knit mittens.  One loves to knit them because it is hard to find mittens that fit her long slender hands. That is where it started anyway, but she knits them for her whole family and she makes the most fantastic things.  

The other loves to knit the complex wonderful mittens that Latvia and Estonia and other knitting cultures have made but she is not about the product at all.  She loves the process of  learning and reproducing.  The pair is not so important as the understanding of how it was made. She almost always ends up with only a single mitten or glove but what a mitten!

And the answer for me?  Not really.

I did knit the complete mitten, and I can see me doing it again sometime, but not this mitten.  Two row glove stripes drove me batty and I really only finished because I promised myself that I wouldn't have to knit a second glove.

The exercise was fun though.  And that was enough to be getting on with.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Tuckered Out.

By the end of yesterday, the only knitting I did was about a half inch of the red sock.  I had really hoped for more.  

When I got home from my errands, I was wiped out. What I needed was a nice session in my good old knitting chair, and a new movie, or something to really catch my thinking and slow it down.  A nice cup of tea would have been lovely too.  A  hot tub with a really lovely glass of wine would have been another way to go.

It didn't quite go like that either.  

I fell asleep in my chair and that was kind of the way the day ended.  

Today I will do better.  I think I am going to go for a good long soak with my mid morning coffee and then I am going to go sort my bedroom, and I will knit on that pretty green sweater for my daughter in law ( I would really like to finish this one and I am only a third of the way done) and a very pleasing sock that I am working on for myself.  I might even fold my laundry.  And iron.  Now that is a challenge I ought to aim to accomplish.

Tomorrow is soon enough for red socks and other knitting.    

Thursday, 23 January 2014

I feel my Spidey senses tingling

Yaaaaaaay, there has been actual knitting on the spidey socks. 

 It looks powerfully red here.  In life it is much richer.

I have opted for doing the colourwork as duplicate stitch.  I know I am weeny-ing out here but I don't want to do the colourwork on the soles, and for this design to look really nice, the colour work on the foot is important.  I wasn't sure if he would like the feel of the colourwork on the soles.  

It is his first pair of handknit socks and they have been told that wool is so itchy. Since I don't know his feet and they may be the sweaty kind of feet, I want to be safe and make them as light as possible.  It helps that the red yarn is a cotton, wool and nylon blend. 
But there is also the thought that I did not want to have my first socks for him be such a challenge.  I am not really into big challenges right now.  It seems I have enough of a challenge just making it out of bed most days!  And I didn't want something I have so long admired to be something knit when I am under such stress.  

I have been thinking for a long time, to the point of doing a lot of sock yarn purchasing aimed right at colourwork socks.  I have books just for the colourwork socks in them.



that is a lot of sock books devoted to following patterns for somebody who doesn't follow patterns at all.  I also have this book,

which I bought specifically to help me get over the sock patterning issue. To date, other than the one pattern I knit from this book, monkey socks are still the only pattern socks I have made.  Even on this one sock, I did the toe and heel my way. 

What really started it all was this book,  

and all the fabulous colourwork mittens out there.  I don't have this book (how that is is beyond me) but I have a deep and abiding passion for these socks.  

which have tiny birds going up the front of your calf.   I am certainly going to get the book once I have a little more fiscal stability.  In fact, this book may very well be a sign that this blog is once again fiscally stable! 

Till I saw this book and these birds socks, I didn't think I would knit colourwork socks.  Admire them, yes, Knit them, no.

And yet I will knit some.  Oh yes they will be mine.  At some far off future date, though.

And for Christine, the Noro in the Shalom is 214 Kureyon and looks even better in real life.  I am so pleased with it.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Running late

I'm running late this morning.  In a lot of ways running late is old hat and yet it all feels very very new.  For the last 30 years I have sort of prided myself on not being late and now that I am on my own, I seem to be late for everything.  I just run late.  

Mr. Needles used to get irritated that I asked over and over again what time it was. I would ask 3 or four times in a row and even when I knew I asked before, I had to ask again.  Perhaps this need to ask, is inversely proportional to being late.  

Anyway, I take it back. Pride goeth before the fall and well, I have fallen.  It wasn't me not being late, it was him making me not late.  I am sure that up in heaven he is laughing about this. Sigh.  I hate wearing watches. 

I have completed the forever cast on and have knit a few rows.  I hope this works out because I loved the way it all happened.  The corners are perfectly rounded and are just so, and it forms such a lovely little edge.

In much bigger news, there were two sweaters sitting around here waiting for the finishing touches.  I am blocking both and they soon will be ready to wear. To refresh your memory and mine, A Shalom in some very pleasing colours,

and a knit based very loosely on a Jane Ellison design, but winged in every way shape and form.
These are pictures in their unfinished state, one completed just before Christmas and one just after.  They both need ends woven in and they need buttons and closures, which I have but they are substantially complete, and that is what counts here at Chez Needles.

I usually get photos of the finished items in their rough state the day the knitting is finished, but as you see, the pictures of the finished articles are late.  

See what I mean.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


Help me

I am trapped by the 30 day cast on......

Honestly the i-cord cast on is the nicest cast on in very many ways

but it takes forever.

I actually was stuck with my nose in a book yesterday.  I honestly don't remember when the last time was that I got so deep into a book, that i could not put it down.

Friends suggested the mysteries written by C J Sansom, a series of 5 novels I believe, which takes place in the time of Henry VIII.  I ended up buying the first, Dissolution,  and will probably buy them all on paper because I cannot imagine not owning these books, not rereading these books.

Wow.  Just wow.  My battery died on my tablet and I had to stop for a recharge and I can only say that was the longest two hours of my life.  I had to wait because I couldn't find the cord and the only recharger I had available to me was the stand charger that I have by my bedside. 

I have read 5 new novels so far this year, in the National Just Read More Novels Month thing that I do, and this one blows even the redoubtable Miss Silver to the winds.

So, if you are, like me, stuck in a forever cast on, consider reading Dissolution.  Or any of the other 4.  Really great reads.

Monday, 20 January 2014


I knit a lot this weekend.  And have absolutely nothing to show for it.  Sort of.

Friday morning I did this:
I feel like sweater knitting so I swatched this yarn, Alpine from Naturally out of New Zealand.  It feels a lot like Cascade Eco, though I think it is spun more firmly and will wear a bit better.  It has fantastic yarndage and I have about 2500 metres.  Why I have 2500 metres, I do not understand, but well, there are a lot of things about the stash that I don't really understand.

I want a nice heavy between seasons sweater, and I am sure I have the yardage I would need to double strand it.  13 stitches on 5 mm needles.  But I don't know what to knit with it.

There was another yarn in the same box that just will not leave my mind, a marvelous black based taupe in Donna from Sheepjes.  I swatched that too.

I am thinking of knitting Coraline out of this yarn.  I have had the pattern for ages and Donna would be a great yarn for it.  It has lovely drape and the top patterning would look wonderful with the very round well defined character of this yarn.

I have always felt that this sweater ought to have an i-cord cast on. All the other edges use i-cord for finishing and it just seems right.  It may want to roll and if that happens, I will add a second row of i-cord to give the hem the weight it needs.  The sweater is knit from the bottom up and with no seaming, so that first cast on row, mostly i-cord, is a killer.  I have devoted a couple episodes of Netflix to it and am only halfway through it.  

In between times, I also did this:
This is a sample sock from the tutorial video by Interweave and Anna Zilborg, Knit Free Sole Socks .  I bought this to see if I would like the technique to knit more easily replaceable heels.  And now that I have gone through most of the video, while knitting I can safely say, Maybe.

It is a very fussy beginning, and there are many more ends that a normal sock if you start from the toe, but I really won't know till I use the heel part only on an actual pair of socks.  Just a quick word to say that there are so many errors in that sample sockie as to make me nuts, and I will be working another following the bonus pdf instructions before I give the method a pass or fail. 

I couldn't seem to sit still.  Or sit.  Or anything for long this weekend.  I should have been working on these,

and as you can see, I did but this is still sock one and I really ought to be on sock two by now, if I plan to get them to Son3's house this week.  Sigh

I guess I am running from the must do to the maybe wants.  Not even running to anything, just running from.  That happens sometimes in knitting.  It is why I have such a large WIP pile and why it takes so long the last while to get anything done.

I am antsy and I do not like it.  I hope I settle down soon. 
As nice as the pile looks, I would love to have something more than 'tids and bits' (from The Other Sister).

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Not Quite Sure

I had a really long post written on a topic that was so odd , so weird that I can still hardly believe it happened.  I decided that it wasn't really for public consumption and that if I tell you what I said on Ravelry, it is enough.  I said:

"You know how people sometimes say a thing is quite beyond them, meaning they take great exception to it?  Sometimes I am quite the stinker and I agree with them, 'Why yes.  Yes it is quite beyond you.' "

That is it.  I am going to hell in a handbasket.  It will be lined with wool so it will probably be ok.

The next thing up in the list of things I wanted to knit and never started till now, is some Spiderman socks.

I saw these on Ravelry, for the big guys who are Spiderman fans but my fan is a small boy, so, adapt adapt, adapt.  It is the idea that I really needed, so thank you to Rosemary Chapman for making this pair free.

I have no desire to knit colourwork for the small bit of black webbing so I am knitting a plain blue and red sock and will duplicate stitch the webs later.  I may wish I had done it the other way, but I shall leave that particular angst for another day.  I didn't even read the pattern to find out if this is what she does.  It doesn't really matter once you have set your path in motion and your mind made up.  That is how I get into trouble though, isn't it?

So, by the end of tomorrow I will have a bunch of things ready for the house on the other side of the city (Son 3 and family) and will have some pictures ready for you.

If at first you don't succeed,

If at first you don't succeed, keep looking for the right yarn.

I kept digging in the stash in the boxes I knew contained superwash yarns, and after a good search, still had nothing.  It took going to the box of things that were more than just bits and pieces, to find exactly the right thing.  I found some Cascade 220 Superwash.  

I only had 1 part ball each of green, ecru and burgundy red, so I picked one up and started to knit.  I cast on 36, because the first pattern I worked off of said to cast 40 in a dk weight yarn, and this is just slightly heavier than a dk weight.  (If you wanted to follow this, it was a 3.5 mm needle)

And then I just kept knitting till I felt like adding a little colour.  I did that for a while and then knit some lice, and then another perrie pattern.  By the time I got to the second peerie pattern and I was worried about running out of the ecru, plus I was starting to be concerned about the decreases.  

Turns out that winging it and knitting blind worked!  I did not run out of yarn, and the 10 centered double decreases I used every row, perfectly mimic the shape of the hot water bottle. I knit a little ribbing for a collar on the remaining stitches and voila.  There you have it.

1 hot water bottle cozy in a good sturdy soft superwash yarn for Daughter3, whose back hurts pretty steady with the babe.  

Next up, some spiderman socks for a little guy.  


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

And another thing

That could sound ominous couldn't it but I don't mean it that way.  

If I tell you that my relationship to things has changed over the last few months, I am sure you would understand.

One of the hardest parts of this process is that there are so many things to deal with.  Everybody has things that they would hate to part with.  That picture, that lock of hair, those tiny little remnants of a corsage from long ago.  I had the sad duty to go through those things for my Brian and I came to realize that all the little things that were kept by one person, usually won't mean much to another no matter how close we were or how long we lived together.  I have a surfeit of things.

And yet in the oddest way, as I rebuild a life alone, I am faced with the desire to gather the things from my own past, from our shared past, his and mine, ever closer.  

If it wasn't for that desire, I am just not sure that I could explain my desire for this thing. No, not a shared thing.  hahaha.

 This is another volume, Volume 8, of doily designs by Elizabeth Hiddleson, a prolific crochet designer from the 50s and 60s to her passing at 101.

My grandmother had a bunch of these volumes and over the years, I made many many of her doilies.  My cousins wanted the books a few years ago and since they have as much right to them as I do, I sent them on their merry way, knowing that they will be used and loved.  That did not mean that I have not missed them.  Makes no sense I know.  I have not crocheted a doily in a very long while, but...

I watch for these on ebay and Etsy and buy one once in a while.  I pick them up if I see them at the used bookstore or the Sally Ann store.

I am really thrilled to have this volume though.  This volume was one of my favourites.  All small doilies and one that I remember (second from the top, underneath, with the interesting points) making.  It was unusual in its construction.  I gave the one I made to one of my very good friends for a graduation gift.

I have the strongest urge to get out my crochet hooks and find the box of very fine threads and make one of them again.  Very very strong urge.

A doily is a thing out of time in the modern world and yet..., oh how I want to make some.  Maybe they will come into fashion and be necessary again?  Maybe then they wouldn't be just yet another  thing?  Till then I will admire the work of her lifetime and be glad for the memory.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

If all my knitting turned out like this...

I wouldn't have any hair left.

I tried to knit a hot water bottle cover yesterday.  It was going pretty well, but I wasn't going to have enough yarn for it.  I ripped back

I dug into the box with all the middling amounts, the yarns for scarves, for small shawls, for mittens, and found two more balls in different colours that would fit well with my original.  Or so I thought.

The original colours were the green and the multi.  I knew the red ought to work wonderfully, but that still wouldn't be enough.  The brown looks like it should work with the multi and it definetly works with the red.  

All together, 

it looked awful.  It did not matter what I did.   I tried 4 different ways of putting the colours together as stripes and none of them worked.  So, back to the drawing board.  I will start the project with new yarn.  And probably a new pattern.  It can't all go right and I had my 'right' earlier in the day. 

Right was a doggie coat for wee Toby, my sons tiny Yorkie mix.  
This one worked beautifully. Fun to knit too.  No pattern, just a little playing around.

Today looks like errand day but errand day light.  I do hope to join the ladies knitting this afternoon. Looking forward to it.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Number One

I record my socks on Ravelry as a parade of socks rather than posting individual socks.  There have always been too many socks and it isn't like I am making patterned pairs or doing anything fancy. Indeed the last couple pairs haven't eve had heels.  The last few pairs have just been long tubes of lovely warm goodness.  

That is what these are, this first pair of 2014.  Just long tube socks of warm goodness, in one of my all time favourite patterns, Confetti, a Patons Kroy pattern that may or may not be around anymore.

I haven't bought sock yarn with the intention of using it for socks, for a while now.  I keep waiting for something to excite me.  Colours, signs of patterning, something that will be fun and interesting to do.  It isn't that there isn't lots of good stuff out there, it is just that my massive sock yarn for socks stash is really very nice and its hard to compete against it.  I have the creme de la creme of sock yarns from the last 7 years here.  Well, creme de la creme within my particular price point and my favourite colours etc, etc, etc.

Socks to make socks out of are very different yarns than sock yarn to make something else out of.  I have pretty high standards when it comes to sock yarn.  It has to be wash and wear proof.  It can't shrink at the drop of a hat.  It has to wear and the vast majority of them do.  Only a few lines have been regretted over the years, almost all of them because of shrinkage in the washer & dryer. 

After finishing a pair of socks, I always go to the WIP basket and start working on another sock that has been sitting around for a while.  I couldn't do that this time.  There are no socks sitting around partially knitted.  

This hasn't happened since I bought my second pair of sock needles and that took place about two weeks after I bought my first pair of sock needles.  It never happens.

So not only do I get to dig in the sock yarn, I get to start more than one pair.  Colour me happy.  It is going to be a good day.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

What happened to Friday night?

Used to be Friday night was when you stayed up late, went out with friends, did stuff you couldn't do during the week.  Me?  Friday night I went to bed early, which is what I should have been doing all week, but did not.  That is what happened to Friday night.  So...

I hope you don't mind waiting.  It is well worth it.
I am so pleased with this.  I've done other shawls with 2 balls of a Noro sock and haven't been so happy.  I have a green shawl that gets compliments whenever I wear it but it is the yarn that is the beauty, not the shawl itself.  This one will always be the shawl and the yarn, a perfect combination of striking yarn and marvelous simple knitting.

It has texture, it has depth, if has life and is just the right size whether I tie it in front or wear it with tossed around my neck.  It is perfect.

This really makes me want to re-knit the pretty but uninspiring green.  It could be so much more.

Friday, 10 January 2014

A Quickie

Binding off pretty shawl.

Will post delicious pictures later today in update.  Need to finish first.

All of you know how that is.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Newspaper Stuff

I had to stop for a bit and catch up on some reading and what my favourite newspaper guy of all time has been up to.

Joel Achenbach, renaissance man and writer with the Washington Post makes the world come alive for the reader.  It doesn't matter the subject, Joel makes it clearer and more understandable.  He takes complex science and makes it fun. He takes the driest of politics and makes me interested. He takes on garden weeds and baked beans and makes me laugh.  He take words out of the blue and makes magic.  

"It has the same mass as Earth but is more than half again as large, suggesting that it is fluffy, with an extensive atmosphere. " 

Come on.  Admit it.  You want to read about fluffy with extensive atmosphere, don't you?  You just have to find out what is behind that description.


 "One possible source of the cloud droplets is potassium chloride, which she said is pink when in liquid form. “It could be a pink planet,” she said."  

And really after our lovely blue earth, a pink planet?  Well sure!  It drew me in.

(Both from his article dated January 6, 2014 'Super Earths and Mini Neptunes')

He also wrote an article in today's paper , "Hubble Telescope Probes Cosmic Dawn".  Great work at making some pretty far off worlds and some challenging theory make it into my brain. Joel challenges me to learn new things about the world and it doesn't hurt at all.

Science writing for the common man by an uncommon man, who would probably be the first to say he was just an ordinary guy, a common man.  You have to be good to make it read so easily.

I have been reading his work for 14 years now. I can honestly say that Joel always makes it very good. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Just foolin around

I know I said I need to knit socks but I just couldn't do it today.  Today I wanted to work on the shawl.  Maybe I will knit socks on the weekend.  Maybe.

Pssst.   I don't feel much like knitting socks at all.  I had wanted to make the next socks I made be following the patterns in Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks 

The books are packed and though I know where all the boxes are, and they are not that hard to get at, I have no idea which box contains this book.  Sigh.  I ought to have made a more detailed list of what is in each box.  I just noted 'knitting books'.

So a weekend job it is going to be.   Meantime I have the pair I showed you yesterday to work on and I suppose I could go play in the sock yarn stash...

Now that is an idea worth doing!  Sock yarn?  Oh little sock yarn...Mama's going to come and play with you...

Monday, 6 January 2014

What is that thing on the bottom of my foot?

Why is it that holes show up when you are least interested in knitting them?  why is it that I have let my sock drawer once again fall to pieces?

Hot off the soles of my feet and the other sock isn't looking any better.  I took a quick count this morning and I have 4 otherwise good pairs of socks that need darning or re-soling.

It might be time to pick up and knit a pair or two using that Anna Zilborg Free Sole Sock Workshop
I have owned it for a long while and only part watched it.  Time to get to work!

New socks are in order and not just a few. I figure I will need at least 10 pair to restore the sock drawer to good status.  It will help a lot if I find all the missing single socks as we get ready to move, but I won't hold my breath.

 It should be a great year for socks, because I can see a lots of times where large projects are going to be very hard.  I can see months where complexity is going to be impossible.  Maybe.  You never know.

Thinking of socks today takes me back to that first pair and Mr. Needles commenting on my giggling and muttering.  

Socks are in order and I am getting right to it.
Red and peppy.  Perfect winter knitting.  Socks.  Forever socks.


I had such a lovely weekend. I met a friend for coffee in the morning and met a young man whose birthday was Saturday as well and who was exactly 50 years younger than I am.  I do not know why but this struck me as a wonderfully giggly sort of thing.  

Next, my kids surprised me and took me out to dinner and filled my coffee table with flowers: orchids and roses and gerbera daisies and alstroemeria.  So pretty and oh so fragrant! All my kids were there, my babies and small boys and the big girls and boys.  I will see the table full of happy in my  mind's eye for a long time. 

Sunday, I spent the afternoon visiting with my oldest friend, my first friend from grade one. (We didn't have kindergarten.) She understands the knitting thing even though she doesn't knit.  She gardens instead.  Not just the backyard sort.  She runs a greenhouse operation and has had a farmers market stall in the city for decades.  Passions run amok and loving it!   It was so lovely to have them stop and visit. Though I have seen her occasionally through the years, it is rare that I get to sit and have a good visit.

And in and around it all I knit.  

Isn't that the most marvelous thing?  Mr. Noro really hit my mark with this gorgeous colourway.  It is the perfect winter knitting, bright, bold, vibrant and a sure sign that spring will come again. The green and turquoise just punch up the reds and purples and coral-oranges.

I am about a third of the way through ball number 2, and I have set my mind on how I am going to finish this one.  I wasn't sure at first but thought that there would be lots of time to sort that out while knitting it and there was.  

All in all, the loveliest of days.  Better riches than any pennies in the bank.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Things That Make Me Smile

My sister gave me a little pre birthday gift while I was at home before Christmas. She gave me the gift of tea from Davids Tea.

I've not had tea from there before and am really looking forward to it.  BUT...

what I wanted to show you today is the bag she gave it to me in.

It's a neat little hemp bag 

with a smooth sort of lining that should make a nice little knitting bag.  

It might not last forever as some of them will, but it will be the perfect thing for sitting in elegant hotel lobbies with my knitting. Trendy classic.

Not that I will be sitting in elegant hotel lobbies anytime soon, but you know.  One must be prepared.

Thursday, 2 January 2014


Today I will be rejoining the working world.  On a temporary basis until something pops up that works that is more permanent.  It is a start.

I am looking forward to it.  I miss having that structure in my days.  Work provides that framework that actually made for more effective knitting.  Quick hours of knitting in the morning, lunch hour, then the comfort of knitting all evening.  I don't have to feel rushed, if I chose not to.  

I knit on the first of the year shawl for quite a while yesterday and it is moving along nicely.  I did have to rip back because the spine got off line and my brain was not ready to drop it to repair it.  No bother at all, just 8 or so rows.  Not enough to worry about the re=knitting.

Anyway, here is hoping the day is fun!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year, New Knitting

New Year, New Knitting.  Simple elegant, eloquent knitting.

It looks very red on my monitor and it really isn't.  I think it is taking up the background of my reddish wood.  It is actually very black. 

This is a longstanding colourway of Noro Silk Garden Sock, S211.  I have two balls and have not quite decided if both will be used for this.  They might be, because a largish, garter stitch, horseshoe shaped shawl in strong colours always has a place in my wardrobe. I can see me now wearing it over a crisp black shirt.  I am aiming for classy and businesslike with just a touch of saucy eclectic style. Simple garter stitch in a truly stunning yarn and colourway ought to be just abut right.  

Small shawls are so much more fun than costume jewellery which is what they replace in my wardrobe. When I started making small shawls, I was just thinking of interesting ways of wearing knitted goods at work at the store.  It had to stay on during a day where there was a lot of movement. Since my quasi return to office work, these pieces are even better.  The work is the same movements, but in an environment that is a lot more demanding with respect to what you wear.  

Small shawls are right.  They are a touch of colour, a touch of personal style, and a touch of interest on a simple palette. And they are a reminder to me that no matter how tough it gets, there will always be something good at the end of the day.  

I wish you all a lovely, wonderful New Year.  As Neil Gaiman so rightly says:  

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”