Sunday, 30 November 2014

I missed Friday but that is ok

Did you know that Friday can go missing?  Mine did so it felt like the work week was never going to end.  Work work work.  And then magic, Saturday morning!

But it did, and now we have this!

It looks pretty rough but all that is left is the finishing.  One small miscalculation meant I had to get fancy on the shoulders.  I did not make the sleeve holes as deep as I prefer.  And that meant that I had to do 3 rows of garter around the collar instead of the one I planned, because though the sleeve depth was short, the neckline was almost too low. I think I like it better with the 3 rows where I could use all 3 colours even better than the single black row I originally planned. If the saddle shoulder I did to resolve my issue gave me enough room, the crochet will come out on the sleeve edges and will be replaced by a sturdy band of garter stitch, just one row, but one sturdy row.  

There is a lot of finishing,  lots of ends of thick fluffy unspun yarn.  Its going to take some care and attention to weaving in without ripping off too short.  I think I will twist it before I work it.  Might even felt it a little and let it dry before the weaving begins.  

I was out for a Birthday brunch Sunday morning with one of my sons, his birthday, not mine, and on the way home stopped at the fabric store to pick up some buttons.  I thought a lot about buttons for something like this.  I debated a zipper but in my day to day, buttons work better.  They are certainly not the cheaper option.  

I choose a coat style button with a good shank and darkest black or black/brown.  Something solid and simple is needed, I think, for the thickness of the fabric.

I picked up some gros grain ribbon for the button band too.  The Knitmore Grils often talk about knitted things needing the support of something behind the buttons so the button band doesn't stretch and have some video how to's.  I have 2 sweaters where this is absolutely the case and decided quite a while ago, that the next complete sweater, was going to use ribbon to firm it up.

I guess that this is the next complete sweater, so here we go.

Seriously, I expect it will be next week till I can wear it.  Blocking is going to take a while and it needs a good blacking to settle the thick edges and lay everything straight.  But that thick yarny goodness will soon be mine.

Oh and I also did this!

 Next up present wrapping!  I love this time of year.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

From Ikea, right now!

And just in case this isn't exciting enough and your day still needs brightening, I have news.

I wore my sweater inside out all day at work.  

Its all garter stitch and the only seams are at the sides and along the top of the sleeve.  That sleeve seam looks the same on both sides though.  Still inside out.  All day. 

I usually double check.  

PS, when I made this sweater, i swore it was going to be my best laying around at home sweater.  That is what I planned for it, but I love it so well, that I wear it everywhere.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It counts

A little bit of a virus made me leave work early yesterday and its attendant headache kept me home today.  I hope for much better tomorrow.  To every crappy thing, there is always the other side of the coin.  I had time to knit.

I didn't this morning.  I slept but I found myself completely slept out by lunchtime.  I didn't want to stay in bed so I crawled to the sofa and covered myself with knitting, both worn and to be knit upon.

Its been a couple of weeks, since I last worked on it, or at least, last talked about it, but I think I am pleased with the way my heavy warm wool vest is going.  I finished the back a few days ago working a few rows a day, but today, I sat down and did one side of the front.

I will complain about my hands tomorrow no doubt, but for today, they just kept wanting to knit.  Focusing on the knitting and thinking about hands, and resting on and off, meant that I didn't have to think about my headache.  They did not tire till the last 3 rows of garter stitch on the band.  By then I was committed to finishing because I was so close.

Its an interesting way to knit this heavy weight yarn.  The usual is straight up and down with the patterns running horizontally, but I ran into the Heritage vest in a magazine a long time ago, and I always though that was an interesting way of treating the patterning.  I had the yarn in my stash, the big thick chunky Prairie Wool from Custom Woolen Mills.  Its followed me for a while now and no matter where it lived, it was in the way.  That means it was time to deal with it and knit it. 

And so I began, with some wool, some needles and a sort of half baked idea interpreted my way. And I think it is coming out right.  Or close enough to right that it works for me.  It is going to take forever to get the rest of this done, and work is going to be busy for the next two weeks.  

Sigh.  Still I got the better part of a vest out of a sucky kind of day. That counts for something.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A bright new day and a new Twist Collective.

After my sad post I bring you an armful of lovely things.  I want all the things!

First off, I want those plates that say Knit and Purl.  Only I want them in blue and white.

Quiver  Seriously?  I have the yarn.  I have several yarns and they are calling my name.

Mad Dash ?  Yeeeeessss ma'am.

The Dale Ad?  Where can I get my hands on the book?  If anybody knows, seriously?  I.  Need.  To.  KNOW.

And even though, in my sweater-centric world, I usually obsess only over sweaters, Calinda.

And if that isn't enough of a list of things to need, or enough of a challenge to knit, the multi technique Leadlight.  Just  because you can.

And because it is gorgeous.

Usually there is something in an issue that does not warm the cockles of my heart, some small thing that just doesn't catch my imagination.  But not this issue.

No, this issue, I would buy them all.  I wonder if they do a volume discount? (the answer is no because it goes right to the desinger)

Here is to wishing there was a paper copy to drool over and dream on.

A bottle of Asti Spumante and me

Today is my 35 th anniversary.  It is a day where it is a bottle of Asti Spumante and me and if I can find one, a big yellow ribbon.

No one understands these things and how they go together but me. And that is the saddest thing in my world.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Such a zoo

I can count the number of rounds I have knit this week.  Work should not intrude so much on life but it is.  It will be short term till just after the end of the month.  

Meanwhile, I will squeeze knitting in here and there and I will hope that I come through the days with my head in the right place.

I have 15 minutes so I am going to knit.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Because some things are too cute.  The egg kippah! Invented by a friend, Gwyn Fireman.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


I was sitting on the sofa on Sunday and the light was bright and just so exactly perfect.  I was knitting on my red sweater and noticed something.

I knew I was knitting my red sweater with different dye lots.  I sorted the dyelots that I did have and took great care to find skeins that there was no visible difference.  I looked at them in all sorts of light and they were fine.  Sitting there in that oh so perfect light on Saturday? Not so much.

I realized I am going to have to dye it.  Huge drastic differences seen in perfect light mind, but still seen.  I have always known this day would come.  Well, rational realistic me who worked so hard to find close lots knew it would come, but hopeful me, the me that can hide from the truth like nobody's business?  That me had kind of made up her mind she got off the dyelot bandwagon scott free.

So Not.  Dyeing is going to be the last step before finishing this sweater.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Recall how I went to the yarn store?

And do you remember that ball of Gradient from Schoppel that came home with me?

Well, the weekend being swathed in angst about Christmas trees and all, well, I started working on the wristwarmer/fingerless gloves.

I did exactly what I planned.  I split the ball of yarn into two.

Well, two and a bit.  Sadly it only had one section of this seriously fine blue in it.  I am going to have to split that between the two gloves and it may be the thumbs that gain, or the tops of each of the finger bits. We shall see.

Then I took out the books. I checked over the lovely Alice Starmore Aran Knitting book and looked at what I thought I might do.  Then I went to Clara Parkes Book of Wool (the Book of Yarn where the Maine Morning Mitt pattern is, was right below).  I opened it to the section with hats and mitts and voila.  What did I see, but a nice little pattern, all laid out for me.

Sweet Fern Mitts are everything I wanted.  It is a very similar pattern to what I was looking at, the gauge was exactly what this yarn will support nicely and voila!

Who could not fall in love with that.  It is just so right for what I wanted when she asked!  And the yarn is so much nicer than i ever hoped.  Superior crisp lines and edges.  (so much so that even I could see the last two cable sections with the extra row in them, which had to be taken out and reworked.)

If you have never tried working with yarns like this, with their single ply, almost felted look and feel, do consider trying them.  Their little bit firm look and different feel just do certain things (like cables) extra ordinarily well.  I have worked with something with a similar texture once before.  It was a pure silk yarn, but it worked up into the most amazing textured scarf.   

I'm in heaven.  But then when am I not when it is wool?

I need a Christmas tree

Right there.  Did you know that fact and that thought can take up a whole weekend of angst without resolution.  Yeah.  Me neither, but it can.

I need a different tree than before.  My house is small and I would like a narrow one.  There just aren't any big spaces here unless I set it up right in front of the front door.  Which is never a good idea.  I use the back entrance, but you cannot hardly come in with baby seats and kids and families and boots to what is just a little hall way.  Its ok for one but not for 4 with stuff.

Tonight, after work, I am going tree shopping so that this is over.    

I have thought about not putting one up, but I didn't do one last year and not doing one this year sets a precedent I don't want to think about.  Plus I have a lifetime of Christmas stuff I collected and kept and if I don't use it I might as well give it away.  I am not ready for that yet, so...

I need to mark the holidays.  I want to mark them and see them with joy.  

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Because we finally got her to put it on!

When I delivered the cute little hood my my Sweet Thing,  She took one look at it and ran the other way.  I suspect it was because Grandma was trying to put it on her.  When they are two, you have to trick them and let them do it themselves.  Duh.

Cutie Pie!
I think it needs a good warm closer to the head lining but I will talk to mamma today about it.  Or it will fit over her other current hats.  No matter.  Either way it is better than having to get kids to wear a scarf!

The sweater she is wearing is a buy from a second hand store.  its a purchased knit but I do really like the series of patterns in it.  I'm going to take a good close picture of it when she comes to visit this afternoon in case I need to use a nice series of perrie patterns someday.

You just never know.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Friday Happy

Its been a kind of slow quiet week but even so I am completely thrilled that it is Friday.  I am heading out to see my kids on Sunday I think and other than that, hope to do some knitting and get started on that embroidery.

I might even do a little Christmas shopping. We shall see.

I was working on some wristwarmers that my daughter in law asked for earlier this week.   
I love the way it is working out  but...

(Why is there always a but in things?) She wants long ones that go up her arm a ways and would like partial fingers on them and she wants them to be something bright and happy. I can sort out more of the brown but I have only one skein of the orange.  I don't think I have enough of the orange to go very long.  And then there is the fact that by knitting flat to do the intarsia part of this kind of project, there will be a seam right where I don't want there to be a seam.  I am going to keep working on them because they really look great, but they are going to be a simple slit thumb short fingerless warmer.  She will still like them, I know, but here at Chez Needles we aim to please.

I went to the yarn store to see what I could find, because the look she wants demands dk or worsted weight.  I couldn't find anything that spoke to me in that weight in the wool room. Well there was some but I have plans for it.

I had a lovely time and found this.
It is Gradient from Schoppel.  Its one of those interesting singles that seems to be slightly felted.  I am going to have to wind it to see if I get two repeats of it.  I would like to try to be close to matching for these.  I will get as close as I can.

Next step is going to be to pull out the book of wool and get the pattern for Maine Morning Mitts.  I think it will be a great pattern to base these on and change them out to add fingers.  Then the other request for a nice big cable, out comes the Alice Starmore book and away I go.

When I looked at the bag I took away from the store, imagine my surprise to find this.
Now how did that get in there?  Euroflax linen, 650 m.
Yarn stores are my happy place.

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

I finished the bright multi colour hat and I have to admit.  I forgot to take a picture of it!  I hate when that happens.

This is all I will get unless I catch him when he is wearing it.  some notes if you are interested in making one for a 5 year old.

I could have stayed with the original number of stitches.  It would have been fine.  It is still great with 12 less stitches.  Also, I would knit it longer by about an inch for this particular kid.  The fold up brim is going to be a little short.  It should be good at 6.5 inches for a kids head, I had 7 plus the brim and it is ok but not great.

Now, about the sweater and its rolling edge.  Brenda in the comments had some good words of advice. That is good advice and if nothing else works out, it will be taken, but first I will play and fool around. Somewhere along the way, I planned to do a rolling edge, like I did on my blue sweater 

but I didn't want the width.  It would have beaten the roll to be sure.  I don't know where I changed paths, but it may very well have had something to do with the fronts width.  I don't really want overlap and I set it up so that the button band had to be minimal.  Right from the start I was thinking of a hook and eye type closure.  I wanted whatever I did to be a single theme all around the edge.  

  The one thing I didn't like with the blue sweater was my choice to do a garter stitch bottom.

Anyway, somewhere along the line, I think my actual plan, if one layer of i-cord isn't enough, was to knit on another layer of i-cord.  

Or fishing weights.  Time will tell and I think it will be an adventure to get it right.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

and a hat

This could be a repeat of last week, though the hat is a little different.

I was digging in the yarn box for something colourful.  My daughter in law wants a pair of wrist warmers with the half fingers. (Or do the half fingers make the fingerless gloves?) when I came across this fantastic skein of yarn, Jitterbug from Colionette IIRC.

the label is in the box but I didn't feel like digging for it to confirm.  Isn't that just the most brilliant colours?  I love it.  I do remember when this came to the store.  They were so brutally bright but I just had to have one.  That happened a lot at the store to me.    Open a box and fall in love?  Every single time.

Anyway, this might work for my 5 year old fellow.  It does have all the requisite colours, blue orange, green a sort of red and a sort of purple and with the stripes of plain to set it off, some black. I suspect it might be too blue but we shall see.  I am using the same brilliant Watch Cap pattern.  

Still, to be sure I get one of these hats exactly right, I have started a hat in orange, just a nice colourful orange sock yarn.  I will get it right one of these days.  I hope.  

Time enough in the next couple of days to finish these up and get them over to my guys.  And then to do the embroidery for the sweater.  And to sleeves.  Forever and for always, sleeves!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

And again

I cannot say how it feels to tell you this.

Sleeves.  I know.  

But its a good thing.  I finished the edging and button bands on the sweater.  Just a nice, simple rolling edge.  
Forgive the craptastic photo.  The picture is just a little fuzzy, but the little i-cord edging is just the right edging to sit alongside the small cables. My only reservation about the edging is that by taking it all around, collar, bands, hem, it looks great but, it might not be a heavy enough bottom to counter act the rolling of the stockinette.  The only way to know is after the blocking and we are not there yet.  

Fishing weights?

We shall see.

Friday, 7 November 2014



And that is that.

I started hat two, and came up with a brilliant idea.  I played a while ago with a technique that worked for knitting in the round.  This hat is going to be perfect for something that needs to be orange and black and yellow and red.  Somewhere in the stash I think I have a ball of solid orange that will go with the ball of solid black.  Then, floating through the hat, as I knit up, there will be squares of other colours.  Square dots of red, and black and yellow and black, and an orange faux isle.

I am debating about staying with the ribbed watchcap pattern.  It fit so gosh darn well, and really is the perfect feeling fit for a boy. 

I guess I have this weekend to sort it out.  And to figure out the technique of the intarsia in the round.

It's a puzzle to figure out and I love knitting puzzles!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The joy lies in doing.

The quote on my side bar this morning is "The souls joy lies in doing"  from Percy Bysshe Shelley

Oh so true.  Though I hate having to rip back a project and I hate the waste of time lost when you have to do it, I love the idea that you can do it again, that it is all knitting.  That is the point.

Not that I had to rip back or anything.  The hat is going well, and fits nice on my guys head.  He agrees that it felt nice even though he really wants and orange and yellow and red and black hat.  That hat is up next.  He did say he would wear it till I get the next one ready.  

I hope to have the next one ready before he gets the next hat.  The weekends work is going to be seeing if I can complete a hat this weekend.  If I knit fast enough.  I am heading out fro brunch so smack in the middle of everything, I will get a break, but I expect intense and knitterly.

I hope for a hat too.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I spent last evening working on hats.  its getting chilly here and I have one fella that I haven't knitted anything for yet.  So this hat has got to get done as soon as possible.  And I am making some headway.

Decreases!  This is just the Perfect Reversible Watchcap, the perfect boy hat in shape and I think function.  Guys of all ages want simple and this is.  It fits close and it is a quick knit.  Even if it did take me many more weeks than it ought if you go by the calendar.  

Because he wasn't completely committed to this purple, I am going to knit a couple others, on with oragnes and the other with yellow.  And there might just be another down the road too, till he gets a hat he likes to wear.  Because when you are 5 you have to like it to wear it.

As I was sitting there, at the end of my knitting evening, I took some pictures of the stuff at my feet.

I always knew that, left to my own devices, the knitting would take over the world.

I can still make it to the sofa, though that is only because the coffee table is there.  Yup, knitting is taking over my world.  

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Nest Steps

 My wee house has high ceilings and I love, love, love this. BUT
the fixtures really weren't well thought out.  The light bulb needs replacing and with the complex cover, and high ceilings, I need a full size step ladder and one of my tall sons. Till one of them can get over here to assist, my study is in the dark.  Anything that I do in here has to be done during the day or be doable in lamplight. Thankfully, the wool room has its own light.

Sunday, I spent some time digging out the things I need for part two of this sweet little sweater.
And they look like this.

Embroidery thread, some transfer patterns a tracing pencil, and some tea towels.  The only thing I could not find was my embroidery hoop. Its just a small one, and it could be tucked anywhere.  I've decided to give up and go pick up a new one.  

The flour sack tea towels?  No they are not the fabric I plan to use for the trim.  At least I don't think so.  There is a long history of using this fabric here for dresses.  Maybe it was a Western Canadian thing, but the sacks used to come in pretty coloured gingham and it was a good sturdy fabric.   It might be exactly right for my Cassie to wear something so blended in tradition and old and new.  There is some linen that was brought back for me from Ukraine that would work too.  Yes, I have choices even here.

Mostly though, I took out the towels to practice.  I have a feeling that I am going to need some practice before my needlework is ready for pretty little flowers and stem stitch. It is years and years since I did any amount of embroidery and I want it to look splendid against the sweater.

There are so many things I want to do and it finally feels like I have the time to do them and try them all.  Or at least start thinking about them.

You gotta start somewhere.    Thinking seems like a good place.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Hats and...

I woke up Saturday morning and went out early to do my errands.  I have to do this more often.  The grocery stores are empty at 8 a.m. and I ended up buying only what was on my list.  Yay me. Plus I got those peripheral things like 2 little garbage cans, and a snow shovel before all the snow shovels are gone from the store.  By purchasing the snow shovel, I have now single-handedly made sure that it won't snow till Christmas.

And then, when all the work was done, I sat down to knit.  Well not all the work.  You know how it is.

First up I knit sleeves.  hahahaha.  Yup more sleeves.  But I now have a good basic black sweater, with 3/4 sleeves.  I am so pleased that I didn't wimp out on renovating a sweater that was ok, in a yarn I loved.  Had I not really loved the yarn, it might have been different, but I am glad I stayed the course.  With the heavy collar and short sleeves, it was a wear last kind of sweater, but it has been completely transformed into a wear first sweater.  I would take a photo, but it is black and I couldn't get anything where you could see more than, yup, it is black.

What to knit next?  I decided that there has been one thing that I have been avoiding lately, and that is hats.

I need to finish a hat for Sir Isaac.  He didn't like my first try

 so I pulled it back to before I started the stripes.  I think what I am going to do is knit him one purple hat, and then knit an orange hat and a yellow and black hat and a ...well a bevy of hats.

I have one question though.

How many is a bevy?