Friday, 29 May 2015

A little texture in life

I've had a large bag of yarn at my feet for a while now.  It was taken out of its container before I moved and a sweater was begun.  I was never quite happy with the i cord cast on it began with, and it just never felt right to me.  A few weeks ago, I ripped everything back and set it aside.  The yarn never made it back to the wool room though.  It just sort of sat there.

I love the colour.  Its taupe, that hard to deal with changeable creature, with an undertone of black.  It will look fantastic with all the black in my wardrobe. 

I've also been thinking a lot about twisted stitches.  I found a twisted stitch swatch from a class I took at KnitLab last year when I put up my swatch board, and I keep wandering over to it just to admire its ordered sort of cute.

I have also had this book out all winter.  
 The Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters.  I love this series of Anne Budd books.  To knit a sweater where you make all the decisions.  Delightful.  It takes me back to the old sweater wheel that I have. I used it to knit my first sweater ever so long ago, in the time before I really was a knitter.

There is a sweater in the book with just a touch of twisted stitches that I have long admired.  A Twisted Little Raglan is a simple raglan with a wide open neckline.  I hope it suits me because

that taupe yarn was just crying out to be something like this.  I have made a small adjustment to make that wide neck a henley type.  I think that will suit me better, and I hope the wide neck means that the raglan won't be so obviously raglan but will appear more vertical as it does in the book.

Poor wee Toby is well recovered from his chill.  He is chipper and bouncy and quite himself again.  He is sitting on the wide window ledges in the sunshine, admiring the view.  And barking at everything.  I think his boys are back home today.  He is going to be the happiest pup in the world and my wee home will be quiet again. I have loved having him, but it is always nice getting back to my routine.  

Thursday, 28 May 2015


When I tucked my wee visitor into his kennel last night, I should have thought.

I keep my windows open.  Without a basement, it is the only way to cool things off enough to make it through the hot days.  Daytimes, they are closed, and are not opened again till the heat is waning.  Last night was cool.  About half the windows were closed or only open a very small bit because of the threat of rain.  I thought that would be enough, but wee Toby may have had a bit of a tough night.

He was reluctant to come out of his kennel and when he did, it was only to go curl up on the couch where the blankets are piled for him.  I was wearing a shawl, so I tucked that over him, poor thing, and put another blanket on top.  

I ought to have tucked something over top his kennel.  Even just a towel on the top would have made a huge difference, I think.  I probably ought to have just kept him with me last night.   

He has warmed up and seems none the worse for wear, though he does seem to like sitting under the blankets.  

I am no different.  I am swathed in knitwear and intend to stay that way.  A good hearty stew will go into the oven shortly and will cook slowly till dinner.  The heat the oven throws is going to be most welcome by Toby and me.

It might be a good day to bake some bread...just to stay warm.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Small moves

Magrathea was knit on yesterday.  Much progress and in the most amazing turn of events, you can actually tell that I have used some of the yarn.  It's a very large densely packed ball and until now, you could barely see where the centre pull was coming out of.

 One of the reasons I chose this pattern was that she defines how much you need to knit the last chart of the pattern and I really do want to used up every possible millimetre.  I will knit till it is about 30% of its starting volume but it already fairly long, as you can see.  Blocking is going to make this grow substantially.  The yarn just has that feel and I can't wait to see the end result.

While there is a fair bit of knitting going on, there is lots of other stuff happening too.  I sat on my deck and planned out some changes to the area immediately surrounding it.  It is crying for more green and the deck, while I love its sunny open charm, gets hot.  I have been thinking that planting hops to climb the rails and provide just a little lush greenery might be the ideal way to keep it open but provide some cool shade to the deck floor.  Hops are a great climber.  They don't take over everything and when they die back each fall, the soft non woody stems are easy to dispose of.  Personally though, I would leave them till spring to catch the bonus of frosted hops blooms through the winter.

I also would love to have some roses. There are so many wonderful hardy varieties and my sunny home just begs for their lush scented blooms.  I would also love to see some lilacs here.  Though I would love to have the old fashioned lilacs, a slip from the house would grow a very large shrub that I might not have room for.  It might be that I would do better with one of the new small varieties.

I doubt I will plant this year.  This year, I will take out the grass and make the soil clean.  That was always my trouble before.  I moved too fast and did not kill out the grass.  I will take my time now and make it work right.  Working up this year, making nice clean edges without having to resort to pricey edgings,  and then planting next year.

Big changes in the long run.  Small moves each year.  

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Things I am supposed to do

I was always a bit of a rebel, and the things I am supposed to do are almost always the things I am currently avoiding doing.

I bought a few yard things, a hose,  sprayer nozzles, a sprinkler and a place to hang them all.  Now I have to hang them and put them to use. There are also a few things in the house I should hang; some pictures, some shelves, a cabinet in the bathroom.

Used to be that I was avoiding these things.  Today, not so much.  They are looking good to get done.  

I am putting a whole lot of mental effort into avoiding knitting Carter's little sweater.  I just have to laugh at this.


Monday, 25 May 2015

In the company of rasta and fratch

You know how you are knitting along and you are having an otherwise seriously great day, and then you realize you have done the stupidest thing but you really don't want to fix it because it looks so nice as is?


I started another wee Envelope sweater, this time for my sweet bee, Carter.

 This is the first photo I took, just to check the colours.  I love this combination and I sincerely love working with this yarn.  If there was a desert island yarn for babies and kids, I would make sure this was on the list.  Baby Bamboo from Sirdar and Sirdar Smiley Stripes, both wool and bamboo blends.

If you see a little seam like thing, as I did after the photo, you will assume it is said seam.  It is not.  Apparently, I changed from knit to purl each of these rounds without the blink of an eye.  I ought to have stopped right there and fixed it.

 I did think about it.  I wanted to see how the blue section of the Stripes yarn would look against the solid blue.  I needed it to show up and it does, just enough to make it work.  By the time, I got to see how it looked, I had forgotten about the blue and just kept motoring along.

And then I missed a couple of things.  Those couple of things meant that the back was started on the wrong side and that I missed taking out the underarm stitches.  Awareness hit after the whole back yoke was knit and I was trying to sort out the front pickups.  Now remember, this is a wee baby sweater, so it isn't a huge amount of knitting, but it is just so cute.  And I am just so lazy. I let it percolate most of yesterday.

I decided to pick up the stitches for the front, as if I had done everything right, and was thinking about those not cast off underarm stitches.  I could just cast off, and  have the 'seam' be a little rotated off of the base of the arm.  It would mimic the kind of sleeve setting that really well made clothing has, where the seam of a sleeve, sits off the seam of the seam of the body of the garment. It could work, right?

And then I did this.

In order for all this to work, I had to pick up the stitches in the colour that my live stitches were for the front yoke. As you can see, I did not.  The pick up ought to have been blue.  It is creamy green, almost celadon.  This kind of error is usually a message.  There is no way to get past this wrong colour.  My hands are sending me a message.  'Stop.  Think about this', the hands are shouting, only the conscious brain attached to the hands, doesn't want to see.

This morning my closest companions are rasta and fratch.  I don't want to reknit the yoke.  It's stripes with the attached i-cord are a little fussy, and I am pretty pleased with the way it looks.  Because of all my other mess of stupid things, a possibility exists, that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be hard to sever the sleeve and pick it up again and knit down.  

I would establish the stitches for the sleeve on the yokes, and because the yokes are two completely separate pieces of knitting, could add those missing underarm stitches that I ought to have cast off, making the sleeve just the smallest bit larger at the top. Come to think of it, if I treated those missing stitches as a gusset, as you would on a gansey....  

Or I could do the smart thing.  I could get over my lazy and rip it all back and start over, fixing every single error along the way.  

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Morning has Broken

Morning broke here today. It was utterly unexpected and desperately desired.  I didn't think it would ever be mine again.

Many would think silence is heavy and lonely but the world isn't silent, even miles from any other living human being. I loved living in the forested place we did, because of what I could hear right outside my window.  

I loved camping for that same deep listening experience.  Early in the morning, I would find a sunny spot and would sit and just listen to the forest waking up.  Brian always asked what on earth I was doing all day and did I even leave the campsite.  I was listening, I would explain. I would close my eyes and just listen to the wind through the tree tops, to the birds, to the small and insistent sounds of bees, to the chatter of squirrels, to those splendid occasions when I would hear the calf elk call for their mammas.  

His connection to the world was active and sound was part of his active and mine was a more passive experience, but camping worked for both of us.

Since that awful summer when he died, my world has been filled with noise.  I needed to turn on TV in every room I am in.  I needed the sound even to sleep.  TV and its chatter were my white noise, stemming conscious awareness of all the thoughts I just could not resolve that whirled in my head. 

The last week or so, I caught myself sitting here in front of my computer, with no other white noise.  I was surprised each time it happened, but it never really hit me how different that was.

Then this morning,  I poured my coffee and sat down and started knitting.  I didn't even think about adding tv.  

It's one of those perfect mornings of late spring, where the world is quiet of human noise and the sun is shining.  Its just bird call and soft breezes and I caught myself just sitting, hands stilled, completely immersed in the sounds.

It's been so long.

**In case you need a little boost without the busy of human noise,

Friday, 22 May 2015

I have always been a reader.  There were long parts of life where my definition of myself was reader.  I know that when I moved, I had almost as many boxes of books as I do yarn.

It has been a long time since I read a book and could not put it down.  Putting it down has been the hallmark of my reading style the last few years.  To read, I had to be regimented, a little like practising scales for piano lessons.  I had to make time and say, I will read now.  When I was younger, I read because I did not know how not to. I had to read.  If I wasn't reading, then I wasn't really there.  

It started Wednesday afternoon.  Then, yesterday was like that.  I picked up a book that I have read a hundred times before and just slurped it in.  The book was in my hand through the whole day and I couldn't not read it.  

I have been a little worried about reading.  It was such a different thing the last few years and I worried that I wasn't going to get it back.  I thought that perhaps, I had changed and become a grazer of books, stopping here and there, but not really diving in head first becoming enmeshed not so much by the story, but by the experience of reading.

Yesterday, I became enmeshed with an old friend that I worried was long gone only it wasn't.  It was right there waiting for me.  That was such a huge relief, such a huge joy.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

This Weeks Forecast

The May long weekend is considered the beginning of summer here. Gardens go in.  All the campgrounds open.  Things are turning green.  We hope. A new week, a new season ought to be marked by something new and after all the kiddie things, I needed a little something for me. There will be more kiddie things later.

 My good friend brought me this yarn back from a trip to Halifax.  Its a Fleece Artist BFL 2/8 which is just about my favourite yarn.*

The plan is to knit every inch I possibly can of this delicious yarn so I wanted a pattern that would allow me to do that.  I also wanted a pattern that would be interesting but not painful.  I just can't deal with complexity.  Heck, right now, I can barely remember where my coffee cup is, so interesting and simple seemed to right place to be.  

There is no better place to look for interesting and simple than Martina Behm's Strickmich!  I bought a few of her patterns a while ago, when she had a special on for Knitmore Girls  podcasts and looking through those, found Magrathea.  

And it is quite perfectly interesting and simple and I love knitting it.  It isn't that there aren't challenges.  There are.

There have been several times where I had to pull back and redo a set of rows.  There are two that are a little close in a particular pattern element.  If I set the thing down, it can be hairy as in scary! Since I started placing a marker right at the point where the few stitches are cast off, it has been much, much easier and now that I know where my particular difficulties will lie, I can knit a little easier.

Its always that way for me.  Understand a problem, and then slay it.  I don't know that my problems are quite slayed.  There will probably be more times where screwing up will walk closer by my side than I care for, but I know what too look for and that pleases me.

I have a wee companion with me for a few days.  

Toby's duck came for a visit, and just happened to bring his wee master.  The master is a little more work than the duck is, but both are very good company!

I planted flowers on my deck on Tuesday and did my shopping yesterday.  The sun is out.  My house is more or less tidy.  I have nothing important (that I remember) to do.  My forecast for the rest of the week, is Knit.  Knit.  Knit. 

* It should be noted, that at all times, yarn, all yarn, or anything that could even be considered as yarn, is my favourite yarn.  This is a constant source of surprise to me.    

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


I love finishing things.  Finishing the knitting that is.  Actual weaving in the ends and such?  Less so. I have that lovely top still to sew seams on and that has been waiting a good many weeks!

This little sweater has exactly the right amount of pooling to be perfect.  I wish that effect could have happened on the sleeves too, but it won't happen till you hit the sweet spot on the yarn.

Its really quite the thing for a little girl who is shiny and bright and who loves being silly.

In spirit, It matches the sweet little envelope sweater for her brother.

 Alegria.  What a sweet pair!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A little something that got finished on the way.

I usually have socks going on though for a while, socks were hardly ever on my radar.  The last few months I feel as if I landed on my feet, which is a good thing, if you are talking socks.

These are a good basic toe up sock with just a few differences than my usual.

The usual - Garter square toe knit on 4 dpns.  

The different - Garter stitch short row heel, which I have done before many times before, but I doubled these to see if that will add to the life of the heel before I need to repair it.

The completely not usual - There is patterning here!  I never do patterning, but I was knitting these when I was still working, and was so utterly miserable in the job, that I needed something special, something to look forward to as I knit.  I know.  A pattern on the cuff of your sock shouldn't be the only big thing in your day, but it seriously was.    A nice easy, toe up no purl version of the Monkey sock patttern by Cookie A and Knitty  and based on Jennifer O'Sullivan's Crazy Monkeys variation.

My first just for me pair, though I have knit many more than this!

Now its time to go digging in the sock yarn bin to see what is there that is new and fun to beef up the sad worn state of my sock drawer.  I love socks and it's time to start something new!

Friday, 15 May 2015


I have been a little distracted lately, distracted by this. 

Such a mass of wonderful things, isn't it? This is the remains of a road trip I took with a good friend.  

We went south.  There is a great place in DeWinton, south of Calgary.  Shuttleworks.  They sell looms and wheels and oh my goodness, they are just chock full of good stuff.  It's a very inspiring place to be!  They carry huge stock of things for weaving; linens, cotton linens (two white spools and the navy)silk, and coned goodness of several wonderful wools.  They carry a good range of Brown Sheep yarns, though not quite every line that Brown Sheep makes.  They do carry every yarn that Briggs and Little makes, and for each yarn line that they carry, they keep every colour in stock too.  this means that no matter what you want, they can do a sweater quantity.

The Shuttleworks haul:
 Briggs and Little Sport.  Short sighted people would call this brown.  As you can see, it is so much more than brown.
 Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in a fantastic colour called Cherries Jubilee.  It's rich reds and moves to soft rose.  Sadly, in this light, I can't seem to get a good colour photo.
 Cotlin that is about a laceweight for I have no idea what but I just felt I needed some, if you know what I mean.
  And a mass of long English Leicester locks dyed the most rich brilliant colours.  

Our second stop was at Custom Woollen Mills.  They have posted their new summer hours so if you stop, make sure you see it.

I love these yarns.  
 This is the Mills new sock yarn.  Its so amazingly soft.  I haven't quite decided if I want to do a good heavy pair of socks out of it, or if its going to be a soft wonderful shawl.
And two of the Prairie Wool 2 plys.  A little something in a shawl out of these.  

I also picked up the darker Alpaca and Wool 2 ply that I used for the border of this shawl.

And then because we travelled on a Thursday, we had time to hit the lovely little shop in Lacombe, Crafty Lady.  

  I picked up pure silk there.  Maharashtra Silk, made in India. that is my only treat from Crafty Lady.  Next time we stop there first!

Every once in a while, you have to do something very different,  Just for the heck of it. Even if it is a distraction.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

After an Envelope

After the wee Envelope last week, it was time to start something for his big sister.

I had this fantastic skein of yarn, another Alegria
in bright neon colours.  

Because my sweet Cassie is growing like a weed, I need this sweater to last a while and my lone skein of brilliant won't quite get there.  I needed to add a plain, not just for accent, as I did for her little brother's sweater, but to make sure that it was going to last.

I originally thought to set it off against black, but like often happens, black is just too hard.  I tried a heathered gray, but that was utterly wrong.  I sort of set my mind to use the navy that I used for Marcus' sweater.

Navy was ok, but it wasn't special.  I dithered. I waffled.  And then I remembered I had some purple.  In my head this left over purple Smooshy should work but when I wound the yarn into a skein, I was not so sure.  I dithered and waffled some more.

Insert basket here.  That is what was going on when I made that wonderful basket. Waffling and dithering.

And then it was time to settle down and just try it.  You never really know till you try it.

It's really eye poppingly perfect. 

I have actually knit it to the underarms 3 times now.  Once I had to pull back right to the start, to open the neck line up a little more.  I am still not sure that I have it where I want it, which is a more open neckline than usual, but it is going forward anyhow.  Because after 3 times, well, that is enough. Another time I had to restart because I realized I had forgotten the button holes.  If you are going to knit a sweater and you are planning on buttoning, not zippering, then you really ought to have buttonholes.

Its going to be just an ordinary long sleeve sweater.  I want to knit those and get them done so that I can knit up every inch of the colour to hopefully get an a-line mid thigh, long, little girl swirl of colour.  

Big dreams, and with a little luck, enough yarn.  But it is ok.  I have a plan if it isn't as long as I hope.  It's such a cute plan, I almost hope my original plan doesn't work out!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I was supposed to be on my way to Saskatoon

but my cold is coming back.  or it is extending.  Or it isn't a cold and I have to go see a doctor.  Pick one of the above.  I don't want to spread this germ around so I am staying at home.

So its on to the next thing I have been working on.

My dear Auntie Doris asked for another of the fan scarves I made a few years ago for her.  She is very allergic to animal fibres so silk, cotton, acrylic and linen are my options. Linen isn't quite the right fibre so it is out and acrylic is only going to be right if it is very smooth.  

I have been focusing on silk for warmth but I have some nice cotton too.  Cotton, nice and thick and hefty, can be soft and warm, even though it cannot compare to wool. I have been assembling some fibres and yarns that might work.

I came across a non repeating fibre from an east coast dyer at my LYS that was 70 % silk and 30% sea cell.  It was about a DK weight yarn so I thought I would try it.

The colours are really deep and rich blues and greens, though I am having a truly difficult time getting a good photograph of it.  This is from last week.  See how wonderfully well the yarn is holding the fan and ribbing?  

I have finished it now, with its two elegant fans.  the pattern is the Fan Neckwarmer by Tania Marshall.  I am going to try through the day today to see if I can get a better picture where the blues are not so washed out.

Well, a decent phot, but still sadly lacking from the true richness of the colours.

It's practically the perfect little coat scarf and I will make more of these in the future.  Maybe even one for me!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

And then...

Ta da!

And there it is.  A great big basket.  At the bottom of the basket is the 2 full bags of 10 skeins each of the yarn for this blanket.  Its a nice big basket and just what I was aiming for.

I completed 3 tiers of the pattern.  I was planning to go one higher to use up all the yarn, but once I had the third set of patterning done, it was clear that to go higher would have made it less versatile.  The scale would have been all wrong.  So 3 it is.  

 Then, to finish off nice and crisp, I did an extra 2 rows of single crochet, decreasing every 10 (round 1) and then every 7 stitches (2nd round).  I did that so it would be less floppy and for the added density to the top edge.  And then, as you can see, I finished off with a loop of chain stitches. 

Pretty pleased with this little diversion from everything else.  Put a little pep in my step and boosted my desire to knit just as much as I can.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Some days

Some days I have nothing to say and others, I think I have a weeks worth of things that need to come out.  Still, I ought to proceed in an orderly fashion...or not.  

What with one thing and another, the other being that it has not taken too long to do my daily bit of work on the basket, I have been spending a lot of time winding yarn lately.

I may very well leave this set up for a while.  I moved a chair when I was cleaning the desk and do I ever like it that way.  I can sit in the kitchen at the table and see the tv while I am winding and that has proven to be a real bonus!  

The winding that I am doing is winding for the next things to be knit.  And the thing after that.  And after that.

So, that is the first thing in an orderly fashion.  Time to go sit in the sun and count my blessings.  Time to knit.  Time for coffee.

Oh, I will squeeze a little laundry in and some housework but the biggest part of my day today is going to be spent taking the time I have in this life and I will waste it wisely. We all need more days to do this.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Guilt Free?

I still feel a little guilty and unfaithful to knitting, but I am having an enormous amount of fun with it!
This is where I got to yesterday when I had to stop working on it.  It is not possible for me, working tightly as I am here, to go fast or long.  It could get very hard on my arm, and I am smart enough to know when it is time to stop without injuring myself.  

This morning I did a little more

and that is enough for today.  I completed on entire tier of the pattern, and am very pleased with that.

But yesterday, what with finishing for the day before 9 a.m., I was left with an awful lot of day to fill.  I thought about going out but every single time I leave my house, one way or another, it costs me money and I am trying to be money smart.  So, how to entertain myself for the rest of the day?

Well, I will tell you.  Bear with me.  It's a long story, but this is how things happen around here.

Brian and I managed to collect a fair number of prints as we went to dinners and auctions for the things that were important to him.  Framed prints went very cheaply on the silent auctions, so we felt part of our job was to play bidding up games. It was a way to help the organisations and take a little something fun home to remember the evening.  I had a lot of framed prints.  A lot.  And one unframed print.

That one unframed print has always bugged me.  I really liked it, but just never got around to framing it.  It was such an odd size.  I didn't know where on earth I would hang it here and I really didn't want to spend the money getting it done.  It sat unloved, behind the wee desk.

Enter thing two, sitting unloved and behind stuff.
Years ago, Brian and I picked up an old fashioned, maple gun cabinet at a garage sale and converted it to the a display unit. When I moved, I took off the door and added a few more shelves and keep part of my cookbook collection on it.  I didn't want to get rid of the door, because, well, you know.  It just felt wrong.  So the door sat tucked beside the bookcase in the living room.

It occurred to me one day last winter, that the very simple door, would make a good frame.  I thought about putting a collage of my grandkid's pictures in it, along with the silly pictures of their dad's youths.  I thought about putting Brian's flower pictures in it.  A hundred different things, but none felt right.  

I debated putting the unframed print in it too, but just didn't want to spend any money to get the print  mounted, nor to have the massive mats it would require, cut.  When my sister visited me, we were talking about her scrapbooking and that got me thinking about photo mounts and corners and nifty things you can do with scrapbooking stuff.   Photo corners were too small for a print of this size, but why couldn't I make my own corners?  Then the thought sort of sat a while.

Enter thing three.  I have a quilt top that is ready to be quilted.  I think I mentioned that, back when I sorted out my bedroom and hung my pretty flower print? Or not, but the top is flowery and pretty and will suit my bedroom.  Plus I have pure wool batting for it.  I thought I might pull that out and do a little prep work to assemble it and set it up for the quilting.

I did some reading about assembling quilts and found that many people used a spray adhesive to hold things in place till you can baste it together.  I knew I had some repositionable adhesive somewhere in my crafty things.  I went digging.  Sadly, it was the wrong kind for how I wanted to use it, but...

It was exactly the right kind for adhering home made photo type corners to glass.  

My envelopes had a blue interior and I was a little distressed that the colour shows through, but not enough to go out and buy more envelopes. The relatively large size of the frame is really the best thing about all this.  The soft buttercream yellow of my walls looks stunning as a 'matting'.  

I love how this worked out. I did not have to purchase anything.  Nothing.  Not a single dime and I have a really nice print framed and ready to hang.  Completely free!

After all of this, I knit just the smallest bit so even the guilt was gone. 
Guilt Free Me!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Slacking off continues

I don't know why, but sometimes when I do something besides knitting, I feel as if I am doing something illicit.

That is what yesterday felt like.

I had to do a bit of a stash dive.  I needed some purple for Cassie's next sweater, and I wanted to see if I could find some pink cotton and silk for a dress bodice for her.

I dived and found everything, but came out with some extra too.

 I have had these large skeins of cotton for a long time.  I bought them to make a table runner and placemats a long time ago.  I started making the runner on my loom, and did about half of the length I would have needed for the table.  And then I did not need that anymore.   What the heck do I do with it?

Well, there are always baskets.
So yesterday, I started working on another basket.  I am using the same basic pattern as the other baskets I made, the Crocheted Stash Basket from Purl Soho, available now only as a Ravelry download, but still free.

Once again, the bottom of mine is not smooth.  I think its one of those fine points of crochet;  I am too loose or I am too tight.  I think I am too tight here, but oh well.  Its the bottom of a basket and I am not about to worry about it.

After this one is done, I am going to make a few organizers too.  I'd like a basket for my socks, something large and that takes up a third of my drawer, so I stop losing socks under everything else in that drawer.  I might make a few other smaller baskets just for fun.  We shall see how much yarn I have and how long this impulse to crochet baskets lasts.  

But it kind of feels as if I am stealing time from my knitting.  Silly isn't it.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Knitting little

Lest I get ahead of myself, and because apparently even though my head wants to finish that top, my hands don't, I knit very little yesterday.

Yesterday was devoted to corners.  Now you could assume that a household that has only been lived in for a year shouldn't need corner cleaning, but in truth, the corners are where the last 'stuff' most needs cleaning out.

I have this lovely little desk by the front door.  Up till now it has been hidden behind a chair so it only ever got used to toss things at when I walked in the front door. It was so stuffed that I couldn't even close its delightful little roll top. (The roll top is the entire point of the wee desk.) And now, voila!  tidy and clean and ready for the next onslaught of 'stuff'.

I discovered things that don't belong to me, but to my boys.  And really they are old enough to have their own things.  I just don't need them.  

I discovered  some things that made me cry a little.  Stupid little things that just don't mean anything in the grand scheme of life, but are unique and precious to me because they are part of the before.  

I did knit a little in between but mostly I worked on this.  I may have spoken of this, but not much.  It doesn't even have a Ravelry page yet.
 A great big Granny Square afghan. I made one years and years ago, and it quickly became contentious because several guys wanted it.   He won and they still have it.  So I will make another just for me.

I am making this in Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool, a lovely heathered red wine heather colour.  I plan to make it be only a lapghan size, just big enough to cover my legs and mostly my feet on a chilly evening.  I have shawls for my shoulders and what I really need has to be small enough so I can knit without being hampered by blankety excess.

It is a mix of solid rounds and filet rounds.  I am on the last of this set of solid rounds, and I know there will be at least one more set of three rounds of filet, and another set of solid rounds before I bind off, but beyond that, I am just going to work slowly till it tucks nicely beneath my toes.

I started with 24 balls of this yarn.  That is way more than any sensible person needs to purchase for a sweater, but we all know that sense has seldom been applied to moi and yarn, without fits of giggling.  I am on the 6th ball so far, and I can see using 3 or 4 balls more for sure.  Beyond that, its hard to say.  the size of the blanket needs to be right, but I am starting to feel an equal desire for a wearable in this colour.

Anyway, that is what is up for this snowy chilly day.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

I think I want this done.

A couple weeks ago, I put the WIP bin in my livingroom.  Its a big plastic thing and it irritates my sense or proper in no uncertain terms, but I dig in it when I want to knit a little something different.  And can you guess what is happening?

The WIPs in the bin are being addressed.

For instance.  

I started it just as I was about to panic that I didn't have anything to wear to a niece's wedding in July of 2013.  I thought I would have time to knit a top in case I couldn't find anything else.

My concept was a wrap type sweater.  I had plenty of yarn so I started.

I look back at this picture and this project and how neat that desk is, back in the old study and I wondered when I started it. Ravelry says May 18.  So this is a project from before.  Before the world went nuts.   It is such an odd thing, to have a life so divided by before and after, but there it is.

I have knit on this sporadically over the last two years.  I've done a fair bit this winter when nothing else was interesting and yesterday, I took it from 'is it ever going to be done' to ' how long does it need to be'.  Its is 14 inches now, and I think I will take it to 16 and then hope for the last inch from the growing of the fabric as it relaxes into the base of each stitch.  This is where a washed and weighted swatch would have been a really good idea.

Anyway, this is where it is at and I am really hoping that concerted effort means that it is substantially complete by days end.

Obviously there will be button bands and oh dear sweet mother of mercy, what kind will work on this fabric?

Sigh.  I don't think I ever thought of that till now.

Maybe if I stick my head in the sand I can wake up when its all over. I get that urge a lot these days.

Monday, 4 May 2015

And another

Not a terminally cute FO, but a finished one that I absolutely love.

It's just hits it's post finishing bath now, so it will be out, not blocking, but not aggressively so, shortly.  It is already 6 feet from tip to tip and that is a good length for how I wanted to wear this one.

If you look carefully, you can see each change of skein.  The yarn is very simply processed and they are all the same 'dyelot' though no dye has been used.  I can only see one here, and I didn't see that until I noticed it on the photo.  I doubt that it will be noticeable as I wear it. Even if it is noticeable by some eagle eyed sprout out there, it wouldn't worry me at all.  No two animals are the same and even twins have small differences.  I accept all yarn  :) 

I am going to dig out a couple other things that need baths and cleaning while I am at it.  

Today.  Cleaning day?  Bath Day?

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Terminally Cute

Pattern by Ysolda Teague,  Wee Envelope

Terminally cute.

I also have to give a thanks to the Knitmore Girls, who gave me a heads up to this pattern.  Its too long since I knit one of Ysolda's very very nice patterns and I am going to have to knit another of hers in short order.

Friday, 1 May 2015

The rest of my yesterday

So I did knit quite a bit on the wee sweater yesterday as well, and I am so very very pleased with it.

The yoke is completely finished.

This is such a great little pattern with such a broad range of sizes. Infant to children's 4 so it cover my three wee people.  My big fella needs a larger size, but this isn't his kind of sweater anyway.  He is a vest man.  Sweaters make him hot so if I want to knit him a sweater I am going to have to consult his mom about what he likes.  

I am completely thrilled with everything about it and I can't wait to finish.

I think I was supposed to purl on the first row after the pickup but I rather like how this looks.  Its gives just a little more weight to that slipped stitch edging so I left it.  

I was a little concerned about a couple of things on that first row.  Losing stitches off my needles was number one.  I was working on dpns as I had all the way along, but it was extremely awkward.  there were pickups at the underarms and well, it was just awkward.  I only had a 24 inch 2.75 mm circular available and that was just too close to the sweater for easy knitting.

This morning, first thing, I went in to the yarn store and picked up a 2.75 mm 16 inch needle. I have thought about getting one for a long time.  Several projects, but I always kept trucking through on dpns, or a long circular needles, but the 24 inch needle is just not an option on this diameter and right now, I have no idea where the longer needles are.

The sweater is moving along just fine.  I am not sure if I will finish tonight but it will be very close.  Meantime, I am really enjoying the work and loving the pattern.