Friday, 30 June 2017


While I did knit yesterday, it wasn't what took up most of my time.  I still spent about 3 hours on knitting, but I spent much more time on something else.

I finished the Malabrigo Merino braid I was working on.  

I am so pleased with the singles.  They are as fine as I want to get I think, though I do know that with a little work, I can get them finer.  This weight should produce a really nice fingering weight 3 ply or a decently fine 2 ply lace weight.  Not that it is perfect.  Not even close to perfect but it is pretty good and I am very pleased.

I really do enjoy spinning and flush with the success of my singles, I wasn't quite ready to leave the wheel.  I decided to ply it.  

I did a chain ply to keep the colours together.  I focussed on the speed at which I worked.  My pace plyng is usually too fast and it feels like such an out of control process.  I treadled slower and tried to stay in charge.  I kept tension on the yarn in my hands better  in part, by plying from my other wheel.   By plying off my stand in lazy kate, off the small wheel, the Victoria, and on to the big wheel, the Julia, I could keep a little bit of tension on the bobbin.  It really seemed to help.  After sitting on the bobbins overnight, the yarn seems to be fairly balanced.  I'm not sure if that is how it will end up after its bath today, but so far so fair.

While I felt much more in charge of plying this time, I still need a lot pf practice to feel competent.  I  but I also found that I need practice at much more than just plying evenly.

Plying brings out any of the 'softly spun' sections too.  There are less of these than the last time I plied a chain ply, which means my spinning is improving, but it still needs work.   

This photo really shows the ply twist/spin twist unevenness. Coordination between my hands and feet is always a challenge for me.  You can see how the ply twist (and likely the spun singles twist too) changes with the rythym treadling when I focus on pulling the single through the loop of chain playing.  I think it is going to be a matter of smoothing out my rythym overall and practising having hands and feet work together.  That has always been a bit of an issue for me.  Still, with as little plying experience as I have, I am feeling pretty darn good about it all. 

By Monday this will be a finished yarn and I can't wait to see the final result.  There is a bit of a stockpile of things to ply around here and I'm going to keep working this technique with some of it.  Like anything else, practice makes better.  Not perfect.  Never going to get there, but better is a goal I can do.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Fun Knitting!

I knew I wasn't motivated to do a whole lot yesterday but honestly, I thought it was just that I wasn't motivated to knit.  I accomplished nothing yesterday, in any sphere.  One side was done to the bottom of the henely split, but most of the knitting was completed this morning in a spurt of early morning eagerness.

And joined.  Just.

I still have about 3 inches to knit to get to the full length before I can join front and backs for the body of the sweater, so there is a fair bit of knitting still, but can I just say, how much fun I am having with this?  I am having so much fun with this!

I love knitting with fine yarns.  My first real knitting, other than a few rows just to see if I could, was a sock in regular sock yarn.  Every time I do something in this weight of yarn, I remember that feeling, that special tingle of giddy joy that I felt that first time I worked on something practical and useful.

Knitting a sweater is a big commitment. Knitting a fingering weight sweater is a bigger commitment.   Knitting a fingering weight sweater for a very plus sized person is bigger still but none of these are so overwhelmingly huge that it cannot be done. It is all in how you think about knitting a garment.  If you think it will take ages, it will feel like ages.  If you think it will go fast, it usually does.

I started this on June 23 and I have the upper back done and half of the upper front.  That is pretty good for the number of hours I spent knitting.  The only day I spent a very large chunk of time working on it was the first day.  Every other day since has been filled with a lot more life than knitting life and I still have really satisfying progress.  By the end of the 6th day, I will have the entire upper body complete.  Nothing to sneeze at. It is going pretty fast.

I don't knit particularly fast.  Rather I spend a lot of hours knitting.  Except for  a few days scattered through the really really stressful times (not the busy times, just the stressful ones) I knit every single day.  There is no trick to what seems like fast knitting other than a deep and abiding love of knitting.

I could tell you much more.  I could spend hours talking about why I love it and all the things that excite me about it, but I do that every day in one way or another.  So I won't.  What I really want to do right now is knit.

So, bye bye.  For now.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A little knitting

After spinning yesterday morning, I went to knit with some ladies for the afternoon.  It was in an effort not to go shopping and it was lovely.  I avoided all the stores with yarn and more importantly the store with the last chair to complete my livingroom, and the two tall but narrow shelves that I want to fit in one last corner that needs a little something.  That is next month country. Till I can be sure my bills are covered, they need to wait.

It is always lovely being in the company of knitters.  It is always nice to be in the company of people who create and appreciate hand work of any kind.  Not everyone does and more pity to them.

So I got in just enough knitting to have both left and right shoulders on the front done.  

If I were knitting exactly to pattern, I would join at this point and knit the rest of the front in one piece, but since I am opting to make a little bit of a front opening, I have some back and forth work to do on both fronts.  

I hope to have both done by the end of the day though I think that might be a bit more than I can do.  So this isn't a plan.  It is more of a fond wish.  A plan would mean that I intend to get there, but this is more that knitting is calling and it wants me to knit.  

It is cool and cloudy out today, cool enough that wool is being worn on my feet, on my back and at my neck.  A knitting three-fer, if you will.  It may be a very good day for baking something just to warm up the kitchen a bit. It may well be a good day for soup or a casserole that could bake slowly in the oven while I knit.  Perhaps Pot Roast?

I am footloose and fancy free today.  No tasks to take me out of my house and yard.  Just knitting and woolly warmth.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Well, so here we are at spinning day once again and as determined as I was to have this braid completed, I do not.  I did spin a couple days over the last week, but not so much as I planned.

I am ever a work in progress. I am very pleased to say that my spinning quality, while not perfect is very much improved from what it was not so long ago.  The spinning all through this braid is fine and quite evenly spun.  I don't know that even is really tremendously important in the long run, but my goal for spinning is to produce a finished yarn that is no heavier than a fingering weight.  I am really aiming for a 2 ply laceweight as my long term goal.  Even spinning is definitely part of that goal.  Someday, I intend to spin me a lace shawl. That is what I saw the first day I saw what spinning was about and that remains the dream.

I had a full day of errands and meetings yesterday.  I did all kinds of little things like getting a library card and getting my address changed at my bank and getting my Co-op memebership (It is the best grocery store in these parts!).  While I was out, I stopped at the big box giant down the road to see how their cotton supply was.

I have lots of plans for much more weaving than thick cotton towels and dishcloths, but thick cotton is a great place to start. The weight makes it easy to see if patterns are developing properly and it should be easy to teach myself how to keep my fibres nicely balanced. They had a decent supply and to be honest, I had a tough time choosing colours. In the end I went with these simply because they were the brightest!

I wonder if this kind of cotton yarn would be heavy enough for a woven rug?  I could use another rug in my bathroom and that pretty orange creamsicle colour would look great with my bright yellow towels.  Maybe doubled?

Both of the multi colours have a strong yellow component.  I seem to be having a very yellow time lately.  My bedroom was planned to be yellow.  My livingroom is yellow by accident.  Surely I am not the only person on earth who choose a thing because it is yellow? I am, aren't I?  It was yellow.  Nothing more.  I am deeply attracted to bright yellow accented by crisp white with blues and greens to go with it.  It is possible that I need some bright yellow yarn too.

But first, warping. And that is going to take a good days worth of work.  Not today though.  Today is for spinning and visiting with friends.

Monday, 26 June 2017


After Friday's flurry of joyful expectation, the sweater is underway and I still love it. Maybe more.

The pattern is Granito  by Joji Locatelli.  I love the things she designs. There is always a little flash of brilliance in each one.

I think I initially wasn't keen on this pattern.  It's the pockets.  They are a little drapey right where I don't need the extra attention.  Now that many people have knit the sweater, you can see that the wide open pockets are a photo styling feature, possibly due to use.  But I do like the way this sweater hangs and with a slight accomodation to better fit my figure, I think it is going to be great.  It certainly will be the kind of thing that will get lots of wear.

The yarn I am using is Elann Dolce.  It is a fingering weight Australian merino and was one of my first purchases of highly discounted bags of Elann yarn.  At the time of purchase, I had a pattern picked out, but as soon as the yarn arrived I knew that while the yarn was right, the pattern was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don't recall there being any choice of colours when I bought it, but I really like this very soft gray blue.  In the bag it always seemed to be more blue than gray, but now that I am working with it, it appears much more gray.  The darker spots are a lot like the colour of well worn jeans, worn so much that the colour is almost gone from them.

Because the colour difference is so distinct in the ball, I worried a little that it would look spotty once knit.  I was so wrong to worry.  It is just this wonderfully mottled gray blue.  Nothing distinct, just lovely soft variations of colour.  

So far so fair.  One ball finished the upper back section.  Next step is the fronts.  On the fronts, I think I am going to make a small change.  As designed, the pattern has a pretty round neck.  That isn't something that looks really good on me, so I am going to make a small henley split at the center front.  There will probably be 2 small buttons, which are not a feature, and it will probably be sewn closed.  I like the look, but the use of it is neither here nor there.  Closed or open doesn't matter, it takes away from round and adds a vertical line and that is what is needed.

When I knit Joji's Lipstick sweater, I used the extra large as my starting point and that was a mistake.  The whole sweater was always just a little wide, but it has become unwearable even with my slight change in size.  (That sweater and the red Rios it is made in are going to be redone this winter.)  This sweater, I started with the large and we will see where that gets us.  I did knit the arm edges a little longer than in the pattern.  I have pretty thick upper arms, and too tight sleeves is not a good thing.  With a little luck, that slightly more close fit through the shoulders will keep this as a sweater that I can wear for a really long time.

As I was tidying on the weekend, I realized that the red lace sweater had been tucked deep beside the loveseat for safekeeping while loom building and was almost lost in the melee.  I do have to get back to work on that.  So last week focus on socks.  This week on sweaters.  

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Edge

I feel the magic of simple socks wending its way through me.  I feel much more energetic and full of life than I have the last few days.  I am looking forward this morning and almost feel resentment that I have to type, which is slower, to tell you about it all rather than just letting all the words come tumbling out like wee Marcus does when he tells me about finding all his toys again.

I started two different socks yesterday.  

I started a plain just knit me sock

from one tidy ball of my favourite yarn blend, wool, cotton and nylon from Jawoll.  It should be noted for clarity that one simple sock in this put up, uses up one skein, so a pair requires two. I am letting the yarn do it's thing for this sock.  It is interesting even though I am not through one pattern repeat.

The second comes from a bag of stuff gathered when I went through the sock yarn pile the other day.  

It's kind of a mess isn't it.  Its one ball of gray Sisu with one ball of Patons Kroy and a partial ball of Elann Sock It To Me.  I had the Kroy and Sisu out through several sock binges, but they always seem to be the last yarn I look at.  I think it is because there is no punch in either yarn.  The bland just never excited me enough to begin even though I know it would look perfectly fine.  The skein of Sock It To Me was on its way to the scraps bin, but I wondered if the dark gray, almost charcoal would be the punch the two drab yarns needed.  I am not 100% convinced yet, but I think I am getting close.

I might pull back and put in a bit more of the dark, but I might just keep working forward and just add two rows of the darker next time and repeat a one, two sequence of it, through the sock.  The other two yarns blend so seamlessly, that is it difficult even for me to tell which rows are which. This is pure play, and it excites me.

The spark of sheer joy of these two little socks, have me looking to the next thing. They have even set my mind to the next thing and I want to knit it pretty badly.  The next thing means I get to go dig in my yarn to find this yarn.

I have already picked the pattern.  

I love this point of things, this edge just before you jump where your belief that the step you are taking is right, that it is a good plan and that all you have to do is take that first step.  I will forever be thankful that knitting allows me to feel it.  

It is much harder to find that feeling in the rest of life.  In the rest of life, outer forces often foil a great plan and temper the joy of that first step, by the reality of things you have no control over.  I know that all the self help gurus and life style coaches in the world wouldn't agree with me, but there are things that a positive attitude and believing in yourself can never resolve for you and can never make happen.  It isn't popular in our modern western culture to acknowledge that some things just happen.  That some things just are. Some things, some situations are not your fault or your responsibility but you carry them all the same. They colour everything else in your life, all the same.  

This week I had to face the fullness of the end of that life and that place and those dreams in a way I haven't had to up till now.  I was completely ready for it and mostly I feel lightness that it is done and over, but right there sitting with happiness is this strand of inescapable sadness.  Some things just are.  Would I go back and have that life in that house with Brian again in my perfect world?  I wish it with everything molecule I am, but it cannot ever be.  Some things just are.  I accept that it is.

It seems to me, that the real trick is to find at least one thing, one place in your life that allows you to feel that place of a perfect edge of joy before you commit yourself..  Everybody needs a place to feel that.  If you fish, that point is where you know you have a fish on the line, but before you get it in the boat.  If you skydive, it is standing at the door of the plane, ready to jump.  If you bake cookies, it is that point just before you put it in the oven, where you know, by the taste and texture of the batter, that this is going to be a really great batch.  If you knit, it is that place where you have the yarn and a pattern in mind and it is all so good together, that you can see yourself wearing the sweater in your minds eye.  

So here I am, standing at the edge of perfect joy and isn't that a great place to be at the start of a day?

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Off We Go Adventuring

Yesterday I began a quest to sort out my knitting problem and a dearth of simple sock knitting.  I succeeded admirably.

After I posted yesterday, before I put the boxes back in its closet, I pulled out some yarns that I thought I might work on.

I pulled out this skein because I really didn't think I was ever going to need it for knitting.  It is a colour I thought would work for a project, but that whole project did not work out.

I thought I would throw it into the bin of yarns I don't really love (it's a pretty small bin) and use it for a weaving project as I learn to weave.  But something happened.

As yarns were pulled and piled, this unwanted skein came to land beside a skein I have loved for years.  It is one of my earlier buys of sock yarn and I love it as much now as I did then.  Austermann Step, treated with Jojoba Oil and Aloe Vera.  It is lovely to knit with. 

I am sure you can see what I saw. There is no splash this exact shade of lilac in the Step, but everything about it coordinates.  I wondered what would happen if I used them together.  Problem was, I really did not want a strong lilac element.  Stripes were not going to work.  I wasn't sure what would work, but I thought that if there was an answer for these yarns together, it was going to from one of two patterns that I have used before.

I looked at the Ugly Duckling pattern.

I gave away both pairs I made using this pattern, and would really like a pair of my own. I thought it could work, using the lilac as the colour of the strong vertical lines and the darker colours to be the punchy little squares.

I thought about the Broken Seed Stitch Sock pattern.  I thought the lilac again would be great forming the lines that seem to cross with the darker colour standing in the background.  I ended up going with this pattern for no particular reason other than I remember them being a very easy and speedy knit. Colours alternate each row, in other words, stripes and it would feel like a fast knit.   

And then I made a small misstep in my plan, but found magic instead.

The lilac is acting as the background colour and the darker yarn is the one that make the design cross and weave, opposite of my original plan, but I think I love this more.  

It looks like frost, as if they were put outside and Jack Frost touched them with his magic wand on a cold morning.  No single colour is too strong. No element stands out.  Just perfectly blended, soft and dainty socks.

I have a very large skein of the darker so heels, cuffs and as you see, toes are the darker colour.  If I can, I will use stripes in the cuff, to better match the spirit of the rest of the socks.  The strong dark at the top might ruin the pretty softness of the rest.  

Yesterday was an adventure and like all things, some good and some bad. Windsheild very good, lawyering, just stupid, but at the end of the day, I had this lovely thing to focus on and that made the whole days adventure worth it.

I start another pair, a more plain pair of socks today. Not sure which yarn yet.  That is today's adventure!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

I think I have said it before: EEEEEeeeep

I realized something yesterday.  

I have not been knitting much on socks.  While I think I have been knitting tons on socks this year and while it feels like I have, I have not actually been knitting a lot on socks. Much too much time is spent sitting empty handed staring at the TV, watching something I really don't have much interest in.  
How do I know this?  Because I was updating projects on Ravelry yesterday and found there is only one sock photo in my sock parade.  

Yup.  That is it.  The only sock I completed so far this year, besides the ones I completed a week or so ago which need to be added the the parade.

The revelation started because ta da,

finished socks! One might call this a cheater pair, because it is for Cassie, but a sock is a sock is a sock and a pair is a pair.  This is a lovely wool cotton and nylon blend called Cotton Fun by Meilenweit.  One of my all time favourite blends.

As  I was gathering evidence for how few socks were completed, I also took stock of how many pairs are on going.  My purse has seemed distressingly empty of things I want to be working on of late and now I understand why.

Both of these are socks with patterns. The purple, red and gold pair are a pattern I can do anywhere, but I have some concerns about dragging the knitted sock blank with me.  But this sorry sum of socks is all the socks I have on needles at the moment.  Somewhere in this house there are bundles and bundles of empty sock needles.

I have a huge bin devoted to sock yarn and 

a bunch of loose balls

and a big box of sock ends for monster socks.  Lots and lots of sock yarn here. No excuse for not having more on the go.  I have been sitting empty handed far too often and in need of something simple to knit and that isn't good for my mental health.  Time to pull out some yarns and some combinations of scraps and get some purse knitting going. 

So, a few new things to knit, and suddenly I feel much relieved.  A positive step forward after a morass of a spring.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bad Things and Good Things

I am sitting here this morning, just listening to trains roll by outside and listening to drenched birds singing.  I feel a little lacklustre  It is one of those mornings.  No spinning this morning and while I miss the company, I am not missing the drive. I just really needed to stay home this week. 

It turned out to be a wise plan.  I live across from the community ball park.  On the weekend, there was a tournament.  On the weekend, my car wind shield got smashed.  I didn't even see it till my neighbour came over yesterday, late in the afternoon, and asked what happened to my window.  I just had been outside and gone to get groceries with the landlord, but I just did not look at the car at all.  

I tried really hard to look on the bright side.  At least they didn't hit the body of the car.  I have a feeling that would have been a more expensive repair.  The town people are coming over to look at it today and I sure hope they will offer to compensate for the loss.  No driving for me till I get it repaired.  

But spinning.  There will be spinning today because it is spinning day.  I plan to devote my morning to spinning as much of the current braid as I possibly can.

After that I am going to have to devote the rest of the day to sorting out my sewing area.  It is currently overwhelmed with stuff that needs putting away and that needs sewing.  Once I get my sewing area tidied, I have a couple of urgent projects.  I have clothing that is in need of repair and curtains to make.  I have some lovely fabric and it needs to hang.  

A friend pointed this Ikea pattern out several years ago, when it first appeared on the market.  I always thought it would end up in my bedroom, but here I am, thinking that it will make the perfect cafe curtains for my living room.  And it will almost make the awkward minty green blinds almost look good. Almost.

And yes.  I will have dandelions on my living room curtains.

The real driver to getting the sewing table tidied though isn't pretty curtains.  It is this.

Along with all of yesterday's failure to be a good day, there were good things.  I finished this pretty little dress top.  It has sleeves just like Cassie asked for.  I might redo the garter stitch to tighten up the bottoms a bit, but overall, the dress top is a win.

That means that it is time to get the skirt sewn.  Other than a lot of close gathering of this almost sheer fabric, there isn't a whole lot of sewing, so I don't expect it will take a lot of time.  I think it will have a tie in back, to help keep things smooth around her.  I am hoping that it is loose enough that she can wear it for at least a year.  She is a tiny thing though, in comparison to all the other girls in her pre-school class, 

and as ever, just as cute as a button with a joyousness that I hope she never loses.

So this proud Grandma with a broken wind shield is going to sew flowers and spin today and contemplate the pretty things in my world.  

Monday, 19 June 2017

Where Did the Weekend Go?

Where did the weekend go?

It took most of Saturday to get the loom completely set up.  Even now, I am pretty sure that there is one thing I should go in and sort out but I am not sure I am feeling the urge.

It is very very sturdy.  Not heavy though, just solid.  Really well made.

Finishing the set up made one thing really apparent.  I needed to do a good clean in my living room.

Now I just have to figure out how to warp this it!  I have the yarn picked.  Just a plain cotton yarn that started for a sweater, so I have a lot, but that the colour really isn't what I wanted in the first place, and I have no idea why I bought it.  But it will be great to play with and see what I can do.  First up some dishcloths.  Then I want to do some hand towels and maybe play with some of the things this 8 shaft wee beastie can do.  Just like knitting, there are huge resources online.  Step one, is after all, play.

I meant to get more accomplished on Sunday, but it didn't happen.  Sunday, the boys brought up my treadmill from the garage, and I started to get the guest bedroom organized around it. Which made me think seriously about reorganizing my bedroom/study, which put me into the mood for nothing more than a nap.  So I tested out my loveseat.  Very, very nap worthy.

I did a little spinning here and there through the weekend.  I did a little knitting.

Very little.  Three rounds on Cassie's dress top little.  But these were good solid rounds of knitting.  It took this pretty little thing from an amorphous blob of yoke to sleeves and body.

I just started the last skein of this pretty pink yarn so I know I have plenty for making little cap sleeves, which have been specifically requested by Cassie. Finishing this little thing is going to take next to no time at all.

Today dawned bright and sunny so all the work outside that has been waiting while I sorted out the old place, and waiting till the rains ended, is going to happen today.  There is a deck to sort out and some seeds to plant in the front, and then a little bit of weeding.

But first coffee, know.  Coffee.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Loom Freedom Day!

I spent the whole of yesterday tending to new stuff.

I freed my loom from the shipping box.

If I can just say something about Leclerc.  They really know how to pack stuff.  Even the box with reeds and extra bobbins was packed to the nth degree.  Really amazing work.  There were three boxes and if I put the time together that it took, just to open the boxes and get the stuff out, we are talking hours.  Breaking them down for recycle was yet another bit of fun and time.  I spent 45 minutes breaking down the loom packing box this morning.   Stuff from them is going to arrive damage free as often as is humanly possible.  Impressive.

This was yesterday morning and two sides off the box.

This was a cup of coffee and 4 sides and the top off.

Loom freedom!

And this is where I am at this morning.  I have two heddle frames, 2 of 8 shafts filled with their heddles, and many many more to go.  450 left to go to be precise.

Of all the parts of getting the loom organized, this is the part that is taking me the longest.  I haven't found a way that really makes the loading of heddles a smooth and easy operation.  There will be a few more hours spent doing this and all I really hope at this point is that I love the way these heddles work, because it would be a seriously big job to change them out.

I do wonder about Texsolv heddles (a cord type of heddle) and if they would have been an easier choice. I can always change them out.  It isn't impossible.  It is just that putting these on is making me really, really, really want to adore the regular heddles.

I did a little spinning this morning because the knitting is tucked behind to loom stand and is difficult to get to while the spinning wheel is right by my chair.  Coming along nicely too.  Just a few more sessions and I can ply it into yarn.  I am looking forward to that.

I am going to pick up the pretty pink I was working on the other day, to knit while I play with my grandkiddies this afternoon.  My granddaughter always loves it when I am working on something for her.  Marcus is interested but at his age, couldn't care less, if it is for him or not.  He just likes to help.

So here is to weekends and freedom and heddles on a loom.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Putting Old Things to Rest

This is one of those posts that are because I write for me, for the story of me.

We did the last of the clean up at the old house.  We could have used one more haul of stuff, but the fact is, there were not enough hours in the day.  The dump closed at 4:00.  We stuffed as much as we could into our cars and the truck...well lets just say the truck was stuffed to the full stuffed-ness that the topper could hold.  No way could we do that load without a topper.  25 years, you assemble a lot of stuff that becomes waste. Okay, maybe you don't but we did.

They boys left and I sat for a few minutes by myself.  I wanted to do that.  I thought it would take more time.  The simple fact is though, that it isn't my home.  It is a house.  A rather nice house to be sure, but just a house.  It is in way better shape than when we found it, 18 days shy of 25 years ago.  

When we came, the house was dirty.  It was empty but it hadn't been deep cleaned in a long time.  The rugs felt like there was a layer of grease sitting on top.  The walls were yellow with cigarette smoke and everything just reeked.  Without my sisters in law, it probably would still have been dirty.  We bleached the rugs.  It didn't matter if the rugs lost colour.  They were really dated and clean was much more important than in good shape. 

We made it better, little by little.  We added walls and french doors, to separate the downstairs from the front entrance and to keep the heat downstairs.  We painted bit by bit.  We changed flooring, doors, windows, furnaces, and kitchens slowly over those 25 years.  We made gardens and palatial green lawns, made quiet sitting nooks and corners and paths.  We took our Saturday morning 'constitutional' around the whole thing every Saturday morning for years, talking about our day, planning out the next thing.  

We worked together to make a home for all of us, but in truth, place is never home.  Place is comfort and place is familiarity, but it isn't really home.  You can adapt to different places and sort out life pretty well no matter where you live, so long as you have some place to put your stuff at the end of the day.  

What is much harder to adapt to, what is much much harder to accept, to live with, is the loss of the people that make your home.  He is gone and he was my home.  I would have followed that man to the highest mountain top if that is where he wanted to go.  Over the years we talked about spending our declining years in a mountain cabin, far far off the beaten path.  My only demand was that there be mail service and that we have the Internet.  I needed to get to Ravelry and have the occasional delivery of yarn, of course.  Both of us accepted that it wasn't realistic as you age, to live that way, but we dreamed and laughed and talked about it round the many campfires and over many bottles of cheap red wine.  But I would have followed him to Tuktoyaktuk, if he had wanted to go there again, which he did. 

He was my home, and the old house is just a house.  It isn't hard to let it go.  

The memories of all those times, the campfires in the back, the Saturday morning walks, seeing him taking a nap on Sunday afternoon in the big chairs out under the giant spruce, the building a place for our stuff and for the boys and sharing it all with them, those are the things that remain.  Those are the things that stay with me, no matter where I will be.  

He was my home and for all that he is gone, I am not homeless.  He remains in a different way.  He remains in our sons and their children.  He is in Marcus's blue eyes and Cassie's fearlessness and  Carter's way of sitting back to see what the world has in store and he is echoed in Isaac's way of caring for everything around him.  He remains in the way he touched his daughters, for that is how he saw our son's wives.  His spirit and his influence is being passed on in a hundred different ways. This is my home now.

It's a different kind of home than I am used too, but it a home that is warm and sunny and filled with laughter and joy and sunlight and shadows and all the things of life.  It is a different home but a good one.  Sometimes I pine for what was, for who was really.  The things are easy enough to let go.  

I look to today and I look forward and I remember past.  And that is as it ought to be.   

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

And spinning!

Tuesday is spinning!  I really enjoy doing this regular spinning gig but I keep forgetting to being my camera.

My fibre, once again is pretty plain.  What was a vibrantly orange rusty gray braid is a softer gray braid that will have warm rust sections.  All winter I spun bright reddish coloured braids.  Last year it felt like I spun green.  So far this year, it spring, it feels as if all I spun up is gray.  I need some colour

 Like this!

This is Frazzledknitter's lovely easter eggy concoction.  I simply adore how these short colours sections are working up.  I have got to get me some of that.  Or, perhaps, I have to dye me some of that.

I am drawn to colour, no doubt about that, but it is time to start thinking not just about colours, but how those colours will perform when they are spun up.  I always seem to end up with fibres that have long stretches of colour and I wonder if I am missing some of the play of the possibilities that spinning fibre is.

It also might be time to take a break from coloured fibre and spin up a bag of the plain fibre I have in stock.  There are plans for plain fibre and I think my spinning is getting to where I wanted it to be before starting work on that project.  I was looking only for the ability to spin consistently fine and I seem to have found my standard weight.  The last few bobbins have been pretty good, not perfect by any means, but that is not what this is about. 

The spinning thing really is about spinning yarn for my own shawl.  There are lots of other adventures to be had along the way, but the real goal for me is to spin fibre fine enough for a shawl in the Icelandic tradition with its marvellous soft natural colour changes.  

It's also time to ply up some of the things I have spun over the last months.  I have done a fair bit of spinning but not a lot of plying and the proof of what yarn you are turning out is in the plying. Time to sort more of that out.  I believe a lost thread on a bobbin was what stalled me.  

But not today.  Today is for old things and putting them to rest.  So I can rest.  I am really looking forward to that part.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

And Done

And done.

I managed to squeak in just a tiny bit of knitting and managed to finish up the socks while I waited for my loom to be delivered.  A nice two by two ribbing and heels.  Or not.  Suffice it to call them done and into the waiting for heels pile.  Or perhaps it should be the future socks pile. By 10:30, the loom arrived and I was off for the day.

I got some of the lawn mowed which kind of was a bonus.  There was less other work to do.  Today's job is mowing more, and then burning some of the scrap lumber that accumulated over the years as well as some that was damaged when we put the new well in last summer.  But very soon, one way or another, it will be done.

It's time.  I think we all feel like we have been moving and cleaning out for months.  Me personally, I feel like I have been doing it for years. I am not sure I know how to live without that house and that task looming over me.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Forward and backward at the same time.

And here we are, a weekend has passed and I have the sum total of nothing really accomplished. Forward and backwards.

I did knit a little but not enough to finish this sock.

I did a little of this.

Well, all of it really.  It is the stand for my loom, which is in the one box that needed a signature, and we weren't home.  I have parts, but the main body of the loom will come today.  I hope.

I did a little kiddie sitting, which much as I love them, puts me very very behind on the work of this week, which is the final yard cleaning at my house.  So much was done this weekend.  The house is cleaned out and the move out clean is done.  The garage is cleaned out but for hosing it out.  There is some garbage to be sorted and hauled around the outbuildings and then to haul that away, and a lawn to mow and we are done.

One step at a time though the days runs too short and I don't really have the desire.  Still one step at a time.  It will come. Forwards and back.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Completely New Things

I don't think I have talked about this before.  Ever.  But it has been going on a while now and it is time to get it off my chest.

I saw these some time ago.  I have no idea where but it least a year ago.  And I wanted them.  Badly.  I was burning with the need to have a pair of soles to play with of my own.

I have a box of leather scraps.  I have worsted cottons I could knit.  I would love to play with twine of various kinds.  

And after waiting in vain to find a Canadian supplier, I found some via Amazon via a UK purveyor.  

I originally thought about knitting the tops.  That just seemed to be the obvious logical thing to try.  And it may very well be the way I go with this, but they may not be the final option. 

I am going to wing it with these and have a little fun.  

But not today.  Today the junk man comes to my big old house.  Our final day there looms, and everything that is left goes today.  Then a little yard work touch ups and, well, that part will be done.

And it is time.  I am done.  I am tired and I am waiting just a few more days to be relieved.  

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Perfectly Pink

I have been looking at what is on my needles the last few days.  There are a whole lot of needles I cannot find.  The number of needles missing and the number of projects on my Ravelry project page do not match.  There must be a few on going things that I have forgotten about.  I'm not ready to short row the lace sleeves on the red sweater.  I will need a little less stress before I can do that and do it right the first time.  It is a good time to be looking for things.

I pulled out some very pretty, soft pink PimaTencel from Cascade several moves ago.  I used the yarn for an attempt at a little dress when my granddaughter, Cassie, was younger and these two skeins are the remains.  It is a lovely, soft yet strong yarn that is a lot like her.  Strong, yet a dainty flower, who loves to dress up like a fairy.  Or Bat Girl.  Or Bat Man.  It depends on the day.   

I found it at the very bottom of one of my WIP bins, with a set of short circulars in it.  I had cast on, and knit one row, and no more. I know what I was doing.  That plan is a long time plan and this is the perfect summer for it before she gets too grown.

I want to make her a dress a la the Jane Austen Dress from Mason Dixon Knitting.  It isn't going to be a Jane Austen Dress but an inspired by dress.  I am not so fond of the lace the original has, and I want to make it a raglan for ease of knitting, but I love the way the ruffle at the bottom hides the skirt gathers where it was attached.  I adore the idea of combining a fabric and yarn this way.  

For years I didn't know what fabric I would use for it. I always assumed I would go looking once I had the top knit and finished so I could match the fabric.  But when I moved from my wee house, I was taking down a curtain from my closet.  I don't know why but it struck me that it was the perfect material for a little girl.  And it is. A perfectly matching pink, and delicate and yet not so overwhelmingly delicate that it makes you think hothouse roses.  These are country roses and she is exactly that sort of little girl.  

Perfect, right?  You can see how lightweight the fabric is.  Gauzey, almost sheer cotton, and yet once it is washed and gathered as it will be for this dress, it should be a wonderful skirt fabric.  If not, grandma will find a very light lining fabric.  

The curtains are in the wash with sheets right now.  Post hot water wash and dry, they will change from curtains to fabric and then to skirt.  If I use the fabric wisely, I might not even have to hem!  

I don't think the knitted bodice of the dress will take much longer than today to knit.  It will probably take longer to find the buttons I want to use in the button box.  I expect a perfectly pink flowery sort of day.  Light and airy and exactly right for our perfectly summer spring day.  

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Following the plan

I had a plan yesterday.  My plan was to take pictures of our current spinning.  It seemed like a really good plan, but the plan did not come together.  There was so much good conversation and interesting fibre to watch, that I plumb forgot.  In a lot of ways, that is the best part of spinning.

So no spinning pictures.  But here in the house of Needles, we do indeed have many other things to talk about.

Remember my striped cowl?  

It's pretty much done.  I have just a nugget sized ball, about the same amount that I keep for heels on socks, left.  The only thing left to do on this lovely thing is the really long graft.  I know I have lots of yarn for the graft, but I want to have yarn to knit a couple rounds from the other side of my provisional cast on to ease out any weirdness there before the graft.  

I am so very very pleased with the colour gradient.  It is almost better than I thought it would be when I bought the yarn.  The changes are so subtle and yet clearly evident.  Three rows of each.  I have a wee ball of all the ends and someday, I will knit them into a small gradient scarf for a bear or other stuffie for a little one to love.

What I need is a little quiet and a clean table to work off of and it will be done.  That is a week or so down the road but I can wait.  What is the rush?  

That's the plan.  We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

A Quick Good Morning

Good Morning.  

Tuesday is my out day.  Anything I need to do in the city, must be done today.  So I am listing out my chores and places to stop and there is a full day of city errands ahead of me.  

I took time for a quick post, though.  There was significant movement on the knitting front.  After almost a week without knitting on it, I picked up and worked on my little lace coverup.

I picked up all the stitches last night but my mind wasn't ready to work on lace.  This morning I was.  

I am just about ready to start the short rows.  The short rows will bring the shoulder part of the sleeve to the length that I want, without adding to the length at the underarm.  That will go a long way to keep this sleeve a wee cap sleeve rather than a full blown sleeve.  One repeat, maybe two of the lace bit and it will be just right.

And that is it for today.  Off to spinning, which is the best way to start a errand day in the city.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Building again.

It was a very busy weekend.

After Thursdays excursion for the loveseat, it was crunch time.  If I ever planned on getting things done in my living room, I had to get them done.

So, Friday night I built my spinning chair.

I am so pleased with this.  Keith is going to cut a little off the bottom of the legs so that it will be the perfect spinning height for me, and with a little bit of luck, the perfect weaving height too.  With only a half inch or so to that perfect height, I won't have to hem.  Brilliant.  I am going to tuck the pleats together 5 or 6 inches from the floor.  They feel a little loosey goosey and untidy as is.

Of all the Ikea stuff I have ever built, that was the fastest.  So fast that I decided to keep constructing.

The next piece wasn't really for my living room, but it is a big part of getting my house in order.  Wait, didn't I do that before?  Didn't I try to work with what I had?  Yes I did and let me tell you, that was a great plan, but it wasn't working.  Because I wasn't working.  The folding work table in my bedroom/study had become a place to put stuff.  There was stuff under it, there was stuff on it and there was stuff that was threatening to lock me in my room if I didn't get it sorted.  I know me and if a place isn't working for me in some fundamental way, then it just becomes a catch all.  It never became the work station I dreamed of.  So this piece is step one in getting what I need to use the tools I have.

Because I am absolutely not going to card the fleece I have in my study, I needed something to get the carder out to the back deck.  I looked at many different types of carts and felt this sturdy kitchen cart was going to be my best option.  And again, I am pretty darn pleased.

Except for one thing.  I get that a company wants to keep its production costs low, but the quality of the screws included with this piece was garbage.  They were the new universal screw type, where you can use flat, Robertson or Phillips drivers with them and that part was fine, but you have got to have a screw that is made of metal strong enough to stand up to the pressure of a human hand. The cart is strong and sturdy, but not without considerable taking of Ikea's name in vain over the quality of the screws.

It's over now and all that remains is trying it out and I am looking forward to that.

Come Saturday morning, I had a decision to make.  I could take a rest day off, or I could just drive on and get the elephant in the room built too.

I drove on.

This was just about the most fun  thing I have ever made from Ikea.  It was fascinating how it was packed, and interesting to see how they put it all together.  Six bolts.  Six. It really is rather genius.  And the first sit was a complete surprise.  I have sat many times on the various sofa's in the store and it was utterly unexpected.

It sits high at the moment.  Really high.  Even the landlord says so.  And he is tall!  Those bouncy full cushions and the brand new springs meant I kind of had to jump up a bit to sit all the way back.  I know it will soften up some and that the stuffing will compact and believe me, that is fine with me!  I never thought I would be saying that.

And my original plan to get a chair to match the sofa?  Not so much in the plans right now.  I love the way the tidy spinning chair sits in its sunny nook.  I love that suddenly, my living room feels like it has a nook! I love how spacious it feels.  No firm decision till after the loom arrives and is set up.  If anything, a matching spinning chair?  Cut to the perfect knitting chair height?  Possibly my trusty old tub style chair from Ikea? I already know that's a great knitting chair. Decisions, decisions.

It was a lovely weekend in a lot of ways, but the most lovely part is that next up, is the loom.