Thursday, 29 November 2018


I've been spending a lot of time with small children and I get a lot of answers of 'because' to my not so serious grandma silly questions.  That is kind of how this one came about.

Because I have a purple striped cow ready and waiting for a graft before it is given as a gift, and because I need only one more cowl to make this a wonderful air of presents to give to my daughter in laws, 

I started yet another small project.  

 I bought the yarn five years ago at Interweave's Knitlab in San Francisco. Both the green gradient and the gorgeous golden brown are from Pigeonroof Studios  I bought them with an eye to make these exact eternity scarves and it is kind of shameful that I am only now getting to it.  Still one is ready to go but for grafting and that is a huge plus in my books for gifting this year.  The knitting doesn't take long and it is perfect for knitting with busy kids coming and going.  I expect this second one to be close to complete before the week is out.   

I've been hesitant about knitting these colours together.  It just didn't feel like it would work, but they do.  The brown has the loveliest sheen of gold through it.  It doesn't photograph at all well but in real life it is pretty darn stunning.  I am very pleased.  

As to being hesitant about the colours, silly me.  I'm not sorry because I have them to gift this year so it is a win for me.

The pattern I am basing this one on is the same as for the purple cowl/scarf, from the Striped Cowl by Matilde Skår.  I am using 3.5 mm needles so I cast on 20 fewer stitches than the pattern, but it looks great.  Good dimensions and the fabric is just fine. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Another little bit of magic.

I had been trying to avoid the pile of knitting that always seems to grow beside wherever I sit. 

It's not really working.  The idea is that everything would be stored in the yellow storage stools you see here, but they always have something on top of them, and stuff just never seems to get back inside thestools.  Someday, I will be tidier. Apparently not today though.

You can see the yellow and blue from Marcus's sweater there waiting to be put in the box where things wait to be put away on the next big stash dive.  There are a few other yarns in the pile, once pulled as prospects, that were meant to be put away too.  

The other day, mostly because I wasn't happy with the sweater, I grabbed a pair of needles from the dpn container sitting on the side table and just started to knit.

And again, magic happened!  I started this project thinking wristwarmers with a striped cuff and colourwork up the hand but honestly, I love the stripes, seriously love the way these colours look as simple stripes.

I decided to just go with what felt right so stripes it is.  Just stripes in small thumbless wrist warmers, the kind that are perfect to slip over gloves for that little bit of extra warmth.  

Speaking of wristwarmers, have you seen this?  Cat Bordhi's Cat's Family of Fingerless Mitts     .  I heard about it on the Knitmore Girls podcast and immediately took a look. Cat Bordhi always is interesting and this ebook of folios is her own special magic!

 I wear wristwarmers to bed every night.  I am not sure if I grip my hands tightly at night from cold or if it is from tension, but the wristwarmers at night make me sleep with the palm of my hands open and relaxed.  Instead of generally achy hands, I have hands itching to knit, already warmed up and rarin' to go.  I am wearing the Log Cabin Mitts constantly and I could really use another few pairs of something.  

Cat's book of wristwarmers is perfect.  They all have the longer cuff up the arm that seems to make such a difference to my hands and there are patterns in various weights of yarn, with lots of truly speedy DK and worsted weight designs.  

As soon as I bang out a few of these little joyous squares of stripes, I am going to hit the leftover yarn bin and knit me some yummy cushy Cat's Fingerless Mitts!

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

A sweater update

Next up a Greige sweater update.

When I last spoke of this sweater, I was feeling like the neckline was going to be a disaster.  Feeling that, I sort of stopped knitting on it for a few days.  I would take it out and look at it and stuff it back into the bag in disgust.  One morning I slapped myself upside the head and shook some sense into myself and I started knitting it to the point where I could try it on.  I had already knitted it to the underarm join, it just needed a few more rows knit to keep the fabric more stable before a try on.  And then I tried it on.


Honest magic.  It might look  little bit hinky and scrawny in the picture but the fit is really nice and the neckline?  Perfect.  I'm not sure what made it look so large and wide before the underarms, but it isn't.  I hold out big hope that this might end up being a very, very good sweater.

And just a little show of the detail.

The ribbing detail is on the shoulder straps and down the sleeves as well as this narrower strip down the front.  I am doing the same narrower band of ribbing down the side  'seams' at the underarms and I might even do it in the undersides of the sleeves.  It is exactly the right thing to combat any stockinette boredom and it gives the eye a strong vertical element to focus on.  

More and more as the fabric slowly grows, the green grey beige-ness of this yarn gets better and better.  Who knew I would be so happy with what it pretty much a non  colour though, now that I think of it, I have been really connecting to natural shades the last few years.  Rather than being  a natural colour of sheep, this colour is the colour of  shale and mud cores from deep down in the ground and is as natural a shade as any.  It's just a little unexpected.

Monday, 26 November 2018

First Point

After a very crazy last week getting settled into a new routine, I am doing much better and feeling much more collected and contented.  And I am no longer checking the clock all night long in case my alarm clock doesn't go off.  I am actually sleeping!

And there is knitting. Lots of lovely knitting.  Some days there is more knitting than others, but in general, lots of knitting.

This week, photos!  

First things first.  I have been steadily working on my First Point of Libra shawl.  It is usually what I take with me when I go out to knit and chat.  It isn't difficult and this section only has one thing to do other than knit each stitch and that is an increase every second row.  For all its simplicity, it's a lot of fun.  Working this colour section makes the whole thing come alive.

 Isn't that just stunning?  There are 4 or 5 more rows of the rich amber colour remaining and then a section of red and then on to what I think is the final element, the outer border.  It actually may be two outer sections. I haven't read the instructions for that part yet but two would probably follow what the pattern already is doing in its very modular fashion. 

This was originally a mystery knit long and you can see that in the construction and knit order.  It has been a very interesting path to follow though, and I love the result. 

This shawl was one of the things I challenged myself to knit this year. Some of the other goals have not been met, or have been put aside for different projects, but I am so pleased that this one is one of the ones that is done.   I have thought so much about shawls this fall, about wearing them more, about storing them in a better place, about knitting more and I am really looking forward to having this striking piece wrapped around my shoulders keeping me cozy and warm.   

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Top Down

My daughter in law is now on nights, but my duties are still there to be done.  I still start at the same very early time, but once we are all settled into this, I ought to be able to leave earlier.  That will mean the world to me.  Instead of being gone for 13 hours a day,  I should be home by 3.  And that would be sitting in my chair knitting home.

Till then, there is knitting, though not nearly as much as the day before.  I jined below the underarms but just.  Two rows hardly counts.

I love the way this looks as fabric, though I am not so sure about the sleeves. Or the neck.  It may be that I have to start all over again.  I will try it on after I have a enough rows t make it sturdy t the underarms.

I may never knit another sweater from the bottom up and more and more, I doubt I will ever knit a sweater in pieces. Seriously think of it.  You knit the whole thing in parts, and you have to sew it up to even see if the thing comes close to what you want?  I don't think that is for me.  Or knit the whole bottom up to the underarms,which is an awful lot of time in my case, and then you need to adjust the top?

I've put in such a small bit of time, that even if I have to rip back to the start, it isn't a big deal.  Top down is far more intuitive if your body requires a lot of pattern adapting.  It works with the smallest amount of kitting time before you know if it will work.  

 I'm going to add that if you are hesitant, check out Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters   The book is in a class of it's own as away of getting you started.

And I didn't think I had anything to say today.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Another busy day

It was just Marcus and me today.  We had to get Cassie off to school but that was about it.  She is big now, and can walk herself with the boy from across the street.  No streets to cross.  Just park nd school playground. She feels very grown up doing it.  It was great.  

Their mom will be moving to night shifts, which work a bit better for me.  I ought to be able to leave a little earlier at the end of the day, though I still do have to get up and be on the road stupid early.  Their dad leaves for work at 6 and their mom wont get home till 8.  So grandma has to get up before 5 to be there on time.  It's been  a while since I had to do it for work rather than for pleasure.  The difference is that pleasure at 5 a.m. includes coffee.  Coffee doesn't arrive till much later the other way.

I did a lot of knitting today.  Marcus was very busy playing with his pups and he had a whole story he was playing that did not include me most of the time.  I knit an entire ball of yarn on the green grey sweater. One more ball and I will be just past the underarms.  I have plenty of markers and stuff like that to get past there if I can, but if it doesn't happen, no biggie. 

I am already dreaming of collars.  Possibly a cowl turtleneck sort of thing. I was going to just do a wide crew neck but I think wide is a little wider than I wanted. We shall see. Just like I thought, once it is knit into a fabric, I love the colour  It's fantastic!  

Photos tomorrow.  I was lazy today and now as things start early here, I am off to sleep.  

Monday, 19 November 2018

Lost in the land of new knitting

I found myself with a whole day free with nothing planned or scheduled and that was as liberating as getting the kids things done.  There was nothing for it but to cast on another sweater.

Ever since I finished Granito, I thought about knitting with a 50 /50 cotton and wool blend I had in my stash. It was another deal from back in the day when Elann was a discounter and sold on their own website rather than through Amazon and when I had the funds to do as I wanted with yarn.*

Its grey green is so utterly dull, that when I first got this colour on the very, very good sale it was on, I was a bit put out that I had spent a whopping thirty five dollars on 20 balls and what on earth would I ever want to knit with it?   It's a pretty dull colour.

After Granito, where I very seriously underestimated the power of a nondescript yarn, I started to think very seriously about this yarns slate greigeness.  I wondered if it would do the same thing that the blue grey spotted stuff did on the Granito sweater.    I wondered if it would go from drabness to wow once it was knit and worn.  I thought I would test the theory and sat down to knit.

I did not want to have two very plain sweaters on the go at the same time, so I made a few plans before casting this one on.  I need basic sweaters, and something that will not take a bunch of math or thinking to knit but I also do not want to be bored to tears with it.  I will have a whole bunch of knitting time ahead of me while watching the kids.

 I started with saddle shoulders in a simple ribbed pattern.

I am keeping that rib going all the way down top of the arms and I put a narrower band of ribbing down the center front of the sweater, just to keep me on my toes.  I think there will be narrow bands of ribbing at the underarms too.  It will be a great way to keep my head busy instead of feeling like the two sweaters are a sea of stockinette.

This yarn is a nice DK weight so it is moving right along.  Now all I need to do is knit and enjoy the process of two things to become lost in, in the land of new knitting. 

*(I never ever forget how lucky I was and every time I knit I am thankful that I was so blessed.)            
It's wonderfully freeing to be done with knitting for the kids.  In a lot of ways, my knitting is pretty selfish in truth.  I do it for me mostly, but a lot of that is because knitting is an exploration of the world for me.  

I grabbed some yarn and just began.  There really wasn't a plan.  I just needed to begin.  It was a driving urgency to just knit.  

And so, I did.

The yarn is an Elann special deal from a long time ago, Filati Fine.  It is a fine fingering weight blend of acrylic, wool and a little nylon, I think.  It's not a fancy sort  of yarn yet I do love it.  It is soft and strong and the prettiest teal.

The plan is to make a simple, basic sweater,  a cardigan and I mean to use some pretty square handmade buttons that I got in Vernon several years ago.  I have a lot of yarn so I think this sweater is going to be a little flared and a little lace under the arms.  

Mostly it is a plain fingering weight sweater.  With a bit of determination I will finish it faster than my last fingering weight sweater.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Changes and Finishes.

Funny how one day you are sitting there glorying in your time and place even if your Chase sweater isn't going really well, and then you have no time and the Chase sweater is magically complete.  Go  figure.

My daughter in law got a temporary job with or at the county.  No idea how long it will go, but for a few weeks at least.  And with 12 hour shifts, it can be a really long day.  Grandma will be pinch hitting for mom till mom gets the night shift and then grandma services might be called on to fill spots here and there.  I should know more tomorrow.  Today and tomorrow are going to be long days.  It's nice though.  It is reading week for the kids so I get to spend lots of time with them.

But because Cassie and Marcus are growing like weeds, they don't need me to monitor their every move.  Grandma got in a lot of knitting time.  Well finishing time, really.

The Paw Patrol Chase sweater is done.  All that needed doing today was sewing the pocket on and two little buttons.

It's a simple badge for all that it caused me huge trouble (in my mind).  I had to let go of perfect and just go with what I got and I think it is just fine.  Marcus says he is never going to take it off, though he did take it off at lunch so he wouldn't get it all sticky from pancake syrup.  He loves it and that is all that counts.

He wondered if I could make him hair like Ryder. Or maybe a helmet like his Ryder toy. And so it goes.

I also took a photo of Cassie in her purple sweater.  

It's the smallest bit big for her, but honestly, I wanted it to be the kind of sweater she wore in place of a coat to school as much as anything.  Her mom said she wore it lots already and Cassie thanked me for the zipper.  She likes that it does up so easy.  

There was one more sweater in my bag,  pretty little purply things that was really more blue than purple.

I sorted out the edge problem, a wee blip where I joined the beginning and the end of the icord and then had her try it on.  I ended up knitting the sleeves about an inch and a half longer. My wee girlie has grown somewhat since August...eeeeeeep.

I ended up sewing the fronts together to make a faux cardigan pullover and she is very happy with that.  I just didn't feel it was right for a zipper and she didn't want buttons so this seemed a good option.  It needs a good wash to set it all and smooth it, but it is done and when I left, she was wearing it so she could show mom when mom got home from work. I even have a photo for my project page with her modeling it.  It's on my phone, which is dead and currently charging.  It will wait till tomorrow.  

Honestly, this cleans up the projects on my WIP list.  I only have 12 things now, ;)  but two of those twelve are a sock parade and a dishcloth parade.   I don't count those.  So ten projects that are in progress.  It feels like it is time to seriously think about something new but then, when did I ever not?

I have no idea what I will work on tomorrow.  Maybe the green sweater?  Maybe the First Point of Libra shawl?  I don't know.  I threw a sock in my bag and if I can't sort anything else out that will be good enough to be getting on with.   

What comes with tomorrow comes and it will all be good.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

I've got trouble

wait don't run, 
this kind of trouble is lots of fun.

From that old TV ad for the Trouble game.  The other thing that comes to mind is Daphne Zuniga as

Princess Vespa from Spaceballs.  My mind is stuck at trouble.

I am not having a good time with the Chase sweater Pup Badge. Everything looks less than nice so far.  I have two more things to try and boy do I hope one of them works  and looks nice because this is putting  pall on all my knitting.

I did knit just past the underarm on my Green Jacket sweater and I have the sleeves picked up and am on my way down sleeve one. I knit a litte on some socks.  But that is sort of where it all stops and it kind of breaks my heart.  

I'm doing all kinds of knitting related activities.  I bought two patterns, one for a hat and one for a star, one of my things to try for the Chase sweater.   The hat is actually a book of hat patterns.  I waited for a long time for the pattern to be sold individually, but it seems it isn't going to happen. Plus I know what I am doing for the Myrtle sweater (the Kate Davies sweater from last week where I was debating single pattern or book) and will deal with that shortly.

I am going through my WIP bins, removing yarn I am not actively working with at the moment and putting them in my yarn cabinet, in an effort to be able to keep all the active knitting in said WIP bins.  

I am putting away needles.

Everytime I start or finish a project, or projects this seems to happen, the knotty mess of needles that need to be put back in their pouches, pile up as I try gauges and play with needles types and tips and lengths.  It only takes a minute to put them away.  The holdup is that it takes a flat surface with nothing else on it and that seems to be rare here. The top of the WIP bins usually works, but just like my long gone coffee table, there is always stuff on the tops of them. Todays flat empty surface is the loveseat.

Avoiding the issue is my superpower.

One way or another the Chase sweater has to move forward today.  If it waits much longer my sprouting little boy will have grown right out of the sweater, which would mean I have to start all over again.  

So, I am going to gird my loins, buck up my courage, put on my big girl panties, do some serious adulting and get a badge done for the Chase sweater and the little boy who is waiting.


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Of knitting and sweet little people

I've been working on a lot of things over the past few days.  Some of the time, I was working a lot on one thing and other times,  I was prancing all over the place. If I only looked at one project, not  lot would have been done, but when I look at them all, I am so happy I got so much knitting time in!

I did some work on my sweater.  Another couple rows and the yoke is long enough to join at the underarm and begin the long process down the sleeves and body of this simple sweater.  By the time I get to the join, I will have used inches shy of two balls of yarn.  I started with 9 hanks of this wonderful thick yarn and getting this far and having used two hanks worries me a bit.  I am going to do the sleeves next.  Much easier to do them now when you do not have the whole body of the sweater to flip on each round.

If I use more than one skein more for each sleeve, then I will certainly run out of yarn.  The plan for this sweater was, I think to have deep ribbings and long cuffs and a sweeping collar, possibly even a hood, but as it stands, I don't have enough yarn for some of that, certainly not the hood.  An order for two more skeins will probably happen once sleeve one is done and I am sure what my yarn needs will be.

The other things I worked on this weekend was my First Point of Libra shawl.  I am in love with the colour gradient all over again.  As you can see, I've just moved into the third colour of five.  The rows are feeling really long but I am saved by the stuff you have to do on the right side rows.  Always something to track my progress.

I was knitting on this at Baba's Attic this weekend and had several nice comments.  One thing about knitting out and about, people always stop and chat.  People loved the colours.

My hope is to finish this up before the end of the year, which is approaching with great speed.  I am knee deep in Christmas shopping at the moment, and getting the house ready to set up the tree.  The living room has been cleaned furniture moved to accommodate the tree.  The sewing is about half done, and it won't take much to finish up.  Everything is moving along nicely, even with reorganizing my study and fooling around with some stuff for myself.

I played with Baby Emmett, darn he was asleep when the camera was out, (stealing one of mommies photos) but what a little charmer he is.

He loves his bouncy chair and talked an played quite happily in it all day.  My sweetie.

And my peanut!

I finally managed to deliver his hat and scarf.  He loves them both, even though he didn't ask for the hat!   Plus as we were talking he told me that he loved the mittens I made for him last year.  He said he wants to wear them everyday, lol.  He is starting to look more and more like his grandpa that he is named for. He was telling me about Grandpa too, which was so sweet.

My Isaac was with his dad for most of the day, but he came home about supper time and we had time for a good talk.  He is growing up, so chatting with grandma isn't that high on hislist, but we had a god talk and we played silly games like when he was small as he was helping the little boys clean up the toys.   We had a nice movie night, all of us together.  I love that more than almost anything, when there are kids sprawled all over wrapped in blankets, watching a movie and there is popcorn and special treats.  My idea of a perfect way to spend an evening and the perfect way to close off a weekend.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Just lovin it.

A while ago, I started re-working the collar on  a sweater that I started at 3 a.m. one morning and had just a leeeeetle too much fun knitting short rows at the neck line.  the collar and shoulders were forced to sit oddly and I seldom wore it out of the house.

Original above and


My original plan was to take out the excess short rows and graft but that just got weird.  It ended up being much cleaner and easier by far,  to take the collar completely off and reknit to the top, finishing off with a new collar.

I knit the shoulders to a regular shoulder and did a three needle bind off.  Probably ought to have done the bind off to the inside but oh well.

Much much better.  No weird excess at the back of my neck and the collar more or less sits as it does in the original design.  And no one, not even me, I looked, will see the place where the stitches are half off in the ribbing because of the change of direction of knitting.

I wore it out yesterday and will again today.  Used to be I loved this sweater in spite of its flws.  Now I just love this sweater.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Party on

I'm still not feeling very good and tomorrow is the tenth day.  What was that about cold viruses being gone in 10 days?  I'm still headachey and feel like life is in slow motion and I don't care enough to go out and grab it.  Maybe after my coffee? (Yes, the coffee did work on the headache.  Guess I have to cold turkey coffee again.  sigh)

I did start working on the Pup Badge for Marcus sweater.  I didn't get as far as I hoped but I can tell that a good day or two and it will be done.  The only limitations are my eyes and the light.  It needs to be worked on in the full light of day, that is certain. 

So, there will be some knitting but you know what I really feel like?  A good dive in my stash.

I love my stash.  I love these beauties and I love the plain stuff too.  I love the crispy, crunchy stuff and the softest cashmere stuff.  I love the handspun and the millspun and the giant commercial entity spun. I love the commercial dyes and the hand dyes. I love the thin stuff and the bulky stuff and everything in between.  It makes me feel like I have something to knit on for.  I will knit on, do on, work on, just for the chance to play with these gorgeous things.

Just looking at pictures of pretty yarns is giving me the energy to go on this morning. On to all the little things that have fallen by the way side this last few days.  There is laundry.  Again.  Dishes.  As ever.  Sweeping the floors.  

Okay, I don't mind this last but when you have rugs, ignoring everything that falls to the floor is so much easier to ignore.  (I will never ever live with rugs again).  You never put floors on the ignore list with hard floors.  Everything just follows you, stuck to your socks. It sounds gruesome but here, what is stuck to your socks is threads from the sewing corner, tiny bundles of wool that pilled off sweaters and trimmings from whatever project you were knitting two weeks ago.  And the occasional grapevine bit from when the kids were here just before your cold and the odd cheerrio from the time they were here before that.  And that is after you ran around with your little wonder vacuum (but did not move your furniture. )

So lots of ordinary going on around here today.  But after lunch, when the general days chores are done...Party in the wool closet.  You are welcome to come play with me if you dare. 


Thursday, 8 November 2018

Book or Pattern

Days never seem to get where I thought they would go when I write the blog post.  I probably ought to be writing in the evening so I do not so often end up planning as I write and deliver nothing.  I originally wrote in the very early morning, and then as my work changed started writing in the evenings and in the aftermath of 2013, went back to evening writing.  There really isn't any difference in the long run,I suppose.  There are always days where the day is gone and there isn't a lot to show for it but it is something to think about.   

With my tension finger cut in the worst possible place and with the additional irritation of my cold, to say that things have been sluggish would be putting it mildly.  Knitting time is way down this week.  On the upside, sleeping and napping is going much much better.  Napping has been particularly wonderful.  

But following through with a plan has not happened. It will, but not yesterday.

This morning, I got up a bit late and I am not feeling particularly pressured to do anything so my mind is wandering through things I want to knit on Ravelry.  

I keep coming back to Kate Davies this morning.  I was thinking bout my yarns from my summer trip and about the Harrisville I have on cones for her Myrtle sweater.     I took a look at the book and realized that I have at least four other things from that book in my favourites.  I stopped counting at four.  There may be more.  

So now I am debating book or just one pattern.  A digital book doesn't take much space but I don't like to have patterns sitting around that I won't knit.  

So that is my conundrum this morning.  The debate rages.  Book or Pattern.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Woolgathering: indulgence in idle fancies and in daydreaming; absentmindedness

I think I mentioned it before, that besides my regular blue pair of glasses, I have a different pair of glasses for using by my computer and I use a different pair of glasses when I am watching TV from my bed in the evenings.   My computer glasses are the best lenses by far and more and more, I wear them all around the house.  My clearest vision of all is no glasses and just holding stuff close.  

This morning, I was in my room and noticed that my regular glasses were by my computer.  I wasn't wearing glasses at the time, so yay me, for seeing them at all.  I put them on and thought I better go get my computer glasses and put them by the computer before I forgot. I often toss my glasses beside me on the table or on a footstool when I am reading my tablet and assumed I had done this.  I could not find them in the livingroom.  I looked in the kitchen. I went back to my bathroom.  Might I have left them there, having taken them off to clean them?  And then I found them...right on the top of my head.  

I am not going to hold out much hope for today. 

But then again, there is coffee.  There is a crisp morning out there that I can easily avoid by simply staying at home and I did see my blue glasses on top of my black computer case without any glasses on at all.  Maybe it's a winning day after all.

While I wasn't doing much knitting, I have been sorting out a small problem Maybe a big problem.  But it was a problem that has completely stopped work on the Chase sweater.  

The pocket is the problem.  It isn't large enough to do a duplicate stitch badge.  The badge is a shield with a star inside and there simply are not enough stitches do do the details.  I do so want to give Marcus what he wants.  And a full pup badge is what he needs.  I am sure he would tell me this with such a look of supplication which I couldn't turn away from.  You know how it is.  Little boy eyes and little boy dreams.  

As I was sorting out my shelves yesterday, I kept shifting this large roll of tear away stabiliser I have.  I set it down on top of my box of embroidery threads once, and it hit me, that what I needed was an embroidered patch sewn to the pocket.  I could get the details on the badge much more easily and more crisply on fabric than on yarn. I might have a bit of the right blue fabric to do the work on, but if not, the patch could be fully embroidered, covering a plain white fabric.  The stabiliser will keep it all nice and firm while I work. And a little plus for Marcus, Grandma can use the grey he told me not to forget around the edge of the shield. I didn't have yarn to do that in duplicate stitch.  I was planning to just use yellow but now all bets are back on!

So today, I have some embroidery to do and in case you are wondering, that is glasses off kind of work. First place I am looking for them later is the top of my head.      

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Almost human. Still knitting.

There were lots of reasons to reorganize my study, one of which was to make a better knitting space.  A livingroom is a more communal space, a shared space, and sitting there in the evening makes me feel alone so usually, by 7:30, I come into my study to read.  

Audiobooks that is.  Most of my books are audiobooks these days.  It is a different kind of reading to paper book reading or ebook reading.  I never really thought about a book as a delivery method till my friend told me to read the graphic novel, The Arrival, I think it was, to explain a graphic novels power.  Read it once.  Never forgotten it.  That is the marker of a great story, told in a different way. I have explored audiobooks longer, though till the Arrival, I always felt that audiobooks weren't as good an experience of a story as a good old fashioned bound paper book.  The Arrival woke me to the different experience I was having from the same story on paper, as an ebook and as a well read audio book.  Each delivery method adds a different sort of nuance to the story, and for those special books, where I have read them paper and ebook,and listened to them as an audio book, an entirely special depth to what I take from the story.  But audiobooks are where I usually end up in the evenings.  It's a friendly voice telling me a story and keeping me company as I travel through where ever the story goes.

I usually read in my study because it is separate, and closed from the stuff of the day.  I escape here into a book much as I always did.  And now, there is a really comfortable little knitting chair here

and a tidy corner to sit in and read and work.  I always had a chair in here, but it just wasn't right somehow.  

I saw it and used it more as a sewing chair.  It's  really great sewing chair, and it is great for spinning, but it wasn't a relaxing chair, and evenings in my study, listening to books is about relaxing.  

I looked at a lot of chairs before ending up back at my favourite place Ikea. I looked at used, but honestly, I like to have things that work together.  It has always made me feel less combobulated with the world if I had things that could be just so. I saw some great rose coloured swivel rockers that would have been perfect knitting and reading chairs but my room isn't rose coloured and it isn't roses.  It's yellow and dandelions. I tried out 4 different yellow chairs but this one won the day, mostly because the back is exactly the right height if I want to rest back and have a little nap.  I just have to tilt my head and it is there.  This one also took the day because it feels small, though it is a full size chair.  

Sunday evening, in an effort to begin as I mean to go on, even though the study was still a mess, I decided to start a knitting project just for here.  For now at least.  It's probably going to move around with me later.

I have long been wanting to make something special for my daughter in law Amy's mom.  She loves a blanket that I knitted for Scott many years ago.  It is her blanket when she is over there.  

Me too.  Its just so wonderfully dense and deep.  The yarn is Comfort Chunky and I have some in my stash.  Her husband is not a wool fan, not even close, so this is the perfect yarn for her.  But not a blanket, a shawl, big and warm to snuggle in when she is watching TV as her day winds down, but also for snuggling when she is out camping with her all kids grandkids, including the ones we share.  

I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her, Study Hall from Knitty.  I love everything about this pattern and it is really perfect for knitting here in my study, listening to books or watching something.  It's body is a lot of garter stitch but there are sweet little details right from the start.  

It is the perfect knitting compliment to Miss Marple, as I work through all the stories as audio books and the TV series of her stories, Joan Hickson, Geraldine McEwan, and Julia McKenzie.  If I could find them all, I would watch all the Miss Marples ever made.  Garter stitch with a little twisted stitch right at the spine.  Isn't that just the most perfect Miss Marpleish knitting?

Tuesday is usually my spinning and errand day, but no spinning for me today.  There isn't any point in spreading this miserable cold.  I am starting to feel a bit more like a human though and coffee tastes really good.  I may live through this yet.  

Almost human.  Still knitting.  Reading and watching Miss Marple.  Sounds like a good day to me.    


Monday, 5 November 2018

The remainders

It was not a weekend where any forward movement happened at all.  I developed a cold, I cut my yarn tensioning finger right where it matters, and I hd an overnight guest. The guest was great, but the rest not so much.  It wasn't a knitting weekend, but I am pretty pleased with what I got done on Friday.

This is what I have chosen for shawl storage. Basic Trones shoe storage.   Each 'box' is separate so you have an infinite number of ways you hang these to use.  These tidy shallow boxes don't impede the doorway at all and it puts my shawls where I can get to them quickly and easily.  I'm already wearing a greater variety of shawls day to day! I have to get the photos hung properly but otherwise this corner is done.

They do indeed store all my shawls nicely.  Over time, I am going to replace the ziplocs with cloth bags for storage.  I would much rather have the shawls in bags that breathe plus fabric won't puff with air over time so there will be room for many more shawls.  

And my sewing corner.  Thursdays project is still there waiting on the table for it's final finishing, mostly trimming of the threads, but the furniture is all in place.  I've tucked my yarn cabinet right in the corner.  It finishes up that nice much brighter space wonderfully.

That is the biggest change.  This part of the room is so bright and airy where before, it was dominated by the dark overfilled bookcases.

The shelves make much more sense here.  I had to set them  healthy inch away from the air vent behind them, but even so, it just feels right.  I have a bit more work to do on these.  I put stuff on the shelves but I did not organize them.  Ideally, this storage would be deeper shelving, deep enough for all my boxes, with doors on it to hide the full load the shelves carry but I have these old stacked Billy shelves so I will find a way to make it work.  My current plan is to extend a sturdy curtain rod out from the shelves so the curtain hangs properly straight.  I'm not sure how high the curtain will go but the goal is to close off the busy storage and leave only the books and a pretty box or two open up top. 

I still have a few boxes to fill with things.  Most of the stuff here has to go into the white boxes you can see just behind my new knitting chair. 

And those boxes will be tucked right beside the shelves in a nice tall ordered stack.  Sock yarn bits in one, handspun yarn in another, singles that need finishing, left over ends of yarns that are not sock yarn. That is the kind of thing that is going in these boxes.

There are a few things that I will move out to my spare room to finish up, but only things that are for processing wool. The goal here for my bedroom/study/sewing room is to create a more restful place, an airier, more open area to sit in, more accessible, one that better fits the way I am using this space.  

When I watch those home shows where a designer is making a craft space for the owners and I see them choose a few pretty looking bits to display on elegant shelving above an uncluttered desk, I laugh.  I laugh at them and I laugh at me, because boy oh boy, in a perfect world...  Reality is never like that.  My reality is messier and stuff never fits so elegantly as I would like. It doesn't mean that the things that support what I do, need to overwhelm.   

Right now, I am going to have a nap (See above and cold) but by the end of the day, all these little remainder tasks will be done, this room will be much more relaxing and I will be sitting pretty, knitting.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Along with the sewing yesterday, I did manage to finish, or almost finish the Chase sweater. 

While I did not use up all of the yarn for the sweater proper,

there is not enough left to make the pocket, unless it was miniscule.  I'm glad I have another skein.

I am really pleased with this wool.  It's a lovely feeling as it runs through your hands.  Plus it says superwash, though by superwash, they mean wash in cold water in a machine on gentle and tumble dry on low. 

I have a bit more sewing and then some work on my room to do today.  My sewing is in my bedroom /study.  The way I have it set up right now, you have to walk through the area you are sewing in, to do anything in the room and I want to change that.  Beside all the small bits of thread from sewing, which seem to end up on the floor as often as not, the whole study part of my giant bedroom often ends up kind of ramshackle, like a junk drawer gone astray.  It is kind of a pain to get to the shelves to put stuff back so it ends up on the chair, the small table, the floor.   It's like a cascade failure, and pretty soon the effects of the disorder are everywhere.  Contrary to popular opinion, I really hate that.  I hate that I let it happen (because I do) and I hate having to tidy it up to do anything in that space.

But never enough that it starts me doing it properly in the first place.  I am a tougher nut than that to crack.  It's like I have to trick me. Putting stuff away properly is not just about having room for it, but about having the storage easy to get to as well.

I am moving my sewing to the wall currently occupied by my bookcase, and moving the bookcase to the walk through area.  If I can get to the bookcase easily, particularly when there is no where to set it when I am in a rush but in its proper place, I stand a much better chance of avoiding the cascade failures. 

Another part of this plan is to be able to use my knitting chair for actual knitting.  First off, my other chair really wasn't as comfortable as I hoped.  I got a new knitting chair, but it is stuck in the way of the wool closet doors.  I want to move it to a nice natural position with a good view of my audio visual set up.  It has become a habit to sit in my desk chair because my knitting corner is not angled to see the screen. I end up scrolling the internet rather than knitting while listening to books or internet courses. The desk chair is not conducive to knitting and isn't what I call comfortable.

I also have a solution to my shawl storage problem that needs to be installed.  I ended up going with a thing Ikea designed for shoe storage, the Trones cases.  I needed something narrow with  a door to contain unruly bags of shawls and these fit the bill.  They will hang on the wall in my dressing area, ready for me to reach easily, anytime without intruding on anything else. 

It's a bit of a job with a good cleaning of the whole room attached.  Big job, busy day plus a pocket to knit and embroider. Time to get moving.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

That thing we should talk about but don't.

I'm doing some sewing again today.  That's because it took me hours to cut out the project into all its small component parts and it took forever to put all the pieces into their proper order.   The sewing is about as simple as I have ever done but it uses up a lot of thread.  It's all zig zag but for the closures and it seemed to suck up thread like there was no tomorrow.  I'm going to use up some of this.

All those pretty colours from old projects are perfect for this project.  What am I sewing you may ask? Well, if you are of tender years avert your eyes, though, really, you shouldn't. Move along if you are squeamish, though you really shouldn't be.  Long ago when we lived in communities with grandmothers in the same homes, we would have known of these kinds of things without needing to talk about them.  But we should be talking about them, so that none of us has to feel this is all so undignified.  It's life.  Get over it.  I am sewing some incontinence pads. 

I have to start at the beginning.  I had three kids.  I had a hysterectomy.  I am 60.  All these things combine to mean that my bladder is not supported any more by the tendons, structures and muscles that support it when you are younger, have not had kids, have not had that surgery.  Occasionally, I leak.  One third of all women will in some measure or other.  Many men will have the same problem as they age.  It isn't uncommon.  For years it was a mere irritant and was handled well by the average pad from the woman's products aisle.  Several years ago, I switched to specialty products. 

In the specialty product aisle the choices are few.  One brand causes me to itch.  Just imagine that for a while.  Yeah.  The product I preferred is very, very hard to find on store shelves in the proper length and  absorbency.  The newest product on the market is also a very occasional find.  You can find liners, that are not sufficient in my case and the other end of the scale, full on briefs and adult diapers. The supply of goods is even worse now that I am in  smaller center.  

More and more, the makers of the product are advertising full panty products and not a lot else. These seem to be available all over, but they are expensive and only available in small packages.  You could take out the cost of new panty's from your budget.  You wouldn't be needing those, but the throw away undergarments would costs thousands of dollars per year and because good quality undergarments don't need replacing daily or more often, you only get that small discount once.  Thousands of dollars.

I got cranky.  I get cranky about a lot of things where we are being sold something that manufacturers have decided we need.  You have white teeth?  Ever cared before dentists and ads told you your teeth weren't white?  No.  You cared that they were clean.  You did not invent the idea that teeth should be perfectly white, they did.  I got cranky about manufacturers who have decided I ought to spend big bucks that I don't have on a product I will toss out a couple times a day.  

As my grandchildren were coming into the world, I started thinking about cloth diapering in the modern way, with the sweet little diaper covers in waterproof fabric.  I was talking to a lady I know about her grandmother and problems with incontinence and I started wondering about adult incontinence products.  Some research on the internet led me to very large and active community using cloth pads for their monthly flow which led me to some great videos by a lady named Amy Nix, who actually addresses the issue and for which I am very grateful.  
See?  Done with simplicity and intelligence and dignity and done well.  If you are my age and younger, we are so used to the throw away product that too often we don't think about what women, people did before.  If you are like me, you have to be hit hard in the head, or the pocket book before you even dream that there might be another way to do these things.  But I was (hit hard in the head) and with encouragement from some pretty great people out there in the world (they know who they are),  I have become part of that community.

I purchased my goods from Diaper Sewing Supply in the spring and made some prototypes but my vacation put the project on hold for a while. When I got home from vacation, I got myself kitted out but found that life would be easier if I had a few more.  If you are using the pads for a few days a month, you need fewer than if you are using them every single day.  Life was becoming about the regularity of laundry, so this week, I am sewing more.  

I did look at Canadian suppliers for PLU fabric, and for wicking material.  There is a very good diaper supplier out of Quebec, Agrumette  that sells diapers and other things ready made, but also sells the supplies.  I will link direct because it is a bit hard to find the supplies on their site.  Fabricland has some but has only the most simple of  wicking supplies in their baby area.  I was really disappointed by that, but c'est la vie.  

If anyone has any questions about anything I have talked about today, please do not hesitate to contact me at canadian needles (one word) at yahoo dot canada (the short form) and I would be happy to assist if you see me out and about in the world.  

Switching over to this has been life changing and what makes me infinitely happier, has freed my limited income.   My savings will cheerfully be diverted to yarn