Thursday, 31 October 2019

I don't think that went how I wanted.

Just as I was going to write a post last night, my computer got the great blue screen of death.  Or maybe imminent death.  Sigh.

The landlord is going to look at it this evening.  But if it needs replacing, I am not sure what I will do.  It's not scheduled for replacement.  At least I have this tablet. 

I knit yesterday.  I knit a lot.

I pushed hard to get to where I could see the ripples from the increases, and I did.  But I don't think I like what they are doing.  I may be ripping back to the welt and redoing. 

I hate that, but it is what it is.  I hate doing that but the very best thing about knitting is that you can.  You can make it better.

So I will.

Monday, 28 October 2019

And now for something completely different

and completely the same!

I ended up working on the sleeves of my coat and got it to the end of the green sleeve island.  Just a few inches with the grey but that can happen when it happens.  I wanted to start working on the body of the sweater again.

Before I did that, I made time to try it on to double-check that I was getting things right.  Math is one thing but math can lie.  I wanted to see and feel it for myself.  All is well.  All is more than well, and that little bit of future success made knitting all the more interesting.

I kept knitting until I got to the place on the back of the sweater, where I wanted to do a line of increases.  I wanted to knit the back of this sweater like the back of Argo, where there is a row of increases forming the smallest bit of a gathered ripple across the back.  It allows me, with so many stitches to add between waist and hip, to have a garment that is not just an a-line but rather more of a straight side. 

On Argo, that increase line is the point where you move from garter stitch to stockinette, so the larger than usual number of increases are hidden in the change.  I wanted to do a welt trim to help hide them here.

Knitting the welt is kind of interesting.  There are all kinds of great videos on the net for this simple technique, so I won't go over that here.  I will merely show you my result in this rather beefy heavy wool. 

I am rather pleased with that bit of a ridge.  The increases will happen on the next round and should tuck in nicely under that bit of a visual bump. 

I do have a bit of a quandary about colour blocking.  Should I do the colour blocking as it is on my Argo, with the change happening right about this point on the garment, or should I just go with the grey at the bottom like my original plan?  So many choices.

It is just a little bit cool though.  The welt is neat, to use that very 1950's phrase.  A different technique for me, but still knitting.  It is good.

Looking for Inspiration

Yup. The lull is hitting me big time.  I have been knitting a little, slogging away at sleeves, pondering the coat project.  

The need for the coat is becoming urgent.  Cold hit yesterday with some ferocity.  No serious snow but the cold has arrived.  The coat slipped from small pending need to urgent as the wind blew in.

I am very close to the end of the second sleeve.  I am looking forward to that. Sleeves can be irritating.  No doubt about that. The length of the green on the sleeve has been determined by how far the lone ball of green allotted to sleeve one went.  There will be grey at the cuff too, but that part will be knit later for both sleeves.  I'd like to get past the green first.

The thing I have been pondering is pockets.  The easy thing is patch pockets, but I think I prefer a side seam pocket that is tucked away,  almost hidden.    I could do an afterthought pocket too and that is why there is pocket pondering. 

I am going to continue pondering today but as usual after a big knit is complete, I'm going to go dig in the yarn.  It is time for a good toss of the boxes, and I need the inspiration that digging in yarn gives me.  I need the colors, I need the textures, I need the cozy feeling that playing in something I dearly love gives me.  

There may be some knitting with Einband later today.  If nothing else works, that will. There is always inspiration in the Icelandic.  

Friday, 25 October 2019

Hun is a Honey of a Thing

I am sitting here this morning wearing my completed version of the Hun sweater.

There isn't anything like it.  Putting something on that you took from yarn to wearable garment is simply the most amazing thing.  Nothing compares to this feeling.  Nothing.  It is such a sense of fulfillment of a goal, of a challenge, of proof to me that I can do this, of proof to the universe that this knitting thing is mine, that there is only the mill and the mail system between me and the sheep (gross oversimplification but still). 

Even knitters will think that I am a bit crazy to be talking like this, but some of you will know.  Knitting is the very heart of me and I have a very deep emotional connection to it and my yarn.      

I am also sitting here with only my nightgown on so there is plenty of skin to skin contact going on here and it isn't itchy.  There might be an itchy spot on an edge, but it is momentary and it goes away if I leave it alone, but the rest of the garment feels exactly like when I wear my Einband shawl.  When I am swathed in Icelandic wool it does not feel itchy.  It feels like there is a cushion of warm surrounding me, a soft cozy secret cushion of warmth.    

I know that many people are not able to do this, to wear Lopi against their skin.  I accept that I may possibly be weird in this matter, but I urge you,  don't just hold yarn against your neck and say ' oo, it is too itchy'.  You will be missing some of the most amazing things about Icelandic yarns if you skip it because of one small touch. You really have to swath yourself in it to understand.  

Or maybe I am reading this wrong.  Maybe I should be telling you all to just keep on thinking Icelandic wools are so itchy.  That way there will be more for me.  

Thursday, 24 October 2019

There is a project sitting in my sweater chest that I rarely take out and even more rarely, wear.  I adored knitting it.  It was stimulating and interesting and challenging and just good fun but it never made it to the things I like to wear. 

It started life as a sampler wrap made of z series of twisted stitch patterns, which I liked but found awkwardly large.  I then turned it into a shrug by slicing a wearing opening into the steeking stitches.  That left awkwardly large sleeves which I did sew narrower, but without slicing out the excess fabric, it wasn't comfortable.  I really hated the thought of slicing all that lovely work.  

The I saw this cardigan on Ravelry.  The Walnut Cardigan  I started thinking that this is where this piece needs to go.  I deserve to wear and use this lovely sampler.  

Turning it into a unshaped cardigan would resolve all the issues that I have had with this.  The wrap would stay where you put it without having excess you have to tuck to hold in place.  It turns the wrap into a short sleeve garment with an almost shawl collar.  In this house, and my always feeling a chill on the back of my neck, it looks like the best solution yet.  

So, one day soon, this is going to be worked on.  It is out of the sweater chest and into my daily vision.  I will have to do a stash dive to get out the remaining balls of this yarn, but that's okay.  It is the season to have a good go through of all the yarn, to pull out what inspires me now, and to put away all that LettLopi.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

The Responsible Thing

I had hoped that finishing the Hun sweater would keep me going through the after-the-big-project-lull, but it is not.  I feel a little cranky and put out with the world.   I have no idea what to work on.  

And yet there are ten thousand things to do.  

I have flooring to lay in the kitchen of my miniature house.   There is a large embroidery project to start as well as several smaller ones that I would love to do.  There are some soles that I would like to put tops on for casual shoes.  There is sewing, all kinds of sewing.  There is weaving.  There are always dozens of sweaters in the wings.  All these things are just waiting for me to man up and do.

And I'm feeling just a little bit stuck.  And besides all these things there is one other thing.

There is a sense of shame that I haven't worked on this project for a while.  When I listed sweaters on this blog a couple weeks ago, I didn't even mention this one.  I seem to have completely forgotten about it.  Which project?

It's a little project that I started in November last year.  Just a simple little fingering weight cardigan closed at the neck with these wonderful buttons.  

Since I gave my room a good cleaning and tidying a couple weeks ago, the buttons have been sitting there, in my face several times a day.  Every time I walk into or out of the room, they accuse me of ignoring them and their project, just by being there.  They taunt me.  Knitting shouldn't shame the knitter unless, like me, there are fifteen other projects sitting waiting for some attention.  I really deserve to knit this sweater for me.


I am not going to be swayed by pretty button guilt or by all the other things I would love to do today.  There is a nasty wind out there this morning and I woke several times through the night just because of noise. It wuthered fiercely between the houses here.    There is a skiff of frozen looking snow, possibly some frozen rain too, covering the lawns and the cars and everything else.  Winter may be setting in.

I don't think I have a choice today.  I think I have to gird my loins and knit on my sweater/coat. It may not be the project of choice today, but it is the project of need.  Serious need.  I do have other sweaters and will layer, as usual, but this coat is designed to fit coat like to be worn over my other garments.  It would be pleasant to not feel quite so stuffed into my gear when I am out and about.

The coat may be green and it may not be lace or have pretty little handcrafted buttons waiting for it, but the coat is the sensible thing to work on.  Winter simply requires it.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

And the Next Thing

So one sweater all but done.   A very few ends to weave and button bands to do.  It is blocking as we speak and all I can say is O.M.G.  

I stop by the ironing board where it is drying in the hall just to pet it from time to time.  I am so pleased.  It wouldn't even have to fit well for me to love it. I haven't  tried it on yet.  At this point, I can wait.

Once I got my act together today, I did have to pick up some other knitting.  I had two very possible things to work on.  One, my coat sweater or sweater/coat.  I thought about this but it's green and I wanted something just a little different for today.  

I picked up Myrtle.

I had a bit of a revelation while knitting it this afternoon.  

I am knitting an entire sweater in a fingering weight yarn in lace.  It's a good thing it is a nice yarn and a simple rhythmic lace.  That could be overwhelming if I let it.  But it is stripes, it is pretty colors, it is interesting, blooming yarn. 

It just feels right.

Monday, 21 October 2019

On Leaving Sleeve Island

After sleeve island, the logical thing is to knit button bands.  So I did.  And then I steeked it. 

 It is possible that the smarter choice would have been to block it first but... oh well. And so a sweater is done.  Completely done.

There is always a bit of a lull when I complete a big project, but this one still needs blocking and buttons.  I am looking forward to both jobs.

I had the button box out from looking for buttons for dad's vest, so it was handy and I pulled out several interesting choices.

The buttons that I would have chosen in a heartbeat, had there been enough of them, are the five reddish buttons nearest the large button.  The red was a bang on match to the rust in the sweater,  but if you look closely, there are two different kinds of buttons: three have two holes, and the others, four.  I would have used the large button at the neck.  Had all the plain buttons had been the same, I would have but this way it felt like too many differences.  The other choices on the tray were okay but didn't really excite me.

Digging just little deeper, I came up with these

which are better than the average nice.  I would consider them my first choice bar none, had I not seen the way the wood buttons looked with the sweater.

The sweater is soaking now, and I am so looking forward to blocking and wearing this lovely thing.  It's been such a joy to knit it.  Ravelry may tell me that I've been working on this sweater since 2015 when I first pulled the yarn out and knit a swatch, but it hasn't taken very long at all. 

The first try was pulled out because I had forgotten a set of increases.  Then it sat because I moved, sold one property, sold the house, and moved again.  And then it sat...well, because knitting. And finally,  August of 2018 and last winter, when I determined that I really still wanted this sweater, I set down to knit.  It knit fast because of its striped nature.  The last colourwork section took more than another day, but each of the other stripes took an easy day of knitting. The two sleeves each took a very easy day, and all I did Sunday to finish up was knit two button bands.  I could have easily completed those on Saturday but I did have to visit the button box and then being evening, it just didn't seem like a good idea to start a part (buttonholes) that needed concentration and math.  It may look like it took four years, but really, it was a speedy knit.

And now, I have a problem.  For the past four years, the Lopi has had its own large storage container with all the knitting tucked there as well.  Since I started the sweater again, it lived in the WIP bins, where yarn and garment took up one whole bin.  The problem is the leftovers. 

Plenty for a second sweater of some sort, with sleeves, if I manage it right.  They need a home.  I am going to need to do a stash dive to find enough room or make enough room in one of my current containers for an unexpected sweaters worth of yarn.  I knew there would be leftovers.  Obviously so, considering I started with fifteen balls of green, but I thought I would use much more of it than I did.  I was expecting a vest worth of leftovers.  This is not unhappy.  Not at all.  I am kind of thrilled.  Knowing I get one more Lopi sweater out of this is wonderful!

It's a nice kind of problem to have.  

Friday, 18 October 2019

Sleeve Island

Yesterday morning,  I was up and dressed well before 7.  By 8 I had sweaters on the drying rack and two loads of laundry done.  By 9 I had baked muffins, made my next batch of candied ginger for tea, done dishes and had reorganized my tea cupboard.  I did a healthy days work in just a couple of hours.  

Today not so much.  First off, there isn't a lot of the day to day stuff to do, and secondly, I slept in.  I hate sleeping in. It feels like half the day us gone and I haven't even got a dream to show for it.  

I am looking forward to today, though.  Today is sleeve island day. 

I am just about to start the colourwork for this sleeve.  It such a few stitches, that I don't feel it will take very long.  Then it's  a section of green and the sleeve band and done.  In my dreams both sleeves are done by days end.  In my dreams.

Beyond that, I wanted to mention what I usually do to short sleeves to make them fit better.  

When you are a large person, as I am, your arms are a bit padded out if you compare to an average size person.  You have more arm inches from the top of your shoulder to your end of sleeve than average. On a long sleeve, you don't  usually notice it, but a short sleeve can look very odd without compensating for it. Mind you, even on a long sleeve, it simply sits better if I count for it.  

My solution, or adaptation is to do short rows as soon as I can after starting the sleeve.  

On this sweater, with its  pattern band, it's  going to be a little trickier than usual.  I have added one short row in the green joining section so far, and I am debating where I can slip in another one or two without making the colour too wide and noticeable against the matching pattern rows on the front and back of the sweater body.  

The plan is too add one more black row before the colourwork, and then do the pattern a few rows and see if it looks okay.  If I have to, the extra short rows will be in that last green section of the sleeve, but I prefer to put them in, right where they are needed and best hidden, at the armscye.  

Keep your fingers crossed.  Let's  see how this goes.  

Thursday, 17 October 2019

All the days

Did you know that Bach, my most favourite composer wrote 175 hours of music?  I knew it was a lot of music, 1128 pieces plus 23 own works which are lost or incomplete.  One of my fondest dreams is to own a set of his works, a complete set.  

Hmm, the price is almost where I could afford it.  The only thing is there are so many other wonderful things to listen to that it is hard to set one's own self just one composer.  But this may be a very good day for me to find a nice collection to add to my box of Telemann that I stumbled on when I was on my epic adventure.  Baroque music soothes my soul when times are trying.

This morning I need this to soothe my soul.  

And I think because that prelude is short, this.

And so on.  Find a playlist.  It is a good day for that.
I need this music that touches my heart.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

A Dunce's Luck

I have been waiting on yarn from MacCauslands, to work on my coat again.  I ordered it back in September to replace the rich brown heather and it never arrived.  It was something I always remembered at supper time, long after their mill closed for the day or in the middle of the darkest night.  Daytime?   I could forget about is quick as you like with the regular challenges of the day.  

I called PEI yesterday to see if they had a tracking number and they did.  The post office showed it as delivered.  Only it wasn't.  We never even got a card for it in the mail.  

With no results I gave up and was planning on digging through my stash for something that would work to finish my coat.  The yarn is very well priced but the postage will kill you, and I just couldn't justify spending more.  

On my way home after getting some short people off to school, I picked up my mail and talked with the ladies at our local post office.  And

Wouldn't you know it.  The ladies at the post office knew about it.  They were starting to wonder what was going on.  They didn't realize that I had never gotten a card!  They did say it happens occasionally and I get that.  You wouldn't be human if you never made mistakes.  So this morning I'm looking forward to getting a move on my coat.  Winter is well on it's way.  

Knitting and the people I met through it have made my life so rich.  Every once in a while I have a need to say, that with my every stitch, I think of each of you, that every finished object I ever made is a testament to your support and the caring you have all shown me.  So if you need love and support back, it is here for you.  Sending giant hugs into the world today for all of you.  The world needs more hugs.  

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Duncing, Day Two

Having sorted out my sweater washing issues, I've been washing sweaters for the last few days.  

One of the things I had to wash was my version of Joji's Easy Bulky One,

This sweater is my go to, throw it over pjs and hang out on the weekend garment.  Hang out all day really because it is just so wonderfully warm.  

I washed it a while ago and it grew.  The sleeves were really an issue.  They had just become too long to wear and knit.  Lately, it hasn't been worn much, but I craved it's warmth. It's  perfect for this time of year.  

So this big comfy sweater had completed its wash and all the water was spun out and it was time to hang it on the drying rack.  I sat there, starting to fold it and I looked at the open dryer door and...

I threw it in and started the dryer up.  I figured five minutes wouldn't hurt it and might make it a better fit for how I like to wear it.  So I went to get another cup of coffee and...

Promptly forgot all about it.  

About an hour later I realized what I had done.  I had no hope at all that my cozy sweater would survive.  None.  I ran to get it out and debated if it would be coasters or if it would make another bag.  I was pretty upset with myself.

I yanked it out of the dryer in a tumble of towels and face cloths and held it up and...

It had shrunk.  Exactly the right amount.  It fits perfectly. I won't  ever be able to do this again but it fits.  It is still large and cozy with plenty of room in the body for the casual, over pajama look I wanted from it in the first place.  The arms fit perfectly.  Exactly the right length, exactly right, like a normal fit sweater at the sleeves.  I could now wear it out of the house if I wanted to.  Not that I will.

I got lucky.  Very lucky.  Still deserving the dunce cap.  

Sunday, 13 October 2019


F1 had a wonderful race this Sunday morning.  I knit my heart out, cheering for my favourite driver.  My diligent knitting while absorbed in the race meant real progress. 

See that line of black garter stitch?  Bottom edging.   

I am there. And if you are regularly reading, you will see that there is no additional colourwork section.  The last one plus the green plain section took me to a perfectly fine 17 inches and that is without blocking and without the black border counted.  It's perfect.

It will take a day to do the edging and then the sleeves need knitting but according to the pattern, that is two pain sections and one colourwork section plus the cuff.  It is designed with a short sleeve and for how I expect to wear this, a short-sleeve works well. 

So, not too far off and another one done.  This is a really great place to be.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

I am a Dunce

I realized this morning that I am a dunce.  

I wear sweaters a lot, almost everyday spring, fall and winter, plus occasional days in summer for the last twelve years.  There is always a sweater or two at hand.  

Washing them should be no chore by now.  It generally isn't.  Wherever I have lived, I have found a system to get the job done, a place to soak, a way  to get the water out and a place to dry them.  But I am still me.  Disrupt any part of my system, and I completely fall apart.  I'm not good at putting myself back together again.  It happens eventually, but it takes a long time.  

In August, when the kids were here, we used my sweater washing bucket to gather up toys from around the house.  It is still in the spare room, waiting to be emptied.  It isn't something I use a lot so it only bothers me when it is time to wash sweaters.  

Sweaters have been waiting for washing for a month now.  I am in fact, running out of sweaters to wear that are clean or even cleanish.   

I have been spinning out the wash water from sweaters in this machine for a long time.  It is so sensible.  And that is where I get the dunce cap.  Because it honestly never occurred to me to put the sweaters in the machine to soak.  On the clearly labeled SOAK cycle.  

Sigh.  You may now laugh at me.  Go ahead. I'm ok with it.  

I had a soak cycle on machines before but there was always added water in the spin cycle so I never even tried it in this machine before.  I've also had one machine that drained if I just let things soak by filling with water and turning the machine off.  So I never bothered to try this machine.  I got so set in my thinking that I never even tried it at all.  

Silly me.  The Soak cycle is perfect on this machine.  No more lazy delay because my bin is full of toys.  

The Dunce Cap is quite securely planted in my head and will be for some time.  

Take it from me, if you dare.  I bet you can't.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Yesterday was another babysitting day.  The regular babysitter has a semi regular appointment so it seems Thursday sitting will be semi regular.  

Yesterday was full of sock knitting but today may well be a day of cheery sweater knitting.  

I have one green section to go and honestly it is longer than I thought it would be.  I am going to block this before I make a final decision to add another motif or not.  The thing is that another motif means another green section too, and that may be too much.  It's a conundrum.

But the good kind of conundrum.  

I have dad's vest to block and sew buttons too.  I want to get it out in the mail on Tuesday.  

Lots to keep me going today.  And tomorrow!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

The last few days have been lived looking back.  It's such a weird combination of things putting me there.

It is knitting this.  It's the green and the rust and the colour work.

It reminds me of knitting this.  

He wore this so much that last winter.  It kind of kills me now, because, in a world where I was not familiar with how weird cancer can be, it didn't strike me as odd that before then, it was to warm to wear unless he was sitting in our chilly basement when the furnace wasn't running.   I loved knitting it and it turned out so well too.  But it was a sign and I missed it.  

And then because my mind is all full of my Icelandic knitting and Brian's vest and things that were and cannot be changed, I cannot tell you how it was that this morning, with him gone for six years, I saw bags of bright yellow split peas, green split peas, and nice little brown lentils, that I sat in the aisle at the grocery store, helplessly bursting into tears for missing him.  

In the seconds it took to put a bag of them in my cart, I was transported to those harvest days where he would be on the swather and get so stuffed up because of being allergic to the pea dust.  I remembered the years where yellow peas and lentils came from the big granary back in the bin yard behind the house and how one winter our meals repeated in a pretty short cycle:  roast game, venison cutlets, pea soup, roast game, stew, cutlets, potato dumplings, lentil soup and around and around again.  If it didn't come from the farm or had been hunted, we didn't have it and it didn't matter much because we were together, our kids were healthy and we were warm and well-fed.  I lived a decade in that moment it took to put the bag in my cart, a sweet long ago decade.      

My sudden red watery eyes were noticed by a very nice lady going the other way down the aisle.  She asked if I was okay, or if my eyes were just watering because of the harvest dust in the air.  I had to laugh and say it was even dummer than that, because how can you possibly explain the longing for that decade so long ago, and that one person who shared those things with you?  
We used to talk about those times, sitting in the hot tub with a large glass of sherry, the kind that slips down your throat warming everything from the inside.  We would laugh at the way it used to be and at kid stories and so many more memories. There isn't anyone to talk about them now, and it is mostly okay, because I can write them and maybe, sometime far in the future, my grandkids will wonder who we were and how we lived and will find the books of this blog.

So there you have it.  That is today in my world, filled with yellow peas and ham for soup, and vests of green and rust.  You may think this is a sad post but it isn't.  I have a good life and I am thankful for it.  I am privileged to have the time and the peace to think of these things and honoured to be able to share them with all my little people.  Not everyone is lucky enough to get that chance.

Monday, 7 October 2019


It was an epic knitting day today.  I sat down this morning and the coffee just tasted really good and I started knitting.  I knit a couple hours in the morning, pausing just long enough for a few chores and to rest my hand and then back to knitting.

I knit some more and had a nap.

And then I knit some more till I had only two rows of colourwork left to do.  By this time I was halfway through a really good Irish drama and I just kept going till the whole section was complete and the show was done. 

It was an epic day of knitting.  My hand feels good though it can tell it did a lot of work, and my brain is a little tired from the intensity of following the pattern but it feels really good to be here. 

One more section of plain green and then the big measure to see which of my two chosen motifs will be added. 

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Lining up the things!

What a busy and rewarding weekend!

I got to spend a day with my little boys!  We have seen this pose before.  I just had to laugh to find my little pumpkin, Emmett, sitting there, just like his big brothers.   

And like his father and big brother before him, he loves to watch the older guys play games. 

He is so cute and adorable that when they win a level, he claps his hands.  Isaac was off at his other dad's house and I sure missed seeing him.  We are going to try for a good movie night in a couple weeks here or at their house when he is around.

I finished knitting dad's vest yesterday before I went over to play with my little boys. This morning I finished the last bit of weaving in the ends and all that remains is buttons.  And a good steam blocking I think, to make it lay nice and straight. 

I am really happy with this.  I only hope it fits dad well enough that I can make quick small adjustments to make it perfect for him.  Keeping my fingers crossed.                         

Once that was done, I sat for a bit.  I had lunch, made some tea, and aimlessly looked for something to watch. I settled down with a couple episodes of Monk, which I can watch via the landlord's Amazon Prime account and picked up this to knit.                                                                                                                                                         

It doesn't look that great yet, but I have every reason to believe that it will be just fine.  The colourwork does pull in a bit but it will block out decently. I have no doubt at all.  I have one more pattern chart to do and then I have to get creative.  I want a longer sweater than this pattern is so I am going to use a couple charts from Mary Jane Muckelstone's 150 Scandinavian Motifs.  I have two prospects that I picked out last winter when I realized length was a problem.  It may be that I only need one more colourwork section but a backup motif is always good. Two new motifs might be needed. 

The green sections are a row or two longer, after each colourwork section.  The pattern has them staying the same, but I felt this might be a way to add length without an extra motif.  Lopi does have a magical amount of growth on blocking, but even with that growth, it isn't going to be enough. Adding the extra rows does have another benefit.  If you go back to the original pattern page, you can clearly see how each design row gets wider down the sweater.  My added design needs to do this same thing to make it look like it belongs and I think the wider green bands helps to keep the sweaters lovely proportions.  I hope. Okay, I am pretty sure, or I wouldn't have done this in the first place.

Tomorrow is going to be grocery day.  I've been putting it off the last few weeks, but there are some holes the landlord doesn't think of when he purchases things.  He is meal oriented in the kitchen, purchasing for two or three days, where I like to keep stuff on hand.  A well-stocked larder is a way of life.  Who wants to spend more time than you have to, shopping? Still, some things expire and sometimes I need stuff for things I want to make.  I have a hankering for some Dampfnudel,  which I came across on a Great British Bake Off a couple years ago. It is a steamed bun that can be a sweet after a meal or a meal by itself.  I had a look in my traditional German Cookbook and yup, I have a recipe, so I will start there. 

Looking forward and keeping busy.  At home.  I hope.

Friday, 4 October 2019

It's going to be grand!

I really love working with this yarn!  Friday Harbor from Cascade is simply magnificent. 

So often when you knit, particularly lace, or colourwork, you might feel that a project is good, but you don't really know what you have till you have given it a bath and blocked it.  With a yarn like Friday Harbor, you don't have to wait.  Right from the get-go, you know what you have on your needles.  It is a stalwart sort of yarn.  There are no obfuscations, no secrets.  No pretenses.  It shows you what it is going to be right from the first knitted inch.

What you get is pretty darn grand.  This is pre-blocking, pre anything but knitting and binding off.  It lays, just as calm as can be, waiting for you to notice how perfect it is.  I could almost send it without blocking and few would know the difference.

I have four rows on the second armband to do and the button band and I am done.  When that happens, I think I am going to miss working with this yarn.  I love its wooly dry silken self.

Not for long though, because there are so many good yarns in my closet and on my needles.  

Thursday, 3 October 2019

In and About, Not Out and About

For all that I said I was planning to stay busy yesterday, if I was writing about yesterday, it would go like this:  I had a nap.  

However, I will forgive myself because I did this.

I am really pleased with this.  I have been worrying that I have the arm holes too long, but now that it is all laying flat, I think it is okay.  I have a plan if the whole thing is too wide for dad, but too long in the arms would mean taking off the button band and arm bands, shortening all four shoulders and then re-knitting it all.  Too wide means I make a faux seam at the side with mattress stitch to take it in just a bit.  The ribbing could be included in that faux seam easy enough.

The knitting goal for today is to get the bands complete.  And buttons.  Oh my goodness, I didn't think about buttons till just this moment.  Before I do bands, I am going to have to find some good buttons.  I think I have some in my very large button stash.  There were some very dark ones in the last big bag of buttons that I purchased.  As long as they are dark and more black than brown, they will be fine. And there is sure to be something dark in the older button satsh that will work. I don't need anything fancy.  A gentleman doesn't really want buttons that show off.  It would be unseemly.  

 I wonder if the quilt store has buttons? Just in case.

I have also made an interesting little discovery.  Yarnspirations carries Coats and Clark.  Of course it says thread in the headers at the top of the page, but I go there for the Kroy and more recently the Hempster, but now...

 Coats and Clark is a long time 'name' in sewing thread in the Canadian market.  I don't buy thread often, but it is, sadly, one of the things that I do end up having to travel to the city for.  I haven't found anyone who carries a really good stock of thread, so being able to buy it online makes me happy.  BUT, they also carry zippers.   All kinds of zippers. 

I have got to get around more.  Around the internet that is.  

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Mitten Thoughts

I  hate house cleaning.  If you read this blog for any amount of time, you already know this.  I only do really deep cleans when I am trying to avoid resolving something else.  As a house cleaning strategy, avoiding does have its upside.  Avoiding the vest for the last few days means  my study (part of my giant, much too large for one bedroom) is ready for sewing.  Sewing is going to take up a big part of the day today to be sure, but while I was cleaning my bedroom,   I also unearthed this.  

I stopped at Egli's Sheep Farm on my epic adventure last year.  One of the little things I brought home were bags of scraps.  I have three bags full, naturally, in three different colours.  They are reasonably large pieces, trimmings and ends from the products Egli's manufactures at their site.  I love these bags of shearling.

I am going to try making mittens with them and what with the bag sitting right in my view this morning, I have been sitting, searching the internet for patterns and how to for making mittens.  There are several ways to do this, of course.  Some use full pieces and an extra thumb piece and some use a multi piece palm and single back piece.  I think  the pieces in my bags are going to suit the two piece palm method best, though my current plan is to use the smallest pieces to make the backs of the hand.  Backs of the hand can easily be made from the smallest of pieces, sewn together.  There are a ton of patterns and a ton of videos on how to do this from mitten sewers and leather workers.  I am hoping not to have to stress my sewing machine too much and I don't want to invest in yet another tool,  so I am going to use an awl from my kit of screwdrivers and a sturdy crochet hook to mimic the action of the fancy speedy stitcher leather workers use.  Or I should say I will try to.

I am also thinking that because of the size of my shearling pieces, I will do a knitted cuff.  I just don't have enough to make long flamboyant gautnlets.  I might be able to do that for wee Emmett with his little toddler hands, but the rest of my kiddies are getting so gosh darn big!  They are in the last days of kiddie-hood for sure.  Isaac is going to be 11, Cassie turned 7 yesterday and my sweet little boys are both 5 and in kindergarten. They are growing so fast and I am going to have to start thinking of them as the young men and young ladies that they are.

In my google meanderings, I  found an article on on New England Boiled Wool Mittens.  Lots of us can knit the mittens, but to make them wind proof, felting them seems like a great idea.  This article gives us  few tricks on sizing that are invaluable.  Of course, test knitting is the only way to truly know, so there will probably be a pair of these too one day.  

But first the more plebeian household sewing, then some clothing sewing and then some play.  Plus knitting.  Sounds like my kind of good time.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

In the Now

I've been putting off working on dad's vest.  I've even been housecleaning just to avoid it.  It was time to sit down and get it done.

This morning I bit the bullet and got side one done.

You can finally get a feel for how this vest is going to look when it is done.  It's going to be marvelous.

All my time mucking about avoiding the issue was just a waste.  I was worrying about a future I had not yet made. 

"If you are depressed, you are living in the past,
If you are anxious, you are living in the future,
If you are at peace, you are living in the present."

Lao Tzu

Or attributed to him or them.  It is a gross over simplification of a thorny  and very complex  medical situation of course, but it does describe where my head has been.  I've been so busy worrying about doing that I completely stopped.  It is a good reminder to me, to keep my head focused on what is going on right now.

And right now, I am heading out to spin.  It is a good moment to be in.