Friday, 28 February 2020

The Test

Well that is it then.  My test is complete.

My doctors say that I should stop drinking coffee.  I have cut back to 2 cups a day.  It kills me to do it.  I mean, I love my coffee.  Seriously.  I even bought a Kuerig coffee machine to help.  This way instead of having a pot of coffee always facing me, calling me, I only have one cup at a time.  

I am playing coffee games a bit.  I do generally use the pods filled with Maxwell House.  (This one brand does not give me headaches.  It was a tip from a co worker with MS on a recommendation from her doctor.  It works.  No headaches.)  I want to have a few pre made pods on hand so that when company comes, I don't  have  to mess about filling pods. Last time I picked up a box, I inadvertently grabbed decaf.  

I thought about it.  Maybe decaf would free me to drink as much as I wanted.  So I would start my day as usual and then have a cup of decaf later in the morning.  The box is empty now so I guess my test is complete.  

Did it work?  Am I now free to drink as much coffee as I want? Absolutely not.  

I look back to last week when I started this decaf adventure with my blog posts.  I checked my journaling to see what was noted.  And do you know what?  I can see the decaf in my accomplishments for the last week, culminating in yesterday's  misery knitting.  

This is what was successful.  I knit a few stitches here and there and just felt nothing was right.  I started the I cord which  I decided I do need for my blue sweater, and couldn't sit even for that.  It's four stitches and sublimely restful knitting and it felt like nails on a chalkboard.  I did stuff here and there and just couldn't seem to find anything that worked.  I felt twitchy and jumpy and like a little kid when they are told to sit still.

And that is the decaf at work in me.  Years ago when I worked in an office and drank lots if coffee, I found this same thing.  Decaf makes me twitchy.  Finding my hyper focus was impossible.  And that is how I feel today. 

So this weekend I will clean the decaf out of my system and will return to normal, shortly.  I hope.  It is possible that there are other factors at play.  Like having to deal with pictures from long ago.  Like getting rid of yet another thing from the past but I think, more than anything, the twitchy is the decaf. 

It's nice that this test is done.  It's even nicer that I will get two cups of really great coffee.  Not so nice as having as much as I want, but hey.  

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Sorting Combing and Knitting

While the comb was under quarantine and repair, I spent most of my time working on photos.  I haven't done anything with the photos at all other than getting rid of the broken down photo albums and putting them all into a couple drawers.  I want to get rid of the dresser they are kept in.  It doesn't really fit the life I lead and and the space I have. I hate the thought of leaving it all in such a state that no one will know what they are looking at. 

If it was now, I am not so sure I would worry.  Photos have become almost ephemeral.   Most of the time, they aren't things you would keep long term anyway.  Kid pictures, keep.  Food pictures, yarn pictures, knitting pictures, not so much.  Still what I have of old fashioned printed pictures is a mess someone will be saddled with eventually, and I mean to make it less of a mess.

In the end, the only real knitting I did was to work on my slippers.  I finished slipper one this morning.  Don't you just love this heel?

The pattern, once again is Susan A.'s Simple House Slippers, from the free version of the pattern on her blog, with my own variation to knit it toe up.  Easier to customise by far. 

This pair is going to get leather soles, before I wear them.

Well maybe anyway.  That is the plan and you know how it is when I plan.

On to more picture sorting, fleece combing and on to slipper two.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020


I did different things yesterday and it was generally lovely.  But...

This happened.

I could have cried.  I was having a really good time combing the fleece and it just came to a huge creaking end.  

So, in my more than slightly grumpy state, I sat down and worked on the most irritating project I have, 

the yellow top.  It is irritating only because of one thing.   It is taking forever.  The pin with the blue plastic pin on it?  That is where I started.  I took the picture just after supper.  That was so demoralising that I stuck a bad Nick Cage movie in and had a Bad Nick Cage Movie Night***. I knit for the entire movie and made only 4 more rows.  They are long and pretty irritating. 

One of the things I have done is to keep all my markers in.  There is always something coming just a few visible stitches away and it makes these long plain rows feel faster.  
I came across something interesting yesterday.  I have the swatch for this in the kitchen.  It seemed like a good size for a dishcloth and I thought it would be a good test to see how the fabric functioned under ordinary but heavy use.

The ball bands say to wash cool and let it hand to dry.  I can see why.  

The colour softens quite a bit from its brilliant beginning to a more lemon colour.  I am okay with that, but mostly because I didn't bargain on hand washing my summer tops.  But what it does show is that repeated runs in both machines leave this very sturdy yarn softer and with pretty decent drape.  It may be excellent drape but my swatch can't show that.  It is too small and its doubled sections really firm it up.

I will persevere.  

*** Bad Nick Cage Movie Night  is what this household calls that night where you watch a movie like National Treasure or Demolition Man or something that you have seen a thousand times before because there was nothing else to watch.  Bad Nick Cage movie also because Cage makes decent movies or movies that make you want to shoot yourself in the eye.  You would think that streaming would change the need for a bad Nick Cage movie, but sometimes all you have left is a bad Nick Cage movie.  In my case, last night's fare was The Sorcerers Apprentice, a fine choice for Bad Nick Cage Movie Night.  

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Tuesday is 'Different Day'

Tuesday has been my day out for a long time and now that my spinning buddy has other commitments, I kind of miss the spinning.  By going out to spin, my hand was forced to play with things other than knitting.   I have been utterly content playing with the knitting.  Sort of.  I played with different knitting.  I sorted problems.  I played in the stash.  Occasionally, but only vary occasionally, I was a bit bored with it all.  

Last night I decided it was going to be my day to do different things.  I thought about spinning, but the first thing my hands picked up today was my embroidery.  I did that for a couple hours already and I am ready to move on.  I think that the rest of this morning is going to be working at my loom.  I have a couple inches to finish on the third test washcloth and then they come off.  They will be washed and finished to see if they are the size I want.  I suspect they will need a few more warp threads on each side before I am happy with them as dish cloths.  A friend makes her wash cloths 80 ends though her cloths are larger than I want.    Mine are 60 and I think are going to be just that tiniest bit too small.  Still it gives me a chance to see if I like the way the hems work (I have used smaller thread for weft at the ends).  But the first testers come off the loom today.  

This afternoon, as messy as it is, I think I am going to comb fleece.  I really want the fleece I washed last spring done.  I want to spin it but even more, there are more things coming.

One more to be precise.  One of the farms I follow on Facebook was holding an auction to raise funds for a girls school in Tanzania.  Bids were so horrendously low that I felt I had to do something.  So I bid what felt like a decent amount to give to a school fundraiser. Obviously people approach fund raising bidding differently than I, but the plan was for more bidding and higher.  That didn't happen and I have a fleece coming after the spring shearing.  

I still have several fleeces that have been waiting for far too long to do and it is time to really get something done with all of them.

So even though it is a bit messy, I am going to pull out the combs and get going.  I may spin this evening.  Depends on what else ends up falling into my hands. Tuesday is different day, even if it isn't spinning.

Monday, 24 February 2020

A Not So Long List

If I listed all the things I knit a bit on this weekend, it would be rather long.

I knit on the airy top, some socks, the bed socks, my Myrtle sweater, the yellow top. I thought a lot about the blue top with the problem lace too, so much so that it feels as if I knit on it.  I guess that's it, so maybe not so long a list, but it felt long. I was watching curling and it was very exciting so it meant my hands had trouble settling down to one thing.  

In the end most of my knitting went to the last thing I expected to be working on.

It surprised me because it wasn't interesting knitting, it was plain to the end knitting.  I had not been feeling very warm to working on it, but with curling being so exciting, plain took the day.  I am glad it did.  There are still inches to knit, but as you can see in the picture, it is getting to where I can see the end.  

The yellow to took up the mornings.  The afternoon was mixed up.  The end of the days were spent fooling around with this.

It's a slipper following the same pattern I used for my other slippers with my usual tweaks and changes.  After putting heels on my existing pair of slippers, I decided to go whole hog and make a new pair with a doubled leather sole.  The plan is to glue two layers together so my leather  recovered from old leather coats, is sturdy enough to last.  The yarn is the heathered green and brown from McAuslands and is a great yarn for warmth.  

There isn't any rush to finish the slippers.  There is for the tops in my WIP piles.  It was lovely and warm this weekend.  The sky is getting light at 7 a.m. and no matter that the calendar says it is February, it feels like spring in my brain.  I really want some new summer tops. Even though I am interested in some different patterns and working with different yarns for this spring, the need, the WANT for something new to wear for spring, means it is clear what you will see lots of the next bit.  Blue and the yellow.  

Friday, 21 February 2020

Volcanos and Clouds

That's what I've been working on this last bit.  Clouds and Volcanos.  

First to volcanos.  Marcus was here the other day and he was very concerned that I had not added the lava bubbles inside the volcano yet.

He said he would help me if I needed it.

It is a bit difficult to see what is going on with the lava flows.

These brilliant colours are replacing Marcus all purple lava.  As the lava leaves the volcanos cone, it cools from it's hot yellow and orange to a dark purple.  

It's hard to see the depth of that last colour, but it is a deep rich burgundy purple.  

I have been working a little slowly on this.  I didn't have my mind set on how to fill the volcano with his brilliant lava.  

My first thought was to fill it with long and short satin stitch blending colours but the longer I look at it, the more I feel that's not what this should be about.  Perusing the internet, I came across a technique that seems inspired by Japanese Sashiko embroidery.  It allows the kind movement that roilling pits of lava have.  I think the directionality of Marcus' art is going to be better served filling it in that style.  

The sun is out today (it is supposed to be springlike) so I will try to get all the lava flows done as well as my small volcano at the top.  

As much as the day promises sun, I feel as if I am knitting clouds.  I was walking by a box of yarn that should be put away, when the Phildar Phil Light with is its delicate taupe-grey jumped into my hand.  My hand isn't to be trusted right now.  It's itchy since finishing the blanket and the blue sweater.  It wants to knit all over the place.

Before I could stop it, my hand cast on this delicate airy yarn and was off and to the races before my brain could catch up.  

I think it will be a plain raglan popover top.  It's much too light to wear alone but it will be warm enough, as airy as it is, to wear on chilly afternoons.  It's going to be delicate enough to wear to fancy dress places and warm enough to wear with jeans, a cross it all piece for the modern world.  I don't go anywhere fancy and I don't  wear jeans anymore, but perhaps it can also do grandma in between.  

My errant hands did start another thing last night but time for that another day.  Today is for clouds and volcano, volcanos and clouds.  

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Poirot all day.

I spent my day watching TV and knitting.  The knitting was pretty generic.  The TV was not.

A while ago, in conversation with my brother, we discussed which Murder On The Orient Express was our favourite.  I had not seen the new Branagh version and he had not seen the Suchet version.  We both had seen the old Albert Finney version many years ago.

He said the Finney version as available on Amazon Prime so I thought I would start there.  I watched it and the Branagh version a couple times now trying to do all three in one sitting, but it was only today, that I finally made it.  All three.

Each one has their merits.  The Branagh and Finney versions are good but the Suchet version is a tour de force of story, character and if you like Christie at all, the very best.  I think even she would have liked what he did with Poirot.  

Characters were across the board.  Suchet's Poirot is a masterclass in character acting. Both others give their Poirot this maniaical laugh that just feels so wrong.  It makes watching them unbearable.

 Mary Debdnham, performed by Jessica Chastain in the Suchet version is the best but she also has the best material.  Daisy Ridley does a good job but her part is not nearly as deep.  Michelle Pfeiffer was surprisingly my choice as Mrs. Hubbard.  The character was too much cartoonish in both other versions.

The Earl of Grantham gets my vote for best valet, but that is more a fondness for   Hugh Bonneville.  They all do a good job though, again the Branagh version gives the character the least depth.  Thd princess is an Eileen Atkins win.  She has mighty company but hers is the version that shines.

And no one beats Toby Jones as the bad guy, not even close .  Jones bad guy just vibrates with self centerdness.  Even in his bed time prayers he is only praying to get through the night.  He doesn't even begin to understand the notion that he ought to be looking for forgiveness.

The other characters are smaller parts but Jean Pierre Cassel, Anthony Perkins and Ingrid Bergman are just perfect in the Finney version.  The best smaller parts by far though I have to say Penelope Cruz is an honourable mention.  

I'm going to bed tonight and will listen to the book just to see how they stack up against the original.  I have read it before, but there may well be more to notice after all Poirot all day.

In a surprising turn of events, I did not have Murder on the Orient Express in my Audible library.  It is on my e reader.  So I had to chose between a Branagh read version, which would have given me a biased view, a Dan Stevens read version, and a drmatised version that looked good but wasn't quite what I wanted.  What I really needed was a Hugh Fraser version.  Oh well.  Dan Stevens for the win.

It wasn't

I went to bed with a pair of regular socks on last night.  The beddsocks are needing a wash and I still only have one pair completed.  The pair of socks I grabbed hit a new low in socks.  There is a hole in my toe.  I have never had a pair with a hole in the toe before.  I wear them on the heel.  It isn't even a construction error in which I failed to work in an end and cut too short.  Nope just an honest to goodness hole. 

So I have decided that it is time to do a good check of all the socks in my drawer and repair those I want to repair and turf the ones I do not.  It's always good to stir up the sock drawer anyway and February is as good a time to do that as any.  The sock drawer is the only place wool lives in my house without being packaged to prevent moth incursion so it is vital that I do it just to keep everything in control.

In the mean time, look what I started. I said it wouldn't be long and it wasn't.

I started my Autumn shawl.  4 Jahreszeiten - Herbst translates directly as Season Fall.  I love it in the German but I cannot pronounce it properly so Fall or Autumn it shall be.

I watched a Arne and Carlos video a while ago and they talked about how the way they knit, there is no colour dominance.  I decided to watch a few more of their videos to see what and how they are doing this.  And I get what they say: that the subtle tension difference when you carry and hold two yarns leads to dominance. They recommend not holding the second yarn but rather picking it up when it is needed, thereby giving you exactly the same tension as the first yarn.  So that is how I am knitting this shawl,  Arne and Carlos' way.  So far, very good.  It isn't any slower and in fact may be faster, and my lead hand yarn is no longer overly tight.  That seemed to happen because I was focusing far too much of getting yarn two nice and loose. So far, it is all nice and even.

There is one small problem though.  The shawl is knit in the round on one needle.  That makes the two ends in these first rows a royal pain.

The ends are tight and impossible to move along and are difficult to move around.  I am going to put the ends each on another shorter needle a la knitting with two circular needles, and will keep both sides on my plenty long enough other needle. Or maybe just one end at a time on a shorter needle.  I don't know yet.  I am not there yet so the particularities and peculiarities of doing it have not shown up yet.

But my fall shawl has begun.  I am knitting with Kauni and letting Kauni do all the work.  Let the magic begin.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


This is complete.  

Yup.  And really really great!  I am so pleased.

There is a tiny I cord trim that runs through the collar that remains to be done but...I may not do it.  I don't really need it to pull the collar down and I might find the cord a kind of bother when washing.  So for now, no cord.

But every other thing is perfection.  

It appears plain but it us all about the details.  From pretty little openings to run the cord

And the charmingly ribbed body

And more.

It has the loveliest saddle look shoulders.  Ok, that is the biggest change I made to the pattern, but it is a shoulder fit that looks much better on me than a raglan.

Monday, 17 February 2020


I had company again this weekend.  Just a quick overnight to pick up last weekends work, but my regular company brought along one of my sisters. Somewhere in there, my sister tried this on.

It's been living on my couch, and has been put to service as blanket and warm gear.  She looked chilly and so she put it on.  It looks really great on her.  

This morning when I sat down with my coffee, even though I had a sweater on, I felt chilly.  I grabbed it and put it on.  

Upside down.  My first thought?  That I hadn't had nearly enough coffee.  My second, that I kind of like it.  I checked in a mirror and it is almost perfect.  The plain stockinette is equal lengths on the front and back, forming a plain little shirt like  yoke that snugs up against the back of my neck in a pretty satisfying way.  

Wearing it the other way, it is a vest like shawl.  This way, it is just a vest and a pretty nice one too.  

Friday, 14 February 2020

Not Following the Plan

I really planned to get a start knitting the monkeys.  I even had the needles tucked in the yarn so it was ready and waiting.  I can't wait to sneak them into the kids coat pockets or school bags.  

It wasn't what I picked up when it came to it.  

I picked up the sweater.  

One sleeve complete.  A sleeve with lovely proportions that looks a lot more like the sleeve the designer used on her sweater.  It doesn't have the long ribbed cuff that I was drawn to but the two ridges near the cuff are kind of nice too.

I am  bit disappointed that I didn't get a start on the monkeys but it will happen when it happens I guess.  

It was the yarn.  It was just too nice to leave alone.  I needed to knit blue softness.

Yeah, the yarn made me do it. Not following the Plan but still knitting what I love.  

I probably won't start them this weekend either.  I have company coming again.  I will probably knit socks.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

So, on being a little bit at loose ends yesterday, I picked up what was at hand and started knitting.

Sleeve one on this sweater is gone, but sleeve two is well under way.  I have 5 more decrease pairs to do and with that, I will be at a nice length and am going to put in a pair of ridges like the body of the sweater has to replace the long ribbed cuff of the original design.  That should happen today, though it isn't really a priority.  And sleeve three will happen as soon as sleeve two is done.

This is a priority.

I have had all the materials for a while now, and I am going to start making tiny monkeys for all my sweet kiddies.  The pattern is designed for worsted weight wool, but I am going small and using Kroy.  If I have lots of yarn left, I might double the Kroy and make a bigger stuffy or two.

I had to go digging in the yarn.  Naturally.  Nothing seems to happen without digging in the yarn.  This time I had to find the sock yarn box and pull the Kroy red and cream.  And digging in the yarn box made me (forced me!) to pull out a couple of other sock yarns for sock knitting.

I pulled out this ball to admire more than to knit right now.  Such brilliant blues.  It kind of takes my breath away.  I'm just going to admire it and promise myself that when I finish the relatively uninspiring batch of socks I have on the go right now, I can knit the splendor of yarns like this.

Though I feel more settled in my knitting with that big blanket done, than I have in weeks, I must say, my head is not in knitting.  I'm thinking sewing.  I always said that I won't worry to much about sewing till I have to and have to arrived the other day.  One of the knees on one of my two truly decent pairs of pants gave up it's spandex soul.  The fabric over the knee is looking funky and thin. 

So pants. 

We are back to that again and we need a victory.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020


The last picture I took yesterday was when I thought I was finished knitting for the day.  You can see that I did more rows than I planned and that the red was complete. (I really really enjoyed knitting the red.  After all the rest, this punchy bit of red just felt so right,)

However, I still had a little knit left in me, so I did another couple of rows.  And then another couple.  And another.  And this morning,  all that remained was 3 rows of knitting and the cast off. 

Yes.  The cast off.

After I knit a blanket for my third son, Scott many years ago, I  got very fed up with knitting a blanket and was pretty certain that I was never going to knit another.  It just got too big, too awkward to enjoy.  This two by two rib never felt that way.  Part of it is that I now have many many more years of knitting under my belt, but also that this time, once it got to that size, the blanket was resting on one of my WIP stools.  Having something for the whole beastie to rest on made such a big difference.

I admit that I wished I'd had enough yarn without having to purchase a second ball of the grey, but the extra six inches that bit more yarn gave me, was critical to the blanket being big enough.  But not too big.  I have made too big of blankets in the past and they don't get used either.  With blankets, you really want to hit the sweet spot.

I'm really glad that I stopped at 6 extra inches of the charcoal and cream because this.

Just a nice baseball sized ball left.  That is as close to running out as I would want to come.

So, I finished this all before 9 a.m. and I love this finished blanket.  There may have to be more blanket knitting.  But not today.  Today, I finished a big thing and that is a win in my books.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Beyond Zero Knitting

Between yesterday and today there was zero knitting.  Which doesn't surprise me at all.  It was errand day here, and errand day is enough all on it's own without time for anything else.  It was lovely warm outside, not really a winter day at all.  I wore a vest to go out, over my inside the house sweater but only because the vest has pockets.  But not a winter day at all.

Today there will be knitting.  My goal for the day is to get to the end of the first section of cream on this final border.  My goal is to have the whole blanket done by this weekend, a very sensible and reachable goal.

In the very birght middle of the day, I am doing embroidery.  It is coming along very well.  No way do I have enough of the purple Marcus used to do everything he did with that purple.  I am applying a little artisitc license, for instance the lava flows do have a bit of other colours shading them.  They end in a deep almost black purple.  I'm still working on lava flows.  It will be a while.  There is a lot of lava flowing in this picture.  

I am having a lot of fun playing with this though.  I have to go through and see if I have any pictures from Cassie that would do well embroidered.  I have to see if I have anything from Issac and Carter that could be done, though I don't think so.  They are not drawing kids like Cassie and Marcus.  I may have to ask mom for a little something from their art folders from school. Wouldn't it be sweet though, to have a little something from each of them?

Anyway, no photos today.  But soon.  Soon there will be all kinds of stuff.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Sock Monkey Gozillionaire

Setting aside the recalcitrant top has freed me.  I knit a lot this weekend.  I had company but while they were out doing their big city shopping, I knit. 

I can very very happily say it is big enough and only the end section remains.

It's a lovely place to be at.  13 or 14 rows of cream and then some red an another batch of cream and it is done.  It is countable rows and that means

I have three quarters of a ball of charcoal remaining but there is a very good chance that I would make another of these.  I don't quite understand why, but this sock monkey blanket makes me happy, inordinately happy.  Giddy even.  I knew it would right from the start. 

There is that thing where the first moment you see something, you know you must do it or make it.  It never really leaves your head.  It hits something primeval and it gets right to the core of you.  It is exactly what happened with the Sock Monkey Cabin Blanket.  If we could bottle the why, we would all be gozillionaires.

Not that I would want to be a gozillionaire.  I am pretty content with what I have.  In many way, all the important ones, I already am a gozillionaire.  It is just that now I am a gozillionaire with a sock monkey blanket to her credit.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Insert Growl ofAgony Here.

Okay.  That's it.  This top and I are not going to be friends.  Not right now anyway.  

Look at the lines in the open lace.  

The lines flow outward from the center.  

This is how they are supposed to go.  

I am putting this recalcitrant project to the side for a bit.  I cannot bear looking at it tight now.  Maybe next week.

But that does mean I can get back to work with this.  

The yarn finally arrived to finish it.  I really do wish that I could have picked it up locally. It would have been so much better.  Still, it is here and I know it will behave.

I think that is what I need today.  I need all my stuff to behave.

PS.  Yesterday I made focaccia for the first time.  I did not have any olive oil so I had to sub, but it was really tasty and will be made again.  I also had a successful baking of regular bread.  This new recipe is making such a difference!

Thursday, 6 February 2020


I knit what feels like a zillion rows yesterday but my net result in total number of rows on this top is net - 5.

I don't remember the lace being so finicky last time.  I ripped back and knit twice and am finally on the third row of pattern.  I think I have it now .


I have tons of chores today so knitting will be later in the day.  Wish 

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Stash Diving Made Me Do It.

As I was digging in the yarn yesterday trying to solve my too little yarn quandry, I suffered the usual and inevitable fate of digging in my stash.  

I was overcome by the need to knit it all, right now.  It is such a glorious stash.  It is large and there is something for almost everything I would ever need to knit in it.  It has a few holes, hence my occasional purchasing of yarn.  Had you been there during the growth stage of the stash, it would have looked like rampant purchasing, but honestly, it was all, every single metre of it, was carefully curated to be something I would love for the long haul.  And I do love it.  I am oddly emotionally connected to this yarn and I am loathe to let it go.  I have but it always takes work to do so.

By the time I was finished going through most of the boxes looking for what I wanted for the green top, I had accumulated an entire table full of pretty things that I wanted to knit immediately.  I put the vast majority of it away.  There is already too much out for long dreamed of knitting so I was stern with myself and put most of it away again but for  a few things that I could not resist winding.  

I have spoken of my love affair with Jahreszeiten Herbst.  Do click the link for I have not asked for permission to use her photo but it is stunning.  I have dreamed of this for a very long time.  It is all about the colour.  Yesterday, after stash diving and seeing a small store in southern Alberta put up a note on their page that in store Kauni is on sale for 30 percent off , I just had to wind this.  

I just could not resist these colours.

It took a long time and I still have 2 more balls to do.  I kept having to stop and just drink in the way these Kauni Effektgarn changes, how it draws you to look deeper than you imagined yarn could be.

It's a relatively simple pattern, a small repeated lozenge, but even as it is simple, it will be interesting.  The colours do all the changing and watching them becomes the whole reason for knitting, rich and mellow and warm.  I have chosen to do mine in the same colourway that the original is done in, but I have more yarn, and will make it longer.  By how much, I don't know, but it will be longer.  

I did pull out other yarn from the depths of my lovely stash.  Some linen to be wound and some rich rust coloured yarn for another summer top.  

For now though, it is time to knit. 

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Putzing About

I've been putzing about the last few days, not really accomplishing anything big, but always busy doing something.

I did a little of this and a little of that.

I have 4 skeins of Sea Wool, or at least I think it is Sea Wool from Fleece Artist, 

Purchased long ago from River City Yarns.  I purchased them here and there and a few years ago, I decided I wanted to use them together.  I have always thought a little bit of an over blouse, a loosely knit something or other would be perfect.  I don't think I have enough yarn though. I am going to search my stash for another ball of something or... What you see above is me testing for gauge.  

I did this too.

I cast on another of Cat Bordhi's lovely Pure Garter Stitch Mitts from her ebook, Cat's Family of Fingerless Mitts.  The yarn is Uneek Worsted in  wonderfully rich colorway with greens and deep purple and rose's and golden brown that I picked up at Prairie Lily last time I was in Saskatoon.  I need another set of long bed mittens, so I have something to wear while my first much worn pair is washed.  I have short ones that I wear currently while the long ones are drying but the difference between how my hands feel wearing the long and the short is huge.  It's all rather amazing really.  YMMV but I wouldn't want to be without mine now.  

I also did a little knitting and counting on my yellow Cascadas Tee.  I wanted to see where I was on it and it appears that I'm ready to just knit.  That is really nice to know.  Just knit for length and I have a new spring top.

And lastly, my putting included pulling back the blue daisies top to the underarms so I could knit the lovely side panel of lace from Norah Gaughan's Gregale. I knit a few rows and started the set up rows for the panel.  I was going along just fine

And then I realized that the chart was written to be knit flat and sewn together, so I needed to be adapting it not just for top down, but for in the round in one piece.  It isn't hard to do.  But you do have to do the set up right.

So this morning I've been busy doing that.  I'm kind of looking forward to the lace.  It makes the long swath of otherwise plain stockinette so much more fun.  It makes it the whole project feel faster too, with something to look forward to every second round.

So busy busy today.  Tomorrow I can't wait for.  The blankie yarn should finally be here and I can pick it up at the post office.  I did not expect it to take so long.  I guess next time, I will pay more for the shipping.  

Monday, 3 February 2020


Interesting.  That is how the weekend turned out. 

My job this weekend was to turn this mess into

this not a mess.  Not a mess at all.

I had been meaning to purchase a proper needle felting tool for a while now and a week or so ago, I ordered the Clover brand tool and a small felting brush designed to be used with it.  I wanted to  have one on hand when I am ready to do my next steeked project.  I should have had it when I was working on my Hun sweater.  It would have made the finishing so much quicker and less stressful.  This weekend, I used the felting tools to felt all these millions of ends so I could cut them short and tuck them neatly behind a little facing.  And so I did.

I knit the ribbing and then did a garter stitch turning row, and changed to a smaller needle and knit as many rows as I needed to to be able to attach the facing neatly to the edge where I picked up stitches.  Then I felted all of the long strands as close to the knitting as I could.

I trimmed down to about half an inch.  You can see how fuzzy this made the strands.

Very fuzzy.  Fuzzy enough that I am confident that they are not going anywhere.

After that it was just a matter of tacking down the facings and all of a sudden, before you know it, I am done.  I have worn this all weekend, even before it was completed.  I had one side done on Saturday evening but the power was out Sunday morning and had been off for an hour and a half by the time I got up.  The house was getting a mite bit chilly and it was sitting right there by me, so I pressed it into service. Power was restored and I completed it Sunday afternoon. 

More or less what it looks like now that it is done.

Back shot, though this is before I made it look so fine on the front and there is an odd looking fold.

This isn't really what it looks like when I wear it though it shows better than words can say, what attracted me to turning this project, that wasn't being worn at all, into this. 

By doing this, I get this marvelously wide collar sitting at the back of my neck and that is what I was looking for.

As a shawl, this piece was wide, too wide to do this and have it look as glorious as my inspirations do on Ravelry.   Had it been a bit narrower, the sleeve openings would have been in a more normal position.  When I wear it, it sits more like a very stable shawl.  It pulls a bit across my lower back as the arm openings slip up my arms when I am working.  I can't wait till one of my daughter in laws is here to see how it sits and fits on their much slenderer selves.  On a more average body, I suspect it would function more like a cape.

I'm not changing anything.  See glorious shawl collar above.  That part, having all that wonderful wool at the back of my neck is superb.