Friday, 29 January 2021

Delicious yarns

I got a nice chunk of work done yesterday.  First up, I did the neck band.  

I debated about this.  It would have been plain if I was more comfortable about yarn amounts but this works well enough.

And then sleeve one.

The interesting thing about this has been working with thd three yarns in the same short space of time.  

Years ago, working in the yarn store, I had the opportunity to play with multiple colors of the same line of yarn, and I always found it interesting how certain colors could make a yarn feel so different than its counterparts.  

With these natural shades of Mulespinner two ply, the cream is just amazing.  It is soft but not slippery soft like most 'soft yarns.  It retains it's cushiony bouncy worsted goodness but is sublimely soft, like butter cream.  The dark natural grey is just a little rougher, but still it's lovely worsted warm self.  

Thursday, 28 January 2021

There is much work to be done today.  First things first.  I have to weigh this ball of yarn so that I can divide it carefully

because I am here.

I didn't get a huge amount of knitting done yesterday but it was enough to reach the goal  of joining the pouch bottom to the rest of the knitting.

There we have it, a pouch in which to warm my hands.  It is not meant to be a pocket.  It is meant to be a place to warm my hands and it does.  I checked.

I haven't tried on this sweater yet.  By this time on most sweaters, there have  been a couple try on sessions.  I am not sure if that is an over abundance of arrogance (it will fit because I know) or if it is just plain silliness.  It isn't like I really trust my gauge.  

I am constantly measuring it.  I do mean constantly.  I generally don't worry a whole lot about row gauge a lot but the stitch gauge is a huge worry.  If I am a little tense a whole day of knitting can be a different gauge.  In a garment like a sweater, that can make a big difference.  It depends how much difference there is.   In this one, tighter knitting meant a slightly different row gauge on the underside of the pocket.  I checked the stitch gauge on several different places around the garment.  It is good.  Insert sigh of relief.   But the row gauge was off.  Thirty rows on the underside did not equal thirty rows on the pocket front. Thirty two rows would have equalled the top of the pouch.  In this case, I decided to just go with 30.  If the top of the pouch, pouches a bit more, that is okay and it will sort itself out in time and launderings.       

So it will be what it will be.  Time for me to get my gumption on and to split that yarn and deal with the sleeve tops.  I am trying to match the sleeves to the body but I only have so much yarn and when that is done...

What will be will be.  It is a good way to live your knitting.  And your life.

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Okay with it..

Yesterday, in the middle of my morning, I tore the yarn I was working with because of a knot.  I usually double these events for 8 or 10 stitches and get on with it leaving just a few more ends to weave in later.

Yesterday, I woke at my usual time, but I was feeling a bit tired.  After the knot event, mmaybe three rows later, I tore the yarn...and then I realized that there was no knot, that I must have dreamt it and that for the sake of the knitting, I had to put it down.

That was the way the entire day went.  So when I say I had a nap yesterday I mean the whole day.  Some days are like that and you know what?  It's okay.  Some people never do anything other than watch tv. I watched TV and I napped.

 I got nuthin and I am okay with that.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021


I have started using a tracker on sweaters so I can see exactly how far I get in a day.  I started doing it when I was knitting the cotton and bast fibre sweaters.  All the small stitches were getting me down and it really helped me see that actual progress was being made.  I have kept it up since then and I am always surprised.

From the blue marker was yesterdays work.  There are only 6 or 8 rows left till I join with the pouch top and pause work on the body to finish the sleeves and the neckband.  Oddly enough, I am sort of looking forward to it.  I think because after those things are done, I can tell exactly how much of the soft grey I will have to work with, which will tell me just how long I can knit this sweater.

There are other things getting bits of work.

Blankie has made it to the marl!  While I don't feel particularly motivated to work on this while I am working on the sweater, I do feel a bit motivated to get a move on the big box o yarn in my study.  That cannot happen until I get this puppy completed so...There may be a day or two of blanket knitting before long.  We shall see.

I did up a load of kitchen laundry and took out some of the worn out rags and dishcloths.    I also took out a few of the less good looking microfibre cloths for the garage. The loss of those few cloths, mean that it is time to make more dishcloths.  I am quite pleased with the woven ones, but Keith shows a preference for the knitted ones in what he grabs to use.  

It is kind of funny.  We have micrfibrecloths, purchased dishcloths, knitted ones and a few woven by me. I really like the woven ones but there are only three at the moment but in lieu of, I use any and all of the knitted ones.  He grabs the knitted ones before anything else.  So, while I do plan for more woven ones, there might be a bit of dishcloth knitting here in the next few days.  

You just never know.  

in spain

Monday, 25 January 2021

A pouchy thing

Friday was  a big knitting day and Saturday was not.  Saturday was a  kind of lazy not really accomplishing very much sort of day.  I had a leasurely call with my mom and dad and some sisters.  I had an extra afternoon cup of coffee.  I had an official put my feet up and cover me with a blankie nap.  It was a day of rest and relaxing.  Though I have to say, Saturday night, I took the world to the limit.  I grabbed the mending pile and by the end of the evening, I had mended every last thing that needed work.  I can see the top of my sewing table right to the very back and outer edges for the first time in months.  And the bin!  The bin is empty!  Very, very rewarding.

Sunday I knit.  And knit.

Pouch is established and the body part of the sweater is well under way.  The pouch is not big.  It isn't supposed to be a pocket.  It is just a place to tuck my hands.  

The current plan is to get the sweater body down to join with the pouch bottom and then to pause to knit sleeves.  Once the sleeves are done, I can used whatever is left to get the body to the length it is supposed to be, yet to be determined.  Sleeves and neck band, that is.  

There is a fair bit of knitting to go to the base of the pouch.  On to that challenge today!  

And pants.  Gotta get to pants.

In spain

Friday, 22 January 2021

Pouch pockets and other assorted things.

This one is just zipping along.  

It's the yarn.  It  feels so bouncy and lofty and alive in my hands.  I have most of the second ball of it used up and when that is done, I am going to use the darker gray and will build a section of it, and then move to the lighter gray for the finish.  I was going to do some intarsia, but I just don't feel like working on the fussy of that at the moment.  I just want to knit.

What I do think I want is to do a pouch pocket.  So often I sit with my hands tucked under my sweater.  I am not much for putting stuff in a pocket to carry around with me.  My phone stays in one spot always.  At least I know where it is that way, but a pocket as a place to tuck my hands?  I could see the benefit. 

Knitting will continue on t his and the shawls sweet little lace but today there will probably be pants.  Maybe by the end of the weekend, I won't be talking about pants ever again.  I doubt it but I am going to aim for at least a few pairs of something.  

This is why I have a stash of fabric and why i have a stash of yarn.  That way, when I feel it, I can just do it.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Adventures in the kitchen.

I knit yesterday.  I did other things too, but mostly I knit. The sweater is going wonderfully well.  

Later in the afternoon, I made dinner and I wanted to tell you about that.  I wanted to because I did something brand new and different for me.  Almost revloutionary for any kitchen I had anything tio do with.

First off, I am not a big beef eater.  I never was but I loved the very fine grain of venison and have found it impossible to go back to the much more open grain of a beef.  I never liked steaks.  Only on rare occasions have I ever had one that I would call rememberable.  Prime rib was never my thing.  I like ground beef.  And once e ery couple weeks, stew.  But mostly ground beef.  

Living with the landlord here as I do, means that occasionally, I end up doing something very different.  He left my kitchen as a teenager and became this guy who like things I never made!  He ate out.  He ate in the kitchen of international spouces of friends and brothers.  

The landlord came home with a really nice looking beef roast a little while ago, and asked for a nice roast beef dinner.  I could do that.  I love roasted potatoes and carrots.  Yum.  But somehow I got the idea to try making yorkshire pudding.  When I was young the hotel I worked in served Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding and I have never forgotten catching glimpses of the chef making the puddings.  It was always fascinating and I meant to try them one day.  My sister in law makes them occasionally too, but other than that, this has been a puddin free zone.  

But yesterday, this happened.  Several times through the day, I watched Jamie Oliver's Yorkshire pudding video.  I carefully timed the roast so I had precisely a half hour left before supper to make the puddings while the roast sat before slicing.  

I did Jamie's trick with the pan and the oil.  That alone was worth the price of admission.  By the time the puddings were ready to go in the oven, the landlord was home so we sat and drank wine and watched these pretty little things puff up and be the magic they are.  

I was pretty pumped by the result, with a few caveats for the next time I make them.  I think our oven temperature is just a wee bit lower than Jamie's.  Next time, I am going to raise the temperature a few degrees and I will bake them 5 minutes longer.  I don't think the extra 5 minutes would have helped here to make them perfect but it was a pretty darn good first try and not nearly so fussy as they seem in recipes.  

I can see them being a wonderful carrier for much more than gravy.  Jamie likes them with smoked salmon and lemon juice, but I was thinking that a nice creamed chicken or beef with lots of rich tasty creamy vegetable filled goodness might be perfect for serving Yorkshire puddings with.  Maybe a creamed salmon too.  

Anyway, there will be more adventuring in food.  Because why not.  

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Pants Be Darned.

I got a little carried away with my knitting yesterday.  I had to take out everything I did from the day before because the starting numbers meant the back was three inches long and as wide as I needed.  My understanding is that this is not how a raglan sweater is supposed to work.

I knit through several things I meant to do yesterday but that is ok.  I have this to show for it.

V neck, something I haven't done in a while and something really interesting occurred to me while I was knitting this.  I always find v necks as designed, shallow.  My Christmas sweater adventures with the neckline have shown me that I need a deeper than average neckline.  The really interesting bit is this.  I need a deeper than average neck opening, but the measurement to my full bust is the usual inch shorter than average.  

Anyway, I am knitting today because I am really engaged in this one at the moment, pants be darned.  I shall wear pjs that are not pants if I have to to get by.  
In spain

Monday, 18 January 2021

The Rhythm of a Gentle Lace.

Friday was exactly like I thought it would be.  I searched through all my stitch dictionaries for a pattern I liked better than the one I was knitting on my Shetland shawl.  I had tea.  I relaxed and gave myself permission to make looking in my books the only job I had to do that day.

I did have another task though.  I had promised the landlord that I would make some bread bowls and chili to serve within.

I chose  a good sturdy light rye bread forthe breadbowls, something that could soak up the juicy yumminess of the chili.  Other than that the dough did not rise worth a hoot, it was great.  I have a feeling that the spoon I thought I was using to measure the yeast, the two teaspooon measure and second size in the spoon set, was actually the single teaspoon, second in size, on the other spoon set.  It was perfect, just a bit dense even for a rye loaf.

By Friday evening I had decided on the lace I would use.  It isn't from the Shetland book but it has a lot in common with Shetland designs.  To me, Shetland designs are striking for their beauty, opennesss and simplicity.  And that surely is a hallmark of this design.  It is the Godmothers Edging from the second BW Treasury.  

It is wider than the original edging I was using, but not really all that much.  Previously, I was doing a faggotted row to join the lace which was six stitches and the lace itself was ten or eleven stitches where on this lace edging, I am foregoing the faggotting and just doing the much more open lace edging straight to the shawl.   I am very very pleased with it and by the end of the day yesterday had  over half but not quite two thirds of a side complete.  And that is how I know this is the right edging.  I am knitting it a hundred times faster, it is lyrical and it stays exciting to knit.

As I was putting it away for the day yesterday, the finished edge sort of flopped to the front of the table and my breath caught.  I had to lay it out here for you so you could see what I saw.

Look at that gentle wave of colours.  

Twice, because it is so nice.  I could sit and stare at that the whole day.  I won't though.  I have some buns to make and to do laundry.  Yes again.  I generally don't on weekends, so currently Monday means I am breaking into the pants reserve.  I mean to attack that sewing table and get a couple more pairs of pants sewn.  

And then I will sit down and knit a bit on this thing of joy and relax and fall into the rhythm of a gentle lace.

Friday, 15 January 2021

There Will Be Joy

I pulled out a little something different to work on yesterday.  My big beautiful Shetland shawl.  It has always been by my side but I don't think I worked on it since September.  Hey, I checked.  It was mid October when I set it aside to do blankets.  

When I pulled it out yesterday, I thought just a repeat or two of the lace.  If I do that every day it won't take long to complete. It wouldn't either.  If you could remember exactly what the heck you were doing.  I worked on it for a couple hours and then I sat and looked at it.  Still not a go.

If I am completely honest, I am not thrilled with this motif.  

I'm not sure it is a good balance for the very pretty pattern I have in the lace border.  

You get a hint of the delicacy of this pattern here.  

It is lovely, Isn't it.  Sigh.

I have never felt that this lace border was the right thing for this shawl.  It just feels wibbly in comparison.  Too substantial and not quite the right end somehow.  I pulled everything back to the entire lace edging back to the start of it again.  Not the whole shawl mind, just the lace edging!

The problem is that my foray into other patterns hasn't led to anything I like better.  There is one I like better, but it is much wider than this large shawl needs.  

I restarted the same lace but I am going to have a good hard look at other lace edgings in my large library of stuff.  I am even considering taking a stab at making the edging I do like smaller.  

It is all just a little bit of fun where I haven't been having too much fun lately.  That is surely part of my usual large project ending process, a letdown followed by something wonderful.  There is all ways something to reignite my complete and utter joy with knitting.  

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Feeling better about everything!

And done. I love when I can start a post with that.

Plus, getting something done has lightened my mood considerably though the landlord seems to think it isn't the sock so much as sleeping all day everyday for the last three days that is responsible for my lightened mood.

As I was putting sock yarn ends away, I pulled out the remaining two pairs of socks to show as well.  They haven't been out for a bit and there is progress.  

I was not liking the light coloured pair at first.  It looked so washed out and un inspiring but now, having gotten this far, about half done for a good tube sock, I like it just fine.  And these marvelous greens from String Theory.  What can I say.  LOVE.

My sewing suffered through the great sleepathon too.  I cut out but did not sew and at this momnet, there aree two pairs of pants waiting their turn at the machine.  The fabric is laid out for a second pair of jogging fleece pants, and I hope to cut out another pair or two of the narrow cut legging like pants that I did late last year.  That will be my focus today.  

Once that cutting is done, I am going to sit down and have a sewing day.  These are all fairly basic pants, basic in that there are no zippers, and the fit is right so I can go forward confidently.  Once you have confidence in what you are sewing, and without all the fuss of  zippers and skipping the pockets as I am, pants are a fairly simple to sew thing.  Pants are bascially a few straight seams and no small pieces.  

While I do have fabric on hand for shirts, and yes, they will be sewn, what I am really waiting for is spring fabrics.  Stores are just prepping for the season change and not a lot of new stuff is in just yet.  I am really looking forward to picking up fabric for some birghter sunnier feeling shirts and tops for this summer.  All the fabrics I have are dark and plain.  I think I want a few bright patterns, flowers, birds, funky stuff.  But nice funky.  

And that is where my head is at today.  

Wednesday, 13 January 2021


My knitting time yesterday was spent putting the heel in a sock.

As you can see from sock one, this is a shortie sock and for that, I am really glad.  I am in an I hate knitting sock heels' period and really wished I did not have to knit that heel.  That it is short above the heel is a delight.  I got that heel done by telling myself that it would be over soon.

The "I hate Heels' thing goes into wearing them too.  I have a few ratty old pairs of plain tube socks and those are the ones I grab to put on if the are in the sock drawer.  The new pair I finished last week hasn't made it to the sock drawer yet.  It has been worn washed and dug out from the laundry basket to wear!

I suspect this reveals something about me right now, about my mood and the way I feel.  It goes right along with my not feeling settled in my knitting and my inability to work on an existing knitted project without starting a dozen more.  I am grumpy about everything.  I sleep but I am tired.  I am not sick, but I do not feel well at all.  

I suspect that this is a pandemic interlude.  I do not have the virus, but staying at home all the time, the lack of freedom to choose to stay i or go, may  be getting to me.  I hope not because there are a few more months of this for sure.  There will likely be a lessening of the restrictions as summer comes but that is a long time away.

I have two more pairs on the go and both of them are on the first sock of the pair, so both of those are going to be plain, heelless socks.  I am not starting any socks till those are complete, but then, I think I will aim for plain and simple.  I have been thinking about knitting from the Operation Sock Drawer book, but I think I am going to leave that to the side and just knit plain socks in brillisnt yarn.  

Socks have cured me before.  I am going to put my trust in them to cure me now.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Knitting and Sewing. Sewing and Knitting.

What a marvelous day sewing yesterday.  I do have an elastic to redo, but that is an easy adjustment to make.  I just need to use a little less agressive fitting elastic and pair one will fit wonderfully well.  In my wearing of pair one yesterday, I was impressed.  No stress along the seams!  Pair two will fit if pair one fit well and it did.    So my job today is to cut out two more pairs of the second pattern, and to sew more pants.  This time the fabric will be the real goods, an old fahsioned jogging fleece, the kind hoodies are still made of.  I wanted that fabric for warmth in winter and easy wearing in summer on the cool days.  

None of that means I am not thinking about knitting.  I am always thinking about knitting.

Late last fall, when I was about to start me cozy new sweater (wearing it now), I showed you the yarn I had available from Custom Woollen Mills.  Most of the sweater was made in a natural gray with a lighter gray for the little colour work part.  

This is what is left after sweater number one of the darkest grey.  

I have a cone of a lighter gray and some of the natural creamy colour of Rambouillet too.   

The plan has always been to use the yarn for colourwork of some kind.  I think I am going to do a modified raglan sleeved sweater and I am going to teach myself a technique that I read about a long time ago and had a tough time searching for information on, now that I no longer have my large collection of magasines.  

Years ago, Rick Mondragon of Knitter's magazine fame, came up with a sliding loop technique for intarsia in the round.  I had no idea where i read about it, nor who designed it when I started the search.  I came up with was a Holly Yeoh post talking about a technique from Knitter's magazine but no information on how to do it. Once I had that it was from Knitter's, it became much easier to suss out but it still is only a partially successful search.  There just isn't much out there on it.  I persisted and eventually came up with this.  

 and this

Somewhere, between these two videos is how to do a Mondragon Loop.  It allows you to do your intarsia completely in the round.  Which I think is cool and which I need because I really like knitting in the round and I like to know weird stuff.  

For this sweater and these yarns I am going to learn how to do this interesting technique that teaches you how to get your yarn to the right place at the right time. I will start with the cream and knit that plain with some pretty basic off centre colour blocking for the bottom.  Depending on the amount of yarn I have, there will be a kangaroo pouch pocket.  And long Sleeeves.  And a hood.  Okay, I don't quite have it set in stone, but I know where I want to go with it.  I have a few skeins of yarn to wind and then I am off to the races. 

Still, sewing first.  Adulting is rearing it's head and I am facing the need I have.  The need for pants is real and there will be a few more days of sewing before I am comfortable with the quantity I have for regular wear.  And then there will be need to sew some pants for summer too.  Lighter weight fabrics, and maybe even some more of the wonderlully flowing wide legged Winslow Culottes from Helen's Closet.  After the losses of pants this winter, summer clothingis due.  

I also have a heap of material for tops.  Standard shirts and t shirts and tanks and little flowing things.  I love my summer knits but I want more than knitwear to clothe myself with.  Sewing will be around for the long haul. 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Just Imagine

It is 11:59 a.m.  I am just having my first cup of coffee and am just waking up.  It has been a whole weekend of long sleeps, of big sleeps, of sitting with my knitting, falling asleep.  Even my night time sleeping pattern is unusual, with much more sleeping happening.  From whence come these changes?  Probably some little cold bug my system is fighting off.  Sleep.  The underrated cure all for the little stuff.  

My goal for today is to get a couple pairs of pants cut out and sewn.  If I get that done, I will have won the day.  

As I cut out the non muslin test pairs, I compared front and back rises to my pajama pants which are a rousing success.  These patterns are just there.  I didn't  make any changes to the cut and I have a really good feeling about how these will fit.  Which just goes to show that the incredibly lazy things done by big pattern companies is inexcusable.  There is a lot more going on in any woman's body than the pattern graders in your design houses know about or think about or care about.  

Can you imagine yourselves trying on clothes where the top is three sizes too large in the shoulders but you have to get it because if you didn't,  you couldn't button it up?  Can you imagine being stuck buying pants where you can pull up the pants to cover your boobs but when you sit, that self same article of clothing leaves your behind on full view of the world? And you buy them because there isnt anything else?   Can you imagine that?  

And then, can you imagine that there is only one store carrying even those wretched fit things because everyone else only goes up to 22?  If that? 

Can you imagine how after decades of feeling like that, hating everything you have in your closet, knowing that no matter what you find, you will never feel like your best self because even clothing stores for people your size don't value your size.  Imagine how you feel about the who you are.  

And then imagine that you find a pattern company that grades for women of size.  Imagine one that will grade patterns to fit if they do not already have you covered.  Imagine that.

So if I get a bit emotional about sewing stupid pants, just ordinary pants that are trendy and comfortable with seriously clever design details,  actual design details,  well just forgive me.  Its a pretty overwhelming idea for a woman of size.

Back at the start of my knitting, back at finding the answer to what I did when I knit that no one else did, and finding out that no, I was not too slow to figure it out, that I had just never been exposed to a knitter who understood the myriad of ways to get there, I discovered a sense of freedom and personal power I had never felt before.  This was mine and no one could take that power from me.  

Same.  Muna and Broad have given me such an incredible gift.  Just imagine.

Friday, 8 January 2021

The calendar says it is Friday.  I completely missed Thursday.  Thursday was a day of much interesting stuff, an aha moment and a fair bit of fun.

Fun as defined by this knitter/sewer/ordinary schmo.  I cast on the landlord's blanket the other day, Tuesday I believe it was, and with my very very desultory knitting the last few days, am ready to do the first red!  

I had to stop knitting on it last night because according to the pattern, I was there, and the next row should be red.  I did not have the red yarn right near me, so I set it aside to knit on a sock.  Yes, a sock.

Most of the day was spent setting up a pattern again.  The first time I did a pdf print at home pattern, it took almost forever to get it put together.  It is starting to go faster now and I have two things ready to sew.  Both of them are more of a muslin than an actual pair of pants but I would rather know the fit than ruin nice recently purchased fabric.

The fabric I am using for a muslin has been marinating in the fabric cupboards for a while and is in no way shape or form related to muslin.  I had it and I had a huge quantity, originally enough for pants, a skirt and at least two tops.  It is a nylon fabric we used to call parachute cloth.  It used to show up  in clothing lines like Tan Jay and was marketed as being uncrushable, almost instant drying and perfect for travel wear.  The plan was to sew myself basic wardrobe pieces that would look good even after being stuffed in with baby things for the times when we came up to visit Brian's family here in Edmonton.  

I just wanted to have something where I didn't look like the poor relative from the farm.  And fyi, we were the poor relatives.  As the fabric went out of style, it stayed in my fabric pile simply because there was lots of it and I felt certain that someday, somewhere, I would find something I needed it for.  This is it. 

Pants are getting critical because one of my stalwarts, a truly lovely pair of linen pants that I got about eight years ago, is on it's last legs.  I was on a call to mom and dad the other day when I felt a little give in the fabric on my leg.

When it happened, I felt for sure I could do one of those nifty embroidery things to cover the problem, butno.  Each of the fold lines on both legs are see through and will simply not survive.  I did think of darning each wear area but there are a dozen little lines all across the fabric on both legs.  Keep in mind, these were one of the two pairs of pants that I think of as my good pairs.

I am pretty sure that this nylon isn't going to last very long as pants.  I can't see the fabric not stretching in high stress areas.  At this point though, if I get a couple weeks out of them as pants, I win because they will have already done one job as a muslin for pants from nicer fabrics and a second as clothing till I get the nice fabric cut and sewn.

Wish me luck today. The plan is to sew both pair up and then to make any changes required and then to move forward to cut out at least one of the two from better fabrics.   

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

The order of the day.

There were spurts of brilliance yesterday and then there were moments where I was winding yarn.  The brilliance had nothing to do with knitting or any hand work and yet it was the best thing I did in the day.  

There was much winding too.  It took longer than I thought but much of it needed to be rewound to not be under tension.  The mohair yarns are not something you can leave tightly wound in a ball and expect to use without it sticking to itself.  

I didn't want to leave the silk tightly wound either.  It appears to be a single ply and it is softly spun.  I don't really expect it to be a really strong yarn.  Loose winding will benefit me when I knit with it.  

And then I fell in love with colour.  It was breathtaking.

The Superkid Silk from Hand Maiden concealed light within its colours.  It glowed as it wound.  It was breathtaking to behold.  It is the Bird of Paradise colourway.

The  Adam and Eve from River City Yarns looks a little pale in comparison, particularly in the pictures, but oh my, in real light, this is a fine, fine thing.  Each skein is unique.

Unique does mean that I will have to use a bit of care to blend carefully.  Three are fairly similar in tone and the other two are one lighter in tone and the other just a wee bit stronger.  But then are all loevely things and I can't wait to knit with them.

And in the mail came a package from a little local store who was kind enough to mail me a shipment of yarn to get to work on the last big Sock Monkey Cabin Blanket.  

Cream yarn in hand, in quantity, plenty to finish up the sweep of blankets for each of my kids.  

I also wound up all the yarn for the Quoddy Blue Agate Cove sweater, so you can see where I plan to go for the rest of the winter.  And summer.  With luck and lack of distraction.  Onward to sewing. That must be the order of the day.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The aura of calm

I spent my day yesterday doing all sorts of things.  I didn't quite get to sewing because putting the pdf printed patterns together is taking a bit more time than I thought it might.  Cutting a pair of pants out will happen today though, so it is well begun.

I also knit a bit yesterday.  I spent a good bit of time on the green Build a Bigger sweater.  I am really enjoying it and I kind of wish my hands could work the yarn longer.  It is just such an interesting sort of knit.  I also did another couple rows on my Threipmuir.  I have less than ten rows to go now and I am looking forward to the plain knitting part of the sweater, even if it is sportweight yarn.  

Also of note, Ysolda did an update to the Threipmuir pattern that blows me away.  She took her fairly slimfit design which was already pretty well sized and blew everything right out of the water sizing up to 72 and a half inches chest size and gives a broad shoulder option as well as a regular fit option so that the sweater becomes truly gender nuetral.  Fantastic Ysolda.  You were a sizing leader in Little Red in the City and you just keep making new inroads into a world of clothing for all people!

I also got a lot of household type chores done yesterday that were not done on my vacation.  Heck they were not even done while I was knitting blankets.  There is a lot to catch up on.  And that kind of leads me to my yarny knitty things for today.  

I have a high tolerance for things being out and about.  They can sit for a month or more and not bother me, till one day, that is it.  It is time to put it all away.  It gets put away and life is good again and it can build without botherng me again.  It is critical that there be a place to put it away though.  Otherwise I drown.  There is yarn stuff in a large box that was not supposed to be there past the mega blanket knitting.  Yesterday, I hit my limit and that box must go.  Stuff gets piled up on it , falls off, is picked up and piled again and it is drving me batty.  The sofa has its own growing pile of stuff and the puzzle part of Christmas is taking up a seat on the other chair in the living room.  Aaaack.  Sewing must remain my priority but order must be imposed.   

On finishing my Comfort Knitting Sweater, I pulled out my pretty Quoddy Blue  for the Agate Cove sweater.  That yarn is part of what is falling.  The white and the greys are all wound up but the blue is not.  That will get wound today and then it will go in a WIP bin under the green sweater yarn.

While winder is out, I am also going to wind my Christmas present yarn.  I have also decided on a pattern for it and I have sorted out exactly how I am going to use it to it's best advantage.  The pattern is going to be Love Note by Tin Can Knits and in order to maximze my yarn, I am going to knit the lace yoke using just the mohair.  I may double the mohair but I won't do that unlesss I have to.  I really would love to see it in just a single strand for a most delicate yoke.  Then that will come back to my display cabinet till I am ready to knit it.  

And then, the couch pile.  There are several skeins of yarn that need winding for cowl projects.  I have a hank of pretty blue and green Euro Yarns Maharashtra Silk  that needs winding for a cowl and I have a skein of Hand Maiden Maiden Hair that I mean to make a Huj Tub Cowl out of it.  While I am doing this, I am going to pull out two more skeins of yarn from the display cabinet to wind and prep for cowl knitting.

If I can get those things done the box is a goner.  \my daily working space will once again be suffused in an aura of calm.  Or as calm as it gets. 

Monday, 4 January 2021

The giant ball.

I didn't start anything new as of yesterday morning.  As of yesterday afternoon that was no longer true.

I didn't mean for it to happen but I was digging in a box of yarn and I saw this giant ball.

It is enormous.  Huge.  Three or four skeins all wound into one giant ball of yarn. I fell for the pull to knit from the giant ball.  It struck me as the perfect goofy way to start the year.   

The yarn is Rowans Cotton Jeans .  It was a very early purchase and I knit a nice sweater out of it, but the sweater had a fatal flaw that made the hemline crooked. There was no way to trick it to straight so I pulled it all out.  But I do love this yarn.  It is a nice worsted cotton that looks like worn tatty jeans when it is knit up and feels like that too.   It is going to be a very simple t shirt style top, perfect for spring and cooler days in summer. 


I have only four tops for summer wear and if I look deep into the WIP bin there may an unlisted on Ravelry beginning of a sweater out of the lacewight linen.  These are not enough to be getting on with so some of my knitting plans for this year are for more summer tops.  

I have a fair sized stash of cottons and lightweight cotton or linen blends and would love to see them converted to garments for everyday wear.  I so enjoyed what I knit last year, particularly the top of Patons Hempster.  

  This yarn may feel stiff while knitting it but it changes when it is washed and is the nicest fabric.  It is somewhere between cotton and linen on the need for summer scale.  I really want another top made with it before Patons changes their mind about it and stops producing it.  It really is nice.
Today isn't going to be much of a knitting day.  It feels like the first day of normal after a long period of Sundays.  The landlord is back at work and I need to re-establish my daily routine such as it was before blankets took up my days.  My cutting table awaits and it is time to sew. 

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Happy New Year too!

And this is what I have been doing since then.  

I started a new sweater from the green yarn  from my jacket knit that I no longer really needed.  I mentioned that the other day.  Very interesting knitting a sweater in parts, sort of.  It is modular but there are not a lot of seams.  Even where there are seams, a canny knitter could do a three needle bind off and call it good or graft it.  

This is the back of the sweater and its very interesting construction will allow shaping in all sorts of way as you knit.  I will point out where I make the changes as I go so you can see what is up with it. 

In my estimation, after reading the pattern through, it ranks right up there with Elizabeth Zimmermann for the interesting approach to making a garment.  It doesn't surprise me at all, because Deb Gemmell has always been an interesting sort of knitter.  Longtime owner along with her sister, Lyn, of Cabin Fever, she has published many many books of good basic patterns designed to put you in the drivers seat.  I love that.  I love people who believe enough in an individual knitter to know there are a host of things we can do by ourselves if we have just a wee bit of help getting there.  

I am having a lot of fun with it and finally, with this yarn.  I wasn't sure I could say that before, but I can now and I am feeling really good about where it is going.

It still is knitting on big needles and there is only so long I am happy to do that.  I pulled this out of a WIP bin and am working on it as well.  My Threipmuir is coming along nicely.  

You cannot see it from the photo but I have just moved into the last of the colourwork sections where only the tip of the feathers remain to be knit.  The blue may have a less than desirable amount of contrast, but the feathers are the brilliant yellow and there is no problem seeing those clearly defined stitches.  

I haven't started anything brand spanking new and I am very much okay with that.  There are so many nice things on the go and I really want to see them finished.  There are socks to finish.  There are sweaters to complete.  There are pretty shawls I want to see done to wear.  I have one still from the time before and much as I would like to hold on to that past, for all the reasons I wish it were not the past, I would not give up today for a minute.  

If there was anything this miserable covid year has taught me, it is that we live in today in the now even though it doesn't do everything we want.  Each tiny moment in time is all we ever really have.  I intend to waste those moments wisely and to enjoy every speck of each one.   

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Apparently, I have been uploading photos and failing to write about them.  I came here today, fully expecting to see this as the blog entry for yesterday.  As a first post for the year, it would be fine.  As a late first post for the year it will still be fine, just late.

New Years Eve was spent getting things ready to wear on New Years day.  I did sweater surgery and worked on my socks.  

The sweater surgery turned out quite well.  I cut off the existing collar and pulled back a row all around till I was in the stockinette part of the sweater and then put the stitches for all but the front of the neck on a holding string.  Then I carefully dropped stitches at the front to make a deeper u shape.  

I then picked all the stitches and reknit the collar and wove in all the many ends.  It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

The entire process dropped the front neck about 3 inches.  Three inches, according the the Vogue Knitting, the Ultimate Knitting Book ,  three inches should be about right for an average neck.  However, contrary to popular opinion, this is one little place where women of size might want to check their own individual measurement.  That bit of extra padding on my shoulders means that three wasn't quite perfect.  

It still pushes a bit oddly on the neck,  though that did relax once I was wearing the sweater a while and it 'self blocked' on my shoulders.  If I were doing that again, I would drop closer to four inches.  I never measured that drop before but it appears to be an area of significan difference from average.  It also looks a bit weird on the sides but that was gone in the wearing of it too.  

The rest of the day, I worked on the socks so I could wear new socks and a new sweater for New Years day.

I didn't quite finish these on New Years Eve.  My hands were stiff as they sometimes are and knitting wasn't a lot of fun.  I was chilly till the landlord turned up the furnace.They did get finished on New Years day though so it counts.  New sweater and new socks for New Years Day.

And so it went.