Tag Archives: knitting

It’s A Kind of Magic

This week my WIP is a little magical.  It is a shawl, but is a very magical shawl indeed.  Sadly, it is not so magical that it knits itself.  Nor does it knit up at a magical pace.  And there is no guarantee that is will be the perfect size when it’s finished either.  (Just for the record, I have never figured out exactly what the perfect size for a shawl is.  It seems to be way too dependant on my mood.)  It is magical because of the stripes.  Those little colour changes are happening all by themselves in the right place and making perfect little sections.

Now, before you start thinking that I have figured out the secret and am some sort of knitting wizard, it’s really not that at all.  It’s the yarn.  It’s all the yarn.

The Yarn Harlot first blogged about it here and you can imagine what happened next.  The yarn became a very scarce commodity.  There were sell-outs, and back orders, and now it seems that scoring a skein of the magic yarn is the same as winning the knitter’s lottery.  Somehow, my knitting guru managed to do just that and for Christmas a few of us received  skeins.

 

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This past weekend I cast on the shawl.  It says right inside the ball band, to be used with topdown triangle shawls.  I checked Rav and the Caterpillargreen website and picked a pattern.  I grabbed my 3.5’s and cast on.  Four and a half hours later I was cussing the yarn and the dyer.  I was oscillating between thoughts of auctioning off the skein and lighting it on fire in the courtyard.  It was not going well.  Colour changes were happening everywhere except where they were supposed to.  I was miserable.  I was frustrated. I was so very, very unhappy.

I had gone up and down needle sizes, tried a different pattern, added a second colour.  Nothing was working. So I took to Twitter and posted my woes.  Very quickly I received helped from another knitter.   She pointed out that gauge is super important and to try again.  So in one last ditch effort I went up another needle size.  4 mm way the key.  They were the saviour for the shawl, and at that moment my sanity.  It all started to work!  It started striping by itself!!!!

 

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Now the shawl is flying off the needles.  My goal is twofold.  First I want to finish it this week so I’m ready for the weekend.  (More about that on the weekend 😉  Next, I want to somehow win the knitting lottery when Caterpillargreen updates again.  They have some truly beautiful colours just begging for me to knit with them.

Yarn : Caterpillargreen Merino Twist shawl striping
Colour: Warm and Fuzzy
Pattern: Simple Yet Effective Shawl

For more great stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.

 


Identity Crisis Knitting

The Fibre;

I’ve made Jaywalkers before.  I have in actuality made eight complete pairs of Jaywalkers.  That’s sixteen individual socks.  I know how this pattern goes.  I know what to cast on, and when to start the heel.  I know when to start the toe.  I know how to tell if a yarn will be too tight or too loose, and how to fix that so that the socks will fit perfectly.  Most importantly, I know how they should look.

I know that if it is a self-striping yarn it will most likely look something like this.IMG_2727

Or maybe this.

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Or maybe even like this.

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I use this pattern with self-striping yarns because it works so well.  The pattern does not overpower the yarn, nor does the yarn in any way overwhelm the pattern.  They are a wonderful compliment to each other, a perfect synergy of yarn and pattern that blends beautifully to make my favourite socks.  These socks are reliable.  They are stable.  They are ever-present. They are Jaywalkers.

Until now.  The only things I can say us that this pair, my newest of my beloved Jaywalkers, is having an identity crisis.  They have no idea what they want to be.

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Truly, there is some multiple personality disorder happening here.  Big stripes, little stripes, all out chaos?  Sure! Why not?  Forget order.  Defy expectation!  Be whatever you want to be.  And while you’re at it, befuddle your knitter.  Leave her shaking her head and wondering what the heck is happening and if the second sock is in any way going to match the first.  It’s all just so much more fun this way!

The paper,

This past weekend I went with my hubby to return some books to our local library and came across Cinderella Girl by Carin Gerhardsen.  It’s a Swedish murder mystery that I had heard a few rumblings about.  It is the second novel in a series, but I didn’t realize that and jumped right in.  This book is working fine as a stand alone, and while there is some back story that probably would have been better filled in, it’s not difficult to infer what’s not actually there.


Here’s the thing.  This novel is written exactly they way you would expect a Scandinavian novel (or movie) to be written.  The pacing is different.  It is slow and very methodical.  It’s barely over 300 pages, and it took until page 80 for the first murder (in a book that claims to be a murder mystery) to occur.  I’m still not certain who the main character is, or how pretty much any of the separate story lines connect.  Currently it’s just all sharing the same space in between the same covers.

I would like to point out that none of this is making for a bad read.  This book is neither unenjoyable or horrid.  It just is.  It is contemplative and detailed and a rather easy read.

For more great stuff check out KCCO and Jenny’s Yarn Along.

 

 

 

 


YOP Update March 1st 2015

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I really feel there should be more of an update to the list.  I feel like I should be crossing things off with gleeful abandon and that there should be some measurable amount of forward momentum.  But there isn’t or at least it doesn’t feel like there is.  Sigh.

My Sister in law, on the other hand, is making stunning progress with her crocheting.  She’s completed her first pillow case and a baby hat.  She’s struggling a little with the second case as she can’t seem to replicate the mistakes she made on the first one.  The joys of becoming more confident in your craft.  Even her wool licking dog, Miss Daisy, is getting in on the action!

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And now for the list.

Redacted YOP List

WIPs:
1. Icedfinished Feb 2015
2. 64 crayons Finished Jan 2015
3. Vincent price socks – should be much closer than they are.
4. 10 more squares for Nordic Holiday

Not WIPs:
1. Lumberjack X4 Two pairs finished Jan 20.  Two  to go.
2. Baby gift for the April baby
3. Jaywalkers

4. socks (unknown)

5. Socks (unknown)

 

 


A Race Against the Yarn Update

I mentioned earlier this week that I am currently in a race with the yarn that I am using for my SIL’S Christmas socks.  There are only two competitors in this dash to the finish line: me and a the remnants of the a skein of Poppy yellow label from Tanis Fibre arts.  Right now I think we are in a dead tie, still going neck to neck.  The good news is, we have passed the halfway mark.  The first sock is finished and while the leg is a tiny bit shorter than I would otherwise make it, I’m certainly not going to attempt to add any additional length by doing something foolish like frogging back and adding more rows.IMG_2715

This is now the time when the real race begins.  There was never any doubt that I would conquer the first sock.  The question has always been the second.  The accursed second sock.  The sock that can make or break the whole deal.  The sock that will either catapult me to victory or leave me weeping uncontrollably in the corner with nothing but an unfinished sock with which to dry my eyes.  That is the sock that I am starting.  With uncertainty being my only companion in the fray, I am jumping in head first.IMG_2716

Keep your fingers crossed that when I emerge, there I will be a with a big smile and warm toes.

 

 


Paper and Fibre February 11, 15

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The Fibre

This week’s fibre is a little bit of a risk.  Well maybe it’s not.  It’s almost certainly, maybe,  not a risk.  Here’s the deal.  I’ve started my SIL’S Christmas socks.  The pattern is Lumberjacks.  The pattern is not the risk.  The pattern is awesome.  This is my third pair in as many months.  It’s great.  The colour is fine.  She’ll love red socks.  The yarn is great too, but it’s also the problem.  You see the pattern calls for a huge amount of yardage for each pair of socks.  I’m not sure if it’s a difference in gauge, but according to the pattern I should need just over a skein of the master colour for a pair of men’s socks.  As it turns out I need less than a skein.  I fair bit less than a skein.  So considering that I only used the red for the heels and toes for my hubby’s socks, and the ladies socks have fewer stitches per round and fewer rounds over all, I should need a much smaller amount of yarn than with the men’s socks.  So I should have enough red yarn.  It seems reasonable to think that.  In fact it seems foolish to think anything else.  I’m almost certain this will work.
A yarn scale would make my life easier and happier.  But that would require me to know where my scale is and right now I kind of sort of don’t.  And anyway, it’s way more fun not knowing and having the anxiety spur me on.  It will make me a faster knitter since we all know that if you knit super fast you will in fact avert a pending yarn shortage.  But that’s not going to happen.  I think.IMG_2670-0

The Paper

The-roadThis week I finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. As the story progresses you realize that it is, at its core, a very complex discussion on humanity and human nature. It asks the question, how do we retain our humanity in the face of insurmountable odds? Why do some people maintain a moral code of conduct that is reflective of current values, and others morph into something abhorrent? Or are do some people adapt while others cling to the past? It’s a fantastic metaphor for heaven and hell. It’s both brutally grim at times and uplifting in its depiction of a father and son’s unwavering love. I’m not certain I can recommend this book, but if you can deal with the writing style and very dark content it is worth the read.

For more great Wednesday stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.


A Rather Strange Decision Indeed

A few day ago I cast on a cowl.  When I started my Rav search I didn’t know that I was going to cast on a cowl.  I just knew that I had some odd balls of yarn that I really want to start using up so I searched patterns in the correct yarn weight and found the cowl.  I’d looked at it before and I liked it every time I clicked on it, so I thought, why not.  Two  minutes  later the pattern was downloaded and printed and I was off to dig through my stash hoping that I would find the yarn I wanted quickly.  Since my husband was home I thought it safe enough to go stash diving without the customary and potentially life saving bottle of water and protein bar.  While I was in fact correct about that and only had to navigate one smallish yarnalanche, it did take me longer than expected to find the yarn I wanted.
On the way to those skeins, I came across this skein.2015/02/img_2673.jpg

This arrived in the mail quite some time ago as part of a yarn club and it’s been sitting in the original envelope in the back of my stash pretty much since the moment I opened it.  It’s not that the yarn isn’t fabulous because it is.  It’s soft and squishy.  It feels great against your cheek and in your hands.  It’s the colours.  These  colours are not me in any way.  But I came across the yarn and thought, this might actually work for the cowl.

So then I sat in the middle of my newly created mess and had the yarn I actually was going to make the cowl out of in one hand and the unloved yarn in the other hand.  I stared.  I asked my husband for advice. Then I did a little math to figure out how to rework the pattern for a lighter gauge yarn, (I added 12 extra rows and am repeating the lace work one extra time on each side of the center stitch), and put the yarn onto the swift and made a cake.

And now it looks like this.2015/02/img_2675.jpg

It is actually working for the cowl.  I think I like it and if I don’t I can use it as a Christmas gift.  But when I comes right down to it, this was the only chance this skein of yarn had at being used.  These moments don’t appear often and when they do, I’ve learned it’s best to embrace them.  You can always ponder the oddity of the thing while you’re knitting it 😉
Pattern: zuzu’s petals


Fibre and Paper Jan 21.15

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The Fibre
I’ve decided that it’s time to break the spinning wheel out of its corner that it’s been sitting in since the end of November. This beautiful fibre was bought for me at Rhinebeck an2015/01/img_2638.jpgd I did manage to un-braid it! So first I have to finish drafting it and then get it on the wheel. Wish me luck. My spinning always seems to suffer the agony of being neglected.

 

 

 

 

The Paper,
While it is true that I am still reading the Lies of Locke Lamora, and still loving it, I have briefly put it aside to finish The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  This post apocalyptic novel is a tale of the survival of a father and his young son that is simultaneously filled with enduring acts of love and downright brutal heartbThe-roadreak and suffering.  The rather abrupt writing style in the novel does add to the overall bleakness of the world in which the two main characters reside.  Fortunately, in this case, a novel without a single wasted word works well.  I think that an overly descriptive narrative would actually detract from the feel of the book and the fast and oddly intimate relationship that you form with the father and son.
While I am not certain that I would recommend this novel,  I can say that it is incredibly compelling.

 

 

 

 

For more great Wednesday stuff check out the Yarn Along at Ginny’s and KCCO at Frontierdreams.