Thursday, 29 May 2014

Almost Didn't Make It

I'm making a shawl, it's a beautiful yarn that I had left over from a sweater I started years ago.  The sweater is beautiful, it is also too small but it was so much work I can't bring myself to give it away.  I've decided to keep it until I'm done having children, if I have a daughter she'll have a beautiful complicated sweater that will fit like a charm when she's about 10.  (I'm fairly small, but not quite small enough to get into it, blocking helped but not enough.)

I have a ton of yarn left over and when my knitting group decided to do a knit-along I thought it would be perfect, it's the blue the colour of the Caribbean Sea and the pattern is supposed be like waves.  It has a ton of stockinette and then the lace at the edges.  My yarn was a bit thinner than the pattern called for and the shawl's finished measurements were a bit smaller than I would have liked so I did the math, figured out how many stitches I should increase to before starting the lace if I wanted a few more repeats across and went at it.

It was going swimmingly (water themed pun, anyone?) for a while and then it got kind of boring.  Very boring in fact.  So boring that it felt like it hurt to keep going, which was particularly frustrating because this happened when I was 5 rows away from the lace.  I took a break to swatch for some mitts I wanted to make Caleb and resumed slogging through.

I made it, and the lace is so much more interesting.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

This Is Not Going To Work

I had this vision of the hat and mitt set I wanted to make Caleb.  There's an absolutely beautiful stitch pattern in one of my stitch dictionaries, it uses two colours and it looks like a bed of starfish.  It was perfect, except it's not.

It's annoying and fiddly to work, and while I can totally get over those two things the actual fabric looks fine from a few feet but when it has holes similar to those found in crochet fabric, which is not what I'm going for.  So me and my stitch dictionaries have a date during Caleb's afternoon nap.  It's going to be great, it's grey and cool outside and I'm going to have tea and knitting stuff.

It's a pity, the hat looked so pretty in my head.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Kids are Funny

This weekend we had friends of ours over for dinner.  I had a conversation with their four year old that went like this.

Child: "Do you have a cat?"

Me: "No."

Child: "Do you have a dog?"

Me: "No, do--"

Child: "Then WHY do you have yarn?"


Friday, 23 May 2014

How we change

I used to love finishing projects.  Not the sewing up and weaving in ends but having the finished project in my hands.  For quite some time I'd be willing to overlook mistakes or fudge things so I wouldn't have to go back but could keep going.  I was thinking about this in the shawl I'm making.  I realized I missed a yard over a good while back, and I thought to myself "I can just create another stitch in this row, it's not obvious."  I could have, it wouldn't have been obvious to anyone.  You'd have to look for the mistake to find it.

It was driving me crazy.

I ripped backed to fix it, and I told myself the thing I always tell myself while fixing mistakes like this.

I like knitting.  This is just more knitting.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Best Laid Plans

I am pretty Type A.  I have lists for everything, including a queue of things to knit.  It's peculiar but I almost never follow it.  Sure, some things on that list get knit, but there are always sidetracks and random projects that come out of left field.

Before the knitting group last week my plan looked like this.

1.  Finish Caleb's sweater
2.  Make Caleb a hat and mitt set out of the leftover yarn
3.  Make my friend Catherine a tea cozy.
4.  Make Caleb another sweater.

Then one lady shows up with a really pretty shawlette and now my plan looks like this.

1.  Finish Caleb's swea---I have yarn for that shawl... hmmm...
2.  Wait, what?

Friday, 16 May 2014


Up until moving got crazy I used to go to a moms' group twice a week, the songs were annoying and I'd spent the rest of the week cursing the fact that a song that went "flitter-flutter, flitter-flutter" over and over and over again was stuck in my head but regularly hanging out with other adults was so worth it.  There was something about those meetings that kept me sane.

There's nothing like that within walking distance of our new house (that I know of).  If I drive Joshua to work I can take the car for the day but that disrupts Caleb's naps so the payoff of having it has to be pretty good for me to want to do that.  Half an hour of annoying songs wasn't quite cutting it.

Joshua was picking up some Debbie Bliss books I had on hold on the way home from work last week.  When the librarians noticed he was getting knitting books they immediately asked him who in the family knits and does that person have plans Tuesday afternoons.  There's a "crafternoon" at the library on Tuesday and they were open to having a 9 month old join them.  (I love the name, it's dorky but awesome.)  So this Tuesday we went and I spent an hour with adults who like to talk about knitting.   There was tea, chocolate, and maracas (the maracas were what occupied Caleb while I talked with adults, amazing.)

I love knitting librarians.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Maybe I'm Making This More Complicated Than It Needs To Be

There's a beautiful stitch pattern I've decided I really like for Caleb's hat, and it's written flat in the stitch dictionary.  If I knit it in the round then it's almost all purling, but it's finicky if I try to change it to almost all knitting.

I've been thinking about this until I came upon a rather simple answer.  I could just make the hat flat.  I generally try to avoid that because I prefer knitting in the round to sewing up seams but in this case it just might make sense, it would certainly simplify things.

Funny how the obvious answers are the ones that can take the longest to come to us.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

That awkward point

Caleb's sweater is on the last part of knitting, the trim around the hood and front, which means that soon I'll be sewing it rather than knitting, which means I need to get another project on the needles soon, so I'll have something to knit.  As much as I love the planning part of projects there's something about it that I sometimes find a bit irritating, and I was contemplating this the other day and I think I've figured out what it is:  Sometimes I just want to knit.  Not swatch, measure, draw, and do math (though I love those things too), but knit, which means that by the time one project is ready to be made up I want the next one started so I can just sit and knit if I want to.

With this in mind I began organizing my next project which will be a hat and mitt set for Caleb, I have the yarn and the stitch pattern all picked out and just need to research the measurements I need (it's for the winter so measuring Caleb's head now is of limited use) and swatch.  I got the measurements this morning from here and went to swatch when I realized I can't find my stitch dictionary.  I can find Volumes 1, 3, and 4.  Unfortunately the stitch pattern I had picked out is in volume 2.  I've looked through the house but still can't find the thing, which means I have to wait until my husband gets home (he's like The Finder, that show was amazing.)

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A Boy After My Own Heart

Every so often I'm happily knitting away when I have to drop what I'm doing to do something, usually because Caleb's just woken up.  I'll get him and we'll play for a while, but if I turn my back for a minute there's a good chance that when I turn around again he'll have my knitting.  If not the knitting itself then something connected to it; needles, a ball band, the knit kit, the next ball of yarn to be added to the project.  He always looks so pleased with himself too.

I hope he'll knit someday. 

Thursday, 1 May 2014


We've been unpacking for a while, it's gotten to the point where everything crucial is done but there's always lots of other things to do.  Some of those things aren't going to matter for a while (the Christmas ornaments are okay where they are) and others are things that matter but haven't been a priority.

Up until yesterday my knitting nook was filled with boxes, and I'd look at it and wish that I could actually use it but then go on to either something that seemed more important or yet another load of laundry.  Yesterday we arranged the furniture and I started unpacking.  There's a table with a sewing machine and beside it a glass fronted cabinet with most of my yarn.  On another wall there's another one with books and notions.

It's wonderful.