Knitting & Puppy

Working on my longest running work—10 stitch blanket that really, was a mistake to start at this low of gauge but, it’ll eventually one day some years from now be done. Charlotte seems to think it’s perfect just as it is, yarn changes and all.


In the Round

So one of my decisions I made some years ago now, was that I am unlimited by anything but time when it comes to what I want to learn, what I want to create, what I wish to become. 

I find time can be in short supply, but if given all the time in the world, I decided, yes…decided, I could really learn anything I wanted. I do not have a short attention span. I do have trouble, or have in the past, finishing what I start. Tho, I think I’ve come to realize this as well, is usually a time constraint issue. Many things pull at & unravel, my time. So this week I’ve managed to knit an entire sweater, top to bottom. I’d never learned this style of knitting before, termed ‘magic loop.’ Learning this style meant I managed to knit this sweater entirely on Round needles, even the sleeves, no dpns. I’ve not actually seen sz 36 dpns so, it’s good I learned this technique which like everything practiced, became super easy by the time I finished the project. 

This sweater still needs blocking, it feels rather bulky when I put it on, definitely a heart of winter sweater for skating or other activities where you get too hot in a coat but it’s cold out. It’s knit in a medium size which is large fitting too. Had I known, I would have knit it one sz smaller. 

But the speed of this knit is what is particularly attractive. I started late Sunday & didn’t even work continuously over the last few days and still, I managed to finish it up yesterday. 

I think I’m actually going to consider doing this knit in small for all my girls. I scoped out a more reasonably priced yarn @ Michaels, no special order stuff like this one is, that is machine wash & dryer friendly, unlike this baby, & I think I’m just going to go for it. This is my third sweater. Each one has been a learning tool, and I’m hoping to eventually be able to learn how to do Fair Isle patterns & such. I love Nordic designs & colour combinations. 

My goal when I took on knitting, was to create things, tangible things that have a life & a use beyond the maker of them. I wanted to be creative in a very different way than just writing or painting. I find it can be tedious at times & frustrating when it becomes easier to pull everything out and start again, but, this drive to make & create & persevere I personally felt unneeded to work on.

So, as with the other two sweaters I’ve made, I’m super proud of myself for executing this project to completion & for learning something new. 

I love the blackberry tones with hints of burgundy & navy in this black yarn; and I love the white with  vague greys & greens. Together they feel nature inspired & comforting. Together they look navy & cream but the black looks so black without the white toned yarn, I was truly so surprised how blue it became when contrasted. 

Anyways. That’s this week’s adventures in knitting. 

Folkloric Tunic  

I said I’d finish it today, & tho I can’t always complete things when I think I can, I took the two hours it needed and sewed up the last seam and stitched the back support into the neckline. I still need to block it so it relaxes a bit, but all in all, this baby is finally done. My second ever sweater just in time for a gorgeous autumn weekend. Yay! 

Super proud of myself. It is lovely tho ever so slightly peculiar. Just like last year’s Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton knit. 

Folkloric Tunic 

…not to be forgotten, Benedicta below

…and now we wait

So here’s one of the things I’m still learning, Blocking. 

Blocking is the arse-pain of finishing a project I’ve discovered. So yesterday I planned to really begin wrapping up my Folkloric Tunic (design by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton) and it would be my second sweater ever. First one, also by Hamilton, Benedikta, was in a slight need of blocking upon full completion, but was wearable as it finishes having the sleeve seams sown. This one, not so much. 

So yesterday I finished weaving in my ends which is no small feat on this pattern. I then went to measure where to begin sewing sleeves to body pieces and wowzers the measurements are off. 

Thankfully, I’ve watched a thing or two on blocking and tho there are no blocking instructions I’m guessing with this knit you really do have to block it first. 

For those who don’t know, Blocking is when you set the fabric you’ve just made into its desired shape. So, when you knit, you’re weaving the yarns together and quite usually, they may look fine, but generally, if you don’t set they’re shape, they just don’t look quite right, and if you’re sewing them together it just won’t work. So, sometimes a spritz of water will work but from what I’ve had to block so far a gentle dampening/soak is better. Then, you gently tug and pull the piece into the correct measurements, pin it, and let it dry. 

So, this is sleeve one, obviously of two, pinned and drying. I still have three more pieces to do this process with and frankly, am considering going to the dollar store for more of these foam pieces so I can get on with this. (Believe it on not for smaller, grided foam blocking pads at the craft store you pay, get this, $6.49 each, for one little pad! Why would anyone pay that!) At this rate, I’m Days and days away from sewing it together. Some days my patience is thin just because I get scared I’ll never finish it. The foam doesn’t allow as quick of drying as you’d think in such a dry climate. 

Anyway, I really want to see this sweater finished, it could have been done months ago, literally. I stalled for so long on finishing the last few rows. I think some times I stalk because I’m afraid of failure. Does anyone else do this? I’m honestly scared that when I’m done it won’t be good. I’m afraid it will be dreadful and I’ll never wear it or find someone who fits it. This is silly. Sometimes you do fail. It’s part of learning and growing. I would never think of myself as a perfectionist but then I have this fear of non-perfect. For days now I’ve been wearing my Benedikta sweater. Pretty much since returning from Florida. It fits very large on me, but, it was a one size fits all sweater. It’s perfect for just wearing when you jump into your car and drive kids to school or work and you don’t want to wear a coat but it’s minus 10. It’s light enough I don’t get hot in it when I’m around the house. The only thing is, I wish it were just a little smaller. I get compliments on it every time I leave the house in it tho, so it must be a good piece of knitting. Funny how critical I am of my own work. I wanted an unusual and beautiful piece, in fact, I always want an interesting piece when it comes to anything I spend my time on. I can buy ordinary. But within this desire for something unique there is a large margin for error. Reading & translating the patterns into full-fledged pieces means learning as you go. Mistakes will be made. Things will need to be backtracked. And then reknit. It’s part of the process. The scariest thing is when you’ve put that much work in and then, you are at the moment of finalizing. Will it have been worth it?

Folkloric is an unusual piece in the first place. It’s romantic & quirky. Not your average sweater. Will it work on me or for anyone I care enough for to give it to? Will it stretch out too much, be too big, not big enough…? All this has stalled me for months on the project. I truly fear failure. It’s many days worth of knitting & the cost of the materials, all sectioned off into amounts that would not conveniently unravel and become another project easily. 

How I hope this sweater is wear-worthy when it’s done. 

The Ides

The dawning Ides

What waste the winter has laid

At the soles of my feet

Heaven bleeds open 

Gathering all the melodies

Of angels & birds but even these

Could not take the snow away…
Spitfire, age 8, has been home from school this week with The Wicked Cough. She’s a creative one. She’s been bored and so, on a trek to the craft store I picked up a knitting loom for her. I have never knit using one but it seemed something a kid might learn and enjoy. It’s way faster & easier than traditional knitting and a great way to start & complete a project or at least, ingrain this habit of completion which can get more and more difficult for people because the older you get the harder the projects and the more draws on your time. Project completion will always be a struggle for me. Always. I’m trying to teach my kids this ability young. 

So, after a very short time & a quick YouTube tutorial, here is her first touque about half way complete. She’s super proud of herself, and I’m proud of her too. 

Folkloric Progress

Maybe not the best light for photos today, but one body piece & one sleeve complete. 

This pattern has three yarns & pickup stitches on each border, so tons of ends to weave in. The finishing will probably take a few hours. But all in all, should be a couple more weeks and I’ll have this one done in time for Autumn. 

It’s a little quirky, but, lovely. Worst case scenario, one of my daughters claims it for themselves if I don’t care for it on myself. I can totally see Kawaii liking this one. 

Folkloric Progress

This 29″ at the widest X 16″ height panel is the progress I made this week on the Folkloric Tunic. It still needs the upper border knit onto it, but it is beginning to take shape. 

The pattern is written as knitting up two of these, one front, one back, and then knitting the sleeves. It’s a fun piece to see taking shape, not too repetitive, constantly changing. 

Using Wisdom Yarns: Poems Silk, Baffin Island; Poems Chunky, Autumn Haze; Poems Puzzle, Autumn Haze. 

These colours drive me crazy with an anxiousness to have it done for the upcoming Autumn, which seems to be beginning to settle already, with a big thick weight and a crisp breeze. 

My girls are already coveting it…but that is why I’m knitting women’s sweaters, they are all becoming women. Eventually, they’ll all have cool sweaters I’ve knit. 

Folkloric Tunic

This is my next project—same designer, Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton. 

I understand I have a bit of bohemian flair, which in six months of winter is very difficult to sate, so my plan it to knit myself a collection of sweaters and clothes that satisfy the urge to dress comfortably yet original and classic. Tunics make for comfy cozy and a little quirky fashion. 

Getting old is fun, because I just don’t give a darn what anyone thinks anymore. It’s a bonus if people like what I make and or wear, but frankly, I don’t care. I want to wear what I like. And I like quirky with colour. So, here we go. 

I have a goal of two more sweaters this year. And to finish my daughters 10 stitch blanket, for which I’m waiting for some awesome yarn sales which hopefully will happen this fall. I’ll be impressed if the blanket gets done because it’s SO MUCH KNITTING! But, I hope to finish it up for her. Next blanket might be a larger yarn tho. Whew. So much work.