Thursday, May 31, 2012

Skills. Next Part.

I'm shocked to realize that I am really only a basic knitter. I can follow a pattern, no problems. I can knit and purl, increase and decrease, knit lace and stocking stitch very well, but it's only basic. And I have just worked out my problem. I don't listen. My crazy lace cardi should be finished and I should be wearing but it's into reknit number 4. Because I don't listen. 1. Tension (gauge)swatches are vital. TICK. Pattern swatches are vital too. If you are experimenting with patterns don't wait until the garment is finished before assessing whether the pattern works or not. 2. Always finish the row before you put your knitting down.NO TICK Doubling back may not necessarily be noticed straight away and an inch of knitting on 200 stitches means a lot of ripping and reknitting. 3. Write down everything you change, whether it be amount of decreases or increases and row counts and number of stitches on a section. NO TICK Completing the item and then finding that you've increased one stitch more on the right side of a cardigan may not be so bad if it's in fingering (4ply) weight yarn, but in worsted (10ply) where it's only 4.5 stitches to the inch, it's a problem. 4. Love the yarn. Love the colour, the feel, the way it looks knitted up, TICK because if you do then reknitting number 4 will still be possible. Just as well.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rainy May Day

My goodness it rained and rained and rained today. The driveway was 4 inches under water, the dogs were saturated, the chooks looked decidedly dishevelled and as usual the back verandah flooded so there is no dry land until you get into the house. But it was a wonderful day for knitting, reading knitting blogs, listening to knitting podcasts and catching up on my Craftsy lessons. I thought I had finally finished the Crazy Lace Bolero but I've screwed up the V neck and without the button band it overlaps by 2 inches and bags at the front. Guess my measurements may have been fudged. But I'm redoing it and it's coming together nicely, so I will block and measure and because it's top-down I can try on before it gets too out of control. I'm using Bendigo Woollen Mills 10ply Luxury in Lake which is like a washed out denim colour, and it's knitting up quickly so when it's finished I'll proudly post photos.
Speaking of measurements, I enroled in Craftsy's Curvy Knits course by Marly Bird. I love the no nonsense way she looks at life and very exciting, the third class is about making a real shaped duct tape wommanakin [sic] of yourself. Gonna buy lots of duct tape........
My word of the day is ingeminate. So at the risk of ingeminating myself (?) ....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Skills I should learn. Part 1

Today was such a long work day, it seemed like it was just plant after plant after plant. But I guess when it's potting time and the weather isn't too disgusting there has to be long days. Still if all the new little plants grow and then someone buys them, I can buy more yarn, and winter is coming.... I really think the next knitting challenge has to be learning how to knit the continental way. It looks so compact and less jerky than my throw and it really would impress JK's mum if I could just show up at coffee morning and knit differently. Maybe just the leg of a sock... Oo should get some new self patterning yarn :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Positive times

Off topic - life is going well at present. Both mum and m-I-l are behaving, although I'm not looking forward to packing up mum's house ready for the move. M-I-l is ready to come back to water aerobics so at least now I have to go. Mandi got her drivers license yesterday and started at new place of work today, and I didn't have to supervise the drive! JK and I worked with a wonderful group of students planting grassland plants at their school this afternoon. All the animals are curled up sleeping, and JK has gone to get ice-cream. I have been working on my crazy lace cardi and although feather and fan is relatively straight forward 11 sts there's over 200 sts a row and it's getting heavier, but I'm still impressed with the colour and the yarn weight to persevere. I finished my first attempt at designing a sock so know there's just the second sock to knit. I must try the knitting two at a time and see if that's more efficient. Oh good JK's home.........

Friday, May 11, 2012


Since the heart attack I have spent more time thinking about my contribution to the world. In general I am aware of how unhappy a lot of people act, like every moment is an effort, that a smile will cost them a place in a line, that they are all in a rush. In specific, every day I make the effort to engage someone in life - to notice someone's gorgeous boots, hat, blouse, bag; to just say a hello; to offer them a place in line ahead of me. If they smile then that's good. If they chat back, then that's better. If they scowl, keep their head down but accept my offered place at least they can go about their business quicker. So it came to be I was in the chemist getting my treasure chest of meds when a reasonably young woman pushed her way through those waiting for a prescription with her 'elderly' mother in tow. Changes to her mother's medications meant reorganizing her dosage pack and general inconvenience. Her mum was standing just behind her when she barked for mum to listen to the instructions. In the meantime I sat and pulled out a sock I was about to start and 'Mum' came and sat next to me watching every movement of my long tail cast-on, my juggling of 4 dpns, and the jigging of my yarn as I worked. She leaned over to me and whispered 'I have five grandchildren but I can't knit anymore', in a heavily accented voice. I showed her the picture of Chloe in my wallet and she smiled and gestured to my work. 'I used to do two in, two out, two in two out'. I knew instantly that she meant K2P2 rib. She chuckled, 'I made jumpers and socks and hats for my three children'. At this point her daughter snapped at her to leave me alone, but I ignored her and asked about her early motherhood and her grandchildren. She struggled sometimes for the words but we managed. Then her medications were ready and she was gone. Then another woman sat next to me and showed me her heavily arthritic fingers and told me about the shawl with the scotch thistle flower scalloped border she knitted for her grandson, 'But I can't knit anymore because it hurts too much'. Then my meds were ready and I went home. But my new socks have a K2P2 rib, and I'm going to search for that shawl patter, and I'm going to take some knitting everywhere. Not so I get noticed but to hear the stories from the past.