Seventy-two stitches
Thursday September 13th 2018, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

I had the deadline but I needed some internal peer pressure to help me slog through the tight stitches on the small needles–Malabrigo Mecha on 4mm instead of the 4.5mm I thought I’d picked up–so I borrowed you guys. Hope you don’t mind.

We made it. Thank you.



You mean I can knit anything now?
Friday August 31st 2018, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

And in this section of the yarn museum we have the live installation by the visiting 5’11” granddaughter of an art dealer, illuminating the perception of the fleet-ing moment.

Of which there were not, however, a boatload.

Duration: thirty seconds.

Title: Long Drink of Water.



Here let me show you what I did wrong
Saturday August 25th 2018, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

There’s a knit two rows purl two rows knit two rows sequence between the squares. When I picked the blanket up again after not working on it for a week while we had company, I somehow only did the first two rows of that sequence of six. I did not see it till I was more than that much further along.

So my choices are:

1. Ignore it. Carry on. Got a ball and a half left to go. (It’s very stretchy sideways, while the picture is with it kind of scrunched in at the sides, so you can definitely add more length, not to mention their kids are tall. But then their daddy is over 6’9″.)

2. Cut it just above the spot, carefully undo enough rows to have plenty of yarn to be able to cast off right there (and where you would want that to be in the pattern), rip out the eighteen hours’ worth of wasted work and have a do-over at the top.

3. Cut it and do all that but flip it over and kitchener (ie graft) the now-live stitches from the top of the bottom to the bottom of the top (only 210 stitches, who’s counting) after I finish those balls and ignore that the stitches will be suddenly upside down to the rest of the blanket. Like nobody will ever know.

4. Which brings us back to, well then hey, ignore it without all that extra work.

But if I just leave it It. Will. Bug. Me.

I think reknitting every one of those inches will be dependent on the baby hopefully refusing to be too much of a preemie, but it’s what I should do.

Like any kind of ribbing, it’s a slow-going pattern.

The thought occurred to me today that y’know, if I could find a match on the dyelot (wishful thinking) then I could actually come out of this with two afghans, after all, one’s a third of the way there already…

Although I think I’d make a plain wide border all around the shorter piece I’m going to cut off. One can only do so much.

Now, who has a full bag of Rios in Cian in stock in a lighter shade than some and with no green in it that I can buy?



Pony Express-ion
Friday August 24th 2018, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

The horse galloped for eighteen more hours’ worth of work (five hours ago) before I saw it.



Nine? Or eleven?
Wednesday August 15th 2018, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

There were nine skeins in the one dye lot and two that were so near a match that after the store wound them for me, I find myself digging the ball band out of the center each time I start a new one to make sure I’ve got the right lot.

Having them be that near a match is a good problem to have.

I’ve still got time to decide what the best way to blend the two together would be. Two rows of each, alternating, sure, but for how long.

I like those afghans to still be useful for our tall grandkids after their babyhood is over.

Meantime, on a totally random note, if you ever wanted to go live in a cave, here’s your chance.  Four bedrooms, indoor waterfall, and helipad. Must provide own chopper.



25″
Sunday August 12th 2018, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

After a week-long knitting drought it felt good to get back to work on that afghan again.

Perspective is an odd thing, though: when I first picked it up, it felt like, is this all I’d gotten done so far?

After working at it for awhile, it felt like, wow, I really did get a lot done before that break. Onward!



Kind of Lego-ish
Wednesday August 01st 2018, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Three skeins of Malabrigo Rios, 630 yards, 17.5″x 45″ unstretched, one week’s work.

I think it’s outgrowing that box as a prop.



Katie S
Sunday July 29th 2018, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

Huh. I guess I never did take a picture of it–sorry. There was this really pretty cowl I’d been taking to church but that had just kept coming home with me. It just hadn’t found its person yet.

Today I was walking in and–Katie!!!

She and her family were back for a visit. I’d had no idea they were coming. I looked at her oldest, a little shocked at the change (they haven’t been gone that long. Have they?) and rather than the old-person boring line of, you’re getting so tall, told her, I’m shrinking!

She laughed. She doesn’t tower over me like her mom yet but she’s real close.

And I knew. Katie got swept up in friend after old friend who wanted to exclaim over her and the kids were finding their old friends, too, and it was other people’s turn.

After the meeting she had a moment to herself where the conversation was drifting to her husband and someone else and I happened to be walking up.

You guys moved away before I started doing this, right? (I explained about the cowls for all.)

And so out came a sandwich-sized ziplock with the thing folded and squished inside. Light ecru, merino/vicuna 98/2, so soft. I told her I’d brought it and taken it home three weeks running: it had been for her all along. I’d just needed to wait to find that out.

The stitches were a little finer than some, the pattern a little more involved; she had no basis for comparison but I silently did. I’d done right by that yarn.

She opened it and her eyes got huge and she gasped. “I LOVE this!”

And that, thank you Katie, is why I’m suddenly not bored with knitting cowls anymore. She couldn’t have known I’d needed that.

Just let me get this little baby blanket project out of the way….



Two months left and siblings that came early
Saturday July 28th 2018, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Family,Knitting a Gift

Another 60 grams, and by my calculations I’m 20% of the way there.

Unless I use those two skeins from a different dyelot. They were a close match to the nine in the bag. Let’s see how much the fabric stretches from the weight of the wool as I get further along–it’s a ribbing-based pattern, so it relaxes by closing in on itself for now.



Cian-aura
Friday July 27th 2018, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Baby blanket. The first 100 gram skein of Cian blue: done.



Thank you, Meagan
Wednesday July 25th 2018, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift

Sometimes a friend asks the very question you’d been silently asking yourself and instantly there’s your answer, front and center.

I was describing the baby afghan and all the ocean features slowly going into it and my worry that I could never finish it in time.

She considered. “Do your other grandkids have an afghan like that?”

Mic drop.

No. No they don’t. Pretty, and patterned, but solid colored. The fact that the older boys in that family got sweaters with cars and trucks is irrelevant, isn’t it.

And that is why I called three yarn stores within driving distance yesterday till I found more Malabrigo Rios in the Cian colorway I wanted. The baby’s still going to get that bright oceanic blue I love so much–it’s new this year and the shops say it flies out the door.

Unless he comes way early this one will definitely be done in time.

The sea blanket can come along in its own good time and purpose after that.



The quiet one in the back who is always helping
Sunday July 22nd 2018, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

(The ends are run in now.)

Collecting and delivering packaged healthy snacks for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford: that’s her. She used to manage the volunteers who brought soup to their kitchens but when the place got expanded new health rules applied that didn’t let us do that anymore. Dumping split pea soup out of the crockpot onto the passenger side when avoiding bad drivers, that’s all over. (So was the soup.)

So she found out how we could still help the families who stay there while their kids are in the hospital and convey the support of the community in their times of stress and worry. Individually wrapped portions? For people facing huge medical bills, some of them away from their jobs while trying to will their child to live, that at least is something we could do for them.

I reached into my bag and gave her her choice of three ziplocs of knitting, not telling her that I’d made this orange one specifically with her in mind. I also told her she didn’t have to choose any of those if she’d rather I made her something else.

She said this was definitely her favorite and exclaimed how many things of hers it would go with before she even knew that it was cashmere/silk or what it felt like. I’d taken it to church last week but she was away so I’d brought it home: even if she were to choose a different one I had to give her first crack at it.

She confessed she didn’t know what a cowl was. So I took it out and put it on me for a moment and did a little ta daah! It was generously sized and wider as it went down.

“Oh! It’s like a scarf!” She was completely blown away, and it was clear to me that not everybody had caught on that I’d been ever so gradually doing this for everybody.

She was concerned about the cost to me of such a yarn and I described Colourmart’s mill-ends and a sale on top of that and not to worry. For my part, I confessed that the gauge had come out looser than I’d expected, having knit it pre-scouring, expecting it to shrink up and it hadn’t. That concerned her not in the least: it was beautiful.

Hers was way overdue. She’d earned every stitch of it long since. Just ask the families at the Ronald McDonald House.



Someone’s about to get her choice of oranges
Friday July 13th 2018, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

Pattern: same old same old potato chip knitting.

Sixty-six grams out of my hundred and fifty and a generous-sized scarf you could actually wear on a summer’s cooling evening around here with plenty left to make a second one. It wasn’t quite done when Constance was here; she said it wasn’t quite dark nor red enough of a shade for her and she chose the deep teal green hat instead.

Color being everything.

The yarn is 65/35 cashmere/silk, exquisitely soft, but the version I bought was cobweb weight and thus very much on sale. Not a lot of people hand knit cobweb straight up. A shawl can be made out of a thicker yarn than that and still be fine enough to pull through a wedding ring.

So I paid Colourmart the $5 fee to twist it into a balanced (I did the math to see how many yards I wanted it to come out to) twelve-ply rather than fussing with it on my wheel. Well spent. I knit it before I scoured the mill oils out–I could just picture thousands of yards felting into each other coming out of the bath and trying to pry it all apart. Let’s not.

Unwashed, it split easily and drove me a bit nuts but I knew I would love it when I was done.

And oh I do. This is glorious. All those strands have settled down now into a proper yarn, and I wish I could hold it out through the screen for you to touch it.

I like things a little redder and darker, too, though. I’ll just have to give this one away. Such a shame.



The friend who always said, “Color is everything”
Monday July 09th 2018, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Knitting a Gift

Michelle flew home yesterday, Constance drove the four hours home this afternoon and the house is very very quiet. Gotta give those belly-laugh muscles some time to recuperate–they got a great workout.

Constance had brought me a quart of honey from her hives. Bee barf, one of my kids used to call it after a biology lesson in middle school. Yum.

The green Malabrigo hat that came home with me from the trip to Salt Lake because it just hadn’t found out who it was for?

That shade of green? It found out who it was for.



Happy Fourth of July!
Wednesday July 04th 2018, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift,Mango tree

Another Piuma peach cashmere cowl, and I just cast on yet another. Except what I really want to knit right now, for no particularly good reason in the heat of the summer, is a thick warm hat. Maybe for variety’s sake? We’ll see.

The mango tree is loving the warmth, meantime (and me the air conditioning.) There are five smaller sprays of buds coming along quietly further back that will soon be as big as this one.