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Archive for September, 2015

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Flipping through the pages of Ravelry the other day, I was blown away by this sock. Roosimine is a free sock pattern by Caoua Coffee. The technique is from Estonia and is called Roositud. It is not Fair Isle color work by any means. Instead it is more like needlepoint and crewel work put together.

The pattern describes the technique perfectly. But if you are a visual learner you might want to check out this Knitting Daily clip of the process here.

Of course I am dying to make these socks, but first I have projects that need finishing. I am on the button bands,cuffs and collar of the girl’s coat I am sample knitting. Then after that is complete I must turn my attention to the blanket for Dad, which I’ve woefully neglected while working on the sample. It looks like the finish date for the blanket will be sometime in October. I say that with fingers crossed because I need to order more of the blue yarn, which I hope is not on backorder. Then I can knit these socks.

I love playing with new knitting techniques. I haven’t been this excited about a pair of socks in a long time. They are just the motivation I need.

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I found myself humming a song from “The Wizard of Oz” (my all time favorite movie) as I collected images for this week. The song was sung by the Scarecrow, If I Only Had a Brain. However, I found myself substituting the word waist for brain. So these are the garments I would be interested in creating if I only had a waist. Click here to see them.

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Knitting is relaxing, almost meditative in its rhythm. The knitter sits comfortably in a big cozy chair, feet up on an ottoman, while a warm crackling fire fills the fireplace. The scent of burning wood and the billows of smoke receding from the room now that the flue is open.

Tonight the knitter finishes the front of the garment she has silently wrestled with and cursed. As she cuts the yarn, she sighs as though a heavy weight is lifted from her chest. She takes the cut yarn and threads it through the final stitch to finish off the piece. She knows she should linger over the completed section, but the logs in the fireplace have crashed and shifted, expelling a good-sized ember onto the non-fireproof rug where it immediately smoulders.

Once back in the big cozy chair, feet up on the ottoman, she proceeds to untangle the completed piece from the wildly unwound ball of yarn and remove the wooden knitting needle sticking through the middle of the work. She checks for a hole where the needle has stabbed the garment, and to her sweet, sweet, relief finds none. The fire crackles and pops, but now it is enclosed behind glass doors so she doesn’t have to closely monitor it. She puts aside the finished front, fishes through the loose ream of papers that is the pattern, somehow finds the one she wants, and sits comfortably back in the big cozy chair to read about the sleeves.

As she reads, her legs stretched before her on the ottoman slowly retract to a knee up position as her posture steadily leans forward until she is hunched over and chewing anxiously on the end of her knitting needle. The sleeves, it seems, are puffed. She scans the knitting directions for the sleeves again hoping that she is wrong. Alas, she is right: puffed sleeves. Slowly she places the pattern directions aside and uncoils herself so she is once again sitting back in the chair with her legs stretched out before her with the fire now mysteriously smoking behind its glass door front.

In a brief moment of insanity she envisions stabbing her needles through the heart of the pattern. She can’t quite believe she has gone through all this figuring, ripping, knitting and reknitting, smoothing, cajoling, and struggling with the Back and Front of the garment to come to puffed sleeves.

She stares into the fireplace where pitiful, long, thin wisps of smoke curl upwards from an all but dead fire. She looks at the Back and the finished Front of the sweater, the wooden needles, the ream of papers, the wool. Alas wool doesn’t burn, but everything else does. She feels herself standing on the pinnacle of something. Then she turns to her lap top and Goggles “knitted puffed sleeves”. Once again she has pulled herself back from the brink.

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Knit, Knit, Knit.

The photo software is still giving me fits. I need to find out how to adjust the file size of the photo, but I uploaded these anyway.

While I can’t show you the actual garment sample I am knitting for a designer, I can show you the yarn. It’s Plymouth Yarn Encore Tweed. The actual color is much darker, closer to a teal in certain light.

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The yarn knits up into a firm fabric perfect for coats or even a blanket.

The next picture is of two panels of Dad’s blanket. The yarn is Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky. I am close to having 75% of the blanket done.

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The next photo is the beginning of a sweater I am making myself. Nothing fancy, just a hanging around the house type thing. The killer is the yarn is fingering weight and I am knitting it on size 5 needles. Great for a baby sweater, but a mountain of knitting for an adult sweater. I knew that going in but I didn’t care because I fell in love with the color and instantly knew the stitch pattern I wanted it paired with. It’s a long term project. The name of the yarn escapes me at the moment, but it was being discontinued and I bought up all they had.

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So those are the knitting projects I am currently working on. I have the second sock of the no ribbing socks yet to complete and the mountain of lace that is the Rock Island Shawl. But these are for another time. I first need to get the sample knit done, then concentrate on the blanket.

I know I’ve missed posting the Sunday Knitting and Crochet Images. Behind the scenes here some hard things have happened and are happening. Two childhood friends died within a few days of each other after long battles with cancer. A third friend is fighting her way through chemotherapy. It’s hard right now. I hope to continue the Sunday Images soon.

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Neuropathy problems are top of the menu today, thanks to my cancer medication. Hands, feet, legs all feeling the weirdness while I do my best to ignore it and push on.

I am steadily working on the sample knit for a designer. It’s the knit she couldn’t finish because of an allergic reaction to the yarn. US size 7 needles and moss stitch finally took it’s toll last night on my hands. The tendons in both are wonderfully hurting today in addition to the neuropathy symptoms. I think the tendonitis is from trying to match front piece’s row gauge to the back piece the designer knit. The garment has pleats. The two fronts need to match the back in length with the same number of rows to a) match the length of all pleats, and b) make the sewing of the pieces less of a horror show. In trying to get the row gauge to match I think I’m holding my needles too tight and hence the tendonitis. I am also not used to working with such large needles. I usually knit fingering weight yarn and use anywhere from a US size 1 to 3 needle. The US size 7 seems bulky to me.

I am also trying to make my moss stitch look like her moss stitch so it’s not obvious two different knitters worked on the garment. Yes, I’ve said it before, knitting is like a signature, it differs from one person to the next. Moss stitch is one of those stitch patterns that shows this difference. My moss stitch is tighter than hers. When I loosen it up, it becomes too loose. I’m in the Goldilocks dilemma of trying to create the “just right” tension. Hence, the tendonitis. I am manipulating the needles in a way that is not typical for me.

As I’ve said, I am doing all that I can to get the same row gauge so the sewing up part doesn’t become a nightmare. However, I have already had to change the number of rows where decreases occur because the piece would be too long if I went with decreases as written. So tonight’s excitement is taking the finished back, holding it alongside the left front and matching up each row to see how close I am.

In the meanwhile, the infernal computer is blinking red to alert me that something needs to be done about something. I thought I solved the issue last night, but obviously the computer doesn’t agree. At the moment, I can’t even study the photo software in peace with the red exclamation mark on the screen. The red exclamation mark jangles my nerves the same way a radioactive material sign would. I have come to terms with the fact that I may never truly feel comfortable with this computer.

On the nature front, Hank the Heron is here for the duration. Heron’s don’t migrate, unfortunately. I was standing by the pond the other hot and humid day and Hank landed a few feet away from me. He had the audacity to walk up to and step into the pond with me standing there. What can I do with such a brazen bird? We stare at each other. I told him when he eats every last frog and fish in the pond, don’t look to me to restock.

The deer are making out like bandits this season. Nearby apple farmers have bumper crops and we just have bags and bags full of free apples to feed to them. These are apples that would be rejected by stores as not being perfect. They may be a bit bruised or malformed but they are perfectly good to eat. It is amazing the amount of good food the food industry throws away.

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The very last thing I need is another knitting project. At the moment I have 3 major ones in progress and am finding it hard to find time for all.

The first one that must get done is a sample knit. The original designer and knitter was allergic to the yarn and I offered to complete the sample. So far I am not experiencing any allergies. The yarn has an oily feel which could come from the acrylic in the yarn plus the spinning oil used to keep the tweed flecks in place. I will be interested to see how the yarn changes when given a bath. This project has top priority.

The second project is Dad’s blanket. The backordered color wasn’t due in until October. Thus, I switched to another color and am working on it in my off hours. The problem with this is by the time I get to it I am so tired that counting to 30 just doesn’t seem to be something I am able to do. Hence I start the knitting by ripping back what I did the night before. The blanket, it seems, has to be put on standby until the sample knit is complete.

The third project, the most insane of the bunch, is a sweater for me knit with fingering yarn on size five needles. That’s 132 sts for the front and 132 sts for the back. The stitch pattern is finicky and uses a western knit stitch and an eastern purl stitch through out. I believe the technique is called combination knitting. This I have had to put aside to save my sanity.

I’d love to show some photos. Yes, I am still at odds with the photo software that came with this infernal computer. Though I am trying to work it out. Yesterday I learned how to delete pictures I want to keep and keep pictures I want to delete. Believe me, this is progress. I also learned that pictures are not saved to just one area, but three different locations in the computer, two of which I didn’t know existed and have yet to figure out how to access to remove the photos. Still, it’s progress.

In wildlife news, our newest addition is a fox that drives Yarn Rascal crazy, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Sleek and beautiful, the fox is buddies with a young buck. They pal around together eating the apples and pears from our trees. Our resident woodchuck doesn’t wait for the fruit to fall. He climbs the trees to eat it. I’ve never seen a woodchuck climb a tree, I fear he will fall and kill his fat little self. So I’ve taken to getting the apples and pears down for him and placing them at the bases of the trees. All our regular characters are still around. Hank the Heron is still stalking the pond. Percy the Osprey is still dropping fish heads on the lawn. Having the sample knit to complete keeps me indoors and out of trouble.

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