RSS

Tag Archives: handknitting

that was the CAL cowl

CAL_cowl.jpg

Fit for purpose and very warm

Tracy was running a series of KAL/CAL events, with a range of themes. For the March event, I knitted the Bloom-ing beanie for Nic, and delivered it for her 50th birthday, as planned. I’m sure it’s been getting a great workout since then as she dashes about suburbia on her morning walks. We are past midwinter and the daylight hours are noticeably longer, but early-morning temperatures remain appallingly unfriendly.

I managed to crochet a cowl for the April event, with the intention of wearing it under my new, maroon jacket. That’s it in the photo. I used Moda Vera Malibu, a pure wool 8-ply yarn, with inbuilt colour changes and slightly irregular thickness. The colourway is 86718, which is mostly shades of blue and grey. I used a 5.75mm hook, and worked half-trebles (UK terminology) into the back loop only. The side outermost in the photo looks knitted and is delightfully smooth. The other side is also attractive enough to wear facing out. It is bumpier in appearance and rougher in texture, but not harsh against the skin.

For August, the theme is to finish a WIP. I have so many that you’d think I could gallop to the finish line. You’d be wrong. I find myself well occupied with other sorts of creative work: reinventing oneself requires new ways of looking at everything. Repackaging and presenting to best advantage is surely creativity at its finest.

I am also rewarding myself by catching up with a few old friends during the interlavorum. This is a new word I coined in the style of interregnum, to mean “the time between jobs”. Purists – that is, people who are Latin scholars – might argue that it ought to be interopum, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as easily and, you know, it’s my word. I can do what I like with it.

All the best to you with enjoying your interlavorum if you happen to be at such a stage 😀

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

the shades of remembrance are blue

bluewrap.jpg

The shades of blue in my stripy wrap are more homogeneous than those in Youngest Aunt’s beanie

I recently spent a couple of days with Youngest Aunt, and one of them happened to coincide with the anniversary of our Mum’s death. We reminisced about what a wonderful cook she’d been, but agreed that there was no particular main meal we recalled with such a pang that we had any particular desire for it. Having said that, I think I’ve mentioned before that I would sometimes like to sink my teeth into one of Mum’s delicious egg-and-bacon pies; but, as Youngest Aunt doesn’t now eat meat, I can see why that wouldn’t be something she would hanker for.

Scones, biscuits, cakes and desserts, however? We were in mad agreement there about how delicious and toothsome many of them were; most of them, actually, particularly  the desserts. That’s probably why, to this day, we still make and enjoy them. My menfolk have sometimes expressed the view that, if I would make a couple of them more often, they’d be very happy; diet be damned 😀

We also talked about the knitted articles we still use, particularly at this chilly time of year. Mine is a dark-blue wrap, and it’s on the armrest at my end of the sofa, getting a good workout most nights as we watch TV/snore in front of TV (the detail varies from person to person and night to night; I wouldn’t want you to think we’re set in our ways). Youngest Aunt’s is a beanie, in shades of blue from light to dark and it is working similarly hard when she goes out for daily walks. Both are made from yarns long since discontinued and both continue to be wonderful reminders of our Mum.

May your memories keep you as warm as my knitted hugs 🙂

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

…little bit…

nics_beanie.jpg

New yarn and old needles for a new project

I have to admit, when I knitted along that first row of my tension square last Wednesday evening, I just couldn’t help myself. “Oh, I love knitting,” I exclaimed to anyone who might be listening (mostly dust and spiders, to be fair, because there was nobody else around at the time). And I have been happily knitting ever since.

I did a little bit on the bus, a little bit while watching TV, a little bit at lunchtime, a little bit after dinner, a little bit on the suburban train, a little bit in the car on the way to our Thursday dumplings and coffee date (and during that, of course; the Bs barely notice nowadays), and a little bit at the bus interchange as I sat and waited for a connecting bus and chatted with an elderly Italian woman who prefers crochet but complimented me for my dedication to the cause: “It’s good to see.”

I did a little bit in the car while Dr B drove us to an early-morning appointment and a little bit more while we waited there. I did a little bit at the coffee shop, a little bit while Dr B bought motorbike things from the local dealership where he and YoungB are habitues, and then I had to have a little bit of a pause because I didn’t have the pattern with me and I needed to check it.

At this time of year, the mornings are cool and dewy and the evenings chilly enough for a shawl. I’m sorry to see the end of summer, but at least when the weather is like this, nobody looks at you strangely when you whip out the needles and knit for the 10 minutes it takes your homeward train to reach the city, or if you do it while you reminisce over coffee and cake before heading back to the busyness of the day.

I haven’t suddenly stopped crocheting. In fact, I have a plain crochet project at which I intend to keep plugging away while watching TV. It uses a thick, light-coloured yarn and a large hook, so is easier on my eyes. However, there’s that series of KALs/CALs I mentioned and this month it’s beanies and, well, there’s a workmate who’s about to turn 50 and who likes to walk in the mornings – those increasingly chilly mornings – so I thought a handmade beanie would be just the shot. And there’s nothing like a deadline to maintain the momentum with ticking off rows, as it were.

Anyone who knows me would agree that my doing a tension square is a little unusual. It’s true that, if I am knitting a familiar pattern using yarn I know well, then I might give it a miss. In this instance, although I am using a familiar pattern, I’m working with a new-to-me yarn; hence the tension square. Also, I was interested to see how the colours looked once knitted.

Satisfied on both counts, I unpicked the tension square and cast on the first row of the  lady’s size for Pattern 23 – Knitted Family Cap – from my old Patons Winter Warmers, Book 483. And I am more than a little bit pleased to have now reached the body of the beanie.

p_20190309_112830_1_p.jpg

Very pleased indeed with this progress 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

diversification

Replanted and still alive

I dug up a clump of agapanthus. The wisdom has it you should thin them every five years. We’ve been here more than three times that and I haven’t done it once. It likely hadn’t been done for a while before, either. So it was a big clump. I managed to divide it and replant about 60, The green bin was full. I also dug up and replanted lots of irises. There might not have been 60 of those, but they’re so prolific when given a chance that there might be that many next year. I also replanted a geranium of which the best you could say was that it was alive. The aim with relocation is that it now might thrive. I’m not a gardener, and have been known to kill plastic plants, so this will be an interesting journey. There’s also a tub of mysterious bulbs. I’ve no idea what they are, because they’d been so choked by the agapanthus that they never bloomed.

In other news, I have knitted a blue beanie. Dark colours and plain fabric don’t photograph well, but I think you get the general idea.It’s meant to have been my commute knitting, but more often ended up as my lunchtime knitting. No matter. This is a progress shot from a previous, rainy weekend. Yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 8 ply, colour Ensign. Knitted on UK 10s, I think, because they were readily to hand. There wasn’t much science in this one, it simply happened to be all I could find when I was desperately looking for something to knit 🙂

Actually finished knitting this today. I have only to sew the back seam and block it, then it will be ready for its recipient 🙂

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

multiskilled just isn’t the right description

YoungB signed our work, because all of us had more than a hand in it 🙂

Once upon a time, Dr B and I built our own house (and yes, I do mean with our own hands). Back in those days, he and I poured a concrete tank-stand and some paths. Recently we’ve concreted more paths, one of which now boasts a tank on a stand without necessarily being the tank-stand.

The path behind YoungB’s cabin, seconded to use supporting a tank-stand.

We’ve also ventured into laying pavers, greatly assisted by a variety of online resources. My personal observation is that, when your little fingertips are very sore from laying down little brickies, you do NOT want to pick up any sewing. This is, however, gratifying in a different way.

They wanted to finish the cabin’s courtyard before we went out for my birthday 🙂

And when I say I did some paving, it’s quite true. My input was to the path connecting that cabin courtyard to the garden shed.

Going with the flow around the curve and lots of fussy cutting (Dr B did that part).

Back to getting on with something else now. Winter is here, and I’m craving the feeling of working on a beanie. Plenty of those in my UFO pile 🙂

Whatever you’ve been up to, I hope it’s been as gratifying – if, perhaps, less labour-intensive – than my recent efforts.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Knitting, Musing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

another big one

I was musing the other day that this is 2017. It’s 100 years since my mother was born. In my family, we like to celebrate these big occasions. Dr B and I are often the ones who prepare the presentations.

That means I have to get busy with scanning photos, calling for scans and/or copies of photos from cousins and other family members – I can’t think of any friends who are still alive – and getting down and dirty with some sort of large format word processing and/or database to produce a timeline for display. See, that’s a couple of knitting projects worth of time already lost to a better cause, although any genuine coverage of my Mum’s life will include many handknitted articles so there’s still that connecting thread.

Still can’t get photos to work properly, so will wish you all the best with your big occasions, too 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 15, 2017 in Family history

 

Tags: , , , ,

heads need hats

This year we don't have to contend with these. (Photo courtesy of Frank Gervasi)

This year we don’t have to contend with these. (Photo courtesy of Frank Gervasi)

Training for the walk should be occupying more of my time than it is. I feel a bit older and creakier this year and the fact that Youngest Aunt won’t be walking – and, therefore, we haven’t been training together – means that there’s less incentive to make the effort to walk long distances. Plus it’s been cold and wet and miserable in a way it wasn’t last year. I’m not inventing that to garner sympathy. We’ve had the wettest winter on record in a goodly number of years; and, being winter, it has indeed been bitterly cold. Therefore, I’ve been choosing the easiest, warmest, driest options for public transport connections, meaning that the incidental walking I might ordinarily get has been ultra minimal. The lunchtime walks help but I’m not dedicated enough about them when I’m tired and/or I want to eat at the lunch table like a civilised human being. Again. One good thing is that the gradient for this year’s walk is mostly downward. There’s about 29 metres of climbing across the whole 35 kilometres. Last year there was a total climb of 756 metres (mostly the steps in what one of my old schoolmates described as the Stair Chamber or Death Valley – see photo above).

But no matter the state of play for the walk, the knitting is also stumbling along. The instructions for the beanie pattern I’d chosen instructed me to use a tubular long tail cast-on. I had three or four attempts at that and can only say that, yeah, there’s a reason I don’t usually use a long tail cast-on. I know it’s often the cast-on of choice and I have used it in the past. However, this time it just wasn’t coming together. I ended up achieving a similar end via a method you could describe as half cable cast-on, half TLT cast-on. I did the cast on as if it were 1×1 rib – cast on knitwise, cast on purlwise, rather than all stitches knitwise; a variation I’ve often used in the past – then worked the two set-up rows to get that tubular look by slipping purls as instructed. The result was perfectly acceptable and a bit less stressful. No, not significantly less stressful because I kept being interrupted. Every. Other. Damn. Five. Minutes. By Dr B, wanting to ask questions about things totally unrelated to what I was doing. Hair-tearing ensued.

It took a while, but I managed it. However, a closer examination of my yarn choice showed that I’d goofed. I’d thought I’d ordered three balls of Bendigo’s Savanna, which is a 70% wool, 30% alpaca mix. Turns out I was wrong about that. One of them was Classic, which is a 100% wool yarn. Uuh, yeah, even though they’re both 8-ply (equivalent to DK), I though it might be wiser not to mix them. So I have a beautifully started beanie that’s eventually going to end up striped with other remnants of Classic that I have about the place – plenty 🙂 – and I’m trying again with the Savanna.

At least, I will be trying with the Savanna when I track down another circular needle in the right size but grateful that I can skimp on the stair-training this year 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Health, Knitting

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,