Monday, 19 February 2018

Knitting is Peculiar

The longer I knit, the more I am aware that knitting is filled with all kinds of weird peculiarities.  Things like counting and how even reasonably bright people can't hold the count of two all the time.  Things like how even washed gauge swatches will lie like a son of a gun.  Things like how memories rise unbidden that just tickle your fancy.

As I was knitting sleeve two, still completely utterly filled with goofy silly joy, it struck me how familiar this feeling was.  I'm often filled with goofy silly joy when I am knitting but this feeling was so strong and so complete. I started to think about things that have given me such complete pleasure as these sleeves.

Like knitting and completing my first big project.  

Like the hat I knit for my neighbour.

Or like this particular pair of socks.


When I remembered these socks, knit way back in 2014 I got it.  I understood it all.  That was an incidental colour thing that just happened as I knit.  I had only one ball of a Kroy yarn and had purchased black to go with it.  I decided the striping would happen at the colour changes and there you have it.   Perfect fun socks.

When I started my version of the Laekur pattern, I didn't know how I would start.   I started with the black and red because it felt like the right way to stretch my slightly short metres.  I did not know that I was going to put a narrow band of black and red between colour changes.  It just felt right.  Even before that, by choosing the black and the red as I looked for what else I could use to stretch the yarn I had to make a sweater, it just felt right.

When I realized that  I had been on this colour adventure before, I knew that it was just another of knittings great peculiarities, come home to roost.  

My knitting today is going to be the yoke.  Traditional Icelandic is to knit the body from the bottom to the underarms , and then join sleeves and body and knit the yoke.  I have yarn issues.  To keep the natural looking gradient going as I did in the sleeves, and to use as much of each colour as I possibly can, I need to knit down not up.  I know that I have plenty of the lightest colour for my yoke and some for down the body of the sweater, so knitting the yoke now and then picking up and knitting down to the end of each colour makes good sense to me.  

All kinds of challenges in today's knitting.  With a little bit of luck, the peculiarities of knitting are going to only be the good kind.    

Friday, 16 February 2018

What Fun Looks Like.

I got home and pulled out my yarn for my sweater.  I had to sort out needles.  They were between the study and the livingroom and then I looked at colours for a few minutes and I started to knit.

And then I went to look at the pattern.  Yup.

Because that is when you look at the pattern, right?  After.  Sure.  Actually, for me it works fine.  I just finished a sweater in a yarn that works up very close to this yarn.  It was still in my head how many stitches I had on those cuffs, so I started there.  

And then I knit and watched a movie.  And knit and watched another movie. And somewhere in there, I had some dinner, but I did watch another movie and I knit and knit and had just the most wonderful time.

This is what fun looks like. Pure unadulterated fun.

You can see the sleeve lying there in the middle and you can see the range of yarn I am drawing this from.  From this far away and in this picture, it looks like there is less colour variation than there is in real life but it generally gives a soft natural gradiation from darkest natural to lightest.  I am breaking colour sections with a section of black and red because I worry - it is what I do - about running out of the other colours.  

I am under the yarn requirement in the pattern by about 100 metres and that isn't counting what I need to give me my fit, just for the run of the mill size.  So natural gradient it is, and then I have lots of yarn to play with.    

My secret is that the yarns vary in weight somewhat, but the vast majority is a lofty DK.  I am just starting on the third colour of the main yarns and that yarn is a Cascade Eco, which perfectly matches the colour of  a lone ball of Sirdar Eco Wool DK.  I can easily knit it to the right size and I can hide that there are 2 different kinds of yarn for this colour, mostly by using the Cascade on the sleeves and the Eco Wool Dk on the body.  

But this is fun.  And such an adventure.  I wish you could share it.  If you are a knitter, go out and try something weird or odd or do something just a little bit differently than you have ever done before.  And just sit back and let it happen.

Mahatma Ghandi said, " A man is but a product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes"  If this is indeed the way it is, I am become joy. 

So exciting!

And the sweater is done, but no pictures yet.  

It was rather strange.  I was just knitting along, counting carefully that the rows between decreases were correct, and I looked up to get a marker from sleeve one for a decrease I had just done and that marker was the last one, I honestly don't know where the time went, it went that fast.  Then 2 sections of the speedy twisted stitch rib and wham before I blinked the sleeve was bound off.

This morning isn't going to be a knitting morning.  This morning is a play with Marcus and Cassie morning and I am looking forward to it.  They always have so much to tell me, and so much to say.  And when they are not busy telling me stuff, they are busy inventing ways to play.

It is invigorating and then it is time to go home.

This evening though, this evening, I should be able to get a start on my Lakeur sweater.  I'm looking forward to it and I am a little apprehensive at the same time.  I'm looking forward to it because I really do love the yarn.  I am going to have to play a little bit of colour games because there are so many different variations of natural tones in the yarns that I have collected, and I am kind of eager for that. I'm a bit apprehensive because this sweater is knit from the bottom up in the Icelandic way.  Knit the body in the round to the armpits, then knit the sleeves cuff up to the armpits, where sleeves and body are joined.  Then the colourwork is done, and then finally, whatever finishing you need to do.

Also, this sweater is designed as a colourwork cardigan, but I think once again, I am going with a pullover variation.  I will probably steek a neckline  placket later, but the rest is just going to be pullover.

It's so exciting waiting for a sweater to start!   I know.  In the great scheme of things, this is not important or big but it is me, plucking what treasures I can from life, and appreciating the small glorious things as they happen. 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

A Pretty Good Place.

Something thrilling happened yesterday.

I finished a sleeve!

I only added 2 rounds of the colour section.  The sleeve, which up until then was taking forever, was going along good, and I was midway through the third when I thought it was time to measure again.  Too long!  So, I pulled back to the second section, knit 3 rows of garter stitch and it was absolutely perfect.

I also did something I have not done with this sweater so far.  I tried it on.  I pulled the neck over once before to see if I wanted to add a fourth colour section to the yoke but otherwise, I have just been knitting.  I'm pretty comfortable with what I have to do on a sweater like this where there might be some pattern use, but mostly it is a knit to fit proposition.  But, not trying it on till you have one sleeve complete is a really silly thing to do.  I mess up regularly and ought to know better.  

In this instance, luck is with me and everything is fine.  Yoke is good, length is fine, sleeves are ok and the faux cardigan looks almost better than I hoped.  I can't wait to see it with the buttons on.  

Today the plan is to finish the second sleeve or to get darn close. I do have a bit of sewing to do today, but there will be lots of time for that when it's time for a break in the knitting.