Friday, 27 March 2015

A spring story

This is a family story, one for my kiddies.

There were rituals at Chez Needles that happened every year, not a certain date so much as a certain time of feeling.  I am thinking of it today because today, is a day with that kind of feeling.

Each spring, Brian would start to wander the yard. He walked the yard in every season, but as the snow melted in spring, he would start measuring things in certain places.  One of the places he always watched was the fire pit. The sun seemed to shine in there and it would melt off much sooner than the heavily shaded stairs and paths to get there.  Every spring, he would come in and give me a melting report till the time was right.  Once the grass was dried up around the firepit, and the wood was dry, it was time for a campfire night.

Sometimes we had food, but often it was just to go out and sit by the fire.  We usually planned well enough that we had a nice bottle of something warm to sip.  Warm, because it was spring and this is the Canadian prairies.  Spring evenings are chilly.

But we would talk about the wheres and when of what we wanted to do this year.  We planned the garden and farm.  We talked outside things at home, we talked about faith and belief, we talked life.

And we talked about death.  Not our imminent passing of course, but for that eventual day far far in the future when it was our end.  We talked about the things we would like, funerals, no funerals, about ways we would prefer to die if we had a choice.  Out at the firepit in the evenings, with a glass of warm wine or port we talked of life.  Beginning, middle and ends.

There were things that we did for Brian that were from those conversations.  Like no traditional funeral.  He did not want people to feel sad that he was gone, though we all do.  He liked the idea of a memorial, a remembering and sharing of stories of who he was, of what he meant to his family and his friends.  He wanted to be surrounded by life and by love and he was. He wanted sky and green and trees and we did that.

We had his memorial in the back yard.  He loved that yard and he worked so hard to make it the gorgeous place that it was.







He loved living there and I never forget how lucky we were to be there together.  Ever.

3 weeks after he died, we had a gathering of the people he loved.  Our families and friends met to share some burgers and beer.  We had some scotch for Grandpa Oscar, but only Grandpa Oscar and the boys kept Grandpa happy and cooked burgers. They stayed busy so they didn't have time to be sad.    

I think we all felt that way, that sad was not for when people were around.  Sad was much to new and raw and stayed private.

He would have loved it.  After a week of rain, the sun shone and we remembered him with love.

A little bit here and there

Well gosh darn it, it's Friday.  That makes me really really happy.  

There hasn't been huge amounts of knitting this week.  Not as much as I would like, or as I need.  And for no good reason either.  I think that is the part the worries me a little.  There are too many times where I just sit instead.

But there is a little knitting.  

The Myliu Lino is not so far as I aimed for but It has moved forward.  It is getting heavy, as bamboo fabric does, but I love it, love it, love it.

I have a sock with the heel almost completed.

My pretty blue shawl is moving along.
Slowly to be sure, but it is moving.

I wish I had better light to show you just how pretty this is,  Kauni Effektgarn in the prettiest bluebells colourway.  I got mine at River City Yarns locally and Lucy Neatby carries it online.

I love the shawl shape I am getting with my yarn over, knitfb beginning of every row.  It's going to be lovely and wide but deep enough to be a truly wonderful thing.

This weekend will be filled with knitting and babies and playing with my kiddes.  These are good things and with a little work and a little less focus on sorrows, there will be much more knitting next week.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A Little Eye Candy

Back in the time before, I had a glass cabinet in my study that held a changing palette of lovely inspiring yarns and yarn colours.  Often after a big stash dive, I would switch out yarns and refresh my space.

When I moved, I needed the cabinet for other things.  

Its kind of sad without the yarn in it but I love these things too.  
Please forgive the fuzzy photo.  Its late. But this is what is in my glass cabinet now.  The music boxes given to me over a lifetime.  They warm my heart and I like to play them when the kiddies come.  Or rather, I will soon.  Only Isaac is old enough to take the care of them that they require.  And my remaining dolls.  These things warm my heart and my glass cabinet is the perfect home.

But that means that if I want inspiration, I have to dig.  I don't care for that.  There should be yarn that is just out for touching.  For play.   For dreaming to. 

I made that happen.

It's a real mix of things that I would like to use over the next couple of months.  No absolutes though.  We all know that I sway to the winds of change and don't follow any kind of plan I ever made.

At the back is Estelle Yarns inimitable Cloud Cotton, my forever favourite cotton.  I made one sweater out of that stunning red and a want another made with my now wiser much steadier hand. There is plenty for a sweater and a tank.  Or two short sleeve sweaters.  Or something like that.  The brilliant white is the same yarn and I might use it with the red and I might not.  I haven't quite decided if I want some colourwork or not.  I can't really say how colourfast the yarn would be, but a guess would say, not really.  

Then there are two skeins of yarn for my Auntie, my most dearest auntie who asked for a couple of scarves like one I made a while back for her, in aquamarine and a rich purple from Rozetti yarns.

Then 2 Zauberballs for more of those delicious baby pants.

A green cotton silk blend , again for auntie, and then a homeless ball of Jo Sharp that was missed after sorting through stash but is a lovely yarn that I am looking forward to knitting.

Then the soft pale grays of the pewter colourway of Handmaiden's pure silk Rumple.

The rich purple in the foreground?  Silky Wool  from Elsebeth Lavold. That is definitely for one of my daughters and oddly enough is probably the source of my current obsession to knit a Adrift (my daughter looks great in that kind of style)

And then a yummy blue/green pure silk in an almost worsted weight yarn.  It doesn't really have a name and is a one of from a top Canadian dye house.  Or a two of, seeing how I have two that are going to work well together.  

And then a wonderful sea coloured BFL 2/8 that a friend brought me from the East Coast.  I think this is going to be the summer to knit with it.

A big basket of inspiration and dreams and all the other good things that yarn does for me.  Courtesy of freeing up the basket from errant WIPs and detritus of stuff and a wonderful weekend stash dive.

I still love wandering over to the yarn stores and looking over all the good things they have, but I love how I can shop in my wee store at home full of the wonders of my world. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Not gonna lie.

I am here to report the silliest consequence ever.

I bought that Phil Light yarn forever and a year ago, and knit it to almost completion almost as long ago.

 And now, all I can think of is knitting it again.

Contiguous to a shape inspired by Adrift or Ecuador  .

Or maybe an actual Adrift or Ecuador.  Long sleeves.  Casual, soft, all the things you just want to snuggle into to wear on chilly spring days. Or summer evenings.

Cannot get this off my mind even as much as I love the way the Myliu Lino is working.  Almost done the back of it and in so many ways, loving every single moment of knitting it.

Only I want to start this other idea too.



What else a stash dive does.

The big stash dive that just wound up wasn't just about sorting stash.  it was also about assessing WIPs and asking myself, 'do I really want them?'

There is one large box of yes, I do but a couple things turned toast.
Most of them were deleted from Ravelry some time ago, but the actual taking apart of the project and ripping back the yarn was waiting.  I had room for large numbers of WIPs.  Sort of.  There wasn't any rush.

The oldest was a shirt that was my first pieces knit it to fit me challenge back when I hardly knew what I was doing.  

The yarn is Phil Light from Phildar.  Its a brushed nylon yarn that I fell in love with back when I did not particularly care for Phildar and when I did not particularly like brushed yarns much less inexpensive brushed yarns.

But I loved the colour and I loved the way the completed body felt when I tried it on.  Yup.  That is right.  I had the backs and fronts done, it was all sewed together and if I recall correctly, I even had a sleeve knit.  The sleeve was too small or something and I had to take it out. And that is when it stopped.

I thought I would redo it but the longer it sat the more I recognized that there was something about the project that meant I was never going to wear it.  

It fit too well.  Too closely. It was meant to be a casual shirt, the sort of thing that you would toss over a t-shirt with jeans and the fit that I knit it to, meant it was much to shaped and form fitted for the look I was after.  

I have long thought about redoing it as something softer, less formed and fitted.  For a very long time, I worried that I wasn't going to be able to rip it back and recover the yarn. And so it sat in a box all on its own.

But I did find the time this weekend and its ready to re knit.  That soft lovely yarn came through the rip back nicely enough and once again, it is that most marvelous thing of all about yarn.  

It is a pile of possibilities, just waiting to be knit.