Thursday, 21 September 2017

Tea and a Not Needing Perfection

I did finish my tea cozy!

It worked just as I knew it would.  It extended the life of my pot of hot tea by hours.

 And then I worked on tying my throw.  This is actually the perfect thing to be doing right now.  The weather has been cold and wet, part rain, very small part snow, but completely miserable.  The only really good place to be is sitting under your blankie or a very large knitting project.

So I am.  Under my blankie that is.  I didn't work on it nearly enough yesterday, so today is going to have to show a concerted effort to have it done by days end.  Days end may have to be extended in order to get there.  

I decided not to worry so much about perfectly spaced ties.  I know that this imperfect placement of knots would drive many of you, most of you, nuts, but I am just not built that way.  I don't think I ever was and rather than feeling it is a flaw as I did for so many years, I have decided that it is a quirk and therefore just part of me.  

It is actually not that I am not interested in perfection, but that I put perfection to a different place than many and this isn't it for a couple of reasons.  First, this is a throw.  It's job is to keep my feet warm.  It is needed fairly urgently and will only very very rarely be seen by anyone else in it's lifetime (which will be long, I hope) and my toes do not care if it is perfect.  Second, I have nothing in the arsenal that remains to me, that would have made marking a grid on the topper a quick and easy task.  I used to have 2 yard sticks that could have done the job well, but I have no idea where they are now.  I thought I had them at my wee house, but they don't seem to have migrated here with me.  Third, I'd have to set up my big folding table to mark on and I just really didn't want the lazy bother.  Yeah, that says it right. Lazy was actually the deciding factor.

So I am eyeballing it and feel pretty good about it.  The fabric has a placement of designs in rows that is acting as a rough guide and that is good enough to be getting on with. For me. I'm good to go.

This is one of the reasons why I love knitting so much.  It is so fluid that it can adapt so easily to imperfections, that imperfection repeated, can sometimes lead to amazing results.  It can also lead to total crap, but that is part of the fun and the continual learning that knitting is.  

I've been thinking quite a bit about perfection this week.   It's because I'm actually trying to avoid imperfection, but I will save the rest of that story.  Today, it is time to go and put in a dvd and settle in for the long sew.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

I'm a little Teapot short and stout,

I'm a little Teapot short and stout,

in need of a coat 
for when I come out.

This is one of three actively in use teapots I ended up with.  I say ended up with because this was a pot of  no real choices.  It was at the store when I needed a teapot at work.  I have tried to leave it behind and to give it away, but as you see, it remains.  Now it is just one of the gang and not my favourite.  BUT, it is the teapot that is clean this morning, so it is the teapot that will try on the tea cozy.

So, there you have it.

 I want it to sidle up tight to the table top, so I have another cable repeat to do, possibly two.  Might even be three cable repeats, because after my first attempt at a tea cozy was too short and failed to keep my tea warm, I have learned to make sure it is long enough.  I don't want the decrease rows to pull the cozy up either, so longer is better.

It looks to me as if the tea cozy will be ready in time for afternoon tea.  I may have to make some tea biscuits or scones to celebrate the occasion.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Other Woolly Work

I knit earlier in the morning, but the bulk of the days work was other woolly pursuits.

Today, I worked on a wool throw project that was planned long before the curtains and is really needed now that the nights are getting colder.  My plan is to use my very large stash of  quilt batts to make a throw to cover my bed for really chilly nights.  I don't want to drown in it.  I just want it to cover the top of the bed with me in it.  I am hoping for about 48 inches wide  and about as long as my bed is.  

For this project, I pulled out 5 wool batts (each batt is about 50 inches long and about 20 inches wide.) and sewed them together.  Nothing fancy, just simple tacking to hold them together until everything is sandwiched inside the duvet.  The edges of the batts are thinner than the centers to make layering them possible.

I have a duvet set from Ikea that coordinates with my dandelion curtains and that is what I will use for the cover of this throw.  This one.   Here are the puffy, pouffy batts all tacked together and the light floral duvet cover just before sandwiching.

I tacked the batts to one side of the fabric in a few places.  I was a little worried about their stability. The only thing holding them together, other than my very large basting, is wool's natural ability to hang on to itself when carded.  I wouldn't call them fragile exactly, but they aren't exactly sturdy either.  I didn't want to tear holes anywhere, and I didn't want the batts to separate.

That all sounds like it should take hardly any time at all, but when I looked up, it was 4:30 and time to make dinner.

After dinner, I used the roll trick to get the duvet cover on. Worked like a charm, and my batts stayed exactly in place.

And here we are with the complete looking duvet.  But there is much more work ahead.

There is an edge that needs to be cut off and sewn up by hand.  The duvet said it was a 'full/queen' but to me, it looks like it errs on the large side.  I wasn't sure how my batts would fit, or how easy it would be to get it all together, so I left it to do later, rather than sewing on the machine before tucking the batts inside. And then,

this lovely, light pouffy throw will never survive being used as is.  The wool would be lumpy in no time, so just like quilts of old, it awaits tying.  I will get it set up tomorrow morning, and it will probably need Wednesday and possibly even the day after that to get it all done.  I have a feeling that it will need tying every 6 inches in all directions to stay put.  That is a fair bit of quilting.

No matter how long it takes, it will be much quicker than doing all the shapes and fans of my pretty blue quilt.  That pretty blue quilt awaits many more hours of stitching. It may take forever.  This cover cannot wait that long.

My feet are cold and October and points winter are not that far away.

Hitting the Books?

The tea cozy remains in it's partially finished state.  Like most in between projects, it diverted me, but did not fulfill me in the same way this shawl does.  

I spent Friday and Saturday visiting and playing with grandkids.  Sunday I came home and watched the Singapore Grand Prix and all of season 4  of Endeavour again (PVR - video comes out in October, I think) and while I watched, I knit.  If you are looking for a sport to knit too, there is nothing better than Grand Prix.  Baseball is ok, but Grand Prix is the bomb. And Endeavour?  What can I say but once again, the finest TV is British made TV.

I knit and knit and knit, and I am now on the last of the colour changes.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the gradient.  And the purple?  Perfection.

I thought it would be interesting to show you how much yarn I used for a border colour.  This grey is what I used as CC2.  Its colour 12, Medium Grey.

As you can see, not a lot, about 1/4 of the generous skein of Briggs and Little Sport.  Each colour will use about the same amount, so I am going to have plenty left over for something for me!

Soon, I have to sit down and decide if I like the size of it now, or if a larger edging is needed.  I am looking for a shawl of size.  Even a large square shawl can feel small, if it isn't large enough to wrap it over your chest and keep it closed nicely.  It's why these shawls from a photo in the Shetland museum archive are so very large.  

This afternoon, I want to pin out one side to check what I have so far for size and then I will plan out the edge.  If, by knitting a larger center, I got where I wanted to be, I'll go with the pattern as written.  If I need a little more size, I'll hit the books in search of just the right thing.

This shawl is meant for warmth as well as looks and so far, I am winning at both. Captivating knitting.