Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Too Jazzed to Sleep…

Yes, I am too jazzed to sleep.  I should have gone to bed two hours ago, but was having too much fun practicing knitting with beads, watching how-to knitting videos, and getting lost in the amazing knitting blog Sapphires-n-Purls. The dimple stitch? Who knew?? It’s gorgeous. And I watched the entire thirteen-minute video!

Knitting is about so much more than actually knitting the project – it’s about the planning, the yarn shopping (oh, those yarn shops…they should come with a warning!), organizing “the stash”, including all those needles. Needles is a whole category in itself…fixed or interchangeable tips? Addi Turbo? Bamboo? All so enticing. I am determined this fall to overcome my fear of circular needles! Actually, it’s not the circular needles per se I am afraid of, it’s that damn twisty cord between them! But I realize much of the problem stems from using needles with plastic cord. So, I will invest (and I don’t use that word lightly) in some good-quality Knitpicks or Addi Turbo needles with non-twist cord. I am also going to devote time to beading…I absolutely love knitting with beads! It’s fun, and looks wonderful. And there is no much you can do with it! I’m very inspired, as I sit here with one eye ogling my little glass bowl of silver beads waiting to be added to my Lucy Neatby fiesta wool – the silver looks amazing against the turquoise, yellow, royal blue, purple, and green wool…would make a lovely scarf or wide wrist band. Christmas is coming…!

So is NaNoWriMo! National Novel Writing Month. Last year I participated in this writing competition, where you write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, typically 1667 words per day. It was not only fun, but challenging in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly I became motivated to keep up with the word count – the NaNo (as we call it, affectionately) word meter that tallies your word count every day and produces a graph to show your progress. It is very satisfying to see that graph grow every day! And oh yes, then there’s the story you’re actually writing…seeing it come to fruition through your diligent effort is VERY rewarding! I haven’t gone back to edit my story, not much anyway. I have re-read it, and I still like much of it. But my thoughts are already on my new novel, so far titled “The Length of Days”. Very briefly, it’s a novel about finding joy. Sometimes real events from within the writer’s own life find their way into a story and, as I told a colleague today, one of my characters may well also be fighting the battle with circular knitting needles! Not to scare you off…the book is not “the joy of knitting”!

I’m also pumped because I ran two 10K runs in a row, yesterday and the day before. I have run countless 10Ks, but I rarely run on consecutive days – no reason, it’s just worked out that way and the by-product is that I also have not had any running injuries (other than from adjusting to new running shoes, but that is another blog post, not yet written!). My running partners and I have had a series of things occur among us – illness, shoe issues, muscle tightness – that have pretty much prevented a smooth improvement in running, for all of us; however, this seems to be at an end. I am really itching to start increasing the distance of our long runs…I want to run one 15K before Christmas, and maybe…maybe…a half marathon in the spring.

I could easily have put this blog in three of my blog site categories…that’s just how things happen with me – one thing leads into another and sometimes they mix and mingle. But I love it. However, all this thinking and planning and video watching and getting out all the tools and practicing with beading…even writing this blog…just jazzes me! It’s now two hours past my usual bedtime, and I’m not sure I will be able to sleep! My mind is a-go. Liam, my cat, is not impressed – his usual efforts to get me back into our routine were not successful, and he has given up and is now cuddled up to the back of the laptop, with his head resting on a bag of wool!

However…sleep I must. After all, tomorrow is a running day.


Read Full Post »

Cabled Cowl

And here is the cabled cowl (neck warmer):  I used the recommended wool, Patons Roving, in “cherry”…and it really does look like the colour of cherry popsicles…my favourite :-).  So yes, I had issues with this project, namely that I didn’t think I was making the cables correctly, the operative word, it turns out two months later, being “think”!  Thinking does get me into a lot of trouble, most of it unnecessary.  After repeatedly unravelling the three to four inches I would typically complete, and starting over only to unravel it all again, I finally managed to just keep knitting enough to see the beautiful pattern emerging.  I was doing it “correctly”!  I just had to get out of my own way and let it be.  (Head shaking occuring now…mine, but probably yours too!).

I have a hard time learning the knitting lesson that one has to actually knit the damn thing long enough to see the pattern emerge and, with cables, long enough to see how they intertwine.  Not all cables intertwine quite so much as the ones in this cowl; usually, in a sweater, for example, you will have a vertical row of cables interspersed with vertical rows of stocking stitch, with the plain knitting offsetting the cables, highlighting them.  In this project, the cables form what I call a chaotic effect – continuous cabling throughout…probably what accounts for its being a neck warmer.   It’s half-done now, and I will finish it before Christmas, which will work out fine as here in Nova Scotia the “real” winter weather often doesn’t arrive until after Christmas, so I can console myself with the fact that I didn’t actually need a thick, cabled neck warmer up til now!  I’m looking forward to wearing this, maybe with my navy blue pea jacket.  And the roving wool is so soft and thick…this will definitely be a toasty-warm accessory.  Now, if only I could figure out how to wrap the text around the image!

Read Full Post »

Here is the mug hugger I made for Stefanie:   I used Patons Decor “Dark New Green” (a.k.a. “army green”), and two “camoflauge” buttons.  I was having some issues with the cables for another project, a neck warmer, so thought I would practice the  procedure on something small.  And I was happy to see that not only was this a fun thing to make, but it was really easy…and Ecco! (as we say in Italian)…here it is!   I will make one for a friend of Stef’s who is also in Edmonton preparing for Afghanistan, and I believe I will contact Ottawa to suggest this become part of regular military kit.  🙂

Yes, I’m kidding about Ottawa!

Read Full Post »