Which shoes to bring (other than the hiking boots)? I opted for my birks
Because I’m such a fashion statement so I can show off my hand knit socks.
My bag is packed – everything is clean and charged; chargers are packed.
The plants are watered; the cats are fed.
Now, do I unpack the dishwasher or cast on??
Iceland, the Ring Road, two weeks. I have every intention of posting a Lopapeysa a day but I know there’s a few days with no known internet connection. Be well!
(Is there a limit to the number of chances I get?)
So, I was about to put a cry for help: my knitting mojo was lost.
I didn’t really want to knit anything I had on hand (i.e. easily accessible). I didn’t really like anything I was working on (too simple, too small (a project), too tiny needles, too big (a project), too boring, …)
And then I remembered that it really was just my self-imposed rules (pick it up from the top of the pile, knit it, deal with it, move on) that was causing the problem.
And since these rules were/are self-imposed, I get to change them. (Funny how being the Boss of Me works, huh?)
Last year, when Schoolhouse Press published Knit One Knit All I was so charmed by the previously unpublished EZ garter stitch patterns, that I decided to knit them all. (It was during the Time of Chaos and Doubt). And then I bought a lot of yarn.
This particular pattern Brimmed Hat – Panache (Rav link) stumped me. Two problems:
1) the yarn (Unspun Icelandic Wool worked 2 ply) is sticky and fragile – meaning it broke often. (Especially when Nickie was felting it in the wheel.)
2) I can’t count. The pattern is simple enough short rows – but not in a straight-forward sequence. Well it has a pattern, but if I put it down mid-row, I’d forget where I was. Nevermind that I was not using a row counter or notes – I simply expected to keep track of where I was (during the Time of Chaos and Doubt. Yeah, that was a bad idea – I ripped and put it to the side …)
So I found a little scrap of paper and a pen, and even I can conquer the Brimmed Hat – Panache.
1. This cowl:
It’s done now.
The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca Techno in the Fame colorway. The site says “baby alpaca is blown into a mesh tube of silk for really fast knitting with literally no splitting”. I don’t have a macro lens or I’d try to get a picture. It feels like knitting with an unspun yarn – but “no splitting”. And when I pull it apart and hold it up to the light, I can see the silk tube encasing the baby alpaca. It was kind of amazing in a new and different way and I enjoyed knitting with it.
One skein, 120 yds/109 m, easily completed the pattern as written. I added a few rows of stockinette after the last round of increases to be sure to use up the yarn.
2. This hat.
It’s done now.
The yarn is Harrisville New England Highland in an unidentified colorway. I’ve got the ball band, it’s just not telling me anything. I’m sure it was from the discontinued bin. 100% sheepy lanolin filled wool, 200 yds, 100 g.
The pattern is one I’ve used before (and will use again. I hear my brother-in-law shrunk his hat.) It is versatile, well written and fits a variety of heads.
3. This scarf:
But I have managed to gather a provisional cast on thread, a crotchet hook, the proper needles (I didn’t believe him when he said size 9/5.5 mm. I had to find others. He was right.) all at the same time. Fortunately, as much as I’ve decided that I love the yarn, the color is not me. And besides, it was destined for the Red Scarf Project.
The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the Longjohns colorway.
4. This bookcase needed cleaning out
It is mostly knitting books and mags. This bodes well for the Knitter’s Review Retreat.
5. Taking pictures again.
But, apparently, I can’t take pictures of finished objects. I’ll work on that.
And she’s right. (That should not surprise anyone; she is often right.)
I mean, here I am, riding the roller coaster of a life time; making life or death decisions – every morning – by about 6 a.m. and I can’t seem to knit.
I can still physically knit, assuming I can find something to work on – but I can’t get into it.
Socks don’t hold my attention – it’s too easy, my mind wanders and thinks bad things or thinks of other things that need doing. Socks are what you knit when your mind needs to be somewhere else (oh, a meeting at work, perhaps?)
Dude’s sweater (uhm, … you haven’t see this yet, have you? I’ll work on that. Soon. I promise.) I started with the sleeves and I can’t make the second one increase at the same rate as the first. Somewhere between row 1 and row 4, I forget I’m increasing.
So, in a moment of stress, I decided I’d knit one of everything in Elizabeth Zimmeran’s book Knit One, Knit All which is all in garter stitch.
Easy peasy, right?
Except this is not rectangular work. Short rows, knitted on i cord, shaping … I forget what I’m doing when it involves decreasing every other row.
I’ve got several pieces to show you – all required a minimum of 3 cast-ons after abandoning a different project.
Apparently, once I get going, I can all-but-finish (seaming and casting off are causing problems too) – it’s just the starting and the finishing that are tripping me up.
So I thought I’d knit something larger than a hat or mittens. Something with a lot of middle that would be more entertaining than garter stitch. Something that would hold onto my frazzled brain and take it away from the roller coaster for a bit.
I want to knit Annis.
There are 363 stitches to cast on. (I’ve waited about a week before admitting the desire to knit Annis. For a woman who can’t count past 10, it seemed an insurmountable feat.)
(And I will now tell you that I can’t find the stitch markers. Any of them. I actually know where to look (i.e. which pile to toss) except Aurora is not having a good day (we may have overdone it yesterday) and I don’t want to move around too much.)
However, problem solved (and it did not involve teaching Dude to count.) (He already knows how to count.)
Step 1: Banish the Felines
Step 2: Count out 18 pairs of earrings. (I may have difficulty counting but my math is still good. 360 is 36 sets of 10. At two earrings per pair, that is 18 pair of earrings.
Step 3: Count 10 stitches, place earring. Repeat until there are three stitches left. If you run out of earrings, you have too many stitches. If you run out of stitches, cast on more.
(Aside: earrings are like a charm bracelet of my life: oooh, I got these in the Galapagos and these in Salt Lake city, and those in Portland …)
… Now, if I can get the printer to enlarge that chart …
The Daily Dog (on her morning walk):