Friday, August 26, 2016

Untangling In the Heat

I found myself picking up some old and unfinished works in progress this past week.

Perspicacity. That is the stick-to-it-iveness that you need for knitting. This is a Twiddle Muff for adults with dementia to help them with the long hours on their own. This one will go to my best friend's mom who was my Chemistry teacher.

D's Grandma Sophie loved to embroider well into her 90's. His mom has many table cloths and dresser scarves and pillow cases. When we visited, we would bring a kit for her and she would collect all the flosses. Each of the women in my family has a similar basket of colour. I have offered to hand hem these items, one at a time. It it pleasant and easy. Unfortunately they are not of a nice enough fabric to do pulled thread work. But it brings them out of the closet and would make a nice gift when one of the girls (her great grand daughters) get married.
We are travelling to NYC in September and I wanted to make a scarf for our host that I saw briefly on Kenneth Branagh as Wallander. I fussed with a pattern but ended up simplifying it with baby cables. The cashmere and merino is luscious, but maybe a bit drapey. I hope he can wear it under his dark suits as he flies around the world to meetings. I call it the CEO Scarf.

Like the Seamen's scarves, I made the centre narrower and ribbed to lie behind the neck.
Going crazy? This tulle ribbon worked up into a kitchen scrubbie like the ones my friend made for Christmas last year. It turned out successful, but the texture is rather annoying on the hands.
These mitts were given to a friend quite a few years ago. Just recently, their puppy chewed the ribbing off. I was able to capture live stitches and knit the band again. It's not perfect, but it saves them from being garbage and will last till I give her new ones this Christmas. There is Christmas knitting, too.

But first, we had house guests. This is not too common for us and I was a bit surprised as they never shared their plans with us. But we had stayed with them in Cape Town and we wanted to be hospitable.

There were feasts on the back deck. The heat was less in the evening and quite fun.

D brought out his collection of single malts.

Elizabeth came with my friend and I to the city. I was delivering one to the doctor's and then trekking to a coffee shop to see my eldest nephew. I knit his son a sweater for his 6th birthday and the post really let me down and made me pay for it! Go ahead and go on strike, it makes so little difference.
We met back up and had lunch on Main Street. Great fun.

Coincidentally, this fish shop is directly across from 3 Bags Full, one of our favourite yarn shops. It is very carefully organized and uses its space to be welcoming and share skills and ideas.

I bought a few more colours for the blanket I'm dreaming of.

Elizabeth was such good company and we enjoyed evening walks as well.
Getting some of the Christmas knitting done. I like to have fun in the summer, so knitting light hearted gifts works with the plan. The kitty hat has a corresponding puppy hat already. I tried to use a pattern from a friend, but just ended up winging it, spurred on by pinterest. 

The Hat Trick is finished and has a bold pom pom. This is the yarn I bought instead of any handknits in Ireland. It is for my Godson for his November birthday. Plan ahead and you can manage the set backs.

The first of the dragon hats is finished and the second begun. I will make 2 or three more according to the stash. There are 5 little great nephews. I hope they will some day be together to share their silly hats and mitts. But they may share their memories.

The days are getting shorter, although not cooler. We appreciate the fans in the house and the cool basement in the evening. I look forward to the fall and preparations for birthdays and Christmas. Not everyone will get knitted items this year, but the list is pretty long anyway.
I'm trying to knit from my stash and to knit what the giftee will enjoy.
Keeping them close in my stitches untangles them in my heart.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Shenanigans

We had the great pleasure of being invited to a South Asian wedding by our neighbours. It was entirely enchanting and the bride and groom are grown up children of D's clients. Lots of dairy farmers in a transformed corn field! So many beautiful saris and the bride and groom were very regal.

I finally wore my featherweight when we went to Vancouver Island, Courtenay for a family reunion. I started meeting D's cousins when I was just 15. So in some ways it really feels like my family too. Love to see our kids all getting together. 

Of course he piped for them and they couldn't get enough.

Emily gave me my birthday present, a Pumpkin Ale sweater she knit for me! No words.

Because of the drive and ferry rides, I was able to finish the Alpine Flowers stole. It ended up 80 x 18 inches which I think is big enough for our elegant friend. We are already looking forward to seeing them in September in NYC.

Had to restart the cables on the Stovetop hat. I am getting into a bit of a struggle with charts right now. But I recognized that Tin Can Knits patterns are beyond reproach, and maybe I should check my knitting when I start fudging numbers. Just a hat, I know, but it is the dream of all the hats I didn't buy in Ireland.

Received a delightful message from 88 Stitches yarn shop that my yarn had finally been dyed. Sweet Fiber is exquisite, but she has to finish all the colours before starting over with this subtle Winter. Hope to find out where I was in March when I realized I hadn't bought enough yarn.

Also cast on the dragon hat. Can you see the first spike. I had to sit quietly and figure out the construction. I think it can be improved, but is doable and rather clever. I hope to make 3 or 4 of these for the great nephews.

And the cashmere. So delicious. I saw a scarf on Kenneth Brannah as he played Wallander. Le sigh. I thought it would be a nice manly gift for our NYC host. I thought I would start with the seaman's scarf by Myrna Stahman and just add some cables. Well, maybe not. So I have reverted to the pattern, but marked everything with highlighters because, did I say I'm not reading charts so well.
Now I dream of casting on something mindless. But that would make too many things on the needles and all these need to be made anyway. If I work hard on just one item, and finish it perhaps I can settle down a little. But this summer is going to quickly. And there is more fun to come!