Saturday, March 26, 2016

L'Enveloppe L'gone

I had a breakfast date with my favorite niece this A.M. - early this A.M. - early for me, that is. She, being an owner of land & animals, not so much. I wanted to make something for her & found L'Enveloppe which I thought would be just up her alley. She has always loved  all things weird, odd, slightly twisted & beautifully strange. She is the girl who made 'Ratz' decorations for the Christmas tree. And she crafted Dragons, Fairies & Gnomes before they were popular. And now that she's cruising for 50, still prefers the company of dogs, horses, chickens, bees & aunties with sticks & yarn.

When she took up riding, I knit her a tomato colored wool jacket in a Renaissance style with big, balloon sleeves to the elbow but tight from there to the wrist, with a snug bodice & flared peplum. This time, I wanted to make her something light & frothy but not fussy. L'Enveloppe seemed to fill the bill.
It was an easy knit mostly but I really had trouble picking up stitches for the left arm triangle along the cast off end without leaving a row of big holes. Luckily for me, the mohair yarn was very forgiving & the rest of the knitting WAS kind of 'rustic' - sloppy - stitches not even, lines of thick & thin, big clumps of mohair & thin bits. The yarn was a problem to knit with because it was uneven, which really annoyed me for some reason.

So, there I was at 1:47 this A.M. spraying the darned thing with water in the bathroom trying to yank block it into shape after finally casting it OFF my needles - I ripped that last arm triangle out twice!!! - knowing I had to get up in a few hours & wanting to throw the silly thing into the garbage. I eventually gave up, hung it on a hanger & went to bed.

This morning, I just threw it into my bag with a pair of socks & a book & ran out the door. When I pulled it out at the cafe, she recognized the yarn & tried it on at the table before running off to the bathroom to see what it looked like. She loved it & wore it while we ate. All the waitresses dropped by to see what the heck it was. Apparently no one else could see the uneven parts or the horrible line where I picked up those last stitches. So I just shut up, took a picture - once I figured out where the damn app was on my phone - & let her go home happy. She said she was thrilled with it & wore it the whole time so I'm thinking I did good even if I wasn't totally happy with it. I did tell her it was a 'test knit' though, to cover my ass. Hahahahaha  I suspect I'll make another one fairly soon in my handspun yarn. But, one thing is sure, I won't be making one out of yarn with clumps of mohair in it again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Back From the Dead

The bug that bit me has moved on to someone else. Didn't feel awfully terrible but everything hurt including a really nasty headache. Luckily, I nodded off every time I stopped moving. So, I slept most of the time wrapped in my red, fleece sheets. I even put the fleece pillow cases on over the flannel ones I usually use. It was warm, breezy - I had the window open & Anne McCaffrey entertained me between dreams. I think I listened to 'Dragonsinger' 47 times in little bits here & there.

Yesterday, I actually got dressed & went OUT for lunch/dinner at my favorite little greasy spoon and devoured a grilled chicken & Havarti on toasted rye. After 5 days of soup in a cup, it was magnificent! Meatless Mondays are fine but when they extend into the rest of the week, it's not fine anymore!!

The L'Enveloppe advances. I was a little too zonked out to accomplish much but, I am now moving down the back from the neck opening. This goes up the front from the point to the neck. Cast's off & back on again for the neck opening & then moves down the back to the point. So, it's kind of an elongated M in the end, I guess. Mmmmmmm 
I cast-on for the Medium since I think the large would've been way too large. But, garter does have a lot of stretch to it if you need it. The knitting itself is so light & airy it's hard to believe it could provide any warmth at all but the yarn contains a good amount of mohair for warmth.
One good thing about mohair, if you drop a stitch & I have a couple of times - it doesn't go anywhere!!! I'd hate to have to frog this thing, though, all that fluff makes it really tough. All in all, it's fun to knit, I think it'll fit & it'll make a great dog blankey if it doesn't.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sunshine & Lollipops

The sun is out & Surrey is wearing shorts. Holey Crap. It was freezing overnight but the sun came out & we're all coatless today. Typical south Wet Coast behavior. Like an aging reptile, I dragged my aching bones out into the sunshine - it felt so good - & over to the coffee shop for an hour this afternoon. Only the old people wore coats!! Most of the kids not only wore shorts but had summer tees on as well. Although I left my coat at home, I still wore LONG pants & socks. You can't stay in bed ALL day when the sun shines even when you feel crappy.

I was starting to feel like a zombie last evening while my ears were clogging up, so, of course, I decided to start a new project called L'Enveloppe. It's something interesting that I want to make for my niece who loves all things weird, odd or strange. I figured I'd spend a couple of mindless hours knitting in front of the tube before bed. It's not a shawl or scarf but a little of both. It's one piece that stays on without a button or pin & can be worn as a simple cowl or on the shoulders as a wrap.
Found some gold mohair & acrylic, called Geisha, left over from a lace cardigan I made her mother over 30 years ago in the stash. Imported from Germany, it was very expensive at the time & I had to wait until the season end clearance sale to even afford it!! So having 5 balls in the stash was a real find. Especially since my niece's mother died several years ago & they both loved the gold sweater. Gotta keep that kid happy since she may be looking after this old aunty in her dotage!!!

Not sure what the yardage is on this stuff but it looks like there will be plenty. I'm using 5mm circular needles & knitting it in garter stitch since this is the first time I've ever made one. This is a test knit, sort of. I can see how it fits the model above but I have no idea how it's made to fit her at this point other than a really basic drawing so, this will tell me how it goes together & give me an idea of whether or not it can be made larger to fit me.
I have a bin full of handspun in purple - all different batches of purple roving that I've spun up over the years but mostly in the same or similar color. I'd like something light & warm to wear that doesn't take up a lot of space. Something that can be squished into the corner of a bag & pulled out if it gets chilly. I really am NOT a shawl wearer. Maybe this is what I want.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Just an Update

I've always wondered why my favorite bloggers have the anti-spam stuff where you make a comment. I hate going through that routine of identifying pictures & clicking on the "I am not a robot" square before I leave my note of support. But, I guess I've found out WHY they do it. Lately, I've been getting some strange comments, foreign language poems & referrals to other sites - awww, the dreaded porn site?? Not yet, I don't think I'm popular enough. But, don't be surprised if I end up adding an anti-Robot square of my own soon.

On the home front - I love my new-to-me, 2004 Caravan. It's smaller, shorter, easier on gas & zippier than my old 1999 one. It's still harder to back up since I haven't gotten used to the magnifying rear-view mirror yet but easier to get in & out of smaller spaces. If I didn't have to swing the driver's door so far open to get my sore right knee out, I could park in 'small car' spaces!!! I thought storage would be a problem in the back, behind the seats, for groceries but there seems to be enough for everything. I was going to take the two rear seats out - I never carry six people!!! - but I think I'll just leave them there for the time being. I think I may be able to get a spinning wheel in there & carry a folding chair & table without problems.

It's Tax Season again so I'm drowning in paperwork. I'm so busy I don't have time to spit. But it's lovely to have the work. 'Course, I knew this would happen. I'll be swamped now that I'm a month short of being an official 'Old Age Pensioner' & finally, at last, eligible for all the Pensions, Supplements, Programs, discounts & non-taxable freebies. I can even get a cheap bus-pass. And my car insurance will go down by 40% apparently. Woohoo  Maybe I'll finally be able to buy my prescriptions with cash instead of plastic. 

So what's on the needles??? SKEW Socks again. I tried to knit them once before when they first appeared in Knitty . I loved the pattern - hey, it was so different I couldn't NOT love them. I even invested in two new Chiagoo circular needles to make them. I did not succeed & stuffed my aborted effort in to a bag in frustration. While rooting around for something else, I found the bag. And the sock. So, I sucked it up, dug out the pattern & started once more. We'll see what happens THIS time - they were first published in Knitty in 2009. And I can't believe how long ago that was!!!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Shoved Out of Bed

I hate getting up in the morning when it's dark, grey, wet, cold & gloomy. Especially NOW when I have red, fleece sheets on my bed & under my head. I bought myself a set of them the Christmas before last when they were on sale. I had worn my favorite 'Penguin' fitted sheet through at the foot & my 'Snowflake' sheet was looking pretty thin as well. Sheets just aren't worth mending anymore - not like in my Granny's day when you cut them in half, turned them around, seamed the two ends together across the middle & hemmed the two cut ends. The fabric in those days lasted a lifetime. And I tend to wear out my fitted sheets at the foot. Maybe it's from wandering feet at night or maybe it's the socks I wear to bed when it's cold. Who knows??? But now I have fleece sheets. Normally I don't even use a top sheet - I have several duvet covers made out of top sheets that I use instead - but fleece sheets are so comfy that I've been wrapping myself in both!!! I know what I'll be using in the winter from now on!!!

I wonder if I can get fleece underpants??

Now that the days are lighter much earlier in the day, I'm a little happier. I find winter  so hard to live with. We aren't even going to talk about how the cold affects my hands!! I prefer to get up when it's light & go to bed when it's dark. I love those mornings when the sun comes up & the only noise you hear are the birds outside. So nice to sit there in the early morning with a cup of tea & watch the squirrels argue with the birds. In the winter I just want to stay in bed where it's warm & listen to an audiobook until the whole neighborhood has gone for the day before I drag myself out. Especially when it's dark. And cold. And wet. And - to add insult to injury - as I forced myself out of bed this last wet Monday morning, the corner of said bedframe broke & dumped me on my ass on the cold floor. Nothing a big, grey brick can't fix but still, an extra shock to the system.