Posts categorized "Blankets"

Targets

Last weekend I went axe throwing for the first time. It turns out throwing axes at a target while drinking delicious Woodhouse Stout is pretty fun. It’s not so much about strength, but rather technique and intention.

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Obviously, it’s more fun when you hit the target and the axe sticks. And it’s seriously fun with the big axe that you use to break a tie. I was kinda good at the big axe, but there’s no video proof. 

This whole thing had me thinking about targets. I’m a project manager by nature. I like concrete goals. I love a good work plan. That’s great for my professional life because I have to work on several things at once and manage a team working on their projects. 

For my fibre crafts it’s tempting to plot and plan completion of projects. Sometimes it’s because there’s a deadline for a gift and I need to prioritize what I’m working on, and be realistic about what I can complete by a deadline. 

But I find the target setting creeping in to other projects. On the positive side it keeps me from casting on everything I see and never finishing anything (I like the process of knitting/spinning/weaving, but I REALLY like finishing stuff). On the negative side, I start thinking about how long a project will take and get a bit stressed? miffed? unsettled...about it.

I encountered this last weekend when I dug my The Shieling blanket out of the credenza and got back to it after a long hiatus. Nine squares done and blocked, some of them assembled. Not bad, only 21 more squares to go. At a week a square, plus two weeks to assemble...

You get the idea. Then I started thinking about whether I could do two squares a week and then it started to sound like work rather than enjoyment. 

That's when I reminded myself that the target is to knit/spin/weave stuff I enjoy. Some days colour work isn't going to be enjoyable or possible (because I'm tired, or watching TV with subtitles, or at a dimly lit bar) and I need other fulfilling fibre pursuits instead. The blanket will get done. I like knitting it. That's the target I need to aim for.

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I'm definitely going axe throwing again.


Jumping in to 2020

Lots happening in And She Knits Too land since the new year:

My niece, Josephine was born January 3rd! She’s beautiful and healthy and big brother Mitchell seems quite enamoured with her. I got to meet her last week and she’s so tiny and wee. Luckily I finished her blanket (but didn’t have it washed) in time for her birth. It dried quickly and I hope she likes it the same way Mitchell does. He uses it so much it needs Auntie Steph to make repairs.

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Emma and I took a quick visit to Peterborough to visit my mom and mémère. We took a quick four-generations selfie to update the one on Mémère’s fridge. Emma will be 21 this week, mémère 94 February 2nd. Time flies. 

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I finished my advent calendar shawl. Despite a bobble at day 10, totally my mess up with math, it was really fun to knit. Yarn by Indigodragonfly, pattern Match and Move. I could knit this one again in two colours. I love me some garter stitch knitting. Hopefully it’ll be sunny out at a time when I’m not looking a mess (or in pjs like right now so I can do proper photos).

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I’m having fun with my Electric Eel Nano spinner. It was a silly impulse purchase this year at Rhinebeck, and while it is taking some time to get used to, it’s a fun little addition to the spinning farm. I will do a full review soon. 

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Last one: Me today would like to thank December me for booking a one hour massage appointment yesterday. The perfect way to finish my first week back at work. I booked again next month. Monthly massages seem like an excellent habit to cultivate.

 


The Skinny

My knitting mojo is back big time. On top of the few projects I already had on the needles, I started 4 new projects since Rhinebeck, 2 of which I started last weekend. Craig went off for his yearly Rhinebeck (deer hunting at Pineapple Lodge) and being alone all week made knitting all the things seem like the right thing to do.

I'm pretty sure he was just out of the driveway when I got out the loom and warped it using my Miss Babs Yummy Toes mini skeins for a Mad for Plaid scarf.

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Then I did a bit more work on my first panel for Twitch.

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Then I got really ambitious and starting this:

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The Shieling blanket by Kate Davies. I love knitting blankets. They're always the right size, they're incremental--one square at a time--and who doesn't love snuggling under a blanket? 

This one might be a challenge...it's fingering weight AND fair isle. And completely addictive. Two squares done and I'm smitten. It's beautiful and fun to knit.

I have a few other things on the needles and I noticed they're all fingering or lace weight. Skinny yarn and big projects.

While I love a chunky cowl or a worsted weight sweater, there's something more refined in a thinner-yarn garment. They're more  clothing and less hand made. There's more space for a motif or colour. And really there's more knitting which isn't ever a bad thing.

Go little on something big...or go home.
 


The Blanket

The simple facts: Emma asked for a hand-knit blanket. I like to knit blankets (they're simple comfort knitting and always fit the recipient) so I started knitting in January. It would be her take-to-university-blanket. Nothing to see here.

The longer story: We decided on a pattern. Chose the yarn. Bought more yarn when I miscalculated how much Eco-Wool I would need (6 skeins in case you're wondering--this blanket weighs more than 2 kg).

I knit on this almost exclusively for six months; panicking a bit when the weather got warmer and wondered if I could get it done on time (there was some target setting--can you tell I'm a project manager?).

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Emma did her things: school, homework, friends, cello, piano, a lead in The Drowsy Chaperone, movie watching, prom, teen stuff. She also chose a university and decided her "what's next". Science (probably majoring in Physics) at Western University.

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She finished high school with honours. I finished the blanket shortly after. The pieces were stitched together. 

Metaphor? Maybe.

Or just how a knitter does things. Stitching beautiful objects that bring warmth and comfort.

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I'm getting teary--which is probably why I haven't pronounced the blanket complete on social media... 

Emma leaves on Sunday. She has her blanket, her determination, her smarts and her sense of adventure. She's ready (mostly). I'm ready (mostly). Time for the next big project.

 


I'm going to be an Auntie!

This is exciting! My first niece or nephew will be born in late October. This is my brother's first baby and he's only 3 1/2 years younger than me, so I wasn't really banking on him having kids now that we're both in our forties.

Mindy Peyton (as the fetus is dubbed--long story and we don't know the sex) will also be the first, first cousin for my kids who have the honour of being the only grandkids on both sides until now.

I really need to get cracking on the knitting! Luckily I started this baby blanket back in the winter when I needed a mindless but colourful knitting project. It's all sewn together and all it needs is a border and for about 10,000 ends to be woven in. 

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Now I'm considering what this kid needs to be properly ensconced in hand knits as is befitting a child related to a knitter.

So throw your favourite patterns at me! I've started a favourites list here but I want options. 

I have green sparkle yarn, just waiting to be something perfectly silly for a baby :)


To Martha and Sarosh

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to attend your wedding.  The ceremony was loving and thoughtful. 

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It was clear to everyone that you are a loving couple who will enjoy life together with humour and thoughtfulness.  

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The reception was fun--I learned to Bhangra, I was apparently the best dressed at my table (or the most daring since I had to Gangnam Style--very sneaky of you).  And the food was delicious (I was sad that the server took my naan--I was slowly savouring it).

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I love that you both hugged everyone in the reception line.  Sarosh had never even met Craig but was clearly so happy that everyone came to your celebration.  

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I hope you enjoy my gift to you.  I confess it is a bit of a selfish gift.  I *really* like making blankets and your wedding was an excellent reason for me to knit another one.  It wasn't hard to let it go (even though the kids wanted to keep it) because it was always intended for you.  

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I wished I had been more organized and got the gang together to make this.  But you didn't leave us much time with your speedy engagement (which I totally admire and respect).  Instead there are yarn contributions from Keri W, Keri C, Kathleen, Tonya, Kim and Lettuce Knit.

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May it keep you warm in a lifetime of snuggles.  

 

 


Border Ideas, I need them...

I am one short seam and a few ends away from finishing my Parcheesi afghan!

I think it needs a border. Mostly because some of the garter edges seem to be flaring out and a border will squish them in a bit.

Ideas so far:
1. Icord--I love the look, but that's a lot of icord
2. Log cabin the edges--easy, the bind offs will keep it tidy, but might be too much.
3. Crochet--that might be too little and look odd with all the garter stitch
4. Pick up stitches all the way around, then bind off.

 

Any other suggestions?

 

I have enough yarn to do either a red border or a teal one.  Since the squares are red I think I'll use that yarn.  I love how this Parcheesi was done but I can't tell how the knitter did the border.  I already borrowed the one colour outer edge idea so I think doing the border in red will work.  

In Progress

I am a one-project-woman and have been for many weeks now.  It has hit the very boring stage.

I seemed to have underestimated the amount of knitting involved in this blanket.

And the amount of yarn required.

I chose a lovely teal for the outer edges of the blanket.  Bought 440yards, knit 4 strips and then went and bought 660 more.  I think I will need only 2/3rds of this, but wasn't going to chance it.

I also had to order more yarn for the red squares.  Totally messed up the math on that one.  

Turns out I could have purchased 5 colours and did all the stripes.  This way there are less ends.  I pledge to do the math more carefully next time.

Hopefully the red arrives in the next few days.  It had to come from the US and it's been 2 weeks. This means I couldn't knit the edges in strips, but have tried where possible to put the teal on holders so I can just add the red.  This makes for less seaming.  It also makes for a funny in progress photo.

In progress

It's all coming together and will be beautiful (I decided to use a poorly lit photo so as to extend the suspense) but I'm ready to move on to something, anything else.

 


Parcheesi Afghan and the rapidly disappearing stash

I'm cooking along nicely on my Parcheesi afghan which is good because it's a gift with a deadline.

I'm concerned about my yarn stores for this one though. I don't think I have enough colour diversity left for the striped sections so I'm taking a tactical approach.

Here's what I have done as of last night:

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I've knit the centre strip using the colours I have, which includes some tiny bits where I have enough to use it on a stripe once or twice.  Now I will do the inside striped bits because I believe I have enough to maintain some colour variety.

I'm pretty sure I will be down to 6 colours once I get to the outside section, all of which I've used in the big squares and in the striped sections: yellow, orange, dark brown, natural, dark natural and navy (the colours in the top left square plus navy and natural e.g. the bottom right square).

I should have enough of the red to do all the squares so I can maintain that aspect of the pattern (which is something I really like) but I need to decide what to do with the outer border.

Option one is to buy a few colours of Cascade 220 which creates leftovers, but allows me to add in a few different colours.  Considering I will need about 50m tops of each colour, it seems a bit silly. 

Option two is to buy 2 skeins of one colour and do the outside sections in just that.  I like this idea because it's easier to knit and it really worked out nicely in this Parcheesi .

The issue is what colour to choose?  It would have to be something not used in the blanket already. (I have enough cream colour but would need to change the border on one of my squares and I don't think I have enough of any colours to do that.)

I was considering something like deep burgundy which is the main colour of my Ella coat. (I used this swatch in the blanket!)

Or teal blue similar to this (but not a handpaint) from my Ahni sweater and used up in this blanket.

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But they both seem pretty dark. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing.

I'm also thinking a yellow-green like the one in some of my squares could work. Or a darker natural colour which would mute things a bit.

Any suggestions?

My plan is to knit the rest of the stripes, sew it up and take it to the yarn shop.  But having a good sense of what colours to look for would make me stop obsessing about this!


I Love Garter Stitch

I love garter stitch. I love it's squareness where the row gauge and the stitch gauge are the same. I love the way it looks. I love the ease of knitting and I love the squoosh.

Life is busy right now and garter stitch is just what I need--it's knitting that doesn't ask much of me except my time.

Not one to think small, this time I'm making a blanket. The pattern is called Parcheesi Afghan. It's a bit of log cabin and a bit of striping and a great stash buster. I'm using the leftovers from my Ella coat and odds and ends of similar worsted weight wools from my stash and any donations from knitpals. I'm into my fourth square and I can't stop knitting it.

My only concern is that I don't have enough different colours to really make this blanket pop. I don't really want to buy more full skeins of yarn so ill be hunting around for people's cast offs.

Oh, and that I'll get so engrossed with all this garter stitch that I won't knit anything else.