Posts categorized "Fun"

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.

Target1

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.

Target2

I'm definitely going axe throwing again.


Lazy day with all the fibre crafts

Today was a lazy day. I drank lots of coffee. Ate homemade muffins (with bacon and cheese on the side, because protein is important and delicious). Went for a very short run AND did my abdominal strengthening exercises. And I played with yarn in all my crafty ways. 

Weaving continues on the scarf and I'm dreaming up the next one. I might do a pooled warp, as I'm finally over the debacle of the last time where I used gorgeous yarn, took my time to get the warp right, wove it up and it was meh. Actually it was beautiful, a subtle scarf with lovely subtle colour variations. The thing was you couldn't see the pooled warp because the weft colour was too similar and all that work disappeared. I gave to the kids' piano teacher as a gift and she adores it. I chalk it up as a learning experience - the weft needs to allow the warp to pop. 

I spun a bit on the EE Nano. Craig made me some new yarn guides that seem to make for a better experience. The ones that came with the spinner would snag the yarn - very frustrating. 

And, I knit (well of course I did). I finished Viajante!!!! It's beautiful and I see it getting lots of wear. I love shawls, but struggle a bit with the pins and sticks. This one goes over my head and looks like a shawl, but I can move around. It's blocking now. 

IMG_0931

I also started a hat for Craig. I'm in the mood for some small things after Viajante and the blanket. The yarn is Harrisville Nightshades in Cinder and the pattern is Proof. My gauge is a bit loose, but it should fit Craig without being snug. 

IMG_0929

We also binge watched a new Netflix show: Giri/Haji. It's a British/Japanese crime thriller/family drama. So good - we watched all eight episodes. 


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.

CA14DB81-9800-4755-9332-F2863700E985

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. 

5F9C5CA5-607D-4502-9ED5-8D848D9BE142
5F9C5CA5-607D-4502-9ED5-8D848D9BE142

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).

CA70456A-48A6-4FB7-AFA7-EA174A3E1523

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. 

71B68724-EEF7-4E27-91C9-FADB73668EDE

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.

 


Fair Isle Diversion

After seven blanket squares, it turns out I needed some knitting diversions. First was to cast on a quick and easy sweater, Gemma, using some old-stash Madeline Tosh merino in Tart. I love this yarn but didn't buy quite enough for it to be a lot of the garments I wanted. Note to self: don't be chintzy if you're stashing. 

IMG_8888

I also have a few work-wardrobe holes that could be filled by a simple red sweater, so I got swatching and got knitting. It's been a good knit while I watch Kingdom on Netflix as complicated knitting and subtitles don't work together.

Also if you're into light suspense with Zombies, watch Kingdom. So good. Set in 15th century Korea. Political intrigue fuelled by a strange zombie illness. Beautiful cinematography, lush costumes, interesting plot that has some surprises. 

I also got tempted by Kate Davies' club pattern, Knitting Season hat. It's so beautiful. I've been wanting a red hat to go with my parka and I had the pattern, stash yarn and inspiration so I dove in. 

I really like Fair Isle knitting and changing it up from the blanket squares was the diversion I needed.

IMG_8880

IMG_8878

One week later, and I'm wearing it. It's -15C, so I'm bundled up.

IMG_8883

Such a beautiful pattern. Really fun to knit. I do find the corrugated rib band a tad tight and if you have a bigger head, I suggest adding at least one repeat as the pattern has you adding 36 stitches from band to hat. I'm hoping mine will stretch a touch more and I might reblock to see if I can coax it along. The ribbing isn't stretchy so there isn't a lot of play. I confess I didn't swatch, but it's the same Yorkshire Tweed I used for Strathendrick and the same gauge so I knew what sized needles to use. But I should have done a bit of the math to consider the sizing before jumping in. 

No matter, it's pretty and something I wanted for my hat collection. And I'm itching to get back to my blanket squares. 

 


Twenty

Happy Birthday Emma! 

Twenty is a cool number: 2 times 1 teen (how your Papi would have put it). 

I've been thinking about what to write about you for a few days now and it all came together when I found this video (that I posted earlier today on Twitter)

A short movie of the kids

This is a "very Emma" moment and looking back, it shows how one's disposition doesn't really change over time.

35885631694_77218e835a_z

You're always singing and dancing, whether it's The Who, Wham or other hits from the 80's, the soundtrack of your current favourite musical, your latest musical infatuation, or dressed as a pineapple. 

41121116400_51e2257e89_z

You've grown up into a fierce young woman and your twenties are going to be amazing. Just make sure to keep singing and dancing!

43392989750_0cf454eb2b_z


Resolution Three: Longer Sleeves and a bonus tutorial

As I mentioned in my last post, I tend to make the sleeves too short on my sweaters. I really don't like them too long and I think I over compensate (that and I'm probably impatient to get the sleeves knit). Hence Resolution Three: Make your sleeves long enough Steph.

In the case of Maxfield it also seemed to mess with the fit of the sweater so much that I stopped wearing it. The sweater is a bit tight in the arm and the too short sleeve seems to make it feel constricting and it pulls at the shoulders. So I decided to lengthen the sleeve. 

This sweater has a different construction and there is no way to undo the sleeve, rip back to the armpit and knit on the length (well you can, but it means taking apart the whole garment).

I decided to do some surgery.

The plan was to knit an extra repeat of the 20 row pattern (the coloured zig zags and rows of blue) right after the cuff. So using a circular needle I picked up the right part of the V of each stitch just below where I wanted to remove the cuff. There were two set up rows which made this easy as I didn't have to pick up the k1p1 cuff or the zig zag pattern.

Then I took my scissors and snipped just above the picked up stitches. Yikes.

IMG_8801

Then I unravelled that row. The cuff was now separated from the sleeve. Yikes.

I picked up the cuff stitches and knit the extra repeat. Bonus points for not having to reknit the cuff. The attached sleeve was safe on the circular needles. I thought about knitting down from the sleeve, but the zig zag pattern wouldn't be pointing in the right direction so I needed to knit up from the cuff.

Actually, full disclosure, I started knitting down from the sleeve, realized the zig zag was pointing the wrong way, ripped back and then picked up the cuff and went the other direction. I might have been a bit delirious after cutting the cuff off.

Once the extra length was knit, the last step was to kitchener stitch the cuff and added length to the garment sleeve.

IMG_8803

The yarn must have faded a bit with washing, so the new part is a bit dark, but that'll change with time and there are lots of dark variations in this lovely hand-dyed yarn. Also having the original cuff helps keep things looking "together".

IMG_8806

Here is is with the new part grafted on

IMG_8804

First sleeve done-major improvement! The sweater fits better and I love it again! 

IMG_8805

While I don't have a finished photo, I can assure you that I did knit the second sleeve and it does cover my watch nicely. Totally worth taking the few hours needed to do this. 


Happy Birthday Alexander (Adult edition)

My baby, this guy...

image from acunningplan.typepad.com 6a00d8341c56b153ef00e54f1978328834-500wi

Is 18 today.

IMG_6437

A lover of my knitting (even if he didn't want a university blanket).

2625274776_bb2a9c73c1_b

A kind, generous, considerate and joyful guy.

44166022244_1bc7f7b6aa_z

A musician, gamer, budding geographer, camp counsellor, cyclist, skateboarder (still cringe at this one, so much danger), swimmer, and all around fun person.

20203994681_59060c8886_z

Now an adult. Woah. 

31013711098_fb33df10c9_z

Can't wait to see what you'll do out in the world. It's going to be fantastic.

Happy Birthday my Xanderman. 


Challenge and Reward


I had a challenging week. The good kind of challenging where I got to stretch myself, try new things, learn stuff and remember that I really like my job. But it was also a sixty hour week where I was ON for three days and I was exhausted at the end.

I dragged myself to The Knitter's Frolic and I'm glad I did. Being around knitters and the yarn was restorative. I got to see my knitting peeps and get inspired with new yarn and projects.

I'm sorry if I didn't chat very much when I saw you. I was seriously done with being social. I actually used up all my extroverted self (and if you know me, you'll find that staggering). We should get together and knit some time and I'll make it up to you.

My favourite purchase was a Tornadoz gradient box from Indigodragonfly.

The colours glow. I started an easy cowl and am in the second colour already. I needed a new project to celebrate Spring and getting through my challenge. (It doesn't glow in the dark though--trust me it's beautiful.)

 



Carnaby skirt


I finished my skirt! I rather like it!



And because the cold weather is never going to stop, I've even happy opportunities to wear it.



It's a good fit, but does stretch a bit. I'm planning to reinforce the waist with grosgrain ribbon, or pick up stitches and do a waistband and add an elastic.



The tweed yarn is perfect. It's not very soft, but it's sturdy and firm. It's a cone from the back catalogue of my stash and I still have enough left for a sweater.


And I know I was pessimistic about ever getting this done. And to that I say:



We will ignore the fact that I finished it weeks ago, had to sew the buttons on 3 times to get the fit right and am just blogging about it now.


A List

1. Julia in KW was the winner of the Burton Hills Coat pattern!  Hooray Julia!

2. I am never going to finish my Carnaby Skirt.  Ever.

3. I don't know why Carnaby is such a slog, but right now everything else wooly is tempting me.  

4. Temptation One: A headband for my SIL.  Elisbeth in Shelter.  So nice to knit with.  Fun pattern.

5. Temptation Two: I liked it so much I made the hat for myself with another odd ball of Shelter. 

15869677224_0bc3bdcd7b_z

6. Temptation Three: Seasons Hat whereby I joined the Purple Purl KAL and almost finished it in a weekend except that I decided to finish Carnaby dammit.

16532107001_fd640c9627_z

7. Did you know I didn't type temptation properly in any of the above?

8. I'm at the buttonholes for Carnaby but it will never get done. 

9. I really want to finish this skirt so I can wear it once before Spring.  The yarn on the cone covered in spinning oils is unpleasant to work with, but washed up it's perfect--brown, hardwearing, tweedy.

10. I'll shut up and go knit now.