Posts categorized "random randomness"

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. 


2019 Knitting Resolutions

I took some time to update things on Ravelry yesterday and it was sort of like doing my finances, or shopping for a bathing suit. It made me take a moment to reflect and consider changes for the future.

Really, there's nothing wrong with my knitting life. It's foundational to my social time--I knit with friends, talk about knitting online, blog, hang out on Ravelry, do knitting related travel, and generally knit every day. It's more about the stuff of knitting and how much of it I have. 

It's a lot.

What I notice is that over the last few years, I tend to knit what I buy almost immediately. Like Russell Street--the kit was purchased at Rhinebeck in late October and I was wearing it by December. It never became stash. 

IMG_8817 2

Some of this feeling is likely a function of having more disposable income and some of it is knowing what I want to knit--I'm a self-actualized knitter :) . Having a stash is great. But adding stuff to the stash doesn't hold much allure. Knitting from stash almost feels like an obligation, albeit a nice one. We won't even talk about my fibre stash and my non-existing spinning time.

Resolution One: I will only knit what I have on hand until Rhinebeck 2019. If I somehow encounter a knitting emergency, I will sell or get rid of equal yardage from the stash. 

The other thing I realized I need to do, is keep notes about what I'm knitting. I'm really bad about this. Like, having to forensically investigate sock one, to knit sock two, bad. This is part of the reason I decided to join Kate Davies' Knitting Season Club this year. I was lucky enough to snag the full club with all the yarn (see Resolution One) and the journal. I rather like journals, but am not a journal keeper. I have them at work for rough notes and to-do lists, but tend to use my iPad and pencil for work notes. 

I use my iPad for PDF patterns and do annotate them, but not often enough and usually too cryptically to understand if a lot of time has passed. I think the tactile nature of knitting demands the tactile act of writing on paper. Or at least that's what I'm going with for now.  

Resolution Two: I'm going to crack open this lovely journal and use it as my knitting log. I'll make notes on my projects (which I might type into Ravelry later), write down what freaking row of the pattern I stopped on, note mods or issues and generally make notes about my knitting and spinning. 

The rationale for my last resolution is my next post. But here's the teaser:

Resolution Three: You don't like bracelet length sleeves even though you always wear a big watch and a lot of bracelets. Knit your damned sleeves long enough for the love of all things wooly. Ask Emma if the sleeves are long enough if you're not sure. Her arms are way longer than yours and she despises too-short sleeves.

 


Submersion

I have been playing with all the yarn.

The last two weekends I have spun, knit, wove, finished some handspan, finished something for my nephew, finished a sock, started the second sock, started new handspun and made significant progress on my Occam scarf. 

I feel like I'm back to my old crafty self and I feel great.

Here's what I've been up to...

Fitzcarraldo Knee Sock number one. It's *almost perfect. After what felt like months of knitting the twisted ribbed cuff, I think the part just before the cuff is a touch too tight. 

IMG_6831

I'm putting it in the time out corner while I work on the second sock.

IMG_6839

I will tackle the problem on both socks at the same time. This is mostly because I can't face ripping out all that ribbing. Maybe my calves will slim down or I'll get taller or something.

It will totally be worth fixing; these socks are a thing of beauty.

I also finished something for the wee baby Mitchell for Christmas, but wish to avoid spoilers so no photos yet. Trust me, it is the height of CUTENESS.

Occam is almost done. I really like it. I decided to do the medium width and the longer length and I'm going to run out of blue yarn, so I'm modifying. If you notice, don't say anything okay ;)

IMG_6840

Last weekend I also decided to weave. Check out this fabulous pooled warp (Indigodragonfly Wingenhooven in Dminion Unhinged). I ran into a bit of trouble by warping the loom backwards (which took some fixing, let me tell you...) so I'm not sure how pooled it'll be when it's done. I think the merino, yak, silk around my neck will solve any issues with the colour.

IMG_6821 copy
And lastly I've been continuing with Spinning Sundays. Last week I plied the last of a big project using beautiful Lisa Souza BFL I bought not long after getting my first wheel. The yarn is big and fat and squishy. It's drying now and looks amazing. Photos to come. 

Today I pulled out a 4oz braid and set to work on making some worsted spun yarn for mittens.

IMG_6837

The colour is Captain Tightpants, fibre is yak and merino from Into The Whirled and nothing about this project is bad.

IMG_6835

 


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.

 


Forty-Four Fixer-Upper

Many women remark that their being in their forties is pretty fantastic. I was doubtful because as a woman in a youth obsessed society forty is old. And I would get chin hairs and grey hairs and get all peri-menopausal and shit. What I didn't realize until lately is that, yes all that is true (and what the actual fuck is up with the chin hairs?!) but that I don't actually care one bit what anyone thinks of my looks or my mood or any of it.

I have zero fucks to give. That's magic.

But while I don't care what others think of how I look, how old I am, and except for those I love and respect, what I think and do, I do care about how I see myself and how I want to feel in my body and be in my world. So I started fixing stuff.

First was my skin. Almost 30 years with psoriasis was enough. I was tired of being itchy, applying greasy ointment, having to pick clothing that would hide ugly red patches. And I was tired of spending time on treatments that only sorta worked. Last spring I took a leap and chose a new biologic systemic drug (Stelara) and I'm almost completely clear. I was afraid of systemic treatments because of risks and side effects but realized that I don't want more children and am at a time in my life where it's my turn to do stuff for me. It was the right time and I still feel good about making the decision. It used to seem shallow to want to fix what was essentially a cosmetic issue but taking this drug has changed my life. Both in the time I spent treating my skin and worrying about how I could be in the world with ugly skin. And it feels great.

Next was something a bit more troublesome. Stress incontinence. Super common in women. Almost never discussed. And while I've tweeted that I had lady-part surgery, I haven't said what until now (eep!). But I realized it's important to tell my story.

I've lived with it since I had my kids and it was getting worse. It made doing things I enjoyed like running, ball hockey, laughing, sneezing and sometimes walking, well, messy. I talked to my doctor a few years ago but decided to not get a referral. She pushed but not too hard. Then after the stelara victory I realized that I need to fix the things that bug me or I'll be unhappy. So off I went. Met the urogynaecologist, did the tests (email me if you want the details--they're uncomfortable) and booked the surgery. I chose to wait until ball hockey season ended so I wouldn't lose my spot on the team and it was a long summer and fall because I had decided and was ready.

I had the surgery November 5th. Tension-free, vaginal tape. Like a face-lift for your urethra! It was day surgery and I got over my fear of everything medical, sucked it up and it wasn't awful. The recovery was uncomfortable for about a week (catching a cold five days after seriously sucks) and I got two weeks at home to watch tv and movies and knit (I finished 5 cowls) and now a month later I'm feeling pretty great and leak free. All I wait for now is the all-clear appointment at 6 weeks so I can start running and riding my bike to work. That'll be the true test but I'm feeling optimistic. And again, taking care of me for ME was the right thing to do.

The time off work also gave me time to think about what else needs fixing. Not just my body, but who I want to be in my forties. My kids are teenagers and need me a lot less. What do I want to achieve professionally? What outside things do I want to pursue? What shape does my life take as my kids get closer to leaving home (they do that, right?!). I don't have real answers, but it's cool to have the freedoms to think about it.

I'll let you know what I come up with.

The next fix is my hair. I decided to stop dying it. I'm telling my stylist tomorrow. I will have her help me plot the grow out. I'm tired of paying the money and taking the time and resent that men get grey and sexy (like George Clooney) and women get grey and old. Fuck that.

Though once it's natural, I do plan to get a streak or two or cobalt blue, because I can.


Maybe I should just give up knitting (not really)

This winter has not been a great one for me knitting-wise.  I've made a few accessories that were just okay, but not much else, and I haven't had a project that really grabbed me.  

Well, I shouldn't say that because working on Oshima was pretty great.  Until it wasn't.  

I think I need a knitting win.

Knocking off a quick WIP was the plan last week.  The kids were at my Mom's for the March Break (and yes, it was fantastic), I had all of season two of House of Cards to watch and plenty of Indiodragonfly Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination one skein projects to choose from.  I got back to the Caulking arm/leg warmers and got to it.  

I finished the first one and dove into the second one.  Then I took a little break and started the Sweetums fingerless mitts.  All was good.

Until it wasn't.

Apparently I can't read.  I missed an entire line in the Sweetums pattern and didn't notice until 48 rows later when I couldn't figure out where to put the thumb.  I was silly enough to write to the designer and it wasn't until she explained it that I noticed I missed the line in the pattern.

While Sweetums was working itself out I finished both House of Cards and the second armwarmer.  Tried them on, did the photo shoot and then noticed something wasn't quite right.  

Blog1

The second armwarmer was a full repeat (8 sts) bigger than the first one.  (No I didn't write down what size I was making, who does that?!).

I actually turned off the tv and counted the repeats on the first one twice to confirm the number: 56.  When I was casting on, I distinctly remember doing the math in my head as I distributed the stitches on the dpns.  16 per needle.  Because 16x4 is totally 56.

Except it's 64.

Twelve inches, ripped out.  I casted it on properly and it's in the travel knitting pouch.  I'll get back to it.

Sweetums is coming along very nicely.  Almost done the first one.   

Blog2

I hope this goes smoothly now.  I'm tired of so many mess ups of the easy things that I've been doing most of my life like reading and counting.

 


Happy New Year! (with some goal setting mixed in)

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012.  For those of you doing the 12 knitted things in '12 may your needles be swift and your projects delightful.  For everyone, I wish health, happiness and a stash that makes you happy.

Me, I'm not any more reflective than I usually am about stuff.  But since this blog has always been intended as a space to say what I like, I'll put forth a few goal like things:

Running:  I want to match my 1000km running goal (btw I ran 1036km in total over 150 runs!!!) and I'm considering entering a 1/2 marathon this year.  Truth be told, I will be 42 in July and a full marathon is 42km, so I'm stewing over the idea of doing a full, where perhaps I will discover the meaning of life, the universe and everything in my exercise induced euphoria.  (See what I mean about my self-reflexivity?)

Spinning: It's like many people's get healthy goals.  I once again vow to spin more often.  I haven't done more than dust my wheels since the summer.  Must try to develop a more regular practice and improve my spinning.

Weaving: This winter I need to weave Craig the scarf I promised two winters ago.  Maybe I'll warp the loom today just to get things started.  This is one craft I feel I have balance with.  I pull out the loom when I want a scarf and put it away when I'm done.  I could learn more about it, but I don't feel any burning desire to tackle it now (saving it for my retirement).

Knitting: It was a good year for me.  I completed 6 sweaters, 2 pairs of socks, 7 accessories (hats, scarves etc) and a blanket.  I have a few FO's on the go and don't like to over plan my knitting life since well, other life does tend to get in the way.  I would like to tackle some stashed projects, knit some knee socks with some handspun sock yarn (already spun) and make stuff that makes me happy since that's really what it's all about.

Finished objects, 2011

(I love these mosaics!)

Stash: My stash is healthy.  It doesn't really give me much stress until it moves beyond the furniture I have to contain it in.  Right now, I actually have empty storage spaces so I'm pretty content.  The biggest problem is that I have so many nice yarns and fibres and not enough time to play with them all.  For 2012 I will continue to add to the stash wisely, sell or give away what doesn't give me pleasure and keep working on getting the yearly kilometers of yarn equal or less than the 2011 number of: 57.14km.  (I like how that sounds much better than in metres!)  That's down from 65km last year so that ain't bad.  One way I do this is by making sure my stash is up to date in Ravelry.  Then I can shop in my "personal yarn store" before I venture out and buy yarn.

Career: This was a good and bad year for me at my job. I don't blog about work much because I don't think my big boss likes it very much (because I've been chastised for my time online in the past).  Even saying that might be too much, but really, I do feel that I should be able to write about my work in a general way (ie not blog the content of my work, but what I'm working on) and how I FEEL ABOUT my work.  (That felt good to say).

I was fortunate to be selected into a mentorship program in 2011 and it was a great opportunity for me to make connections in the University, learn from someone who does a very different job than me and to spend time thinking about what I want to do next in my career.  I have some good ideas and I'm thinking about what I might do to get there, like... 

  • Project management courses with possibility of getting PMP certification
  • Talking to more people at the University to learn about their work and their career paths
  • Thinking about work outside the University.  I really like academia as a place to work but wonder if I'm limiting myself by trying to carve out a career in one place (which has fantastic benefits and good work/life balance).  I plan to do a bit more exploring of the world outside the ivory tower and see what other opportunities Toronto has to offer me.

Wow, that's a lot more goal setting than I planned when I started this post.  But there it is.  I am still the #womanwhogetsshitdone and now I'm going to have a nice long bubble bath!

I would love to hear your goals too!