March 16, 2015

The Promised Pic

Getting Back to It

After much simple knitting, I have these;

Two scarves, heavy on the green. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day. They sure do look cheery.

I've put another simple project on my needles, this one a cowl. I've had cowl on the brain for a while now, and knew which stash yarn I'd use, I just hadn't decided on the pattern had no idea which pattern to use. Random chance came into play; I was looking for something else, and found this pattern that I'd fave'd some years ago. Helleborus.

It is more simple knitting, of a different sort. For some reason, I have no pictures of the yarn, something I hand-dyed at the same time as the green and yellow yarns in the picture above. I'll get a picture soon.

February 20, 2015

The Need for Simple Knitting

Knitting makes me a better person, at least when it comes to being patient. Or even just being. I value this greatly, especially now. For the past several months, my grandmother had been bedridden, and mostly disconnected from the world. Partly from dementia, and partly from something else I guess. For months, my grandfather could only get a few words a day from her, before she drifted back into that in-between space. Sometimes, during her alert periods, we could see she recognized us, but sometimes not. I don't know how she felt about her circumstances, she never complained. But my Grandpa, this was really tough for him. It was hard, he always thought he would precede my grandmother in death. Of all the things he had lived through, this thing affected him more than any.

My grandparents were a huge part of my growing up. My brother, sister and I spent most school holidays and a good chunk of summer at my grandparents house. In a shifting world, their home was our stability, the place we were always welcomed and loved. Most of my childhood my mother was a single parent, so my grandparents were my example of how married people behave. Indeed, adults in general. Cross words were seldom heard, nor raised voices. Other than the exasperation that comes along with 3 (or more, if the cousins were over) rambunctious grandchildren around. The older I get, the more I appreciate them, and the role they've played in my life. I knew I always had a lifeline if I needed it.

During this time, with my grandmother slowly fading away, all the major details were taken care of. They didn't need me to clean or cook, my uncles had all the financial details covered. But the thing I can do best is sit and listen to Grandpa talk. About his grief, his worries, and listen to his stories. Grandpa is a gifted story teller. And so the need for simple knitting.  No fussy counting, or complicated stitch patterns. Just steadily linking stitches, and listening to Grandpa. More often than not, after a few sentences his anguish would lift and he would brighten up. But knitting filled the  silences in between, filling the space like the sound of gentle rain falling on the roof. Something comfortable and undemanding that seems to free the mind and ease the spirit.

My simple knitting project; Easy . The yarn is Socks that Rock Lightweight, dyed by me during a Knot Hysteria workshop.

My grandmother finally slipped away last Monday night. She was 93 years old. January 24 was my grandparents 74 wedding anniversary. Grandpa is 95. Grandma didn't knit, but taught me sewing and embroidery and a little baking. I was mostly interested in licking the spoons.

February 3, 2015

Silly Chenille

What do you do with a beautiful yarn that is peculiar? I found this yarn on sale some years ago, when I'd been a knitter for only a short while. When I was still so easily swayed by a lovely, single skein of yarn that had no project in mind. I love the colors, and oh-la-la it is 100% silk.
But, it is chenille. Like a sheep that's just been introduced to a halter, it balks and bucks at the idea of an even tension. And, it doesn't really feel soft, or plush. Rather, while lovely to look at, in the hand it feels softly obstinate. Like it doesn't want to be told what to do.
Still, I love how the light shifts and plays over the colors, silvery in some places and deep jewel toned in others. What shall I do with this beautiful, difficult yarn? Maybe it would be happier as a woven project?

January 25, 2015

Some Finished Things for Twenty Fifteen

Wow! Two finished projects already! Never mind that they were started last year, finished objects are good any time of year.

First off the needles is the  Circlet in Blue Cardigan, begun last May.
This sweater was mostly finished months ago, but the sleeves were down-past-the-end-of-my-fingers long, and it was sitting around waiting for me to do something. I finally did. About 4 inches from the hem I snipped a loop and removed part of the sleeve.
Then I ripped back about another 3/4" of knitting, so I could make a new stockinet stitch rolled hem. The unknitting was a bit tedious and fiddly, and even more fiddly was figuring out which stitches were for picking up and knitting. Once that part was done, the knitting was easy.

After both sleeves were shortened it was time to add the buttons. I love the buttons. And I think I did a very good job of placing them. What I didn't do was realize that the chosen buttons end up very heavy on the sweater, especially as there are eleven of them. So it's back to the shop to find different, lighter weight buttons.

 The next FO is a pair of house socks, made from some of my handspun yarn. A pretty basic toe-up, short row heel pattern. This yarn is more like a sport weight, so just right for house socks, but a bit heavy for inside of shoes in So. Cal.
I finished off with a 3x1 ribbing, but now I wished I'd just stuck with stockinet and a rolled hem.

January 20, 2015

I'm in love with Hanalei

Just over a year ago, DH and I decided to go to Kauai for vacation. We'd been once before, when the boys were still in elementary school. We never got around to the north side on that trip, so we decided to go there this time.

The north side gets a considerable amount of rain and is lush, green and tropical. There is Princeville, and just a tiny bit farther along the road is Hanalei. The road from Princeville drops down into a valley, and crosses a one lane bridge and poof! A different world.

Town is maybe two blocks long, and a block from the beach. Sure, its touristy, but once you cross that one lane bridge, there are no more mega resorts, or traffic signals. (I'm sure there can be plenty of traffic, but it wasn't bad in November.)  And guess what? Hanalei has a yarn shop! Hanalei Strings is part yarn shop and part musical instrument shop. They carry beautiful colorways, which I'd love to share, but all my cell phone photos came out blurry.

First view of Hanalei Bay. Do they do this for all the tourists?
There are more one lane bridges, if you continue past Hanalei. A car will take you as far as Haena State Park, where the road ends and the trail along the Na Pali coast begins.
On the road to Haena St. Park. Good eats at Sushi Girl!
For this drought stricken Southern California gal, the days were a soothing mix of rain, sun, trade winds, and walks along the beach.  And no freeways.  I'm sure more visits to Hanalei are in my future.

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a festive, joyful holiday, filled with blessings.