Friday, November 30, 2012

Go Easy With Love

Although there are few days that I don't wake up thinking about knitting today was one that I didn't. Today we had to say goodbye to our dear family member Toulouse.

Toulouse was a cat that had a tremendous amount of love in his heart. His favorite thing was to jump on to your lap and push his head against you so you would rub him. His other favorite love was catching mice. I remember 16 years ago, going to pick him out with my two kids in the back seat with excitement in their eyes. They chose one of the kittens and my daughter named him "Toulouse" after the cat in the cartoon "The Aristocats". Odd name for a cat but that was what it was. The first few days my kids would hug this little kitten, and it would wriggle and get away and hide under the bureau. I would spend time to coax it out so they could hug him again.

Over the years Toulouse was a great cat and a great family member. My son and I took him to the vet this morning to say goodbye. It was a hard day. Later on this evening my tv turned off for no reason. I turned it back on and a few minutes later it turned off again. For some reason I feel that was Toulouse saying he was still with us.

Go easy my good friend. You were loved dearly and will be missed greatly.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How you can hate something so nice

As a knitter I tend to enjoy learning new things and techniques. Like on my last post where I learnt a few things from the harlot. Well about 3 months ago I decided to join a KAL to learn how to steek a sweater. I had heard about steeking but never done it. For those who don't know this is where at some point you take a big sharp pair of scissors and proceed to cut right through your knitting, usually from top to bottom.

I know you are thinking what sane knitter would do this, but of course it has it's purpose which I shall not go into. Anyways, the sweater is a beautiful stranded cardigan from Rowan. The KAL was going to be about 8 weeks. Well, here we are at are 10th week, and although I have come a long way, it feels to me like the end of this keeps moving farther down the road. I am spending so much time on this project to try and finish it that I will probably have to go this winter without gloves, hats or scarves.

I am at the shoulder shaping part, trying desperately to remember my short row shaping and wrap pick ups. I have gone backwards as much as forwards and each day think that it would not be so bad to just drop it out of my car window and forget it ever happened. I am growing to hate this beautiful object.

Of course sometimes the best projects are the ones that were hated the most during knitting. This was certainly the case with my Shetland Shawl that is now one of my favorites.So I shall not throw this out the window. I will not accidentally have it fall into my fireplace. I won't even misplace it in a garbage can on garbage day.

No, I am going to keep moving forward. I will finish my shaping. I will block it out. I will three needle bind off the shoulders. I will seem parts of the arm. I will attach my sleeves. I will put on my ribbed bands and attach my ribbed bottoms. I will do the ribbing on the end of my sleeves. I will attach buttons. I will cut the steeks and sew them before and after. I will do the duplicate stitching.

Yes I will do all of this and hopefully sometime before I turn 80 I will have a great looking cardigan for my wife to wear.

Sure I will go hatless, mittenless, shawless, sockless and every other thing I could have knit in the meantime but I will move forward. Isn't that what us knitters do. At least the ones that have an unnaturaly strong pull to this art form.

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Day with the Harlot

Saturday I had the lucky fortune to be able to spend a day with the Harlot. Yes, the famous and oft quoted "Yarn Harlot. I was very excited and looked forward to my day.

The morning class was about speed knitting. I was really glad and sometimes things just happen at the right time. You see, I had been fooling around with a technique called "Lever Knitting" or "Irish Cottage Knitting". I had found this on you tube. It looked like an incredibly fast and efficient method. I was having trouble getting it so looked forward to being taught from Stephanie. I was not dissapointed and was able to learn correctly how to knit this technique. Needless to say I have spent the next 2 days knitting this style. Of course I am doing a ribbed noro striped scarf which normally would drive me crazy. Yes, I hate scarfs. Not the begginning of them you see. Just the remaining 2/3rds. That being said I am really enjoying learning this style on guess what......straight needles.

The afternoon class was on matawa knitting. In other words knitting with silk hankies. I thought that we were going to be knitting mittens but it turns out this was not the case. Although I was not as crazy about this class in the end I did learn what I wanted. That is how to knit with silk matawa hankies.

Throughout both classes Stephanie was well spoken, knew incredible amounts, and was very funny and entertaining. And I was able to learn to great skills with alot of other amazing tips thrown in.

Thanks go out to UNWIND YARN HOUSE and the new owner MICHELLE for hosting such a great event. The Yarn Harlot in Newmarket.

Can't wait to order some silk hankies and start making some mittens.

And of course I was the only knitting male in the class.