Day 89

Standard

Despite some good news today, my brain is still not firing on all cylinders. It has taken me all day to knit these two piece onto the blanket. My hands and thoughts are slow, I keep making mistakes or miscounting the stitches and going back over things that didn’t need it.

days 88-89

The triangle (the pink with dark spots on the right) is the piece that gave me so much trouble yesterday. Obsessively counting got me through it today. The trapezoid slotted in so easily to the space left for it. It was a satisfying thing to knit.

 

blanketplan- amendment

If you look back at the plan for this section (top left of the diagram), you will see that I’ve made some changes to the order this area is worked in. Because of the way the pieces are knitted it made more sense to attach the trapezoids to the triangle than trying to do the opposite. For me as much as for the curious, here is the amended order diagram for this section.    

I think that I have finally, *finally* figured out what I want to do for the next set of maxi-dress sleeves and how I’m going to get the pattern to work. Designing is a lot of fun but because I do my designing on paper it requires many pages. I do write over the early incarnations of patterns but I like to keep the later ones because I sometimes have to return to them if something doesn’t work out the way I’d expected. There are diagrams and rough sketches and the occasional doodle.

designprocess-blog When I have worked it out, I transfer it to a spreadsheet on my computer because it is always in front of me when I’m at home and with a carefully organised desktop, I can read and knit at the same time. Or watch YouTube… One of the world’s most stellar performers is Annie Lennox. As one half of the iconic Eurythmics, she continues to influence music. The music is varied, her voice is excellent and their videos are always interesting. This song even has Stevie Wonder on harmonica…

Day 88

Standard

No blanket update today. My ability to concentrate is taking a walkabout and didn’t see fit to take me with it. It took me 30 minutes just to cast on and pick up the right number of stitches (63, btw). Then I was halfway through the triangle when I realised that the centre decrease line was one stitch too far to the left.

So, I did knit for today but I didn’t mange to finish. It’s 2.50am so I did give it my best. Sorry it wasn’t better. I’ll have 2 pieces done for tomorrows post. Well today, but I’m backdating this because I haven’t slept yet which means it’s still the 22nd.

Classic Blondie today, for no other reason than this is what I wanted to listen to.

Day 87

Standard

The sleeves are sewn in!

cap sleevesThe photo is cropped to just one sleeve because without a t-shirt underneath, I am reminded of just how much cleavage/bra is left exposed by this dress. I am knitting a complementary piece to the sleeves to cover the gap. It shouldn’t take nearly as long to do because I have a better idea of what I’m doing this time.

I am really pleased with how this impromptu pattern has worked out. I had intended it to fit in the opposite way around – the exposed edge is the cast on edge and I had intended for it to be the one attached to the dress – but the two pieces fit together so much better this way. They are very comfortable and I think that they look quite nice. I had worried that the difference in texture between the t-shirt like material of the dress and the hand-knitted sleeves would look odd but they work well together. The material fits without being tight or pulling the dress in a strange way.

I look forward to showing the sleeves off at knitting on Wednesday.

‘Queen of Hearts’ by Juice Newton always sounds a little bit country, a little bit rock’n’roll to me. The rhythm is good, the harmony is pretty and leaves me feeling more upbeat than when it began which is what I like to feel from music.

day 87

 

Another jump in ‘level’ on the blanket today with a turquoise rectangle jutting from the edge of the red square from 3 days ago.

Day 86

Standard

Choosing one song by Pat Benatar is incredibly hard! I have always liked the power of her voice, and rock-chick music is always awesome to sing along to. I finally chose ‘All Fired Up’, partly because the chorus is relevant to my life at the moment but also because I like the counter-point in the chorus and the drum beat in the bridge.

YouTube led me to Joan Jett and several others and I love all of it!!!!

Couldn’t settle my mind long enough to work on anything for long today but I did finally work out the best way to sew the cap sleeves to my dress. It will definitely be finished tomorrow. Don’t want to lose interest so I need to ‘strike while the iron is hot’ so to speak. I did get the blanket piece done today. It’s the one piece of crafting I do every day, though obviously it’s a new part each day and not the same one over and over again. That way, madness lays… Could you imagine the insanity a person would find themselves in if they knit, unravelled and reknit the same piece of knitting every day?! Actually, I can’t remember the name of the movie but there is a Japanese movie (I think it’s Japanese) in which there is a woman who spends her day knitting a red jumper only to unravel it while screaming at the end of each day. I can’t remember if a reason is given for her doing this but I can understand the sentiment (and have had projects that have progressed in a similar fashion for what felt like months).

Anyway, grey trapezoid.

day 86

By the way, it’s still incredibly, uncomfortably hot. We had about 10 minutes of heavy rain this afternoon which was preceded by some unsettlingly close thunder and lightning, which in turn led to some amusement at the lengths our 3 large dogs will go to get comfort or hide when frightened. We weren’t laughing at their fear but when a 35 kilogram (70+ pound) long haired german shepherd x border collie climbs over your face and tries to curl up on the 5 inches of the back of your sofa immediately behind your head, you have to laugh.

The german shepherd has tried to wedge herself into the 2 inches under our sofa before. The border collie is small enough to hide under a dining chair but how he gets so small, I will never know.

Day 85

Standard

I was reintroduced to today’s piece of 80′s cheese by one of the Grand Theft Auto computer games, then again is the epically awesome theatre performance of ‘Rock of Ages’. This band – Quarterflash, along with Juice Newton and Pat Benatar all hold fond memories and I will inundate you with more 80′s cheesy goodness this week.

The leotard is a little scary and bits of the video clip looks like it belongs in an episode of Doctor Who. Apparently, the 80′s had a fondness for rock quarries.

I knitted a pair of cap sleeves for one of my maxi dresses today. I am tired of t-shirts bunching up and adding another layer in this heat and we’re not even going to discuss the inconvenience and impracticality of a cardigan. Yes, I could choose to go without both but I was raised with certain guidelines for modesty that also have many practical and self-esteem related reasons behind their continued use. I have very fat arms and am very concious of them. Also, after so many years in sleeves, my arms are unevenly tanned and my shoulders burn within 10 minutes of being in the sun. But more than that, I don’t feel comfortable without sleeves.

I will likely make inserts for the dresses also to add coverage to the deep necklines. Safety pins closing the gaps can mess with the lines of the dress and there’s always the risk of it coming undone. If you have no cleavage, I imagine that it’s less of a problem. I have always been ‘well-endowed’ which makes the current fashions designed for much thinner women sometimes indecent on me.

I’m still sewing the sleeves to the dress but once that’s done I will take a photo and share it here.

I got a few more rows of the shawl done. There are several more places where there is no instruction to skip stitches which can lead to confusion. Yay for photos (again).

day 85A trapezoid in citrus shades joined the previous 84 pieces of the blanket today. This is one of the first trapezoid pattens and was so much easier to make than the last pair I designed. That’s not to say the others are hard but I didn’t have to think as much while knitting it.

Day 84

Standard

I ave lived in the UK for 14 years. I don’t think I’ve had summer weather longer than 2 weeks at a time. We might get 3 of these fortnights throughout the 3 months of ‘summer’ but this year… ugh! June averaged 22 degrees, and so far July has averaged 24 though today was 29 which makes it the hottest day so far and despite the Met Office predicting a wet summer, we’re now getting ready for a heatwave. Now, the heatwaves here tend to level out in the mid 30′s but considering how the temperature is usually below 20 throughout the year (mean temperatures in winter are below 10 degrees, spring might get to 14), and that few places have any sort of air conditioning, there’s not much relief.

The magnificent Ann Miller says it all really.

And yes, this in-depth discussion of the weather may indicate I’ve been here too long….

Back to my yarn now. So the shawl I showed you yesterday – the pattern is ok but without experience I think people might have trouble. I’m having trouble and am very glad for the photos on her website but I will be ripping back several rows because by following the pattern I’m not getting a straight border like the one in her photos.

day 84

 

And from that red yarn to this red and pink yarn which I love.

 

Day 83

Standard

Why, oh why, is the allure of a new project so much stronger than the satisfaction of finishing an existing project? And why is that allure strongest when you are within a handful of rows from finishing something?!

I’m going to blame Ravelry. I have always had many proverbial irons in the fire but they were each from a different craft style. Now, because of the database of patterns and member projects on Ravelry, I have more projects than I care to admit to but I can assure that each will get finished by me…. at some point.

The problem, specifically, is this shawl :

Suvi’s Sunburst Shawl

I adore Art Deco and this is based on an Art Deco stained glass window in a municipal building in New York.

Also, I have appropriate yarn so I can’t even talk myself out of starting the project because I can’t afford the necessary yarn….

I haven’t done any crochet in many moons which was yet another temptation. You can see why I had difficulty not starting this project. I held off for 2 weeks though so I have some self-restraint. Yeah, I know. Pathetic. It’s going to be gorgeous though. See :

sunburst1

The yarn is the same brand and range as many of the yarns in my meditation blanket but not today’s one. I love this shade of green.

day 83

I have forgotten neither mum’s tablecloth nor J’s sweater. Mum’s tablecloth requires limited attention, J’s sweater requires none except to change colour every 4 rounds. Crochet always needs more attention. Knitting has all of your stitches in action and you can feel your way through the workings. Crochet only has one stitch in play at any one time. You need to look to see where the hook goes next and this pattern especially has a lot of counting. Small numbers but small numbers repeated 20+ times. So yeah, crochet isn’t something I can generally do if there are others around or if my attention is especially slippery. This is why knitters/crocheters frequently have so many projects on the go at the same time – each one requires something different from the knitter. There’s tv knitting and, travelling knitting, gift and, lace knitting. Then there’s the ‘it’s a new technique and I am determined to master it’ project that you want to take your scissors to over and over again but every time you stop to look at what you’ve already done you feel a inexplicable pride in your own cleverness. It’s awesome :)

More BritPop today. I don’t know their origin but I kinda love these girls. Stooshe has been in my head today. I love the pseudo-’60′s feel of the music. Not all of it is like this but they’re a bit unique and I like their style.