And we’re all caught up. Blanket pieces for day’s 117 (turquoise), 118 (blue) and 119 (striped) have finally been done.
Oh, and you might notice that the numbering of posts has been editted – I had two day 116’s…
I’m hoping that the old cleaning rule about things looking worse before you finish holds true. I started sorting through my ‘craft corner’ in our living room today… Despite moving a bunch of stuff back into the loft, the corner looks worse! On the upside, I had a couple of friends giving me a hand/keeping me company and they discovered a whole bunch of my crocheted dolls, some unfinished bobbin lace and several unfinished knit shawls and spent the better part of an hour extolling my crafting excellence. Which was nice but a bit weird. Being complimented on my crafting is like being complimented for breathing. I know that crafts are something not everyone is good at, but then I’m not good at sports, or self-discipline so it evens out.
They took a crocheted kokeshi doll each and gave me ideas for a turtle and a lion, and I was asked for a boy tooth fairy with a bag for teeth after seeing one of my girl tooth fairy dolls. Just need to get the yarn out of the loft so I can start crocheting. I haven’t made a doll in a year or more and I’m excited to do something so different to all the other things I’ve been working on lately (shawls and sweaters and utter disinterest).
Feeling a little bittersweet and nostalgic this evening so here is the Hunters & Collectors from way back when I still lived in Australia, with ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’.
It’s a bit ironic that on the day I actually go to a knitting group, I get almost no knitting done. I have eaten breakfast in a cafe, wound yarn for friends, eaten lunch at Wagamama’s with Hubby and my friend G, shopped for food, bleached the hubby’s hair, used a mortar and pestle to grind durum flour for hubby who made pasta (tagliatelle, ravioli, and tortellini) from scratch just because he could, knit about 6 rows on the current sweater, knit today’s trapezoid and now I’m blogging. Much busier than I anticipated….
My Hubby, the pretty pretty princess 😉 We bleached out all colour in preparation of dyeing it purple. Should be fun. He’s suggested I dye mine turquoise. I asked him why he wanted us to look like a couple from Japanese animation. He asked why we wouldn’t which is a difficult argument to maintain cause it would be pretty cool…
Today’s song is one that I apparently sang *alot* when I was growing up. You can imagine my embarrassment/horror when I realised in my late teens that the song I had sung so much as a 6 year old was actually about…. I still know all the words to ‘Physical’ by Olivia Newton-John.
I struggled with which song to share today. My friend J suggested ‘something goofy and fun’. ‘Cheesy’ is the same thing, right? And it was either this or something from Xanadu so you weren’t going to get anything less cringeworthy.
Ah, what the heck. Gene Kelly on rollerskates, people! (I adore Gene Kelly)
Emotionally, today has sucked big time. I believe there is a plan, a pathway on a much grander scale than I can comprehend but sometimes waiting for that plan to resolve itself is nigh impossible. And right now, all it feels like I am learning is how much being patient *hurts*. 18 months of conforming to someone else’s whims has done nothing positive for my family and I pray that no one else has to suffer through the ‘help’ that social services offer.
And now to cheer you up. This is why we love our dogs and write them songs…
Midnight Oil – aka ‘the Oils’ – are iconic in Australian music, and influenced generations of music makers and activists from their beginning in the mid 70’s until they disbanded in 2002. They continue to influence listeners and even politics (lead singer Peter Garrett was a cabinet minister in the Australian Federal government from 2004 – 2013). While don’t always agree with their sentiments, I admire their passion both for their subject matter and their music. This is one of my favourites by them.
I got a little more of the sweater knitted today and am just about ready to start working in the round. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted. I didn’t much feel up to doing much of anything for most of the day.
I got the blanket piece done though which is my minimum goal for crafting each day. I really love the colours of today’s trapezoid.
I’m attempting to share 80’s Australian music with you for a week without resorting to Kylie Minogue. It’s surprisingly difficult – mostly because I actually like all that utterly terrible pop. Part of the difficulty is in the connections I keep remembering. For example, in the 90’s she became involved with the lead singer of today’s band and it radically changed her image. Yes, today it’s INXS. From their much celebrated album ‘Kick’ this is ‘New Sensation’. There are several excellent choices from this album but this was my choice. Not sure about the dancing by singer Michael Hutchence but that seems to be a theme in an alarming number of video clips – Australian and otherwise.
While I wait for hubby to go into the loft, I’m going to start work on another shawl design (and continue to type up the epic pattern for the first shawl). This one is going to use the same basic design ideas but will have a different combination of knit and purl rows, and a longer, shallower triangle shape. This one will be blue and will only use one ball of the yarn I have chosen.
Before working on the blanket today, I got the shoulders done on the sweater today, and most of one front. The construction is tricky to explain but I’ll give it a go. Part of the back is worked first, from the underarm to the shoulders. The stitches are then divided between the 2 shoulders and the neck. The right then the left shoulder and fronts are worked. At this point the body is then worker in the round. It’s actually pretty straight forward once you work out where everything goes and I’m enjoying it more than I expected.
Another piece placed in what appears to be limbo for the blanket today. I swear it will all make sense.
More music from the ‘When I was 10….’ group. This is the band 1927 with a song that won them Breakthrough Artist awards from ARIA (the Australian Recording Industry Awards). Can’t define why I love this song. It’s well put together, tuneful and good to sing along to but there is still that extra something…..
I’m making good progress with the next sweater for my friend J. The yarn is ‘Coast’ by Danish company Holst Garn, which is a 55% wool/45% cotton blend. This blend makes it a little more coarse than a pure wool but no less lovely to work with. The cotton also gives it drape that pure wool doesn’t often have. The colours are Begonia and Lead and I’m enjoying myself so far. It is a new yarn to me and yet another new construction method. The photo shows the back and up to the shoulder (which is at the top).
I’m learning a new technique with this project, a new way to do short rows that is so much easier than the wrap & turn technique. German short rows essentially have you pull the stitch up and over the needle in a way that we teach new knitters not to do. It sounds confusing and complicated when you read the pattern instructions but there are several really good YouTube tutorials. I recommend having a look at the technique next time you have a project that uses short rows.
You may be wondering why today’s blanket addition is a square off to the side and not a trapezoid attached to the triangle. If you go back to whenever it was I posted the blanket plan, you will see that I need to add a couple more pieces for the trapezoid to attach to as well as to the triangle. It will all become clear in the next couple of days. I’m not making all of this up as I go 😉
More Australiana for you today. John Farnham made a comeback in the ’80’s with the song ‘You’re The Voice’ which is from an album I still love. By 1990 he had become a much loved fixture in current music. This is one of the most beautiful ballads I have heard. It’s simple, a little raw and heartfelt.
And so the epic venture that is typing up a pattern begins. I’ve not written a shawl pattern before so I’m a little unsure about approaching the formatting of it but I think I’ve worked it out. I’m nearly done with the knitting, close enough to it that I feel confident enough to finish writing the pattern while I wait for hubby to go into the loft for another ball of yarn for me. It’s already a big shawl, which are my favourite sort, but it’s still got another 50 or so rows to go.
I’ve really enjoyed this process actually. When I started knitting this shawl, I knew what shapes I wanted and that I wanted to keep it fairly simple. I have kept the stitches to knit and purl, and used a single type of increase. The numbers are straight forward and you can see the pattern as you work. I’ve used DK-weight yarn and knitted it with slightly larger than normal needles for the yarn weight to give it drape and softness. And while it could use a little blocking to straighten it up, it isn’t necessary which means that once the knitting is done it can be worn straight away. More pictures when it is finished.
There is a lovely comfort in the simple stitches.
More simple stitches – a large triangle in shades of green.
Oh how I miss some of the 80’s pop/rock. Today is an Australian delicacy – IceHouse fronted by Iva Davies and his epic mullet. The song is called ‘Electric Blue’ and it kinda haunts me. Can’t say why but it’s another of those songs from when I was 10. I should probably work out what was happening in my life at that time for the music to be so significant and ‘good’ in my mind.
There is so much music I’ve rediscovered from searching for this song. It’s very hard not to just fill this post with links to Australian music from the 80’s….. Maybe I should. Cold Chisel, 1927, John Farnham, Midnight Oil, Redgum, Noiseworks, INXS…. so many choices.
This has also led to rediscovering the Eurythmics and the stunning Annie Lennox, The Police, Paul Simon among many, many others.
Maybe I should make some sort of playlist on YouTube. If I do, I shall share the link.
I got a few more rows of my self-designed shawl done today and started a new sweater for my friend J. It’ll be grey and pink stripes and looks very pretty. There’s not enough to photograph yet though. And I still haven’t chosen a pattern to knit with the yarn I bought yesterday which looks like this –>