Day 82


day 82

A pretty turquoise coloured small square today. Still not sure I’ve made the best construction decision with this section but it’s what I’m doing so we’ll move on.


An earworm that has been harassing me all day. Meet one hit wonder Chesney Hawkes with ‘The One and Only’. I hereby entrust it’s care to you.

(It could have been Cliff Richard with ‘Wired for Sound’. You decide which is worse…. 😉 )

You’re all probably sick of me talking about the depression and anxiety. Unfortunately for you, dear reader, it is a big part of my life and it leaves me fragile when dealing with other people. I am confident in who I am, until I am with people who don’t have to love me. I grew up on the edges of my peer groups. I never seemed to fit in and I didn’t enjoy many of the things my peer group did. I liked my grandparents. I liked my parents. I liked reading and time on my own. I didn’t wear make up, I refused to participate in activities that held no interest for me or discernible point. I liked to knit. I liked show tunes. I was loud in an effort to hide my fears and insecurities. And I was accutely aware that my brother disliked me fiercely me and made no bones about telling everyone or mocking and belittling me in public and he couldn’t even say why (he still hates me, by the way). I don’t understand why. Not really, though I have some ideas. It is difficult though because to move forward, I need some sort of acknowledgement. It doesn’t have to be an apology or even an explanation but my mother and I were able to say to one another that we understood that we had each had different experiences of the same situation and that we could agree to disagree, that our perspectives were shaped by our ages, our experience, our emotions, and our immediate circumstances.

I am not angry. I have nothing to be angry about. I can’t ‘fix’ something if I don’t know what is broken and he is not talking. I am sad, and profoundly disappointed. He is missing out on my son’s life and he is robbing his daughter an opportunity to know us.

And it wasn’t all fraught interactions. I have clear memories of some lovely moments – there are even a couple of photos. I wonder if I would be so sad if there hadn’t been any of those.

I am tired today. No. No, I’m weary. I have been battling a cycling series of hayfever symptoms for months now and the unusual heat is sapping me of my energy.

I am melancholy too. This last week or so has been… emotional and I am so very out of practice with the random tears and crazy rambling of high emotion. It’s one of the things I dislike about taking medication for my mental health. They soften the edges of the depression and anxiety but there’s a thin blanket over all of my emotions.

I just want to be ‘normal’. I want to be free of the anxiety and the paranoia and the sense of failure that is spreading like cancer through my bones. They are hollow wishes though and ones that I need to let go of to start working toward ‘healthy’.

I don’t want to be sad any more.

nails - 16july2014

So I painted my finger nails which is a nice start to trying to feel better. Pretty, aren’t they?

Day 9


We were rockin’ out to Bach again today. Started with ‘Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings and Continuo No. 5 in F Minor’ before more Brandenburg Concerto’s. Very much enjoying this collection.

Today I used the Vulcan coloured Step by Austermann that I mentioned yesterday to make another rectangle. For this rectangle, only 1 side was cast on, but 3 sides were picked up.

I cast on 16 stitches, picked up 15sts along the righthand side  of day 8’s square, 1st between that square and day 6’s rectangle which it’s joined to, 15sts along the edge of that rectangle, 1st in the tip of day 4’s square and 15 along the  side of day 5’s big square. those 15sts should put you 16sts from the cast off tip. So, you have cast on or picked up : 16sts + 15sts + 1st + 15sts + 1st + 15sts = 63sts on your needle.

Now you will repeat the rest of the pattern from  day 6, which is helpfully reprinted here for you.

Row 1: k14, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k29, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k14 – 59sts
Row 2: k across
Row 3: k13, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k27, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k13 – 55sts
Row 4: k across
Row 5: k12, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k25, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k12 – 51sts
Row 6: k across
Row 7: k11, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k23, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k11 – 47sts
Row 8: k across
Row 9: k10, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k21, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k10 – 43sts
Row 10: k across
Row 11: k9, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k19, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k9 – 39sts
Row 12: k across
Row 13: k8, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k17, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k8 – 35sts
Row 14: k across
Row 15: k7, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k15, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k7 – 31sts
Row 16: k across
Row 17: k6, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k13, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k6 – 27sts
Row 18: k across
Row 19: k5, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k11, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k5 – 23sts
Row 20: k across
Row 21: k4, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k9, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k4 – 19sts
Row 22: k across
Row 23: k3, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k7, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k3 – 15sts
Row 24: k across
Row 25: k2, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k5, (sl2 tog, k1, psso), k2 – 11sts
Row 26: k across
Row 27: k1, (sl1, k1, psso) x2, k1, (k2tog) x2, k1 – 9sts
Row 28: k2tog, sl1, k2tog, psso, (sl1, k1, psso) – 3sts
Row 29: sl1, k2tog, psso. Break yarn and pull through the stitch.

day 9

You can see in the picture how a yarn dyed to produce definite stripes looks compared to the other types of striped and patterned yarns discussed yesterday.


Day 8


Not sure what to write about today so I’ll just start with telling you that I returned to Bach today but instead of the Brandenburg concerto’s I listened to Concerto for 2 Harpsichords, Strings and Continuo No.5 in C minor’. Then I went on to Handel’s ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’

I’m using another Austermann yarn (I have a lot in my stash). This one is a self-patterning yarn designed to imitate a fair isle pattern. The colourway is #48, called ‘Fuchsia’.

I added the square between the square from yesterday (day 7) and the rectangle from day 6 to complete a third large square.

day 8 - detail

Detail of picked up stitches – brown fabric is from day 7, pink from day 6. You can see stitches 12-14 above the brown fabric, the central stitches for decrease start with stitch 15 where days 6 and 7 join, stitch 16 is in the last decrease from day 6. Stitches 17 to 31 are in the pink fabric of day 6.

day 8

What’s the difference between self-patterning and self-striping yarn Charlotte?

Self-striping is simpler than self-patterning in its use of colour. Self-striping yarn is just that, it has been dyed to produce stripes of colour. Self-patterning yarn often requires a computer to determine the length of yarn that will be dyed in each colour to make a more complex pattern. You’ve seen examples of both in my blanket. The Regia Brasil yarn from day 5 was dyed to produce regular sections of alternating colour and pattern, as well as the yarn used from day 3 by Opal (picture below). The Step yarn from day 6 was dyed to produce graduating stripes of pink. There are other self-striping yarns that have no patterned sections and are dyed to produce definite stripes such as this Step yarn in ‘Vulcan’ which I am thinking of using tomorrow.


One pattern repeat of the yarn used on day 3 – Opal sock yarn in Sweet and Spicy colourway Plum


Example of the entirety of the Step sock yarn used on day 6 in Holiday Color #194 – Pink

vulcan sock-cropped

Vulcan colourway of Step sock yarn – definite plain stripes in grey, red and black

In the pictures above you can see how different the fabric produced looks when it is done in stocking stitch rather than in garter stitch.

Sock yarn is versatile and can also be used for shawls. When a yarn and pattern are chosen carefully to compliment each other, even simple mitred squares can produce something spectacular.


My favourite shawl made from 3 balls of Schoppel-Wolle’s Zauberball (1200m of yarn!!!). It is tremendously difficult to leave any yarn-related event with it.

Day 4


I used this project as an excuse to buy a copy of the Brandenburg Concerto’s by Bach today. So pretty – melodic and sweet and not overwhelming. Partly because it is not a full orchestra playing the music, I think. The recording I have is conducted by Benjamin Britten for those who are curious.

We’re using an Austermann yarn today – their sock yarn is called, appropriately enough, ‘Step’ and I am using a colourway called Berry (#165 in their catalogue). The yarn is dyed mostly in a series of broad stripes in pink, purple and a very pale khaki, with occasional splashes of white.

This fourth small square is going to complete a larger square. With the right side of your work facing you, square 1 is at the bottom, and starting on the  far left, pick up 15 stitches along the side of the lefthand square (the one you made yesterday), pick up one stitch from the very tip of the first square you made, then 15 stitches more on the edge of the righthand square. You will have 31 stitches on your needle.

All 31 stitches picked up across the 3 completed squares.

All 31 stitches picked up across the 3 completed squares.

Detail of the central stitch picked up.

Detail of the central stitch picked up.

Following the pattern from day one (again) complete your square. If you’ve picked everything up correctly, it should look something like this with the  decreases in line with the central point of the square and with those of the first square you knitted.


When you’ve finished your square, it’s time to start sewing in the ends. We’ll be starting with the 2 tail ends in the centre (the bind off end of square 1 and the cast on end of square 2) and the cast on end of  square 1. You can leave sewing the tails in until the very end but I am not a  masochist 😉 I have no desire to sew in 600+ tail ends, one after the other. Also, I find that doing them as I go makes the whole project more pleasant, but I don’t sew any ends until I have worked all of the pieces adjoining the tails position.

Turn your work over – you should have 8 tails. In the picture below I’ve tucked the ends I won’t be using behind the work, leaving on the ones I will sew in. I weave the yarn tails into the seam rather than into the knitted fabric but if you prefer another technique, the  work is yours so please yourself 🙂

day 4 - back

Tomorrow I am going to add a larger square to better show the pattern in my yarn.

In other news, we are awaiting the arrival of a new motor for the electric spinning wheel I  constructed last August. The original  motor is not strong enough, nor is it designed for use longer than a few minutes. I have spent half a day spinning yarn with a traditional wheel in the past so I needed a better motor. Electric machines don’t actually have a wheel but if I say ‘spinner’ too many people think I mean some sort of exercise…. and no. Just, no. I’ll stick with yoga.