Day 61

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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…

pretty pretty princess

pretty pretty blonde princess

 

 

 

 

 

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)

To close my busy day, here is a stripy trapezoid…

day 61

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Day 60

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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.

day 60

By the way, did you see? 60 days!!!

Day 58

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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.

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Day 57

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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…..

oneI’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.

Day 57You 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 😉

 

Day 55

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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.

sekku 4I 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 –>

And this tiny grey square…

Day 55

Day 48

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The Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music. A very familiar tune, I’m sure. Such a jolly piece. I love Handel’s use of horns in his music. They round out the sound and lift it in a way that string instruments simply can’t.

This performance was for the 2012 BBC Proms. From what I can see in this clip, many of the instruments are period authentic.

KC - swatchI knitted swatches for 2 more sweaters for my friend J. I know what size needles to use to match what the pattern wants. Which means I get to check the maths of each of those 2 patterns in the next few days.

Once I finished the swatches, I went back to working on the shawl I’m designing. I’m about halfway through I think and it’s looking pretty good. It’s interesting how much you can do to make a garment with textural complexity using only knit and purl stitches and basic geometry. I look forward to sharing it with you all when it’s ready.

I’m so close to finishing this square of 52 pieces for my blanket and I really, really, really, really want to finish it Right Now. But I shall behave…. don’t wanna though 😉

Day 48

Day 47

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So….. I finished knitting for The Sweater.

driftwood v2 - needing sewing upYeeeeeeah, it ended up 15cm larger around the body than the pattern schematic said it should have which is puzzling because I got the gauge that the pattern said I needed. Basically, this means that it’s too big for my friend J. Disappointing. However, it is the right size for me so it wasn’t a wasted effort.

You can see that I still need to sew in the yarn ends and to add the buttons but the majority of the work is done.

Things I have learned : Do your maths!!! All of the difficulties that I have had with this pattern are down to maths – whether I haven’t checked my gauge properly, I haven’t checked measurements or the sizing isn’t calculated correctly, it’s all down to getting the numbers right. There is nothing complicated in the maths – it’s all addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. When I do it, I will share it with you all. It helps that I have already completed the pattern once so I know what I’m looking for/at.

Things I changed : So, the first time I knit the body of this sweater I followed the pattern exactly which meant that I worked backwards and forwards for the button band area, and after separating the sleeves from the body I cast on the stitches for the underarm. This time I knit the button band section in the round then steeked (secured and cut) the opening. It was much quicker to complete even with the few extra stitches on each round because I didn’t have to turn and re-situate the knitting at the end of each row, and because every round was knit stitch and like most knitters my purl stitch is a little slower than my knit stitch. As for the underarm, by casting on then picking up the stitches for the sleeve there was a stiff line that could be an irritant, so this time I did a provisional cast on which meant the join between sleeve and body under the arm was seamless. It looks and feels much better.

Things I would change next time : I would do my own maths for sizing. Looking at the gallery of other knitters sweaters from this pattern, the smaller sizes seem to fit perfectly but the larger sizes “swim” on the wearers. Not sure where the maths is wrong but I’m sure that it’s not me that made a mistake. My gauge was spot on so it should have come out to match the schematic in the pattern but it didn’t. So, yeah, I’ll do my own maths according to the measurements of the recipient of the sweater.

I will also be volunteering to test the designers patterns to help remedy this problem. I really like this pattern, and the construction is fantastic, and I am happy to knit it again at a later date. But first I’ll knit something else. I’m liable to destroy the sweater from boredom/irritation if I knit it again so soon. I have plenty to be going on with.

In honour of the  journey this sweater has taken me on, I present Faith No More’s ‘Epic’. It’s a bit of a flashback to my early teens and is one of my favourite pieces of modern music.

Today’s small square is blue. It is also setting up space for tomorrows rectangle. We’re coming to the end of the first chart so quickly. I am still surprised that I’m still going with this. I am terrible about starting things then getting bored but I’m enjoying this project. And knowing that there is something new to make and finish each day is good. If I don’t do anything else each day, I have accomplished a little bit more of this blanket.

Day 47