motivational knitting

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

(flower of the day, asparagus)

i took this photo the other day when it was still sunny . . . now it’s gray and rainy, but boy, do we need it. even our shrubbery was wilting in the heat and dry weather we’ve been having.

so, where the heck have i been the last few days??

getting a few deadline projects finished up and out the door. the possibility of starting a sweater has been my incentive, and i have been very, very good.

first i got the merlot vine sock pattern done for the yarn4socks club. i left the subject of this sock hanging for a bit after i got over the biggest design humps with it, just when it was nearing completion. i finished it off with a nice little eyelet rib.

then took some neat photos of it prancing around the perilla (a fabulous coleus-like plant, BTW, that is sturdy, colorful, and never needs pinching. i picked it up completely by accident and am in love with it.)

the yarn is from meg at twisted, and is the october club kit at yarn4socks. i’m not exactly sure of the color name, or if it is offered outside the club (which i believe is sold out), but the pattern will be available here in october.

it would be a huge coincidence if meg actually had this plant and was inspired by its colors, but i know i made the connection, and the sock . . . well, let’s just say the sock was not all that happy to be dragged away to sit in a drawer without its new-found playmate (i’m pretty sure though, that the sock simply thought it was in front a of a mirror and was indulging in narcissistic fantasy).

as soon as that was done, i did some blocking. i even took care of a business call or three while i blocked . . . i just love multi-tasking.
i just love blocking.

another big piece off the needles, and i am feeling very satisfied. that is one big chunk of knitting. good thing it was fun.

i thought i’d show a photo of my center join.

now this area is always a bit tricky. when you pick up a provisional cast-on, it makes a nice, neat join, except for one thing; you are picking up the bottom of each stitch, so you end up a half-step off in the pattern. it always requires a little fenagling if, like me, you are completely obsessive about the way this part looks (but please, feel free NOT to be completely obsessive about it . . . believe me your life will be much more carefree, and you will have lots more time to, say, paint your nails or perhaps knit a sock witht he time you save).

i don’t know why i am so picky about the joins, when i am not picky about other problem points that take hold of some knitters. it’s just the way i am.

anyway, as far as the join, there are several writers who have addressed the issue and come up with ways to get a nice alignment at the join. i am much to lazy (even though i am obsessive) in the throes of the moment to go look that information up, so i have my own way of dealing.

i call it the fudge-it system. and so far, it’s working, but i’m going to out myself right now. i just do whatever is quick and easiest to make it look good. for instance here,

i can’t even tell anymore exactly what i did, but it went something like this: once i picked up the provisional cast-on and started working across the first row of the second side, i could see that the k1 that lies between the two YOs was going to be off a bit. what would make it align nicely would be to pick up the running thread from the previous row and knit that. which would give me an extra (unwanted) stitch. so i corrected that by adding an extra decrease in the next purl section—where i was supposed to p7, i made one of those a p2tog, and it is completely not detectable.

now, this may be a peasant’s solution, and not the mark of absolutely fine work. and sometimes, this type of solution is NOT good enough for me. but on this piece, at that moment, i was happy with it, and i still am. in fact, if i ever knit another one, i will probably do exactly the same thing, unless i have scads of time to explore some other way.

feeling very productive after the blocking, i set back to work on the mitt i am designing for anne’s november kit of the month at wooly wonka fibers (in between there i also put up some tomatoes, but that was sort-of happening in the background).

i showed a swatch the other day, and started my mitt last week, then ripped it out, then knit it again, then did another swatch, etc, etc. this designing stuff can make one feel like sysiphus for sure (OMG—i totally just typed sysiphus offhandedly, but if you love a real dose of irony, check out the wording in that linked entry . . .).

anyway, by yesterday i had a working design which i like a lot

this design is called snow on cedars. i am working with anne’s merino/tencel blend in her sage and cedar colorway.

i started at the hem with a band of snowflakes, which leads into a little grove of pines, which graduates to more snow in heavier and heavier density as it nears the top of the mitt. i love these designs in which one stitch leads to another, transitioning through several motifs over the shape of the object.
they are challenging to design, but so satisfying. i like this one a lot, and have a feeling i will re-visit and expand on it in a larger project later this year. now if i can write it all down so that it makes sense, and has correct numbers, THEN i will feel good.

i love the frosty blue-green color . . . it’s a little offbeat, which suits me fine; i am not a red-and-green-is-for-christmas type of person at all. there is also an alternate colorway

a frosted berry, that has black cherry, wine, and a bit of orangey-red in it.
the kit will be offered in her shop beginning october 15th i believe, but check with anne for details, using the contact form in the shop sidebar.

(BTW, there is a fall fingerless mitts KAL that looks like a lot of fun)

last night we had a nice dinner with our friends beckie and mark, to top off a good weekend with lots accomplished. good food (sorry, no pix but trust me, it was pretty, too), nice wine, and fun conversation . . i, for once, was all-in when it was over and headed straight for bed once the dishes were done and put away. it wasn’t even 11pm (sorry i missed your call debbie).

i didn’t even glance at this cheeky little guy winking madly at me from the coffee table, murmuring, “swatch me, baby, c’mon, let’s do it”.

tempting, certainly . . . but i like to play hard to get . . .

30 thoughts on “motivational knitting

  1. No matter what a person does for a living, it does sometimes seem like one is rolling a marble block to the top of a steep incline only to have it fall back, leaving you to do the same thing all over again.

    Your work is so beautiful, and your camera takes amazing closeups of it and the flowers.

  2. Mmmmmmm – Me likee much! How perfect will those mitts be for a quick Xmas present? I might (yes, me myself!) have time to bang out a pair. Woot!

  3. Oh, I love the ‘snow on cedars’ design idea — it seems so perfect for mitts! What is that lovely little ‘snow’ stitch?

  4. Oooh, the mitts are going to be lovely! Well, it’s all lovely, but the mitts are making me a little woozy. I was in Montana a few weeks ago and saw some blue spruce (I’d never seen them before next to a truly green tree) and they really WERE blue (duh) and that exact color. [love]

  5. OOh, I love the Shetland Fir Tree design! You have way more patience than I do for purling – I’d totally do that in garter!

    And the stole looks lovely – I’ve always worried about the issue with a prov cast in in the middle. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one.

    Actually, from a design perspective, couldn’t you also do that in the Shetland manner, and knit the middle section in one piece, and do one end from the provisional and the other from the end of the live stitches from the middle?

  6. Oh, you don’t know how many times I’ve thought of myself as Sisyphus while I’m knitting! I used to teach Classical Lit, specifically Greek Myths, and Sisyphus was one of my favorite stories. The plants are exactly the color of the yarn. Wow. I LOVE the new mitt pattern and the colorway, Snow on Cedars. It reminds me of big white pines laden-down with snow. It’s good to see a post! I know you’ve been busy!

  7. At first I ignored the fact that at the join things would be off by a half stitch but after 10 rows or so I could no longer stand it. So I went back and pretty much did what you did so it looks perfect now. In the scheme of things having those things line up just right is not huge but it was just one of the nagging things for me and I had to fix it!

  8. Your join is fabulous! I chuckled to myself, since we seem to be thinking similar thoughts regarding the need for perfection.

    And also, that sock is something else!

  9. Wow! Cosmic link or something. I used the same snowflake pattern in a sock design over the weekend, only mine are supposed to be stars.

    How many patterns are in our Walkers? Figure the odds…


  10. Yay for the finished bee stole!! Your photos are making me stumble for suitable adjectives again – ‘beautiful’ just doesn’t seem to do it justice 😉 Nice work on the join too …

  11. Definitely coming back for the Honeybee after clearing up some UFO’s. I think finesse might be a better description than fudge, since for a simple solution the outcome is both elegant and successful.

  12. I just ordered the bee stole kit. I can’t wait for it to get here so I can start working on it. It’s going to be my first large lace project, so I’m nervous and excited all at once.

    I bet those mitts are going to be gorgeous. I’ll have to pick up that kit when it’s available.

  13. Okay, I love the Sysiphus link (craftiest of men–*snort*), though I think the actual title ought to belong to Odysseus.

    Love love love the mitts, and I might have to take a look at that KAL.

  14. The snow on cedars design is absolutely lovely! I really like it. Making a version of it on a larger piece is an awesome idea!

  15. Love the sock, and love the mitt. Also thrilled you went to bed early, good for you. As for a peasant”s solution to the pattern matching, peasants have come up with brilliant solutions in many fields. Doesn’t make it any less brilliant than an educated solution. Thanks for the solution because, like you I am very obsessive about the way it looks and wouldn’t wear it if it wasn’t perfect. It isn’t lazy not looking a different solution it is impatient to keep going.

  16. I’m feeling so crappy today, and you just made me feel a little better to end my day–thank you for the nice post 🙂 (I’ve got an icky head cold)

    The sox and plant match to a “t”. The honey bee just made me drool, and the new mitt is the prettiest color. I’m just totally in love with that swatch you did in the frosted berry color, I totally hear you about Christmas not having to be solely red and green.

  17. Oh no, you’ve lead me to temptation again (cheeky Anne)… I just had to sign up for the fingerless mitts KAL (and I already have all too many projects running).

    I really love the color of the snow on cedar mitts. It’s so frosty, yet warm, and oh so beautiful. Can’t wait to see them finished.

    X Karen

  18. Ooh I love your new mitt pattern, that may be next on my fingerless mitt list. Thanks for the knit along mention – I think fingerless gloves are taking over the blog world! 😉

  19. I always feel as if I’m doing the same thing over and over – oh, well, hey! I am a lot of the time…month to month with my accounting work, ripping and reknitting, making the same (or similar) bag styles…
    But then, I guess that IS life (I just hope I don’t repeat too many of my mistakes, but I do that, too!)
    Honeybee is stunning as always!

    And I can’t wait for October’s mitts! (gotta get me that kit!)

  20. Oh Anne, the finished rectangular bee is exquisite! I signed on for the socks last month – they look great. (Just hope I’m not toooo ADD for them.

  21. Hi Anne
    I just discovered your blog, following the link from the latest edition of knitty, and I really love your lace patterns. It also looks like you are the queen of blocking too. I was wondering if you could print a top 10 tips for blocking? I’m kind of new to it and would appreciate your wisdom.

  22. Oh my. That golden stole is so fantastic. I too have just found your blog through Knitty, and I’m gobbling it up while the baby sleeps.

    I was scanning quickly for the source of the pattern, because I immediately wanted to call it the Cathedral stole. That’s what it looked like to me right off. But the Bee stole is a good name too 🙂 Now I have to go back and do a better job of reading instead of just inhaling all the photos.

    Such beautiful work.

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