Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two year shawl!

A little over two years ago, in my very early knitting life (I still consider myself in my 'early'
knitting life compared to, say, my mom), I decided to knit a shawl for a friend's birthday present. How hard could it be? I'd knit a few things before and even a little lacey stuff, so I went in search of a pattern.

I found one in a vogue magazine. Lovely lace, warm, wintery shawl. I'm not a lace sort of girl. I like solid, classic, colourful, layers...but not pastel or lace. But my friend, well she is a sort of lace type of girl. So I checked out the pattern - Deborah Newton's Lace Wrap in Vogueknitting Fall 2005- a nice combination of lace and solidity. I rushed up to Cassidy's and bought 10 balls of that beautiful NZ merino/cashmere that was on sale earlier this year for $2 a ball!! which I bought for $10 a ball!!! and began to knit.

Now, as I am an Aries (not that I believe that stuff!) I am really good at planning grand schemes, starting them, and then letting them fizzle because who can pay attention to the small details when there are grand schemes to plan? This is my life lesson - to pay attention and be conscious all the time. Stop! I'm talking about the shawl right now.

I was going to knit this sucker in one month and have it ready for the birthday party - which was her 50th by the way. I started on straight plastic needles and I was sooo slow. I had to read every line of the pattern and mark it off. I photocopied the pattern 12 times because I wrote on it so much I couldn't read it after about two repeats. I never got the flow of it.

Well, two days before the big birthday I ran over to Manuka and bought the most gorgeous big bug brooch with colourful paste jewels all over it and gave that to her for her 50th birthday present and put the shawl in a bag in the top of the stash silo.

A few months ago I found it again. Somehow one of the plastic knitting needles had snapped off - surprise! Half of the stitches had fallen off and the rest had stretched out. Now, that I know a tad bit more about knitting I decided this shawl was too beautiful to sit unfinished in a bag in the dark. The yarn is so soft and lovely. The pattern was, now, easy to remember. And I have discovered, and use almost exclusively, circular needles. So, out the whole thing tumbled, stitches were ripped back a bit, circs were inserted and I knit.

Now, I am especially pleased that I did not finish this in time to give it away. I love having it around MY shoulders. I even fell asleep in it the other night and it almost strangled me (but that is not the shawl's fault - my menopausal sleep patterns make for much tossing and turning in the night).

I love that it is mine, all mine. I can see myself as a old woman sitting knitting great grandbaby clothes wearing this cashmere shawl. I really truely am in love with it and I'm going to keep her!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Knitting - the universal language.

I had to go see the Doc yesterday and, as usual, he was running a bit behind time. Doesn't bother me cause I'm not in a hurry on my days off. I pulled out my sock and started knitting a few rows. A man in his 70's who was also waiting asked me what I was knitting. "Socks" I said and held it up for him to see.

Well, he told me his lovely story about how his Mum knit him a pair of socks every Christmas until she died when he was 17, and he still had one pair that he took out of his drawer and put on every time he missed his Mother.

He didn't want to wear them much because he wanted something that she had touched for the rest of his life.

By the time he finished telling me this both of us and a couple other people had tears running down our cheeks.

I got some bad news about my Dad yesterday morning and he has two pairs of socks that I knit him last year that he loves and he can wear for the rest of his life. How nice is that!

Don't let anyone tell you that knitting doesn't matter or isn't important for the other people in our lives, as well as for our own peace of mind and sanity!

I finally finished my shawl and I will take a photo after I block it tommorow - it is really nice and I love it!

I did knit myself a winter hat that has received more compliments, out in the world, than anything else I have knit. It wasn't even a pattern - just knitting until it fit. It is Malibrigo, though, and I am having trouble taking it off!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Safe Asset Socks

Last year when Kaffe Fassett was here last year to plug his latest quilting book his partner introduced him as 'Kaffe Fassett which rhymes with safe asset". He was great fun, by the way, for a snob.

When I was in the states I bought 100g of two of Regia designer balls of sock wool- the colours were picked by Kaffe Fassett. Really? You just pick colours and get your name on stuff?

I like them OK - but these will be for a friend, as they aren't really my sort of colours. It is also a little scratchy. I must admit that everything but my Malibrigo vest feels scratchy next to the lovely alpaca that I just knit.

But they are uniquely coloured socks at any rate.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Special Baby present

My parents live in the house that I was born in! That is over 55 years in the same house. Amazing! Everytime that I go to visit them I also get the bonus of visiting my three very first very best girl friends - all of whom I've known since I was 14. We were the fearsome foursome. I've known their lives for a very long time. They all still live very near my parent's house. I am the only one that has ventured far away from home. I've been in their lives for boyfriends, husbands, parents lost, husbands lost, children and now, for grandchildren. In fact this will be the first grandchild. She is due in July.

This sweet little vest is knit with 120 gms of suri alpaca bought at the Alpaca Show at Epic a few weeks ago. It is the softest wool I have ever knit. And I think I met the Alpaca that gave it up for me! I wish you all could touch it and fondle it. mmm...soft. I want a sweater out of it too!
Enjoy baby girl! (I want one of those grandbabies too!)
PS - yes there are three socks. I had enough for a third one so I just knit it. I guess babies lose socks to the sock monster too so an extra one may be needed.
Hey did Tom Cruise name his baby after an alpaca??