I’m on the Bobble Row

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The Bobble Row takes 5 times as long to knit as the rest of the rows, because of all the additional stitches it requires to make the bobble. Knit purl knit purl knit into one stitch on the front, purl back those 5, knit across the 5 stitches again… for each bobble.

Hang in there with me. There’s a point to this.

Essentially, there are two different sets of instructions for making the bobble in this pattern. On the first bobble row of the hat, I followed the “make bobble” instructions, which have you completing the bobble on the bobble row by slipping the extra stitches over. The hat instructions have you purling 5 together on the next row, on the way back – which I dutifully followed after I noticed the instructions were different.

Purling 5 together is no easy feat, and the process can be riddled with mistakes. It is much simpler to slip the stitches over the bobble while you are on the bobble row. In fact, completing the bobble on the bobble row is much faster and more efficient, because you can just knit and purl on the other 3 pattern rows. And the bobble looks identical.

Ergo, you should complete the bobbles on the bobble row. Feel free to apply this tidbit of wisdom to life as well as knitting. I think it is something akin to doing it right the first time. Or maybe it is about not doing things the hard way.

Unless you know a reason why I should complete the bobble on the next row? Please leave me a comment if you do! Or just to say hi. That’s nice, too.

I hope there is a good reason why I should be knitting this hat flat and seaming it instead of knitting it in the round. Maybe some shaping magic? I can dream.

Life Is What Happens…

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It is Sunday, and it is time for my weekly blog post. This is my version of “Never Give Up! Never Surrender!”

A lot has happened in my life the last few weeks. All good things, to be sure, but they are getting in the way of my knitting progress and this blog. I don’t mind, but I need to readjust my expectations. I can’t blog about what is happening, but I hope to be able to soon.

I haven’t worked on my hat design. I haven’t knitted anything except Harald’s Plain Grey Sweater, so I give to you a photograph of beautiful ribbing and stockinette in Manos Maxima Kohl, being very close to getting divided for armholes. I still haven’t decided if we will go drop shoulders or raglan, so I guess I’d better make up my mind.

What do you do when life happens while you are busy making other plans? Do you power through with your plans and give the finger to life? I used to do this, and honestly, it was fine but didn’t really get me to where I wanted to be. This year I am practicing some turtle medicine: how to go with the flow. Downstream is looking pretty good from here.

Heavy on Design, Light on Knitting

I haven’t felt much like blogging this week. I didn’t get much knitting done so there is nothing to show off. But I did work on my design for the WHW hat contest.

After getting reacquainted with my eraser, I decided there had to be an app for that (charting designs) and of course there is!

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I used to have an entire software suite devoted to knitting design. I paid a pretty penny for it. I’ve lost it since, and it was so long ago, I think it may have come on floppy discs.

I still have to figure out how to continue the design along the decreasing at the top, so this will change. I did start on the colorwork, but color design is my weakness.

I went to a post-modern conceptual art school, where IF we talked about color, it was only in relation to how it made the viewer feel. It was never discussed in a design context.

I think I did take a class or read a book once about the color wheel and complementary colors, but I have to admit this is just not a strong suit. I have tried to observe and be inspired by the colors in nature for this project, and see if I can work them in together in some way. I feel really insecure about it, though, so I signed up to take a color theory class in February at Yarn It and Haberdashery. I guess I’ll muddle through until then.

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What else? I started a Serenity Stitch at Preserve, a local tea and herb shop. It’s like a Stitch and Bitch, but with a focus on mindfulness and relaxation. I’m not sure if we will do exercises or just sit and stitch and drink tea and enjoy each other’s company. I will wait until the first meeting to see what other people need in their lives.

I expect there will be some teaching of knitting, though, because that is what people keep asking me to do. Teach them to knit! And I’m TOTALLY JAZZED about it!

 

A Mid-Winter’s Walk

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It is early on Sunday, and I am still in bed, drinking my second cup of coffee in my I Like Big Balls mug. I had a busy and productive week at work with putting up our winter sale and lots of inventory management to be done for the year. I took on the week like a dog with an old shoe, and this coming week promises to be just the same, with our inventory day on Tuesday. That’s the way I like to work. Chew chew chew!

Yesterday, I did laundry and knit all day while I caught up on Peaky Blinders. I am still plugging along on current knitting projects. I get a little bit done here, and a little done there. I got the most done on Harald’s sweater, ploughing through row after row of stockinette during the tense moments of the show. I knit like I exercise: to whatever pace the music is playing. That’s why I row (on the machine) to reggae, because slow and steady is a better pace for me physically.

Last week, I received the first announcement from the WHW Club. There is to be a hat design contest with the new Milarrochy Tweed yarn! I got pretty excited about it, but realized I was going to need some inspiration to move forward. Luckily, inspiration is all around! Just like love! And Christmas! (Love Actually reference) (Don’t click on that unless Christmas lives in your heart all year round, like it does mine.)

I decided to take a cue from Kate and find inspiration in my surroundings, hence the mid-winter’s walk title and photo above, taken on my week off after Christmas. That’s all I’m going to say right now, because after color sketches of a few ideas, I have to let it all bake before I can come up with something realistic and workable. It felt great, though, to be inspired again and to be sketching. I just have to remember I am doing this for fun.

You know what’s fun? A Q&A. Here’s one I missed last week from nothingbutknit, who found it on Katja’s blog. My answers are below:

  1. Your earliest memory of sewing/crafting?

My Grandmother taught me to sew by hand and embroider at a young age. I think my first project was sewing bias tape (probably homemade from fabric) around the edge of a round denim pot holder, whip stitch. I can’t remember my first embroidery project. I think it was a handkerchief or a kitchen towel with a flower embroidered on it.

  1. What is your most beautiful make?

Years ago, I knit The Peace Shawl from Jaggerspun Zephyr wool and silk blend for a church silent auction, in a dove gray. Someone purchased it (donation to the church) and I knit it for them. It was quite beautiful. I hope they liked it. I never heard back, which upset me a little. I may have a photo somewhere.

  1. What is your most challenging make?

The series of artwork I did for the Big show at Lindsay Gallery in 2010. Not only were they difficult to execute, of course, but they were also difficult to conceive. How to put the concept into a form? I think this work is also beautiful in its own way.

  1. Your most impractical make that you like but can’t really wear/use?

I would say the artwork, but I sold about half of it. Money is pretty practical. So, maybe I’ll say the artwork I haven’t sold but have kept in a tub in the basement. I keep thinking I will put some of it up in my house since I don’t have a studio anymore. It might be inspiring.

  1. What is your most worn/used make?

I knit and felted a yoga mat bag which I used for years and years. I spilled candle wax on it, though, and had to give it up recently. That ties with the Danish Protest Cap I knit for Harald when he was 5. He doesn’t wear it anymore, but I do. The pattern was from Nordic Knits, which – I am heartbroken to say – I gave away during the studio purge of 2010. Designs include pieces from museums, including the hat, which the Danes wore in protest during the Nazi occupation. I knit it for Harald, because he’s been a Resister from a young age. I also knit a Victorian shawl from this book, which didn’t come out like I had hoped, so I no longer have it. I would knit it again, but using a different yarn. I know so much more now.

  1. If you had no limits, what would you like to create?

I had an idea a long time ago to knit a giant womb / red tunnel passage that people would walk through and unravel on their way through. At the end of the show/performance/exhibit there wouldn’t be anything left, and everyone who came would have a length of red yarn to keep.

  1. What is your favourite material to work with?

Wool yarn.

  1. What is the next technique you would like to learn?

Crocheting with wire. I will keep trying.

  1. What is the topmost item on your sewing/crafting wish list?

More yarn please.

  1. What is one sewing/crafting challenge you want to take for the year 2018?

I am thinking about giving myself a goal of knitting 12 things in 2018, so one thing per month. I see others are doing “18 in 18.” That seems doable. Watch me knit a rash of coasters next December to meet my goal!

I forgot to update on how the girly cowl was received. She wasn’t sure what to do with it, but when I modeled it for her, she said it was cute! It has certainly been cold enough for her to wear it, so I hope she’s enjoying it.

I intend to go on another mid-winter walk in the woods today! It should warm up a little. I hope you are cozy and warm with a hot cuppa something!

New Year’s Day Round Up

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I finally get to hang up my Goats of Anarchy calendar. I’ve had it since September!

I didn’t blog every day between Christmas and New Year’s, but I did knit almost every day. Here are some project updates.

My J&S swatch is coming along. It’s time to experiment with the cables. I was pleased I could jump right back into 2-color stranded knitting, although my tension was a little off on the purl row back. Luckily the sweater should be knit in the round.

Here is a tip. If you want to manifest something into your life, put it on your blog! Look what I got for Christmas!

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One of my presents from Bob was also to sign me up for Kate Davies’ West Highland Way Club – patterns only, but I will certainly be saving my pennies for some yarn as well. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait for it to start!

I did swatch the J&S Shetland while watching Shetland a second time. (I had to for tongue-in-cheek purposes.) I tried to take a photo but couldn’t get one worth sharing. In the first episode, one of the characters is wearing Kate Davies’ Peerie Flooers hat. When I saw that, I remembered I was introduced to Kate Davies Designs through the show the first time I watched it. I think that moment was the spark that rekindled my love of knitting last year. (Hmm… that hat is knit with J&S jumper weight… Hmm…)

Although, I will probably knit the Goats of Inversnaid hat first. What can I say? I really love goats. And so does my youngest. He might get a goat hat, too.

I’m off to make a digital vision board for 2018 full of knitting hopes and dreams.  Happy New Year! What are your aspirations for 2018?