Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finished, finished, started, and gone :-(

Yes, I've got two finished things and one new thing today, two new-old books, and sad news and I'm posting a day early. The week feels like it has spiraled off in its own direction and is pulling me along. I arrived back at work after 10 days leave to a full email in-box and the realisation I was booked on a course this Wednesday to Friday, 8:15 am to 5:30 pm. Out went the plans to write a paper, and polish another, instead I read the manual that comes with the course, yes a manual, a thick ring binder folder of questions to help me know myself and my abilities better. Apparently I will learn to juggle with borrowed balls - and not being one to ignore fate, I've trotted off and bought my own set of juggling balls. I'm trying to be a positive person, throw me a curve ball - I'll try and throw it back. Of course with knitting and spinning to distract me, I can cope with pretty much anything life throws at me, and I do need distracting at times.

But the blog is about my knitting, and today my finished knitting ... so first another hat, Odessa 2, for my little sister Paula. I've knit this in the same yarn as my Odessa hat, Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk DK, but this time in a khaki shade. Again this neat little pattern knit up fast, and easy. Her birthday is the first of August, but I'll probably deliver it this Saturday. Its winter and she can wear it early.

Second finished knitted object - a hooded BSJ. It was technically finished some days ago, but I didn't like the hood I had worked. Rather I liked the hood for which I had used the matching bonnet pattern from the Opinionated Knitter, but didn't like the shape at the back neck. The bonnet is knit from the cast on edge using the same shaping as the jacket, and finishes with a decreased panel and grafted seam at center back. But, and this is a problem, the decreasing makes the center back pull up. Thats fine and dandy for a bonnet, not so fine when a knitter wants to sew the bonnet to a BSJ to make a hood.

So I frogged the bonnet and reknit it with no decreasing at the neck edge and decreasing and short rows around the top of the center back seam. That worked much better and resulted in a neat key hole shape at the back of the hood. The back is not an exact match for the rest of the BSJ, but the side shaping of the hood is a perfect match, I was of course at this point running shy of lavender yarn, but had plenty of bone yarn. If the back of the bonnet was knit in the main lavender, the key hole shape would be far less obvious.

I do like the way the hood folds down, like a teeny tiny hoodie. The hood was stitched into place along the neckline, 3 times, yes I repeatedly sewed it in right side to wrong side ...will I never learn? It was dark, it was late, I should have gone to bed - you all know how that one goes don't you?

I finished the BSJ with a three stitch i-cord all around the edge, picking up the cast on around the hood and continuing the i-cord around the face edge. This photo was taken before the hood was attached, to create the button loop, I just worked i-cord unattached for 5 rows, then continued to attach the i-cord to the stitches as I cast off.

My new knitting project is a lace scarf, I decided my first real lace project could be steeped in tradition so cast on for a feather and fan scarf, 3 repeats wide in the Mohair/merino/alpaca/silk blend I spun. I've 312m, the pattern specifies 400m, and uses larger needles and finer yarn, I am knitting mine on 4mm needles. I hope I have enough to knit a long enough scarf to wear - as long as it crosses over under my coat I should be fine. Right now I don't know if I will knit this end to end, or if I will knit two ends into the middle and graft it together. Grafting it will give me symmetry, something important to other knitters, but I'm not sure in my first scarf it is important to me. We will see. I was impatient to start, so should have divided up the ball into two equal weights - but didn't, and that is harder to do once knitting starts. There has to be an saying to the effect that more haste causes delay - or is that the old 'less haste makes more speed'?.

I've acquired two new-old knitting lace books, Modern Lace Knitting books one and two. Both second hand and on trade me, both with copious pencil notes in the margins, so have come from a lace knitter who used them.

Finally, Odette died this morning, Odette my work colleague and friend and fellow researcher who made me think, and laugh and smile at the world. She was a very real and human person, a strong person with an incredible sense of herself and others. I will miss her terribly as I know her family and friends will.

Please excuse me while I go and knit and remember a good friend, one who loved textiles.



Angelika said...

Nice job on the hood. Very creative. I like the way the lace works out.

KathyR said...

I'm so sorry to hear of Odette's passing - inevitability doesn't negate the sadness.

On a happier note, your BSJ looks really lovely! Your perseverance at achieving the look you wanted has paid off abundantly. Well done!

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, Stella, I am so sorry to hear about Odette, I know you were expecting it, but that doesn't make it any easier.

The lace is looking excellent -- do I recognize that lovely handspun?

Shirley Goodwin said...

So sorry to hear of your frend's passing.

The BSJ is brilliant - I wouldn't have ever thought of putting a hood on it. I love this pattern - I call it my knitted stingray.