Blending

I’ve been knitting obsessively on my February Lady Sweater and I’ve got the progress to show for it.

Loving these subtle stripes

Loving these subtle stripes

It’s my first time working with a gradient yarn like Chroma on such a large project.  Sure, I’ve made self-striping socks and even a gradient cowl, but those were all one-skein projects. Getting the colours to blend just right when joining balls of gradient yarn is quite the headache (the fact that this is a subtle monochrome doesn’t help matters). I think I have it figured out now, but not before making some mistakes – if you look closely at the third buttonhole you’ll see that the stripes actually change direction where I joined the second ball; I’ll call it a design feature rather than ripping back.

Perseverance

“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “we shall sometime come to someplace.” 

-L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

We're off to see The Wizard

We’re off to see The Wizard

Dorothy is complete, and this frame is the closest I’ve come to following the pattern exactly. The only changes I made to this month’s pattern was to lower her mouth, like all the others, and tweak the rainbow ever so slightly to better reflect a rainbow’s true colours. I debated long and hard about giving her silver shoes but decided to stick with the ruby slippers because that’s what I always knew them to be. I’m all for accuracy, but not when nostalgia is at stake.

I’ve finally been able to bring myself to unpick the stitches of the problem frame. I thought I might be able to salvage some of it, but it turns out that the problem stemmed from an extra row on the frame above it – so I had to completely undo one frame and tweak Alice’s.  I enjoy the process of cross stitching, but it can feel like a crafting black hole. But I know that if I just keep on going I’ll eventually get there.

 

Confessions

One of my absolute all-time favourite knitting books is Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac. I’ve had it for years and I can just pick it up, open it to a random page, and start reading. It’s kind of like a bowl of oatmeal – old-fashioned and plain but also very wholesome and comforting.

The thing is, I’ve never actually made anything from it (or any of EZ’s pattern’s for that matter). I still consider myself a beginner knitter; I like clear and straightforward instructions that tell me exactly what to do. EZ weaves her knitting instructions into stories about her day, and when she summarizes them at the end she assumes a lot of knowledge on the part of the knitter. They’re perfectly clear instructions, but she doesn’t hold your hand.

Tools of the Trade

KnitPicks and EZ, is there anything better?

I’m not so sure I’m ready to let go yet. The commemorative version of the book that I have also includes Pamela Wayne’s February Lady Sweater, which is an adaptation of EZ’s Baby Sweater on Two Needles. I figure this will be a good introduction to EZ’s style. I’m using some KnitPicks Chroma worsted that’s been in my stash for years, it’s one of those one-off colours they sold during a Cyber Monday sale a few years back (with the very creative colour name L-1).

This is a top down cardigan with absolutely no seaming and a simple four-row lace pattern. I’m looking forward to it!

Shattered Illusions

I got an audiobook version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz so I could listen to it while working on this month’s instalment of my Story Time Sampler. I thought I had already read the book but I must have been mistaken because there was a huge surprise waiting for me… Are you ready for it? There were NO RUBY SLIPPERS! They were silver! I feel like my whole childhood was a lie.*

Soon Dorothy will be able to follow the yellow brick road

Soon Dorothy will be able to follow the yellow brick road

I did manage to get a good chunk of the frame completed over the course of the book, so maybe I can get ahead this month!

*Not really – when I think about it, The Wizard of Oz really wasn’t that big a part of my childhood. I’ve seen the movie and I get the references, but I wasn’t steeped in Oz

Reassurances

First it was the too-big sweater. Then it was the baggy socks. Next came the strenuous spinning. Actually, you know what? You might say it went as far back as the ripped out frame. Basically it feels like I’ve been putting a lot of time into projects that are turning out less than stellar. So it felt good to pick up my Beekeeper’s Quilt again. I love working on these hexipuffs, each one is a tiny reassurance that I really can make things right.

15 Hexipuffs that turned out just right

15 Hexipuffs that turned out just right

Continue reading