Slower Days

I’ve caught a lot of colds lately. As a result, I feel tired, sometimes unwell, and there are days where most of my knitting projects feel too much, too complicated, too demanding. So I’ve taken to knitting simple mitered squares out of yarn scraps.

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Just squares, in garter stitch, with colours going from darker to lighter shades. They feel good.

As I make them on tired days, I simply tie the scraps together with a knot. It doesn’t’ look great on the wrong side, but I’ve decided I didn’t care.

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The plan is to sew the squares into bigger squares of similar colours, then to sew the bigger squares into a blanket.

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I’ve got seven squares so far. I’m still far, far away from a complete blanket. At this rate, this will probably take me a few years to complete. But at least, I have something to help me feel better on slower days. Garter stitch feels good, squares feel good, sorting through the scraps to pick matching colours feels good.

I like too that each square is like a little memory of what I’ve knitted in the past. As I add yarn scraps, I remember a sweater, a shawl, a cowl, a baby blanket, a hat, a pair of socks, things I loved knitting. It feels good.

In other news, today is the International Memorial Day for “comfort women“. Have a thought or prayer for them. There are a little less survivors with each passing year, and they need us to remember them so that such atrocities never happen again. If you feel so moved, you can also support the UN action against sexual violence in conflicts.

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On The Unfortunate Demise Of A Series

I don’t presume that there are such things as Regular Readers on this blog. My stats keep me from that delusion. However, just in case some people one day wonder about the abrupt end of the “Adapting a pattern for a thinner yarn” series, here is a word of explanation.

First, let me proudly say that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my reasoning. I had done my

The swatch did look promising...

The swatch did look promising…

math better than I expected. The yoke worked, the body seemed to be the right side, but the more I knitted on it, the less I liked it. I blame it on the stripes, because as pretty as the two yarns looked side by side on the swatch, on a full-sized sweater it was quite different. The variegated yarn pooled, and I don’t really like pooling unless it’s on purpose. Then I tried it on, and those particular stripes were not at all becoming (and even less slimming) on a real bust. Not at all.

So I frogged the whole thing.

What did I do with the yarn ?

First, I used the variegated sock yarn to play around a bit with planned pooling, trying to get an argyle pattern.

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Pretty argyle…

 And it worked too, and I got all excited about it and began to have big dreams about an argyle stole when I realized there was no way the ball I had would be enough for a place mat, let alone a stole. This was an interesting experiment though, and I fully intend to make it a full-scale project (a stole, or maybe a baby blanket) one day. But when I do, I’ll buy yarn specifically for it, and try to make sure that I have enough.

The argyle experiment met the same fate as its unfortunate predecessor and headed for the frog pond.

The blue angora, wound up into a ball again, was waiting for the right idea to emerge in my brain.

Stripes !!

Stripes !!

A few days later, I accidentally ran into three balls of Rico Superba Poems, in the colourway Granit, sold for a really ridiculous price. I bought them, intending to turn them into socks, went home, and put the balls next to the blue angora. I looked at them, pretty things sitting side by side, and had a revelation. These two yarns were meant for each other. I went on Ravelry and chose a pattern I had been wanting to knit for some time : Mon petit gilet rayé (Ravelry link). This is knitting up like a dream. I’m making it at a slightly wider gauge than I would usually do for this yarn weight, and though I’m a bit concerned about the durability of such a fabric, it does feel wonderful — feather-light, airy, and soft. And there is something about knitting stripes with a gradient yarn and a solid one which is absolutelyIMGP6445 mesmerizing. This cardigan almost seems to knit itself on its own. The body is already finished.

On a side note, I’ve noticed that everything I’ve knit for myself in the past few years was slightly too big (body image, anyone ?). So I decided to try and knit something which would actually be the right size. The pattern says it’s for a size M, which I am. I wanted to be on the safe side, so I casted on the right number of stitches on 4mm needles instead of 3,5mm ones. I’ve tried the thing on, and it does fit, sort of. Except it’s so tight I look as if I had stolen the clothes of a 5-year-old. (Hm. Maybe that’s why the pattern notes state that it is a “very fitted cardi”. It turns out that, as much as I love this pattern and how the cardigan is turning out, “very fitted” is not my idea of “pretty”. I’d be happier with simply “fitted”.) I don’t want to rip it and try once again from the beginning, so I’m just going to play with the width of the buttonband to make it an acceptable fit.

IMGP6392And what happened to the variegated sock yarn ? Well, it is finally becoming — guess what — a pair of socks. Using sock yarn to actually knit socks — shocking, I know.

The pattern is Aquaphobia, a slipped stitch pattern which avoids pooling, and it is turning into a very nice sock indeed. I’m already anxious to have that pair finished and on my feet !

Obsessed

Sunday morning at church, during the introducing praise, the pastor said something like “Loué sois-tu, Seigneur, pour le doux clapotis de l’eau” (“We praise you, Lord, for the sweet lapping sound of the water”) and all I could think of was a shawl. (If you don’t see what I’m talking about, search google for pictures of “clapotis”).

Then yesterday I was in the library, reading a serious article for my doctoral research, which mentioned several times a “sheetlike object”. I kept misreading it as “sheeplike object.”

I might be a little bit obsessed with wool.

More Socks

Happy 1st of August to everyone ! Today is the Swiss national day, commemorating the Rütlischwur that marks the birth of the Swiss nation.

To join in the fun, I have new socks.

IMGP6364These colours are admittedly nothing like the Swiss national flag. They are Flutter-by Socks (Ravelry link) and the yarn is Rico Superba Poems, in the colourway Candy. The pair took about two thirds of one ball. The pattern is fun and easy, but was maybe not the best match with this yarn — the butterflies are a bit lost in that riot of wild colours.

To avoid disturbing the colour transition on the instep, I simply knit the heel from the other end of the ball, and broke it (the other end, not the heel) when it was time to pick up gusset stitches.
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Anyway, I’m quite smitten with them. As the temperature was rather chilly, I wore them yesterday evening, hot off the needles, to the traditional 1st of August (or rather July 31st) fireworks, whose bright colours they matched perfectly. On that occasion, I became one of those eccentric ladies who wear woolen sock with sandals because they can’t stop admiring their own feet. (I had forgotten to take into account the fact that at 10:30 pm, it would be dark outside anyway. But that didn’t stop me from trying to show them off to the friends we met on the way).

These socks drew some comments when I knit on them in the train to and from the IMGP6367university. The general feeling seemed to be that these vibrant shades made people feeling better in spite of the terrible weather we had these past few days weeks. I agree. Fireworks socks. I really feel as if I could rocket to the roof when I wear them ! Simply looking at them makes me giggle. I must really be getting weird. Nobody had warned me that socks had such an effect on your brain !