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In the meanwhile

I cleaned up my knitting cache. I am about 40 leagues behind where I used to be with organization, but adulting waits for no woe man.

"Yes. Yes, this is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it... "This Land."" #serenitymovie #knitsagram #knittersofinstagram #catsofinstagram #cats_of_instagramA post shared by Mrskbrawl (@mrskbrawl) on Sep 6, 2017 at 3:44pm PDT

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13 months later.

There will be no post 2 of 2.


In 1976 or 1977 Janis Ian introduced me to the very foreign concept of measuring time in coffee spoons:

Geesh, it would be 10 or more years before I would even grasp what her words mean. What is time to a 9 year old? Everything. Every day is long and short. Every milestone momentous. 37 years later, time is a meandering journey down a gelatinous waterway. My only anchors, my marriage, my knitting, my job. Only my knitting imparts a sense of time.

This spring a random raveller asked if I could spare some yarn from a project I knit in 2011. I found the yarn remants and marvelled at how neatly I had reskeined and stored them. I had forgotten how organized I had kept my craft. It was a stark contrast to the chaos it is in now. My psyche has been overwhelmed for some time, and my knitting, like everything else, has paid a price.

When it comes to my knitting one culprit is my stash. Chaos found me when I ran out of room to…

My totally tubular love affair (part 1 of hopefully 2)

My knitting has been pretty low-key over the past 12 months.  I knit a couple of fantastic, but simple, garter stitch afghans, more than a handful of stockinette raglan sweaters, and numerous ribbed cowls.

It was in contemplating knitting a simple 1 x 1 rib noro stripe cowl that the notion of revisiting the tubular cast-on/cast-off techniques went from the slow paced "some day" column on my to do list to the now! now! now! column.

noro kureyon colorways 287 and 226
Inspired by the ubiquitous Brooklyn Tweed Noro Scarf.

My first, and I think last, completed attempt at using the tubular method was way back in January 2008, with my toe-up seal rock socks (ravelry link).  I knit one 2 x 2 rib cuff and was pretty impressed with how it looked, but a lot less impressed with the effort it took.  I frogged it so that I didn't have to knit the second sock to match.  Laziness.  I haz it.

As far as technique, I am pretty sure I used either Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook

The Droid for Whom You are Looking...

Some time back the Hubster found an R2D2 hat on Etsy. Of course he was all up on that, imploring met to divert my knitting skills to this heart's desire. He is one of those jolly young fellows who took time off of work to see Episodes I, II, and III several times on their opening dates.

Sadly for hubby, my love does have limits and my quick answer was a resounding "hell, to the NO!" (Don't forget to envision some Zoro-style finger-snapping slashing with that "Hell, to the NO! I don't do instarsia!"

10 years ago, when I began knitting, I didn't start out knitting garter stitch scarfs. I started out knitting ginormous fair isle socks, instarsia baby sweaters, and a whole host of things I had no business starting out knitting. I was fearless with my Red Heart super saver. Fearless. I may be too timid to truly learn how to parallel park, but with knitting needles I have been foolish enough to try anything, anytime, anywhere.

And, I have alwa…

Color, color, and more color. And then more color.

My current knitting is all about color. Case in point, my Blackberry Julip (aka, Stephen West's Spectra)(both are ravelry links):

Madelinetosh - Tosh DK - Venetian colorway
Noro - Silk Garden Light - #2050 colorway

Total: apx 731
Tosh DK, 510
Noro, 220

US5, 3.75mm

Overall Feeling on Project

It was easy to fall in love with this project. The interplay of structure, texture, and color is fabulously dynamic. I saw, I wanted, I knit. It never dawned on me the final project would be nearly unwearable. But it is.

The outcome may be due to my use of DK/light worsted weight yarns. The original design calls for fingering weight yarn. Yet, my gut tells me no. The short row shaping creates a clingy, swirling structure that performs like a boa constrictor around one's neck. So, no, the yarn choice doesn't help, but the structure is the main problem.

I won't be knitting this pattern again, in any weight. I have however co-opted the color and text…

Knitting right along...

The madness of loss is passing.  And it's a great relief.  Touchstones of this new era are two.  A few weeks back we finally got some kitties back in our lives.  It's been four months since we lost our last one and finally being able to love someone and take care of them is a wonderful feeling.  It's a feeling of living, rather than just existing.

Fred (left), Seymour (right)

Seymour foreground, Atreyu background

Fred and Seymour are siblings.  They weighed a little over a pound at their first vet visit.  Two weeks later and their legs seem to be growing faster than anything else. 

The emptiness of life without a father is more overwhelming than I had the capacity to imagine.  I haven't yet wrapped my head around the expansive void.   Not having cats simultaneously was nearly unbearable.   I'm glad that time is over.

A lot less unbearable was the lull in knitting.   I did keep knitting and I kept it very simple.  The grieving projects are past and not so interestin…

Knitting right along....

Well, not really. I'm not knitting. I'm grieving.

As a narcissist, I've spent a lot of time grieving. I am, in fact, an Olympic medalist griever. But this is the first time the grief is for the human life of someone priceless to me. My Dad. My Dad passed away. He died. He kicked the bucket. The Old Man, as he happily referred to himself, is gone. Unexpectedly gone. Gone before I was ready. What the fuck was he thinking?

This grieving is the same. But it's different. I'm not all "remember all the good memories" grieving. I spent a good deal of my life accepting my Dad for who he was and now that high road seems completely walled off. This is some crazy hard core grief. This knitter is mad. And there's nothing constructive about being mad at a dead guy.

Not to mention how impolite, tasteless, evil, you name it. A person stoops pretty low to kick a dead person when they're dead. I am that very wrong person who does it.


All aglow with a new an old scheme!

I blog on impulse. And today's impulse is courtesy of my morning reverie, a near perfect recall of the words uttered by the world's most cinematically perfect Henry Crawford, actor Alessandro Nivolo (what a swoon worthy name! "Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!"):

The story is Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. The movie is the much maligned 1999 remake. The line comes at the perch of the movie's climax. Henry informs Sir Thomas Bertram, alongside the family assembled in the airy drawing room, he is "all aglow with a new scheme." He wants to move to the Mansfield Park neighborhood so that he may exert all his energies wooing the ostensible heroine of Jane's final novel, Miss Fanny Price.

It is just one of many deliciously delivered lines in the movie. To be fair to those ardent admirers of the textual Fanny Price, Patricia Roczema's screenplay does hack her up considerably. I find my ability to stomach the movie ebbs and…

By jove she's done it!*

Yes. I have designed a shawl. Fer realz.

Last weekend I worked out the kinks in the final chart of The Sheltering Bough and knit 'er on up. The end product is satisfactory, all the stitches in the right place. Not bad for a freshman effort.

Now I have to get off my guff and do the really hard work: generate a pattern.

More conventional pics may be found on my rav project page.

*She, as in my first instinct is to not use a first person pronoun.

The Sheltering Bough

I'm working on a hybrid shawl pattern that has the shape of Ysolda's Ishbel (which grows wider at a faster pace than it grows deep) and the easy, soothing fir cone motif that makes Evelyn Clark's Shetland Triangle such a fun knit. The pattern has been appropriately named The Sheltering Bough.

I'm using Madelinetosh's madtosh DK yarn in Badlands:

I tried first using some of that new DIC cashmere smooshy I recently picked up but once I got to the lace section the fabric's touch didn't feel right. (Now that'll be a lot of knitting to frog, but) I'm glad I found the guts to abandon it and go with the madtosh DK.

This is a colorway I never would have purchased online. It's charms only became apparent to me when I looked at the skein in person, up close.

The color is very reminiscent of her Cove colorway. The blues in the Cove are still there but of a much deeper hue. As well, the blue is a foil for the numerous shades of umber. The inverse of C…

Things other than obsession...

The past week my life has been consumed by two passions, a new shawl pattern and Katniss Everdeen. I'm not ready to explore these obsessions here, though. I'm just looking to do a little housekeeping.

Saturday, I finally polished off the thumb gussets for these pretty fingerless mitts:

Any Yarnissima fans might recognize the lovely coiny cable from her Firestarter sock pattern.

Visually speaking, there is nothing more striking than twisted cable knit stitches, especially when they are tiny. These are not tiny, but still extremely striking to this knitter's eye.

This project was a quick, fun gift knit. I used about 80% of one ball of Quince & Co's Lark yarn (colorway above is Peak's Ferry). I forgot to weigh the leftovers, so an approximate yardage isn't at my fingertips. One ball has 134 yards (the ubiquitous 50 grams). As per usual my kung fu grip when knitting small items in the round meant that my gauge was conspicuously tight, even using jumbo s…