Like Magic

I'm cleaning out 25 years' worth of kid's memorabilia from this house and with every box I sort and purge new found space is left behind. The more stuff I take away, the less remains and the bigger the resulting space! Addition through subtraction!? Magic!

In addition to resulting in a compact archive for each of our kids to take and tote away after our funerals, (hopefully) many years hence, I also hope to "make" enough room for a car in our garage much, much sooner than that!

Photo-documentation is a great tool in this process. One shot can capture the contents of a box of bulky once loved items (trophies, stuffed animals, favoured items of clothing) into a single 4x6 picture. More magic!

This all sent me off on a parallel project - assembling and sorting precious baby items, many of which are hand knits, into a manageable and meaningful collection of their own.

I took a snap of each item and printed it "credit card" size, making a little label of sorts.

On the back I wrote the date the item was made, its' origin, material, washing instructions etc..

Where possible I'm including any "provenance" I can, such as the card or note that came with the gift and a snap of the knitter who crafted it - I'm able to do this because of the great garage purge of 2015 (see above).

In some instances I need two snaps because both Darling Daughter and her mother "hundreds" of years prior also wore the item.

Once all the pieces are together each bundle will be wrapped in acid free tissue and the whole lot will go into the cedar chest enclosed in a single fabric bag.

So where I once had "stuff" jammed into boxes, stacked on shelves I've now got space and a little archive of heirlooms that's compact, readily accessible and possibly useful (babies of the future could wear the items). Importantly to me, a knitter of baby gifts, it does justice to the significant efforts made for us and our wee ones many years ago.

And speaking of wee ones, we'll be seeing the newest addition to My Beloved's family over Easter so I'm making a "Chocolate" Bunny of sorts to take along for her. The link for this intriguing pattern is on Ravelry here. Can't wait to see how this knitted square will magically turn into a bunny!.

I've also got this last little bit of knitting magic to share...the umbilicus start to a "Traveller's Shawl" by Veronik Avery from my favourite book Knitting 24/7 . Such circular beginnings always seems so unlikely to produce anything successful, or for that matter, anything square don't you think?

I nonetheless have faith and with the mittens finally done I can move on to another project!

Thanks for all your kind comments about them and also, thanks for dropping by today!


Silver Dream Mittens by DROPS Designs FO

Pattern: Silver Dream Mittens by Drops Designs
Source: Free pattern on Drops Design Web Site
Yarn: Orkney Angora St.Magnus Dk and Rowan Baby Merino Silk Dk
Colours: Natural and "Dawn"
Source: Loop in London and Romni Wools Toronto
Needles: 3.75 mm dpn's
Start: February 13 Finish: March 23, 2015
  Modifications: Switched Light for Dark on Chart to reverse main and contrast colours

The impossible creaminess of these three fibres together; the hairy halo of the Angora, the soft substance of the Baby Merino but also a hint of the sheen and drape of the Silk really takes these over the top as soon as you slip one on. 

The natural St Magnus and the slightly greyed, cool violet Rowan melt together in contrast to the sharp, geometric shapes of the colour work pattern - especially the big X's up the back of the hand. (The photos artificially enhance the appearance of the colours' contrast with each other In fact, in reality it was often hard to tell the colours apart when knitting them.) 

Soft while sharp.

Meltingly supple while graphically strong.

They slip on and the feeling is of warmth without any constriction of the mitten around the hand...

Love, love, love this combination!

It intrigues me to try to create another, different one. 'Think I'd better  return the extra ball of Rowan to Romni before I'm tempted to just do more of this one!

Thanks for dropping by!


Silver Dream Mittens (Heavy on the "Dreaming")

DK stranded mittens are, at best, a few easy evenings worth of knitting. Instead I've been lingering over a pair, mind-fully knitting so ploddingly I got to a point where I all but lost interest entirely.

I was quietly pursuing project monogamy but that meant if I didn't feel like doing two handed colour work in the round then I didn't knit at all and so a pair of dk mittens - even ones that I love, have taken over a month to be completed.

Its the yarn and the way the colours work so softly together that's kept me engaged.

I loved the slightly greyed lavender colourway as soon as I picked it up at Romni. I loved it more when I saw it was called "Dawn" and I've kept my eye out for that colour in the early morning sky ever since...

As engaging as the colour may be the tactile aspects of these combined yarns almost defies knitting because all you want to do is pat them!

Often I found myself slipping whatever I'd completed over my hand, marvelling at the warmth and intrinsic coziness of the fabric. (Possibly asking My Beloved to consider the wonder of them a bit more than necessary - it isn't always easy living with an knitter is it?)

Starting the second mitten I worked slowly away at the long wrist section happily mindful of how embarrassingly often I fail to move the thumb gusset to the opposite side of the palm on the first "pass" and so managed to remember this time.

Then, still painfully slow but semi-blissful I approached the end of that second thumb gusset but like a car sputtering on the last of the fuel in its tank, only haltingly finished it, lurching to the side of the "road". 'Out of "gas", wanting to get to be knitting on something, anything else.

Still I held firm, didn't start anything else - but then didn't knit either - until over the weekend I finally dragged them across the finish line. Now I'm eagerly awaiting to see how a deep soak pulls the stranded design to order.

They were a satisfying project on many levels with a good result I'll finally be able to post but meanwhile I'm thrilled to clear them out of my basket and move on to something else! Only question is, what will it be?


St. Patrick's Day Green

'Finished this project a month ago and still waiting on help with pics from Darling Daughter so time to forget that and move on to posting.

To recap, first I wanted to address the terrible job I did seaming this the first time so I took out all the stitching holding it together and re-did it properly...

Much better!

Next I considered the collar. The original  was much too tight. ('Knit separately from the sweater and then sewed it on as a tube. Fancy eh?). To renovate it I picked up and re knit it with sufficient ease to avoid  grating skin off my face as I pull it over my head. I must say this makes a nice change.

I also opted for an crew neck collar.

Of course with no shaping on the front or back for collar or neck line it does ride a bit high but I didn't want to mess with the original front and back panels knit with a straight top edge. I had to remind myself I was renovating not reinventing.

Nonetheless I did want to inject something of myself as the knitter I am today into it so I turned the 1x1 ribbed collar inward following a single purl row , changed yarns to a Briggs and Little Wool remnant then sewed the live edge down.

All in all a gratifying and productive project I'm glad I undertook, especially today when its so fun to have something green to reach for and wear!

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Thanks for dropping by!



As of late yesterday, about a month after the troubles started Hudson's "issues" have been conclusively diagnosed. Its nothing life threatening, just messy for me and irritating for him. He's on another medication for a few days then in a month or so will have more tests to see if its been effective...bla bla bla - not very interesting but the month long saga's been distracting/time consuming and sleep depriving.

Yet I must admit I feel like I've had the most wonderful winter. Yes its been bitterly cold but at the same time marked by cozy evenings, fantastic food (and wine!), fun activities in the city and movement on some longstanding goals for projects in the house.

This morning though, my monogamy with the lovely Angora/Merino mittens is turning into a feeling of "enough already and time to get on with things!".

And I'm aware "things" beyond knitting are piling up too. Some of my winter initiatives have yet to be completed as the snow rapidly recedes, cottage and gardening loom and spring "stuff" needs to be planned/resources marshalled.

Having the clocks "spring forward" last weekend and our long lingering Arctic air mass finally move off has aroused me from my winter "mode". It is time to change gears and I've a weekend entirely free of commitments in which to begin.

Anyone else hear that starter's pistol that just went off?