Knitting Update….

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Love is knitting seed stitch….

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There are not a lot of pictures of what I am knitting at the moment.

Yes, I am still working on my original Grain.

I also have something else going on…I am knitting up a bunch of heart and valentine cloths for an upcoming wedding. I can’t so whose…I can’t give it away. I am also planning to work up a set of kris Knits Valentine’s Day Cloths and Wedding Cloths.

Now, all I did was basically go through my queue on ravelry…as I have a ton of dishcloth patterns saved and I love hearts so I found a good ten or so for free on ravelry. I didn’t realize until I started knitting them up…on my third cloth…there are a lot of people who use a lot of seed stitch. I am a thrower, not a picker. I knit English style, not continental. Seed stitch can be monotonous and time-consuming.

By the fourth cloth, seed stitch started to grow on me…to the point where I had some ideas for simple cloths, maybe with yarn doubled, on larger needles, creating some seed stitch washcloths for here at home. It’s going to be a while though. I can manage to knit maybe, maybe, one cloth a day. If I knit at night…if I am able…sometimes I have to be happy knitting a few rows a day and let it go…so whatever I get finished in time is what I will be gifting the happy couple.

So far, none of the cloths I have knit up are the exact same size. They aren’t supposed to be. The patterns are by different people, with different gauges. I am knitting everything using peaches and cream or sugar and cream yarn, depending on what I grab out of my stash.

One thing I have learned is that I actually prefer….peaches and cream. It has a better hand-feel for me.

I am using size 5 US needles, regardless of what the pattern calls for…so far, most of the patterns call for a size 7 US needle. I am currently using metal needles…and my finger tips are nearly done…they do not toughen up…they just get more sore until I put down the pointy pointy things and quit poking myself with them. I cannot find my finger tippers…I can’t remember what they are officially called—but they are basically rubber thimbles you put on two fingers—I found them in the sewing section once and had to try them…they work great for me in this situation.

I will be switching back to my wooden needles…I had planned to use my square needles for these…but my size 5 needle was busy elsewhere in some other project …and then it hit me, anyway, that I wanted to use the metal needles because the yarn slips off the needles so much more easily…and now that I have had my needle just drop out of my cloths five or six times—although thankfully they go right back in—the stitches barely move at all…thank goodness…but that if nothing else tells me that less slick needles are mandatory as I move forward.

I will post more pictures as I go along…

 

One Grain Down…

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Hmm…it was rather difficult to get a decent picture of the actual shawl…

The pattern is a free one from Tin Can Knits (I LOVE them).

The pattern is called Grain.

Well…a bit more of the grain shawl

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I used the yarn I had been working my own Einstein Coat up with for so long…

How long ago did I start this shawl?  I’m not sure.  I only have a project listed in my ravelry profile for the first one I started, using thin fuzzy yarn.  This one I am still working on…I have a bit to go yet…but I like it.

This one here, the grey one, is done in bulky grey heathered wool, on, I think, size 13 US needles.

I think this will be the best pic of the shawl….sheesh

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Last night I decided to work on it.  I had used up nearly all the Einstein coat yarn…and I decided I was going to finish off that yarn and see how much was leftover.  The last three, maybe four rows were not in the original EC…and that works for me.  I do believe there is enough yarn left in this skein to work up a simple hat–before winter gets here.

I finished up knitting, cursed Netflix for making such engrossing shows available, especially when the boy fell asleep on the couch and I wasn’t moving until I finished my shawl.

I love how this turned out.  I love how the smaller one is turning out.  This pattern is so simple, yet so lovely when finished.

Having used bulky yarn to make this thing, it was interesting to work it up on a 60 inch cable and not have any room leftover…and then cast off and have this long string of cable just sitting there, looking so bereft.

And now…off to do more knitting…or maybe chase the young boy a bit and then fight the cats off to knit…

 

Free Knitting Patterns: Duncan’s Cloths

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The Bernat Baby Blanket Wash Cloths, By Request

 

We have been “spring cleaning” here for a while…and there is still a ways to go…however, I cleaned out the toy boxes in the basement and my youngest saw some toys that I had knitted my oldest when she was more his age…and he fell in love with them…I am grateful to know that he really does love the things that I make…even if he doesn’t want me to make him things very often…which is sort of how these cloths came to be.

 

After getting a new to him mermaid softie and a jellyfish softie, and finding out they can go into the tub fine–hey, acrylic yarn…it washes…and noticing that there were some soft washcloths …as opposed to the other wash cloths he knows I have made (knitted) that have faces and designs on them…he really loves the soft ones…the soft cloths in question are the pipsqueak cloths that I made (knitted) while pregnant with the boy in question…you can find the free patterns for these cloths here…just scroll down…

 

He loves these cloths and was tickled to hear that I actually made them for him when he was in my tummy (that whole subject, him in my tummy, just fascinates him)–and he asked me to make more of these cloths.  Well, we went to the same store I normally buy the pipsqueak yarn, only to find that it wasn’t there.  There were other yarns, after the third store showed no pipsqueaks, at least not of the yarn sort…and the boy chose something he liked.  He went on and on, as we walked to the checkout, about how soft the yarn was, how he loves these colors especially–which is a surprise since his favorite colors are nowhere near these…but hey, he picked it out…he loves it…that’s what counts…he also asked that his washcloths be lots of different sizes.

 

And thus, the Bernat baby cloths free patterns were born.

 

Using Bernat baby Blanket yarn, shown here in “little lilac dove”, and using US size 13 needles for all three patterns.

 

Pattern 1: The Small One

approximately 4 – 3/4 inches by 5 – 2/3 inches

 

Cast on: 13 stitches

 

Knit every row for about 18 rows.

 

Bind off loosely.

 

Weave in ends.

 

 

Pattern 2: The Medium One

 

approximately 6 1/2 inches by 7 inches

 

Cast on:  15 stitches

 

Knit 3 rows.

 

Row 1: Knit 3, purl to last 3 stitches, knit 3

 

Row 2: Knit to end

 

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for about 20 rows

 

Knit 3 rows.

 

Bind off loosely.

 

Weave in ends.

 

Pattern 3: The Large One

approximately 8 inches by 10 inches

 

(If I had this one to do again, I would make it smaller, casting on 5 less stitches than the pattern calls for.)

 

Cast on: 21 stitches

 

Row 1: slip first stitch purlwise, *knit 2, purl 2, repeat from * across

 

Row 2:  slip first stitch purlwise, *purl 2, knit 2, repeat from * across

 

Repeat rows 1 and 2 about 14 times

 

Bind off loosely in pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting Adventures

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It’s July.  The due date to have five cloths of the same pattern turned in for the Annual Dishcloth swap is August 26, 2016.  I have been perusing the chat threads, seeing all the beautiful work being done.  I have actually been test knitting cloths..the last one I worked on was…Memorial Day…there was a lot of seed stitch and I was able to knit while we drove (well, my partner drove–I knitted)–but when we got home…the yarn was wrong (variegated) and the pattern…was stockinette stitch in places where it was supposed to be seed stitch…so I frogged out that cloth, set my needles aside…and then…got lost in things other than knitting.  That happens to me, periodically.

When I began test knitting weeks ago, I had joked with myself that the only cloths I would be able to make would be ghostie cloths–but if I made them, the only one who would get them would be my son.  Well, it’s coming down to that.

Last night that bug hit me, after seeing all the gorgeous cloths people are making for the swap.  And it hit me how much I really wanted to play along…and just how swamped and exhausted I am…when I make my son his ghostie cloths, I make one cloth (the test knits) for me–then one for him.  Then I take a break, and make another test knit.  Well, I have a feeling that is how my pattern is going to continue.

Duncan's new ghostie cloth…free ravelry pattern pac man dishcloths by teaandcakes.net

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So, I implore you to jump in there and join this swap–it honestly is my most favorite swap (even though I don’t think I’ve done it in two, maybe three years now)…

This will be another year I bow out–and maybe I start working on next year’s swap cloths this year, as I meant to do last year.  Knitting just hasn’t happened a lot for me lately, between toddler and other things.  I know things are all ok though, because the desire to knit lace is not there (for those who don’t understand the ‘joke’, I usually only want to knit lace during stressful times for some reason. And no, I am not all that good at knitting lace or staying focused, especially not when stressed…)

Having said that–I went through and pulled together the other patterns I had pulled out (pre-Memorial Day) to test knit–and I pulled up a bunch of other patterns–Mario Brothers cloths and Captain American’s shield cloth notwithstanding there for the little boy…and my plan is…to knit all of them, one at a time, even if it takes me until next year to do it.  There are maybe fifteen, twenty cloths…five more if I get brace enough to work from charts without written line by line instructions.  That is my goal.  I’ll end up with some pretty cloths.  I’ll be knitting.  I’ll find that sweet pattern I’ll be able to knit five times before next summer’s swap…and I’ll have the sizes and whatever all down as well so I won’t be worrying about too big, too small…whatever.  But the big thing is–I’ll be knitting–and I’ll be finishing projects — and that will make me feel much better about things.

 

Regaining Lost Ground…

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In 2016, there are many things I would like to regain, to embrace more deeply….ahh, that word again, or at least a form of it…deepen, more deeply…

There have been aches for my old habits creeping back in, more and more of late.

I reach out for these things as they call, sometimes with varying amounts of success.

Yoga is always a huge thing. Even though right now, my practice is slow, and short, but I do my best to keep up some semblance of a practice.

Knitting…it is always knitting, after Yoga, to which I return. The rhythmic motions of wool over my fingers, the act of creating…it soothes my savage soul. I don’t always get to finish projects these days, not even every dishcloth I begin, but at least I do get something from the activity.

Knitting leads to … toy making … doll making. I used to do this via crochet, via knitting…not so much by sewing…although I do love to sew as well…truth be told, what I genuinely miss more of is my embroidery…but right now I would be happy to sew more…

Reading, like full actual books…I used to devour books, daily, even if I were reading a dozen or so at the same time, I would read, a chapter here, a chapter there, the whole series of novels there…

I have already been pulling back in pieces of baking and cooking and hearth-care…more of that will follow…

All of this, on top of my artwork, on top of my writing, on top of the children, the housework, the education. I can do this…I used to do this, all of this, and more…

This coming year is going to be spectacular…

Simple EZ color swatch hat…

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Knit One, Purl Two

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So, I have been a bit vocal, periodically, about losing my normal self-soothing and self-care practices…knitting, crochet, Yoga, etc etc etc…for some reason, it is especially hurtful lately with my dominant hand giving me fits and issues…

Well, with the ‘aid’ of my youngest, knitting and crochet is pretty much off the table for me for the most part…and has been for awhile…but I have missed it so very much…

I have started several projects lately and either frogged them out or stuck them in bags and left them…

Then, a couple weekends ago, my oldest son comes to me and says…Mom, why don’t you knit anymore?

And I said, I can knit if you need me to knit you something.  Would you like me to knit you something?

The boy says, no, I just like it when you knit.

That is something that sat with me…and ate away at me…

Until…the annual dishcloth swap announcements came out…and if you knit or crochet and you love swapping–this is the bestest and most awesomest group ever.  You make five cloths of the same pattern and mail them in by the due date.  If they get there by the due date, the swap leaders take all the cloths and swim in them like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his gold…or so I imagine…and then pick out five completely different cloths randomly and send them to you.  There is a size limit — but no shape limit.  Click here to learn all the sweet little details...I highly recommend it…I have done the swap, I think, twice now…and there is also a scrubby swap through this group in the Fall…I forget exactly when as I have never actually remembered to make the scrubbies in time to mail them off before deadline…

But…this year…the thought of knitting five cloths of the same pattern…because right now with the issues with my hand, crocheting may be too much for me to endure…it just makes my head hurt…this is one reason I do not knit socks — having to knit two of the same pattern…bleck…and yes, I know about knitting two socks at once–I think right now that is beyond me…and I do know about knitting mis-matched pairs of socks…which is truly where I aim to go, once I am again hit with the desire to knit socks…then I would have to wear my sock yarn stash on my feet, rather than just stare, drool, and pet it…lol…

So–between wanting to knit…and not wanting to work on my all wool Einstein coat in the summer…and my oldest son telling me he misses me knitting…and the yummy annual dishcloth swap…it hit me…ok, so I need instant gratification…and I can knit myself as many dishcloths as I want…and I can buy a skein of cotton yarn every time we go out if the mood strikes me as they are pretty cheap (peaches and cream yarn) — so I can have as many colors as I can find…in as many patterns as I would like…and I would not have to — knit five of the same pattern, nor ensure I had proper postage for the return envelope nor the sending envelope, nor make sure I met the deadline (which, I believe, is August) or anything like that…though I love getting stuff in the mail and I have always been so happy with the cloths that have come in return for my own offerings…it is too much stress, pressure and work for me right now…

So, one night, while attempting to convince my youngest that sleep was a good thing, he and I sat and ogled the free dishcloth patterns on ravelry…and I queued up a whole bunch of them…once the little monster, I mean, my little darling, had passed out for the night, erm…fallen asleep…I went, downloaded all the patterns and put them in a file on my computer desktop…I work on one cloth at a time, without stressing out about things…and just allowing the yarn to flow over my fingers and to grow into a washcloth.

I used one of the first ones I knit recently in the shower the other night… I had forgotten how nice that could be…I save up the ones I receive from the swaps, because other people worked so hard and made those from me…I cannot just let anyone use them…but if I make them, I will use them…yeah, I have good wash rags, just like I have good plates…what an idea…it’s not one I am used to having, other than having to put things up to keep them out of baby/toddler reach…I don’t particularly care for this idea either…so I need to find a space to let go of that concept….but that is another post…

If you follow me on instagram, I post pictures of my finished cloths, with how to find the pattern on ravelry…I don’t post pictures anywhere else…because I am not taking any other picture.  I am not logging these down in my ravelry account projects area–because that is too much like work…and I don’t want to do that…I just want to knit and let go.  I do keep notes on the patterns I use, as I print them out.  I have done cloths with pictures on them and cloths that are just a repeating pattern…I have shaped patterns, like flowers and leaves, saved to do at some point…but my intention is not to push myself…my desire is to treat this particular knitting practice much like a morning pages practice…

I write three pages of junky junk every day (not always in the morning)…I draw a simple little something in my morning pages art journal (not always in the morning) and then I knit a little bit, not even a whole cloth, not even a whole pattern repeat, just a row or three, and that is good enough…

It feels good–it feels like me…I am starting to feel Me-ish again…if I keep this up, I know I shall find my Much-ness–and then the whole world better watch out–because once I have my Much-ness back, there is nothing I cannot accomplish…

What about you?  What practices do you have–or do you need to have–in order to feel like You?