Monday, June 13, 2016

Making Progress on a Hectic Rainy London Day

Crazy thing about London... rain is what it's known for, but even then, I can't say that constant downpours all day long is the norm. London rain tends to strike and then blue sky peaks out or the sun makes the clouds that remain look spectacular. Don't get me wrong, it can definitely happen. Cloudy days week after week aren't uncommon. But we don't often have downpours all day long. But today, a day I had many errands to run because we're heading to the States for summer break, was just one of those days where the sky dumped over and over again. Had a paper bag from UNIQLO that turned into mush, and while walking under an umbrella! Okay, there were driving winds and rain in sheets, but still! Luckily I noticed before I'd lost my purchase on Oxford Street.

These crazy rainy days are good for knitting. No reason to do much else (unless you need to be out), so once errands were done, I headed home and got the knitting out. Loving this pattern, loving the Rowan Cocoon, and loving getting back into knitting.

Will take the chance that I can get my knitting needles on the plane. It's always hit or miss. Don't know if I ever wrote about the time my needles were confiscated in Switzerland... after my initial outrage, I was sort of resigned to the fact that they threw my needles away, although they were terribly expensive (what was I thinking?). Just cooling down, waiting to board, I looked over and another passenger had her needles out (very similar to those that I'd just lost), and was happily knitting. So wanted to go say something, but couldn't do that to a fellow knitter. Hopefully that Karma has helped me keep my needles since.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Grays Have It!

School's out for summer and I finally found the time to get down to John Lewis to look at their grays or greys (depending on from where you hail). OMG... gray is almost as bad as blues when it comes to finding just the right shade. You know those navy shoes that don't match that navy dress which doesn't match the navy purse although all under the name "navy." That was part of the problem on my little quest for grays yesterday. The other problem--the weight. Found a couple very good shades, but the weight didn't work.

Went with the Rowan Cocoon in Scree, Shale & Mountain. Would have preferred using the darker two shades along with black, but Cocoon doesn't come in black. My impatience got the better of me so I just went ahead. Hopefully won't be disappointed.

Off to get a start.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What's Up, Doc?!

Just got back from my shoulder scan and I'm healing! Such great news. Told me to get back on the anti-inflammatories as there's still some swelling, but he said the ligament is at least starting to look like a ligament, which makes me very happy. He still reiterated that my shoulder was VERY bad (the third worst he's ever operated on), so I shouldn't be too impatient. But of course, I'm impatient.

Didn't order wool online. Just can't make a decision on grays without looking at them. Will be heading to the yarn shop this weekend.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Contemplating Getting Back in the Game

So I've been gone awhile. The shoulder never did get better so after five years of struggle and pain, two shots of cortisone and hours and hours of physio, I finally went under the knife in March. Great doctor here in London and I'm optimistic that I'll be back doing everything (including swimming) soon. Has taken longer than normal because when the doctor got in there, he said it was much worse than he'd expected. "Not the worst I've worked on, but the third worst," were his exact words. He also said the ligament, which is meant to look like leather looked more like cotton wool. "I couldn't have stitched it up if I'd wanted to. You just have to give it time to heal." So I've been giving it time. Go in for another scan this coming week to see if all is well.

I will likely wait to knit until the verdict is in, but I'm itching to knit something I saw the character of Claire Fraser wear in the television show Outlander. It's a simple pattern, so I thought it might be a good starting project. Ravelry has a few free downloadable pattern, so I've chosen one and will likely order wool today.

Claire wears the shawl in different ways, which I really love. In the photo on the right, she seems to cross it over and hook it in the back. Looks cozy and like it might be nice for those evenings at the lake when it cools off once the sun goes down.  I'm going to go with two pretty dark grays and black even though I've noticed many who have knitted this pattern have gone with some color. What I love about this is the subtle differences in the colors, so I don't want to lose that. So many lines of wool seem to have just two grays... dark and light, so the challenge will be to find more variation. Off to do some online research and wool shopping. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is Knitting Ruining My Shoulder?

Two years of on and off physiotherapy, loads of anti-inflammatories, an MRI and a sonogram, topped off with a painful shot of cortisone, which the doctor doesn't seem to be too optimistic about. Looks like I may be on my way to surgery on my right shoulder. The burning of the bursitis which keeps me up nights always seems worse when I've done a lot of knitting and now I'm beginning to wonder if I need to re-assess the way I knit. I've traditionally been an English knitter and find that my stitches this way are almost machine-like and I'm fairly fast. I know how to knit the Continental style, but I never feel I have the control of the yarn in the same way and my stitches are looser and less uniform. At this point, although it's meant to be faster and should be, I'm still not comfortable enough to make it the faster, better choice. My shoulder, however, may make the switch necessary as that repetitive motion of throwing the yarn around the needle causes me pain.

Currently on the needles: a baby gift for a couple at work who had their first child, a baby girl. I had some leftover pink cotton yarn, so I'm going with the stereotypical color choice here. The pattern is "Demne" by Annie Cholewa. I've never really used the provisional cast-on before so needed to learn that. I'm knitting all these sections and I'm still not clear how it's all fitting together. I'm sure it will all become clear soon.

Thinking about knitting scarves for all my kids' teachers (like 16 of them) for Christmas. I've finished two and have another almost finished. I'm thinking these might be good to practice my Continental stitching on.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Knitting Rowan's Finna for My Daughter

After last week, it seemed that winter was nearly over here in London, so of course I decided to finally get a start on Rowan's Finna for my daughter. That makes no sense, but that's the way I roll. Turned chilly, windy and rainy so didn't seem quite so stupid today.
It's a nice fair isle pattern, but I'm glad that I got on Ravelry to check out the comments. Although it's pretty evident from the photo, I'm not sure I would have been observant enough to notice the extra-large neckline. I think I'll knit up a bit higher and go less wide on the shoulders.

Bought the yarn online and had it delivered. It looked a little more blue than grey in the photo, so I wasn't quite prepared for what I received. C'est la vie! I think Chi would have liked it better in a blue, but she's so easy-going about it all that I kept it. The pattern is very large, which was also mentioned on Ravelry. I thought I might go sort of big for her anyway so knitted a medium first, but I think that size would have hung on me, so I frogged it and knitted a small. Back is done and the front is on the needles, so it's time for a post after a year.
I'm knitting for my daughter. That doesn't happen much anymore. I knit hats and scarves and the like for them, but I haven't knitted anything "big" for a few years. I knit for babies all the time. I think there's something about how long it takes to make sweaters for bigger kids and the fact that they continue to grow, and grow out of my creations that makes it less than appealing. Let's call it the time-knitting to the time-wearing ratio. I think there's a mathematical formula there that explains everything.
But now I'm pretty sure my eldest is about done growing. At 5'8" she's now my height and although slighter, she's gotten past that middle school skinny stage. I now feel that anything I knit her, she will either wear forever or until it wears out, or I can take it back and wear it myself. If worse comes to worse, we can always hope that one day her little sister might steal it away. I just want things I knit to find a home and be appreciated.
So all this growing up talk makes me a little pensive. Yesterday my daughter said, "Can you believe that we're only a couple weeks away from 4th quarter? Pretty soon I'll be a sophomore!" Only three years left with her... It seems like only yesterday she was a tiny little thing and everyone with older kids was saying, "Appreciate every minute; they grow so fast." It seemed cliche at the time and all I could think was about getting more sleep. I think sleep deprivation really keeps you from enjoying it to the fullest, if at all :)
So I'm going to work on my Finna sweater and think about those 15 years I some how let slip by so quickly. Some of those stitches will make me think of the giggles and smiles and silliness. Some will make me think of the all my worries--cuts and bruises, the hurt feelings, and tears. Others will make me wonder how my daughter turned out to be so much better than I ever was at her age. I often tell people my kids are somehow more evolved than I ever was. I think I was well into my 20s or even 30s before I had their wisdom. I will knit all those feelings and thoughts into the sweater. I will sew it up with all my love and hope it will keep her warm and happy and healthy. What I'm trying to say is it's nice to want to knit for my eldest daughter finally. It seems an important milestone in my knitting.
Let's now take bets on whether the sweater will ever be worn. Whether she'll like it or whether she'll complain about it being too itchy, or too big, or too small... Just kidding. That's not really fair. She is a knitter (a better one than she likes to admit) and knows the time put into a project like a sweater. She will appreciate it. And even if she doesn't like it, I can be rest assured that she will say she likes it and will wear it. She's a good egg, and she deserves someone to knit her more than a hat. Off I go.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Finished My Rowan "Moustiers" Sweater

I finished knitting this sweater months ago... just needed to sew it up. Decided I better get it together as fall has officially hit London. My Sunday mornings are taken up with a long commute and sitting around while my daughter is at field hockey training--three and a half hours--so that gave me plenty of time. You know this is my least favorite part of the job, but each time I finish, I say, "That wasn't so bad!" But I never seem to remember that...

It was the first time that I bought the exact yarn and color for a pattern I found in a book. When the yarn finally arrived I had a "yuck" moment. Loved the texture, but the colors just didn't seem to go together at all. Decided to go for it anyway. Ended up liking the fit, but made a few changes along the way. Made the arms a little longer and took away the fullness around the hips. Nice to have it done. My husband said it's his favorite.

Have a baby vest that needs to be finished. Maybe I'll work on that tomorrow on my long tube ride to field hockey.