The kids insisted the tree go up on Sunday and they took great pride in decorating it. I think they did a beautiful job. Their popcorn garlands turned out great but actually was quite finicky to make because the popcorn kept breaking. It probably wasn’t stale enough before we started.
I’m knitting every spare moment I get which sometimes isn’t much at all during the day. However, I find if I can at least lay my hands on some yarn, even if not to knit it, it helps me find my feet. I might wind a ball of yarn ready for a project or I might wash another skein of the BFL that’s being re-knitted. But the best is when the kids have finally settled down to sleep and there’s still an hour or so for me to sit, feet up, knitting going. Currently I have a shawl, cardigan, mittens, a little scarf thingy, and a pair of socks on the go. I’m dying to cast on a hat. I really enjoy having multiple projects – each for a different mood or concentration level. I remember in college feeling my brain change due to reading lots of different texts at the same time. I liked having different reading for different moods and so it didn’t feel like a choice between reading or not, but a choice between reading great literature or a legal text, or something else. It’s the same with knitting, a choice of what to knit – not whether to knit. I love it!
My good friend V emailed me a couple of pictures of the shawl I recently made for her. I didn’t have time to wash and block it properly before I gave it to her so I know it will soften up once that is done. It’s made with Tosh superwash merino DK and it took up over 2 and a half skeins. It’s a big shawl. I got carried away with all that garter stitch. Thanks for the photos V!
Have a great weekend.
Posted by Claire on December 6, 2013
A five-day-weekend with wind so cold the kids won’t go out and play for more than 10 minutes at a time. Even the cat keeps coming in! We play lots of Monopoly and Candy Land. I find I’m truly polygamous in my knitting with at least three projects in full swing at once. The kids don’t seem to mind taking my turn at throwing dice and moving my piece around the board as I click away at my needles, we enjoy double checking each other’s counting, just to make sure they moved my piece the correct number of places (they are slippery in this regard).
I finished a pair of self-striping socks. Truly knitted in their entirety in the car while waiting for school to get out, or at the doctor’s waiting room, or the dentist, or at soccer on a Saturday morning, or waiting to drive through the bank drive-through. They are plain vanilla socks with an after-thought heal. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (as George likes to say).
Today, being Saturday, we turn our sights to Christmas. We are waiting for Jay to get home from work so we can put up our tree together. It is the earliest we will have ever put up a tree, but Thanksgiving is late this year, and we have FIVE days to get through so the tree and attendant decorating shall happen just as soon as Jay comes home. Both kids have been making popcorn and cranberry garlands today. Buddy has been most accommodating with cleaning up the popcorn mess that has fallen on the floor.
Ahh, I almost forgot. Sorry for the sneak peek photo (in the last post) and then the radio silence. A slight slip-up on my part in that I gifted the garment before taking any proper pictures of it. It’s a rather lovely shawl made for a very good friend. We waited for our girls together, an experience that bonded us friends for life. It was high-time she be the recipient of some knitting love. And so now she is. Here is a picture from the pattern:
Turkey drawing by Heather. I’d love to embroider her drawing.
Posted by Claire on November 30, 2013
Posted by Claire on November 22, 2013
Posted by Claire on November 15, 2013
Therapy of the retail sort,
The garter stitch sort,
And the getting out in the woods sort.
Posted by Claire on November 11, 2013
Seeing I mentioned the Gudrun Johnston cardigan in my last post I thought we could have a look at it together. I knitted this exactly a year ago and it’s nice to see my knitting is getting better. I definitely made this too small, and I see that low neck line again (what’s up with that?) But just look at how I joined the arms – loose and sloppy. I also found a weird wee hole which I bet was from putting the knitting down and picking it up again later and zooming off in the wrong direction (I”m not sure how I did that but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.) The point of showing these pics is to see how much my knitting is improving (although my measuring and sizing skillz are rubbish). Here for one last time, is the Braids Hill cardigan and the sleeve I put on. Mmmmmmmm, just look at that.
I really do like Gudrun’s cardigan and I plan to rip it out and start over in the correct size one of these days. The yarn is Madeline Tosh pashmina but I don’t remember the colorway.
Posted by Claire on November 7, 2013
This is not a progress report but instead a lamentation about the Braids Hill cardigan. I stalked this pattern upon seeing it on Kate Davies’ blog as it was being released. I watched and read the Ravelry pattern boards with relish. I made a special trip to Webs to buy the yarn. I found the perfect yarn! I reveled in the joy of again knitting from a Kate Davies pattern and still I ended up frogging this beautiful piece of clothing.
I hear you cry, why? Well, let’s think back to about this time last year when I all but finished a Gudrun Johnston cardigan (I don’t think I ever posted pictures of it but it’s sitting quietly waiting for it’s due frogging). I had read the pattern sizing wrong and knitted a cardigan too small. This year, I measured myself incorrectly. Huh? How’d you do that? Well let’s just say I was overly optimistic in my measurements and although this piece was inspired from among other things the “18th century laced stays and stomachers”; this particular article once tried on looked too tight to even be a corset. I was saucily busting out of the top and I knew they’re’d by gaping holes between buttons. I looked downright indecent!. Nuff said. I should mention I had perfect gauge. Perfect! Just the wrong damn size.
Kate Davies is a wonderful designer and a terrific communicator which makes her patterns a safe place to dare new techniques like tulip button holes and Sunday short rows. I even mastered the art of the twisted stitch which was a hard won triumph during the knitting of the Business Casual socks not so long ago. Kate Davies is one of my knitting heroines and I truly enjoy working from her patterns. I can see my knitting skills are being honed from all the practice I get, but it was nothing short of miraculous to see my sleeves beautifully take shape without gaping holes or puckering. I made some size modifications from the waist to the bust to allow more room for my ample front but even that didn’t help. Oh how I hated pulling this all out.
But pull I did. And then I had a good objective look at the pattern and at me. The neck line on the Braids Hill is not for me. I need a higher neckline. So, I spent time carefully looking for a replacement and have found it in the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I have cast this on in earnest in a size bigger than I might have chosen before. I am still eagerly awaiting Kate’s newest patterns which she is releasing any day now. Here’s to learning from our mistakes and never giving up.
Posted by Claire on November 6, 2013
Oh it’s blustery and raining outside. Perfect inside, cozy, knitting weather. Lately I’ve been buying lots of yarn which is making me rather anxious and emphasizing the need to knit (even more than usual). I’m not sure I like having too much yarn waiting…accusingly. But today I’m free to knit, so knit I shall, with a hot cup of tea because we have the sore throat thing that’s going around.
Posted by Claire on November 1, 2013
I’m not one for hoarding a lot of yarn (my husband might disagree with that statement, but I think by most knitters’ standards, I’m not a stasher). However, not long ago a friend and I went to the famed WEBS store. Having planned ahead, I had a good idea of what I was looking for. After much browsing, I bought a sweater’s worth of Debbie Bliss BFL in DK weight in a bright autumnal red. I’ve never knitted with Debbie Bliss but even more exciting is that it’s Bluefaced Leicester. I’ve heard so much about BFL and I have to say, I’m smitten. It’s gorgeous. Both soft and sturdy it has good stitch definition which is exactly what I was looking for. The color is what I had in my mind’s eye for the project and I love the singular yellow strands that randomly appear. Having since started knitting with it, I am even happier with my purchase. I think it’s perfect and I love stealing time to knit it up.
Next was an unplanned purchase which resulted simply from gazing around the store. Lorna’s Lace Solemate is a superwash, nylon and viscose blend so it’s perfect for socks. The colors caught my eye as they are all pretty and range from a peachy pink through a deep pink/purple. I never feel guilty about buying sock yarn for some reason.
For the first time I was able to see with my own eyes the Madeline Tosh yarns before buying them (I have always bought it online). WEBS has a healthy supply of Tosh to love on. There was a lot of caressing and admiring the colors and softness. Eventually I found a lace weight in the Curiosity colorway which is a beautiful grayish lilac. 100% superwash merino wool. Yummmmm. This is going to be a big lacy stole that I’ve been eyeing up for some time.
I also bought my drop spindle from a corner of the shop that must be a spinner’s haven. Baskets and baskets of colorful roving and stuff that I know nothing about begged to be touched and examined. I wished I had even more time to putter in the shop but sadly the date had to come to an end as pesky children had to be picked up from school and brought home for snacks and such. Sigh.
The last picture is just to show the colors here the other day. It’s the same tree as in the previous post (2nd picture). The colors have peaked and are beginning to dwindle. We lost power on a windy afternoon recently and many trees lost their leaves. Winter is coming. Curiously, I am less resistant to the idea of winter these days which I attribute to the thought of knitting my way through the cold and bleak days having fun with color and softness and cheering myself up in the process. So I wonder, does knitting help you deal with Winter?
Posted by Claire on October 11, 2013
Posted by Claire on October 5, 2013
It’s not often that I win a prize from a bunny-maker extraordinaire.
But just the other day, I did just that.
When the package arrived I was excited and even a little emotional, as the little girl in me flooded back for a moment.
Coco arrived in a carefully sealed box with a happy clue stamped on the side.
She was prettily wrapped and held a little note card from Julie.
Upon unwrapping the tissue I looked at her little brown bunny face,
and her pretty little dress and shoes.
We smiled at each other and said “hello”.
I stroked her fuzzy wuzzy ears.
She shyly whispered
that she would very much like to spend her time with me,
rather than the children,
and I said,
“Yes, if that’s what you prefer.”
Little Cotton Rabbits is a captivating blog and
Julie is a talented knitter, crocheter and writer.
I am so happy to have won Coco.
Thank you Julie for your kind and generous give-away.
Posted by Claire on September 25, 2013
It feels like a long time since I left a chatty post about what’s going on here at Far From Harm Farm. Unfortunately, my online life was considerably interrupted due to losing the internet for a couple of weeks, but we are back up now, thank goodness. In addition to not being able to communicate or check in with you, we have been busy finishing up the summer and starting kindergarten and 2nd grade. We are well into the swing of it now and things are settling down to a decent pace. After-school activities really get going next week but we’ll worry about that next week.
George has taken to kindergarten extremely well. I’m so impressed at the many changes in him in the last couple of weeks. In preschool his class was made up of 3, 4 and 5 year olds whereas he’s now with 5 and 6 year olds. He’s feeling like a big boy and his natural curiosity is being challenged and fed all the time. In the last couple of weeks he has actively started to learn to write his name and the letters L and O. He is counting like a champ and has even taken paper and pens out to draw by himself. All of these basic things were a reach for him before, simply because, I think, he had so much else to learn and absorb first. He appears to be catching up to himself, and let me tell you, it’s wonderful. Wonderful. WONDERFUL.
Heather has bounced into second grade with a new confidence I haven’t seen before. The confidence seems to be in herself and her appearance – she is proud of her beautiful curly hair and has even shared a little bit about Ethiopia with her friends. One of her class’ first assignments was to find a bag and fill it with a few things that represent “you”. She chose to take her ballet slippers, the Ethiopian flag, and some hair care products. This was the first time (that I’m aware of) that she would have openly talked about herself and fielded questions without mama bear to protect her. Her teacher said she did great. I’m a very proud mama bear.
On Saturday we had friends over to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year. Everyone ate heaps of doro wot, shiro wot, and mesir wot (all aromatic and tasty stews) warm cabbage and lentils, ayib (a kind of farmer’s cheese), injera (flat bread) and strong buna (coffee) to finish off. It was a fun night of Ethiopian music, dresses, food and friends.
In other news, Jay is still working all the hours. I am still knitting and walking quite a lot. The running has fallen off for now, but the walking is great. And here I am blogging again. All feels well. It is a good feeling and one which I will hopefully hold on to for a while to come.
George’s socks have been finished for a while. They are squishy and warm. I grabbed a free Ravelry pattern which was extremely basic and well explained so would be a great sock for a beginner. The pattern can be found on my Ravelry page.
Posted by Claire on September 19, 2013
Will return tomorrow,
but for now,
enjoy a pic of my son knitting alongside me.
This week he started kindergarten,
Posted by Claire on September 7, 2013
Posted by Claire on August 18, 2013
I had this space all to myself yesterday evening. It’s a house and gardens that is a national heritage site and is open to the public. Yet last evening, while Heather rehearsed for a ballet performance somewhere else on the grounds, I was allowed to wander around the gardens alone after hours. In the end I sat here knitting with the gentle sun going down.
(The socks to match the hat.)
Posted by Claire on August 15, 2013
Posted by Claire on August 13, 2013
George eyed me carefully when he saw the Pretty Pansy socks were going to Heather.
“Can I have some?” he asked.
“Yes of course” was my reply “but we must go to the yarn store to find you some yarn.”
“Okay. I can play with the toys.”
He picked the greenest of green yarn by Hikoo and although it’s a DK weight I thought I could jimmy up some socks with it. On the way home he decided he’d rather have a hat. ”I can do that” I said, and did. Twice. The first being too small, an experiment in changing a hat pattern, it would rather fit a baby. I picked up the needles again and knitted the hat as the pattern called for and as you see, it fits. As you also see, George cannot sit still.
And I still have enough left for a wee pair of socks.
Rav notes here.
Posted by Claire on August 10, 2013
Posted by Claire on August 8, 2013
These little socks traveled to Scotland and hung out on the heathery mountains but they are definitely more at home with a posy of pansies.
Oh yup, these might be my favorite socks to date. Probably because they so perfectly fit my slender daughter’s foot. I started out knitting these for me (and my small feet) but it quickly became apparent they were too narrow and Heather insisted she could help by trying them on. Think Cinderella and the glass slipper.
I knitted them two at a time but not on the same needle. I’ve tried knitting two at once on the same needle but it’s a huge fankle and not worth the twisted yarn in my humble op. However, I do suffer from second sock syndrome so I now knit a section of one sock on one needle and then repeat that section for the second sock on another needle thereby always knitting them in sections together. To achieve this I split the yarn in half but as you can see the first color (the deeper purples) quickly ran out on the second sock when it turned decidedly light blue. The socks look quite different as a result but Heather doesn’t care as she rarely wears socks that match anyway (its a thing).
This is the second pair of socks I’ve knitted from Kate Atherley’s Basic Ribbed Sock pattern. It’s a great and easy pattern and very quick. The yarn is Pagewood Farm Denali Hand Dyed Sock yarn and is an 80/20 merino/nylon mix. (I just noticed it’s listed as a light fingering so perhaps that contributed to how small they came up too.) My ravelry notes are here.
I just finished Jay’s Buna Socks which are from the same pattern. I’m sure I’ll be sharing them here with you shortly!
Posted by Claire on August 1, 2013