Hi, and welcome to a blustery Friday. I apologise for the oddness of my last couple of posts, I was feeling the pressure of a difficult situation and keep those posts for posterity. This week’s post will be more concentrate, and hopefully more enjoyable.
On my Needles
TinyOwlKnits’ designs have such a great balance between wearability and whimsy that I had been stalking them long before I connected with Ravelry. When I found the Beekeeer’s Quilt there, it wasn’t long before I took the plunge. I usually get my patterns free online or as part of a magazine where I either subscribed or liked the cover kit, so I had little experience of PDF purchases and none of how it works on Ravelry.
I had received an Ipad2 for Xmas, and while that isn’t the biggest or best tablet out there it had a similar feel to my old original version while being a fair bit smarter than it. For the first time, I was able to look at a PDF pattern online, and download it for later use. Accessing patterns on Ravelry takes it one step further in that I could also save the patterns in one place online for access later, see which of the yarns I have will work best with each, record my progress, and see how others are using the same project.
This was both the right tool and the right format for using a pattern that I knew that I would be coming back to time and again, because it is special. Stephanie’s style of writing is so uplifting, taking away natural barriers such as not knowing or understanding the cast on method that she uses because it’s explained so comprehensively and empathetically, giving that little extra encouragement where needed, and laying it all out in such a fun way that the only tension is in the stitches. And the fun’s not over when each puff is finished; I like to keep mine at the back of my workstation, so I can see them and give them an extra squidge as needed. I hope that you try this pattern, as I want you to enjoy your knitting as much as I have.
My sister lives on a tropical hideaway, which is great for stunning views but less suitable for shopping. While she does get out to the mainland as much as work permits, we do our best to provide her with the most suitable items. That’s where this belt comes in.
I needed to find something that was dark and sturdy, yet without metal parts for postability. Many options were waded through, none was worthy of this quest. With trusty needles in hand, I journeyed on towards a tie system.
I measured the internal height of one of the belt loops on an item that I was sending, as I haven’t made a belt before and so needed an item she was going to wear as a point of reference. The measurement was 2.4cm, so I shaved it down to 2cm to ensure that it could slip through easily enough.
I decided on sportweight, listed as a dk in our £ shop, acrylic for an item that will be sturdy yet flexible and wash well. I also haven’t knitted for my sister much, so didn’t feel that it was worth sourcing linen yarn for an item that she may not even like the style of.
I’m naturally a slightly loose knitter, which usually suits my love of light laciness but was not going to be a good match for a load-bearing piece. So I worked more tightly by using moss stitch, smaller needles, and keeping a rein on my gauge (wrapping counterclockwise helped there). Because this doesn’t come naturally, my work has felt far slower than usual; but quality over quantity.
Once I’d worked all this out, I made a swatch 10 stitches wide and measured after 4 rows. My gauge came up consistently as just over 2cm, so I started again at 8 stitches and all was well. To get the right length ties for her size, I discussed that 10 inches longer than the maximum waist measurement given for the clothing size is a good starting point. Since I won’t be blocking my work so that it can do that on its journey, the best way of meaning it to counteract the slight curve is to hold the belt up in one hand and the measure in another, and this gave me 16 inches at the stage in the pic.
On my Mind
I have been trying to better understand what type of person I am, and how that interacts with those around me. I at least partly understand now that I am an introvert, and that some of my difficulty in understanding has been talking when I should have been thinking. There are so many types of people in the world, and one not understanding our motivation makes it no less valid.
In the midst of this, one of my pets had died and I knew that the other was unwell. If you’re not an animal person, imagine that whoever you love most has a terminal illness. I felt powerless to help when I thought about it too closely, and so was anxious that perhaps I wasn’t doing all I could to help. But when there is only one answer, all we have is time; how we use that is the difference that we make. So I did my best to enrich the time that he had left, until he let me know that it was time to go last Sunday. The day before, he was being livelier than ever; he leapt over my keyboard, stole one of my hexipuffs, and then sat holding it on the sock that I was knitting. That’s part of the reason why I haven’t started the socks again, I’m not ready to frog the one that he loved.