Tuesday, April 15

hip hip hooray, tis a holiday and other things ...

other things:

 i have come to the conclusion a knitty crochet skirt is not to be mine. after numerous starts, lots of maths, several folks help, i have declared, enough is enough. so i am going to embark on a crochet skirt instead, it is to be made out of a glorified rectangle, for rectangles and squares are my friends. i see it in my head, whether i will ever see it on my body is quite a different thing. 

it has dawned on me, knitting is not my friend because i aim too big and too high. i have shifted my aim to smaller and lower, and am thinking this will be my break through. i have in my mitts a most marvelously peachy book called Lullaby Knits which i found at Tolt, once again whilst doing a bit of dusting and pattern shelf rearranging. "of course" i exclaimed, and all became clear. if i am to be a granny one day, i truly must be organized ahead of time. it will be impossible to create umpteen knitty wonders for a small being in just 9 months at the rate i knit. so i am thinking of starting now. i will attack my stash and i will make little knitted hats and little knitted sweaters and little crocheted blankets. some from patterns, others i made up as i went along.

on friday and saturday i had to stop still for the quite the longest time due to Mr Vertigo paying a visit, so i used the time wisely to start my first knitty project from Lullaby Knits. i know for others it would not take any time at all, but for me it took quite the while, however i must confess i greatly enjoyed this knitty project for several reasons.
it was small, thus an end was in sight even before i had begun. 
it was written well, thus after only a few false starts i was happily on my way. 

by the end of saturday night i had a teeny tiny little knitted hat all washed and drying ready to be added to my 'one day a granny' knitted pile.

i have deduced a slight spanner in the workings of my brilliantly cunning plan and it is this. i do not wish to give away my small being knits. this is terribly selfish of me and i have had words with myself but i cannot help it. i wish to keep them all to myself, well i say all, i haven't actually made any others than the hat, but in my mind's eye i see piles of lovely little handmade knits and i do not wish to part with them, i wish to keep them all for myself, i am guessing what i truly wish for is a small being all of my own to don in knitted goodness. so i have devised a most brilliantly cunning plan b, to go with my brilliantly cunning plan a. 

as i have 4 children i believe the chances are quite high i may one day be a granny, and the chances are quite high i may one day be a granny more than once from several of my children (no no no, i am not counting my chickens before they hatch, i am just thinking ahead, of possibilities tis all). well it would never do if i had given all the knitted goodness to one child and then another declares they will be a parent soon and i have nothing but a bit of yarn and needles left and 9 months to get moving on. 

sooooo, i am going to have a 'small beings' lending library!! 
what genius! what brilliant~ness!

little knitted wares in all difference sizes so does not matter what time of year i become a granny. i will offer up my knitted sweeties and when they no longer fit, they can be mailed back to me (do you read that, 'mailed', sigh, yes because realistically having children living in two or more countries, my chances of being a granny in the right one is quite slim), where upon i will wash them and put them back in the knitted lending library pile ready for another small being to enjoy. i am beyond happy with this plan and from this day i will go forth and i will only be knitting 'small being' things for my 'small beings' lending library.

tis a holiday:

tomorrow i go on my travels, i am beyond giddy and really terribly nervous about the whole thing. having got myself into a right old pickle over the past few years, its been quite the while since i traveled on my own. i did it before and i know i can do it again, its just my head and my body do not seem to agree upon it. i have dug deep and found my snoopy courage and i am so glad i have, for i do want to be brave enough to see the world before i pop my clogs.

i am going home for easter to be with my folks, i have only seen them for 3 days in the past year and a bit, this is not good enough, so easter together it is. this is my first easter in old blighty in 14 years, it is ironic as every easter rolled around stateside and i would have given anything for a big chocolate cadbury's button easter egg and then the one year i can, i can't. i am going on nearly 8 months now without chocolate. if i were to just sniff a piece, or perhaps lick just a corner, i would be in trouble, so i can't and i won't. i will stay strong.
i am a little worried about traveling with my riiii-dicciiii-ulous list of food intolerances but i tell myself i am not alone and worst comes to worst, man can live off water for a while.

a handy dandy travel kit is a must

and so my travels take me to old blighty for easter and then i am taking a trip of a lifetime with my soul sister to Marrakech in Morocco where we will be staying for 5 days in a most lovely riad near the heart of the souk and embark on a crochet retreat with the lovely Ingrid from Wood & Wool Stool. i have no idea if this is so, but i cannot think there is anything more incredible or inspiring then to spend 5 days in Morocco crocheting and dye-ing wool with a group of dearies and one's soul sister (who has promised to hold my hand if i feel a little wobbly at times)
again just thinking about it, i am nervous, i am giddy, but i do know i am beyond lucky.

and then besty best of all, i get to spend a few days with Our #1, whom i miss muchly, and even better than besty best, she will be returning back to seattle with me to spend a few weeks back in the fold.
the next month starting from tomorrow is going to be extra ordinary.

my lads of three are primed ready to take over the controls of mossy shed and its band of happy critters. i will not fret about the water bowl, nor Used Dog's daily meds, i will not fret they will have clean undies to wear each and every day i am gone. no sirree! tomorrow when i step onto that plane, doing my breathing exercises, and clutching my crochet, i will leave it all behind for 2 whole weeks. and less i forget and those pesky anxieties rear their ugly heads, all i have to do is look down to remind myself of where i once was, how far i have come and the intentions i set for the future

over and out for now
Tif :)

if perchance you may like to see a few pics of what i am up to along the way, you are always welcome to follow along with me via instagram

Monday, April 7

knitty knatty knotty news... thing two

we are on spring break here and its quite extra ordinary because Mr Sun seems to be shining too. it is rare indeedy for spring holidays to also have spring sunshine. of course it does not mean this here Mossy Shed has warmed up, no sirree! it will take more than a few hours of beaming from Mr Sun to warm Mossy Shed's old winter bones. i am daring to once again go baring my old pins. it is not a pretty sight, the old legs are looking rather frozen chicken like and either i keep running outside to find a sun spot every 10 mins or i will have to give up and don some woolly tights again.

and so we have 'thing two', the knitty knatty knotty thing which stopped me in my 'shoulder cozy' yarny tracks. that being said, i am quite delighted that on friday i gave my procrastinating knitting backside a quick kick and did nothing else but work on my cozy, for it needed to be done.

i wore my 'egg cozy' as i now call it, to work. 
it did indeed fit rather well despite doubts it would. at times it does its own thing, rides up, swivels around and what not, but on the whole it does just what a cozy should do, keeps you warm.

thing two:
and so it happened last tuesday when it was a little quiet in the shop i started to study the knitting patterns we carry so i may be of help to dearies coming in and asking about the patterns we carry or perhaps asking for suggestions. it really is incredible just how many lovely patterns and books we carry and i am often left dreaming of owning the things that i see. most are out of my reach, i am hopeful one day a dearie in the shop will adopt me and wish to knit me lovely things, i fear this hope is pie in the sky hope

well as i was flipping through things, i came across a simple knitted skirt. oh said i, then i read the pattern, oh again, for it was so simple and so do-able, even a knitty numpty like me could make it. i pondered the pattern for the rest of the morning. i noted the yarn they used was fingering, i noted it was fuzzy and soft, i noted i would not wish to knit in that yarn so i thought in my head i would swap it out with another. i then pondered further and noted the skirt did not have any increases and thus was a knitted tube. i do not do well with tube skirts preferring an a-line fit for my hips. upon further pondering and consulting with my yarny buddy Veronika, it was apparent the skirt i wanted in my head was not actually this skirt at all and therefore i was left with little choice but to make the skirt in my head.
i was gun ho! i was riding high! i was going to knit a skirt! 

ummm, until i came back to earth with a crash... knitting a skirt is one thing, knitting it on size 3 needles when you are not a knitter of the utmost kind, is a completely different thing. after swatching with fingering on size 3 needles, and making a big fuss about it due to cramped fingers, loosey goosey stitching etc, i switched to dk weight on size 5 needles and continued to still be a fuss pot and moan about things. i am not sure i will be allowed back to stitch circle, they will probably put me in the naughty corner if i continue upon my fussy complaining path or worse still, ban me entirely.

after a day it became most clear a knitted skirt would drive me to the funny farm, i would go nutso without a doubt. i decided a knitted crochet skirt would be more fitting for me and so i planned to do a knitted rib and then some stockinette with eyelet holes for a cord all in dk weight and then pick up with a slanted shell crochet pattern and fingering weight yarn. (crochet makes for a thicker fabric, thus this makes the weight stay the same through the skirt). i would need to increase and i would be doing the whole thing in the round. it can be tres tricky to increase in a crochet stitch pattern and so far i have not figured it out quite yet. hence if i do some rows of stockinette i can increase on those rows and then just go straight into the crochet without doing increases.

are you with me? have you fallen asleep yet? i would not blame you in the least

so for now, i have a swatch 
(and i noted my swatch fitted my constant yarny companion quite well last night)

it is all washed and dried 

pants colour, more like the colour with Little Olive in the picture

and ready to take to stitch circle to start doing the maths to figure out how many stitches i need to cast on and how many i need to increase by and at what point in the skirt. Veronika said she will help me, i am thankful for that as counting gauge on a swatch, let alone maths, is not my forte!

my cunning skirt plan is all in the pipe line so i have a yarny project for my travels next week thus distracting me from all the things i wish to be distracted from when traveling on my own.

Friday, April 4

not quite 'thing two' and the winners are ...

forgive the lack of 'thing two' yesterday, things went a little 'bleargh' for a wee while and i am taking things slow as i am must conserve my energies for a full day of work tomorrow...

however a pom pom string of happy or two or three must find their forever homes today! i must say i have greatly enjoyed reading all the lovely things you have done for others, or others have done for you this month. it left me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and a wish to do better for others around me. it is quite marvelous how when one stops still and thinks of the good moments in the day, it truly can turn around a pants time to a peachy time

 and so,
first forever home belongs to Els04
"The nicest thing I did is spreading good luck fishes for free, guerrilla style"

second forever home belongs to Zia Delina
"la cosa più bella di questo mese è stata riuscire a far adottare una gattina leucemica, che viveva nel gattile dove sono volontaria!
Piccola cosa piena di gioia!
Sei fantastica e adoro il tuo lavoro!
baci baci...

the third forever home belongs to Diane
"the nicest thing i did for another this month (though i don't want to toot my own horn about it) (but since you asked) ... i had made a sweet rainbow-colored granny square, about the size of a small baby blanket, and i needed the yarn for something else, so i was going to unravel it, but a friend stopped me, saying she is teaching a young pregant lady from China to speak English, and she'd love to give this to her as a gift for her new baby, and she'd buy it from me, but I was so touched by her story that I just gave it to her, and am teaching her how to finish it nicely. i love your dingley dangly thingies, and my children and I always say "dingley dangly" around here, just as you taught us to."

hurrah hooray to the three spiffy winnners, i will be in touch shortly. 
and to those that are a little sad they did not win, do not fret nor weep for another month is upon us and another little string of happy giveaway will be here soon enough.
and on that note, 'knitty knatty knotty news, thing two' will be here on monday
till then, happy weekend dearies

Wednesday, April 2

knitty knatty knotty news... thing one

since working at Tolt Yarn and Wool i have had the muchly good fortune of meeting so many knitty folks. some are designers, some are not, some have been knitting for donkeys years and some have not. does not matter, for what matters is i am left in awe of each and every one of the folks who pass through the doors. in awe because they all have something i do not yet have and alas, i am not sure i ever will have. they all have a love of knitting. now do not get me wrong, no sirree, i do so love knitting and i so want to be a knitter, but alas, i fear knitting and me, me and knitting, may never be. 
(yes, there is a fair bit of 'alas' and 'woe is me' going on around here today)

that being said, i have not given up yet and i have two knitty things on the go at the mo. i thought i might share, as after all it is wednesday and what better day to share a yarny tale or two 

knitty thing one:

two weeks ago a lovely dearie came into the store for tuesday morning stitch circle and as is the norm, wearing a lovely knitty creation which i 'ooohed and ahhhed' over and then realized it would be perfecto for my up and coming travels. she kindly shared what the pattern was, (knitters are the kindest folks) the yarn she had used and off i went on my knitty path. the pattern was Churchmouse's knitted shoulder cosy. i studied the pattern and i thought, hurrah hooray! what an easy peasy knit this would be. i noted many folks had said they managed to knit it in an evening. i noted i could knit it thin or thick. oh truly easy peasy and quick too! i hurried home from work whilst plotting and planning in my head.

i arrived at stitch circle that evening armed with the pattern and knowing i wished to go chunky or go home. i settled for Cascade Eco bulky (or is it aran, good grief, i should know this by now) in cream and daringly added a rowan tweedy number in fingering weight to give an oatmeal feel to the overall look. i boldly ignored the swatching and jumped right in. oh my favourite thing to do is knit in the round, just knitty knit knit without a care for a purl, but then it dawned on me, this lovely cozy has a garter stitch look but alas, being in the round required every other row to be a purl row to then have a result that looked just like you had knit every row (still with me?). 

oh woe is me.
my little knitty easy peasy hopes sunk to my clogs.
 it takes me 4 times as long to purl a row as to knit one and this is picking not even throwing. after two hours and one inch of knitty fabric coming off my wooden sticks i wondered if a 'one evening knitted cozy' would ever be mine.

after two weeks, i had 6 inches of oatmeal to my name. me and my oatmeal knitty project were not friends, my oatmeal found me rather a dull slow knitter and in turn i found my oatmeal to be rather dull to look upon. i had four weeks to make my shoulder cozy before i travelled, i had now eaten up two of those weeks procrastinating and knitting like a snail. i looked at the pattern, the pattern looked at me. i required 10 more inches and even my maths told me, at the speed i was working, i would be taking 3/4 of a cozy on my travels. and still this did not spur me on...

however, the knitty gods had not given up on me yet, on sunday they sent a bright almost neon with a hint of ugly, little ball of fingering yarn to rescue me. 

this yarn found me via their messenger, Anna at work. at the time i had no idea what i would do with my 40g of 'i love you but don't know what to do with you' yarny gift, until i got home that is. where upon my eyes fell upon poor oatmeal stuffed in his project bag. ah ha! of course, perfectly perfecto timing. just as one little ball of fingering tweed was coming to an end and i was in the process of needing to join another but without any thrillingness, a little gift from the gods suddenly turned a 'dull' knit into a 'daring' knit. oh Tif, i thought to myself, how daring, how thrilling to add a bit of 'ugly neon but not quite yellow' yarn into your cozy of oaty-ness. who are you? what madness what creativity... what a knitter you are!

and so i did, and in just the space of a few days, i am almost up to 10 inches of my cozy, being spurred on by a jolly colour and a daring 'can do' attitude. 

we have gone from bleargh to bravo, me and my knitty make. 

we have plotted and planned a little crochet edging along the bottom, 

we have plotted and planned our marvelous travels together, keeping each other warm and comforted, we have plotted and planned it will not look like i am wearing a giant tea cozy and small beings will not point to me in the street and exclaim "mum, mum, why is that old woman wearing a ginormous tea cozy?"

and all was well, me and my knitty cozy, we were one, we were like all the dearies who come in the shop, we were knitting, we were in knitty love, we were... until yesterday. 
oh yesterday. oh alas, oh woe is me.

 i went to work and was immediately sidetracked from my 'big riding high knitty neon oatmeal dreams' yarny path....

 (knitty thing two coming to a rambly blog near you, tomorrow)