Lockdown Flashback #11

Today I will flash back to a post entitled Why I knit, from August of 2014.  This post shows off a gorgeous cardigan which I made for my daughter Leah.  It turned out to be a lovely combination of pattern and yarn and personality, resulting in the perfect sweater for Leah.

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When I look back at all of the garments I’ve knitted in the past decade or two (or three or four) this one stands out as one of those that just clicked.  Everything about it made me happy.   I hope that reading the post makes you happy too.

Living in lockdown is strange.  Thinking about the future is scary.  I hope that you are finding some solace in knitting, or in other creative pursuits.  Take care of yourself!

Lockdown Flashback #10

These are very difficult and strange times for many of us, and in times like these we recognise the importance of being resilient.  Thinking about resilience and knitting brought to mind a post I wrote in September 2017 titled Failure, resilience, and knitting.  I think you might like it and so bring it to you today as a Lockdown Flashback.

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That post had no photo associated with it.  Since the Lockdown Flashback posts include a photo from the original post, I had to improvise.  But, hey, I’m resilient that way.  The above photo, of me sitting and knitting on a secluded stretch of beach in British Columbia, seems appropriate to this topic (it was included in the post called Holiday from May of 2019).

I also apologise for not posting yesterday.  I tried to, but my internet was acting up and Doug made me a nice dinner, and I decided that being resilient also means posting when I want to.

Lockdown Flashback #9

For this Lockdown Flashback, let’s travel back to a post I wrote in April of 2013.  This post shows a lovely pullover I knit for myself – the design is called Livvy and the yarn is Lush Worsted, thus the post was titled Lush Livvy.  (I promise it’s not lascivious.)  I particularly like this project because I made quite a few modifications to the pattern to make it a much more suitable sweater for me – both in terms of fit and style.

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In the post, I talk about how I identified the features I liked about the pattern, and also those that wouldn’t work on me, and the mods I made to make just the perfect sweater for me.  If you ever wish that you could modify a pattern and worry about whether you are up to the task, this is a good post for you.

It’s hard to believe that I wrote the post seven years ago this week.  Things were different back then, but thankfully many things are still the same.  For one thing, I am still knitting.  And still writing this blog.

It looks as if our lockdown here in the UK will be extended for another three weeks.  Doug and I started isolating on the 11th of March – we are both able to work remotely during this crisis – so its been more than 5 weeks now.  We are still talking to each other, which I guess is a good sign.

Keep well, everyone!

Lockdown Flashback #8

I started this blog in October of 2011.  That’s a long time to be blogging, and an awful lot of posts.  For today’s Lockdown Flashback, I take you back to the last day of 2011 when I wrote the post Capping off the Year.  This post shows off the just-finished Peerie Flooers hat by Kate Davies, my first foray into knitting fair isle.  I love this photo of all of the threads waiting to be woven in:

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Please note that I am now a better fair isle knitter and the reverse side of my recent fair isle hats look way neater than this.  🙂  That is one of the things that I like about having this blog – it is a record, and I can see how I’ve grown and learned new things.  I look back at these early posts with some fondness.  I was still trying to figure out this blogging thing (with a lot of help from Emma) and having a lot of fun.

If you are interested in the pullover I am wearing in the post, I wrote a nice Wearability Wednesday post about it in October of 2012 called Fuzzy and Blue.

Keep well, my friends!

Lockdown Flashback #7

I’m in the mood for some armchair travelling (since the real thing is not on the agenda).  Perhaps you are, too?  This Lockdown Flashback takes us back to June of 2016, when I reported on a lovely Sojourn in Sicily.

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From hiking up Mt Etna, to wandering the streets of Noto for the Flower Festival, this was a grand adventure.  Add in great food, lovely wine, and hanging out with friends; what more could one ask for.  “Knitting?” you say.  Well, yes, there was knitting as well.

Where are you going for your armchair travels?  Somewhere great, I hope.  Don’t forget to pack your knitting.

Sunny Saturday swatching

I admit that I have not been doing much knitting the last two weeks, despite being in lockdown.  I’ve been working from home, which seems to take more time not less, and when I’m not working, I have spent a fair bit of time alternating between long chats with the girls (yay!) and stressing about the news (boo!).

However, on Friday I received some beautiful new yarn in the post:

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Yesterday was a glorious, sunny Saturday and I sat at my kitchen table with the doors and windows open, listening to the birds sing, and working on a swatch. My plan is to knit Koko, a large wrap by Olga Buraya-Kefelian:

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© Olga Buraya-Kefelian

It takes a bit of time to get used to the pattern, but once you’ve figured it out it is easy peasy and flows off the needles.  That is not to say it is fast as (with my gauge, more below) I am knitting 62 rows per 4″/10cm.  That’s going to be an awful lot of rows.  Here is my swatch just off the needles:

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It bunches and curls in on itself, but here it is (still unblocked) with me sort of smoothing it out a bit and holding the edges down.

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You can see that the resulting fabric is very three dimensional.  (On this point, I must interject to say that Olga is a genius!  Truly!  No one does three dimensional patterns like she does.  I took a class with her once which was so much fun; I blogged about it here.  If you get a chance, do take one of her classes.)  I was worried that a lot of the three-dimensionality of the fabric would be lost during blocking, and so I gave it a very light block – soaking it thoroughly but then not stretching it out to pin, but rather pinning it gently to shape.  Here you can see the blocked fabric:

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I tried to take a photo of the blocked swatch which would show the rich, sculptured hills and valleys of the fabric – this is the best I could do this morning:

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Isn’t it wonderful? I am in love! The navy is a fantastic, dark, rich navy that looks blue in some lights and almost-black in others.  It is the perfect background, along with the cream, for this brilliant pop of green!  I am loving this colour combination so much.

The pattern calls for sportweight yarn, and this is fingering weight, so the gauge is way off.  The pattern gauge is 24×54, and this swatch, washed and blocked, is measuring 32×62.  But I love the resulting fabric and I am willing to put up with LOTS more knitting to turn this out.  (Ha! I say this now…..)  I also have 800 metres of each colour, so plenty to make a large size wrap even with a significantly smaller gauge.

And for those inquiring minds out there who want to know what the reverse side looks like (I always want to know this!), here is a photo for you.

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Best wishes to everyone!  Stay well and keep knitting!

Lockdown Flashback #6

This lockdown is starting to get to me.  I am feeling anxious.  I miss the girls.  I wonder when we will all be together again.  Emma moved into a new place (yesterday) and we weren’t there to help.  (Imagine trying to move apartments during a lockdown!)  Leah is posting photos of her gardening, and canning and preserving, and we are not there to sample the goodies.  Thus, I am anxious, thinking of the girls, thinking of being in Vancouver, thinking of the trip we had planned there in May (not happening now), and imagining being out in the world, walking around in the sun, care-free.  So what better post to link to in this Lockdown Flashback than Cowl-a-bunga, which I posted on the last day of December 2016?

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This post has lots of photos of us wandering around Stanley Park, Vancouver, on a beautiful, sunny, winter afternoon.  Doug, Emma, and Leah are each wearing cowls which I knitted for Christmas presents that year.  It was a good day.

Today it is sunny here, and quiet, and I have new yarn!  So maybe today will be a good day, too.  Here’s wishing you all a good day.  Keep safe, everyone!