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I taught my sister how to knit!
So I was thinking? About the 12 to wear?
First, I was thinking, I have to get my act together. Also, when am I going to count it from? I choose to start it NOW, since otherwise I’m going to get disenheartened. May, it is. I will start teh official count with FO posts, soon.
I was also thinking: anyone else want to join in? I’m not a big joiner, and I am even less of an organiser, so I don’t plan on anything much. Maybe just some comraderie and perhaps we might stretch to a flickr pool? I was planning on making the definition pretty wide – I already mentioned that I was gonna count my pattern blocks as a FO, since while I can’t wear them, they are a big step towards my goal, and I want to encourage that. I was thinking that bags would also count (I have one in mind, just trying to work up the courage/skill) since they are technically part of an outfit, and are technically worn. Anyone joining is, of course, welcome to stretch the definition as far as they want.
And THEN I was thinking: yes, I want to make 12 things, for me to wear. But I also don’t want to discourage other things. So I was thinking: 12 to give. Also clothing items. Also loose definition thereof.
Anyone with me?
This week’s Wednesday was the last Wednesday that my mother was staying with us over her treatment. She is now officially done. (Although she just left me a message asking if she could stay sometime in the next week. Sigh). It’s kind of hard to be so open about how upset it makes me when she’s around all the time. I mean… it’s not nice. And it doesn’t make me look good. And I sometimes wonder if it’s making me more entrenched in it – as is, it’s a fact of life, and will never change, which is not necessarily true. I still just wish she’d go away, though. I need some space, and I need some time, and I need those things, without her in it. At all. Which I’m not going to get if I don’t ask for them, and since I am unwilling to ask for them, I guess I just need to man up, rub some dirt in it, and get over it.
Anyway. The second to last day she stayed over kicked off a bunch of pregnancy and birth dreams. I’ve been not very well, and sleeping pretty lightly, so I remembered a lot of them. I had one every couple of days, and then another really vivid one this wednesday.
The ones last week were pretty obvious. I know already that birth and pregnancy usually means change, etc. I woke up refreshed and feeling positive, even when I wasn’t feeling the love about my day. I felt like something had been worked out in the dream. I wonder how much of my thinking I do when I’m asleep? I get super extra cranky if I haven’t had enough, more easily overstimulated, more withdrawn. What is ‘enough’ tends to change with what’s going on in my life, and doesn’t always have much to do with actual physical tiredness. When I was on the front desk by myself at work for two months, I would come home and nap for two hours, then get up and have dinner, then go to bed normal time. I need to defrag, and I either can’t or don’t let myself, when I’m awake. Although sometimes just lying in bed is enough – designated thinking time. It’s something I miss about being near the beach, and something that riding to and from work helps with.
ANYWAY. Easily distracted, apparently. So, there were a string of pregnancy dreams that felt good to wake up from. Then last Wednesday I had one that was… not so nice. Not bad, but it didn’t feel resolving. First it was a random person who was pregnant, then me, then my mum, then another random.
But I had another dream that night that I want to write here because I really want to remember it. I wish I’d done it earlier, because it’s starting to fade already. I was in ShangHai, trying to get to the airport to fly out. (This makes sense since that is an airport I’ve been in – and it was the one I had the most trouble getting to and was the most stressed about. It takes FOREVER to get to. Freaking PuDong, being in the middle of nowhere.)
Except for some reason it felt like ShangHai was home, and I was going off on… maybe a business trip? It was just going to be for a short while, for sure, anyway. But I was late! I only had a half an hour to clear customs. And for some reason my parents were there. This all seemed normal.
So we parked the car and got out, and Obama was out the front, as the official greeter. I don’t even know, people. I wanted to go up and shake his hand and say something to him, but I was LATE! I hate being late, and lately things like that have been making me more anxious than normal. I can see myself getting twitchy, and I know that it’s disproportionate, but I can’t not. Back to the dream. I’m late, and my folks are dragging their heels, wandering around. It’s like herding cats! We get almost to customs, and we stop apparently in some bar type place. You know – loud carpet, chrome finishings. And they’ve left my suitcase in the boot! Specifically my dad. He was going to bring it in, and he hasn’t.
I’m cross. I ask him if I can have the keys so I can go back and get it. He’s talking about something and won’t give me the keys. This bit then repeats, about four or five times. From when we get out of the car and see Obama (srs. wtf?) to when I grab the keys off of him and rush out to the car. I never do get to get the suitcase.
About the fifth time this repeats, I’m looking at him, and I start to wake up. I can see him now, if I close my eyes, standing in front of me. He’s wearing cobblestone (significant? Dunno) and he’s talking, but since I”m waking up, I can’t hear what he’s saying. And as I get closer and closer to consciousness, I realise… I actually think the words. ‘Wait a minute! He’s dead!’
So I lean in, and I hug him. I have to wait for him to stop talking, for some reason, but I wait and he stops, and I hug him. I turn my head and tuck myself under his chin. I can feel the slightly rough wool of cobblestone. And as soon as I do, I’m awake.
I would give my right arm just to hug him one more time, you know?
The next night, I had a similar dream. I don’t remember that one hardly at all, now. All I know is that there was some kind of trivial drama, and someone was bitching someone out – not me this time, I think maybe my mum? And then I started to wake up, and realise. He was wearing cobblestone in that dream, too.
But the best thing about them was that in the dreams, he was totally him. I don’t know if I can really articulate this. He wasn’t the father figure who abandoned me, or any symbol like that. Well, maybe he was. But he was also himself. A whole human being. The person I knew, not just the dad.
It’s really nice to know that even if I can’t remember him like that yet, even when all that stuff gets in the way, when the first thing I think of is ‘why did you leave us, why didn’t you love us enough, what was so wrong with us that you couldn’t stay?’… that he’s still there in my memory, in my heart, as something bigger and better than that. That I haven’t lost that and that hopefully, when I work through some of the shit, that I can have that back again. That that can be the main story.
I can’t tell you how comforting that is to know.
I rode in to work today. I haven’t ridden in about a week, usually because I was going somewhere after work or something came up, or I was whiney and pretending to be sick, and also I wanted the knitting time. I almost didin’t ride in today, being whiney yet again. I got a flu shot at work yesterday and I was trying to convince myself that Tuesdayitis was a reaction to flu. But riding in to work is something I want to be committed to, so I made myself.
As soon as I hit the road and my feet hit the pedals, I knew I’d made the right decision. I knew I’d missed it. It was like hitting ‘publish’ on that first blog post again.
It was excellent. I ride the back streets, along the train track. I love trains. I don’t know why. And because it’s along the train track it’s all leafy and spacious and quiet. The leaves are turning, and the sun was shining, and it was just beautiful and peaceful. It’s nice to not be plugged in or squashed in with people or waiting for something. I’m a dawdler, I just ride until I get there. It was so peaceful!
And then I got to work on an endorphin high and was offensively perky. Was fantastic.
When I ride in, I usually take a tshirt and jumper to ride in, and a change of shirt and socks because those are the bits that get sweaty. Today it was my sad robot tshirt (entitled ‘she doesn’t even realise’), my bright green socks from Rivers, and Cobblestone. I’ve been wearing it the last couple of days. I’m wearing it now. Inside out, because I’m special, and once it was on I figured it looks kind of nice this way and no one even knows anyway.
I’m going great guns on Rogue. I’m up to Chart b, which is the neck bit. That’s not freaking bad for a week and a half of knitting! I reckon tonight I’ll get at least a good way towards having the front done, which means that it’s only the hood and the sleeves left.
Which of course means I’m starting to itch to knit other things. What’s that? The Juno that hasn’t been touched for almost three weeks, and is the only thing I’m knitting with a deadline? Nope. Not interested. Well, what about Emily, which needs only to have the neckband finished – maybe three hours of knitting, if I’m dawdling – and then it can be seamed? And that you want to finish before Bendigo too so that you know how much yarn you’ve got left over from that? Nope. Boooooring.
I sort of want to finish Sahara. And I feel like I should while the urge takes me, in case it languishes for another three months. I’m up (down) to the waist, so it’s so close to being done! But that’s not what’s occupying my brain at the moment.
No, I want to knit the red bendigo rustic yarn that I bought for NaNoSweMo, two years ago. Actually, I don’t want to knit it that bad. But I want another 8ply jumper, and I want that yarn not in my stash.
See, I’m really really dying to knit Jaali. As in, I already bought the pattern. I was thinking about using the bendigo for this but…
It’s boring. It’s normal. It’s ordinary. I want yarn that SINGS. yarn that has depth. Yarn that I can wear with snobbish pride. This is why I want to finish Emily – because I want to buy more of the same yarn and dye it to make Jaali. I mean, doesn’t this pattern deserve a beautiful yarn?
Mmmmmmmm…. cabley goodness….
So. I’ve been cleaning out my Ravelry queue. Now I only have 15 pages! That’s only about 500 things… totally reasonable, right? Ahem.
Anyway. I cleared out a bunch of patterns that were perfectly fine, but nothing fantastic. because there are enough things that I am burning, burning to knit that are breathtaking and challenging. And I want to knit them. And I want to knit them with beautiful yarn, yarn with a story.
But I also want a red jumper, and I have this yarn. So…. my current contenders:
Cinnibar pullover. (rav) (non rav) This is what the yarn was originally intended for. I suspect that if I don’t knit it with this yarn, I won’t knit it at all. And I would like to own it. It’s simple enough for the yarn, and that I’d get a lot of wear out of it, but also interesting enough that I would be excited to wear it.
Sidelines. (rav) (non rav) I also really want this top. But…. I already have plenty of stockingette stuff on the go. I am not sure I would finish it. And I suspect that it would benefit from a slightly semi-solid, like in the picture. Some of the ones on the rav are a bit… well… boring.
Ogee tunic. (rav) I really really really want this top. But maybe not in red? I’m thinking more in a cool colour, or a nuetral colour.
The same goes for other contenders in my queue. Riding to Avalon wants to be a dark neutral or even a black. Baby cables wants to be a blue or a green. Mirage does too. Rambling Rose requests a blue gray or a white, please! Tangled yoke… dunno. Nuetrals again, probably. Certainly not red.
I think I’ve decided on Cinnabar. Whic means that I will change my mind four or five times before I get around to knitting that yarn… if I ever do.
What do all y’all think?
The Seanachai was one of those podcasts that I started listening to when podcasting was new and exciting, and felt like it was going to change the world. It was one of the podcasts I listened to in China, that literally, I feel, saved my sanity. It is the only fiction-based podcast that I listened to then and still listen to now – now that I have access to any fiction I want.
There are several episodes – Fun with the bird, a Rebeginning, Shooting an Elephant – that are on my ipod even though I have listened to them several times. I will listen to them several times again. Every episode has something in it that makes me think, something that makes me laugh, something that makes me tear up, just a little.
I think I might print out this list and stick it to my mirror or something. As a manifesto for life, it is almost perfect.
I rewound this the other day: isn’t it gorgeous?
It’s bendigo alapaca, 8ply. Dyed by Emma and bought by me… ages ago. Probably about two years now. Which I know is not really that long, as far as stash goes, but considering that I didn’t really know Emma then, and now I can’t really imagine my life without her in it… well, it’s a long time.
I remember the knitting night she brought it to. I fondled it for about a half hour, before dutifully putting it back in the pile. And then I thought about it all the way home. I remember exactly where the bus was when I caved and messaged her to say I’d buy it.
I want to knit Cobblestone with it. Yes. Again. There’s 100gms. I want to do the yoke and, if I have enough, the cuffs and bottom band, with it. Anyone know how much yarn those take?
I went to the Grates concert on Sunday. They are my favourite band, I love their music, and they put on such a great show. It was FANTASTIC! I had so much fun. I got home tired and sweaty from jumping around like a lunatic, had a hot hot shower with new soap, got into bed and sprawled. I was so, so happy that I didn’t have to share my bed with anyone, let me tell you.
We met up for dinner and drinks beforehand. My friend Anna, my cousin Tessa who I used to live with but haven’t seen for months because she’s a flake, and me. I pulled out my rogue and knit on it furiously. Then one of Tessa’s friends and one of HIS friends joined us.
What was I doing? Was it normal to not have to look at it while I knit? Was it normal to knit that fast? What was the chart for? What do those squiggles mean? What’s a cable? Oh… so they’re not, like, embossed on, they’re as you go… so you just keep knitting in a line?
And then we went to the venue. Unfortunately it was at the local teenage pick-up joint, so everyone had to have their IDs and bags inspected. The security guard checked my bag and, without blinking, said ‘brought your knitting, I see’. ‘Yep!’ I answered cheerfully. Friend of friend made a comment about stabbing people and the guard looked at him like he was stupid.
‘She might get bored’ he said.
Do you like my winding setup? It’s on my stash shelves (LOOK at all those lovely books. Mmmmmm…) Problem is, the metal bit that holds the yarn up doesn’t stay up by itself, so you have to hold it. Combine that with the fact that I don’t have a swift, and you’ve got a good recipe* for one big pain in the bum. But new ones are so expensive, and seem like such a luxury, since I primarily knit with pre-wound yarn. I mean… for what you’d pay for a new swift and ball winder, I could buy two jumper’s worth of yarn. It doesn’t seem like a good deal.
I’ve been doing some gardening. It was incredible how much more of a home the place felt once I’d got my fingers in the dirt and planted stuff. According to the numerology of house numbers, my house (8) “Outdoor gardens filled with trees, plants and flowers add to the ambiance of this house.”
See! Pansies! Also, mystery bulbs, what I don’t know what they are. I’ve planted daffodils and tulips in here, but there are also mystery bulbs that I found there when I planted. I am looking forward to seeing what they turn out to be. I also planted Grape Hyacinths along the other path. The bed in the background, with the stump in it, has hollyhocks in teh back, then I think snapdragons but they may be foxgloves, I can’t remember, then marigolds in the front.
Close up of mystery bulbs. Any opinions? I almost didn’t plant pansies, because they are my mother’s favourite flower and there are Associations. But they are so pretty and cheap and so many lovely varieties I decided not to be stupid.
I love them. And it makes me really happy to look out of the window in the morning and see them. Also, notice the wet stuff on them? That’s RAIN!!! OMGWTFBBQ!!! FROM THE SKY!!!
And finally, here is Pie, in the shiny new hutch that my friend built for them, for which I knit him Habitat. N00b is hiding in the flappy bit, in this photo, because he’s like that. Check out that gorgeous morning light, though!
*I always go to type ‘reci-pie’. That makes much more sense to me.
My mother is coming over tonight. She’s going to radiotherapy every day and she’s staying at our house once a week because technically it’s closer, although counting the fact that she has to go through the city it’s only about 10 minutes closer than her home.
I’ve stopped calling it ‘my parent’s place. That feels weird. And since I stopped calling it that, the desire to go back there almost entirely disappoeared. The way I feel now, if I never went back, I’d feel a bit sorrowful. But only the way you do when you hear about something bad happening in another country. It doesn’t feel like it touches me. It’s the only home I knew until I was 18, and everything that made it a home has gone. It’s now solely my mother’s territory and I don’t want to go there… might get forgetful and eat something, and never be able to leave.
I think it’s probably just an excuse to see us. To force time with us. Which is understandable, since I’ve been avoiding her. I like my life without her in it.
Or maybe it’s because it will hurt? To be back there. To remember the good stuff and the bad. And only be left with the bad. To have the taste of the good, the echo of the love and the fun. To remember all the times… the time we were bored and he showed us how to catch the moths that were flapping against the windows, trying to get in to the warmth and the light. We trapped them in jars, carefully, and we then we drew them. Mine was a cabbage moth, light blue and shimmery green and so delicate. Careful, don’t touch them… the dust will come off their wings and they won’t be able to fly anymore.
The thing is, it’s not that bad. Not as bad as I thought it would be, anyway. The first week was. I was sitting in the lounge room with her, knitting Habitat. She started acting the way she does, the way that sets my teeth on edge, that sets every fibre of my being to ‘tense’. Huffing, puffing, laughing under her breath, trying to get me to ask her what was up, to get attention, validation. I did what I always do, I shut down, I couldn’t respond. I ended up giving into impulse and fleeing. Retreating into my study, sitting in front of the cold blue glow of gchat, trying to gain comfort from my friends and crying because I was terrified to the depths of my soul that that will be me. That that is inescapably who I will become.
Catching tadpoles. Explaining the lifecycle of frogs. Looking through a microscope – I could never see anything except my own eye. How many of my memories are of science? Most of them. Looking at the stars. That’s Orion. There’re the pointers. Look at the Southern Cross. The red one is Mars, the bright one is Venus. Tell me about the face on Mars again? What does the Centaur of our shared star sign mean?
The next time was both better and worse. She was sick from the treatment and fell asleep almost as soon as I got home. She was sick, and tired, and clearly upset. And I felt… nothing. I felt upset that another human being was hurting. But looking at her, at my sick mother, bedraggled from sleeping and wrung out from treatment and from her day, I felt… wary. Suspiscious. I felt like I was being played. I always feel like I’m being played, with her.
Making things together. Planting things, digging holes. Hammer and nails. Hold the spirit level steady, now. Here’s how you use a saw.
In January, I was walking to the beach. I walked past a house, and there was a little girl in the front yard, long blonde hair, holding a dolly under her arm. The picture of normality. Bare feet, long skirt. She was talking to her dad, or maybe her grandad, who was painting the fence. Asking questions, and he was answering patiently, and with great love. I didn’t hear what they were saying. It didn’t matter. I sobbed all the rest of the way to the beach, tears running down my cheeks, not caring about the passing cars. Not caring, because I would never ever be able to listen to my father patiently and lovingly explain something to me again.
Last week, the halfway mark. I cooked dinner. A risotto. It was nothing special, but she tripped over herself to praise it. Obsequious is the word. I should be thankful that it wasn’t criticism – three years ago it would have been. But somehow I hate this as much. Then I put on some podcasts and cast on for Rogue, and we sat in (mostly) silence and knit. She’s inherited some charity knitting projects from someone in the parish who was also sick and needed something to keep their hands busy. She thought we spent some quality time together. I thought I got some good knitting time in.
Two weeks ago I realised that it doesn’t hurt anymore. Not like it used to. I’m still sad. But I’m not devastated. I expect I will be again in the future, but right now… I’m not. The stabbing pain is gone. I still get a start every time someone mentions their father, every time someone says ‘it makes me want to kill myself!’ everytime… everytime millions of little things. But it isn’t like a stiletto to the heart, a punch to the guts.
Sunday I rang her. Mothers day. That wasn’t why I rang – something needed sorting out about the will. Did I have a copy? We chatted for twenty minutes and it was… fine. It was fine. It wasn’t the best conversation I had all day, but… it didn’t make me angry, or upset, or tired. Am I making too much out of everything, then? Should I just fucking relax and get over myself? I already feel selfish, withholding a mother-daughter relationship. What if there is no point to doing that?
A week ago, riding my bike home from work. Another bike crosses the road a good 50 metres in front of me. It has a baby seat on the back. Suddenly I can’t see the road for tears. My dad had one of those. He took us on rides. I remember, dimly, riding behind him with my sister in the seat on the back of his bike. I remember, more clearly, riding in the Ride Against Want for his work, riding through the hills (I was always scared of being on the road). He rode to Melbourne and back once, before we were born. He used to ride an hour’s car ride to work. I have his old bike pump. It doesn’t fit my bike.
She keeps offering to drive me places. ‘Oh, I can pick you up from work’. That’s fine. I don’t need help. Not from anyone. And definitely not from you. I can’t let you be that for me. I can’t… except today I am. I’m busing to the shops and then she will meet me there. I need to do a big shop, and my sister and I have opposite schedules. And then if I feel like it I might ask her to drive me to Bunnings, and to the pet store, to buy some things that I can’t carry on my bike. I am not sure how I feel about it. It no longer seems to be a symbol of anything. I am sure that it was. So was I fooling myself then, am I fooling myself now, or has something changed?
I don’t know.
I imagine riding behind him now, or in the future. His grandkids on the back, maybe. I cry for the lost opportunity, for the future in which I will never get to watch him be a grandfather. He would have been wonderful. I think about that man painting the fence. I think about watching my dad show things to my children, or my sister’s, or even my cousin’s. Watching him guide small hands, pointing at birds, demonstrating some simple principle with baking powder or water. I will never get over the pain that I can’t see that. If I ever have kids, I think, their father’s parents had better be AWESOME. Because they’ve got nothing from me – I know exactly what kind of grandparent my mother will be, and it won’t be fun for anyone.
Sometimes I wish she was dead. Not because I want her to die, or to not be alive. But because that way I would be able to deal with it. Because this will never stop. I know that, I know that this back and forth, this tugging inside, wanting things and dreading them, will go on until one or the other of us dies. I remember times when our relationship was ok. Never perfect, not even good. But ok. What changed? I have no idea. Was it me? I don’t think so, but would I know? Am I doing the right thing? Being the bigger person? Making things harder for myself? Self sabotaging? So many questions, so much to consider, every small interaction is a huge deal, even when it’s not.
Last time she was wearing his blue jumper. The alpaca, King Charles Brocade one that his mother knit him. The one he was wearing on his birthday. The one that I see him wearing, whenever I think about him now. A couple of months ago I had a dream that he was alive again. But he was wearing the jumper, and it was all rotted and falling apart, hanging off of him in strips. I woke up in a cold sweat. I have the Cobblestone that I knit him. I can’t bring myself to wear it.
I am confused. I will always be confused. I want her to go away so that I can lie to myself, make up a story about her and me. I suppose I will just have find a way to do that with her in the room.
My cousin has this photo up on her mirror in her room, along with ones of her and her girlfriends laughing at their formal, her sisters at the beach… I don’t like to look at these photos. I hear my mother in my head ‘he looked to happy!’ Am I the only one who thought his smile looked brittle, his cheer a little see-through, his grin perilously close to a rictus? Or am I projecting that? I don’t know anymore. I don’t know what any of my memories mean.
I just want to get on with my life. Is there some way we can fast track this, please?
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
Philip Larkin – This Be The Verse
I made a petticoat last night!
I’m having an un-birthday party this Saturday. I was going to have an afternoon tea party for my birthday, planning it for some time in January. But what with all the dramas, I really didn’t feel like it at the time. I was also thinking of having an Alice in Wonderland themed party… just cos. And since the un-birthday theme falls under that umbrella, I decided to combine the two! There are a couple other people combining with me, which is nice as it means that the focus is off of me, which I like, and also I don’t have to do ALL the work
So it’s a dress up party, either in high-tea appropriate clothes, or as a character. I picked the Queen of Hearts since 1) I intend to make some tarts and 2) it’s the only character I felt I could inhabit for more than a half hour without getting irritated. I mean… Alice might be an obvious choice, but she’s a bit of a whiner for my taste.
When I first started planning the party, I figured I’d make a costume. There seemed like there was plenty of time then! I was going to go the whole hog. But as time slipped away and life carried on the way it does, I scaled back to the bare essentials. Petticoat, poofy skirt.
I know, it’s a shite photo. I took it in a mad dash this morning, because I was DETERMINED to blog it, and who knows when I’ll be free in the daylight again?
I may have gotten a bit carried away with the petticoat. I made the first layer, and it didn’t look poofy enough, so I added a second. Now it is SUPER poofy, and since the skirt is just a light artsilk… it’s a bit mental. I was originally thinking of doing an overskirt thingy, open at the front, and I might need to still so that I don’t freze my delicate buttocks and/or flash someone by accident…
The petticoat was fairly easy, although fiddly. I had previous practice in working with the tulle and a small amount of proof of concept, because a couple of weeks ago I made a friend a tutu. Here is the only photo I took of that:
I am SUCH a neat crafter… I must take some good pictures of my crafting space. I have a WHOLE ROOM. Well, also for computer. That’s the computer chair on the right. You can just see the massive desk on the left. It is mostly clear, with my sewing machine on one side and space for cutting and measuring on the other. Please note the heater, which I guiltily used, since I needed my fingers to have sensation, and the ironing board and iron safely on the chair. Hey, guess what I learnt? My iron is better at heating up my room than my actual heater!
So, anyway. What I did for the peticoat was this. I measured my waist. Then I cut a strip of lining acetate about ten centimetres wider, and about 20 cm long. This is the base of the petticoat. I hemmed it both sides and then folded over about two inches to make a waist band, and sewed that. I cut elastic to go in there that was about 10cm smaller than my waist. I didn’t thread it till the end, though. So now I have a mini mini skirt.
Then I cut a piece of tulle twice the length of this base piece, and 20 cm wide. I pinned that to the waist bit, and sewed it down. The gathering is not super consistent, but it’s pretty good. Then I got a piece of tulle twice the size of the first piece (so four times the base) and pinned them together, and sewed.
At this point I tried it on and it didn’t look very poofy, so I repeated the process. I think one layer actually would have been fine. Or else, I should have made the pieces 15cm wide, and done three. I’m leaving it for now, because I like how mental it looks, but I think I will unpick it after the party. I think I will actually get some use out of it – I have some skirts and dresses that would look nice poufed up.
And that is how I made the petticoat!
It’s hardly professional (and I still haven’t sewn in all the ends in…) but I think it’s pretty good for what is one of only a handful of actual garments that I have ever made.
For the skirt I used this tute. The maths turned out perfect. I was so pleased! I cut the skirt and made a seperate waist band and put elastic in it. I started to hem it, but I buggered it up, and I can’t find my frapping quick unpick. I was having a hissy fit about it until I realised that it was my own damn fault for never putting anything back where it came from, and that it was past 11, which is my official cut off for doing anything that needs attention or decisions. So I put it down and I’ll go buy another one tonight. Also, in throwing things around the room looking for it, I found something I searched for for about three hours last week. So we’ll call it even.
As for knitting, I’m giving my cousin’s Juno a break.
It’s a TAD bigger than this now! I was thinking it looked super long, I musnt’ have much to go… the plan is to knit it until I run out of time (I’m giving myself till the end of August then I need to start the pattern bit) or there is 25g left in the ball. So I weighed the ball….
90g left. URGH! It’s super boring, but not dull enough to not pay attention. Plus, I think I’ve mucked it up a bit, have the wrong number of stitches in the wrong places. That isn’t so big a deal, but I need to pay it some attention and get it back on the right track. Plus, I mentioned the wanting to touch wool again thing.
It’s coming up to Bendigo time again, and I was thinking about what I will be packing. Last time I’d just finished my CPH, and I wore it the WHOLE time. I didn’t want to wear it again, buit I don’t have anything similarly warm and practical. So my mind drifted to the Cascade 220 I’ve had in my stash for… oh, over a year now. It is bound and dtermined to become Rogue. And now it is!
I cast this on last Wednesday. Not bad for a week’s worth of knitting, no? I’m racing Emma, who has been knitting hers for… how long now, Em? She’s split for the neckline, anyway. I reckon I can catch her….
The yarn is super smooshy, and the colour is simply glorious. It’s a sort of peacock, with that blue you can see in the photo, but also a shimmer of emerald green. Mmmmmmm bliss. And the cables are so fun! The first bit zoomed by because it went knitknitknit concentrate for twenty stitches, knitknitknit concentrate for twenty stitches. Repeat. Now I am doing the cable repeats for the waist, and it’s dragging a bit because it is not interesting at all… I’ve done three and a half, the pattern calls for five, and I’m going to up it to six for extra snuggliness… Sigh. Hopefully I’ll get some knitting in tonight and knock that on the head.
I’ve also cast on for some genmaicha for me, in baby camel, but I got up to the fiddly bit where you seperate for the thimb gusset and start the cabling while I was drunk one night, so they’ve been put away for when I have brain again…
It feels so good to be back on the horse again.
So, in the spirit of the last post, I am going to post again… RIGHT AWAY.
While the iron’s hot and all that, right?
Here are two hats what I made. The first is Porom.
I cast this one on quite some time ago (ravelry tells me October. I got almost to the end (like, about ten rows away) and then needed to switch to two circs because it got too small. But I was out and about, and didn’t have the needles, and then… I just never got around to it again.
I picked it back up a few weeks after we moved because I needed to finish something. All my jumpers were stalled, and I would have had to concentrate to work out where I was up to. Or else I’d left them at the tricky bit. And the only other thing on the needles is my cousin’s wedding present shawl. It’s back and forth time, and it’s making me a bit crazy. Besides, it’s silk, and my first love is wool. I wanted to touch wool again.
And lovely wool it is, too. It’s Jo Sharp Aran Tweed something something. Left over from a scarf, I believe. That I knit my sister aaaaages ago, when I first started knitting again.
It was a fun knit. Easy, too. Just yarn overs and k2togs and ssks – although maybe one or two knit through the back loops. Like all Brooklyn Tweed patterns, it is elegantly contructed. I really enjoyed watching the lines of yos melding into each other.
I blocked it over the biggest plate I own:
Which may have been a mistake. It was pretty slouchy before, if I did this again I wouldn’t block it as severely. I then had to re-block the ribbing into itself to make it functional.
I was sort of hoping that this would be for me. But I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be. And sure enough, it made me look like a chef. Or a cancer patient. Or a mushroom. My sister on the other hand:
works it. So she got it. I’d be cranky, but she wears it all the time, and she loves it and looks good in it. So… yay for process knitting!
I would definitely knit this again, even though I don’t see myself ever being the slouchy-beret type.
The second hat is Habitat, also by Brooklyn Tweed.
This one was EVEN MORE fun. I love cabling.
I’d been wanting to knit this one for a while, and when a friend helped me build a rabbit hutch in my backyard, I decided to knit this for him. He asked for a purple or a green hat, and since I couldn’t find any nice purples (probably not helped by the fact that I dislike purple in general) I settled on the Forest colourway in Karaoke, since he is a hippy The SoySilk was lovely to work with, although a bit felty, even just from knitting.
I don’t really have any good photos of this, because I finished it in two days so that I could send it up with someone who was visiting the recipient, who is currently in the APY lands. Two rainy days. I curled up on the couch with my knitting and some podcasts and listened to the rain. It was BLISS. But it meant that I finished it late at night (a RAINY night, did I mention that i twas raining?) and had to send it off the next morning. So all the photos are dodgy low light ones, I’m afraid. Which means you can’t really appreciate the… wait for it… elegance of this pattern.
Check out the way those decreases work in the cables! Is that not a thing of beauty, blurry over exposure and all?
Not only WOULD I knit this again, I fully intend to. It took a ball and a bit of Karaoke, and I think if you were to knit the smaller version (which would fit me about right – this one is a tad big for me, unless you want to roll it up at the brim… which would hide the lovely cables) you could get away with one ball
You can see where the ends are, just where the crown shaping starts.
This hat made me a lot more comfortable with cables. The first two inches probably took me as long as the whole rest of the hat. I went from not having any idea what I was doing, and needing to squint at the pattern the whole time, to knowing what the cables were going to be doing but not really knowing why, to being able to sight read the chart without having to refer to the key, to being able to just glance at the pattern and wing it. I was very proud of myself by the end.
These two hats were where exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my knitting mojo.
Next up, a WIP post!