Updates on various things

There are so many loose ends to tell you about. Here are some updates about:
– shoulder injury
– knitting with shoulder impingement
– Deco Cardigan & blanket for the cabin
– knitting Brioche
– Nursery Cat
– green POP circles
– Lillepoes
– sewing
– spinning
– illustrations for knitters


Shoulder injury:

The shoulder pain I’ve now been having for over a year is indeed a regular impingement problem.
I guess laying in bed for several years and then doing handstands for an hour is not so smart… (I’m still miffed at the yoga instructor whom I asked for advice on this and who suggested Power Yoga.)

Luckily there’s no unruly calcium in the shoulder. I’ve been educating myself on this type of injury. Adjusting my posture has been doing wonders already. Now I’ve got some exercises to slowly build up the muscles and tendons and ligaments. Slowly. Carefully. (A cortisol injection is not needed since I’m not cramped up)


Knitting with shoulder impingement:

There’s still to be no knitting on small needles and no large portions of stockinette stitch. All those fingering weight cardigans on my needles will have to wait a little longer!

Aww, I miss my Ruby Town and Draakjesvest and all those plans for the stranded Woodland sweater).
I do hope to start a bit of Deco Cardigan again in a few weeks, perhaps reverting to the traditional Dutch way of knitting: throwing. It’s a relaxed (and slow) way of making stitches.


Deco Cardi and knitted blanket for the cabin:

You saw me zooming along on Deco Cardi and I was already putting in its decorative motives but then I didn’t like something and I frogged back to start the decorations anew. I don’t remember why and how or what my plans are.
Make good notes children, whenever there’s a chance a project will get abandoned for a while!
Around that time I also took this picture to show you something important. I’ve got no idea what:

Perhaps how to make a detail distinct from the sea of stockinette stitch it’s floating in (twisted stitches are your friend. Or a purl stitch for contour). Or perhaps it’s how I’m trying to make the point start crisp and how by twisting a stitch it seems like stitches are overlapping instead of starting crisp? I’ve got no idea.
I’ll look at it when I take it up again.

Not being able to knit stockinette stitch also means that the blanket I want to knit with the handspun to imitate the woollen blanket from my grandmother for the cabin is still on hold. That’s ok because I still have to magically get a light green yarn from somewhere… The green and the white are essential in the original that inspires it.

I do have thought out a design. I will knit strips with a colour sequence. The various strips will mirror each other’s sequence, a bit (not as regular in as in the blanket above). And later on I’ll seam them together.
I’m a bit worried about yardage however and wether I’ll have enough. Strips will be a solution to that: I can easily add to them. So it’ll end probably in a project with various strips in progress at the same time, trying to keep all the balls disentangled and away from Pookie.


Somehow knitting Brioche doesn’t hurt my shoulder. (??!)
As long as I enjoy the process and don’t hurry things are fine.
(It feels like there’s a life lesson in this, doesn’t it? Yes yes, very much so. I’m going with: In life it’s best to stick needles slowly and securely into delicious cake.)

As I’ll be knitting brioche then, for the foreseeable future, it means that the green on green Wollmeise shawl I’m eager to start will be redesigned into a Brioche pattern. It will be my next project and it’s tugging so hard that I’m tempted to abandon the sparkly mitts shown above…

Two things are stopping me from stuffing the mitt out of sight: this is the time of year I very much want to wear “snowy things” on my arms and I forgot my other snowy mitts at spingroup the other week:

I’m without snowy mitts at the moment! We can’t enter February like this! So I’ll want to finish this mitt. And start the other. (But nothing is stopping me from assigning these mitts “TV-knit” status and starting that green shawl during my daily rests, when my body needs to lie flat but my mind is active. However, I think they may need to be knitted on the same needle size… I only brought one with me, the one that holds the mitt. We’ll see wether it can hold its own if I finish the mitt… will it get the other mitt straight away? Or will there be a little green detour…)

As a side note, it’s really nice to knit Brioche with round spun yarns. These are tight spun, luxury fingering weights and it makes the knitting even nicer. I could easily see a whole cardigan in nice round fingering yarn…

As it happens I have some fingering weight in the stash that’s in need of a goal… It’s a German Merino Silk mix for which the sheep didn’t suffer and the wool isn’t treated chemically. Quite sympathetic!
Two years ago I tried to dye it in light blue green and that went horribly wrong. That adventure actually inspired the first Weird Wool Wednesday post!

The yarn is now a sparkly dark green. But not the right kind of sparkly, like the blue of my hat/cowl/mitt. This green turned out more gleaming, like acryl:

It has a terrible x-massy look about it. Even though round spun yarns are excellent for stitch definition this try out of a textured knit made me shudder. (the reason for the strange colour result is that the silk somehow didn’t take up any dye. And as silk usually is very greedy for dye I had put in rather a lot. It was very surprising and I even went so far as to suspect the producer of having put in Soy instead of Silk. But that was silly. It is silk. Just a stupid kind of silk.)

Anyway, wrong colour and cheap look when knitted in textured stitches? It’s been “maturing” in the stash for a reasons.

But in Brioche with a white yarn it would look smashy! hmmm, tempting.


Also still in my WIP basket is Nursery Cat. I told you about spinning yarn for its KAL, back in September.
From that one fleece that was totally unreasonable, as far as wool goes.

But I never told you I actually joined that KAL and knitted a big Nursery cat. But it never got a tail or legs or face:

Because I ran out of yarn. I’ve still got some fleece left, even though I stuffed him with it too, but I really don’t feel like spinning more of it. So I’ve collected all the bulky handspun in natural colours that I’ve got and have brought yarn and cat with me to the city. Now I’m hoping this leads to something…

But I’ve thought up some hurdles: Nursery Cat has a tendency to topple forward. Shouldn’t I insert some weight in his bum before adding the tail and legs? (the hole for the tail is the only access point remaining, I can’t delay the decision until after knitting the tail). I don’t even know I have enough yarn for legs and tail, should I start with the tail and skimp on legs? Or vice versa?
Until I’ve made up my mind I cannot proceed. Naturally.

Also, it creeps me out now and then, to see a dark cat sitting in the living room when I know for a fact that our own dark cat is at the other house. So there’s that too.


The other thing in my WIP basket are the green round circles, the souvenir from Zeeland and joyeus POP knitting.

I’ve now knit nearly all the green wool into circles. It really scratched that knitting green itch that I’ve been having for a while now, thankfully.

Now it’s time to decide upon a colour and a yarn to catch the POP circles in.
But I’m stalling… I have no idea how to proceed. I don’t know what these circles want to become. A blanket? A shawl? A hood? A laptop bag?

Also, there’s no suitable yarn in the stash that volunteers for the job. There’s some Donegal yarn that would fit the bill nicely (doesn’t D. yarn always do so?) but I’m reluctant because of the difference in wool content and in pill potential. I don’t want one yarn to do the other injustice. And since I cannot predict the end result of this combination I’m stumbling to a halt.

The best solution would be to buy the same yarn in a different colour. Purple? Browns? But I’m not willing to go out and buy new yarn, not while the stash bins are piled to the ceiling.
So it’s probably on hold. With the excuse that knitting POP circles hurts my shoulder. But you now know the real reason: indecisiveness.


Lillepoes:
Lillepoes is worse. We had to go back to the vet today because she can hardly breathe and we were up half the night monitoring her. But there’s nothing we can do. She has to beat this bug on her own.
We keep her well rested, well fed and hydrated and she shows appreciation by wanting to be near us. Poor kitty.

I’m too worried to think up a Weird Wool Wednesday today.


Sewing:
I showed you that felt dress I’m sprucing up, the other week. I’t was a fairly straight forward job. Take off silly bodice, sew on better one.

Still I managed to sew “backwards”. The more I do, the less it becomes a whole dress.

I did attach the bodice and fitted the existing zipper to it. Then I found thatI had not enough breathing ease and that the skirt itself had to be laid out a bit (is this English?  I mean “made wider”).
So I fudged around with the skirt seam allowance along the zipper (the seam edge was nicely treated with the overlocker, because felt frays like mad).

To get access I had to detach the lining from the skirt. I found out the interlining that was fused to fortify the untreated felt was not attached all the way to the zipper. Making the felt drift apart, especially when I was breathing in.

So I had to fuse some interlining to it myself. (it hurt my woollen heart, fixating felt like this instead of, you know, actually felting it. But I could not afford the shrinkage since the skirt is all premade and needs to fit the lining and zipper).
The lining had to come loose. It had to be reattached and for that the bodice had to come loose.

So now there’s a loose skirt with the lining dangling all but loose from it, a zipper only attached by a shred and a bodice that still needs to be reattached and be fitted into the pre-existing zipper.

While I tried to magic this all together, with the help of a bazillion pins, the underthread from the sewing machine ran out. But it didn’t tell me this until I painstakingly had arrived at the back, carefully following the seam, the edge, the lining and had taken out all those pins, one by one. I had sewn a perfect seam but was left with all the loose bits dangling.

So… I have to do that particular exercise again. One day soon.
In the mean time I’m also sewing a dress with fabric woven wool in a beautiful dark purple colour. I’d love to wear this asap, please!

Again I’ve created hurdles for myself by trying to line it with silk and not really knowing what I’m doing, using woven fabric that’s not sturdy cotton. So it’s at the stage where I’m fixing things by sewing long seams by hand. Slow long seams.

Also guess what loves dark purple woollen fabric? White cat fluff. White wool fluff. White silk fluff. The cut of the dress is one of sophistaction. But with my handsewing and with all the white fluffs in my life I’m fooling nobody.


Spinning:
I’ve still got two Long Draw projects on the wheels. One is the green, for Sprig sweater by Alana Dakos.

I’m impatient to start it (even though it’s stockinette stitch). I’m impatient to finish the spinning. It seems to take sooooo long! It will take a whole morning to spin away barely two rolags.

It doesn’t help that I only spin at monthly spinning group… so I’m trying to do some in the weekends, at the cabin.

This is also the exact good green for the cabin blanket that still needs some green. Actually it’s why I dyed this fleece this particular shade of green. But then I loved it so much I wanted to have a sweater of it.

And now I’m worried I won’t have enough yarn for a sweater were I to spin this green for the blanket. So I spin for the sweater instead, anxiously counting meters, slow by slow meter, and worrying my little head off. Thinking up Sprig sweaters in two colours.

And don’t even get me started on the white Long Draw project on the other wheel. It’s the Hampshire Down and I brought that one in August May to the city so I could spin there. I haven’t touched it since August. And I need the wheel because I’m itching to wash, comb and spin that excellent Saxon Merino I’ve got!

Yeah, I really know how to take the fun out of my hobbies.


So what better time to start a new hobby?

I’m making doodles spinners and knitters might like:


I’m playing around with this amazing brush pen I’ve bought, the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen.
They keyword is playing…
it ain’t easy.

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