Oh ye of little faith. Of course I can fix the blanket! It just requires faith, trust, a pinch of fairy dust and the ability to use Kitchener stitch.
For all the non-knitters reading this (hi Facebook!) Kitchener stitch is a way to graft live stitches into a solid piece of knitting. It's generally used to sew up the toes on socks and a lot of people hate doing it.
Then there's me. I LOVE Kitchener stitch! It's such an easy thing to remember: purl then knit, knit then purl, repeat until all the stitches are done. You can get a really mindless pattern repeating and next thing you know, it's all done.
Luckily for me, the creator of this holey mess has knitted more squares, so the technique is pretty straightforward.
Step 1: unpick the cast on stitches and put the live stitches on a spare double point needle.
Step 2: pick up the live stitches on one of the remaining blanket squares with another spare double point needle.
Step 3: sew the two live seams together using Kitchener stitch, chocolate and sheer stubbornness.
We pick up the keys to the new place in less that a week. "But surely you've nearly finished the packing, Andrea?" I hear you cry.
Nope. Not even close.
You see, the kids freak out whenever we put anything away. Felix and I spend most of our lives cleaning up the house at night, putting toys away and tidying up as best we can. The idea of being able to pack up the kid's stuff right now is ludicrous. Unfortunately, it's not just the kid's stuff the kidlets object to.
Dot had a HUGE freak out when I packed up my knitting books. Dot had a HUGE freak out when we packed up our excess clothes. Dot had a HUGE freak out when I tried to put away the vegetable peeler after I washed and dried it last week.
Current plan? Wait until we have the keys, spend nights packing up boxes and taking them across without the kids noticing. That way, no freak outs.
We're moving. It's been four years in our little rental and it's been good. Not great, but good. We brought Dot home from the hospital to here, we had Marcus run away from here, we've had fun and lots of tears here. We've loved this place and now we need to leave it.
I get clingy though, and I suspect that I'll get all dewy-eyed about here, so I'm making a comparison list for the new place vs the old, the known vs the unknown. Even this place has its faults... The pauses is for people who have been here to start laughing.
Con: The new place doesn't have a craft room. Pro: The new place doesn't have slat windows that let the cold winter air in so badly that we stapled clear plastic tablecloths over the kid's bedroom windows.
Con: The kitchen is smaller than here. Pro: The kitchen floor is level. There is also not a stump sticking two inches up in it.
Con: The house is on a main road. Pro: The bus stop is outside our next door neighbor's place.
Con: The lack of shade in the back yard. Pro: The lack of mould on the carpet. Ditto rotting walls.
Con: It's a big upheaval for the kidlets, Pro: Suck it up. Separate bedrooms FTW!
Con: It's a lot of work moving. Pro: 11 dead mice since Easter. Including one in the bathtub tonight. We can leave them all behind.
Con: The backyard isn't as big as here. Pro: No, it's bigger.
What's your oldest WIP? What deep dark woolly secrets lie within your cupboards and drawers? Mine is probably a cardigan I started over the summer of 2005, and never restarted. I'll get around to it one day.
Yesterday afternoon I received a bag containing the ultimate Work In Progress.
This jumper was started over48 years ago. My mum wants me to finish it for her. The neck needs to be picked up and a band knitted. Oh, and the sleeves after that, but she thinks there might be a problem in the neck shaping, so fix that bit first.
The advantages of being ill are minimal, unless you happen to be a knitter. Then it's all about how long you can knit for while watching TV, skolling bottles of cough medicine and taking pills for blocked sinuses. Oh, and honey-centered Butter Menthols. I love them.
Monday I finished up Dot's vest. It is adorable, isn't it? Less than two weeks and really easy. Best kind of knit. I don't have a photo of her in it, because that would require her to sit still. This rarely happens, unless flour is involved....
As I'd finished her vest by 10:30am I started another of my Sherlock Holmes blanket squares. This one was called Goodge Corner, from "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" and was great fun. Lots of twisted knit stitches, and it was a constantly complex pattern.
That was finished last night, however I did notice a mistake that made me drop a stitch down 43 rows, correct it, and come back up again. So what's on today's agenda?
Casting on 286 stitches. Good thing I'm still sick.
One of the reasons I joined up with the Harry Potter group was to try and use up a lot of my stash. I have lots of bits, one ball here, some scraps there, and I was hoping to kill them all off and go on a massive bender when Bendigo rolls around again this year (July 18, for those of us marking off our calenders).
I had two balls of Morris & Sons Pure, a single-ply Aran weight wool that I picked up for something else, and never used.
Now they're a Stone Circle beanie, the two colours representing the two most famous stone circles in England: Stonehenge and Avebury. The pattern is called Christian's Hat and it was ridiculously fast.
Plus Felix gets another beanie. That is never a bad thing.
One of the really fun things you can do as a member of the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup is play Quidditch. Usually, it's between the four houses, but this is a World Cup year, so it's time for the 18th Quidditch World Cup! GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!
Round One we had to make something representing one of the teams playing. I misread the instructions and though I had to make three items. So first we have an Irish Rose jar cover...
...then we have a Brazilian samba skirt (for the record I did NOT buy the Bratz doll. Ew.)...
Next up I made A Very Brady Cowl for my Potions class.
The yarn was brought home from Japan by Joex and I LOVEit. Even better is the name of the yarn: "Olympus make make". The colour didn't match what was allowed in a Girding Potion, but luckily the class copy of the Potions book had some handy hints handwritten in the margins...
Growing up I read a lot of school stories. You know the kind: poor girl wins scholarship to expensive boarding school, or twins go off to school, or a finishing school overseas or any number of ideas. I own a lot of Enid Blyton, obviously. My two favourites growing up were "The Testing of Tansy" and "The Honour of the House". When I went to a high school that took it's house system very seriously I was in my own little heaven.
A few months ago I discovered the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry. The idea is that you're sorted into houses, you make projects for your classes, maybe knit up an OWL (a three month long project) and compete in the Quidditch. Where do I sign?!?!
As a result I've been having a LOT of fun, and getting a LOT of stuff made. Time to start showing off...
First thing I made was a rose for my Herbology class using the sock wool from my Rivendell socks (I frogged them, they wouldn't go over my heel!). I swore I'd never make another one, but I couldn't resist.
The idea is that it is obviously a mermaid's rose.
I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. Ours was a little bit terrible, with two sick kids, but we made some important changes that will pay off in the long run (we hope).
Felix likes beanies. He has a LOT of hand knitted beanies because I like knitting for people who appreciate the end result. His latest is a doozy.
It's called "Skullcracker" and Felix decided he wanted some grown up colours instead of the usual bright orange and green. I used Cascade 220 for the first time and I now understand why it's so popular. Soft, lofty, lovely colours. The pattern was interesting enough to keep me awake, and I replaced the plzin ribbing with two colour brioche stitch, which is brilliant. I've found my new favourite stitch pattern!
Felix and I escaped the confines of our asylum today to go to lunch and a movie - just like normal people! A few yummy plates of yum cha followed by "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and we were feeling pretty happy.
We were at the Jam Factory cinemas so we wondered off to check out Topshop/Top Man and see if anything took our fancy. I was a bit surprised when Felix picked up a jumper and said "I've always liked these."
I looked him. " Fisherman's rib? With a plain rib crew neck?" He nodded. I may have become a little screechy at this point.
"I've had 17 balls of charcoal grey Zara waiting for five years to make you a jumper! Any jumper! I bought the wool when I was pregnant with Marcus! You've never said anything about fisherman's rib!"
Felix looked at me. "Did you ask me if I wanted fisherman's rib?"
"I showed you pictures of jumpers! I asked you what you wanted! You sod!"
"I'd like one like this, please."
If it wasn't for the please, he'd still be walking home now.
Obviously I didn't really spend fours days doing nothing but eating chocolate and knitting. I'd be further along than row 32 if that were true.
On Thursday night I sallied forth in pre-Easter traffic to Chantal's house where I started organising my stash. ALL OF IT. Five boxes worth.
Remember how long I've been knitting, so I have a pretty good excuse for so much yarn. I had two boxes of future projects with the yarn and pattern in bags, plus three boxes of actual loose yarns. But now?
Now I have one box of future projects and.....four boxes of stash? Okay, that went well. It is still to be further sorted out. All leftovers from my projects will be put into plastic pockets and sealed up with a note for what project they were for. I get rather paranoid about holes in knitting and mending stuff, so I will always keep leftover balls for repairs.
That might get it down to three boxes. I can't promise miracles, mind you.
Well, I disappeared for a week, but I managed to get a lot of knitting done, so all fair there!
During the week I wrote out two lists: all the knitting I want to do and all the knitting I have to do. My have list included my customer's knitting, so I knocked those over pretty quickly. Felix stayed home on Friday to help with two sick-ish kidlets, which freed up a lot of time, especially for re-organising the back room!
On my have to knit list was blocking my Egeblad doily. I love blocking lace; it's so much fun watching something all crunchy and wobbly turn into art. I've been putting this off because it's a circle and for some reason I was worried that I wouldn't be able to block it as a perfect circle.
I wasn't but I don't care. It's circular so I win. After a day pinned I'll release it from its metal prison and gloat a lot.
I also finished the first square in my Sherlock afghan series. The first story is "A Study in Scarlet" and the first square is called "Lauriston Gardens" after the address the body was found in. The pattern represents the brickwork of the building, and it was a lovely knit, lots of twisted stitches. I've only steamed it lightly for now, I'll block it good and hard when it comes time to sew up the blocks together.
Three days of lectures and discussion, of notes and coffee, of stories and worry, not to mention the intense struggle to find something blue to wear on World Autism Awareness Day, but I still managed to do it (as did Felix, but this isn't his blog).
Level 1 ABA Therapist. Now I can relax and knit some more Sherlock square for a bit.
But I thought that thing you saw at Morris and Sons had rekindled your interest...
Oh, the rainbow Viajante? It did, but the complete lack of time it takes to knit it... well, it's probably never going to happen. I don't even have the energy to knit up my square.
Okay, fair point. So what do you currently have in progress? If I recall, you were almost up to date with your WIPs, weren't you?
I need to sew in the ends on the crochet blanket for Marcus and block the Egeblad doily. I don't suppose you've seen a small ball of fluffy red alpaca anywhere, have you?
Ummmm... maybe in our room? Either that, or one of our little darlings has absconded with it.
Do we have any little darlings? Dot didn't look that darling when she was painting the floor with a new container of Nuttelex two hours ago... Hrm, well that red alpaca was to add a pompom onto Da's beanie. Other than those, and my stripey cardigan that I'm very slowly working on, I've only got my Sherlock square. So... Dare I suggest it... do you have any new projects you're interested in?
Nope, so dare away. I have the yarn to make a cardigan with Chantal, and no inclination to do so. I need something short and sharp, I think.
How about that Sherlock Beanie that Emily was bugging you for?
But I've already made one of those! Making two of the same thing is why I hate knitting socks, and why you were lucky to get Doctor Who mittens.
Fair enough, we'll put a pin in that one then. How about a beanie for one of the precious ones, then? To quote one of our favorite TV shows, 'Winter is Coming'...
Marcus has a beanie he refuses to wear. Dot has an aran lace beret she refuses to wear. I think you have a better chance of getting a new beanie.
Okay. So, what would you consider a 'short, sharp' project?
I have no idea. I really am a bit lost. I just need a small something something to get me started again. I think I'll just have to quit knitting. Nothing else for it.
Okay. I understand. I'll start piling your stash up in the back-yard, you go get the petrol can from the garden shed.
I've lost it. It's gone, completely. I have no tv knitting, no audio book knitting, no stuck in a queue knitting, and - most shockingly - no desire to start a new project.
I checked down the back of the couch and my mojo wasn't there. Nor was the remote control, nor Jesus.
Please note that this mojo extends to crochet and sewing. I don't want to work on anything. I love blocking lace, it's the best part of knitting lace! I have a finished doily just begging to be blocked.
I am at a loss. Even pretty pictures of yarn aren't helping.