Mostly Knitting

Head down determined to finish the front of a Knitspot pattern, the Whitfield Jacket which I’d love to wrap up in time  for Ed’s birthday,  a gust of wind blowing through the window caused me to glance out the front window,  grab my camera, race outside and across the yard just far enough to pass under the utility lines. These kinds of colors are fleeting, and somewhat rare in our corner of the world.

Sunset, 8:26 this evening.

Jazzed, it seemed a good time to update the blog. With two birthdays looming large and two presents I’d love to finish in time to give, evenings have been devoted to knitting. Passing the less than two weeks to go date I’m rather resigned to not completing the jacket in time, with two sleeves, the collar, blocking and seaming to go the odds aren’t good.

Whitfield Jacket has been on the needles since last autumn. I purchased the pattern and yarn from Jocelyn who was helping to staff Briar Rose Booth at Sock Summit 09.  Between being a truly slow knitter and having other projects occupy my evenings for months at a time – ex. 800 yard spinning challenge, it’s taken me almost a year to knit this garment. On a positive note, this is only the second sweater type of item I’ve knit (The Red Sweater was my first) and the first one knit in separate pieces. This is a fun item to knit, the pattern quickly memorized and even manageable in the dark! It was during a night ride home from music practice 40 miles away that I got up the gumption to try knitting in dark for the first time. By keeping track of the stitches, using my fingers to feel the knits and purls I was able to successfully complete a few rows.

Another first is knitting button holes, or forgetting to knit them at the proper time. Humming steadily along one Sunday afternoon while sitting under the catalpa tree in the front yard I happily measured to see if I was getting close to the beginning bind off for the arm hole and was thunderstruck to realize I’d forgotten to knit a buttonhole nine rows back. During the knitting of the right front there were several times that I had to tink back a number of rows to correct an overlooked decrease or bind-off. For this? No way. Digging out a small bone crochet hook I bought just for this purpose and an extra dpn I dropped two stitches down the rows.

Yarn over, Knit 2 Together and begin the climb back up the rows.

Being very careful to grab the correct strand, for some reason the bottom-most strand, the one to be knit seems to get buried while the second one in line jumps for the hook.

Buttonhole in place and ready to commence with the knitting.This pattern has been such a pleasure to knit that I’m eager to start the female version, Jackie.

The Scrunchie Handwarmers are coming nicely along. I was steadily working on them at the start of August thinking I could whip right through them. Ha! Then the grandkids came (next post?) and I was distracted. Must get back to them if they’re to be finished by the end of August. (Whoops, I see that I didn’t mention them previously as I’d thought. ) Here’s the scoop: Another Limegreenjelly challenge.  This time around we have from the beginning of June to the end of August to spin and knit either Scrunchie Handwarmers or some socks (Sorry, no links. I don’t want to take the time to log into Raverly to fetch all the various links!)  It took me though June to spin the yarn – that’s what’s on Chatter at the rodeo in the previous post.

97 grams, 3-ply, 235 yards. I’d split the roving lengthwise into three equal parts with the hopes of matching colors. What I should have done was to first divide the roving in half across then split into 3 parts (6 total) so I’d have a better chance of matching handwarmers.  Just wasn’t thinking clearly but had the idea that I’d knit both at once on circulars from the outside and inside of one ball. Problem was the outside was a dark grey/blue, the inside end a bright blue. I knit the cuffs did not like the unmatched contrast. So, unraveling the inside cuff I then broke the yarn and with that end started the second cuff using a set of dpn. It’s working to periodically break the yarn and knit awhile on the other handwarmer, switching back and forth as I proceed. They aren’t matching but at least it’s not a jarring difference that looked just plain wrong.

I’m further along than when this picture was taken, the thumb gussets are finished, it’s time to put the thumb stitches on holders and knit the last couple of inches on the hand part.

There’s other spinning I’ve been doing; parts of three fleeces I’ve washed, dried and hand-picked through. I’m not sure how to proceed. The thought of hours of either picking or handcarding is daunting.

This kitty showed up all skittery and nervous a couple months ago.

His natural craving for affection helped him to conquer his fear. While I’d be sitting outside knitting he’d creep close enough to lay down just out of reach, usually behind my chair. Eventually I could brush a couple fingers against him before he’d skitter away. Now he comes running when we walk out the door. Tux is my faithful outdoors knitting companion. 🙂


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

8 thoughts on “Mostly Knitting”

  1. Welcome back! I think we’ve all had very busy summers! What a sweet outdoor kitty companion. I’m hoping he’ll be willing to come inside before winter.

  2. Stunning photo of your evening sky! What gorgeous colours in Ed’s Whitfield Jacket and brava on getting that buttonhole in! Your handwarmers are lovely. Mr.Tux, eh? He’s a lucky little one to have found you, what big beautiful green eyes he has!
    Summers… one big Busy! XOX

  3. That’s a gorgeous sunset! We get pretty colorful ones here, and I never tire of it. And what a fun pic of Mr. Tux! It looks like he got curious about the camera. 🙂

    Those handwarmers look so soft and cozy! Your yarn is what makes them so delightful. And that Whitfield Jacket will be a fabulous present for Ed – it’s beautiful!

  4. Ooh, the colors for the Whitfield jacket are knitting up beautifully, and I love your buttonhole fix! I can’t wait to see the results — that really is a lovely matching of yarn to pattern, and it’s going to look great on him 🙂

  5. I know exactly what you mean about forgetting buttonholes! And yes, the bottom strand hides when you’ve tinked back and you’re ready to knit back up. You have to bring that strand out of hiding. Which I did not do recently and then later I noticed a large and unwelcome loop on the back side of the work–the strand I missed. So it was back to work with the crochet hook. Do you feed the cat? We have feral cats in our neighbourhood but we’re not supposed to feed them. We attempted to catch one of the females a few years ago, to take her to the vet and get her fixed. I think my husband still has scars on his arm from that episode.

  6. Wow, that is some amazing knitting skills you have going there. Thanks for sharing how you fixed that buttonhole. It might save me in the future!

  7. I envy you your Outdoor Cat. For several years I had a Summer Cat who came to stay with me at our caravan (his owner knew, though it took us some time to find him originally) and he was such a lovely companion and a great joy to see each year. Sadly gone now, but still well remembered and still much loved and missed, dear Ginger Biscuit.

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