Monday, December 15, 2014

Steeking Ursula

The last few busy days before the holidays are here. Even though it seems that, I am not doing extra, days just slip through my hands.
(I am including pictures from my walk the other day. They do not look like much now, but on that day, they were special. I normally walk the dogs during the dark hours - early morning - of the day but finally I was able to catch some daylight and all the bare birch trees just kept popping up against their subtle background. DAYLIGHT! The pictures were taken around noon...)
Dear Ursula is moving along. With a few mishaps and tinking, I finally reached the end of the body. I was so unhappy with the unevenness that I soaked the cardigan and then afterwards threw it into the washing machine for the spin circle (yes, spin only, never rinse, just spin with 1400). This is what I always do with my knits, I put them into very hot water, gently push them under the surface, let them soak at least until the water is cool. Straight from the sink, I throw the knit into the washing machine and spin all the water out, and every single time the outcome is beautiful. Lace always goes inside a mesh bag if it is knitted with delicate yarn.
After she was completely dry, she was looking so much better and I crocheted the neck opening and the fronts. Cutting was uneventful, careful snipping of the stitches.
I used green wool for the steeks so that I could see well where to cut. I don't think that any of the stitches have gone loose. It is amazing.
Now the front bands.
I am doing them little bit differently from the original, because I am considering adding a zipper to the front. I have not decided this yet; I will see how the cardigan feels once it is done.
I know this will change the feel and the look of the cardigan totally. If the fit is snug, I will install a zipper if I can find a good one. If it is loose (doubt it, it looks small), will add buttons. Or then not.

While Ursula was soaking and drying, I knitted and felted (in the washer) a pair of mittens. This is an old pattern, originally done many many years ago by Pirjo K. It is a very easy and clever knit and you can play with colors and leftovers. As you can see I left some beige areas, I was going to add some embroidery on them, but no matter how long I have been looking at them, I do not seem to come up with any idea. The mittens are very silent; they will not talk to me and tell me what they need. Obviously they need more time.

Wool with you,


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Good morning! Progress on the Ursula cardigan

I realize it might not be a morning to you but it is here. It is dark, cannot tell much about the weather except for the fact that it did not seem cold and I could not hear any wind when I let the dogs and the cat out. Can you believe our Kille cat turned 18 last July? He has had some downs, has been to the vet a few times lately, but the last time he was there he stretched himself on the examining table waiting to be scratched in his tummy (he might resemble a dog there - it comes after being part of a dog herd for all his life) and our vet declared that he seems to be fine, except for the fact that he is old and has some trouble old persons have. Since he is 18, he can vote in the next election, he could get a driving license if he wanted to (he does not care for cars) and he can go to bars (I am a bit concerned of this fact, but he seems to be reasonable). I have tried asking him what his political viewpoint is but he has not shared that with me. His visits outside are short but a few times a day, he at least needs to have the door opened for him. If the weather is foul, he turns around and is very content to stay in.
Ursula is progressing nicely. There are times when I am frustrated with her, it is because as we all know, stranding can sometimes be a little bit uneven. Although I know most of the unevenness is taken away with a good blocking, it still gives me great joy to see neat knitting while I am doing it and here I just need to believe that it will be good in the end.
But then I find such joy in seeing the pictures build under my eyes that I cannot put down the knitting. Every single spare moment I have, I have given to her. (Which is also not so good, as it is one of the busiest times of the year, and I keep postponing every little task that is not necessary to do right at this moment to the next one.)
I am at a point where I have added new steeks for underarms and am soon about to make another steek for the neck opening. Very exciting! It is such a long time since I have cut into my knitting that I am anticipating this almost more than Christmas. While waiting for the moment to come, I have been watching Mary Jane Mucklestone's Craftsy class about Fair-Isle vest and Hazel Tindall's Shetland cardigan.

While the stitches in the cardigan are not that even, I love to hold the knitting on my lap. It feels thick, soft, cushy, and lovely. At this moment it appears to be the best kind of knitting there is. I am so happy with the cardigan that this worries me a bit. I checked the gauge, it should be correct, but I am still a bit concerned that at some point I will find out something that has gone horribly wrong. I have been a knitter for such a long time that I know every project has some battles and I am hoping to be prepared not to be defeated in the coming fight.
It is good to be back here, cannot wait to talk to you again. However, have to go now, work and other things ... I might be able to squeeze in one row of Ursula before I rush out.
Wool with you,