Monday, December 11, 2006

Well thought

The time seems to fly. Either that or the amount of the daylight has an inpact on my daily life. That is if you have only two to three hours of daylight, you get only two to three hours worth of jobs done.

I have had good intentions but have done very little actual knitting over the past days. Lots of good will and thinking but not much more. We have a saying in Finnish that "well thought is half done". No matter how hard I have thought I don't see a half made sweater here.

But I have thought a lot of the perfect sweater. I will be making a raglan sweater following the advice of Elizabeth Zimmermann in Knitting without Tears. I’m confident of not ending up in tears with her by my side. I did another swatch with Cascade 220.
I don’t like ribbing that pulls much but I have made so many sweaters with either picot edge or similar in the past years so some kind of ribbing will be a nice change. Here is the swatch for the kind of ribbing I'm thinking and I’m also thinking about making false seams continuing these purl stitches up to the underarms. I don’t think that I will make a long sweater but the collar will probably be on the longer side, probably a turtle neck. I’m looking for a classic, not boxy, and simple and wearable pattern for myself, pattern that with minor adjustments for different yarns will be playing an important role in search of “wear thy knitting”. Very much in the spirit of MasonDixon Perfect Sweater.

It is raining for the second day in a row again. We had snow in between but somehow I’m now confident that we are heading for the colder snowy days. I have put up some decorations today. The girls were baking ginger bread cookies yesterday and my husband made something very good. He stuffed prunes (that had been soaked in cognac for a longish period) with marzipan and then dipped these beauties in chocolate. Healthy for the soul.

Thank you for all your nice comments on my daughter and her shawl. She enjoyed her day. I enjoyed seeing her enjoy. I have lots of nice memories of the girls when they were small but I never thought that seeing them almost grown up would feel so good as it does now. I always thought that the times when they were tiny and needed me most were the best times. I never knew it would be so great to see them do various things on their own and talk about their dreams and meet their friends. Some days it is a bit frustrating to be aware of the fact that I don’t have much saying about the stuff I know I know best…

Only three hours of daylight but enough to buy some yarn.


  1. Sheila00:27

    Hi - Really enjoy your blog. What is the pattern for the ribbing? I see the stockinette - is that a plain knit/knit or garter stitch or is it a seed stitch?

    Three hours of daylight! Seasonal effective didorder! I won't complain ablout our short days in Pittsburgh!

  2. I think the design process takes longer than the actual doing. Problem solving can require several approaches. I quite often think of something that I can't do yet, that requires lessons, books and lots of practice and then another think about the whole thing. You have chosen some lovely colors of new yarn to think about.

  3. I've found that my daughter has become even more dear and precious through each passing year.

    Girls in their teens annoyingly don't value mom's good insight, but that also changes with maturity. (How well we remember our own teen years.)

    Nice mellow, yet cheerful yellow yarn.

    Soon the earth will begin its southernly tilt.

  4. As Fiberjoy said, girls in their teens don't always listen to mom, but in just a few more years they will. Then you will discover a great new friendship with your adult daughters. And those prunes soaked in cognac sound awesome. I just may add them to my Christmas treats. Dipping things in chocolate is one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen, especially at Christmas time.

  5. I like that ribbing. I know what you mean about ribbing, as it sometimes just 'pulls in' the sweater a bit too much. Good luck with the design! My DD is now 42, and it is amazing how much I have learned in the last 20 years or so. I remember my DD telling me that she would raise her DDs so that they would never say anything in their teens about how she had got it wrong - my advice to her, "Good luck, it is a teens job to disagree and be difficult, but they will change!"

  6. My daughter is 14 (and thought your daughter in her shawl and gown looked elegant). My husband and I are enjoying matching wits with her, finding ways to coax her through these hormone-laden moody years, to trick her into laughing, to reassure her when she's feeling adrift.

    I cut my hand the other day and have had to take a few days off to heal. I've been "mind-knitting" and tidying the baskets of projects, and having fun! Sometimes I get so caught up in being productive and meeting deadlines that I lose sight of the joy of simply thinking about knitting.

  7. It sounds as if you have half-thought it into being! I have been ruminating lately as to what my perfect sweater will look like, to try to use up some stash yarn. There is enough for stripes in cotton and in alpaca, and then something in wool. Although as in your case, I do not have half a sweater in my living room...

  8. Interesting thoughts on watching the children grow up. I agree, totally - its both a surprise and a joy to see them grow and change and move into different times of their lives. I don't feel any of the separation sadness that I've heard so much about. Just a quiet joy.

    (And the yarn is pretty - fingering weight? What is it? And why is Finnish yarn always so tempting?)

  9. I have enjoyed my two boys more and more as they have grown to the [almost-]men they are now at 22 and 17. They are much nicer to me than I was to my mother, thank goodness.

  10. Hei Lene!
    mikä hyvä heleä väri lanka sillä tumma harmaa päivä.
    meidän lumi pestä pois tanaan suunnasta kylmä sade ja nyt
    tuoola vain paljon kura!

    The color of the swatch looks like a ray of sunshine for your short days.
    I do love the way the cascade 220 holds up to wear and makes the stitches stand out.
    Your daughter is beautiful in her dress and looks so happy with her new casino shawl!

  11. Oh, those stuffed prunes coated with chocolate sound divine, I've had chocolate dipped prunes, alas they weren't stuffed.
    That is a lovely shade of yellow. I'm liking the ribbing, very pretty, I also don't like the 'hugging' ribbing, except on socks...
    And the rest of the yarn? mmmmm, I almost want to eat it.
    My one and only DD,Havala, (biologically) (My DIL is a true daughter of my heart) is just days away from 30, and although I've always maintained I am the mother here, we have always had a very close bond and friendship, she is my best friend,and she will say the same of me,we had only 1 'blowout' when she was 14, it lasted all of 5 minutes and after she came to me in tears and apologizing, we just always have had an open line of honest communication and therefore trust and she actually truly trusted my judgment, my comfort zone, she's always been adventurous and I didn't want to stifle that, and I can happily say I didn't.

  12. I've been thinking about my knitting too. I get frustrated between what I want to do, and what I'm capable of doing. I don't want to buy yarn, so I find myself thinking about how I can best fit what I want to do within the limits of my stash. Like trying to fit the cookie cutter onto the dough so as to maximize the number of cookies you can get from one roll out. But then, if it doesn't please me artistically, I toss the idea out, even if it fits logically.

    Hmm.. time to stop thinking and start knitting.

    I love the pretty colors of the yarn you bought. Do you have a plan for it?

  13. oooh , that yarn at the end was just the right dessert!
    and you are right—the time IS flying! it's flying by so fast i can hardly catch my breath. and i don't even have children to measure it.

  14. Ann in Montreal17:21

    I think a trip to the yarn shop is an essential part of the creative process. Greasing the wheels. I too am thinking about my next garment. My mind is on Spring to come, a warm weather dress perhaps. The difficulty is focusing on light weight yarns, cotton/wool blends, silks, bamboo, when I stand in the yarn shop swathed in layers of clothing and I have eyes only for chill banishing wools. Perhaps when the light begins to grow my focus will shift in the desired direction. For now I await with interest the unfolding of your design process. Thank you again for sharing your creative gifts with us.

  15. The cherries sounds wonderful. Eat a few of those and you won't care about the amount of daylight. Right? Enjoy! Thanks, as always, for sharing your little bit of the world with all of us.


  16. Cognac-soaked prunes stuffed with marzipan and dipped in chocolate. This sounds delightful to me!

    I like the way your picot edging looks on your sweaters. This is on my list of things I'd like to learn next.

    You brought some lovely jewel-tones home from the yarn shop. I look forward to seeing what you make with the turquoise.

  17. Such pretty yarn--and such pretty knitting. Too bad about the short daylight--we think our daylight is short here in Wisconsin, but yours is FAR shorter. On the other hand, you have an alomost endless summer--hardly any darkness, I think. Take care, and happy holidays.

  18. Enough, enough. FIRST of all I need to know exactly WHAT that yarn was you bought in your few precious hours of daylight. Name, address, serial number, Internet location if available. NOW!!!

    And after that.... I know what it's like too when you can't quite decide and wonder if you're wasting too much time thinking about a project instead of doing it. Well it isn't wasted time. It's the mental preparation. You might end up miles away from where you thought you were but that was where you wanted to be all the time only you didn't know it. It's like when you buy yarn that you haven't a clue how you will use, but suddenly one day you know why you bought it. I agree with the others that we need the thinking time too. The mental darning basket if you like.

    Blessings of Midwinter (almost upon us, and then the spring to anticipate).
    Celtic Memory Yarns

  19. I am also getting very grumbly feelings in my tummy thinking about the prune-cognac-marzipan-chocolate. Oh my. I will have to try that!

    As far as the teenage daughters go. You are so right, it really is a lovely process to watch them grow. We have 5 teenage girls around here, betwen the ages of 13 an 19. I mostly enjoy them. ;) But it it really akin to watching a flower that is jut beginning to open up. Watching the light (of life) play off of them and how they respond... Precious special stuff that.

  20. I feel like I need my parents now that I'm in my 20s more than I did when I was tiny. Maybe because I realize it more now, but it's definitely there!

  21. granny purple23:43

    Elizabeth Zimmerman is such an inspiration--when she guides my projects, they're always satisfying!