Sunday, May 16, 2021

Yopping Update #46 - Socks, hats, beards and a gansey too


The early part of my week was all about finishing the socks for dh's birthday. (Shh.  It is tomorrow). 

Syncopation Socks with FishLipsKiss heel

By the time the socks were done I was already two clues behind on my Gnathan gnome KAL 
I finished clue one and two which turns out to be a cute cabled hat. 
 And the very next day - yesterday - clue three was released.  Thankfully it was a simple, non-cabled, beard.

After the beard was finished I was all set to start the sketching and plotting for my gansey body, but I ended up napping all afternoon instead.  Not sure what was going on there, but I feel much better today. 

I have finished my gansey up to the definition ridge, so later tonight I will start the pattern.  I have most of the pieces cut out and need to plot them on the large chart paper so I won't get totally mixed up. There will be stitch markers.  Lots of stitch markers!

I used an eighth century alphabent script to add my initials to the plain section of my gansey. I have placed them to be on the lower right back.  

secret initial alphabet m a b t

On Wednesday we received three parcels in the mail.  A Mother's Day/Dad's birthday parcel from our son, some printer ink and paper from an online order, and a gift of Knit Picks Palette wool from a dear friend.  She doesn't like to knit with it, and asked if I wanted it. I said I did so voila - look what I got!

I think I am going to turn some of this into my advent sock leg and find a nylon/wool blend for the toe/heel and sole.  I have some red and pink to add to the mix.

Today I have already taken apart the freezer because the drain had iced up, and it was running 24/7 - all good now, but that is a l o n g job.  I learned how to take it apart and put it back together thanks to Ms. Google. 

Now we are spending the afternoon cleaning and repairing my hubby's bbq.  Our son bought him a new grill and gas ring, and while he is re-assembling it, I am putting major elbow grease into cleaning the lid. 

I had coated it in oven cleaner so I could finish this post while the Easy-Off does its magic and now the lid is calling.....and the afternoon is almost gone, so I will leave you with the cutest grand-daughter in the world.  

Sporting Mama's glasses!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Yopping Update #45 - Gansey progress


This week was pretty much all about The Gansey.  

I finished the swatch, and washed and blocked it. 

I went on to follow the instructions and made a sampler gansey, which fit my son's doll perfectly. 

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours taking my measurements, and the measurements off of a sweater that I have that fits me the way I want my Gansey to fit.  

happy to have these calculations all done

I also chose a pattern to follow, Eriskay, but I will tweak the placement of the motifs (I want the Tree of Life in the centre), and will incorporate two different fish motifs where the pattern has crosses. 

motif for body

motif for sleeve

In addition to my Gansey I have been working on a pair of birthday socks for my dh.  I am using the Syncopation pattern but did a FishlipsKiss heel instead of a gusset. I also cast on 80 stitches instead of 72.  He really does have hobbit feet (not hairy, but wide and flat).

one more to go and I have another week

I have been walking quite a bit this week, and the blossoms continue to be gorgeous:

Bleeding Hearts - my daughter's favourite

I also love finding these little gems along my path:


And of course all the creeks nearby cheer my heart:

As does this little one:

Wish I was there to sing her Swing me Higher, Obidiah

Happy Mother's Day to all who mother in whatever form wherever you are.  I have been thinking about my mother often on my walks as I pass the wild roses that I once brought home to her hoping they could be transplanted.  I thought of her too this week as I made myself some 'squashed egg' sandwiches for lunch.  She made the best 'squashed egg' sandwiches!  

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Yopping Update #44 - Coat of Many Colours Indeed!


She is done, and all ends woven in.

This was my inspiration


Wow is my hair ever getting long!

nice socks too

I finished sewing in all the ends while attending a zoom gathering hosted by Dottie Widmann who runs The Net Loft, a knitting/art store in Cordova Alaska.  She started a project about six years ago called the Cordova Gansey Project.  You can read about it here.  It is a long read, but such a warm and engaging story with beautiful scenes and heartfelt inspiration.  Make yourself a cuppa tea and enjoy when you have the time. 

A friend of mine made herself a gansey and is beginning another for her wife.  I joined another zoom group with a few of her friends and most of them have made, or are making a gansey. 

You know what happened next, right?  Yup.  I ordered the yarn, joined both the Ravelry and Facebook Gansey groups and started to read. 

When I showed my friend the colour I wanted to order she said "I have that and it is slated for a project in twelve to fourteen months.  She offered to mail me hers, which I would get in a couple of days, and I would have my order shipped to her (which could take up to five weeks).  Perfect!

The yarn arrived on Wednesday (the book is mine)

I started swatching on April 30th.  This is going to be a long project - I am probably going to be knitting on 2.25mm needles using the Frangipani 5ply which is a sport weight (although it looks like 4ply fingering to me).  It will be a nice dense fabric for sure.  

2.25mm side of swatch with garter rib done in 2.5mm
Yes, I screwed up on the diamonds - hey it is just a swatch

2 mm side of swatch with two kinds of ribs

Part of my swatch (besides needle size to check gauge) is to try different motifs.  I have done two horizontal motifs, and I am now working on a vertical tree of life motif.  Once that is done I will bind off, wash and block.  I never do these things but when knitting the traditional way you need to get your gauge and then knit to your body measurements.  This is going to be a big project and I am going to do it ensuring it will fit. 

I also ordered a book by Beth Brown-Reinsel which the Cordova Gansey Project recommended as its textbook.  One of the suggestions is that you knit a mini gansey to learn all the techniques before starting your full sized one. 

At first reading of all the steps and decisions I was overwhelmed, but as my uncle used to say "Calmer heads prevailed", and I slowed down, started to read, asked my friend a million questions via text, and then just cast on the swatch and got going.  I already own the book Knitting in the Traditional Way and it has quite a few Gansey examples and motifs.  

I have often said that I knit for my mental health.  It has been a rough week for me in that arena as the new beta-blocker my cardiologist put me on sent me into a tailspin.  This happened last fall with a different beta-blocker and it took me weeks to get sorted.  This time I could tell what was happening within three weeks, and after talking to him I stopped the medication last Wednesday.  Yesterday afternoon I could feel the clouds parting just a bit.  I think too having a virtual cry on my sister's shoulder helped immensely. 

I have a different tele-appointment with a different specialist tomorrow morning.  I am pretty much done with having any more tests, but I will wait until tomorrow's appointment before I make any more decisions about future medications/tests.  

I am walking, finding new trails, enjoying the blooms of spring and fitting in at least ten minutes of yoga a day.  My back has been a bit cranky, and I postponed a CTscan that was scheduled for last Friday as the hospital has a major CoVid outbreak on two wards.  I have been dealing with a cranky back most of my life so another six weeks won't be a big deal. 

In other blogging news I completed all twenty-six entries of the A to Z(ed) blogging challenge.  I feel very proud of that accomplishment. 

No new pictures of my grand-daughter, but I did find a new playground yesterday on my walk that I hope to share with her one day in the future. 

Hope springs eternal.

I am the yucky leaves but the buds are coming

I do love weeping willows

Here is to May.  Let us hope it may allow us all some respite from this endless pandemic.