Making 2015


First of all…

This is not me. This is a symbolic representation of my inner California girl attempting to hibernate. I figure: It's good enough for the California grizzly bears, must be good enough for me.

This is not me. This is a symbolic representation of my inner California girl,  attempting to hibernate. I figure: It’s good enough for the California grizzly bears, must be good enough for me.

Dear Tamara, I just want you to know that I did not actually dig a hole in the snowbank and tuck myself inside. I do love you and all my readers very much, but perhaps I am more hard-hearted than anyone realizes. Not only did I steal borrow that photo off the interwebs, but I stole borrowed it from someone who actually DID dig herself a hole and crawled into it. She, whomever she is, is the courageous and selfless one, the one with the wet coat, the icy jeans, and the adorable pink boots. I am the selfish one sitting here all cozy at my desk, dog on my feet, cat attempting to be a wrist rest. Also, alack and alas, I lack adorable pink boots. Thank you for having such a high opinion of me that you thought I might really have done such a selfless act, all in the name of a fuller blog experience for all you nice people. It saddens me that I am not quite THAT selfless. Please allow me to distract you from my shortcomings with pretty pictures of yarn and yarnly pursuits. Love, Sandi

Making

Usually, around this time of year, I do a wrap-up of the projects completed last year, and perform a quick peek into the crystal ball to see what I might do this year. So, I checked my project page, searched for the “end2014” tag, and came up with ONE finished object: My Hiro cardigan.

Taken almost one year ago to the day: Jan 24, 2014.

Taken almost one year ago to the day: Jan 24, 2014.

I was knitting other things last year, I swear it. Really I was. Truly. I Did So Knit. As I look back, though, I realize that what I was actually doing was Sampling. I knit a bit on this, I cast on for that and knit on that for a bit, I did a sleeve here and a mitten there. Same with my spinning: I have at least a dozen spindles with a few ounces each of something fluffy and wonderful…but not completed. I travelled for nearly three months, and all along the way, I visited shop booth after shop booth, wandered from one yarn to another, and one spindle to another, as though the trip were one long Wool Buffet. It was Grand. Tons of fun. I have photos to show you of some of the goodies that jumped into my car from here to North Carolina.

However, I thought it might be fun to talk about the Eternal Now, you know, as in what I am working on today, heck, this week even. Live in the present and all that.

JB Basket small 4

That is a cowl. A big, chunky-wool, large-sized-needles, cowl. A gift cowl. A not-for-me-but-cozy-on-someone-else’s-neck-someday cowl. It’s not often I knit gifts for people. Oh, wait. That’s not true. I very often start knitting gifts for people, particularly the people I love. It is even possible that the closer I hold you in my heart, the more projects I will start for you. Finishing these acts of love, these handmade heart messages, well. That’s a different story.

However, this cowl has a Redeeming Saving Grace. The person I am making this for is someone whom I do not know well. I’ve met her, but I don’t know her. She’s a friend of Melody’s; Melody asked me to make this cowl for Z, so I’m making it. There is a Very Important Distinction here: I am making this for Someone Else, a near-stranger. I am NOT making this for Melody. That distinction is important, because the fact that the cowl is intended for a stranger quadruples its chances of an actual bind-off occurring in its near future. (Lucky cowl.)

The Usual Pertinent Details

– Pattern: #103 Lucscious Cabled Cowl (#SWB-L00103 is the mysterious code printed on the instructions)

– Source: SweaterBabe.com

– Yarn: Paton’s Shetland Chunky, 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool, 148 yds per ball.

– Needles: U.S. Size 10/6.0 mm circs, 24″, two sets.

– Number of skeins/balls required: I’m about a third of the way through and on my third ball of yarn. So, I’ll need probably 9-10 balls total. However, the pattern page says the entire cowl requires only 274 yds of Bulky yarn. I swear I’ve used 2.5 balls, or 370 yds already, of my teal green bulky yarn. I’ve done 4 repeats, the pattern calls for 12-13 repeats. If I have 8 repeats remaining, I will need about 555 more yards for a pattern which calls for only  274 yards.

Aren’t I clever, then?

C’mon, Sandi, You Made a Mod. Fess Up, We Know You Did.

Well, I may have modded. Probably. Oh, OK, I modified the pattern because I simply could not help my darn self. It’s a VERY simple patten, one which at first glance seems completely safe from any Sandi Meddling. One casts on at the back neck, knits back and forth in rows a length which wraps around the neck once or twice, and then one binds off. The beginning and the end are then grafted together, and there you have it, a beautiful smooshy cowl. It’s basically a lovely chunky scarf with its ends sewn together.

And that did it. That Word. That “Scarf” word. Perhaps you remember that Things Scarf and I are not on speaking terms for the rest of my life. Perhaps you may recall several posts along the way, wisely coming up with gentle, but pithy, epithets against Scarf, all things related to Scarf (those short straight needles that glow in the dark come to mind), and the horse Scarf rode in on.

candy squares

A Quilt is most Definitely Not A Scarf. Besides: I will never Confirm nor Deny that I am working on this Quilt.

Of course, once the word Scarf entered my head, I just couldn’t knit the darn thing. But the pattern (aside from its Inner Scarf qualities) is awesome and perfect. Thus (you see where this is headed, I am sure): I converted the Scarf Thing, knit back and forth in rows, to a Cowl Object, knit in the round. I had to finagle a reasonable stitch count, of course, and I had to get over my grief at not having every other row/round be a purl row/round, but I’m pretty much over both by now. Yes, the cables “point” up and down (vertically) rather than around and around (horizontally), but I think they look fine. Yes, one cannot do the double-wrap-around-the-neck trick that feels so cozy in the winter (minus 15C here today, how about you?). However, I am making the cowl long enough so that one can scrunch it down around one’s neck and chin, or, should one’s balding pate be chilly, one can tug the top of the cowl up and over one’s head, covering one’s stylish baldness and lending an air of Medieval Monkishness to one’s personal winter fashion choices.

So that’s One Project I am working on. I am trying to focus my magpie desires a bit this year, working on only one knitting project (socks don’t count, do they?), one quilting project, one spinning project, and so on, thereby increasing my chances of having more than one object with the “end2015” tag affixed to it in my project pages.

Chispas

1. Discuss: 2014-02-21 all cats have Asp

2. Fascinating Science: The Halfsider Bird. It’s not a male. It’s not a female. It’s not a neuter. It’s half male, half female. Somehow. Yes, really.

3. Traditional Bloggy Dose of Baby Cuteness

baby lambgoat in arms

Quick quiz: Sheep or Goat? Regardless: Belleh rub!

4. In Which Rants Are Fun: It’s amusing (sometimes…) to rant at the sexist clothing industry, which, in order to preserve a clear view of womanly sexy curves, plus any sexy womanly panty lines, refuses to put pockets in women’s clothing. This pocket-lack frequently leads to women being without  the correct Useful Tool at the correct Useful Time (have you tried to find anything in your purse lately? Quickly, I mean?). Ladies, I give you Our Revenge.

Last but never least: Tim crawled into one of my handknit cowls the other day, tried for three seconds to wiggle out, and then realized he had discovered paradise: a blankie he could carry around with him, from one heater vent to the next.

office help w cowl There you have it, an actual Real Blog Post, organically grown right here in Bolton, Ontario, Canada. Be well. Laugh as much as you can. Love always.

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Almost 2-yr-old kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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10 Responses to Making 2015

  1. I don’t think
    i have ever read something you have written without a chortle, a giggle, an outright guffaw all loud enough to make those around me look for the cause of my noisiness. I LOVE YOU!

  2. molly says:

    ah….yes….one of my cats has also discovered the joys of cowls….residents here know to tuck them safely in parka pockets…visitors sometimes leave them lying carelessly by their purses… then it’s time for the great cat search! which cat? which heater vent?
    ah – sweet mystery of life!
    thank you for letting me know my cats are not the only – erm – odd ones…
    cheers
    molly

  3. Patty says:

    My cat most definitely has Asberger’s. He won’t make eye contact (you know that thing they do, turn away when you talk to them as if we are beneath their intelligence) and he has no impulse control whatsoever.

  4. Kelly says:

    Goat. Just a hunch, but I’d say goat. Adorable (no hunch about that!)

    I’m also anti scarf, yet this past year I made two of them! They demanded I make them and I had no say in the matter. I look forward to seeing your cowl finished.

  5. leslieileen says:

    That’s one nice sweater you have there. I didn’t do much knitting at all in 2014 – moved in March and didn’t pick up the needles until November or so. But the reason for that is my husband decided he liked my favorite chair and took it in the new house!!! It’s all his fault 🙂

    And it’s got to be a goat – I’m an avid Kristin Nicholas fan (http://getting-stitched-on-the-farm.blogspot.com/2015/01/lambing-is-full-speed-ahead-thank-you.html) and thanks to her I know a lamb when I see one!

    You always make me smile, Sandi. Thanks.

  6. Jerri says:

    Always makes my day to read a blog post from you, Sandi.

  7. Tim looks very happy. I think that’s the goal that we have for the recipients of all our hand knits, especially ourselves!

  8. Barbara says:

    Yes, your blog lifts my spirits every time I read it! Great Leatherman’s hair clip!! And thank you for helping me see that my knit-a-little-bit-here-and-there technique is really okay!! Beautiful sweater too!! Thanks, Sandi!

  9. Victoria says:

    Great, great, post! Love your cardigan. Cats with asperger’s, hilarious. Love the “our revenge” tool. And I agree, knitting socks doesn’t count as a separate project!

  10. Tamara says:

    Ack! I’m so honored that you responded to my question in the first part of an actual blog post, and so sorry that I’m only reading it now!

    It has been a truly insufferable winter, in so many ways. Let’s hope spring and summer and fall are better for everyone.

    I love the pretty cardigan, and am happy that you, too, have years during which you work on ‘a little bit of this, a little bit of that…”

    xoxo

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