Knitting together has been playing on my mind and as knitters K2tog is something we follow in most patterns. I am knitting together the first two strips of squares for my Shieling blanket and whilst I was doing this I started to think.
The shortened code means the same no matter where we are in the world and we all know many more abbreviations that help us to knit and understand patterns. In dad’s world some of my knitting language is in morse code. KAL is another term I would say at least the huge community in Ravelry all understand. Not too sure if the rare local yarn shops would know what I meant if I asked about a KAL, well at least the old fashioned wool shops who don’t even have the wool I could knit with. KALs help us to knit along with others, some for extra motivation to start and finish a project. Others join in for the fun social aspects and are a lovely bunch chatting and knitting, possibly some housework is fitted in too. I have become less active in groups as I am still very shy and felt overwhelmed by a lot of activity but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy KALs or following WIPs of those who join in. I feel sad when others don’t understand that it’s not always easy for people like me to join in all the WIPs. I enjoy their enthusiasm and the way they can join in without all the doubts and fears which I put myself through.
I was pleased to see the new KAL for Kate Davies patterns from The West Highland Way club will be a long KAL without any pressure or the need to be actively involved on a daily basis as I really have been struggling with some health issues and find Instagram easier to engage with the knitting community. I would like to add a finished Shieling blanket to the finished objects, eventually as I have a long way to go before this will be completed. I purchased the wool to knit Coinneach yoke cardigan but still have to swatch my contrast colours. This would be another project I would like to have for the end of the KAL. I still can’t cast on a lot of WIPs but if Geiger gets to the stage of seaming then I might use this opportunity to swatch and maybe knit the cardigan to the stage of knitting the body round and round in the evening when I need to knit but don’t want anything complex. I was planning Myrtle but some of my lace weight stash may not work as I had hoped. I will know better when I have time and mind space to swatch.
My knitting is essential to me right now and it really is proving the fact about being therapeutic as I am not one to want to go to the doctor so I need to take my mind off a few nagging health issues. I enjoyed a conversation via Instagram with a friend who feels the same way as me, so I guess both of us prefer knitting needles than any blood test needles the doctor would inflict on us!
D for dread and I deed x2 d’s - doctors and dentist although I can’t avoid the dentist as easy as a text arrives to remind me it’s time for Jim to check my teeth. The only friendly D during this exchange is the initial of my friend who shares my dread especially of doctors.
Speaking of health but the more fun side of ‘what’s in my knitting tool kit’ I love knitting The Shieling blanket and the wool blocks out beautifully and feels silky soft but the mohair content irritates my eyes when I am knitting with the yarn. It isn’t the only yarn to do this so it isn’t a new reaction to me but eye drops and sprays are part of my kit. Hand cream essential at each stage, one than sinks in fast and a luxury one for the last thing I use every night before sleeping. I forgot about the sticking plasters. I think I should have bought shares in them as I keep getting cuts or my skin just opens and I cannot risk doing a red stain to my work. Muscle gel not just for knitting aches/numbness but I really hope I wouldn’t need this forever. I had to buy yet more needles. When I searched my boxes for two 150cm circulars, I found the length but needless to say the gauge wasn’t what I need to knit together my first two strips of Shieling squares. I had cables for my Lykke needles but I needed the lace tops of my ChiaoGoo’s
I used 100cm for the arrangement in the photo, they would suffice for the individual strip joins but I knew for the big pick up 150cm were essential. They arrived just in time to be part of what’s in my knitting kit.
I have one mitten knit for a lady whose friendship was made through my blog, which is a friendship that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have Internet access. I value friendships and how much we can share and help each other and mainly because we all learned to knit. I began to feel so guilty as the mittens are a gift and they should have been flying across to Canada before this. Canada post is slow but Beverley’s attempts at knitting another pair of Mīlēt mittens have been thwarted by pain and cuts opening on my hands. The small circumference needles with a very fine gauge have proved difficult for me this time. I knit my own pair last year and didn’t have the same pain/poor circulation. The lady understands but they still played on my mind. I am pleased to report and show that I have one mitten knit but I seriously have to pace myself with the second one as I don’t want to end up not being able to knit at all if I don’t heed the warning signs. I will pack them up with a lot of love when I eventually finish the pair. I don’t have second sock/ mitten/sleeve syndrome but I seem to have very poor circulation and a few more aches this year.
I plan to knit myself another pair at an even finer gauge as I need a smaller cuff but they definitely won’t be knit anytime soon. The photos show the inside and outside of the mitten and a comment made by another on Instagram friend really helped me as I worry a lot if I am knitting for someone that my knitting would look awful when they received it. The comment made me smile as I was beginning to worry about dad’s eyesight when he didn’t realise I was showing him the inside of the stranded colour work. My friend took a few seconds when looking at the photos on Instagram before she realised which one was inside out! At least I can stop worrying about dad now when ;)
Typing this blog has lifted my spirits, especially when I am recalling all the friendships have made and how we all care for each other. Too often I dwell on the people who don’t understand my type of slow knitting and only one or two WIPs at a time. I enjoy things in a different way and Ravelry is a great source of inspiration although with the books I have added to my library recently and the patterns I still have to knit, I really don’t need to add any more. I am looking forward to knitting along with my friend who couldn’t start to knit Geiger as we had planned. Both of us have Helga Isager’s new book and the patterns are all most appealing. As with Geiger Isager garments pay attention to detail and fit. The book has simpler patterns than the one I knit from last year but they will be part of my knitting plans in the future. Geiger has been a turning point for me and has given me many hours of knitting joy. I still have to note all the shaping but I have enjoyed knitting each piece. I will write more at another time, suffice to say the design is indulgent for me. A Geiger session followed by a Shieling square, slow, therapeutic knitting. The mitten is part of my immediate plans but the only slow part is my hands. I will knit the second mitten for a friend who reached out with her hand of friendship. Friends, knitting together has kept me above the clouds when health issues try to bring me down. I hadn’t even bought any new clothes but I think I fixed this bit on Monday night.....France will be calling soon....tomorrow!
To knit, to share, to help, to inspire to knit along together despite being miles apart, there’s a lot to be said for a creative community no mater which platform we prefer to exchange views on. Closer to home and part of my family was a message and photo from my sister after Heather read my last blog post. She had bought lovely red tweed flecked wool and started to knit an aran sweater. My sister can knit but is much more relaxed than me, chalk and cheese! Heather hadn’t knit for a while but after reading about Geiger she found her needles again. Family tradition goes on, knitting together but in different homes now.
I will add up my squares for April at the end of the month and hopefully have these strips knit together. I love knitting the squares but I am not so keen on picking up stitches and there’s a lot to pick up before someone comes to pick me up!
This morning I was backing up some photos and noted a photo memory shown to me for the same date last year. Incredibly it was a line up of squares for my Birlinn blanket. I wonder if I will be knitting another blanket if I am still around this time next year!
Nature is also a great restorer and I hope soon both of us can be out again enjoying the season when butterflies dance and the birds sing. I have my own little choir singing each morning and both dad and myself noticed little brown wings fluttering in the garden the other day. We didn’t see enough to identify our visiting butterfly but when I opened iCal there on the same date last year we had a small tortoiseshell butterfly in our garden. I have one more photo to share fresh out of the garden. Dad came home, called me to look at just outside my window was a blackbird’s hatched egg, beautiful colours. Creation in all sorts of medium is all around me. Restoring my mind and reminding me that God sees the little sparrow fall and yes, He cares for me.
I hope we can share a knit friends together through my blog, even if you don’t knit we can all care.