Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Black Mood

Spring is beginning slowly outside the windows these days. There's still plenty of snow on the ground around here, but the sun is warm and strong and we all know it's only a matter of weeks before there'll be buds on the trees and clean streets - well, I suppose Winnipegers know that clean streets aren't going to happen until late May or early June, still, though....just a matter of time.

I haven't been posting much at all lately, due to a deep, dark ugly mood I found myself in through February and March, oddly, perhaps, I blame my knitting.

I've always had a fondness for dark, bold colours like black and charcoal and aubergine and I have, over the last five or six years, indulged in buying lots of yarn in those colours, often in lace-weight, stashing them away for future projects. Unfortunately, I noticed last year that my eyesight wasn't as good as it was once (I suspect bi-focals are in my future). I had a flash of brilliance, or so I thought, around Christmas, that in the new year I would work through all my darkest shades of lace-weight yarn, starting with the blackest of blacks that I owned, hence my starting of the Blackbird shawl mentioned a few posts ago. In fact, I'd planned on working projects in black yarn of all weights, and also started a fairisle yoke cardigan with black as the body colour. My thinking at the time was that I would work through the dark colours before it's beyond me, and would have lots and lots of my favourite colours to wear while I moved on to knit in other hues.

This was a terrible mistake. Often Winnipeg winters are filled with brilliant blue skies, bright yellow sun and sparkling white snow, making for a visually impressive, though brutally cold, few months - but not this year. This year we had lots of snow, too much, considering the flooding that's expected, which meant many, many overcast days. So, not just brutal, awful, bitter cold, but perpetual dreariness. Blah!

And, on top of this, stitch after stitch of black, black, black...

The Blackbird shawl continues to sit on my desk, slowly, slowly progressing. I know I'm going to love this project when it's finished, and suspect that I will wear it often so I'll continue work on it, but...

that cardi...

After knitting the main body and both sleeves (all in black), I started the fairisle yoke in shades of grays and white, and after knitting and knitting, all the way to nearly the end of the colourwork and nearing the neck, I thought to myself, "I don't like this. I'm never going to wear this. This depresses me."



I tore it all out.

It was very liberating, like coming out of a fog.

To rid myself of the "blackness", I immediately pulled a brilliant red 4-ply from the yarn stash and knit a tam, Robin by Kim Hargreaves.

Colour, how I've missed you!

Also started a pair of gloves in teal Dk weight. This pattern is called Nouveau by Tanis Fiber Arts (that's a Ravelry link). These are being worked in the recommended yarn - Tanis Fiber Arts in Yellow Label DK.

More Colour!!!!

Also started, the Diversion sock pattern from Knitty's Winter 2009 issue. I'm not a huge fan of knitted socks, but saw a pair of these on display at Wolseley Wool, and could not be contained in the purchase of the same colourway of yarn and a plan to knit these up immediately. Yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome in colourway Sweet Pea.

And then, one last final leap away from the dark; I purchased a hank of Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Lace from Wolseley Wool in colourway Dutch, a very uncharactersitic (for me) orange.

Wowsers! Now that's not black, you have to admit. I don't have an immediate project for this, but I suspect my desire to work with this yarn will make my search brief.

Onwards, springtime!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where'd I Put Those Buttons?

Well, I found the perfect buttons for the wee baby jacket from my last post. Ordered from Wool-Tyme Canada, they were by Mission Falls and looked like this:

except, the ones I ordered were darker in colour. They were perfect, the size was right and they possessed enough quaint, homeyness to appeal to my knitting pals, and enough sophistication to appeal to everyone else. This is all past tense though because I have no idea what I did with them.

I was certain that I'd put them in the top drawer of the black dresser in the craft room, where I store yarn for upcoming projects along with various other delights. However, they weren't in the drawer when I went to fetch them for this post.

I did find the shawl pin that I bought from Wool-Tyme in the same order (seemed a waste to spend money on shipping for three little buttons, so felt I should "fill out" the order - this is one of my secrets to spending vast quantities of money, if Nigel is curious)

Lovely isn't it? It's shell with an ebony spear. I'll wear it to knit night on Wednesday so the girls can have a gander.

Yes, lovely, but the buttons weren't there...

I did find my darling package of White Stripes buttons (they're a band) Nigel bought me for Christmas one year. I've never opened these - too adorable. You've got to admire a band that doesn't just sell t-shirts and posters.

I looked all over my desk, which is a disaster at the mo'.

There's my Blackbird Shawl from a previous post - languishing, along with a piece of genealogy research - also stalled.

Oooo, a pattern for an apron and 10 skiens of black angora purchased on sale at Wolseley Wool. Angora and aprons - I am turning into a '50's housewife, yes?

Some half finished Alan Dart mice, and some of the yarn for a cardi I just started. I'll show that to you some other time, it's got a silk hem facing - fancy!

My sewing machine, poor neglected thing...

Hmm, are they in the hutch? If you click on this picture you might see Nessie lurking (she's a former whiskey bottle).

I can see the first buttons, later rejected, for the jacket. Also sitting there is a curling rock, also formerly a whiskey bottle (makes me look like a bit of a boozer, doesn't it?)

The craft cupboard... if you know me from ravelry and click on this picture, you might see the black and white felt cat that appears in my ravatar...no buttons though...Hey, also my half finished Lady Grey jacket I was working on! I really should put the lining in that before summer gets here.

Old tins full of buttons, but not the ones I'm looking for...

glass jars full of buttons, also not the right ones. Hard to believe my entire button collection once fit in these jars...

Would I have put then in here?




Oooo, special buttons!

But not the buttons...

These aren't buttons, but at least I know where (some of) my marbles are...

ah, vintage game pieces and dice, so, so charming...but not those Mission Falls buttons.

I will continue to look through March, but if they're not to be found I'll be forced to place another order...possibly with more "filler" merchandise...poor Nigel...