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Fingerless Mitts, My Hand Knit Designs

The local Smoky Mountain Knitting Guild in November  had a mini class and hand out on Knit your own mitts ( Is that Smoky or Smokey? a weird spelling thing we noticed down here). I designed two pair, the first ones needs blocking…. I used stitch patterns that were in books on my shelf.  Once I started I was on a roll.  Both pairs are  in worsted weight yarn. The first pair is in a lace pattern on the front only and long cuffs. The second one is in lace and cables, I planned the variegated lace to not be seen but it will make the pair warmer. I really enjoyed designing these. Realized during pair #1 that all the mittens I have made over the years prepared me for these, made it much easier. Just cut off the tops of the hand and thumb of mittens.

The first pair and stitch pattern comes from “The Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible” pag 19 #2 Gorgeous book by the way. I based the size on my machine knit version so it has long cuffs. In the photos they look busy but they aren’t in person, Just interesting.

 

The second pair are in lace and cables and reversible.  I planned the lace to not be seen but it will make the pair warmer. They have shorter cuffs. The first stitch pattern comes from the  “Big Book of Knitting  Patterns” Pg 58 the bottom pattern “Honeycomb” .  The cables were fun to knit. the most challenging thing was the thumb  and  placing it within the cable pattern. Then I did the thumb in garter stitch to continue on with the theme. The second pattern comes from “The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook” Pg 63 top ” Tilted Tiles” for the variegated lace.

Now back to the two? cowls, lap blanket and third mitt with the same salmony pink yarn and a different variegated yarn, hmm Fairisle? I’m not mentioning the weaving, spinning, beeding  and machine knit projects.  Too many projects too little time. I have also noticed I have a knitting book addiction that I will have to keep in check. Knitting and weaving books just don’t work well on a kindle for me.

Machine Knitting Trick

January a great grand daughter and in March a grandson were born . So of course I’m busy with baby afghans or blankies, sweaters, bootie. making.

Somewhere it was suggested to use pants hangers as clips to hold long knitting projects to I tried it out and what a great idea. So thank you for the idea! Sure beats using the ribber comb or any other method I’ve used in the past. The edging took longer than the blankie.

weightsm

Keep Going

Was just getting back into weaving…   Sometimes you learn things that you really can live without knowing…..  Was weaving cat mats when one of my cats jumped up on the woven part and wanted to be petted. Petted her and while purring she bit me.  Cat bites much more dangerous and tend to be infected vs dog bites,  sharper and dirtier?  My middle and smallest cat is now on Quarantine at home.  The greeter cat is “vicious”.   Bit me Sunday night at the base of my left thumb, the one with arthritis already present. Hurt like hell,  bled and I screamed. Was swollen on Monday, went to get groceries and when we returned there was a streak of red down my wrist, 2  inches or so.  Son was going to work.  Knew I was in trouble,  Off to urgent care I went and they were closed. (Full Moon) By the time I was seen in ER it was now 4 inches long. Knowing my insurance company I agreed to be admitted for twice daily IV antibiotics.  They x rayed it, no tooth fragments otherwise it would have been surgery as well. One of the CNA’s complimented me on catching it so soon and main reason I was getting such a good response to the antibiotics.

Widow support groups talk a lot about trigger points. Ok I was an RN, Just watching medical stuff on TV and I have a recurring nightmare. PTSD?   I am on the female cancer unit I worked for 5 years in the 80s. I’m the only regular staffer all the rest are pulled from other units or floats. Literally run off my feet.  Similar thing happened, I was  one of two regular staffers one night.

Trigger #1   I was in a hospital,

#2 In a hall bed in ER in front of where we got my husbands terminal cancer diagnosis the hard way. As my husband snoozed  I heard two dr talking in front of the room ” he has a large mass on his kidney and another one on the spine”  That poor guy my husband just has Arthritis and Pneumonia.  Just what a former nurse who was concerned about privacy wants to learn that:  no that is my husband they were so indiscreet about. Terminal he lived 6 weeks after that.  Between this and being extremely angry at a certain cat. They asked me a while before they moved me if I was suicidal or homicidal my response was no Cat icidal.

#3 Of course I was admitted to the same floor that my husband was on, slightly larger room. I think I slept 3 maybe 4 hours the 2 nights I was there.

#4  Things at this hospital have not improved I questioned almost every drug given to me. I did forget my phone with my drug list, had no idea I would be admitted.  ER and admitting nurse just named the drugs off didn’t ask any dosages.  From there they were  All wrong,  from first night there on. Thought the thyroid drug looked the wrong color, asked wrong dose. Kept trying to give me blood pressure medication twice a day I am only on it once a day.  It really wasn’t the nurses fault, they corrected them 5 times in the computer and with the Doctor,  that I know of.  Computer? Pharmacy?  The last morning she named off the drugs before opening them, Thyroid still wrong and a blood pressure pill at the wrong time. I told her don’t bother I will take it when I get home.

ADVOCATE  What if you are unconscious? elderly? forgetful? Be with your loved one and ADVOCATE!

Our son brought my kindle in thank goodness at least reading will transport me elsewhere and I am in less pain as well. Now since I have been home I have attempted some knitting but the thumb was at first stiff now sore. I tried a splint last night but helped for awhile but I ended up pulling it off.  Very fast music and books now this is a modern achievement I can get behind and support… And Youtube.

Saw a band on “The Late Show” The Revivalists and started listening to them on Youtube.  I found “Keep Going” This is the mode I have been in for 0ver 2 years through Dave’s illness  and now living without him.  Keep Going = Making an effort to live normally in a difficult situation.   Believe me it is sometimes a minute to minute effort to keep going.     Another is a Willie Nelson song “It’s not Somethin’ you get over but it’s  “Somethin’ You Get Through.”

Someday soon Back to sanity and weaving or knitting or?? Meanwhile my Kindle is calling my name.

who me

Greeter cat on a different project

Countermarch Tie-ups

Been awhile since I set up the Glimakra Ideal.  It is a  horizontal countermarche , one of the two types that are most common. The other is a vertical countermarche that I have never dealt with.  I have an excellent book  Tying up the Countermarche Loom  by Joanne Hall. I don’t start all over with adding the shafts, tying the lams and doing the tie ups as some videos suggest.  I also took a class eons ago,  the instructor was Madelyn van der Hoogt. She had additional ways to tie up the loom and  the part that helped my loom get the best shed. Put the warp on back beam of the loom, put the shaft holders on, put the locking pins in,  thread,  tied on, then  do your tie up. Sitting on the floor, should keep me agile. Then  the treadles are set up so that the ones on the right are 9 inches from the floor and the ones on the left are 7 inches. On the left the lams are on rods and this is the side that is at 7 inches.

The difference  from other looms is that you are tying up both to raise and to lower the shafts. Jack looms like the Norwood and Gilmore are rising sheds and only the O’s in the picture below are fastened to the treadles. On Counterbalance or Sinking shed looms, like Leclerc and Louet the X s are tied up.  On the Countermarch looms like the Glimakra or Toika looms all the Xs and Os are tied up.

This raising and lowering at the same time makes it excellent for weaving sticky warps like mohair. My Ideal is the smallest size and  they don’t make that size anymore. The Ideal can be converted to a counterbalance or Draw loom. It is also sturdy enough for rugs. We did add a weight to the beater.   After working with this loom I made myself a  Tie Up Card to keep it straight in my head. The other picture shows the shaft holders. I usually put one on the upper on one side and on the bottom on the other. Wish I had them for my AVL!

tieupcardE

 

shaft holder E

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first time I have such long wefts as the corduroy is in several yards. Will take me a long time to use it up I have two cat mats done but I am not happy with the tie up on the second to last treadle ( fourth treadle for the twill)  One of the upper lams is  bumping into the shaft. So after weaving for quite awhile I thought I would fix it. Lying on the floor I have so many cat helpers, not.  So instead of my upper helper Cattrina in the photo below, I had Daisy rubbing against me and in my face.  I would almost get it fastened and she would bump into me. Below is the Cattrina helper and pictures of the mats. You can see the shafts in the background and the nice shed big enough for a rag shuttle. Wish I had picked up another shuttle  when I was at Great Northern weaving.  It wasn’t the tie up it was up a higher problem going from the center whole that moves the lams, Tomorrow is another day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest UFOs, Knitting Weaving Combination

I have too many UFOs to list!  The project that I have been working towards, for awhile now is mats for shelter cats. I have knitted several tops on the KH930 with a Garter Carriage. The longest time is due to the garter carriage. I sent one for repairs in August of last year and it ran for only a short time. Finally bought another that is pristine and running great now. Photo below is the first one now only used for parts… This machine will knit and purl in a row, otherwise you have to hand manipulate the stitches to make the purl stitches. It also casts on and castes off your knitting.

garter carriage sm.jpg

 

I think I will do the pillow part with flannel on the back as it wont show. Then I am weaving the bottom of the mats. All of the weft is corduroy that was donated to HCC and back then due to lack of storage to all the students .  Then they go to market research. My four cats.

 

catmats sm

toppers

This knitted chart looks like birds. Still trying to figure out a way to attach them, Maybe large snaps so the tops can be washed? The middle will be a foam mattress but maybe not washable?? decisions decisions. We will see which the kitties prefer.

One of my new market researchers below as I try to finish setting up the treadles on my countermarche   Glimakra. On these you set up the rising and lowering part of the tie up: so both Xs and Os. Took a wonderful class 20? years ago from  Madelyn van der Hoogt. Still use her handouts today.

tieup

swat1 copy

Cattrina Weaving assistant/ market researcher.

inocent copy

 

Under this guiltless kitty you can see 5 of 6 treadles done. They are set up so that the ones on the right are 9 inches from the floor then they gradually go to 7 inches on the left. Had to redo the threading on the right of middle, yes rusty after close to 2 years away  from the looms.

I’m cutting the strips for the mats with an old serger, cheapie but works great for the purpose. I really don’t make enough rugs to warrant paying for a proper rag cutter. I’v woven about 8 inches and think the twill after thought pattern looks best…

Life As I Know It Now

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Realized I hadn’t mentioned it on this blog that my husband of 38 years passed away May 9th 2017. So almost a year ago my life has forever changed. My creativity, cats, and family have kept me going. Some days are bad, others days awful and other days tolerable. I was already grieving our marriage for about a year when his dementia got so bad, Anticipatory grief they call it.  Life does goes on.

Had to replace my car, son and I drove it to death.  Electrical problems  $$$  Cleaned out the old car and found:  3 pairs of work gloves and three odd singles, Two jumper cables, lost count on the misc tools, Power converter, Three gaggles of rope, Two cases of tools, three pairs of sunglasses an Emergency road kit with all of that in it too.   Emergency Clothing for when he had accidents.  Duplicates and triplicate of tools.  OMG I have a shed and work bench to go through as well.  All this between his need for safety on the road, a bit of pack rat and dementia, my son drove it as well and has inherited the pack rat gene from both of us.

Most of this  except the car is posted in another blog at: Dealing With Dementia

Bitter sweet at times.  A grand son was born March 30th that Dave will never meet. I swear I felt his presence when Little Leo was born. Leonardo David Perez, I think she  was missing him when they named him.  Dave took so much joy and perked up at seeing her 2 year old at home and a year ago at the VA Hospice. My collection of baby items above. My sons daughter birthed a Great grand daughter that I have never seen, one or two pictures on my daughters phone. She got a collection as well.

Leo

Baby Leo

So needless to say I have been knitting things for him and dealing with shoulder and right arm pain. PT is a slight help due to health problems in general. Despite all this I joined a knitting guild and a cowl group. Had to get out of the house. Have completed 2 cowls and have another 1/2 done. Gave the first to my daughter should have taken a picture. 2nd cowl I ripped out 3 times and gave up I didn’t like the way it joined in the round. Below is the Irish Mesh Cowl by Jo Strong on Ravelry. The yarn has a purplish cast to it. Life does go on even without my sweetie of 39 years, 38 married, More than half my life.

Irish cowl long