Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Things to do today

  • Finish Dusk.
This is so nearly done. All the pieces are complete, and I have joined the shoulders (mattress stitch) and the back neckband (Russian grafting). And while I think of it, thereby hangs a tale, as they say.

I have not used Russian grafting before, but I shall definitely be using it again. Ordinary grafting - Kitchener stitch - whether you work it with a tapestry needle or as three-needle grafting, never quite looks right with anything other than stocking stitch or garter stitch. Any sort of stitch pattern, and the graft shows. This is, of course, because of the half stitch difference between rows of stitches facing in opposite directions.

Russian grafting still shows. But it is not pretending to be something that it isn't, if you follow me. It is not pretending to be anything other then a join, and in this it resembles a three-needle cast-off. However, it is absolutely flat, as with Kitchener stitch. And I feel that it combines the best of both methods. For a fabric with any sort of stitch pattern, it is now my joining method of choice.

The join is right in the middle. Flat, you see.

And the finish?

Again, the join is right in the middle. Yes, you can see it. But you are always going to be able to see a join in a double moss stitch fabric.

I think this is really very good indeed. Unobtrusive, quick to work, no tension problems - completely impossible for there ever to be any tension problems actually, it will always be perfect in this respect - and completely flat.

But I must block it, and attach the sleeves, and work the long seam at each side.

  • Wash dog toys and dog bedding.
After we had to say goodbye to Lucy, we put all her things up in the garage loft. We couldn't cope with seeing them. But with the arrival of our new puppy in five weeks or so, I find myself wanting to start getting things ready. So all the bedding will be washed and hung in the sunshine to dry, as will any toys that we think can be passed on to the puppy. The crate and the bed will be cleaned as well, as will the toybox. (Yes, Lucy had a toybox. Yes, we are daft.)

  • Plant out the tomatoes and the salad greens.
They have been in and out of the conservatory for a bit now, hardening off. They seem entirely happy to be outside, although we have had a couple of chilly nights recently I think we are hopefully past any late frosts.

Not so elsewhere in the country, of course - but the weather is famously mild here in the West Country. And we do have a roll of polyfleece in the garage, just in case.

The runner beans are coming up nicely, by the way, although only five out of the ten planted are showing. This gives rise to some thought. This is the first time we've planted runner beans, so we don't really know what to expect. Are we really seeing only 50% germination? Or is something eating them?
  • Go for a walk.
I really am feeling stronger, and there is a real urge to be out of doors and moving. I can't see myself running again - lets not be unrealistic here - but walking, yes. A bit more every day. It feels so good to be getting my life back again.

I won't be walking with the puppy for a while, of course. She will be just 8 weeks old when we pick her up, and she won't be going outside the house and garden - and the boat, of course - until the vet says it is ok. And even then, no long walks until she is grown.

However I am not so keen on limiting my own exercise, which is important to me. Fortunately, I do have a solution. We are getting a puppy sling, which is much like a baby sling.

Like that. Common sense, really. I can walk with little one until she's had enough, and then pick her up and put her in the sling. And then I can walk some more.

  • Knit some more on Citron.

This is turning out to be a real pleasure. The yarn - Malabrigo Lace - is new to me, and it is just lovely, in so many ways. And the colour is beautiful too.

The rows are long in the ruffled sections - I currently have 348 stitches on the needle. And I am enjoying every single one of them.

  • Decide what to knit next, when Dusk is finished.
Bit of a dilemma here. Something cotton-based, for sure. Pomander, in dark navy blue RYC Cotton Jeans? Or Marianne Isager's Fisherman sweater, from her book Classic Knits, in RYC Silk Cotton?

This last is rather nice. A simple 5x5 ribbing, with a twilled edging worked in a slipstich pattern.

Ideally suited to the crisp handle and soft sheen of Silk Cotton, if you ask me. Ms Isager works it up with three yarns held together, a combination of cotton, linen, and viscose, producing a fabric with 4.5spi.

Silk Cotton works nicely too. I know this, because I have swatched. Yes, I am serious here. (And I have just noticed that my swatch is the wrong way up. But you get my drift.)

And isn't this a brilliant idea? I don't mean the swatching, although that is a good thought, and very necessary here. I mean that for every pattern in this book, the designer gives specific instructions for a swatch that incorporates the pattern stitches that will be used - and, get this - gives an actual size picture of a swatch.

So all you have to do is work your swatch, block it, and compare with the picture.

Brilliant, if you ask me. Also, rather fun.


Sel and Poivre said...

Runner Beans and Puppies and Russian grafting and long walks and new knitting projects as well! What a lovely picture you paint of your day!

That idea of including a picture of the swatch is brilliant indeed - so motivating to get the swatch done!

As I post this here in Canada I know your lovely day is well underway - I hope it was and continues to be as pleasant as it sounds!

Linda said...

The puppy sling is a great idea and I also love the swatch thing too.

Anonymous said...


I hope you don't mind me posting!

I stumbled across your blog via a knitting link a few months ago. Recently, I realised we had a few things in common outside of knitting: chronic pain (pelvic in my case) and....Cockers! Wow!

I am envious that you're having a new baby! I lost mine a while ago, and I'm not in a position to have another just yet. Life is certainly not the same without one.Cockers are more human than dog, aren't they? Fantastic friends! Robust enough to climb mountains, and cuddly enough to snuggle up with when you ache.

I just want to wish you well, and happy dreaming about life to come with the little one!

I hope you're mending well!

Best wishes,


Barbara said...

Russian grafting is something I have never heard of but it sounds worth trying - I have a tricky joining problem coming up and maybe this would be the answer. Thanks for the post.