Monday, February 7, 2011

Imperfections or creativity.....or both

I had a really rough month of January on the work front. Even as I am embracing a new venture, both my old profession and all of my "lovely" baggage has reared up to haunt me.

In the midst of this, I started the hood.

I loved the cable pattern for the facing. Even though I don't have a heart-sister, I look at it as a reminder that I am loved; that there are those whose hearts touch mine: a very real and needed reminder in the past couple of weeks, especially.

One of my hearts isn't perfect. Last post, I called it a "mairflaw." At that point, I had already frogged back to the beginning after having done one entire repeat of the pattern and noticed that something had gone terribly amiss. This second time, I was almost completely done with the facing when I noticed the error. I decided to leave it - after all, my heart isn't perfect either, but it is surrounded by much love.

I wanted to do both the Red Riding Hood pattern and the angels. After having read others mulling over this, I decided to try for a fade-out of the boxes. While the boxes have a different meaning for me than for Meggie, they do have meaning.

In our house, growing up, as kids, we wanted "big" presents, like all kids do. But sometimes, presents are big in heart rather than size. So sometimes my dad would take a tiny (but meaningful/wanted/precious) gift, such as a necklace or a favorite small toy, and put it in a box. And wrap the box. And put that box in another box. And wrap the box. And put that in ANOTHER box......until the tiny gift was one of the largest presents there. He didn't do it always, but when he did, both my brother and I would get excited, partly for the fun of unwrapping all those boxes, and partly because we knew that the payoff would be something worth the wait.

So, for me, these boxes "wrap" me.

The angels were surprisingly fun to do! They brought back memories of my grandparents. I only ever had one set; both my dad's parents died before I was born. Mom's folks were wonderful, tho. Even though for most of my life, they lived a nation away in Arizona, we still saw them at least once a year, and sometimes twice, and when they came, they stayed for a week, sometimes two. Occasionally, we even got to go visit them.

I was particularly close with my grandpa. He died just shy of 98 4 years ago. I have no doubt he is watching over all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren (not to mention his two girls!) and I know just which one of the angels is his. Grandpa was always looking down at his lists - so the one of my angels with its head bobbing down more than the other? that is Grandpa!

Here's a bit of what it looks like altogether. I was really excited about grafting the angels onto the hood, because i used a variation of a three-needle bindoff to do it - one that called for only two needles, as the angel piece was not on needles at that point. I'm thrilled at the way it came out, despite some clear imperfections in centering the angel piece and making the grafting perfectly neat. I prefer to think of it as creative - and as long as it is functional, I'm thrilled.

I've cast on the hat next - in a contrasting yarn color, just for fun.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

steady but slow

i knitted almost all day on Saturday and got the facing done. It is a little hard to see the cabling pattern clearly because of the shade of the yarn, I think, but I am pleased. I made a cable-mistake very early on but didn't notice it until I was almost done with the 27-inch strip. So I decided just to leave it as a little mair-flaw. I have a little mair-flaw like that in almost every cabling piece I have done. Hopefully, that will be the only one! I liken it to that artist that writes NINA in his pics - something for others to have fun looking for.

It was wonderful to have an entire day just to knit. It has been a VERY long time since that happened - since I picked up this second job, actually. But with the long weekend and the fact that I didn't have any overdue reports (for once), I was able to take the day and enjoy the cabling. Although - somebody posted that cables done without cable needles actually come out somewhat differently than those done with them. And here i was all proud of the fact that I have finally learned how to cable without needing the special needle! Maybe for the next spate of cabling, I'll dredge up my Harmony cable needle (wish they still made those!) and use it.

I've started on the hood proper. I'm doing the "boxes" for I love the symbolism and I appreciate the weave pattern as I am not a huge fan of long stretches of purling, which you get with stockinette stitch. However, I am still considering ways of being able to do the special back part of the hood. LOL - that is me, wanting to do it all!

Now, if only I can convince both my jobs that really, my time is better spent knitting....

Pics have been taken. They will be posted as soon as I find that bloody cord (or get out to Walmart for an SD card reader).