Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Finishing Up!

I'm hoping that if I start this post while Bob is having his lunch, and carry on topping it up in spare moments, I might actually be able to publish it when the boys are both asleep, if I can make myself stay awake. 

I have just finished reading Sweater Quest by Adrienne Martini. It's about one woman's project to knit a beautiful Fair Isle jacket in a year. I really enjoyed it, it was a breath of fresh air. I now have to learn to knit Fair Isle, but I think my first project will be something a bit more modest. I'm thinking this hat, and I'm adding a yarn pack for it to my Christmas wish list. I've had the pattern for a while, and truth be told I'm getting a bit obsessed with it. I'm rubbish at colour selection, but I know I'll have to make the ground more green, because I'm an Irish lady not a Scottish lady. To my limited experience, Scotland looks like Ireland with all the greens toned towards brown. I'm a bit nervous about making the selection myself though!

For my next reading I have moved on to Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, by Naomi Aldort. I have tried to read this once before, but I really struggled with the author's tone. It's a bit patronising, which is not helped by the very large print and spacing of the text. As I get to be about half way through I realise that this book must have been read by my good friend Katie, who has helpfully distilled Aldort's wisdom and imparted it to me without my noticing. Everything Aldort says I can hear Katie suggesting at some time. This book affirms for me a lot of feelings I have about how to treat my children with respect; about not denying their feelings; about listening to them. For example, the practice of telling a small child that they are not hurt, or that they are "tough," when they fall over has never sat well with me. With my own children I ask "are you hurt or just surprised?" For us this has worked really well. My children know that they don't have to pretend to be hurt to get my attention when they need a bit of comfort after a fall, and that their feelings are important, just like their physical wellbeing. Being surprised gets a hug if necessary, just as a scraped knee does. Often they say "no, I'm ok," and never feign injury, which I feel is a vindication of my practice. They also have no worries about concealing their own feelings to make me happy or to "be good," which is something that I feel is very important. More next week when I have finished the book.

Knitting wise I am still working on the Lego mittens for Sausages and my green shawl. I have also finished a pair of WIPs that have been waiting for finishing for some time. They were both in need of zips. For a long time I have avoided putting zips into my hand knits. I mostly knit for my boys, and the thought of them mashing the fabric with a zip made me feel a little weak. I have made the hoodie before, and added toggles last time. This time I didn't feel toggles would go with the yarn, so I bit the bullet and sewed in a Zip. I have deliberately not let the fabric quite meet over the zip in an attempt to prevent knitting entanglement. The colours are awful in the picture, but the yarn is blue and pink plied together, and the zip is pale blue. It's not perfect, but I thought it would be awful, so I am pleased with it.

The sleeveless jumper is a Debbie Bliss pattern. I'm not a massive fan of Ms Bliss, but I am pleased with this jumper. I used black plastic toggles and a fawn-coloured zip. The arm and neck cuffs are folded double and stitched in place. It's going to be comfy and warm and practical. I really wanted to make it "camouflagey," and the Moorland Aran really does the trick. I have a fair bit left over, and I'm on the fence about making a second one for Bob. Sewing on all those pockets wasn't my idea of fun!

Joining in with the Yarn Along, Watcha Workin' On Wednesday, and Keep Calm Craft On. Do let me know what you are crafting this week, I'd love to hear from you!



  1. Interesting book. I've found a few similar books where I've been irritated by the tone and given up. Glad you are able to interpret it.You are very busy knitting. I miss knitting for my children. I might get away with cowls this year but they really prefer my sewing. Always something else to knit. Nice to find another UK knitter too.

    1. I think my standards for writing style are little too high, and I don't want to miss out on content as a result. It's only the fact that I agree with a lot of what she thinks that's keeping me going! I'm lucky my five year old still wants me to knit things for him!

  2. I used to like Bliss but all that SEWING together just turned me off. I love when everything is knit in one piece as much as possible. Your sweater turned out fabulous and so is the hoodie!

    1. YES! Her designs look great but are so convoluted! I knit some bootees for Bob's christening that took a week! I also don't like that she has invented her own yarn weight so that you can't easily substitute. Her yarn is too expensive for me. I knit to knit, not to sew!