Friday, February 9, 2018

Take Me To Spain

It was wonderful to have my friend here for a visit and - after a week together - it's equally wonderful to be home alone again. Life has a different rhythm when you mostly live alone that I am reminded how much I enjoy every time I have company.

Airport "rules" ask you to be at there ninety minutes before your flight - even though you've already checked in automatically twenty-four hours previously- which I find ridiculous because you're not at the airport until you're actually at the airport - and you may not make it - however, that's not up to me. What it means though is that I was back home on the couch when my friend's plane was just taxing down the runway for the first leg of her trip. That didn't seem fair. BUT, oh lucky me that I had the shorter journey.

I'd intended to take a break from sewing and work on the outfit jewelry yesterday and instead, I sat and knit so I practiced photography with these pictures and attempted to tell the story of the yarn. I'd appreciate feedback on how the story is presented and does it work and what should I keep doing and what more could I do. In some of the images, the light and clarity could have been managed better but I can also see that my practice is starting to pay off. None of these have been edited. Learning how to do that will improve things even more.

I realized the other day that I have knit longer than I have sewn. Fabric is so primary in my life that it had never occurred to me before that it wasn't my first love. I learned to knit in grade school although I've taken several long breaks from it over the years.

When I retired from traditional quilting, I bought myself a set of very expensive interchangeable needles as a retirement present and started exploring different techniques for casting on, casting off, sewing together, and generally creating a better quality knit garment. I studied how to design your own knitwear and developed several patterns based on my favourite stitches and favourite sewing patterns. They're a great combo.

P.S.... when I retired from art quilting, I bought myself a dress form and started exploring fit and design. I think it's so important to celebrate the milestones in our lives.


Although I know how to do all sorts of difficult things with yarn, I prefer to knit for meditative enjoyment rather than challenge. As with sewing, the garments I wear the most have architectural elements and clean design details like this double row of holes created by making one stitch each side of a central stitch. This garment is knit from top to bottom and widens from the underarm toward the hemline. My favourite stitches are ribbing and seed stitch and I like a knit fabric that has a soft hand and is firm and stable.

Isn't it interesting how a change in the direction of the light source completely changed the colour of the yarn. All I did was move around the table and take the picture from the opposite side. I love how knitting seems to have a topography all its own as the piece develops and then a flat, crisp, pressed look once it's finished and blocked.

The design is 129-15 - Take Me To Spain by Garn Studio. This company provides a huge variety of free patterns that are excellent both to knit and to design with. I prefer this style of asymmetrical hemline because it softens the width of my hips and is more flattering than a horizontal one. I'm knitting this first as a vest and then may explore adding sleeves to make it into a sweater. And knitting it differently.

It's just part of who I am that when I'm reading a technique book or following a pattern, my mind is analyzing if there is another, possibly better, way to put the item together. In this case, I think I would get a better fit if I either cast on at the hemline and used decreases to create the asymmetrical look or used a provisional cast on at the underarm and knit upward to shape the bodice and shoulders and downward to create the body and hemline.  Sometimes, I just want to know how that would work so I try it and see. I could use a basic black sweater so I may just do that with this pattern. Curiosity is a good thing. It can teach us so much.

This vest is to replace the turquoise one I showed you in the last post. While I love that vest, for reasons I'm not free to disclose right now, I'm not completely comfortable wearing it to the workshop so I've decided to knit this vest instead. I also finished the Marcy Tilton pants and have a top cut out that is intended to go with. I'll tell you more about those in the next posting.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - being a maker


  1. I admire those of you who can read through a pattern and visualize what is happening. Although I have a vivid imagination, somehow I have to actually do the process to see what is happening. So often my first try at a pattern is the learner's version. Fortunately my knitting and sewing skills are good enough that (usually) I do end up with a wearable garment.

    1. For me, it's not so much visualizing it as recognizing where a skill I've learned before - like bottom up knitting or a provisional cast-on - might make the process easier. The longer I've done something like sew or knit, the less inclined I am to do what I'm told via the pattern and to instead use a process I know works for me and/or fitting that works for me. I quite often change the armhole depth and cap height on knitted garments because I know from sewing that's necessary. Think about transferring what you know from one medium to another and you'll develop the skill.

  2. Your pictures truly enhance and define the yarn. I want to reach in and pick it up.

  3. Seeing pictures of beautiful yarn entice me to buy yarn! LOL!! I crochet. When I knit I lose stitches, lose my place, rip out too much! I throw my crocheting around everywhere- no flubs! When I crochet I too like the meditative qualities. I love the feeling of yarn in my hands and I love an end product- altho I'm so fast now I have too many products! LOL! So I've started hand sewing more. I like the feel of fabric (textiles) in my hands too! I'm currently doing Sashiko on a pre-stamped quilted patterned fabric. (I bought in the late 80's- yikes!) Making the long awaited coverlet for a bed. Probably for my son age 14 (he was a delightful surprise baby when I was 47!) Anyhow something to put away for him from when I'm gone.
    I too bought a dress form after years of sewing for others, to now sew for me! I love it. I padded it up to be my "shape/size".
    I found your blog a while back, finally figured out how to subscribe! ;o) I really enjoy it!

    1. Sorry for enticing you. I do love lovely yarn. I know how but I don't crochet. I find knitting so much easier. I love how we are all unique. I admire you doing handwork. I do more than I used to but still not a lot. What a fun gift for your son. I can only imagine that a baby was quite a surprise at 47. Too fun. I imagine he's benefiting from your life experience. I'm so much more mature and wise now than I was as a younger mother. I'm glad you're enjoying my blog. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Your photography is great - love the close-ups! The yarn looks so enticing and yummy! Love the color too - one of my favorites. I really admire your knitting ability, and how fast you must knit. When I used to knit by hand years ago, it took forever!! Seems like I'd knit for a whole afternoon and the total progress would be only an inch or so - and it was just a simple stockinette stitch! - And if I made a mistake - Ugh!!!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Thank you. I knit using the continental method with a twist that makes the pearls really easy. I think that's a huge part of the speed I knit at. In one of my previous knitting groups, another woman knit continental but wrapped her pearls differently and that took a lot longer so she wanted to learn it my way. has lots of videos. You're welcome for the sharing. Thanks for reading.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.