Onward

So I have been getting on with it. Losing my mobile (thus all my phone contacts sice no – nothing was backed up), putting strange things in the bin (… That didn’t belong there at all…), on Wednesday I noticed my concentration wasn’t so good, and I started having pains in the neck, back, head. Thursday I found myself at lunchtime in a sorry state since I had stared at the computer for 4 hours with very little to show for. So I went to the doctor and she thought I was physically ok, but very stressed. Yeah, definitely. Amazingly, I have taken it easy. Not worked on the weekend… I think apart from being stressed about the accident, I have been stressing about falling behind with stuff… So – plenty of knitting on the verandah, dog walking, visiting Jo in her new URBAN environment… Sleeping, watching movies with the kids… Also a little sewing- for myself! I promised the TAFE girls to do a skirt on Tuesday, because I found this tutorial in one of my sewing books on how to whip up circular skirts/ wrap skirts, all without pattern! Yesss… I have left it on the stand for now, for the hem to drop because there is obviously a lot of sections on the bias. I bought this fabric in Berwick St, London – whilst I was buying fabric for a show – and that was BEFORE I got married!!! image

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… and for just a moment, the world stood still…

I left work on Friday afternoon, there were a few things on my mind niggling, but nothing more than usual. Travel applications taking too long time to prepare, going through never ending references for that paper that is still in draft process… it started to rain… and I lost control of my car… and for a moment the world just stood still. I observed from a birds eye view what happened to my car (with me in it) and my jaw dropped. “I am loosing control of my car”, “I cannot regain control”, “O my, I am leaving my side of the road”, “Well, now I am on the other side of the road”, “Look at that oncoming car, I bet he won’t be able to stop before hitting me”, “no, he HAS hit me”, “Well, now I am spinning in my car”, “there is a pole, I am bound to hit it”, “I did hit the pole, thank God my car has finally stopped”.sad days for the Suzukisuzuki smashed The great news is: nobody got hurt. Major miracle. And more: Sue and Michael were with me in 15 minutes, Patrick arrived just shortly after. And while I was waiting for them, a lovely stranger stopped – young man – and just looked after me and the other driver in every way. Minor miracle. And it stopped raining while I waited for the tow truck!!! So much grass got ripped up. The car is a gonner. Smashed. Distorted. Bits fallen off. Windows smashed. Nobody got hurt. Nobody got hurt. I did not hurt anybody… I never thought what it might feel like to harm somebody with my car, by accident or due to my fault. I have started thinking how that might feel. Not nice. Very difficult to live with. I am ok. I walked to the hair dresser. I only seem to get hair cuts when disaster strikes. The last haircut I had was after getting Patrick out of hospital with the kidney stones. Left him in a morphine stupor on the couch for the kids to look after and had a hair cut… I drove to the shops to do the weekly shopping yesterday and was ok. Drove Jo to swimming today and felt fairly sick. I worked from home today. Nobody got hurt. I lost my phone. Just email me. Nobody got hurt…

Cooking for Friends

I do love cooking, especially on the weekends, and for friends. It’s very nice to treat friends to a good meal, relax together and see what sorts of conversations emerge. It is especially exiting to have people over who don’t really know one another…

Yum… Do look… And all this was cosumed during the sunset on the balcony… Actually, I didn’t take pics of the finished product!!! but you can see how much I enjoyed the process…imageimage image image

Weekend again…

The weeks are flying past, my massive work load has eased and I knit a lot. And I look at stuff on Pinterest. And sort my boards. And download patterns to my Ravelry library. Things must be going well…

I have the time to say “yeah, I am free for coffee” and plan some guerrilla activities… This tree needs some help, don’t you think?

I have time not to get angry with any of the kids for not having “done their stuff”, even been really naughty, or even been totally exhausting… I have had time to cut back on all sorts of activity and focus on the bare essentials.

There has been time to catch up on homework with all of them – something I have never done. I was asked politely to read their school novel for feedback! that’s a first! We have bought highlighters, USB sticks and organised (for the first time in this young adults’ life) scrunched up notes and school handouts and even found some assessment sheets for the FINAL MAJOR WORK IN VISUAL ARTS – due in 10 days time!

We had time to make lists and study plans, talking how serious we are about doing well in our favourite subject.

We did not argue about what movie to watch – Trainspotting it was – others just played board games to pass the time.

We divided up the housework this Saturday – I had a helper to do the shopping, someone else washed up last nights dinner, someone else walked the dogs.

I am doing various trips to basketball games and whilst I am knitting away, observing complicated patterns and constructions, I instinctively do look up when my young adult is scoring an amazing goal which just takes my breath away. How great that is for her confidence.

There is time to invite new friends from the new high school and I love to listen to the endless giggles and watching good-bye hugs.

I am preparing a meal for girlfriends tonight in stages, wherever I find a moment I whack the tarts into the oven, cut up some veggies, pre- boil some eggs, cook the brown rice. I cherish the asymmetry of my tarts and simply call them ‘rustic’.image

This is my kind of weekend… Relaxing into the business of living my own essence, including all it’s associated extensions.

Tutorial: Top Down Set in Sleeves, Part 2

Hope I didn’t let you hang on that cliff for too long, fellow knitting yogis, searching for deeper sleeve experience… This is a quick tutorial sharing the real MAGIC about this technique – so welcome, get comfy in you lotus position and let’s get started!!! Voila:image Please forgive give me this wonky shot of the magic, but it was kinda shot on the run. I picked up 24 sts on the rows between front and back panel (2 sts per 3 rows). These are the stitches for the sleeve head! Have a look at the beautiful cast on row here|: image Here you see me increasing 1 sts each side of the sleeve head by making one st (inside the two markers) every 2nd row. You will also notice in the previous photo that I had to enlist just about every circular needle in the house!!! Few of us have 4 of the same size lying around (let alone of the size we currently are using!!!) – so I enlisted anything long enough and in similar size to get the job done… Another gauge fudge… And then, after a few more rows of back and forth, knit and purl, I reached the point where the front neckline was done and I cast on the remaining 24 sts in one hit and now I am just going round in circles, not worrying about a thing until I come to the bottom of the armhole…image Once a few rows of the sleeve head had been knitted, I was able to retire the sundry needles and carry on on the ONE long circular one (I happen to have a 120cm in the correct size, yeeeha!) Don’t you think this is worth the initial fiddle? Once you are at this stage – do fit the jumper! Just change it if it’s not quiet right, it’s quick enough! Everything that follows from here on is a walk in the park!image

Tutorial: Top Down Set in Sleeves Part 1

I hope this post will be for some lone knitting googlers the answer to their knitting prayers – an explanation and tutorial on those magic set in/ fitted sleeves that are being knitted from the top to the cuff! Disclaimer : I am entirely self taught by reading Barbara Walker’s “Knitting from the Top” and by working my way through a number of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s top down jumpers (but they did’ have the fitted sleeve).

So here I am starting: casting on 24 sts with invisible cast on for the first shoulder, then knitting 6 rows with short rows for the shoulder slant. See how I am increasing at the neck 2 sts to shape the back neck? image

At the end of the final row, I cast on 40 sts, the remaining neck sts.image

And then I cast on 24 sts for the other shoulder… image

After I have finished the slanted bit for the shoulder, I join the piece to the first one by knitting over the entire new neck stitches and the other shoulder. I knit another 16 rows of stocking stitch, without decreases or increases.image

Then I pick up the 24 sts from the first shoulder for the first shoulder front. Here, too I knit the shoulder slant with short rows. I also add some increases for the rounded deep neckline. I knit a total of 22 rows, just like on the back.image

And then I do the same on the other shoulder.image

Any questions so far?

In the next tutorial I will cover the magic bit – picking up the stitches for the sleeve head! BTW – I am using 3.75 mm needles and am knitting with Bendigo Woollen Mills ‘Classic’ wool. It’s going to be a jumper for my nephew Dominic, size 40″ chest… I would not be surprised if I had to re- work the thing more than once… That seems how it goes… But I never regret the frogging/ ripping… If that means the piece is going to worn and treasured, that’s ok…