As long-term followers would know, I have given up knitting in yarns that I don’t like the feel of – acrylic being top of the list. I am not a yarn snob but I’ve decided life is just too short (and my stash is too big) to knit with yarns that I don’t like. Some acrylics are very soft; for example, the new “Stallion” yarn from Spotlight is lovely and soft but an 8ply (DK) it is not! However, most of the acrylics I have worked with over the years are quite harsh and have a very plasticky feel; which, I have to admit, I didn’t notice until I started working in wool or sock yarn more frequently! At Easter, I still had quite a bit of acrylic yarn in my stash but was slowly getting rid of it by sending it home with DD each time she came to visit!
I had also given up knitting blankets in favour of smaller projects. A blanket can warm only one person but the yarn used (about 1 kilogram) can be used to knit beanies, fingerless mitts and scarves, thereby keeping several people warm. I have nothing against knitting blankets; it’s just not what I choose to do with my time. I prefer to knit socks or to challenge myself with a new pattern or technique.
Then mum came to live with us; we thought it would be for a few weeks but we were naive about how long the process of getting someone into an aged care facility takes!
She had not knitted for a couple of years but her interest was renewed when she saw me knitting. That would be fine but she can’t remember how to cast on or cast off; and she can’t fix her problems if she drops a stitch. Even if she accidentally creates a stitch (I still haven't figured out how she’s doing it) then gets towards the end of the row, she doesn’t know what to do with the extra stitch (or stitches) at the end of the row. If she started with fifty stitches and there are now 51, she just goes to pieces.
There is no concept of “wait” and if I ask her too, she gets all huffy. Then she stands over me until I’ve dealt with the issue and sometimes that means unpicking several rows of very tight knitting!
Anyway, you get the picture. Despite all that, mum’s output is more than I can keep up with. Firstly, I have had to buy more straight needles and acrylic to keep her in knitting supplies! *sigh*
Since she came to live with us, eighteen weeks ago, she has knitted squares for one blanket (I spent much of my recent holiday/vacation sewing blanket squares together) and enough strips (I’m not sewing squares any more!) for three full blankets and is currently working on the final strips for the fifth blanket (she knits two strips alternately so that she always has knitting ready to go).
I now use all the time I would normally spend on my own knitting projects (plus some) making sure she has knitting to go, ripping back where there are too many rows in a strip and knitting strips together to make blankets! Apart from the leg of one sock, I have not had time to knit my own projects. So much for the cardigan I was going to make for myself to wear in spring (starts Speedometer here in Australia)!
I could knit during the day while she’s busy knitting, but I’m making quilts or doing family history.
Anyway, enough; this post sounds like I’m complaining …. I intended it to be a post to show what mum is up to and to let you know that I am, indeed, still in the craft world.
So, here we go...
the blanket made from squares which I sewed together (tricky when the “squares” are all different sizes and tensions):
and the blanket made from strips which I knitted together and grafted by the no-sew-method taught by Galena Khmeleva in her Orenberg lace workshops.
Both photos were taken from the front deck of the house we rented for ten days’ holiday/vacation in June. (It was supposed to be a holiday but planning, shopping and cooking – even with assistance - for eight people every night is not a holiday for me!)
I was going to show you the pile of strips but it’s uninteresting so you’ll have to wait until the strips become blankets!
In my next post I’ll show you the quilting projects I have finished since March. Expect the post on either Friday or Saturday when I link up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday.
Until then; may your stitches bring you much joy!