It took everything I had to turn off the election news just now and come sit at my desk. I thought it would help to watch, but there’s no information, and I don’t know why I thought there would be, and once it started cycling through the same stuff over and over, it was time to bail. (Cue the American’s wondering why a Canadian is gripped by the US election? The answer of course is that what you choose has a huge impact on us. We share the world’s largest trade relationship, more than $670 BILLION dollars passed between our two countries last year, and we share the worlds largest border. The people and policies you choose are super important to us. Add in that politics is practically our national sport (our politics, yours, anybody’s) and that your system is so fascinatingly different than ours and it’s safe to say you have our attention. Case in point, tonight the CBC will be covering your election. You wouldn’t believe how interested we are.) As gripped as I am, I bet some of you have feelings that are way more intense, so how about I show you some knitting and for just a few minutes you can pretend like today is no big deal?
Three more tiny things since we saw each other last, and if I knit one today, I’ll be right on track. First up, on Saturday I made a tiny candy cane.
I used this pattern, and like I remembered last year, it was incredibly fiddly, which I don’t think is the fault of the pattern… I think it would be way less maddening at the gauge it’s written for (worsted weight) rather than the gauge I knit it at, which was fingering weight wool on 2mm needles. Still, I got through, and the real trouble didn’t start until I tried to put a pipe cleaner into it so that I could make it bendy. The problem was that the end of the wire was too sharp, and kept getting hung up on the floats inside. I tried taping it, I tried folding the end over, I tried putting two through to make it stiffer… I tried everything until Joe reminded me of how they fish cables through small spaces at the studio. I threaded yarn onto the end of a big, blunt darning needle, pulled the needle through, then tied the end of the yarn onto the folded over end of the pipe cleaner, and whoosh. Through it went. Engineering for the win again, although really, it would have just been easier to knit the tube around the thing – something I didn’t think of at all.
The next day Joe and I went for a hike up Rattlesnake point, and inspired by the woods and how much the recipient of this gift likes being outside, I knit a little acorn. Pattern here, and I knit it as written, except for you know. Tiny. (Back to the 2mm needles again.)
It went fine, and needed nothing shoved up it at all. Next up, a little gingerbread person.
This little dude is the same as the one I made last go round, once again resurrecting an old Canadian Living pattern I like. (Except, tiny again – and 22 stitches instead of 32 – height of person adjusted to match. Wouldn’t want them not to be proportional.)
You’ll notice too, that I ripped off a clever little idea from the tiny bear, and am doing it with all the ornaments I can. That pattern has you make the ribbon hanger, tying the ribbon ends in a knot, and then slipping it inside the ornament before pulling the stitches into a cinch at the top. It beats the pants off of sewing them all on afterwards, I tell you that.
Today I should be knitting another tiny thing, and I guess I am – though of another sort. I know that you’ve all be expecting me to go all crazy-knitting-grandma for Meg’s baby, and I’ve been resisting. Meg will know the sex in a few weeks, and I’ve been trying to hold off – but I finally snapped. I don’t really truck with the idea that you can’t dress a baby any way you want to anyway, so I’m just starting.
One itty-bitty, teeny-tiny sweater headed this tiny person’s way. The softest merino I know (Greenwood Hill Farms DK) in a lovely silvery colour, warm and cozy. I found it hard to start knitting for this little one. I am not a reluctant grandmother, nor am I a surprised one – but I have been worried about making a beginning of it. Truth be told, I was a little anxious about opening the floodgates, and that turns out to be exactly right. As I run my hands over this while I work, and measure tiny sleeves and figure proper lengths, I can feel it coming over me. Next a bonnet, then some booties, and a hat, and a soft, fine shirt – and a blanket, maybe two. One for good and one for every day, and another sweater for sure, and maybe a pair of pants and soakers… wait, will she need soakers? Are those too old-fashioned? (Note to self. Ask Meg if those are too old-fashioned. Don’t want to burden her with pairs of wee things she doesn’t need.) Maybe a pram cover, and …
I think we can all see where this is headed. Totally crazy-knitting-grandma, unleashed.