Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

Archive for knitting

Healing Shawls – Wrapping in Love

I have made four healing shawls in my knitting career. They are my labours of love. I make an intention for the person I am knitting it for and only knit on them when I have strength and love to put into the project.

They were all very personal projects for people experiencing illness and/or loss. I love to create symbolism that suits the person I am making them for.

image_medium2One of my favourite patterns to use for a healing shawl is the Arpeggio by Ilga Leja. An arpeggio is a broken chord where the notes rise and fall. It symbolizes the rise and fall of emotions as we deal with grief and/or loss of health. I always link the shawl and the colours that I use to symbolize the experience of the recipient. I have done one in pink and iridescent  plum, and the other in forest green and beige. I find that writing of the card that accompanies the gift can be as hard as the actual knitting with intention and strength.

Another pattern I have used is the Quaking Aspen Shawl by Courtney Kelley. The aspen is actually a group of organisms that have an intertwined root system underground that can lay dormant for years. I love the symbolism of drawing strength from community and recognizing that they grow at all times even in the coldest winter. It signifies strength to get through a difficult experience.

image_small2Finally, the first shawl that I made became a healing shawl. The many colours for the many aspects of the personality of the person we remembered. These projects of love and support help me to deal with the obstacles I encounter. I hope that they provide some comfort to the recipients. 10730959_10155288531940411_515899209126807267_n

Celebrating Knit in Public (June 10)

Our knitting group knits in public all of the time so we decided to celebrate world-wide knit in public day – June 10 – by taking a road trip to some of our favourite yarn shops in neighbouring New Brunswick. I am excited to spend a day with my friends knitting and chatting. They are so fun to travel with. I am sure that my yarn diet will crash and burn but who cares.

How do you plan to celebrate June 10?

Left my knitting out in the rain

It was knitting night last night. We had a fun gathering with lots of laughs and so many great discussions. I loved it.

When we went to leave it was very dark and pouring rain. I gave my friend who walks a drive home and picked up my son at his friends’ house. It was a dark drive home with all the lights reflecting off the water. Not fun. I was glad to be home. I thought I took all my stuff in and went to bed.

This morning when I looked out my window, I saw my purple bag full of a bunch of project bags sitting by the car. The yarn is fine as it was mostly 100% wool and is drying nicely. My project bags are soaked through. I have them laid out to dry today. It is only water but what a start to the day. Maybe I need to slow down, or take fewer projects to knit night.

Who am I kidding. That is not going to happen.

Spring Cleaning My Stash

My stash has been out of control for awhile now. Check out CAWcreations Episode 1 to see the pile behind me. At 23:33 of the video, I show my craft room. The cleaning has not progressed since that time. I can confidently say I have more yarn than I will ever get knit into projects. There have been many attempts at control but get me into a yarn store and all bets are off.

Last September I donated a bunch of yarn to UPEI Student Affairs for their knitting group. My son works there and has told me that they did not need to get any more all year. There is still some left. I also made up how to knit kits for about a dozen Psychology student because we were going to knit at lunch in the lounge. I still have yarn galore.

This spring I decided I should get smart about my projects. Especially because there are projects that have been on the needles for years. It is my wavering attention. I love starting a project and learning how to do it but then have a problem finishing it. My brainstorm was to get several shoe box sized clear totes so that I can sort by project. It is working well. Except for the fact that I started moving my stash got one tote moved and then got doing other projects.

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I love being able to grab the tote for my Find Your Fade and go work on it. The tote has all the colours I still have to add, the project, and the pattern. My sock yarn blanket has its own tote, although the tote will have to grow as the project does. Each of the sweaters has its own tote. Then the ones I take to knitting regularly reside in my knitting bag, in their own project bags. It seems to be working for me.

Now to get the rest of the stash done.

My First Podcast on CAWcreations.org

Now that I have more than one pattern for sale on Ravelry I have decided to do a biweekly podcast about knitting and books I have read. Hopefully, it will keep me on track for completing knitting projects and on pace for the pledge to myself to read 100 books a year.

2017_CAWcreationsPicYou can check out CAWcreations Episode 1 on CAWcreations.org or on Cheryl Ann Wartman YouTube Channel. It is a work in progress. I am learning everything on the fly. The process is amazing except for taping time that scares me so much. People say they could not tell but I had so many knots in my stomach. It is funny because I have no problem lecturing to a classroom but taping seemed so much worse. Someone told me once if you were not scared sometimes you were not challenging yourself enough. This is challenging.

My next taping date is this Thursday. I hope to have CAWcreations Episode 2 up for Saturday morning. Here is to challenging ourselves.

Impulsive Knitting

I was taught to knit by my Mom and Grandmothers. They all knit without patterns, or as a child I never noticed them reading the patterns. Especially Grammie Yoston, who cooked the same way a handful of this and a dash of that. Reinventing her recipes really taught be to be a scientist because you had to deduce what she was not telling you. She assumed everyone knew certain things that we did not. Anyway back to knitting, Grammie always said that growing up no one lost mittens because all of the ladies in the area knew which one of them made the mittens that were found. Each had a personal way of doing a cuff or making a thumb.

Sock knitting is a tradition in my family. We have had generations of fishermen and women in the family. They need warm socks for the May / June fishing season in Atlantic Canada as there are still many cold days. I published Grammie’s Old Fashioned Socks  as one of my CAWcreations patterns. We always used local 100% wool to make these socks and generally they were a bit big at the start of the season and felted to a perfect pair by the end. I never really bothered with gauge and shrunk them to fit. Which was a problem when I published the pattern. I thank all of my fellow knitters who provided feedback to me on this first pattern.

In the last year, I have started making “fancy socks”. Not really what any modern knitter calls fancy, but they actually use sock yarn and small needles. I have been hopeless. I knit really loose. The legs of my socks are big, but the foot tends to fit because I take in after the heel until it “looks right”. Did you know when you write a pattern, people do not like it when you say complete until it looks right. What is a girl to do except learn what looks right is in counts. I also tried publishing the pattern with just turn the heel and pick up your stitches. Apparently, not everyone was taught to knit by Grammie.

Eventually I discovered that I need to go down at least a full needle size to get correct gauge. For example, if a pattern calls for a 2.75 or 3 mm needle, I use a 2.00 mm. I have finally started to get gauge so I decided to subscribe to The New York Sock Collection by the Knitting Expat. So that I can get a good start on knitting a drawerful of socks for myself.

I planned Mina’s directions exactly. My knitting group was doubtful that I could do it. They have experienced years of my well I did not like this on the pattern so I changed it. It is a running joke that I buy a pattern to change it. Even my sock yarn blanket is in stockinette instead of garter stitch because I preferred it. The first sock went well but I thought the pattern did not pop so I started another one before even getting to the heel of the first one. On the second, I just had to put a twisted rib, who can follow a pattern. Not this gal. Love them both but the pattern really pops with a solid colour.

Finally, I have started knitting socks for my husband. They are vanilla socks in a size 11. (Knitters find a partner with smaller feet!)  I tried them on him last night and they fit perfectly. Maybe I will eventually learn to knit “fancy socks” or as the rest of the world calls them socks.

Wondering about Podcasting

Podcasts are fun for me to watch while I am knitting. I am tossing around the idea for starting one myself. I just have to figure out what I can add to the genre. There are so many wonderful ones out there already.

I am thinking that I might focus on featuring an Atlantic Canadian yarn company each episode. The biggest issue is that I HATE getting my picture taken and I assume that seeing my own videos would be even worse. Working up the courage to try, I designed the opening screen. I wanted to highlight CAWcreations and how beautiful Atlantic Canada can be. Check it out!

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