Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life


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Brain high

There is a theory that suggests  that one’s perception of the passing of time is influenced by the levels of dopamine in your brain. (Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers).  It makes sense.  Remember the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”?

Yesterday, time flew.  I had a heavy morning, completing a task that I enjoyed, but also found challenging.  In the afternoon, an hour before I had to pick the young man up from school, I decided to give the brain a rest and do something relaxing.

Nothing currently on my needles was doing it for me.  Gemma is lovely, but the yarn is very smooth, the needles are slippery, and I’m finding it hard to cope with the excessive slippage that is occurring.  I think I’m going to have to change to less slick needles to make this project a bit more enjoyable.  I’m actually only about 15 rows from completing the body, so it’s time to get a grip.  In more ways that one!

The yarn of my current sock project is annoying me by being splitty.  I don’t remember it being this way before.  It might just be the way I’m knitting at the moment.

The baby cardi’s second sleeve is now at the point where I must concentrate and calculate pattern changes every four rows… not what I fancied for my tired brain.

The Sidelines Top is in cotton.  My wrists feel “ouchy” just thinking about it.

I’ve also been trying (very unsuccessfully) to design a shawl with a small amount of lace in it.  After hours of fruitless swatching, I’ve decided I’m not ready to design in lace yet, nor am I familiar enough with the construction of a shawl to be comfortable.  I admit defeat.  For now.

However, the desire to become more familiar with the basic construction of a shawl was strong.

Hehe!  Yes, I am very naughty.  I knitted a shawlette.  Time flew by.  Seriously, this shawl is a very fast knit.  It’s the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, a free pattern from Orange Flower.  As pictured in the pattern, the knitter only needs 200yds or so to complete this (that’s about one 100g skein of yarn), but I did one more repeat because I had a gigantic 200g hank, and a hankering for a larger shawl.

This shawl was the medicine that the doctor ordered.  It’s the whole package.  Instant gratification: 100%, cushiony, wonderful light worsted weight wool,  5mm (US8) needles, a fast, simple, easily memorised pattern.  And pretty, pretty colours to admire!

I think 100% wool of the non-machine washable variety has to be my favourite medium.  This is Perendale yarn from The Wool Company in the Autumn colourway.  It’s the NZ equivalent to Cascade, and I’ve just fallen in love with it all over again.  It feels so wholesome to knit, so comfortable in the hands.

My ultimate fantasy would be to buy a gorgeous 200g hank or two of each colour available, and bury myself in the pile.  That sheepy scent, bouncy softness, the cosy warmth of wool…  Aaaaah!!!!

A few notes:  I misread the pattern, and thought it said 24 stitches to 10cm.  No worries, I said, it will be fine.  I figured my gauge would be about 20 stitches, and I wanted a bigger shawl anyway.  But when I measured the shawl after blocking, it was only just to specs (I got 50″ wide, 18″ deep against 53″ wide and 15″ deep in the pattern).  What happened there?  Go back to pattern:  Ah… the usual order of stating stitch & row count was reversed.  It is supposed to be 18 stitches x 24 rows.  This makes a bit of a difference.  I should have knitted an extra two or even three repeats to make the shawl as large as I wanted it.  Ah well.

I don’t really care.  It will still be wearable, and the purpose of this shawl was a quick process knit – to decompress after an intense two-day period of concentration.  It did the job.  My brain is happy now.  :-)