Thursday, January 12, 2017

New yarn and new paint

The postal service does not observe tact protocols for the temporarily unable to knit, so this charming yarn turned up in the mail this week:

Vesper sock club, Christmas edition: "Comfort and Joy"

And I had less wistful flurry of excitement when I spotted an email from KnitPicks about their new square knitting needles made from wood, too... only to have my hopes dashed when I found they are using U.S. sizing for them.

My current square needles get SO much use they are wearing down, and they made such a difference to my hands I am not eager to go back to round ones... But their maker changed over to a material that bothers my skin, so a wood option would have been a welcome chance to extend the life of the original needles.  Not to mention freedom to pack sock knitting for a big trip! Because if my needles were in fact confiscated or lost, they would be replaceable.  However... U.S. sizing versus metric.

In U.S. sizing, one needle covers both 2.25mm and 2.5mm.  And since you go up a size for square needles (or anyway, I do, because of my gauge) I could effectively be using 2.0 mm needles for my 2.25 mm Vesper socks.  As I have learned to my cost, 2.0 mm needles produce a VERY different size sock than 2.25 mm ones!

But oh, who am I kidding... I will probably try a set anyway, just in case they lean to the larger size. 

One thing that has not let me down this week has been the magical balm of watercolour painting. As one would indulge an irritable newly-injured child, Pete bought me more paper and a second set with more colours in it - Winsor & Newton's Cotman 24 half pan plus - and I spent a happy afternoon watching him unwrap the little paint packs (definitely not a one-handed job) and setting them all up myself.

I'd read a tip about softening the paint with a drop of water...

... which I would have done with my old oral syringe but that's hard to fill with one hand. Thankfully I remembered that eyedroppers do pretty much the same thing and also, that we had one all tucked away on a shelf Pete could reach.  It is very satisfying to create patterns of tiny droplets, the better to mix paint or clean a brush later, and the eyedropper is very pleasant to use.

Once I'd sorted the colours into an order that makes sense to me, and painted this chart of what they all look like once they're on paper...

... I was ready to paint something special.

Do you know the mantra of Julian of Norwich?

All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well

Jan taught it to me a few years ago and I find it very helpful. I paired the last line of it with a tree trunk mostly because I like them, but as a bonus it reminds me to change my perspective when I don't like my situation. If you put your back to the trunk of a tree and slowly move around it, you are going to get very different views of what lies ahead.

(unless you are lost in the very middle of a forest, but let's not go there.)

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! And no getting list in forests either.


Laurinda said...

Ooo-how fun! Windsor & Newton make the nicest ink, in the most beautiful colors, too.
Also, have you checked the Knitter's Pride Cubics? I like the wood, but they also have the metal ones.

Mary Keenan said...

I hadn't checked those Laurinda and they come in the right sizes for me - thank you so much for that tip!!

Laurinda said...

You're welcome! (I love enabling in the fibery goodness)