Noir Tricoté Des Mitaines!

8 October 2013

8 October 2013

I chase the orange setting sun in the remainder of these shorter days, feeling a tragic loss of sunlight after starting my morning too late.  My body, sleeping soundly, is never present at the first gleam of dawn, and my tiredness spirals deeper throughout the humdrum of the day.

“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
Proverbs 4:18 NLT

I refuse to live detached from any season, especially the whimsical fall.  These months have the potential to be the most therapeutic of all, inspiring transformation; deeper discoveries in myself, and my surroundings.  I am always attempting to change the ambiance in our place with every new season– both in decorating and de-cluttering.  After I have gone through our compacted closets and have made a clean sweep around our apartment to remove the things we no longer need, I feel refreshed and capable of letting all my creative ideas pour like fresh water into my thirsty mind.  The old and outgrown things are then handed down to friends, sold to Buffalo Exchange, or donated to our friend’s  homeless ministry.

It is liberating and a joy to give away the things that we no longer have use for; knowing that somebody else in the world will find it sufficient for their needs.  Evie outgrows her clothes and shoes almost twice a year, and it warms my heart to hear her thoughts of someone she is giving her things to.  Out of love, her friends have kindly given her their own treasures.  These exchanges leave a true impression of the virtue of giving, and I am grateful for these children that are living examples of such kindness to her.  I think we learn most about how to give when we experience the joy of receiving– and through this, it sparks the desire in us to share that same joy with others.

Psalm 113:3

Junipero Serra Museum

Junipero Serra Museum

In the fall, nature sheds such beautiful things at no cost– giving us materials to produce wonderful things with our own hands.  It is the perfect time for us to collect woodland treasures and disposable decorations which we have been wanting to bring home since late summer.  Up the side steps from the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, there are heaps of pine cones in the bushes.  I feel like I get to re-live my childhood as I explore with my darling Evie.   On this hill, the park staff pile up dead palm tree leaves and trimmed branches.  I bring Evie to this hill once in a while to get her nature fix– collecting leaves and breaking the sticks off of already sawed branches.  She could destroy an entire park landscape in an hour if I told her it was acceptable.  Every flower would be picked, every leaf and branch broken off, and patches of grass would be uprooted.  In her innocence and reasoning, she needs to make stews and nests for the animals that are not being cared for.  She thinks that all animals should be pets, and have an owner that would care for them and feed them daily.  I get to share with her that our heavenly Father feeds them, and it makes her happy knowing they aren’t neglected {Matthew 6:26}.  I am a bit afraid that if she ever had a pet, there would be excessive feeding and a lot of terrorizing– this is the manner in which she loves her stuffed animals, and her first real beta fish, poor Teken.

It is more rewarding to pick up a soft skein of worsted yarn and produce something satisfying, than driving to a shop and purchase fingerless gloves that do not literally fit like a glove.  After a week of watching documentaries with my husband on my laptop, bottoms glued onto our forest green suede-like sofa and backs pressed against faux fur white throw pillows, I finally completed three sets of noir tricoté des mitaines (black knitted fingerless gloves)!  I like to use French words to describe my projects because it always sounds better than English.  Vous voyez?  The hours knitting a set of gloves are soon forgotten after I try them on, and I also feel as though I’ve gained knowledge of the world while watching:  Happy People: A year in Taiga, China’s Mega Dam, Pururambo, Park Avenue, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, and listening to a few audio (dramatized) books in the bible on the Bible Gateway app.  I’ve become so accustomed to movies and productivity combined; that if I were to simply watch a movie by itself, it would feel like wasted time.

WoodlandCreatures-5

Evie’s fingerless gloves were quickly crocheted using this lovely ‘Fingerless Gloves with a Bow’ pattern that has been archived in my bookmarks for a few years.  I am constantly bookmarking in my web browser, pinning, or searching in Ravelry for new ideas and patterns so that when I do get the chance to knit, I have endless options in front of me.  Evie wasn’t too excited about black gloves, but the bows gave way to approval.  She also requested her name in pink embroidery thread and the number 4, for her age, to be stitched on the palm of each glove.  I will probably knit her a mini-size pair like mine (below) because I like the stretch in ribbing and how much more insulated it feels.  I’m sure if I used 100% wool, it would be very warm; despite the exposed fingertips.

Knitted Fingerless Gloves |Pattern by Life In Cleveland

Noir Tricoté Des Mitaines

View the original pattern by Life In Cleveland HERE.

To knit these fingerless gloves, the pattern calls for double-pointed needles (DPN’s), which are pointed at each end and work similarly to circle-needles where you knit in the round.  There is no need to reverse stitches in each row, like you would on straight needles.  Knitting in the round for gloves, socks, hats, and other tube like pieces of garments (sleeves, pant legs…etc.) create a seamless product; meaning, you do not have to sew up a side seam.

If you are petite like me, you can always go down a size of DPN’s which is what I did.  I used a size  6 and 7.  I did make a few adjustments for a custom fit, but did not change the overall results:

Sizes:
Small(Large)

My adjustments:
CO 32(40) with size 7 DPN’s
For the ribbing at the cuff, I did 15(20) rounds
And at the end of the gusset, when you start knitting plain rounds, I knitted 7(12) rounds
Switched to 6 DPN’s before you work the last 5 more rounds of the glove.

After the gusset has 13 stitches between the markers, I would probably knit about 5 more rounds before removing the markers– so that the thumb has a little more warmth.

WoodlandCreatures-3

Sunset from the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park

Streaming “Dawn” written by Dario Marianelli & performed by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet
xx
JENA
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The Seed.

Evie post-ballet

Evie post-ballet and watching our neighbor sweep the leaves.

The sky is a blanket of grey, the temperature has dropped to 63 degrees, and golden leaves are carried with the wind.  Our neighbor who sweeps the leaves daily is a very kind little old woman who has lived in our complex for over 40 years.  And amusingly, I hear her cursing under her breath as she bends down to pick up another leaf that has fallen after she swept the area.  Her frustration makes me smile because this gorgeous season is unrelenting in pure messiness, while this old woman works so hard to keep the apartment complex and curbside pristine!  It has crossed my mind to send Evie out there with a broom and dustpan to keep her leaf piles smaller, and lighten her work load.

A gentle breeze passes through the open window where I sit.  It feels good to breathe in fresh air, especially when I sit to write, or knit for a few hours indoors.  I found two untouched skeins of worsted yarn in my stash– one in black, and one in beige; two colors I feel that I must always have in stock for projects.  Black is so classy and never retires no matter what season or era we are in, and the many variations of beige (nude) can be the most complimenting color to tone down vibrant hues.  I feel that it also causes the darker colors to be courageously bold and intense.

Boye size US 8 (5.0) Knitting Needles

Boye size US 8 (5.0 MM) Knitting Needles

I love to incorporate the seed stitch into my personal projects.  Each raised purl gives it texture and dimension; appearing like scattered seeds–hence, the seed stitch.  You start with casting on an odd number of stitches, and then *knit 1, purl 1* repeat to end of row.  On subsequent rows, you will knit the purls and purl the knits.  The key is knowing the difference between both stitches, just in case you need to put down your knitting needles to get a second cup of tea and come back to it.  I have unraveled so many partially knitted projects due to sudden interruptions, and its not as simple to undo as a crocheted piece.  But it is through every mistake that I have learned something new as a knitter.

Matching Mother & Daughter Seed+Knot Turban

Matching Mother + Daughter Seed & Knot Turban

I’ve been wanting to write an easy turban pattern to share ever since our stroll around Balboa Park last week.  Several strangers passing by had whispered compliments into my ear about it.  That particular turban was made with larger needles and bulkier yarn, and also knitted wider in width to keep her ears warm and covered back in the frigid Spring.  We spent a lot of time at the playground off of Park Boulevard, where the airplanes are quite loud in flight– so it not only kept her really warm, but it also softened the sounds of the cars on the street and the airplanes above.

There are many ways you can achieve this style, but I think tying a knot in the middle before the ends are seamed together gives it that eastern flair; rather than the bow headband where you might knit in the round and knit a separate piece to gather the middle.  I had to include a mama version because I love when mamas and daughters match.  It took me approximately 2 1/2 hours to knit the Mother Turban, and 1 hour and 40 minutes for the Daughter Turban.

SeedTurban-2

KNITTED SEED+KNOT TURBAN
By Jena S. Kim

Sizes:
Mother (Daughter)

Needles:
One set of size US 8 (5.0 mm) straight knitting needles

Yarn:
Caron Simply Soft Eco 142 g / 249 yards
Worsted 80% Acrylic & 20% NatureSpun Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester

Other Materials:
Scissors, Ruler, Embroidery Needle

Gauge:
19 sts and 32 rows = 4″

Seed Stitch (SS):
All rows: *K1, P1* repeat to end

Binding Off (BO):
*K1, pass last st over* repeat from * to end

PATTERN: 

Mother (Daughter)
CO 21 (13)
Row 1:  Work in SS until piece measures 19″ (14″)
Tie a knot in the middle of piece– loosely or tight, whichever you prefer
Fold in half, wrong sides together
Knit into other side, while at the same time BO
Fasten off, and weave in the ends.

Leaf-text

Seeds of every generation
Between our hands
And the promise to teach you
The little I have learned… so far
Child…
What will you live to do?
What have I left for you?
What will we leave behind?”
Brooke Fraser | Seeds

 xx
JENA

OCTOBER | My Idea of Fall.

3 October 2013 Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park

3 October 2013 Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park

When we were in Santa Cruz on our road trip, we took a walk down Pacific Avenue and found a bookstore called Logos Books & Records, where I marveled at a wide selection of crafting, knitting, crocheting, and sewing books all in one corner.  I came home with a book titled, Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaffer.  As I skimmed through the pages, I knew that this was my idea of fall.  Not to mention, I’ve already found my winter coat.
Morning on the Prado + Couture Sewing Techniques + sticker: Vessel Drum Co

Morning on El Prado + Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaffer  + Coffee (Sticker: Vessel Drum Co)

God put a coat with character and a story on a rack, on a day that I was not expecting to look for a coat, though I’ve had this particular one envisioned in my head for quite some time– and it only makes me testify again of how He faithfully answers even my daydreams.  I traded in old clothes to Buffalo Exchange, and acquired a new vintage Lilli Ann couture swing coat of the 1960’s for only $24.  It’s perfect.  Its made of a blend of mohair and wool.

How to make a birds nest for birds...on the pavement.

How to make a birds nest for birds…on the pavement.

Elizabeth Barret Browning wrote of The Autumn (1833): “Go, sit upon the lofty hill, And turn your eyes around, Where waving woods and waters wild, Do hymn an autumn sound. The summer sun is fait on them– The summer flowers depart– Sit still–as all transform’d to stone, Except your musing heart

Evie.  Her musing heart does not seize in imagination and wonder, no matter the season and place we are in.  Yesterday, we spent five hours in the park exploring new trails and resting under the shade of a tree– making up stories about animals, mermaids, and pirates.  I watched her collect fallen twigs and autumn leaves off the pavement in the Organ Pavilion, making a birds’ nest for “the birds that want a new home.”  She makes a nest everywhere we go, genuinely caring for the little creatures, and resting assure that they will most certainly settle into her nests.  I cannot express how I am so thankful to have  a daughter after my own heart.  One day, we will have our own tree… {God  willing} our own backyard, or field, a meadow,… or an entire hillside!– building a tree house from dawn till dusk, stringing curtains with garlands of leaves, and weaving flower crowns.

Evie in noir | Knitted turban styled headband by me

Evie en noir

Thus far, this season has been truly giving— of family, life, travels, and motivation to be a wife and a mother full of intentional creativity; whether in explorations, crafts, or even in the kitchen.  We have nothing spectacular on our calendar for this month, but I hope to make an effort in baking a very savory apple or pumpkin pie from scratch (or watching someone bake a very savory apple or pumpkin pie from scratch).  Also, if the time permits, gather with friends for a joyous and whimsical evening in costume.  Julian is always on the list, come November, for what I like to describe as trees of inferno red leaves, as well as pumpkin patches, and apple picking.

Knitted Seed Stitch Turban by Me

I Knitted this Seed Stitch Turban for Evie during the frigid Spring

Knitting, sewing, and reading… this fall to the sound of  Phil Wickham‘s latest album “The Ascension” and Evan Wickham‘s “Christmas Music Vol.1″.

xx
JENA