yokes 3

jenjoycedesign© yokes 3

I am in the middle of the seventh yoke, seven yokes of varying sizes, although one is not in the stack.   Pardon me for the blip the other day, I posted, then shortly after doing so I took out the post because frankly, I did not like the colorway of the prototype. Quickly I changed my mind, so fickle, and then on to a new colorway … for a new and hopefully final prototype official.  I had a dream this morning early before waking that I was unraveling all the yokes I’ve knit, and re-knitting them into bags to felt, as the colors changed in the yoke, so would the colors in the bag, all tied together ends as they happen, and yarns held two at a time. When I woke I thought what an interesting rework it will make when the pattern is done and there is a pile of yokes left to deal with.  Determined to see this design through, and not post too much unrelated material during the process, although I absolutely would love knitting a simple plain sock, I’ll keep this short and wave to All with assurance that knitting is happening here at a frantic pace, however generally slow and melted time feels during Pandemic Days, and that life continues to be good !

yokes 2

jenjoycedesign© abelene with yoke

Hi, its me Abelene.   It has been a long time since Jen has let me out of the closet.  Here I am out on the sunny stair landing to model some pretty neck wear thing with pins stuck in me ~~~  ouch!   Actually, it is not a neck piece, not really, for although it seems like it is, it is only the beginning of a top-down knit sweater, a little over half of the yoke to be precise.  (And actually, I can’t feel the pins either, I’m made of foam!)    Jen says this will be the kind of sweater that one cuts down the middle with a steek and picks up stitches for a button band later so it will become a cardigan.  At last Jen is satisfied she has got the best fit,  using a nothing but instinctive geometry, trial and error, and she insists she did horribly in math in school, but now is rather hooked on it. Rewrite the pattern again with new calculations?     Okay!!!    A day passes.   More knitting.   Groans of incessant worry that the thing is not right,    so more ripping out,  and more calculations,  and more days pass (see previous post).   This has been the thing, Jen is rather sucked into a math hole of some kind and I don’t know how to free her. Hopefully seeing the yoke pinned on me , with photos documenting, she will agree that its a fine fit for the human torso, and knit on now with confidence.  

So Jen has got this thing in her head,  she ponders a thing which is a yoke stash and the point of it all is so that she can just knit a yoke to pattern (forthcoming)  with no regard to the all-over color of the body or even size, transfer all the stitches on to a flexible holder, and just put it away into the Yoke Box, and start another.  Imagine that!   Jen says this is an excellent thing for many reasons, but one very good one is that one can get started on the complicated & fun part of the sweater with as little as one ball of three colors, or even just two colors, and decide later what color to commit to, or shop for, or otherwise do at a later time. Maybe knit in a nice neutral scale, and the sizing can be generalized, because from her most recent pattern calculations one can change the all over size of the sweater by just continuing the repeats with more rounds and increases, thereby elongating the radius. At some point when one wants to really rush a complex colorwork yoked sweater project, all they need is to just pick a yoke out of the yoke stash and away you go on a couple of sleeves, and a body ~~~ voila!

Jen has got a recent yoke-in-progress to test-fit on me here, and I must say that I am quite pleased that she feels it to be satisfactory, and I feel very glamorous knowing that it represents bucket load of work. Now Jen needs to  put me back into the closet and spend more time with her calculator, which I am worried she cares more about than me.
Ta ta for now,


jenjoycedesign© yokesI’ve been just rolling through the days, trying my hardest to not put pressure on myself when it comes to the designing, but to ease up and have a more relaxed pace, with perspective.  I leave the endless knitting, figuring, redrawing, recalculating to rest aside, and get the important things attended to, like life!  And I feel a dull panic as the world is socially merging again, perhaps haphazardly , and we’re only partway through this pandemic. I may be over-reacting but I do not want myself or those close to me to be a part of any statistic, so I am taking serious the sheltering at home, like I was born for it, doing my best work now.  New practices of “back to basics” of home-made wholesome goodness,  living the good life.  I am knee deep in sprouting wheat berries for a healthy rustic “California” loaf ,  perfecting my Italian focaccia, and with daily soakings & simmerings of garbanzo beans, my main staple suddenly. Also keeping up on my freezer supply of shortbread, and working on my own chocolate recipe; a barely sweet homemade concoction with coconut oil (recipe forthcoming)… etcetera.

The garden has been blessed by angels, if I can say so myself, as there not only have I a full lettuce crop now harvesting , from transplants a month ago of baby red leaf lettuces that popped up everywhere , there are also tomatoes and squashes of mysterious varieties popping up through last years’ plantings which had gone to seed. I realize the importance of at least letting the tail end of a seasonal bed go to seed without yanking it up out of the soil, for next spring surely there will be new plants.

So then, what about the knitting I guess. Above is a short stack of yokes, minus one which would be four but its a repeat of one of these, before I changed the colorwork chart, and these three are what I have to show for myself, as well as a pattern that is mostly written but in continual edit, but nearing completion! I am learning top-down sweater knitting, and what a better way to fully understand it than to design and work a bunch of sweaters for practice ~~ so that’s me, test knitting the size-run of yokes by myself, why not.  Crazy knitting.  Walks too.  A happy thought is that in pacing myself I feel a great deal on the way to being recovered from my two somewhat “catatonic” years of waiting, between wildfire Oct 2017 and moving back to a mostly rebuilt home in Oct 2019, but as I am finally feeling gradually more strength and stamina I am starting to sleuth out and groom up my lost woods trails in addition to the colossal amount of labor involved in the defensible space work. I am tired a lot of the time, but I allow myself a couple  recharging mini naps in a day, most days.

I couldn’t be happier, but even so I find myself caught up in a cry frequently.  I ponder this, and wonder how losses which seem to go beyond the obvious of profoundly grieving the loss of my Emma, into a realm of intangible feeling of tragedy. Just my usual existential angst I guess, but so many people are dying from this pandemic that I think its beginning to cause me great stress.  I worry a lot, and probably shouldn’t watch the numbers, but I do, and feel things going on are very important and I just can’t downplay. But, I know the best medicine for feeling sorrowful is hard work, so while bread is on the rise, I am off for a walk now, with umbrella, slogging along damp rained upon grasses which will surely put me in a good mood, while mingling with the wildlife.

When I return, I’ll be starting a new yoke, hmm, I think the next one in greens and greys.