GoT

Poncho and wrist warmers, a GoT knitting project

Poncho and wrist warmers, a GoT knitting project

October 7, 2020
/ /
in Tip
/

As I started to watch (binge. Yeah. That’s a better term for it.) Game of Thrones my fingers ached to knit. I had just finished a shawl (hush! It’s gonna be a gift, so cannot disclose any details. Yet.) that had taken me… let’s just say, too long, and wanted something easy, that didn’t require a lot of my attention (lace-knitting. Requires attention. And for some reason, I seem to fall for lace-patterns… like said shawl.), so I went foraging in my yarn-stash. Found the two skeins of pretty (oh so pretty!) Meadow, rustic luxury, Red clover, a ”textured blend of baby llama, silk, linen and merino wool” from The Fibre Co. And yes, it’s every bit as lovely as that description purports. 200 grams of laceweight, about 1000 meters in total, now what could I make with it?

I am a sucker for shawls (basically the only thing I’ve knitted for the past five years has been shawls. And a few wrist-warmers.) but wanted something different, so I googled a bit, and decided on making a poncho, of my own design, so I could keep it GoT-bingeable. Experimented a bit with the number of stitches in the cast on, finally ending up with more or less half the number of stitches that I started off with. Good thing you can always unravel…

I binged. And knitted. Knitted and binged.
When I was done with the first skein, I decided to make a pair of wrist-warmers, also on the fly, picking upon the yarn-over-pattern from the poncho. Having completed those, I put them on while again turning my attention to the poncho.

I binged. And knitted. Knitted and binged.
And by the final episode of the final season, I still had approximately a quarter skein left. So I turned to The Handmaid’s Tale to keep up my binge/knit-bonanza, and then, finally.
Poncho. Done.
Sewn together, blocked, dried.
And. I. Love. It.

Sure, perhaps I was a bit too focussed on using more or less all of the yarn I had, which means it’s not even, in the sense that the width of the poncho is two-thirds of the length of the sewn together-edge, but hey. Asymmetrical is my thing these days, ever since reading Antifragile, so… I’ll not let anyone in on the fact that this was not a conscious design decision… (If you want it symmetrical, play around more diligently with the number of stitches and your desired length of the poncho.)

Here’s the rough outline for this garter-stitches only, back and forth poncho:
110 stitches (german stretchy cast on) on 4,5 mm needles (7 UK/US)

Lift the first stitch on every row, as if to knit purlwise

Knit 4 rows of garter stitches

A (2 rows): knit until 10 stitches remain, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 4 stitches, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 2 stitches

B: knit two rows of garter stitches

Repeat A and B until you have a long enough rectangle
Knit A, knit 3 rows of garter stitches and then cast off loosely enough to match the cast on

Fold in two, making sure to match the yarn over-holes together, and sew the top edges together, until the opening is just right for your head
Block the poncho and once it’s dry, have fun using it!

The wrist warmers:
40 stitches, using double yarn (german stretchy cast on) on 4,5 mm needles (7 UK/US)
Lift the first stitch on every row, as if to knit purlwise

Knit garter stitches back and forth (to match the poncho)

A: Knit 2 rows of garter stitches.

B: Knit 3 stitches, yarn over, knit two together, *knit 4 stitches, yarn over, knit two together* (repeat ** five times, giving you 6 yarn-over’s for every row), knit 5 stitches

Repeat A and B until the length of the square is sufficient to wrap around your wrist (for me 13 rows of yarn-overs), cast off. Sew together along the cast on/off-edges, making sure the yarn-overs align properly.
Block the wrist warmers.

Read More

Queen of Bingeing

September 30, 2020
/ / /

The bottom line:
Now and again letting myself fall head over heels in love with a great story, going with the flow of it, while simultaneously observing myself –picking up on what it is I like/dislike, what rubs me the right/wrong way, what I resist or want more of– is a gift. To me.

My two Buddhas have been encouraging me (that’s a very kind way of describing their insistence!) longest of time, to watch Game of Thrones. I’ve resisted. Oh, how I’ve resisted. Not having access to HBO for one. Too busy, for another. Currently involved in something else, not wanting to take the time, oh but I’ve heard it’s so filled with violence in many forms…

Excuses, excuses.

So on the 3rd I signed up for a two-week-trial period, and got down to it. Watched the first episode of the first season… and then I just kept going. On the 28th I watched the sixth and final episode of the eighth and final season.

For 26 days GoT has kept me company, and perhaps there’s been one or two days of no GoT (except in my dreams… bingeing is an interesting way of populating dreams, with whatever I am bingeing on. Before giving up Pokémon Go, I’ve been PoGoing plenty in my dreams, just to give one example.), but more or less, this has been a daily companion for me for the past just-short-of-a-month.

A daily companion giving me the opportunity to make huge progress on my knitting; my GoT-knitting project which is what it turned into unwittingly. A poncho, accompanied by wrist-warmers. All of my own design, and an easy one at that, to ensure I could knit and watch at the same time. Had two lovely skeins of the most beautiful ruby-red lace woolen yarn, to turn into something. Knitted the first skein, all on the poncho, and then did two wrist-warmers before starting in on the poncho with the rest of the second skein. Have a third (or less?) of that last skein left, before the poncho is finished.Keeping my Buddhas up-to-date on my progress, I’ve gotten a few priceless responses. One of my favorites is If there would be any money in bingeing, you’d be a millionaire. And this one, as I started on season five: That’s 40 hours of series in what? 3 weeks? And they say us millenials are bingers only to have the other Buddha respond with Noobs. And no. I got to season five in 16 days. Just saying. Bingeing GoT even had my kids realize that this is a serious skill of mine, and one they’ve likely inherited (genetic or environmental? Forever the Question, is it not?) too.

(My noobs-commenting-Buddha clocked 1+ season a day in his GoT-haydays, a point he’s keen to get across, making my 26 days seem like an eternity… Hence ’noobs’.)

I’ve truly enjoyed the process, letting myself get lost in a story, which is one reason why I love reading fiction (which is all I read up until I turned… 35 perhaps? Somewhere around there. Before that, the thicker the book, or the more books in a series I could find, the happier I was. Historical, or science fantasy, well-written, and I was hooked.). I’ve never gotten through George R. R. Martin’s series though. I know I’ve started it. Once? Twice? Not thrice. Didn’t take to it. Now – now I think I would definitely like to read it. I probably will.

Violent?
Heck yeah.
Lots of sex in the most weird and (supposedly) shamed ways?
Hell yeah.
That too.

And I truly like it. Love it even. All of it!
Well-developed characters.
Absolutely stunningly shot – the way they are working with visuals is simply amazing.
Not to mention the actors. Wow! Just witnessing the children of the Stark family growing up through the years of shooting the series is something special.

I truly appreciate the norm-breaking aspects to GoT. There’s not a season that goes by without some serious tankespjärn being provided, served upon the finest silver platter, there for the taking. Having a dwarf play one of the main characters for instance. Being extremely human in the sense that he’s a dwarf a n d a sexually practicing one at that. As human as anyone else. I love that! It also saddens me, because it makes it very apparent how seldom people who deviate from the norm (that friggin’ norm, narrower and narrower by every year.) are visible in every-day-culture as humans, expressed in all their glorious messy humanness.

Another piece of tankespjärn for me is the roundedness of ”the evil characters”. Caricatured, sure, and yet, believable. Complex human beings, not one-dimensional. Picking up on this tells me it is not often so. That it’s more common that characters are black-or-white, good or evil, seldom both-and. But we are. Both-and. There’s good and evil in all of us. In the sense that sometimes, what I do or say, or don’t do nor say, is of service. To me. To others. Sometimes definitely not of service, neither to me nor others. Stumbling along, in all our glorious messy humanness, the full spectrum is there. Emotions, sensations, experiences. We get to live it all. If we let ourselves. And a lot of the expressions within our popular cultural register lack this. One- or perhaps two-dimensionality is rife, and the multi-dimensional (not for a moment would I denigrate humanness to being no-more-than three-dimensional) lived reality of humanity more rare for sure.

As I watched the last episode of the last season, followed by the documentary made during the last season, a void opened up. What to do, when not watching a gazillion GoT-episodes every day?
Start to binge something else?
Write more?
Get to bed earlier?

Read More