Monday, March 31, 2008

I. need. colour.

Everything I'm working on is bland. The hoodie (yes, I still love it, and I pretty much knit exclusively on it) is BEIGE.
The Hyrna Herborgar shawl (stalled though it may be, it's still within my sightlines) is BEIGE.
The socks I keep in my bag for lunch time knitting are COFFEE BEAN (just a darker BEIGE).

I NEED SOME COLOUR! And I think some might be coming into my life - Lucky Canuck and I are doing a little swap of things I can get for things she can get. I am ending up with some Socks That Rock Silkie! Woo Hoo! Colour. Now I just have to be good, and not wind it into balls, otherwise I will abandon the Hoodie and start something new.

I do get to play with some colour at our Guild meeting however. I am demonstrating the Turkish cast on for toe up socks. and I have some wonderful Collinette Jitterbug to use as a demo. Hopefully that will satisfy my need.

So, Earth Hour on Saturday. Who participated? I'm quite glad to say that we as a family did. We switched off the lights, and the three of us dined by candlelight. Afterwards we went for a walk around the neighbourhood (as did a lot of people, it seemed!) We noticed quite a few homes lit only by candles, or completely dark (should we wonder what they were doing for entertainment?). But we also noticed a fair number of homes pretty lit up. Some were funny - candles on the inside, outside lights just a blazing. Or lights off, but the tell tale blue glow of a TV set. I guess if you want to get picky - it was about turning off LIGHTS. I'm not sure it mentioned anything about TV sets, but come on - if you're going to do this, you turn off everything. I have to say, we stopped short of unplugging all appliances that had digital clocks - resetting those would have been a huge pain. But my son enjoyed it (the highlight being watching us s-l-o-w-l-y walk down the driveway so as not to set off our outside motion lights. We all succeeded.)
So is Earth Hour a gimmick? SUre it is. But if it raises some awareness, then it's a good gimmick. I'm trying very hard to teach both my boys (the 9 year old and the 49 year old) to turn off things when not in use. Both of them have a tendancy to leave a TV on in a room when they leave. Drives me nuts. But they're getting better. And maybe others are too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh, come ON!

Fer cryin' out loud, it's almost APRIL! You can't even see how much snow is falling at this point, but trust me, it was coming down HARD! And yes, unfortunately, I am aware that we are expecting more of this type of weather for the next 4-6 weeks...

On a happier note, I am starting to gather the scrapbooking supplies for the basketball team pages I want to do. I was cutting things out, and sorting through stuff and pictures last night. I think I will do this assembly line style - lay out all the pages, sort the pictures (once we gt them all) by kid and coach, then start adding the extras.

By the way, this stack doesn't evens tart to show how much paper and stickers I have started to accumulate. We have a "toss" box in the office - old stuff, half used sheets, papers that were once part of a kit, old samples, prototypes, etc. It all gets tossed in here, and it's a help yourself kind of thing. Very cool.

And, because this is supposed to be a knitting blog - here's the progress on the hoodie - rounds and rounds and rounds of K4,P1. It's amazing how much difficulty I have counting to 4 sometimes...
Still love the sweater, and I have been very good about knitting monogamously on it. I really want to wear it to the Knitter's Frolic...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

back to the grind...

Long weekends are great, except when they end. And I had an extra long one, as I took last Thursday off to go on a field trip with my son's class. We went to a conservation area to learn about the making of maple syrup. Yummy stuff. Son and I had a great time, and when we got back to school, instead of going back to the classroom for the last 40 minutes of the school day, I told the teacher we were leaving! We got all the groceries done, got to the butcher to get our turkey, and had everything packed by the time my husband got home, so we were off to the cottage in fairly good time.

I've already told you what we faced when we got there, and how nice the weekend was, but it was hard on Monday morning to get going. Four days of wearing sweats does not make me look favourably upon my heels again. But one does what one has to do to earn yarn money...

I mentioned that I finished the River Rock beaded scarf. I forgot to tell you the specs:

River Rock Scarf from No Sheep For You by Amy Singer.

I'm not sure who designed the pattern - I don't have the book handy.

Great pattern - not that I followed it exactly. I decided to place the beaded "rocks" wherever I wanted. I put them quite heavily at both edges, and less through the middle of the scarf, figuring that the beads would be noticed more at the scarf ends. It worked out very nice, I think. The only problem, is that if you flip this scarf over your shoulder, you could take out someones eye - it's that heavy at the ends! But beautiful, so it all evens out.

I used two skeins of Shelridge Farms Handpainted sock yarn in a black, white and grey colourway, and clear glass beads lined in silver that I bought at Michaels. Just enough sparkle.

This is probably going in the gift box - I'm thinking one particular sister in law would love this.

It felt great to get a UFO off my back and out of my bag. I may do more of this... But my first goal (once I hide the Hyrna Herborgar away until I get more wool), is to concentrate on the Wool/Silk Hoodie. I would love to have this done si I can wear it at the Knitters Frolic in late April, and I think that's an achievable goal. So I'm going on record as wanting to finish this for that date. Declaring it publicly may be what I need to concentrate on it. Or not...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

out of the archives...

Well, actually, out of the depths of my knitting bag. I have tossed aside Hyrna Herborgar (with 3 friggin' rows to go...) until I sort out what to do. Thanks for all the suggestions, however, I really don't want to just end it without finishing the pattern. I thought of a contrasting colour, and that doesn't appeal to me either. I talked to Tove, and she can put me in touch with a friend in Iceland - I can get more of it by contacting them and having it mailed to me, or I can wait until August when her friend is coming from Iceland to her daughter's wedding. I think I have it mailed. This one last ball will probably cost me 3 times as much as the whole bloody thing, but it's worth it. I'm going to post a plea on Ravelry as well, so we'll see what happens. My husband's comment was "It's not like you don't have enough projects to keep you going until August...".

But I digress. I did finish something this weekend, something that has languished at the bottom of the bag for far too long. May I present the long suffering River Rock scarf?
Photographed atop the 3 FEET of snow at the cottage...

We spent Easter weekend up north - thankfully husband had the forethought to call the local guy to have our driveway plowed. Unfortunately, that meant the local guy left us a snowbank of about 10 FEET high at the base of the driveway that we had to get around in order to get to the door of the cottage. Which of course was behind the 3 feet of snow on the deck that we had to get rid of in order to open said door and get inside. And yes, this was at 10:30 pm on Thursday night. But we did it - we got in, got the fire lit, the heat turned on, the water going, and all that, and I'm so glad we did, because it was a glorious weekend! Blue sky all three days, great daytime temperatures that allowed us to be outside for most of the days. We walked across the lake. We walked in the back bush. We had dinner with the neighbours. We drank far too much wine, and played cards. I knit - finishing up said scarf, and making a big dent in the hoodie, as well as turning a heel on a sock, and starting twoothers - getting toes done, so I have lots of mindless stockinette ahead of me. Perfect.

It really was a perfect weekend, except it has too short, and to be honest, as much as the snow was lovely, it was too snowy. I can't believe we are only 2 months away from the May long weekend, and if you look at this view, you won't believe it either.

I'm standing in the middle of the lake looking back. There are approximately 20 inches of ice beneath my feet...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Putting it out there...

Okay, I'm definitely going to run out of the Icelandic singles for Hyrna Herborgar. I do have options...

Option 1 - PLEA FOR HELP! Does anyone have any of this yarn? I bought it at Needles and Knits in Aurora about 18 months ago. Tove had some that she brought in from Iceland, and a bunch of people bought it the night Stephanie was in Aurora for her first talk (the ridiculously hot night when she spoke upstairs at the shop). I think Stephanie may even have bought some... Anyways, if anyone has some that I could buy, I'd be eternally grateful. I'd even trade for other yarn, if that suits - just leave me a comment if you can help.

Option 2 - bind off now. Not the greatest option - the fan pattern at the bottom comes to a logical end - if I bind off now, it will just look like I cut it off.

Option 3 - rip back a bit, and reduce some depth, thereby allowing enough for the fan pattern to finish up. If worse comes to worse, I can do this, but I don't really want to - the numbers get a little screwy, the depth is lost, and this yarn is a b*tch to rip - it's very sticky.

Can anyone help a frustrated knitter, here?

And to completely change the tone...

Happy Easter All! We are headed up to the cottage tomorrow night, right after I spend the day with my boy and his class learning all about how to make maple syrup. I love going on field trips! The cottage should be great - it's just us three (possibly a couple of others) and the neighbours are coming for turkey. I should have lots of time to spend on my knitting (I HAD planned on finishing the shawl, but it looks like the hoodie will see some major action), and we will just enjoy three days of heaven.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

uh - oh...

I'm not sure you can see the problem here. I have 9 rows left to knit, plus the crochet bind off. What you see above is how much wool I have left to finish Hyrna Herborgar.

I'm not sure I'm going to make it, and the damn yarn was bought over a year ago, and it's from Iceland! Not exactly easy to match...

Keep your fingers crossed...

Friday, March 14, 2008

what? could it be...

a finished object? Do I even remember what those look like?

Yes I do! I present the Gregory Socks: Mama-E's Fabulous CY*EYE*BER Fiber superwash wool in the Gregory colourway. Named for her brother, it's a wonderfully warm combination of teals and aquas and browns. I love it and these are all for me!
My basic, no brainer, no pattern needed toe up socks. Short row toes, short row heels (shown above).
Picot edge top (I hate ribbing - knitting it and wearing it...)

Did I mention I love these? I really do - they have become my new favourites...

Trouble? Who me??

Okay, well, I 'd have to agree with the last paragraph for sure...

What Sandra Means

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

no help...

Well. You guys are no help. I look for help in curbing my need to start something new, and all you guys do is encourage me!

So, scrapbooking it may be. Now, I don't plan on being a complete scrapbooker - I don't feel the need to document everything that happens in our lives, but I would like to celebrate some of the milestones with some special pages. Whether I toss them all in a book (we have some on sale in our store, plus I get a discount on top of that...) or I frame a couple of the good ones (my son battling Darth Vader, for example), and use them in our family gallery (upstairs, away from public view), is yet to be determined.

But really, when I have catalogues of this stuff on my desk, access to the great papers and stickers and all the other stuff, it's really hard to resist. (especially since I have absolutely no will power, and I get a discount.)

First up will probably be some basketball pages. I'm thinking of doing up some for the coaches - showing the kids all year. And maybe one for each kid on the team as a keepsake - one of the other moms takes lots of pictures at games, so we're going to work together on this project.

I'm really looking forward to doing it.

I'm hooked, aren't I?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

somebody, stop me!

Okay. I like crafts. Always have. Probably always will. I have an art background (even though I work in the statistical analysis field...) and I have always loved to create. You name it, I've probably done it, or have thought about doing it.

Now, I'm in a situation with the new job. I work for a company that supplies a type of crafting supply. (No, not yarn... that's in my alternate dream life...) and I'm seriously considering taking up a new craft. It would be a huge time suck, and potentially money sucking as well. There's some REALLY nice things that I could do...

I don't need another thing to do. More stuff to take up space in my somewhat small house. A small house that's already being overrun by yarn, fly fishing stuff and toys. (I do have to give the boys SOME space...) My time is already stretched pretty thin. Do I want to take knitting time away? No. Can I afford less sleep? No.

Will I do this?

Oh, probably. I have no will power, we have a company store, I get a great discount, and well, I've already bought stuff. I'm so weak...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Yesterday, I talked of the love I have for the lace patterning of the Hyrna Herborgar. Now, I still love it - it's a great pattern. It's even better when the knitter pays ATTENTION. Charts are there for a reason, and even though the lace pattern flows so nicely all the way along the row, one must remember that triangular shawls are shaped by cleverly placed increases - along the side and down the middle. So, even if the stitch count of the lace pattern fits across the row, through the middle, if one had bothered to PAY ATTENTION to the chart, one would have noticed the increases down the middle! Crap. 18 rows, shot to hell. The bonus to using the pot scrubber like Icelandic singles is the stickiness of the yarn. Here she is, no needles, nothing holding those end stitches:

Yeah, I ripped back to the row right where the vertical lines met in a lovely little point. I didn't use a lifeline, since the wool is so sticky, and I just ripped back (quite violently, I might add) until just before the row I wanted to recover. Then I took a smaller needle, and as I ripped out the row before I wanted to recover, I did it one stitch at a time, reloading it onto the needle. No pain. (Except whenever I think of my own stupidity.)

It's now back to where I was (with a double line of increases down the middle, like it's supposed to have, but I feel like I wasted a whole weekend of prime knitting time. Nothing else was worked on while I did this. I know I'm really more of a process knitter, but you know, sometimes, you just want to see some end product. I could have finished a sock or two, or at least made noticeable progress on the hoodie, but nooooo. I'm right back where I was - row 84 of the shawl.


Monday, March 10, 2008


I love a good lace pattern. And Hyrna Herborgar is a good one. It's lacy and fun to do - not so complicated that you are using every Post-it note in the house, and ignoring family just to do a row, yet interesting enough to keep you going. I especially love a pattern that transitions from one lace pattern to the next in a coherent way. In the picture above, you can see how the vertical rows transition to the snowflake-y type pattern. Simple, but I love it.
There have been a bunch of transitions lately - not all knitting. I've transitioned into a new job, and it's going well. I'm getting past the "newness" and have stopped having to ask millions of questions - I'm getting it. I've also transitioned from being the one my parents looked after to the one doing the looking after. My Mom is still independent - living in her own house, and living a full life - friends, classes, travel and all that, but recently, it has changed a bit. She's still independent, but we are taking a larger part in some decisions. It's really in anticipation of the future - so that if anything happens, what we do is dictated by what she wants. It's not easy to do, but she feels better knowing all the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted.
My son is transitioning as well - not so much a kid anymore, more of a young man, responsible for his own decisions in some cases. I'm not sure I'm ready for this - I really want a few more years of a little boy, but I can see the end of that coming. He still hugs and kisses me, so that's good, but how much longer will that go on?
Now, if only the weather would transition - I'm ready for Spring, yet Mother Nature insists on keeping winter around for a while longer. When I have to shovel snow and pile it higher than my head, I can only dream of sunny days at the cottage. Yesterday, while sunny, was spent digging out from under another dump of snow. In the immortal words of Queen Victoria, "We are not amused".

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Finally! the promised pictures...

Here they are:

The progress of the Hyrna Herborgar:

Lovely lace pattern, but in the words of yesterday - enough already! I want to get onto the next one... (and it seems I am only 2 rows away from the next lace pattern - HooWah!

The Hoodie - still loving the sweater, not loving the K4P1 so much...
The Socks in Progress:

"Gregory" by Mama-E:
"Coffee Bean" by The Sweet Sheep:
Pale grey Kertzer bamboo sock yarn, bought at Needles and Knits:

The top one, teal and brown is for me, and the Husband has laid claim to the other two. I think I should have a rule about him laying claim to more than one at a time...

I need to get another pair on the needles soon - I want to gift my son's basketball coaches this year with hand knits, as they always see me knitting at practice and games. I think socks for the two men, and maybe the Sebuvotter mitts for his female coach...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

enough, already!

I know this goes against the Canadian Code, but really, enough of winter already! It's March, we should be seeing signs of spring, and yet I had to drive to work in another bloody snowstorm! I'm done with it, OK? And yes, I know we are supposed to get another dump of snow on Friday night. But at least I don't have to drive in it then. And even the driving in it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the idiots who think they are better drivers than everyone else, and should therefore be able to dictate the rules of the road. Sorry, just because you drive an SUV, does not give yo the right to drive on the shoulder of the 404 in order to get three car lengths ahead. I wished he had ended up in the ditch. Oh, and the black Lexus on Woodbine? Slamming on your brakes for no apparent reason? Bad idea when the roads are slippery. I didn't bang into your backside, but I'm sure the red Corolla that did was not impressed with you. At least he sure didn't look impressed when I saw him jump out of his car and run towards you. I'm kind of glad I was able to leave that scene behind.
I'm glad I grocery shopped last night. Tonight, I plan on making a meaty spaghetti sauce for dinner (and lunch tomorrow!), and hunkering down inside the house. Just me, my boys and my knitting - the Hyrna Herborgar shawl is coming along nicely, and I would dearly love to get to the next lace pattern soon. This one is starting to get boring...
(Here's where I would enter a picture. I'm really sorry about my lack of pictures lately - I will get on that. I promise pictures tomorrow... really.)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

hmmm... what to talk about...

I realized that in the last little while, I have become boring. What with everything going on in my life (most, but not all of which I have shared here), there really hasn't been a lot of time to DO anything. Working (and starting a new job, with all the inherent extras that go along with that), maintaining the household (because it seems to fall mostly to me) and taking care of extended family have pretty much filled my hours. Add to that the fact that my knitting is fairly boring - (taupe sweater, ecru shawl, (just different ways of saying beige), and plain stockinette socks. Ho hum. At least I am getting to knit every day. One of the ladies at my Guild mentioned it as a sort of resolution. Not an actual resolution, but just that she wanted to knit a little bit each day. She enjoys knitting, and it brings her peace, so why not make the time for it? I whole-heartedly agree with her, and I have tried to do this myself. I'm somewhat lucky, in that I have time during my lunch break to knit, (I eat my lunch fairly late in the day, so I usually have the cafeteria almost to myself.) and I always have a project nearby in the kitchen/family room at home where we hang out most of the time, so I can always get a few rows in while watching TV or chatting with family. Same with weekends - because I leave my knitting out, it's always available to be picked up for a stitch or two.
But somehow, lately, it doesn't feel like enough. I think I've tried to do too much in the amount of hours available to me, and its taking a toll. I don't feel like I've accomplished much, yet I know I'm knitting each day, so obviously I'm making progress. What will probably happen is that I'll finish 3 pairs of socks, a sweater and a shawl all within a week. Then I'll attack the UFOs and get those done. Yeah, right. I know me. I'll get distracted by something - you just wait and see...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

the beige period

Picasso had his Blue period, I seem to be having a Beige Period:

That would be the Safari hoodie in a lovely shade of beige, as well as the beginning of Hyrna Herbogar in a slightly lighter shade of beige.
Although it seems to be the contrary, I do love colour - I love it, I wear it, I knit it - I've just been caught in a beige thing.
Especially with the Hyrna Herbogar. At least the Safari Hoodie will have a place in my wardrobe - the fit is great, and so far I am thrilled with it. But the shawl? This is all about authenticity. I adore the pattern. The yarn? Well, it is authentic Icelandic laceweight singles. Very authentic - my LYS owner brought it back from Iceland. It's also scratchy as all get out. Seriously, wearing this will be like wearing a potscrubber on your shoulders. But, and now here's the weird part, I love it. Sometimes, you just want to be authentic. I've seen this made up, and even after a wash and block, it remains scratchy, but it is lovely. I plan to wear it over a sweater anyway.
So my beige period consists of a mindless in-the-round project for TV watching and conversation holding, and another charted project for those times when I can concentrate. I think I'm good.

And, Rachel H? I checked the TSO schedule for June. And laughed. And laughed again. And printed it out to show the husband (who is more into Star Trek than I am). I think we might just be going...

(for those that don't know - the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is being hosted by John de Lancie ("Q") and Robert Picardo ("The Doctor" from Voyager) for one night of Star Trek themed orchestral music. Culture and Star Trek in one shot - excellent...)