Monday, May 25, 2009

someone else has been busy...

LuckyCanuck may have given up blogging about her handcrafts, but she certainly hasn't stopped creating some beautiful pieces. When I got into beading, I wasn't alone. Sure I started out knitting them into lots of things, and Lucky resisted that pull, but when I started stringing them and creating other types of jewellery, well I knew I'd get her involved! And I did. And she has surpassed me with the creation of some spectacular pieces.
Since I'm still making the same silver grey cardigan, and don't want to bore you with more pictures of the same, she has kindly allowed me to show her work here. Actually, I begged her, since: 1. I needed the blog fodder, and 2. I really think people should see how talented she is.

You be the judge - should Lucky guest blog now and then, showing off her work?

I'm voting for yes...

Friday, May 22, 2009

it matches!

Note - objects in picture look much better in person. Taking pictures in a bathroom mirror at 6:30am does not do anyone (especially me, it seems) justice. But considering that both people I live with were still sleeping as I was leaving for work, this was the best I could do.
The top not only fits and flatters, it matches the shrug perfectly. (Shrug knitted on my LK150, at least a year or so ago - some coned cotton blend bought at Romni eons ago - pattern of my own making - about halfway down my back, knitted sleeve hem to sleeve hem, belled at the ends, very comfortable)

Can I say how happy I am that it is Friday? Although, I'm not sure I am getting any rest this weekend, what with helping the child with his end of year project due next week, taking him to the batting cage, planting all the gardens (not to mention fighting the crowds at the garden centre), cleaning bathrooms (sadly overlooked for a few weeks), and other sundry chores. But it is a weekend, and I will be making the best of it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

chugging along...

The problem with knitting sweaters is that they make for poor blog fodder. There's the pictures when you start - "ooo, look at the pretty yarn and see how well it matches the pattern I have chosen...", a couple of "in-progress" shots to prove that the pattern and yarn really do go well together, then a long drought while you chug away on it, and finally the "look! a finished sweater!" part.

Right now, I'm at the chugging along part - I can't really show more pictures of partial sleeves and body without them looking the same as before. (I don't consider a gain of centimetres of stockinette to be that interesting...)

So I have to come up with other bloggable items. I have decided that complaining about how busy I am will stop. I don't think it's interesting to anyone, and to be honest, I even got tired of me complaining.

We were at the cottage this weekend - the first official long weekend of the summer cottaging season. We don't have to do a lot of "opening" chores, since it's winterized and we go up all year, but there were some jobs that needed doing - raking up leaves, restocking the woodpile, getting one of the boats in and going.

Plus, there were things like tadpole searching: (going to be a good year for frogs, I think),

rock climbing: and multiple bird watching:

A heron on a rock out front: some ducks: a family of geese:
there were loons as well, but I didn't have my camera when they were close.
oh yeah... much better than complaining all the time...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

what a 3 hour Survivor finale gets you...

... most of a sleeve. The silver merino cardigan is moving along nicely. The heavy brown and blue cardi stayed home this past weekend - too heavy and bulky to travel. I knit the sweater a bit in the car, and at the cottage in between regular cottage stuff, but most of this sleeve was during three hours of Survivor. Can I say how happy I was that J.T. won? He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and I hope he does well by it. He also seems to have a bit of a bromance going with Stephen - who would have guessed that the southern cattle farmer and New York consultant would get along so well. Good on them!
Tonight, after my son's baseball game (more knitting time), I'll do some more work on the sleeve during the two hour Dancing With the Stars finale. That should take care of my reality show fix (since the Amazing Race has already ended). I don't do Idol or Bachelor type shows, so I'm good there. Plus, the weather is improving, so instead of evenings in front of the TV, it's evenings out on the deck with family and friends. Woo Hoo!

And the baseball parents are pretty good about the knitting - less hassles than the soccer parents!

Friday, May 15, 2009

car knitting? check...

Today is Friday, and the unofficial start of summer to those of us with cottages. It's the beginning of the Victoria Day weekend, ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria (she of the "We are Not Amused" historical reference.) She may not have been, but we are usually amused on this weekend. We're heading north tonight after work, for three days of raking, dock maintenance, deck chair washing and boat launching. Hoo wah.

I've got books to read, sweaters to knit, beads to string and family to either enjoy or ignore (depends on my mood, and their antics).
Either way - I can't wait. I refuse to take any work files with me (although I should), the laptop is staying at home (although it shouldn't) and I'm not answering my cell phone (we usually don't get service up there, anyway).

The silver grey merino cardigan will be my car knitting, since I seem to be off socks this month. I've finished the hellish seed stitch yoke (but, as much as it pained me to knit it, I really think it looks fabulous), and I'm into the stockinette body part, so it's perfect for car knitting - mindless. I'll also bring the blue and brown cardigan - the sleeves and back are done, and I'm into the fronts now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

it's finished, it fits, and it flatters...

I've said before that my sewing mojo seems to return in the spring. I'm extremely lucky to have a room dedicated to sewing and such, so that I can leave projects out in a half finished state. This makes it so easy to make something in dribs and drabs, and I actually end up completing many projects this way. I can do a little bit each time I'm changing a load of laundry, or find myself with a spare 15 minutes.
I started the top a while ago - it's a style I love - classic, yet casual and perfectly suited to the office in summer, usually with a shawl or shrug over it for those days of overly exuberant air conditioning.
I'm completely gapping on the pattern - I'll look it up later, but I think it's a McCall's and from a few years back. Even though it buttons up the back, making it seem totally difficult to get in and out of, the fit is such that it slips over the head without even touching the buttons. I could skip them all together, but I like the look of them. And my machine zings through buttonholes like nothing, so it's not a pain to make them, like it was with my old sewing machine - completely manual - ick.
It's a 100% cotton fabric, quite a bit brighter than I'm known for, but in the summer, I prefer the brights. I'll wear it with white capris, and I have a yellow shrug I knit a few years back hiding somewhere.
And I will make this pattern again, I'm sure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mom Day

It's Sunday, and my son and I are spending a lazy day. (Dad is away this weekend - it's a Mother's Day tradition). We were busy yesterday, what with the kid's basketball finals going on (A silver medal, thanks!), and other time consuming stuff.
Today, we are planning our traditional hike if the weather co-operates, and a few other things, but it's really about spending time with the guy who is the reason Mother's Day means so much to me.
Tomorrow it's back to the grind of my job - I'm getting an handle on this, but I'm still transitioning my old job as well, and let's just say that I'm going to be a little busy for a bit. But I am knitting. I've got the back and both sleeves of the Tailored Scallops jacket done, and the silver grey merino is plugging along - not getting any larger, even though I am knitting on it. I will take some pictures. Promise.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

still here...

I'm here, I'm knitting. I just don't have enough time in the day to post about the knitting. I'm in Perfect Storm Week - the end of my son's basketball season, the start of his baseball season, work exploding ('nuff said...) my husband away for an extended poker weekend (we won't talk about that...) my Mom and my MIL both expecting me to do things for them this week... well you get the picture.
Although it sounds like I'm complaining (and I KNOW I've been complaining!) I'm actually pretty well in control of things. I just need to figure out how to warp the time space continuum and get 38 hours in the day.
Not so much to ask, I think...

Friday, May 01, 2009

the new two

When I showed you the plethora of cardigans earlier in the week, I also mentioned that I had cast on for two more. Meet the two more: First up, the Tailored Scallops cardi from the Lace Style Book form Interweave. This is the cover sweater, and is basically a longish feather and fan cardigan. I'm using some variegated Knit Picks Bulky in the Robins Nest colourway. (I have a huge thing for brown and blue together). I also have a love-hate relationship with variegated yarns. Love the colours, love them in the skeins, love them in socks - but never quite sure they work in anything else. So the jury's (i.e. me), is still out on this. I think it may work with a brown turtleneck and jeans, but we'll see... it's a fun knit, and great for TV watching.

Secondly, I finally decided what to do with this wool that LuckyCanuck gave me a while ago. At first it was going to be a shawl, but it's a DK weight, and I like my shawls a little lighter. So that didn't work. Now, it's becoming a basic top down cardigan - no pattern, I'm just sort of winging it. I cast on enough stitches based on gauge to fit around the neckline, and am increasing on every other row until I can separate for the sleeves. I'm also dealing with my hatred of seed stitch by doing the entire yoke in seed stitch. I may hate knitting it, but I love the way it looks, and I think a seed stitch yoke, front band and hem will st of the stockinette body nicely. I think this will be a cropped-ish style, depending on the amount of yarn. It should look smashing (as Lucky says) with some grey flannel pants and a pale grey shirt. I'm also dealing with the sparkle aspect of it. Not being much of a sparkle type girl, I wasn't sure about this, but truthfully, I think it's subdued enough that I can get away with it. If not, it either becomes an evening sweater (because everyone know a suburban mom of an athletic kid has so many evening galas to attend...) or a great gift for someone at Christmas...
And the difference between an DK weight knit on 4mm needles and a chunky on 6.5mm needles. I've spent about 4 times as much time on the silver one, yet I'll have the brown and blue one done first by a large margin.

Yesterday, Brenda asked about the patterns I use for summer skirts. Mostly I draft my own, which is way easier than it sounds, since I use a fabulous book that was recommended to me. Sew What! Skirts by Francesca Denhartog and Carol Ann Camp. Custom fit, and as easy as a regular pattern. I've also had good luck with a couple of Simplicity patterns 4221 and 4138 (I'm pretty sure 4138 is discontinued).