Tuesday, September 29, 2009

what I've been working on

Funny, I was going to write about how my 3D life has exploded (work deadlines, sick child (he's fine now), major injury to my knee (getting better), husband traveling and my MIL's looming 80th birthday) - thereby reducing my knitting time and basically killing anything to blog about. But it seems I still find time to knit through all the craziness. Perhaps that's how I get through the craziness...

These are the cotton/Lycra socks I started on the bus trip to Kitchener. One's done except for the cast off, and the other will be done soon. Really soon. These things fly off the needles...

I've also finished the Mohair jacket - sewn it up, added the buttons, tried it on, and love it. The Mohair fabric tends to add bulk around the middle (which is the absolute last place I need bulk), but I don't care. It's beautiful and soft and nice and once the dismal weather clears a bit, I will take a picture.

As far as the 3D life things - the kid is fine - he stayed home from school yesterday and saw the doc, but everything is good. My knee? I fell coming out of the grocery store, and landed... poorly. I also got up quickly and got into my car before (hopefully) anyone saw me, but there is some severe bruising, and my cane has been in use for a few days. I'm walking better now, but it will take a few weeks for it to get better. The work deadlines are achievable, so that's not an issue, but the MIL's birthday? Would not be a problem, except for my husband's siblings - all of whom feel a need to be in control. And there are 5 kids in this family, plus assorted in-laws and grandchildren. We did this a few years back for FIL - so it's now time for the Return of Family Mayhem. Oh joy...

Friday, September 25, 2009

plans for the laceweight

How perfect are these beads? And this pattern? The Storm Cloud Shawlette. I'm modifying it somewhat, to suit what I have. I'm going to string the beads on one ball, and use two strands together to knit this. I'll also adjust the needle size to give me the drape I want - not too loose, but not super tight either. The beads will be scattered throughout the shawl, twinkling here and there. I may adjust the size as well - making it a touch larger. Then I plan a solid line or two of beads right at the ruffle line, where the ruffle starts. This should give it some nice body. I'll probably make the ruffle a little more ruffly as well, and use the beads a little more intensely in the ruffle. I'm thinking I have enough yarn for at least a couple of these, which is good. One for me, and one for a special friend that I don't see often, but lives for this colour and shading.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

going, going, gone!

The Romulan jacket is no more. I couldn't even give it away - it really was not attractive, and I believe that charity items should be nice enough that you would wear them yourself. Giving this away was not an option - I would cringe thinking that I had inflicted it on someone else.

So the yarn is now wound and waiting for something else. Maybe some hats, maybe a baby blanket of some sort. The yarn is lovely, and deserves better.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

pieces done.

Have a mentioned how much I love this pattern? Lovely yarn, stunning colours, and seriously, the faster knit ever. I cast on the evening of Sunday, September 13th, and cast off the sleeves during the Emmys on Sunday, September 20th. Yes, I still have to sew it up and add the collar and buttons, and yes, knowing me, that could take months, but really, the main knitting done in a week? A week where I was single parenting, (kudos to those single parents out there - I don't know how it's done, and I only have one kid.) was remarkably busy at work, and my kid started twice a week swimming, basketball and a 4 week Home Alone course. (a great idea - teaches kids what to do and when to do it when they stay home alone. They retain it better in a class situation than when a parent tells them.)

I wish this showed the colour better - it's not this bright - much more muted and the colours a deeper, richer tone. But it does show the softness.Off to find a darning needle...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

how I spent my weekend

There was some knitting (Mo jacket). There was some bike riding and basketball playing. There was some welcoming home of the husband. There was some wondering why we welcomed him home, he who brought some sickness with him, and left his suitcase in the front hall for 3 days.

(number 42 on the list of things not to say to a mother in law about her son - "No, life does not get easier with him back - he doesn't get home in time to help with the kid chauffeuring, and he needs dinner, and he creates laundry and mess that I have to do and clean up. Yes, I love him, but right now, I'm not sure I like him!" Yeah, that didn't go over so well...)

But this weekend was mostly about this: 30 litres of garlic dill pickles, and another 6 litres or so of freezer sweet pickles. I'm cucumbered out right now. (The husband was somewhat useful in this endeavour - he went to the Holland Marsh market and got the cukes and dill, and then kept himself and the child out of the kitchen while I did this.) They should be ready just after Thanksgiving here in Canada, and there are a bunch of family members and friends expecting a jar for Christmas...

Friday, September 18, 2009

white boxes on doorsteps...

There's nothing better than coming home to find a white box on the doorstep. Oh wait. Yes there is. The only thing better is a white box that I did NOT PAY FOR! (i.e - it isn't from Elann).
It's from Knittech! How cool is this? I entered a contest on her blog, and won! And not only did I win, I won wool that is a perfect fit for me - lots of a luscious wool/cashmere blend laceweight in the most amazing soft coppery colour. Seriously, how nice is this?I have big plans for this - big, big plans... It involves beads and lace, and will be for me! (there will probably be enough left over for a little somethin' somethin' for someone else too!)

Thanks Knittech! I love it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

because I have to start things RIGHT AWAY...

I'm pretty happy with most of my ongoing projects. Those that I'm not so happy with, I usually discard and send them to oblivion (i.e. the bottom the the basket near my desk at home...) But that happiness does not stop me from starting something new as soon as I get it. Hence this.
The speediest project EVER. Seriously. That's the back and one front complete, and the other front 3/4 done. (I'll finish that tonight during Survivor, and probably make a good start on the sleeves...)

I brought it home from Kitchener on Saturday, and had the wool wound by 7pm that night. Part of the reasoning was that my Mom really did want to see how the swift and ball winder worked, so I had to show her and the Mohair was convenient. (We won't talk about the three skeins of sock yarn I wound for her. She brought us 4 home made lasagnes, and stayed with my kid while we were both out for the day, so three skeins of sock yarn seemed a good trade).

Whatever my reasons, I had to start this on Sunday. I really did. It was calling to me. My cotton/rayon cardi is fine with this, it knows I still love it and will get back to it in time for spring, but really Autumn weather calls for mohair. (We won't talk of the fact that I'm still wearing shorts as I knit it. Mother Nature has her seasons seriously messed up around here...)

I love this stuff. It's fast and fun, and hopefully I don't make mistakes, because tinking mohair is a bear. I love how it's knitting up, and I think it will make a smashing jacket. The only problem is that is has made me think that variegated yarns may not be so bad. Look at these colours! (In real life, they're not quite this bright - more muted, and a much better depth of tone. Photography at 6am with halogen lighting sucks.)
I must dig out the monstrous Romulan jacket to remind me of the problems with some variegateds. (I'm pretty sure I'm going to rip it apart and try to salvage the yarn for hats and scarves. I can't impose this monstrosity on anyone.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitchener, part two

So, you knew there had to be bling, right? I mean really, it's me!

I can't seem to pass by the Brenda Franklin booth without a perusal, and this year, I finally achieved my goad of drawing Susan to the dark side! Not only did she buy a kit, she bought a book, thread, and would have bought the needles if they were available. It only took me three years, but I knew I'd convince her.

Oh, and I may have bought a book and kit as well. You know, because I don't have enough beading patterns and kits...(that would be the two at the bottom). There was also a mukluk and moccasin pattern purchased, as well, a hat pattern that was given free when I bought this:
2 luscious skeins of a silk/merino/sequin blend. No hat for me, this will be a perfect small jewel of a scarf, something with a ruffly, possibly beaded end...

The last thing to show is not really bling, but something that has a sheen to it, so it sort of counts. Bamboo/Lycra sock yarn from Dye-Version, in the "Smoke" colourway. Yum. This is stretchy like the Cotton/Lycra sock yarn I'm currently knitting, but has a shine and silky feel to it. and the greeny-grey colourway really struck me. Although it was hard to pass up the chocolate brown, or the deep indigo, or the rich red, or the... well you get the idea.

So, all in all a successful field trip. I again stayed away from the spindles (I'm not going to spin, I'm not going to spin), and bought enough of any one yarn to complete a project - no more one-off balls hanging around the stash, waiting for who knows what.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kitchener bounty

So Saturday dawned bright and beautiful, so I wished my husband a good trip, and headed out. (he was heading out later that day to go to Germany - he's in the beer industry and had a beer trade show to attend. Drinktec. That's calling a spade a spade, I believe. A week of drink and beer relating things. And yet, he's not staying for Oktoberfest which starts the day after he leaves. (It's not like he's never been before...)

I of course, had important things to do - it was the Kitchener Knitter's Fair, and I met the bus at 8:00am in Aurora, and we arrived in Kitchener at 10am.

First off, the bus ride was fun as always, with raffles and draws and other things to keep us occupied. I won two draws, and scored huge! A skein of Fleece Artist Sea Wool in the most beautiful colours, and Deb Gemmel's Cabin Fever Hat book! So happy with these!. I also did some knitting, starting a new pair of cotton stretch socks. This is how much knitting one can do on a round trip to Kitchener from Aurora, while still talking, and helping with draw prizes, and ogling everyone else's purchases.

I met Susan as pre-arranged, and finally met up with Deirdre, after having her paged. Sorry Deirdre, but I was spending so much time looking out for you, I was missing all the good stuff in the booths! But it was great finally meeting you! We chatted for a bit, I explained some jewellery making tips, and we both headed off again. Deirdre, I want to see pictures of the necklace you plan on making!

As always, the fair was crowded. Some booths were hard to get near, let alone get inside off, but we managed. We started with a fairly quick perusal of the place, then got more intense at many of the booths.

Shall We Knit had some amazing stuff - both for sale and on display. I managed to score this: 5 skeins of pure softness. Yes, that tag reads 100% Baby Llama. Baby llama people! My God it's beautiful. My first thought was a scarf for my husband, but he's gone off for a week of drinktec, leaving me with kid, swimming lessons, basketball practices, and other such things. I may keep this for myself...

I was potentially looking for a cardigan/coat type of pattern - something for outdoors in fall, or indoors in winter when it's chilly. You can always count of Fleece Artist for what you need. This is the Mo Jacket. A very simple jacket, perfect for my aesthetic. Pretty sure I got it at Camilla Valley Farms. I love these muted jewel tones. Susan was under strict orders not to let me buy variegated yarn for a sweater, after the blue/brown feather and fan sweater debacle, but we both agreed that this would work out okay. And look - it's already wound into balls - I ah, um, wanted to show my Mom how my ball winder and swift worked, and this was nearby, so I wound it. It's not like I was going to knit it or anything... Okay, fine. I've started the jacket. My olive green cotton/rayon cardi is on hold. What with fall coming, mohair is so much more practical, right? Have I convinced anyone? No, I didn't think so. So I'm fickle. I admit it. Then later, I found some more mohair, same meterage, at Dye Version in some stunning greens, so I now will have two Mo Jackets...

I also picked up some buttons - these dark horn ones will go perfectly with the jewel toned mohair.

And these ones are antler. The toggles are deer antler and the rounds are cross section of moose antler. They feel marvelous, and will look great with something, I'm sure...

There's more, but I think I might stretch this out for a day or so... Next up, the bling...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

countdown to Kitchener

Today is Thursday, so in two days, I'll be up way too early for a weekend, and will be boarding a bus for our annual pilgrimage to Kitchener. (I remember far too many years ago when the "annual pilgrimage to Kitchener" was about too much beer, not too much yarn...)
but yes, it's time for the Kitchener Knitter's Fair. I'll be there, I'll be meeting Lucky, and hopefully meeting up with Deirdre. I'm also looking forward to possibly seeing others I may know.

Are you going?

Lucky and I had decided that we were going to judiciously shop. Neither of us really needed anything, so it would be a day of mostly looking, maybe buying a book or stellar pattern. Then I got an expense cheque - yeah, there might be some frivolous buying as well...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


...and quickly, too. These socks virtually flew off the needles - the bonus of fewer stitches and bigger needles, I guess.

They are for my Mom, for Christmas. I've got to start thinking about the Christmas list - who I will knit for, and who gets something else.

I've scaled back the amount of knitting I do for others lately - mostly because there are greater demands on my time lately, but also because I've started keeping the knitting for those that really like and appreciate it. My husband, my Mom and my father in law will keep getting socks. All three love and wear them, so they keep getting them. Some other family members has shown an interest in sewn items (my hand-made-phobic nephew has actually requested some pajama pants!), and yet others prefer the beads and shiny stuff. It's nice having options for everyone.
Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be enjoying the Kitchener Knitter's Fair this weekend - I'll be there, coming in on our regular bus with the Barrie and York Region Knit Guilds. I'll be meeting Lucky, and hopefully meeting up with Deirdre - I have a bracelet for her. Deirdre, I'll be arriving between 10am and 11am, on a bus, and will probably have my yellow I KNIT messenger bag again. You know what? That didn't help us last year - I'll email you my cell number, and we'll meet!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

mesmerized by the shiny stuff...

While I am still knitting every day, the magpie in me still finds time to do a little beading. What I've been doing is trying to organize the bead stash a bit, by putting like with like, and seeing what I can do with it.
This bracelet came about because I had these stones in the gold wire cages. Add a few jump rings and a clasp, and a bracelet is born. It's quite nice - delicate in a way, but substantial as well,with the heft of the stones.
I had a whack of these shell disks, in black, white and two shades of green. I attached the black and white ones to this chain bracelet, and quite like the effect. The shells softly jingle against each other when it moves, but not enough to drive one bonkers. And I really like the little heart shaped clasp.
Then there's this necklace. It's a simple pattern, available free on the Internet, and uses just seed beads in two different sizes. I have a lot of seed beads. A. lot. so this was perfect. One night in front of the TV during So You Think You Can Dance Canada (aside - sorry Leah Miller - you are no Cat Deeley...), and this necklace came into being. This pattern will be made again, and probably again and again, using different beads and different combinations. It's that much fun, and I love the results.

As I said, I'm still knitting on the cotton socks, as well as my olive green cardigan - both of these projects (along with the never-ending ball of wool Montego Bay scarf) will be coming to the cottage for the long weekend. Labour Day already. I know it wasn't the best summer weatherwise, but I still can't believe summer is over...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

the sock mojo has returned

I'm back to knitting socks! I went a month or more without once picking up the dpns, a strange thing for me. In the past few years, socks have always been my mainstay knitting - the "go-to" project. But this summer, it seemed like sweaters were taking over my mind. Not a bad thing, but harder to transport. But the socks have returned. I finished up a pair of bamboo ones, and started these stretch cotton ones while we were at the cottage. I admit - they are super quick, being on larger 3.0mm needles (as opposed to my usual 2.25mm) and fewer stitches (48 rather than the usual 64 or 72). But still - these are flying off the needles. I tried making both at the same time - knitting both toes, then both foot sections, then both heels, and now, both leg sections. I've left the first one still on the needle s- not sure if I will do a hemmed edge or a ribbing - I'm leaning to the hem as these are probably for my Mom, and she likes the hem, but this yarn is quite thick, so I'm not sure the hem will be all that attractive. We'll see.

Next up - I have some wonderful red Jitterbug I've been eyeing in the stash - either that or some autumnal shaded Claudia Handpaint...