Thursday, January 28, 2010

sweater? Did I say sweater?

I don't recall calling my new blue and brown creation a sweater. Seriously, people a sweater in a week? Me? I think not. First of all I get distracted too easily to complete a swe - ooh look! shiny things! - ater in a month, let alone a week.

The pattern is not a sweater, but indeed a scarf. A beautiful scarf, both the pattern as written, and the yarns I used.

May I introduce my version of Just Enough Ruffles?

I love this pattern. Love, love, love it.
I'm becoming slightly obsessed with neckwear lately. Scarves and cowls are taking over my knitting life. (And b00bs too, but that's for a different reason).

Expect to see a whack of cowls on the needles soon.

Oh, and mittens. I've fallen in love with these - I mean really, wine and grape inspired mittens? Tell me that's not calling my name...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

she's good...

MIL came through the surgery with flying colours. She's eating and sleeping (gotta love morphine IV drips...) and feeling as good as can be expected. Pathology won't be back for 10-14 days, so we are still in limbo.
Yesterday was a very long day, and today I'm playing catch up.
A knitting post tomorrow - I promise!

Monday, January 25, 2010

b00bs, but no pictures

I finished a couple of knitted b00bs (spelling change to get rid of the perverts that google things...), but I have no pictures. I was planning on taking some last night, but we dropped by my in-laws yesterday, to take them some dinner as well as some of the freezer meals. I had the b00bs with me in my knitting bag, but wasn't planning on showing her yet - I thought it might be too early in the process for her. But she asked how they were coming along and did I have them with me. When I brought them out, she laughed and laughed, and could not put them down. The surrealness of the whole thing hit me when my father in law says from across the room - "toss me a b00b, I want to see what it's like", and a lilac cashmere/silk b00b goes flying by my face.
She wanted to keep them, as she wanted to show the surgeon and nurses tomorrow before the surgery. I'm going to say no, for the sake of a few pictures? Of course she could keep them. She said she'll give them back to me in time for show and tell at out Guild meeting, but if they make her laugh, then she can keep then as long as she wants. They are hers, after all. I'm going to make a few more - different colours for different outfits.
We've talked to our son, and given him enough information for him to process this, without overwhelming him. It's a fine line to walk. Plus co-ordinating with the other siblings about how much info they are giving their kids. The siblings are pulling together. We all have our strengths, and we are trying to take advantage of this.
Tomorrow will be a difficult day. I have to be at Disney in the morning, which will help with stress - keeping busy is the best thing. I expect emails and phone calls throughout the day, and we'll do the best we can.

Friday, January 22, 2010

not something I ever wanted to HAVE to knit...

Tit Bits. Thankfully not for me, but in my opinion, worse, for my 80 year old mother in law. We got the diagnosis on the 19th, and she is having a mastectomy on the 26th. Crap.

The family is rallying, and each of us is doing what we do best. I'm knitting boobs and cooking meals for the freezer. My husband is doing research, helping his dad, and calming his brother. My one sister in law is taking over, because she feels she is the only one who cares, and the rest of us are unfeeling leeches. Sorry, did I say that out loud? Yeah, I'm also working on holding my tongue, and taking all the shit and disdain she is hurling my way. With a smile on my face. Then I drink wine with my best friend and she listens to me vent.

It's a good system.

I've been making Chicken pot pies, stuffed pasta shells, Greek yiouvetsi and any other type meal that is easily frozen and rewarmed. If you have any great recipes that fall into the category, I'd be grateful for recommendations. After a week, the same stuff over and over gets a little tiresome.

As far as MIL - her sense of humour is still there, even though she's a bit shell-shocked at the moment. When I told her I was going to "knit her a new one", she broke out in gales of laughter - She asked for pink:
Then I'm going to use this for a winter one: I stopped by Needles and Knits, and Tove broke out the good stuff for me.Really - who wouldn't want a boob made out of 70% cashmere/30% silk? I may go back and get more of this jewel - Maybe a lacy scarf in white or black - you know, over the top luxury for someone who absolutely deserves it.

We haven't got all the information from the docs yet. We don't know what stage, or whether it's in the lymph nodes or what. (Or maybe we do, and SIL hasn't felt the need to share). Either way, whatever happens, the family will will deal with it as a family.

That's just what families do.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

brown and blue, yet again

I really like brown and blue together. (I'm actually wearing a brown sweater with blue jeans today.) Knit Picks had a beautiful (in the skein) blue and brown mixed yarn called Robin's Nest. I loved it, I bought it, I knitted it, I ripped it. The Tailored Scallops Pattern (renamed by me as the Bad Romulan Shoulder Coat) was not the right pattern for this yarn. So it stopped being a sweater, and returned to being yarn. While I was learning entrelac, I thought maybe this is what this yarn was meant to be:
Yeah... no. Not really. The colour changes don't flow, and the look is just... wrong. So this is probably getting ripped as well. I might try a lengthwise scarf, maybe mixed with some solid brown to tone it down a bit, or it might just go into the depths of stash to suffer the indignity of a "twice-ripped, nothing works" yarn.


there is hope for my blue/brown obsession. Meet the newest incarnation:

two yarns, held together. A brown tweedy yarn - ball bands gone. I had knit this into something (I've forgotten what), and ripped it out, and found the re-wound balls in the depths when I was looking for something else. Some of the tweedy flecks were blue, and right beside it (serendipity??) was a number of balls of Peru - an Austermann yarn - 85% alpaca, 15% merino, in just the right shade of blue to match the flecks. The pattern calls for worsted,and each of these were fingering, so held together, they seem to work. I love the colours together, the yarns are well matched - the alpaca softens up the tweed, and I love the pattern.

What pattern, you ask? Ah, you'll have to wait for the finished piece later this week. (getting two blog posts out of a single pattern is a bonus!) I've fallen in love with this pattern, and couldn't be happier that I bought it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the finished entrelac

Well, Linda? How did I do?
I love this process. I didn't even mind flipping it over and over to go from knit to purl every 4 stitches. I'm not sure I would want an entrelac project much bigger than a scarf, however - then the flipping would get annoying.

But this worked out great. It used up some yarn, and it's an addition to the gift box. It was moving along swimmingly towards a perfect men's gift, but then I hit the patches of bright fuchsia pink. I know most men wouldn't mind the touch of pink, and I'm sure most of your menfolk would be fine with it, but please don't suggest I give it to any of the males I know. They wouldn't wear it. None of them. At all. Ever. I know this, and I accept it.

A girl friend of mine will love it.
And Nancy? Nice to have you back reading!

Monday, January 18, 2010

cleaning up

One thing my son and I did over Christmas was go through his clothes. I did this willingly, him? not so much. Trying on clothes over and over surprisingly does not rate high on his list of "Fun Things To do With Mom".
We cleared a ton of space (that boy does go through growth spurts!), and I have a huge bag to give to a co-worker - her son is 7, and the few times the two boys have met, the young one seems to idolize my son. (I think it's because my kid took the smaller one in hand on some rides at a company get together, meaning the younger one didn't need a parent with him. Things like that make an impression on a kid.) So he's a willing recipient of the outgrown stuff.

However, some stuff is hard to give away. I tend to keep the hand knits. I'm not sure why - it's not like he will ever wear them again, and it would be good for someone else to wear and appreciate them, but still. Not Yet.

The denim sweater. I love this. (I wish the colours had shown up better - it's a lovely faded denim with the darker denim stripe and red highlights. I think it's either Rowan Denim or Elann (actually, I think it's a combination of both). I have a ton of denim cotton still, but I plan on waiting for him to get through the growth period before I knit it up. I'm thinking the teen years...

His spider sweater. This is a cable pattern I found in a Barbara Walker (I think) book, and put it on the front of a basic raglan sweater. It's a tweedy cotton/wool blend in a richer blue than shows here. The boy loves it, and was trying to stretch the sleeves longer to hang on to it. I promised him I'd use this spider chart again on a bigger sweater for him.

I know I should give these away to someone who will wear them and enjoy them. But it's hard. I love them, and I love the fact that my boy loves them.

Friday, January 15, 2010


If you haven't yet done so, and have the means to do so, please think about donating some cash to Doctors Without Borders. The Haitian people have been subject to political turmoil, abject poverty, and once again, a devasting natural disaster. No one should have to deal with this alone. We can help.

Stephanie is organizing donations to Doctors Without Borders through her group Knitters Without Borders. She has all the information and links on her site. Go. Donate what you can. Spread the word. and email Steph at kwb AT yarnharlot DOT ca.

I've donated cash, and if she does a prize draw, I'll donate prizes. It's the least I can do.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The loss of 2 hours a week...

Two hours a week of straight, no-guilt knitting time - gone. Why you ask? Because I got conned into coaching my son's basketball team this year. I used to spend practice and game time, happily knitting away on something simple - it was the perfect sock knitting time. I could knit and still watch what was going on. But this time around, we have lost a few coaches, and the convener cornered me, and basically guilted me into it. "You're at all the games and practices". True - I really like watching the kids play. "You know the game." True. I played in high school and university, and refereed through school as well. Well, crap. I had no argument against it. I couldn't really use the "But I'd rather knit, and let the kids suffer." defence. So myself and another Dad are taking over team A1 (first order of business - a new team name!). So instead of needles and wool in my hands, there will be a clipboard and basketball.

I may sound like I'm complaining, but in reality? I'm kind of looking forward to it. Just remind me of those words in about a month...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Stephanie was thinking about what she should do regarding the Knitting Olympics. Her brainchild has gravitated over to Ravelry, and mutated into the Ravelympics. (I gather some Ravelympic athletes also competed during the Beijing games, however, I agree with Steph, knitting is really a winter sport...)

I competed during the Torino games, and earned my gold medal for a shawl I made (I think it was Icarus). I was thinking about making another mohair jacket this year, with some Green Dye-Version mohair, but now that it's over on Ravelry, I don't think I will. Not because I don't like Ravelry (I do! I really do!) Or I have some misplaced loyalty to only compete when Stephanie organizes it (really, that's just silly). It's because of one of the groups I belong to on Ravelry. I'm a proud member of the Ravelry Underachievers. (Seriously, have you looked at my Ravelry page? Nothing. I upload nothing there. I use Ravelry as a resource, not a reflection of myself). So as an Underachiever, can I really put the effort into joining a team and actually following along?

I thought not.

I will intently follow the actual Olympics - I'm a huge fan, and have turned my son into one as well. I will intently knit during said Olympics. But probably not as part of a Ravelympic team - I guess I've retired from competitive knitting.

And Stephanie? If you want to organize the Knitting Olympics, go for it. It's not like you have anything else to do! But I (and I am sure others) will completely understand if you don't, and just let the Ravelympics go on as their own entity. It's not like we don't know who started all the craziness. But if you decide there's something else that "might be fun", let me know. I'm in.

Oh, and as for finding the "missing" yarn. I didn't tell my son that I had misplaced it and found it in such an obvious place. He is forever misplacing things in plain sight, and our words to him are always "start at your nose... look down...". I'd have no credibility left if he knew this little story...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

good thing I looked harder...

Okay. By some standards, I have a lot of wool. By other standards, I have a mere drop in the ocean. But my stash is comfortable for me. From it I can make shawls, sweaters, socks, pretty much what I want. Yesterday, however, it wasn't big enough for me to make a scarf, it seems. I could not find a second ball of the Mille Colori. A second ball that I was convinced existed, but was no where to be found. I was going to cast off the swatch-scarf of Entrelac I had going, but instead, I just cast on another Entrelac scarf (in the bulky brown and blue - we'll get back to that later).
For some reason, I was drawn to the stash room (or "office" as my husband insists on calling it...) and thought I'd take one more dig for the Milli Colori. The missing ball that matched my Entrelac scarf/swatch. The missing ball that was SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME WHEN I WALKED IN THE WOOL ROOM.
Seriously, does over exposure to wool fumes cause temporary insanity? It wasn't there yesterday...

But at least I can continue on the scarf. I'm not sure 2 balls will even be enough, but I'm not stupid enough to believe I can make another one magically appear...

Monday, January 11, 2010

good thing I looked...

At our Guild meeting this month, Linda gave us a workshop on Entrelac Knitting. Surprisingly, I had never knitted Entrelac, and was curious about it. After a couple of false starts (because keener that I am, I worked ahead of what she was showing, instead of PATIENTLY waiting for the explanation), I got it, and found myself enjoying it. I was working my swatch in a nice variegated yarn (Mille Colori? something like that) that I grabbed out of stash. As I went on, I thought it would make a nice scarf - a bit skinny, but it would block a bit wider and would be fine. I realized that one ball would make a pretty skimpy scarf, especially if it was going to be on the skinny side, so I went up to the stash and rooted around in the same area that I grabbed the ball from, thinking there was another ball of it. In fact, I was convinced there was another ball of it. I just couldn't find it. Maybe there was only one ball. Well, crap. so much for that idea. At least I found out before I got to the end of the ball. This way, it's still considered a swatch and practice piece, I guess, rather than a half assed scarf.
I did find some other options for an Entrelac scarf, however. I'm leaning to the reclaimed brown and blue stuff. It made a crappy sweater, but maybe there's hope for it as a scarf.

The rusty grey one is another option. Hmmm, fingering weight versus bulky. Since I consider scarves to be instant gratification type knitting, I'm thinking bulky.

The rusty grey one may become another 198 yds. of Heaven shawl - only made slightly bigger to use up the wool.

The merino-silk-linen blend FibraNatura is another option, but since I have about a sweater's worth of it - I'd rather make a sweater.

What really ticks me off is that I was sure I had another ball of the Milli Colori! I rarely buy individual balls of anything, so having just the one of this makes no sense. And I know I bought it a while ago, so matching the dyelot is a pipe dream...

Friday, January 08, 2010

what was, what is...

What it was: (Storm Cloud Shawlette. This pattern did nothing for this yarn - a beautiful merino-silk-sequin concoction I bought in Kitchener, and promptly lost the ball band for. Susan - you were with me - any idea where I got this?)

What it became:
(Actually, much richer shades of grey and charcoal, and the sequins really pop against it)

What the new plan was: 198 yds. of Heaven. great little lacy shawlette - super easy lace pattern, perfect for this yarn.
What it became:

How it looks:

(I used my star filter to really show how the sequins sparkle).
I love it more that I thought I would. The problem is, I'm not a sparkly sequin kind of girl. Even my husband, while admiring it, asked what I was planning on doing with it. "it's not really your style" was the gist of what he said. But he agreed that either of our mothers would be thrilled with it, or any number of my friends. I may let this percolate for awhile. I'm not really ready to give it away. I like looking at it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

the Gnomes keep coming...

I can't seem to get away from the Gnomes. I had promised my son one once I finished the Christmas knitting, as he wanted a "room guardian, and someone to blame when things go missing... We were at the yarn store (Purgatory for him, the opposite for me), and in order to keep the sighing and foot dragging to a minimum, I told him he could pick out the colours for his Gnome, as well as the beard yarn. It's not like I have an extensive stash of fun fur type yarns at home, or any acrylic for that matter!
He chose the bright red and yellow combination, and wanted the sparkly black beard.

okkaaayyyy... I wasn't sure the black would make a good beard (it was something called "Chill" and had little pom poms as well a s sparkles and furry bits.) But it surprised me, and made a nice beard. The boy liked it, and that's what matters. Since these use up so little yarn, I have said I will make him another, alternating the red and yellow colours. Luckily, I didn't give a timeline on this - there are other things I want to make first!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

quickie projects

Time off over the holidays is funny. While it is technically time away from the office, it's not always down time, at least not at the beginning. The week BEFORE Christmas, I spent getting everything ready FOR Christmas, then for a couple of days AFTER Christmas, I spent doing nothing and enjoying it. On Boxing Day, my son and I never even got out of out jammies. Husband did the Boxing Day sales, so he had to be presentable. That's okay, I got a new flat screen TV for the bedroom, the kid got a new portable DVD player, and husband got a new vehicle. (The DVD player was to replace the onboard one we lost when we got rid of the Pathfinder. This portable one is the way to go.)

But after a day or so, I got my mojo back and cranked out a few things. First on the list was a new neckwarmer or "neckie" for the boy. Scarves are a pain for kids, and he loves the ease of just pulling these over his head. Coming into Christmas, he lost both of the neckies that were currently in rotation, so these needed replacement. He chose the acid green Cascade 220 (his ski jacket has some green in it), and then while I was in the mood, I made the black one for back up, and to try a different look.

The green starts with a 3x3 rib for a couple of inches, then I reduced to a 2x2 rib, all using a 4.5mm needle. TO finish the top, I knit a few rows of 2x2 using a 6.0mm needle. This flares it out a bit at the top, making it more comfortable under the chin. I started with the larger rib to have it fit across the chest a bit, for when the zipper doesn't get zipped all the way up.

After he wore the green one a few times (which he loves, by the way), I realized that the 3x3 rib wasn't really necessary, and kind of got in the way a bit. So I just used the 6.0mm needle at the beginning for a few rows, went down to a 4.0mm needle (I wanted it a touch tighter than the 4.5mm) and finished with the 6.0mm again. I like it, he likes it (but seems to prefer the green one right now), so all in all, a good couple of days knitting. I have more of the green and black, and will probably make a few extra of these to have around - they get lost rather easily, and you can't exactly put a tag in them.

And the husband was eyeing them with that "Can I get one of those as well?" look in his eyes, so I think this will be a good stash buster project. Totally mindless knitting.

In case anyone wants to know - I cast on 100 stitches for the 2x2 rib, 150 for the 3x3. This makes for a loose fitting neckie for a 10 year old, but the child hates anything tight around the neck. I would say you could go down a few stitches if you wanted it snugger, or certainly reduce the needle size.

Monday, January 04, 2010

um... hi!

I guess I went away for awhile... Actually, I never really physically left, but it seems my blogging mojo just took right off on me. Let me correct that - it wasn't just the writing of the blog, I didn't really read any either. Basically, I kind of ignored my computer for a few days... which became a week or more... and well, I'm back. Lots of reading to catch up on, it seems...
Sorely lacking in pictures, however. I never even took the camera out of the case on Christmas - how bad is that?

I'll start with the quick overview:

Christmas - fabulous. Everything we hoped for. We spent a fantastic Christmas Eve with friends, as we do every year, then got home and had a wonderful family Christmas morning, just the three of us. Relaxing, as we knew we were not due anywhere - they were all coming to us! And come they did - by around 3pm, we had a houseful, and it was great. More presents were exchanged, a very long table was set (I should have taken a picture of that - we sewers know what a treasure trove Fabricland can be - red organza printed with bronze snowflakes makes an amazing tablecloth for an antique wood table - and it cost almost nothing (I think it was around $4/metre, and I had 6 metres). 16 people sat down to dinner (including a Metro Cop in full uniform - my SIL made it in time for dinner, then had to scoot out again, as she is an inspector, and had some spokesman duties to perform. So cool to see her on the news that night!), and as much as I hate to brag (but isn't that what blogs are for?) dinner turned out great. two turkeys, all the fixings, pies, cakes, profiteroles and fruit salad. Yup, we stuffed ourselves. But the best part was spending the time with family and friends.
The rest of the time was spent doing stuff around the house, and with the kid - some great unplanned downtime was sorely needed by all. Sometimes my house was full of kids, laughing a shouting, sometimes, it was bizarrely quiet, (as some other mother got to enjoy the laughing and shouting) which meant I could work or as I did on one day - de-Christmas the place. It's mostly back to normal now.
I could talk about New Years Resolutions, but honestly? I don't make them. I hate to put the pressure on a certain time of year to make changes or hopes. I do what I can, when I can. I don't change my way of living my life just because midnight comes on a certain day. Plus, as a cottager and mom of a school age child, September always seems more like a New Year to me. We don't go north as much, and we're back into the routine of school.

There have been changes made around here - my car is no longer the newest in the driveway - the husband finished his lease with Nissan, and the buy-back kind of sucked, so instead, he now has a 2010 Honda Pilot, and we're all thrilled. It's a really nice ride, and I prefer driving it to his Pathfinder - the Pilot just seems like it drives smaller, if that makes any sense. The only problem is I have to get over my issues with Honda - they screwed around with me over my Civic, (which is why I now drive a Toyota), but hopefully, they're better with this one.

There has been a ton on knitting, sewing and other stuff too - but I'll save that for another post or two).