Monday, May 31, 2010

I finally managed it!

A provisional seam that unzips as I sew it up!

I've crocheted innumerable provisional seams, and this is the first time it unzips properly.

I just wonder how the hell I did it...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the Red Green sweater grows...

I've finished the body of the Red Green Sweater, and cut the steeks - Brenda was right, it really takes on the shape of a sweater!
Now I need to graft the shoulders, sew down the steeks and pick up and knit the neckline and sleeves.
I really love this sweater so far - as a knitter who's not that fond of purling, the tube construction and cutting of steeks appeals to me for mindless knitting But as someone who needs something more sometimes, this sweater's construction is also intriguing. It's a great blend.
I've got a couple of other projects on the go, plus the acrylic sweater. I just have to wait for Sue to tell me if she wants the beige tweedy one or the black and white marled. I'll make her one, and give her back to other - her sister can find someone to finish it if she wants.
Acrylic knitting during a heat wave. It's a good thing I like Sue...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ow, ow, OWWWW!!

Knitting was seriously reduced this weekend. It started out fine, but then there was a small mishap. It involved, the hammock (which is PERFECT, by the way...), some grommets, a hammer, a cement pad, and unfortunately, my finger. My index finger - the one over which I tension the wool.

I had just about finished the grommets - I was on the third last one, when I missed slightly, and crushed the tip of my right index finger. Now, I'm left handed (hence the reason the hammer was being held in my left hand), but still. It's amazing how much I need my right index finger. And how much it hurts when you bump it after trying to crush it. Luckily, my husband was going into town and he got me a splint to cushion it.

These pictures, (taken 3 days after the fact) don't even come close to showing the extent of the bruising. It's still swollen, and only sort of bends.

While I hit it on the nail side, the bruising shows quite well on the pad side - and it's much more purple that this shows.

But... the hammock. We finished it - my 16 year old nephew finished the grommeting for me, we tied on the strings, and hung it up. The spot we chose is perfect - it just fits. However, we screwed in the hooks too high, and when we attempted to relocate them, the grand old oaks we chose decided not to give up the hooks, and we snapped them off. We will have to get a couple more, and next time we go north, we're set. Pictures will follow at that time.

One thing I discovered, though. When you crush your index finger, and then later, without thinking, try to slap a mosquito, thereby smacking the newly crushed finger, you tend to run outside (away from kid's ears) to dance around grabbing your very sore hand, saying some indelicate words. Next time I do this, I will check that the neighbours don't have people over.
The indelicate words were followed with "Oh, hi. I'm Sandra. Sorry about that, crushed my finger, and tried to slap a mosquito. I'm usually less vocal. Enjoy your cocktails..."

Friday, May 21, 2010

we interrupt our regularly scheduled knitting...

for this: yes, it's acrylic. yes, it's a Mary Maxim pattern. Yes, it's the last thing you (or I, for that matter) ever expected to see on this blog, or in my hands.

But I will be knitting it.

My friend Sue (she who will receive the Red Green Sweater) just lost her Mom last week. It was a difficult relationship, but that's beside the point. It's her MOM. And her Mom was making her one of these sweaters. Sue has asked if I would finish it for her, and she'd pay me for my time. Please. There will be no payment. And there will be acrylic knitting.

Because it's Sue.

(we just have to determine which sweater she wants - the black and white marled, or the beige tweed. I hoping for the tweed - it, at least, has 20% wool.)
She also gave me two green garbage bags of yarn and needles and patterns that were her Mom's. I will talk to her about what she would like to see done with it. At the very least, it will be donated to a good cause, but I think I will knit a few things up for her Mom's church. I mean, really. It's what it was going to be anyway. And for a good cause, I can put aside acrylic issues.

Because it's Sue.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I feel a little like Tippi Hendren...

You remember Tippi? From The Birds? (Short synopsis - birds start stalking and attacking people in a small town...)

The difference is that I'm being stalked by squirrels. (AlisonH should love this...)

Yesterday morning I go out for the newspaper. It's at the foot of the driveway, so I have to walk by the cars. I get close and I hear scrabbling - there's a squirrel sitting on the hood of my car! He sees me, and starts backing towards the windshield. I start making noises to get him off (I just don't want him on my car...) and he starts going around the side, hanging onto the weatherstripping around the windows. I finally bang the newspaper on the trunk, and he jumps off, but sits in the garden looking at me. Strange.

I go inside, and a few minutes later, go into the dining room to get something. There are two squirrels hanging onto the screen on the window! Looking in at me. I bang on the window to get them off (which the eventually do, reluctantly.) Stranger.

I go about my morning business - coffee, newspaper,breakfast, lunches, and go upstairs to get dressed and wake up the boys so they can get going on their day.

I grab my purse, laptop, coffee and bag and go out to my car. I stop short at the door, as there are two of the rodents sitting on my lawn, just looking at me. Now I'm totally creeped out! I've never had this happen before. We have lots of squirrels around since we have lots of trees, but they normally are IN the trees, and leave us alone. I get into my car and leave, but they were still there, looking at the house when I drove off.

I asked my husband if he noticed anything strange when he and the boy left for school, and he said no. When I told him what happened, he just laughed.

But I'm keeping an eye on the little rodents...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

so close to steeking...

The Red Green Sweater grows. I've got about another inch of knitting, then I'll sew and cut the steeks.

I'm looking forward to it, and would like to get it done this week, so I can take it to the cottage for the long weekend and be able to work on the sleeves.

Then again, it's not like I don't have other projects I can take with me if this isn't ready...

Monday, May 17, 2010

things I need to stop saying, number 423

"Oh, no need to BUY a hammock, I can make one myself!"

Okay, I can, but geez, that was a lot of work. I have to remember that when my Dad died, not only did I lose him, I lost access to one of his companies - the one with the industrial sewing machines and cutting tables. I used to go there when I was making curtains and stuff and spread everything out, as well as use the machines with tons of space to the side and back - eliminating this:
This is my little home machine, with a 3 metre by 1.5 metre large hammock stuffed around it. I'm sewing a seam down the middle of the length here, trying to sandwich a polyester quilt batt between 2 layers of thick solar treated canvas. Poor machine! It handled the task, but man, it was hard. The seams aren't exactly straight, but really, it's a cottage outdoor hammock! Anyone who professes a problem with a wonky seam will be kindly told to get one's butt off the hammock. You diss the hammock, you lose all access. I already know the location - my husband and I did some scouting last time we were up, and we think we've got the perfect place - a view of the lake, some shade, and a nice breeze. I've already got the spreader bars ready - Small issue of the spreader bars being slightly wider than the actual hammock, but no biggie. We can cut that down. Those hanging lines will tie through some grommets:

We'll apply the grommets this weekend at the cottage, since I have no time left this week. Then it's just a matter of tying the spreader bars on, hanging it, and grabbing my book and a pillow! I hope the weather co-operates...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

progress made

The Red Green Sweater continues. I've added the sleeve steeks, and am approaching the neckline steek. It's really a genius construction - especially for those of us that not as enamoured with the purl stitch as with the knit stitch. It's basically a big tube, with strategic steeks placed here and there to be addressed later.

I love this - the yarn is fairly rustic and rough, but from experience, I know it softens up with a wash, so I have no worries about it. But knitting it up - it has almost a crisp hand to it, making it nice to knit with. And I love the colour. Red is notoriously hard to photograph correctly - in reality, it's not quite this bright, but has more of a blue undertone - I love it, and I know Sue will.

It's perfect knitting for me right now - reasonably mindless with occasional measuring. I've got at least another week where things are muddling my brain, so this will be my project of choice for that time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Really? In May?

This is what greeted me as I went out for the newspaper on Sunday morning:
Admittedly, it didn't stick around very long, but still! Not something my brain was ready for before coffee...
I mean, a month ago, it was so warm, the kids were swimming in the lake!
The day did improve - my son got back from his buddy's place and gave me a big hug, and some handmade Mother's Day gifts, my in-laws came for dinner, and I talked to my Mom in Florida - it was in the 90F range, while I was staring at snow. Surreal. She'll be home in a few weeks, and we'll have a Mom Day celebration then.

It was kind of strange having my husband around - his poker weekend got shifted back a week, so next weekend, my son and I will go on our annual forest hike. (Hopefully the weather will be a little more conducive to outdoor activities.)

I've been working away on my Red Green Sweater - I'm at the "11 inches of mindless stockinette" part, so it's good knitting for me right now - my brain is working overtime on other things, so following a chart would not be a good thing right now.

And those "other things" might get in the way of blogging for the next little while, so if I'm not around as much as usual, no worries, I'm still here. Just distracted by things.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I'm so proud!

This morning - Saturday morning - our final basketball tournament. Two games, 8am and 10am. And the last games my son will play in this age group. He's been a a part of this league since he was 4 - starting in the development programme (Little Dribblers), and the 7-10 age group. Next year, he goes up to the 11-14 year old group, and starts over as the "newbie" as he calls it. But this day, this day, he and his teammates made this rookie coach proud and played two of the best games I've ever seen them play, and took home the gold. It was well worth all the lost knitting time for me. And to top it off, they had a distance shooting competition for the kids while getting set up for the prizes, and the Boy takes home first prize in that, too!
But the best for me was how he played - he was a TEAM player. He played hard, but he made sure every kid on his shift got the ball. I couldn't have asked for more.
Now, I'm alone in the house - the kid is sleeping over at a friend's, and my husband is at his high school reunion. I've got some takeout sushi for dinner, and I'm sure I can find something to watch on TV while I knit. It's a good day, and it's not even Mother's Day yet!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

the sweater has a name!

Thanks to Brenda, my Red Elizabeth Zimmerman will be forever known as the Red Green Sweater! (I think you have to be Canadian to really get why...)

It's perfect! Thanks, Brenda!

And some random thoughts...

The missing green yarn has not yet showed up. Of course, having done nothing to facilitate it showing up, I guess I'm depending on it jumping up onto the kitchen table while I'm at work for me to find it when I get home. I will find it eventually, but I may have to do some of the legwork myself, rather than depending on it...

I'm totally addicted to this. Angry Birds on my iPod Touch. I thought I was doing well, but was stuck on a level. Next thing I know, my 11 year old picks it up, and not only clears the level that stumped me, but continues to clear the next 18 levels. Yes, 18 levels. If I didn't love him so much, he'd be in big trouble right about now.

Mother's Day is this weekend, and my husband will be home. This is notable as it will be the first time since I actually became a Mom that he will be around. (Between fishing and poker weekends, he's always been away, and yes, I knew this going in. We debated writing it into our wedding vows...) But it's also the first time in decades that he will actually see his own Mom on Mother's Day. We have invited his parents for dinner on Sunday, with the caveat that it's cleared with the other kids (he's one of 5 kids). They come for dinner fairly often - we like to cook and they don't so it works out. But his sister is already throwing out the "let's get together and have Chinese takeout for lunch" option (done every. single. year.) that I always have to go to in his absence. (My Mom is always in Florida this time of year, so it's a phone call, handmade card, and flowers delivered, plus the promise of planting her hanging baskets when she gets back). I'm curious to see what comes of this - will it be lunch with everyone (and the resulting drama that goes with it)... or a nice dinner at our place? Stay tuned.

I've picked up a wicked cough. Bad enough to cause pain (feels like I've been punched in the chest), and bad enough that I'm a pariah at work. No one wants to sit near me in meetings. The upside to this is I get to skip a lot of meetings this week! Considering how mind numbing some of these meetings can be, it's not all bad. Plus, I get a lot more done, now that I'm not stuck in meetings all day... But according to the doctor, it's not bad enough to stay home. My lungs are clear, and it's what they're calling "the 100 day cough". I'm not impressed.

We're doing a gardening exchange at work. Since it's the time when people start thinning or dividing their perennials, we're all bringing in the extra and trading. It's a pretty cool idea. There's about 15 people interested, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's out there. I myself am dividing up some day lilies, some lilies of the valley, some periwinkle, some goutweed (much prettier than it sounds), some lamium, and possibly some oriental poppies. There's a couple of other ground covers I will bring in as well.

The Red Green sweater is perfect knitting right now - I'm on the 11 inches of stockinette section, so I don't have to think about it - I just knit.

I'm being drawn to my sewing room. I think it's the weather - every time the seasons change, I feel the need to sew new things. I want to get the cottage hammock done before the long weekend, plus I have some great bag patterns I want to try, and then there's some summer skirts and tops...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I'll show that sweater who's boss...

That Green sweater can just go ahead and sit there until the remaining yarn decides to show it's face. (And yes, I know the benefits of keeping all project yarn together in one place. But this time, I didn't. Sue me.)

Not only CAN I knit other things, I have been.

I've started the Elizabeth Zimmerman Green, now Red Sweater:
And that pink/brown super soft Punta Yarns Merisoft merino just called my name, so I started a triangular scarf. It's loosely based on a little thing I saw over at Brooklyn Tweed - Jared Flood made a similar little triangular thing. It's easy, it's mindless, and it's so soft.

I think it will be perfect for my Mom.

And yes, I have left the green sweater out in full view. It can suffer, seeing me knit everything else, and knowing it will not get finished until the remaining yarn shows up.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I AM an idiot... (or just disorganized)

I've torn the house apart (sort of). I'm hoping I left it at the cottage. (doubt it).

What is IT? you ask?

IT is a ball and a half of Lime Green Rowan Yorkshire Tweed. The amount I need to finish this sweater.
I have 1 ball that I can find, which would finish one sleeve to the length I want. But that leaves the other sleeve, as well as the front placket and neck edging. I know there is another ball as well as some partials. I just don't know where.
Fine. It's too warm for this sweater now, anyway, so it can just sit there and mock me. Go ahead! Mock away! I can knit other things, you know! I don't need you!
But damn it, I really wanted to finish this...