Friday, July 30, 2010

Lucky made me do it!

I'm a knitter. I can crochet, but mostly just the basics - crab stitch edging and such. I have crocheted scarves - usually when Lucky gives me a pattern or a kit. I've even been know to buy an Interweave Crochet magazine now and then.

Lucky and I are both in down times at work - she because it's the natural down time in her industry, me because of the situation of the buy out and subsequent impending loss of my job. We have been emailing back and forth, and she mentioned the Orphan scarf pattern in the Summer 2009 Interweave Crochet. A magazine I happen to have. So I looked, and liked. I asked her a few technical questions, and here's where I am this morning: This is after ripping back 6 inches I crocheted at the boy's baseball game last night and switched to a larger hook.

It doesn't look like much at first - it's got that cramped crochet look, but a little tug, and voila! Pure prettiness!
It used orphan balls of sock weight wool, and is really lovely. I can see a few of these, maybe.

Dare I say it? I'm hooked...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I sucked it up, and admittedly, only knit on this when in air conditioning, but I finished Red Green! As much as I tried, this sweater just was not cottage beach knitting. A lap full of very warm wool is not my idea of idyllic cottage time.

(I CANNOT get this red to photograph correctly. It does not have the pink tones that my camera insists on picking up. I tried against any number of backgrounds around my house, and probably freaked out a few dog walkers, dragging and draping this sweater over anything!)
(on top of some of my hostas - wrong colour)

(on our deck steps - wrong colour)

(against a fence - wrong colour)
(on my dark grey car - better, but still not right)

I worked a little bit on it last weekend up north while sitting near a fan, and when I got into the car on Sunday night to come home, I measured and found that I had about 4 inches of sleeve. That was accomplished during the drive, the hem was sewn yesterday, and voila!

blocked and drying in my kitchen - best colour representation, but still not completely right - it's still showing as too pink here.

The Briggs and Little Yarn softened up a lot, ans B&L is wont to do. Once dry, I just have to pick the closures, and I'm still leaning towards pewter clasps - I'll have to get over to Needles and Knits to check out their selection. I love this pattern. Really love it, steeks and all.

While I have tons of scarves and socks and other small projects on the go, I still like having a sweater project available. Whether I make another one of these (denim blue, anyone??) I may make a Liesl first. I have a hankering for a lacy cardigan...

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Interweave

I normally don't check out the sneak peeks of magazines - I usually find them on stand, flip though and in most cases (Interweave and VK), buy them, or in some cases (Knitters, Knit 'n Style) put them back with a shudder.
But I saw some interesting posts about the Interweave preview, so I checked it out.
There will be no flipping of pages here, I will simply buy it, mostly for these patterns:

Off to check prices on LB stainless steel yarn...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

starting anew...

Well, the Spindrift scarf went to frog heaven, (too bad, I love that Misti Alpaca...) and I dug around the stash to find something else. I came up with a wonderfully soft charcoal mohair. I didn't have enough for a Spindrift Scarf, but the Emperor's New Scarf would be perfect. And so it begins. The white waste yarn will be pulled and you finish around the resulting holes with a contrasting yarn. Instead of contrasting, I think I will use the same mohair, but string some fabulous glass beads on it to add that depth and sparkle.

Lucy Neatby's brain must be fascinating. You really just have to trust her patterns, and follow blindly for the first round or so, then they make sense.

This will be a Christmas gift for someone on my list. It seems to be shaping up as the Christmas of scarves this year. This is not a bad thing - scarves are great summer knitting - no huge pile of wool in the lap.

Speaking of which, I do still attack the Red Green Sweater - I'm so close to the end that I just want to finish it so I can soak it and watch the yarn soften and bloom. Then it's picking out the closures and done. I've got my eye on a few more sweaters I want to make once this is done.

And just to show what else is going on around the house: Green beans, fresh from the garden. Picked, washed and steamed within 15 minutes. So yummy...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

love the pattern, but...

I'm not sure about the yarn choice. Don't get me wrong, the Misti Alpaca is delicious, but I'm not sure this colourway is working for this pattern. It kind of reminds me of an acrylic granny square afghan from the seventies. (And we all know my feelings about acrylic...)
I may keep going, but I'm not sure. I think this pattern needs a semi solid or longer colour runs. So I may trade it out for one of these. Noro sock yarn or Fame Trend. Both of them have significantly longer colour runs than the Misti Alpaca, so they may work just fine.
ETA - the Misti Alpaca has been ripped out, and nothing new has been cast on. I've also got a similar Neatby pattern - the Emperor's New Scarf, and that one is grabbing my attention right now. I just need to figure out which yarn to use...

Friday, July 16, 2010

used up all my knitting in the last post...

I showed everything I'm currently working on in the last post. (except some socks and the crochet bag I've got on the go...)

I seem to be at lose ends lately. I know it's because of the work situation and the uncertainty that revolves around it. Plus it's hard to say goodbye to such a great job situation. I'm staying around a bit longer - at least through to mid September - on contract, and we'll see what happens after that. I'm hot and heavy on the job search, and hoping to find something even closer to home, but we'll see.

We have been cleaning out sample drawers at work, which means my card making supplies have been increased! (We pile everything out and pick out what we want.) We dug out a few Japanese jewelry making kits, which were automatically given to me: (they know me so well...). Thankfully, the instructions are well diagrammed, as my Japanese character reading isn't so good. A few false starts, but I ended up with this:
It's quite pretty and very comfortable to wear, and I have enough of my own crystals that I could make more of them. Christmas presents perhaps?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

too hot for a lapful of wool...

The Red Green Sweater is languishing, so close to the finish line, but I cannot face a lapful of wool while I finish the second sleeve. Of course, once the sleeve is done, the sweater is done, but still, we're talking about a lapful of WOOL! This is how far I got with 3 skeins of the 6 I have. I can probably get another red sweater, in a smaller size with slimmer sleeves.
This red is notoriously hard to photograph. It's not this bright, and has a bluer undertone than shows here.So I've been amusing myself with scarves. There was the first ruffled scarf, and another started right after in Fiber Natura - a blend of merino, silk and linen (odd, I know, but still delicious). Then Carol went and showed off her Spindrift scarf. And I fell in love. I had to have the pattern. (You can ask Lucky - I emailed her a couple of times about it...) And I do. and I've started one, using some Misti Alpaca. It's a good thing I can commit to some things (my husband...) because I sure as hell can't commit to knitting projects...

Monday, July 12, 2010

another bird post

While we were at the cottage, we heard something. We knew the sound, but it was closer than it usually is.

Since it was early morning, there wasn't a lot of action around our place or the neighbours - the kids that usually run back and forth were still asleep.

So I grabbed my camera, and braved the mosquitoes, and saw this:
a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, looking for breakfast.

They were only about 2 metres (or less) off the ground, in a group of trees between out place and the neighbours. I had to stand in some trees to get this close, which meant the mosquitoes feasted on me, while the neighbour was on his deck, also taking pictures. (You can see his deck in the background). Although he was safer from the skitters, I ended up with the closer shots. We're still not sure who came out ahead on that one!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

that's why I'm being dive bombed!

Ever since we got back from the cottage, it seems there has been a robin near the front door. Going in or out, she was dive bombing us, seemingly annoyed.
Well sure, if someone kept coming that close to my nursery, I'd be pretty pissed as well...

Had we been home on the weekend and noticed the build, we gently would have dissuaded her, and moved the stuff (if possible) to a better place. She's going to be pissed at us, and I'm not going to be too happy with her squawking everytime I go in or out. This is our main entrance, so there's no option for us to use another door - the sliders to the deck aren't lockable from the outside.

Oh well. as long as we're careful, things should work out. If I can get a picutre of the inside without stressing the Mom Robin, I will, but her safety and peace of mind has to come first.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

ruffled neck scarf

As I have mentioned, Needles very kindly sent me an assortment of Churchmouse knitting patterns. My favourite one right from the get-go was the Koigu neck ruffle. I was looking for a simple pattern for travel and talking - one that did not require a lot of attention. (Knitting in a group whilst imbibing margaritas or beer demands stockinette stitch at most.
Instead of Koigu, I used some Dream In Colour Smooshy that I had on hand.
It knit up quickly, however I knew it would need the recommended steaming - the ruffles were curly and tight, and I wanted them a little more flowy. I was also worried that I made it too short - it didn't seem long enough to tie around the neck, but I thought I'd be able to get away with a great pin as a closure.
I have got to learn - never judge a knitted piece until it's blocked or steamed.
The ruffles relaxed and flowed. The scarf itself grew to the perfect length for a one tie neck scarf.

(ignore the unsewn in ends - I've lost my little kit with all my darning needles!)

And while wearing a wool scarf close to the neck in the middle of a heat wave was uncomfortable, it showed me that I need to make more of these. And I am.

Monday, July 05, 2010

I'm back!

Sorry for the silence - I took a 4 day weekend, as did my husband, so we headed to the land of no computers or cell phone reception - the cottage.
I did some knitting of course, but have yet to take pictures - the ruffled scarf is done, but needs to be steamed - I think I'll do a before and after shot of this process. I love this Churchmouse pattern - very easy and mindless, nice and small, and so pretty. Great cottage knitting.
Red Green continues - all I have left is half a sleeve, and it looks like I will just barely have to dip into the fourth of the the six skeins that I have. This leads me to believe that with some judicious tailoring and sizing, I can get another red sweater out of the remaining wool. ( I ordered 6 of each colour as that is what the pattern recommended, however, I wonder if the Briggs and Little skeins are much larger, as I'm using just barely over half of what I ordered.)I'll definitely make this sweater numerous times, which is good, because I have blue and cream wool for it!
The other thing going on is that I am in negotiations with the new owners of my company. They want me to stay on for a whole as part of the transition team, so we're working out some contract details. We haven't finalized everything, but I can say that there are 3 day work weeks in my July future! Mondays and Fridays at home, which is a huge bonus, for me, my son and my husband.How long I actually stay is still up for debate - I don't see it as being long term, but it does give me a financial cushion while I continue the job hunt.