Tuesday, September 20, 2011

doomed...

Lately I have knitting startitis and a sort of knitters nastiness about wanting instant gratification and not having to work hard to get something I want. I go through these patches now and again (I have heard
tale that it is a common phenomenon amongst knitters, but it does not seem to be amongst the knitters I hang with so I must be the token ) where all I do is start new projects or dream about new projects
(especially projects above my skill level), or start and rip out projects, or generally hate the project I'm a being forced to work on (you would think at gun point the way I carry on!), and so nothing gets
finished and there is knitting strewn across my house.

I have also fallen off the stash reduction wagon in a huge way:

*    I bought the Bernat Thick & Quick for all those crazy cowls (my girlfriend ordered a purple one - well I might have told her to pick a color since she was getting one, but really what's the difference -
she's gonna love it and think she did indeed really need and want me to make it for her).
*    I ordered lovely hand-dyed yarn from katdry on Ravelry , whom I met during a visit to Wakefield, PQ at a local Farmers Market. Her gorgeous yarns had me smitten, simply smitten, from the get-go and the cardigan she was wearing was just the thing for my winter wardrobe, and so she dyed to order 4 skeins in a grey which I am picking up shortly - I simply can't wait! See what I mean about startitis?
*    I went to Fibrefest in Almonte, 2 weekends ago, and one of my favorite vendors was there, as usual, Julie & Vivianne Stewart of Fine Fibre Finds in Stittsville, ON (sadly no web page yet, so spotting them
free ranging in the wild is a real treat!). Julie & Vivianne un-ravel sweaters and other gently worn knitted garments no longer in service, and wash and re-skein the amazing yarns. These beautiful re-cycled
fibers are too much fun to pass up and so 4 skeins of a lovely blue-green-rust tweedy cashmere blend came home with me for a fraction of what it must cost in the stores. I love to re-cycle, re-use, and
re-purpose things, especially textiles and fibers, so I think Julie & Vivianne are amazing and should get more respect from local shops who profess to offer up un-usual and eco-friendly knitterly wares. Shouldn't re-cycled yarn fall into the category of un-usual and eco-friendly?? Anyway very good stuff these gals have indeed!
*    Next guild meeting is Vendors night - I'm doomed!
*    End of October is Creatif Festival in Toronto - that Susan and friend Lisa and I are going, and they are enablers of the highest order - I am double doomed!
       
In my defense I have knit from stash for the last 18 months, and my stash that is left is really not suitable for bigger projects like sweaters. It's all bits and pieces, odd balls of yarn, save a few bundles bought for specific projects and of course my sock yarn box (yes-it's a box full of sock yarn - what of it?). So when I go there to see what I have, I get frustrated because it's too much work to find a project that goes with what I have. It's good stuff for my charity knitting, and so I will continue to plug away at it for that purpose.

I haven't made as much headway on my WIP's as I would have liked, either this summer. I have made an executive decision last night at Guild when my friend Shelia confided she had taken her gorgeous but much too big, knitted T-shirt to the sewing machine for a re-fit. I have had a sweater vest that has sat in pieces all summer because I know it is too big, but I have no wish to rip out and re-do it. Simple - I'm going to seam it together on the machine and wear it with pride this winter! One down, many to go!

And that Laurie, Shelia and I went to the Richmond Fair on a re-con mission. That Laurie wanted to enter the knitting competition at the Fair so we decided to go have a look this year, and she and I have
committed to at least entering one piece next year (we think we can kick butt - our husbands think we're going to cause major grief and heartbreak amongst the rural knitting community).

I've charted my first (and almost last - you know I hate charts, right?)) knitted scarf, derived from the stitch pattern of the Mixt Cowl in the latest Weekend Knitter magazine. I made the short cowl as
specified in the pattern (of course you know I did - I'm obsessed with cowls, remember?), and liked the stitch pattern and wanted a skinny fall scarf in a lovely raspberry plum cotton blend from my stash, so I had to convert the pattern from in the round to flat (that Laurie made me do my own chart and I almost died - she's a task-master that one - don't say I didn't warn you). Took me 5 tries to chart it and even more to figure out why my swatches weren't working. But it is finally ticking along and just right for a small take-along project. Probably took me longer to chart than it will to knit the darn thing!

I finished one sock - not a pair; just the one. Sigh..... I could just slap myself sometimes.

Knit on....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

He was my good boy...

Aug 5th, 2011. Our beloved Sugar, 19.5 yrs old.
We miss our sweet little furry face.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Make me stop!

Make me stop! Please! (ok maybe not this is too much fun!)

I can't stop crocheting these cowls! So. Very. Addictive. I keep digging through my stash yarn and hours later, look Ma!

Possibly the need for some small, but instant, gratification is the reason behind this prolific pile. All my projects are taking too long, and nothing is coming off the needles in a hurry. I needed some FO's in the worst of ways, and walking through Michael's to pick up picture frames, DD2 and I spotted this cowl from Lion Brand, and so it began.

I followed the first cowl pattern to the letter, then immediately started modifying the stitch counts and the stitch patterns for the next 3 cowls. DD2 has claimed a pale pink, and DD1 and I will fight over the chartreuse green and the charcoal, all by Red Heart. A creamy tweed is born of 3 fingering and sport weights lying in my stash, held together throughout, I suspect DD1 will snag that one. I am rooting through the rest of my stash to see what is suitable for more. I just can't help it!

Knit on.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We have had a few weeks of wet, bumpy roads around our house _ I swear thre is a little black cloud over our head, so don"t get too close, cause you'll get wet!

Purl and I have quarreled again, and this time I have decided that she is just too heavy for me to manage inside tight turns, and so I have made the difficult decisionnot to ride her for a while. It was a very hard decision for me to ome to, Purl the ultimate Harley grrrl, being my dream bike, but at the end of the day riding safely is the first priority, riding a Harley is second. So I will I will find another bike to fill the void. I am sad, but have learned a great deal from her about the wondrous effect of a low center of gravity (as women it is usually not a desirable quality, but apparently it is a good thing in a motorbike!), and about riding in general. The time spent with Purl has not been wasted.

The G-man has also had his fair share, having been seriously rear-ended on his way to work a few weeks back. Physio and massage fill his weeks, and he is lamenting the multiple annoyances of having to deal with insurance companies, body shops, the medical community and, most importantly, the interruption of his golf season!

Happily my Kayla Shrug is well underway, the back is complete. It is surprisingly slow, even for me, who is not a quick knitter at the best of times, and I am finding the pima cotton yarn slippery and the thick and thin nature of it adds to the speed issues as the transition of pulling the yarn through each loop is slower than with a smooth yarn. Still I like the effect the thick and thin brings to the garment and the drape is fluid, and the hand just lovely to work with. So despite the lack of speedy knitting, I am very much enjoying the slow but steady progress. The next step is to pick and knit 200 plus stitches, which should drive me well over the edge. But once that is done, it will be straight single knit purl ribbing for miles and miles.

Last Saturday I went to my friend Laurie's house to her Knit-In, and we had a lovely time, gabbling away, knitting up a storm. One of the things I really like with this group is that we feel free to produce our various project problems for inspection and retrospection, and really have a good time working out the issues and coming up with ideas to solve the problem. We are all at various levels, with two working diligently on their Master Knitters, and this only adds to the interesting discussions we have over our knitting. I always learn so much from these amazing knitters!

I have had quite enough of knitting washcloths for a bit (it's a bit obsessive with me these washclothes) since the spring I have knit 25 of them in various colorways, as I plow through my substantial cotton stash; I think will be quite enough for various little hostess gifts for a while.

I have made little progress on my Plain Jane socks ( a pair is perpetually on the needles) but have managed to turn the heel, so the first one should be done soon enough. The second one, I am sure, will follow just as slowly.

I have made the decision to rip out my Citrine socklets. I'm not enjoying knitting the heel portion of the pattern, haven't for some time, and the knitting has stopped for more than 2 years, so it is ridiculous to have them still on the needles. Back to center pull balls it probably should go. The yarn is amazing, coming from Sanna as part of our Knit Tea Swap 4 several years back, and will be re-deployed into something else even more wonderful.

I have been thinking about mittens, having been catching up on my reading at Lene's blog, Dances With Wool. She was showing some amazing mittens, and I immediately thought how well Sanna=92s wool would be suited to such a project. I was even thinking that the cuff portion of the Citrine socks patt=
ern, which is without a doubt the most interesting part of the sock, would adapt to a lovely mitten cuff. Hummmmm...

This weekend we are off to a truck rodeo - a joint competition between the provincial truck enforcement officers and the best truck drivers, where the G-man is cranking a wrench to create the truck defects, judging truck inspections, and generally work his arse off putting them back together the right way! This year a number of officer wives are going to enjoy the evening festivites, and so hence, I will see my first truck rodeo ever! I have packed my Kayla Shrug and my never-ending socks to keep my hands busy for a few days.

In a few weeks we will spend a week at the cottage, during the mid-point of the summer. My intention is to bring only WIP knitting with me and see what can be completed before I return.

That is all for the moment.

Knit on....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

catching up!

I've unintentionally been away from my blog for another long spell. A dry spell perhaps, or too tired to say, but either way the result is the same. So a catch up is an order.

First and foremost: the family. Aside from some heart lurching moments with my mother and my aunt, who both became terribly ill within weeks of each other earlier this spring, all is stable, and the two matrons are recovering slowly but surely, much to our surprise and our great delight. DD1 is back to work ¾ time, and feeling pretty good most days. The fatigue is still her constant companion, but she pushes her endurance with yoga and now that the weather is improving, some lovely bicycle rides on her vintage style Electra around the neighborhood seems to be doing hera world of good. DD2 juggles job-hunting with part-time work, her bunny Artemis, and a nice new beau. And the G-man is travelling and working like a mad man, and seemingly quite happy about it.

Purl and I have started off another season, and are playing very nicely together. The first ride out was shaky for sure, but I remembered more than I forgot and after a few evening cruises around the neighborhood to get my bearings, I ventured out to the countryside and had a lovely and very satisfying ride last weekend. My biking pals have been more than supportive in their encouragement and understanding of my momentary stage fright, and as the riding season gets under way so do the plans for more training and cross-country tours. I made some equipment changes to Purl as well, and for the modest investment I had to make, I already see huge improvements in my handling issues. I began riding to work this week - getting up earlier (4:45am) and taking the long way home to avoid the heavy stop and go of rush hour traffic is a good way to ensure that I am sleeping like a rock at night!

And now the knitting. Which is also slow at the moment, as I have traded some of my former knitting time for more time spent in the gym over the past winter, and it is paying off! Still I've been working away at finishing things. Or ripping them out depending on my inclination. Either way the WIP pile is slowly shrinking. I've finished the Paton's Olive Cardigan which still needs to be sewn together. And some socks. And 3 sets of 8 dishcloths (part of my on-going stash busting) finished. Another of the never-ending TV watching baby blankets is at the halfway mark, and should finish up quickly now that I'm on the decrease side. I made 3 of the very trendy Katia scarves with the crocheted looking loops, and gave one to my housekeeper who apparently took an instant liking to it! I am working on something new - Haku silk wrapped wire yarn, from Rose Haven in Picton, ON to be worked with some wool, lightly felted after knitting, for a light and airy and artist summer scarf.

And my dear friend Katester (on Ravelry) and I went to the spring Creatif Festival in Mississauga, ON earlier this spring and spent a lovely afternoon wandering the mostly sewing and paper craft vendors. The yarn shop vendors were definitely an exception this year, with only two or three in attendance. I did however buy a few gorgeous skeins of steel grey Americo Pima Cotton to make the Kayla Shrug from Wendy at the Unwind Yarn House. Simply devine! I think I will cast on shortly (after I find my ball winder!) for that little beauty.

So there you have it. A major catch up. Now that summer is here I make no promises as to when you\ll heat from me next. Blogging takes a serious backseat to summer weather (and life - which is apperently not quite done messing with me yet!) and the chance to be outdoors. We ahve precious little summer time as it is in this end of the province and I want to take full advantage of it every opportunity I can get!

Knit on......

Monday, February 21, 2011

No February Blahs!

I think I just found a potentially awesome pattern http://knitty.com/ISSUEw11/PATTconstantine.php?printOption=printImages  for some Cascade that I am having over-dyed from dusty rose to something in the dark rusty brown family.

The actual color will be a bit of a surprise, since I have handed  the yarn over to my good friend and Sunday knitting pal, Yvieknits, who has become renowned amongst our knitting community for her technical expertise in dyeing yarns. She truly has an eye for color and I trust her completely in this and can't wait to see what she does with my impulse yarn purchase!

While I waited for the yarn to be processed (I am in no hurry since I have 2 jackets to knit, a sweater to seam, a cardi-wrap and a vest to finish first), I was starting to keep an eye out for a suitable jacket pattern for the weight of this yarn, and this popped up on Knitty.com! How wonderful is this, a cape and yet not quite a cape! I love it!

Knit on...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February! Where? When?

January slid by, and here it is mid-February already which has caught me completely by surprise! I have been so wrapped up in work, coughs and colds, and weekend jaunts to Quebec and Toronto, that I barely noticed the weeks slipping by on the calendar.

But in between all of that I have been knitting and seeing good progress. The Regia Hand-Dyed Effects socks are finished, and I love the way they turned out! And I was able to successfully make them very matchy-matchy which suits my Libra need for all things equal! You may recall the yarn was a lovely gift from Laurie and Lyse when I was still on crutches and unable to take the road trip to Janie H. Knits last fall, so that makes these socks that much more special!

And I am in the home stretch for the Ottawa Area Ravelers UFO-KAL. I had a few things on the UFO list - the Regia socks were one such project which I finished quickly both because I wanted to see how the yarn would turn out and because it would be incentive to move quickly onto the next UFO project. Then I picked back up the Olive Cardigan from Patons Falling For You pattern book and was pleased to see I was further along than I thought! So now all the pieces are complete and are blocking. All that remains is to sew the sides seams and add the collar and it will be done. I am aiming for total completion this weekend and hoping it fits as I have played with the sizing a bit, knitting up the larger size on smaller needles as I am somewhere in between the two sizes!

In between UFO's, I had some lovely Kroy sock yarn which was an impulse buy some time ago and so I pulled it from stash and whipped up another beret, which I am quite pleased with. I have 2 ½  balls left so I am mulling over gloves, cowl, light scarf or something to go with the beret. A little scarf seems to be winning out, since I could wear this set more into spring it is so lightweight. I am checking my books for a good candidate!

Next up after the Olive Cardigan for the YFO-KAL is to finish my Americo Cardi-Wrap. I definitely want it for spring, and have enough time to get it done, maybe even in time for the UFO-KAL deadline. Only a few inches of front section remain and the sleeves. No seaming required, so blocking will make this a speedy finish.

In other news, the leg continues to mend well, progress is slow but steady! The tibia is confirmed completely solid once again (my X-ray is very cool with all the hardware, at least to me!), and all that remains is to coax the tendons and muscles to ignore the hardware and move smoothly as I practice strutting my stuff! I still have a slight limp on cold days, but otherwise it is becoming much less obvious that I was ever injured, even when I wear heels! Purl has been fully repaired, sporting new handlebars and is ready for her spring ride as soon as the weather and roads permit.

And DD1 is marking her 3rd month of official remission and she is back to work part-time and feeling quite good over-all. We are all looking forward to celebrating her 1st year transplant-versary in mid-March! Hard to believe it's been a whole year - and what a year it was!

All for now. I'll be back soon. Knit on..