Saturday, December 19, 2009

Concentration has gone all to .....

Here I am right where I did not want to be. The Saturday before Christmas and Michael's vest is not finished. My whole knitting plan has gone out of the window....sigh
I am not happy with the steek treatment on his sweater and I am trying to soldier on. My mother has literally been ringing God's doorbell this week and that last minute decided not to move in. The emotional upheaval has been astronomical. I have a stiff neck and a frozen shoulder which makes knitting hard also.
My shopping is not finished. Baking isn't going to happen. The house looks like a tip and I have laundry to do. Tomorrow is back to the hospital to visit with Mummy. Today I have to go to the mall "the minute it opens" in the hopes of avoiding the insanity that is Christmas shopping. My budget is shot all to ---. No credit cards to fall back on so I am trying to figure out how to stretch a dollar even further. This is going to be creative.
I downloaded a pattern from Knit Picks for this bag. Only $1.99...ok $2.11 by the time tax was added. I see a stash reduction happening in the new year.
There are some interesting knit along projects for the the new year one is 10 shawls in 2010. Woo Hoo. Now there is a challenge. I will be working on the vest this afternoon in between laundry loads. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've been a bad, bad, blogger....

I know I haven't contributed anything here for AGES.... Part of it was because of a book deadline. The other was because I had so many projects on the go, I didn't have anything finished.

Happily, edits are done and I finished some projects. *G*

Remember last year I was all about the hats. This year...Cowls. I'm taking a class at SPUN for a crochet thrummed cowl. Doesn't that sound cool? It's on the 30th. Pictures to follow after.

This is called "Cowl at the Moon" ( I love the elegant swoop around the neck. It's all done with short rows that you cannot see. An easy knit ta ht I'll be doing a couple more of.

This is the Crofter's Cowl( and it's for my girlfriend at work. She loves that shade of gray.

This is one of a future pair of mittens. I really, really, detest fairisling but I loved this pattern. It's called Icewine Mitts. ( My tension on them sucks bad, but I don't care 'cause there for me.
This is my contribution to HAT SPARRING, a non-lethal form of HAT ATTACK. Personally I'd have changed the pattern so that the cables show on the flipped up bit and on the crown, but the rules are to knit as written.
Finally, my socks I started on the train to Montreal all those months ago. I love the colours on them and they are really cozy, especially since I made them extra tall.

So that's it for now. I'm actively working on the miles and miles of border to accompany my Steampunk shawl, and my Hubby's Skull sweater. Perhaps a couple more cowls and a pair of socks or two. Look for more pictures in the new year. ;-)

~Daughter #1

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I put it in a safe place....

How many times have I said that? My youngest has been known to reply with,"Mom, if you used the same place everytime this wouldn't happen." Bless him, he knows not where of he speaks. You can only get so much wool in the cedar chest.
Let me explain. Back in Connecticut last August I bought 2 balls of all the colours for this vest and four balls for background. Last night I finished ball #3 of the grey. You guessed it. While I was knitting someone must have broken into the house and put the other grey ball somewhere else. Cause it wasn't with the other colours. I looked in the closet, in all the knitting bags ( I have a plethora), top shelf in my den (which requires standing on a chair), behind my knitting chair, bed room closet, sock yarn stash, drawers in the secretary........panic is setting in...I know I bought four...I begin doubting myself....bad sign.
My mother always says,"If you have looked in the likely places and can't find something look in the unlikely places." Found it!!!! in a bag of bunnies I was going to dress for Christmas but will now be dressing for Easter. Don't ask... me I have no idea how it got there.

Half a motif to go and it will be time to crochet the steeks and then get out the Really Big Scissors. I will be sure to post pictures of the proceedure. Those who are faint of heart may look away.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Knitting with a hot needle

Pictures will be added later, suffice it to say I am knitting furiously on "THE" vest for Michael. I thought I had every thing planned out to the row and now it appears I need another motif to gain the required length. Grrr.

I have decided to crochet the steeks before cutting them. I have used the sewing machine in the past but want to try something new. I haven't even touched the double knitting scarf in over a week. Carls WMBSE is at the heel gusset on the second sock. woop-d-do

Once the vest is done the next big project will be the sweater for MOI out of the teal Galway wool. Me thinks Carl is looking for another sweater. The last one I knit him, an Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool, dk, with cables, was too short in the body and I have no more yarn to lengthen it. (weeping softly) So there it languishes on the shelf.

I found this picture and I am not sure if the needles are being stored this way. Perhaps it should be labled, "What to do with the straight needles you no longer use." I see a hot glue gun taking part in this project. I offer this for the crafty reader. If your into it I could donate an appaling amount of needles to the cause. Ugly little buggar isn't he? Not exactly something you could "kootch up" to.

Monday, November 23, 2009

You Know You Knit To Much When....

Last year Corinne gave me the Yarn Harlot's desk calendar. It has been a never ending source of enjoyment to me every morning when I come into work. Monday mornings are even more enjoyable because I get to read Saturday, Sunday AND Monday.
The following was Sat Nov 21, 2009
You know you knit to much when..... you realize that you are planning attendance at holiday parties based not on obligation or whether you think they will be fun, but on whether you can knit there. True so true. Cracked me right up!

Friday, November 20, 2009

In the home stretch...

One disadvantage to knitting in the round with steeks is this. I design on the fly. That means that although I make up a pattern it is subject to change at any time. Knitting the whole vest with steeks means that if something doesn't measure up, a colour combination or a design, I have a helluva lot of stitched to ripppp out. However it is nice not having to purl stranded. In the end a hard call.

I had a chance to measure it up to my son's back last weekend and I think we are going to fine with the fit. I really do not want him to see this until it is finished. It is starting to look like a tapestry. He is very conservative and I am a little concerned it will be too bright for him. The rib around the V-neck and the armholes will tone it down. (I hope)

The WMBSE are moving along as you can see. I started the rib whilst standing in the "flu shot" line the other night at the local school. One young lad was quite fascinated and kept watching me out the corner of his eye. Once upon a time I wouldn't have though of a thing of it and would have chatted him up but our insular society has everyone so afraid to speak to strangers. I let the moment go by. I didn't want some mother after me.

The "tubey" thing came in my last order from Knit Pics. It was very cheap and actually there were 2 in the pack. It is made of heavy paper so I don't have to worry about "cutting" the wool. It is great for keeping the extra needle and a crochet hook ( just in case I drop a stitch) all together with the yarn.

Finally I have the first figure finished on the Peace Scarf. I have about 5 rows of just straight knitting before I start the next design. I really wish I had picked yarn that had a more pronounced colour definition. I can only knit on this by a bright light.

Me thinks my mother is not going to get the tapestry bag for Christmas. I really wanted to enjoy that knit and hate to be "under the gun" or as is said, "Knitting with a hot needle." I think I will go with the Jared Flood Mittens that were on the cover of Vogue last year. I was going to knit them before but was distracted. Who me? I will have to read the pattern over carefully as I have NO confidence in Vogue patterns anymore. The moratorium is still in effect I am not buying their magazine anymore. Knitty and Twist Collective and Ravelry could very well put them out of business .... in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Knitting and War..what an oxymoron

During, what came to be known as the "Great Wars," posters like the above, encouraged everyone to "Knit for the Troops." The following pictures illustrate a time when everyone, not just women, picked up the needles and did their bit.

Baghdad 2009
If this doesn't warm your heart then nothing will.
Take a moment today to think of this knitter and his compatriots.

I think the Taliban needs to learn how to knit!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Up to my eyeballs in projects...

I regret that I have had to add word verification to "comments" after being "viagra spammed" on both my blogs. I know it is a pain in the pinny but it is the only way.

Sheesh I did it again.
1. Michael's Heritage Vest
2. Sophia's Sweetheart Sweater
3. Tapestry Bag: I would like to make one for Granny for Christmas.
4. Faery Ring Sweater: c'est pour moi

5. Carl's socks...don't really count...these days I always have socks on the needles
6. Molly's socks
7. edit to add the Global art Peace project scarf......yikes I forgot this one

Friday, November 6, 2009

Oh my goodness....

I got off work an hour early today. I have the best boss..EVER. I digress. Sooooooo.... I went to Little Red Mitten. I haven't been in about two weeks so I was due. Anyway, I promised Carl another pair of socks. This weekend I will cast on the WMDSCE (world's most boring sock colour ever). Grey
I bought the only copy if this in the shop.: I am waiting, to crack a page, until I am guaranteed uninterrupted perusal of this latest book of inspiration.
I bought 11 balls of Galway Irish Wool for this:The pattern is a free Ravelry download. Isn't that a lovely gift from the designer? This will be for me.... In this colourway...Heather teal # may now drool...

I have a new favourite designer:
Mary Scott Huff

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finally finished

Whew, it seemed to take forever to finish these socks. That is because I kept putting them aside to work on something else. OK next up is to finish the vest for Michael. I frogged about 5 rows or more, I would rather not remember, of the next pattern repeat. The colour combination wasn't working for me and I had a brain fart and began decreasing too drastically which would have meant the vest would have had spaghetti straps. All that aside I am back on track.

The next sock knitting will be to get back to Molly's socks. They are a lovely shade of purple and Koigu too.

Speaking of Koigu....I had bought a lot of it once before with the idea of using it in a vest for Michael. (see.... I had good intentions) This was a couple of years ago, anyway, I think I am going to use it in an ASJ for myself for spring. It is miles of garter stitch but great for TV watching. I started to swatch with a 3.25mm but it is too sloppy. I want firm with out it being a plank. I will try a 3mm next.

Still working on the scarf. I really can't knit this in the evening. it is hard to determine the dark brown parts from the dark blue parts.
Leave it to me to pick the hard stuff.

Geesh! I am pleased with the results so far. It isn't the Bayou Tapestry for crying out loud so I am cutting my self some slack. "beating back the perfectionist gene"

I bought my self the DVD about "Gustav Klimt." There is something about his work that appeals to me. It is the colour, composition and texture. I will probably end up not liking the artist, as often happens, but I do like the work. I am saving it for the next evening Carl has to work. I will let you know what I think of it then.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Global Art Project 2010

It is coming up to that time again and I have already started my offering for this go round. I know Carl will say I am nuts due to the "screw up" last time. The thought is what counts and I shall go ahead in spite of one disappointment. For those of you not familiar with the Global Art Project for Peace I direct you to their web site via this link. Unfortunately my "partner" last time did not follow up with her commitment. Katherine kindly called me several times from Arizona and one of the "Angels" sent me a lovely piece of art work . This time I am going to sign up as an Angel as well. Which will mean another project to think up.

I have been inspired to adapt a crochet lace shawl called "Children of the Earth" into a knitting pattern for a scarf. I will have to be sure and ask for a "partner" in the northern climes. Work is progressing nicely and I am very happy with the colour choices. This is my first double knitting project and yes I did purchase wool for it at the Little Red Mitten
Cool huh? Reversible knitting.

The same day I got a copy of the pattern for the ASJ. This is going to be a "stash buster" project and will commence once "THE" vest is finished. I have a plethora of Koigu.
Speaking off "THE" vest.....I am steeking...huge I theorize I can always trim them back. Speaking of the back.... Back to unwinding from a stressful day at the office.....knitting nirvana

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

She designed this too???

I made an interesting discovery today.

While cruising my favourites list on Ravelry and sighing over all the garments I want to make, I noticed that the same designer's name kept popping up. I checked out her pattern list and I had 5 of them in my favourites already! I had found her patterns in Vogue, Twist Collective and surfing patterns on Ravelry.

Her name is Mari Muinonen (rav-link) This is her blog, Madebymyself Unfortunately it's in Finnish but the pictures are pretty.

Here's a couple of my favourites...

Backbone Vest (Knit 1 Fall/Winter '08)

Vihervaara Huppari (Vogue Fall '08)

Sylvi (Twist Collective Winter 2008)

I want to make them all, but until I get some of my current WIP's finished I can't do it. Good news, I did finish 3 things! (pictures to come) and I'm back at work on Hubby's skull sweater, which will make him happy. There are a few more small projects that I'll play with inbetween, but no socks or big sweaters until I clear up all the little stuff. (we'll see how long I can last with that.)

~Daughter #1

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Woodstock Fleece Festival

Saturday was the best example of our fall days. The sky was blue with wispy clouds, the sun shone brightly and although the temp was 7C it didn't feel like it. I drove to Woodstock on the 401, aka Ontario's longest parking lot. Sure enough I had just passed an exit when 3 lanes of traffic came to a grinding stop. The highway dudes had decided to take advantage of the day and resurface 2 lanes ahead of me. I turned the radio to the golden oldies station and opened the window as the car was warming up from the glorious sunshine. Nothing was going to spoil my day. I got off at the next exit and made my way via country roads. Woodstock should only be only 40 minutes from London. It took a little longer, so what, I wasn't in a hurry.

Look at this cutie. I spotted him the minute I got out of the car. His fluffiness was beautiful in the sunshine.

The alpacas were humming to everyone

The eyelashes are like feathers. The teeth on these beasts are huge
A police car with lights flashing and sirens blaring went down the street which alarmed this one.

Sleeping in the sunshine...Angora bunnies
This little Angora Goat was bleating and stamping his feet at know, where mohair comes from.

This is one quarter of the vendors. Love the blue sweater!!

The haul.....a calendar for work for next year, a Spin Off magazine, and a pretty project bag with....

Two skeins of about 840m of hand spun wool and mohair in the most gorgeous "fire maple" rusty red. Perfect fall colour. I think I showed a great deal of restraint and don't feel the least bit guilty. The Spin Off magazine has an article 1 shawl, 11 ways. It is called "falling leaves." Ergo the wool purchase.

This show was a success, in my opinion. I spoke to several vendors (Little Red Mitten was there) and they were very happy with sales. The turn out looked very good everyone seemed to be shopping. Besides the vendors there were classes offered some free some preregistered. There were displays by several guilds. Ontario Hand spinners and Weavers, Rug Hooking and Oxford Weavers. Lots of fleece was available from alpaca to camel. I wandered around for almost 3 hours. I only wish I had taken a lawn chair I would have sat by my car and knit for a while the day was so beautiful.

They also had food! Fresh fruit cocktail, fresh sandwiches, hot beef stew or jambalaya and home made pies. It was a great day. I drove back to London via the country roads and saw that the sunshine had dried out the corn sufficiently that all the farmers were out harvesting the last of it. This was the "first" festival. I will be looking for it again next year!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I had to do it.........

It was an emergency. I HAD to go to Little Red Mitten after work today. The yellowy green wool that I had just wasn't working. Carl kept saying it looked something a sick baby would produce..ooooo.....yucky. So, I succumbed to the pressing emergency and bought one ball of Rowan felted tweed. I think it will be a perfect colour for the next motif and the saving of the whole vest. Joan was very kind and we had a long discussion on the whole "steek" thing. I have decided, in keeping with the traditional/heritage aspect of this vest to steek. Pictures, of course will be forthcoming.
Saturday is the Fleece Festival in Woodstock, Ont and I will go and support the shepherds.....ahem, I am only going to "look."