Saturday, November 22, 2014

A day at the thrift shop

Today the kids and I went shopping. Arthur needed trousers, but otherwise we had no plan.

For less than $100 we got fourteen Christmas cards, eight placemats, five books, three pairs of pants, two little tins to put treats in, two secret things for presents, one belt, one bag of buttons, a T-shirt and... an enlarger!

Almost an entire enlarger; we are just missing a crucial lens.

We passed on the pedestal Christmas cake stand. Took note of the many balls of Phentex available. And admired many candle holders and candles before pulling ourselves together. Elaine and I didn't even really look at clothes, and once Arthur pounced on the enlarger we were sort of overloaded!

Best: we've got a loyalty card full of stamps now, so next time, 30% off!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Saw some movies

Last Days in Vietnam. I saw this PBS movie in the theatre earlier this month. Apparently it will be on TV next spring some time, with additional footage. At its present length it was super-interesting, very suspenseful and surprisingly touching.



It was sort of stunning to hear interviews with men who had been soldiers and marines at the embassy on the last day, when those huge helicopters ferried people away all day long. It was absolutely shocking to see some sailor's Super-8 film footage of smaller helicopters landing on the little ship he was on -- when another came, they had to shove the first one into the sea, and they did this over and over again. Now is the time to collect all this material; what other footage is out there?

There is a whole playlist on Youtube where you can watch more bits of it. See it if you can!

Today I saw a film from what we'd call my comfort zone, Keep On Keepin' On.



Music, friendship, struggles, nice people. Really a good time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Temperature scarf

I made my way to the yarn shop yesterday, after a brief conversation with my resident physicist, who tells me that green should be at 0ºC. Who ever heard of that? Oh, well, it kind of makes things easier to just have a spectrum of colours.


Red for hot, through green at 0, to blue and indigo for cold. I'm hoping I don't have to get more colder yarns, because it's already freezing during the day, and, in fact, snowing at this very moment! (I will resist the obvious temptation to use some sort of fuzzy or sparkly yarn for snow days.)


The darkest blue, on the right, will be for -15º and lower, bright blue for -10 to -14, pretty variegated icy colours for -3 to -9, and green for -3 to +3.


Green variegated for 4 to 10, yellow variegated for 11 to 15, yellow/orange for 16 to 20, orange variegated for 21 to 27 and red for 28 and above.

I was worried that I'd need more on either end of this scale. That is why the colours have to stretch to a bit more (sometimes) than the 5 degrees I had initially thought.  Also, it's the time of year when all Torontonians forget that it ever gets warm here. We are bundled up for our months and months of cold and can't think beyond that. Really, it'll be 28 degrees here sometime in the next year??


I'm sure that if next October I find I need more 10º yarn, I won't be able to match dye lots or even colours, but then again I am equally sure that I can't need more than 160 metres of any one colour. Right?

This all gets lovingly put away till the winter solstice, when I shall cast on. Cast on what, though? A plain garter or seed-stitch scarf? A 10-stitch blanket? I think I'll find a two-row lace pattern and make a scarf out of that.

But who knows, it's weeks away and I have a man-sized sweater to finish!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Something I will do in December

Once upon a time, I started to knit a Sky Scarf. You knit a garter ridge, 2 rows, every day, based on the colour of the sky. Two things stymied me: I was using stash and ran out of one colour of yarn in February, and the colour of our sky changes hourly, so when exactly do you say it is clear today or it is cloudy today?

However, I recently saw a thread on Ravelry that reminded me of the general excellence of this idea (someone made a blanket!) and I am going to do a temperature scarf, with one strand for the day's maximum temperature and one for minimum. I think I will start on the solstice, December 21.

Toronto goes from about -10ºC to about 30ºC, so I need 8 colours if I do a colour for every 5 degrees. Red for hot, icy blue-white for cold, but how to I get from one to the other?

I could just go around the wheel:


That would mean having greens in the mix, and while you know I love green, I don't really think it signifies much about temperature. And I would end up with three-quarters of a rainbow. Naah.

There are other ways of making colour wheels:


I could go up from the pale centre blue to brighter blue... then what? I don't want pinks. I think one tends to do yellow, orange, red as things get warmer, but I'm not sure I'll like that mix... Of course, it would be a rare day to be -10 for a minimum and +15 for a max. I think what I have to do is go stand and stare at the wall of Koigu at Eweknit and pick 8 good colours.

Will I need more than one skein of each colour? Will I be able to buy another, mid-April or next October if I run out of something? Agonizing... (I found another group on Ravelry that quite appeals to me: Pre-process knitters! We are not in it for the finished project, nor for the experience of the knitting, but for the planning!) Maybe I should not do Koigu, with its little wee skeins, but I should buy 100-gram balls of Cascade 220 or something. But does one need 800 grams to make a scarf?! God forbid. No, no, stick with the Koigu, but perhaps buy 2 each of the colours from, say, 5º to 15º? Perhaps I shall stop at the yarn shop this afternoon.

Perhaps I shall show you the big grey sweater tomorrow. I think I can start the sleeves soon!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Twenty or more years ago

Let's see, it must have been 1992 or so, maybe later in 1991, that I made this big ol' sweater.

It is one of my faux-Fassetts, based on his Stone Patch. It is heavy, made from Lamb's Pride bulky, and it was supposed to reflect the colours of the hills around Santa Barbara, California. 

As soon as I made it, though, I thought it looked more like camo.



It also has a bit of a problem with the sleeves. I know, it was the 90s, but still, no one needs sleeves like that.



I wore it a bit, but it is too warm for inside, it's no good in the rain and you can't put a jacket over those sleeves, so there are just a few days a year when it is the perfect thing.

I've known all about these issues for a long time, and the poor sweater has languished unloved in a corner for some years. The other day, I finally shoved it in a bag for pickup by a charity.

Boo hoo! Farewell, crazy sweater!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another single sock

This month of posting makes me go around the house taking pictures of knitting. So I have for you today a single sock for Elaine.


Funny looking in this state, but that flared part at the top folds down to make a super cute cuff.


And the cuff is all lace columns.


It is school-uniform colour, but the season for ankle socks may be past this year, and besides, one should really have two matching socks. I once meant to have these done for Christmas, but now I make no promises of that sort!

Now to update my Ravelry project page!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaBlo-half-assed-mo

I see that I missed another day in the daily posting business. Big sigh.

I will have a few pictures for you tomorrow, but right now I am preparing to dash out to a Scrabble club to play "proper" players. Two of my friends have been a couple of times before and say that the club people look down on "kitchen table" players, but of course, my friends have won their share of the games.

And we don't play at a kitchen table, but in a cafe, most of the time! Hmph.

It will be bit challenging to play with a timer and no friendly dictionary to hand, but I think I'll be okay. It's just a game, right?


(Oh, just a picture I snapped a while ago of my 183-point word, MISSHAPE, from triple to triple.... )