Thursday, March 26, 2015

How's the weather been?

The temperature scarf is steadily coming along, row by row.

It's now been one whole season, from Winter Solstice to Spring Equinox, and this is what I've got.

It fades off into the distance... 

Getting very long for a quarter of a scarf, I must say. 

That is about February and March. The dark days of winter were really dark, as I had to use my "-15ºC and below" yarn almost every day for a while there. You can see things have lightened up a bit recently, though. 

We had the Tease Day a week or two ago, when it got above +10 for a bit. People were out in shirt-sleeves, but it didn't last. Today it even snowed a bit! I am really looking forward to using more of that yellow, I tell you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I started this Tailspin shawl when I was out in BC at the beginning of February. Nice garter stitch with a bit of excitement once in a while. Of course, a top-down shawl that starts small and grows is always so fun at the beginning! "Whee, I am zooming along and will have this finished in no time."

The pattern calls for leventy-million colours, and I just wanted to use two. The white is some Rowan Fox Fibre cotton I recently bought from a fellow Raveler, but it must be about 30 years old, if I know my yarn history right. The blue is "upcycled." I once bought a Rowan Denim hand-knitted cardigan on Ebay, which I sort of knew wouldn't fit me. Elaine wasn't interested, so this blue is from the sleeves. (And taking apart someone else's knitting, especially in this yarn which shrinks and tightens up when washed, is not much fun.)

After a while, I thought the blue and white was not as great as I'd thought. I thought it looked like an industrial tea towel, and Stephen thought maybe a prayer shawl. And then there's the blue and white country kitchen.

Some vintage dishes I saw last weekend

Nice enough, but not quite the look I was after.

So I threw in a ball of dark navy, to at least zing things up a bit, if not make me into a French sailor.

I had a ball of Twilley's dark denim, which I bought in Cambridge in 2005! Time to be put into a shawl, for sure.

Unfortunately, I didn't read the pattern properly and put the dark blue triangle right on top of the previous one! Didn't notice for many rows thereafter, and no way I'm ripping back. More zing, I figure. 

My next trick was to jiggle things a bit to end up with a white triangle. 

The rows are now about 450 stitches, so I am making no promises about when this will be finished! Slog-o-rama! I am on my 4th ball of the white, and will likely get most of the yarn from two sleeves into this.

It will be a giant, scallop-edged tea towel, perhaps.

And enough of that for now. I will tell you what I did this past weekend.

Arthur is looking into universities for next year. (Yes, he used to be cute and 8 years old, and now he is 18 and thinking of leaving the nest! Still cute, though.) So at the beginning of the school March break he and Stephen went to Ottawa, and last Thursday he and I set off to a couple of other places in southern Ontario.

Of course, as well as universities, we had to check out the secondhand shops. So I saw those blue and white cups above in a very lovely junk shop in Peterborough, along with this table of coloured pyrex. Oh, my!

The river there had been frozen over until quite recently, and now it is thawing and making these great stripes of ice, slush, water, whatever. Like agate or something! Stunning. 

We travelled by train, and it was generally pretty boring, but on the way home I noticed the woman across the aisle was knitting! Kinneared her... 

And that is what I've been up to lately.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Small thrills

Today I am cutting the yarn I use on the Temperature scarf for the lowest temperatures. Nothing below -15ºC is forecast for the next week, and I'm hoping that's the end of it for the season!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

These lists

This is the list left over from January 2014. 
  1. second mitten (Can take this off now!)
  2. Malabrigo scarf
  3. Botticelli
  4. Sunday Best
  5. that beautiful golden shawl you might not have seen but I have knitted about an inch on it
And this is what I added in January 2015. 
  1. Temperature scarf. This is ongoing and won't be finished till Dec 20, 2015.
  2. I started Samen over the holidays. (Done!)
  3. Those Kaffe Fassett squares. A finite project, one would think, but you know what happens when my attention is diverted.
  4. I have one sock done for Elaine and one done for Arthur and they both need to be pairs. (Elaine's done)
  5. I have a number of bits of a blanket that have to be dealt with. I was going along just fine, and then some breeze blew me off course. 
So our new and improved list:
  1. Malabrigo scarf
  2. Botticelli
  3. Sunday Best
  4. that beautiful golden shawl you might not have seen but I have knitted about an inch on it
  5. Temperature scarf. This is ongoing and won't be finished till Dec 20, 2015.
  6. Those Kaffe Fassett squares. A finite project, one would think, but you know what happens when my attention is diverted.
  7. I have one sock done for Arthur and it needs a mate.
  8. I have a number of bits of a blanket that have to be dealt with. I was going along just fine, and then some breeze blew me off course. 
  9. And we have to add in a new project: Tailspin. I'm loving it, but I need to carry the instructions around and markers, so it's not knit on constantly. 
Now really, #4 up there is never going to get knit. I have a lovely lot of yarn, and a fancy-schmancy pattern, but no patience for such things. And you know that such a shawl just gets scrunched up around your neck and no one can see the delicate loveliness. I will do something nice with the yarn, but it's hard to say that that shawl is a WIP.

Sunday Best, #3 and the bits involved in #8 are, in my mind, going to be joined up to become a nice blanket, and some other yarn will be used to make me a cotton sweater of some sort. I was making Sunday Best with 3 dyelots of Denim and lost track over the years which was what, I might have used some for other projects, and it's just too hard to recover. I had a baby in mind at one point for a wonderful cabley blankie, but he is almost a year old now and ended up with another blanket! Up in the air. 

So, we will see what I take up now that my mitten is finished. I suspect it will be Arthur's sock, but wait and see!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Another off the list

The lovely golden mittens are done! Really, it doesn't take much time to make a mitten, even one on little needles, with cables, and trying to match the first one. So, a year of waiting and a few days of knitting, and here are my pretty mitts. Unfortunately, it is still too cold for nice, light, wool mitts. (I have a pair of these.)

How cold is it, you ask?

There is one little stripe of "hovering around zero" green in the last week. I think we got up to -3º or so. Mostly the darkest, purplest blue, signifying less than -15º. I never did get a colder colour, but it has been below -20 some nights.

The last two months. They say the cold will last for weeks more; I am sad we didn't book a week in the Caribbean for March break!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A small accomplishment and big passings

First of all, let's look at a pair of socks I finished!

These are the cute little anklets for Elaine, in school uniform burgundy. (They really are darker, but it's a wretched flash picture...) It's not really ankle sock season, though, since it's been -15ºC or so for some days! But it's something off my master list, so that's nice to get them done.

I don't actually have pictures of most of the other knitting I've been doing, but I'll work on that. At least with the cold, it's been pretty sunny.

Last fall I was sort of out of sorts and didn't feel like explaining here, but now I will say my sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in May and passed away in October. She died a week before her 56th birthday, way too young, and it all happened so fast. So, that explains why my brother got a whole big sweater for Christmas! And why he and his sons spent Christmas here. And so on...

But, one continues on. Then early this month my sister phoned to say my mom had been taken to emergency, her heart wasn't working very well, they'd taken her back home and she wasn't expected to live through the night.

It's slightly churlish to complain about a 94-year-old dying in their own bed with their family around them, without pain and peacefully, but still, it's a shock and the end of something. Her obituary is here.

My brother, his son and I flew out to BC the next day, with the usual winter weather-related catastrophes: cancelled flights, closed highways, long drives...

Lots of relatives arrived over that weekend and we had a get-together to talk about her, we learned some stories about my dad's attempts at courtship and got caught up with people we don't often visit with. It's curious to me how many of the men in the family are really good at playing pool, for example.

We lived on a pig farm in the Cotswolds in 1965

It was really good to meet up with everyone; I'm sorry we didn't pack up the kids and all go, but I hope we can go to a future gathering.

I am looking forward to a calm and non-stressful few months, now, please.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Just popping in

This morning I looked at the temperatures to knit into my scarf, and I have to use 2 strands of my -15ºC yarn at once. The high yesterday was -19!

Pictures and a bit of catch-up to come.