Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Back to square knitting

I've been absent from Blogland for most of October, but I am back with three more Fassett-esque squares.

This is Zigzag:


I had thought this would be a nice change, since it's only 2 colours per row, and I knit four rows in each pair. It was still an unholy tangled mess! 

Next batch of colours brings in a whitish grey. The Tumbling Blocks pattern was not bad to knit: just blocks of colour, hardly any stranding at all. It looked like a star when I was knitting it, up close, but whenever I see it from a distance it is much more 3-D and tumbling! 


This is Circus Stars: 



I was lazy and fit the fourth colour in with that narrow strip between motifs, but couldn't be bothered to deal with three colours in the stars. Had to keep it simple. 

The whole lot, so far! This is going to be a big cushion if it is 3x3 squares. Maybe I'd better get a pillow form soon so I can fudge where necessary. 


I hope to do NaBloPoMo in November again this year. If nothing happens to distract me!

Friday, October 03, 2014

More squares

The pattern was released for the Kaffe Fassett knitalong, and it seems Kaffe has been influenced by his years of quilting. The knitting pattern is for squares all the same, with diagonal stripes. Like these, only stripier! (And in stocking stitch, which makes it less simple to make an actual square. People are having issues with the increasing and decreasing.) That will make a nice blanket, but I had been dreaming of old-style Kaffe, and don't want a stripy, quilty blanket. Or cushion, which is what I will make.

So I got out my Glorious Knitting and started at the beginning. Some patterns are too big for these 40-stitch squares, but the Toothed Stripe is one I have always loved. Now I know why I never made a sweater -- so many ends to take care of!


I should have striped those big bits between the rows of teeth, but didn't figure that out till "too late." Though we know with these things it is never really too late.

Since I am not waiting for the knitalong instructions to be released, I moved on to the colours for the second clue: 


The grey and purple are carried over from the first square and the new colours totally change the look! 


This is Small Steps. So fun. But, oh, my, ends, ends, ends! I could have done it without changing colours so often, but the zillions of colours are what make these designs so great. Imagine doing these "properly" with 20 colours... 

One last picture to show you the task which awaits me -- sewing in all these ends! Reason #1 to do a cushion instead of a blanket: I can secure these and then no-one will ever see them. The inside of a cushion cover doesn't have to be as neat as the underside of a blanket!


Very scary. For the next square, I will try to do something a bit more horizontal and less bitsy. We shall see. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A square à la Kaffe

Rowan is running another mystery knitalong, with Kaffe Fassett designing blocks of a blanket. I got my yarn, and was tapping my fingers waiting for October 1 when the first clue will be released. So I decided to just make a sort of Kaffe-like square, to get a feel for the yarn and gauge and to practise with 2 colours per row.

I apologize for the photographer's shadow

Actually it is a bunch of Kaffe-like rows, one after the other, with no cohesive idea. Towards the end/top, I clearly ran out of enthusiasm for red, red, blue, blue and just knit plain rows, trying to get 15 rows of each colour in. Almost, but I think it is about square as it is. 

In a few days, we'll see what the master actually wants us to do with these colours. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finally finding the camera cord

Here's some knitting for you!

This is a Bandana Cowl I made for Stephen for bike-riding in the winter. I thought I would give it to him for Christmas, but it just took a weekend of train rides and it was done! Since I couldn't help but show it off to him, and since he will likely need it before the end of December, I guess I need a new Christmas idea.


Cascade 128, in a sort of lava-like colourway. I like how the variegation changes with the shaping. I think I like the very top striping the best.


This is Arthur's latest "pair" of socks.
I finished the first one in January, but it took me a while to get going on the second, and I didn't have enough yarn.


So, a bit of leftovers and we're in business. Glary photo...

And, um, then we have the next project... Kaffe Fassett is designing a blanket or cushion, and I just have to knit along with that! It's a mystery knitalong for Pure Wool Worsted, but I went for Wool Cotton.


The first square will be in these four colours. Actually, the dark grey is supposed to be "rich red," but I couldn't see anything that suited in the substitution yarn, so I used dark grey. 


The original four colours were rich red, raspberry, damson and periwinkle. I have dark grey, something close enough to raspberry, a dull darkish reddish purple, and a blue we could call periwinkle.

So, all fun and games. I am also working on two pairs of socks, which might end up being Christmas presents! As always, many more plans than I can fit in. Today I am sick and miserable, so finding the camera cord and downloading some pictures was about the limit of my abilities.

One more picture, the last of the TIFF pics:


Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson and others on stage after the showing of their movie Learning to Drive. Mr Kingsley (Sir Ben, I believe) said it was nice, after playing a number of villains, to just put on a turban and play a decent man. (The man in the turban might just be Harpreet Singh Toor, who had a small part in the movie and was their advisor on all things Sikh.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More knitting done




Firstly, I have three hats. I just finished the bottom one, and it seems I started the first one on April 4, finished it on April 28, and then knit two more without putting anything on Ravelry, or taking any pictures. So here you go, three hats for the charity bin.
I also finished something I really only started recently! No years of sitting around for this!





It is my Kusha Kusha scarf. You knit about 40 inches with silk and steel thread, held together with merino laceweight wool. Then you drop the wool and just knit with the teeny weeny thread.

Then, apparently, you try to take a picture of black knitting on a black table.

It is delightful and I hope I will enjoy wearing it when things get a bit cooler.

I have about 3/4 of a scarf's worth of the steel thread left. What the heck am I going to do with that?!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Some knitting and a few films

I finished Elaine's socks!


The yarn colour is called Grape Gumball, and it's stretchy, with a bit of elastic, so a bit tricky to get the tension just right. But cute!

One down, many to go...

I've seen some great movies. A quick rundown:

Dearest. A little boy is taken off the street one day, and we watch his parents, especially his father, try and try to find him. When he's finally found, he's been living with another family for so long... Clever and very sad all around. I was talking to someone else who had seen it, and he said, "I know it's a very emotional issue, but do we have to cry through the whole movie?"

Madame Bovary. When I read this last year in French, after having not read French for years, I found that the vocabulary that was most difficult was the words meaning "elaborately woven silk," or "beautiful embroidery from Italy," or any number of fancy-schmancy fabrics and home decorating thingmabobs.


So it was delightful for me to see the care and time the filmmakers put in to the costumes and sets. The dresses were handmade, each one with a name and a bit of symbolism, like poisonous flowers in the design. (I didn't learn this from watching the movie, but the director told us all about it afterwards.) And of course, it's a great story!

Big Muddy. Just brilliant! Great acting, great scenery, great great great. The stage littered with corpses...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I'll need festival knitting

It's that time of year: the Toronto International Film Festival approaches. This year, like last, I was away the last week of August, which really messes up one's festival preparation.

There are two ways to buy ticket packages for the fest. One is to buy a number of tickets, which one then matches to movies one wants to see. This involves sitting at a computer with a calendar, coloured pens, post-it notes and lots of leisure to check different movie times and make flow charts and time-management lists. In the last week of August, alas.

You can also buy a bunch of tickets and say, "Gimme some movies," and then get presented with some non-exchangeable tickets to movies. You can't say "no romantic comedies, please" and you can't say, "only English-language films" and you can't say you like short films or documentaries or anything. Just five movies that start before 5 pm, please and thank you.

Last year I did this and got a load of madness, mayhem and murder movies. They were all good, but not the movies I would have chosen. (I did choose one movie last year, and it was not as good as I would have liked!)

This year I aimed for the best of both worlds. I got a five-movie TIFF Choice pack, and I am super pleased with what I ended up with. Super, super pleased. This year I seem to have got the Pretty Big Gun pack. I have Keira Knightly and Ben Kingsley and Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking. (The really big guns this year are Robert Downey, Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch and Alan Rickman.)

I also got what's called a Back-Half pack, which gives me six tickets to movies in the second half of the festival, and I don't get to pick them until this Tuesday! Argh! The off-sale list is growing ever-longer, and I have to force myself to remember that I had thought this was a good idea, and that I would be delighted to see the lesser gems of the fest. I will, it will be fine, there's plenty to see....

But really, who would have thought a three-hour-long documentary about the workings of the National Gallery would be sold out so quickly? Who would want to see that, except me?

I am writing this just as the single tickets go on sale, so the TIFF site is wretchedly busy and I don't have the patience to link all these things. Stay tuned and I will try my best to blog more about it.

I guess I should also tell you about our holiday last week, the knitting I am doing, the festival knitting I will decide upon.... I always think a sock or hat goes well as lineup knitting... Oh, and school starts soon -- another reason to put off most of my festival viewing till the second week!