Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Random tidbits

Let's see now. I'm finished this sock now, and started the second. That's good, because we don't like those single socks hanging around! Since they are for Elaine, they are much quicker than socks for, say, Arthur!

I also ripped out the toes of socks I made last year! They fit nobody, so I am shortening them to fit Elaine. So far, one ripped out toe, no reknitting!

The handles of my denim bag were stretching crazily, so I ripped them out about 6 inches and put the whole thing through the wash again. Seems about right. The only thing is, I can't carry little knitting needles in it, because they poke through!

Lots of ripping, bits of new stuff. I have an idea for a hat, but so far have half an inch of 2x2 ribbing. Not very exciting!

Today is my brother's birthday! Sunday is Arthur's birthday! Next week is my birthday!

Stay tuned for more thrills and adventure!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Little hats and Saturday sky

Baby hats on a glass table out in the sunshine!

I think nine little hats is enough for now! Six are nice cotton, one is some crazy stuff called Stretchwool, and the two plain blue ones are superwash wool. I'm worried that the wool will be scratchy on the teeny heads, but am not sure what other cotton I have in stash. Save the Children wants the hats by March 15, so I've got a couple of weeks to whip up a few more, if I can come up with some suitable yarn. Maybe some Cotton Fleece?

The thermometer says -11C, but it's nice and sunny. As long as you watch for those pesky patches of ice, it's quite pleasant out. Elaine and I will head to the library this afternoon, all bundled up.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The amaryllis cam

Sandy has an amaryllis cam. Norma has an amaryllis cam. And I know I've seen at least one more, but where?

Now, my amaryllis bloomed some time ago, was magnificent and lovely and amazing, and now all the flowers have faded and fallen off, but this one seems to have made itself some seeds in a pod. The pod is now drying out, but was once sleek and full and ... fertile-looking. So, my question is, what do I do now? Will the seeds fall into the pot and take care of themselves? Is there some tender loving care I should bestow upon them? Is this a freak amaryllis, or what?

And a snow update: Bleah! It's now above zero, the snow on the trees and rooftops is melting down into the snow on the ground, which is getting wet and slushy and messy, and if one should be outside trying to be neighbourly and clearing the snow from the sidewalk, one runs the risk of having a blob of melty snow fall right down the back of one's neck!

And that's why we turn to flowers...

Thunder and snow

Once I was in a Latin class, reading Ovid, and the prof looked out at the falling snow when we heard thunder, and said, "Someone's been feeding the gods raw meat." And they've been at it again, since we woke up to huge flakes of snow, and thunder. That last time we emerged from class to find that the university had been closed and classes cancelled, but I don't think we're getting that much this time.

And for fun: My brother is a physicist who does things with foams sometimes. And he was looking around for images of foam, and came up with this little experiment. Looks like snow towards the end, there!

Monday, February 19, 2007

These are addictive

I took my first little hat to a mommies' party the other day, and, well, after the S'mores, I'm sure it was the hit of the evening. A couple of people were even keen to knit some.

And then I made another, and more and more!

I've got one more hat's worth of this yarn left, and then what? Find another bag of scraps in the closet, or perhaps move on to something else. I can certainly see myself churning out another dozen, but perhaps that would be crazy!

(And I won't take any more flash pictures on the black footstool.)

My hat-knitting was interrupted this weekend by a house full of little girls. It was Elaine's 7th birthday.

(I think she's decided that we are okay parents, after all, by the way, but she hasn't taken the sign off her door...)

We played Pass the Parcel and Tape the Hat on the Clown and Poisoned Sweet and Musical Statues and ate popcorn, carrots, cheese, candy, cake and strawberries.

No one cried the entire time, not even Stephen, and Arthur got to wear his party shirt, and zip-off pants with one leg long and one leg short. So, a good time!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Could this be eye candy?

Elaine's looking for some new perfect parents. Know any?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snow and little hats

I can now show you the pictures we took yesterday before Stephen took the camera off for the day. Here we have the phenomenon known as Mommy-is-a-sucker. That's about 120 pounds of cargo there...

It's fine once one gets going, but it only works right after the snow falls, because if people start shovelling the snow off their walks, we grind to a halt. I made the mistake of taking the sled after school when I went to pick them up, and they had to keep hopping off and on.

Someone at our school told us about this campaign by Save the Children, to provide little wee hats for newborn babies, to keep them warm in those crucial first hours. (The e-mail sent around started with, "For some reason I think of you all as being knitters..." which is, I think, a reflection of my haranguing people to make blanket squares.)

So, to keep up the appearance that we are a school full of knitters, I made a hat.

One takes about an hour or two to make, and it uses up tiny bits of pretty stash yarn, and so these little hats are my new quicky project to work on while ignoring any other responsibilities I might have.

Hard to imagine little heads quite that little, but they say they want them 9-11 inches around! I think I can get another 3 or 4 out of one particular bag of bits. If one knitter can make 125 blankets and set her next task as 250 pairs of socks, I can knit up a half-dozen little hats...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

WIP Wednesday, snowy Valentines

It's WIP Wednesday, folks, and I am here to tell you that I have finished the second blue sock! Yay for me! I can't show you a picture, because Arthur is wearing them to school today.

I also can't show you a picture of the 20 cm of new snow, because Stephen took the camera to work, complete with pics of the cool wind-blown look of our front yard this morning, and then I shoveled the walk and messed things up, so a picture of our front yard right now would just look like a plain old picture of snow.

I can show you these limeade green mitts I made some time ago. Just as I was finishing them I got a note about a publisher looking for mitten patterns, and since I'd fudged up this particular pattern myself, I sent it off to them. But guess what, they didn't want it. They're quite good mitts, but the insides are slowly pilling up and I take out a little ball of fluff every so often!

And in non-knitting news, I took Geoffrey Chaucer's quiz about medieval times. I got 24%. This is what old Geoff had to say to me:
Grant merci for taking my quiz of medievale trivia. Ich hope that yt hath delited yow and peraventure shewn yow sum interestinge thinges. Yf ye haue scored low, ye kan comfort yowerself wyth the fact that yower brain is probably full of useful craft. Yf ye haue done wel, ye kan be grateful for yower lerninge.

You, too, can be humbled, at this site. At least he recognized that my brain is full of useful craft, and I can comfort myself with the knowledge that I am, after all, supposed to be a classicist, not a medievalist.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Well, that was easy

Got my denim handles done. My, my, all that fuss over nothing... I guess I was just waiting for the right idea to pop into my head. The braids were quick and fun and turned out just the right length. (Make 'em long because the denim shrinks, but not too long, because they'll stretch out with the weight of the bag on them.)

And yes, I had to go out in the snowy bright sunshine for the photoshoot! Cold toes!

Like all knitted bags, it will sag under too much weight. Thinking about this led me down a crazy road when I decided to line it with blue jeans -- all those useful pockets! However, it's unlined for now, and I just won't use it for trips to the library!

The bag itself has been washed several times already, but I'm sure the handles will catch up in the fading department.

I still have almost 3 full balls of this, and some bits of 2 other denim colours, as well, and am keen to start something else. I almost feel like I should rush out and buy more, to embark on a blanket project. But, tsk tsk, I think we can invoke a few rules here: Knit from your stash, and I have plenty to do there. WIP Wipeout, and I think one blanket in progress is sufficient. Even if it's a blanket that is going nowhere fast... Maybe I'll get out the blue and make me a few squares.

I wonder if WIP Wipeout takes precedence over Project Spectrum!? When I finish Arthur's blue sock, the next sock yarn I have lined up is very pink and pink doesn't come up till April. And now that I am finished the blue handles, what I really want to knit is my long lost green cotton cardigan. So I will, even though green doesn't come up till April, either. I will toss in some white or grey here somewhere, too, just for fun. (Lucky it's really just me making these rules, isn't it?)

I tentatively knit a few rows on my blue scarf (sorry, it's one of those gigantic photos) and it's not compelling enough. And now I see a couple of places where I knit only one of the strands, making it (gasp!) imperfect. We'll see what happens with that.

Onward to blue sock!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Blue eye candy

My blue, grey and white earrings, for a Project Spectrum Eye Candy Friday!

I don't really go in for blue much, but once I found and took apart a necklace with those pale blue "pearls" and little snowball beads. Enough beads for way too many earrings!

The little Fimo fishies were made by the sister of a friend, way back in the 80s, I guess!

And there's a bit of greyish seashell, wrapped in wire and a few beads, that would dangle on its own, unpaired.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What the heck am I going to do with this?

Once upon a time I knit this, sort of copying a medieval floor tile from a Dover book. It was going to be a sort of pouch pocket on the front of a tabard-like poncho-sorta-thing. Lucky I never actually made it!

But this, now, is a fine piece of knitting, and devilish to rip out. A bit too tall to be half a tea cosy for my little pot. A bit funny to be the front of a hat.

I had originally 2 balls of the yarn, one of each colour. Most of the brown is made into plain swatches. It's Classic Elite, I think this stuff. I wonder if it would felt?

Monday, February 05, 2007

So here we are in February

Wasn't that poetry day great! Spend some time skimming around and following links and you will be richly rewarded. I especially liked this one.

While reading lots of poetry, I finished up the scarf and hat for charity.

Things I learned: Mistake rib pulls in enormously, and while it makes a nice, thick, reversible scarf, it also takes a lot of yarn to make a nice, thick, wide, reversible scarf!

The hat is a tad large; it even fits over Bunny's ears... Perhaps one day I'll follow a pattern for a hat... That's an idea!

I told Arthur, my colour consultant, about the three colours for February and March in Project Spectrum, and he said, "Boring."

I was thinking they are the colours we see all around us these days. We are getting more and more grey and less white, as the old snow gets dirty. By the end of February there will be frozen heaps of filthy slush all over the place. As long as the sky tends more towards the blue than the grey, we'll manage, but unfortunately, it's all grey out there today! But you can have a picture of the sock in progress to cheer you up.

I also have (drumroll, please!) begun the denim handles! You know, it is not so bad!

Once again I learn the old lesson: if you do it, it'll get done. And if you don't, it won't. Terrible that one has to learn these things over and over. I realised I started this bag in March last year!

The handle is 13 stitches wide, with a 9-stitch braid up it. So far, so good.

I have, as you can see, several buttons in the sidebar that link to things. However, I tried and tried to get a PS button to work. It just wouldn't show up. I'll give it another go...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Poetry on the blogs

I learned about this at the wonderful Creating Text(iles), who got it from Deborah Oak, and invite you all to join in.

WHAT: A Bloggers' (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2007
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Bridgid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.
RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post. Last year Reya put out the call and there was more poetry in cyberspace than she could keep track of. So, link to whomever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.

And here's my poem:
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, by John Keats

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific--and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.