Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Churning out the small things

Another finished object: a hat that has been worked on sporadically for some months. Big wool found at Value Village, I think, and 6 mm needles. Just knit around and around forever...

And one size fits most! Elaine has claimed it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A bit of a cheat

This lovely lady models my newest creation, a hat which used to be a sock cuff.

It was originally knit on something like 4 mm needles, but I didn't figure that out till I had made some progress on 3.75s. It's very stretchy, so should fit a large variety of such ladies. The thought entered my mind that she needs a sweater, but I'm trying to ignore that notion...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why we love a yarn swap

I was up at Knitomatic on the weekend. They have a yarn swap every month, so one can always run up there with a bag of stuff when the mood strikes. Yesterday I got rid of a few things, including a cake of White Buffalo wool and most of a ball of Chunky Chenille, which cost me a fortune, even on sale, and I soon found I didn't like working with it at all. I did make those Christmas stockings in 2005, but I don't remember fighting with the yarn then... Anyways, it's gone now!

I took up two bags and came home with only one, so that's progress, isn't it? And, ha ha, I've already knitted up one of my finds! There was a ball of the biggest, fattest dishcloth cotton I have ever seen! If one had a lot of it, it could make an Absorba mat (on Ravelry), but I had only one. So, here's Hagrid's hand towel. Super fat yarn, 8 mm needles, one button.

Maybe you can't tell how huge this yarn is, but that button is about an inch and a half long, and it takes up about 3 stitches.

Another gem found at the swap was 2 balls of biggish sock yarn, complete with most of a sock! I couldn't have reproduced the heel (some garter-stitch, short-row job) so Arthur and I ripped the foot and heel out as we walked home! Now I am left with a doll hat which just needs a bit of finishing at the top.

Elaine's sweater is almost done, and I have pledged to get it finished by October, which is just a few days away. Here's a stupid story for you: I bought 3 skeins of the brown used for the trim. But this yarn has been discontinued for a long time and we fished around in the Romni basement trying to find more than one skein in a colour we wanted, and ended up with 3 skeins, 2 dyelots. And duh, I went to get the second skein to just finish up the collarand buttonhole band, and found that both my remaining skeins were the same lot, which means all that brown knitting was done with the single skein of the other lot! So... I have done a few rows, and I am sure I can tell the difference. I would hate to take out the collar I have done and alternate, but I would also hate to see those slightly different front bands. Grr. This is why I'm fooling around with other things... I'll let that yarn sit till it can behave!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poetry, art, all that stuff

Oh, dear. London is so far away.

The Poetry Society is collecting knitted squares with letters on them, and blank squares (of which I think they still need a lot) to make a poem. They are sewing it up this weekend, and you are, naturally, invited to help them out.

I myself will be finishing Elaine's sweater, yes I will.

I might go to a yarn swap up at Knitomatic, although I've swapped away most of the stuff I don't want any more! Maybe I'll throw in some needles or patterns.

And I shall be perusing Flickr to see what's new in medieval gold!

These are from the Staffordshire Hoard, and this is one of their pictures. The things are beautiful, and so fine, and that thingmabob on the left there reminds me a lot of a pattern (on Ravelry) from Alice Starmore's Celtic Knitting! There are intertwined beasts, and Latin words and Celtic keys. Gorgeous stuff.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall is approaching

I had planned to have a wee party on the back deck this weekend. Soak up the last rays of summer sunshine chatting with the neighbours over vol au vents, you know. But two things have conspired against this plan: no one can come, and the weather's turned iffy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hear ye, hear ye

The new Vogue Knitting preview is up! Just when I think I have a reasonable list of things I need to knit in my head, along come more patterns... But I do like that Noro-esque thing at the top right!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some knitting news and other tidbits

I have a tiny bit of knitting news to share.

Zack, the little jacket for Elaine, is coming right along. The original pattern calls for drop shoulders and enormous sleeves, but I have decided to raglanize the thing. I am being very fancy-pants as well, and making a 4-stitch cable up the raglan line.

I notice that I haven't added anything finished lately to my list of 52 things for 52 weeks, so I really want to get this done. Besides, I have a million billion things I want to get on with. Not a very restful, stress-free attitude, is it? Ah well.

And this is why I haven't been complaining about the weather lately! We have had lovely late-summer weather, no rain, and clear skies for the most part. If you click the photo you might be able to spot a wee bit of red towards the right side, but our leaves have not really started to turn, except for a few here and there. I usually walk past this view several times a week, so maybe I can show you how things progress.

Then there's the slides project I mentioned!

This glamour-puss is my mom, about 45 years ago, with her leather purse she made, and Heinrich, our beloved VW bus!

I am finding the enormity of this project is a bit overwhelming. Our scanner does one slide at a time, but can make good copies. I had visions of things going a bit faster... There are a lot of pictures of views, places my dad went to conferences, pretty flowers, which I'm not that interested in, but when we hit upon "Family 1962-67," well, that was great fun! For example, here's me and my brother in 1965 by the farm we lived on near Chipping Campden.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Treats in the mail

The other day I ordered a book, from a shop in Victoria, and they said they'd put it in the mail right away. That probably meant it got sent yesterday.

So imagine my delight when I saw a book-sized package in my mailbox! Instant!

But wait, it's a box of candies and it came from New Brunswick...

No, wait, it's a candy box, holding a knitted square!

This came from Bus13knitter (her Ravelry name) for the second Canadian blanket in memory of Peter Bergmann for Afghans for Afghans. So far I have 9 squares, and am working on another, so I need 2 more to make a 12-square blanket. Believe it or not, each of those squares is quite close to 10 inches on a side.

You know how I love a square, but I have been engrossed in other things, and want to finish one of the many things-in-progress before cranking out another load of squares. Besides, I'm running low on spare worsted wool bits! So I'm hoping some others will read my bold face type in the Ravelry thread and send me some squares.

Next up: you might even get to see some of those famous things-in-progress!

Catching the bus, and magic beans

Me: Arthur, hurry, we have to get the 8:34 bus this morning, because I have to take you to school and then zoom back and register Elaine for swimming. Here, pack your lunch!

Arthur: Yeah, okay okay...

Me: Ack, it's garbage day, put the garbage out, get your lunch, hurry hurry.

Dash to the bus stop, get there somewhat past 8:34. The next bus is at 8:49.

Me: Did you get a muffin for your lunch?

Arthur: I don't know, I just grabbed the bag.

Me: Did you take yesterday's stuff out at all?

Arthur: ... (blank stare)....

Dash back home, giving sage advice about preparation and responsibility which likely goes in one ear and out the other. Get there at 8:50, rearrange lunch stuff. The next bus is at 9:03.

Me: Okay, now you can still get to school for 9:30* but now I have to go stand in this lineup to register Elaine for swimming, so you'll have to go by yourself and I have to go do this.

Arthur: Okay, fine.

So, I go stand in line. The line is out the door of the building. Some people have been there since 8 am. Jokes about rock concerts are made by the middle-aged dads in the line. (Moms don't joke about standing in line, and likely can't remember rock concerts very well.)

Nine o'clock comes, the line starts moving and by 9:10 I have deposited my piece of paper and am home. Clearly, if I'd arrived half an hour later, I would have had no wait at all and my registration would maybe be a dozen down the list. Sheesh. Lucky I didn't get there at 8 and wait a whole hour!

Lesson: Relax, it's only swimming lessons.

They are patching the holes on our street, so there is a very stinky tarry machine out there. I took the back lane home to avoid the stinkiness as much as possible and found some dried up beans hanging over a neighbour's fence.

I wonder if I can keep them till next spring to plant them and grow a magic beanstalk!

*Love this school schedule of 9:30-4!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pretty pictures from our holiday

We spent the week before Labour Day on Oxtongue Lake near Algonquin Park. There were hardly any bugs, and not so many visitors, either! We were sort of between the summer holiday-ers and the Fall leaf watchers.

You can imagine this view when the trees turn in a few weeks! There is a rebuilt fire tower near the town of Dorset for people to climb up. At the top you get this view; at the bottom is this sculpture:

This is what Arthur was seeing:

Ye olde canoe on a peaceful lake...

We had a cottage near the beach, so the kids could venture into the water on occasion. The resort provided canoes and kayaks; there was, in the top right corner below, a large inflatable iceberg you could swim up to, climb, and then slide down! I only saw one person do that, the whole week, and it wasn't one of us!

Early in the morning the lake looked like this:

Misty and chill.

There was a fire pit where people sat around trying to roast marshmallows in the evening. Since most people don't have the patience to wait for perfect coals, many marshmallows were burnt, but it was fun. The moon was very close to full, and the fire pit was the perfect place to watch it rise over the hills! One night we watched the full moon rise, and the water was just ripply enough to reflect the moonlight in that lovely, cliche way! No camera, and very hard to photograph, anyways!

A couple of times we went into the park and followed their little nature trails. Saw a pond with lily pads.

There's a heron in the middle somewhere here:

I took lots of pictures of bark and roots and fungus and lichen, as usual.

When we got home, we found that nature had come to us, as well, and this lovely creature had taken up residence on our back porch:


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Another kind of winter project

My dad took lots of pictures, lots of slides on good ol' Kodachrome. And then time passes, and people move and travel less and don't take slides and don't have room and ... what happens to the slides? Well, this is what happened to our family slides:

They got mailed to my house. So.

I will take box by box and slide tray by slide tray, scanning the super dooper ones. I am trying to think of what to do with the rest... I would like to make a stained-glass-window sort of thing with the gazillion pictures of pretty flowers or great views. I do have 4 siblings who probably don't want me to hog the whole lot and turn them into lampshades...

I took the first box down to the slide projector in the basement to find that my dad's trays won't work in my slide projector, and I have to take every slide out, turn it 90 degrees, and put it in a different tray. So far I have seen 80 quite stunning pictures of the view up the Sechelt Inlet at various times of day and times of year. A lovely view, indeed, but next time I'll make sure there are pictures of ME! Also, I didn't know about the turning 90 degrees part at first, so I sat with my head cricked over... But now I know!

Stay tuned for pictures of me and my sibs 30 years ago, along with lampshades of sunsets and mountains ... some day!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The easy stuff first

I have bajillions of pictures to show you from our week away, of lakes and trees and such, but it is easiest just now to show you what I knitted.

The socks got equal legs, and now one of them has a bit of a foot. We went with a subdued and manly grey for the part that would be hidden by the shoe, and I have promised a bright orange toe.

The stocking stitch in Rowan Magpie is called Zack. I'm making the body all in one, as you can see. At the last minute I went out and got this brown for trim (and pocket linings).

The brown linings will be mostly secret, hidden behind a top on the pocket. Normally I would just put the front-of-pocket stitches on a holder, but we were out in the wild woods, so they got cast off. Not to worry.