Saturday, November 28, 2009

Getting somewhere slowly

At least a year after starting this baby, I have finished most of the knitting on the big crazy denim cardigan. I have to sew some ends in, do a buttonband (okay, so look for that in another year or so...), throw it in the wash to shrink it, attach the sleeves, sew a few seams, find buttons. Yikes.

Here are some of my favourite bits.

You may have seen this before. It is a knit-and-purl combo from Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan book. I love the way it looks! One day I'll make something bigger than 6 inches out of it!

This is, I think, the pattern used for Cookie A's Monkey socks, but I got it from Jan Eaton's 200 Knitted Blocks.

Zigzag seed stitch, so cool! I bought myself the 2010 Vogue Knitting calendar, which has a stitch pattern almost every day (Saturday and Sunday are combined). It is sort of useless as a calendar, but fine as a swatch library, with lace, cables and just neat textures.

The cause of much moaning and groaning! This is the emblem from Alice Starmore's Sigil (on Ravelry). I'm not sure it was a good choice to use with the denim yarn -- won't things get all squished when it shrinks in length? That centre bit is quite dense! It was great fun decreasing from 7 stitches to 1 at the top of the loops, but some rows of the chart also took me a couple of tries to get right.

When I last mentioned this cardigan, I showed you the 1.5 fronts, and said, "I'm thinking of simplifying life by making the back rather... simpler... than the fronts." Well, there go those good plans, out the window again!

Here's the front, and those simple single-coloured sleeves:

And here's most of the back -- minus just a couple of inches. Excuse the cable needle stuck in there!

As you can see, my inspiration went from the simplicity of Narvik (Ravelry link) to the chaos of the Gwithian Blanket. (I looked for an online image of that lovely thing, but the best I came up with is Kay's post about it, on Mason-Dixon Knitting.)

I am happy to know I have actually made great progress on this, and am learning once again the Big Rule: if you work on it, it will get done, and if you don't, it won't. I shall continue to plug along.

Have you ever seen such a hot pink and orange combo!? Just lookie at that! Hoo-ee!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stitch & Bitch, old style

Spinning, weaving and yakking in the olden days...

This is a window in the old Household Science building at the University of Toronto. There are other images of people cooking and doing domestic things, in various states of mostly modest disarray.

The place now houses a Club Monaco store, and the university Classics department!

And all thanks to Mrs Lillian Massey Treble, who gave the building in the first place!

This shows the exterior. Their facts are a bit out of date -- the ombudsman has gone, and although the pool is locked away, it's not under a false floor.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fossil hat

Once upon a time I bought this Kureyon yarn to make a Fake Isle hat, planning maybe to jiggle the pattern to make it all look like mud cracks. But, alas, the best laid plans gang aft agley, as they say.

I decided it was perfect for a Trilobite hat.

Naturally, I ran out of yarn a few short rows from the end... So we have a bit of Paton's Classic grey, and a bit of Lamb's Pride oyster, or eggshell, or some other word meaning "almost white." The trilobite is not especially clear here, but having looked at fossils here and there, I can say that this in fact reflects nature.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I took my camera today

Some pretty leaf pictures, made into a mosaic at BigHugeLabs. It was a perfect day, blue sky, not cold. The leaves, which were exceptionally lovely this year, are mostly finished for the season, but some remain -- we even saw roses.

Elaine needed snow pants, so we went downtown, through Christmas decorations and leftover Halloween decorations and lots of people.

It's very hard to take a picture of a window on a sunny day, but here's Holt Renfrew's festive take on Swan Lake! (Do click to embiggen and enjoy the ballerinas among the swans.)

We're now ready for snow, but I'm not sure we're ready for the onslaught of Christmas decorations quite this early!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Book club

I have lots of great knitting books. I have so many patterns -- old magazines, new magazines, crazy patterns I would never knit, multi-coloured intarsia sweaters I love to look at but would never wear, and lots and lots of things I would enjoy knitting and wearing, some I've been meaning to make for years! I don't have a yarn stash that threatens to overwhelm me, but the patterns -- certainly I've reached SABLE* status with them!

So. What to do?

I have 2 sweaters for myself on the needles right now. I have 2 socks partly done. I have at least 2 blankets on the go, which haven't seen action in ages.

I am supposed to be making 52 things in 52 weeks, and I have got 26 done in 22 weeks. Although I'm "supposed to" do this, no one is making me, and I am not going to do anything drastic because of this "commitment." (I can always spend the last 2 weeks churning out dishcloths and hats if need be!)

I am also "supposed to" spend Wednesdays working on UFOs. Ha. Haven't thought of that in a while, although one of the sweaters I'm working on these days is certainly a UFO.

What if I picked a book a month and made a small thing out of it?

I can't really just whip up an Alice Starmore aran sweater, or a Rowan Denim gansey, in a month, in between other projects, but I could do a swatch or two... try out a cable pattern or a Kaffe Fassett colour design on a small scale. At least flip through a book and spend a moment deciding what I really like?

I have enough Vogue Knitting issues to keep me busy for years with this plan.... This is a fact that doesn't cheer me...

Would that just lead to more UFOs, as I decide I really do want to make the full aran? Could I start yet another blanket project by saying I'll make all my swatches similar enough in colour and weight to sew them all together at the end of the year?

All this agonizing... Should I agonize about it? I'll ponder this book club idea, and maybe start next month. (That gives me a good three and a half weeks! I'll have completely changed my mind by then!)

All this hand-wringing makes me just want to sit and daydream about Daniel Craig:

*SABLE = Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Easing back into this

I took some pictures and just had to show them, so I guess my blog-free time is over. But I just came up with the idea of a Ravelry-free week, so I might do that next week -- can't do it just now, as I am meeting a fellow Raveler this week to sell her some magazines, and must keep in touch!

So, it was Halloween. Our neighbourhood association organized a Pumpkin Patch in the park -- we all took our pumpkins over there the evening of Nov. 1, and lit them up along a path. Lovely, though they had run out of hot chocolate by the time Elaine and I went over.

And this is the grisly scene Monday morning! Pumpkin carnage. They then all got picked up by some friendly guys who took them off to the city compost dump.

The other big event in the 'hood this weekend was a fire! Hmm, perhaps a Halloween party with candles? I don't know, but early Saturday morning our bus was rerouted because there were firetrucks on the main street, putting out a fire, above a place called the Children's Storefront. See the cheery mural on the exposed wall!

The Storefront was a place you could take little children to play, and many neighbourhood moms and nannies relied on it! I rarely took my kids there, because I found it was grimy in my day, and people smoked -- wow, that must have been in the 20th century -- but I spent many evenings there at La Leche League meetings, and it certainly is a loss for the local under-4 set!