Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wow, November is over!

I seem to have finished NaBloPoMo, with the help of my dear readers, urging me on!

I don't think I'll take up posting every day as a permanent thing. Or if I were doing it again, I wouldn't put all my hopes of blog-fodder on one garment, especially one that grows slowly on small needles!

That garment continues to grow. I have started both fronts together and have, um, about 4 rows.

Plans for December:
  1. Finish the Ribwarmer -- this involves going to buy more yarn.
  2. Get a start on my mom's sock-mending/reknitting. Apparently the socks I gave her this summer are too short in the foot, and since she wears them for bedsocks, it's a nuisance when they slip off!
  3. Finish the Noro cardigan.
  4. That's probably enough, but I need to get that cotton baby blanket restarted, I want some hand-knitted mittens, a denim pullover, a lace shawl...
I also want to be able to stumble through this, and the following 3 parts! Belly dancing fitness sounds like such fun, but at this point I'm very much a beginner.

No post tomorrow, folks -- I'm taking the day off!

Unless it snows...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Really, the back of the sweater

Oh, joy supreme!

This morning I looked at my sweater back, measured, and did a little dance, because I could just shape the shoulders and I was done!

I still have the two front pieces to do, and so should not celebrate too much, but it is so nice to cast something off and start something new, even if it is another piece of the same garment!

I still have one more day of NaKniSweMo, so I'll certainly try to get started on a front!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The back of the sweater

First, this morning, I wrote the title of this post. Yessirree, I thought, I will finish the back today! Only 2 weeks behind schedule!

I knit a row and measured and something else came up. I found myself walking Elaine to a friend's house, down near Romni Wools. Aha, said I, I can drop in and get the last skein of cotton for Ribwarmer II. But alas, Romni is closed on Sundays! At least I got my walk!

So I came home, got ready for tonight's street dinner party, knit a row, measured.... Elaine had another playdate, I took the girl home at 5 pm, jumped in the shower -- we're going out at 6 pm. It's 5:57.

Tomorrow, I will finish the last inch of the back, and show it to you! Really!

That will cover November 29, and November 30 will deal with the end results of NaBloPoMo and NaKniSweMo!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I did last night

Last night I went to my friend's house and sat around and chatted, and most people did not stuff their faces with cookies. I did wonder as I put about 4 dozen cookies on a plate for 6 women...

Aside from the really nice conversation and interesting histories which we got into, it was a very fine thing to sit comfortably and just knit round and round on a sock. (I've taken up carrying the second tiger sock around with me, and progress is being made!) Must do all these things more often!

There used to be a bit of a tradition in the neighbourhood for women to get together at someone's house for what they called "Mama Sans." Sans, as I'm sure you all know, is French for without, so it was a time for moms to be without kids, without spouses, without a care in the world, and the few I attended in the golden olden days of 10 years ago were really open and inviting and friendly and super fun, but I haven't heard of one for a few years.

One neighbour and I were moaning at each other on a street corner a while back about the daily grind, and decided we needed a similar pick-me-up, and that led to this little affair last night.

Now another plan for 2011 is to revive the big Mama Sans tradition and get nights like this happening more often, with more people! I think the problem often is finding not only a moment, but also a house -- I would not really be sans if my kids were coming down to eat all the snacks and my husband was yakking with someone in the kitchen.... though that would all be fun, too!

I must say that my house has silted up terribly, and the books, knitting, toys, discarded mail (and the occasional sock that the laundress misses) are getting overwhelming. Stay tuned for boastful posts about how one can actually see the floor, and then we'll be all set for entertaining!

Oh, and this is me with my new hair. I can use "product" and make it all stand up, or I can jam my hat on my head and make it all lie flat. I think for the next few months, it'll tend towards flat!

Boy, do I look like my sisters...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yay, it's Friday

Today I'm going to get my hair cut. Maybe not quite like Emma Watson's, but one never knows. Then I am going to do a bunch of stuff, and then, I am going to dig a supply of cookies out of the freezer and go to a Moms' Night In. I hope it will not be quite like Penny's, on the Big Bang Theory, but one never knows.

I have the ginger snaps, which are old family favourites from the Joy of Cooking; the "light brown brownies," which I think some people call Blondies; the super chocolate cookies from the new Martha Stewart magazine; plain ol' chocolate chip; and some jam thumbprint cookies from Martha, which I just made yesterday.

Martha and her cookies, I dunno. The chocolate ones are good, but I cut out a ton of chocolate from her recipe. I also made some for which I had to "finely chop" crystallized ginger, which was no picnic. They didn't even taste all that gingery when I was done, either! I didn't save them, but let the kids eat them, and I didn't spend the extra time making lemon icing for them, either. That surely would have made them more flavourful, but it didn't seem worth the fuss.

Yesterday's thumbprints were also a bit too much work for a very meh cookie. Tons of butter, sugar, an egg and flour. That's it! I put a splash of vanilla in, and I ran out of white flour so they are a tad healthy with a cup of whole wheat flour. My first big sigh was when I decided to use my electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar. I never do this; I just use a wooden spoon, or big plastic spoon that looks like a wooden spoon! I was supposed to beat for 3 or 4 minutes, according to the recipe, but after 30 seconds my beaters were all jammed up with butter (Hmm, all jammed up with butter?? You know what I mean) so I reverted to the spoon anyways! Is it possible to do this somehow without clogging things up? The butter was room temperature.

So, next step: make balls, squish them a bit to make a dip. Melt jam... When I first did this, I followed Martha's instructions and melted the jam on the stove, then carefully filled the dips in the cookies. I had two kinds of jam, and so for the second flavour, I put it in the microwave, because it seemed like a good idea. And now I know why the instructions said to do it on the stove! Exploded pineapple jam all over the microwave is not a pleasant thing! Another big sigh.

The cookies are okay... How can one go wrong with all that butter and sugar? But they have no zing.

Pretty, but not worth a second go, I'd say!

I hope there will be knitting as well as cookies tonight. One woman made a lovely sweater, and another saw it and dashed out to buy the yarn. I think is this Garter Stitch Jacket. Now this second one is almost finished, but there are little issues she needs resolved.

Oh, the exciting life I lead, trying to resolve knitting issues and eating cookies! (I took two exercise videos out of the library! It's exhausting just watching them.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A new ball of Noro

I like to rewind the Noro from the store-bought balls into my own centre-pull balls, so that I can find any knots. In the first two balls, I had one or two knots in each, but this last one had none.

I was also really pleased to come across that turquoise again, and can't wait to knit with it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tis the season for silly songs

Well, that's enough of that!

Picking a random number between one and three was a challenge, but we did it, and got THREE! That means that Pigwotknits will get herself a new magazine, as soon as she sends me her snail-mail address (my e-mail address is up there in the corner).

Now, off to knit a few rows before tackling the day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A bit of excitement

Today we had the fire department on our street. No ambulances, luckily!

One has to go gawk a bit when the trucks are on one's very own block, so I turned the soup pot down low and went to see what was going on. Smoke was gently wafting out of the house.

Apparently, someone had left a pot bubbling on the stove and gone out!

And on a happier note: don't forget to leave a comment here to "win" a cool knitting magazine!

Monday, November 22, 2010

After-dinner quickie

Accomplishments of today include (in no particular order):
  1. making a nice dinner of butter chicken, rice, baby corn, green stuff (some kind of bok choy) and vino.
  2. passing on my old hand-me-down sewing machine to someone who will actually use it. This means I either sew by hand or buy a brand-new machine and learn to use it properly.
  3. meeting a knitter and trading magazines. Arachknit (that's her on Rav) and I have met a few times to swap stuff. I'd like to get her and a few others to a friendly knitting party here some day.
  4. walking up and down the hill, to and from said meeting. This was good for my overall fitness, I believe.
  5. taking Les Miserables out of the library. It is a translation, because it is many years since I could read a book like that in French. Hmm, maybe I should work that back up again. I will let you know how it goes!
  6. knitting till I ran out of yarn for the second Ribwarmer. This means another trip to the yarn store. Oh, no.
  7. picking up the Noro cardigan again. So pretty! Such tiny needles!
  8. booking a flight to Castlegar to see my parents and sister in January. This was complicated by the fact that my brain and fingers didn't seem to be connected; I first booked a flight to Penticton! Lucky for me, when I phoned customer service in a bit of a flap, I got a friendly guy who changed my flight and waived the $90 fee! It will be on frequent flyer points, so it only cost me taxes and so on. I will have to rent a car.
  9. digging the holiday lights out of the basement. I have been trying to interest the family in some sort of alternate Christmas tradition around here, but I still like the lights of a traditional Christmas. So far, we just have a few around the fireplace. We can't put the outdoor ones up till December, or some members of the family would mutiny.
  10. managing to blog before the day is over. Pretty good, eh? Twenty-two days in a row!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A fine idea

Lately Alison has been offering a "Saturday giveaway" where she passes on books she no longer needs.

I think this is just a fine idea, although it is now Sunday!

Since two of my friends had the bright idea to give me the same magazine when I was in hospital, I will offer one up to you, dear readers.

It is the VK Fall 2010. (Oh, dear, it's so last season, I'm sorry!)

This is, in fact, full of delightful stuff you should be able to see here.

I can tell you right now that the yarn for the great Union Jack cardigan (Scottish Tweed 4-ply) has already been discontinued, so I hope that doesn't break anyone's heart too badly. They say you can use Felted Tweed, like this one on Ravelry. (And really, if your gauge is off and the final measurement turns out to be 65 inches instead of 68 3/4", who's going to notice!)

Leave a comment here and I'll just pick one lucky winner at random. And perhaps this tradition might continue, because I certainly have a few books I never use!

ETA: I'd better make a time limit on this... Leave your comment before midnight Tuesday, Nov 23!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Next steps

This has nothing to do with knitting. It is sort of the opposite of my sedentary knitting, in fact! I need recommendations for exercise.

I am on the lookout for middle-aged-lady-friendly tummy exercises, to get my muscles back in form. (Well, preferably better than pre-surgery!)

The other day I had on some internet radio station that was supposed to be 80s hits (argh, was there no other band in the 80s besides the Police?) and I thought I should get some power pop exercise video to dance along with... But what I really need are the horrible ab crunching exercises. Yeah, maybe I'll start with the Angela Lansbury workout rather than Jane Fonda...

She would slip if she tried to walk with her legwarmers on her feet like that.

(In my search for Jane Fonda pictures, I came upon this blog post:

Fonda attributes 30 percent of her good looks to sports and a healthy lifestyle:

"I owe 30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent because of sports and healthy lifestyle and for the remaining 10 per cent, I have to thank my plastic surgeon. I'm happier, the sex is better and I understand life better. I don't want to be young again."

Since I can't count on my genes, my lifestyle is not that sporty and I don't have a plastic surgeon, I guess that just leaves one thing!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waiting room accomplishment

I went today to see the surgeon who did my operation five weeks ago, and he said, "How are you doing?" and I said, "Okay" and he prodded a bit and looked at my scar and then he said, "See you next year."

Really, that's about all that happened. My appointment was for 9:30, and it was almost 11 when I had that 5 minute conversation with him.

I'm sure he wasn't sitting on his butt drinking coffee, but how on earth do you get 1.5 hours behind, that early in the morning? What crises kept him from me and our little chat?

Anyways, won't complain too loudly. I learned I am totally A-OK, and I got a whack of knitting done on the second tiger sock.

(I wanted to take the ribwarmer, but I am a few short rows from joining the halves and knitting the back, and I didn't want to be sorting that out -- I should go downstairs right now and lay things out on the floor for a moment!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Knitting with kids

I went to Elaine's school today to help teach a knitting group. This is a fun Thursday enrichment program at the school, with dozens of choices: some kids do science, some do cartooning, some do physical games, some do knitting.

One of the kids asked me how long I had been knitting, and I can't really remember learning! I don't remember making really tight, scrunched-up tangles, and I don't remember wrapping the yarn twice, or somehow putting the left-hand needle's stitch onto the right-hand needle, along with the new stitch.

One boy would do four or five fine stitches, and then end up doubling a bunch more, before he came to me for "help." For some "help" means "do this for me," and for some it seems to mean, "Tell me exactly how to make this perfect, but don't touch my needles." It doesn't often seem to mean, "I will watch closely and copy what you do, paying attention to what you say to me."

The teacher had told them to slip the last stitch of the row, and might have mentioned that they should put the yarn to the front before they do that. One girl found she had way too many stitches, and she had been making a nice little yarnover before slipping her last stitch. So, a pretty line of eyelets and a gently sloping piece of knitting! She then quickly learned k2tog and got back to her original stitch count!

I will go again next week, even though it interferes with my weekly Scrabble game! Maybe I can take pictures of their hands and knitting for you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Those socks for 2011

Here I have four of the balls of yarn which will miraculously turn into socks next year. Most of them will likely be simple patterns.

Zebra stripes, I hope! I got this yarn when I got the "tiger" yarn, so let's hope this is more animal-like!

Wow, this I bought in Cambridge! On sale at Sew Creative... different dye lots, I think, but each ball will be on one foot, so it's unlikely to be noticed, right? Maybe with the regular stripes I could swing something like Monkeys.

I think this was an impulse buy in Romni Wools' basement one day. We could get a bit fancy-pants with this, as I think the bits of colour will be quite widely spaced. But I could be wrong. Maybe something like a cable and bar?

This yarn was given to me several years ago, when I helped some well-meaning but basically newbie grad-student knitters sew together a baby blanket. Hmm, that baby is now about 4, I think! (Yes, here's a report on this yarn, from 2006.)

All set, then! I will make the 6th bag hold one or two single 50 g balls, for kids' socks. I'm excited to think that this just might work!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Joining another knitting bandwagon

I was cruising around on Ravelry today and found a new group. It's a "self-imposed sock club" group, for those of us who wish we knit as devotedly as the Yarn Harlot. If you are unfamiliar with her self-imposed sock club, it's all explained here.

I am going to start the sock club business in January, because that is only sensible, isn't it? And I'm going to start by setting out 6 baggies for the year, instead of 12, because that, too, is sensible. AND, since I have several pairs of socks already on the go, the first baggie will contain the ... is it three? ... partially knit pairs. I have some of those embossed leaf socks, very pretty, very fun, as I recall...

and some other nice ones with eyelets (we can't call it lace, in case Arthur ends up with them, as he likely will). I bragged about how quickly this knitting was going, in January 2009. Ahem. Let's see if I can knit a pair of socks in less than two years, shall we?

Then there are some plain ones -- the tiger socks -- and I think that is it. I have knit the cuff of sock #2.

I have plenty of yarn for socks, but most of it is patterned and really needs a very simple stitch, but I will try to make up 5 more packages of yarn and patterns. I'll check into that tomorrow. I certainly can't take pictures of yarn right now, since it is both dark, and pourrrrring down rain.

Any sock pattern recommendations are welcome!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Couldn't stand it any longer

After the 4-stitch disappointment of yesterday, I have switched my allegiance to another Ribwarmer, at least for a few days.

I had to hang around at a birthday party yesterday (many 10-year-old girls bowling!) so got a decent start on it.

knitting with oregano

I could, indeed, have taken the cardigan piece, but I am still looking at it in disbelief, and thought garter stitch over 30 stitches on 6 mm needles just sounded so much more pleasant!

Hard to capture the bluey-purply colour in the fall morning gloom.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The twilight zone, right in my own house

Here's what I did:

Cast on, knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit cast off at underarm. Count.


Count again, add on fingers, look carefully, count again.

There are two mistakes so far. Neither seems fatal, though neither can be explained by reason alone. Cue scary music.

Firstly, one of the columns of lace is two stitches closer to the edge than the other at the underarm, but not at the bottom. Did I really miss those final k2togs in the lace?

Hmm, it looks like I might have done that once.

The other problem is that I have 4 more stitches than I should have. Cue really scary music. Four stitches!? Four!!??

Lucky for me they are tiny and I can't see them looking obtrusive anywhere. I did all the proper cast-offs and decs at the underarm and don't want to go mucking about with that, because I have to set in the sleeves. I have to fiddle with the top of the back and shoulders anyway, because I added stitches to the width, so I will just have to fiddle a bit differently now.

stitches?? How did that happen?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The things I am ignoring these days

I am plugging away at this sweater, and it is kind of delightful.

Until I look around and think of all the other projects that are getting nowhere at all.
  1. The cotton baby blanket. Before, this was just a fun thing for me to do, which I'd planned on giving to the Children's Aid. Now I learn that someone is having a baby in the spring, so I will give it to them. I certainly am not in a rush, but I had meant to have it finished this fall.
  2. The black and grey witchy shawl. Still forming itself in my brain, really. Totally missed Halloween, but there's always next year!
  3. Arthur's second tiger sock. Sigh. Actually, I have three pairs of socks on the go. Oh, and fixing the toes of my mom's socks.
  4. I really want to make something with my pretty new laceweight yarn.
  5. And all those other things which have been on list forever.
  6. Oh, and that new yarn has to turn into a Ribwarmer.
Perhaps monomania is not the way to go, and I should spend a bit of time on each thing in turn. Today a sock, tomorrow a Ribwarmer, the next day, lace? Hmm.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here's something to write about

It appears there are a MILLION people on Ravelry, as of this evening!

There is a thread in the forums about the approach to a million -- I didn't read all the 14 pages, but I did get to the post where someone suggested that if each person donated a dollar... that'd be a million dollars!

I think I will donate my dollar, then go knit another inch in celebration!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What I think of NaBloPoMo right now

You know, this every-day-blogging thing is getting tedious.

I played Scrabble today with a friend and whupped her, but that's not very excellent blog fodder. I did make FAILURE, which got me 83 points, so that's pretty darn fine, but still, I can't fill up a knitting blog with Scrabble words.

I made some Jamie Oliver beef stew (yes, I know it's a recipe for pie, but if you don't put the pastry lid on it, it's stew) and we'll have that for dinner. I actually wanted to have it around for Arthur to take for lunches (because I am, after all, Supermom) but now he tells me his school is closed for a "Reading Day" tomorrow, and then it is the weekend. So, likely there will be no stew left by Monday, and it'll be Pizza Pops in the thermos next week.

Um... well, that's it. It might just turn out that I bail on this BloPo stuff, or maybe tomorrow I'll have reached the armholes of my sweater, and I can show you some decreases. (Also, one-third of the way through the month, perhaps one-quarter of the way through the sweater. Not looking good there, either!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Repeat performance

One of my great successes of late was the Ribwarmer. It was so well received, in fact, that my sister asked me to make her another one! She wears it a lot, it fits, it's comfortable -- what more could one ask!

So, although I am sort of spoken for, knitting-wise, for the next little while, I found myself in the basement of Romni Wools, on a ridiculous quest for chunky cotton yarn, in mid-November.

This is the same sort of yarn as I used before, something called Antuco. There wasn't much choice if one wanted any specific a) gauge, b) fiber and c) cost.

It should knit up sort of "denimy," I suppose. I'll certainly get to it before Christmas -- the last one only took a bit over a week to knit.

It will be a bit weird to knit the same pattern with more or less the same yarn! I do very few repeat performances... I can think of the Baby Surprise Jacket, but that might be the only garment I've ever knit more than once.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

And now for something completely different

I started out today to clear out the drawer of hats and mitts and scarves. It is overflowing and there must be something in there we don't use much. I came across a hat I made a few years ago, which I never wore.

Recycled sari silk! Very pretty, bazillions of colours, hairy, thready, bitsy stuff. However, it has no stretch at all, and a hat of it is a ridiculous thing that just sits on your head with no snugness at all.

Taking this knitting out would also be ridiculous -- the hairiness of it holds all the stitches together; there are thick and thin bits and extra threads all over the place. I managed to cut a thread at the top of the hat and, with some swearing and sweating, I got a row or two tinked out. I think there might still be a decrease row left here, but when I got enough yarn freed up, I just cast off the lot and we'll call it a cowl.

That took an hour or two, and the drawer is still as overflowing as ever.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Something to blog about today

I don't know about this daily blogging. Maybe if I were clever like Dawn, I'd make lots of little things and show you lots of variety. But alas... today's sweater looks much like yesterday's.

I will tell you a few things:
  • I made chocolate cookies "loosely based on" some from Martha. She wanted 8 ounces of chocolate and half a cup of cocoa. Four of those ounces were to be melted into the dough, and the other 4 got chopped and used like chocolate chips. So, I ditched those last 4 ounces, and melted only 3. I figure half a cup of cocoa and 3 ounces of chocolate should be enough for anyone!
  • She also wanted instant espresso powder, but surely that's the same as no-name instant decaf?
  • They are still delicious. I can't really imagine how chocolatey they would be if I'd followed the recipe.
  • Now I am watching the Twilight Zone. I got a DVD at the library, and have watched 4 episodes. It is crazy.
  • I sewed a button back on my leopard spotted coat. It has been off for a year or two. Then I tried to take pictures of myself in my nice coat. I was not very successful, but you can't see too many of my chins in this one:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Back to NaKniSweMo

Progress thus far:

I think if I continue in a slightly obsessive way, this will be complete at the end of the month. The "want to knit" pile is getting huge, but I think monomania is the only way to go now.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A yes, a no, and a maybe

Let me first say that all these pictures have been borrowed from the VK site.

In this latest issue of the magazine, the folks at Vogue have gone even farther along the crazy line than usual, I think! The holiday issue in the good, old days offered patterns for kid and men's sweaters and gift-like things, but now it shows us glam party stuff, often using golden yarn and sparkly bits, and features those mohair tops that no-one could stand to wear next to their skin...

-- this year's is made of bulky alpaca! (It's really a scarf, but you can be so clever with a scarf, can't you?)

Oops, sidetracked by Tom Scott again...

What I think when I look at a lot of these designs is, "Wouldn't that be fun to knit? But I would never wear it!" And while fun in knitting is good, what will people do with this when they are finished?

I mean, it is a couple of layers of wool; it would keep you nice and toasty warm, but you couldn't wear it indoors, could you? I'd be sweating in my flimsy gown, with that thing around my neck! A garden party in the arctic, is where you need that baby... but! Wouldn't it be a blast to make those cable-y, ruffly layers?

This one made me gasp with delight, but again, they can't expect a person to wear it like this, can they?

I really do think I might try this, because we all know I need another pretty thing to tuck into my coat in the winter! I'd make the neck fit more closely, if I ever get around to it. Love the leaves!

Perhaps my favourite of the patterns this time round is this scarf... ahem, yes, another lacy scarf!

It is entrelac, but except for the outside bits, the squares have lacy bits knitted in. Pretty!

Tomorrow, touch wood, I'll have more attempts at sweater pictures for you.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Almost forgot to blog!

I have been knitting, and reading my cookbooks, and tending the ol' home fires. I didn't make it out to the store yet for candied ginger and edible glitter for my Martha experiments, so I made good old fashioned Ginger Snaps from the Joy of Cooking -- not the most recent edition, where they are so bold as to use a bit of lemon zest in their Ginger Snaps, but the one from the 70s.

Some people take much more arty pictures of baking, but that's just another thing I will have to work at!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This is hard to photograph

The light these days is wintry and grey, and it's always hard to get good pictures of laciness, I find. Next weekend we turn back the clocks, and then it's really winter and the darkness will really close in. But still, we carry on!

This is inside with a flash. What it is meant to show is the plain knitting in the middle of the back, and the two columns of lace on either side.

That didn't inspire me with confidence, so I held the piece up to the window and took this:

See, lace and plain... Okay, still not great... Let's go outside:

I really like this piece, but can't seem to show you how great it is! There are a couple of inches of the sleeve lace pattern all round the bottom, and then the main part of the body will be like this, plain bits and lace columns. The stocking stitch looks great, if I do say so! The colours are perfect and although it seems a bit rough for such delicate stuff, I'm told it will soften up with a wash.

Now my equilibrium is about to be messed with again, because I just got a new Vogue Knitting in the mail. The cover promises lace scarves... oh, no!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

We can't talk about that sweater every day

I am sad to report that I am already behind schedule on the nakniswemo sweater. Tomorrow, I really really hope to have a few repeats of the lace up the back to show you, but today, let's think of something else!

Apparently, the day after Halloween is the first day of the Christmas season. The decorations in the grocery store change overnight, and bam, there are the Christmas cooking magazines there on the rack.

I have a weakness for cooking magazines. The pictures, so lovely! The descriptions (quick! simple! tasty! easy! impressive!) so tantalizing!

I should really copy out the few recipes I ever use and give away the actual magazines, but I hold on to them for years. I think I have 3 "holiday cookie" issues of various sorts.

And now I have a new one! Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies magazine. There are recipes like these. This issue has kid-friendly cookies, and glittery cookies, and speculaas and cookies with green tea flavouring or chili powder in them. Luckily I have 2 months to make them all... Must put "butter" at the top of the shopping list, I think...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Plans for the sweater

Here we are again! This might get boring!

I have started the body of my sweater. After making two sleeves in this lace pattern, 2.5 inches more of it is about 2.5 inches too much! But, I will only need to do a couple of rows of that pattern today, and that'll be done.

I am making one or two big changes to the pattern. (Look, it's on You Tube!) The pattern calls for bands of a slightly different lace pattern straight across the back, and then tilty and short-rowed across the front. I don't want the short rows on the front, because, especially with the colour changes of the Noro, I think it would look .... terrible.

I could just do the horizontal rows of lace on both the back and front, or I could change it all up, and make the lace pattern vertical. The Noro stripes will be very thin, since they are designed to be on a sock and I am using them on my body, and I don't think the horizontal lace would add any excitement, but put the lace vertical and I think that would add pizzazz and zing and "it."

Now, since I so far only have about 2.3 inches of lace on the bottom of my back piece, I will get to work on that and I hope to get enough done to make an interesting picture for tomorrow!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Starting this November regime

This month I have 2 goals: blog every day, and finish my Noro sock yarn sweater! I'm happy to see many of my fave bloggers going for the NaBloPoMo, too!

The sleeves of the sweater are done, so my 50,000 stitches will be all in the body.

As you can see, the sleeves started out to be identical! This was not on purpose! One of the things we have to accept about this yarn is that the stripes will be different widths on sleeves, back, cardi fronts. There is no way to make the back stripes and the front stripes match, because the fronts are half the width of the body, so the stripes are over twice as many rows. And that is that.

So, one expects unevenness, disjointedness and general mayhem, colourwise.

You can imagine my shock when the sleeves just happened to turn out the same! How did that happen!?

You can also see where I had to change balls in this first sleeve. (Hint: tiny little row of turquoise.) Since I was embracing the mayhem, I just continued with the logical bit of yarn without trying to match anything up. And used just enough so that the second sleeve started at the same point in the sequence! Argh. Should I have found a new ball? We'll see when we get to the fronts.

I think enough mayhem may have been introduced with the second sleeve cap:

Now, since I mean to blog every day, I think this is enough for day one!