Saturday, January 29, 2011

The end of January

I didn't have actual goals written down for January, but I can tell you what I did.
I joined the Block-a-Month group on Ravelry and so made the January square, and will make the February square in the coming weeks!

My self-imposed sock club socks need to be finished at the end of February, and that might happen. I did finish some in January.

I made 2 dishcloths and half a scarf while in travel limbo last weekend.

I started a shawl! Silly me!

It is so pretty and fun, so I haven't actually paid much attention to my lovely cardigan.

Oh! I was going out the other day and thought I should take a sock... But the socks I am supposed to be knitting require me to look at a pattern once in a while, which makes them unsocial. So... I cast on another pair! Yes, silly me again!

These will be kid-sized, and are plain old plain old, so I can knit them on the subway or while playing Scrabble or drinking coffee. 

Now, I can tell you what I mean to finish by the end of February:
  1. All those UFO socks, which now means I will knit one Waving Lace and one and a half Embossed Leaves. Yikes.
  2. A square for February. No prob.
  3. I did think I'd have the cardi finished by the end of February. Does that mean I have to put aside the shawl? How about this: I'll have made significant progress on either the cardigan or the shawl?!

I am typing this while watching the live stream of news from Egypt... Rumours of damage to antiquities (ETA: a couple of mummies were damaged before looters were turned away from the museum). Vigilante security groups setting themselves up. Buildings on fire and people are dead. Maybe what sock I knit doesn't really make much difference... 

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Just showing off

    So, you want to know how the weather is in British Columbia is today? Just click here and all will be revealed.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    The illustrated story of my weekend

    This was probably the weirdest thing I've done in a while.

    (Lotsa pictures; click to embiggen.)

    Got up very early Friday; went to the airport.

    I had a window seat on a Boeing 777, so I could watch the deicing.

    A 777 is 9 seats and two aisles wide, so the other window was very far away.

    I just noticed that that man was wearing shorts. I wonder where he came from, or if he was on his way to Hong Kong, which is where the plane went on to after dropping a bunch of us in Vancouver.

    The flight was boring, as usual: I got some knitting done, ate some snacks, watched The Social Network and some TV show episodes.

    It was cloudy almost all across the country.

    There is only one flight a day to Castlegar from Vancouver, so I had to hang around the Vancouver airport for 3 hours.

    I can't tell you how familiar I got with that turquoise carpet; it is everywhere. After I took this picture, I had a nice chat with a gentleman who told me he had had trouble getting needles through security, 10 years ago. I suggested he try again! Then I went to find my gate, because finally, it was almost time to go! (This scarf did not progress any further, because apparently 1.75 100g balls of this black yarn is not enough to keep me busy all across the country!)

    Cancelled. Urgh. Voucher for hotel and meals. Come back tomorrow.

    Waiting for the hotel shuttle bus.

    It was kind of grey. Castlegar airport is very small, is tucked in a valley between two big mountains and has no lights or other aids to landing. The pilot has to be able to actually see the runway from some distance, and it's all tricky. So, a bit of snow or cloud can really mess things up!

    The hotel they sent me to had this lovely view of the highway, and was across the street (in the other direction) from a mall, or at least a conglomeration of big stores. There was a Michael's, among other things! I wandered around the store in a bit of a daze, but managed to come away with only 8 balls of dishcloth cotton (on sale! only a dollar a pop!) and, naturally, some nice needles to knit it up with. No valentine cookie cutters, though -- I reminded myself at the last minute that I already have some, though not hot pink!

    (Photo taken at home -- how could I have neglected to do this before! Why is it all blue and green? -- No idea!)

    Saturday I got up, had the prefab egg breakfast and just terrible coffee. Not much point in hanging around the hotel, so I went down to get the shuttle.

    Pictures from the hotel, waiting for the shuttle to return me to the airport and a choice of coffee places:

    Primroses with butt-end. We won't be seeing that in Toronto for some months.

    Make a blanket!

    Just, you know, hazy artiness.
    Or do we prefer the black & white version?


    I don't sleep well in such situations and I was both sleep-deprived and soon also over-caffeinated.

    But I had finished a dishcloth!

    Sat in some blue chairs that "match" the carpet... Finally, in the approach to 2 pm, I met up with my fellow-travellers from the day before; listened to announcements ("Don't worry, Kelowna travellers, slight electrical problem, but I understand they will fix it, or you can even fly without that part.... Ah, Kelowna travellers, we have your part, but discovered another little problem, but they will fix that really soon..." I felt glad I was not going to Kelowna); and then bum bum buuuum noticed that our flight was delayed for half an hour. Just as I was about to ask if that delay was due to weather, the sign switched: Cancelled.

    So, do I wait another day and hope the weather is better? Go downtown and get on a bus for an overnight ride? Drive?? Or, flee? Well, I fled.

    What if I got to Castlegar on Sunday afternoon, and then on Tuesday morning, after one whole day there, got stuck and couldn't take off to get home? Stephen is going to a conference on Wednesday, so I couldn't extend my stay. I feel badly, because I was supposed to go to help out with little things, but I was able to get back to Toronto and change my ticket and I can go again in April, when the sun will be shining and all will be well (with the usual touching of wood, etc). I will have a leisurely visit in the spring, rather than a crazy fast stressful visit in the winter.

    By the time I was sitting in these purple chairs waiting for my flight back to Toronto, I was what I think they call "punch-drunk." (Did you know it was a picture of a chair? Hmm?)

    Bonus: a nice view of Mt Baker, although I was not in the window seat this time and had to reach over my sleeping neighbour to take this!

    Home safe and sound at 1 am.

    I hear the weather in Castlegar is lovely today!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    The good and the bad, in 5 minutes

    My time is running out on this bulletproof computer in a hotel lobby deep in Richmond BC.
    I flew to Vancouver, in a plane that was wider than my house. Watched the Facebook movie, which I didn't much care for, really. Then hung around in the Vancouver airport for 3 (T-H-R-E-E) hours waiting for my connection. Half an hour before we should have boarded, they said it was too cloudy/snowy/ungood for them to fly and land, so they gave me a voucher and sent me (and 5 others at least) off on a shuttle to a cheap chain hotel.
    Oh, no, only 2 minutes left.
    I took that scarf I mentionned. 1.75 balls of acrylic/wool blend chunk yarn, and a bunch of novelty bits. I knitted it all up! I do still have the nice cardigan, but felt it would be a good idea to get some dishcloth cotton across the street here, at Michaels.
    okay, I'm outta here! Wish me luck!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    I'm leaving on a jet plane

    Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I am getting on a plane to go see my parents and sister in BC.

    Funny how "getting ready" for this involves finishing a sock, but it does.

    This is the first of the Waving Lace socks, started two years ago! Can you believe it? I have cast on for the second, but will not take it with me on this trip.

    For the plane, I have a whole new project... of course!

    This is the black left over from the Skiers sweater* and some bits and bobs of novelty yarn that I bought once upon a time!

    I will make a plain ol' basketweave scarf, sticking in a crazy bit of fluff every once in a while. I'm leaving the ends dangling and tying a few discreet knots, and hoping it will look bohemian and cool, instead of just nuts!

    I will also take the Noro cardigan, because I really want to get it finished and I think I can work on it in the peace and quiet of my hotel room, watching Jamie Oliver on the Food Network.

    The fan shawl will have to stay here with the sock. It is continuing to be very amusing, and I'm enjoying the quickie fans and the Noro delights, but one must prioritize... and I suppose a priority here now should be finding clean clothes to take, along with the knitting.

    See you next week!

    *Funny story about the Skiers! A fellow Raveler sent me a message saying, "I see you made this sweater; where can I find the pattern?" So I said that since I was not going to make it again, she could have mine. She offered to pay and so I got a few dollars and she got a cool new/old pattern to make a sweater for her granddaughter. Stay tuned, since the granddaughter's birthday is in March.

    Friday, January 14, 2011


    Where the heck did this dark purple come from?

    As you can see, I even dragged the centre out of the ball to see where the knot was -- this must be a crazy deviation!

    But no, deeply hidden in there, I did spy another bit of purple, though it doesn't show anywhere on the outside of the ball.

    I am really enjoying my little fans! It's a bit of a nuisance picking up the stitches, but this is all about the colour, so I'm willing to sacrifice some knitting pleasure for the colour pleasure, if you get what I mean! I can't wait to get to that pink!

    I am also enjoying, right now, sitting in front of my computer! I woke up to a power failure this morning -- the juice was off for about 3 hours, and the lights just popped on as we were wondering if Elaine's school would be closed for lack of heat. We do have an old Walkman with a radio, so we are not totally adrift, but we are so dependent on this box for information, and we forget that in an emergency, it is not really any use at all!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    It's all her fault, she started it

    You may have heard of the recent outbreak of Startitis in Toronto. When I read this article, I boldly declared that, although I had knitting all over the house, and although I have unrealistic ideas about how fast I can knit, I might possibly be "immune" to this malady.

    Not so! I think that even by reading that blog, I may have picked up some fatal microbes.

    I was looking through my favourite shawls on Ravelry, just for fun, you know, and discovered that one I showed you last time: the Fan Shawl. And once upon a time I found an on-sale ball of a different colourway of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn, which would look so lovely knitted up in this way. Annnnd, the shawl is made in those little bits, so easy and quick, not really time-consuming knitting at all!

    Oh yeah, and it snowed! A lot! One needs a new shawl (or cardigan or socks) in this weather!

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Sweater and sock knitting

    Now, I know that I have knit two whole things thus far: a square and the last bit of a pair of socks. But, really, how is the Noro cardigan coming?

    It is coming along fine. I've stopped knitting both fronts at once, since I spent as much time figuring out which-way-to-go-on-what-piece as I did knitting, or at least it felt like it!

    When I just have one of those little rows to do at a time, it zips right along. So one day I knit on one side, and one day I knit on the next, and I know how many pattern repeats I need to do before I start the armhole and neck shaping. So, all is well.

    The camera battery died right after this picture, so you will have to wait to see another one with the bottom edges uncurled!

    If only my hands were silky smooth, instead of winter rough! My nails are not perfect and the skin on my fingertips is rough in places. I feel like Scarlet O'Hara after working in the fields. Whatev'. I find that a spot of hand lotion makes handling the yarn less troublesome. What an innovation!

    I am prepared to continue with my socks. Here is the first Waving Lace sock. This yarn is so soft! Not sure on whose feet these will end up, but they are certainly fun to make!

    I could tell you what my plan is for the next sweater, since I have changed my mind from whatever it was I last told you. But let's do one thing at a time, shall we? I have also decided on a shawl, for now. How about this in my leftover Noro Kureyon Sock? Several examples from Ravelry are here. We'll see how long this desire lasts, and when I will get around to it!

    Saturday, January 08, 2011

    Take a subway ride this Sunday

    It is quite cold out these days, but the subways are often very warm.

    Warm enough to wear no pants? (For the British among you, that means no trousers. Keep your pants on!)

    Picture borrowed from Improv in Toronto! She's knitting!

    This Sunday is the next No Pants subway ride. More fun than the TTC Knitalong? Who can say?

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    A square

    Here is the square for the Block a Month group. I wouldn't go out of my way to make it again ... but it is fine. And next up, I shall knit on the cardigan!

    I have a month, now, to find more Cascade 220 superwash, because this is all of this orange that I have!

    One orange square, ta da.

    Wednesday, January 05, 2011

    Done done done

    Two socks, which are really pretty nearly the same size, despite what that picture looks like!

    In action, with plaid pjs. ("Just stand still, I need a picture of these socks! Now, go to bed!")

    I had the dangedest time getting the length of the second foot right. I think my gauge was just that tiny bit different, and although they looked like the same length, they were 10 rows different! Yes, I counted, just to make sure. It'll all work out in the wash, as they say!

    Yeah, maybe his feet are different lengths, too...

    Tuesday, January 04, 2011

    Someone said to flash the stash

    Remember in the olden days of blogging, April 1 was Flash your Stash day? I did it in 2006, when I was in England, and I am totally freaked out to see that I still some of that yarn!

    I found a thread on Ravelry the other day about flashing the stash, and aside from the arguments about whether it should be done in April or now, it was quite cool to see everyone's displays!

    I got the idea that one should have "before" and "after" pictures, so, here's my "before."

    That is a king-size bed. Click to embiggen the picture -- in the front is the sock yarn, in the upper left is the denim, in between is the Felted Tweed , to the right is miscellaneous stuff of all weights and amounts.

    Some of the sock yarn, which I almost forgot because I keep it in a separate place, not the closet!

    As you see, I will not even half this by making 5 or 6 or 7 pairs of socks!

    The denim. This pile should be quite reduced by the end of the year if I manage to make my gansey!

    I don't have too many sweater-lots of yarn, but I do have enough to keep me going for a long time!

    A pair of socks uses up one ball of 100g, and takes {ahem} a week or two or a month. A lace shawl would take a long time, and use up one or two of those balls on the bed. A sweater takes up 10 or 20 balls of yarn and could keep me amused for anywhere from a month to a year!

    So how does one calculate how much knitting one has stored up in one's stash? Or is this just a silly question....

    All I know is that I have enough yarn for now, and hope to have maybe a single bed's worth at the end of the year!

    Monday, January 03, 2011


    The amaryllis is putting on quite a show. Two flowers are almost fully out, and there will be several others.

    But what is this funny thing sticking up the top?

    It's an amazing structure, this whole thing. Big tall stalk, huge crazy flowers! I'm a bit afraid to carry it around to get better light for photographing it, in case it tips over or something, so I do get some funny shadowy pictures, and I do some funny contortions to hold other plants out of the way and so on!

    And speaking of crazy, I was cruising around Ravelry yesterday and found another KAL group I just had to join... The Knit a Block a Month group! This only adds one little bitty square to my monthly obligations, so, no prob, right? And it will help me use up some yarn, though I'm sure I'll find myself buying a bit more as the year progresses. I should end up with a crib blanket at the end of it, which will surely be put to good use somewhere.

    Onward, with all those Monday chores....

    Sunday, January 02, 2011

    For knitting fun

    Oh, yay, it's January. Monday the kidlets go back to school and I will go to the grocery store and then the library and then return extra Avatar discs and also take down the Christmas cards, and then, who knows? Probably watch this once again, indeed!