Monday, February 28, 2011

February accomplishments

End of the month wrap-up time!

I did the February square, and am keen on seeing what is up for March. I like doing the squares one-a-month like this: there's a slight feeling of obligation, and a surge of excitement when this wee chore is done, and I imagine I'll have a small blanket done at the end of the year without feeling pressed by it at all. So far, so good!

Then there's the February socks... These were a continuation of the January socks, of course! I was meant to finish up the three pairs of UFO socks that were hanging around the house. The Tiger ones were quickly dealt with. Waving Lace took longer, but did get done!

Whoo hoo!

I also meant to get the Noro cardigan done! Ahhhh, no.
But I did work on two things I hadn't worked on in a while, and that must be good. The black shawl is fun and easy, and the blanket is just down to the tedious finishing bits. (Really, the squares are all knit, but I am too lazy to take a new picture. I have even sewn a couple of bits together!)

So my new goals include:

I picked a new bag of sock yarn for March and April, and I shall be making a cable and bar patterned pair in sort of funny grey yarn.

I mean to get that done, as well as the Embossed Leaves left from the previous bag. One might suppose I'd get the older pair done first, but I might try the one-and-one system -- finish one from one pair and then one from the other. We shall see.

March square for the Block A Month KAL

Noro cardigan -- really truly!

Witchy shawl

Cotton Blanket

Ha, those are very similar to earlier goals.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Update on the basement project

You may remember that last March we sent Arthur down to the basement bathroom for a little demolition work.

That went very successfully, but the ensuing reconstruction met a few snags along the way. I am, however, happy to say that work has picked up admirably of late, and we have not only a working toilet, but some vanities.

That surface you see will remain solid, and there is another one opposite the toilet that will get the sink. This means more measuring and cutting and so on, but it would be delightful to get that done by this coming March Break!

We need to paint, put up a towel rack or two, find a mirror, finish up the drawers etc. Maaaaybeee it'll all be done within a year of starting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Colour colour colour

My friend Dave went to South Africa. He likes birds the way some people like yarn, if you know what I mean.

Some of my favourite colourways from his trip:

brown and black


pinky orange

And, some zebras' hind ends. If you look around, there are also giraffes and elephants and hippos and about a zillion other birds of all shapes and sizes. Makes my pictures of snow and half-knitted items look a bit dull, really...

ETA: Sunday, he clicked something crazy and deleted a bunch of pictures! Shame on him. His photostream is here.

ETA again: I think those links will work now. There are so many amazing pictures.... And then one gets distracted in Flickr and finds quilts somehow...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Wear a Sweater Day

Today we are all supposed to turn our heat down and wear "a fun, quirky sweater" according to the folks at the WWF. I kind of did that already, though not voluntarily!

Oh, listen! More news on the heating and ventilation of my house: fellow came to clean the ducts yesterday, and there was crashing around and the big vacuum in the truck and so on, and a few hours later, there was even more crashing, and a hunk of duct fell down in the basement! Someone's going to get to use actual duct tape to fit together an actual duct! Today is water-heater day. When that is done, all we have to do is wait for warmer weather and then we can spend tons more money lining our chimney and making it so we can burn wood in the fireplace.

In all the excitement around here lately, a day came and went and I did no knitting! This messed up my self-imposed schedule, which forced me to think about this whole schedule idea some more. It's good to get some progress happening on things that have recently sat around unloved for months on end, but it's bad to get only a day or two a week to knit on the things that I "should" get done.

I'm sure the good folks at the Self-imposed Sock Club on Ravelry won't eat me up if I don't finish my socks by the end of the month, but if I don't finish, then I don't get the fun of choosing the next pair to knit! (I will get that fun eventually, I suppose!) Anyways, I bumped everything along one day, but I think I will concentrate on my Waving Lace socks a bit more, to get them done, and the Noro cardigan, and let the other things go back to being unloved for a bit longer.

Also, I have a cold. I wish these fellows with the water heater would hurry up so I can resume sitting on the couch feeling glum with a cup of tea, and some simple knitting. 

No pictures today. Imagine bags with knitting strewn about the living room...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Unsettled weather for Valentines Day

This is the weather forecast for today. Might rain, might snow. White fluffy clouds, grey threatening clouds, and sun are all possible.

Ah, February.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Back to our regular programming

Ah, the furnace is new and shiny and working! There might be a water-heater issue, and there's sure to be an air-conditioning issue, but I think that mainly we are done with that business.
old furnace. Ick.
new furnace. Nice!
The day I spent at my friend's house, I knit on the witchy shawl. I now have about 150 stitches across the top, and I have 3 more balls of the basic black yarn, so I should end up with a pretty nice big triangle!

I'm not sure why that grey pattern bit went so wonky.

I'm pretty sure I followed the pattern for the stitch, except for making it gartery instead of stockingy. But it definitely wants to slant. Huh.

Yesterday was cotton blanket day, and I didn't get much more than one corner done. But I only need to do a tiny bit more before all the squares are done and it just needs to be sewn together and edged somehow. La de da, just a wee bit of finishing, shouldn't take long(er than a month or three).

Today is Noro cardigan day, but it is also grocery day and teach-Arthur's-class-to-knit day, so I'm not hopeful that much will get done. The weekend is a free-for-all, knitting-wise, so I might finish knitting the blanket, or I might do more on the shawl, or on the Waving Lace socks.

Oh, socks!

For some obscure historical reason, I am on a mailing list for the Textile Museum, and the latest newsletter had a wee mention of a sock workshop (scroll down) with Lucy Neatby! I have looked at her shawls and scarves, but never paid attention to her socks... and they are not your standard socks. Of course, I have e-mailed for registration info!

I hope to have both the Waving Lace and some Embossed Leaves done by the end of February. (This sounded so reasonable at the beginning of January, but now seems absurd.)

I mean to learn to do toe-up socks, and thought I would try that out before going to this workshop. Yeah, and I also thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to wear a scarf designed by her; I have a pattern!" Oh, Mary, get a grip!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

My new best friend

Indeed, the motor of our 30-year-old furnace bit the dust.

How many years did we have this conversation in January or February:

"Wouldn't it be nice to burn wood in our fireplace? Let's look into lining the chimney properly and setting that up!"

"Yes, and we could update the furnace at the same time, because we have to vent this and that and blah blah, we'll look into it, come May!"

And how many summers ended with one like this:

"Oh, I guess we missed the boat on that fireplace/furnace renovation plan."

"Ha, ha, let's just hope the thing lasts us another winter!"

Ha ha ha. This year our luck ran out. Bad news is our furnace is so old that popping in a new motor is not feasible; good news is we can install a fancy-pants, new, efficient furnace with a high-tech blowy fan thing without getting into the whole chimney issue. Bad news is it will cost us a bit of money; good news is we won't all freeze. Bad news: not today; good news: tomorrow.

More good news: I caught my friend and neighbour before she went to work this morning and got her house key, so now that the guy has come and done his sorting and measuring and checking, I am off to sit in her comfy chair and knit. (I was washing dishes to keep my hands warm, but there's only so much of that to do!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A different kind of snow day

Finally, yesterday we got some good packing snow. The kids at the school went a bit wild; in the other field there were snowmen 10 feet tall! These balls were made by the grade 1 kids, and decorated with coloured water.

With all this snow and cold and stuff, we finally got to thinking we should turn the humidifier on our furnace on. It was not working quite right; water dripped; there was a funny smell. And this morning we woke up to a busted motor in the blower of the furnace, so the house is bleedin' freezing!

I am keenly waiting for the Furnace Guy.

Friday, February 04, 2011

A new idea

Sometimes I am so clever. Really.
The other day when I was at the place where one renews one's driver's license, I sat for some time knitting happily on my new sock-in-bag, but also took some time to write the odd list. (I had kind of a lot of time.)

One of my lists was really more of a table: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And under each day I put a knitting project: cardigan, sock, February square, witchy shawl, cotton blanket.

So far, I have kept to that pseudo-schedule. I knit on something for a day, and then move on.

On Thursday, instead of walking past the bag with the witchy shawl in it and cursing, I got the knitting out, found a stitch pattern and a bit of sock yarn, and made some progress!

It is supposed to be crazy, you may recall.

I am now on my third ball of this lovely soft blue-black wool/silk yarn. Soft and lustrous.

Of course, today I am supposed to make progress on something else, so I'm a bit disappointed about that! And I have no plan for the weekend! But we shall see if I make another list for the future, or if I just slip into my old habits of working on whatever I please at the moment. I might just give this idea a bit of a chance.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

February square

A new month and a new square.

We had a wee bit of snow yesterday and the schools were closed, so the four of us were at home, shovelling snow, knitting, sitting in front of computers, baking cookies...  

This was the optional square for February; the original choice was a bit bland, I thought.

It was fun -- you slip two stitches for several rows, and then do a little fancy footwork and hook them up diagonally.

All that slipping, on a stocking stitch background, made it curl up like anything, but I wet it and laid it out overnight, and it seems to have calmed down. 

Now I have two squares, more or less the same size.

I have lots more of this green, and I have a darker green, but no more orange! That might mean I buy more yarn, or it might mean a green blanket with one orange square!

I will make March's square out of the dark green and see how things go.