Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Getting ready!

This was us this weekend. Note the appalling lack of handknit clothing on this family. Sheesh.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Plans for total organisation and success

I'm still feeling overwhelmed when I think of the pile of unfinished knitting around the house. So I've devised a plan... Instead of flitting willy-nilly from project to project, each week I'll focus on a few things, some even finishable! And we'll see how that goes.

This week, I have my sock which I'm really enjoying knitting, the gaudy blue one for Arthur, and then I've also cast on the second of a pair of socks I started for him some months ago! So I have a plain sock and a fancy sock. I also started a Christmas project, which is totally allowed, since we're approaching Christmas. The reddish scarf is also bugging me, and has to be done shortly after Christmas, so I'll think about that, too. And that should keep me happily occupied, right?

And there are a few other footnotes and exceptions: dishcloths are allowed at any time, since they are mostly Xmas pressies, and squares for the school afghan are also allowed. But some progress should be made on the main items. Tune in for a) progress reports and b) more and more rule changes!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Eye Candy for you

Arthur made a sculpture of Fimo of some leafcutting ants for a school project! Emergency hot-glue head repair by Mom... That leaf is heavy!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

For Anne -- a walk or two

Anne is looking for pictures from a trip to the shops. Today I went north for groceries...

First past the Ball and Hockey Playing Prohibited sign. We get around this by-law thusly: We're not playing ball and we're not playing hockey -- we're playing ball hockey. Nobody's ever been stopped.

Often this street is busier. Looks kinda deserted here!

To Loblaws, where they are selling


I didn't buy either of these things, but did get some milk and cookies. Crazy, eh? But I needed the cookies to feed to the kids at school in the knitting group! And the milk, well, I just needed milk. Since we live around the corner, going to the store is practically an everyday occurrence.

And then I went south to mail a letter. I went past the sushi restaurant with plastic sushi in the window

and here's the smutty theatre and the Korean grocery. Toronto is famously diverse, and I live in the yuppie, Korean, smutty neighbourhood, I guess...

And no walk about the 'hood would be complete without a stop at the decorated house. Spiderman in a tree! Note the wooden collages on the bricks of the house!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wednesday WIP??

Okey doke, folks, there's a bit of a problem with this... Just about the minute I signed up to Wipeout my WIPs, I also said I would knit hats for kids in Oklahoma!

So, I've not got much to say about dealing with old projects, but look at this! It's called Hat #1.

It's kinda boring. I must say that garter stitch in the round is no fun. Next one, I figured, stocking stitch, and I'm going to get a circ instead of using 4 dpns!

Okay, now here's Hat #2! Stocking stitch, a bit less boring, really, but still, those dpns kill me.

So, I really needed to go to the store and buy a new hat-making circular needle.

Well... I did. So look for Hat #3 any moment now. No more grey, either; I'm moving on to dark green!

And I got some yarn to make squares for the school afghan... and I got a gigantic ball of blue wool/acrylic variegated softy scrummy yarn. I will make a top-secret thing out of it, I think!

Ahem, so, really nothing to say about works-in-progress! Stay tuned, and next Wednesday, you'll be dazzled with my WIP Wipeout accomplishments... perhaps!

Now I have to go cook that pumpkin that's wearing the hat and turn it into pie!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Help the kiddies

I heard about this on Mason Dixon, and it's such a nice and easy and heart-warming thing to do. Go look at Soaring Eagles, and make a hat for a kid living in poverty. They prefer washable, for boys and girls, and any size from 4T to adult, to fit a grade 5 child. And they need 300 hats by December! Get cracking!

Wiping out the WIPs

The time has come for some drastic action. Watch this space for Wednesday updates on the WIP Wipeout front! I know, I'm a bit late joining this gang, but it's got to be done.

Right now, of course, I'm not working on any of the old projects, but a garish dishrag! It will fade with time and be lovely, I'm sure. And it's so fun! And you can run out of yarn and just add some other colour, what the heck!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The true list of things to be knitted

Roughly a year ago, okay, 11 months ago, I asked the terrible question, "Am I really getting nowhere on lots of projects at once??" and I find myself asking the same dang question again! And that pile of knitting from November 2005... not all finished or dealt with.

From last year:

pink cardigan -- done, used, perfect

orange socks -- done... but they have Arthur-sized feet and Elaine-sized legs. All I have to do is rip them back a bit and redo the toes. Maybe that should be a goal for Halloween!

multidirectional scarf -- done... but it never found a home. It is long and unisex and not red, and I shall give it to the Red Scarf Project.

denim -- After trying this and that, the denim was made into a baby sweater and a lovely bag, which is just awaiting handles. Really, not hard...

TSTMMS -- not done, but I have most of a sleeve as well as the body. I have some new Kureyon that will go into it, and I'm keen, but it's big and it still makes us sneeze... I need to do the sleeves so I can free up the small circ being used! It's great for hats.

Summer Tweed sleeve -- made into a stole, nice. Still have the sleeve and some other scraps.

afghan of DK wool squares -- ahh, still occasionally making a square. I have another square project, but the yarn I'm using for that is not as nice.

So, really, three things left over that have to be dealt with: the socks, the denim bag, the big sweater, and the afghan. Okay, four things. Hmm.

New things, adding to the heap:

The green rockpool cardi.

Reddish scarf, Red Scarf Project scarf. No picture of it in its present incarnation.

I'm quite enjoying the socks. Love the colour knitted up more than in the ball. I've turned the heel.

Squares for the school afghan.

I got red cotton yarn to make Elaine a dress. Very cute and fun to knit, I think. Not started, but eagerly anticipated. This is not a WIP, but it's oppressing me, nonetheless!

Oh, and the big pullover I just finished? It has such a wide body and drop shoulders, and the shoulder seams hit just above my elbow, and drive me crazy. I lie awake imagining that I will rip it down to the armholes and reknit it in the round with raglan decreases. I'd really like to wear it in the next few weeks!

Enough of this handwringing! Must take Elaine to ballet class and then knit something on my list! Action!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

For professorial naps

The other day Stephen suggested that he needed an eye-shade to block out the nasty sunshine during his attempted afternoon naps in his office. Of course I have a pattern for an eye-shade, in Rachael Matthews' fun and funky Knitorama! Quick to knit, even with knitting DK cotton on 3.25 mm needles! My first picot hem, too!

It's a bit big for Elaine, but I think it'll work fine for any professorial napping. I could attach elastic around the head, for those naps on airplanes or other places where you can't just lie back and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh, no, not again!

For fun and recreation, I started a blue scarf on my trip out west. It is simple, portable, and I thought it would be fine for the Red Scarf Project, since it's also soft and gender-neutral. But alas, I don't think it will make the 60 inch mark. (Read her sidebar, folks; there's rules and regulations about these scarves.) I know I once had two balls of the finer dark blue yarn, but now I have finished ball 1 and can't locate ball 2. I have till January to get this finished, so I could just leave it on the needles and search for the yarn. Or I could finish it and give it to someone else. Or I could add in some ridiculous other colour for the finer yarn... Oh, I should go back to my lace cardigan, much simpler than a scarf.....

Added later: I found a wee tidbit of the same yarn, and maybe that's just all I have. I knitted till that was gone, and ended up with a fine, 50-inch scarf. The reddish scarf, made with yarn I actually bought for the project, is going to be my last attempt at this! But right now, I'm off scarves, and will work on Arthur's lovely sock. I'm working on the heel now.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Where in the world is he?

What the heck is this? This is a post box from Budapest! While the kids and I were enjoying the mountains of BC, Stephen was visiting physicists in Hungary and got me this picture of a mail box near his hotel. Cool...

And then he whizzed off on a long train ride to Germany, where he visited with more physicists, including a former student who is now working there. She was the organizer of the blanket made in strips that I worked on some months ago. But then she moved, and the baby got born, and the blanket was not finished! So I offered to sew it up, and got it all done the other day (not a difficult chore, it just needs a bit of time, and I seem to have more time than your average grad student).
Zeina took Stephen on a tour of the old city, and especially the yarn shops of the old city, and showed him lots of yarn, and this marvellous window display. (She sent along 2 balls of sock yarn as a thank you for the blanket work! Very nice indeed, and of course I want to drop everything and use it...)

I want that mega- stripey yarn! Who knows what it is made of, but I like the huge stripes of colour.

I have a sock on the needles, and actually another kind of sock totally finished -- it just needs a mate! The yarn I just got might get used for a multi-directional scarf, like Jerry's. Though we all know I do not need another scarf... And I could also use it to make a light hood thing for wearing under a coat hood. But the problem is that Arthur's coat doesn't have a hood, so he needs a big old warm hat. Okay, so I'll just look at this yarn for a bit, and then likely make socks! Maybe even socks for Stephen! Somehow yarn that just arrives is much more exciting than yarn one picks out oneself...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just a quickie here

Two bits of news:
1) Winter is here. I saw snow yesterday, and now it is blowing like crazy out there. I have turned the heat on and am wearing socks, and it's only October 13!
2) The fifth Harry Potter movie is coming out next summer, and there are already some stills to be found here. Remember Dolores Umbridge and her fluffy pink cardigan? She has a capelet (I think) and a big poncho thingy, but neither matches the marvellous cardigan of my imagination!
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Castlegar, knitwise

There are at least three thrift stores in Castlegar, but one of them was completely inaccessible, since it's not on the route to the park, and why on earth would the kids walk anywhere that didn't lead to the park? However, the two that I did get to were treasure troves (of a certain kind of treasure).

I picked up a bunch of old patterns for 10-25 cents each.
The yellow outfit -- hooded jacket, pants, booties and mitts -- is all made of Phentex, Tomorrow's Yarn Today! Imagine the poor kid! And think how fluffy it would get!
Then there's the see-through, chunky-knit dresses! It boggles the mind, doesn't it?
The little pink number in the ski lodge is kinda cute, actually, isn't it? Makes me think of I Dream of Jeannie, or Mrs Jetson.
And a real sweater! The bluebird of happiness, all charted out for us.
I also got a book of kid patterns which has a nice aran-style coat in it, and one of oddball things to make and sell at bazaars. Tea cosies, cushion covers, golf club covers...

I doubt any of these will be gracing my needles any time soon, but it's so fun to find them. Since the kids were being bossy, and since my days of buying a single ball of potentially okay thrift store yarn are over (for now, anyways, but I think I'm going to a yarn swap on Sunday) I didn't come home with any yarn.

Got a pair of needles (green!) and a bit of a Halloween costume for Elaine, but mostly just old pattern books.

And these are my latest socks. They got started mid-holiday, but were mostly knitted on the plane home. The needles are 2.25 mm, very cheap plastic, too long, dull and bendy as all heck. Not my favourite kind, but certainly not threatening to other passengers on an airplane.

I also took along some blue yarn for a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. Yeah -- blue, red, whatever. It's a fine scarf, or will be when it is done. Made of stash yarn on wooden things that may well have been chopsticks in a previous life.

My Projects on the Go list is getting out of hand again. Oh my, what to do? I guess I could finish stuff, or take it off the list and pretend it isn't an issue... The latter is more likely, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Westward ho, and back again

Made it out west, got home last night, kids are now in school. I'm sitting here with coffee, ordering my thoughts....

Last Wednesday, we got up early to get to our 9 am flight. Thunder, lightning, pouring rain! I'd ordered the cab nice and early, so we got to the airport and through security (with 3 sets of knitting needles) in good time despite the storm. But just when we should have been boarding the plane, there's an announcement: one of the flight attendants is delayed, and we can't board without a full crew. So we wait a bit more, and eventually get on the plane. (My kids are still small enough to let me board first!) They keep telling us to stow our bags, put our tray tables up and all that, and I keep putting away my knitting and then, when nothing happens, taking it out again. Finally we are told that the pilot has arrived at the terminal and will be on board shortly! After his 20-minute safety check, he promises to "put the pedal to the metal" and we are off.

We have to make a connection in Calgary, and it's nicely timed so that we have about an hour to do it. But, since we were so late taking off, we were told as we were descending that we'd have 15 minutes. And then the plane was redirected to gate 15 instead of gate 12, and that took time... And, we were in row 35 of the plane, the second to last row! So we struggled off the plane, dashed as only a 6-year-old can dash across the airport, and made it onto our little plane, along with 6 or 8 others from the Toronto flight. And, lucky us, they held the plane to wait for our bags, since there is only one plane a day to Castlegar! So, a happy ending to the first adventure of our holiday.

This is how much hat one can knit between Toronto and Castlegar:

Love the red needles! I must get more coloured dpns.

And more knitting news: I walked into my parents' living room and saw this:

"Circlular thingmabob" made in Debbie Bliss Maya, with its first-place ribbon from the Pass Creek Fall Fair! Whoo hoo!

The house is awash in ribbons and ribbon-worthy creations. Here's my mom's hooked rug (you know what, I've got it upside-down, I think), dad's ribbons from a few years at the fair, and some flowers from his little plot out back. We ate the last of his tomatoes, and the neighbour had some summer squashes the size of softballs still on the vine.

Castlegar was awash in beautiful red and yellow trees. Some town planner had a good idea and planted the two kinds of trees together so the streets are wonderful in the fall.

And look at those mountains!

Who wants to live in a city when you can have mountains like that all around you? Well, I do, but I still like to visit! And yes, it was warm enough that the water park was operational, and that there were kids willing to play in it!

On our last morning, we took a walk to Zuckerberg Island.

We sort of stayed on Toronto time when we were there, going to bed early and getting up (very) early. So on our last, very chilly, morning, we had time to stop off here before heading to the airport. Our trip home was uneventful (though this time we were in the very last row on the plane)... and now the post-holiday day of laundry and grocery shopping.

Tomorrow -- the things you can find in small-town thrift stores, and the other things I knit!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Loose ends

Today you get to see some pictures I told you about earlier.

First off, the weirdo neck/headband thing...

It's two colours of something that started with K. There was a yarn company whose yarn all started with K. Or was it Y? Oh, who knows? You see it's a few inches short to be a hat.

Maybe, if I ripped it all out, I could get one mitten. I'll get a modeled shot, as soon as someone volunteers to wear it.

And some more dishcloths...

Who will get the festive ones? Showy, but not so good at hiding the dirt. Maybe the hexagon could just sit on the table with a candy dish on top. (I once visited some people who had no children, and they actually had a candy dish, with candy in it, sitting on their coffee table! Not for long after we arrived, I tell you.)

Speaking of Christmas, all I want this year is.... the Yarn of the Month Club! (Well, maybe not all.) I think this would be so fun: get a few bits of yarn each month to fiddle around with. Heh, heh, then I'd knit someone a wild scarf for next Christmas!

Oh, and the red scarf.

I'm so sad about the scarf. I got several inches more than this knitted, and like the look of it, but it will curl, and there's nothing worse than a curling scarf, I say! It's garter stitch striped with stocking stitch, and the garter should be much wider to stop the curl factor of the stocking stitch.

So, I just look at it, and wish I had chosen different yarn, or that I didn't have to worry about it being gender-neutral so I could do something lacy. I have started over in plain striped garter stitch. The cotton yarn is so nice and soft!

Now I'm planning plane and visiting knitting. Nothing that requires any concentration, nothing too big or bulky, maybe fine yarn... A sock sounds reasonable, doesn't it? In any case, I take off for BC Wednesday morning, and will be gone for almost a week. Of course, I'll be in a place with a computer and internet access, so you may just hear from me anyways!