Thursday, March 29, 2007

Blue, white and grey round-up

It's the end of the blue, grey and white section of Project Spectrum, and on Sunday we start on green, yellow and pink. So I'll just assemble all my PS projects here now!

Here's the finished denim bag. I use it all the time. I actually started it last year, and am glad I finally sorted the handles out. If I were Ms Perfect-craft, I would line it with fabric, especially after the other night when I was walking along and heard my tiny sock needles tinkle to the sidewalk, having wormed their way out of the knitting and through the bag! But I am not, so I will now just put my sock-in-progress in a plastic bag....

Speaking of socks, I did finish this pair, but now they are in use and it seems I didn't get a picture of them complete. I like the ribbed pattern for socks -- it's super for growing kids!

I also made a couple of blue hats for Save the Children. Super fast and easy and fun! Apparently they collected over 4000 hats for wee newborns.

I finished one grey Lopi hat, and am halfway through a similar one. These fulfill Rule 5 in my Knit from Stash program -- I'll give them to charity come fall. You might notice that this picture is taken in snow-free bright outdoor sunshine! Yes, we have a bit of spring here. I am skeptical, and have not put the big boots in the basement just yet. But it is a lovely change to be outside in shirtsleeves!

Stephen's Retro Rib sock is not progressing very fast. I am liking the stripes more now, and am sure they will be fine socks when done. Soon...

Finally, a picture showing the truly thunderous colours in this blanket! I'm only on the second eighth of the edging, progressing slowly around.

It'll cover someone's lap nicely. Still looks greenish in this picture, doesn't it? It's fun, but a bit fiddly now, and the edge pattern is full of "k2togtbl" and "yo twice" and I can't just whip it out and carry on without the book. Still, I'm keen to get it finished.

And to end, another outdoor picture of blue, grey and white! No, I haven't been jetting around, but Stephen was in Berkeley and San Francisco a while ago and took this picture of the Golden Gate bridge. Ah....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two things in my mail box

Oh, I do love mail! And today I got a card from the OFA as a thank you for participating in the Red Scarf Project! That's a treat! Oh, and a new Vogue Knitting, so I can think of lovely summer things to make... More on that later!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Denim thoughts

I was looking at the straps of my denim bag the other day and noticing that in the cables, the colour change is already quite noticeable.

And here's wee Hugh in his denim sweater, after almost a year of use. It's still got rolled-up sleeves and lots of room in it, so he'll be fading it for another year, I hope!

I'm looking at patterns and thinking of a textured denim sweater for me in the future.

It was illuminating to have a toddler in the house again -- everything is chewable or bangable, it seems. I'd forgotten that. But ain't he cute?

Friday, March 23, 2007

It helps to talk about it

When I went to bed on Wednesday night, I was stewing about the border for my blanket. I had eight sections, so I could use a border pattern with eight rows, and it would fit. But I had 53 stitches in each section, so if I wanted something divisible by 10 or 12 or 18 or 20... I'd be fudging it for sure.

But, I had to leave those troubles and woes and take a small project (heck, let's start a Lopi hat) to Alterknit to meet Heather Thursday morning. And I have no pictures of Heather and me in the shop, but you can see her Central Park Hoodie here! This is a story of people meeting sort of because of blogs, but mainly because of real-life mutual acquaintances -- her professor was my co-knitter and fellow student about a million years ago. And I re-bumped into her in a yarn shop in London, Ontario, because my brother moved to London last year. But we also re-met because she and I both read Mason Dixon Knitting. So. Six degrees of separation and all that.

So, gab gab chat chat knit knit... and I was telling her my border story, and ding! A lightbulb went on in my head and I realised I could do one more increase round, have 54 stitches in each section, and be able to use a 16 or 18 or 12 row pattern, and now the possibilities are endless! I also figured out I can take the whole dang thing off the circular needle onto a piece of yarn and just use a couple of short dpns to work the edge. Oh, I was so happy! When I came home, I managed the increase round, plus one more to cover the yarnovers, and even had time to pick the border pattern from the bazillions available in Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge before dashing off to get the kids. I'm doing one called Princess Anne's Lace, which is quite wide (13 stitches to start) and not very fussy. It's such a plain, solid blanket, that a floofy edge seemed a bit silly. And I've now done 3 repeats, only 24 to go! Ack.

And the moral of the story is, go out and discuss your knitting with real people, just in case you are being stumped by something that really has a very simple solution....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Report on two things

Well, since my last post, I have done nothing on the socks, despite now being under the gun to finish them in time for Stephen to wear them to Lisa's thesis defence! Easier to knit a pair of socks than write a thesis, I think, but perseverance is still necessary. I'll get right on that....

Let's see what I have been doing. This is a portion of the octagonal blanket that is taking most of my time.

It's very hard to get the colour right in pictures. It's also hard to see how big it is, since it's all scrunched onto a circular needle. By the time I get it finished, it'll be warm and dry enough to take a picture outside, perhaps!

I've now done 3 rows of eyelets, and I think I'm almost at the point where I can start the border. Soon I get to pick an edging, and won't that be fun!?

Then there's the wonky square. I was thinking of carrying on till I had a square big enough to cover a cushion. But several things stopped me.

I started doing dark colours on two edges and light on the other two, but soon realised I didn't really have enough light colours to continue!

Also, I agree with what Cara said, that I like to play with the colours, but the continued wonkiness of the square kinda dragged me down. I was fretting about getting it back to a square shape, and didn't like having to plan out the craziness of it.

I'm still looking for a project where my colours can be all mixed and mingled, but the knitting is more straightforward (without being too boring, of course!).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Three knitting projects

I was working on three things this weekend.

The thundercloud blanket. Knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit yarnover! Knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit knit yarnover! Sometimes I get so bored with this that I make a whole row of yo, K2tog, which perks me up a bit. I love the soft yarn, don't especially care for the colours (which are not this green at all!) and the pattern is mind-numbing, but heck, I'm not going to go to any trouble to figure out anything more thrilling at this point. One more ball to go before the edging, which will indeed be a thrill.

The Retro Rib socks. I offered to make Stephen a pair of socks out of the red stuff I got last week, but he declared it too pink! It's red, dear, and white. No, it's pink... Sheesh. So, instead of knitting a pair of red socks for someone who would appreciate them, I got out this most manly of sock yarns for him. And decided I would not make just plain old stocking stitch socks! The retro ribs involve a 4-row pattern, which is really just 2 different rows, but sometimes you twist a stitch and sometimes you don't. It doesn't strain one's brain too much, but one does need to look at the sock once in a while! And these colours are... kinda dull, and in regular stripes. Where's the fun in that?

The wonky square. Ah, thanks to Kay for pointing me to nona! (And also to the Barbara Walker Treasury site! Love all these swatches!) Now this, I have to think about: what colour next, how wonky should I make it? Oh no, time to change colour again, and can't I just make this one straight across?

So still, I search for a project that I can't complain about! Too boring, not boring enough.... what's a girl to do?

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's still Friday

It's getting late, but not too late to add some Friday eye candy!

The kids and I joined KT and J-Rock for coffee at Alterknit this morning. Elaine got bored and wandered around with the camera. This is one of her masterpieces, a shot of the needle roll KT scored at a boot sale in England.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Knitting with a caveman

Things are heating up around here this March Break. Arthur got out the playmobil guys and made this movie. Very slow knitting by me. Too bad about the old icky stain on the footstool, which shows up a bit too much with the flash....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Update on March Break

I pass by this blog once in a while, and am always disappointed that no one has updated it. Oh, that's my job!?

Monday, Toronto Islands, Arthur and friend working on taming the ice floes. They got wet, but not tooooo wet.

And a nice blue/grey/white view. We actually saw a robin, too!

Tuesday, a bit of shopping, and make-your-own-pizza night.

Today, we bought an enormous lasagna at the store and then went to the museum and then came home and realised we need to cook the lasagna for 2 hours. Lucky Arthur got a huge collection of Loony Tunes on DVD for his birthday, so that will entertain them till dinner at 8 pm.

Tomorrow, who knows?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday sky, and a wee bit of new yarn

Nice blue bits in the sky, but mainly overcast today. Warm as heck, making everything melt.

See, big puddles, to reflect the sky!

This morning, before the melt got well under way, I went up the hill to Knitomatic, for their big sale.

Oh, my, a lineup outside the shop! Oh, my, a ton of people in the little shop!

They had a lot of novelty stuff, and the story I heard in the lineup was that Haley was thinking of donating the old yarn she had in the basement to the Goodwill, but decided to see what she could sell cheap first. The green wool I got was $1, the orange $3 a ball and the sock yarn $8, which is not at all bad! People were walking out with stuffed shopping bags, so I guess she is doing okay! Of course, you get in there looking for a bargain and can't resist the full-price cashmere....

So, I have used my one chance to buy yarn before Sept 30, and didn't do anything outrageous. I'm keen on this Knitting from Stash stuff, and just got myself a couple of little pretty things.

Day one of March break is almost done, too!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Not spring here yet

I got a card from my sister today (because, in fact, it is my birthday), in which she hopes the snow is gone... It's not. It was supposed to get above zero today, but so far, no luck. We have some sun, but no actual warmth yet!

This is our slushy lane from my roof.

You can see the snow has come off most of the roofs. The CN Tower in the distance has been causing a bit of trouble lately, as you can read at the bottom of the history part of that article. And of course, it's on You Tube. I think we're safe now, but it's only mid-March; there's lots of winter left!

That same sister asked about the amaryllis seeds. The stalk of the plant has fallen over, exhausted and depleted, but the papery little seeds have been put into some dirt. We shall see. But this is what she told me:

I had an amaryllis that produced seeds once. I planted a few of them in pots and ended up with 2 baby amaryllis plants, one of which I gave away. The other I kept for many years. I watered it little and often. (I lost a big amaryllis plant when I put it out in the garden one spring and it rained and rained and the amaryllis bulb rotted).

It would put out a set of leaves which would stay green for quite a while, then turn yellow and die down. Then it would put out another set of leaves, a little bigger than the previous set. This went on for approximately 15 years.

[Fifteen years, folks!]

Then the large leaves died down and a new set did not appear, but the top of the bulb was green. So I put it in a dim corner and didn't water it for a couple of weeks or so. Then it put out a flower stalk and bloomed. That was about 3 years ago and it hasn't bloomed again. It didn't set seed either. But it's still making leaves.

That's my story, for what it's worth.

Well, it's off to a dark corner for this guy for a while.

Today is the last day of school till the 19th. Plans here include hanging around, watching cartoons, and maybe even going shopping tomorrow! I have the urge to use my Get out of Jail card (rule 2b), but have no idea what to buy. So maybe I'll just go look and stay out of jail.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Projects piling up again

There was once a plan. Knit on a thing or two, till they were done. Then pick up some other project, likely one abandoned some time ago, and finish it. But perhaps spring fever has struck, because I'm back to my old devil-may-care knitting habits.

I was happily knitting along on Elaine's second sock, thinking about how I had to work on the green Rockpool cotton cardigan so I can wear it if and when spring actually comes, and then I just had to knit a secret hat (it's secret, but I'll just make a note here that I made it) and now I'm no longer satisfied with just a sock, and can't bring myself to pick up the cardi!

Oh, no!

I started a scarf in some weirdo yarn I found at the side of the road (honestly!) but it was too 80s, and is now in the Goodwill box.

Then I remembered that I had this lovely Malabrigo. Once upon a time my friend Pat bought this yarn. It looked sort of faded-denim-like on the store shelf, and she took it home and made a sweater, which I have not seen because the crazy lady will not get a blog! Anyhoo, she had bought way too much yarn, so gave me the leftovers. She kept calling it purple, which seemed odd to me, since it was so bluish, I'd thought.

What colour is it, indeed! I now think of it as the colour of those really scary thunderclouds in the summertime, which is not very cheering.

The blue is greyish-metallic-greenish, and the grey is purplish and the purple is not noticeable until you realize the whole darn thing is purple...

However, I am declaring that it fits the Project Spectrum colours of blue, grey and white, and by gum, I'm going to knit me a big old octagon out of it!

Now it is all scrunched up on a 40 cm needle, but soon I can start on a bigger needle, I think. It should end up something like this, except bluish purplish greyish, and I think bigger. Only time will tell.

(I just looked at the Malabrigo page and think it must be the one they call Alpine Pearl! Scroll down.)

Oh, and Happy Women's Day.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Knitty, new Knitty!

It must mean that spring is coming -- there's a new Knitty up. Dashing fingerless mitts, and I still haven't made the Fetching ones! Nice looking socks! And more....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Getting older

I bunged up my back. I think I must have done it while bowling at Arthur's tenth birthday party.

He's ten, which is pretty grown-up, but I am even older, now limping with my hand on my sacroiliac...

If we all bowled with the elegant style of Elaine, one side would not get overworked, I think!

Since it's his birthday, I can't really nag all day long, "Do your homework, don't you have a test tomorrow, what about that book report..." so I made a bunch of bits of paper with chores and fun things written on them, like the old job jar.

So first he picked out "Lego" and had to put together the new Lego set he got for his birthday.

Then he tried again, and was forced to "watch a movie." I'm sure I also wrote things like "study for social studies test" and "write out times tables" but he's so far evaded those! Maybe we'll try one more time... Hey, maybe I'll take the other fun things out of the mix!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It's snowing again

You wouldn't think a little snow would be so noteworthy at this time of year, here in Toronto. But this is a lot of snow, all at once, and just at coming-home time. I quickly dug out the sidewalk and went off with the sled to get the kids at school, and when we got back, the sidewalk was again under several inches. Since we haven't got around to taking down our Xmas lights, we turn them on in the snow, to melt little pits!

Tomorrow, as part of Freedom to Read week, I am reading something or other to my kids' classes at school. I wanted to read something they wouldn't otherwise hear, and I have letters written by my grandfather on his way to WWI; I have the story of my dad and the oranges in the Milan train station in 1965 (it's a classic, involving the train starting out of the station without him); and I have a story of smuggling jewels through Nazi border points in 1938. But, I think I might just read Katy and the Big Snow, and something from Winter Holiday. If we can dig ourselves out in the morning...

Oh, and I'll tell you about my sock yarn from the previous post. It's Regia, Canadian Color, number 4737. Lovely! I got it at the Mary Maxim store at Yonge and Eglinton when it first opened.