Friday, June 29, 2007

A nice wool hat

Here is Arthur, kindly wearing a snug wool hat outside on a warm June day! (It is no longer in the 30s, but a mild 21 degrees right now.) I just finished this Odessa, in leftover not-very-soft wool which we dyed last week in KoolAid.

We used a few too many colours, I think, and things got a bit muddy, but it's a nice muddy pink. (The flash picture below is way too pink!) The 50 grams was not quite enough for the whole hat, so we have a few green stripes towards the top, which just serve to show off the coolility of the pattern. Very clever, that Grumperina!

Look how those stripes twirl and zig and zag! I must make more of these!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Not much knitting this weekend

I'm pooped after that weekend and might just need a rest!

Saturday night we were invited to a neighbour's 50th birthday party at a local church hall. The theme was 70s prom night! There was a glitter ball, a giant cake, and an i-pod connected to big speakers, putting out all sorts of music that could only lead to punk after a few years. Honestly, who could live through that decade.... Well, I did, but I still don't like a lot of the music, though I recognized it all. And blue eye-shadow... Oy.

Elaine had a blast dancing! Arthur wore his glittery disco shirt, and Stephen wore a marvellous jacket he's had for decades, blue lame, double breasted, a bit tight these days, but quite lovely. Me, I still have the dress I wore to my high school grad, but it *ahem* has shrunk somehow.... But I have no pictures to show you. It was dark, you know.

Sunday morning Stephen went off to his last conference of the month, and the kids and I decided to head out to Centreville. We called on KT and James, and headed out on the ferry.

After picking the wrong line to get tickets -- that is, the one that went slowest -- we finally got to ride the giant swans. And the log ride and the ferris wheel and the skyride and the little train... Ate pizza, rode little motor boats, went to the candy store.

There is a little farm out there with a couple of retired police horses, two pigs the size of the QEII, and some wee chicks only 3 days old.

I did get a bit of knitting done! I've finished the pinkish baby blanket -- it's the size to go in the stroller or something, not crib size. I'll give you some gory details another day. And I started on a little hat for Afghans for Afghans and carried that around with me yesterday. It'll be a quick project that'll give me that boost from finishing something, and then I can get back to my list of unfinished business....

And now, we just have 3 more days of school to get through!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Say something stupid!

Now, this post is not called "say something, stupid," because that would be rude. It is an invitation to you to say something stupid! But not here, because we don't do stupid here...

My pal Dave, aka The Moth Man, who doesn't know how to knit but knows what he likes, has a blog and is giving away a "special treat" for the most stupid comment. I admit, I was stumped, but I'll come up with something. He is in the middle of moth season (I think it's the middle of moth season) and will show you many many beautiful creatures, like this one. I was present at some discussion of this business, and I suspect that the special treat may combine knitting and moths in some clever way, but we'll leave that up to him....

And you get a free picture of a bug, not a moth, on a flower.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Something to do over the summer

I read this on a knitting list, and thought I would pass it on to other Toronto knitters.


Calling all Toronto knitters! How about dedicating some of your stash to an outstanding summer project? The Knit Café and the Toronto community are teaming up for this worthy cause.

afghans for Afghans is a humanitarian and educational people-to-people project that sends hand-knit and crocheted blankets and sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and socks to the children of Afghanistan.

Helpful hints
· Wool and animal fibres offer the most warmth and perform best in rugged conditions. Please avoid synthetic yarns – they cannot be shipped.
· Knit or crochet your favorite patterns or try something new. For sample patterns see the AFA website. [Click on Guidelines & Address]
· Please do not use representational images (e.g. faces or animal designs) or religious or national symbols.
· Avoid white or very light colors. Feel free to mix a bright and cheery palate from your yarn collection!
· Please assume standard garment sizes. You are knitting for a Canadian climate. Hats need to cover ears, sleeves need to go the wrist and torsos need to be long.
· No used items or scarves please.

Drop off and Deadlines
You can drop off your projects at the Knit Café, 1050 Queen Street West. The dead-line for the next shipment is September 25th, 2007.

For more information, check out the web-site:

A hat that you knit will be well-loved and passed down through several families of Afghan children. Make this your summer project!

Too bad they don't want lone squares, or scarves! I'll try some little socks, perhaps, and some hats. Once I get my pile of WIPs down a bit!

Edited to add: They have a blog!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

KFYS, PS, WIP Wipeout

You know, I thought I would be so focused and organised. I'd knit from my stash; I 'd follow Project Spectrum for colour inspiration; I'd get that pile of works-in-progress down to a manageable level. Well, now it's June, half-way through the year, and more than half-way through the PS and KFYS periods, and how's it going?

I have paid no real attention to the Project Spectrum plan. I think it's because we're given too much leeway! "Work with black! or red! or metallics!! And no hurry, you have two months!" Nope, can't do it.... Other things get in the way, and PS just gets left out.

Knitting from stash has been fine, except that (ahem) I have once or twice bought yarn, just like in the old days (just a bit, here and there, and on sale, and if I think, "I'll make a scarf," then I put it back down) and have put it in the closet and not got around to using it.

And I've seen stuff in the stash that I'd like to use, so I start another project, like this baby blanket for no baby! This adds to the WIP pile! So I may just have more active knitting projects now than when I started this plan!

The blanket will have used up 4 balls of Paton's Cotton Chunky, which was discontinued about the time Arthur was born! One ball for the middle, a bit of leftover blue log-cabinned around that, another ball of pink for the next round of log-cabin, and yes, it's a bit assymmetrical, because I just finished off each ball on the last band of the round. Then I had a ball left and didn't want another plain pink round. So I'm picking up the stitches as if to log-cabin, knitting a row, and then am attaching the garter zig-zag border as I go. As you see, I have some way to go, and we can all be nervous about the amount of yarn that will be needed.

I did finish a pink blotch sock.

It's plain stocking stitch, which is why it was done relatively quickly... and it's a bit tight. It might work, but before I graft the toe and make another one, I thought I would try a Broad Ripple, but with more stitches and smaller needles.

I can't imagine a sock on 3.25 mm needles holding up very well, so I'm doing it on 2.5s, and I added 2 stitches to each pattern, so I have 64 instead of 56.

The pink ones are 64 stitches, but this pattern, with the eyelets, should have more give. It's all trial and error with growing feet around here. (Right....) This is some of the yarn I bought recently, Regia Nation, 5388, half-price. I also got some green and white, 5389, at the same time. Just big stripes! Stay tuned for more sock news....

And we shall have even more lovely yarn in a week or two... In the pile I got last week, there were a couple of skeins of whitish wool. They would make a hat or mitts, but are not too exciting in their present state. And as school is ending and we are all at loose ends for a bit, I figured we could amuse ourselves with a bit of Kool-Aid dyeing! I'm buying every flavour I can see, so we should be able to make a fine mess. The kids are keen to do the "handpainted" option, rather than just put it all in a pot with one colour. Oh, boy!

And a clematis for your viewing pleasure...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Three bags full, plus film from London!

I was delighted to hear that Sue and her family have found a bigger and better house to buy. It's tough to find just what you want, where you want. So, yay. And we don't even have to be sad that they are moving away, since they are only moving across the street!

However, the prospect of any moving makes people clean up like never before, tossing out all sorts of stuff! And you know, when a knitter gets in this mode, miscellaneous yarn is going to come flying out of the house!

So, Sue, inveterate bargain hunter as well as knitter, appeared at my door with three garbage bags full of yarn! This is, I think, maybe two-thirds of it all! Some I saved for myself, probably thinking all the things Sue thought when she first nabbed it (Oh, lovely scarf; something soft for my daughter; maybe I could make a hat with this), some I saved for knitting with kids in the fall at school (Must have lots of variety of colour and texture!) and some I put back into one of the big bags and listed on Freecycle. Lemme tell ya, when you announce you have a big bag of yarn to give away, everyone is interested!

Arthur grabbed all the novelty bits! A ball of Cha-cha, a scrap of pretty blue Boa, I think, as well as two big soft balls of mohairy loveliness! Give him a pair of needles, and he's off. There's one ball of grey and one of soft brown. If it doesn't make us all weep and sneeze, he'll get a great scarf out of it.

Stephen is in Cambridge for the week, and popped down to London Saturday, to see some museums, eat Indian food on Brick Lane, and catch the start of the Naked Bike Ride. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology and all that, I can bring you a picture of a bunch of bare naked bike riders, waiting for the Horse Guards to pass by. I don't think they got quite the crowd in Toronto, naked bike-wise, but many did celebrate Knit in Public Day on the public transit here!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Some things to look at

Firstly, I must show off the latest in fair winnings. Well, I didn't win anything! Boo hoo. However, my son and heir is off to a good start, with two prizes in the junior photography section. The theme of the fair was "The Barn Door is Open" and this one won first prize!

And in the "Farm Babies" category, this won third.

He put in two others which got "participant" ribbons. Congratulations to Arthur!

I was looking at Dancing Leaf Farm, and saw, among many other great photos and stories, this entry with a cool video. Octogenarians get down!

And I could now complain about the weather, since it's very cold and wet and not at all summery, but that could be a bit tedious...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Summer knitting goals

I see that some people are making lists and setting goals. Hmm, good idea, but you know how these things go! Let's see, what shall I actually accomplish this summer?

  1. Finish the Rockpool cardi. By the end of September!
  2. Finish the pink blotch socks, which are coming along just fine. Here's the problem, though... I knit socks on a variety of needles, and a variety of numbers of stitches, and some end up saggy-baggy and some end up too tight. Not to mention, children grow... So I'm thinking that now these socks will be too tight on Arthur. (Yes, he chose the yarn, which is not your typical 10-year-old-boy sock yarn.) I want these done soon, just to see if they worked or not! And perhaps take note of stitch count and needle size.
  3. Grey lacy gloves for me. I won't be wearing these for months, but I'll finish them!
  4. Use my red and black Stretchwool for a few charity hats.
  5. Here's another thing... I started a pink cotton garter stitch square one day when I went out with some non-knitters and needed something mindless. Now I seem to have made it into a log-cabin-esqe baby blanket, although I know no babies right now. I'll finish it, and ... find a recipient! The colour is quite off in this picture. The pink is really that dusty rose colour one used to find in every romantic B&B, which is quite dated now, and the blue is not at all purple, but a clear, nice dark blue. It's a wet, grey morning here, so we must make do with flash pictures indoors.
  6. Perhaps there's a Kiri in the future, but maybe I'd better finish those 5 things and then check in again! (That link is to a regular blog post with pictures and all; the pdf of the pattern is can be found in the sidebar here.)

Friday, June 01, 2007

I heart eye candy

Arthur went on a photographic tour of the garden. He loves the zoom, lemme tell you!

Bleeding heart!


White things off a hedge!

And this one I took: toothless Elaine!
She's lost her first tooth! Many more to come...