Friday, October 31, 2008


November seems to be a month for people to get a bit compulsive. I think it started with the novel writing, but now there's NaNoSweMo for people who want to knit a sweater in a month, and NaBloPoMo if you want to blog every day. And probably many other PoMoBloGo things, too.

But, what shall I do? (Don't we all love that "do" doesn't rhyme with "go"?)

I was thinking of doing the Blo Po, that is, posting every day. I think I can handle that.

About knitting, let's review. What did I say at the beginning of October? And what did I actually do?

Coming up: October is
Socktober so some socks will get knit, though I can't right now put my finger on that green yarn I took a picture of!

The green yarn bit the dust early on. Switched to this stripey stuff. These were really a distraction from all the rectangles of October, and although I have knit the leg of sock #1, I didn't give them my full attention. I'm sure many Socktoberists were more successful!

The secret project will get finished;

Yes, it's done and delivered.

the big wraps, brown and
blue, will get some work, really they will! (Unless something else sweeps me off course!)

Blue wrap done!

And the brown!

I also knitted my funny ripple scrap scarf, which now looks like this. Another rectangle for October.

So, let's see. In November, I shall say that I will finish the denim sweater for me. That will be my NaNo project. I'm not sure if this is following the rules, to finish up something already on the needles, but remember Rule # whatever: We don't need no stinkin' rules.

I could also turn my mind to the grey mitt; Elaine needs a head snug; and I have some lovely yarn and a fine idea, so I might start my lace Pixie shawl. Well, that, as usual, is too much.

And folks, this is my 500th post! Since July 2005 I have been writing this! I should celebrate somehow, but I think I'll just celebrate by NaNoBloPo-ing, and get up to 530 posts.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A very quick little rectangle

Sometimes when I finish a large project I just feel at loose ends, and can't commit to something big, or picking up a project already half-done. Must do something little and silly before settling down!

On the weekend I went to a yarn swap at Knitomatic. The kids totally scored with a Knifty Knitter kit -- though Arthur has started a project with it and finds it very slow going. And I got some dishcloth cotton scraps and a bag of yarn samples. There were several from the Manos people, but only two of the worsted weight. So pretty, so useless... I had my wee little brown ball leftover from my wrap, and dug around to see what else I could find.

The blue/orange/pink at the bottom is part of a sample skein -- imagine a knot in a teeny short sample! I will save the other bit for the other end of the scarf! Then we have green handspun from Pender Island -- not very well spun, lots of over-spun bits, but very woolly and nice on the hands. The purply-pink is another Manos sample, and the grey is something called Maya from Classic Elite which has been sitting around for a long time.

Now I'm into the turquoise/ rust combo. I got this from a friend in a pre-move clean-out. It should give me about another 8 or 10 inches of scarf, I think. Then I'll put in the brown, the rest of the grey, the Thundercloud leftovers and the final bit to match the first! And hope that's enough! It seems to be just zipping along.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Big brown rectangle

The big brown wrap is done. I have very little yarn left, out of seven skeins.

I just kept following the little chart for the back till I was almost out of yarn, counting my repeats and switching between the pieces to keep it all even, before grafting the two sides together.

Grafting from 6 mm needles is much more enjoyable than grafting sock toes! But by the end of the eighty-whatever stitches, the yarn was very fuzzy and stressed. I wouldn't want to do any big seams with the Manos!

I don't usually cut my head off, but this time it was necessary, believe me!

It'll keep me warm and toasty. The yarn is soft, but I don't think it'll be tickly, so I can wear it wrapped around my face in a raging blizzard, if I happen to be out in a raging blizzard. (The kids are hollering for snow already!)

But I say, this rectangular knitting has got to stop! This month I have knit the fine blue lace rectangle, the chunky blue rectangle, the big brown rectangle and the Kool-Aid rectangle. I'll make something with shaping any day now!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Kool-Aid dyed motheaten boucle blanket, and a hat

Once upon a time, someone gave me some dreadfully beige yarn. It was 100% wool boucle, and I'm not really that fond of knitting with boucle, though I like the squishy thickness of it.

(By the way, how do I make an acute accent on Blogger, so "boucle" looks right?)

It wasn't a special gift or anything; she was just cleaning out unused stash from long ago, and hey, I'm the girl you go to in that situation. I could have just shoved it to the back of the closet, but it was a challenge, if you know what I mean.

It was just so dull, I had to dunk it in several flavours of Kool-Aid. So I needed to take it out of the balls and into looser skeins... but in many of the balls, the yarn came off in meter-long strips, or shorter, chewed through here and there by some teeny vermin. Much of it got tossed out -- what else could I do, make a gajillion pompoms or something?

So, here we have it. Multi-Kool-Aid-coloured, no-pattern strips. It will all come together and become a baby blanket, I imagine. I have picked up stitches along the side of one piece, and I'll knit on that for a bit, then pick some up on the other piece and eventually join them in the middle with a 3-needle bind-off. A quick crochet around the edge, and we're done. (Remind me of this cavalier wave of the hand in a few months when we find this in the same state.)

That is charity project #1. I didn't take it with me when I went out Friday. I needed some mindless, portable, no-worry, non-boucle knitting, so ended up taking a ball of Lopi and my trusty 6mm short circular needle.

This yarn actually came in the same load as the boucle, I think. I knit this in a coffee shop, and walking down the street, and in a waiting room, and finally I finished it off at home.

Don't you love the design feature of the top few rows in a different colour? It has nothing to do with insufficient pink, I tell you.

I'm not sure of the point of holes in a warm wool hat. I was sort of thinking of Odessa, and this other hat, but I was winging it, so this is what we end up with.

Both of these are just idle, time-filling knitting. My real knitting these days is the big brown thing. I am finished ball 6 out of 7, and so will soon start having to be careful to knit on both pieces evenly -- it will be grafted down the middle!

And then it will be a great big rectangle.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another classic design from the garbage

The community centre down the street was doing some clearing out, and put this by the side of their dumpster.

An honest-to-God Bell and Howell film projector!

Isn't it style-y? Cast your mind back to elementary school, films shown in the lunchroom, teachers winding the film through the windy route to the take-up reel.

It's that green colour -- before the beige of the home computer, many high-tech products seem to have been green!

It's got a handle for easy carrying -- despite the fact that it must weigh 20 pounds!

The complete instruction sheet. And it works! We plugged it in, and all systems were go.

Unfortunately, we have nothing to show on it!

My choices are now:
  1. leave it in the basement to collect dust and get in the way, and occasionally provide us with the amusement of looking at it.
  2. put it on Kijiji or Ebay or some such thing and go to the trouble of getting a few bucks for it.
  3. Freecycle it. Maybe someone would use it, and it didn't cost me anything other than the labour of lugging it down the street.
I could knit it a cosy and call it art, but I'd still have to put it somewhere!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The secret revealed

Yesterday my brother and his wife came for tea, before popping off to the theatre, all to celebrate Sally's special birthday.

And, for a special birthday, some lucky souls get secret knitting.

It all started with winding 470 meters of yarn into a ball, by hand. It took an hour. Really. And I had to do it three times, since it took just over 2 skeins of Malabrigo lace to make this baby.

I muttered to myself a lot during this project, and started and stopped things more than usual. The lace is not "simple"; it's not a symmetric diamond or single leaf or box. And there are K3togs, and SSSKs!

I really enjoy the little variations in the colour!

There is supposed to be a knit-on border, but the chart is so full of B for bead (which I was disregarding) that my head exploded whenever I looked at it.

I finally thought that after all that lace, a stole might just want something simple on the ends, and remembered this shawl and its garter ruffle.

So that's what we ended up with, and I tell you, laceweight garter stitch is not really any more fun than laceweight lace!

Isn't it lovely? Wasn't it worth all that lacy slogging? Yes, I think so!

I was instructed that no terrible pictures were to appear on the blog.


Funnily enough, I got this pattern from the same magazine where I found the One Sleeve Wrap: it's a Vogue Knitting pattern from 2007's holiday edition. I didn't really notice it flipping through the magazine, but several people have made it and posted pictures to Ravelry, which show the shawl better than the original. It's really a very pretty pattern, I must say!

And Happy Birthday to Sally!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finally totally completely done

I added a few rows of seed stitch and some wonky points to the one sleeve wrap's edge.

No more curling, plus extra silliness.

What next, you say? (Maybe you don't, because you don't know about the other finished object lurking in the wings. I'm rolling in finished objects here.)

Next is the sock, and the brown thing. Yes, I think so... (The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the cube on the bookshelves in the picture above is done! The sock has been hard at work.)

Many thrills in store for you soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Blog Action Day

Did you know today was Blog Action Day? Me neither, but I learned about it this morning via London Daily Photo. The theme is poverty, and over 10,000 blogs will be participating!

Poverty, hmm. I knit hats and give them to Streetknit. Hardly a sacrifice on my part, is it?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trying this again

My new yarn is behaving itself perfectly.

Except that the teeny stripe of white bits doesn't go around a full 68-stitch sock! Adds to the mystique, I suppose. I have just started the Mesh Rib pattern, but guess what? I didn't actually have the pattern in front of me when I started, so I got it mostly right, but with a p1, k2 where it should have been p2, k1. Oh well, it's meshy and ribby, and that's what matters.

And our garden is still producing. We have lots of these chilis, and they are mostly still green. I think a week of sunshine should set us right, though.

We got a wee little plant of cherry tomatoes from a friend at the beginning of the summer, and it has been giving us gorgeous yellow cherry toms for weeks! Unfortunately it's not very photogenic because we really didn't take good care of it, just sort of let it do what it wanted, and it has sprawled all over our front yard. A bit of careful staking should have been done some months ago, I think. Next year...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

This is not going to work

I cast on my Socktoberfest socks the other day. Got just a few rows into the cuff and realised I'd dropped a stitch somewhere, my ribbing was all wonky, and the stitch had run down to the cast-on edge. Riiiiiip.

Cast on today while Elaine was having her dental check-up. Perhaps it was the person who assured me that it was cheaper and more efficient to buy socks; perhaps it was the knitter who told me she was afraid of double-pointed needles; perhaps it was just the knowledge that I was in the dentist's office, but I couldn't count, "knit 2, purl 2" and got myself messed up in the second or third round!

So, I have decided that it is all this yarn's fault!

I shall delve into the cooler of yarn tonight to find a more worthy ball for my Socktoberfest celebrations!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Almost there

Here's the wrap thingmabob drying, nicely laid out flat. It grew a bit in width and length, and the edges settled down a bit, but not enough, I think.

I still plan to add a few rows of seed stitch on the edge that I would call the bottom.

Of course, if one sticks the other arm through the hole, that would become the top.

You can see the squooshy texture and softy warmy goodness of it here, not to mention the cable.

You put 10 stitches on the cable needle, knit 10, then twist the cable needle and knit the stitches off it! Very 3-D indeed!

Fastened in front with a wooden knitting needle. Must get fancy shawl pin, I'd say!

It looks almost normal, don't you think?

The new and improved back view. See how the seed stitch at the top curls -- I don't mind that so much, since it makes a sort of collar/lapel action.

Put the head through the hole...

and wrap cleverly. Gigantic scarf-like thing.

This is the short end hanging down!

The photographer gets to fool around a bit...

Since my photographer was well enough to go to school today, we had to wait till 4 pm to take the pictures, and that's why they are a bit shaky.

Holy crow, I already posted today! Two in one day, what a special occasion!

This might call for a drink or something!

Eye candy of a different sort

I know you've all seen this, on Ann and Kay's blog, but just had to show you again!

Aren't they just divine? And they knit, too!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Dang curling edges

The pictures I took from the front weren't so steady -- it's a grey mizzly day. Maybe I should have tried balancing the camera on my head facing front....

Anyhoo, look at that curling edge! (And look at that groovy one sleeve!)

I will sew my ends in, and block the heck out of it, but I think I'll also be adding some more weight to that edge.

Why do I fall for this over and over: three stitches of non-curling knitting won't stop the stocking stitch body from trying to roll itself up!

I'll do a proper photo shoot when all is well. (Like, get someone else to take the pictures!) They say I can stick my head through the arm hole, but I haven't quite sorted that out, style-wise, y'know...