Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some of the knitting

A while ago, the Yarn Harlot talked about sock patterns that are fast to knit. Certainly, these Waving Lace socks flew along down the leg.

I stopped to take a breath at the heel, and just assume that after the gussets they'll fly along again.

I really like this yarn, and although my needles could be pointier, this is simply a delightful knit. The colours are just wonderfully mossy and murky, subtly changing, and the yarn is soft and not splitty.

Another little something that delights me is this parquet squares blanket. I cast on 18 stitches, work 18 ridges in garter stitch. Cast off all stitches but one, turn the work. Pick up along the side, so that there are once again 18 stitches.

Carry on. One square brown, one half-white, half-black, one darker brown, one more half-and-half.

On the last square, you have to pick up a stitch as you meet the bottom of the first square, and knit this together with your last stitch.

Make a bunch and sew them all together -- over time!

Although I am certainly not in need of any more projects, I have joined a group on Ravelry to knit vests in February. I have a pattern, I have yarn, and I think they will work together. We'll just see if I am crazy enough to cast on for this!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The good news and the bad news

The good: I'm no longer facing a mere few projects on the needles. (I'm not sure this is really good, in fact.)

I have a sock, a blanket square, and another; oh, and another sock, and the denim cardigan. Ah, and another blanket. Jeez. My indoor flash pictures were terrible so I can't show you, because of the bad news.

Yes, the light is bad because it's snowing yet again. (One could say, "Hooray, it's no longer -20!) I shoveled before taking Arthur to school, and had to do it all again an hour later when I came back. Enough, I say! A friend of mine in Vancouver wrote to complain that the snow hasn't melted from the corners of her back yard. Diddums...

The other bad news is that my supermarket has rats. This can't really be that surprising, since what rat wouldn't like to live in a supermarket, but it is a tad alarming. It'll be closed till they can show there's no more critters. Luckily we have another supermarket nearby, and a stash of thin-crust, kid-friendly cheese pizzas in the freezer.

Late news: It's Super International Pajama Day this Sunday!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In case you need a non-knitted hat

You all know how lovely Aretha Franklin's hat was the other day. Following a link from Mrs O, I got to the milliner who made it for her.

Wow! If only I had occasion to wear a hat with crystals here and there, and giant embellishments, I would snap these up! A favourite or two:

You can watch a slideshow of larger pictures of these delightful chapeaux at Mr Song's site.

Friday, January 23, 2009

What do you suppose this is?

It's going to be the Louvre. Or at least something kinda like the floor of the Louvre. This is some no-name wool someone gave me once. I suspect a bit of mohair or even alpaca in this -- very soft and slinky feeling! I, of course, doubt that this will make enough squares to get much of a blanket, but I think I have enough "various" that I can knit on 4.5 mm needles that I can work something out. Grey, brown, black, white, lime green -- no, wait! But for now I shall just knit away and see how it goes.

I am also making a pair of socks. Well, one sock, at the moment... I ditched the bright colours and am working with Austermann Step in a marshy green colourway.

I think I will make the Waving Lace Socks (on Ravelry), but my lovely needles are lovely in every way except pointiness! So those k2tog maneuvers are a bit stressful.

And in the "where did I go wrong" department, I showed my kids this clip the other day.

Elaine laughed heartily at the silliness of it, but Arthur was all, "Who's Spock, why do they all want to be Spock, why is this funny??" Oh, a gap in his education, for sure! Will remedy this ASAP.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Done, after 3 years

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I started knitting a bunch of squares. At the time I meant to make 77 and make a full-length blanket for a single bed. Well, you know how these things go...

I've had 49 squares knit up and sewn together for ages, but only recently bit the bullet and edged the thing, thanks to the One Day a Week for UFOs group on Ravelry. I realised that I didn't have to accomplish the whole giant task at once, but could make real progress just by doing a bit at a time. Profound, eh?

All I really had to do was pick up the edge stitches and knit a bunch of garter stitch. And it's no hardship to knit garter stitch with a light but warm bundle of wool on your lap.

So, here we have it! (Too bad about that shadow, and too bad I cut off the bottom corner.) It's been declared the blanket one would sit under while listening to an audiobook, perhaps Harry Potter.

Most of the squares come from this book by Jan Eaton (Ravelry link). I have a few favourites, including this, which I believe is called Morse Code.

The crazy thing is, the other day I was looking at some sub-sections of stash and thinking I would knit another bunch of squares and make another blanket! Next time, I would try to limit myself to a few patterns. I like the hodge-podge, but I might like more ordered, too. That's the beauty of the afghan, isn't it?

But seriously, I'm not starting that project just now...

I have started something new, though perhaps temporarily.

I was knitting this on the bus and while watching the Inauguration (with commentary by Ann and Kay streamed live into my computer) and I finally realised my needles are just too small for this yarn, so we might be ripping it. Ah, time for a new beginning and all that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bits and bobs of news

Our big news of recent days is that we had no power for almost 24 hours on Friday. Everyone else in the family had school or the university to go to, outside the blackout area. I hung out in libraries and malls, only popping in at home once to check our pipes wouldn't freeze, when I felt I'd rather spent enough money... Got myself some nice yarn, as a matter of fact! More on that later.

In the la-de-da department, I am now a published science photographer!

This photo has been used several times before, I think, but now I'm in New Scientist! I took this picture in Santa Barbara, California, a million years ago, when not only did I have a freezer that made ice spikes, but I was taking a photography class, too, and printing B&W photos. (More on ice spikes, if you like, is here.)

Knitting accomplishments include finishing two more hats, so my hat trick is overflowing!

Add to the orange one and the Calorimetry half a Fake Isle -- using only the first chart -- and a hat with a swirl, like this one. Mine was started on 68 stitches, increasing to 69 after the ribbing, and then k9, p1 around, making the purls move around the hat, since the pattern wants 70 stitches and there are only 69. How convenient that the yarn colours swirled in a similar way.

The yarn I got the other day included a couple of balls of dishcloth cotton to make the cool towel from the new Mason Dixon book. And a ball of mud-coloured Kureyon which might turn into a stranded hat with a chaotic mud-crack pattern. Or it might not, if I decide that is too hard!

And now I have to go rouse people to shovel snow! Yes, more of the dang stuff is falling out of the sky. I'm not pleased.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Multi-level condo

After working on my Caribbean Blue scarf for a few more inches, I decided to weigh the knitted bit and the remaining yarn and found out the scarf was going to turn out to be more than 1 foot wide and maybe not even 4 feet long. That didn't, as they say, meet my needs.

So I looked around and thought of various things, and came up with Condo Knitting -- garter stitch with one small needle and one big one.

I went along for a few rows, alternating my lovely lone Brittany US9 (what is that, 5.5 mm? I thought it was smaller) with a 15 mm, until I noticed that the colours were going to pool, and I would have a splotch of green in almost exactly the same place regularly up the scarf. How to fix this wretched problem?

Aha! I found myself a 10 mm, 7.5 mm and a 6 mm. Now, with 5 different sizes, I get no pooling, and a more interesting looking scarf, which should end up about 6 feet long, I figure. Now the only problem is to remember to take pictures during daylight hours to avoid glary flash photos.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's delurking day!

Okay, everybody! It's Delurking Day, the day when you all say hello! I learned about it from Trek.

So, wherever you go today, leave a little note! We all love a comment or two!

And tomorrow, I shall bring you news of the Caribbean scarf, which has undergone a bit of a transformation. (I have put a ticker in my sidebar so we can all share the thrilling countdown to my thrilling vacation, and then maybe I'll shut up about that...)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Caribbean blue

I really have no idea if the water in the Caribbean looks any different from any other water, but it's romantic to assume so.

And I assume this will match it marvellously. Well, not the green bits; those will match the foliage. And we can pretend the white in the background is sand, not snow!

The lumpy cotton is soft and pretty, but I have to speak sharply to all those long stitches to get them to line up nice and neat. Sometimes the thick bits in the yarn don't want to even out; so far this is not driving me crazy, but if they don't smarten up, there might be trouble.

And of course I am worried I won't have enough yarn to make it long enough, but since that's what I always do, I'll just plug on.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Is this a hat?

I made a Calorimetry.

Unfortunately, I don't have enough hair to wear it effectively.

I didn't realise this looking at the yarn, but it's kinda camo knitted up. Good for the jungle.

I think this counts as my second hat, the second goal in the hat trick of hats.

The denim cardigan has not been completely abandoned; I picked it up today and realised I didn't really know what patterns I was knitting, but I futzed along for a bit and I think things will be fine.

Oh, and, la de da, we are going to the Caribbean for the kids' March Break! Never done that before, and I hope we don't get bored with the sun, sand, all-inclusive food and drink. Must check how many swim-up bars they have... So, I have thought of a lovely blue cotton wrap. This pattern. Some blue/green/turquoise/colours-of-sun-and-sea thick-and-thin cotton I got at a neighbour's destash. So far I have not quite cast on, but really, it'll be lovely!

And I'll close with a picture of icicles, for those of you who want to see a picture of icicles. (My icicle-lovin' husband is in Southern California right now...)

Monday, January 05, 2009

First hat of the year

I recently noticed a bunch of asymmetric neck warmers on Ravelry. Cool looking, oh, so easy, and good for using up small quantities of yarn! So I cast on, 8 mm needles, 2 strands of Lana Grossa Luna I once got on sale, something like 25 stitches. Knit till it is the right length, sew together asymmetrically. Yeah, but it was SO tickly you couldn't wear it around your neck without going mad. So, I un-sewed it, ripped it back a row or two, sewed it together straight, picked up stitches around the top and finished it like a hat. Ta da, a hat!

It will go in the charity pile, I think. It's nice and warm and snug, but no one around here is in need of a hat. Or a neck-warmer, probably!

Oh, and if by chance you are going to an inaugural ball, you can check here to see what dresses the others are wearing. That way, you will know not to get the exact same one! Phew, disaster averted! Of course, the way to really ensure you have the only one is to knit your own...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The scarf that ate my dining room

The scarf is done, washed and ready to go! It was 2.5m long before I washed it, and I haven't measured it since. But I bet it didn't shrink!

Pretty pretty.

It can be wrapped many times around the neck!
It started out as a charity project,
but I now think it deserves some special treatment.
How much do you think it would raise on a silent auction table?

Friday, January 02, 2009

More distraction

Have you seen Lolly's latest post? She suggests knitting up a hat trick for January -- that is, three hats. Get it, hat... trick? Ho ho.

I really do mean to get back to the denim sweater, now that the giant scarf is finished (a few million ends to hide and we're set) but just in case I need a break, I've been looking at hat patterns.

I have not followed hockey for some time, so I won't knit hats while cheering anyone on, but I might make a hat on the bus or while hanging out on a cold winter's eve.

I should make three new hats, because the plain ol' Lopi toque I'm so fond of can get a bit boring.

So far I've found a few I'd like to make, and I have yarn for at least three of them.

There's Fake Isle, Tychus, Coronet, Hexed, and I might just throw in Calorimetry for good measure.

I just need to get some food in the house, get all these bums back to school, do some laundry, and tidy the stash, and then I'll get right on this!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009 to you all

Some things I did in the last week of 2008:

I discovered the Big Bang Theory. (Since we don't do TV, this was quite the achievement. I must thank Beryl for this!) Stephen says his ethnic group (homo science-nerdius) is being exploited and laughed at. Yes indeed.

I went to an address posted on a telephone pole and found Rowan pattern books, an Addi Turbo needle and some yarn for free! And some other yarn for $1-$3 a skein.

$25 total, folks. (Since I was snug at home all that morning, I must thank my friend Other Mary for calling and alerting me to this!)

Oh, and of course, I am knitting from stash for 2009. Luckily I bumped up my stash nicely before 2008 ended!

I visited my brother and his family. Always a treat. We took some pictures.

I wish you all similar delights and adventures in the coming year!

P.S. The scarf is 8 feet long and should come in at somewhere around 10 in a day or two.