Friday, July 31, 2009

Pardon me while I try to figure this out

Grr, all I want to do is put this button up, but Blogger seems to have upgraded itself since I last did this. Hold on....

Edited 10 minutes later... This will take a while. I like the new archive style, but must fiddle with some other bits and decide if I really need a weather pixie!

Edited late at night... I will attempt to live with this new template, although I can't figure out how to keep my site meter or put my stoooopid Ravelry button in the sidebar, which is what precipitated this whole endeavour. And my Olympic gold medal! Ah, I'll just get another of those next year.

Under the wire

Just a quick note to let you know I finished my Christmas in July dishcloth in July!

Very speedy knit, but a rather small cloth! I think I like the Knitted Round Lacy Cloth better than this Petal Cloth, and I'm sure there are tons more similar patterns around that I should try out. But for now, must knit mesh stitch!

It's hard to believe it's the end of July -- we've been complaining about the greyness and rain for so long, and soon it'll be Fall, when it's supposed to be grey and rainy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The old monthly round-up

I said at the end of June that I would finish an afghan square (yes, I did), finish Arthur's socks (yes, I did), make a poinsettia dishcloth (I'm working on it) and work on that cotton top.

In fact, I also made the big woolly blanket.

And half a sock!

And, yeah, that cotton top... I switched patterns and started something completely different. I know that most summers, the idea of wearing a knitted anything is just not appealing. The fabric is too heavy, even in cotton, and that Anna Sui top is kind of dense. And there was a small question of fit... I'm not really the snug-fitting kind of girl.

So, now I am barrelling along on this.

Acres of mesh stitch.

And when I finish it, I'll look like this.

Which reminds me of what's going on at the Stash Basket. We are trying the "lose weight = win goodies" trick. Everyone puts something yarny or crafty in the metaphorical pot, and then for each pound you lose by sometime around the end of the year, you get a raffle ticket to win something! Tempting, right? Well, I still have very few tickets. And today is weighing day, and we had friends over for dinner last night... Next week for sure!

Back to knitting! In August (ack, already!?) I will continue to work on the acres of mesh. And that's all I'm going to promise. The new VK is due out soon, and there are a million great-looking hats. I also want to make a Trilobite. We shall see. We have a week at a cottage at the very end of August, and I bet I'll get more sock knitting done then.

Gawd, and then it will be September!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Away for the weekend

I should say, there are a lot of pictures to follow.

Once upon a time, we were sitting on the back deck with some friends, and they were talking about us visiting their farm near Picton, Prince Edward County. Stephen said he'd do some sort of wood project for them if they liked -- I think the idea of sitting in the shade watching the kids play hide-and-seek didn't do it for him!

So, hmm, what sort of thing could he build? Another birdhouse, naaah.

How about a swing set? Not too big, useful if you have 2 young girls, a weekend project rather than something that could take all summer. Sounds good.

And, off we went. (I must say, off we went after much drawing of plans and calculating of wood and screw and bolt numbers. Not like me, when I cast on for the back without even knowing if the garment will end up with sleeves or not.)

Elaine, her friend and the little sister didn't do much of the carpentry, or the hole digging, or the concrete mixing. They played hide-and-seek, ran around in the fields, decorated cakes, read books and watched the Sound of Music.

This is a piece of a double-wide kid-sized rocking chair. Lovely! The kids, of course, preferred the chairs the adults wanted to sit in...

The other mom and I relaxed in the shade as much as possible, but made a trip into town -- I saw the thrift store; the secondhand furniture store where we picked up a hefty volume called something like the American Woman's Guide to Home Decorating, 1948 edition; Rose Haven; and the Regent Theatre. Imagine my chagrin when, just before we left Sunday, I looked in the local paper to see that on the 23rd, our first night there, the theatre was holding "A Night with Tom Jones and Tina Turner." Really? Tom and Tina in Picton's little theatre? The 22nd, indeed, they had an evening with Abba and the Bee Gees! Next time, boy, I'm going to investigate that place...

I also found time for some knitting in the sunporch.

We all took a trip to the beach.

Elaine emerging from the waves.

On our way to pick blueberries with the girls we passed a sunflower farm!

Note the bug on the berry.

We also saw some great pond scum!

Arthur, being a manly fellow, was put to work, digging holes and carrying wood, driving screws and getting water.

Standing in a hole.

He took the occasional rest.

The screws come in little boxes with these very useful lids! Must use more screws, so as to get a box for my stitch markers and darning needles, with a built-in ruler on the lid!

A few details remain for future weekend guests, but it works!

Monday, July 27, 2009

What we did this weekend

More later; must sort photos.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Something's funny with the comments

I hear the comments are not working quite right.
I took the verification word out, because that wasn't functioning properly, but now it seems you have to preview your comment before it posts.
Tech support is standing by -- this means that I'll click all the little boxes and see what happens.
Carry on as best you can!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Focus, determination, diligence

Hey, I have been knitting.

I sent my husband out of the country last week, and glued my children to computer screens, compelling them to watch dumb cartoons and pretend to wander around strange and foreign lands. (I could link those, but I don't think I will. I wonder what would happen if you googled "dumb cartoons.")

And then I just picked up those needles and knit. If I did release my kids, and allow them out of the house, I made sure we went on long subway rides so I could get some knitting in. I knit on the beach and on the way to the museum. Knit knit knit.

Just focus, and the job will get done!

Yessiree, morning to night, two strands of wool, making the most colourful, warmest, thickest baby blanket ever!

What, not a cotton short-sleeved top?

Um, no. There's been some issues with that. Which I'll get to later.

The blanket became all-consuming, and really did consume most of my odd balls of DK weight wool. Which is why it is so dang heavy -- I compare it to the apron one puts on when getting a dental x-ray!

I wonder if one could put it on a small child without a risk of crushing the poor thing. Anyways, for now it is draped over a chair.

Must find a baby -- it's not big enough for afghans for Afghans. And an Afghan baby might actually need a double-thick wool blanket!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

About that sweatshirt, and a few other things

My kids were laughing so hard the tears were rolling down their faces as we discussed my new wardrobe item. They pointed out the following: cutting the sleeves off doesn't do anything about the holes or fraying seams on the shoulders; it looks like a painting smock; it'll fray worse than ever (I say it won't!); and all in all, it's not the least bit style-y. Probably other things, as well.

Crushed as I was by their comments, I didn't wear it out this morning when we went to see Harry Potter!

Ooooh, it was okay. Not super-fantastico, but pretty good. They left good stuff out, and put in a scene which did nothing for the economy of the film, and things just aren't as good as in the book, but, okay, pretty good.

And, for free! The mom of a friend of Arthur has a financial advisor, whom she visits once a year, and this financial advisor shows the odd movie as a "customer appreciation" event, complete with popcorn and a drink, at the ungodly hour of 9 am on a Saturday in deepest darkest suburbia!! But we all have to make some sacrifices, and it was worth getting up early to see this.

And with 2 subway rides and a 2.5 hour movie, I made a hat, which will go to Streetknit.

My face was so red, I had to make everything else green to get a presentable picture!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I made something

Firstly, I saw this. Very chic and summery and not made from something already worn to shreds. Nice, in fact.

So, then I went out today, and was a bit chilly -- in Toronto, in July! So I thought, "Huh, what if I had one of those chic, summery cover-ups?"

Off to the closet, to discover this gem.

I got this the summer I was pregnant with Arthur, which was many, many summers ago. I wore it constantly through 2 pregnancies and lots of other stuff, too. Now, it is too raggedy to wear anywhere, except I kinda love it, and what would I do with it -- too far gone for the Goodwill, too familiar to just chuck it.

So, I hacked the sleeves a bit shorter, and took the ribbing off the waistband, and sliced it up the middle, adding a soupçon of a V-neck. (Like that ç there? I'm quite proud of it! Ç!)

And I ended up with this:

It'll do for chilly evenings round the campfire, or out searching for fossils by a river, like we did today. The remaining seams are still totally frayed, and it won't last forever, but I feel kind of like the Grandpa in Something from Nothing. With a bit of Steve McQueen thrown in.

The other exciting thing I've done lately -- besides knitting, but I'm not ready to show you that yet -- is I've bought something on Ebay. I've never actually succumbed before, but now I've bought some unnecessary vintage Vogue Knitting magazine, and have a bid in on a good book! I vow, however, never to buy yarn on Ebay. I have heard enough tales about that!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Some pretty pictures

A bug. I'm sure if I said it was a ladybug someone would tell me it wasn't exactly a ladybug, or even a ladybird, because it has too many spots. Or is not quite red enough. But it is a cool spotted bug on a bright green leaf. So.

Now this, this is a guy on a horse. King Edward VII as a matter of fact. He sits in Queen's Park, where we went today for Afrofest. Note Elaine's lovely cotton floral frock, paired with a leopard-spotted chapeau.

And for a grand finale, guess where this is! Hint: I did not take this picture; Stephen did. And he is in Taipei this week.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

You guys are so bossy

Okay, okay, I'll get to work on my nice cotton top. Sheesh.

But I had to dig around in the cushion of the comfy chair to find my cable needle, and that led to vacuuming and moving the couch and everything! Sheesh.

I have actually accomplished two of my July goals already. I finished the square and the socks! The square has gone to the bag o' squares and will eventually get some companions to make a blanket, but for now I am trying to ignore it.

The sock got done Tuesday, and it was a squeaker, I tell you!

The first sock weighed in at 50 grams, so I knew I had very little leeway with the second, and the ball had a knot in it! This is all the yarn I had to kitchener the toe, and even so, the second sock is 2 rows shorter in the toe than the first. Arthur says he doesn't notice. Good lad.

So, today will take me to Mary Maxim for dishcloth cotton, and then you'll see some action! (Oh, right, the summer top first, and then the dishcloth...)

And speaking of action, we went out to Toronto Island on the weekend and went sailing. The ferries are not running because of our city workers' strike, but the yacht club runs a tender. And this woman was knitting on the tender! Boy, was she knitting -- hot pink huge yarn on silver Addi huge needles. Stephen kindly kinneared her for me, since my view was impeded.

I saw her later in the day and talked to her a bit. I said I had just brought a sock, and she replied that she couldn't knit socks, she could just knit in straight lines. To each her own.