Friday, December 31, 2010

The 2011 plan

(By the way, I believe 2011 is a prime number. Not that that should influence us in any way.)

I have my six sock baggies, and will start the new year off with the bag with 3 unfinished pairs of socks. That will last me (according to plan) till March 1, when I will pick another bag. And I then will have three whole pairs of socks finished! (Okay, okay, I haven't actually got real physical bags with patterns and needles and yarn all together. They are sorted in my brain, and one day I'll set it all up. I know what I am doing in January and February, anyways!)

Meantime, I will also work on the Noro cardigan. Given my November experience, it is foolish to think I'll get that finished before the end of February. I have about 4 inches of the two fronts made.

I will try to finish 6 major projects in 2011, as well as the socks:
  1. Noro cardigan, in progress
  2. denim gansey-like thing, maybe Sunday Best (on Ravelry, or here, on Thomas)
  3. one lace shawl if I can ever decide on a pattern
  4. Rowan cotton sweater for Elaine
  5. big black and grey witchy shawl, in progress
  6. cotton blanket, in progress, and there's a baby expected for it in May
  7. felted tweed masterpiece of some sort -- the last couple of winter Rowan mags were full of good ideas
Since three of those are already in progress, that's my list. I assume there will be an assortment of dishcloths and hats and so on, as well.

I am going out west in January and will have lots of travel time and hanging around time, so I will take whatever sock I am working on, and something else. I could save the tiger sock's simple foot for that trip, and have that for non-thinking knitting, and the cardigan for quiet times. Or start something totally new, or take the Witchy shawl or ....

Argh: I wrote this over the past little while and scheduled it to publish today. Imagine my chagrin when the new Vogue Knitting preview posted this morning... That's the trouble with long-term planning: things always occur to mess it up. Suffice to say that I will peruse my next issue of the magazine keenly, and maybe get derailed, or maybe not! I especially like the Urban Outfits cables!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More amaryllis

Will it be out by January 1? Who knows?

A tiny bit of sock knitting has taken place. Some fun and frivolity, mainly involving large quantities of food, has also occurred.

My finger is still not totally fine. The nail is broken down in the part where it's actually attached to the finger, so I live in fear of snagging it on something, which would lead to great pain. Band-aids work until one washes dishes or one's hand! Well, in the great scheme of things, a sore finger is not really worth getting too excited about, I suppose!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The amaryllis is blooming

Well, almost! This has a few flowers, and there is another bud coming up, too! So we will soon be inundated with big orangey flowers!

Meanwhile, I banged my finger in a door, or drawer, or something... One of those injuries that wasn't significant enough to register until a few minutes later, when I realised my right index fingernail was broken and the fingertip very sore and bruised, but I can't quite recall how I did it! Knitting may suffer!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ooh, baby, you know what I like

Arthur and I got one for Stephen, Stephen got one for Arthur, Stephen's student got one for the family. Luckily at least 2 had receipts included!

Much more frivolity occurred. We have enough leftover pork roast to last a week. I got a "fashion-punk" book called Yarn, and now that I have finally finished Les Miserables, I shall get started on that. Seems there's some addictive yarn with special properties -- I'll get back to you!

Back to your knitting, everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas to you all

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, and a year full of wild colours and shapes!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quickto pronto

The funny old squares blanket is done! Well, mostly -- I hid the ends underneath to take these pictures, and I will sew them in today, really I will!

I had one terrible problem: running out of yarn inches before the end! The bit of pale blue that I found isn't even the same pale blue that is in the squares, but it was that or black.

Most exciting, I learned how to do those cute little scallops around the edge. If I'd known what I was doing when I started out, I would have done things differently (natch) but this is fine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time-waster #46

Someone told me recently how to see incoming FOs on Ravelry. I'm sure they meant it as a kindness. In fact, I asked for the information, so perhaps have only myself to blame.... but this could get a girl in trouble!

I have watched loads of gorgeous pictures pass by on my screen. Click: to project page, to pattern page, to other people's projects, to other people's other projects.... Back to the FO page and start over!

How many things have I faved just this morning?!

(Go to People, then a bit down the page it has a little link: Watch FOs live. That's the one.... stay away!)

Meanwhile, I am crocheting! Believe it or not!

Here's something you didn't know I was knitting... heck, I didn't even really know I was knitting it. I have shown you some of these squares before, long long ago. They have never made it to Ravelry. Every once in a while I find a bit of this yarn and make a square and throw it in a bag in the closet.

Well, recently I had a look in the ol' closet and found 8 squares and a bit of yarn, and realised the leftover yarn from the Skiers sweater would work in this as well. So I just sat myself down and knitted some more! Now I have 12 squares, all sewn together, needing just an edging.

Crochet always seems the simplest in these situations, but I'm not very good at it, and find it looks messy, and sort of as if it was chosen as a quick and dirty fix! This time, at least, I have lots of yarn so can make the border good and wide. (Good and wide and quick and dirty...)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The year's output

I will, of course, finish just scads of things before 2011, but I counted up my Completed Items of 2010 and found that I have knit 28 29 things thus far this year! Even though I slog and procrastinate and sometimes think things drag on forever, I actually managed to finish something, on average, every two weeks! Now, at least 2 of those things have been on the needles since 2008, mind you. And some took a day to knit.

Let's sort and categorize, my favourite activity...

(Please do not feel you have to click to see every picture -- but I want to have the reference for myself!)

Sweater-like things:
Hats: three of them

Shawls and scarves and blankets:
Squares: five dishcloths (one, two, three, four, five) plus two cabled squares (sigh, that group was called "Cable-A-Day" but I didn't last long!) and an H for a knitted poem. (And a partridge in a pear tree.)

If I accomplish anything else in the next couple of weeks, I'll be sure to let you know, but I think postings will be few and far between for a while! Happy holidays, happy new year, happy solstice! I am looking forward to the days when it is no longer dark at suppertime!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The elves are back

I think the first time I saw this was on January One's blog. This year, surf music and unsmiling children. One with a gigantic head. Elves are strange creatures, aren't they?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Compare and contrast

I LOL'd when I saw Wibbo's post today.

She has a beautiful bushy avocado plant that she grew from a pit.

I, too, have an avocado plant. This came from pit number 35 or so... I balance the pits in cups of water with toothpicks, and then, usually after weeks and weeks with nothing happening, throw them out. But!

[as always, click for bigger thrills]

Finally, one sprouted! It grew up and up and up, until I pinched off the top of it, to make it branch a teeny bit.

It is a sorry looking thing, but I did grow it from a baby, and so I have to now take care of it, and I haven't tried to sprout another. But now that I see Wibbo's, grown from a pit put in some dirt and stuck in a window, I might just try again!

I am happier with two other plants: the Christmas cactus

which I ignore for most of the year and then water like heck come October; and the amaryllis

which I just bought as a bulb this winter. I have two others which have given gorgeous flowers in the past, but now might put out a leaf or two. This is supposed to be orangey, so it will clash nicely with the Christmas cactus!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One afternoon, three new projects

I finally decided it was time to get some people over to the house: usually we have a casual potluck dinner party or two, but this term we have not. So last weekend I called on the knitters, who I figure are a reasonably reasonable bunch who wouldn't mind if I didn't clean the windows before they came over. (I didn't invite them into my kitchen, though!) I suffered a bout of camnesia at the time, but I do have pictures of some things I picked up.

(And now an aside, since I have just spent half an hour researching this. In 2007, Norma credited Mamacate with coining this term; she used camnesia, meaning "forgetting to take out one's camera and use it" in March of 2006, but Ring Around the Rosies used it in January of that year, saying "The term I saw on someone's blog. Not mine!" When I looked at the Urban Dictionary, they had a less innocent definition: "'Camnesia' is what occurs after one has done something on webcam one wishes he/she had not." But we all know that's not right.... And now you know all there is to know about camnesia.)

There was a bit of knitting, a bit of politics -- luckily all these knitters and Ravelers and neighbours are all correct-thinking individuals, so we were all bashing the same people -- and a bit of swapping. I destashed a few balls of yarn, and picked up a few new ones: 4 balls of Rowan cotton, that will go nicely with a few more I already have.

I picture a cardigan for Elaine, but have no definite plans just now.

The dark is supposed to be navy, but it really, really dark! And we'll all have to wait and see how that salmon pink fits in. The eagle-eyed among you will notice there are three labels here: DK Handknit Cotton, Handknit Cotton, and Handknit DK Cotton. I assume they are all the same.

Then I browsed through a selection of patterns someone brought, and came up with a scarf pattern, and know just the right yarn for it -- maybe doubled?

This gansey pattern is just another gansey pattern for the collection, but I like it, and it would save me from reinventing the wheel, were I to actually knit it!

It's always so fun to sit and knit and yak. I must do it more often!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Knitting at school

Last night was the "Night of Talents" at our local school. This is the final hurrah after a few weeks of "enrichment clusters." Every Thursday afternoon for 4 or 5 weeks the kids do something other than actual school work, and I have traditionally helped with the knitting.

This year, I suggested decorating the railing in this window, instead of laying things out on a table. It didn't turn out exactly as I would have done it, given free rein, but it was cool, though hard to photograph from the inside. This is what we saw as we approached the school:

A boy named Benn knitted this, but was such a whiner about casting off. At the last minute I did it for him, but I said I needed my name on the label, so you see it says, "Casted off by Mary." He had the not-uncommon problem with accidental increases, but after a while he stabilized.

And then there were the boys and their finger-knitting!

Longer, longer, more, more! This was probably about 40 feet long! One boy made a similar piece, and then finger-knitted the finger-knitting, so it was short and thick, there on the right:

These kids were mostly rank beginners a few weeks ago, so it amazes me that they produced anything in the few short hours they had.

Next year, parking meter cosies, or covering the principal's car!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Knitting the toes of two socks actually takes hardly any time. I wish I had known this in September, and October, and November, when I put off this job.

But I'll get them mailed off today.

Today is also the last day of the knitting group at Elaine's school. I think we will display the product of our labours yarn-bomb style, attached to some railings, and I'll get a picture or two!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Another version

Next time you are in a food fair, just jump up and sing!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Today's progress report, with flowers

Our little corner store had these tulips, alongside the mini-Christmas trees and the amaryllis bulbs. So crazy! Stripes, frilly edges, wide-open flowers...

Our little ray of sunshine...

Meanwhile, the knitting progresses. Arthur was home sick yesterday, so I didn't go out and bustle around town (or even get to the grocery store for milk) and got a lot of knitting sorted out.

The Ribwarmer is done.

This is taken with a flash. I don't think the pooling of the blues is so pronounced in real life. I will mail it off to my sister, but first I will finish up my mom's socks to go in the same package. You may recall I needed to "mend" them -- ie. reknit the whole ball-of-the-foot part!

I cut off the worn part and picked up stitches. I'm not sure I shouldn't have ripped even farther back. The yarn is sort of thin here, and I'm a bit worried! But I figure this is supposed to be a mending job, and I can always give her a whole new pair of socks later.

I started off with a 2.75 mm needle, but after a bit realised I should be using 2.25 and I had to rip back an inch or two.

And here they are: one waiting to be grafted and one waiting to be cut! And not a terrible match of yarns, considering...

Monday, December 06, 2010

It snowed

SNOWBALL FIGHT!!"o´¯`❄.¸(░)`O.¸¸.¸.o´¯`❄. ¸ (░) `O. ❄。 ¨¯`*✲ ´*。. ❄¨¯`*✲。 ❄*´*。 ✲O. ¸¸. ¸. o´¯`o.¸ (░) `O.¸¸. ✲. ¸. o´¯`¸. o´¯`❄¸ (░) `O. ¸¸. ¸.✲´¯`o. ¸ (░) `O. ¸❄。`O. ¸¸. ¸. o´¯`❄。 ¨¯`*✲.... ¸. o´¯`o. ¸ (░) `O. ¸¸. ¸. o´¯`❄. ¸ (░) ´*。✲´*。. ❄¨¯`*✲。 ❄

We have about a centimeter of snow here today. Stephen left his bike in the shed and he and Elaine tromped off in their big boots.

Edited to add some photos:

A pot on our deck. I've been meaning to put some new soil in it and transplant a houseplant into it!

The rim thereof, and some snowflakes!

The recycling pile, with lovely collars!

Maybe we'll have some more impressive pictures later; they say it will keep coming down.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Another lesson in getting things done

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I started a little vest for a small person, fully intending to give it to some charitable bunch to pass on to a child in need. I sort of finished it (but never used my blog "labels" well and can't be bothered to find a later post than this post from the end of a previous NaBloPoMo).

I did make the armholes and neck, but the neck was way too tight, and almost immediately got ripped out.

And it sat and sat for months and years, waiting for a new neckline!

I am working up to trading some yarn with someone, and I thought, "Wait a sec, I could give her that whitish Lett Lopi!" But then, where is it? Ohhhh, in the bag with the almost-finished vest!

A short evening's work, and it is done, the yarn freed up to give away -- I still have a ball and a half -- and something made that should keep a child warm. I'll take it down to Children's Aid soon!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Can't stay away

I got an e-mail this morning I just had to share: the new Knitty is up!

Only one really ridiculous thing (find it yourselves) and this great shawl! I will have some Kureyon Sock left over, I think, and this might be just the thing.

Okay, back to your knitting, everyone.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wow, November is over!

I seem to have finished NaBloPoMo, with the help of my dear readers, urging me on!

I don't think I'll take up posting every day as a permanent thing. Or if I were doing it again, I wouldn't put all my hopes of blog-fodder on one garment, especially one that grows slowly on small needles!

That garment continues to grow. I have started both fronts together and have, um, about 4 rows.

Plans for December:
  1. Finish the Ribwarmer -- this involves going to buy more yarn.
  2. Get a start on my mom's sock-mending/reknitting. Apparently the socks I gave her this summer are too short in the foot, and since she wears them for bedsocks, it's a nuisance when they slip off!
  3. Finish the Noro cardigan.
  4. That's probably enough, but I need to get that cotton baby blanket restarted, I want some hand-knitted mittens, a denim pullover, a lace shawl...
I also want to be able to stumble through this, and the following 3 parts! Belly dancing fitness sounds like such fun, but at this point I'm very much a beginner.

No post tomorrow, folks -- I'm taking the day off!

Unless it snows...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Really, the back of the sweater

Oh, joy supreme!

This morning I looked at my sweater back, measured, and did a little dance, because I could just shape the shoulders and I was done!

I still have the two front pieces to do, and so should not celebrate too much, but it is so nice to cast something off and start something new, even if it is another piece of the same garment!

I still have one more day of NaKniSweMo, so I'll certainly try to get started on a front!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The back of the sweater

First, this morning, I wrote the title of this post. Yessirree, I thought, I will finish the back today! Only 2 weeks behind schedule!

I knit a row and measured and something else came up. I found myself walking Elaine to a friend's house, down near Romni Wools. Aha, said I, I can drop in and get the last skein of cotton for Ribwarmer II. But alas, Romni is closed on Sundays! At least I got my walk!

So I came home, got ready for tonight's street dinner party, knit a row, measured.... Elaine had another playdate, I took the girl home at 5 pm, jumped in the shower -- we're going out at 6 pm. It's 5:57.

Tomorrow, I will finish the last inch of the back, and show it to you! Really!

That will cover November 29, and November 30 will deal with the end results of NaBloPoMo and NaKniSweMo!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I did last night

Last night I went to my friend's house and sat around and chatted, and most people did not stuff their faces with cookies. I did wonder as I put about 4 dozen cookies on a plate for 6 women...

Aside from the really nice conversation and interesting histories which we got into, it was a very fine thing to sit comfortably and just knit round and round on a sock. (I've taken up carrying the second tiger sock around with me, and progress is being made!) Must do all these things more often!

There used to be a bit of a tradition in the neighbourhood for women to get together at someone's house for what they called "Mama Sans." Sans, as I'm sure you all know, is French for without, so it was a time for moms to be without kids, without spouses, without a care in the world, and the few I attended in the golden olden days of 10 years ago were really open and inviting and friendly and super fun, but I haven't heard of one for a few years.

One neighbour and I were moaning at each other on a street corner a while back about the daily grind, and decided we needed a similar pick-me-up, and that led to this little affair last night.

Now another plan for 2011 is to revive the big Mama Sans tradition and get nights like this happening more often, with more people! I think the problem often is finding not only a moment, but also a house -- I would not really be sans if my kids were coming down to eat all the snacks and my husband was yakking with someone in the kitchen.... though that would all be fun, too!

I must say that my house has silted up terribly, and the books, knitting, toys, discarded mail (and the occasional sock that the laundress misses) are getting overwhelming. Stay tuned for boastful posts about how one can actually see the floor, and then we'll be all set for entertaining!

Oh, and this is me with my new hair. I can use "product" and make it all stand up, or I can jam my hat on my head and make it all lie flat. I think for the next few months, it'll tend towards flat!

Boy, do I look like my sisters...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yay, it's Friday

Today I'm going to get my hair cut. Maybe not quite like Emma Watson's, but one never knows. Then I am going to do a bunch of stuff, and then, I am going to dig a supply of cookies out of the freezer and go to a Moms' Night In. I hope it will not be quite like Penny's, on the Big Bang Theory, but one never knows.

I have the ginger snaps, which are old family favourites from the Joy of Cooking; the "light brown brownies," which I think some people call Blondies; the super chocolate cookies from the new Martha Stewart magazine; plain ol' chocolate chip; and some jam thumbprint cookies from Martha, which I just made yesterday.

Martha and her cookies, I dunno. The chocolate ones are good, but I cut out a ton of chocolate from her recipe. I also made some for which I had to "finely chop" crystallized ginger, which was no picnic. They didn't even taste all that gingery when I was done, either! I didn't save them, but let the kids eat them, and I didn't spend the extra time making lemon icing for them, either. That surely would have made them more flavourful, but it didn't seem worth the fuss.

Yesterday's thumbprints were also a bit too much work for a very meh cookie. Tons of butter, sugar, an egg and flour. That's it! I put a splash of vanilla in, and I ran out of white flour so they are a tad healthy with a cup of whole wheat flour. My first big sigh was when I decided to use my electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar. I never do this; I just use a wooden spoon, or big plastic spoon that looks like a wooden spoon! I was supposed to beat for 3 or 4 minutes, according to the recipe, but after 30 seconds my beaters were all jammed up with butter (Hmm, all jammed up with butter?? You know what I mean) so I reverted to the spoon anyways! Is it possible to do this somehow without clogging things up? The butter was room temperature.

So, next step: make balls, squish them a bit to make a dip. Melt jam... When I first did this, I followed Martha's instructions and melted the jam on the stove, then carefully filled the dips in the cookies. I had two kinds of jam, and so for the second flavour, I put it in the microwave, because it seemed like a good idea. And now I know why the instructions said to do it on the stove! Exploded pineapple jam all over the microwave is not a pleasant thing! Another big sigh.

The cookies are okay... How can one go wrong with all that butter and sugar? But they have no zing.

Pretty, but not worth a second go, I'd say!

I hope there will be knitting as well as cookies tonight. One woman made a lovely sweater, and another saw it and dashed out to buy the yarn. I think is this Garter Stitch Jacket. Now this second one is almost finished, but there are little issues she needs resolved.

Oh, the exciting life I lead, trying to resolve knitting issues and eating cookies! (I took two exercise videos out of the library! It's exhausting just watching them.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A new ball of Noro

I like to rewind the Noro from the store-bought balls into my own centre-pull balls, so that I can find any knots. In the first two balls, I had one or two knots in each, but this last one had none.

I was also really pleased to come across that turquoise again, and can't wait to knit with it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tis the season for silly songs

Well, that's enough of that!

Picking a random number between one and three was a challenge, but we did it, and got THREE! That means that Pigwotknits will get herself a new magazine, as soon as she sends me her snail-mail address (my e-mail address is up there in the corner).

Now, off to knit a few rows before tackling the day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A bit of excitement

Today we had the fire department on our street. No ambulances, luckily!

One has to go gawk a bit when the trucks are on one's very own block, so I turned the soup pot down low and went to see what was going on. Smoke was gently wafting out of the house.

Apparently, someone had left a pot bubbling on the stove and gone out!

And on a happier note: don't forget to leave a comment here to "win" a cool knitting magazine!

Monday, November 22, 2010

After-dinner quickie

Accomplishments of today include (in no particular order):
  1. making a nice dinner of butter chicken, rice, baby corn, green stuff (some kind of bok choy) and vino.
  2. passing on my old hand-me-down sewing machine to someone who will actually use it. This means I either sew by hand or buy a brand-new machine and learn to use it properly.
  3. meeting a knitter and trading magazines. Arachknit (that's her on Rav) and I have met a few times to swap stuff. I'd like to get her and a few others to a friendly knitting party here some day.
  4. walking up and down the hill, to and from said meeting. This was good for my overall fitness, I believe.
  5. taking Les Miserables out of the library. It is a translation, because it is many years since I could read a book like that in French. Hmm, maybe I should work that back up again. I will let you know how it goes!
  6. knitting till I ran out of yarn for the second Ribwarmer. This means another trip to the yarn store. Oh, no.
  7. picking up the Noro cardigan again. So pretty! Such tiny needles!
  8. booking a flight to Castlegar to see my parents and sister in January. This was complicated by the fact that my brain and fingers didn't seem to be connected; I first booked a flight to Penticton! Lucky for me, when I phoned customer service in a bit of a flap, I got a friendly guy who changed my flight and waived the $90 fee! It will be on frequent flyer points, so it only cost me taxes and so on. I will have to rent a car.
  9. digging the holiday lights out of the basement. I have been trying to interest the family in some sort of alternate Christmas tradition around here, but I still like the lights of a traditional Christmas. So far, we just have a few around the fireplace. We can't put the outdoor ones up till December, or some members of the family would mutiny.
  10. managing to blog before the day is over. Pretty good, eh? Twenty-two days in a row!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A fine idea

Lately Alison has been offering a "Saturday giveaway" where she passes on books she no longer needs.

I think this is just a fine idea, although it is now Sunday!

Since two of my friends had the bright idea to give me the same magazine when I was in hospital, I will offer one up to you, dear readers.

It is the VK Fall 2010. (Oh, dear, it's so last season, I'm sorry!)

This is, in fact, full of delightful stuff you should be able to see here.

I can tell you right now that the yarn for the great Union Jack cardigan (Scottish Tweed 4-ply) has already been discontinued, so I hope that doesn't break anyone's heart too badly. They say you can use Felted Tweed, like this one on Ravelry. (And really, if your gauge is off and the final measurement turns out to be 65 inches instead of 68 3/4", who's going to notice!)

Leave a comment here and I'll just pick one lucky winner at random. And perhaps this tradition might continue, because I certainly have a few books I never use!

ETA: I'd better make a time limit on this... Leave your comment before midnight Tuesday, Nov 23!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Next steps

This has nothing to do with knitting. It is sort of the opposite of my sedentary knitting, in fact! I need recommendations for exercise.

I am on the lookout for middle-aged-lady-friendly tummy exercises, to get my muscles back in form. (Well, preferably better than pre-surgery!)

The other day I had on some internet radio station that was supposed to be 80s hits (argh, was there no other band in the 80s besides the Police?) and I thought I should get some power pop exercise video to dance along with... But what I really need are the horrible ab crunching exercises. Yeah, maybe I'll start with the Angela Lansbury workout rather than Jane Fonda...

She would slip if she tried to walk with her legwarmers on her feet like that.

(In my search for Jane Fonda pictures, I came upon this blog post:

Fonda attributes 30 percent of her good looks to sports and a healthy lifestyle:

"I owe 30 per cent to genes, 30 per cent to good sex, 30 per cent because of sports and healthy lifestyle and for the remaining 10 per cent, I have to thank my plastic surgeon. I'm happier, the sex is better and I understand life better. I don't want to be young again."

Since I can't count on my genes, my lifestyle is not that sporty and I don't have a plastic surgeon, I guess that just leaves one thing!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Waiting room accomplishment

I went today to see the surgeon who did my operation five weeks ago, and he said, "How are you doing?" and I said, "Okay" and he prodded a bit and looked at my scar and then he said, "See you next year."

Really, that's about all that happened. My appointment was for 9:30, and it was almost 11 when I had that 5 minute conversation with him.

I'm sure he wasn't sitting on his butt drinking coffee, but how on earth do you get 1.5 hours behind, that early in the morning? What crises kept him from me and our little chat?

Anyways, won't complain too loudly. I learned I am totally A-OK, and I got a whack of knitting done on the second tiger sock.

(I wanted to take the ribwarmer, but I am a few short rows from joining the halves and knitting the back, and I didn't want to be sorting that out -- I should go downstairs right now and lay things out on the floor for a moment!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Knitting with kids

I went to Elaine's school today to help teach a knitting group. This is a fun Thursday enrichment program at the school, with dozens of choices: some kids do science, some do cartooning, some do physical games, some do knitting.

One of the kids asked me how long I had been knitting, and I can't really remember learning! I don't remember making really tight, scrunched-up tangles, and I don't remember wrapping the yarn twice, or somehow putting the left-hand needle's stitch onto the right-hand needle, along with the new stitch.

One boy would do four or five fine stitches, and then end up doubling a bunch more, before he came to me for "help." For some "help" means "do this for me," and for some it seems to mean, "Tell me exactly how to make this perfect, but don't touch my needles." It doesn't often seem to mean, "I will watch closely and copy what you do, paying attention to what you say to me."

The teacher had told them to slip the last stitch of the row, and might have mentioned that they should put the yarn to the front before they do that. One girl found she had way too many stitches, and she had been making a nice little yarnover before slipping her last stitch. So, a pretty line of eyelets and a gently sloping piece of knitting! She then quickly learned k2tog and got back to her original stitch count!

I will go again next week, even though it interferes with my weekly Scrabble game! Maybe I can take pictures of their hands and knitting for you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Those socks for 2011

Here I have four of the balls of yarn which will miraculously turn into socks next year. Most of them will likely be simple patterns.

Zebra stripes, I hope! I got this yarn when I got the "tiger" yarn, so let's hope this is more animal-like!

Wow, this I bought in Cambridge! On sale at Sew Creative... different dye lots, I think, but each ball will be on one foot, so it's unlikely to be noticed, right? Maybe with the regular stripes I could swing something like Monkeys.

I think this was an impulse buy in Romni Wools' basement one day. We could get a bit fancy-pants with this, as I think the bits of colour will be quite widely spaced. But I could be wrong. Maybe something like a cable and bar?

This yarn was given to me several years ago, when I helped some well-meaning but basically newbie grad-student knitters sew together a baby blanket. Hmm, that baby is now about 4, I think! (Yes, here's a report on this yarn, from 2006.)

All set, then! I will make the 6th bag hold one or two single 50 g balls, for kids' socks. I'm excited to think that this just might work!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Joining another knitting bandwagon

I was cruising around on Ravelry today and found a new group. It's a "self-imposed sock club" group, for those of us who wish we knit as devotedly as the Yarn Harlot. If you are unfamiliar with her self-imposed sock club, it's all explained here.

I am going to start the sock club business in January, because that is only sensible, isn't it? And I'm going to start by setting out 6 baggies for the year, instead of 12, because that, too, is sensible. AND, since I have several pairs of socks already on the go, the first baggie will contain the ... is it three? ... partially knit pairs. I have some of those embossed leaf socks, very pretty, very fun, as I recall...

and some other nice ones with eyelets (we can't call it lace, in case Arthur ends up with them, as he likely will). I bragged about how quickly this knitting was going, in January 2009. Ahem. Let's see if I can knit a pair of socks in less than two years, shall we?

Then there are some plain ones -- the tiger socks -- and I think that is it. I have knit the cuff of sock #2.

I have plenty of yarn for socks, but most of it is patterned and really needs a very simple stitch, but I will try to make up 5 more packages of yarn and patterns. I'll check into that tomorrow. I certainly can't take pictures of yarn right now, since it is both dark, and pourrrrring down rain.

Any sock pattern recommendations are welcome!