Monday, May 31, 2010

Last Thursday's sky, and Eye Candy Monday

They keep promising us a bit of rain, but it hasn't happened in weeks, it seems. This was the edge of a front -- off to the right the clouds got thicker and darker, but they just passed over us without dropping any rain.

There's a school/park/old church combo not far from here, where an iron fence has huge rosebushes planted all along it. Just now it is a wall of pink! This looks sort of unnatural in the photos, but it was bright sun, bright pink, bright green!

It was impossible to get a bee to sit still for a photo!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Update on the chia pet

A while ago, I tried to sprout an old Chia pet. It was not a success. I ended up scraping all the old seeds off and throwing up my hands.

But then! I had a package of broccoli seeds, and they are just tiny enough to fit in Chia pet grooves, so I gave it a shot! They don't get that gooey coating when wet, and they stick to your damp fingers like seed beads or something -- not fun, really.

It didn't get much coverage, due to that lack of gooeyness! But, if they all sprout, it'd still look cool.

Some tiny progress. Note the little sproutlet on the tray below. I think they sprout and then fall off, for lack of goo, or lack of rootable surface??

One valiant survivor, many fallen troops. I'll have to take the sprouts outside and set them free in the garden, to see if any will give me actual broccoli! I don't think we're going to see any marvels growing on the pet, but you can be sure I'll show you if this little guy gets much bigger!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pretty things

I got some fuzzy blue unlabeled yarn at a yard sale 10 days ago, and quick as a wink made this little triangle.

It will block out a bit, and go to the Children's Aid for someone to snuggle up with. Why can't I do that with the yarn I actually go to the store and choose myself?

not bacon, but quartz!

Yesterday I took Elaine and a bunch of kids to the ROM. Their class was going on a field trip to the Cadbury chocolate factory, but the chocolate people wouldn't let in anyone with food allergies or sensitivites, so there were a few who were unable to go.

Luckily we had 3 parents for 5 children, so that worked well. No chocolate, but we had fun, and since the class is studying rocks and minerals, we got to see all these pretty things. (No flash, museum lighting.)

my favourite, malachite!

One day I will put all my whitish wool into a blanket like this. Must remember that a touch of gold will set it all off nicely!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Such fun

I still go in once in a while to knit with the kids at Arthur's school. Some are coming along fine, but our dream of a blanket of squares will not be realised this year!

A while ago, I took in a few Knifty Knitters, giant knitting spools, because some of the students found it hard to manipulate 2 sticks.

However, I neglected to take in protective casings for them, and somehow they became completely and uselessly tangled up! The little balls of thin acrylic yarn, which is pretty useless on these giant things anyways, just exploded all over the knobs, and it was a giant mess.

Lucky for everyone, I have a compulsion to disentangle things like this. The thin yarn will go to a swap tomorrow (if all goes well) and the hoops will go back to school next week.

The best thing about this whole exercise was using the editing tool on the photos -- who needs to vacuum if you can just erase the cracker crumbs?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Number 2

My second cable swatch! This is fun.

I haven't cast off, and will keep going for a while. We can't have everything the same shape and size, now, can we?

The background is garter stitch, as you can see, and I purl all across the wrong-side rows, and purl the garter stitch bits on the front. I can see a whole garment in this, or one or two of these panels in a more elaborate design.

It's from the VK 2010 calendar, April 21, and called Tower of Song, for some reason!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cable swatch #1 and other gems

This is the pattern for March 9 from the VK Stitch-a-day 2010 calendar. They call it Firefly, for some reason. Columns of 4 knit stitches, separated by a purl, and off-set pairs of cables. I'd maybe use it for a blanket where sheer size would be impressive, but wouldn't be too tempted to make a sweater with it.

It is my first item in the Cable-a-day KAL I have joined on Ravelry, though I am only aiming for a cable a week! It's in Twilley's denim cotton, and perhaps I should have done another repeat of the pattern to allow for shrinkage, but we are just trying to be free and easy here!

I have also been working on my carefree la-de-da cotton scarf. Elaine says she will make her own pink scarf, thank you very much, so I hope to get this off to the Children's Aid. It will only take one of my two skeins, so I might just whip up another sometime this summer and send them both off.

It really is that pink! I changed the stitch pattern from the one in VLT -- that one had only k2tog as a decrease, and I thought the fabric wanted to slant, and would be a big ol' pain to block out. So I switched to this: k2tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K1. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum.

And I'll end with a show of what I am not knitting! I got a book out of the library called Knitting Lace, by Barbara Abbey. Full of delicate gorgeous things, made in what I would call crochet cotton. However, I would need to rewrite the patterns, or learn a whole new language!

I did catch on that / means "knit two together" and 00 means a double yarnover. Hoo la. For now, I'll just look at the pictures.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Plans for the future

At the beginning of the year, or maybe in the middle of the flurry of activity at the Knitting Olympics, I had the notion to knit a biggish thing per month. Now that my 2 big long-time unfinished projects are out of the way, or almost (!), I'm thinking of what to do next, and can't quite commit to a large project.

So. I have joined a group on Ravelry to make swatches of cable patterns. I think I will try for one square a week, and heaven knows I have enough inspiration around the house. Plain old stitch dictionaries, Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting, decades of VK back issues... That should keep me busy, actually.

I also have the unfinished socks, and the multitude of blankets in progress! I won't start anything big for a while, I think. My mom's birthday is in July and she will need a pair of socks, but I am not making teacher dishrags or anything like that! I shall try to be carefree yet productive. Does that sound possible?

And now for something completely different! It is Britain's Got Talent time again! So far this year there are three women singers, ranging in age from 10 to 80, and they are all excellent; a man who can sing but apparently doesn't have great stage presence; some world-class gymnasts; and a dog.

Stay tuned -- there are still several weeks of auditions to go, so maybe Chandi will be eclipsed, but right now, I'd say she was the front-runner in my books.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Yarnbomb the Textile Museum

The Textile Museum downtown, hidden away just near Dundas and University, is yarnbombing itself! And asking for donations! They'd better be careful or they'll have to cover the whole building.

lockers at another museum -- blanket inspiration

And speaking of yarnbombing, did you see that Nona reappeared for a moment? And has been knitting tags, among other things...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Something new

Progress so far: I looked at the ol' denim cardigan and wondered, "Maybe I washed and shrunk this already. Otherwise, how did these ends get so darn tangled?" But, I noticed that really it was practically all done. The buttonbands were on! So, I trimmed some ends and threw it in the washer, perhaps for the second time. Didn't dry it bone dry in the dryer, so it is lying upstairs on a rack right now. I have to decide whether to fuss about having preshrunk yarn to sew it up. I wonder if this is where I stopped the last round! In any case, we're well on our way with that project!

I thought I should have an easy portable fun project, instead of starting a new sweater.

So I got out this hot pink cotton that a friend gave me, and have embarked on a simple lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today. The yarn is not at all as fine as suggested, so I am hoping for a wider wrap than the 8" scarf in the book. I once got these wooden needles at a yarn swap and they seem fine for this job. So far, so good.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

New month, new list

I accomplished one of my goals for April, and finished the Skiers sweater. So, yay me. I wonder what to do with the almost-4 balls of black Shetland Chunky I have left! Black baby blanket seems like not a very good idea.

The other thing I was going to do was finish up the Acres of Mesh. In fact, I didn't do this by the end of April, but looky here:

Somehow it doesn't fit quite the way it looks in the magazine... but it'll be fun in the summer.

For Stephen's birthday on the weekend I made Coq au Vin, which is dead easy -- cook some chicken, pour on wine. Cook some more. Throw in mushrooms. Ta Da! Looks funny, though -- a very lovely dark pink from the wine. But it tasted great. I don't have a picture of it, but I did snap one of the birthday cake. Guess how old he is?

He got a shirt from one of his grad students.

I'm pleased to say that physicists great and small were debating what exactly that equation is all about!

So, plans for May...

  1. Sew up the Denim cardigan. This has been sitting around for a long time, but I just need to do buttonbands and other fiddly bits, I think. It's a mind-over-matter issue.
  2. Work on a pair of socks. I have 2 different partially knit socks somewhere around here, and I'd like to have at least one pair by the end of the month!
  3. Start something new -- and right now I'm not committing to anything in particular, since I change my mind every half hour.
  4. Tend my herb garden, including this lemon verbena. I wish Blogger had smell-o-vision! It smells like lemon candies!