Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One pink sock, multiple loose ends

One sock down!

In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a deeper heel; this seems very short.

The yarn, Tofutsies, is nice to knit with in the hot weather, not sticky, not sweaty. But... have you ever seen so many ends on one sock!?

One of those joins is sort of my fault. I tried to get the yarn out from the centre of the ball and found myself with a giant yarn barf. I just kept working away, hoping things would sort themselves out neatly, but in the end it was just so tangled that I had to break the yarn at one point. But, then I found at least 2 more places in the ball where loose ends were just knotted together. I have wound up the rest of the ball and it looks like I can get the second sock done without any knotty bits, but I think this is miserable in a ball of sock yarn.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Knitting tourist

This story starts long ago. One could start it in the seventies, but I think we can safely say that my part of the story begins in 2005. At that time, I was in Cambridge, and I had met Rosie and Liz, and they were blogging, too, and another Mary knew them and read their blogs and somehow came to mine. Phew.

So we made the odd comment on each others' blogs and sent the odd e-mail, and I moved back to Toronto and years passed! Then, recently Mary sent me a note saying she would be in my neck of the woods and shouldn't we get together? Yes, we should!

She gets to town, gives me a call. Stephen and I are out and the kids tell me, when we return, that she will call tomorrow (that is, last Friday) at 10. Great!

No, not great, I won't be here!

Messages are sent via Ravelry and e-mail. She phones in the morning, leaving a message at 11:04. I get in the door at 11:05! I go out again, leaving detailed instructions with Arthur, to get Elaine for lunch.

Then, the doorbell rings, and there she is! Nothing like the direct approach!

So, we have a cup of tea, send the now-fed Elaine back to school, and decide the thing to do is go to Romni Wools and see the sights!

Oops, some came home with me, though when I abandoned Mary and her husband down there, because the school day was almost over and I had to get Elaine again, she seemed to be acting with some restraint.

That might be partly because she can make her own lovely yarn! She gave me this wee ball of her handspun!

It is about 34 grams of wool with silk plies in as well. Bluish overall, but with all sorts of other gorgeous colours, which will all be much more visible when I make it into a nice little lacy scarf.

It was great to meet her and finally put a face to the name, and to have a proper chat, and a lovely afternoon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Breast cancer and pink socks

Well, breast cancer is not a very cheery topic, and now I find there is something called inflammatory breast cancer, which presents itself a bit differently than your usual variety. The woman who wrote this is {ahem} the cousin of a friend of a friend of mine... or maybe the cousin of her husband or of some other acquaintance. Anyways, I received this information in my mailbox, and thought it was something I would share.

The pink of my sock actually has nothing to do with breast cancer. The socks are for my pretty healthy mom who will be 90 this summer, touch wood etc etc.

Chia dinosaur frolicking amongst the broccoli seedlings that fell off him.

Friday, June 11, 2010

School's out

Unfortunately for me, Arthur's school is done for the year! Elaine still has to go till the end of the month, though, so who knows how I will amuse the boy for almost 3 weeks.

This is a souvenir I left at the school after a knitting afternoon there. It's loosely sewn on there, but you can see the end dangling, and someone could unsew it. Of course, I hope they leave it in situ for all eternity.

I have a couple more balls of "fun fur" yarn and hope to do a bit more tagging here and there. It must be the perfect use for this yarn!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the other winner is...

The Chicago Blackhawks!

You only need to watch the first minute and a half to get the story! Crazy goal, happy team.

They hadn't won the Stanley Cup since 1961. Now Toronto is officially the team who has gone the longest without a Cup, since 1967! Gad, they didn't even wear helmets in those days!

To compare, England has been waiting since 1966 to win another World Cup in soccer. Though I hear they will win this year! We'll believe it when we see it, I think!

That's enough sports here on Knitting on the Cam! We are looking forward to the arrival of a special guest knitter shortly, and school's almost over for Arthur, and generally we're just all in a dither around here. More news, as it happens...

Sunday, June 06, 2010

And the winner is...

Oh those British-popular-vote people... You never know what they will do!

Friday, about Britain's Got Talent, I said, "I think we only learn who are the top 3, and I hereby say the top three will be Spelbound, Janey* and Paul, though those wouldn't be my favourites. I would like to see Christopher, Liam and Tobias, I think. Hard to call..."

Wow, it ended up Spelbound, Twist and Pulse and Kieran! (Others in the final were Tina and Chandi the dog and Connected.)

Here we insert a picture of Elaine up a tree, just for a break. Today it is raining and we are supposed to be having a street party.

Kieran, great back story, survivor, trier, blah blah -- but really! Not better than Tobias, not better than Liam! Christopher, did you hear him??

Spelbound, professionals, world-class competitors... and now winners of a talent show! Though both Amanda and Simon mentioned the 2012 Olympics opening show, and we all know they would be perfect for that!

Oh well. We all know that last year's second-place finisher has a huge album and is I hope living her dream...

*I give you Janey in the semi-final, because in the final she got off to a slow start and was catching up to the music all the way through. Way off and everyone knew it, poor thing!

And I've just got to add this: They say Spelbound have already been approached about the Olympics!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Britain's got a crazy lot of talent

Today saw the end of the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals. Tomorrow, Saturday, we'll have the 10 finalists in a cut-throat final -- not really, since I believe that all 10 get to take part in the live tour and get their share of fame and fortune, though only the winner gets to the Royal Variety Show. Last year Susan Boyle had everyone's attention, and I must say that there is no Susan Boyle this year.

Here's my totally amateur assessment of the situation:

From the first semi-final, there's Spelbound (who apparently have only one L), a bunch of world-class gymnasts; and Tobias Mead, a pretty cool dancing guy.

Then there's Tina and Chandi, a woman and her dancing dog; and Connected, a bunch of boys the age of my son, who want to be a boy band and never mention New Kids on the Block, who are the last boy band I ever paid attention to.

The third night gave us Paul Burling, an impressionist and comedian; and Christopher Stone, the self-proclaimed balding accountant who sings.

Last night Janey Cutler blew people away -- she's 81 and sings. Twist and Pulse are more dancing boys, very good.

And on the last night, the boy drummer I mentioned last year (he didn't make it to the semi-finals last year) won the popular vote, and Liam McNally, the 14-year-old who sings like an angel, also made it through.

So, singers: Liam, Janey, Christopher, Connected

Dancers: Twist and Pulse, Tobias Mead

Then a drummer, a comedian, a dog and some gymnasts!

I love Liam because he's young and good, Janey because she's old and good, Christopher because he's sweet and good. Don't care at all what happens to Connected. I think I prefer Tobias over the two boys, but I don't really think either should get first. Kieran, good but not great; Paul the comedian was okay when he did Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo, but I don't get the jokes about British TV personalities; Chandi is good for a dog, but really, is a dog the most talented creature in Britain? And Spelbound are entertaining to watch, but I prefer the amateur-ness of the others.

Stephen's got a glass of wine waiting for me on the porch, so let's just make some predictions and get on with it.... I think we only learn who are the top 3, and I hereby say the top three will be Spelbound, Janey and Paul, though those wouldn't be my favourites. I would like to see Christopher, Liam and Tobias, I think. Hard to call...

But now I'm going to knit and imbibe, while you can search YouTube for all the auditions and semi-final shows!

Edited to correct Spelbound, and add their link.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The week thus far

We've had 3 semi-finals in Britain's got Talent. I have proved that I shouldn't bet on this sort of thing, since I have picked my three favourites to win each night, and been a tad off! Lots of dross, as there was last year, but lots of good stuff, too, and my favourites, Neil Fullard and Chloe Hickenbottom, missed out on the finals! The dog act, of course, did make it!

Anne's students, aka The Arrangement, did well last night, but their road ended there, and now they have more time to study for their exams. As it should be, I think! Good try, good fun, but not better than Neil!

And now, the Chia Pet, which has been put outside to enjoy a time in the sun, sprouting its little broccoli bits,

and the sock, with matching flower.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

May and June

Guys, you might not know that it's Britain's Got Talent time again. Last year I gave you the blow-by-blow, but this year I am being more restrained (am I?). One semi-final down, 4 more to go, before the final. I'm sad that Olivia Archbold didn't get through last night, but that Tobias is a marvel. And the gymnasts... what can one say about those flinging leaping people? Amazing.

But enough of that; what about the knitting?

Plans for May were...

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.

Not yet. It's all on the sofa in bits, just needing that afternoon of laying it out, putting the sleeves where they belong, and sewing it up. Gawd, I hate that part of any project!

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!

I've got socks on the brain right now. However, instead of finishing one of the two pairs I've had on the go for almost a year, alas, what I did was cast on two new socks!

I'm making my mom socks for her birthday in July (don't worry, I doubt she reads this!) and wanted to do the Embossed Leaves. Here's a pair on Flickr, and here are almost 3000 pairs on Ravelry. So, leaves need green yarn, don't they? I got some gorgeous green, but it was really too dark and mysterious, and although it is a colourway I love, I didn't really think it was just right for July birthday socks.

It took me almost the whole of one leg to reach that conclusion, so there's another pair in the lineup for Arthur!

I had a ball of Tofuties which I got at Knitomatic once, long long ago. It's pink, marled, summery, cottony -- I like all those things except the marled bit!

This yarn, I think, really needs a very plain pattern, because the way the yarn knits up, it's very hard to see any but the most pronounced twists and turns.

So, once again I try the Mesh Rib pattern I have started twice before! Fun, easy, pink...

3. Start something new -- and right now I'm not committing to anything in particular, since I change my mind every half hour.

I made the blue shawl! So that certainly fulfills that goal!

4. Tend my herb garden, including my lemon verbena. I wish Blogger had smell-o-vision! It smells like lemon candies!

I now have basil, sage, rosemary, dill, thyme, parsley, cilantro... hot peppers because they are easy to grow and the squirrels generally don't interfere with them, beans because they provide a nice tall curtain of green... and a few flowers here and there.

So, clearly, what I have to do in June is:
  1. sew up that denim cardigan!
  2. finish Mom's socks and get them in the mail
  3. finish another pair of socks
  4. I have several blanket projects that could use some attention, but the DK strips have been pledged to a September deadline for the Warm Hands Network. So, that should get a bit of work!