Thursday, September 30, 2010

September round-up

Guess what? I didn't make it to Cambridge to see the bridge and the knitting. Maybe next time I should make plans more than a couple of days in advance!

And now we have another month gone. I got a load of things finished this month -- most of them, though, I also started this month!

The Ribwarmer. It was mailed off and received, and even worn, I hear, so that was a success.

The little neckwarmer made of the leftover ribwarmer yarn!

Two hats.

The DK wool blanket, started in March.

Let's have a look at this thing.

Although some panels look like someone chose the colours with a bit of care,

others look like they contain whatever colours were left over at the end! (Um, which is just what happened.)

Some are kinda kooky, but good (I think)

and I'd be pretty happy about the whole thing, if it weren't for the *&#@* MOTHS!

Two little holes chewed in my blankie! (I do admit that this sat in a heap on the floor for much of the last month while I got distracted. I didn't even put it in a bag, which might have saved us.) One hole is in the fabric, and when I was picking up this last edge, I noticed signs of chewing on the last stitches on a couple of rows! Note the "interestingly asymmetrical" line of the border. I finally decided to make a virtue of necessity (is that the right saying?) and embroidered a little heart over the darned hole! (Darned hole! Aren't I cute?)

Another thing I'm not super thrilled with is my garter stitch edges. It seemed like the simplest thing at the time, but they are all a bit flared. Serves me right for making a blanket in stocking stitch, I suppose. It's just that you (that is, I) make one edge along the cast on or cast off side, finish it up and realise it's not quite right, and experiment on the opposite side, maybe making it better, but still not perfect. Nothing you learn on these two sides is valid for the other sides, because now you are picking up on rows instead of stitches so the ratios are all different! So you repeat the "try, despair, try again" routine.

I know, I could think in inches instead of stitches, and I could take a bit of time to measure better.


For October, then:

Finish the cotton blanket.

One tiger sock for Arthur, to match the one I finished this summer.

It seems that I never showed you this. Or did I? Anyways, this needs a mate, and I will see what I can do about that.

I should also work on my witchy shawl, or Halloween will come and I'll be shawl-less!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gotta go!

Thanks to Kay for pointing us at this! I love stuff like this!

Must take a trip down the highway to Cambridge, Ontario. Hmm, must think of kids' weekend commitments, rent a car, etc etc. We'll see!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two hats in two days

Every once in a while, one returns to the comfort zone. A hat on 6 mm needles is just a delight for me, and I have made two, yesterday and today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A little extra

I used the last little bit of this cotton to make a moebius cowl. I make my moebii the old-fashioned way, where you pretend you are making a scarf, but at the last minute twist it and attach the beginning to the end.

I knit a couple of rows of garter stitch at the beginning, then, on an odd number of stitches, did this:

Row 1. K1, *yo, K2tog* across the row. You end with the K2tog.

Row 2 and 4. Knit all stitches.

Row 3. K2, *yo, K2tog* to end, K1. So you end with a K2tog and a K1.

This is not the perfect way to do things, and if I'd been cleverer, I would have made Row 3 more like this: *K2tog, yo* across the row, end with K1. The way I did it made the fabric bias a bit, which really doesn't matter in a scarf-like object, but would make a difference on a big piece.

This will go to the Toronto Children's Aid, I think. I will end up giving them some things I had originally planned for other charities, because they have no time limit for shipping or anything, and things have been a bit hairy around here and I don't think I will get things done to deadlines.

How's that for a sentence...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quick finish

The Ribwarmer is done and will get popped in the mail on Monday.

I made the two front pieces, then worked them together for the back. It was an interesting knit because of those cool short-row corners.

My only beef with the yarn is that the skeins all had the same colour and dyelot numbers, but clearly the purple and yellow were deeper on some skeins.

Well, I hope it provides a little warmth and comfort!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bon Voyage

One of Elaine's friends is off on the trip of a lifetime: her parents are taking her on a 42-foot sailboat to explore the Caribbean for the next ... year!

So I had four girls home for lunch today and we had a little send-off -- "Quick, shovel the food in your mouths; I've got to get you back by 12:30!"

You see the three dolls are waving good-bye as the boat sails off toward the tropical paradise!

Luckily I thought to take the picture in the morning!

Happy sailing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life intervenes

So, I was cruising right along with my two almost-finished blankets, when, WHAM, someone I know got up in the morning to discover that her husband had passed away in the night.

He was not really that old, and though he had had a heart attack six months ago, I don't think anyone thought he would have another right now, so it was quite unexpected.

One must just knit through all crises, so I cast on a Ribwarmer (on Ravelry). I got some beautiful yellowy Lamb's Pride Bulky, and got through about half a ball when I realized that a) it was really irritating my eyes and nose and b) the person I was knitting it for doesn't like to wear wool!

This will one day become some sort of a hat, I suppose.

Back to the shop for me! This time I came home with some cotton, in lovely, cheery, sherberty colours.

This is the first half, or at least the first part of the first half. The original instructions have you knit this (collar bit, front, corner, little straight bit for your side, turn another corner) and then continue straight up the back, shape a shoulder, and then knit another piece the same and sew them together. I am going to knit the second one to this point, then join and make the back piece all in one (god willing, touch wood, etc). Progress is being made.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

New term, and all that

Well, it seems summer is winding down. The garden needs a lot of tidying up, and the knitting pile needs sorting.

Who knows what my last list of goals contained, but my present situation is this:

I have a cotton baby blanket about 3/4 done. I am not sure where it will end up, but someone will find a use for it, I know.

I'll sew it up and think of some simple edging for it. As you see, I am sticking some plain dark green squares in. It should end up 4x6 squares, about crib size.

I also have a woolen blanket all done but the edging.

I am aiming to get this to these guys, but must get to work on the border, which will not be the funnest thing. Lucky for me it has got cooler, so I can sit with a blanket on my lap while I knit! I think they want the items in the next few weeks.

That's all I'm thinking of at the moment. There are plenty of other things on the needles, and I will surely pick one or two of them up, but really, I'm going to concentrate on the blankies for now! Oh, and getting everyone back into a settled school-based routine!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Banff pictures

If I'm going to show you Banff, you need to see this li'l fella first! He was everywhere, posing professionally for everyone, although most people seemed to be following the "Do not feed the Animals" signs.

"Hello, my name is Chip and I'll be your guide today."

We stopped at the Takakkaw Falls on our way east. One gets to the falls via a narrow, switchback-filled road, and then a short walk through the woods.

It is really high!

The river rushing by me and Elaine:

Finally, we got to the big city of Banff. Thing number one: go up the gondola on Sulphur Mountain. You get a fun ride in an enclosed pod that whooshes up the mountainside, and a great view of the town and river valley. That little lump in the middle is called Tunnel Mountain (although it is more of a hill and there is no tunnel) and we hiked up it another day.

Millions of tourists, on the boardwalk. Major sites had these walkways all over, which protect the environment from being trampled, but sometimes they also made us feel like we were not entirely in control of things, but were being herded about. Ah well, we were being herded about, and if we want to see the same views as everyone else, at least something was being done about the impact of all of us in the same place!

The beautiful Mount Rundle, seen from the town.

Mount Rundle has to be one of the most photographed things in the universe. It is oriented almost north/south, so the light on it changes a lot during the day, and every moment the shadows are different. (I must note here that whoever is writing the Wikipedia pages about these mountains is mostly interested in scrambling up them, something which only vaguely occurs to me!)

A long view of the mountains to the west:

Do not feed the goats!

We didn't see any goats, nor bears, and the only elk we saw the whole darn time was nibbling flowers in a parking lot in town.

We thought we would just stroll up Tunnel Mountain one morning.

It had been cold in the night and some of the high mountains around had a dusting of snow!

We managed to get up to the top without weather doing much to stop us, though we learned that what climbers call "easy" and what we think of as easy are two quite different things!

We were, of course, rewarded with more spectacular views, and only got a tiny sprinkle of rain as the cloud cover passed over us. It was the only less-than-perfect weather we had the whole time!

Mount Rundle from Tunnel Mountain:

Another expedition (I'm all out of chronological order, I think, but that's not too important, since we're just talking about a few days) was to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise.

From the Rockpile at the end of the lake. The water really is the most amazing colour, and the whole site was pretty un-crowded, as these things go.

We rented a canoe! Elaine had had a week of boating camp and so paddled with gusto!

The glacier peeking around the, um, peaks!

And here I will throw in some pictures of lichen. I think that the top one is by Stephen, and taken at Two Jack Lake (which we'll get to shortly) and the second one is one I took at Moraine Lake while waiting for the kids to get back from the top of the Rockpile. They had gone up the side of it, instead of by the path, and, sorry, but Mommy was just not going to do that!

This required a bit of fiddling to make it presentable, and I think it's best appreciated as a colour study, rather than as a photo of anything!

We left Moraine Lake and went down the road to Lake Louise.

Certainly beautiful, and because it's been a tourist attraction for a hundred years, it's pretty darn accessible. As you can see here, the weather was turning a bit grey. I'm glad we had seen Moraine Lake in the sunshine!

On our last morning, we passed by Two Jack Lake for a little picnic and last photo-op before driving to Calgary to fly home. I think I camped here with my family in 1967. More digging in family archives might produce similar pictures! But not right now....

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Moving along

Let's see, after Penticton we drove to Castlegar, where my parents live. My mom just had her 90th birthday this summer!

I had heard that she had a pair of socks that needed mending. I'd made these socks in 2006 (when the kids were so much smaller!) and I knew I didn't have any of the original yarn left, so I took with me a small bit of some similar colour.

Well. I'm going to need more than a small bit for this! They don't so much need darning, as reknitting! The toes have already been darned several times, and the holes just became too much to deal with!

I did just give my mom a new pair of socks for her birthday, but I hope that before Christmas I will rip these back to the "good" part and reknit the toes ... in completely different yarn! Make do and mend.

I did leave a knitted object with my parents. I had made a birthday dishcloth for my nephew, but he is one of the few relatives we didn't manage to hook up with on this jaunt. I was at my parents' place and noticed that the rag they were using was kinda tatty looking. I know I have given them dishrags recently, but didn't know where to look for them, and so just gave them Geoff's cloth! He's gone without birthday gifts from me for probably his whole life, so I'm sure he'll forgive me!

After a few days of hanging around, throwing rocks in the river and chit chatting, we left and continued eastward. First stop was lunchtime in Kaslo.

We then took the road that goes up beside the Arrow Lakes. The road changes sides of the water at one point, and everyone takes the little ferry across and continues on their way.

I believe it was on our way to this ferry that we had an adventure that went unphotographed! How the heck am I supposed to keep things straight?

Anyways, we were driving along, and came to a place where the traffic was stopped and guys in lumo vests and hard hats were standing around. It appeared that they were supposed to be installing a pipe in a ditch, but the digger had backed up into a power pole, causing sparks and "confusion and delay," as the Fat Controller would say. (That site is not as family-friendly as one might expect, sorry!)

So rather than sit in a line of cars waiting for the Hydro truck to come and sort things out, we turned around to a picnic spot we had just passed, at Summit Lake. In the parking lot we noticed a wee little toad. And when we got to the lakeshore, we realised the place was crawling (hopping!) with Western toads! They hopped out of our way as we walked along the beach. Very cool, and impossible to photograph -- grey toads on sand, and moving targets, at that!

We meant to go all the way to Banff in one day, but it would have meant a very long chunk of driving, so we split the journey and spent a night in Revelstoke. It was the first time on the trip that we just sauntered across the Trans-Canada Highway to find dinner. Funny, in Toronto a highway is huge, but in much of Canada, the highway is just the road through town.

Now, lemme tell you about vehicles. Here in Toronto, the guys who want to impress with their manliness (and money) drive Range Rovers and Hummers and other SUV-like things. The real man in small-town BC drives an F-150 pickup -- maybe a Ram, but always a truck. Motorcycles are Harleys, ridden by the same guys who were riding them 40 years ago -- just that now they're 40 years older than when they started! I didn't manage to get a photo of any of them, but I can tell you that apparently leather chaps are the thing to wear on your motorbike these days.

But this is the kind of get-up that catches my eye. Beautiful dishwasher-green VW bus with Quebec plates, and the cool bike on a trailer at the back. The guy was wearing a hand-knitted cap, of course.

Oh, look, a butterfly.

Okay, so we get up next morning and really start up the mountains.

A robot photo, with the camera sitting in the grass! This is at Field, which is on the highway just west of Banff National Park, with the illustrious Mount Stephen in the background. Guess why this is a family favourite! If I dug around here, I could show you pictures of Stephen in front of that mountain through the ages, starting in about 1965. After we took this he looked around a bit and decided that "usually" he stood in a slightly different spot!

Phew, we made it up Rogers Pass,

and time to stop for now! Next, really, Banff!