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.