Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh, those funny Brits

Oh, I found this comedy quiz show somehow. Go spend hours clicking silly little fragments of stuff. Could Jesus walk on custard? How many moons does the Earth have? Why was Alexander so great?
Or, here's one with actual Canadian content:

I just laughed and laughed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's done

I could still get myself a few teeny buttons, but the Noro cardigan is done! I wish the colours had turned out a bit more mixed up -- I didn't mean to be so matchy, matchy! But it is quite lovely nonetheless.

bad hair, nice cardi

The sleeve/shoulder join is a bit pointy. Setting in sleeves is not something I've done a lot of, really. It might also be a blocking feature, since it was lying flat with those shoulder seams folded, instead of being on a round shoulder!

I should have got my photographer to show you the beautifully mattress-stitched side seams, though, as they are marvellous.

and the back

Now onto the next thing! I am working with renewed vigor on the black witchy shawl, and have started a new lace stole... just what I need, non?

And! Now that I am finished with this, I can start in again on the Noro scalloped shawl -- I had run short of this colourway and now I know how much leftovers I have.

I still mean to make the rainbow Botticelli as well, but I slipped a bit on Ebay last night and got myself another Rowan magazine full of Felted Tweed patterns, so don't place any bets just yet.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Latest news: I am a doofus

I have sock-in-bag which I carry around. I knit it on buses or in waiting rooms. Simple, kid-sized, plain.

I finished the first one. Kitchenered the toe, sewed the ends in, admired it.

The toe decreases are above the gusset decreases.

Oops. That toe looks a bit skew-whiff, as they say.

The toe decreases are below the gusset decreases.

A person would have to have very strange feet to fit these, so I guess that I will be doing some rip and redo. Dang.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I think it'll be Botticelli

I have finished the knitting bit of the Noro cardigan, and just have to sew a few seams and make a teeny tiny buttonband.

So I have got the Felted Tweed out and spread it around the house.

My crazy ideas seem to have merged into the lovely Botticelli pattern (rav link, or someone's WIP on Flickr) with some sort of multicoloured fabric. I have lots of brown (not quite enough to make the whole thing in the one colour), a few balls of grey, and a rainbow of contrasting colours.

The Barbara Walker mosaic pages got well looked-over this weekend. (See a selection here.) I also stopped and stared at a pattern I'd put into the denim cardigan I made last year. Where did I stumble across that? Do I need a pattern or could I just sit down and try to remember/figure out what I'd done? Argh.

Or, should I just keep the plain stocking stitch of the Botticelli, but do two rows of brown, two of something else, in a rainbow progression up the whole sweater? I think I could get all the colours in if I changed the contrast colour every 18 or 20 rows.

Hmm. Pretty; should work; I haven't made a plain stocking stitch thing for a long while, it seems; and I'll have plenty left over to make a mosaic-patterned wrap!

Oh, yeah, but first I should sew a seam or two. And paint the bathroom, buy Arthur a raincoat, find some groceries somehow...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Knitting fears and wimpiness, plus world troubles and a sign of spring

Since I am soooo close to finishing Project A at the moment, I am looking forward to the next project (yeah, forget about B, C, D and E languishing in the corner). (And the exact meaning of "soooo close" is open to discussion!)

I like this. And this. I have yarn that could make either of them. But I don't like the sleeves on Ghiberti nor the huge shoulders on Bellini. I could fudge... Also, look at all those ends to sew in and hide nicely! Also, I am not a two-handed strander. I would have to knit brown, put down brown & pick up red, knit red, put down red & pick up brown... all across the row, and this would get tedious and frustrating and my gauge would get wonky and .... is it worth it?

I also love the look of this. But no-way-Jose am I knitting a giant crazy rose into anything! Could I make this pretty shape, with that wonderful edge, and somehow colour-block in a better way? Better for me, the stranding wimp, that is! I could stick a big hunk of colour in the middle of the back... even a complicated shape, but just one colour at a time!

Oh, who knows...

I also was looking through the old VK magazines. Oh, my, some lovely stuff there! Much of which I have wanted to make for 10 or 20 years!

This vest -- simple, multicoloured, the right gauge, knit side to side so the vertical stripes are actually knit horizontally. Major wimp-out, but I'd end up with something nice!

This is made with slipped stitches. Gauge and yarn and size are all completely useless, so I'd have to make up numbers and shape armholes and so on, but I like the colour pattern.

Here we have a cardigan with another slip-stitch pattern. It helps if you use Noro yarn for one of the colours! Unfortunately I have a sweater remarkably like this already!

Barbara Walker has some wild mosaic patterns -- with them I would also have to design from the beginning, which of course has its pros and cons.

I have noticed that I am much less bold in what I take on to knit now. When I was first getting into this knitting lark, I'd look at Glorious Knitting and just make up anything!

And now just two little tidbits: a picture of a sign of spring;

This pansy survived the winter on my porch!

and a link.

I don't usually follow Twitter at all. I don't have an account, and I don't have anyone whose feed I read on a regular basis. But many bloggers have a little Twitter bit in their sidebar, and a girl can get distracted! So I found myself wandering about in the Yarn Harlot's tweets and found this.

Then I noticed that there was a movement among bloggers to be silent today (yeah, sure...), encouraging people to donate to a group that will provide emergency shelter supplies to Japan. I say (for what it's worth) donate to any worthy group you like, but don't earmark the money! Let the people on the ground determine the best way to spend the money, and if they decide that Japan's economy and industry and educated population can take care of Japan, then let them give the money to people more needy.

It's all very shocking, but there are lots of terrible things going on all over the place, where people don't have cell phone cameras and YouTube access. (Medecins sans Frontiers lists today on their news page Japan, Ivory Coast, Libya, Southern Sudan, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia, Haiti, Liberia and Mid East and North Africa.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quick distraction

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday. Actually he is my sister-in-law's husband, so I'm not sure if he is actually my brother-in-law or not. Whatever.

He is the guy with the boat. And now he has a new boat, and is having a boat-warming and Big Birthday party all in one... on the other side of the country.

So, he gets a dishcloth. All the boat dishcloth patterns seem to have sailboats, and his is a motorboat. Hmm, some other seafaring icon then...

The colour is awful here, but you can see it is a lighthouse. Note the lovely cast on edge with the little nubbins. Those are from the Channel Island cast on, which I decided to practise! There is only one drawback to this cast on:

This is the proper colour!

Three strands to weave in after the first row! Not a terrible misfortune, but a wee pain.

I wish I could hand-deliver the dishcloth to the boat... I mean, to John. Happy birthday and boat-warming day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

So close

Firstly, happy π/Pi/Pie Day to you all. It is 3/14... 

I have been working diligently on my Noro cardigan, and ooooooh, I am so close!

Now, you know we knitters can be a bit "nitpicky" on occasion. I tried to embrace the weirdness of the Noro colours, but my sleeves turned out almost the same, and now look what is happening!

My fronts are getting all identical up the top!

Here is the source of the trouble. On your left, you see how the colours are "supposed" to appear after that minty green bit: turquoise, grey, muddy bits, green, gold... On your right, you see a jolting jump from minty green to the muddy bits! I was just knitting along and noticed the colour change, but there is no knot -- some dyer just missed the turquoise vat or something!

Whatever, it looks like the tops of the fronts will be very similar indeed!

Another few hours of work, and the sewing up can begin! Bets on when I will finish??

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's happening around here

Not much...
  1. I made a secret something that I'll show you next week. 
  2. I think I lost a sock needle, perhaps on the seat in the pub where we went for my birthday dinner.
  3. It was so horrible out that day that we just went to our local, one block away, instead of to the more thrilling place farther afield.
  4. The horrible weather has at least washed away most of the snow, though my front yard is still covered in ice.
  5. March Break is next week, so I hope to do lots of fun things, but will likely mostly try to stop children from squabbling.
  6. March Break always has bad weather: not snowy enough to go sledding, not springlike enough to enjoy being out for a walk. 
  7. Wow, this is very boring. 
  8. I will get back to my back and forth on the Noro cardigan. It is also quite boring, which is one reason I am not speeding along with it.
  9. That's all, folks.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Sock school

Yesterday was Lucy Neatby workshop day! I woke up to a dump of new snow over the recent batch of ice, so I slipped and baby-stepped out to the Bata Shoe Museum for an all-day sock-knitting session taught by Lucy Neatby.

Lucy Neatby, not really in focus or well lit or looking at the camera.

There was a table of fantastic samples. I didn't take other pictures, but you can see some of her work on her Ravelry patterns page.

We made a couple of very weird looking swatches. To start, naturally, one must cast on. (She gave us a hand-out which you can download as a .pdf at her page, called there How to Knit a Perfect Sock).

We did a Channel Island cast on, which is my new favourite thing in the world.

swatch number one!

Look at that cute picot-ish edge! Very stretchy, very neat.

We made a little bit of a garter-stitch short-row heel, and we cast off in a cool way. After lunch, we did a different cast on, which I had tried once before from Victorian Lace Today, and which is my new favourite provisional cast on in the world. I had avoided provisional cast ons, but now I am emboldened!

I ended up with some funny looking bits of knitting, but some great ideas rattling around in my head. (Idea #1 is that if my temples get any greyer, I'm going for the bottle of wild coloured dye....)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Some squares

I got the March square done for the Block-a-Month knitalong. There was the "official" square, which didn't appeal to me, and the "optional" squares, which were  miters -- one from the outside in, which is how I usually make my miters -- and one from the inside out, using M1 increases around 2 central stitches. That didn't really appeal either, because I thought the centre looked too chunky. Someone suggested this other inside-out miter pattern, so that's what I used.

Just a few ends to tidy up and we're done for the month! Here's the lot of them together.

Those are all my colours, and there is no more orange. I have the colour and even dye lot number for it, so I may go up the hill and try to find another ball. Or perhaps I'd get a more golden colour... Or knit more green and see how it looks.

A thing I am gradually learning is that even if I don't go right this minute, there will be yarn in yarn shops when I need it. I could knit up all the green -- and there is enough yarn in a ball of Cascade 220 for several squares -- and still find some more in the shop.

This weekend I am knitting socks! With Lucy Neatby! My all-day sock workshop is this Sunday. Got to get my list of supplies ready, decide what bag to carry everything in, what hat or scarf to wear... I'll surely report in on that!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Why didn't anyone tell me?

Tom is doing some excellent gospel bluesy stuff! Man, he just never quits!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

About these socks

I have been carrying on for some time about these Embossed Leaves socks. I started them last summer, thinking I would make them for my mom, but I was seduced by this dark and mysterious yarn, when I should have chosen some nice limey, minty, bright green (all Ravelry links). I soon came to my senses, a bit, and made my mom bright pink socks instead, and these have been hanging around since then.

I like the yarn, but it seems a bit much to knit this pattern in this dark, dark, slightly fuzzy yarn. You can't really see the leaves, so why not just knit plain socks? 

Or some lacy shawl -- because we all need 17 million shawls!

I also have some teeny reservations about the pattern. I usually make socks for Arthur, and I usually use 2.25 mm needles, or even 2 mm, on 72 stitches. These are only 64 stitches on 2.75 mm needles. Are these going to Arthur; should I give them to my mom... Who will wear them and how big should they be? The length is, of course, adjustable, but it would be awkward to finish in the wrong place on the leaf!

So, what to do? I figure these are my choices:
  1. Frog, with no idea what to do with the yarn right now. Put the yarn away and get on with life.
  2. Keep going. Just knit the damn socks.
  3. Frog, decide to make something different with the yarn, and jump right in.
  4. Turn them into mitts or some crazy-pants scheme like that.
Looks to me like I am going with #1. But of course, since I don't have a new plan for the yarn, perhaps I should just take them off my To Do list and leave them as is. You never know what I will think next time I look at them! 


I did already start my March/April socks: an old (or should I say, vintage) pattern called Cable and Bar. It's a 6-row repeat, but one row is very plain, one row has the cable and the cute P1, sl 1 pattern, and the other 4 are all the same, pretty plain and a bit of ribbing. I am not sure how long the colour stripe will stay on the P1 sl 1 row, but it looks good when it does!

I got a few rows done on the black shawl the other day, while playing Scrabble and riding the bus. The rows are getting really long, yet they still have to get quite a bit longer! I am keen to see how this thing is going to work out!

Oh, if I have one less pair of socks to worry about, I will feel much better!