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Archive for September, 2008

Another F.O.!

I have finished knitting the Lace Ribbon Scarf.  I used three and a half balls of my five; I think I have enough left for some fingerless mitts.

It was 60 inches long when I cast off, and blocked out to 83 inches (!) without a whole lot of stretching.  The lace ribbons really opened up, and I am excited to see how it drapes when it’s dry.

If I knit this again (and I might- it’s lovely) the only change I would make is to knit 2 rows before starting the pattern.  The pattern specifies 2 knit rows before casting off, so starting with 2 rows appeals to my sense of symmetry.

I used my handy dandy blocking wires along the sides and across the ends; way easier than a million pins.  Also, I splurged and bought an extra set of foam floor tiles, so now I have an even dozen (didn’t need them to block the scarf, but will come in handy next time I do a round shawl of substantial size.).

I must go and watch the football game; there’s a “Kick a field goal for a million dollars” competition going.  (Canadian Football, contest is sponsored by Wendy’s)   It’s in the quarter finals, and one of Mike’s former soccer players is kicking tonight.   Nice young fellow; apprentice electrician, who said in an interview on the radio today that if he wins, he wouldn’t quit his job, but he would be able to take nicer vacations.

If the scarf doesn’t take a week to dry, I will post modelling pictures of it before I go to Las Vegas on Wednesday.  See you later!

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A Straight Face?

You know how sometimes someone makes a statement and in spite of being pretty worldly and intelligent, you can’t quite figure out if they’re being serious?

I present the latest from PETA:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080925.wbreastmilk0925/BNStory/International/

How can these people expect the rest of us human vermin to take them seriously?  Why would a person donate to this group when their donation is used to fund a little project like the Ben and Jerry letter?  Yikes.  There’s a difference between being vegetarian or even vegan and being a nutcase.

There has only been slogging on the scarf here in JudyKnitsLand.  I think I’m within 12 inches of completion, and it’s a good thing.  I am almost sick of it.  I do attribute my waning enthusiasm to the fact that I will forever associate this project with a sore back, but that is no excuse for being a slacker.  Please don’t suggest that I put it aside and give myself a break from it; I am Exercising Discipline.   Another few days and it will be blocking and I will forget I ever wanted to break up with it.

In pirate news, Andrew attended a Pirate Party at the bar on campus this week.  Pretty good pirate wench, no?

A fun thing to do to your son when he shows you his pirate costume:  Ask your husband (within earshot of your son) if he can borrow your son’s pirate costume because it is, after all, role-playing night.   Stand back and watch your son’s face turn really red.

Only 4 days until the Las Vegas adventure.  My friend’s mother is quite scandalized that we are going to Las Vegas- Las Vegas! – without our husbands.  I’m not sure that there’s a lot of trouble we can get into in a group of 6, and before sundown.  We’re looking for shoes, not trouble.

Have a great weekend!

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Listen to Pirates Day

Thanks for clearing up my Talk Like a Pirate Day confusion.  I spent the day in the closet (painting), so I had Pirates of the Caribbean  in the DVD player.    I had the dvd and the television things hooked up wrong, so on the odd occasion when I came out of the closet, I had to watch in black and white.   It didn’t matter; Johnny Depp sounds just as good in black and white as he does in colour.   The closet turned out all right; painting over bright yellow was a pain in the derriere treat.   The final colour was a little yellower than the pale khaki/cream/green thing I was going for (and the paint chips shouldn’t lie), but there was no way I was doing three or four coats, or doing primer, so I’ll settle for pale yellow.  It’s mostly hidden by clothes anyways.

I have to say that while I was putting my clothes back I was ruthless.  Haven’t worn it for ten years?  Gone.  Still wearing it after ten years?  Gone.  Emotional attachment from an occasion ten years ago?  Gone.   Six-count ’em, six- pairs of jeans that even if I could get into them and do them up I would not be caught dead in them (and I’ll be caught dead in some pretty bad stuff; ask my boys).  The hardest thing was culling the sweaters.  I suppose it’s rude to donate a sweater from which the buttons have been removed, so one in particular will have to have the buttons replaced before it goes.  I really like the buttons.  I’ll show them to you sometime; probably the day I replace them.  I guess it’s because of the time and mental energy we spend on knitted garments that makes them part of us and therefore hard to get rid of.  I told Geoff today it was like giving away one of the children.  (Except keeping sweaters doesn’t cost anything.  Mike would point out that it saves money to keep them, because there’s no gap in the closet screaming to be filled.  Tough.)

Mike is home from his trip to Illinois and is supposedly putting his clothes back ruthlessly while I make supper.  Off to the kitchen goes I.   Aaaarrrrrrr.

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Rats.  I missed it again.  I got my daily email from allrecipes.com (a very helpful site for those of us who need inspiration to cook a meal), and they announced that today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  So here I sit, with 2 hours and fifteen minutes left to speak Pirate, and Andy has gone to the bar and Mike is in Moline, Illinois for a trade show.  I guess I’ll try Attie and Wallace, but they probably won’t get it.

Speaking of not getting it, the scarf has been clicking along like nobody’s business.  After the first 24 rows, which you may remember actually took me 96 rows of knitting, everything fell into place.  I actually memorized the pattern, and was recognizing where I was by looking at what I had knit.  The second ball spliced beautifully into the first ball, and I’m getting better yardage than I thought I would.  Blocking should lengthen it even more, so maybe I’ll have enough wool left over for some fingerless gloves.  I got to the end of the second ball and all hell broke loose.  The ends wouldn’t felt together for the splice, and then I had a gigantic brain fart and forgot the pattern.  My stitch count was right, but I had a weird offset in the lace.  Tinking ensued, and then the stitch count was off.  More tinking, and then the discovery that horrors!  There was a dropped stitch! Out came the crochet hook, and after a little more tinking to correct the crochet pickup, I got back on track.  I am not yet back to the yarn join,  and I haven’t decided how to handle that yet.

Needing to take a break from all that, I decided to paint my closet.  It’s emptied out, I’ve wrestled the shelves out (I thought I had done that last time I painted back in the 1850’s, but I managed to break a lot of the brackets today, so either I was imagining that the shelves were removed last time, or the brackets are brittle with age.  After all, the 1850’s is a long time ago.), and the shelves have been given a couple of coats.  Tomorrow I’ll do the walls, and maybe do a clothing cull as I reload the closet.  Even though I don’t wear them all, I still have just about every sweater I have knit for myself in the last twenty years.  what do I do with those?  It’s hard to let go.

The closet has been bright yellow so the change to ivory should be less jarring in the morning light.  It was actually a mistake- when I am test-driving a new colour I generally try it in the closet first.  I was able to tone it down (way down) for the bedroom, but the bright yellow lived on.  Time for it to go.

It’s hard to believe that in two weeks I’ll be in Las Vegas with my girlfriends.  Then, at the end of October (after Mike gets back from soccer nationals in Prince Edward Island with his girls’ team), we’re taking a trip to see Mike’s parents.  I have big feet, so I might as well have a big (carbon) footprint.

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Weekend Update

I’m finally back in the land of the upright bipeds. I’ve weaned myself from Advil, and only need to take two naps a day with my icepack. Yikes. But enough about that. What’s everyone been up to?

With Andy back in school, I’m hoping that my life returns to some sort of ordered existence. I have finished the Baby Surprise jacket

and actually found the cutest little buttons at Michaels. Nothing very grown-up or sophisticated, but neither is this sweater!

In other “Knit from the Stash” news, I have found a use for some beautiful Alpaca and Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas.

These labels are great. Alpacas have such great faces. Too bad I’m not a photographer.

I bought this last fall from Amy at Make One Yarn Studio in Calgary, and it has been waiting patiently. Finally, a match based on 27 dimensions of compatibility. (Oh dear, I have been watching too much television.)

and now, from lower down...

and now, from the end...

This scarf is from the Spring 2008 Knitty. It’s Veronique Avery’s Lace Ribbon Scarf, and is “meant as a portable project. Its pattern is easily memorized and a breeze to work on in otherwise wasted moments.” Translation: Judy will actually have to knit, tink and reknit the first 24 rows several times until the big light bulb goes on over her head. I have finished the first of 5 balls of yarn, and the measurements are coming out quite satisfactorily. This is quite a treat, because I am usually about 50 yards short of what I want, and then I have to call it a design feature that it’s too short or small or narrow or whatever. This scarf will be the right length and I can’t wait to wear it! The fabric is going to drape beautifully, and the colour is a deep camel. Yummy.

I may have made just one little yarn purchase in the last little while.

I may have bought 8 balls of

and possibly 10 or 12 balls of

I think the beige may become a Wallis Cardigan from this summer’s Interweave Knits, and I have no idea about the green, but I had a coupon for 25% off. In the ball this yarn has a bit of a haze, but a nice sheen and it should knit up nicely. It is 70 bamboo and 30 silk. Sometimes Patons comes up with a really interesting product. (Sometimes not.)

And now the award for the best use of two cotton balls in a greeting card goes to:

Cute, no?

And just in case anyone cares, Louis came for a visit the other day and he and Wallace ran until they couldn’t run any more.

This look pretty much sums up the collective intelligence of these two noble beasts. Enthusiastic is a gentle way of describing them.

I’m off to the fishing store to buy a knitting accessory.

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Today’s title is the punchline from a tired old joke about the differences among girlfriends (“Ooohh! DON’T STOP! DON’T STOP!”), hookers (less enthusiastically:”Oh baby baby. Don’t stop.”) and wives (“Beige. I think I’ll paint the ceiling beige.”). I would be laughing hysterically if only I hadn’t spent four days looking at the bedroom ceiling with a bad case of back spasms. I started by thinking I needed to get into shape, and wheeled the bike out of the shed for the first time in two years. Let me say at this point it’s all Terri’s fault. She’s always going on about some 30 kilometer bike ride and riding her other bike to the store and is in really good shape and so away I went. Let’s just say that I’m on really good terms with my chiropractor, my icepack, and my dogs, who have spent the whole week sleeping on the bed with me. It’s a good thing we got a king-sized bed or I’d have spent the week in the guest room. How 80 pounds of dog can take up so much room is beyond me.

Note: If you do check out Terri’s blog (link above) regarding a recent stash enhancement, I would like to clarify that it is not me to whom she is referring. It is my doppleganger, the evil Judy; the stash enabler, who, contrary to what you may think, is not working (or is that lurking?) on commission at the wool shop. And I most certainly did not actually put any fibre into Terri’s basket. At least I don’t think I did…

Speaking of Prairie Lily, it has undergone a change of ownership, and Wednesday mornings now you may find Glenda, the former proprietress, sitting at the table in the back with the rest of us, smiling and not answering the phone or jumping up when the doorbell chimes. That is now Charlene’s baby. After reading on other blogs about wool store owners retiring and just closing the doors, I was very relieved to hear that Prairie Lily would indeed live on.

So, what to do when you are flat on your back? Knitting was out of the question, and daytime television sucks badly (even the space channel seems to be on a short rotation), so I nicely asked Mike to bring up my iPod dock, and I listened to more back episodes on CastOn. At least, the episodes played while I ingested large-ish doses of ibuprofin and let Brenda’s voice wash over me like warm butterscotch, remembering very little except thinking “I have to remember that.”

Last evening I finally figured out that with the right configuration of pillows and the proper application of ice, I can actually knit in bed. (Mike is oh so enthused about this development, believe you me!) I am trying the baby surprise jacket from the Knitter’s Almanac (Zimmermann) and so far, so good. edited to add:  Did I say Knitters’ Almanac?  I meant Knitting Workshop.  So sorry.

I’m using wool that has been languishing in the stash and tried really hard to be a scarf last week, but it seems to have accepted its new assignment with dignity and a modicum of enthusiasm. I refused to let any bad karma take over the wool (this happens regularly with ill-advised first attempts in my universe) and jumped right in. I also wanted to get the Zimmermann monkey off my back, so I am shearing two sheep with one pair of clippers, as it were. Pictures later this weekend; it looks kind of goofy right now. I think that means I’m following the pattern correctly.

Life continues apace here. Andy is back in school (Hotel and Restaurant Administration), and Geoff and Courtney continue to make wedding plans. I was so happy to hear they decided to go with live music (classical during the ceremony, jazz afterwards) instead of some insipid deejay. (apologies to any insipid deejays who may be reading) He’s been a performer for so many years that it only seems right to have live music.

Now I think I’ll go and look at paint chips for the bedroom ceiling.

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