After reading Brooklyn Tweed last week (the November 13th post), I did a little browsing on the internet and decided that a really chunky throw was just what my brother-in-law needed for Christmas. I landed at Lion Brand’s website, and after downloading the pattern (free) for this little number, I ran out last Thursday, bought the yarn, and hunkered down with 8 mm needles, yarn, and all ten episodes of season 2 of the Tudors. Mike was out of town so I didn’t have to bother with cleaning, laundry, cooking, eating, personal hygiene and so forth, and I knit until my back and neck cramped up so I could knit no more. A little application of ice, some ingestion of Ibuprofin, a little lie down and I was ready to go again. Mike came home on Tuesday, and the beast was blocking on the dining room floor. I was completely up to date with Henry the Eighth (at least to Anne losing her head) and ready to take a break from any knitting for a few days. As an aside, I was amused to see in IMDB (my favourite on-line source of possibly-accurate-but- maybe-not movie and television trivia- if you haven’t been there, you should check it out. It’s a hoot.) that they have tagged certain details about some of the Henry episodes with “spoiler alert”- like it’s a big surprise or something. It’s pretty much a given that someone’s going to have vigorous sex, and someone is likely going to be executed. Sorry if I ruined the surprise.
Aaaaaannnnyyyyhow, here’s the finished product pre-block, during blockage, and after.
The main detail that emerged from the blocking is that the holes opened up, the whole thing isn’t as lumpy, and it went from being 36 by 46 inches to 48 by 58 inches. Whether it holds the blocking (being 80% acrylic and 20% wool) remains to be seen. I hope my sister’s husband likes it; he does tend to hang out in the basement and watch television (he’s a Maple Leaf fan, so I may include a big box of kleenex).
I had yarn left over after the Veronik Avery Lace Ribbon Scarf, so I knit a pair of mitts. (This is old news, but bear with me.)
Sadly, when I washed them, they demonstrated how nicely the yarn drapes. You’d think I might have thought about that, since the scarf blocked out about 120% in length, but no. So my solution was novel (for me). Instead of gifting the mitts, or tossing the mitts, I cut off the ends and added some ribbing, and voila! Some fingerless gloves:
Our fingerless glove season is quickly drawing to a close, but I’ve worn them a few times and they are quite comfortable. They look like hell don’t look so great when they’re off, but the ribbing is quite stretchy and they will definitely get more wear this way than with three extra inches of flop at the fingertips.
I continue with my stealth knitting for Christmas, and continue with the birthday celebrations. Today was the wind-up; a get-together with the Ladies who Lunch and Sometimes go to Las Vegas, and there was Thai food, and chocolate, and laughter and friendship. And chocolate. I am well and truly fifty, and life has never been better.
1 Liquidation store
1 really big purchase of clearance stock from one of my fave clothing merchants, Coldwater Creek
1 ad in the paper saying “one item for $12, 2 for $10 each, 3 or more $8 each”
1 friend-of-a-friend who read the ad in the paper and told one person
a large measure of women who would ordinarily not visit this store.
Mix all, stir vigorously. Package the results in shopping bags, repeat for several days.
Many very happy women, several extremely testy sales clerks. (What did they think, only three people would show up? Sheesh.)
For the record, I got 4 jackets, 4 blouses, a dress, two vests (one of which is reversible) and a silk scarf and paid a grand total of $100.00. I like this game.
In answer to the question, the new header photo was taken under an Alberta sky (a little geographic latitude, if you don’t mind) on the way to Calgary in July. I took it out through the windshield of the car at a little over the speed limit (okay, Mike was driving, so it was a lot over the speed limit). When I looked at the pictures on the computer instead of the little camera screen, some of them had more “squished bug” detail than sky detail, so I’ll file those in case I ever start a “What’s on your windshield?” blog.
Have a good weekend. Go Riders.
Do you ever see something that you must have, even though you have no idea when you’ll use it? Me too. While perusing a catalogue from a yarn supplier, I noticed a gadget that can measure the length of yarn that you feed through it. Now, I know that sometimes I have leftover yarn that inevitably is two or three meters short of what I knit it into, resulting in rewinding and re-filing it in the stash, only to have the same bit of leftovers pull the same trick later because I didn’t take sufficient notes about its level of co-operation.
Well, I googled “yarn meter” just to see what the available options are, and lo and behold, someone cleverly made her own and posted about it on her blog. At the heart of the meter is a fishing line meter, (which to my way of thinking is a stupid waste of a gadget) which priced out at around fourteen dollars (Canadian, so that’s about three US dollars). This blogger bought a fishing line meter and some wood pieces, and with a little glue and ingenuity came up with a perfectly serviceable yarn meter. I like to think that I’m sort of handy with that sort of thing, so off to Michael’s go I to buy the necessary parts to save thirty or forty dollars on a pre-fab gadget. Well. three cheers and a tiger for me, because while I was wandering around the store with my arms full of pieces of wood in various shapes and sizes (and really, it is impossible to just dart into that store and dart out again without meandering aimlessly for at least a few minutes), I came upon the pre-assembled wooden things: boxes, stools, miniature furniture, and shelves. In particular, this little item:
or is it?
A quick trip to the fishing store and voila!
I may need to drill a hole at each end to feed the yarn through, but that will be on an “as-needed” basis. It was my favourite type of project: all I had to do was flip something over and I was finished. Ironically, with all my enthusiasm for this gadget, it’s been three weeks and I have yet to measure any yarn. Maybe it was just the thrill of the chase?
I don’t know how many of you read Franklin Habit’s Panopticon blog, but you might want to give it a look. I have been following Dolores van Hoofen’s run for the White House with even more interest than I watch Saturday Night Live, and imagine my surprise when I saw that she had been in my hometown on the campaign trail! (scroll down to the entry for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). Actually, it wasn’t a surprise because I hosted her while she was here, and showed her all the sights. (Well, I took her to my LYS Prairie Lily, and then to the Husky Truck stop).
Franklin’s blog offers a goodly dose of the absurd, which suits me just fine. And speaking of absurd (how’s that for a segue? Subtle or what?), the non-cooperative yarn that I mentioned last post has been put in the Bin of Shame, (also known as the Rubbermaid-stay there-until-you-are-ready-to-come-out-and-be-serious bin) and will remain there until, well, you get the picture.
How can three balls of perfectly beautiful yarn (Noro Yuzen- wool, silk and mohair. Lucious.) be so picky about their next incarnation? Just to make a point with them, I have released two balls of Lily Chin Broadway, and they have obviously learned their lesson and are becoming (in conjunction with some Paton’s Brilliant. Really, it’s a good combination.) a perfectly lovely stole. No shaping, no increasing, no fitting, an 8 row pattern with a 9 stitch repeat and I still have to sit in a silent room to knit it. I will post pictures in a day or two; although at the rate I’m going it will be done well in advance of Christmas. (That should be enough leeway not to jinx the whole shebang.)
In the meantime, progress is being made on the ostrich feather shawl (which only has pattern every fourth row)
and on a piece of mystery knitting that would like to be done by Christmas. Easy peasey.
We’ve had a lovely fall here in Saskatoon. (and this is where I would insert a photo of the lovely fall colours except that I never took any, and they’re not nearly as spectacular as say, New England or the Maritimes, and the leaves only stay on the trees for about twenty minutes after they turn, so if you don’t have your camera with you you’re out of luck.) It’s a beautiful run-up to my birthday (and it’s a milestone one this year. I’m handling Fifty way better than I handled Forty.) and I’m actually excited about it. Can’t remember if I mentioned it before, but the Vegas trip with the girls was in honour of us all turning fifty this year. I expect to celebrate for a week on either side. Having birthdays certainly beats the alternative. Do you remember the t-shirt “God put me on earth to accomplish a certain amount, and right now I am so far behind I will never die”? That’s where I’m at. And at peace with it.
Enjoy the American election coverage- it should be over by Christmas.