Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Fibers Through Time wrapped up today.  I don’t know how much of  the course content will stay in my main bag of tricks, but it was a fun weekend (except for the insomnia) (more on that in a minute) and I got to know some really interesting people.  There was one other Canadian woman taking  a class, and one Canadian instructor.  I always chuckle when people in Arizona say I have an accent, because I can never hear anyone else  down here in Arizona speaking with an accent.  Great.  I talk funny and apparently I am going deaf.

Insomnia, you ask?  Yes.  The hotel bed was more than a little uncomfortable, and the pillows were feather, which made my eyes scratchy.   Once I did get to sleep, I dreamed that the knitting police kept bursting into our classroom and telling me that I was doing it wrong and I should just give up trying to pretend that I am creative.  Then I found myself driving around in some gated community but I couldn’t find the gate to get out.  I suspect that I was a little stressed about having to step outside my comfort zone of knitting in the “Paint by Number” genre.

I got back to my house today  to find that the lovely stick that I mentioned in my last post, and which I had left on the patio to finish drying, had been tossed out by Lorenzo my yard guy.  I guess he didn’t share my vision.

I may have bought another little bit of  Navajo spun and dyed yarn.  I will try to remember to snap a picture to post.

Now, I think I’ll head to bed and see if I can evade the knitting police long enough to find the exit from the gated community.


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Back at it

I have dipped into my collection of Palette, and now it is no longer complete.  On the other hand, Mike now has a hat.

Not Mike's Head

This is the Andean Chullo Hat from Knitpicks, and it is all I can do not to order the kit (now on sale!) to replenish my stash.  I fulled it in the drier after I washed it, as Mike didn’t want it too floppy.  Also, the fulling makes it a little thicker, the better with which to keep out the wind.

I asked Andy if he would like one, and who wouldn’t want to have one of these?

Imagine Andy's face here


No thank you, he says.  He would prefer a plain grey ribbed toque.  No turn-up cuff, no pattern, no colour, no texture.  This sounds like a project for someone else to knit.

So, after a two week fibre hiatus due to Christmas and a killer cold, I seem to have recovered.  I have to say that this Christmas was awesome.  Mike really surprised me with gifting, we had good food, we had time with family (although we are looking forward to sharing Christmas next year with the Calgary Contingent, including our grand-daughter, who will be 9 months old by then.  Yikes!), and the weather has been unseasonably mild.  While others may worry about why it’s so warm with no snow, I have come to understand that I can do nothing about it, so I am enjoying the weather while I can.  (It’s a lot easier to be understanding about the weather since we are heading south at the end of next week, so it can get as cold as it wants here any time until the end of February.)

Next time- I show you what arrived for me in the mail, and share why I should never say that I have enough hobbies already.


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While I’ve been quiet blog-wise this fall, knitting has happened.

I love this sweater.  The pattern is from here, and the yarn is Knitpicks Stroll sock yarn.  I can’t remember the colourway, (maybe Forest?) but the yarn aged in my stash nicely enough that it’s been discontinued.  I really like this yarn- it’s lovely to knit with, and the colour changes are “Goldilocks”; not too big, not too small, just right.  The back of the cardigan is seed stitch, and it’s just so darned cute!  All that’s needed is a little pair of pants, and in spite of the whole pinkness of the situation (the first tutu has been purchased.), I think at least one outfit in earth tones is a good idea.  (Especially if the little one has red hair like Dad.)

What else?

This little Pixie hood is also from the book noted above, and for the first time ever in my life is knit from the same yarn as the sample!  Knitpicks Imagination sock yarn, also a discontinued colourway, but I did have enough in my stash for the hood and this:

Also from the same book, this is a beaded shawl that went to my daughter-in-law for Christmas.  It blocked beautifully, and I was so overwhelmed by how nice it looked that I wrapped it up and sent it off without taking a picture.  Geoff has been instructed to get me a picture of it being modelled, so once I receive that I will post it.  I told Geoff that the picture can include pregnancy evidence or face, or not if they’re feeling shy.  (How shy can they be?  We got a framed copy of their first ultrasound picture.)

Other stuff:

I wove this wrap for Mike’s Auntie Peggy.  It’s Chunky Marble for warp and weft, and the colours turned out beautifully.  I was concerned that there might be some muddying or pooling but the Crafty Christmas Gods seemed to smile on me.

What else?

Glasses sock from the same book.  I lined them with cotton, but I wouldn’t recommend them for keeping your glasses safe at the bottom of your purse.  It was interesting to see how the colours behaved differently just changing the needle size by 1.

Uck- what a crappy picture.  Good thing I don’t take money from people to take their portraits.

What does one do with 65 grams of leftovers from 2 sunglasses socks?  One cranks out nearly 200 feet of icord (at least I think that’s how much it was), then one knits a trivet in seed stitch using fat needles, the size of which I cannot remember.

From the same book (can you spot the emerging theme?) is this scarf.  While I like the wool (Knitpicks stroll hand-paint) and I like the pattern, together they are both sort of lost.  Ah well, the subtleties won’t matter as much when it’s tucked around someone’s neck.

I actually broke down and knit something with my Koigu KPPPM (is that enough P’s?  I never know.)   While I now have no Koigu left in my stash (sad face), I do have this cute little ruffle.  It’s just right for inside my jean jacket.

Do you ever run into a ball of wool that has a mind of its own?  Of course you have.  I have a couple of balls that I thought would make a really cute little dress,  but after 7 tries on the hem, I realized that the wool has no intention of becoming that dress.  I have repurposed it as a sweater, and until I was hit by my own version of Christmas Madness, the wool seemed to be cooperating.  Sadly, the arrival of 120 balls of Palette seem to have pushed the little sweater to the back burner.  I intend to take it with me when I decamp to Buckeye in a couple of weeks, as well as my small loom,  there to give the old fibre mojo a much-needed shot in the arm.  The only thing left to do is to arrange for all the cold weather to happen here at home during February.  Oh yeah.  I guess I should take down the Christmas tree, too.

This being December 31st, I wish you all a Joyful and Prosperous New Year, with fibre, inspiration and time all in compatible measure.  Even though most of us have never met, I value each of you as a friend and co-conspirator.  Have a good one.  See you next year.

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My knees hurt.

We rented a nail gun- fun is my middle name- and installed baseboards in the basement yesterday.  The mitre saw was on the floor, and the baseboards were-of course- on the floor, and in spite of the cushy underlay and the new carpet, when you’re as old as Mike and me, more than a few minutes kneeling is too much.

So, to add injury to injury, today I put some shelving together.  Here’s where I started this morning:

That’s my Uncle Hap’s old trunk.  It smells like an old trunk, so I don’t open it, but I love that it has his name scratched on the top.  He was my mother’s only sibling and we lost him eleven years ago.  I still find myself thinking some Sunday evenings “I should just give Uncle Hap a call”, and then I remember that he’s gone.  I smile though, because he was a pleasant man and a gentle man, and family meant a lot to him, especially in his later years.

Later in the day, the view progressed to:

I knew I wanted wooden shelves, and rather than risk marital discord by insisting that we stop at Ikea on holidays to buy shelves there, I sourced some out at the local RONA store, and 80 screws later and more abuse on my knees, I have shelving.  The rug I bought at Pier 1 when I worked there many years ago.  I noticed the label warned that there could be dye transfer if it got wet, but we are supremely confident that that could never happen.

At the end of the afternoon, I foolishly accepted Mike’s offer to help me move things from the office upstairs to the new Playroom in the basement.  I don’t think he had any idea how many little bins of fibre were living in the closet of the home office. (He did say something about getting not needing to feel bad about buying that new 3 wood he’s been eyeing up.  I think he should go for it, because he needs encouragement in his hobbies, and he certainly isn’t going to knit.  Just like I’m not going to golf.  We have reached an Understanding.)  I just tell him that I am my own personal economic stimulus program.  I haven’t moved any weaving paraphernalia except my tapestry loom, as I still have to install a work surface in the old closet, but at suppertime tonight here’s what one end of the room looked like:

It's mostly sock yarn and laceweight. Not a big stash by some people's standards, is it?

I have lots more to do, since I have been waiting and planning for this for 11 months.  It’s very exciting.  I almost don’t want to go on holidays next week.  But go on holidays we shall, to visit family in the Okanagan (interior of BC for those who might not be familiar with our western Canadian geography) with a side trip to Quebec City for a weekend right in the middle of the BC trip.  Not exactly on the way, but Mike won a free trip, so I’ll go.  We’ve always wanted to see Quebec City anyways.  Then it will be home again, and finishing touches on Judy’s “I can’t believe it’s actually finished” Playroom.

Thanks for all the encouraging words over the last year.  It’s been a bugger getting all the yardwork and interior work done (outside is not quite there, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel), but in the end, we’re happy with the results and hope that we’ll never have water issues in this house again.

I will post soon about some rather interesting knitting I’ve been doing.

***Oh yeah.  We also got the treadmill and the Bowflex set up in the other room.  But that’s exercise, so who cares?

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The Canada Post “job action” is over, and I have started to receive a few things that have been lost in Limbo for the month of June.

From WEBS:

The Ella Rae Lace Merino is a discontinued colourway, and while I cannot imagine using all three skeins on one project, the price was so good I just had to order three. The Misti handpainted lace has no project assignment either, but I love colourway. The Kauni I ordered after attending the Stitches conference, and also has no specific assignment. Lucy Neatby uses it in a few different patterns, so I will just let something evolve on its own.

From our local bookseller, McNally Robinson:

Not sure how I missed this one on my radar, but it looks great. There is one pattern at which I draw the line: I refuse to knit up a sock blank, dye it and then knit it into a sock. I have too much of a backlog to knit something twice on purpose. (There is a difference between this and having the yarn protest midway through a project that it really wants to be something else.)

A few more books:

The folk series is great because if Mike says I don’t need another pattern book, I can point to the historical information and call it a scholarly work.

Finally, from Knitpicks:

Getting these parcels was like Christmas. I had almost forgotten what I had ordered. Especially from the “What the hell was I thinking?” department:

Who on earth ordered these?

Oh yeah. Part of a bundle.  Right. Not my favourite colour, but perhaps someone I know would be happy with yellow and grey socks.

The red socks are coming along slowly.

Do you want to know how much my back was bugging me over the last 2 weeks?  Even if you don’t, I’m going to tell you.  The first week I couldn’t sit, and couldn’t knit, and I didn’t even care.   The last week I’ve started to feel more like myself  (with the assistance of  a new toy) and the socks should be finished in the next day or two.

On the summer agenda:

A wedding:  My oldest nephew is tying the knot.  Nuptials to take place at the bride’s parents’ farm.  Not quite sure what to wear, although I have been advised that rubber boots will not likely be needed.

Finishing the yard reconstruction.  All that’s left is odds and ends, and putting down new sod.  Then we can “furnish” the new patio, and wait for bats to move into the newly-installed Bat House (complete with Bat Sign on the top to help them find it).  Then, if they follow the plan, they will proceed to eat all the mosquitoes in the yard so we can actually sit outside.

Finishing the basement work:  We have to paint over the new drywall patching, call in the carpet layers to (re)install the new carpet, paint and install baseboards, install new ceiling tiles, and what should be the most interesting job of all, reassembling the Bowflex.

Dare I say it?  Move into the new Playroom.  (I hope I haven’t gone and put a hex on the whole thing.)

The one thing that cannot be delayed, sadly, is our company yearend.  Now that I can sit for more than three minutes at a time, I have no excuse for avoiding the books.  So, fortified by yet another cup of Kahlua-flavoured coffee, I take my leave of you and head to my office.

(a few minutes pass)

Rats, I thought that just by typing it, the work might do itself.  Now I actually have to show some discipline.  Bye for now.

(a few more minutes go by)

No, really.  I’m off to work.

(lunch time.  I can always work this afternoon.)

Sigh.  No wonder I’m always 3 months behind.


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First a little housekeeping:

There has been an actual, full-sized cement mixer parked on the street in front of my house all morning.    There are guys with no shirts and tattoos working in my yard (don’t get excited; all shirtless tattooed guys were not created equal), and there is an actual patio on the south side of the house.  There is almost a whole actual patio on the west side, and rumour has it that by the end of tomorrow, there will be completed patios, no junk in the yard, a shed in its proper place, dirt installed and graded away from the house, and the gravel Mount Judy at the foot of our driveway will no longer be damming Lake-Next-Door-Neighbor at the foot of their driveway.  Yay.  All that will remain is fixing and priming the drywall in the basement, then I can (re)paint, we can deal with the new carpet (again), and the Playroom can take shape.  Mike commented the other day that he’s way more impatient to get the basement done than I am, but I didn’t like to point out that while I am anxious to get it done, I am likely more patient because I knit.  (I know, I know; I’m just as impatient about it as he is; maybe moreso; but am uncharacteristically not showing it.  Inside I am a seething mass of impatient.)

Knitting?  Did someone say knitting?  Okay, since you asked.

I have almost finished Echo Beach.  In a moment of weakness I agreed with the Wednesday Morning Ladies that I would ladder down the dropped stitches while they watched (what was I thinking?) so I won’t know until then whether I have goofed in the pattern or not.  Assuming no goof, I will then bring it home and wash it and block it.  Pre-laddering measurements:  42″long by 13″wide.  I’ll post post-laddering measurements post-ladder, and then final blocked measurements post-block.  I am curious how much it will grow.  It could end up as a scarf.

Pre-stitch-ladder, pre-block

Stitch markers where stitches will be laddered

I am halfway through knitting a pair of red socks.  I have wanted a pair for years, and finally got around to it.  I thought it would be a good chance to try out some of the techniques I learned at Saskatchewan Stitches from Lucy Neatby, but apparently my brain can only process so much at once.  F’rinstance, did you know that in an ideal world, the heel of the sock would be centered relative to whatever pattern you’ve chosen for the leg?  Also, were you aware that your caston point is generally found at the centre of the inside of the calf, or at the centre of the back of the calf?  Not at the centre of the front of the shin?  Sheesh.

Anyways, I have decided to continue on to the second sock, and not bother completely redoing the first one, as it’s going to be in a shoe anyways.  I have promised myself that the second sock will address all these issues.

Knitting done, finishing to follow

Toe chimney; possibly the niftiest Neatby trick ever

The yarn is Knitpicks Stroll Tonal, colour Gypsy.  Now that I’ve cast off Echo Beach, I think I’ll cast on sock #2 before the moment passes.

Last week I displayed an immense amount of self-discipline and finished off the Balkan Booties.  I used flat hook-and-eye closures (5 per leg), and trimmed with cute buttons that look like black Smarties.

Balkan Booties

I suppose I should wear them, although if I can find a pair of inexpensive mannequin feet, I may just display them in my Playroom; an example of how not to knit intarsia.

All-in-all,  it’s been a pleasant and productive week.  Mike’s birthday, Father’s Day, patios, sock, wrap, laundry, desserts, the season finale of Game of Thrones and on it goes.  Life continues.  It beats the alternative.

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Stitches is over for another year.  I learned so much, and luckily the class notes were really good so I can refer back to them.  More enticingly, I think I want, nay, must have, all 16 of Lucy Neatby’s instructional DVDs.  I am so excited I don’t know what project to start first.  I may have to decompress for a few days before I leap ahead.

In a fit of adolescent hero worship, Lucy kindly signed both of her books for me, and consented to pose with me for posterity.

Hoping some talent will ooze from shorter to taller

Now that I’m home, Mike expects me to make supper.  Sometimes reality just plain sucks.


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