Knitting stuff and going on and on.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Here they are!

First other knitting stuff then ...

Proof I have gone off my rocker. I am taking pictures of the t.v.

This is a t.v. show called Dragon it airs on Treehouse every day at different times. Do see why I took these pictures? Wouldn't a brightly coloured blanket made from different sized swatches be awesome?! I could practice stranding, picture making, and guage on different needles with different washable yarns in all kinds of colours. When I get enough swatches to make a blanket, sew/crochet them all together with a border to square it all up. A patchwork quilt!

Is anyone else cheap enough to hate "wasting" yarn on swatches that just sit there doing nothing but prove that you tried to get your guage right? If you are one of those people, here you go! A use for them so no more feeling guilty or resentful about guage swatching and keeping practice swatches!!

In the middle of trying to get out of the paper crown, again, a bug appeared. Small things, small minds! ;-)

... and now ...

My swatches for the baby blanket. I need help choosing which one to use. Here's the swatch that has been holding up the show. If it's this one (Swatch #1) you lovely readers like best I think I would make the blanket in one piece, but use garter stitch borders around each block to make it appear to be sewn together. Of course the entire blanket would have a garter stitch border to help it lay flat.

Of these ones, I don't like the stripes. I like the idea of it, but the brown yarn is a worsted weight and the blue and white are chunky weights so the guage would be really hard to keep consistent so ignore that one altogether.
Swatch #2 - The one colour block swatches would be alternated in one blanket at that size so it would appear to have square polka dots on a white blanket.
Swatch #3 - The two colour blocks side by side would be a bit larger but still squared off and appear in between strips of the white with a white border.
Swatch #4 - The square within a square within a square would be a repeat pattern until the blanket was wide enough and long enough to be called a blanket.

Please use the comments to vote on the one you like best and after all votes are counted, I'll draw names from a hat for two skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn to be dyed tomorrow and posted along with my Saturday Sky picture. I'll do the up the blanket the way you like and post the pattern when it's done.

I have a bit of school work to catch up on and tomorrow is Canada Day so other than my Saturday Sky pictures/sock yarn pictures, this will be my last post until Tuesday. When I draw names and announce winners!
Happy voting!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sitting, knitting, sewing and studying.

I'd like to say that I'm taking a break from studying, but I'm really just procrastinating. Here are some of the things that seem to have taken precedence over the books. The other one I can't show you just yet.

The finished Tit-Bit is sewn, stuffed and nippled. I used a wooden bead from a craft store for the nipple and inside a bra, it looks pretty natural. Here's the underside. Concave to prevent the bit from aggravating the mastectomy scar.

The top. All nice and perky.

Inside is a little rock I found that is half sparkly black and half sparkly pink. I wrote Hope, Love and Health on the pink side and put it inside to weight the bit down a little so it stays in place better.
I have a problem though, I don't know anyone who has lost a 36B breast. This Bit fills out a 36B cup really nicely, but doesn't give cleavage in the massive bra I tested it in. I think it would if I tried it in a sexier bra though. Anyone who knows someone that needs this can e-mail me. I would prefer to give it to someone who doesn't have a lot of money as I see that the regular falsies are pretty darned expensive and I think women should be able to have two breasts regardless of income. I will draw a name from a hat if I get more that one reply. It's a cotton, acrylic, viscose yarn, stuffed with polyester and is very soft and smooth. Hand wash, shape and air dry.

Edited to add:
I just wanted to clarify something. I haven't had Breast cancer I have been fortunate so far. I tried this on on my stomach so I could see how it would look in a bra. I did have a bit of an Ovarian cancer scare, but it turned out to be a benign cyst. I crawled into a hole like a scared little crybaby while I was waiting for the test results so I also admired Beryl Tsang's courage and felt like I should try to help in some small way. Glad that someone would admire me if I was in any way courageous. I'd like to take credit for some cahonies, but that wouldn't be right since I don't have any.

I learned to strand. I'm very slooow, but I'll get better at it. I was very happy with how it turned out until I measured it and found out it was 3/4" too wide!!! ARRRRGGGGGHHH!!! I was forced to rip. Ah, well. Try again. I need the practice if I want to get faster. Frickin, frackin, froggin!!

The other side of it. It pulls just a bit, but not too bad for a first try.

Well, I suppose if I want to get anything done, I'd better get off the computer.
Oh, anyone else glad to see the snotty Star Jones the heck off The View? I hated her. Her distain for all things blue collar was so palpable, I had to stop watching or risk becoming an angry, creepy stalker! I prayed everyday that everyone who had to do their blue collar jobs so her life could be easier, would walk off the job so she could see just how useless she is in the grand scheme of things. Nothing wrong with being a lawyer. I just think she's a useless twit. All of our lives would get pretty crappy, pretty fast if blue collar workers walked off the job for a week. Just google Toronto Garbage Strike if you want to get a small idea of the impact.
I mean really, who would you miss first, your average joe garbage man or your high power CEO?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Here's what the pattern looks like.

The bottom half of this swatch is the pattern as I wrote it yesterday before I added the correction. It has a line where you switch from knit to purl and a slight jog between the garter stitch lines. Very subtle. Too subtle for all the yarn fronts and yarn backs. I think I would just do a garter stitch with stockinette stitch lines in between the squares next time. On the top is a switch between stockinette squares and garter squares. I like this better. More contrast.

A close up. Just ignore the mistakes on the right, I didn't feel like ripping what I already knew was just going to be a swatch. You'll get a better idea of it if you just look at the left. I just did a 30st repeat instead of the 40 the pattern calls for, so I could (if I liked it) send it to Cynthia.

The pattern as I had intended to write it. This is too simple of a pattern not to be out there somewhere. I find it hard to believe that no one else has thought of this so I don't think I can lay claim to the pattern. Ah well, a girl's gotta believe herself to be extremely clever for a little while at least! ;-)

Another project from my wonderful gift book. It's a rag rug style bathmat. Very cute. This is already a knit so I don't have to figure out how to turn it into one. I just need to go through all our t-shirts and find out which ones I can rip into strips!

Blanket swatches soon! I plan to do some more dyeing over the weekend so I'll have some more practice at it. I plan on doing a green, yellow and white colourway. I want to try it out on two balls of a chunky weight to see how well they turn out. I have another purse idea in mind and I want to be able to felt so I hope this turns out!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A dishcloth pattern and some other stuff.

The dishcloth I'm working on. I don't know if anyone else has done this pattern. I hope not since I am going to write out the pattern that came out of my head and hope it isn't anywhere else. There's a bloody lot of dishcloth patterns out there people!! Feel free to copy it and make one of your own. Please don't take the pattern and say it is yours or sell it or the dishcloths made with it to someone else. I would consider allowing people to use this for charitable purposes. Please e-mail me for permission first. Thanks!

Bernat Handicrafter Cotton or other worsted weight 100% cotton
4.5mm (US 7) knitting needles
Cast on 40 stitches. (I used the provisional cast on method.)
Rows 1 - 10 - K10, P10, K10, P10
Rows 11 - 20 - P10, K10, P10, K10
Rows 21 - 30 - K10, P10, K10, P10
Rows 31 - 40 - P10, K10, P10, K10
Continue to follow pattern until square or desired length.
Wash, dry and use or give away!
Ooops. The filter between brain and fingers usually works better than this. The pattern should be written so that you are working stockinette stitch for each of the rows. If you are working the second row, you should be purling your knit stitches and knitting your purled stitches, and so on for the entire pattern. You should wind up with a reversible dishcloth that looks like a weave pattern. You know, like you did out of strips of construction paper when you were a kid and your Mom said she really loved, but never actually used or hung up anywhere.
Now that I think about it though, I'm going to knit the pattern as it's written there and see what I get. Pictures another time of both patterns.

Another thing to turn into a knit. It's a hot water bottle cozy. I think I'll use a pink worsted weight wool for this with a white heart.

Now, don't tell me they aren't related!! I get total strangers walking up to me and saying "She must look like her Father!" I usually yell, "Well, I did all the work making her!! I'm mature like that.

Buy them toys if you want, they'd still rather play with the box.

"What choo on about?! I ain't chewin' on no little kid toy!"

Monday, June 26, 2006

Another fun thing I found.

The Internet is so full of fun little time wasters isn't it?
Here's one I found on Blogthings.

Give it try yourself. Although, I never thought of myself as a snob. Do snobs know that they are snobs?

You Are French Food

Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.

Scroll down some more for an actual post.

My weekend.

Saturday we went to the neighbouring town to do a little shopping. I had to bring some knitting. I had to take a picture. I am beginning to wonder if I have crossed that fine line between a little weird and completely crackers. If I had money I would be able to say I'm eccentric. Since I don't, I'm either weird or crackers.

Sunday my hand-painted and my hand-dyed yarn got wound into balls. I hope they have the same yardage, they're supposed to, but one ball is quite a bit bigger than the other. I wonder if someone Googling weird things will wind up here because of that sentence.

Squares for Warming Grace. One was already done.

Another "turn into a knit" project. I think this will be done in grey with a black border and put into my spare room which will eventually be painted lavendar with black trim and have lots of black and white pictures hanging on the wall.

Saturday we made pizza dough. I like to make my own dough when I have the time. The recipe I use is great because you make it the day before and keep it in the fridge overnight. Sunday we had pizza.

Ever have one of those days where your brain is stuck on strange mode? I've been adding to people's sentences today. Fortunately, I've only been doing it in my head so far. For instance:

Morning News Anchor: ... he lost his balance and fell down the hill ...
Me: ... and broke his crown.

Daniel Cook: ... a horse!
Me: Of course.

The Count from Sesame Street: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 ...
Me: ... ladybugs at the ladybug picnic!

The kids: We're in the box!
Me: With a fox?

The cat: Meow?
Me: Mix.

The dog: Ruff.
Me: Smooth.

Stop me, please. I'm going to eventually do this out loud at an inappropriate time. I won't be able to stop myself.

Friday, June 23, 2006


It's been one of those days. I feel like I've only managed six sentences today.

1. No taking! That's the one I say the most on any given day.

2. Give that back! This one is a given and usually goes with the first.

3. No screaming! One of the children likes to give out short really high pitched screams when wound up.

4. No running! Again with the wound up-ness.

5. No colouring on that! Everything but the paper got coloured on today.

6. Do you want to have a time out? This one goes with every single one of the above since children rarely do what they are told until you make them or at least give them an incentive to want to.

Oh, one more 7. No pushing/kicking/hitting/sitting on/ other people or that toy!

I tried to be positive on some things. Good job eating lunch without making a big mess! Thank you for sharing! Wow, you did it all by yourself! Wow, you're being so gentle with the cat! Today the no's and time outs out weighed the good jobs. Mommy was tired out. Tonight supper included a glass of a very nice Pelee Island dry white wine with a white egret on the bottle. Very nice.

Knitting suffered today. The children sensed I needed a nice break from them and they decided to wake up early. They're co-operative like that. I'm dog tired and really enjoying the bit of peace and quiet right now.

Thanks for listening.
Here's a picture of a planned "turn into knits" project as a thanks. Once I get all these done and figure out how to set up a patterns list for people to click on, I'll be putting up a few patterns from things I've made. Heck, if I get the links figured out sooner, I'll set up patterns of things I've already done sooner.

This will be done in burgundy and a very pale tan colour called mushroom. If the bead thing works as well as I hope, I'll use contrasting beads instead of buttons. I want to do two of them one burgundy with a mushroom square and one mushroom with a burgundy square for our bedroom.
I may do the one behind it on the right as full size pillowcases for my daughter in deep blue, sunny yellow, deep purple and emerald green. One of each colour to go with her butterfly curtains. These may have to wait until I come into some money so I can use linen or soft smooth linen blends for them. Although, I am tempted to try bamboo just to see how it works out with the sleeping/washing thing.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I got s-m-r-t.

This morning I sat down at my computer, plugged in my camera and uploaded the pictures I had taken yesterday of some lovely golden cornbread I had made, some crazy storm clouds, some planned projects, some dryer lint and some good ones of Apollo (the dog). At least that's what I thought I had done. Apparently, I plugged in the camera and waited for all the information to be read then unplugged it and cleared all the pictures. I did not actually import anything. All my snapping. Gone. Sigh. Me so S-M-R-T!!

Wondering how come I took pictures of dryer lint? Thought so. Thoughts of lost marbles and early on-set dementia crossed my mind too. I did have a reason, honest! You see, I had intended to show you what a fire hazard looks like. I'll start at the beginning. Our dryer is about a year old. I clean out the lint trap after every load and thought I was pretty safe. I even got a little smug and holier-than-thou about all those lazy people who never clean their traps and wonder why their dryer catches fire (again with the s-m-r-t). Well, guess what, I looked inside the space underneath the lint trap. Holy freakin' crap!! The pile of lint I pulled out of there had to be seen to be believed! Shove a vacuum down the inside of your lint traps people!!! It's scary in there!

My dishwasher and a nice cool wind has finally returned my will to do things like this and the cornbread from yesterday. Baking is so much nicer without a huge mess to wash up after you're done! From the left we have Lemon Blueberry Muffins (just add zest from one lemon and the juice from aforementioned lemon. Subtract an equal amount of the milk called for to make up for the additional juice), Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. Some of the cookies will find their way out to my Secret Pal. I'd send muffins too, but they don't travel all that well.

I haven't managed to get much knitting done so here is another distraction for you.
Remember this book from my Secret Pal?

Well, here is another of the projects I want to turn into a knit pattern. It's a simple fleece blanket with a wide bound edge that has buttons sewn onto it. I want to knit it in a different colour and use beads on the edges instead. I plan on collecting some decent size beads with holes big enough to fit a stitch through so I don't have to string them onto the yarn and push them along. Of course first I have to do a quick swatch with a bead to see how well that will work.

I have a few more projects planned, but, I'll show those another day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Same diff.

Remember the eighties? Say that title "Valley Girl" style and there you are!

Remember yesterday's swatch? Well I tried her rewrite of the original pattern. First, the one on the bottom of the needles, is her pattern done using English knitting style of YO's and Eastern Uncrossed (I told you I like that name) K/P stitches. Then I tried it using the English method of knitting and YO's together. Notice the ridges that stand out in the top swatch? That is really the only difference I noticed between the two different styles of knitting. My stitches lie flatter and more beside each other. The English are closer together and overlap slightly at the center of the column making a ridge.

On the left, All English style YO's and the two different styles of K2tog, K and P. I do NOT like the K2tog English style. I am a tight knitter and that is not a fun way to knit. If I only used that style of knitting, I probably would not have progressed much beyond squares and scarves. No shaping required. I probably wouldn't even consider doing lace. Eastern Uncrossed it is and now I have to figure out how to adjust patterns to suit me. I won't be suiting me to the patterns, that's for sure!! On the right my original swatch using the original pattern on the Double Helix's blog: S1, K1(*P1, YO, P2tog, K1*) using my way of K/P and my way of YO. What a difference!

My other knitting stuff. The Tit-Bit off the needles and ready to sew up and stuff. The square that was further along until I measured it. The original was way too wide!! A graph that needs some tweaking to get the diamond right. It's for the last swatch for my baby blanket. Vote may possibly be held before the end of July. I will probably be dying some more sock yarn and offering it as a random draw prize to all who vote. I promise to practice dying a bit more first!!

Naptime, kitty style!! Looks comfy doesn't he?!

I just thought I would add that the yarn store, "Northern Knits" in the post from a few days ago isn't my store. I would be estatic if it was, but alas, it isn't. It belongs to a beautiful human named Pat Uren. A generous woman who loves yarn and knitting.
Suzanne, I like your swatches too. I think your second swatch would make a great lace scarf for my Mother-in-Law. You knit Continental. That must be why I didn't get the same nice narrow band between the YO's like you did! I couldn't figure out why they looked so different.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How I knit.

I am a Combination knitter. Also called Eastern Uncrossed knitting. Doesn't that sound so exotic? I think I may use that term all the time. Brings to mind beautiful women sitting in a bamboo forest, with topknots and full dress kimonos knitting by a mysterious pool in a hidden grotto, giving bumbling Scottish Norwiegens such as myself misleading clues to a hidden treasure. Ahem, anyway ... I found the pattern for this lace square over here scroll down one post. She got a totally different result than I did.

The close up of the stitch pattern. Brings to home how different any lace project I make is going to turn out! I either have to adjust the pattern to fit my knit or the knit to fit the pattern. I didn't think it would matter this much. Other patterns don't. Sigh. I see I have some consulting to do with the talented Annie Modesitt on lace before I try a big prject.

On another note, just another little tidbit of information about my hometown for all you fibre artists out there. This is only an hour and fifteen minute drive from the yarn store. You can wander about yourself or they also do guided tours. Very child friendly ones too! We used to go every year for school trips during the spring. Right after the lambs were born. A trip to our little yarn store is now even more desirable isn't it! :-D

Edited to add: My swatch is made using the first pattern on the Double Helix blog. You should be comparing my swatch to her first swatch. That way you'll get an idea of how the different styles of knitting turn out using the same pattern. Her second swatch was done with the changes she made to the pattern she was given. I'm glad you like mine better Cynthia, it'll be showing up on your doorstep when I get a few more squares done! :-) Those Warming Grace squares are the perfect size for a guage swatch and I don't feel like I'm wasting yarn!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bet I can make you want to visit the sticks!!

A sign of good things to come.

The store greeter. Charlie. He'll wag his body and kiss your cheeks. MWAH darling, MWAH!!

The store. Lake front. Behind that pile of wood is a bench for you sit and knit.

A real working wood stove! Sit in warmth all winter and knit by the fire. See those french doors? They lead to a deck where you can sit and look out over the lake while you knit.

Great yarns for your shopping pleasure!

You're already considering a trip aren't you?!
Hint #1; loads of great fishing and hunting in the area. The husband/significant other wants to be here too! Hint #2; the first two weeks of August (this would include any days at the beginning of the week that are partly in July) are the local Blueberry Festival. Something for the kids(husband/significant other if he doesn't fish) to do. What's stopping you? Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada is about a five hour drive east of Winnipeg, Manitoba and a five/four (depends on your driving speed) hour drive west of Thunder Bay, Ontario. You can also fly in on Wasaya Airways or Bearskin Airlines.
You know you want to!

Yes, this is a distraction from the lack of actual knitting content. I was finished swatching until I got another idea. Now, I need to do one more swatch before I can show you anything. I cast on a square for Keep Canada Warm, but I haven't gotten very far and I bought more yarn for Warming Grace so not much more than squares going on around here.
I also submitted my purse design to Debbie Stoller's crack team of book editors for consideration so now I wait to hear back. My fingers are going to get really crampy from being crossed for two to three weeks!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Some distractions for you.

Something to look at until I finish swatching. Not much else being knit around here.

Reskeined and overdyed! I like this colour much better. It's a very dark purple like that of a violet. Now I just have to knuckle down and actually knit socks out of it. It's going to stay skeined for a little while though. It took me so long to line up the colours, I'm going to leave them lined up for a bit!

She is "reading" a story to her buddy. I think he's dreaming of be able to go outside. It's a sin that I can't let them out to play, but they don't have any front claws and some people in this area think that because we don't live right in town they can let their dogs run loose. Two of the dogs who run loose are the type that view cats as prey. Not safe.

Jezzy came tearing in here at top speed tail up, attacked the carpet for a minute or two and promptly rolled over and proceeded to give herself a bath. Crazy kitty! :-)

Thanks to those who played the one word game! I like the words you used. Tenacious (I like that better than stubborn and hard-headed :-D ) Caring and Compassionate (Thank you. I am humbled.) Tit-ilating (hee hee!)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Swatching like crazy.

I don't have a lot to post today because I'm busy doing swatches for the baby blanket. I want to post a picture of all of them together so you can vote without having to scroll or search all over the place to compare.
The Tit-Bit you ask? Well, umm, that may take a while longer. It will get done though, I swear!!

Here's something I found over here. It sounds like fun so I thought I would throw it out for you readers.

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

Have a good one!

Random cute pet picture!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

... and now back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

The dishwasher is in and the dishes are actually washed, dried and put away before 4:00 pm!! Here they are doing the wiring and getting ready to hook up the plumbing. My baby was "helping". She's such a good little helper!

The last little bit of the plumbing gets tightened. She figured out how to turn the socket wrench just by watching Daddy! My clever sweets!!

My knitting so far. The Tit-Bit is coming along. I'm itching to cast on the baby blanket though. I made my needles and eyeballed the yarn, I took it out and set it on the table. I took this picture. My mind has been racing with ideas on what to do so this may take a while while I do some swatches to see what patterns I like best. I may need some help choosing. I think I'll post a vote when I get all my swatches done.

Next time I say I'm going to reskein 430 yds of handpainted sock yarn, SLAP ME STUPID!!!! Holy freakin' crap, it's taking forever to wind it while matching up the colourways!! AAAARRRRRGGHHH!!!!

Sam did this to himself not once, not twice, but five times! You'd think he'd learn. Sorry it's out of focus. Old camera, cat backing around the room trying to get out of a paper "crown" and maniacally laughing fool is not a great picture taking combo.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cops for Cancer

The Cops for Cancer portion of the Relay went pretty well. I'm not sure how many people shaved their heads, but, there were a record number (for Sioux Lookout) of women participating. That people from all backgrounds get together to help prevent more people from dying of cancer is a beautiful thing to behold. Even better that anyone whose hair was longer than six inches donated it to Locks of Love so that children suffering from cancer and it's treatments can have a natural wig so they don't have to add teasing to it all. Here are just a few of the brave participants.
From the young one on the left with a lot of hair to lose to the cop on the right with just a little off the top ...

to the rough and tumble fellow with the most hair to lose ...

to women who lost a sister recently ...

to women who look good bald ...

to technicians with big dreams and hearts ...

to one of the stylists who was doing the shaving.

Cancer doen't care who you are, what you do or where you dream of going, it just happens. It turns your life upside down and takes your security and sense of who you are and forces you to change everything or break. These shaved heads didn't just raise money, they proved that a razor can create beauty out of sorrow.

The moon hung in silence. Ever watchful, always bright, the shining orb outshone by the beauty that humanity created.

The purse is finished, sewn together and awaits felting. Now to clean up the pattern a little and send it off for perusal.