Knitting stuff and going on and on.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A new stitch pattern.

Yesterday I got a nice parcel in the mail. Cindy was clearing out her stash and in exchange for shipping and some squares for Warming Grace I got these balls of yarn. Two balls of Jamieson Shetland 100% Wool and one of Naturally Kid et Soie Mohair/Silk/Merino. Beautiful stuff. I think if I use big needles and a lace pattern, I'll get a scarf from the Naturally and I probably have enough for a little cardi for Ruth. I may have to edge with something else, but that's not a big deal. I've already been looking around for another ball or two for edgings and I can get some for decent prices on ebay. Now, I just have to win the lotto so I can buy all the yarn I have my eye on. Yeesh.

A while back, Suzanne posted a four row stitch pattern with a variable number for the stitch repeats. I decided on 3 for my variable with the constant number 2 for the purl/YO, K2tog. That meant that I cast on a multiple of 5 + 3 and 4 edge stitches for this little square. Still here after the confusion of numbers? I know, I won't do it often I promise.

I knit this my way with the YO wrapped backward (for me) to keep from getting big holes and this is the result. A pretty little braided look mock cable. It's hard to see with this yarn, but it is really pretty.

The other side looks a bit like 4X1 ribbing since it draws in so much. This would make a great reversible sweater or a really warm scarf and it is super easy to do. I was even able to put away the paper and just eyeball which row I was on. Super!

Doesn't that look really warm?

Girly wrote volumes on the rhapsodies of being a princess. I'm carefully teaching her that the best princesses are strong women who make choices about their lives and don't expect others to "make" them happy. Also that happily ever after doesn't come easy or foolproof. Just too damn many fools out there.

The cats and I have called a truce. They didn't wake me up last night and I won't wake them today. So we called it quits before they got too far ahead of me.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Me - 2, Cats - 3.

I managed to keep waking the cats and keeping them on the move for the most part.

Occasionally I came across one sprawled quite elegantly in the sun and had give a belly rub (she hates that) or play "Roll the Kitty" (Sam tolerates that game). So I get two points. Since they were wound up for most of the night and I still got woke up three times to throw pillows or t-shirts at them, they get three points. Today, game still on! Dammit.

On the good side of things, look what I accidentally managed to do. I have no idea why my poinsettia is flowering and how I managed to get it to do that, but there they are, baby red leaves.

My Noro has decided that it wants to become a Santa Cruz hat. So far, I like knitting this pattern especially now that I can cable without a needle. So happy!

Initially I was very disappointed with how the Noro silk Garden feels in the ball. Although it is knitting up beautifully and I like how it stripes so far, I still don't think it is worth 12.99 for 100m of yarn.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Still fuzzy in the head.

The cats have gone insane and are determined to see that I never sleep again. This means that I have not been going over to them and waking them up for a pet or a snuggle often enough during the day. In in the words of the intrepid Bugs Bunny, "You do realize that this means war." Today will be the ultimate in fun. I have three kids to harass me all day and I get to harass the cats in return. It's all fun and games until someone gets and eye scratched out.

Girly and I were hangin' at the yarn store just knittin' and talkin'.

When the buttons were brought out. You want to see grown women fight children for a spot at a tray, bring out the buttons. I got some really cute ones in the fray though. I don't know what I'm going to use them for, but I'll figure out something and have fun admiring them in the meantime.

The Mr.s gloves got finished. Those are his hands. My arms are hairy, but not anywhere near like that.

It was my niece's birthday this weekend so that is about all the knitting I got done.

I must go now. There are cats to wake and one of the kids just arrived. It's going to be a long one.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A bright grey day.

Today's sky is bright with all shade of grey from gunmetal to pale silver. The wind is wicked cold and it smells like change. I think that we just may be in for an early spring.

Girly thinks that times like these are good knitting times. Especially once the sun goes down.


Friday, February 23, 2007

All Bark, all the Time.

I took this bark maker over to hang out with

these bark makers yesterday while it was warm (0*C/32*F) and sunny.

Saplings. Baby bark makers.

Split Spruce.

Split Pine.

Split Birch.

Bark paper.

Maybe tomorrow the pea-brain will have something in it other than a foggy cloud of eh? Probably not since I have three small children today and tomorrow is Saturday, but you never know. Say a prayer for me, I'm going in.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

While the Snow Falls.

As the snow fell

the last hat to be mailed was completed.

The knitter very nearly had to find another ball.

Which hat will the child demand?

Will the knitter choose to knit with f*@ F#! again? Will the child insist on a furry hat the next time we go out?
All these will be answered the next time... The Snow Falls.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Walk softly with me Wednesday.

Strange things happen as the sun is going down.

Things that will make an old man's beard shiver in fright.

Men of ice begin to form along the pathways

Angel outlines appear in the banks and drifts.

Little elves run about in shutter frenzied glee.

Laughter echoes through bubbled water.

Strange things happen when the sun goes down.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Hello Snow.

It snowed again, finally. I've been hoping for a lot more snow for quite a while now. I know the firefighters like long and crazy fire seasons so they have lots of work, but the rest of us don't.

The place looks like winter again. In a pretty way instead of in a dull bitterly cold way.

Now, if only another three feet of the stuff would fall. Maybe the lakes would come back up a bit and the bush wouldn't completely dry out by the end of May. I'm pretty sure that the kids wouldn't mind a snow day from school and the parents wouldn't mind a snow day from work either.

One fingerless glove for the Mr. finished. Sam approves and so does the Mr.

Now I hope I can replicate what I did with this one.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Road Trip.

Thanks to the Nostepinne tutorial on Yarnival I managed to make my very first centre pull ball of yarn. My Nostepinne was the cardboard tube from the aluminum foil. I figured the recycling wouldn't miss it and it is stiffer and thicker than a paper towel or toilet paper one. The resulting ball is egg shaped and it's probably a good thing I'm using the yarn right away since it's pretty tight, but I think with practice, I'll get the hang of it.

Some of the pictures I took on the way to Kenora. Have I mentioned I really like these widgets? Don't know how to write on them? Click on the little cartoon speaking balloon in the upper left corner of your picture after you upload them and you can write a quick caption.

More rocks on the roadside. We are on the Candian Shield so roadside rocks are the name of the game. If ever you come here, you are required to stop (in a safe spot of course), collect some small rocks and climb to the top of one of these and build a miniature Innukshuk.

The stuff I got from The Painted Sheep. I would like to call it a score, but I really can't. I paid way to much for the book. I didn't know that at the time, but when I looked it up at home, I found out how much it really retails for and I paid WAY too much. It is a pretty store, but it's crowded and the yarn section is claustrophobic. I don't mind small spaces, but I had to keep stepping out of it to breathe. She has a good selection of Noro yarns and Brittany Birch needles/hooks though. I got a set of 13cm (5") 2.25mm (US 1) DPN's and they are nice. I also got some lace circs. She doesn't carry any laceweight yarns because she says that people don't use it anymore. I see.

My very first Noro. Two skeins of Noro Silk Garden. I wanted a green/blue colourway so I can make a hat that I can wear my green ISE 3 scarf and my blue and white Fetchings without looking like I'm too colourblind to co-ordinate myself. Right now I only have a red store bought hat with yellow and orange striping around the brim. People often look at me and wonder if I should be on the short bus what with all the crazy colours I'm wearing.

I'll play with the Noro right after I am finished making the Mr. his fingerless gloves and the hat for Kate. Those have to go in the mail pretty soon.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Not so Saturday Sky.

It's a picture of the sunset tonight (Friday night) instead of a picture of tomorrow's (Saturday's) sky. I will be too busy in the morning to write a post.

The Mr., Girly and I are taking a road trip. We need a break from here so we are heading out to the Metropolis of Kenora for the day. Where we will be dining on ordinary fare and visiting some of the same stores as are in Dryden but a bit bigger.

So why go, you ask? It is a beautiful drive and I will get to visit The Painted Sheep (no website) as well as a few other little shops that are not in Sioux and the Mr. will get an item he has had on raincheck at the Canadian Tire store in Dryden for nearly three months and probably won't get in for another three months. The store in Kenora has two in stock and will honour his raincheck. What's a raincheck, you ask? Well, when Canadian Tire has a sale, if they run out of stock, instead of turning away customers like other stores do, they give you a slip of paper signed and verified by a store employee that guarantees you that item at the sale price no matter when it comes in. Pretty nifty way of keeping customers happy. You can take the raincheck to any other Canadian Tire all across Canada and they will honour it too.

That leftover Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora from my Fetching was just enough for a square for Warming Grace. Cynthia is still collecting squares for blankets if anyone has a bit of leftover 100% natural fibre yarn and some time. Those strands are all that was left of the balls after I finished weaving in the ends. See that little strand of blue beside the darning needle? That was my cast off end. The long one was the cast on and I was praying I would have enough left to cast off and weave in.

If you are bored and need something interesting to do, the new issue of Yarnival is up and Lolly, Rhonda and Liz K. are all in it. There are some cool new-to-me blogs and I learned something from it too. How to use a Nostepinne. I am going to practice on the road tomorrow and I hope to be able to show off a nice centre-pull ball from my empty tin foil tube on Monday. Have a good weekend! I'll take as many pictures as I can on the road.

Lookee here!

My Fetchings are completely finished and this is all the yarn I have left. I started with about 1/2 - 1/3 of a ball of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in white...

...and one full ball of the Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in blue. I added two cables on the wrist for length, changed colours as I did the last cable and worked 17 rows in the white, adding the waste yarn on the 14th row and cabling while changing colours on the 18th row. I cabled one more time then worked 4 rows of the ribbing and cast off normally. For the thumbs, I picked stitches and worked two rows of white, changed to blue and worked 3 rows then cast off normally. The thumb colours meet up with the colour change on the hand and I am happy. The only thing I would do differently next time is to continue on with the purl row up the outside of the thumb so there isn't that break in the patterning. It isn't noticeable on the part where the thumb and palm meet so I would only change that one row.

The mailman brought me a nice package yesterday and in it were the final gifts from my Secret Pal Cate.

There were quite a few really nice gifts including some for Girly. The sheep was appropriated right after this picture. I have never tried Knitpicks (Wool of the Andes - carrot) before and I am really looking forward to working with it. The purple is Classic Elite's Monteza 50%Llama and 50%Wool. It feels beautiful. There were also a CD of Christmas music, some cute kleenex which went into Girly's knitting bag and some beautiful napkins as well as some treats. Crystallized ginger in dark chocolate. Really good! Some fruit jerky. Imagine a dried fruit treat that kids love, has a mere 9g of sugar per slice and no preservatives! Diabetic/Hypoglycemic/Careful Mommy heaven.

There were lots of stickers for Girly and a very cute greeting card (handmade?). The best gift of all though is the book. I didn't knit much more than the thumb on my second Fetching because I was so busy reading this book. "Knitting for Peace" by Betty Christiansen. If you don't have this book, go get it. It has an overview of all the charitable knitting groups (written in 2006), how they got started, how they expanded and took off and how they are doing today. It has stories of some of the people they have helped and how they are doing now. I couldn't put it down. This is the perfect book for me since charity knitting is something I am into and want to continue to do. There is contact information and mailing addresses for all the charities listed in the book so if I want to knit something for them, I won't need to try to find them first.

There was a fresh baked sugar cookie scented chapstick (mmm) and a very cool orange scented pencil with a shaft made entirely from recycled newspaper. How cool is that. The slogan on it is "Saving trees one pencil at a time." Want one for yourself? Check out Smencils to see them all.

Thank you Cate, everything is perfect and you have been a great pal. I feel very blessed to have been on the receiving end of your generosity and creativity.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I got some pretties yesterday.

The whole cabling without a needle thing really sped things up for me and made my second Fetching more of a pleasure than a chore. Although my CB4F is much tighter than my CB4B on the first mitt.

Yesterday the Mr. got me some of my favourite flowers. The colours are perfect and really brightened things up in here.
This one really makes me think of my Girls and now I don't miss them quite so much.

I like the soft fuzziness of the underside.

Girly got matching bears. One from the little Mr. and one from Grandma.

Since Gerbera Daisies don't mind being on the cool side and it was much warmer yesterday afternoon than it has been in a long time, (thanks for sending warm thoughts) I took my flowers outside for a photo shoot.

I like the sudden bright summer look against the cold white of the snow.