Monday, February 27, 2006

the road to good intentions

is paved with new, colourful skeins of yarn, and NOT with sweaters requiring frogging -

so, I did start ripping out my beautiful big sweater - yesterday afternoon, found the sunny spot on the couch, grabbed a beer, and plugged in Stephen King's 'Cell' - and I ripped slowly, painfully - but I stuck with it for a good 20 minutes or so, then did laundry, swept the floor, walked the dogs, had dinner and that just killed the whole thing -

after a hot soak, I felt I could continue - but then I remembered that my good friend next door has a birthday coming up, and I need to finish the pair of socks I started for her, and wouldn't it be fun to make her a felted gift bag for her socks - and I have 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon for just this purpose, and I like felting, and it really shouldn't take too long to make, and I can resume frogging while it blocks - although I guess I will have to finish her socks at that point -

but I seem to have lost the pattern for the socks - it's a four row repeat, but I can't remember where the purls and knits go, and I am NOT going to frog back a few rows to figure it out -

or maybe I'll have to - so I guess either way there wil be ripping and rending involved...

but first we felt :>))

Sunday, February 26, 2006

gold medal pour moi!!

Finished! Done! YAY!!! Tucked in my last end at 4:15 yesterday afternoon! The cashmere V-neck is done but for the washing and blocking, and, in my humble opinion, looks really good! Have to say, the neckline was challenging - I think that's the first V-neck I've done - or at least, paid attention - to in my 35 years of knitting , probably because I wasn't following a pattern, and so was out of my comfort zone --

I had to rip it out twice because I didn't pay attention to the centre front stitches while decreasing at the point, but once I got that figured out, it came together nicely -

so big WHEW!

The kids are another story - I think it's because they actually have lives, and so have had less time to devote to their Olympian projects - but they have assured me they will finish their scarves eventually, and really, I am just so proud of them for wanting to try. I have my mental snapshots to keep - the three of us curled up on the couch, feet entwined on the footstool, watching Wallance and Gromit and knitting; my older son waking up early to knit in bed; reading Roald Dahl books to them while they both knit -

so really, gold medals to the three of us!

and today, as previously posted, I will start to undo my big cuddly sweater to figure out how I ended up with 40 more stitches at the back neck than the front - oh sure, I know what I'm doing...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Knit, Canada, Knit!

I am Olympic-obsessed at this point - every chance I get the TV is on - and it's never on during the day - and I knit maniacally while I cheer our athletes on -

my cashmere sweater is looking promising - I just attached the sleeves to the body, and have started the raglan shaping for the shoulders - should be well into the V-neck by tomorrow (she types hopefully) -

meanwhile, my house is shamefully neglected - my dust dinosaurs have developed personalities and are talking amongst themselves, and I have learned that neither the dishes nor the dirty clothes will wash themselves, no matter what form of persuasion I employ - on the plus side, they will all still be waiting for me tomorrow, so it's really no big deal to leave them a little longer...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Recent life lessons learned:

* always put your lipstick on after you brush your teeth, because it's not humanly possible to peel your lips back far enough to avoid smearing it all over your toothbrush.

* never put your purse on the floor beside a space heater, or the aforementioned lipstick will melt, effectively remedying the first point.

* and never, EVER get cocky about how long you've been knitting, or how good you think you are, because the knitting gods will smack you upside the head before you know it.
Case in point:

pre-Olympics, I was working on a beautiful sweater from Interweave Knits, brioche stitch in the round - tricky but not too - plugging along, attaching sleeves, decreasing at the neck and shoulders, feeling pretty good about the whole thing as it had been just over a week's knitting - I did my final stitch count before finishing the mock turtle neck, and counted 9 stitches between the markers at each sleeve, 12 at the front neck, and 51 at the back - just the right shaping for Quasimodo, should he need a sweater --

and of course, the pattern is a bugger to frog because of the yarnovers - so, I shall complete my Knitting Olympics project, which is coming along, and try to force myself to fix this one. I have witnesses now, so hopefully that will help with the incentive -

or not...

I consider myself smacked...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


As I toil away - I mean, knit happily away on my Knitting Olympics project - 9 3/4" of a 16" body done as of last night, and it looks very nice in the cashmere - I found my mind wandering ahead to my next project, and I was reminded of my former DH -

years ago he watched with incredulity as I finished a project, gloated over it and fondled it for a bit, then put it aside and started the next one. His comment was, "Can't you just be DONE? Do you always have to be knitting something else? Can't you just finish and STOP?"

This compared to my father, who thinks that my mother has been working on the same sweater for the past 20 years, and seems quite content with the situation...

of course, he hasn't seen the packages, boxes and bags being delivered to my home in her name...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

fresh meat...

About a month ago, I helped one of my best friends rekindle her long-dormant knitting skills - she had seen a afghan she liked and I looked at it, figured out the pattern ( an easy K2 P3), and told her she could save big cha-ching by knitting it herself -

so she did! Took her two weeks and she now has this gorgeous fluffy ivory afghan, which her husband keeps pretending to spill messy things on rather than just come out and tell her he's proud of her -

so the bug has taken hold, and it's changing her, slowly and insidiously -

we had to (well, that makes it sound like she forced me - I couldn't get the car out of the driveway fast enough!) go yarn shopping last Saturday because she had decided to make another similar afghan for a friend's birthday -

on Monday

and she did it again!!! Gave her friend the afghan, complete with fringe, on Monday morning, and when I saw her later in the day, she mused that perhaps she had killed the bug that was just starting to grow -

wrong - she got home from work yesterday and has now completed about 12" of a scarf for herself - absolutely warms my heart, although now I'll have to think of something else for her birthday rather than the scarf I was going to make -

maybe a gift certificate? Or even better, a day out yarn shopping in Toronto... by Jove, I think I've got it!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics!

The boys and I cast on yesterday around 4, once everyone had returned from school and been snacked and watered. Both boys knit their little hands off, from 4 till about 9:30 with only a stop for pizza, and both have about 6 - 8" done on their scarves - way to go, guys!!

I know I am giving them a valuable gift - sure, they didn't do any homework yesterday - and no, there was no reading - and we proudly declared the TV room a "vegetable-free zone" for the evening - but they were KNITTING, so the rest is inconsequential...

In the course of our evening, we were chatting about angora bunnies, and I was explaining (poorly, apparently) that the fur is taken from the bunnies in clumps, and then spun into yarn. Don't recall my exact wording, but Ben exclaimed in horror, "You spin the BUNNIES??!". Makes for an interesting image, doesn't it?

Other observations:
* no matter how much yarn you pull out for a long-tailed cast-on, it will not be enough, and it will not be enough by only 4 - 5 stitches.
* Re-knitting the last few stitches very, very tightly will not result in more yarn.
* Yarn made up from 5 separate, small strands is probably not the best choice for deadline knitting, even if it is cashmere. Very difficult to knit without looking, because very difficult to knit without splitting.
* My eyes no longer seem to enjoy moving from close work to the TV screen, and I sense the "B"* word is looming.

* That would be 'bifocals' - hard to even write it...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

equal opportunity bragging

Wanted to include my older son, Tanner, who made a scarf last year - his first official finished piece of knitting. It was beautiful in its imperfection, and he was completely pleased with himself. He chose to give it to his grade 5 teacher as her end of year gift, and fortunately, she is craft-minded, so it was well-received.

I asked recently if she still had it, and she said that she has had it displayed on her mantle with her other ' precious objects' - so nice to know one's work is appreciated, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Out of Sadness comes... Knitting

We lost our two year old bunny, Belle yesterday. She has had a myriad of health problems, right from the get-go, but in spite of them was the most sweet-natured, cuddly, affectionate little thing I've ever come across.

Technically, she was my 9 year old son's pet, so he took the news particularly hard. Last night was a sad, quiet one for us.

Today, after school, I told both of my boys about the Knitting Olympics, and they both said they wanted to sign up for it, too. Then my 9 year old, Ben, said he should probably finish his first project before starting the next (no, he does NOT get that from me) - so he did, and is now very proud and excited to have a hat to wear that he made himself!! What a lift for his spirits! Knitting to the rescue yet again...