Wednesday, March 29, 2006

never say never

Well, I finished the necklace yesterday, and it's just gorgeous! I am truly amazed at how much I like it - I actually want one myself, and I am not really a necklace-wearing kind of gal...

not too hard, just a little finicky, but so worth it!

Am now knitting like a fiend to finish my son's socks, and the Wallabies which I started a while back for both of my boys - I thought it would be fun for them both to have something new to wear for the festivities - FUN????? WHAT WAS I THINKING??

This is where I'm at:

the socks still need 1/3 of the foot, heels and legs;Wallaby #1 needs a hood, and to have the ribbing cut off and replaced with one less "colourful" - although the kid picked this in the first place - amazing what happens to children's taste over the course of a few months while their projects languish in a bag in a corner of the room...Wallaby #2 needs a hood.

And I want to have them done for April 4.

Which is this Tuesday.

And like a fool, I will try my damnedest to get this all done, because I just don't know any better, and I love a challenge, and, um, I don't have any other reasons other than to do it - oh, I know, so I can start something for ME -

Thursday, March 23, 2006

creativity flows?

One of the things I love most about knitting is that there is always something new to learn - a new technique, or some neat new gadget, or type of yarn - always something to get the creative juices flowing, spark my curiousity-

so in this spirit, I decided to try my hand at knitting with beads and wire - a necklace for a friend's birthday next week - first-ever attempt of anything this, well, small...

I found myself in the wonderful position of having a rare committment-free day, so I gave myself the morning, because, really, how long could this take? String some beads on a wire, knit the beaded wire into a tube, attach the clasp and bob's your uncle... This half a finger length of knitting represents the better part of my day, and between us? I'm not sure how much I like it anyways... sigh

and this was only supposed to take the morning, because the afternoon was to be dedicated to socks for my youngest son's birthday in about 10 days, which I cast on yesterday, and figured will go more quickly done simaltaneously toe-up on two circ's:

so what have I learned?

  • Never underestimate the time needed for anything, because it will ALWAYS take longer (I know this from a lifetime of such experiences, but this ridiculous height-of-optimism attitude ALWAYS prevails).
  • Small projects are very hard on middle-aged, "on the cusp of needing reading glasses" eyes.
  • Small beads are easily dropped, thus providing dogs with hours of search-and-destroy activity time.
  • Dropped beads are not easily retrieved, either by middle-aged, weak-eyed, starting-to-get-cranky women or aforementioned dogs.
  • Barefoot children will eventually find the beads stuck between their toes, rendering them useless, but again, worthy of much amusement.

So, the flow of creativity? Oh, it's still there, and yes, I WILL finish this sucker - there may be a few less sparkles in the wire than in the original design, but oh, yes, it will be done...

Monday, March 20, 2006

decisions, decisions...

My printer died yesterday - no reason - nothing changed - zip, zilch, nada - and yet, it died... and one of those smug computer-type guys informed me, with a knowing little smirk, that it would be more cost-efficient to buy a new one than to repair this one - more cost-efficient to whom, exactly?? So now I must research, because that is what I do - I can't just run into Best Buy all willy-nilly and grab the first thing I see - oh, no, I have to read, check Consumer Reports, and recheck my findings before investing -

because I think I'm - a little anal -

so there's that...

I just realized that I have no socks on the needles - and my ever-burgeoning collection of striped, patterned, bright, coloured, happy sock yarns is calling me -

so I settled on this Opal yarn, 'Parrot' colourway, and prepared myself to succumb to the call of the Jaywalker pattern...

and then the mailman came by and dropped off a package from Blue Moon Fiber Arts - oh, yippee, the "Socks that Rock" yarn that I read about (woe to she who surfs the net in the wee hours with glass of wine in hand and credit card at the ready)!!

The yarn was still cold from being in the truck as I wound it into balls - which are, of course, uneven, because I just can't seem to eyeball it well - and cast on with 2.25mm needles ( also known as toothpicks) -

oh, just look at those colours - "Cobblestone Country" colourway - could they be more spring-ey? So that's a definite plus... although there is that slight twinge of guilt as I think, I could be making socks for my son who turns 10 in 2 weeks - and I still might -

and I have a beads-and-wire necklace kit from Addi to make for a friend's birthday in - whoa, 9 days!!! - so there's that niggle, too -

but these I can work on while waiting at my computer for pictures to load - and at the dentist's tomorrow - and at the chiropractor's later this week - so guilt begone!! It will all be done in good time...

and now, the printer - sigh

Friday, March 17, 2006

March Break / Happy St. Pat's Day...

Ah, yes, St. Patrick's Day... always brings to mind my mother, trying to make things more festive for us - I remember green milk, green Nestle's Quik (does not work), and my personal favourite, green oatmeal...

Took my young men to the Americana, a hotel / indoor waterpark in Niagara Falls, for the first half of this week, and I am still recuperating! This aging thing just blows...

Anyhow, much time was spent watersliding, and wave pooling, and wax museum-ing and Hershey outlet-ing, and in the midst of it all I managed to finish these:

While I love the look of them, I have to say that they are less clingy than I like, which I don't get - same # sts and same 2.5mm dpns as always, Regia Ringel - and I am not sure I like the toe - I used Priscilla Gibson Roberts' "Dream Socks" pattern, from an old Interweave Knits issue. I've used it before, and loved it, so I'm not sure what's different here - rather than grafting the two toe ends together, this method makes a longer piece coming up from the back over the front, then uses a zigzag cast off to make them look more like machine knit socks. Maybe they just need washing or something...

spent all of this morning in a Milton courthouse hoping to resolve something which was, of course, not resolved - fortunately, I had brought my knitting, and while I was working away, a gentleman asked if he could sit near me, as my knitting was calming him down...

thought maybe I should offer my services for cha-ching - I could be a permanent fixture there, just doing my bit to keep people calm... how rewarding!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

FO Central

It may just be post-Olympic energy or something - or I may be avoiding the sweater-which-must-be-significantly-ripped-back - but I have become a finishing machine!

I had a pair of socks - very nice, Rovings silk/polwarth yarn, interesting ribbed pattern - which have been languishing for over a year now, and I decided to finish them as a birthday gift for my friend. I did end up ripping back 4 rows to figure out the ribbing because I couldn't find the pattern (although I know where it was for the longest time, until I CLEANED UP) and managed to pick it up without a hitch. I remembered quickly why they had been shelved - I was using two 2.5mm circ's, and they KILLED my fingertips -- I am bruised and battered as I type.

But I persevered:
and then, as previously posted, decided to felt a "Booga Bag" using 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon - unfortunately, during the felting process my washing machine decided to spring a leak, so it was not quite as felty as it should have been - nevertheless, used as a gift bag with the socks tucked inside, it was quite lovely:

Yeah, the handles are a little short, but as a gift bag, it worked nicely!

And so, in my ongoing quest of avoidance, I am working on the Wonderful Wallabies for my sons which were started in October, and miraculously still appear to be the right size - just had to lengthen the bodies a bit. My youngest has decided he no longer likes the corrugated ribbing we had worked out:

so I will snip it off and knit a new, plain ribbing down after everything else is done -

have I ripped out anything more on my big beautiful sweater?

No, I have not.

So there you go - Kelly, you in particular - all updated... for now

Friday, March 03, 2006

Need I say more?

(Except that I tried to put this into my sidebar and can't for the life of me figure it out) - but otherwise...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You are looking at one of my favourite sweaters of all time: to-die-for-cuddly Morehouse Merino, deep neck which looks great over turtlenecks and t-shirts (oh, and it's a V-neck, so I stand corrected, I have done them before, but not without a pattern), which I put on this morning only to discover A HOLE - yes, you are looking at a HOLE

- and I don't recall ever having A HOLE in a sweater before - that's what my cedar-lined cabinet is for...

in theory, easy to repair...

Ha! This winter, one of my projects has been to try to bring some sense of organization to this:
and it's obviously gone well - one element of my weak organizational attempt has been to clear out yarns that I will never use, and all those fiddly little tidbits that hang around from projects that you think would be great all put together in a blanket or something, but you never get around to making it because you are always buying more new yarn which will leave more fiddly tidbits -

and please note, this has been my first ever major yarn purge, and I have been feeling proud and cleansed...

so what do you suppose went out with all the fiddly tidbits???

Natch! The one time I get A HOLE concides nicely with the one time I clear out tidbits I could have actually USED! And you know, I can picture exactly where these ones were for the longest time - and they're not easy to replicate, one thick strand of black, a lace-weight one of white

Lesson learned? Keep everything, always, no matter how small, and no matter how many bins or storage units or separate residences need to be maintained for storage...