Friday, 30 January 2009

Another Non-Update

I wish I were more like the Yarn Harlot and had more to say about my knitting, unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of having a job and a life that consists of knitting, knitting people, fibre, and books, so I have a lot less material to work with. Since I haven't found a way to type and knit at the same time yet, I can't plead to take my knitting to work with me.

I'm still working on my Winter Branches sweater. It's a lot further along than the pictures, but the weathers horrid (cold, grey and no snow), so new pictures with decent light are out of the question. I'm hoping to finish it this weekend, or maybe early next week.

I have a question for you more experienced knitters: Is there a great advantage to blocking sweater parts before sewing them together? I've only ever knit a sweater in the round where blocking the pieces was out of the question. It seems to me though that if one sews the pieces together and matches up the bits (like incs and decs with each other) it should come out all right without blocking. I'm hoping you all say this is so because I have no blocking board and nowhere to leave two sleeves and a front and back for a couple of days while they dry. With T in the house, that's just begging to have at least part of it eaten.

Speaking of which, there are very few things in this country that can be purchased inexpensively. One of them is fortunately yarn. I managed to rewind the several balls of wool which T tried to eat and was happily knitting along when I got to a fresh, non-eaten ball of wool when the yarn end hit the fan. OK, it didn't actually hit the fan, but it might as well have. They're centre pulls, only the centre doesn't always want to be pulled. I tried to get it out properly for a while, but when that didn't work, I resigned myself to yarn barf. I pulled out the whole center, searched for several min. turning what could now only be termed a blob of wool this way and that, only to find that the end was inexplicably hiding somewhere in the outer portion of the yarn. I finally found it, but by this time it was running through several blob layers, none of which seemed to make any sense at all. It was like they had given the wool to T to play with before taking it back and wrapping the outer layer around the blobs to make it look good. 20 min. later, I looked at the wool, realized that it was going to take me at least another hour to get it unraveled, considered that I have at least 6 balls too many for the sweater, and realized that at $3 a ball (or $3 an hour for the very unsatisfying and frustrating job of unraveling a blob of wool), it just wasn't worth it. It took a minute, but I finally managed to part myself from the blob by depositing it in the trash - and then promptly ensuring that T cannot get a hold of it. I have no desire to have to even explain to a vet how he could possibly get 120 yards of merino wool into his intestines. It's gone. I feel horrible for the waste, but it really just wasn't worth it. Really. It wasn't. And maybe if I tell myself that 100 times, I might actually start to believe it.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Mitts, Jumpers and Weather

Recently, The Mary Lou from the Yarnerinas allowed me to test knit a mitt pattern for her. The pattern is Tendrils Rib Mitts and should be available to the public soon. It’s an easy to knit pattern but is lively enough not to be boring and the results are fantastic. I used a worsted weight merino blend called Sportival from Bernetta Wolle in a grey-blue colour. They are just perfect for me and I love them. I apologize for the poor picture quality. Good light in winter is rare.

Before I knit those, I finished my Linden. I’ve been putting off blogging about it because it’s another one of those things that didn’t turn out as I planned. The yarn I chose really has too little bulk and too little drape to suit the pattern. I also knit it a little too small, despite having knit, washed and dried a gauge swatch like a good little knitter. The result is really that I won’t wear it. I might be able to gift it to someone for Christmas though, so it won’t be a total loss. I’d like to reknit this sweater with a different yarn at some time in the future. Maybe for next fall in a tweedy wool.

I’ve now started on my Winter Branches jumper. I like the shape of this sweater and the simple design. It’s a knit/purl design, so nothing fancy. It will take me a while to finish though since I’m using a sport weight yarn and there are a lot of stitches to do. I also swatched this one, but it’s already a bit smaller than it should be. I hope contact with water changes this. It might do. Enough of my projects have, but then, that’s always when I don’t want them to…

I’m also still itching to get started with my Kettle Dyed sock yarn - it must be the jay kettle colourway. I keep changing my mind about the pattern I want to do, so I haven’t even started yet. I suppose it’s better this way as I already have two other pairs of socks on the needles.

Finally, in non-knitting news, our wonderful polar air has receeded and left us with too warm weather again. For the first time in over three weeks it’s gotten to thawing temps outside. I’m not a happy bunny. Someone please send us some more of that nice, freezing polar air and maybe a little snow. There’s only two or three months of winter left and I’d like to make the most of it while it lasts.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Actual Knitting Update

Just when you thought I had stopped knitting…

I never did really. I just haven’t been blogging about it for one reason or another. Much of my non-blogging has been because much of my knitting was going for presents. In light of which, I will now update you on the presents given and how they were received:

Remember the Cat’s Paw Shawl?

It was apparently worn simultaneously with the new frilly tutus and ballet skirts my cousinette received for Christmas. One could just not decide on one or the other, so both did just as well. I have no pictures of this event as of yet.

Then there was the Eris, which was beautiful, as long as it wasn’t worn:

This was apparently also a hit. My aunt’s body shape must be totally different from mine because aside from feeling that it was a little big, she said it was fine and she loved it. Also no pics as of yet.

Then there were several pairs of socks, all of which were received with joy and then promptly hidden away so that no one else “accidentally” wound up with them. Fortunately, there was no fighting, just much praise (at least that’s what they said). These are the ones I haven't blogged about methinks. Both are from the Journey Cable Pattern:

We also finally convinced my grandmother that yes, she really should actually wear the socks I knit for her because A: I did not spend hours knitting them so they could sit in a drawer for the rest of her life, B: I can and will knit more for her and C: She deserves pampering. So yes, she is finally wearing them. Yay! She also loves the Northern Star Shawl, although I did desist from sending her the matching tam (also to be used as a toilette seat cover). Since you've seen all of these things before (my grandmother and computers don't mix, so I can blog freely about her gifts), I won't plague you with pictures again.

Then there were the pink Journey Cable cashmere socks for Thepinksheep. I won the yarn from Karoline Knits and knew when I got it that it would be perfect for my friend. They were. She says she loves them, and frankly, I just don’t see how she couldn’t. I would have worried about her had she not done. The day Thepinksheep goes off pink cashmere is the day we all need to start worrying about the end of the world coming.

Then there was the set I did last autumn for Inkysticks and never blogged about. I know for a fact she liked the gloves (for which I still have no picture) because I personally witnessed her wearing them non-stop on my trip to England.

Finally, there was the Autumn Creek Cowl I did for my secret santa person. She was also happy with it and says it goes with her ski outfit. I’m particularly glad about this since I was uncertain about the colour. The pattern, – is from Knitplaywithfire and I believe it’s called the Rock Creek Cowl and will publish the exact details here when she’s published it - on the other hand, was a dead cert. I love that pattern and may one day do one for me.

So, once again it was a successful knitting season with every one happy about what they got and hinting that they would not be adverse to more. After having heard all of the horror stories about knitting things for ungrateful recipients, I feel quite lucky to have an entire family and many friends who love hand knit items, right down to the 7 year olds.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

More Non-Knitting Updates

Snow. We gots it.

Knee deep in some places, but mostly just ankle/mid-shin. This is enough when you have to walk your dogs in it. I didn't get the car out to go for an actual walk this morning. I was too afraid the plough guys were still in bed and I'd wind up stuck, so I was going to just go out for a few min. and wait until lunch. Then we got outside and the dogs loved it. It was all nice and sunny and lovely and snowy so we went for a, um, walk/work out down to the lake. Seriously, walking through fresh snow is not all it's cracked up to be in films. The next time you see one of those lovely scenes where people are traipsing through fresh fallen snow in the movies, know they must be wearing snow shoes because there's no way they could possibly look that elegant while slogging through a foot of new snow. No. It's just not going to happen. So anyway, despite being in full possession of such knowledge, we go traipsing down to the lake. The route that normally takes 20 min. took over an hour. Granted, I had to stop a few times because my tendons were in an uncooperative mood, but still, it took ages to get down and back up again. I actually had to shower when I got back in. Good work out. Dogs are now snoozing and I can sit back for the rest of the day and feel accomplished. OK, I can feel accomplished until this afternoon when I have to go back out into it.

So, just so y'all can share in the loveliness of new fallen snow on a nice, sunny day, I took some pictures. Unfortunately the ones with the dogs sunk to their knees in the snow were no good. I had to get them under a tree where there wasn't so much, but you can still see the loveliness of it all.


Tree from Balcony



The Lake Covered in Snow

House from Field (I live in the one on the left)