Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Beyond Primal

You know that place where you're sort of beyond feeling anything really? The point just after frustration but before hysterical laughter breaks out? I think if you knit long enough, you'll eventually reach this place. I did this evening. I've been working on my friend's cabled cardy. I have the back done and had (plz2bnoting past tense) the front left side and half of the right front side done. After finishing the front LH side, I realized that the incs and decs for the waist shaping were off, despite constant measurements. I considered frogging, but thought I'd block first because that might solve the problem (since the back is blocked). I did and they were still off. I also found a mistake which meant I was going to have to frog a third of it anyway. Still, I thought I might get away with the incs and decs.

Living in the wonderful world of denial, I cast on the front RH side and it was all going wonderfully well. I'd even remembered to do the buttonholes! Yet I was worried about those incs and decs. I thought I'd just count rows on the back and do it that way and then maybe I could get away with being a couple of rows off on the one side. As I was knitting along this evening, I forgot to do the upper decs for the cardy split and had to tink a row or two. Then I suddenly realized that I was decreasing when I should have been increasing. I'd have to rip back a few inches. Did that and started knitting again when I again very suddenly realized that there was another problem: I'd decreased on both sides of the front (as on the back) when I should have been decreasing just on the one side. Remedy? Frog the whole thing and start over. Fortunately, I was so worried about the incs and decs that were off, that it didn't really bother me. I figured it was the sign I needed to go back and correct it all. So that's what I'm doing. Good thing it's a fairly quick knit. I really do need to learn to pay more attention though. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.

Thank heavens for ball winders. Without mine, I'd have a sore arm this evening.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Clasps For Happiness

My new clasps from Etsy arrived and I love them. Although they are a bit heavier, both physically and visually, than the last clasps I had on them, I think they are in keeping with the sweater and work well. They really are much better at keeping the sweater closed. I didn’t have it on for long, but move and jostle as I like, they did not come undone. I think they also my work better for washing and the like since I can hook them together when I’m not wearing the sweater, which will prevent the hooks from getting caught in the knitting like the others did. All in all, I’m pretty happy with them. Etsy really is a saviour.

I also got the wool to finish my Gingerbread Hat which I’d started with the last ball of the Miro yarn I used for the Waves Scarf. One skein wasn’t enough, so I’d had to order more. It arrived promptly and even though it’s not the same dye lot as the other, I finished the hat and am happy with it. As we haven’t had any, I haven’t been able to look closely at it in the sun, but I can’t spot the changeover inside. I also doubt I’ll be wearing it much when the sun is shining, so I won’t fret over that even if I can see it. I love this hat. I think it’s cute, yet not too cute and it’s really comfy. It’s destined to become another of my favourites.

Speaking of wearing hats, the temperature has risen here. It had been in the teens to single digits in the night with highs in the lower 20s (F), and now it’s risen again to mid to upper 20s at night to around freezing during the day. The difference is so marked that it feels quite warm out now. No need for those hats and long undies anymore. Scarves, yes, but only because you can adjust them. Frankly, I’m hoping the temperature dips again because, A – it’s winter and it should be cold, B – a cold winter makes you appreciate spring and summer more and C – I want to be able to wear my hand knits thank you very much. I may just have to move to Canada after all.

I also owe an apology to the road services here. I was thinking they either weren’t doing their jobs and/or that the government decided that they would move us to use public transport by not ploughing and salting the roads. I learned today, however, that salt doesn’t work when the temperature drops below -8°C (18°F) so that would explain the lack of melt. All in all, I think this may be a good thing. Until now, driving has been easier since the roads were really too snowy to ice over. Snow is OK to drive on, ice isn’t. I suppose now that it’s warming, the number of accidents will be on the rise. I just hope I’m not one of them. I have to make a dog food run tomorrow, which means more driving than I usually do. I’ll drive carefully, but there are enough idiots out there who don’t. That’s why I’ll try and spend most of the rest of the weekend at home working on the cabled cardy for my friend. I’m enjoying knitting this one as much as I enjoyed the last one. It’s pretty and interesting to knit, but still goes quite quickly and I’m making noticeable progress. It would be brilliant if I had it done by the end of the month. I still have my Byzantine Bazic to knit after all, and I don’t want to be doing that one in summer!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


I’m finally fully back and up and running after my vacation. I’ve uploaded my pictures and am now ready to blog again.

Oh wait, you weren’t expecting vacation pictures were you? Sorry, my vacations aren’t really picture worthy for the most part. I have a few of friends, but I don’t like to post pictures of other people I know because it’s their face and not mine I’m plastering on the net. It’s not polite imho. So, my pictures are mostly of the knitting variety.

There’s my Waves Scarf, or Scarf of Non-Doom:

which I just finished for myself. A note on this scarf, it’s lovely. I adore it. It’s soft and fluffy and cosy to wear, if a bit self-indulgent. It’s a bit like making shortbread. You dump in a decadent amount of creamy, wonderful butter to get really good shortbread; with this scarf, you dump in a decadent amount of lovely, soft yarn to get a wonderful scarf. It also needs to be said that although it’s a simple pattern, knitting it is not. It’s a 24 stitch cable which is virtually impossible to knit (unless you’re the better knitter than I am). Had it not been for my Options, I would never have finished it. The cable gets too tight to knit, forcing you to either ruin your hands for life, or become really creative. In order not to ruin my hands, I sort of adapted the Magic Loop method of knitting by pulling the needle and cable through so I could continue knitting the rest of the cable in relative comfort. Then, when the stitches were too tight on the next round, I swapped the needle with the stitches on it for a smaller size making it easier to get the stitches off the cable and back onto the needle. The trick is to remember to swap that needle back before knitting the next row at the wrong gauge. We just won’t go into that, no? The end result is an impractical scarf that I love to wear to work or anywhere where its bulk won’t get in the way (I do take it off at work, just in case you were wondering).

Next is the reason I didn’t finish the Scarf of Non-Doom earlier. I knew the neighbour (a US “neighbour”) was having a baby, I knew this. I was told. However, it didn’t register until it was there and I needed knitwear asap. This baby is in California, so it had to be cotton and since it is a she, it “had” to be pink. The result of which is that I dropped the scarf and knit The Pink Baby Blanket of OMG Most People Will Think It’s Really Cute Because It’s Pink variety.

The Pattern in the Arabesque Baby Blanket and it’s knit in Sugar n’ Cream Cotton yarn, colour Strawberry.

Then before Christmas I knit the following as Secret Santa Presents:
The Cherry Leaf Scarf for a person in Costa Rica (so it had to be cotton lace, Baby Soft by Bernetta Wolle):

and a couple of Cabled Ornaments:

And a Christmas Scene dishcloth that never actually made it to the recipient because I am silly.

I think I might do a couple of those as random presents for next year. It’s the sort of things that’s inexpensive, quickly finished, is functional and still says I cared enough to put in a bit of effort.

There’s also the last hat I knit for my aunt so she always has one even if she loses one again.

The pattern in the Coronet Hat knit in Bernetta Wolle Speedy. I think she likes the lace one better, but was happy to have this one too.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a picture of the lemons that lived behind my vacation villa (aka my aunt’s and uncle’s vacation trailer). They actually didn’t live there very long. These very lemons became a really nice lemon meringue.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Ode to Etsy

When you're having trouble finding something you need for your projects, check Etsy. Even though it can be more expensive, you get what you want, they're almost all willing to send internationally and they have some beautiful things. What brings this on you ask? Well, as much as I loved the clasps
I bought for my Arwen sweater, they just don't stay clasped when the sweater is on. It's annoying and pointless. I had found some in the States I liked, but they only had 2 and I need three. Their loss. I just purchased these as a replacement. They're perfect and the seller believes they should stay closed since they have long pegs for the holes. Yay! I can't wait to get them now.

I should add that I really, really love the sweater. It's comfortable and warm and I'm really glad to have it right now what with all the cold weather, snow etc. It's also helped me discover something. Wool only itches when it's too warm to wear it. When the temp is right, you don't feel a thing (and don't anyone go bursting my bubble on this one thanks very much. I'm going to go on believing this even if you say it's codswallop.)