Friday, December 30, 2005

Moebius Fun

It's not the new year quite yet. Technically, New Year's resolutions don't kick in until the new year arrives, right? With that in mind, and Cat Bordhi's book in front of me, I did this yesterday...

What fun! I started it at the store yesterday, before it got too busy to sit and knit, and finished it last night. By this morning, it was dry (I set it on a register). I love it! Now, I'm trying to decide whether or not it needs a mate. What do you think?

It's not very big, as you can see by the size of the needles, so it will never grace the feet of anyone. It's pure whimsy. Nothing more. Two of them together might be kind of fun, especially with a small vase inside each and a few sprigs of floral blossoms in the spring... some knitting needles in each... hmmm... could be fun, yes?

I used one ball of yarn of Lopi for the body of the sock and a contrasting ball for the trim. I bought two balls of the main colour, so I have plenty. Or I could do a second sock opposite the first, the contrast colour for the body and the main colour as the contrast. Your opinions are valued and appreciated. Let me know what you think.

In other knitting, the last of the reversible hats is nearly done. I'm hoping to finish it today; then I'll wash all four of the hats and get them ready to mail out to the grandkids. That's part of my plan for today. I need to go through a couple of recipe books I took out of the library and copy out a few recipes. I've also promised my daughter I'd send her some new recipes to try. Since she had her daughter a year and a half ago, she's become quite domestic. I'm continually amazed by her. She's turning into a good woman. I'm proud of her.

Incidentally, I took Guinevere to the store yesterday. It's there as a display piece until I decide what to do with it. I did block it and it got a little bigger, but is still on the small side for me (and I'm not a large person). I'll probably leave it there until I find the right person to gift it to.

I doubt that I'll be doing much blogging over the next couple of days, so allow me to take this opportunity to wish all of you who read this blog a happy and prosperous 2006. May it be all you hope for and more.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another Two FO's

You read that right. Two more finished objects.

Guinevere is done, off the needles. She's lovely, but.... I'm disappointed in how small this wrap really is. From looking at the picture, I would have assumed you could easily wrap her around your shoulders, right? Well, she does wrap around the shoulders, but just barely. In order to keep her in place, you'd need a pin of some kind.

I messed up the 3-needle bind-off. How does one mess up something as simple as a 3-needle bind-off, you ask? Well, think black; think late evening; think more tired than I care to admit..... it all went well. It really did. Until the last stitch, the final loop. I pulled the loop up, cut my tail and was about to weave the tail through that final loop... so far, so good. The loop had disappeared. I thought I caught it, bound it off, wove in the end, held up the wrap and saw....... a hole....... the cast off had undone itself for about 6 stitches without my noticing it. I did try to repair it, but succeeded in missing all the live stitches, so I put it back in my knitting basket until this morning, when I rescued the dropped stitches and crocheted it all together. It looks ok, but not perfect. She is now soaking in preparation for blocking. Maybe that will help with the size. I'll let you know. In the meantime, here she is....

Then, the second FO. A bit of background first.. I love my baths. Bubble baths. And while I'm luxuriating in said bubble bath, I like to peruse a knitting book or two. The other night, one of the two books accompanying me was Cat Bordhi's "Treasury of Magical Knitting". I was inspired.

The book and my set of Denise needles came with me to the store yesterday, where I picked out two balls of Debbie Bliss' Soho yarn. I cast on for her Reversible Lotus Blossom hat. I finished it last night. It was a fun knit and the hat turned out really nice. I love it! I might even actually wear it (how's that for bad grammar?)! See for yourself.

(right side out)

(inside out)

Now, I'm really wanting to knit more projects incorporating Cat's moebius method. However, I've made an early New Year's resolution. I will not start any new projects until all the projects I have on the needles are off the needles.

To that end, I've taken one project off the needles. Do you remember that I started the Feathery Stole from Exquisite Little Knits? Well, this morning, I took it off the needles. I must have been really tired when I worked on it last as there were a number of errors. I tried to repair them, but........ *sigh* The yarn is now back in my stash, waiting patiently to become that "perfect" project. For now, I'll be working on the last of the four reversible hats (I told the kids they'd be getting them, but not necessarily in time for Christmas... the grandkids get enough from the rest of the family, any way) and my Donegal Tweed cardigan.

Back to the knitting. I intend to finish one more project this year.. the last of the reversible hats.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Christmas Wish

To all my friends, whether I've met you in person or in cyberspace....

Saturday, December 24, 2005

December 24

Christmas Eve.

The plan is.. we're having a nice, quiet, just-the-two-of-us Christmas. If the weather co-operates, we'll make up a thermos of hot chocolate, spiked, of course, with Bailey's and take it down to the beach where we'll start a bonfire. No marshmallows, thanks. If any of the neighbours would like to, they are more than welcome to bring their own libations and join us.

Then, tomorrow, we'll make our own Christmas dinner. There's a free range chicken thawing in the garage. I'm not sure just what we'll have with it yet, but there are plenty of options. And John DID buy a ton of brussel sprouts... love those done with just some butter (ok, lots of butter) and a dash of nutmeg.

On to knitting. I do have a project on the go and for once, I'm working only on that project. It's close enough to being finished that I can taste it. Guinevere (from Interweave's Wrap Style) is a fairly easy knit (if you follow directions well.. seems I don't do too well on that front at times... oh well). I've done the body of the wrap and am now working on the ruffle; I've knitted about one inch so far and it needs to be five inches. They're done separately and then you perform a 3-needle bind off to join the two pieces.

Black just does NOT photograph well. That black blob is the body of the wrap.
It's better in real life, trust me.

I think I've mentioned that I'm knitting this one with two yarns held together, right? That would be Skacel's Merino Lace and Crystal Palace's Kid Merino. In total, this project costs about $45 (cdn). Not bad, really.

Now, to finish this post, I leave you with an email I received from my good friend, Diane. Talk about politically correct....

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all...and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada great (not to imply that Canada is necessarily greater than any other country ), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, or sexual orientation of the wishee.

This wish is limited to the customary and usual good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. "Holiday" is not intended to, nor shall it be considered, limited to the usual Judeo-Christian celebrations or observances, or to such activities of any organized or ad hoc religious community, group, individual or belief (or lack thereof).

Note: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. This greeting is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. This greeting implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for the wishee her/himself or others, or responsibility for the consequences which may arise from the implementation or non-implementation of same. This greeting is void where prohibited by law.

Wishing you all a Blessed, Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Of Mice and Men

How many mice qualify as an infestation? As of midnight last night, we caught five of them in twenty-four hours and have cleaned out the pantry closet (and all containers) thoroughly with soapy water and bleach, threw out some dry goods that had been obviously targeted and some we weren't sure of. Hopefully, we won't catch any more.

We've been keeping the mousetraps loaded and will be watching them and the closets for the next weeks.

In the meantime, I've been working on the Opal socks.

Not much difference in these two, is there? I'm quite impressed. Obviously, this is after I had finished the second sock, minus the heel. Before long, the socks looked like this...

They started out as almost identical socks, but ended up as fraternals. I don't mind that at all. I debated whether or not to go for identical and decided I wasn't going to bother. I have no problem with fraternal socks.

The details?

Yarn: Opal Rodeo Colour #1156, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
Needles: 2.25 mm double pointed needles
64 stitches, 1x1 rib for 1", then 3x1 rib for leg (6") and instep. Standard toe and afterthought heel. Any other questions?

I like the yarn; I like the colours; I'd use it again. Now, on with Guinevere... and the other Regia Cotton sock... and... well, you get the picture.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Caution: Little or No Knitting Content

Other than to say that I'm working on the second Opal sock, and that I've passed the opening for the heel, there's no knitting content today.

I just had to share this with you. While John was out having a smoke this morning, he called me out to look at this in the lake...

Click on the picture for a larger version

It is, of course, a heron. We've been seeing him around for a few months now, but this is one of the first decent pictures I've been able to get of him. I'll have to play around with camera settings, I think.

Now, back to cleaning kitchen cupboards. We've been invaded by mice. John laid a couple of traps last night and caught two. They've left quite a bit of evidence of their presence, so everything in the pantry cupboard needs to be washed down with bleach. *sigh*

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Titles are Difficult

This morning, even the writing doesn't come easy for some reason. So I'll resort to more pictures.

The Opal Rodeo sock, pretty much complete. Notice the pattern repeat? I'm leaving the heel until the second sock is finished. Incidentally, the colours in this picture are the most accurate. The pink bands in the sock are more of a coral than pink. That's good because I don't do pink.

The opening for the heel. I may try to match the heels, which is why I won't be working it just yet. So far, the second sock seems to be a near perfect match to the first one; may as well try for perfect heels, too.

This how much yarn I had to wind to get to the starting point in the pattern repeat.

I like the Opal yarn. It's softer than the Regia and Online Supersocke I'm used to working with. Someone suggested I might want to try working it on smaller needles as they found it to be a little thinner than some other sock yarns; I didn't find that at all. I'm working the socks on my usual 2.25 mm double-pointed needles and the sock is perfect.

So far, I've found only one brand of sock yarn I'd consider knitting on smaller needles. That would be the Trekking XXL. It definitely feels finer.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Again with the Afterthoughts

Alright, here's the picture of the finished sock. Yes, it's still only one sock. I tend to get sidetracked, but I definitely do intend to complete the second one. No second sock syndrome happening here; the second sock is on the needles.

And a close up of the heel. (Sorry about the slight blurriness; low light, slow aperture speed doesn't make for perfectly clear pictures unless the camera's on a tripod... it wasn't.)

Notice the loose stitches at the corners? That's the only flaw with this sock and it's one I can live with. The next sock I do with this heel will be perfect. I think I will either pick up a third stitch in the corner or I'll make certain I knit those corner stitches extra tight. As I said, though, I can live with this.

I've also started another project. Hush now, stop reminding me of all the projects still on the needles; I know. I couldn't resist this one. The yarn was already in my stash, so it's not costing me any extra cash. For any of you who have the book "Wrap Style", I'm working on Guinevere. It's a shawl/wrap that has a unique shape, wedges, really, that form sort of a half circle. The pattern calls for Rowan Kid Silk Haze, which I could have used seeing as I have some in my stash, but I'm working it Skacel's Lace Merino and a strand of Crystal Palace's Kid Merino. That's giving it a "fuller" look, but still resulting in a lovely, lightweight wrap. In black. Which you don't work on in poor light. I tried to take a picture of it, but it just looks like a black blob at this stage. I'll try taking a picture when I'm further along... or for sure when I have it finished.

It's worked from the neck down and the hem up; it's done in two pieces which are finished off with a three needle bind off. Right now, I have about 8" worked. For the hem, I'm thinking about casting on using seed beads on every other stitch. That would give it a little bit of weight around the bottom edge, as well as just a little touch of glitter. We'll see how that works out. If you've ever put beads in a cast on edge, let me know; I'd appreciate any hints you might have for me.

I will leave you now with what I look at every morning from the living room window. Every fall, the coots come down from the mountain lakes to winter on Okanagan Lake. They remind me of little corks bobbing on the water. They dive to feed off the weeds in the water, and when they come back up, the "pop" out of the water, like submerged corks. They're fun to watch.

Not easy to see them, I know, but all those little black dots are coots.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 pics today

I finished one of the Regia cotton socks. Did I mention how much I like that yarn? It feels really nice on the ball (100 gm ball), feels nice knitting it and feels just as nice on the feet. And I love the colours. The one I knitted up (one sock, mind you) makes me think of a Mexican fiesta or something. It's got orange, yellow, white, green, brown... very summery, fun colours.

It also has an afterthought heel (which, I discovered, is also known as a peasant heel). That worked out perfectly. You should see it.

So, why am I telling you about it rather than showing you? I took it to work with me yesterday, put it with the sock yarn so anyone coming in could see how the yarn knits up. And left it there.

I was going to take a picture of it so you could see how well it turned out, but now I won't be able to show you until Friday, my next day off. I will tell you that I'm very happy with the way the sock turned out. I'm glad I tried the afterthought heel again. This time, I picked up two extra stitches at each corner and knitted one stitch together with the first and last stitch on each side. Does that make sense? One side of the sock still has a bit of a loose spot, not a hole really, but I can live with that. I've got the second sock on the needles, but for today I'll be working on the Opal sock (pictures soon, I promise) and the last of the reversible hats.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Afternoon, and I'm Not Watching Football

John's watching it. I don't understand the game; I sit and knit, usually, while he watches (or listens to) the game. Today is no different. On Friday, my boss commented that we need a basic pattern for a man's toque (stocking cap for those of you who are non-Canadians) in a chunky or worsted weight yarn. I volunteered to write up said pattern. We decided on chunky yarn, so I took two balls of Paton's Shetland Chunky home with me and proceeded to knit up one hat that night. Yesterday, I typed up the pattern and then decided to try it in a larger size and on a circular needle.

The pattern will be available at the store tomorrow for a small fee. Here's how the hat turned out:

I tried it out on the nearest available man, who just happened to be John; it got his seal of approval. He doesn't wear toques, but did say he'd wear one like this. He said it fit well, not too snug, not too loose.

When I got up this morning, I decided it was much too nice a day to spend it completely indoors. It's cold out, but sunny. I had one cup of coffee, then bundled myself up, grabbed the camera and went for a walk. The snow was scrunchy under my feet, with ice crystals glittering in the sun. I took pictures again, but won't subject you to all of them. Here are two, though. The first is of the lake in front of the house. I just couldn't resist that scene. It looks so cold and yet, with the sun shining, it's just so beautiful.

And then, there's this one. At this time of year, there's not a lot of colour outside. The sumac is one exception. The heads of the sumac are a deep red, all that's left on the shrubs. I couldn't resist; and I couldn't resist playing with the picture.

I didn't touch the colour settings, though. They really were that bright, with the sun shining on the heads (I'm not sure if they're considered to be flowers or not, but they're beautiful).

Now, back to my knitting. I'm playing with some Regia cotton, trying a sock with an afterthought heel again. This time, I'll make sure I don't make the foot section too long. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas Cake

With that big day coming fast, I thought I would share this recipe with you.

Christmas Fruit Cake

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Lemon juice
1 Gallon whiskey


1. Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl.
2. Check the whisky again to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour one level cup and drink. Repeat.
3. Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large, fluffy bowl.
4. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again.
5. Turn off mixer.
6. Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup.
7. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner.
8. If the fried druit gets stuck in the eaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.
9. Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity.
10. Next, sift 2 cups of salt. Or something.
11. Who cares? Check the whiskey.
12. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
13. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.
14. Grease the oven.
15. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.
16. Don't forget to beat off the turner.
17. Throw the bowl out the window.
18. Check the whiskey again.
19. Go to bed. Who the heck likes fruitcake anyway?

I'm sure many of you have seen this already, but it's still a good one. My niece sent me this recipe a few years ago and I've noticed it's circulating again. If you've never seen it, try it. It's sure to be a success. *grin*

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mostly Non-Knitting Content

Today's not really a knitting day, as much as I'd like it to be. I was working with some super bulky yarn last night and earlier this morning and I can feel it in my right wrist. So, it's time to take a break from knitting... a short one, trust me!

With the atmosphere in the house being less than optimal (no, don't even ask), I decided to take the camera and meander through the woods behind the house. The crispness of the winter air was very refreshing. There's not a lot of colour out there at this time of year, but I was determined to take a few pictures. On one of the pictures, I even removed whatever colour there was.

Stroll with me...

Enjoy your day, all of you.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Afterthought Heel... afterthoughts

I've done knitting the socklet with the afterthought heel, taken pictures of it, and analyzed the pros and cons of this sock in particular and afterthought heels in general. Are you ready?

Done with the toe, a standard toe knitted to 16 stitches and then Kitchenered (don't you love changing a noun into a verb?)

The stitches have been picked up and the waste yarn removed. I started out with 56 stitches for the sock. Each side of the heel should have had 28 stitches, but one side had 27. That wasn't really a problem; I simply made one more stitch on that side.

Starting to knit the heel. I worked 2 knit rounds before starting the shaping, then continued in the standard shaping technique of working decreases on one row and knitting the following row.

Of course, I had to try it on. How else could I tell when I'd knit the heel to the right measurement for finishing?

The finished heel. Not bad at all, really. Yes, there's some holey-ness at the corner of the heel, but this IS just a sample sock, right? I needed to know how it would work out just doing the heel first. From here on in, I can perfect my technique.

Here's the other side of the heel. Again, there's quite a hole there. Now that I'm aware of that, I can easily pick up an extra stitch in each corner and knit it together with one of the corner stitches. That should fix that problem, don't you think?

And the sock on my foot. It doesn't look half bad, in my humble opinion. The only problem is, 56 stitches on 3 mm needles, using dk weight yarn is a little loose on my foot. As well, both the toe and the heel measure 2" each. That's a total of 4". I made the foot section a total length of 6.5", making the entire sock 10.5" long. That's no problem if your foot is 10.5" long; mine's 9.75", so this sock is a bit too big on me. No, let's face it, my foot swims in this sock. It's a good thing it's just an experiment at this point.

So, now for the pros and cons. This would be a great heel for my socks. It fits my foot quite nicely and it's deep enough for my heel. Conversely, it's much too shallow for John's foot.

It's a great way of completing the sock without interrupting any patterning you may work on the cuff and instep as you can simply continue knitting all the way down without having to disrupt the flow of the knitting.

On the con side, other than this heel not being ideal for every foot, I can't really think of a lot of cons. Perhaps the only con, in my estimation, is that you really need to know the length of the heel and toe in order to work the main part of the foot. Maybe I'm just not familiar enough with this heel yet to figure out how to lengthen or shorten it, as might be necessary.

I liked working this heel and will probably use it, but not for all the socks I knit. For John's socks, I'll stick with the standard heel and gusset shaping. I will definitely keep the afterthought heel in my repertoire, though.

Note: Sorry about the colour change in the photos. It's not the camera, it was the angle at which the pictures were taken. The sock is, in actuality, more towards the green colour in the upper pictures than it is blue, as in the latter pictures. Interesting how just a change in angle, and lighting (there's a skylight just above our bed) can change the colour the camera perceives.

Le Sock... so far

Beadlizard, in her comment, said she was going to enjoy watching me make the afterthought heel, so I decided to post frequent update pictures. Susanne commented that the sock leg didn't look very long. Susanne, you're right. I decided to spare myself a lot of knitting and time by making them/it ankle socks. Your suggestions, by the way, make sense and I have filed them for future reference. Thank you.

Ok, so this is where I am on the sock right now...

The instep (or top of the foot)

The sole. The heel will be where the green waste yarn is.

I've started the toe in a contrasting colour and will have it done later today. I'll take frequent pictures of the heel in progress and will post them over the next day or two.

Oh, Beadlizard, I think you're right about BGW's second treasury. I've already got post-it notes throughout the book on stitch patterns I think would be great in socks. All sorts of ideas are going through my mind as I page through the book. Like I said to John the other night, I need more hands to do all the knitting I'd like to do. That, and time.

I'll end this morning's post by letting all of you know how much I appreciate your comments, input and suggestions. There are times it almost feels like a "Sit and Stitch" session. I love it! Thank you, all.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Just a thought

Or perhaps an afterthought?

I've never done (but have read about) an afterthought heel in a sock, but after seeing the ladies in the knitting class at the store doing their Christmas stockings with that heel, I decided to give it a try. This afternoon, I cast on for a sock, in dk weight yarn so it will work up quicker than 4 ply. I've read the directions and I'm giving it a go. I'll keep you informed as to how it works out.

Here's the sock so far...

See the dark stripe? That's where the heel will be put in later. All afternoon, my mind's been mulling over the measurements. Two inches for the toe, two inches for the heel? Most of my standard heels are 1.5 inches. Should I go with that measurement for this one, too? Does that mean the knitting for the foot should be 3.5 inches less than my total foot length? Or should I play it safe and allow 3.75 inches?

Those of you who've done socks with an afterthought heel may feel free to advise me on this one. It's a learning experience for me. I'm not even sure I'll make the second sock, but if this one turns out well, I will. I've decided to do the heel and toe in the same colour I used for my waste yarn. Both yarns, incidentally, are Sirdar's Country Style DK and the sock is done on 56 stitches, with 28 for the heel.

I also finished a top down hat today. I found the directions at I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. It's a great technique which enables you to use ANY yarn at all to knit a hat. And the best part is, there's no swatching! I love it! Here's how my first attempt turned out.

*grin* I like it, but when I put it on and I've got on my warm sweater and my snow boots, I look perfectly equipped for life on the farm. (My apologies to those farm folk out there.. I mean no disrespect at all. I grew up in farm country.) I simply don't look great in toques.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Adventures on a Thursday

Well, ok, it wasn't really an adventure but we decided to take a day for ourselves and, literally, get out of town. We drove to Vernon for the day. For those of you unfamiliar with this area of the country, that's about a forty-five minute drive. The weather report said snow wasn't expected until that evening, so we decided to take the opportunity and just get out. We didn't see sunshine, but at least it didn't snow (it was pretty cold, though).

We did want to get a Vernon newspaper to see what kind of opportunities (job and housing related) were available there. We did that and read the paper over an early lunch at a little cafe, "Lunch Matters, Breakfast Too". After lunch, I made it a point to check out Neverending Yarn, a yarn store just down the street from the cafe. I like going there just to see what they carry that we don't. I hadn't planned on buying anything, but.....

I now have a complete set of the four Barbara Walker treasuries. I found the second treasury at the store, and simply HAD to buy it! I'm thrilled with it. I've already got ideas for several more pairs of socks. I also purchased a big ball of Opal sock yarn. I've bought the Opal cotton before, but had never seen the regular Opal sock yarn before. It feels softer than the Regia. I'm looking forward to knitting with it, but I'm trying to exercise my self-control by not starting any more projects (other than the Feathery Stole) until the four reversible hats are done. So far, so good.

The snow flurries started just as we pulled off the highway, onto the road we live on and soon turned into a regular snow storm. It didn't stop all night, apparently. I wanted to get a nice picture of what we see from the living room window, but in all honesty, a picture that shows very little but gray and white is kind of boring, monotonous. So I took a picture of my snowmen instead. John put this little display together last month. I think they look very festive with their "frosting".

I don't think we'll be doing much driving today. The roads, especially the side roads, are reportedly pretty slippery. It may well be the perfect day to stay home, start a fire, do some knitting, some baking, some cuddling. Now, if only we had the house all to ourselves.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

One more FO for 2005

It's fun watching my Finished Objects list growing a little more before the end of the year. When you actually keep track of what you finish, it's surprising how much you can create. I know I knit a lot, but I really hadn't realized just how much I did finish this year. And today, I added one more thing to that list: the Soho scarf from Exquisite Little Knits.

I made a couple of minor changes to the scarf, like making it a little wider than the original pattern... and working completely in garter stitch, rather than purling one stitch at the end of each row in the center section. I did that because I didn't like the way the third section was picked up (a definite seam). Now, I love the scarf!

As well, I did the cast on for another project from the same book. As some of you may remember, for my birthday earlier this year, I spoiled myself and ordered some yarn from Handmaiden yarns. One of them was called Angel Hair, 70% Kid Mohair, 30% nylon in a colourway named Autumn. It's a gorgeous combination of lime green, yellow, orange and corals... truly beautiful. It's been tucked away in my stash since August, but last night, one skein made it's way on to two chairs and became a ball of yarn. It's amazing how gorgeous the colours looked on the skein. When wound into a ball, it looks like a dog's breakfast. But, that aside, it's knitting up VERY pretty.

The pattern I'm using is one called the Feathery Stole. It calls for Rowan Kid Silk Haze (I do have some of that, too), but I thought it would be very effective in the Angel Hair. What do you think so far?

Notice the needles? They were another gift to self... Lantern Moon needles. Beautiful needles for a beautiful yarn.

One last thing... I'm going to be posting a couple of pictures to the store's blog. You have to go and check out what Cathy (one of my co-workers) knitted up. Check it out here.... Art of Yarn

Monday, November 28, 2005

This and that

It's Monday evening. There's a repeat of CSI on the tv behind me. I'm not usually at my computer at this time of day, but today's just been that kind of day.

You saw a picture of the beret I knitted for John; today, I finished a second one for a store sample. They've been felted, but are not quite dry yet. They're resting on separate heat registers for now. I did try to get a picture of the hat, pre-felting, on John's head, but he wasn't terribly enthusiastic. Here are pictures, though, pre- and post-felting. They turned out nice and thick and plush. I think they'll be very warm indeed.

The black beret is made with Paton's Classic Wool, while the burgundy-ish one is Galway, in a burgundy/tan tweed. I will try to get a picture of John wearing his beret.

And then, there's the sock from my SSSS exchange partner.

On a dreary, wintery, hovering around 0C (32F) kind of day, doesn't that sock just scream sunshine and happiness? Now, to get a couple other projects done so I can get those socks on my feet rather than just looking at one finished sock and one ball of yarn.

The yarn is one I'd never heard of before... Vesper Sock yarn by Knitterly Things. It's 100% Merino wool, very soft, very cushy. The colour way is Aqua Melon. Interestingly, on the label, the word colour is spelled the Canadian/English way, not the American way, which would be color.

Now, back to the Soho scarf. I've frogged it and am re-knitting it. I really don't want a simple scarf pattern to get the best of me, yanno? Thanks to the Knitlist, I have some excellent suggestions as far as the cast off goes. The standard "leap frog" cast off just isn't right for this project.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Almost December

Can you believe that November is almost gone? It seemed like yesterday was the beginning of the month and now that month is almost over. Wow!

I've been knitting away, as usual. Last night, I finished knitting this...

...for John. I do intend to get a picture of him wearing it, both before and after felting. The pattern (Fibertrends) is an 8.5 x 11" sheet of paper, so you have a good idea of how big this beret really is. It's huge. I have one more to knit for the store. Once I have that one done, I'll felt both of them. I must admit, they're fun to make.

Since I was off yesterday, John and I decided to go out for a while. One of the places we went to was the library, where I found this lovely little book.

As I told John, it really isn't a book I want to purchase, but it is a nice one to look through for inspiration. As a matter of fact, I was inspired by this pattern.

Remember my cashmere scarf? The Zigzag one? Well, I decided I really wasn't happy with that pattern for that yarn. For one thing, it was way too long and curled a little more than I liked. So, last night I frogged it. And this morning I started the Soho scarf from Exquisite Little Knits. I'm loving it in the cashmere. It's so soft, so nice to work (play) with. It's designed by Iris Schreier, who also wrote a book about multidirectional knitting. She's also got a Yahoo group of the same name.

This is how it's looking so far. I think it's a good pattern for this sumptuous yarn. It won't be a very wide scarf (about 4"), but considering the fact that it's cashmere, I don't think it needs to be. I've already discovered that cashmere is a nice warm yarn to wear around the neck.

On another note, this week I received my Second Sock Syndrome Sock Exchange sock from Yahaira. I love it! I'll post a picture of it another day, but let me tell you... the yarn is stunning! Gorgeous bright colours that make you happy just looking at it. And the pattern she chose is perfect for the yarn. Sorry to make you wait for pictures, but it's time for me to get moving here. There's knitting to be done, yanno!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pattern available

The shrug pattern has been posted for your convenience. It's in the sidebar as "Bernat Shrug".

I have the second of the four reversible hats finished and I love the combo. I'll post pictures of all four hats when they're done. I've started the third hat and am almost to the beginning of the crown shaping on the first half. They do knit up quickly, almost a mindless project.

That's it for today. Now, to get rid of this cold before it takes over....

Note: the link to the Bernat Shrug should work fine now. Darn that HTML... it sure is fussy... and case sensitive. My apologies. (11/24/05)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

One more FO...for me!

And, it's a wearable FO!! I've had this pattern for a long time, knitted it once in the called for yarn (Bernat Chenille... yech!) and decided to try it again, considering the popularity of shrugs and all. This time, though, I did it in Sirdar's Country Style DK.

Thank you, John for taking the pics. I love creative photography.

It was a fast knit (less than a week is fast in my books) and only took 2 balls, making it less than $20 CDN. And it's perfect. I love the fact that I can wear it and still knit comfortably without fighting with the body of a sweater. I tend to get my needles caught in the excess sweater fabric, for some reason. John calls this my sweater without a body.

The pattern is an old Bernat free leaflet. It doesn't look like the yarn is available anymore, so I'm assuming the pattern isn't either. I suppose I could type it up for anyone interested in it (giving proper credit, of course). There is, incidentally, no copyright notice on the leaflet I have; no date, nothing.

Other than the shrug, I've got the second of four reversible hats half finished. I've just started the second half of what will be Trinity's hat. I discovered this week, thanks to Melissa and her daughter Kensie, that the infant size does not fit a one and a half year old. That means I'll be making one of each of three sizes, I'm thinking. The sizes are infant, childs, womens and mens. The mens size fits me quite nicely, so I'm thinking the women's size should fit my 8 and 5 year old grandsons. The children's size will fit Trinitiy.

Ok, back to knitting... or making cream of onion soup for dinner. Yum...comfort food! Decisions, decisions.