Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bitten by design

I must admit, I'm having a lot of fun doing some designing. I've written about the scarf. It's coming along, not as quickly as it should be, but it's coming along. This week, I've also done a new sock design. I have the first sock just past the heel. I think it's looking pretty good. I'm not going to post a picture yet, but once the socks are done, I will.

Even writing out the pattern isn't as big a job as I expected it to be. The sock has lace patterning (did I mention I like lace?) and I have the pattern charted already. Now, it's just a matter of keeping track of what I do for the remainder of the sock and then finishing up the actual pattern.

One thing I'm discovering is that as you start one design, other ideas come to mind. It's almost like opening a flood gate. I don't know if anyone else experiences that same phenomonon, but it's kind of neat. I'll ride with it, keeping a note pad and a pencil handy at all times.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Persistance Pays

All weekend long, the corners of my scarf have been niggling at my mind.. how will they be done so they lie nicely? Yesterday John suggested I simply go ahead and start the border and the corners might take care of themselves. So, while he was mowing the lawn and puttering around the deck, I did. And you know what? He was right!

See that lovely little triangle? It worked! I'm pleased with how the corner lies and I don't think it looks half bad. Now, I'm in the process of charting the whole thing and knitting it. I'll know soon whether or not I like this edging with the pattern stitch I'm using for the body of the scarf.

I've also picked up the Heavenly Camisole again. I really want to get it done as it is very pretty and I know I will get a lot of use out of it. When the temperature is in the 30's (that's well into the 80's for my American friends), though, knitting is not high on my list of things to do. The hands get sticky with sweat and the yarn sticks to the needles. I am trying to do at least a few rounds daily. The pattern calls for 14 repeats; I have 10 so far. That's for the body of the cami; then it's split front and back and worked back and forth.

On another note, we got a Fibretrends order in this week (at the store). We ordered some shawl and lace patterns and I've already bought three of the patterns. They are: the Pacific Northwest shawl, the Seascape shawl and the Estonian Garden wrap & scarf. Now, I'm keeping my eyes open for appropriate yarns to use for these projects.

Do you get the idea that I love lace knitting?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Caution, brain at work

I've been inspired. For the first time in my life (I hate to say this), I"m swatching. As I said in the previous post, now that I know how the Field of Flowers scarf is constructed, I'm going to design my own. That's what I've been doing this morning.

Here's the stitch I'm going to use for the body of the scarf:

It's from Barbara G. Walker's Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns - already a worthy purchase

And I know what I'll do for the border as well, but I can't give you ALL the details, can I? I do want to work out a better way to do the corners and will have to do some research on that. I know it's not difficult; I just don't know how... yet. I'll keep you informed. In the meantime, if you can direct me to some good information, I will be eternally grateful!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A visit to the frog pond

*Big sigh*

The Field of Flowers scarf was coming along nicely. The two yarns knitted together (one kid merino and silk, the other pure merino wool) felt like it had angora in it. It was lovely. Was. I worked on it a little bit yesterday, seeing it was a rainy, icky day, and I suddenly didn't want to be knitting it anymore. For one thing, I'd made a mistake somewhere (couldn't find it), so my stitch count was out. For another, I really wasn't happy with the width; it's just a bit wider than I like a scarf to be.

So I frogged it. For those of you who don't know what that means, it's a reference to the sound frogs make... ribbit, ribbit.. or rip it, rip it...

I will probably do the scarf again, but narrower. As well, I wasn't really happy with the corners. The way this scarf is constructed, you knit the bottom border first, then pick up stitches for the body and the right side border. Basically, it's worked almost in a U shape and that's how the corners wanted to go, too... rounded. They didn't lie nice and flat. Now that I know how the scarf is constructed, though, I may even try to design my own.

Oh well... one less project to finish.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bought... and startitis strikes again!

I went shopping the other day. There are two yarn stores in Kelowna, the one I work in and the other one, Kelowna Yarns. I went there. They carry things we don't and I like to check now and then to see just what they do have. Well, I came home with a couple of things.

First was the Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker. I've never really looked at her books before, but once I did, I realized very quickly what a valuable resource her books are. I fully intend to get all of her knitting treasuries.

The second thing I bought was two balls of Lanett Superwash wool. For some reason, the colours in this particular colourway pulled me and I just had to buy it. It's a very nice, soft wool. I'm thinking I'll use them for socks (for me), but I could be persuaded by an interesting pattern. Two balls (at 195 metres each) will also make a nice baby sweater. If I choose to make another baby sweater. Big if.

And yes, startitis has struck again. *big sigh* I get intrigued by patterns and they swirl around in my imagination, sometimes for weeks, teasing me, begging me to start them. This one's been in there ever since I first saw the pattern and that's months ago. I'm beginning to feel guilty about not putting any new listings in the FO list.

Anyway, it's the Field of Flowers scarf; I've posted the link in my sidebar. The pattern intrigued me because there's really very little in the way of instruction. On Monday, I started it. Hmmm.. I've been seeing lots about the Summer of Lace... it certainly has been MY summer of lace, hasn't it?

Here's how it's looking so far:

The yarn I'm using is a combination of Laine du Nord's Baby Star (100% washable merino) and Kertzer's Ovation (75% kid mohair and 25% silk), very similar to Rowan's Kid Silk Haze. Knit together, it almost feels like an angora blend, very luscious. It's a little wider than I'd anticipated, but I've decided I don't mind that. It will be one of those scarves that you can drape over your head and around your neck if need be... or use it as a stole. It's going to take a lot of yarn, though. I can tell that already. So far, I've used about half a ball of each yarn and I've only got a couple of inches of scarf to show for it.

Unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be), the weather has turned quite warm, 30C plus, and it's not knitting weather. That means the only knitting I get done is at the store, where it's air conditioned. I am hoping that I can get a little knitting done in the mornings here at home, as that's when it's the coolest. The rest of the time is spent on the dock with my feet in the water or on the deck under the umbrella. Such a tough life!

Monday, July 18, 2005

What do you write about when there's nothing to write about?

Very little's been happening around here the last few days... thankfully. The girls are back home safe and sound; the car is behaving now. It will still need a couple other repairs, but their dad can look after that.

The knitting is somewhat stagnant at the moment. I did cast on and start knitting the second sock for John. He needs new work socks, so they've made their way to the top of my to-do list. Other than that, life on the lake has been pretty quiet. I took most of yesterday to sleep/rest. And to read the latest Harry Potter book.

Little Miss Trinity, to this point, my only granddaughter

Having fun with bubbles

Friday, July 15, 2005

It's been a week...

It's hard to believe it's already Friday. The past week has flown by and certainly did not go as planned. The plan was that my two daughters were going to drive up, making a detour to Kamloops (where we lived for a while) to pick up some stuff for my younger daughter. From there, the plan was that they would drive to Kelowna, stay the night and head back to the coast on Tuesday morning. Well, that didn't quite happen. They got to Kamloops (oh, I forgot to mention that they had my granddaughter with them and my younger daughter is seven months pregnant) just fine, made a couple of stops and headed my way. And then the car died.

When I got home from work at about 2:30 p.m., there was a frantic message on the answering machine. We managed to get in touch while I was on the road (thanks, Carol!) and a couple of hours later I was in Kamloops to pick up the girls and all their paraphernalia. Today, I drove them back to Kamloops to pick up the car and the younger daughter's stuff and they're on their way back home. Hopefully, all goes well on their trip home.

In the interim, they had a nice mini vacation by the lake, and I got re-acquainted with my 14 month old granddaughter. She's a cutie, with a lively, sweet personality (much like her grandmother according to my mother). She captured the hearts of everyone she encountered here, that's for sure! I'll post pictures some time this weekend.

On the knitting front, I haven't been doing much, really. I'm working on a pair of work socks for John. He started a new job at a local restaurant recently and needs good socks in his work shoes. I'm working on a couple of baby things for the new baby and still continuing on some of the other projects I've been working on. Once I've recuperated from having all this company, I'll post some more pictures.

For now, though, I'm just going to vegetate for a bit. Hmmmm... I think a nice bath may be in order. Hopefully, by the time I've done my bath, that husband of mine will be home. I'm beginning to forget what he looks like (not really, but he IS working very long days).

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A short post today

A quick note to Judi who asked where I found the pattern for the Heavenly Camisole: I did try to email you, but it didn't go through, apparently. The pattern is out of an Interweave Press book, "The Knitter's Stash", edited by Barbara Albright. It's a nice book; I've already made a shawl (Meadow Flowers shawl) out of it and there are a couple more patterns I'd like to make. Someday.

Someone in one of the Yahoo groups I'm part of mentioned a disease called "startitis". I chuckled when I read that because it's something I suffer from, if you can call it suffering. Yesterday, at work, I started another little baby sweater. I've got the front done already and the back is almost half finished. I suppose you could call it a "side" project, along with all the other "side" projects. I'll post pictures when I take it home. Last night, I left my knitting bag and the little sweater at the store as I'm working again today.

I really need to find a cure for "startitis". How does one acquire "finish-itis"?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I'm in heaven...

Well, I'm working on the Heavenly Camisole, so... Ok, lame. I am enjoying the process on this camisole, though. It's a fun knit. I've found that since I put stitch markers between each pattern repeat, it's become easier to keep track of where I am in the pattern.

Jane, you mentioned that you couldn't find a picture of the camisole anywhere. Here you go, my dear.

Pretty isn't it? Oh yes, I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not, but I'm knitting it in Regia Silk sock yarn. I love the feel of the yarn. It's very soft. The other advantage to using the Regia is that it will be a washable garment. Certainly, I'll have to lay it out to dry because of the lace, but I can machine wash it with no worries. I do like that!

On another note, I've finished writing out the pattern for the Toddler's Felted Hat (my modifications) and we're actually going to be selling it in the store. My boss and I decided that there are more than enough changes to the original pattern to make it a new pattern and, therefore, we can offer it for sale. My first published, sellable pattern; I'm thrilled! I am now officially a published designer! Look out, world!

Now, on with the rest of my day. It's my day off today and I want to get some cooking done for the freezer. I intend to make a batch of spanakopita (spinach and feta pastries), a batch of spring rolls and a pot of soup (Carrot Ginger Soup).

I've been experimenting with coconut milk lately and getting some very favourable results. When my sisters were here, we went to this funky little restaurant (the Laughing Moon) for lunch. My youngest sister had a Thai Coconut Chicken soup that was yummy. It was a cream soup, but had coconut milk instead of milk (she's lactose intolerant). I had the Carrot Ginger soup, which also contains milk, but they used coconut milk instead. It was very nice, too. Last night, I cooked up a small batch of a coconut milk based soup, chicken and vegetable, that turned out very well. There's enough left over for my lunch today.

Enough of the rambling. If you have any ideas for using coconut milk in cooking, pass them on to me. I'm having a "love-in" with coconut milk right now. *grin* And know what? The coconut oil that sits at the top of the can is GREAT for your skin! Next time you open a tin, dip your finger in, get a glob of it and spread it on your face and hands. Awesome! (Oh come on, don't give me that look!)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Back to knitting

Yes!! I've finished another toddler felted hat today.. that makes three. They're all different and they're all fun. I've changed the original pattern enough that I now consider it my own pattern. I'll post the pic of all three hats when I've taken it; the last one is drying as I type.

As well, I've picked up the Heavenly camisole again, after a week's break. With my sisters here, there really wasn't much time for knitting. And, as promised, I've got pictures today.

On another front, remember the Gyrid top from Elsebeth Lavold? Well, it's back on the needles again. I wasn't happy with the way the shoulders went together so I cut it apart and got it back on to needles. One side is right down to the neck line. So, I'll have to re-finish it. Right now though, I'm fed up with it, so it's just sitting beside the sofa waiting patiently for me. All I have to do is re-do the shaping up to the shoulders, so I know it won't take long. I just hate having to re-do things. Grrr!

Monday, July 04, 2005

No knitting content this time

Well, other than to tell you that I made a pair of panties for the baby doll over the weekend, there will be no knitting content today.

Two of my sisters (I have four) came to visit for the Canada Day weekend, so there wasn't much time for knitting. Weather-wise, it wasn't the nicest but we did enjoy our time together. We did some sight-seeing, ate some great food and generally enjoyed each other's company. Both my sisters got to jump into the lake, something they both wanted to do.

I'll leave you with a few pictures...

Mission Hill Winery, one of the largest in Western Canada. It's definitely the winery to see if you're going to visit any wineries.

My sisters

Ancient containers made to hold wine. Some of these containers are over one thousand years old. They are held in a locked nook in the wine cellar. We were told there are only two keys to the nook, one held by the Proprietor, the other held by an unknown person. The cellar also contains a wine collection that houses some of the world's most expensive and best wines, used as a standard for Mission Hill's own wines.

The wine cellar. It's here that the wine is stored for up to five years before bottling.

The main doors to the Mission Hill wine shop. The fountain in the foreground was removed from a medieval castle somewhere in Europe. There are two such fountains on the Mission Hill property. The door handles, shaped like grape leaves, are made of brass and are probably a foot from tip to top.

And, this is a picture that turned out a little blurry so I played with it. I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. It was taken in the wine cellar as well.

Knitting will resume today or tomorrow (the weather isn't the greatest again).

To my American friends... Happy Fourth of July!