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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Just another Tuesday

...and it's snowing. This is the first snow of the season to be falling at this level. I don't really think it will last long as the temperature is rising slowly, but in the meantime, it's snowing and the ground is turning white. We can barely see the other side of the lake. It's the kind of day to light a fire in the fireplace and just knit, knit, knit.

Speaking of knitting, here's the little Harlequin hat, as promised. I'll be taking it back to the store later this week, leaving it there as a sample for a while. I've also decided to make three more, one for each of my three other grandchildren. I've got the yarn picked out and am just going to finish the project I'm working on for myself (which should only take another good day or two of knitting).

On Saturday, Sandra came to the store to pick up a hand salve I had promised her. Unfortunately, I wasn't there at the time. When I got to work yesterday morning, I found a manila envelope waiting for me. In it, I found this...

Sandra, thank you so much! I love them! And, interestingly, they're different from the books Priska gave me. I know I've said it before, but one of these days, I really want to try the Innovation socks (socks knitted on two straight needles and stitched together). One of these days...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Decision made!

I've been working, a bit at a time, on my Donegal Tweed cardigan. The front of the cardigan has been on my mind for weeks now; I haven't been able to decide what kind of cable pattern I wanted to use. I do know there will be a single cable on each side of the front. Last night, while once again going through my three Barbara Walker treasuries, I found the one I want. Actually, I keep coming back to the same one. That tells me it's the one I want.

For the first time in a very long time, I did something I always tell others to do, but rarely do I did a swatch of the cable pattern to see how I would like it in my chosen yarn. I sat by the fire while John watched tv from the comfort of the bed and knitted up the pattern. Here's what it looks like....

I like it. John likes it. It will be incorporated in the cardigan.

As well, I finished the child's reversible hat yesterday. I don't have time right now to take a picture, but seeing as I have tomorrow and Wednesday off, I'll take a picture then. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It will serve as a store sample for a little while and then, I think, one of my granddaughters might just get it. I have a feeling that the colours would look really sharp on Oceanna (the apple hat sure did suit her colouring). Incidentally, my daughter called yesterday to let me know that Oceanna is smiling now (6 weeks... right on time) and "talking"; you know, that lovely baby gurgling and cooing that every grandmother just adores.

And, Michelle? I'll have to try your suggestion (2 needle provisional cast on) next time I make that hat pattern, or any other pattern that calls for provisional cast on. Thank you.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Things learned, things done

I love learning. When it comes to knitting, I get very excited when I learn a new technique (new to me, that is) and it works! That's what happened this week. I was perusing Nicky Epstein's "Knitting on the Edge", which I do occasionally for inspiration. Well, this time, at the very back of the book, I came across a paragraph on the provisional cast on. Now, don't get me wrong. I've done provisional cast on before. About a year ago, I did the Harlequin cap (from for John; it's done with a provisional cast on. I did the crochet cast on, but found that picking up the stitches was somewhat less than successful. At least, I wasn't really happy with the result.

See what I mean? Some of the stitches just don't look right. I could have taken it out, but at the time I couldn't really figure out how to fix it without frogging the entire thing. And I did not want to do that. After reading Nicky Epstein's directions for provisional cast on, I decided to try it again. I'm making a small version of the Harlequin cap (baby size) and am MUCH happier with the final result. Well, not quite final... the cap's not quite finished yet. When it is, I'll post a picture of it. Here, however, is a picture of the cast on edge.

Much better, don't you agree? I love it! The original cast on edge was done using the multi-coloured sock yarn and a strand of cotton yarn. It was easy to pick up the stitches (with solid red) and easy to pick out the cotton yarn. I used a dk weight cotton because I wanted the stitches to be easy to pick up and cotton because it was smoother, making it easier to undo.

I managed to get quite a bit of knitting done yesterday. I'm not sure how much I'll get done today, but I do intend to finish the little hat. I've also started another small project that I'd like to get done this weekend. It's a very simple knit; I'm about 1/3 of the way through the project already and I started it at about 4:00 yesterday afternoon. You know those almost mindless projects you can work on and still watch tv? That's what this is. I'll tell you what it is when I have it done.

As well, I finished John's socks yesterday. He was happily wearing them last night and has decided that he likes the fit and feel of this pair the best yet. That's great news for me because, for once, I made notes of exactly how I made them. From here on in, I can replicate those socks any time. I'm SO glad I started making notes of all the socks I make now. If you don't make notes, do it! It makes it so much easier the next time you want to make socks for the same person. The socks?

They're made with one ball of Online Supersocke, from the River Collection. I really like that yarn. It's got some nice colourways and is comparable to Regia in quality (our yarn rep told me that it actually comes from the same factory, is the same yarn, but with a different label and a slightly lower price). I still have a bit left over, a small ball about 1.5" in diameter.

I've been checking my stash every couple of days, monitoring the smoky smell. I'm happy to report that most of the yarn no longer smells like smoke. I've decided, though, that I probably shouldn't store my stash in the bedroom. It does look neater without the pile of yarn beside the fire place. As yet, though, I haven't come across the perfect place to store it. I'm leery about storing it in the garage, even though it is an attached garage. It would have to be stored in a Rubbermaid storage bin, or something like that, in order to keep any creepy crawlies out of it. At the moment, I don't have one. I suppose I could store it in a suitcase, but what's the best way of keeping it from smelling musty after a while? Your suggestions are appreciated.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

SSSS Exchange sock... FO

The second sock syndrome sock exchange sock is complete. I'd post a picture of it, but I wasn't thinking too clearly this morning and have already sealed it in an envelope, ready to mail to New Jersey. It's a nice feeling, knowing that some of my work is now in Utah and will soon be in New Jersey. Interesting where your knitting can take you, perhaps not physically, but at least in thought.

On my sock needles at the moment is the remaining sock of a pair for John. The first sock was completed a while ago, and the second sock has been haunting me. It will be finished this week. I'm making a concerted effort to complete some of my UFO's. That list in my sidebar will be just a little longer by year's end. Then, I'll copy and paste that list into a file, so I can look at it occasionally and realize that I really DO finish things and I'm not totally unproductive when it comes to my knitting.

Oh! My yarn stash has been lounging in the garage (which is directly below our bedroom... enclosed). I checked it this morning to see how bad the smoky smell was and I have good news to report. The yarn that was tucked into the wood cubby (whatever that space for wood storage is called) really doesn't smell much at all. It seems that the yarn that got most of the smoke was in front of the fireplace. The worst of it was the Donegal Tweed for my cardigan. I've Febrezed it and have left it in the open and it doesn't smell much at all right now. I think it will all work out just fine in the end. The bedroom's smelling better, but, seeing as there's a lot of wood in that room, still smells smoky. The smoke smell just permeates the wood... quickly. It smells like we've had a fire going in the bedroom, which, of course, we did. In time, it will all be fine, thankfully.

There, I've eaten my toast with peanut butter. Now, it's back to working on John's sock (just finished the first round of the gusset) for a little while, before I have to get ready for work.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Smoke gets in your eyes...

... and in your stash... if you store it next to the fireplace... and the damper closes without reason.

So, how do you get the smell of smoke out of your yarn stash. Bedding, I can wash. Carpets, I can spray with Febreze (gotta love that stuff). Clothing can be washed or hung outside to air. But my yarn?? Any and all suggestions will be gratefully considered.

We slept in the garage last night.

In the meantime, I did finish the Leaning Ladders scarf. It's drying as we speak. I've picked up my cardigan again and hope to make some good progress on it today, in spite of having to clean our bedroom. But then again, I might not have time... we'll see.

Right now? It's time for a shower (to get the smoky scent off of me) and then go out and get another couple bottles of Febreze. Wish us luck.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thar's snow on them thar hills

Yup, snow!

It's not the first snow of the season, but it's the most so far. If it keeps going like this, the ski hills will have a great year. I know that Whistler will be opening this weekend (where the 2010 Olympics will be held) and they've got good snow already. I'm sure Silver Star will not be far behind. Incidentally, for those of you who know this area a bit, Silver Star Ski Resort is in the range just behind the hills in the picture (sort of in and behind the v area you can see).

On the knitting front, I'm doing an experiment. I'm still working on the Leaning Ladders scarf, but I've also started another one, in a different yarn, with one change to the pattern. Instead of working one side in knit and one side in purl, I'm knitting both sides... garter stitch. I just want to see if I like it that way or not. I'll post a picture, comparing the two, once I have the garter stitch version knitted a little further. Right now, it's about four inches long, not really long enough to make a fair comparison.

I'm also looking at future projects (something I really shouldn't be doing, but if you can't dream about future projects, what's the use??). I was perusing Elann's website and came across a poncho I actually like. I'm considering it. I'm thinking about it. I might. I might not. I've printed up the pattern. Which one? This one. What do you think?

Oops... John just corrected me. The resort area I was pointing out in the photo is not Silver Star, it's Big White. Silver Star is outside of Vernon. My excuse? I don't ski... what do I know?
November 6/05

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Another day, another pattern

Yes, I've written up another one. It's another scarf. I guess a part of me is still looking for that perfect scarf to go with just about every outfit I own. This one uses the leaning ladder stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's Fourth Treasury. Once you get going on the pattern, it's an easy one to read. I've already got close to 24" knit and I only worked on it for a while last night (and no, I'm not a really fast knitter... really).

Here's how it's looking so far...

Once it's done, I'll be blocking it. Though I don't mind the waviness of the left edge, I'd rather have it the same as the right edge. I'm working mine in Sirdar Country Style DK, which is an acrylic/wool/nylon blend on 4mm needles, but it could be worked in any smooth yarn, using the size of needles specified for the yarn. I was going to try it on larger needles than the yarn requires, but I do like it knit to the gauge required.

The pattern is available in my sidebar, as usual. If you do knit it, let me know... send me a picture of your finished scarf. I'd love to see it.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dreary, dreary

It's definitely fall in the Okanagan. Today is one of those dreary days . You know the kind. It's raining. It's gray. It's difficult to get anything done because you're as restless as the sky is gray. I've been knitting a few rows on my second sock here and there. Then I get up and scan a few websites. Back to the knitting. Back to the surfing. A little cooking.. have to eat, after all. It's nearly 11 a.m. and that's how my morning's been. I just can't settle down on any one thing.

I'm trying very hard to get the mosaic socks done. Then, I'll finish the sock for the sock exhange. It doesn't have much left on it so I should be able to finish it today, too. I have one other project to work on over the next couple of days. One of my customers was having a problem with a pattern that I've done before, so she asked if I could help her get it right. I'll work on that for the next couple of days; it's a pullover with a lace insert around the arm openings. She could not get the lace panel correct. I'll be doing just the section from the sleeve shaping to the neck.

Here, by the way, is a progess picture of the mosaic socks. I like them. I can see myself using this pattern as a starting point for other socks.

Ok, on to a little more knitting...

P.S. It's now 1:22 p.m. and the mosaic socks are off the needle. Neeeeeeexxxxxt.......