Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Let's see what Blogger does today

Yesterday, I tried posting several times and nothing happened. So, I tried later. And nothing happened. So I turned the computer off and came back later in the day. My post had published five times!

On to knitting...

I finished the little cardigan for my neighbour's nephew yesterday afternoon. It's blocked and drying outside at the moment, but here's a picture of the finished sweater, buttons and all (Trinity's cardigan still doesn't have buttons).

And a close-up of the stitch, with the chosen buttons. I don't think I could have found more perfect buttons for this yarn.

So, why doesn't Trinity's cardigan have buttons yet and this one does? Well, someone in one of the Yahoo groups posted a link to a Knitty Gritty show featuring Lily Chin and her method of "sewing" on shank buttons while you're knitting the button bands. I didn't see that until after Trinity's cardi was all knitted.

How, you ask? Basically, you use a crochet hook (the largest one that will fit through the hole in the button), slide the button on to the hook, pick up the stitch where the button needs to be, pull it through the button using the crochet hook, place the stitch back on your needle and knit it in pattern. It works! Beautifully! And no hand sewing!

Now, I'm tempted to re-do the button bands on Trinity's cardigan. Looking at the bands somewhat critically, I think I could have added a few stitches anyway. I hate decisions of that kind. Do I want to redo the bands or should I just leave well enough alone and just sew the darned buttons on and get it over with?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Not a lot of knitting content

I HAVE been knitting all week, but there's nothing terribly exciting to show you. The second Ripples cardigan should be finished (and almost is), but isn't yet. The weather has been so nice that I've been spending more time outdoors.

Yesterday was so nice (in the sunshine; in the shade it was still quite cool) that I went down to the dock with my camera in hand. The pictures I took were nothing special, but I did catch a fish...

...on film, that is.

I also went for a short walk. On Saturday, I had gone up into the bush behind our house because we needed some rocks for a planter. I knew where there was a boulder with a bunch of rocks strewn around it. While there, I noticed a little flash of red.

That is one single tulip. All by itself. It seems that someone disposed of some yard waste there and in the waste was a single tulip bulb. That single red tulip? Now, that says spring!

Now, Peg on Vancouver Island (definitely another beautiful place to live or visit... my baby brother lives on the Island) asks how I knit, English or Continental. English. And apparently, I use a lot of wasted motion, according to a couple of my friends who knit Continental. It works for me and I don't really think I'll change now.

I learned to knit when I was about seven years old. Somewhere I even have a picture of me knitting back then; if I ever find it, I'll post it for you. I learned how to crochet at about the same time and do both equally well. My mother also taught me how to embroider at about that time. Over the years, I've done a lot of different handicrafts and also did none for many years.

When my children were very small, I started with cross-stitch and did that voraciously. I couldn't get enough and there weren't enough hours in the day. When my youngest daughter was born, I took up knitting again and haven't stopped since. It's only recently, though, that I've gained enough confidence to stop using patterns exclusively. That's been very freeing and I'm loving my craft even more than I ever thought I would.

I have one last picture to share with you today. My daughter sent me this picture of Trinity last night. Yesterday was Little Miss Trinity's second birthday.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

For Leslie

Wow! That IS personal, but I don't mind sharing that story at all, Leslie. For any of you who haven't checked the comments, here's what Leslie wrote:

"Well, since you ask what we want to know about Ev: I've peeked at your wedding photos but would love a current photo of you and John as well as the story of how you met. I'm such a nosy romantic soul :) "

I'll try to get a picture up soon. Do keep in mind that the wedding was just two years ago, so the pictures aren't that old. As well, there's a more current picture of me in the Bernat Shrug pattern. We don't really have any recent pictures of the two of us together.

As for our story... First a bit of history. After my separation, I moved to Calgary for two years and was then transferred to Kamloops where I managed a craft store. At that time, I was also engaged to a Brit who, I felt, was using me as his ticket to stay in the country (he was here on a visitor's visa, but was working). I'd had enough and kicked him and all his stuff, out. By that time, I was quite prepared to stay single for the rest of my life. I did, however, sit down one night and wrote out a list of everything I wanted and felt I needed in a man. I was as specific as I could be, right down to hair colour and amount of hair (and everything else I could think of... use your imagination).

Now, I'm not the type who frequents bars and clubs. I'm a little reserved when I first meet people. I am, however, quite comfortable with a keyboard and monitor. I had joined Lavalife a while back, while still in Calgary. After I got rid of the British fiance, I went back to Lavalife, if only to find interesting people to talk to. I kept coming back to this one profile. His information said he lived within 45km of me, but his profile said he lived in Vancouver. I messaged him.

It turns out he lived a few blocks from me, in the same town. We chatted for a while, a week or so, if I remember correctly, then decided that it was kind of silly to be chatting via computer when we lived, literally, just blocks from each other. We met for drinks one night at a local pub. We didn't hit it off right away, but a few weeks later, we did start dating. It was March when we first started talking; by August, we decided to move in together and have been together since.

We moved to Kelowna three years ago to help open and run a restaurant. Before it opened, I suggested to John that it would be appropriate to be partners in every way, not just business partners. We decided to make the relationship a permanent one, but with all the busy-ness of opening and running an upscale restaurant, the wedding never happened. After a year, we left the restaurant. We talked about a wedding, but neither of us really wanted the whole "wedding" thing.

The following summer, my daughter and two-month old granddaughter came to visit. At the same time, John's best friend (from Prince George, BC) was also in town, so we decided to "just do it!". The entire wedding ceremony was arranged on the weekend and Monday morning, before Stuart had to leave town, we were married.

I have never looked back.

It's more than just how we met, Leslie, but it's all part of the story. As you can see, we're one of the internet success stories. I do have to say, though, that if I hadn't written down what I wanted or needed, I think I'd still be single. Incidentally, I did show John that list one day and he recognized himself instantly. He met every single one of my "requirements".

Monday, April 17, 2006

One week later and...

There just hasn't been much to blog about.

I showed my neighbour the Ripples cardigan for Trinity. She liked it so much she wants me to knit one for her nephew. The ripples stitch, though, in my opinion, is too girly for a little boy, so I asked her if she minds me changing the stitch. At first, I was thinking a cable of some kind, but I like this better...

It still looks rippled, which is the effect I wanted for this colour of yarn. The cardigan pattern is the same as Trinity's, just a different stitch pattern.

That's what I've been working on this weekend. We've been doing a bit of garden work, but mostly it's been a quiet, relaxing weekend with not much going on. In my mind, though...

Well, let's just say there are a lot of ideas floating around in there. One idea has to do with some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino I picked up the other day. I'm thinking of a pair of socks in that yarn. As well, I picked up some very nice cotton yarn (did I mention this already?) for a sweater for Oceanna. At first, I was thinking cardigan, but now I'm leaning towards a pullover. The idea keeps evolving the more I think about it. We'll see where that goes.

I'm going to do something different here today. I'm going to open things up. What would you like to know about me? IS there anything you'd like to know about me? Is there anything you'd like to know about where I live? Anything you'd like to see pictures of? Here's your chance to get to know me better. If you'd like to, that is.

And, on that note, I'm off to enjoy the gorgeous day we've been given. The sun is shining and it's going to be beautiful! I hope you enjoy your day as much as I intend to enjoy mine.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Productive Morning

It's not quite 10:00 a.m. and if the rest of the day goes as the morning has gone so far, there's no telling just how much I'll accomplish today. I forced myself to sit down at the keyboard with notes at hand and write out the pattern for the Ripples Child's Cardigan. It's done. My eyes are crossing, but it's done.

Do you realize how good I am to you? I could be making money on these patterns, but I'm sharing them with you. Do I get a medal?? Actually, I enjoy sharing my patterns. I figure that if I can do this, anyone can, so why ask for money when anyone could do this?

Anyway, I've written the pattern to include a chart of the stitch pattern (multiple of 5, plus 2 sts), written directions for the stitch pattern and a picture of the cardigan. As well, I've put just a chart for the stitch pattern in the sidebar. It's in Excel format, so you will have to have a program that opens Excel files (I guess that would be Excel, right?).

I should let you know that there are some basic skills involved in this cardigan. You should have a working knowledge of picking up stitches for neck and button bands. As well, the pattern does not walk you through the raglan shaping row by row. You are expected to be able to maintain the continuity of the stitch pattern while working the raglan and neck shaping. Because of that, it is not suitable for a beginner project, even though the cardigan itself is a very simple knit. You've been warned. :)

There ya go! Do I love you, or what?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Just another FO

Trinity's Ripple cardigan (that's what I'm calling it) is complete. Well, the knitting's done. I need to find just the right buttons yet, but that entails a trip to the other side of town. I'm calling the sweater done.

I'll be typing the pattern out, but I will let you know right now, it's only in one size. It will, of course, include the ripple stitch pattern. From what I can tell, this should fit a 2-3 year old. The finished chest size is 26". The yarn? Well, I gave you the details in the last post. Any DK weight yarn will work. A solid colour yarn will show up the ripple pattern quite nicely, too, I think.

Something I forgot to tell you about. After I was paid for knitting the plain, boring, off white, stocking stitch vest, the money earned went towards books, books I've had my eye on for a while.

I have a feeling I'll be using the Vogue Knitting book a fair bit. I particularly like the design section. There is some excellent information there. Right now, it's on my dining room table, where I've been working out the pattern for another little sweater, this time for my other granddaughter, Oceanna. Her cardigan will be made out of sock yarn and done in a Feather & Fan pattern. I'll post pictures this week. I'm sure by now, every knitter knows what the F&F pattern looks like. Working it a self-patterning sock yarn, one with broad bands of colour, makes it a striped F&F. The sleeves will be in a solid, complementary colour. You'll just have to wait for the pictures.

My cardigan, the Donegal Tweed one, is patiently waiting for all the other design ideas in my head to move out. It's languishing on the same dining room table, watching me, wondering when it will make its way into my wardrobe. Soon, I promise!

On other fronts, we got some gardening/yard work done today. John's been very good with keeping up the yard, so there hasn't been a lot of spring clean up to do. This morning, we went to the nursery and picked up a few flowering plants for some baskets. They've all been planted and are waiting on a sheltered part of the deck for the sunshine and warmth to kick in. As well, the herbs I chose (English thyme, sage, mint, and parsley) have been planted in the planter on the lower deck. They join the rosemary and lovage plants I planted there last year. Once the daffodils and narcissus are finished blooming, I'll be getting a couple more herb plants for my herb garden. I've always wanted a herb garden and this planter box is just right for it. I'm so looking forward to cooking with fresh herbs this summer and fall, as well as drying some for winter usage. (Lovage dries really well and is awesome in soups.)

Now, dinner. We need to eat. I think this may be a movie night; that means popcorn and Coke for dinner. We do eat healthy around here... most of the time. *grin*

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Lots To Write About

First of all, thanks to Heike, the Java Ribs pattern is now in German! She approached me to ask if she could translate the pattern into German and publish it on her blog; of course I said yes! You can find her translation here:
I will also put a link to it in my pattern section so that no one will have to go hunting for this link in the archives.

Then, here's the promised picture of the front of the Donegal Tweed cardigan for yours truly...

The stitch I'm using (Mock Rib Cable) is from the Barbara Walker Treasury also visible in the picture, the Fourth Treasury. I'm very pleased at how well the cable actually shows up. Considering the texture and colour of the yarn, I honestly didn't think it would show up as well as it does. I have a total of 13" to knit up until I reach the armhole shaping. The pattern is a 16-row repeat and I try to finish one pattern repeat each time I pick up the sweater. That way, it should work up fairly quickly, right?

For anyone who's beginning to know me, you have probably realized by now that I can't have just one project on the needles. That would never do. Just don't ask me how many I DO have on the needles. I refuse to count them all. And, as of yesterday, there's another one.

This yarn was calling me yesterday. I just happened to have my Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns with me at the store. We have some stitch books at the store. I started this at the store. The yarn just struck me as looking rather "watery" and so I wanted to find a stitch that made me think of ripples on water. I think this works.

Don't ask me which book it came out of. Off hand, I don't remember. It's a 5-stitch, 8-row repeat, very easy to remember after the first pattern repeat. I'm thinking this should fit a 2-3 year old child, so it will be suitable for little Miss Trinity (Kristen, are you reading this? Could you measure her for me and let me know her chest measurement?). I'm working it as a raglan, all in one, as per Ann Budd's book. Have I mentioned just how much I love her books? Get them! They're worth it!

Anyway, I'm having fun working on that little cardigan; it's working up very quickly. The yarn, you ask? It's James C. Brett's Marble, 100% acrylic, machine washable (which is great when you've got toddlers), DK weight (but I think it would be just fine on a 4.5 mm needle rather than a 4.0 mm). The yarn comes from England; I'd never heard of it before.

Finally, a special hello to Debbie and her sister (you didn't tell me her name, Debbie). Debbie came into the store yesterday and, after a short while, introduced herself as one of my readers. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta and her sister lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia (not far from where most of my family lives). Her sister introduced her to my blog while in Yuma, Arizona. Did I get that right, Debbie? If not, let me know.

It was a real treat to meet you; you completely blew me away! What a wonderful world we live in. Knitters are a friendly group of people. Those of you I've never met, those of you I have met, those who leave comments, those who don't (please feel free to leave one now and then).... I consider all of you as friends, some as friends I've not yet met. We share a common bond... sticks and strings. Ain't life great?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another Pattern Posted

Thank you, Shirley! She emailed me this morning to ask when I was going to post the Lacy Cantata Cap pattern. Silly me, I thought I already had. Imagine my surprise when I checked and realized it wasn't there. Well, it is now. Just go the the section entitled "My Patterns". It's at the bottom of that list. It contains both the written pattern and a chart, for simplicity's sake. Hopefully, there are no errors.

I've been having a couple of frustrating knitting days this weekend/week. I picked up the lacy camisole again (started last spring, out of Regia Silk sock yarn, from Knitters Stash). I did the shaping for the armholes and I'm five stitches short. I have, again, put it aside for now. I do NOT relish tinking that sucker. The entire front is lace. Knit in the round to the armholes. I'll have to tink it back, probably back to the beginning of the armhole shaping. *Big sigh*

To make me feel as if I'm actually accomplishing something, the Donegal Tweed cardi is back on the table again, too. I've got the stitch pattern for the front charted and am 12 rows into the first 15-row repeat. The fronts are the last pieces of the sweater to do; the back and arms are already finished. It feels good knowing that the end is in sight on that project. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of wear out of that cardigan! I'll post pictures of my progress when the pattern is a little more visible... 2 or 3 repeats, perhaps?

For now, I'm waiting on the cable guy. The kids who've moved in with us would like cable hooked up in their bedroom and that's happening some time this morning. More caffeine required.... I'll be back when there's an update.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Where DOES Time Go?

It feels like forever since I last posted! So much is going on around here that I haven't had as much time to blog as I might have liked. That, and there really hasn't been a lot to write about, knitting-wise.

I did finish a small project yesterday...

I'm not sure what to call it, but for now it's just the Lacy Summer Scarf. John's first comment (smartass that he is) was that it would never keep me warm. Hmph! What does he know? Sometimes, a scarf is just a substitute for jewellry, right? The stitch used in the scarf is the same as the one in the Lacy Cantata Cap, worked on 24 stitches with 4.5 mm needles. The yarn used? Well, now, that's a whole 'nother story. We got this yarn in at the store a week or so ago. When I first touched it, I thought it may have been a cotton/silk blend. It's bamboo! I never thought bamboo would be that soft a yarn, but it's gorgeous! It's silky, smooth, incredibly soft. Splits a bit, but the feel of the yarn more than makes up for that slight annoyance. It drapes beautifully, too. What more can I say? I loved working with it.

It is, incidentally, Rosarios 4, Bio Bamboo. It's from Portugal and if you can get your hands on some, do it! The scarf took one ball. Here's a closer look at the scarf...

For those of you who read over the Java Ribs Pattern and couldn't quite figure out how the sock was supposed to look, here are a couple of pictures that should illustrate them a little better. The first sock, as you can see, is now off the needles, but the second one has not yet been cast on. That will happen, not to worry. I like this sock so much, I want that second one... soon!

Does that help?