Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's finished!

I made myself sit down and finish Trinity's Chevron top yesterday. It's been washed and blocked and here's how it looks now...

If you ever need inspiration, pick up a copy of Ann Budd's "Handy Book of Sweater Patterns". I use that book as a basis for all of the sweaters and tops I knit now. I can't recommend that book highly enough. Get it!

Now, I can't wait to see how it fits Trinity. Oceanna's Citrus Punch sweater is coming along nicely. I've got 5 1/2" done on the body, another 2" or so to go before separating for the front and back. This part is all stocking stitch, so it gives me time to think about the sleeves and what they'll look like. It's a bright little sweater, that's for sure. I'll post a picture once the body is done, just so you can see how it's coming along. I must admit, it's the perfect knit for a bright, sunny day. It just.... fits.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Just a couple of things

I was hoping to have Trinity's Chevron top finished by today so I could show it to you. It's not quite done yet, but I'm showing you anyway. When I got to the store yesterday, I had two hours to work on something before opening, but I just couldn't get into sewing the sleeves in. Add to that the fact that I should have taken both colours of yarn to work with me, but only brought white... well, I just put it aside and did something else. This morning, I've sewn the first sleeve in but have had a difficult time sitting still long enough to sew in the second one.

There. When it's completely done, I'll post another picture. The neckband will be a garter stitch band worked in turquoise. I think I'm happy with it; I'll know for sure when I see how it fits Trinity... IF it fits Trinity. (They're arriving some time on June 13 and staying for five days.) I'll take pictures. Duh!

So, I mentioned that I worked on something else at the store yesterday. Let me know what you think so far.

I could tell you what it's going to be, but that might spoil it, don't you think? For now, I'm calling it Citrus Punch. The colours ARE bright. Oh, ok.... so I can't keep a secret. It's going to be another toddler sweater, this time for Oceanna, who, apparently, looks really good in these kinds of colours. (They're my colours, too.) I'll take more pictures as I go along. For this one, I've not even written anything down, but it's sort of along the lines of this drawing...

From what my daughter tells me, my youngest granddaughter is a big little girl. I've been told to make this sweater "big" so it will fit Oceanna for a while. I'm making it the same size as the ones I've been making for Trinity, 2-3 years.

On to the lakewatch. I know I didn't post pictures here last week, but I did post pictures here. I found it a little difficult to really see the difference from one week to the next until I put all the pictures in one place, one after the other. The lake has really come up fast.

Towards the dock. The rocks that were completely out of the water a month ago are now completely submerged and the water is creeping up the sides of the dock. From here on in, any time a larger boat goes by, the water will be splashing up between the planks of the dock.

The barbecue pit... now completely submerged under almost a foot of water. We won't be having a bonfire until the fall now.

And that's it for today. I have every intention of getting a bunch of stuff done today, very little of it involving the computer. It's sunny, it's warm. Guess where I'll be.

Oh, just had a thought. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good beginner crochet project? I'll be teaching a 3-week crochet class and I have no idea what to make. It needs to be something that is interesting, simple and uses a variety of crochet stitches. I could design something, but why re-invent the wheel if there's something out there already. I need your suggestions. What would you make if you were teaching this class?

Monday, May 29, 2006

A quick note for Jan

Hi Jan,

Thanks for asking about the ZigZag Trellis scarf. Row 22 (in the second section) and all wrong side rows, should be purled. I guess I was assuming that would be obvious, but we all know what happens when we assume. Let me know how your scarf turns out.


P.S. I'll post tomorrow with some pictures of a completed Chevron top and a new project. Yes, yes, I know. :)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Almost No Knitting Content...

... but plenty of pictures. I don't think I'll be able to do much knitting today as my wrist is bothering me again. If this keeps happening, I may have to go see the doctor. I'd rather not. I'll do other things today.

Let's jump right into the photo album.

From our hotel room in Banff. If you have never been to the Rockies, this is what you've been missing.

Again, around Banff. I think I took this one from the car window (open).

More mountains. I never get tired of scenery like this.

I think I wrote that we had to make a detour because of a rock slide outside the city of Golden. It was a 2-hour detour through the town of Radium (where there's a hotspring). Leaving Radium, we had to go through this little pass. The picture was taken on our return trip, on which we had to make the same detour.

There are more pictures, but generally, it's more of the same. Then, this week, there was the rainbow. It's been a little unsettled around here, weather-wise. We've been getting a fair bit of rain, some hot weather and some near-freezing nights. All in all, the weather has contributed to the fast melting of the snow in the mountains. There's been some minor flooding in our area (well, the other side of the lake, mostly). Nothing too serious.

Anyway, with the storms and the sudden clearing, we've been treated to this....

I've never seen a rainbow as close as this one was. Or one that was, at the same time, double. Pretty awesome! (We were almost tempted to search for the pot of gold.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Phew! Finally a moment (and I do mean a moment) to sit down and post. Without further ado, a picture of Kiri #2.

The colours are pretty close to actual. I'm impressed that the picture came out as well as it did. And for Jeanie, who asked about the Crystal Palace Kid Merino, a picture of the yarn.

It is 28% kid mohair, 28% merino wool and 44% micro nylon. I'm working it in combination with Skacel's Merino Lace, a 100% merino lace weight yarn in a deep green. The resulting "fabric" is lovely and soft, with a nice halo to it. Very cozy. The Kid Merino, incidentally comes in 25 gram balls, and has about 240 yards. Not bad for the price (much, much less than something like Rowan Kid Silk Haze). The only critique I have about this yarn is that when you're working it on it's own, the mohair and wool tend to bunch up on the nylon. It's fine when it's in combination with another yarn, but on it's own... well... I'm not sure I'd want to work an entire shawl in it, yanno?

What's this, you ask? You didn't know I'd started something else? Yeah, I did. This will be a little top for my granddaughter. See the picture? It's a neat feeling seeing the drawing come alive. It will be a pretty quick knit. I'm hoping to have it done before my daughter and granddaughter come to visit in June (it WILL be done by then). I'll be able to give Trinity her cardigan and this little top.

Ok, I have to run. I did say I had only a moment, right? Tomorrow, I'll post a few scenery pictures; some from our trip to Red Deer and a couple of pictures I took of a spectacular rainbow yesterday. Till then....... enjoy your day!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Call Me Crazy

I am. I can't help it! I love starting projects and I did again yesterday. The yarn just kept calling me. Over and over. What choice did I have?

So now, in addition to the Icarus shawl from IK Summer '06, the Donegal Tweed cardi for me, various and sundry other projects, I've cast on for another Kiri shawl. For me, this time. I'll post pictures when I'm ready.

Someone keep me from starting anything else!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Home, Safe & Sound

We got home last night, after a weekend that included a LOT of driving. The trip itself was, generally, uneventful. We did have to make a 210 km detour because of a rockslide, but the roads were good. We left Kelowna at about 2:30 p.m. on Friday and arrived in Red Deer at about 1:00 a.m. (BC time; Alberta is in another time zone and is one hour later than BC). We spent most of Saturday morning and part of the afternoon at the annual general meeting and left there before the last seminar. Saturday night was spent in Banff, where we slept in a bed we wanted to take home with us. Yesterday was spent on the road again and we arrived home at about 7:00 p.m.

All in all, I think the trip was worthwhile. We learned a few things we didn't know before and that was the hope and intention.

I did do some knitting while sitting and listening to the different speakers. I think I'm about an inch farther along on the t-top than I was a couple of days ago. The top didn't even come out in the car. I was too busy admiring the scenery along the way. On the way up to Red Deer, we saw a lot of deer along the road and even a few elk, but on the way home, we saw only one deer and a few mountain sheep. I'll post some pictures in a few days; I've got 118 pictures to sort through and organize. Taking a trip like this one makes you realize just how "lucky" we are to live where we do. It's a vast, beautiful and rugged country.

There was only one thing that has become an eyesore and a blight on this magnificent land. Everywhere we went, I saw plastic. Plastic bags were caught on fences everywhere; plastic bottles, beer cans, Tim Horton's coffee cups littered the roadways. It saddened me incredibly to see it. More and more I agree with one woman's local initiative to tax plastic bags. To see them in the middle of nowhere, miles from any human habitation, angers me. What arrogance some people have; they prefer to keep their vehicles garbage-free, but have no qualms about throwing that garbage out their windows where it is visible for all other travellers and a risk to wildlife instead of stopping at any of the plentiful rest stops and putting their trash where it belongs--in a trash bin where it can be collected and properly disposed of. That's my rant for today.

Now, on to the lake watch for this week...

The bottom rung of the ladder is no longer visible above water. Last year, this ladder was my gauge; within the next couple of weeks that dock will be replaced and the ladder will no longer be there for me to use as a reference.

I think I might set up a separate web page for some of these pictures. Again, this is more for myself than anything and if the pictures are all on one page, it will be easier to see how the lake is rising.

And that's it for today. There's a lot to be done in this house today. Well, not a lot but there are some things that need doing before I can justify sitting down and knitting. You know what I mean?

It's good to be home.

Friday, May 12, 2006

On the road again

But before we go, an update or two. I've been steadily working on the Regia t-top. It's coming along nicely, even though I've had to take it easy. My right wrist has been bothering me a bit again, so I knit for a bit, then take a break. I'm forcing myself to do that.

Anyway, here's a picture of where I'm at right now. This will be my "car project". We'll be on the road a long time this weekend, so I need a travel project. Fairly mindless. I'll still be able to keep my eyes on the scenery.

By now, you all know that I simply can't have less than six projects on the needles at any given time (give or take three or four projects). To that end...

Oh, that Interweave Knits! They went and put this little beauty in the Summer 06 issue and do you honestly think I could resist it? I mean, I have other shawl patterns. I have at least three of Evelyn Clark's patterns through Fibertrends. I have the yarn to do at least two of them. But IK had to go and put this one in this issue. I love it!

It's simple, yet very elegant. They've done it in a lace-weight alpaca. Mine's in Skacel's Merino Lace, a lace-weight merino. Very nice to knit with. And so far, it's a simple knit. I was almost tempted to take it on the road with me, but that could be tempting fate, wouldn't you agree?

Now, did you really think I'd just leave you with a picture of a blob of lace knitting? Naw, I wouldn't do that. Here's what Icarus looks like stretched out. So far, I've done Chart 1 and one of five repeats of rows 19-42.

This part is fairly repetitive and easy to remember. Charts 3, 4 and 5 are a little more involved. Starting this one made me realize just how much I really do enjoy lace knitting. I think I'd take lace over colour-work any day. Already I'm impatient to see it blocked.

Now, I need to go put gas in the car, then pack everything up for this road trip. As soon as John's off for the day, we're heading out. Hopefully, he'll be able to get off a little earlier than he has been. I'll "see" you all next week.

Oh, before I forget, to all of you mother's out there, I hope you have a very happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Because you asked, Leslie

Here you go, Leslie... and anyone else interested.

Click here

Edited on May 15 to add:

Oops, my bad! Try it now and let me know if it works. I had forgotten to upload the pictures with the page file. It should work now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Morning Ramblings

It's a chilly, damp day in the Okanagan today. John even turned the heat up this morning to get the chill out. Hopefully, for his sake, it will warm up a bit; he's working in landscape maintenance. Wet, chilly days are not good for his joints. Arthritis, yanno?

Anyway, in the meantime, I'm here at home today and it's the perfect day to curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea, a comforter and my knitting. I started a new project.

And a closeup...

So, what is it, you ask? It's going to be a t-shirt style top for myself. It's worked in Regia Tip+Top Cotton and done in k3, p1 rib. The whole top will be ribbed, but I'm toying with the thought of doing the sleeves in stocking stitch with a k1, p1 rib armband.

I've already changed needles three times; not needle size, but needles. I started out on an Addi Turbo (3 mm) and for the first time ever, I did nothing but fight with the Addis (it wouldn't straighten up for some reason). So I put the top on a Pony circ. I fought with the join; my work just would not slide easily over the join. Now, it's all on an Aero circ. If this one fights me, I'll be going to the "other" yarn store and getting a shorter Addi, in the hopes that it will be better. We'll see. So far, the Aero needle seems to be ok, but I've only worked one round on it. I'll be taking this project on the road with me this coming weekend. We have to drive up to Red Deer, Alberta for a business meeting on Saturday. (For those of you unfamiliar with this area, Red Deer is about a 10 hour drive from us; it will be a loooooooong day!)

The lake... it's definitely on the rise.

That's the same angle as last week's picture. Here's the same retaining wall, but looking at it from the opposite side of the beach.

That's our firepit. The barbecue belongs to J & K, our housemates. It won't be long before the firepit is below water. Next week's picture won't be until Thursday; I'm working Monday-Wednesday.

Now, what SHALL I do for the rest of today? Hmmm.... Oh, yes, I have something else to share with you. Today's post is getting to be a long one, but I have to tell you about our early morning visitor.

Early Friday morning (3:30 a.m.), John and I were awakened to the sound of someone dragging something down the street outside our bedroom windows. It wasn't a particularly loud noise, but it was persistant. When we heard kind of a snuffle (I don't know how else to describe it), John got up to see what we could see. There's not a lot of light at that time of the morning, but across the street, on the rise, he could see a light coloured "blob" with a dark shadow... a black bear. The light coloured "blob" was a bag of garbage he had pulled out of one of our garbage cans and dragged up the rise.

That top bit of white is where the bear was sitting, rummaging through the bag. John told me to watch out the window; he was going to turn some lights on downstairs. I watched as one light came on; the bear didn't even twitch, just kept on "exploring" our trash. A second light came on; still no reaction from the bear. It was only when John opened the back door that the bear galloped away (it's amazing how fast they run!). Later that morning, this is the scene that greeted us...

We've not seen or heard the bear since, but we've let the neighbours know about him. Incidentally, from what we could see, this bear was about 3' tall, sitting. Not a small bear. Hopefully, he didn't find enough to make him come back.

Now, where's that cup of tea?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Something New

I've decided to add something to the blog. It's not just for you, but as much for John and myself as for anyone. We've been watching the lake begin to rise, using the neighbour's dock (ladder) as a gauge. John suggested that I make a note of when the water touches the bottom step of the ladder; I'm taking it a step further (sorry about the pun).

I'm adding a video tracking of the lake's water level. Once a week or so, I'll post a picture or two, taken from the same angle, so you (and we) can see the water level rising. Here are the first pictures.

This is our dock. Last summer, I'd sit on the dock and, as boats would speed past, the waves created by the wake would come up between the planks on the dock and wet the entire dock. Now, there's almost two feet of space between the bottom of the deck and the surface of the water.

I think this picture will probably be the better gauge of the water level. It's of the retaining wall on our property. A week ago, the far rock was completely dry.

As for knitting content, does there have to be knitting content every time?

Oh, Leslie, I haven't forgotten your request for a recent picture of John and myself. I'm still working on it. He's become rather cagey when the camera's around. ;)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Another Day, Another FO

Yup! I finished the Country Style vest for myself last night, modelled it for John and got his seal of approval.

It's plain, which is what I wanted. It's simple, which is what I wanted. I wanted something I could wear over a white shirt, of which I have a few, that do not suit me. White washes me out. I got the shirts when we were with the restaurant; white shirts with a tie and black slacks was/is their "uniform". I do not look well in white. In addition, the white shirts, over the course of the last couple of years, seem to have shrunk slightly in the closet. A vest covers a multitude of sins, wouldn't you agree? And, because the vest is brown and brown looks good on me, I can wear the white shirts under the vest and still look good. Makes perfect sense, n'est-ce pas?

This morning, I've been swatching for the Ruffles cardigan (that's the working name for the new toddler design). The cotton yarn is a joy to work with. I'll be using 3 mm needles, which gives me a gauge of 7st/inch. The initial cast on is going to be something like 540 sts, if I've figured it out correctly.

Speaking of swatching (something I don't often do, really), a while back I read an article in one of my knitting magazines that showed how to design a swatch sheet in Word for Windows. I'm finding it quite helpful and I decided that if I find it helpful (she who rarely swatches), you may find it equally helpful. If you'd like it, you can find it in the sidebar, under "My Patterns".

Now, back to the kitchen. This morning, I made a batch of cabbage rolls, enough for three meals for the two of us. This afternoon, I intend to make some BBQ relish from this great book I bought a couple of years ago. If you're a small family, or perhaps just you and your mate, check out a book called "Small Batch Preserving". The recipes are interesting, tasty and easy to follow. I've made numerous preserves out of that book already and nothing has flopped.

And, I'm off.....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's already May!

Can you believe how fast this year is going? And I'm still knitting.

This one crawled in just before the turn of the month. I finished it on Sunday morning. The pattern is not my own (I'd love to take credit for it but Lucy Neatby beat me to it), it is Lucy Neatby's Equilateral Hat. It's a fun knit, simple really. The Noro Silk Garden I used was a rather dull combo, not something I'd necessarily choose for myself. This hat is now residing at the store as a sample to show some of the Noro colourings.

If I make this hat again, and I probably will, I'd use a brighter colourway and go down one needle size. The hat is a little big for me. The picture on the pattern is a little deceptive as it shows a child wearing the hat. Most people think it's a child's hat pattern. It isn't. She made this pattern to fit a 22" head size. The pattern, though, is well written, almost to the point of being overwritten. Everything is explained very well so even a fairly new knitter should have no problem understanding it.

I've still not finished my own cardigan (one of these days... *sigh*), but I've almost finished a simple, basic, V-neck pullover vest for myself. It's knitted in the round, then separated at the arms with the front and back being worked separately. I have one of the armbands almost finished, then have just the second armband and the neckband to complete. If this headache goes away, I'm hoping to have it finished today or tomorrow. I'll post a picture of it when it's finished.

In addition to actual knitting, I've also been doing some more designing.

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up some Petit Mandarin cotton at "the other" yarn shop in town. I bought three colours, lime green, lemon yellow and a variegated with green, yellow and coral. Beautiful yarn. I've been mulling over design options for it. At first I wanted to do a toddler sweater with a feather and fan pattern, but the yarn I was using didn't want to be that. Then I bought the cotton with the intention of trying the feather and fan with it, but the more I looked at it, the less I wanted to do it.

On Sunday afternoon, I was inspired! I sat down and drew out the little cardigan you see in my sketch book, complete with colour. I'm ready to swatch, but haven't had the opportunity to do that yet. I'm in no rush. The intended recipient is only eight months old and the cardigan will be for a 2-year old, I'm thinking. That gives me a bit of time.

And that's it for today. The sun is shining, my head hurts, my knitting is calling. I think I'll just relax in the sunshine with my yarn close at hand.