Saturday, July 28, 2007

There hasn't been a lot of knitting happening this week. There has been some, though.

The little ribbed sweater is progressing nicely.

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I'm hoping to finish it this weekend, so that when the little one arrives, it will be ready for him. It won't fit him right away, but at least it will be ready. I've finished the back, front, and one of the sleeves. The second sleeve will be cast on today. That sleeve only took two days to complete, and that was mainly knit before going to work in the morning. It should be easy enough to finish the second sleeve in a day, if John doesn't mind me knitting.

In other knitting, I started this little project a while back, but wasn't happy with the needle I was using (Denise needle). I would have bought an 8 mm Addi Turbo, but the store didn't have one long enough in stock; I don't like using double-pointed needles that are as big as the 8 mm needles are (I find them awkward when they're that big). So..... what's a girl to do?

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I ordered some Knit Picks Options needles. I already had the cords (24"), so I ordered two sets of the 8 mm points. They arrived yesterday. I immediately tried them out on the felted socks and love them. Oh, incidentally, the felted sock is from Cat Bordhi's book "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles". I decided to make these for the winter, to wear in my sheepskin slippers. I have a feeling the floors in this suite will be rather cool (it's all ceramic tile or painted concrete).

One more thing arrived with the Knit Picks needles.

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Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitting Workshop". I decided this would be a good addition to my knitting library and I wasn't wrong. I have a feeling I'll be referring to this book on a regular basis.

Today, I'll be by myself for a few hours; John has to go to work for a while. I'll be hitting the local farm shops and picking up a few groceries. Then, it's off to the yarn shop to visit with one of the girls for a little while, just to catch up. After that I'm going to knit, knit, knit until John gets home.

Monday, July 23, 2007

So, what exactly happened???

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Does that give you some idea?

This morning was going along just fine, thank you very much. I'd had my shower; I knew what I was going to wear for the day, and I was almost ready. Until I decided to dry my hair a little more before I went out the door.

My mom gave me that brush because she didn't want or need it. I decided to use it on the ends of my hair. Good idea, right? Wrong!

It got stuck in my hair. And I mean STUCK. I spent more than 20 minutes trying to extricate my hair from that brush and made no headway whatsoever. None. The only way to separate the brush from my hair was to cut it out of my hair. Which is what I did.

Then I called in to work and told them I was having a hair emergency and would be in when I could. I called my nearest hairdresser. They're closed today. Shortly before noon, I was home again. By that time, I'd had enough. There were a few other issues, but that one was enough to tell me that I shouldn't have gotten up this morning.

On the plus side, John and I had been looking at some pictures and had come across one of me with shorter hair. We both agreed it looked pretty good, really, and that perhaps I should have my hair cut shorter again. Just not yet.

Anyway, I've gone from....

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to this...

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Incidentally, by tomorrow, the cut will look completely different. The hairdresser straightened it so she could more easily blend the cut section into the rest. My hair is naturally curly and the curl will be more obvious once my hair's washed again.

And, I'm staying away from styling brushes!

P.S., Leslie, Blogger and I are having some issues regarding my profile. If you click on "View my complete profile", you'll find that it's up to date. For some reason, the short version of the profile doesn't change at all, even though I've tried changing it, and even deleting it, every time another grandchild's born. Who knows why? I've given up.

On the road again

That's what we did this past weekend. We drove to Vancouver to bring John's dad the remainder of his necessities. We didn't want to, but we had little choice.

Almost two weeks ago, we put him on the bus to Vancouver so he could visit his neice and his lady friend, for three days. He was to return that Saturday. Instead, we got a call informing us that he was all settled in to his new home, an assisted living facility. Now, we knew that was going to happen at some point. At this point, however, the intention was that he go there, check it out, and, if it was favourable, he was to put a deposit down in order to hold his place, come back here to make all the arrangements and we would move him down. That didn't happen.

Instead, he was there with three days worth of clothing and all moved in. Last week, we got a desperate call from him. He had no clothes left to wear and he wanted some of his things. So, that's what we did this weekend.

Thankfully, we also had some time to spend with my father and some of my family. I got to visit with one of my sisters and her husband, my son and his partner, who are expecting a child sometime within the next few weeks (my 6th grandchild), a couple of their kids, my daughter and granddaughter, one of my nephews, and spending a couple of nights at my mother's. All in all, it was a busy but good weekend.

I did take along a small project to work on during the drive there (4 hours, approximately). I started a little pullover for the soon-to-be-born grandchild.

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The pattern is from the latest Knit Simple, a magazine that a co-worker brought in. There was nothing else in the magazine that appealed to me, so I just made a copy of the pattern for myself.

The yarn I'm using is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino on 3.25 mm needles. Normally, I would be using straight needles, but because I knew I'd be working on it in the car, I decided to go with ciruculars instead. I'm just past the armhole shaping on both the front and the back. The green that I chose would be suitable for either a boy or a girl, which is why I chose it. Apparently, the baby is a little boy and with the colouring of his parents, I would say that this shade of green will look pretty good on him.

Now, however, I should be on my way to work. Unfortunately, I have to go to the hairdresser's instead. I'll explain in another post. Let's just say I've had a hair emergency.

Get ready for a chuckle at my expense. *sigh*

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cotton Candy

Last week, I mentioned the project currently on my needles. It hasn't, unfortunately, made much progress since that time.

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However, here is the Cotton Candy scarf (my name for it). The yarn is Handmaiden Yarns, Angel Hair (70% kid mohair and 30% nylon), in the Autumn colourway. The pattern is from Victorian Lace Today, the first pattern in the book. One thing about this book, the patterns don't really have names. This one is entitled "Scarf or shawl with a center pattern". It's classified as easy lace and it is. The center pattern is pretty mindless; I do, however, find myself missing the final yarnover on the row more often than not.

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When I first went through this book, I realized there were a number of patterns I could finally use this yarn for. I've had two skeins of it in my stash for a couple of years now and it's about time to use them, don't you think?

Another small project I've been working on off and on for the last while is Cat Bordhi's toe up socks. Remember? Well, here's the experimental sock today.

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I'm not sure if I'll make a second one. It would make a good pair of socks to wear in my slippers this winter, but... It was more of an experiment than anything else. My conclusions? Well, I do like the heel on this sock. Mostly. If I did it again, I would, as she suggests, begin the heel stitch lower down on the bottom of the foot. I find that, on this sock, the heel stitch is a little high on the heel (see where the arrow is? see how it bulges slightly there?). That could be because the foot is a little too long; I'm not sure. The heel looks good, though. The toe was interesting to work. It starts with a provisional cast on, done over two needles, working each part of the toe, top, then bottom, separately. It sounds confusing, I know, but her directions are so clear and so easy to follow. Before you know it, you have a toe box done and you're flying up the foot.

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On this sock, I've also used a tubular cast off. I'm really liking this cast off for toe-up socks.

That's pretty much all the knitting I've done this week. The temperatures around here have been hovering around the 35-38C mark (that's about 100F), too hot to do much knitting. Today is going to be another hot one, so not much knitting will get done today either. I will, however, be pickling some more cherries. Yes, pickling. They're delicious! And John wants more!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

So... the swatch that didn't want to be a swatch is off the needles. Finished in just over a week. That yarn REALLY wanted to be that scarf, what can I say?

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The finished scarf still needs to be blocked, something that's a little difficult to accomplish around here, considering the fact that there are no carpeted floors in this suite and no spare beds on which to stretch out the scarf. I think I may be able to use a spare table in the garage, lay a blanket over it, then a sheet or towel and block the scarf there. I'm hoping to accomplish that this weekend.

The scarf was a fun project. The center panel was, after the first repeat, fairly mindless and an easy knit. The two ends, on the other hand, demanded some concentration, so I would rate this as an intermediate knit. The details once again... Jaggerspun Zephyr, in a copper colour, on 4.0 mm (US6) needles. The pattern is from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. I did add a few more repeats in the center panel because I used smaller needles than the pattern called for, but, other than that, there were no changes.

I've started another scarf from the same book, but I'll write more about that next time. All I'll say right now is think cotton candy and that I'm using stash yarn... finally!

A number of years ago, my ex-mother-in-law gave me a beaded bag that had belonged to my husband's grandmother. She had no idea how it had been made, where it had come from, or any real information about it. All we knew was that Pete's Oma lived in Holland and that she was born sometime in the mid 1800's. I've carried that little bag with me, taking it out of it's wrapping now and then to admire it, to show it off, and just to appreciate it, really.

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I love this little bag. And, when I borrowed Montse Stanley's book from the library, I finally discovered how the bag had been made; it's knitted!

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For years, I'd looked at the bag, puzzled over the four vertical lines running down the bag. Now, I realize it was knitted on double-pointed needles and the lines are actually "ladders" where the needles joined. I appreciate this little bag even more now that I know how it was made.

According to Montse Stanley, "Close-bead knitting saw it's heyeay in the mid-nineteenth century and had a revival in the 1900s...Minute beads, threaded on silk, were used to obatin similar bright effects (mimicking needlepoint) in knitting." The beads ARE tiny. There is a patch on the reverse side of the bag where some of the work has been repaired... badly. The beads used for the repair are much larger and they're regular seed beeds. It would almost be like comparing limes with grapefruits, size-wise.

Now, on with the day! It's been hot here this week and it looks like today will be no exception. John's at work (yes, on a Saturday), so his dad and I will have to do the grocery shopping and running around. Have I mentioned that I dislike grocery shopping? Oh well... then it's back here to relax and enjoy the weekend.

I hope you do the same.

Incidentally, the other object in the decoupaged cigar box is a crystal perfume bottle in a custom fitted leather case. I love stuff like that!