Monday, January 31, 2011

Just Another Day at the Office

You just never know what will come through the door of a print shop. Today, this gentleman came in to have some printing done. When he returned to pick up his order, he asked if we would like to see on of his birds. The girls up front said “YES!”. My camera lives in my purse, so I got it out and snapped a few pictures.

What an amazing creature! This is a gyr falcon; he also uses a peregrine falcon and his two dogs to help control the Canada goose population in local parks and landfills.

004 007 008 For anyone interested, I also found a YouTube video that a local reporter put together about this man, Dennis Ingram, and his birds. Like I said, you never know what will come in the front door! It definitely made for an interesting day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Dance!!


OS2 OSBackWhat else is there to say? I love this cardi! It turned out even better than I’d anticipated. I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this sweater. It’s comfy, it fits well and… it’s ORANGE!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What’s Going On??

Orange Sherbet_pieces

I’m not sure what’s going on, but see that pile of knitting? That’s the Orange Sherbet Cardi. All five pieces. You know what that means? It means that I’ve finished the knitting. Thirteen days! That’s how long it took.

So, what’s so special about that, you ask? Well, if I’m not mistaken, that’s the quickest I’ve ever knit a garment for myself. Heck, the Ropes & Picots cardigan took a year!

It’s not sewn together yet; I’ll be doing that tomorrow because today is Sit & Stitch and I don’t think that’s the place to be seaming a sweater. For some reason, I’ve really been into knitting one project at a time right now, unusual for me. With the first Drops cardi, I was motivated to finish it before H, I’ll admit it (she’s finished the knitting on hers now); with this one as well, once I started it, I so enjoyed the process that it went far more quickly than I’d ever thought it would. And I must admit, it feels good!

I’ll be taking the Western Seas sweater along to Sit & Stitch today, after I pick up the stitches for the collar. That’s the next project to finish. All that needs to be done on it are the collar and the sleeves, which are picked up at the armholes and worked down on double-pointed needles.

WesternSeas2By the time this little sweater is done (it’s size 4-5 years), the yarn for the little girls’ sweaters should be here. I did get an email this week informing me that my KnitPicks order is now in the Canadian postal system, so it should be arriving some time this week.

As much as I enjoy the instant gratification of small projects, I have to say that finishing full size garments, no matter the size, is even more gratifying. And yes, I’ll post pictures of the Orange Sherbet cardi on me once it’s all put together.

I’m happy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wearing (& Loving) It!

The first part of this past week was very slow at work (it has since picked up dramatically) and I took Tuesday off. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s waiting for work to show up. There’s plenty for me to do at home so I told my boss I’d rather not waste my time and his money.

I spent the morning finishing up the cardigan. Yup, finishing it. It’s completely finished, sewn together, buttons on, ends woven in. Done!

Drops 123_1_5  Drops 123_1_7 Drops 123_1_6

The buttons are some wooden buttons I bought a long time ago for another project. I debated about whether or not to stain or paint them, but I think I like them as they are.

I did lightly wet block the ribbing at the waist; 3x3 rib pulls in quite a bit and I was afraid that if I didn’t block it, it would gap open at the buttons. All I did was pin the cardi down to the carpeting (on a sheet) to my waist measurement, laid a couple of wet/damp tea towels over the waist section and let it dry while I was finishing up the second sleeve.

I have to say, I’m REALLY pleased with how this cardigan turned out. I love the yarn, I love the colour (Sandie, green is one of my favourite colours, too!), love the style, love the way it feels on… just love it!

As a final recap, the pattern is Drops 123-1, the yarn is KnitPicks Gloss Fingering weight in the Parsley colourway (discontinued). I bought eleven skeins and have two complete skeins left. The cardi was knit on 3.0 mm needles. The only modification to the pattern was to start with the stitch count after the second pleat/cable, rib to where the third pleat/cable was to be and continued with the pattern as written (did that make sense?).

Now, I’m on to my next project. I’ve started another cardi for myself, one that I started and frogged once before (August ‘09). It’s another Drops pattern, 112-26. As of last night, the back is about 10 rows from being finished.

001 The yarn for this one is Lerici Fein, by Schoeller & Stahl, a cotton and acrylic blend that is wonderfully soft and drapey. It’s knit on 4.0 mm needles and, after working on 3 mm needles, is working up very quickly. I’m making the 3/4 sleeve version. I think this will be just right as a spring/summer cardigan.

This week, I also ordered some yarn to make a couple of special little sweaters. More on that, though, when the yarn comes in.

Before I finish up and hit the “publish” button, I just want to wish my daughter, Kristen, a very happy 31st birthday. It’s her birthday today. Happy Birthday, sweetheart… we love you and hope your day, and your year, are as special as you are.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nearly There!

It’s been two weeks since I blogged! Where has the time gone? There’s been progress in that time; I’ve been knitting on the cardigan pretty much daily. Interestingly, I really haven’t wanted to work on anything else and that’s unusual for me.

I don’t know if I mentioned it or not but one of the ladies I work with, H, is making the same cardi as I am. She’s making hers in a cotton blend, also from Knit Picks, in the smallest size. Her husband was pretty sure that she’d finish hers before I finished mine and he would probably have been right if H hadn’t decided to modify the sleeve cap. She thought the pattern was wrong.

H came into work this week with her knitting in hand, wanting me to look at it and figure out why it wasn’t looking right and why it wasn’t fitting in to the arm scye. In the end, I told her that I’d have a sleeve finished that night and would sew it in and let her know (and see) in the morning whether or not the pattern was correct.

Let’s just say that I’ve rarely had a sleeve go in as smoothly and easily as that one did. There is nothing wrong with the pattern.

I brought my sweater in to work yesterday, just to show H that she should have simply followed the pattern. Then I told her what I’ve told numerous customers in the yarn shop… trust the pattern! (You can’t always trust the pattern, but Drops has been in the knitting business for a long time and their patterns are pretty good, if a little bare on detail.)

 Drops 123_1.3

I’ve cast on for the second sleeve and hope to make good progress on it this weekend. Once that sleeve is done, it’s just a matter of weaving in the ends and finding buttons. I do intend to block it; I’m finding that the 3x3 rib pulls in so much that I’m afraid the buttonholes will stretch out and I’ll look like a sausage. I just need the ribbing to relax a bit.

At least I know it fits. And it’s looking really good, even if I do say so myself! I think I’ll get plenty of wear out of this cardigan.

Now that this project is almost finished, I’m thinking about the next project. I’ve been poring over the Drops web site, looking for summer cardigans. I’ve found a couple that I like and will winnow it down to one pattern over the next days (or I’ll make them all, eventually). I’ve also found a lacy sleeveless top that I’d like to make and wear as a vest. Which one I’ll start first, I don’t know yet. And once I’ve decided which one to make, I’ll have to decide on the yarn and the colour… Or I could finish something that’s already in the works. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, January 03, 2011

The First of Many

The first finished object of 2011 is off the needles! I’ve been having a lot of fun knitting the Rectangly hat!

004 005

I’m really pleased at how it turned out, even though it seems I can’t read a chart very well (there are a few little “mistakes”, but you’d only know if you compared the hat with the pattern). This little hat is really cozy, warm and cushy. Unfortunately, it’s a touch small for me. It could be a little longer. For it’s purposes, though, it did what it was meant to do; it was meant to be a learning tool for the technique of double knitting. I’m comfortable with the technique now and am much more comfortable purling in the Continental style of knitting.

The hat will go into my box of finished objects and will, eventually, be given to some worthy person with a smaller head than mine.

I’ve also been working on another small project. You may remember that this suite has ceramic tile floors and, now that it’s winter, the floors can be quite cold. To that end, John and I decided (yes, WE decided… he even suggested it!) that we need to have a stash of house slippers at the door for guests. Most of our friends are really good about taking their shoes off, but with the floors as chilly as they are, I feel a bit guilty about wearing my felted slippers and having our guests suffer cold feet. I know, we could get some rugs, but we really don’t want them.

John suggested I make a bunch of the felted clogs, but I wanted something a little quicker and less personalized (felted clogs are felted to size; it’s a little difficult to make “one size fits all” kind of slippers), so I went on the hunt for patterns. I’ve bookmarked a few and cast on for one pattern.

002It’s a fairly simple pattern, basically just the foot of a sock. The pattern is Marilyn Van Keppel’s Faroese Footlets. The pattern has different options, including a colourwork option, but I’ve decided to make a plain pair first, just to get familiar with the pattern. Personally, I’m finding the pattern easy to work up, but a little disjointed and a bit confusing in places. I’ll try a colourwork pair next. In the meantime, at least one guest’s feet will be a little warmer.

Oh.. the yarn? It squeaks!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

First Post of 2011

With all the time I had off over the Christmas season, I’ve been getting a lot of knitting done. Not all of it has been the cardigan either, as I’m sure you realize (what? me knit on one project only???).

As of yesterday, the body of the Western Seas sweater is finished, except for the collar. Because it was already dark by the time I got to that point, I wasn’t going to even try to pick up stitches. It’s looking good, though.

WesternSeas2I have been working on the cardigan, but I’ve also been working on this double knit hat. I really can’t work on the mittens because of the fineness of the yarn and the small size of the needles, but I have found that I can work double knitting on dk weight yarn and 4.0 mm needles. This hat, the Rectangly Hat, designed by Catherine Hughes, of Spinstar Creations (available as a free Ravelry download), is well written, geared to double knitting novices. I’m about halfway at this point and it’s so cushy!

RectanglyHatDon’t ask me about the yarn; all I know is that it’s a superwash wool that has been in my stash for a long time. I’ve used this brand of yarn (Luxury Yarns, perhaps?) for numerous items in the past, predominantly while I was working at the yarn shop. It’s a nice soft, very cushy yarn that knits up beautifully. I may have to, at some point, invest in some more of this yarn.

There will be more knitting this weekend; I still have today and tomorrow off.