Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cast On!

Even though I have a few projects on needles right now, my fingers have been itching for lace again. Never one to resist temptation too strenuously, I gave in. I found some lace weight yarn in my stash, pulled out “Victorian Lace Today” and decided on a pattern. This time it’s the Myrtle Leaf Shawl  With Willow Border.

The border will be knitted on after the body of the shawl (stole, really) is finished. The colourway I’m using (Knit Picks Shadow, Kettle Dyed) is called Grasshopper and the shawl is being knitted on 3.5 mm needles. I’m already liking how it’s looking and I haven’t even completed one full repeat of the pattern.

I wonder if any of you remember this scarf, also from Victorian Lace Today…

If you’re interested, you can read about it here. I finished it in 2007 and gave it to my mother. I know she loved it and wore it often. Apparently it was worn so much that it needed to be washed.

It was with some embarrassment that she admitted that she’d thrown it in the washing machine… yes, the washing machine! She now has a felted lace scarf. All I could do was shake my head. I was sure she’d know better than to wash wool in the washing machine. Apparently, I was wrong.

On the christening dress front, I’ve ordered some yarn from Heirloom Knitting in England and it should be arriving within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, it’s a nice bright shade of white and will be fine enough for the dress. I’ll also be receiving some samples from another yarn company, Colourmart, also in England. Once I have the yarn, I’ll be starting the dress all over again. And you know what? I’m looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Exercise in Futility

I’ve been working on the Shetland Christening dress again this morning. It has not been going well.

Yup, I’ve taken it off the needles. I’m giving up on it. I fear that the yarn just doesn’t have the strength to survive the inevitable blocking process so I’d rather give up on it at this point than attempt to finish it and not have it make it through the blocking. Perhaps, one day, I’ll decide to knit it again but, for now, this project is a no-go.

Incidentally, I can see no evidence of critter activity in the ball of yarn, so I do not understand why it’s simply breaking (pretty much every other row at this point).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring has… Or has it?

Spring has definitely arrived… I think. All month, the temperatures have been on the cool side; we’ve even seen snow at slightly higher elevations as recently as yesterday. However, we’re seeing flowers in the garden. The Star Magnolia is blooming and the tulips are opening. The Forsythia is in full bloom, and the grass in a sheltered area is looking lush and almost ready for it’s first cut.

With the arrival of spring, a restlessness has also arrived around here. Knitting has been sporadic and un-inspired. I did, however, pull out the Shetland Christening dress. I wanted to work on something that required no thought and, seeing as it’s all garter stitch, it fit the bill. There’s a problem, though.

I was happily knitting away when I ran out of thread; it had shredded! I thought that perhaps I’d hooked the yarn on something and it had snapped so I joined the tail to the ball and merrily knit on. It happened again, three rows later. I’m not sure what’s going on, but the yarn has been shredding, almost as if it’s been… dare I even think it?… nibbled. I’m not sure it has, though. I didn’t see any sign of little critters in the yarn and it’s been stored in a cloth bag, in a storage container in a room that has no carpeting. I’m hoping that it may just be breaking because I poked the ends of the needles into the ball (I do that… I shouldn’t, I know). I will continue on, but if I encounter any more of these very thin spots, I may just abandon the entire project. That’s drastic, I know, but I wouldn’t want to finish something so special only to have it fall apart. That would just be sad.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

It’s All Good!

This week has absolutely flown by! I guess it helps that I had last Friday and this past Monday and Tuesday off. A three day work week does go by quickly.

Both of my daughters are now settled in their new homes (yes, both of them moved… one the previous week – her place flooded – and the younger one moved the weekend I was there). I visited all three of my kids and got to see all of the grandkids (the ones that live in town, at any rate). My new car made it safely home, in spite of the snow that was falling up at both summits of the Coquihalla Highway and the Connector.

In the remaining part of the week, I did manage to get some knitting done. It wasn’t much but I did work on the Mini Mochi hat #2. It came along with me to Sit & Stitch today, where progress was made.

This is going to be one pretty hat, I can tell already. I have a feeling it will see a lot of wear next fall and winter.

I’ve also been playing with my iPod this week. I’ve downloaded a couple of photography apps and have been having some fun with them. One that I’m really liking is FX Photo Studio. With it, you can add photo effects to any picture you either take or have in your iPod photo album. Here’s one example of what I mean.

And yes, the tulips are up, but they’re not quite blooming yet. Speaking of growing things, we found out that J (the upstairs neighbour) and his son will be heading north in a few weeks. He intends to get a job in a mine. That means, however, that the job of looking after the garden falls to us (D, his partner, has absolutely no interest in gardening; seems she doesn’t like to get her hands dirty). That’s not a bad thing. We have intentions of growing a good crop of vegetables, mainly things like beans, corn, tomatoes (we already have almost 40 seedlings started) and some herbs, most notably basil… lots of basil. The garden already has strawberries, raspberries, grapes and several herbs (sage, marjoram and who knows what else?). Our landlord was even suggesting that we exchange produce. If he has a bumper crop of something, he would share with us and we could share our excess with him. I like that idea. With the cost of produce going up and up, it just makes sense.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Normally, I blog on the weekends as that’s when I have time to sit and think about what I’m going to write. This past weekend, however, I was down at the coast picking up a car from my Mom and visiting my kids and grandkids. It was a very busy weekend!

Now, I’m home. I took today off as I was really tired after yesterday’s drive home. It’s been a very restful, quiet and productive day. It was, however, a day with no knitting (the day isn’t over yet!).

I did want to share my hat with you, though. I finished it before I left for the coast, which is why you haven’t seen it yet.

I like this hat! It fits well and the colours work. I have every intention of starting a second one. Actually, I did start the second one and worked on it a bit at my Mom’s. However, I noticed a mistake about 4 rows down and tried to correct it (somewhere in the row my colours got reversed). I dropped too many stitches and couldn’t get it right so I ended up frogging the entire thing (about 3” worth). I haven’t re-started it yet, but will… probably tonight. I’ll make the second hat a little shorter, I think.

Ok, short post today. I can’t sit in this chair any longer!