Saturday, March 31, 2007


Flash Your Stash is tomorrow. I'll be busy working on a charity quilt so I've been taking pictures all week (eep!) so that I'll be ready to post tomorrow morning. I have a reasonable yarn stash. It might scare my hubby but he knows that the big stash is quilting fabric. After this weekend, I will go through my yarn and work on getting rid of some of it. Keep your eyes peeled for it on Good Yarn Karma. I'll only post whole usable skeins. Any leftovers will be donated to charity.

I finally got the Bonita shirt started sans moebius. Phew! That was trickier than it should've been. But now I'm cruising. No pic since there's only 1 inch of boring hem facing knitted.

And I started another project. In my previous post, I was lusting after that hemp yarn. I found the perfect project for the yarn - the Indigo Ripples skirt from the current IK. I ran out to the yarn store to buy the hemp this morning and I've spent the rest of the day in mathland working out the details. The hemp is fingering (yes, it has occurred to me that I'm nuts for knitting a skirt with sock-sized 2.75mm needles) and the project yarn is dk/sport so I need to make a lot of changes. I also swatched and I need to wash the swatch before I start the real thing.

And here's a little temptation... Discontinued Brand Name Yarn - I think I hear my credit card sobbing. They've got superwash sock yarn ($11.99), bamboo ($42.50 for bag of 10 - 100g/250yds), etc. I must knit fasterso that I can buy more yarn!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Oooh, look here for a cool knitting chart toy tool -- you get to do charts, and it even lets you automatically mirror what's in the chart, among other things.

I'm working on a tank top in that cotton big sport that I got for $10/bag. Hope I'll have enough yarn!

Also in progress: the tofutsies sock. That's now getting worked on during my commute only, so it's not going as quickly.

Boy, are you ever deep in the frog pond. Hope you get out soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


That's what I did yesterday at knit nite. The Bonita shirt is no more. After some deliberation with the other gals, I decided that it had to be reknit. I cast on this afternoon and I thought I was being careful but after knitting 7 - 242 st rounds, I realized that I had a moebius. @$%#!!!!!!!! I cast on again but didn't join in the round until hubby got home and held the needles while I ran my fingers around the cast on to make sure I wouldn't get a twist. I am going to knit the next size down and it should fit this time. I'm not going to reknit the sleeves since the armholes will be the same depth.

My lys has gotten a new shipment of hemp yarn called "hemp for knitting" . The stuff feels like straw but after it's been washed, it's so soft. In fact, I'd be tempted to prewash the skein before knitting with it. And the drape is unbelievable. There's 2 weights - fingering (only $6 for one 50g/150m skein) and dk (twice the price/weight as the fingering but same yardage per skein). I thought about buying some of the fingering to make this lace nightie. But decided that the yarn wouldn't look good in the gauge required. The dk would be a better weight but it's so thick. I don't know that I want a nightie with that much substance. Lana Knits is distributing the yarn and has great pattern support. I really really love this top. It's knit side to side and looks so elegant. I would be tempted to knit it in black so that I could wear it with anything. And maybe one in 'deep sea' to wear with jeans. Hmmm...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bad couple of days

My mom accidentally gave Andrew a Chinese treat which had peanuts in it, and he vomited twice, then looked listless, so she administered his epipen. And then, when we went to the doctor, they found that he's got an ear infection, and prescribed antibiotics. Andrew refused to take them because "they taste like YUCK!"

And when Tony and I dabbed a bit on our tongues, we had to agree -- think bitter and metallic, and then add waves of flavours, all yucky. So we went back and the pharmacist gave us pills instead, which went down in ice cream tonight. Poor kid's having a bad week.

And that's why I didn't blog about the sock madness Mad-tini socks that I finished late on Tuesday night. I really liked the spiral pattern, so I continued it down the top of the foot after the heel. It's a deviation from the pattern, but since I'm out of the running anyways, I'm just knitting this to make myself happy. I did finish two days before the final competitor in this round, which made me oddly happy.

feels like summer

I am wearing shorts!!!! It's still a little cool but I've been moving around all day so I'm keeping warm. I mucked in the garden - planted 7 plants: 2 heathers, a cranesbill geranium, a heuchera, a bergenia, and 2 helianthums. The new flower bed is looking much better. While I was taking stock of what needed to be planted, I came across 2 identical mystery plants. They look like a tree/shrub and one is slightly larger than the other. I cannot remember what I bought last year that came in those pots (I buy a lot of stuff that I can't remember). They were just starting to leaf out so I guess I'll have to wait awhile before the mystery can be solved.

A yarny package (#2 of 3) arrived today... But it's not all mine.

Yoo hoo, Gladys - your Noro is here. The book goes to another knitting friend. The Addi Lace circ, Atacama, Regia sock yarn, Panda Cotton, and Panda Wool are mine (I'm replenishing the sock yarn that my Mom has taken from my stash). Pairs of socks that I can knit from stash: 23.

On the knitting front, I finally did laundry and washed my Bonita shirt swatch (do not remind me that I've already finished knitting the whole shirt). The swatch shrank but it only shrank lengthwise. It did not shrink widthwise - not one single bit. Argh!!! I had made the shirt slightly wider so that it would shrink to fit. And now it looks like I'm stuck with that width. Do you think 4" of ease is a little too much? I'm afraid that I might just have to rip out the whole thing and start over (seems to be a popular theme over here).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

feels like spring

It's hard to stay inside when it's sunny out. However, Ricky is quite happy to pass out in the sunshine.

I did laundry and some general house tidying. I really should get out in the garden and stick a bunch of stuff into the ground. Over the winter, I bought a lot of sale/clearance plants and they should be planted this spring. But first I need a plan... I also bought a jumbo pack of begonia tubers from Costco last night that should be potted up.

Today, I got a package in the mail (shh - don't tell hubby but I'm expecting 3 yarny parcels). It was the MCY yarn that I ordered from Etsy. In person, the colours are a little brighter than the Etsy picture but that's ok. The yarn is a light fingering so I will probably have to go out and buy smaller dpns. But it's very squooshy and I can see that the colours will look really nice in socks.

I finished a neck thingy out of olive Malabrigo for a quilting friend of mine. No pictures because it's just a boring tube. Maybe I'll get a picture of the recipient modelling it. I'm starting another neck thingy for another quilting friend. I'm using Malabrigo again but in emerald. This colourway has lots of blue and turquoise and reminds me of the ocean. The colour choice really stressed me out cuz my friend was no help. She used the words, "I trust your judgement". I know she doesn't like brights and some greens. She uses a lot of blue in her quilts so I picked something with blue in it. But I am fully prepared for her to hate it.

I've been dreaming about how to use the yarn that I salvaged yesterday. I did some math and I have enough for this lace nightie (free from IK's website). Or maybe I should make something wearable in public.

Monday, March 26, 2007

formerly known as 'tank top'

This pile of yarn (Scheepjeswol Linnen 60% cotton 40% linen) was a tank top this morning. Now it's just a pile of yarn. When I started knitting again 2 years ago, my first project was this tank top. I'd picked up the yarn and pattern from a garage sale (I think). There were some severe gauge issues and being in denial, I chose to finish it rather than rip back. The armholes reached down to my waist. The chest was unmeasurable (I kid you not). It was so bad that I don't even have a picture of it. I washed and dried it hoping that it would shrink to a wearable size. Ha!

Today when I was cleaning out the guest bedroom (yarn is soft but I don't expect guests to sleep with it), I came across the tank top and frog'd it so that I could reuse the yarn for a new summer top. It wasn't easy to take apart. The yarn was knit double and I wanted to wind it back into seperate balls. There was a lot of cursing but I got it done. I feel much better now.

The lace scarf is moving along. I think it's about 12" long if I stretch it out on my leg. I have no pictures since I disassembled my blocking/photography station (aka the guest bed) this morning.

No sock progress. Socks have fallen completely off my knitting radar. I'm obsessed with the lace scarf.

Pimping Yarn
Great Knitting Yarns is closing shop. They're in Canada and I am always sad when a small quilt/yarn store has to close. There's not much left but you can still get some Cascade Sierra for $6.25 and there's Lett-Lopi (Lopi Lite) for $2.50. And they've got Clover bamboo needles on sale, too.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Knitters Treat Exchange

I have joined this swap. It looks like fun. Plus it's low stress. And now I have an excuse to go shopping for neat things.

So here are my answers to the questionnaire:

1. What's your favourite type of yarn?
I am currently addicted to handpainted/dyed sock yarn. Heck, I'm addicted to sock yarn period. I like anything soft. I also have a weakness for laceweight yarn.

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn?
I don't like scratchy yarn - I don't care what it's made out of. I don't mind synthetic materials as long as it's soft. I don't like overly sheddy yarn like angora.

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop?
Fondle the yarn.

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do?
I am primarily a quilter. I knit because I can do it and watch TV at the same time. I would like to learn how to weave and spin properly (I own a drop spindle and some roving).

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?
Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, Interweave Knits, Cook's Illustrated

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:Knitting / Crochet / Other Craft / Food / Home / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip / Garden
Other Craft - Quilting
Celebrity Gossip

7. What items do you like to knit / crochet?
I like lace knitting - scarves/stoles/shawls. I like making socks and cardigans. I also like making mittens & toques.

8. Are you allergic to anything?
I am mildly allergic to a lot of foods but that doesn't stop me from eating them. I am allergic to caffeine and that is one of the things I avoid so that I can eat chocolate. I also have sensitive skin (poor me - I can only wear gold/titanium jewellry). My mosquito bites look like bee stings. TMI?

9. What do you like to* smell of?(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of)
Chanel No. 5, Estee Lauder Dazzling Gold
Lavender, vanilla

10. What's your favourite way to relax?
Hanging out with my quilting/knitting buddies.

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first?
Old fashioned bakery

12. What do you come out with?
A whole strip of apple strudel, a bag of cookies, and some kind of cheese bread.

13. Where do you go next?
Victorian sweetshop
14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal?
I love the colour purple. Any shade of purple. I have 2 cats so you could say I'm a cat person. And finally, don't let my allergies stress you out.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

busy Saturday

I think the lace is working out. Here's what my swatch/scarf looks like now:

I think it's ok. I swatched with 3.5mm needles, switched to 2.75mm, and eventually settled on US 3. I'll keep knitting on it for now.

I wound up my latest dyeing disaster. I don't think I can use it for anything wearable. The colour is too murky.

I've been cutting fabric today. My nieces are promised a queen sized quilt when they move out of their crib. Last year, my youngest niece declared that she was a big girl and wasn't going to sleep in her crib anymore. She wanted to sleep in a big bed like her older sister. My sister bought some fabric last year to get me started. A few weeks ago, I saw a pattern that would work with the fabrics she picked out. I bought a few more pieces to balance things out and today I chopped it all up. The fabric at the top is flannel and it is the backing for the quilt. I love the little Chinese girls wearing traditional Chinese outfits. When I saw this fabric years ago, I bought the entire bolt. Half of it has been used on the back of my oldest niece's quilt. I wish I had more of it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

getting my ass kicked

ARGH! I have never had such a problem with a stitch pattern. If there's an error, I can usually figure it out fairly quickly. But this stitch pattern is kicking my ass. I have spent part of yesterday night and all of today trying to figure this out.

I want to use the lacy entrelacs pattern on page 101 of the Knitting Encylopedia 1500 patterns by Mon Tricot. Firstly, it says it's a "multiple of 13 + 1 + selv" which is wrong. The "+ 1" isn't necessary. Then I knit it up and there's something wrong going from row 5 to row 7. And there's something wrong going from row 11 and row 1, the first ssk doesn't line up. Note that these problems are only at the beginning/end of the row. The pattern is fine when you repeat it across the row.

Here is the original pattern charted:

The first problem is trying to line up the 2 yo's of row 7 on either side of the yo in row 5. To make it work, I have to k1, yo, k1, yo at the beginning of row 7. But then there is a stitch missing at the end of row 7. I have adjusted by doing a kf&b in the last stitch of the row.

But when I go from row 11 to row 1, the extra stitch at the end of the row has to go. The extra stitch at the beginning of the row isn't a problem. It's as if, rows 7-11 need to shift over by 1 stitch. I tried knitting that up but it didn't work out. I'm going to play around with it a bit more. I've invested so much time that I'm not willing to give up now.

If any of you can spot the problem with the pattern and have a solution, let me know. I would be very grateful.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

OMG yarn sale

Knit Happens is having an amazing yarn sale. Examples: Cascade 220 for $3.15/ball. Lorna's Laces sock yarn for $4.79 -- but it looks like there's only one colourway that's not sold out.


the suspense is over

My wee tiny sock arrived today and it's perfectly purple! It's made out of Trekking yarn (so hard to find in Canada) and I absolutely love it. Thanks so much, Pamela!

My dyed yarn is dry and I can say that the cherry did not make things better. Additionally, I seem to have slightly felted one of the skeins. Humph. Someone's going to get a new cat bed...
Last year, I donated a quilt to The Quilt: A Breast Cancer Support Project for their 2007 auction (online bidding is available so check out the website) and I was hoping that it would be in the travelling show so that I could go see it on display. But I got a letter saying that it's being kept at Stratford, Ontario (way over on the other side of the country) so I won't be able to see it in person. I was sad but a friend who also donated a quilt said that more people will see it there and it will likely fetch a higher price at auction. Now, I don't feel so bad because it'll raise more money.
Off to find a place to permanently display my wee tiny sock!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What a day

I'll bet your cats don't carry cornstarch down the hall, then spill it all over themselves, then run through it TWICE!

We had a great morning, going out to a local drop-in playgroup, but when we got home, that's when the day pretty much frogged itself, and this was the end of it. So if you're ever wondering why I'm not blogging, think of this photo.

And of course I can put up a photo of your gorgeous bag. It's in use at the moment, holding my current sock in progress. It's the SWTC Tidal Wave pattern, in that Tofutsies yarn that you gave me for my birthday. It's pretty cushy yarn. Some people online have complained that it's splitty, but I'm not having any issues with it, and I'm using the pointy Knitpicks needles.

a hairball kind of a day

I started 2 things yesterday and ripped them both out. First up was a garter toe/heel sock out of some leftover yarn from the test knit. I did not like it so that got frog'd. Then I wound up some lace yarn (the KP Shadow Redwood Forest that I was complaining about) and a pattern. I knitted 16 rows and frog'd that, too. I didn't like the needle size and the pattern for that yarn. I am going down a few needle sizes and I'm going to try a stitch pattern from one of my reference books. If it looks good, I'll post pictures.

Warning: The rest of this post is kinda cranky and there is no knitting content so you might want to skip it.

Bad cat
I woke up at 3:30am - correction, I was woken up at 3:30 this morning. Phoebe (one of our cats) jumped on the bed and lay down on the other side of my husband and started purring - very loudly. Loud enough to wake me. That's really loud considering that I'm a very sound sleeper. I tossed and turned for awhile and then I got up.

So on 4 hours sleep, I'm trying to get through the day. The same annoying cat had a hairball on the floor right behind me while I was standing at the bathroom counter. Of course, I had to throw the bathmat into the washing machine. I also had to chase her down to wipe off her chin and paws (it was a very large hairball).

A little more dyeing...
When I first started Kool Aid dyeing, I made a bunch of mistakes. In this instance, I didn't use enough powder and ended up with a wishy-washy salmon pink. Blech. I attempted to fix that mistake yesterday. First, I used the rest of the dye from the sock yarn dyeing. Then I used straight grape. I let both skeins dry overnight and they look hideous. I think hubby's comment was "you're trying for brown?" Uh no. So I went out to Safeway and bought more cherry hoping to brighten up the yarn a little. Both skeins are cooling right now and we'll see how I like it when they're dry. If they don't work out, I see a Kitty Pi (here's the pattern and here's a gallery of Kitty Pi's) in Phoebe's future.

I made a sock project bag for my co-blogger out of the cute sock fabric that I bought recently. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to her last weekend. Hey Gladys - can you post a pic when you have a moment? Thx.

And I got a present last week. Some of my quilting friends went to an exhibit featuring a local art quilter - Vivian Zuba. She is an extremely talented quilter and I've had the good fortune of taking 2 classes with her. Afterwards, they browsed through the gift shop and bought some very cute cards. They gave one of them to me because they know I knit. Isn't it cute? I have such nice friends.

And now, I am going to have a long nap. That is, if I can lie down. I just had lunch and I've got really bad heartburn. So bad that I took some Pepto. I better perk up cuz tonite's knit nite.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

dye job

Last week, I bought 20 packs of generic Kool Aid on sale. So all week, I've been itching to dye something, anything. I pulled some off-white Regia sock yarn from the stash and proceeded to skein it up. This involves the knob on the cutlery drawer and the knob on the pantry door - about 6 feet apart. There's also some yelling at the cats since they want to play with the yarn. While the yarn was soaking in plain water, I looked at all the colours to see what I wanted to do. I've never mixed colours before so all my previous dyeing resulted in bright Kool Aid colours. But I decided I wanted a plum-y look so I grabbed the cherry and grape hoping that it would turn out. I mixed 2 packets of grape in a cup of water. Then I added one cherry and checked the colour with piece of paper towel. It wasn't red enough so I added another cherry and the colour was about right. I dumped the mix into a big bowl and added another 7 cups of water. I used the dip method - dunk a chunk of yarn in the dye, wait, pull it out, and repeat until you run out of yarn. I varied the amount of wait time from minutes to seconds to achieve different tones of the same colour. And voila! Not too bad if I do say so myself.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Monday UFO report

I am making great strides on the Bonita shirt. After leaving it for about 6 months, I've completed the back & front. Plus I've knitted both sleeves. I tried to take some pictures but they're just lousy. The sheen of the cotton messes up the camera. My concerns about running out of yarn were completely unfounded. I have 2 whole balls left! That's plenty for the i-cord edging and the hem. Speaking of the hem, I am toying with the idea of changing the hem to either a picot edge or i-cord (to match the neck and sleeve/armhole). I think the i-cord will curl too much so I'll probably go with the picot edge. This project is on the back burner until I wash and dry the swatch. My row and stitch gauge are almost identical and I am worried that the i-cord will shrink too much causing the edges to pucker. If the swatch looks weird then I'll go up a needle size.

No sock progress at all. However, there has been stash enhancement - some KP Telemark in Bayberry and KP Shadow in Oregon Coast and Redwood Forest.
I am disappointed that the Redwood Forest is so dark but I'm glad I had the foresight to order Oregon Coast at the same time. I need 2 yarns (one DK and one lace) with good contrast to make a hat featured in an article by Meg Swansen called Armenian Knitting in the Vogue Knitting winter 05/06 issue. This technique is a cross between intarsia and fair-isle. You trap/carry the colour in the back like fair-isle but it's an intarsia-like motif. And get this - the carried colour is supposed to show on the front! I probably won't start this anytime soon since it's too warm to wear hats.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Wow! That's a lot of socks that you've finished. I really like the cashmere ones. But then I'm a sucker for anything purple! If you're looking for sock suggestions, how 'bout these and if you have enough yarn, you can make a matching scarf. These are my 2 top patterns for the huge chunk of MCY yarn that I bought from etsy.

There hasn't been much knitting over here. I spent most of Wed in the garden cleaning up. And since the garbage cans didn't get emptied, I dumped all the stuff on Hubby's side of the carport. I'm going to make him haul it to the yard waste recycling centre tomorrow.

I haven't felt like knitting socks. Dunno why. I did a little bit of sock knitting at knit nite but mostly, I've been working on the Bonita shirt (from IK Summer 06).

I started this last summer and lost interest when I reached the armholes. My yarn, gauge, etc. is different than the pattern so I had to adjust the numbers (I am knitting the 43" size and it currently measures 48" but I expect it to shrink down to 46" or so after washing & drying which is the perfect size for me). I stalled mostly because I hadn't done the math for the armhole decreases. But I'm back on track and am concerned that I'll run out of yarn. I started with 9 balls of vintage stuff that I picked up at the thrift store. I've used up 5 balls and I'm about 3-4" from finishing the back. Then I've got the front, 2 short sleeves, and i-cord edging around the neck/sleeve/armhole. Plus I didn't knit the fold over hem because I wanted to conserve yarn. But I did a provisional cast on so that I can go back and put the hem in afterwards. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Socks, socks, socks!

Cashmere socks, started at the beginning of the month, and cast off tonight. That picot cast off is hard to do when I'm also getting jumped on by two boys! It's hard to see, but I used the Dublin Bay lace pattern up the sides of the socks.

This pair is kinda cool. The socknitters list was talking about the strong heel from Knitters, and I actually had that issue of the magazine! And then I googled it to find more info, and got the Amy's Socks pattern. I wanted to try it out to see what it would do to the strong colour repeats of this yarn, and it was didn't really break the colour repeats, which was cool. I also got to try an eye of partridge heel for these socks. And now they're off to Tony's sister, because she admired them when I was knitting them, and because it was her birthday.

And finally, the Sock Madness pair, knit with Austermann Step and a heathered blue yarn. There are some contrast issues, so you can't see the Mad Cow pattern too well, but I really like them nonetheless.

And now I'm in pattern paralysis. I've got a ton of gorgeous yarns, and I can't decide what to make next. So I've grabbed a self-patterning silk opal that I got off the Destash blog, to do a plain stockinette sock while I'm trying to make up my mind.

Katia ad campaign

Just saw these via a marketing blog that I read, and of course, I had to share it!

The text reads: "Kill Time, Knit" and "Kill the Stress, Knit".

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Finished the mad cows!

Just a quick post to say that I finally finished the mad cow socks from Sock Madness, at 10:30 tonight! I did take a photo, but I can't find the camera cord now, so I'll update with a photo later.

Also, check out the huge anniversary yarn sale at Red Bird Knits! 20% off a ton of really nice yarn. And it's in Canada, so no customs charges. I got my birthday order from them earlier this week. The Fleece Artist merino sock yarn is amazing, and I just don't know what I want to make from it.


As per La's request (a little late but I'll use any excuse to post cat pictures):

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

truly random

1. Today was garbage day and it's Hubby's job to take the cans to the curb. He remembered the garbage but he forgot the yard waste. I filled all 4 cans last week and I specifically told him that they needed to be put out today. He walked past all 4 of them to reach his jeep this morning and he still forgot.

2. No knitting today. Not feeling like it. But I have been reading some knitting blogs.

3. Speaking of knitting blogs, Eunny Jang finally posted to her blog in what seems like ages. And she's got big news - she's the new editor of Interweave Knits. Congrats Eunny!

4. I basted my night weave quilt and it's ready for quilting. I think I've decided what I'm going to do...

5. Clean out cat litter boxes - check. I don't mean the daily scooping. I'm talking about the once-a-month, drag-out-the-soap kind of cleaning.

6. Laundry. Where does it all come from? There's only the 2 of us.

7. Keeping an eye on Ricky. Lately, he's been throwing up (on our light coloured carpet) in the early afternoon. He hasn't been doing it regularly or even daily so it's hard to tell if it's hairballs or if something else is wrong. I think I'll take him to the vet next week and make sure he's ok.

8. Phoebe was a pest while I was heating up my lunch today. She begs for treats at around noon. After I threw my lunch in the microwave, I was emptying the dishwasher and she came over, rubbed her face on my legs, and since I was ignoring her, she reached up and put her paws on my butt (yes, she can be that tall) and meowed at the top of her lungs. I ignored her some more so she walks over to her food bowl and proceeds to pick it up with her teeth and drops it several times. She knows that annoys me. And the only way to make her stop is to give her treats. Am I well trained or what?

9. It's been 3 days and the kitchen still smells like lamb curry. It's getting annoying. I may need to light a candle in there.

10. It's definitely spring here. There are mini daffodils blooming down the street and our neighbour's camellia is starting to bloom. If only the stupid rain will stop long enough for me to do some gardening.

11. Last but not least, my wee tiny sock is ready to be mailed. I made a little card for it so that the sock can be proudly displayed. I hope my recipient likes it.

Sock madness loser

I was in Stephanie's division in the Sock Madness race, and that turns out to be the most competitive division! I've already lost (16 competitors have knit socks in 1-2 days), and I'm at 1.5 socks completed. It looks like Wendy's division was the one to be in — they're at 10 pairs completed.

I might have made it if I hadn't frogged my first attempt because I didn't like how the colours were coming together. I was almost at the heel turn, but I decided that the colours were too bright for me to wear.

Photos coming soon, I promise!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Soggy Sunday

It's been pouring all day long. What a gloomy day. We're getting water dripping down the chimney again. Just the odd drip so we're not too worried. It's not the deluge we used to get before the mortar repairs.

Anyways, it's a perfect day to hunker down and do something crafty.

I sewed up the 9 leftover blocks from the Night Weave quilt into a cushion cover. I need to pick up a cushion that fits. The only one I had on hand is a little too small.

After that, I made myself a small sock knitting bag. I bought some metal spring hinges and I wanted to try them out. I've been dreaming about a bag that stands upright when it's open and closes tightly so that the contents don't fall out. I don't like zippers (plus I find yarn gets stuck in the zipper teeth) so when I saw these spring hinges, I thought I would give them a try (they're also cheaper than a zipper). I dug out some fabric and quickly sewed up a bag and inserted the spring hinge. It works well except it flops a bit if it's empty. I also did not allow enough ease for the hinge so it doesn't snap close. You have to coax it a little but it does shut all the way.
I was out fabric shopping yesterday and I picked up the cutest fabric. I don't know what I'll do with it but I had to have some.

I finished knitting the neck warmer for Cathy yesterday night. Hubby and I were watching a super dumb movie - Family Guy Presents: Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story. I can stand watching the show but the movie was just trash.
Off to make supper - we're having curried lamb sweet potato stew. Yum!

Friday, March 9, 2007

lost and found

Lost: my co-blogger. Last seen knitting socks on her commute to/from work. Can also be found chasing after her 2 sons. If you see her, please return her to this blog. It's lonely without her.

Found: Finished socks. Notice anything odd with this one:

How 'bout now?

My wee tiny sock is done and ready for the swap. I'll be making more of these cuz they're soooo cute. I didn't use the pattern posted. I made mine toe-up.

And the first CDM sock is finished. Not sure whether I like the toe or not. It fits well but there are some slight gaps at the ssk decreases. I might do the second toe with k2tog instead.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

a little stash enhancement

There might have been some yarn buying at knit nite yesterday... Only 3 skeins but it took all my willpower not to buy one of every colour. I got another skein of Malabrigo in Indigo to make a neck thingy for Cathy. I also bought 2 skeins of Louet Gems Fingering in Baby Neptune to make a pair of socks. There were so many colours to choose from that it was really hard to decide which one to buy.

I finally finished the house quilt yesterday (it only needed a label before I could give it away). Last year, our little quilting group did a house block swap. Somehow, we miscounted and everyone was told to make 9 blocks when in fact, there were only 8 participants. So the extra blocks were assembled into a wallhanging and it'll be used to raise money for charity. My block is the rightmost one in the middle row.

And Night Weave is finally finished. I worked on it during my quilting meet-up and I finished it when I got home. I am glad that it's finally done - no more pressing seams open. Now, I just have to decide how to quilt it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

it's here!

The spring issue of Knitty is up. Go check it out!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

shorts weather

After grumbling about last week's snow and cold, today was shorts weather. Yep, the thermometer says it's 16C (60F for those metric-challenged) outside. Woo hoo! I slapped my shorts on and went outside to get grubby. Did I mention that I love gardening? For those of you who don't know, I live on almost a quarter of an acre. The house only takes up a third of the property (we have a smallish house) so the rest of it is for plants (and grass but if I had my way, there would be no grass). Out front, there is a 30 ft Norway maple, a 20 ft Japanese maple, numerous rhodos, and other plants for a total of 3 flower beds. There is a small flower bed on the east side of the house and one by the side of the driveway. And out back there are 4 large flower beds. Plus we have a huge patio filled with lots of pots.

(This is a picture from last year. I love this picture. I love muscari - good thing because there's 15 feet of them.)

I am not a great gardener. I don't make the colours flow or work at getting things to bloom at different times of the year. I'm not that organized. I buy/grow things that I like. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm sure I've spent way, way too much money on the garden over the years. But it's lots of fun and I never regret anything I've done (ok, maybe I'm a little sorry about ripping out the gorgeous 30 year old rhodo last year).

On the seed front, I bought some pink pampas grass and a new columbine (lime sorbet). I am really excited about the columbine. The flowers are shaped like the Nora Barlow columbine but they're white with a hint of green. I think the lime sorbet would look great next to the almost black Nora Barlow

As you can tell, no knitting today. I had to run some errands this morning, ate lunch, and then out into the garden while it was still dry. I did hit the thrift store to look for a possible handle for the Brea bag. I found a leather belt that will work. I'll just have to chop it up and rather than risk breaking my sewing machine, I'll take it to the shoe repair place and have them sew it up. I also bought 2 books - "Folk Art Quilts: 20 unique designs from the American Museum in Britain" by Anne Hulbert (wow! The quilts are just amazing) and "The Darwin Awards: Intelligent Design" by Wendy Northcutt (there are some jewels in this volume).

Oh, I signed up for the Wee Tiny Sock Swap. Click on the button on the left for more info.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Monday wip report

Today was lots of fun. I got to visit with Kate - my best friend's newest niece. I went to the baby shower last summer and made the unborn babe a lovely cardigan. And today, I got to see her wearing it. Plus my best friend wore the Sienna Cardigan that I made her for Christmas . And can you believe that I left my camera at home? I could've gotten a picture of two handknits in action!

The other fun thing was working on the Brea Bag. I've knit one of the sides. It was super fast and easy and looks great. I will block both sides before I knit the gusset. I searched the Net and noticed some Breas had a rounder profile and others were more angular. I like the rounder ones. And it'll be a good excuse to use the flexible blocking wires that I got for Christmas. I am tempted to knit the gusset in stockinette rather than moss stitch. I think I'll do a better job seaming the whole thing together if the gusset is plain. I am definitely going to line the inside with fabric. And I will probably skip the button and put in a zipper to make the bag more usable.

I'm still plugging along on the CDM sock. It didn't see any knitting time today. And the Trekking sock (love the yarn) is ready for a heel.

Oh - I came across this website today. You can get your hands on some unloved yarn - some of it for free. Go read about it. I think it's a great idea.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

lazy Sunday

It's another lazy Sunday. Aside from a trip to the local recycling centre and our weekly food shopping trip, I've done nothing but eat, knit, and nap. Kinda nice.

Yesterday was very productive. I spent all morning in front of my sewing machine and finished sewing the blocks for the Night Weave quilt. After I laid everything out, I found out that I forgot to take into account the blocks I made in the class so I have 6 duplicates plus the 3 that were cutting mistakes. I'll probably use these 9 blocks to make a cushion cover.

In the afternoon, I plugged in all 3 Lord of the Rings movies and grabbed some knitting. I worked on the CDM sock a little. But my hand cramps up after 2 or 3 repeats (6 rows per repeat) - too many twisted stitches. So progress on the sock is very slow. I broke my sock knitting resolution and I cast on a new sock and it's plain boring stockinette. The yarn is Trekking XXL colour 140. It's faux fair isle so it looks best knitted in plain stockinette. Working on the plain sock gives my hand a break from the CDM sock.

Since I've finished a few projects this week, I've been looking around for something new to start (instead of working on my other UFOs). I printed off two free patterns: Rainy Day socks from the latest Mag Knits (I'm going to use the leftover yarn from the test knitting) and Brea Bag from Berroco. The bag will be a good stash buster since it only requires 2 skeins.

The next issue of Knitty should be posted soon. The suspense is killing me.

Friday, March 2, 2007

another one!

Boy - that guilt thing is working! Two FO's in one week - that has got to be some sort of record. Someone call Guinness or Ripley. Here's today's FO:

Pattern: Aunt Dana's Russian Boots, Wed March 7 from the Knitting Page-A-Day 2007 calendar (ok, I cheated and looked through all the pages in the calendar and marked all the patterns that I like)

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in Rosewood; 1 skein

Needles: 4mm Perl-Inox straights (I love these needles - they are awesome)

Mods: cast on 90 sts instead of 70 and they're still too small for my size 8 feet (they fit my Mom's size 5 feet). I knit 24 rows of garter stitch before I started the decreases. I decreased until I had 50 sts left and then did 12 more rows of garter before casting off.

I wore my new neck warmer on Thurs because it was snowing and cold. I wore it to my weekly quilting meet-up and it was pretty popular. I let Cathy try it on and she didn't want to take it off. I have 3 orders for the neck warmer now. I don't mind - Malabrigo is very nice to knit with and the neck warmers are quick and easy to make.

Not much CDM sock progress. I got a little done yesterday morning while I was waiting for the bike store to open (they had a door crasher item that hubby had to have). But my 3 hour afternoon nap kinda wiped out any knitting plans that I had.

Hubby is going skiing tomorrow so I've got the whole day to myself. And I plan on knitting and watching DVDs. I really love my 5 disc DVD player. You don't hafta get up for hours and hours and hours.

Yarn enabling

Just found another source for incredibly inexpensive yarn: Catnip Yarns.

Most of it is undyed, too, so it would be totally ready for dyeing experiments. Sock yarn is the Kona Superwash Fingering, 1120 yards for $10.99, or the Treadsoft Superwash, 980 yards for 12.65. I also think I'm in love with the chocolate alpaca, which would be a nice cozy sweater.

Still working on my next pair of cashmere socks — the pink and purple ones this time. Turned the heel this morning, so I should be done sometime this weekend.

Plus I got into Sock Madness, so there are some funky socks in my future.