Thursday, November 26, 2009

never doing that again aka I should know better

I've been busy busy trying to get a jump on Christmas shopping. I slogged through two major malls early this week and I'm done shopping. The only person that I haven't bought anything for is my Dad. He is so hard to buy for. I really don't know what to get him. It doesn't help that it's also his birthday next week.

I taught a cowl class last weekend and I brought some of my cowls to demonstrate the different patterns available. The students tried them on and some were deemed 'scratchy'. I'm not that sensitive to wool but now I'm realizing that some people are so I'm digging out my wool/silk and wool/cotton yarns to make some non-scratchy cowls.

Pattern: Ashford Cowl by Nicola Faull (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Cascade Sierra; col 16; 1 skein (191 yds; 100g)
Needle: 5mm Addis
Note: I didn't do the scalloped edging.

Pattern: Abstract Leaves Cowl by Deb Mulder (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Mirasol Cotonani; col 406 Tangerine; 1.6 skeins (90 yds per 50g skein)
Needles: 5mm Addis
Notes: Used larger needles & thicker yarn. Cast on 90 sts.

Surprise, the sun came out briefly and there was a cat sitting by the window. Time for a cat'n cowl picture:

Phoebe let me know how much she hates cowls (click to embiggen):

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pooling Rivulets Stole pattern

Dear Dotty, yes, it's been an awfully long time since I last blogged. But I swear I've been knitting, and here's another free pattern to prove it!

I last left you with this sneak peek photo — Wollmeise 100% yarn in the Okzident colourway.

Well, it's now turned into this pretty little stole.

(Note: If you're new to the pooling technique, please read the first pattern in this series to get a good idea of how to figure out where your yarn will pool.)

Using an "e" or backwards loop cast-on, cast on 84 stitches onto a US7 needle. Please see my previous posts about figuring out your own "magic number" for your tension on the needles you've chosen. For this pattern, it's pretty easy to subtract pairs of edge stitches if you need to use fewer stitches to get the pooling to happen. (Some people also cast on a couple of extra stitches for the garter rows, and then do a k2together to lose them when they get into the pattern rows. It all depends on your individual stitch tension.)

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Start working with the chart below. The stitches in yellow are your garter edging. My edging had 5 stitches in it, but your edging will be different depending on your stitch tension, so please add or subtract stitches as you need to.

(Click on the chart to get it in a larger, more printable size.)

End with a Row 11 or a Row 23.

Knit garter stitch for 6 rows.

Bind off very loosely using a sewn bindoff, to maintain the pooling.

Block and pin out the stole. Wear it and get lots of comments and questions about where you got it, and "wow, did you make that yourself?"

I find this one to be totally hypnotizing to look at. The colours pooled perfectly with the waves.

And of course, here's a shot of the whole thing. Thank goodness for the Ott Lite you bought for me, Dotty. It was such a horrible, rainy day today that without it, I wouldn't have gotten any photos at all!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

another cowl or two

Curses! This winter weather stinks. I wanted to show you a coupla really cute duckie washcloths that I made as birthday presents but the pictures are horrible. So you'll just have to use your imagination.

::insert picture of cute washcloths here::

Pattern: Puddles & Quacking Up! by Elaine Fitzpatrick
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter cotton in Pale Yellow
Needles: 5mm Addis

I'm still cranking out the cowls.

Pattern: Windshield Loose Lacy Neckwarmer by Lisa Ashton
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia; 1 skein (100g; 174yds) in col 7143 (darker teal than the pic shows)
Needle: 5mm Addis
Notes: Used a heavier yarn and larger needles than the pattern calls for. Cast on 90 sts.

Pattern: Abstract Leaves Cowl by Deb Mulder (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: Mirasol Tupa; 1 skein (50g; 137 yds) in col 805
Needles: 5mm Addis
Notes: Used a heavier yarn and larger needles than the pattern calls for. Cast on 90 sts. This yarn is very soft and shiny. Hard to knit with when my hands are dry so I have to keep a tube of hand lotion close by.

And while teaching a cowl (surprise, surprise) class this morning, I cast on another cowl to demo knitting in the round. The students were using 16" circs but I only had a 32" circ so I did the magic loop thing which confused some of them. So I'm trying to hide the extra cable in my hand and pretend that I'm knitting with a smaller circ. Not that easy to do when I'm holding my knitting above my head.

Only 33 knitting days til Christmas. Yikes!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a waterfall???

Sunday afternoon, I was driving past my house (after a quickie yarn acquisition trip) and there was water pouring out of our gutter and flowing down the side of the fireplace. Hmmm, not good. I parked and rushed inside to tell hubby to grab his rain gear and get his butt outside. We got the ladder out, etc. Sure enough, the gutters were clogged up. When he unclogged the last bit, water started rushing down the downspout and then the drain tile clogged up. So water was now geysering out the top of the downspout (and raining down on poor me along with the pouring rain). It was too wet to clear out the drain tile so after a quick trip to the hardware store, hubby wielded the hacksaw to insert a diversion at the base of the downspout. The second he cut into it, water started spraying me in the leg. At this point, I couldn't have been any wetter. We got it cut off, screwed the new bits in, and watched the diverted water flood part of my front lawn. Sigh... I ended up hacking off two feet so that the water dumps into my flower bed. BTW, my Gore-Tex coat failed to keep me dry.

This was the reason for my shopping trip:

My LYS got some new sock yarn: sweetgeorgia Tough Love Sock. Squeee! Isn't it gorgeous?

Let's get to some knitting. I have a FO to show you (I actually have more than one but the other two have to wait until they've been gifted).

Pattern: Candle Flame Cowl by Julia Allen (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Colors; col 7210; 1 skein (174 yds; 100g)
Needles: 5mm Addis
Notes: Made the unlined version. Very fast knit! Love, love this yarn. I need to block and rephotograph it.

And I had to immediately cast on for another one because I desperately need to catch up on my Christmas knitting.

The sun was nice enough to come out for 10 mins so that I could take these photographs. Of course, Ricky was nowhere to be found to model the cowls for me. Maybe he's getting smart...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

another one bites the dust

*sigh* These are 3 years old and I've worn/loved them so much that there's a hole in the heel. Cherry Tree Hill Supersock - one of my all-time favourite sock yarns.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

moving on

The whole mitten fiasco is behind me. I'm not thinking or obsessing about it. I haven't frogged them yet because it's a two person job and I need hubby to help me. And I'm making him help me because it's his fault that his hands are freakishly large. Thanks to everyone for your words of sympathy & encouragement. The idea of sewing up the gusset is a good one but if I take away sts from the gusset, I have to add them to the palm otherwise, the mitten is too small. Curse his big hands!!!

And there was another near knitting tragedy. While rethinking hubby's mittens, I wanted to check something in the Anemoi charts and I couldn't find the PDF on my computer! I looked on both hard drives as well as the backups for the laptop and my old computer - nada. I was very close to having a heart attack. I finally plugged in the Shiny Blue Thing (my name for our external hard drive). I looked through all the backups and finally found it in the March backup of our previous computer. Bad hubby for not restoring all my files.

So moving on... Did you know that there's less than 45 knitting days til Christmas? Yep, it's officially crunch time. I am furiously working on Christmas projects. I finished a cowl yesterday and here's a craptastic picture (really dark yarn on a pouring rain day is really hard to photograph even with an Ott Lite):

Pattern: Turtle Tracks Cowl by Vicki Susan
Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran; col 117; 1 skein plus 4 yds of a second skein
Needles: 5mm Addis
Notes: Major errors in the pattern - only rows 2 & 16 are correct. So very annoying. Lucky for me, I've knit this lace pattern before so all I had to do was pull out the other chart and use that as a reference. If you want to knit this, email me and I'll send you a list of corrections.

ETA: I stand corrected. Vicki has made changes to the original stitch pattern that results in a column of garter stitch rather than a column of rev. stockinette. My apologies for misrepresenting her pattern.

No Ricky cowl picture because there's no natural light left in this part of the world (til next April). I immediately cast on another cowl.

The yarn is Berroco Peruvia Colors. I am using the same yarn but the unpainted version for the Mondo Cable Cardi. There is quite a difference between the two even though they're both Peruvia. The dyed version is very similar to Malabrigo.

I will officially start Christmas shopping tomorrow when hubby and I head out to a huge Christmas market. It's all about high end handmade items. I haven't told hubby yet but a local dyer will be there selling yarn (and her handwoven shawls & capes). I'm pretty sure that I'll buy yarn from her.

Phoebe sez, "I want bigger cat furniture for Christmas"

Friday, November 6, 2009


It has been a tragic knitting week for me. I got my first hand knit hole:

I am very sad. The hole isn't too big and I still have some yarn so I can repair the heel. But the yarn is so soft (lots of cashmere) that they probably won't hold up for too long. Sigh...

Here is the second tragedy:

I started the thumb and it's too big.

No amount of fiddling will make it right. The gusset is the right length but the opening is too big. These have to be frogged and reknit. I am so disappointed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I know better

... than to sleep on my back because Phoebe will walk all over me. She will stand on my stomach and survey the lay of the bed and finding no other flat spot, she'll flop down and purr so loudly that it will wake me up (not that it makes a difference since I'm already awake from 12lbs of pointy paws pressing on my belly). And when I try to suck in a breath to restore some oxygen to my body, she will jump off my gut rendering me even more breathless.

... than to go to Costco when I'm hungry. I bought $40 worth of cheese. Grilled cheese sandwiches anyone?

... than to buy a huge box of Halloween candy. The doorbell rang 3 times for a total of 7 trick-or-treaters. Now I have to finish off the leftover candy. Darn!

... than to expect the cats to understand the end of daylight savings. The phrase, "It's not time to feed you" is met with plaintive meows of hunger even if I do drag my butt out of bed at 6am.

... than to play Xbox games right before I go to bed. Talk about wicked dreams.

... than to leave any food on the kitchen counter. Ricky will find it the 30 seconds that I'm gone and eat it. He should be sick in 3, 2, 1.

... than to ignore the part of my brain that says these socks look wrong. I had hubby put them on his size 13 feet and they fit. The socks are supposed to fit size 10 feet. So I had to rip back both toes and reknit.

Pattern: standard top down sock
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 6 ply; colour Cottage 1080; 1 skein (150g/410 yds)
Needles: 2.75mm dpns