Thursday, June 29, 2006


Due to popular demand (two people can comprise popular demand right?) I've finally figured out how to link to a gallery. I haven't got everything up yet as I exceeded my free limit and I'm trying to decide just how cheap I really am. I'll likely give the flickr people the paltry sum they demanded and do this right, but for now, suck it up 'cause that's all ya get!
And yeah, some of the sweaters aren't blocked and my compostion is crappy, but sheesh what do ya want? I'm no Ansel Adams and this isn't MOMA. Deal.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Murphy's Knitting Law

It's always the way and you'd think by now I'd know better.
I bought 16 balls of wool/cotton in a discontinued color. I thought, "hey, 16 balls should be enough to do a sweater". Which I should know is a knitter's equivalent to the "E" on the fuel gauge meaning "enough".
The Nihon Vogue instructor suggested that we might like to make this cardigan as the construction is challenging. I thought, "hey, I've got wool/cotton in that great color in my stash and it'll be perfect for that cardy!" Most people wish for a fairy godmother, I now wish for the dumbass fairy. The dumbass fairy is a burly little thing that comes around whenever a piss poor idea pops into your head and just gives you a good thump on the back of the head as she mutters "dumbass" under her breath. Thus, you smarten up and come up with a better idea. Sadly, the dumbass fairy has forsaken me and I continued with my charming idea.
The swatch took a ball and a half. THE SWATCH!
At this point, panic set in. I combed all the shops and the web in search of more of this color. I got lucky, sort of. Found 4 balls in two different dye lots. So now I think I have enough, but I have 3 different lots to deal with. Luckily, the way the sweater's worked will help me hide them.

I've got the better part of one sleeve done now. The lace is the underside of the sleeve and the seam is actually up the side of the panel. Kinda cool.
I've my kit going for my sock kit pal. Hope she likes it. My pal contacted me today too so it's all good. I've decided not to carry on with The Amazing Lace. Initially, I thought it was just a knitalong, but it's not and I just don't have the kind of time required to do some of the wild posts they're asking for. It has spurred me on to more lace knitting though, so it worked out for the best.
The Point O' the Wave stole is stalled as I ran out of wool. Don't ask. See above.
Where is that bloody fairy when you need her?!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trekalong socks first Trek

Here's the first pair of Trekking socks all finished and ready for their first trek. I used the River Rapids pattern and color 104. Anyone who knows me will be amazed that I managed to suppress my seriously OC tendancies and NOT match the stripes on the socks. I think it's the first time I've ever used stripey yarn and not matched the pair. If I don't look at them alot, it doesn't bother me...

The second pair of Trekking sock out for their first trek. This is color 101 (which I'm totally loving) in the Yukon Leaves pattern.

With my regular walking buddy in France,(lucky bunt) I get to see some slightly different scenery with her hubby. We walk in the park adjacent to the beach at a completely ungodly hour. We go at 7am, which is a compromise. He originally suggested 6am. Once I managed to stop laughing, we agreed to the slightly later time. It's a pretty park with a small stage, a kid's park and a huge playing field that Loki loves to run around on. We even found some edible mushrooms there last week.

This is mostly unrelated to the Trekking stuff. It's a little note for Anthea.
I have, on occassion, been accused of knitting all day, every day in a beam of sunlight with birds flitting around me a la Cinderella. I won't mention names ('cause I already did), you know who you are. You've accused me of letting my house fall into disrepair and never feeding the monkey. All so I can knit more.
Just thought I'd dispell the myth once and for all.
This was my kitchen yesterday, for almost ALL of the day. Strawberry hell. Entirely my fault. I never thought to ask my walking buddy's hubby how big the flats of strawberries he buys are. I just assumed (you can see where this is going right?) that he bought the 10lb ones. Afterall, he usually buys four just for him. Thank the deity of your choice I only asked for two! Bloody guy buys the 20lb flats! I had 40 freaking pounds of strawberries in my kitchen! Couldn't stand the smell of the effing things by 5 pm. And. I. Still. Wasn't. Done.
I managed to bag up the last of them around 7 pm. During this time I had managed to do three loads of laundry and...

...bake a cake for strawberry angel food dessert.
I admit, it was a mix.
But I did knit 21 repeats of the edging on the Point O' the Wave stole. Had to slide some knitting in there so I didn't go completely batshit.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Knit Sock Kit Swap

Yeah, I joined another online thingy. What can I say, I'm weak. And this one's for more sock yarn, 'cause I NEED more sock yarn. Of course I'm sending yarn to someone else so you could say that it balances out. There's rationalization at it's very best. Hah.
So here's questionnaire for the swap:
What are your favorite colors?
-blues, burgundys, purples
Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting sock?
-I'm not new, let's leave it at that
Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?
What fibers do you prefer in a sock yarn?
-wool, wool/nylon, wool/cotton/ nylon, cotton/lycra
Where do you usually knit socks?
-pretty much anywhere I go
How do you carry/store small projects?
-usually stuffed into whatever big bag is coming with me
What are your favorite sock knitting patterns?
-I like ones that looks fussy but are simple. Travelling lace is my current fave.
What are your favorite sock knitting techniques?
-I'm a big creature of habit, so I almost always knit em cuff down with a heel flap, but I can do other styles.
What new techniques would you like to try?
-I've been considering the two socks at once thing
Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting?
What are some of your favorite yarns?
-Schaeffer, any of the ombres, Mountain Colors, Lorna's Laces and Koigu
What yarn do you totally covet?
Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
-either Eleanora socks or Traveler's socks from Knitting on the Road.
Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
-Crystal Palace dpn bamboo
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
-Willie Wonka gobstoppers, or pretty much any kind of chocolate.
What's your favorite animal?
Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?
-dog, Loki, 10 yrs
-cat, Uzume, 9 yrs
-cat, Spike, 3 years
-hairless ape, Murray, 40 yrs
If you were a color what color would you be?
-again, huh?
Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else's)..
-black baby doll says, "You Can't Have Manslaughter Without Laughter". Has a fifties style guy in a suit, big smile on his face, brandishing a butcher knife.
What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
-love pics of herons and eagles flying
Tell me the best quote you've ever read or heard.
-"There's such a fine line between clever and stupid." Spinal Tap
Do you have a wishlist?
-not really
Anything else you'd like to share with the group today?
-maybe later

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Summer monster post

Well, it's mid June already and the flowers are blooming up a storm and the garden is starting to produce edibles. We've got fruit planted pretty much everywhere in the garden. There's peach, apple, pear and plum trees, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and hazelnuts. Those big green leaves surrounding the foxglove are kiwi. The thing puts out a ton of fruit these days, we're talking several hundred. I even made some kiwi jam and marmalade last year. I didn't manage to get the vegies in yet, but there's still time if I just buy some plants. Time got away from me. What were the odds?

Even though the monkey's home, I still manged to get some stuff done this week. Finished spinning the first pound of Targhee in the 3 ply sport for level 4 next month in Olds. I won't bore you with a pic as it's white and there's miles of it. Took me two hours to ply it and my hand went numb. It was still tingly 30 minutes later. Only one more pound to spin. Um... yay?
The first pair of Trekalong socks is done and I really like 'em. Cool pattern that knit up in no time and they fit great. The second pair is already on the needles. I'm using color 101 in the Yukon Leaves pattern. Looks good so far.
I took some other crazy knitter advice from the last post and started both the Wave stole and the cardy. The cardy pattern is not so good. Has anyone else done that one? Seems really poorly charted. I did what I thought it should be, but it's almost impossible to tell from the pic what the lace should look like. So the cardy is stalled, but the stole is really coming along. I've got the first half done and I'm 6 repeats up the second. Of course, it's got the mother of all knit on double borders, so it's not even close to finished.

More spindle porn. Couldn't let you down. The one on the left is from the always enabling Kerry. It's an Avi Wasserman. I was having so much trouble getting one of those effing things that I was starting to think they were the grail of the spinning world. But here it is and it's pretty damn neat. The other one is a Duane Larson I got off ebay. It's pretty big and heavy, but it should good for plying. Attractive spindle and you know me, constantly compelled to buy the shiny things.

Speaking of shiny things...
The monkey brought me some from Israel! Of course, which one do you think I totally love? The one he got in a proper jewellry store, or the one he got from a guy on a blanket at the edge of the desert that will probably turn my neck green? Yup, the blanket one. I'm such a cheap date. It looks like it was shaped around a horn, very cool. Don't get me wrong, the other is really gorgeous too, it's just not funky and weird.

Last, but not least, something you don't get to see everyday, monkey on a camel! Keeping the Israeli tourist industry strong!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Monkey's away, stuff gets done!

I've got one of the Trekalong socks done. I really like the pattern. It looks like cables, but it's really a lace. Very comfy too. The socks's pointing out the Peace Arch in the background. It's the shiny thing at the skyline about mid-sock. Very hard to see, but it's there. The beach is great at this time of year. The tide goes out so far that you can almost wade across to the U.S. The bay almost empties, it's very cool. There's usually herons and bald eagles sitting on beach at the delta, and jelly fish wash up onto the sand after really lows tides. Sometimes sand dollars and starfish as well. Beautiful place to have so close to home.

I managed to get Roz's socks done before she left for Britain and France. She was kind enough to model them (make sure they fit) for me. I used the cotton Regia so she'll have comfy feet trekking through the Loire Valley. She's my dog walking pal and I'll be going much earlier than normal with her hubby while she's off having fun in Europe. Hope he doesn't expect much perky chat from me at seven am. Mornings and I are barely on speaking terms.

My first Amazing Lace project is done! And the weather is cooperating today so I can block it outside. I had to keep the mister close at hand as it's so warm, the shawl was drying before I had all of it pinned out. I got these great foam locking tiles from the dollar store and they're excellent for blocking. You can change the shape and pins go in easily and hold. When you're done, you just take them apart and they store in a tidy pile. Much nicer than having a huge foam board for blocking.

Here's a close up of the lace. Nice easy pattern that knit up very quickly.

I also managed to get the Shapely Tank done this week. I used the Treasure cotton and it's worked up very light and soft. A great summer shell.
Now I have to decide whether I'm gonna behave and do my homework for the spinning course and the Nihon Vogue class, finish the two poor shawls from the last post, OR be really bad and start something new. I've been eying up Print O' The Wave Stole and this short sleeved lace cardy. Anybody wanna help me decide?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Amazing Lace: Scary Extreme Knitting

You want extreme knitting? I'll give ya extreme knitting!
Here I am, knitting away on the Adamas shawl on a sunny day. Looks nice and not terribly dangerous right? But wait! I'm not wearing sunblock! Ooooooh! And I'm not using a pattern! Ahhhhhhh! And I've neglected to run any guidelines at all! Oh the humanity! Where will the madness end?! I was drinking martinis while I knit that lace too! I got yer danger right here baby.

There's more! Witness the wool/silk yarn I dyed myself that has been started and yet the pattern has gone missing. Will I ever find the pattern or will I have to rip it all out and start over. Even if I find the pattern, will I be able to determine what row I was on? Oh the horror!

See the Charlotte's web shawl that ran our of wool! Aiya!
Will it be relegated to the closet forever?!
Stay tuned...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Punis and finished stuff

I admit it, I just like the word "punis". It sounds kind of naughty and it's hard to say it without smirking just a little. Punis are tight little cotton rolags. I ordered some to compare them with the ones I make myself. The bought ones are far superior. They card the crap out of the cotton and it's very uniform and soft. Very easy to spin these suckers. I plan on using them with my Bosworth charkha that won't be here till the end of August. Until then, the punis taunt me.
The very pretty lacewood spindle on top of the punis is apparently the last Mielke made for the time being. Kerry was so nice to pick it up for me at MDSW. Her spindle karma is good!
The two spindles in the foreground are from a local guy who's selling on ebay as Viking Santa. Very pretty spindles that spin really well.

Another baby sweater done. Well, sort of. It doesn't have buttons yet, but this may a good excuse to go to the button store downtown. I loooove self striping sock yarn. It's making my life very easy right now. I'll do some more interesting baby stuff too, but the stripey stuff is so damn cute.

And hey! I got the massive beach sweater done. The monkey could even tell it was an owl, so I think I did an okay job of the design. I couldn't find a traditional cowichan design that tweaked me, so I did my own. The border is a traditional pattern, but the owl's all mine. It'll be great on those chilly fall mornings by the water.

The monkey's off in the middle east for the next week and sent me pics today. Of course he mocks me with a foreign market. He gets to shop in a foreign country, while I spent the day cleaning out the kitchen cupboards. I fart in his general direction. Hmmf!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Amazing Lace

Here's the team for this summer's Amazing Lace. I'm afraid the wine coloured merino that was originally planning to become the Adamas shawl that you see here was disqualified for being too plain. It has been replaced with a hand dyed merino laceweight that only arrived on scene a few days ago and is knitting very quickly into the shawl. The team is a mixture of fibres and one is even handspun. There's cashmere on the bottom left destined to become a Cat Bordhi lace moebius, bamboo above it likely to be the Diamond Fantasy shoulderette, a wool/silk blend for a stole yet to be determined and some handspun beast also waffling on it's project.
These contenders had better ante up fast though, as there's a cotton with a short-sleeved cardy pattern waiting in the wings to replace any fallen competitors and the handpainted merino is looking to be done by next weekend.