Friday, March 31, 2006

Yarn, and More Yarn

This is what I scored when I was in Kitchener,
Ontario. The discontinued patterns came from a lovely little shop called Cloth and Clay, and the needles, wool and swarski do-dads (now my new stitch markers) came from Michaels.

Cloth and Clay was a fabulous surprise. At first sight it looks like your upscale gift shop. Walk a few feet in and you start to glory in the most delectable yarns positively bursting out of their confinements. The shop isn't large, but it sure makes up for that in selection and quality. Good luck finding acrylic. Place should be called "Heaven on Earth". I restrained myself. Besides the patterns, I bought only one itty bitty ball of Italian Baby Merino in pink and white. No photo. Had to knit something for my niece. It felt like my life depended on it. I'll have to see if I can track down a ball band. The stuff was scrumptious!

This is what was waiting for me at the post office when I returned from my trip.

Lots and lots of goodies. In my defense, I was just trying to help out a fellow knitter. Carissa was de-stashing and I was compelled to relieve her of some of her burden. Wonderful stuff. I have it on good authority that she has more stuff listed again here. Carissa is the former Knitting Maniac. She says she's "not interested any more" in knitting, when I asked her (gasp) if she was giving it up. Imagine that. My second box should be arriving this week (manic laughter)!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kinda Sheepy

That, ladies and gents, is my Olympic Sweater in all its glory (unchanged), and my sheep at feeding time. I didn't have the heart to "fix" it. Instead, I've been busy convincing myself I like it just the way it is. The sleeves don't stick out from my jacket sleeves (which is actually quite important to me) and the neck I can live with if I wear a shirt with some kind of collar underneath. So there. I'm loving my sweater. I followed the pattern and everything (for the most part), which is very rare for me. I have a bookcase full of pattern books but they're used more for inspiration rather than gospel of the actual pattern.

I am thrilled I can post pictures again. Here's another:

Annie is a sweater hog. Probably why I don't wear black too often.

Did I mention I have another SPCA cat in the house? Again? This one is a sweetheart. He's a true rescue. Some woman brought him in after finding him on the street, and boy oh boy, he was in rough shape. His feet are a total mess, but he manages fine with a quirky kind of limp. And mild mannered. Wow. Nice after my last experience.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Less Than a Thousand Words

A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say. Since blogger is having issues with uploading my pictures, you'll have to be satisfied with my words. My apologies.

No sooner had I managed to lay the sweater down to take a photo, did Annie flop herself on it demanding pats. Apparently she's figured out how to get my undivided attention. (I think I need to clip her claws!) It doesn't take much imagination to conjure the disaster that a cat kneading a stranded sweater could turn into.

Anyway. There. The sweater is done. Now, sometime before another millenium dawns, I will take it apart. Yup. Take the machine stitched sleeves and shoulder seams out. I knew that rushing through the finishing process was going to end disastrously. I just wanted to get it done so badly! Now I pay the price. Did I mention that I'm not quite happy with the neck either? I'll tink that too. The sleeves need an extra 2 or 3cm. Same with the shoulders which will give me the extra depth for the neck, as well.

Revelation of the highest order: although scary sounding, there is absolutely nothing earth-shattering to steeking. Just make sure the machine stitch length is set to tiny, sew nice straight lines (I confess to sewing double lines) and cut in between, avoiding the machine stitching. Nothing to it. The knit facings are kinda cool to boot. Those must be stretched out while sewing to avoid bunching once the sweater is right side out.

I am trying to turn over a new leaf. Finish the myriad of unfinished projects I have on the go. Remember the wool blanket for hubby? Although it's grown, it has been sitting collecting dust on my sewing table. Which should also tell you that I haven't been sewing at home either. Everywhere I turn there are socks to finish or start their mates, sweaters that need assembling, mending for the family, sewing projects that have been cut out but not sewn, and cross-stitch.... The list goes on. Around Christmas I was cruising blogs, and someone had actually made a list of all their unfinished stuff. It was long. It was very brave of them to compile such a list. I am not that brave. I'm afraid that such an undertaking would drive me straight to a nice crystal glass and a bottle of wine (or two!). So now I am going to stop procrastinating, and do some knitting or crochet or sewing or cross-stitch....

Wine anyone?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm Back

What a trip it was! Driving to Ontario and back in 8 days.

Things I learned this trip:
1. I miss my family. (But not enough to actually move closer.)
2. The Harlot and Lene can keep their Toronto traffic, thank you very much.
3. Libraries in actual cities have MANY more books than my town library could ever dream of.
4. All boys love G.I. Joe. (My son fell in love at first sight.)
5. Cities have better yarn shops with much more and yummier yarns!!
6. My cats still love me, even though I made them sleep out in the barn while I was away. (The sheep needed company, is the way I look at it.)
7. Driving with kids requires patience and good drugs.
8. It's always fabulous to come home, even a messy one with piles of laundry waiting to be done.
9. The last stretch of a long drive is always the longest.
10. I miss my family.

P.S. I finished my Olympic sweater. Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Almost there

Both sleeves are done. Now the worry begins. Truth be told, I've been worrying for a few days now. Steeks. Cutting knitwear with a sharp object seems so WRONG. But if I want to wear it tomorrow, I better get it done. The cutting, sewing, weaving in of ends, knitting a neck band... Maybe it's just too much. Maybe I really don't need to wear this sweater-wanna-be tomorrow. The temperature has been steadily rising, you know. Or maybe I should take inspiration from the Yarn Harlot and open a bottle of wine. Liquid courage. Don't look at me like that! It's not like I have to drive anywhere today! And if it all starts to resemble a train wreck, I can blame it on the wine. That's the ticket. Yup, I now know what I must do... cheers!