Sunday, December 28, 2008
There was Christmas baking.
There was knitting at Christmas concerts (4 of them in all!). Not to mention an unfortunate incident with a runaway ball of wool, which eventually did get rescued with help from strangers sitting a row in front of me. (boy, oh boy, did that sucker roll!)
And post-concert photo ops: my two are on the left and their best buddies are on the right.
One ginormous Christmas tree.
A wool/mohair/bead shawl.
New sweater, scarf and mittens.
Some handknit socks at AliP's Boxing Day Party. There were others too, but wouldn't stay still for a photo op. More about the party (and alpacas) another time, or I'll refer you to AliP's place if she gets her update done first.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I recently signed out Mason-Dixon Knitting from the library. Now, admittedly, I have signed this book out before, flipped through it and was not in the least impressed. Not so this time. I read every word, envisioned yarns that I could use from stash for the projects. I was completely charmed. I enjoyed the straight-forward, conversational text, the simple but snazzy patterns. I've developed a yearning to knit hand towels with Euroflax; frankly, knit anything with Euroflax, which seems to be the yarn of choice for several of the creations. Maybe it's the quilt-inspired blankets (I'm still working on my first ever quilt and it's stealing time away from the knitting, and with these patterns I could combine the two), or maybe it's the grand idea of using recycled material for knitting. What's not to love? For now, I have to decide which of the great patterns I will try first. Also, I can't wait to get my hands on their new book.
A while ago I may have mentioned taking pictures of Christmas knitting completed. It's not going to happened. I wrapped everything and put the gifts under the tree. It's the only way I could reclaim my closet. I am pleased as punch to say that most of the gifts have been knit from stash, and even though my hubby will swear that the said stash could still qualify for its own postal code, it has been significantly reduced. 2 pairs of socks plus another pair almost done and another needing a mate, a shawl, a sweater, 3 berets (one already delivered and being worn) plus another half done on the needles, a pair of thrum mitts, 4 pairs of kid mitts, a long scarf, 2 hats. Also my Debbie Bliss sweater that only needs the sleeves. I meant for it to be my Christmas sweater but I wanted to make sure the real Christmas gifts were knit first. Not too bad for a couple months' knitting.
How is your Christmas knitting coming along?
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
You Should Be a Politician
Confident, assertive, and dedicated - you know what you want in life and how to get it.
Stubborn and opinionated, you can stand your ground... even if it's unpopular.
And while you have strong views, you never overwhelm people with your opinions.
A true charmer, you subtly influence people into seeing things your way.
You do best when you:
- Work according to your own rules
- Can change the world with what you do
You would also be a good lawyer or talk show host.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Here's my list, although I don't necessarily follow it to a tee (but I do try):
- Borrow books from the library. Also magazines, CDs, DVDs, movies for kids, special order books...
- If you must buy books, check out the used book stores first. They usually have a huge selection at about a quarter of the original price.
- Gas prices got you down? Ride a bike or walk. Better for you, your wallet, and the environment.
- Obviously, turn the lights and electronics off when you're not in the room.
- Turn the heat down at night, or when you leave your home for an expended period. I turn ours down to 10 degrees Celsius, and have extra blankets on the beds. Plus the cats tend to snuggle more!
- When shopping, make a list and stick to it.
- Brew your own coffee at home. Good quality coffee is still less expensive if you brew it at home than if you buy it from a coffee shop. And there is no paper or styrofoam cup to throw away.
- High-speed Internet too expensive? Surf the web at a C @ P station. You may have to book your time slot in advance.
- Borrow a cookbook from the library and create a special meal at home, instead of eating out. You're bound to learn a new cooking technique, feed a family for the price of one restaurant meal, and don't have to wait in line for your table to be ready. Bonus: enjoy that glass or two of wine without needing a designated driver.
- Shovel your snow. Forget the air-polluting snow blower. Get some exercise and fresh air at the same time. But don't wait until the snow stops falling: that's just asking for trouble. Shovel every couple of hours to save your back.
Monday, December 01, 2008
Now that this is in her hot little hands, I can show it off. I am glad Dorothy liked it. I love it myself. I want one for myself. It's a good thing it didn't stay in my possession a moment longer, or it might have stayed with me permanently. The flap cables came from a really neat book (which I can't remember the title of to save my life) that I borrowed from the library, and the rest I sort of fudged my way through. The original pattern was turning out quite wide and making the bag heavier, and much bigger, than I intended since I was using two strands of wool throughout. I felted it gently and I really like that this bag will be quite waterproof without any nasty plastic. I lined the bag with a cotton print fabric and light-weight fusible interfacing to give the bag some body. I did machine stitch the lining in, because I was worried that hand-stitching wouldn't hold up to the wear and tear. I think it's safe to say that this won't be the last bag of it's kind to come off my needles.
In other knitting news, first born has caught the knitting bug and I am thrilled. His single minded focus is a joy to witness. My youngest, on the other hand, has learned to cast off this morning. Oh, the thrills have no end here today!
Look at that concentration!
In other news: I had a "slight" quilting accident. I am blaming this one on the husband. I was using a rotary cutter while he was standing over me and watching. You ever get that feeling of extra weight on you when someone is watching you craft, whatever it may be? Yeah. I was trying to ignore him, but I was in a hurry too. Bad combination. "Supper will be ready very soon", he says and finally walks away. Within 30 seconds (I would kid you not!) I sliced that cutter right across the top of my thumb. I moved fast, let me tell you! I ran up those stairs to the kitchen and got my thumb under cold water.... The blood was already dripping into my other hand as I tried not to bleed all over the floor (no, I did not need extra housework, thanks for asking), while husband is freaking out "what happened? Let me see... LET ME SEE!...."
I just wanted a band aid. "Let me SEE..." while now the tea towel was turning a lovely shade of red. Right about then I lost it, told him to get out of my way (while he was starting to head for his truck for "his good first aid box". Grrrrrr. I managed to cut some gauze and fold it up to fit my thumb, slapped some antibiotic ointment on the gauze and sealed the mess with a couple band aids. Holy throbbing pain. To my credit, I did not bleed a drop on my daughter's quilt in the making. I am down to a single band aid today. No, I am not showing you guys the damage. It's gruesome. I can still knit, thank my lucky stars.
Get this: when I told hubby it's a good thing that I could still knit to keep my sanity, or things would be rather unpleasant until I recovered, my first born says, and I quote, "it's OK Mom, I can knit for you, you taught me how."
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
The Incredible, Custom-fit Raglan Sweater, from the neck down! That's what! Oh how I love thee. The ability to try on and adjust fit as I knit around and around, only the stitch markers strategically placed to bring me back from the dreamland into which I slip. The speed with which I can knit thee tickles my fancy to no end. But best of all, I covet thee for the minimal finishing thou require.
Thou has many faces and many admirers. Grumperina even ciphered the math to speed my way with her Picovoli . My Debbie Bliss sweater is more than half done as a result.
Thou also endeared thou self to me with incredible stash busting abilities.
Long live The Incredible , Custom-fit Raglan Sweater, from the neck down!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Practically shut down by the first snow storm of the season. So I went on a walking tour of my town, initially intending to go to the library but that turned out to be closed too. Even the parking lot wasn't plowed out since the day before.
The MacDonald Consolidated School Museum. They hosted a really good Christmas Craft Fair last weekend. You should mark your calendars for next year.
Town starting to decorate for the holiday season .
Check that out. A new permanent sign advertising the Farmers' Market. Definitely a good sign. (pun intended)
Commercial Street. Only a few of the businesses were open, and planned to close early.
That's my reflection in a bank door. Bundled up to weather the weather. Bwahahah (I am so funny!)
I attempted to shovel our driveway once I got home but that didn't last long before my back started screaming for mercy. And it's so much nicer to sit inside by the fire and knit anyway.
I do have some good news for any knitters in the local area (Hi Patty!) and any new recruits. There is a new internet cafe on Commercial Street that is welcoming us with open arms. The Naugles just opened their doors two weeks ago and they're all about welcoming the local community to come and hang out. Angela, one of the owners, is a lovely woman that will try to accommodate us as much as possible, including opening to suit our needs outside of their current hours. The cafe is bright and spacious, the walls decorated with local artists' wares. Tomorrow evening they're even hosting an art show so drop by and check them out.
Oh yes, and here is the newest addition to the family. (Hey AliP: neener neener!!)
Have you seen this? I've considered myself a fairly decent knitter, but I'll never be in the same league as the woman that won the World's Record in 2006 as fastest knitter. WOW.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here's a picture from Wednesday evening. First snow of the season. Well, let me tell you: I was not quite prepared for this much of it so soon. I mean, just the day before I was sifting soil in one of the gardens before planting the last of my spring bulbs. Needless to say, I never did get finished. Hubby called me in for supper, and after that I never ventured back outside.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Hope for Women is an organization worthy of my support. Click on the link to find out more. I found it through this blog. It all comes back to PIF. How inspirational is that? (Yeah, yeah, a little bit of sappy never hurt anyone, so spread the love.) While you're at it, visit Doctors Without Borders. Christmas is not far away but before rushing off to the nearest mall, follow those links and purchase something not made in China for the loved ones on your list. It is a season of giving, and of hope. And if you make a donation to MSF, don't forget to email the Yarn Harlot so she can update her total. Knitters: we do our part for the betterment of world.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I seem to have been infected with start-itis. Let me show you. And let me point out these are only the sweaters, and just the ones I cast on in the past week. From left to right, the variegated one is for my first born, a Christmas present, two days' worth of knitting (three, if you count the false start where I cast on approximately 45 extra stitches and happily knit on for four and a half inches before stopping to consider that it might be a bit large! When I took the circular out to rip, it revealed that I was completely delusional. At that amount of stitches it would have been too big for someone normally wearing XL.) I am at the armpit part, and started the first sleeve while watching Grey's Anatomy last night. Next is the Drops sweater, cast on last Sunday (if memory serves me right). So far so good, but my dear friend AliP pointed out that I might want to be working on the Christmas presents so I don't have a melt-down a couple days before gift giving time. Yeah, there is that. Did I tell you that I had signed up for that Knit a Sweater in the Month of November thing? AliP thought that was a little bizarre. Something about skewed priorities or something. She is a good conscience, except where was she when I cast on Grumperina's Picovoli top for myself? Hey, I can say it's a Christmas present for me. HEHEH I'm knitting it out of Debbie Bliss Merino, which is divinely squishy. For your info, the pattern is free over at Knotions. I am planning on knitting it with long sleeves. Maybe, possibly with a bit of beads for a bit of bling. Every girl needs a bit of bling in her life now and again.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...
Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.
15 Impressionist, -4 Islamic, -7 Ukiyo-e, -17 Cubist, -10 Abstract and -7 Renaissance!
Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.
People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.
My apologies to all for not linking in this post. Links may be found in my sidebar, or in older posts. Go look there. It won't kill you.
P.S. Ooops, sorry for the snarky. It's this damned diet, I tell you!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Look what I received in the mail yesterday:
Check who tried to swipe it while I was making the pizza for supper! Quite the nerve she's got!
Now I have to offer some major apologies for not blogging sooner about the first PIF I received from no-blog Rachel. I did send out a thank you card, but for some unknown reason it came back to me, and then I just kept forgetting to take a picture of the bag she sent me, because, get this, I have been using it from the moment I opened the package. Literally. I opened it while walking home from the post office and loved it instantly. The colours are great and I couldn't help myself from slinging it over my shoulder and putting the wrapping in the bag. I still use it every day, and that's the ultimate compliment of a loved item. Don't you wish you had one of your own?
Let's see, on the knitting front, yesterday I started on some 1X1 ribbed socks. One is already done and so is the leg of the second. Technically I intended them to be gifted to someone at Christmas but I am liking them very much and seeing how they just happened to be my size, I might keep them for myself. The Cable sock is coming along nicely. I am half way down the foot. The thrum mitts only need thumbs (still). I've also started knitting another wool blanket out of Briggs&Little Atlantic. I'm making it up as I go along: knitting individual strips however long each skein allows, 21 stitches wide, on 8mm needles so it will hopefully turn out to be squishing and cozy. All in the name of reducing the stash. Oh yes, and the PIF for Dorothy is still awaiting assembly. Maybe today!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I made a discovery. That 5-minute cake recipe? Works better nuked in a glass bowl. I have this over-sized cereal bowl I got at the Dollar Store. I mixed the ingredients in that, added a dash of baking powder and nuked away. Better. Not as chewy. Probably because it has a larger area to expand so it's not cooking in steam. Don't ask me how I know. It's not because I just stuffed my face with cake. Honest. And did I tell you I have some prime real estate for sale on Mars?? HEh
Moving on, I am quite happy with the new President of the USA. Maybe he won't pass on before his term in office is up. Heh
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
2. Education (or rather deterioration thereof)
9. Rude People
10. House cleaning (if I talk about at least it almost seems like it's getting done)
Monday, November 03, 2008
I was cruising through some blogs this evening, clicking on linkies on Harlot's blog and lookie here what I came across! A must watch. I kid you not. I am a bit techno challenged so I haven't figured out how to post the actual YouTube clip on here but watch it at Laurie's place. Unbelievable! Long live the Harlot!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Thrums for my MAMA. She needs something warm and comfy and special just for her, too. She lost the love of her life recently and this is the least I can do to cheer her up. I hate that I live so far away so I can't be with her right now, but I will never move to Ontario.
These started out as socks for me (don't you love that goofed up centre cable?) but naturally I forgot to allow for how much smaller the cables make a sock and so these will be for my first born. I will knit this pattern again with adjustments to adult sizing, and if I manage it without mistakes, I may publish it for your enjoyment. I love this yarn. It's Trekking (XXL), colour #100.
Note: This pattern is written in British English.
All measurements in charts are in cm. For conversion from cm to inch - click here.
There are different terms for crocheting in British and American English.
If this pattern includes crochet, click for "crochet terms" here.
Rib: *K2, P2*, repeat from *-*.
Pattern: See diagrams M1-M.3. 1 diagram = 1 repeat. The diagrams are seen from the RS. English Translations for the wording in the diagrams are given at the bottom of this pattern, and they are given in the vertical order in which they appear in the diagram.
Back and front piece: The jumper is knitted round on circular needles and cut for armholes afterwards. Cast on 220-232-240 sts on circular needle size 2.5 mm with black and knit 6 cm Rib, at the same time inc 48-56-62 sts on the last round = 268-288-302 sts. Change to circular needle size 3 mm and knit 1 repeat of M.1 – beg at the arrow for appropriate size and knit pattern over sts on front piece = 134-144-151 sts, beg by appropriate arrow again and knit pattern over sts on back piece = 134-144-151 sts. After M.1 continue in M.2. When piece measures 44-47-48 cm inc 5 sts each side (to be cut for armholes afterwards and not included in pattern but knitted in stocking sts). When piece measures 65-68-70 cm cast off the middle 26-28-29 sts at front and finish the piece back and forth on needle. Dec to shape the neckline each side on every other row: 3 sts 1 time, 2 sts 2 times and 1 st 3 times. At the same time when piece measures 67-70-72 cm (adjust to pattern) knit M.3. When piece measures 69-72-74 cm cast off 43-44-45 sts mid back for neck and dec 2 sts each side on next row. Cast off after M.3, piece measures approx 71-74-76 cm.
Sleeves: Cast on 52-56-60 sts on double pointed needles size 2.5 mm with black and knit 5 cm Rib. Change to needle size 3 mm and knit M.3, inc 10-8-4 sts evenly on first round = 62-64-64 sts. At the same time, after the Rib inc 2 sts mid under arm 34-33-35 times as follows: Size S + M: on every 4th round, Sise L: alternate between every 3rd and 4th round = 130-130-134 sts. After M.1 continue in M.2. When piece measures approx 50-49-48 cm (adjust to pattern) knit 2 cm in reverse stocking sts = edge for sewing on sleeve to body pieces. Cast off and knit the other sleeve.
Assembly: Insert a marking thread in the middle of the inc sts for armhole each side of body piece. Make 2 seams each side and mid front on your sewing machine, the first seam ½ st from the MT and the other one ½ st from the first one. Cut the piece between these. Sew shoulder seams.
Pick up approx 108-112 sts round the neck on needle size 2.5 mm with black and knit 8 cm Rib. Cast off. Set in sleeves from the RS as follows: sew in the last row before the edge in reverse stocking sts on sleeves to the first row after the seam in the sts for cutting on body pieces. Turn the jumper inside out and sew the piece in stocking sts over the cutting edge on body pieces. Sew on clasps.
English explanation to pattern diagram:
Blank square = black
Black square = beige
Triangle in square = yellow
Dot in square = deep red
DROPS number 47-19
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Go to original pattern for model 47-19.
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