Sunday, December 31, 2006
Firstly, today marks another year of marriage - by me and him. So Happy Anniversary Dear Husband.
When I decided to do this list I was going to do it by theme rather than chronologically as that seemed more interesting but as Maria sings in The Sound of Music "let's start at the very beginning".
We moved at the end of last year so I decided to have an 'it doesn't matter' project on my needles. This type of project is one that you have always wanted to make but you have no recipient in mind. Therefore it doesn't matter when it is completed. My project was Topsy-Turvy Cinderella by Jean Greenhowe. And I used yarn from my stash left over from other projects.
The beginning of the year was spent using up odds and ends of yarn from my stash. I crocheted dish cloths, worked thread crochet projects, knitted sweaters for the Guidepost project, crocheted a tea cosy, knitted a pair of socks.
Then time came for a real project.
I saw a sweater in the Winter 2005 edition of Knit Simple which was a combination of knit and crochet. So I found an on-line supplier of the yarn and was on my way. The main yarn was Classic Elite's La Gran and it is just the thing for Canadian winters. There were a number of sweaters in that issue I liked, so I made myself another sweater; this time with yarn readily available (and on sale) at Michael's. This one is ideal for autumn.
I found myself part of a Yahoo group dedicated to Pi shawls and after much input from the ladies (and men) in the group I made a tablecloth. This also counts as a using the stash project as I started with cotton I already had. Other stash using projects were some crochet coasters and doily and a pair of knitted socks for me.
This year must have been year of the socks as I knitted two pairs for me while on vacation, plus the Pomatomus that I have already posted about on this blog and a pair of socks for boy child plus there is one on the needles right now.
I joined a Secret Pal and received some yarn from my pal in New York State. I made myself a couple of hats and a baby pinwheel jacket from her gifts.
My niece got a couple of things from me. A knitted jacket and a crocheted scarf.
So with the items posted about earlier on this blog, I think that's about it for 2006.
Friday, December 29, 2006
- Did I need any yarn -- No
- Did I want any yarn -- Yesish
- Did I want to go shopping on Boxing Day -- Maybe
Although it is always nice to look at and feel yarn, too much yarn sitting around waiting weighs me down.
I wouldn't know if I wanted to go shopping on Boxing Day until that day.
So in advance I decided that if I felt like going out I would and I would only buy sock yarn. And in the end that was what I did. Tuesday dawned bright and sunny, the temperature hovering around freezing. I had managed a walk the day before so I decided to go to the yarn store which was having a sale for just two days. It opened at 10.00 am and I got there about 11.00 am and it was packed with many people already waiting in line. I headed straight for the sock yarn. I really wanted plain colours but for some reason, although manufacturers make plain colours, stores don't stock much.
This is what I ended up buying:-
- Trekking XXL Colour 106 which is Pastels. I have used this yarn before but not in this colourway. I think it will be OK for a pattern.
- Super Soxx Colour 630.0049. Don't know colour name. I have not used this yarn before and from the label it is self-striping so may not be suitable for a pattern.
- Regia Canadian Color. 4741 which is Brazil. Hmm not sure what Brazil has to do with Canada. Another self-striping yarn.
- Regia. Colour 1258 which is Bright Pink. The only plain colour I could get. I have an idea for a lace pattern for this yarn.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Monday, December 25, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Actually, I am not the sort of person who keeps on starting new projects without finishing what is on the needles. I have had some projects that take a long time to complete because they require such concentration that I can only work on them in small doses. But out and out abandonment - rare.
The problem with the item in question was its design. And as it is my design I have only myself to blame. Although I must be a real designer as parts of the design were totally impractical in wear.
Let's start from the beginning. Many years ago, on a trip to England, I purchased some yarn that was on sale. Jaeger Odessa. There was enough for a sweater for me and the price was very reasonable. I'm not sure when I purchased the yarn but I started the sweater in February 2003. My basic idea was to knit the front, back and sleeves separately and then join for the yoke with some cables somewhere. My final design was for the front and back to be plain with just a couple of cables along the ribbing, the sleeve ribbing to be worked like shirt cuffs with a button opening, so the cuffs were worked in a small bobble pattern and a cable pattern running up the centre. After the yoke shaping there was a collar in cable patterning. With the yoke shaping there would have to be an opening somewhere along the neck so I made a centre seam in the back with bobbles for a rouleaux opening.
The actual knitting didn't take too long it has been the finishing that made this project a UFO. Once the sweater was finished, I realised there was no way that I was going to want rouleaux button loops on the back. In that yarn I could see the potential for them breaking was high so I decided on a zipper. First delay, finding a zipper. Second delay, sewing it in. I actually sewed it in earlier this year but didn't like how it looked so once again it languished. Finally this month it was time to put the poor thing out of its misery and I set to finish it. I removed the zipper and consulted Katharina Buss's Big Book of Knitting for ideas on inserting the zipper correctly. I told myself that I had waited this long it was worth taking the time to do it correctly.
I worked two rows of crochet slip stitch around the opening, I sewed in the zipper, I knitted the band to go over the zipper ribbon, I sewed in the ends and Hey Presto! I have a sweater.
Photos. What's that I hear, you want photos. Well, there's a slight problem. I started to take photos but the batteries in my camera went. Not a problem, I always carry spare. Except two of the batteries have disappeared. Humm, I bet they are in some musical device somewhere. All I can say is 'photos to follow'.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Caught In The Act
This is the cat just before she tried to eat the bead garland. Which has been removed as I didn't fancy doing the Heimlich Maneuver on a cat.
Here she is guarding the tree from all comers.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Yesterday I decided that backwards knitting would work well for the band I was knitting. I had picked up 4 stitches at the neckline of a sweater which is completed apart from the band. Knitting 4 stitches turning the whole thing then purling 4 stitches and repeating the whole process seemed to be very unwieldy so I decided to knit backwards. This was actually quite easy. I couldn't do the crossword at the same time but I could watch hockey.
Did you note the line "completed apart from the band" you know what that means - reports on a finished object very shortly.
Watch this space.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 8, 2006
The Cat Ate My Wool!
I don't usually have many problems with my four-legged friends and my knitting but last night was different. One of the furry bundles was sitting on my lap; I was knitting and for some reason the yarn ends were annoying him. Now he could have removed himself to another body without knitting, but no, he had to stay and periodically attack that luxury wool.
He seemed to settle down after a while but I should have been on my toes, or needle ends, he had lulled me into a false sense of well-being: cat, knitting, crossword puzzle. After a while I noticed he was having a good chomp down on the wool. This was the tricky part. Me putting knitting down and extricating wool from kitty's mouth without him running off. He had chewed the end off the ball. Luckily he saved me enough to sew in. I then had to gently pull the end from his mouth. There was quite a long end and if I hadn't caught him in time it could have turned into something nasty. But all's well that end well.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Christmas Knitting Needles
Anyway, the size I bought are gold. Which is very appropriate for the season.
Monday, December 4, 2006
It's Just Not Cricket - Or Is It
In Canada, Asian Television Network Limited (ATN) is launching a 24-hour cricket channel. Although ATN is for immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, this channel will attract immigrant viewers from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Caribbean, not an insignificant market. Except it seems that ATN is having to work at convincing advertisers that this channel is a good idea. Potential advertisers just need to find a local cricket match to realise what a market there is.
Sunday, December 3, 2006
I used a size 6 mm needle for the main part. The yarn label had a recommended needle size of 8 mm but I wanted a "tighter" fabric for mittens. I changed to 4 mm for the cuff worked in single rib. This brought the cuff in tightly so I can pull coat sleeves over them. I used a tubular cast off for the cuffs to give a nice edge. I'll finish the other one this week, so they will be ready for the next batch of cold weather.
At this time of year, I am up before the sun. The one advantage with that is that some days you get to see scenes like this.
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Friday, December 1, 2006
A Finished Object
The yarn is Rosarios Tentacao Tweed a 100% wool yarn made in Portugal. I bought the yarn when using my birthday discount at one of the yarn stores. I had in mind to make a jacket but hadn't a pattern in mind. I checked out Sally Melville's Book3 - Color from the library and thought the Blanket Jacket was a good idea. Except I made changes to the design. The original pattern is in garter stitch; I worked in stocking stitch except for the edgings. I added points to the sleeves to match the points at back and front. A single crochet edging was added to the bottom edge and the neck edge. And I didn't add the fringing. I wasn't sure about how that would look. I am not overwhelmed with the finished result. The yarn is lovely and soft but I think I would have preferred the side seams longer and the points shorter but it is great to wear indoors.
Now for a little moan about the pattern. There were a number of mistakes in it. As I was adapting it that wasn't too much of a problem but it is not surprising that advanced beginners get frustrated with patterns and doubt their skills as they do not have enough knowledge to know that the pattern is at fault. Interestingly, I was looking at another blog yesterday and the writer was complaining about the errata in a Sally Melville pattern form the Purl Stitch book. Mistakes in patterns is a very common occurance in published books.
As I liked the yarn and had some left over I immediately cast on last night. I decided the yarn would be great for mittens. I am adapting a pattern worked from the cuff to the top to a pattern worked from the top down. I cast on with Judy’s Magic Cast-On and am using the magic loop method. This would be much easier if my cable wasn't all curled up but I was watching hockey so I didn't mind.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Public Service Announcement
I found this website which provides information on being a fire fighter.
The news also included a report on EMS workers who drive around the city at night checking on the homeless people to make sure they are OK.
So let us be grateful for the fire, police and EMS personnel who work for us in all conditions.
The purpose of today's entry is to remind everybody to check their smoke alarms and make sure they have enough. So many people think they are OK because they have one smoke alarm and then they take the batteries out because it goes off when they burn the toast.
I am very easily pleased. One of our alarms is a combined smoke/carbon monoxide alarm. A voice tells you what the danger is. As we are in Canada, the voice tells you in two languages. I don't know why but this makes me smile whenever we test it.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Can Anyone Knit?
Well, check this out.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
See you in the spring!
Monday, November 27, 2006
Firstly the sky. This is how it looked yesterday afternoon and pretty much how it looks now so there is no need to take another photo. From the forecast it would seem that the sky will look like this until at least Wednesday.
Yesterday I talked about the Pomatomus sock. Here are a couple of photos of the first one. The first photo was taken without a flash and shows the patterning well but the colour is not a good representation. The second photo, taken with a flash, shows the colour better.
Lastly, here is a photo of the baby quilt I made for charity.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
What Is On My Needles
Anyway back to the needles. I am not a multi-project person. I do not like having a number of projects on the needles as I feel pressure to always be working on something. At this point any member of my family will have burst out that I am always working on something. But there is a difference between doing something because you want to and because you feel pressure. I usually have two projects on the go. A mindless one and one that requires a bit of concentration. But, currently, I have just one project on the needles. In a previous post I talked about winding yarn to knit socks and that is what I am working on. It is not a mindless project as I have to look at the pattern but it is not hard so I am having trouble choosing a mindless project. I don't want to have two pairs of socks on the go at the same time, I have made two hats recently and a garter stitch scarf is too mindless.
So what is on my needles? The Pomatomus socks from Knity.com. The yarn I am using is Knit Picks Memories. This is the first time I have used any yarn from Knit Picks. I wanted some lace yarn and the Yahoo group I belong to suggested Knit Picks as a reasonable source for lace yarn. I haven't used the lace yarn yet. But I ordered the Memories at the same time as I thought the colour -Yukon- would be a good choice for the Pomatomus. The yarn feels nice but the socks feel a bit thicker than others and I am not sure if that is the pattern or the yarn. As I said I haven't used Knit Picks yarn before and now I am a bit worried as I read on a bulletin board that their yarn had felted. These might turn into special occasion socks as I am not sure what possessed me to buy hand wash yarn for socks!
Saturday, November 25, 2006
The exciting? news for today is that I have changed over to the new beta-blogger. So here's keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have problems like other people. The trouble is that only people who have had or are having problems with the new blogger post about it on the help boards so you can not tell what fraction this is of all the users. I decided to go ahead before I had too many posts.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Most of our walk yesterday was on neighbourhood streets. We did go into the park but the trails were still icy. So I didn't see any point in taking a photo just because it was Tuesday.
Here is the photo from last week's walk.
Last week we were walking in a new development. There are a number of houses built along a ridge. They have virtually no back yard but this is their view. Not bad.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Someone Read My Blog
The hockey team is happy and I am happy.
Monday, November 20, 2006
How To Give Yourself a Heart Attack In One Easy Lesson
What I had done the first time was put my hand between the backing and padding for turning instead of between the backing and quilt top. A heart stopping moment.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
All Wound Up
In the summer I wound two skeins of yarn into balls - one ball for each sock. I didn't get around to using them while on vacation so as the weather is ripe for knitted socks, out came the yarn. I couldn't find the yarn end in the centre of one of the balls, which is very strange considering I wound it myself, so while watching a movie last night, I unwound and rewound the ball. I unwound it round a chair and then just wound it again. It didn't take as long as I expected.
But - and this is a big but when I started winding I was holding the end in the palm of my hand but I wondered if I had overwrapped the beginning too much. Next time I have those doubts I will listen to them and start again because this morning when I went to cast on the yarn flowed freely at first and then stopped and when I pulled the yarn broke! So guess what I was doing this morning - unwinding and rewinding yarn. I don't know what I did last night as the break in the yarn was about 2/3rds through the ball so I must have got yarn caught up really oddly.
I haven't tried the new ball yet - we both have to relax first.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The line across the sky is like a Chinook. Although I am not sure if we have had a true Chinook, it has been very windy the past couple of evenings and my head has been fuzzy.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Horoscopes and Fundraising
I tend to just look at the crossword in the paper, and it is on the same page as the horoscopes. Each day they pick a sentence from one of the horoscopes and highlight it at the top of the page just above the crossword so I cannot help but see it most days. The other day it was mine and read:-
You couldn't pick a better day to sign agreements, enter into partnerships or join forces with others
I decided it applied to the transaction I had carried out with the neighbour boy. He was fundraising for his hockey team, so I ordered some cookie dough from him.
Is there anyone, adult or child, who likes fundraising? It is good practise for children of all ages to go out and sell themselves and sometimes to have the door literally slammed in their face. They are working for and taking ownership in their organisation instead of watching their parents fork out the money. Some schools require the students to raise some of the funds for a school trip. The Boy Scouts of America has funds available so that scouting is available to all and I assume this is true throughout the world and in the Girl Guide/Girl Scout organisations.
So having said that no one likes fundraising, here I am giving examples of why it can be good. The boy next door was fund raising so that his team could go to a hockey tournament in Colorado. Is that something that they should be raising funds for or that the parents should pay for? As a one off it is OK, but I don’t think I would be happy to be asked to take part in a fundraiser every year to send the team to a hockey tournament.
Why did I buy the cookie dough? I like his mum, the cookie dough will get used, I was the first neighbour he had asked and I didn’t want the first person he asked to say no.
But I’ll tell you the best fund raising exercise from a giver’s point of view; when they collect bottles. The organisation gets the deposit money and it saves me a trip to the bottle depot. I’m saving my bottles if anyone wants to come over.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
What Happened to Tuesday?
The good news is, it doesn’t look too bad. Today I am off to someone else’s house to sew the darn thing up. And I get to use her nice sewing machine.
I took a picture on our walk on Tuesday and will post that later.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Roy is a French-Canadian. It is interesting that after he moved back to Canada his accent when speaking English became much stronger. His speech was in French. Whether this was because he did not feel his English was good enough (he made a joke about it during his speech) or he wanted to speak in his native tongue; I do not know. For me, I was glad he spoke in French. English is the universal language but we must not forget that it is not the first language for many sports men/women. Like it or not Canada has two languages.
Monday, November 13, 2006
It is interesting that some towns have many breakfast places and others don't. Does this say something about the residents or visitors? My observation is that cities that start early have breakfast establishments and places that start the day later have fewer breakfast establishments.
After breakfast I just had to pop into a quilt shop to get some 1" grided interfacing for the project we are making in stitch and chat. And....that was all I bought.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
The Mighty Mitre
The second project had straight borders, the third had borders with corner squares and this one has an inner border and an outer border with squares. The instructions in the book are for straight corners. So you add the side borders, which are the length of the quilt top and then add your top and bottom borders which are the length of the quilt top plus the side borders.
For this quilt I decided I wanted to mitre the corners on the inner border. I found the instructions in another book. I have learnt when sewing to pin and check before sewing and check after sewing and before trimming. Well I'm glad I did in this case as the instructions did not state that each border has to be pressed out of the way before sewing the next border. This is obvious to all you experienced mitreers out there but it was not clear in the beginner instructions I was following.
Anyway I mitred the corners without too much trouble and am fairly pleased with how they came out. OK they are not perfect where the border squares have been added but it's my first attempt so I'm only going to get better - I hope.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Lest We Forget
Today is Rememberance Day. Here in Canada we make sure we do not forget. Poppies are on sale everywhere and the majority of people are wearing them. The news has had an item about veterans everyday this week. Schools were off on Friday so they had ceremonies on Thursday.
We shall not forget.
In America today is Veterans Day and is not honoured by the general public. Most people are aware of it only because the banks and government offices are closed. Here is the link to Wikipedia which gives information about this day across the world.
There has been much press this year about white poppies. I was surprised to find out that they have been around since 1933. I wonder if they knew what was happenning in Germany at that time?
We shalll not forget.
Please observe two minutes silence at 11.00 am today.
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Ode of Rememberance from They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Friday, November 10, 2006
Let Them Eat Cake
Next time I decide to take a snow day it would be advisable to check the larder first or go grocery shopping the day before snow is forecast. Yes the cupboard was bare of bread and I didn't feel like going out to just get bread so I made a loaf.
This isn't as complicated as it might sound as I do have a bread machine. I used to use it frequently but when we moved I got out of the habit. What I don't like about it, is that you end up with a big hole in the loaf of bread where the paddle was. So I came up with a (brilliant) idea. I put the machine on dough setting and when it has finished I take the paddle out and then set the machine to rise and bake. The up side: I don't get a big hole in my loaf; the down side: I can't set the machine and leave it. I need a machine where the paddle drops out when the baking starts. Is there one out there or can I make my fortune by selling my idea to a bread machine manufacturer?
The family better eat bread today.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Yesterday, I cut and sewed some strip sets for a new quilt so I will work on that today. The middle strip of one of the sets is narrower than the others so I need to check if the strip was cut too thin or if I sewed my seams too wide. Either way I am going to make a new strip set so that the sets are closer in size.
The interesting thing about it snowing yesterday was that it was forecast and it snowed when they said it would. It started about 4.00 pm and was very heavy. There was even thunder at one point. We rarely get thunder in the summer so it was very strange to hear it during a snow storm.
I thought I would go out today and clear the driveway but I think the snow has frozen and may not be easy to clear but I'll give it a try. We don't have a sidewalk so we are not obliged to clear.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006
This is the view.
After the walk one of the ladies realised she had locked her keys in the trunk of her car. I was going to drive her back to her house to get her spare set but before we set off she remembered that her house keys were locked in the car as well. She couldn't get hold of her boyfriend so another one of the ladies riding with her used her CAA membership. Two guys with tools turned up and slid them down between the car and the window and Hey Presto! we were in.
If you were going to get locked out of your car today was the day to do it as it is the warmest day we've had for over a week.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006
When I lived in the good ol' US of A, I boycotted Walmart. After all they treated their staff badly, didn't they? Although it wasn't that hard to not shop at Walmart when there were so many other options. Even if it was a massive PR campaign, Walmart looked better after Hurricane Katrina than the government.
Now I live in The Great White North where the shopping options are greatly reduced. Is it OK to shop at Walmart considering they shut down the only store that unionised? I do not think it is right to pick and choose. If it is OK to buy fabric at Walmart then it is OK to buy socks at Walmart. But am I heading down a slippery slope and I need to dig in my heels now before I justify that there is nothing wrong in shopping at Walmart?
Apparently economists on both sides of the political divide say that Walmart is good for the economy but I am not concerned about how they treat their suppliers. They are big enough to stand up for themselves. What is it like to work for Walmart? Apparently people want to work for Walmart so, surely, they cannot be as bad an employer as we would be led to believe. The trouble is, I don't think I will ever know the answer to that. For now I must decide for myself if Walmart is the type of company I want to do business with.
Monday, November 6, 2006
I Am A Quilter
Perhaps I don't know who or what I am but I certainly wasn't expecting to one day make the statement "I quilt".
I have nothing against quilts or quilters but quilting was for other people - people who liked to sew. But the inevitable happened. Someone wanted to make quilts for charity and it would have been churlish to say no or not turn-up. The Stitch and Chat group (note how polite we are) to which I belong is made up of mostly sewers. One of these wonderful ladies is a quilter and a teacher and decided that we should all make baby quilts. Easy, she said, takes 2 hours and we could use her sewing machines. So off I go to store and purchase fabric and batting as instructed.
The trouble with shopping is that other items tend to fall in the basket and on that particular day a book titled I Can't Believe I'm Quilting fell into the basket and was purchased. Charity quilt was made and with the left overs the first project was also made. A small nine patch block. Not bad I thought.
So off I go and purchase the materials for the next pattern in the book and I make a table runner. Quite liked that so off I go and purchase the materials for the third pattern in the book.....wait! does that mean I'm now a quilter?