Knit Meter

Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Complete

Here we are, the last day of the year, a chance to contemplate the achievements (red sweater), the nearly theres (Santa wall hanging) and the also rans (cross stitch) from the past 365 days.

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

Sale Control

Two of the yarn stores in town had sales this week. So I had some decisions to make.
  1. Did I need any yarn -- No
  2. Did I want any yarn -- Yesish
  3. Did I want to go shopping on Boxing Day -- Maybe
I don't need any yarn as I have a sweater on the gold needles and I am only on the front. I also have some sock yarn.

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:-

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Regia Canadian Color. 4741 which is Brazil. Hmm not sure what Brazil has to do with Canada. Another self-striping yarn.
  4. 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.
I looked at other yarns while I was standing in line. Most stuff was 20% off but I didn't succumb. And my wait wasn't too long as they had a separate till for cash and for once in my life I had enough on me.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Times They Are A-Changin'

For Christmas, my big sister gave me a book - The Best of Jackie. Jackie was a teen girl's magazine published in the UK and Republic of Ireland from 1964 to 1993. One of the features was titled "On-The-Spot Interviews" where people were stopped on the street and asked a question with the results published at a future date. It often included responses from a couple of famous people. Subject matter included in this "Best Of" book include "Which jobs do you think of as glamorous?" and "If you were Santa Claus who would you NOT give a present to?" But the one that caught my eye was "What new gadget would you like to invent?". I'm sure some of the answers would still come up today - something to tidy up after you, a genie in a bottle, instant travel machine. But this is the answer I liked - "I'd like to invent a gadget which tells me who's at the other end of the phone before I pick up the receiver."

Monday, December 25, 2006


With warm wishes for the season to one and all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Oldest UFO

For anyone happening upon this site expecting to hear about a flying saucer from the Neolithic period; I am sorry to disappoint you, but a UFO is an UnFinished Object. It's that lonely object languishing in the bottom of your work basket. Untouched but certainly not forgotten as it waves to you; "pick me, pick me" it calls as fickle you works on the latest more appealing project.

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

Saturday's Skies

Here are two photos. Sunrise and just before sunset. Hope you can see the pink tinge in the second one. Temperature was about 0 C.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Caught In The Act

Today, we put up and decorated our Christmas Tree. We always have a real one. Usually, the cats ignore the tree but this year Curiosity Killed The Cat paid a visit.

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

Knitting Backwards

When you knit, the stitches are moved from the left needle to the right needle. The angle of the needle determines if the stitch is a knit or a purl. When all the stitches are on the right needle that needle is transferred to the left hand to start the procress again, this is often called "turning". Backwards knitting is when you move the needles from the right needle to the left needle.

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

Saturday's Photo

So today is Monday but at least the photo was taken on Saturday. OK, I confess, it was taken on Sunday evening but it's a photo and it has sky in it, so I get some Brownie points, surely.

Friday, December 8, 2006

The Cat Ate My Wool!

Furry creatures and yarn are not one of the best combinations. There are better; strawberries and cream, Laurel & Hardy, hot weather and swimming pools.

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

I had to get some new knitting needles for my latest project. The yarn really likes metal needles and, of course, I didn't have any in the size I wanted. I popped down to Michaels as it is the closest place to buy needles and bought some Susan Bates. Each size is a different colour. I don't know how often the colours are repeated as Michaels does not stock the smaller sizes.

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

The followers of cricket are very passionate about the game. It is very popular in Commonwealth countries except Canada. I don't know why this is. You would think that the lower mainland had the ideal weather for cricket - plenty of stops for rain delays.

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

Mitten Accomplished

So I have finished one mitten. As I was knitting it I thought this is the first mitten I have knitted. I have knitted plenty of pairs of gloves but I can't recall knitting mittens before.

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

Saturday Sky

Note the blue sky and it's only -8 C.

Friday, December 1, 2006

A Finished Object

Technically it was finished a month ago but I didn't have any buttons for it. For some reason it is hard to find decent buttons in this city. I had thought about toggles but when I couldn't find any I settled for these.

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.