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Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby Blanket

I recently completed a blanket for an ex-colleague whose baby is due 1 January 2011. I didn't rush to start a blanket as I had plenty of time. I had had an idea of the blanket I wanted to make and even had the yarn in my stash but for whatever reason I chose not to make it and started looking in all my books for something that I thought would work. The next pattern I chose was knitted with elephants on it but decided against this one as the crochet blanket with giraffes was given to a colleague at the same work place and I didn't want my friend to think I was fixated on African mammals.

Eventually I decided on a pattern from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Baby Blankets Two. A bit of a risk I know as these books are riddled with errors but I checked on Ravelry and Sixth and Spring's website and couldn't find any errors. Having made a decision on the pattern, the next job was to find the right yarn. I felt that a flat colour wouldn't work with this pattern and I needed a variegated yarn or yarn with a bit of texture. I eventually bought Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots. This is a great yarn as it comes in non-traditional baby colours. i.e. there are colours other than pastels in the range. I chose dark pink. I bought the yarn at the end of August and started the blanket on 7 September. It was an easy pattern to memorise, the only bug bear was on one row you worked knit 4 together and then knit 4 together thorough back of loops. I was in pain after that row as I was gritting my teeth so tightly. I had to come up with a solution if I wanted the knitting to be an enjoyable experience. So on the row prior to the decrease, I wrapped the yarn twice round the needle for one of the stitches in each set of 4. This gave me just a little extra yarn and made it easier to get the needle in the stitches for the decreases. I'm glad I came up with this solution as it made the knitting much easier and enjoyable. Which was a good thing as I thought I had plenty of time to complete the blanket, but my friend decided to have her shower on 21 October. I suppose I could have turned up without a gift and given her the blanket later but she knew I'd be knitting a blanket and I didn't want to disappoint her. I exclusively worked on the blanket and finished it completely on 12 October.

This is the yarn I used.

The finished blanket.

And a close up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eating Animals

I'm not talking about vegetarians versus meat eaters. This is much more important - sweets in the shape of animals.

Do you ever give a second thought to chewing a gummy bear and a gummy worm is just a longer bear, right? Personally I like the blue gummy sharks. And I have even cooked cat shaped pasta for my son.

On Monday when I was doing the food shopping, I noticed some liquorice in an animal shape. There is a limit to the shapes I will eat. I'm sorry I cannot eat black cats.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Coping With Texas’s Air Conditioning

So my last post was about the cold of Texas despite the warm temperatures. Today's post is about how I was able to improve the situation.

Just a few days before I went away I finished a shawl. Not just any shawl but my oldest UFO. The shawl was started on 3 July 2008 and the final blocking completed on 19 October 2010. The yarn was left over from knitting the shawl for my Mother-in-Law which is photographed here. It is also the item for which I needed more yarn.

I wasn't working on this shawl continuously from start to finish. It was put on hold many times when I had other projects that had to be finished. I finished it at just the right time as it was really useful in Texas. Here are some photos of it in its many stages. The pattern is Laminaria from

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Air Conditioning

This post is dedicated to my friend Myrna. She and I have a friendly difference about the need for air conditioning in Calgary. It does not get hot enough or humid enough here to necessitate air conditioning. True, the sun beating in through a window can cause an unnatural spike to the temperature but I have found that there is usually air movement ranging from a gentle breeze to near hurricane so just open some windows and the air cools down. Myrna, who, incidentally, has no meat on her bones, thinks that above 25o C is hot and air conditioning in Calgary is an absolute must.

The purpose of this post is not to point out Myrna's temperature foibles (although I am sure she thinks she is the normal one and I am the one with issues) but to talk about air conditioning in the US. I have visited our southern friends twice this year. In the summer I went to Denver. Having lived there I knew I would not have any problems with the temperatures. I loved the 90 degree weather (note speaking American now) and restaurants were not over cooled so that you did not need to add clothes when you went inside. I have just returned from a trip to Texas, specifically Houston and the hill country. Conditions are a little different there. They love their air conditioning. It was hot, high 80s, loved it although my feet in new shoes weren't so happy. But everywhere indoors was cold. One hotel was so cold we had to have all the blankets on the bed. And I knew Myrna would have been contented so I wonder how she is getting on in Egypt which I am sure is not so heavily air conditioned. Although if you check out her blog she is having a great time.