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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heading Into The 21st Century

I finally did it. I am now on Facebook. Friends had been suggesting/nagging for many a year that if I wanted to see photos I needed to be on Facebook. With the current loooong road trip there seemed to be little excuse to remain faceless. So today I joined the masses.

It wasn't easy; and that has nothing to do with being a Luddite or old but due to the #@!$ browser I was using. I was in Goggle Chrome and it would not open any of the Edit windows which worked fine in Mozilla Firefox and Windows Explorer. As I had no problems with either of those browsers I did not bother to check for weirdness in Goggle Chrome's settings.

With Ravelry, my blog, the odd immigration forum and now Facebook I don't know where I am going to find the time for the rest of my life.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Charity Blankets

I have mentioned before a group that makes blankets for charity – Western Canadian Oddball Blanket Society. Each blanket is made up of 6 sections of 6 inches each plus an edging. Each section is knitted (or crocheted) by a different person and then passed on to the next crafter. Although the name of the group is Western there are now knitters and crocheters from all over Canada involved. Currently the majority of the blankets are donated to the NICU at Foothills Hospital in Calgary.

Last year I crocheted a complete blanket so at the beginning of this year I decided to crochet a preemie size blanket.(Preemie size blankets are roughly 24 inches square.) Basically it is a large granny square with a shell edging.

In February it was my turn for a strip on a regular blanket. I was the fifth person on this blanket and it was being worked in various shades of blue. I chose a chevron pattern in a silver blue shade.

I have to say this was my favourite blanket to work on as the knitting was wonderful and the colours well chosen.

In May I was the second person on another blanket and chose a heart pattern. I love going through my stitch pattern books and choosing a pattern that I think will be interesting for me to knit as well as suiting the blanket and has more or less the right count of stitches for the blanket. The challenge for this blanket was choosing a colour that was in my stash but would go with the colour started on the blanket.

At the beginning of May the board issued a challenge – fast-track blankets – each board member started a blanket and with bribery and cajoling encouraged others to join. I worked on two of these, even though I did not have much time I wanted to do my part. For one of them, it was decided that each person would work their 6-inch strip and send to the organizer to put together and work a border. The yarn I used was highly variegated so I worked a simple broken rib so that there was some pattern but it does not pull in the way that ordinary rib does.

The other fast track blanket was worked in the normal way, being passed from knitter to knitter, and I was the third person. I was in rather a quandary when I received it as the first two knitters had both worked garter stitch and I really did not want to work garter stitch. Because garter stitch has a high rows per inch gauge, it is not actually as fast a knit as you would expect it to be. As I was the third person on the blanket, I decided that it would be OK not to work garter stitch and would also give following knitters a choice. But it couldn’t be an all-over stocking stitch pattern as there had to be texture to go with the garter stitch. Although I had just worked a ribbed section, a rib pattern of some description seemed the best, so I chose this textured rib pattern.

These are my last blankets until my yarn is out of storage and I find another group closer to where I will be living.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How To Be An Awesome Parent

This post could have had many titles:- I Wish I'd Been There; Parenting is Tough; This Child Will Be In Therapy For Life and I'm sure someone reading this will believe it was child abuse.

A friend messaged me and told me what she had done when her child was being really annoying. I laughed out loud and had to share.

They were in a mall and, apparently, there are laws, I'm sure set up by busy body do gooders, that you are not allowed to leave your children behind when you depart the mall. Bearing this in mind, what choices were left to my friend when oldest child was being annoying?

She ate his Kinder Egg right in front of him!

That is true parental sacrifice - the chocolate is not adult friendly.

Monday, July 16, 2012


The problem with buying yarn without a project in mind is that it sits in the stash for quite a while as there is the tendency to purchase yarn for a specific project rather than look in the stash. This is how my stash is mostly sock yarn as there is always enough in 100 grams to knit a pair of socks.

Except, sometimes you don’t want to knit socks or you just have to knit a certain pattern or you “need” a certain item. So the sock yarn still sits in the stash even though it, ostensibly, has a purpose.

And then there is the yarn that you are not sure if you even want to make socks with. Such was the case with this yarn.

I purchased three “skeins” of this yarn at different times and I paid full price for this one.

The second skein I purchased became thesesocks. From knitting those I found that the yarn is more colour block than self-striping, the yarn looks crinkly after being reknitted and the stitches look a bit odd where the colour changes occurred. (At the colour changes a stitch from the original skein is made up of tw0 colours.)

The yarn is a long scarf and you could just use it as a scarf but really that is too easy – why not knit it into another scarf? This would solve three problems. The colour changes might not look so strange, I had an idea of how the striping looked, I could use the whole skein, no adding small amounts to my stash. There was no point in knitting a standard scarf from a scarf so I chose Hitchhiker. A pattern I had had for a while but I felt needed more than a single-toned yarn. Plus it was an easy pattern and I always like to have one of those on the go. Although I have no idea what will be my next easy project.

I was a little unsure of how big (or small) this would turn out. The original pattern uses 150 gram skein of Wollmeise which is 525 metres. My yarn was 100 grams and 420 metres, enough for a scarf plus I could always unravel it if I didn’t like the end result. Needle choice was easy; for this trip I packed a couple of sets of DPNs for socks and my interchangables, so I used size 3.5 mm, the smallest size in the set.

The crinkliness of the yarn shows much more in garter stitch but it looks like it has been worked in a boucle yarn. I could wet block it to see if that makes a difference but as I am currently on the Washington peninsular I am not going to try.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


We were blessed with finding a superb, caring vet for our spoilt white kitty and a vet technician who looked after both cats when we went away. Both of them had far exceeded my expectations in a vet and cat feeder so I wanted to say a big thank you when we left. I did this by knitting them each a scarf.

This was an ideal time to use the skein of Punta that I had purchased on the yarn crawl. At that time I had not heard of Punta but my friend was a big fan so I purchased and then as it wasn’t sock yarn I couldn’t think what to make with it. I had just enough to make this scarf. I used size 5.5 mm needles but I did not like the result after blocking as the stitches really opened up, so I blocked it again and just patted it into shape and I much preferred the end result.

The other scarf I made used my own hand dyed yarn see this post. I had wanted to make the cross stitch scarf from 101 designer One-Skein Wonders for a long time but couldn’t find the right yarn. My hand dyed was perfect. I changed the pattern slightly by casting on 4 more stitches and working 4 rows of moss stitch at start and finish. It was easy to use up almost all the yarn and the end result was a perfect match of yarn and pattern. The photo is not very good but I didn’t have the time to take photos on different days with different light.

Friday, July 13, 2012

On The Needles

As half the year has gone, I thought I’d do a mini round-up of what is not complete. The oldest lace project will stay that way for quite a while as I packed it up and put it in storage. (We won’t talk about the lace yarn I did bring with me.) The sweater is completed and just needs the neck band sewn on. I haven’t rushed to do that as it will need a good blocking and I am not in the best place for that right now. Physical location that is not mental place.

The small easy project I keep in the car is nearly finished and will be (should be) after the two pairs of socks on the go.

If I really put my mind to it I could complete all these items by the end of the month. Let’s see!