Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring Love

The weather has gotten much warmer which has started everything popping up spring. The forsythia is in bloom, the birdies are chirping and the frog chorus has started again. It's so soothing to drift off to sleep to the sound of their music, wave upon wave of amphibian love song.

Yesterday morning a pair of ducks landed again in our neighbour's pool. Mama duck was giving short sharp quacks. Five quacks, pause, more quacks, pause... And when she'd start in on it, papa duck would bob his head, as if to say "yes dear". I think she was telling him off about the crummy accommodation he'd brought her to. Her quacking worked, because the pair of them were gone today. No doubt to find a better honeymoon suite.

Things are looking up. Jim won a bid on a job, which is very encouraging. Plus, we'll be getting a little bit of money back from filing our income taxes, and that has been designated as mad money which makes me very happy. I miss having disposable income, ya know? :-)

I've been working my lace, but it's not photogenic. It's going slower too as it takes me over half an hour to complete one row. But I've been working on socks. Of course! Here's a completed pair.

Paton's Kroy, Moss colorway, on 2.25mm needles, 64 stitches round. It's amazing how much faster the socks knit up with 8 less stitches in the round. This pair took me a week. They're just a titch small on my feet.

When you wear hand knit socks, do you prefer them to be a bit tight (have negative ease) or to fit just perfect? I usually make mine to fit just perfect, but find that at the end of the day they're all baggy on my feet. So I've been experimenting with socks that are a bit tighter, but some people (ok, it was Luke) complain on the initial try on that the sock is too small. I've yet to try wearing one of my snugger socks all day to see what I think.

Even though it was a pretty warm weekend I did manage to bake a bit. Luke's only fourteen, so spring love for him is a double batch of Chewy Cherry Coconut Tarts.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life goes on..

With very small variations but no great excitement, life goes on. After the obsession, and Easter, I reverted back to a purple lace piece I started back in... February! Whew, it's been a while. I had to splice in a second ball of yarn and I'm almost finished the third repeat.

Debbie over at Live and Let Learn! sent me some new stitch markers to try out and I've been using them on this project. They're glass rings. This is the largest size to fit over my 5mm needle.

I think it's gorgeous. The glass is thicker than most stitch markers, but it's fine for a lace project like this since there are so many holes anyway. I like it better than a bead on a ring, which is what I was using before.

Debbie's husband is the beadmaker and he does some incredible things with glass. Look at this adorable thing.

You should check out their Etsy shop. They've got buttons and earrings and more cute sheepies and piggies. Wonderful stuff! The prices are very reasonable.

Kauni is on hold for a while. I had sort of decided to try carrying on to see what the yarn did with the color changes. But I believe that I'll need more yarn to do the sweater the way I want to and I just can't afford that right now. Still, I'm hopeful that Jim will be working again soon so I've tucked it away for the time being. Fortunately, wool doesn't spoil.

I've been thinking about how having less disposable income can be a good thing. Certainly it's an opportunity to knit through the stash. There are some projects I have yarn for that I've longed to do for a while that I've just never got around to. As much as I love blogs and Ravelry, sometimes I think they contribute to a sort of knitting ADD that leads to startitis.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Bright and Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!! It's going to be a lovely one. The sun is shining, friends and family are coming over and I have emerged from my knitting obsession. And here it is folks, the Ten Stitch Twist!!

Honestly, it doesn't look this bright in the house. I've used up almost all my Noro leftovers for this project. I eagerly ripped back my failed Lizard Ridge squares.

When I started with this obsession, and I was thrilled and excited and had so much energy for this project. In the middle I struggled with doubt and insecurity but I pushed on. Towards the end, I was tired, but I had started to regain that old thrill. Now that it's done, I feel slightly drained. Like I need a good break from knitting for a while. After all, I knit up approximately 13 skeins of Noro in 8 days. Also, I think that by not sharing this project with the blog I learned to deal with my own self-doubts a bit better.

I really enjoyed watching the colors play in this project. Certain sections of color play together and jump out at you. And when you fold the blanket on itself, you can put new color combinations together. Very fun. I was aiming to start with the deeper tones, move to the greyer ones and end with the brights. But I don't think this progression shows up very well. Another thing I learned is that Noro uses a fair hunk of neutrals in their yarns, which is very good because it helps to make the other shades pop.

I failed to measure this when it was finished, though I did during the knitting. It should be over 40 inches, though a good wet blocking may stretch it out. I'm kind of hoping it does. In the mean time, strictly for perspective's sake, here's how big it is on a medium-large dog:

Dexter loved wearing it!! His little stumpy was wagging so fast, but that could have been because we were all laughing so hard.

I hope you all enjoy a bright and Happy Easter, with load of color and lots of giggles.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A New Obssession

This is so exciting: I got bitten by a pattern bug. I saw the pattern on Thursday and Friday morning I woke up with the irresistible impulse to cast on. So I did. I'm about 6 balls into the project with 8 more to go. No guilt, no worries, the other projects will still be there for me when I get done with this. It's thrilling to have the creative pull come over me so strongly.

But I can't show it to you. I can't even tell you the details. I know, I'm a horrible tease, but I've been wondering lately if blogging helps or hurts my creative projects. I really do appreciate the encouragement and advice, but sometimes my own creative impulses get mixed up by the input. So I'm trying an experiment here, by not blogging about my latest obsession. Also, I have a vision of what this will look like and right now, the work in progress doesn't look anything like what I envision the end to be.

So for now I'll show you socks. Again. Good thing we love socks!!

Pattern: Cachoeira
Yarn: Wild Fire Fibres BFL Sock
Needles: 2.25mm and 2mm

It took me two weeks to knit these. The pattern is interesting, but I never managed to memorize the center lace panel, which is odd for me. The yarn was lovely to work with, soft with just a little variation is texture. The color is very nice for spring, but I found that it rubbed off on my fingers. I'll wash these in plain water before wearing.