Monday, February 27, 2012

Sick, Boom, Bleh

Not the best week for yours truly. I got sick, yes, with the sore throat and the tender noggin and the sniffly slimey yech.

And my 3mm Addi Turbo lace needle broke. This needle was in my bright Kauni cardigan, which was all the way up to the neck shaping when I was so rudely interrupted by the failure of my tools. Not that I'm blaming the Addi. I put a lot of stress on that cable, pushing around far too many stitches on a too short cord.

Well, that's fine. What with the sick and all, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to work on neck shaping and short row shoulders in the round. What I was in the mood for was some Stephen West. Pretty colors and yarn, shown off with some simple magic in the knitting. I've almost finished a Daybreak, but I don't have enough yarn for the cast off, and now must rip. And I had ten wedges of a Spectra, but this morning I decided that the gauge was too loose and that I didn't like the proportions of the neutral to the colors. So that got ripped this morning. Oh bleh.

That's why there's no pictures today my pets. Go visit Ravelry and Stephen West. He'll keep you entertained for a good long while.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Something to Strive For

Its a long weekend in Ontario. Family day is a new holiday for us, so we don't have any traditions for it at our house. This year we decided to dedicate the long weekend to serious relaxation, which for this family means we are mostly together in our solitary pursuits: video games, TV, reading, spinning and knitting. We did dedicate an hour this morning to cleaning the house. SOME people complained (those under twenty), but the rest of us (those of us with real jobs) thought that one hour was nothing out of a whole weekend.

A new pair of socks has come to live with us, making Jim's feet pretty happy:

Rascally things. More pictures and details on Ravelry.

One of the reasons I like spinning is because I want to use yarn that no one else has. Yarn that other people may covet, but can never get. I remember at the K-W Knitter's Fair one year, admiring a woman's shawl and asking her what the yarn was. The shawl was deep green at the edge and gradually faded to pure white at the top. She replied that it was her handspun and when she saw my disappointed face, she laughed and told me that I would just have to learn how. At the time, it seemed an unattainable goal.

Well, it finally happened for me. At Friday night knitting someone was watching me work on these socks and she said in just that tone "Where did you get that yarn?" I was very naughty because I replied smugly "It's my hand spun."

And, I have finally gotten comfortable doing long draw! I had such a mental block on this technique, but now I can do it with one hand. Sweet. I'm just plying my floofy, chunky yarn and I feel ready to try something finer next time. There's some (if you call 19oz some) Shetland in the stash calling to me...

In other news, my mother-in-law is still trucking on her sweater. She's decided to tackle the shaping herself. Hooray! I may have whined a bit about work being stressful and wanting to knit my own projects. But I honestly believe it will be good for her to puzzle it out and I totally believe she is capable of it. She has knit many a sweater in her day. Besides, I'll be there once a week to hold her hand. And don't we all need something to strive for?

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Contrary to popular opinion of black being THE best color for a cool hat for boys, my son picked this iridescent yarn by Caper sock yarn called Didgeridoo. I worked the Windschief pattern using two strands  held together which gave me a smooshy fabric with out any of the pooling typical to a sock yarn. Instead, it bended together into this:

And the result? The boy loves the hat! He wore it to school and when I asked him how his hat was he said "Fine." Which is high praise from a 15 and a half year old boy. He even modeled it for me for pictures

Cute eh? Except his brother and best friend both told him he looked like a hipster. Alex didn't seem to mind that much. Also, notice the sweater vest? He got that for Christmas and hasn't stopped wearing it since.  I see a possible opening to put a knit vest on this kid....

In other news, I spun some beautiful yarn. A merino silk blend, this was the yarn I was planning to make up into a cool hat, but Alex choose the other yarn. I'm not disappointed, because I get to keep this for myself.

It's a three ply with lots of loft and softness. I was aiming for a worsted weight and I think I may have hit the mark, though I'd have to swatch to know for sure.

And, I also picked up some light reading at Cotton-by-Post:

I pre-ordered the book, so I only paid 35 bucks which I think is a steal. It has the heft of a university tome, but the writing is not nearly so heavy. June writes in a clear and light manner. I was sifting through it and found myself sucked in, learning this and that. Perfect reading material for a snow February Sunday.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Reporting on the backlog

Hello bloggies! It's been too long. Work has been keeping me at the computer and so in my down time, I stay away from it. But this weekend was me-time. I've been to a knit group, a spin group and just now finished updating my Ravelry projects. Whew! Was I ever behind.

Some things will never be documented I'm afraid. A couple pairs of socks and two scarves have been released into the wild and are not likely to be photographed. But I've rounded up some of the more interesting knits for you to see.

Luke requested another pair of fingerless gloves to replace his worn out pair. He wears these constantly as you can see from the rumpled fingers and pilling on the hands:

We both love the colored cuff, a design from More Sensational Socks, and the bright yarn is Cascade Heritage. But next time, I'll find a really durable yarn for the hands. This cheap black sock yarn shouldn't have pilled up so soon.

I'm also on the hunt for a hat for Alex. He never wears the hand knits but this winter he has permitted me the honour of knitting him a "cool" hat. My first attempt was Kittiwake, also in cheap sock yarn:

Yes, that's Jim doing the modeling. Apparently it wasn't cool enough. Windschief will be my next attempt and I'm currently spinning a silk/wool blend for it. I may be investing too much effort in this project. Can you imagine if he rejects a handspun, handknit hat? Or worse yet, LOOSES it?! Still, I'll carry on. This is the first time in a long time the boy has let me show my love with handknits.

Most recently off the wheel was this 3-ply sock yarn:

I love it lots. Oh, it has it's faults, but I'm really curious to see how the colors knit up. But I hid it away from myself for a while so I could get my Christmas sweater finished off.

Yep, I'm that happy with it and I wear it all the time. It's just a comfy pullover in lovely colors. What more do you want?

Apparently what I want is a challenge. Small gauge, more color, and the niggling doubt in the back of my head that I'm really knitting a clown suit.