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Knitting towards sanity

11/15/06 05:06 pm

As promised, a windowsill update. I have rearranged and rethought the contents of the window, and took out the things that didn't have an intended recipient to remove temptation :) I can always knit them afterwards if I think of someone who would like them.

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Note that the Fair Isle mittens have been axed. I am not sure what I am going to do with them. I might finish them and felt them down and donate them to Streetknits, but I am not making any promises. Some of you know how many single sock skeletons I have in my closet!

Is it wrong of me to love these mitten so much?

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They are so happy and green that they make me smile every time I see them! I hope the recipient feels the same way!

Now, on to the calendar pictures: Chappysmom wants to see November calendar pictures. I have proof that not all November pages are dreary:

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That was my mom's calendar. It is so bright and cheerful that I love it in my kitchen. The pictures deserve to be framed!

This is my favourite calendar:

Postman Joseph Roulin 1888 (Van Gogh)

Not as cheerful as the first one, but I love having a different Van Gogh each month.

This is Mike's calendar:

First Snow, Georgian Bay (A.Y. Jackson)

I suppose that it is a little dark, but it is not an inaccurate rendering of Northern Ontario in November, and this year it is a good reminder that the current weather we are enjoying is not to be taken for granted!  (place your mouse on the calender pictures to see the name of the painting/flower)

This is all for today.  I am working on my windowsill, plodding along.  I am in a knitty mood today, so hopefully I will have further updates soon.

11/13/06 06:29 pm - This post brought to you by Bell Sympatico!

This post was composed entirely during my conversation with Bell. That includes downloading and resizing/resaving pics, people!! Hopefully when it is over all these problems we've been having will be cleared up.

Went for a relazxing knitty weekend at a close friend's cottage...

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I had a blast not only knitting, but baking! Such a gloriously large and well-equipped kitchen, and they let me use it! I miss baking. It is hard to do in our kitchen, which makes postage stamps look roomy.

I love seeing people I love love knitting! Socks are such an initiation of sorts, aren't they?

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She has already made a lot of progress since that picture was taken!

I did manage some knitting as well, though little of it was accomplished during the 6 hour return trip, as most of it was in the dark. I miss summer daylight already!

I (nearly) finished some Christmas knitting!

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I saved the thumbs for home, since I didn't want to bother with the magic loop for a 15-st thumb. I will retreat back into my comfort zone and use my dpns. I used magic loop for two reasons: I got to use my addis :) and I discovered that I only have four 4mm dpns, much to my chagrin. Enough for thumbs, though!

These mittens are made with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Kiwi from Alterknits. I have never tried this yarn before, but I really enjoyed knitting with it. This skein felt softer than the rest, and the yarn was quite even for a single. I am really fond of the mo-hairs sticking out of the fabric:

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And the price was quite reasonable for the yardage. I will keep this yarn in mind for future projects, certainly!

I started a mini-gift too, but didn't get a picture of it.

Still on the phone. It just came to light that they never actually moved my internet from Exeter when I moved... And yet here I am! Ah well. Windowsill pics to come later!

11/9/06 08:40 pm

I walked down St. Clair to check out Toronto's newest yarn store (at least as far as I know), Alterknits. The lady there said they are working on their website and should have one up soon.

Whoof! Quite a walk for this lazy gal. I walked fast, too. I saw this on the way, close to Bathurst:

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Very neat. Persian rugs look so complicated that I never really think about them being handmade. Weaving is on my someday list.

So, Alterknits Stitch and Bitch night is tonight (Thursdays), and I was invited by the owner(s). I am considering whether I have the guts to go. Though I am 98% less shy than I was in high school, there is something about a SnB that turns me into a gawky 16 year old. (as opposed to a gawky 25 year old). I wish I had a knitting friend here in the big city to go with me.

I'm such a big chicken.

11/7/06 03:36 pm - Progress continues

Finished Dad's socks... 

Went home this weekend to visit, and stole a picture of last year's chunky socks.

Compare that to a closeup of the new pair:

It's not that these are particularly tender socks that wear away easily.  The wear can be attributed to the massive amount of use that they get.  It is nice to make things that get used!

That's one more thing that can be put away for the holidays.  Now I have to start getting creative!

10/30/06 04:02 pm - A Slow Knitting Weekend

Not too much knitting was done on my part this weekend. I was mostly consumed by knitting Dad's super-warm super-huge socks:

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I feel comfortable letting it slip that these are for Dad, since I can't think of anyone less likely to read this blog.

I have one finished and have the other one started. On the first sock, I figured out how to weave the ends in as I go. I studied the tutorial posted by Sockpr0n, but couldn't make her instructions work for continental, until I kinda stumbled into it. Very easy, very quick, and when you are done, you are DONE. Good for the soul! 

heatherlayne_nwanted to hear about the purple mitten:

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This was my first attempt at colourwork. Not the neatest, but not bad in my own estimation. One problem is that the Fair Isle motif caused a smaller gauge, which pulls in that part of the mitten, making it difficult to wear. I really ought to knit the thumb and block out this bad boy before I write it off, but I am not sure. If I do write it off as a Christmas present, it will be a donation to a charity. It is still a good mitten, but the tightness of the FI makes it too small for the hand for which it was intended.

Also seen in this picture is the Odessa I started, but was dismayed to find that though I had gotten gauge, it fits comfortably around a 23" needle despite a supposed circumference of 20". Bah.

So, this is the state of the windowsill:

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I am getting back to Dad's sock today, so I hope to get that out of the way soon. How is everyone else doing with Christmas knitting? (except ladyknits... I know all too well that she is done :) )

10/27/06 12:37 pm - Progress is made!

Two days in a row... must be a record or something for me.

Progress on the Bowl-O-Doom has been made!


Items Finished:         One (pair)
Items in Progress:    Two
Items in Disgrace:    One

Behold, Fetching!

Not blocked as of yet.  I will go on a blocking spree when I have some more items finished.  The Misti Alpaca (Worsted 4ply) I used for this was an absolute JOY.  BUY SOME.

And so the battle continues.

10/26/06 07:35 pm - The Race is On!

We all know it's coming... it's not even Hallowe'en yet, and there are already Christmas decorations up downtown.  ladyknits visited this past weekend, and we made an epic yarn crawl through the city.  She finished her Christmas knitting, and after she left on Sunday, I vowed to start!  (I know, I am a slow learner)

Clearly, the motivation of the fleeting days was not doing it for me.  I can't even seem to finish my York sweater with some measley sleeves.  So I did a little stash diving and assembled the yarn I need to assemble a Knitted Christmas!

This does seem a little worrying... but there are prioritized items in that mess.  I have already made some progress, but I am not moving that bowl of yarn from my windowsill until it is empty!  I am doing my best to use only stash yarn for Christmas presents; I have lots of lovely yarn, so the recipients will get nice things (deo volente) and I get to buy more yarn a less oppressive stash.

I will try and keep the blog updated on my progress, but I won't be naming names : )

9/18/06 08:45 pm - Squish!

Mike and I headed back home for the weekend, and had a wonderful time visiting with the London crew, all of whom I have been missing acutely, and some of whom I have not seen in ages (you know who you are!). While there, I made use of Mom's washing machine to properly felt my fuzzyfeet. I had tried hand felting in the kitchen sink, but after 20 minutes of vigorous scrubbing in very hot soapy water and no visible results, I handed things over to Mike, who also tried for 20 mins. After that, when the wool looked just slightly matted (and still humongous!) we relented. Anyhoo, a quick trip through the washing machine, and my fuzzy feet were a much more managable size. I wore them for an hour or so to shape them (which was an unpleasant experience, since it was rather chilly on Saturday morning) et voila!

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Posing with a newly picked group of swan neck gourds.

My fuzzy feet even met some cousins: the heavy-duty socks I knit for Dad last Christmas.

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Note that Dad is wearing one inside out. I pointed it out to him. He said it worked just as well that way. Also note that this picture was taken on the driveway. I have to keep these things in mind when I knit for my father. Durability and washability are important.

And I leave you with this: the squash are ready!

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More on York to come!

9/14/06 04:55 pm - The theme of the day is: knitted things on cats

Oh how the creative have fallen. Not that I have set high standards for myself here, but nonetheless, I have sunk to a new low.

Utterly distracted from York (I finished the back before that happened, at least) by the rather foreign feeling of COLD FLOORS (our last apartment was a hot box year-round) I went on an epic search for that famous felted clogs pattern by Fiber Trends. I looked high and low, and even went to the biggest yarn store in Toronto (not so hard now) and rifled through their collection of FT patterns (they have at least 100). No dice. So I went with FuzzyFeet, a knitty pattern. Don't get me wrong, its a nice pattern, and suits my purposes well, but I really like the shaping of the clogs as opposed to the sock shape. AH well.

Cast on Tuesday night, watching the Fantastic Four with Gen and Corrina. Terrible movie, good for knitting.

Here is monster slipper #1, ready to be grafted (I was ready to graft it last night, but I luckily decided to wait for the sober light of day as opposed to the rosy glow of a nice zinfandel)

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Socks... for Phlox!!

Sock #2 post-grafting...
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My cats are so freakin' patient it is unnatural!

And just so you can see just how BIG these slippers are...

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Before you call the SPCA, please consider that this last picture was taken directly after I removed the sock from Molly's head. Note that the cats have fallen back to sleep in the time it took me to pose the socks. Phlox makes an excellent end table.

Tonight... felting! I even washed dishes to free up the sink!

9/11/06 08:36 am - A New Must-Knit!

Stefanie Japel has done it again! Here is a pattern that is well worth the $7.00USD, in my humble opinion. Anyone with me?

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On my needles right now, finishing the back of York (I have one inch to go), my toe-up handdyed sock (still on the toe), and on the hourglass heel of my fantabulous toe-down Trekking XXL sock! Knitting was paused for moving, and I had to compose a tiny little hat for my newest cousin Jesse William Scott! I don't think I took a single pic of the hat, but it was made of Rowan Classic Cashcotton DK, one of the softest yarns I have ever handled. And machine-washable to boot!

That is all for now, later today I will unload the camera (duh duh DUHHHH!)
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