Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh Wow, an FO!

And it is absolutely as LOUD and PINK as it looks in the picture!

Pretty cute, huh? Although the hat is supposed to be the same colourway as the mitts, it doesn't look it. The mittens have had some mileage. I purchased these 3 items from Morehouse Farms. Pretty standard instructions, but I have to say, the instructions for the mitts were different from what I've done before - knitting a "gusset" for the thumb, placing them on a holder and then picking up and knitting the thumb once the main body is completed. Makes for a much more comfortable thumb, and a much "neater" look as well. This will be my new standard for mitts! Now if only it would start getting a little colder here in Toronto so that I can wear it.

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments about Dalarna! I've decided to work the arms as indicated in the pattern - stranded for the whole sleeve.

And I've started it.

I know, my progress is staggering.

I haven't worked on it much - I've been knitting away on some Christmas stuff.

So, Marina (how does she find this stuff?!) found a link to another blogger who has worked on Alice Starmore's VK 1994 pattern I'll be working on (check her comments from my previous entry). And she has a name - Delores.

You should have a peek at Jewel's blog - she gives all the information you need about joining up a "Dale of Nor(th America)" KAL that she has started up with Lorraine!

"Delores? Delores? Don't you remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry couldn't remember some girl's name, but knew it rhymed with a female body part?? Delores was one of the names he thought about."
(Gandalf thanks his Aunt Lorraine for that tidbit!)

"Oh, and what's this I hear about getting something 'removed' on Friday?? Atticus says that when I get home I'll want to start redecorating the kitty beds and sit down for tea with Mae... What's up with that?"

*Atticus in the background - "...heh heh... He's so gullible..."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dalarna Update

I was home sick with a double ear infection this week - owwie. But - wow, I'm pretty pleased with myself!

Dalarna body - done! :) She may be a rumpled tube right about now, but in my mind - the biggest portion is behind me. I think I've decided on patterning the entire sleeves. Then again... (And no Marina, I will not race you!)

I'm so happy that the tension is even on both sections. You use a 3.5mm for the stranded portion, and a 3mm for the top red portion. And it looks great! Yay me!

But, I'm still wondering why I can't use traditional Shetland steeking methods? The yarn seems to be sticky enough. I didn't incorporate steeks for the arms, so I'll be working the Norwegian method there. However, I cast on extra stitches for the center steek, just in case... But, I'll probably chicken out, and reinforce the edge stitches prior to cutting.


And Lorraine has offered up her sewing machine when the cutting time comes. This is one funky pattern though. Not much in the way of instructions. I'm not even sure I've shaped the neck properly. She's clear on the front neckline, however, when it comes to casting off the back neck, you're told to cast of xx centre stitches (and don't expect to be told how many stitches to work before casting off either - get out the calculator), and then cryptically told to "cast off one stitch at the neck edge on the next row". Although I'm pretty confident in my finishing/shaping abilities *stares blankly at page*, how many times? Uh, and uh, why...? So, I didn't because it didn't make much sense in the shaping department. Oh, I hope it'll be OK...

To anyone who's done this type of knitting before - do I cut the armhole steek first, then sew the shoulder seams together? Or the other way around?

Well, so it's time for the arms. In between my covert Christmas knitting! That I've restarted 3 times! Because I can't make up my mind! And knitting with bigger needles (well, bigger than 3mm) - it's overrated!

I think I may have forgotten to mention what the Jamieson's yarn bundle I recently acquired is for (a couple of posts ago). It's for a pattern Alice Starmore did for the Fall 1994 edition of Vogue Knitting. I haven't been able to find a picture of it on the Internet, so I'll have to scan it at some point. If you do have a copy of that magazine - the Jamieson's colours will have it turn out a bit darker than shown in the original Campion. I was going to start it up in January...but something else has caught my eye!!! More on that later...

{{{break while Brigitte feeds Little Dudes}}}

The way they inhale their dinner, you'd think they haven't eaten in days.

Of course, now that I've resorted to refrigerating my tomatoes, Gandalf can't supplement his diet with produce. It's Florida orange time, and luckily he has no opposable thumbs to grasp the oranges and chomp down on them. I'm not a big fruit eater (although I love nearly all vegetables) so the ones I do eat - I LOVE. I do my own version of inhaling when it comes to Sunkist oranges. Yum yum yum!

I had a cute little picture of Gandalf, but, as you can see, Blogger is not co-operating. He's had "the talk" with Atticus... about going to the "V-e-t" next week for the snip-snip.

*sigh* They grow up so quickly.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Fine Mess

The good folks at Foodland Ontario and the Banana Farmers of Honduras will be pleased to know that their produce gets 2 messy paws up from one Gandalf Kitty. The Florida grapefruit was apparently not tested, although was manipulated.

"La la la la *sniff sniff* doo dee doo...What?"

Saturday, November 18, 2006


"I thought we agreed you'd get that little pipsqueek Gandalf to do this..."

Well, it's been a bit longer than I wanted since my last post, but hey! Better late than never.

I was kind of hoping I would have these golden pictures of the Little Dudes playing with their cousin Finnegan (that's a *hint* to his Mom to send me some!). We puppysat the little guy last weekend. They all ended up being fast friends, with Gandalf and Finnegan actually napping together in his crate. Who says cats and dogs can't get along!? It was just so funny to see them interact together - Finney playing with their toys, Gandalf and Atticus sizing up his toys (he has a "Bobo" from the PetSmart commercials), especially the mysterious blue ball that squeeked. Auntie Brigitte sure loved that one after they all got a hang of making it squeek. So, hopefully next post will have some pictures of Finnegan's visit.

Dalarna update!

After babysitting, I headed out to lovely St. Catharines for a visit with Finnegan's Moms. I always have such a wonderful, relaxing time when I go there.

And I had a lot of time to work on Dalarna -

I'm at that point where it doesn't matter how much you knit, it seems like you're making no progress.

Right now, I'm toying with the idea of knitting the arms in red only, instead of incorporating the stranded red and white design as she is originally made up.

What do you think?

Here's a link to the finished picture.

It shows what it will look like with the design continued on the arms. Now close your eyes and imagine what it would look like with plain red arms!


I'll have a bit of time to decide what I want to do with the arms, as I'm now knee deep in my Christmas knitting. I'm finishing up the last of my charity knitting. I've been knitting a bunch of kitty toys for the Annex Cat Rescue, some of them being Wendy's Catnip Mice. She was kind enough to let me use her pattern from her wonderful book - Wendy Knits. Hopefully the ACR can raise a lot of money to continue their good work in saving these kitties!

Ah, the Christmas knitting... There'll be no pictures, unfortunately, although after Christmas I will post them as FO's. One in particular I intend to finish in record time! It's going to be all *bleep*, all the time! I'm already off to a great start... Just imagine it, ok?

In Closing...

OK, I don't think I would stand in line 72 hours for new releases of Starmore books. This is just crazy though... It's a GAME people. Do you remember the mayhem when those Cabbage Patch kids came out in the 80's? You had people brawling in stores just to get their hands on one?

I hope I never become so enamoured by material items - including knitting stuff - that I forget about what's really important. Beating up my fellow knitter for the last skein of Hand Maiden Cashmere...that's just wrong.

For cryin' out loud, just stalk her in the parking lot, and offer her double the amount she paid if you want it that badly. (That's a joke...)

I can't think of anything I'd stand in line to buy. There may be a few knitting people I'd stand in line to see, but even at that - certainly not 72 hours. Or even 2 hours for that matter.

What about you?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Three Guesses!

"...the way of the Cat is different from the Dog. Their methods are crude, primitive. As a cat, you must learn the 'stare'. With patience and persistence, humans will ultimately cave. Especially Mom. She's weak, and cannot resist our little faces. You will get what you want, with patience."

"Yes, Sensei."

Hey everyone! It's been another week, but - so goes it!

OK. I never said I wouldn't purchase anything. I may have mentioned *mumble something something mumble* won't start anything yadda yadda yadda...


Wendy mentioned in her blog yesterday that I certainly know my Starmores...

Do you know yours?!

So, apart from Marina, and maybe Lorraine - do you know what the lovely Jamieson's yarn package (purchased from Anne at She Ewe Knits, of course!) I received today is for?!

A toughie, I assure you.

Hints: this design is not for sale at Virtual Yarns, and the colours are almost identical in colour to the original Scottish Campion called for in the pattern. The design is approx. 12 years old.

Can't say more than that! I will NOT start her until Dalarna is done. I will NOT start her until Dalarna is done. I will NOT start her until Dalarna is done. I will NOT start her until Dalarna is done... oh, sorry.

I was late coming home from work today (much to the dismay of the Little Dudes), but for a good reason:

A good 6+ inches removed from my hair! Wheeeee! My curls were dying from the weight of the hair, cutting it certainly makes the curl come out.

And I love that I came out of the salon not looking like a freak with Janis Joplin hair like the previous hair salon I went to made me look.

Another Birthday!

Today is the *cough cough*-th birthday of my brother Danny!

Hey Dan, Happy Birthday! I tried to call you but you weren't home. Dude, get an answering machine!

Which leads me to another event I'd like to mention - Saturday, November 11th is Remembrance Day here in Canada. I've always paid special attention to this day, it's so important that we remember our Veterans, past and present. And my brother is one of those Veterans, serving in the Canadian military for over 20 years now. He participated in Canada's mission in Afghanistan in 2001/02, and has represented and served Canada quite well over the years. Despite the conflicts all over the world, and our views on them, we should nevertheless take the time to remember the soldiers fighting in those wars. They are doing a thankless, and dangerous job.

So, thanks Dan for doing me and this country proud!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Peeps, that's how I'm feeling these days! Can't seem to stay focused on ONE FREAKIN' PROJECT.

I've started and ditched the following since the weekend: one Colinette Perugino throw which I thought would be a gift, but the colours I chose way back when I purchased the kit just look moronic now; spent an evening desperately looking for something baby-yarnish to make something for a co-worker (who leaves for her mat leave next Friday - who knew babies sneak up you like that?!). Hey, guess what?! I have NO baby yarn in my stash. And, as Lorraine can attest to - I have a stash. And a Lesser Stash. And neither have baby yarn. Scratch that. Oh, then I had the BRILLIANT idea to whip up "Persian Tiles" for an anniversay gift (not sayin' for who, but, you know who you are :) ... Dumb. Idea. It may look like a harmless 2 stranded affair, but it's a loooong knit. Won't happen for the end of the month.

But I did start the Christmas knitting. Which, amazingly, is going just fine! Wow, did you know that if you stick to your original PLANS (plans being the operative word), things usually go smoothly?! Who'da thunk.

*sigh*, or *Le Bummer*

But - I did get the stranded part of Dalarna done!

My newest Knitting Supervisor Gandalf takes time from his busy day of sleeping, eating, ambusing his siblings and bonking his head against the window as he tries to chase leaves to inspect the goods.

"La la la la...what's "punk ass" I wonder?... Mae keeps telling me how she's gonna kick mine if I don't leave her alone...ok, this is la la...can we eat now?"

The picture really doesn't do it justice, it's just so lovely, especially now that I have quite a bit of the upper portion of the red seed stitch design done. I should be able to cast off for the neckband this weekend. I had to put her down for a few days, as the yarn was irritating my fingers. I always get this at this time of year, as the heat comes on. Once I get used to it, it's fine and clears up.

And, as I was on another marathon "Sky Is Falling" after-hours calamity for work last night (Hello? People who make more $$$ than me? Yes, it IS your job to respond to your pager if you're carrying it after-hours. If it's not too much trouble. Just sayin'.), I decided to work on the little non-Christmas things I have to make up:

Some funky mittens from Morehouse Farms! These are just too cute, I'm enjoying them so much. The yarn is yummy too - variegated merino that's almost felted. It knits up a cosy, warm mitten. I also have the kit for a matching hat, and have the muffler started as my commuting knitting.

Winter can be blah, so why not add a splash of colour?

Needless to say, there'll be no pics of the Christmas knitting!

Carrie was telling me that she picked up a copy of Folk Vests, and now I'm chomping to pick this one up too.

I really want to thank everyone for their kind words regarding my last entry. I really do hope I do my mother proud with my knitting.

"...kick his punk ass if he sneaks up on me like that again...he may be cute and all..."