Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ravelry Intervention May Be Required

Have you noticed?! Judging by what I've been reading - I'm not the only one who'll require a sit down and talk to regarding Ravelry.
Sweet, sweet Ravelry...
I do consider it time well spent. After all, it's helping me plan my knitting future (a good thing), and it also allows me to air my dirty WIP laundry. Also a very good thing...

Delores. We've officially kissed and made up. I have found some of the colours I need to keep soldiering on, and seeing her again makes me realize how much I missed her. I love Fair Isle.

(By the way - have you seen Marina's latest? Elephants? Beautiful! And of course - yours truly (I really have to say - I looked like poop warmed over that day...) modelling the very lovely and stylish Guinevere, the latest addition to Lorraine's Twisted Traditions line.)

Gandalf helps me show off the nearly completed back of the "Cricket Cabled Sweater" from Debbie Bliss. I've finally decided that this design is the keeper to use the Woolie Silk from Fleece Artist. The original design I had hoped to make turned out to not have the most flattering shape for a short person. But the yarn is soooo lovely, and the colour so warm that I couldn't bear to stash it away. The little cables are perfect.

This is the back and the left side of the Caped Cardigan that I'm making using Cascade 220 in a deep red. A very easy and quick knit, I usually work on it while commuting.

And why not knit socks while commuting? Isn't that what I used to do?? Well, yes it is. And why am I not? Oh, that would be because I somehow managed to LOSE MY KNITTING BAG on the way home from the train station last week. I'm pretty sure it fell out of my bag, which was overstuffed with my laptop, work stuff, lunch bag, stuff I had picked up at the drugstore, and other crap. It was stuffed in on top of everything else, and I hadn't been able to zip my backpack up. So, it was resting precariously on top of everything else, with the flap only partially closed. When I got home - it was gone... :( Slipped out, and when I retraced my steps I couldn't find it. In it was the sock yarn I was using - Lorna's Laces, my 2.25mm needles, and everything else that goes with it. And the only half decent knitting bag I have! I have a tendency to just use whatever I have laying around - even shopping bags if that's all that's available... Oh well. All that say - I'm knitting Caped Crusader on the train home now.

(Gandalf is out for the count on my lap right now - so funny, he's snoring with his mouth open, sleeping on his back...hee hee!)

In other cool news - have you seen AS' "Oregon" in the new VK? I for one am pretty happy about it! Something else to add to the queue. And, as luck would have it - you can also pick it up from Anne at She Ewe Knits. She's put together the yarn packs, and is offering it at a special price until the end of November! Have a peek at her blog, you'll see her swatch. I for one am sold... (Fair few paragraphs up...remember?). I'm not even going to TRY to resist this one. Really, there's no point.

"This Ravelry thing has to stop. Sit down Mom. Sit. Down. OK. I'm going to have to monitor your activity, because it's cutting into Atticus-time, and that's not a good thing. And no "buts" lady! Can't you control yourself? I mean, all I hear is "ooooo", and "aaah", and then click click. Another "Favourite" is added to the list, or another "Add to My Queue". I mean, c'mon..."

"Yes, but I'm meeting a lot of new people and..."

"Who are just as addicted! Mom, what if you forget to feed us in time? It won't be pretty..."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Big Adventure

"Lalalalala... Hi Atticus! Hi! Whatcha doing? Are you trying to sleep? Atticus! Look at me! Hi!"

"Lalalala...lalalalala...alalala...I'm playin' with nothing...lalalalalalala...nanananana...oh, hi Mom!"

"So... Are we going to play with someone? Is it Kitten-Chow? That would be cool! Oh, wait, what about Chaos and Mayhem?!! No? Suzy? Um, Hezekiah? No? Oh, I know!! It's that California hottie Meems!!!! No? Oh, I KNOW!!!! WE'RE GOING TO PLAY WITH COUSIN FINNEGAN!!!!!! No? Um, so where we going then...? How 'come Atticus and Mae aren't coming? We're they bad? Um..."

Hee hee... Silly boy. Falls for it every time. The little treat in the cat carrier trick. It was time for Gandalf's yearly physical on Friday, and I have to say - he hasn't quite grasped the concept of "cats don't like going to the vet". He was a little out of sorts being outdoors, but once inside, he was sniffing around everything, getting friendly with the resident cat, eating treats, walking all over the phone on the front desk, rolling over on his back on the scale (I kid you not) and purring for the doctor. Who also said he was a very healthy boy. At 12.4 lbs.

Next up - Atticus in 2 weeks. Which is always an ordeal. The only time he holds a grudge - he does not forget, although unlike a certain Kitten-Chow...doesn't poop in inappropriate places!


As for was a bit slow this week, thanks to throwing out my back while bending over to feed the Little Dudes. It was the first time that ever happened - it just refused to budge as I was bent over. Then I was being head butted for being in the way of the food dish...thanks guys... It took awhile before it loosened up, and I'm still a bit paranoid every time I bend forward to do anything. I'm thinking this may be a sign I get back into yoga. Think so?!

So, look what I'm making!

I've jumped on the Norwegian mitts bandwagon. I'm working on a pair using some yarn and pattern I purchased from...from... (ooooo, I'm bad I can't remember...)... I think I may have picked it up at one of the Knitter's Fairs in the Toronto area a couple of years ago. Anyway - they are grey and white, and work up really quickly! And they should be quite warm too.

I do have progress pictures of Laleli (which is moving along quickly!), and Fulmar (which is NOT moving along too quickly!). But Fulmar is work in progress...

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Somewhere... Ohio, last night, Marina must have picked herself up off the floor, and wondered - ow! now why did I fall to the ground??? Well, that would be because I felt the sudden urge TO WORK ON WESTERN SEAS!!!

Yes, the long neglected (but not forgotten) and little known Starmore gansey (it's the adult version of a gansey from "The Children's Collection") was pulled out and worked on last night. And, I am this close to having the back finished. You know what that means? Two sleeves, and a collar.


Baby steps. That's all I can ask for with this project. I love it, but I certainly question my sanity in working it in the first place. And I don't even remember when that was. I think it's pushing 2 years...

Speaking of baby steps...

She who does not photograph well because of the pale colour aka Fulmar. I love her. She's just taking awhile... You know, 236 stitches will do that. But, Michele mentioned how she's going to shorten hers, which is what I think I'm going to do as well. I'm not sure of the finished length yet. It's still a waaayyyy off. What you see above is 2 full repeats. It's just so fascinating to knit up! There are so many different cable motifs.

Let's see...what else have I been doing... I spent the day with Lorraine on Saturday! As always, a great time. She had me model Guinivere, her latest Fair Isle design. Again, I contemplated making a run for it, but I had no clue where we were (I don't know that area of Toronto...). Oh, that and the fact she would have had my St. Brigid, which I wore to the location. Plus I was getting hungry, and Lorraine's a good cook. OK, so I wouldn't have gotten far. But let me tell you, it's another excellent design, and I think it should be out soon.

I've been working on little things - a bit of Mermaid, a bit of some stranded Norwegian mittens, and far too many incarnations with my lovely pumpkin Fleece Artist yarn I picked up at the Knitter's Fair in September. I think I'm on my 4th try, and I'm pretty sure I'm good now. I think. But if it does stick, I'll post a picture the next time around.

And look at what was waiting for me at my door yesterday!

All sorts of goodies from Chaos and Mayhem's Mom! There's a mixed cat-themed CD, some PJ's with black cats on them, very cute socks with a black cat on them, a kitty fridge magnet, a note pad (pink!), some pink highlight tape (which has already replaced my pesky Post-It notes on small charts - what a great idea!), a black cat measuring tape, a bumper-sticker, AND - some very soft and snuggly pink sock yarn! Dyed for MOI!!! AWWWW, thanks Chris! It was such a wonderful goody box! (Canada Post decided to keep it at the border for close to 2 weeks. What is up with them???)

"Aww... I was expecting Mayhem to jump out of the box. She said she'd try, but I guess her Mom caught on. *sigh*"

So - how much time are you spending on Ravelry?! Can I tell you? Me? A lot. But wow, am I ever seeing a lot of great stuff. I guess that's the beauty of it all! And it certainly is organizing my life for the next, oh, 25 years, with all the stuff I have lined up in my queue. You know what's really great? Seeing all the finished designs made up of yarns/kits in my stash. It is a lot of fun.

(My ID on Ravelry (wait for it, 'cause it's a tough one to remember) is "Brigitte". Wow. So, if you haven't already, pop on by, drop me a line, I'd love to see more stuff!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Small Gauge Knitting Can Be Fun!!

It's been a busy week here at the Little Dudes abode in Toronto. They continue to enjoy the good, well rounded life, complete with sleeping, eating and cuddling.

Gandalf is quite oblivious to the fact that it takes two hands to type.

Knitting has been all small gauge, all the time. I've been working on Mermaid:

"You're lying all over it...I'm telling! Mom! Gandalf's lying on Mermaid and he's playing with the yarn!"

Um, don't know if you can tell with the furry little animal draped all over Mermaid, but what you see represents the left front, back, and right underarm section. I'm now up to the first right front gusset. The end is near! And for you ladies doing an unofficial Mermaid KAL later this year - nowhere near as complicated as it may seem. The worst part will be having to weave in the stray bits at the bottom. You need to clip the main colours when changing to the medium blue for the gusset. The part I'm least looking forward to? Figuring out how that i-cord is attached on the last row of the body. You start with an i-cord on the left front, easy enough, and then you end it all with an i-cord on the last row. Still got to figure that one out...

And Laleli! Ooooo! How I love her! The colours are so vibrant, and the design so addictive. The above picture represents the first 40 or so rounds of the main pattern, and around 8 short of the completed chart. Very, very lovely... I'll say this much about Jade's designs - they are colourful, imaginative, and brilliant. Whereas her mother is more "traditional", she takes the traditional and makes her own splashy mark on it. Despite the 10 different yarn colours, I don't think this one could be classified as a true Fair Isle (Lorraine, Marina or Anne could probably say for sure); this seems to me more of a stranded design due to the lack of Fair Isle motifs.

Moving on.

What else?

Now, this is going to be difficult to photograph - but for now, that's all you need to see. 'Cause that's all there is. Fulmar! My dream Aran, finally. After having the yarn in my stash for what seems like forever, I took advantage of a Fulmar KAL that started up on the 1st of October to get her going. OK. I have a bit of a secret here. She's not as difficult as she looks. Seriously. There is nothing too complex as far as the cabling is concerned. But, I'll say this much - at 236 stitches a row (yes, 236) on 3mm needles, she won't be done in time for Christmas... And that's what makes it seem overwhelming. But, AS separates each chart, and gives you the chart sequence you need to follow. All you do is follow the charts (with my trusty Post-It notes), and that's it. There are no charts with more than 20 stitches. I always say that the best way to tackle what seems to be a complex project is to break it down into smaller bits, so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming. It's just going to be looooong knit. The ribbing? Done on 2.75mm needles, at 196 stitches a row. Took around 7 hours total.

*sigh* I loves her too...

Now, if I could only apply the same principle to lace knitting... Thanks for all your support re. the debacle that was Grace! Ugh... I don't want to even contemplate the simplest of eyelet patterns at this point.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, giving us a nice long weekend. I'm thankful for a lot in my life, and particularly happy this year that Chris came out of her surgery just fine! Yay Chris! So, if you haven't already, go pop by and say hey!

To all my Canadian friends - Happy Thanksgiving!