Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Here's the deal:

1. Go to the current book you're reading.
2. Go to Page 161.
3. Copy down the 5th sentence.

"To me, it is everything."

Compelling, isn't it?

I'm reading "Single & Single" by John Le Carre. Very much like Lorraine, I'm a non-fiction kind of girl. There are a handful of fiction authors I enjoy reading, but I'm most likely to read the non-fiction releases from history, or biography.

'Cause truth, she be stranger than fiction.

Speaking of truth. I must confess to some purchases here. I know. I never said I wasn't going to buy anything - just be more sensible about what I buy.

And Jamieson's? ALWAYS a sensible choice, I say.

I picked up 4 skeins of Jamieson's Traditional Aran in "Clover", and 10 of "Chartreuse" from Anne at She Ewe Knits. (Corrie Street segueway for Anne - dontcha just want to slap Deirdre into tomorrow??!)

If you haven't already...pop on over to her online shop - she's clearing out the Traditional Aran at amazing prices! But only to the end of January...which, is surprisingly very close to being at an end. (How did that happen?)

I plan on knitting the "St. Catherine" vest from Jade's "A Collector's Item" (the design on the cover) with Clover, and (tentatively) will be working on "Henry VII" from "Tudor Roses". I can't seem to find a picture of it, but I know if you search it on Ravelry, there are some examples. Oh, and *cough* the other Jamieson's I bought today when Anne lowered the prices even more on Traditional Aran *cough*? No idea yet. But again. It's a good purchase.

Wow, and I'm surprisingly close to another FO. So. Close.

Mermaid body? Done. Now, why was I concerned about the I-cord castoff on the right front edge?! No problems! So, I'm well into sleeve #1, and again, no issues. Mermaid? Much easier than Diva was ('member her?).

Notice something about Mermaid? That's right, no small black kitty draped all over it.

This is why.

Atticus is so gonna get me later on.

Thanks everyone for your get-well wishes! My knee? Much better. But we knew that, didn't we, because I'd called the doctor for the appointment. I do need X-rays though, and new geeky orthotics. know what? I did discover a little gem of a magazine in the waiting room. Someone (bless them) left a copy of "Creative Knitting" in the waiting room. And, you know what? It's a great little magazine! It had few very do-able projects, including a vest pattern for the Jamieson's Shetland Heather Lorraine gave me last year. The articles weren't preachy, everything was very friendly and it was a really good read. Reminded me of the UK knitting magazine "Simply Knitting", which is a fabulous knitting magazine... I picked up a copy after my appointment, and a copy of the "other" magazine that just put out a winter issue. Compared the two - and you know what I liked? That the pattern designs in Creative Knitting weren't trying so hard to be so, you know - "cool".

Guess which one I liked best?

Anyhoo, just my two cents. Just sayin'.

Hey! And remember I mentioned that Creative Knitting had a cute little vest pattern that was perfect for the Jamieson's Shetland Heather I have stashed?


I never said I wouldn't start something new. The "Wheat Cable Vest" from Creative Knitting. Brought to you by Atticus, dozy and not quite sure about this piece drapped all over him.

It's very easy, with maximum results. And besides, my wardrobe needs a vest. What am I gonna do - go out and buy one? I mean, c'mon. Sheesh.

(Oh, and I may have started "Sapporo 2007", my Dale I got from Jewel. Seeing how she posted amazing pictures of her hubby's finished "St. Anton". But shhhhhh...)

'k bye!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2 in 1

"Well... I'll be a son of a gun..."

It is possible to have 2 FOs in one week. That's 2 FOs. One week.

I know! I can hardly believe it myself!

It's the Seaweed Scarf from Virtual Yarns (actually, it was a swap with Lorraine), done in the Selkie colourway. This picture really does show the variegated colours of this shade.

OK. It's lace. So let's see... There is nothing wrong with the pattern. The instructions are clear, and the chart is...well, it's a chart. The instructions indicate you should complete 50 repeats of the 12 row chart. Some nights were good, and I could easily manage 3 or 4 repeats. Other times, if I could get in 1 without messing up, that was a pretty good outing! I didn't want too long of a scarf, so I figured I'd complete 35-40 chart repeats, and call it a day.

That day came after dropping oh, around 14 f-bombs (and other assorted colourful language) in one row. So, I decided I'd better cast off before I unceremoniously dumped it in a corner and forgot about it for another year or so. I think I have 34 repeats. More than enough! It blocked out nicely, and is more than long enough.

And yes, I'm proud of it. Yes, I'll be using it. No, I will never knit it again. Nothing against the's just me and lace. You know. We need breaks. However, I will admit that I do not count this as the "other" lace project I'd set as a knitting goal for 2008. We do still have 11 months.

Wow. I actually have room on my knitting table. AND. I haven't felt the urge to start something new. Yet. AND. I have 11 rows before the I-cord cast off on Mermaid's right front. Then it's the sleeves...and then... Oh, let's not get too ahead of ourselves.

And yesterday? I worked on Delores. Yes. Delores.

In case you've forgotten.

I figure I've Laleli's chart pretty much down pat, so I can work on her for smaller periods of time or during the evenings after work, and still get a lot done. Delores on the other hand has colour changes nearly every row, and requires a bit more concentration, so I'll probably work on her during longer stretches of time (read: kitty nap times). Gandalf thinks all of those neat ends are pretty cool to play with.

If I thought I'd lost my knitting gumption, it was short-lived. It's back! I can actually contemplate starting something new WITHOUT GUILT. Well, not that I ever really felt guilty starting something new in the past...for long.

"Tell them about your bum knee, Mom!"

Oh right. The right knee from hell! So, I've had fluid on it since before Christmas (I know...I know, should have had it looked at sooner...), and it's been getting worse these past few weeks. It doesn't hurt, what hurts are the other muscles in my knee I'm straining trying to guard the swelling. I've iced it, kept it elevated, blah blah blah, and it's still there. I know it's because of two things - I haven't been wearing my arch supports (and I am now), and my days of wearing heels are over. *sob* (On the other hand...this does mean I get to go shoe shopping!) So, I'll be heading back to the doctor's next week to have them drain the fluid from the knee (eeep!), and head to physiotherapy and get fitted for some custom orthotics (gotta love insurance...).


I feel some yarny self-medication in my near future.

"Way too much going on here...finished knitting stuff, Gandalf sitting still, Atticus getting in the middle of a picture...way too much..."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

First FO of 2008!

I have a lot of yarn. I don't pretend that I don't. I plan on using most of what's there at some point during this lifetime...the rest? Who knows... I have it all somewhat organized, in bins and those big XXL Ziploc bags that make me so happy. It's all pretty much piled in one area of my spare room. I've been lucky - it didn't seem to attract too much attention. However, Gandalf has discovered that it's kinda neat to climb all over Mom's yarn, to get as high as he possibly can, and then get stuck. Over. And over. And over. And over. Again. I'm hoping that it's just one of those phases he goes through, much like the tip-the-water-bowl phase and look-the-ringer-volume-button-on-the-phone-rings-if-you-put-your-paw-on-it phase. Oh, and the wheeeee-magnets-on-the-fridge-ooops-now-on-the-floor-fun! phase.

"I can't help it. Really, I can't. It's a brain thing."


But look! Look at what I have! Why, it's something completed!

It's not easy to photogragh, but say it with me anyway! Yay!

The deets:

Debbie Bliss "Cricket Cabled Sweater", a free pattern I received while I was a member of the Debbie Bliss club. I used Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-ply, on size 4mm.

Started: Obviously
Finished: January 12, 2008

An easy knit, with very little PITA factor, if any. It looks more difficult than it is, but the pattern doesn't change at all throughout the entire design. And, the instructions are pretty clear as to picking up the neckband stitches. I would have made it a bit longer though, but it's not too big of a deal. It looks small, mainly because of the cable/rib combination. It fits perfectly!

I have to say, I've been pretty good at cleaning up my WIP's up to now. Next in line is Mermaid, which had less to do than I'd anticipated. So, I have a bit of the right front to complete, and then it's on to the sleeves. Mermaid is nowhere near as complicated as it looks. I'm not even following instructions at this point - I'm just mirroring what I did for the left front, and reversing the shaping.

Arangenser on the other hand, has a lot more to complete. Unlike Fulmar and its crazy size 3mm needles, Arangenser is much more sensible at 5.5mm, and a much thicker yarn. So, even though I'm roughly 50% completed, it won't take me as long to finish. I'm hoping anyway.

And in between all of that... My lovely Laleli. Moving along quite nicely. Here's a progress picture (as promised).

It may not look like much, but I have approx. 25 rounds to complete before the back neck shaping, and then the body is complete! Then it's on to the sleeves, and the button band.

No progress picture of Fulmar, 'cause there's really not much more to show...

And hold on to your knitted hats ladies and gents, because I have a WIP that I keep forgetting to mention - and it's lacey too... Ooooo...

This is the Seaweed Scarf from VY. I'm knitting it in Selkie, which is a bit dark, but that's ok. I think the shock of me knitting lace is enough for you for to take in anyway. :D

I'm not sure when I started it, probably last year sometime. The pattern says to do 50 repeats of the 12-row repeat (which no doubt threw me in a tizzy the first time I read it), and I have approx. 32 repeats done. I will probably stop at around 40, mainly because I won't have a surface to block it on if it's any longer, and also to stop me from wanting to chuck it out the window.

When it is completed it will not only be a) a miraculous occurance, but also b) a bonus FO. I actually want to wear this one.

And before you ask (Marina) - devote ALL my time to finishing it up? No. I can no more devote my entire knitting time to knitting lace than Gandalf can stop being a wienie.

Speaking of wienies. So, I've been up since 3am, supporting a switch upgrade for work. Part I went according to plan, and I settled in to wait around for Part II to complete so I could start the testing. I waited. And waited. And decided to clear up some old e-mails to pass the time. First one I opened? A note telling us that Part II was to be postponed. Sent at 12:30am.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Good Therapy

I was feeling a bit bummed by the end of the holiday season, and even though I'm now able to work on my own WIP's, I found that I couldn't really concentrate on too much.

Have you seen this movie? I had been wanting to see it for awhile, and something always got in the way. I finally got my chance on the weekend.


If I giggled my way through most of it, I nearly choked laughing at one of the final scenes of the movie. Those who've seen it know exactly which one I mean. I'm pretty sure Atticus had his paw ready to dial for help, because I was nearly crying. I honestly cannot remember watching a funnier scene in a movie.

Anyway, all that to say, that scene alone kicked me out of the post-Christmas doldrums, and I'm pretty sure I've landed in a good spot.

I can safely say that the orange cabled thingy, or "Cricket Cable Sweater" (you know, that orangey-rusty cable know...) is done. I'm finishing up the cap on the last sleeve. And, as I've already completed the neckline, it's just a matter of sewing her up! Wheeeee hoooooo!

And next - I don't know, what next? I have 2 choices to tackle here: finish up Mermaid or finish up Arangenser. I THINK I'm leaning towards finishing Arangenser. I have about the same to work on both, maybe a bit more on Arangenser. OK, so there is more to do on Arangenser. Right. Anyhoo. My reasoning is that Mermaid can be worn well into the spring, however Arangenser, being a really, really thick Aran done on 5.5mm, has a relatively short life, even with this cold winter. So, I'd best get her done.

Poor little wee Arangenser. I do love you, however you really are a bitch to knit, thanks to your lack of written instructions, and your insanely small chart... Where everyone one of your lovely little stitches for your entire sweater is represented by a tiny little box on a page of 9" x 11" size book. Ah yes...

So, maybe I'll be going back and forth between the two. Arangenser and Mermaid, that is.

Oh wow, by the looks of it, there is still a LOT to do on Arangenser... That's where it's at right now...

Fulmar and Laleli continue to be exempt from such reasoning. Just because. But they are growing, and I'll have proof next time.

And for those of you NOT sitting down - please do. Because this just might mess with your mind.

Top. Down. Socks.


I know! Although it's only going to be stocking stitch, I will be trying out the fancy doo-dad heel on the pattern that came with the yarn (direct from Nova Scotia, in yarn store that carries A WHOLE WALL OF FLEECE ARTIST AND HAND MAIDEN YARNS, thanks to my sister and sister-in-law. Who, have I mentioned, have bought a nice little parcel of seaside land quite close to said store, that has A WHOLE WALL OF FLEECE ARTIST AND HAND MAIDEN YARNS. Just sayin'.)

Let's not mention the fact that the yarn is quite dark, and may make for picking up heel gusset stitches quite difficult for a first time sock-downer. I'm smart like that.

A lot of you are going on a yarn diet this year, and those of you that are - hey! Good for you. I mulled this one over in my head, and said to myself "Self, you're no good with diets, unless it's made up AND cooked up for you by someone else. So, don't commit to it!" I'm good at talking to myself. Instead, I do plan on being extra careful, and like Jewel said - be sensible about each and every purchase I make.

As if.

I do have plans for a Bohus in February/March when the ol' annual bonus comes in. That and a VY purchase. Or two. Because I would hate for them to think I'd stopped thinking of them and what I could do if let loose on the Isle of Lewis. I'm really thinking about Strathglass, and maybe the blue/green version of Luskentyre. We'll see... Oh, and I need some Frangipani for Sand Dollar (the adult version that only has you cast on over 500 stitches (524, but who's counting?).

See? I SUCK at diets.

"Thank bloody hell she does... Otherwise she'd drag us all down..."

Hey, I don't think I showed you this picture.

Hee hee... That would be "Twinigan" and his cousin "Minigalf". I made Finnigan a little knitted black kitty Gandalf, so that his little twin above could have a buddy on the couch at my sister and SIL's.

What? Twinigan would have been lonely otherwise...

Next time around, I'll show you some progress pictures. Some Laleli, a little Fulmar, and an FO!