Wednesday, February 28, 2007

And Awaaaaay They Go

Two pairs of socks, done and ready to fly off to Afghanistan.

In local news: Frakking Weather!

On Monday, I woke up to find snow the size of coasters falling from the sky, and snow all over the ground. Yesterday (snow gone) was warm enough to go for a walk in a short-sleeved t-shirt. And this morning, AGAIN with the snow. Not a lot of snow, mind you, but enough to make me mad. It's messing with my head.

My hands are really glad to be done with socks for a while. Think I'll go back to the delicious Baby Cashmere shawl.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Singin' and Dancin' and Kickin' Up My Heels

While I knit a sock. Oh well, I knit faster when the music rocks.

Kim tagged me for this meme, and since it is a quick and easy one, I'm happy to play along.

What song is guaranteed to make you speed in your car? Dance in your seat? Sing out loud? These are all songs that show up frequently on my iPod and that make me bounce around the house, sing out loud, clean up, get outside, you get the picture.

Let it Rain (Amanda Marshall)
Believe in You (Amanda Marshall)
Kodachrome (Paul Simon)
Loves Me Like a Rock (Paul Simon)
Graceland (Paul Simon)
Zombie (The Cranberries)
Before You (Chantal Kreviazuk)
The Littlest Birds (The Be Good Tanyas)
Hand in My Pocket (Alanis Morrisette)
Take the Skinheads Bowling (Love Seed Mama)

I tag (yes, I will actually tag): Cate, Lisa, and Madge.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Betty and Her Sister

Check it out, Betty's sister (top) is cuter. The colour distribution turned out better on this second one. Yarn genes or something.

Betty and her sis are a pair of women's size-8 socks soon to fly off to Afghanistan. And ya hey! I have another finished orphan.

Ugly Betty Goes to Afghanistan

If you've been reading my blog from the beginning, you'll know that I have this singleton sock I call the Ugly Betty Sock. The yarn is nice quality, and the sock was knit well, but that colourway just didn't turn out the way I was hoping. It seems to lack a sense I declared the sock to be a permanent orphan since I had no intention of knitting a second one.

Until I was reading Joan's blog and discovered that they need socks in Afghanistan. And they like bright colours. I put all other projects on hold and cast on for a small pair of teal/marl socks in Cascade 220. Finished the first teal sock this morning and remembered dear Ugly Betty. Now why shouldn't she get a chance to warm feet like she was meant to do?

So I have one of each, and a second Betty on the needles. I'm hoping to have both pair finished up by Wednesday to allow a week for the mail delivery.

If you are interested in whipping up a pair of socks for some school children in Afghanistan, you can get all the details here.

Daisy says she doesn't need socks but is always happy to receive apples.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just Call Me Speedy Gonzales

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

I did a flower survey too and discovered I am a Snapdragon. Hmmm...notice a pattern developing here? I've also been Irish Coffee, Schindler's List, and Yoda. Definitely attracted to the dark side of life.

Speaking of the dark side, and not pulling punches, I had an interesting encounter with my dad on Friday. I have at times referred to him as my ex-dad, if that tells you anything.

An example: I had to go to a clinic just before Christmas to get prescription renewals for my various psych-meds. Unfortunately my regular doctor has moved far away, and I had to deal with a new guy. This meant going through all the questions they have to ask before they'll renew this type of prescription. I know exactly how to answer these questions to get through the maze and receive my cheese, but in the back of my head, I'm thinking: Just give me the frickin' drugs, okay? Do I really have to go through the dog and pony show EVERY time??

Me: I'm going to need some more Xanax too.
Doc: Do you usually take that?
Me: I usually get to have about thirty on hand for special occasions.
Doc: Such as?
Me: Next week (Christmas) when I have to spend time with the source of a lot of this anxiety
Doc: Horrible ex-husband??
Me: Horrible ex-father.

To be fair, he isn't that horrible. Seriously, and I'm not defending him either. I don't do that anymore. He wasn't that horrible at Christmas either. Pretty damn irritating, but not horrible. When I was a lot younger, and he was a lot younger, he had the capacity for some pretty awful behaviour, most of which is never discussed (like as though it never happened). But the damage was done.

So...on Friday he came over to pick up something from our garage. I have not seen him much in the last four years. Just a few times, a few quick visits when he is with my mom, and the conversation is light, and we are all glad to keep it that way. Each time I've seen him, I've gained some strength in realizing that he has become a mostly harmless old man and that the old nightmares are fading, and that I can do this. Each time I feel less afraid.

On Friday, I invited him in for tea, and Doug and I had a visit and a chat about what he's up to these days. He is passionate about his pursuits the way I am about mine. This is always safe ground. The kids came home from school and said hello. Doug went out to run errands. And I was alone with him for the first time in a very long time. He started in on a topic that is a very old issue. One thing led to another, and we had one of those encounters in which a great many things get said.

Did anything get resolved? I don't really think in that category anymore. What is resolution? But things got said. Hard things. Painful things. Helpful things. We agreed on some things and disagreed on others. I discovered the limits of my dad's ability to understand some things, and he probably discovered mine. And we parted on amicable terms.

I could probably meet him for coffee one day in a few months, and we would not have to go back over that ground. We could go back to talking about our interests and how we spend our time. I am not expecting miracles, but in a way, I've already had one.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I'd Rather Be a Jacket Than a Rug

Yes, I would
If I only could...

Now how cute is this? It reminds of of something Elizabeth Bennett would wear over a pretty cotton dress. And she would look fetching as always. I was drooling over the pages of Twinkle's Big City Knits, and wondering how I was going to do this, that and the other, and with which yarns. Her patterns are all based on three types of yarn (conveniently the three yarns in her own line, and that I do not wish to buy at her prices). The three yarn types are: fine mohair knit on huge needles (as in Super Kydd); super chunky wool (again, lots of substitutions), and DK weight silk/cotton that she strands four together and knits on huge needles. the little wheels in my brain get turning, and Lo, in the middle of the night sometime last week I get the Eureka.

Four strands of DK knit on 10mm needles to get 10 stitches to 4"...Rowan R2 Rag!!! And I have a great big box o' the stuff that I bought to knit rugs before I discovered that I hate knitting rugs.

This is the pattern that I thought would be terrific in R2 Rag: Mini Bolero. Now wouldn't it be nice if we all looked like her? But I remind myself that I am 42, not 16.

I wanted to make mine in Khaki, but I only had one bag of Khaki R2. I did have two full bags of black, however (for rug edging), and the darn thing took 19 of the 20 balls, so a good thing too. Keep in mind that R2 has a whopping 27 yards of cotton tape per 50 gram ball. A person can knit up a ball in about half an hour. I cast on a sleeve, and two hours later it was done WooHoo!!

Now for a whole lotta details. The colour is a nice deep black (like in the first photo), but I included the above photo, taken without the flash, because all the details show up much better.

The jacket is knit in three pieces: two sleeves, and a body piece that is worked all in one. It took me about ten hours to do the knitting. I used 10mm needles (flat for the sleeves, circular back and forth for the body). I used 475 yards of Rowan R2 Rag (100% cotton cloth strip). I was grateful that I had paid 20 dollars a bag for this stuff and not the original ten dollars a ball. Can you imagine a 200 dollar mini bolero????

But that's not all. Once it was knitted, I had to deal with all the little loose ends. I wove in some, and stitched a few to the back of the work. Then you sew two tiny shoulder seams, and a bigger deal on the two sleeves (set in and seamed down the length). THEN, you have about three hours of crocheting to do, which eats up a load of yarn. You crochet around the edges of both sleeves and the entire outside edge of the body. First a row of SC, then a second row of picot edging. Then a bunch of steam ironing. THEN it's done.

Except that I added a piece of R2 threaded through the crochet edging so that I could tie a bow in front to snug up the fit (the back tends to flare out otherwise). I might spring for a nicer piece of ribbon for this part.

I like this piece quite a lot. It was fun to make and relatively quick. The R2 makes it feel like a very short jean jacket, only with a lot more give in the shoulders. It has that soft but heavy denim feel to wear.

Here I am in it. My 14-year-old fashion photographer, Colin, took a bunch of photos, but this was the only one I could live with (elbows strategically placed). Some of the pix made me realize that perhaps I should get back into yoga. He took a few from the side, and then tactfully informed me that I might not want to use those ones. I think the word "dumpy" might have been used. Wha????

That is the sad reality of Super Bulky items. The best way to wear them is over the least amount underneath, and skimpy tanks and cami's can be a bit unforgiving. I can see wearing this over any number of non-clingy summer tanks or dresses. I can also see giving this to my 16-year-old niece. If the yoga thing doesn't work out.

One final note about Twinkle patterns. The finished sizes look to be aimed ridiculously small (and probably for good reason). But...remember that with super chunky, it only takes two stitches to add an inch, and you don't want them baggy, and there's a lot of stretch. My R2 gave me a gauge (9st=4") that automatically gave me an appropriate size for me by knitting the smallest size by directions. You have to pay attention to these details. Also yarn yardages. I don't know what planet her editor was on, but none of the yardages given (in order to substitute yarns) match the original yardages of her yarns. Be warned.

On behalf of our whole family, Daisy would like to thank everyone at the blog and at the elann chat site for all of your kind comments and condolences regarding Peppo. We really appreciated them and felt touched by your words. And now we'll return to Daisy's regular program of climbing into her food dish to see what's good today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Goodbye Peppo

Our dear little Peppo died late last night/early this morning. Doug and I had been watching a movie until way too late. It ended just after midnight. We had noticed lately that Peps had been slowing down, so I went to check on her and have a quick cuddle. I knew as soon as I picked her up that she would not last the night. She felt very weak. So Doug and I sat with her, cuddling and petting her. She seemed to have a short series of spasms, and then she died quietly in my arms.

I know that losing a hamster is not on the same scale as losing a cat or dog, or some other long-lived pet. Hamsters just don't live long enough to make that kind of impact, but we love ours to bits. They do not smell bad the way mice and gerbils do, and they have interesting quirks and personality traits.

We got Pepper about a year and a half ago, and right away I knew she was different from any other hamster I'd ever owned. She was very gentle and loved to cuddle, curled up in the crook of my elbow. She enjoyed rolling around in her ball and somehow always ended up in the bathroom. One day, she was rolling around in her ball downstairs, and the lid of the ball fell off. Doug noticed that the ball sound had stopped and went to investigate. She had walked out of her ball and wandered behind the dryer. He called to her, and out she came, covered in dust bunnies. Her favorite foods were: corn (especially popping corn), scrambled egg, honey seed sticks, dog biscuits, cilantro, and grilled cheese sandwich. If she was fast asleep in her nest and didn't want to be disturbed, she would wave a sleepy paw as if to say: "Go Away." But if you dangled a bit of grilled cheese or cilantro (or other favorites), she would wake up almost instantly, pop up out of her nest, and accept it gladly. "Oh yeah...I could eat!"

We will miss you, Peps.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sometimes It's Better Not To Do The Math

This is exactly one ball (109 yds) of Baby Cashmere worth of Bird's Nest Shawl. One ball gave me the twelve row border and one complete 46 row pattern repeat with about three inches of tail to spare. It's about seven inches long by 20" wide or 5404 stitches. Hmmm...only nine or ten balls to go. The colour here is not bad, but still not quite right. I find greens hard to photograph accurately.

I'm working the shawl from the short edge, instead of from the long edge. I find that I enjoy my 93 stitch rows just fine, thank you, and feel no desire to work 360 stitch rows. The shawl is quite a lovely knit. Baby Cash is so light and pettable, and the fabric feels weightless. This is only 25 grams worth of shawl here, so it is going to feel feather light but oh so soft to wear. The shawl I made myself last spring in worsted weight is more like a blanket by comparison. But I wear my "blanket" over my lap on cool days while I knit.

I'm doing seven repeats of the pattern across the width. Seven is such a theologically sound number, and my friend R wants it for a prayer shawl. I'm working with size 7 needles (4.5mm), but that is for aesthetic reasons.

I had one boo-hoo early on in about the eighth row of lace, and I decided to rip back to the stocking stitch and start over. This time I used markers for each repeat, and I count on the back rows to make sure I'm fine. I've already caught and quickly averted two disasters this way. My mind wants to wander when I knit. I need reminders when I'm Abacus-Knitting.

In OTHER news:

I'm working on a side project this week that I hope to show off in a few days. Not saying anything else; y'all will just have to be surprised.

I would like to say a big hello and welcome to some new names (Madge, Julia, Cindy G., the AP Bag ladies, and the ubiquitous Anonymous) who have stopped by and left comments lately. It's always fun to hear from knitters.

A big Happy Birthday to CatBookMom!!

And Thanks to Tracy On Bowen Island (my knit-stalker, lol) who recommended Brenda Dayne's Podcast: Cast-On. I had a chance to listen to an episode of Cast-On last night, and it was very enjoyable.

That leaves me with a question that I will leave with you. I am new to Podcasts, and I noticed that there were several knitting-related ones. Can anyone comment on these? And on Podcasts in general?? Got any really good ones you can recommend? I saw Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on the list, and I would recommend that highly. He is a treasure.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Monday!

I made good progress on the Wool Peddlars Shawl over the weekend. One 240 yd. skein of Magallanes went a long way. You can see where a new skein jumped in where the colour scheme gets darker. This yarn is chatty. I asked the first ball if I should knit two skeins alternating to blend things together better. I've worked with Araucania before after all. Nope. Wanna be Free to be me, was the general opinion. And the other skeins nodded with enthusiastic agreement. There will be bands of edging after all, so bands of colour shifting will just be part of the game plan too. I'm satisfied. It's a go with the flow project after all. I wouldn't try this with a sweater though.

I have now completed the required garter stitch section, and I'm ready to begin working the lace pattern. I know knitters who found this garter section to be endless and boring, but I enjoyed it. It was perfect weekend knitting to pick up at breakfast while chatting with the kids, or work mindlessly during movies. Very relaxing, and all the colour and texture change does keep it interesting.

Back in November, I promised a non-knitting friend of mine a prayer shawl to be made sometime after the Christmas/New Year thing was all over. Well...she reads my blog and has noticed all kinds of other goodies hit the needles and finish with a flourish, but alas no prayer shawl. She waits patiently, but I would wonder, wouldn't you? So I am going to cast on for her shawl today and work it alongside my other projects. A cashmere interlude.

R is getting a Birds Nest Shawl (from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls) in...da da daaaah:'s Baby Cashmere (Cedar, but not looking quite so in this photo). Oooohhh....Aaaahhhhhhh...My fingers will be in ecstasy. And R can check in and see progress.

I've told the two shawls that they'll have to make nice with each other. No biting and clawing. Everyone will get a turn.

I received an Amazon order in the mail today: Two hot-off-the-presses new knitting books. I'm not going to give extensive reviews yet, but a hint or two.

Twinkle's Big City Knits looks like Tons of Fun. Cheeky, fashionable pieces that say fuck off to frumpy. BUT be warned: Just about every single pattern is knitted in (not chunky) but Super-Chunky yarn. Now, I knew this going in and it was one of the reasons I wanted the book. I like knitting super chunky. I like wearing super chunky. But I know full well that Super chunky is not for everybody. CatBookMom has accurately called me a sucker for soft chunky yarns, and I really am. I am also a sucker for great patterns for soft, chunky yarns, and this book is full of 'em.

I like this one, for example, and there are many many more.

Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel (Glampyre) looks like a book that I could gladly take with me (and my stash) to a desert island. Just from my quick look through, I could happily knit every single pattern. I could happily wear more than half of them. This book is going to prove to be a major distraction because I want to cast on about half a dozen projects out of there today. And I already have yarn in stash to do them too.

Some of the patterns are similar to ones you might find on her web-site, but on the whole, these go well beyond in terms of stitch detail, complexity, and variety. Patterns are for all gauges of yarn. Here are just two of the many things that tempt me today:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Magallanes Has Spoken

Thank you all for your generous comments about Hayley and her new sweater. The sweater went to school today, and when Hayley came home, I asked if she had received compliments. "Tons!" She exclaimed, "They loved the buttons!"

As I was finishing up the last details on said Buttony-Sweater, a skein of Araucania Magallanes politely inquired if I might be inclined to roll it into a ball and maybe think about swatching, if I didn't have anything better to do. Once I had it in a ball, it waited until after dinner and then mentioned that what it had always wanted to be, even whilst on the back of a sheep, was a Wool Peddlar's Shawl. You know the one from the Cheryl Oberle book?

That's not a bad idea, I thought, especially since I've been wanting to make a Wool Peddlar's Shawl for several months. I told the Magallanes that we would see how it performed in a simple garter stitch pattern, and that if all went well, we could just keep on going.

As it turns out, the yarn seemed to know exactly what it was meant to be because we are both enjoying the experience tremendously. Now don't get too excited about this triangle. It is really quite a small triange with delusions of grandeur. But it's going places. Oh yes it is.

The first three photos show the colour reasonably accurately. This is colour 303, a mix of greens that ranges from deep, almost black, bluey-green, down to pale buff/grey tones with shades of sage and dried grass in between. Magallanes is spun thick 'n thin, and the thick and thin sections repeat regularly, about every eight to ten inches. At its thinnest, it's sport weight, at its thickest heavy worsted. I'm working with a 5mm needle, and I like the fabric I'm getting. I've included this last photo, taken in sunlight because I think it gives the best picture of the texture. Don't forget you can click on all photos to enlarge them.

The yarn is a pleasure to knit, even in a repetitive stitch like garter because the colour and thickness is always changing. The fabric is visually and texturally interesting to watch, even while knitting. It puts me in mind of marsh grasses.

And how does it feel? Well it's not decadently soft like merino. It reminds me of Noro Kureyon, but it's much nicer on the hands than Kureyon. I wound a 100g/240yd skein into a ball and found no twigs (ok, one twig) and no knots. The yarn feels wooly and hairy but does not scratch my hands like Kureyon does. It's rustic without being annoying. I have a feeling I'm going to miss knitting it when it is all gone. I've heard this stuff felts well, and I can believe it. Spit-splicing will be a breeze. I suspect it will soften a bit in the wash, but I don't expect to wear this one against bare skin.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Want One!

The Glampyre Bulky Cabled Sweater is done. I knew it wasn't for me because of the colour. But as I knit it up, it became very clear that it was going to turn out nowhere near my size. My daughter Hayley started eyeing it. Yesterday, it was done except for the sleeves. She saw the buttons that I had on hand and got very excited. "Can I have this?" She asked, "Can I have it with THESE buttons??" So she chose the buttons and the order for them to go on, and I measured her up for sleeves.

It fits her very well, and there is room for growth, both in the stretch factor and in the way I finished it off.

The neckline in Glampyre's pattern sits quite low on the shoulders. Hayley has slim shoulders, and it looked like it might fall off, so I tightened things up by crocheting the neck edge. If she still loves the sweater when she's a little bigger, I can easily remove the crocheting for the more grown-up look.

Hayley is ten and thinks these buttons are totally cool. They are her favorite part of the sweater. If she changes her mind in a year or so, we can change those too. I also sewed them far over on the button band to make the sweater fit slimmer.

Details I love about this sweater: the top down shaping, and the details on neckline, button bands, and bottom band.

I really like the mirrored cables. They mirror on the back, on the fronts, and on the sleeves.

The sleeve cuff is supposed to match the bottom band, but Hayley doesn't like ribbing on her cuffs, so I did some rows of plain stockinette stitch instead.

All the Details:

Pattern: Glampyre's Bulky Cabled Sweater pattern in the smallest size
Yarn: Three full balls plus ten meters of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Orchid (470 yds total). I sewed on the buttons with's Devon in Baton Rouge (which happens to be the same colour).
Buttons: from Wal-Mart
Needles used: 8mm circular for the main body/sleeves; 6mm for the bottom band; 6.5mm for the button bands

Measurements: Bust (28" would stretch to 30"); Under arm to bottom (12"); back of neck to bottom (17"); sleeve from underarm (14.5")

Oh yeah...and I received a nice Valentine in the mail today: Araucania Magallanes in colour 303. Mmmmm...more on this later. I'm still whooping it up over Hayley's sweater. She looks edible in it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend Knitting

Over the weekend, I gave the Ribby Cardi a rest and worked on Glampyre Knits Chunky Cabled Cardigan. This is a fun and remarkably easy knit. I already know it's not for me because this is not really my colour, but Glampyre used Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky in her model, and I happened to have just enough of that same yarn in my stash (and just waiting for an opportunity to leave home). Someone who likes this colour will end up with it, and I am 95% certain that I will go on to knit one for myself in one of my favorite colours afterward.

The sweater is worked back and forth in one piece from the top down. This is what I did over the weekend.

The first two pictures were taken in natural light without the flash; this third one was taken with the flash. The true colour is somewhere in between.

I know it must be Monday because I received a white box in the mail from a Thursday order from This is Queensland Collection Uruguay DK, a lovely mix of merino, alpaca, and silk (now who can resist that?).

In the Strange-But-True category, I also know it's Monday because went and offered yet another irresistable Monday yarn that is now nearly all gone, even as I speak. Yesterday, I reminded myself that tomorrow was Monday, and that there would be a new yarn, and that I must not succumb. The Monday yarns seem to be my particular weakness. Okay, I said, preparing myself. What if it is Karabella Aurora? Nope! Not even then. Fine. What if it is Araucania Magallanes? It won't be, I reassured myself firmly.

It was.

I cannot believe it. When I saw the peek last night, and it was Araucania Magallanes I was completely gobsmacked. And so...I have five skeins of Araucania Magallanes on order. I am not making this up.

I posted my "Five Secrets" meme over the weekend, and then I decided to give you a look at the three rogues themselves. The photo was taken in 1969. I am on the left at five years old. Lynn (in the middle) is eight, and Cathy (on the right) is nine.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

If I Tell You, It Won't Be A Secret

Marie tagged me with this Five Secret Things meme. I'm supposed to tell five secrets that I have not yet told on my blog.

Mmm...that could get dicey. I've told quite a few of my safer secrets here already. The whole concept of secrets makes me squirm sometimes because all I can think of when the topic comes up are the dark and scary ones.

It is no secret that I grew up very strangely. Unfortunately, it is also all too common, so already I know that some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

But I still wanted to play, so I did some brainstorming on the subject, and I came up with five secrets that my two older sisters and I kept from my parents when we were very young (ranging from about 5 to 11 years old).

1. We were never allowed to do anything boisterous when my dad was around or he would get REALLY mad. So every single time my parents went out and left us alone together in the house we did things we would normally not be allowed to do, like playing hide and seek in the dark, in the basement (terrifying). And the other one I loved more was that we would drag our portable record player into my parent's bedroom and play "Lady Madonna" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. While it played, we ran around and around on the top of my parents' bed, and when the song got to the line "See how they run" we would all fall down laughing on the bed. We did it over and over and over again. And made sure the bed looked perfect when we were done.

2. Once my parents left my mom's brother Dale in charge of us. I think he was about fourteen years old, but I'm not sure. Dale was rough. He used to bounce me up and down on his knees so hard that I would get a nose bleed. He was chasing us all over the house and somehow ended up knocking down our Christmas tree. I know we broke some stuff, but we managed to get it all looking okay again before they got home.

3. They also left us with a teen-age babysitter named Judy. She lived up the street from us. Judy was terrified of butter. Yeah, I know. Butter. We used to put butter on the ends of our fingers and chase her (screaming) all through the house. Finally she would lock herself in the bathroom for the rest of the evening, and we put ourselves to bed.

4. One night, when it was just the three of us, and we were supposed to wash the dishes, my sister overflowed the sink and got water all over the floor my mom had waxed that day. When we cleaned up the water, we saw that the wax had come off too, so we had to drag out this waxing machine and try to re-wax the spot on the floor that was dull. My sister was just a skinny thing, and that waxer drove her all over the floor before I could get it unplugged.

5. Another night when my parents were out, the three of us had had our piano lessons and were supposed to practice. Cathy and I practiced, but Lynn (the middle one) hated practicing and made us promise to say that she had done it when she didn't. I don't know what Cathy said, but I pretended to be fast asleep when my parents came in and asked if Lynn had practiced. Next thing, I heard Lynn getting a spanking for lying about practicing. She had left her piano books at the bottom of the stairs, not up in my room where the piano was. A dead giveaway.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I've Got Sunshine

On a cloudy day...

It has been rainy and very grey around here this week. Just the right time to knit something in warm and lively colours.

This scarf was a joy to knit. I used exactly four balls of Queensland Collection Big Wave in the colourway Firebird (90% wool/10% cashmere). I bought the yarn at Easy-Peasy: I cut all my fringe pieces first and then knitted up the rest. This was comfort knitting at its best. This yarn is as soft as Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky. I'm not making this up. It has a different texture, kind of a nubbly thick and thin, like crimped dreadlocks. You can see the texture of the yarn well if you click to enlarge the photo and then look at the fringe. The fringe is particularly pettable. My daughter wanted to take the scarf to bed with her last night.

For Fringe: I cut 18" lengths. I used two together at eight points along each edge (and used the tails in fringe too). So I cut thirty-two 18" fringe pieces.

For the Rest: Cast on 22 stitches on 7mm needles and K2P2 rib. I spit-spliced new balls into place, so no ends. Scarf is 4" wide, unstretched. You can block it to 6" wide, stretched, but I prefer it thinner. 60" long without fringe; 76" long with.

Daisy said, "Please, oh please can I write the blog today? I promise not to pee on the keyboard."

"Okay, now how do you spell carrots? I know the C is around here somewhere..."

Then she got bored and went off to chew on the wicker basket that holds the napkins.

I finished a sleeve for my Ribby Cardi. Now I have the back and one sleeve done. I like the way the two greens look together.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Things We'd Like to See at the Pharmacy

Stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift (or lower) the toilet seat.

A spray that can be carried in a purse. To be used on small children as required and on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

Take two and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to eight full hours.

Thanks, K. B-J -- you're a pal!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Zip It

Yay! I'm very glad to be finished the Mondial Kross Jacket, not least because I want to wear it. The Camoflage colourway actually makes it kind of difficult to photograph the details. They show up fine in person. The jacket is ribbed very similarly to the Ribby Cardi with plain panels. There is a nice big cable running up each sleeve, and yes, that is a hood. You have to squint a bit.

Don't forget, as with all my photographs, you just have to click on them to make them bigger.

I started this one back in October, or November and then dragged it out again a few weeks ago to finish it. The yarn is thick, and the sweater got heavy and unwieldy as it came together. I found that knitting the hood was a slow slog. Then it sat on the floor in a shriveled heap. The sleeves were ridiculously scrawny, and all the rib made it look like it was not going to fit very well.

Then I washed it. And everything relaxed and got even softer (it was pretty nice to begin with), and it fits like a charm, and I love it. It is sooo comfy and a nice longer length for me, so I won't get any drafts up my back when I go outside in it.

Today it sat beside me on the couch while I worked on a sleeve from the Ribby Cardi. It beamed thoughts at me.

"I want a zipper," it said. "I know you have one in that Wal-Mart bag over there, and I would really like to have it installed today."

Well, it asked so politely that I couldn't refuse. Even though the last thing I wanted to do was to sew in a zipper. Who ever wants to sew in a zipper?? I poured myself a Coke (things, even zippers, go better with coke) and put on a schlocky movie and worked away. By the time the movie was over, I had installed the zipper.

The Knitty Details:

Yarn: Mondial Kross 100% washable Merino yarn. I used 11 balls. And I used every darn yard of every darn ball too. And that was with skipping the pocketsies. 11x100 gram balls = 970 yds of bulky yarn.

Pattern: in idee & filati no. 37 autumn/winter, put out by Mondial. Pattern 979: Camel Jacket with Hood (one size)
I bought yarn and pattern book at

Gauge: 12/13 st and 17 rows = 4" on 7mm needles