Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I've been bad...

Very ,very bad ! Look at what the mailman brought to my door today . Yep , more sock yarn . While I have a decent sized stash of variegated , hand painted and multicoloured / self-striping sock yarn , I'm somewhat lacking in the solid colours . Well , Elann to the rescue . They had their Sock It To Me 4ply sock yarn at a really great price . I'd like to have bought more , but had to restrain myself as I really am trying to knit up stash and generally not give in to want versus need purchases . However , I do so need this yarn , for my sanity - knitting socks is a very good stress reliever - plus I'll have enough yarn to guarantee toasty toes for quite awhile . Please ignore the fact that there's no obvious evidence of socks on the needles , trust me there are , but mitten madness has over taken me .
Witness the third incarnation of the Bird in Hand mittens . Not three pairs of mittens , but my third attempt at A complete mitten . After two false starts due to gauge and yarn issues , this is my most complete mitten yet . I still have the yarn issues , desperately hoping to have enough of the blue yarn , because ordering one ball from Knitpicks would bring the cost of these mittens into the realm of extravagance . That would really be out of line with my aspirations to be more thoughtful in my purchases . The alternative though, would be incomplete or ripped mittens and cold hands . At least that's how I'll justify it should the need arise . Knitting continues....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New on the needles

Thankfully the dishcloth mania has subsided. That's not to say that there's no knitting going chez moi . Au contraire I have two new projects cast on. One is an easy peasy garter stitch scarf intended as a birthday gift for Chantal.

The yarn is Bernat's Matrix ribbon yarn . It was a steal at Zellers - 6 balls for $5.00 . A while ago Chantal had requested a scarf made out of this type of yarn . She wanted a little scarf to dress up an outfit , as opposed to keeping her warm . I couldn't find any ribbon yarn at any local LYS , but scored this at Zellers last week. Can't go wrong with the price , but it's a pain to work with . This is my mindless, knit in front of the TV project.

The second and much more enjoyable project is Kate Gilbert's "Bird in Hand " mittens .I fell in love with these the first time that I saw them on the net . I've only ever knitted plain mittens and even then only a couple of pairs , so I'm definitely no mitten expert .Knitting these has added to my repertoire . I now know how to knit a picot edge and do an Estonian braid . Not very well mind you , but it's a beginning . Since I took these pictures I've ripped them back to the beginning of the thumb gusset increases. I really wasn't satisfied with the increases and have re-knit that portion . I'm a bit worried about having enough yarn . I'm using Knit Picks Telemark and as far as I can tell I've got gauge , but my first ball of the blue is disappearing very quickly . Anyway so far I'm very happy with the pattern and the yarn . Can't wait to get at least one mitten off the needles .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My little dishcloth factory

This is what happens when you're struggling with a cold , want to knit something but the brains have left the building . That and my supply of dishcloths is dwindling to almost zero. I knit 5 actually , but two are now in my neighbours' kitchen . The flower petal ones are a free online pattern by Hazel Schrock . A really easy , fun knit that looks more complicated than it is. The other is my plain vanilla standby , found on the ballband of Bernat Handicrafter 100% cotton years ago . I love using these because you just can't wear them out no matter how many times you wash them and throw them in bleach to disinfect them . There's always someone knitting these up for church bazaars and fundraisers . They usually sell like hotcakes, so obviously I'm not the only one who likes them.

I had a rather nice surprise today . I participated in the Ravelry Scarf Exchange, but the person who was supposed to knit for me didn't follow through . I was a little bummed out but still happy that I kept up my end. That's the chance you take when you do this kind of exchange. Today I received an unexpected email from a very kind knitter in New Zealand who has volunteered to be my Knitting Angel . Since she's already knit a scarf for someone else , I'd like to pay that kindness forward. I haven't decided exactly what I'll do (charity knitting or make a donation to Medecins sans Frontiers in her name) but a very big thank you Marjorie .

Friday, January 11, 2008


I can't believe we're already into the second week of 2008 . We had a wonderful start to the new year with Casey and Chantal's wedding . We were all a bit nervous , because planning this at a distance, you're relying on the integrity of people you don't know. Everything just went perfectly , from the minister, who somehow made this occasion very personal even though she'd never met the bridal couple , to the photographer, limousine driver , PapaBear who drove us all to Magen's Bay and the great ladies who cooked up a terrific beach BBQ for after the wedding. Later in the day we had a small reception back on the ship. The rest of the trip was just sun,rest and relaxation and way too much food. The meals on a cruise ship are just stupendous . I think we all gained a pound or two while we were away.
Back to reality ...re-entry was a little rough . The weather here has been just terrible , rain, freezing rain , snow and then more rain . Unbelievable amounts of rain . Casey had a minor flood in his basement , the sump pump just couldn't keep up with all that rain . Thankfully we were home when that happened or it could have been much worse . I've been battling the mother of all colds all week. This is the first day that I actually feel like myself . What a difference a week can make ... but still it 's been a very good beginning to 2008 !